Thursday, January 26, 2012

Healthy pregnancy: Baby's home

Hi there,

I hope all is well with you all.
I haven't blog in a few weeks and my last post (on Cesaria Evora) was written a while ago and just scheduled to post on my birthday. I am so glad I was proactive.

Anyway, I am grateful to be able to share with you that Nia will be two weeks old tomorrow and I look forward to wathching her grow. I had forgotten how marvellous it is to spend time with a baby.
They are truly a gift from heaven...

My husband returned to work today. Last night, the idea of being home with baby without his help made me feel  as nervous as I did 9 years ago when I brought my first child home. He has been a great helper with the bottle feedings and diaper changing.

Even though it was my fourth pregnancy, the time at the hospital had many "firsts" and I have to say that I am so grateful to God for HIS grace and I am glad to be home with Nia. Life is a gift so precious and I am learning with this baby that even when things do not go as planned or initially expected it's a privilege to be able to brag of God's grace and mercy.

I am so glad to be home and Nia has been showered with so much love before her birth, during our time at the hospital and since we got home over a week ago.

My neighbors have been a huge blessing in our transition. We have been blessed with healthy delicious meals every night of our first week home and for someone like my hubby and I who have no family locally it means so much to receive that kind of support. Their kindness brought so much comfort.

The day before my birthday I received this beautiful welcome gift (below)from my big brother and sister-in-law who live in a different state. I tend to miss my family more than usual in times like this and I tell you... something as simple as this bouquet makes me feel so good even when I am up breastfeeding or warming breastmilk bottles in the middle of the night.

I am actually looking at it as I write this post....

The big brothers & sister have been wonderful with their little sister. They haven't put to the test their diaper changing skills  but they have assisted in every little way and I don't mind them spoiling their baby sister who is already expecting someone to run to her every time she cries.

For real, they literally run to her to assist when the pacifier comes out of her mouth, they tell her " coming Nia" every time she fusses, they 'fight' over who gets to assist during clean up time, hold the diaper bag, pick her outfit of the day etc. 

Her oldest brother diligently reads to her every single day since the very day she was born. It's sweet!

Well, friends that's a wrap for today...I figured some of you would love to know that the baby is here and learn about her days at home.

I want to say a huge Thank You to every single of you who have been around and to the ones that just joined. I thank you all for your support and for your prayers. Please continue to keep us in your blessed prayers.

I grew up in Africa so I know that it " takes a village" to raise a child.
You might all be my 'virtual' family but every good thoughts and every blessing are felt in a special way.

Hope you are ready for more baby & mama stories, tips etc as I keep blogging about a Better Body and Better Life the Natural Way!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Loving my roots: Cesaria Evora, the Morna & Sao Vincente

January 24 is actually my birthday and as I thought about it I realized that it would be a good time to launch a new feature on my blog. The idea came to me during the month of December when cesaria Evora passed away.

"Loving my roots" is my way to appreciate and honor my (Black /African) origins.

Today I am taking you on a small historical tour as I share how Cesaria Evora influenced my life as a young African girl. 

I have fond memories of my childhood listening to Cesaria Evora. As a child growing both in a French speaking African country and in France I was so intrigued by the beauty of her voice, her language (Cape verdean Creole) and the Morna.

The Morna is a music and dance genre from Cape Verde. It's considered the national music of Cape Verde just like the fado is for Portugal. You can easily detect the fado (portuguese) sounds in the Morna.

    In case you wonder why the Morna has a portuguese influence here a very quick history.
In 1495 the Cape Verde islands became part of the portuguese empire.
In 1951, Cape Verde's status changed from a Portuguese colony to an overseas province.
In 1961 the inhabitants became full Portuguese citizens.
In 1975 the islands became independent following the 1974 coup in Portugal, after which Portugal began abandoning its colonial empire.

When I first moved to the USA 17 years ago, I carried with me some of Cesaria Evora albums. She was ( her music) a faithful companion, helping me overcome the solitude of a new life away from home while, homesick, I would find comfort in listening to familiar vibes.

The Queen of Morna, Cesaria Evora passed away on December 17,2011 and it's her death that actually triggered in me the desire to honor my roots and start this new feature on my blog.

She was born on  August 27 1941 in Mindelo, Sao Vincente, Cape Verde. She started singing at 16. It was always enchanting to hear songs  of ' La Diva aux pieds nus'  a.k.a the barefoot diva.  She got that nickname from the fact that she would perform without wearing her shoes.

All the pictures were found online but there's something sentimental to me about this one below because it reminds me of my grandmother.

Cesaria Evora photo credit Eric Mulet
Hope you have a moment to enjoy the video below, the music is exquisite.

This song "Carnival of Sao Vincente" and this version in particular is one of my favorite as I love to dance to it and it always put me in a superb mood!

Enjoy ....

The video below is a shorter and less " jazzy" version of the one above but offer some very pleasant pictures of Cape Verde.

In relation to Morna, Sao Vincente is more than the birthplace of Cesaria Evora, it's also a  derivative of Morna.
The three main genre of  Morna are:
 1) Boa Vista the oldest genre of morna,
 2) Brava morna and
 3)Sao Vincente a derivative of Brava morna.

Boa Vista, a genre of Morna, is portuguese for "good view" and it's also the name of the easternmost island of Cape Verde.

Just like the name Boa Vista refers to a genre of morna and to a cape verdean island, the name Sao Vincente refers to other things as well.

The name Sao Vincente , portuguese for Saint Vincent, can also refer to 3 locations:
  • the island in Cape Verde, 
  •  a  coastal city of Sao Paulo in Brazil or
  •  a municipality along the north west coast of the island of Madeira.
images of Sao Vincente, Cape Verde

Stunning isn't it?
Situated in front of Senegal in West Africa, the islands of Cape Verde benefits from magnificent caribbean like weather because they are on the same latitude as the Caribbeans islands.

Photo Source:

Historically the islands were used during the slave trade and served as a shipping port.

Image of Sao Vincente Sao Paulo Brazil.  Founded in 1532 by Portuguese settlers, Sao Vincente is Brazil's oldest city.


Images of Sao Vincente Madeira

Hope you enjoyed my little historical tour! Are you familiar with any of the Sao Vicente location or with Cape Verde? Are you also a Cesaria Evora fan?