Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter Celebration

What better way to celebrate the last day of January then a "Winter Celebration" program at Lindsey's school.  The kids did a couple of songs and a couple of poems about winter then showed off some art pictures they had been working on.  After the program, I took Lindsey out to lunch for a mother-daughter date.  We don't often get the chance to have one on one time with our kids so it was a special lunch for the both of us.

Lindsey's creation
video

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sammy's First Time Skiing

Today Sammy tried skiing for the first time.  He did great!  He went up the chairlift several times and he learned to turn and do a wedge stop, although he realized pretty quick it was also pretty effective to just sit down when all else failed.  It was Lindsey's third time skiing, she went twice last winter, and she started right where she left off - going up the chairlift.  She really progressed with her turns and skied much more in control this year.

Blain stayed home with Carley and since it's been exactly a month since my surgery, skiing is out for me for this winter.  But our good friends Cindy and Brian came along to help with the kids.  Brian tried snowboarding in the morning and it was his 4th time to try.  After getting beat up too much by the mountain, he came to the decision that snowboarding was not for him and switched to skies in the afternoon which he enjoyed much more.  Cindy was on skies the whole day and looked like she was having so much fun I got a little jealous I couldn't join them.  But it was fun watching the kids and Cindy and Brian coming down the mountain.  And you can't beat the scenery!
Getting Ready in the Ski Lodge
Sammy's First Time on Skis
Brian's Last Time on a Snowboard
Ski Bunny Lindsey
Ski Bunny Cindy

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lindsey's "Goulash"

Lindsey cooked dinner tonight for the first time.  I supervised, of course, but she did all the actual cooking herself except for the rice (gotta give Blain credit for that part).  I thought it turned out great especially for a five year old's first time.  I'm so, so proud of my big girl.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Good Hair

Carley's Beautiful Natural Hair

Carley's Beautiful Hair Extensions - You know, she's beautiful no matter what!
During my recuperation, I've had the chance to catch up on watching some movies I've been wanting to see for a while.  This morning I watched the Chris Rock movie "Good Hair".  I was blown away.  I think it's a should see for all Americans, but is definitely a MUST see for any parent, black or white, of a child of African descent, in particular if their child is a girl.

The movie starts out with Chris Rock explaining why he made the film, because his 3 year old daughter came to him crying and asking, "Daddy, how come I don't have good hair?".  So he started researching what the Black American culture considers "good hair" and it is not the natural African hair, which was often referred to as "nappy" by the African Americans he interviewed.  In fact one black woman he interviewed that wore her hair natural in locs stated that she was often considered revolutionary because of her natural hair style.

What were the preferred hair styles for most black women was relaxed hair or hair weaves, basically European type looking hair.  To relax the curl from African hair takes some incredibly harsh chemicals.  They showed 3 and 4 year olds getting this done.  When I got Carley's hair extensions put in last month, the African American beautician had no problem with relaxing Carley's hair at age 2.  She said she had relaxed hair of kids as young as one!  After seeing this movie, Carley's going to have to be much, much older, maybe when she's 21.

The price and source of the human hair for the hair weaves was a major eye opener.  Most of the hair comes from India where people either have their hair shaved as a religious sacrifice or have it cut off and stolen and sold to hair brokers.  After the hair is processed and sold in the United States, it goes for $1000s.  This made me feel a lot better about the $65 I spend on Carley's non-human hair extensions.  I also felt a little bit better about getting the extensions when the black mom of the 4 year old getting her hair relaxed said the main reason she was doing it was the time it took to comb out her daughter's hair.  Even though I think the majority of wanting straight hair is more cultural than anything else, let's face it, unless African hair is kept pretty short, Lindsey's Asian hair which is long and straight is so much easier and quicker to take care of than Carley's hair which is considerably shorter than Lindsey's but is dry and thick with very tight curls.  So there is a convenience and time factor as part of this as well.  Even though it took over an hour of Carley sitting in the chair at the salon to have the hair extensions put in, on a daily basis we're having to spend much, much less time styling it.

This movie made me laugh in places, taught me a lot about the African American hair culture in this country, gave me a lot to think about regarding what Carley will be facing as she gets older with her hair and her self image and then made me cry at the end when Chris Rock said that what he wanted to teach his daughters most was it's more important what's inside of their heads rather than what's on top of their heads.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's About Time!

For whatever reason, we have never taken our kids to the movie theater.  Plenty of DVDs and TV and other type of outings but never actually gone out to see a movie.  Lindsey and Sam went to the movies with their daycare last summer so I feel bad I missed being with them for their first time.  Anyway, we finally all went as a family and saw the new Disney movie "Tangled".  And the reviews are in.  Sammy declared it "too girlie" (I think Blain backed him up on that) and Carley got bored after about an hour which I thought was a decent enough attention span for a 2 year old.  Lindsey and I really liked it.  We all enjoyed, though, getting out of the house together on a rainy and cold January day. 

They had previews for "Cars 2" coming out this summer so the plans are that will be our next family movie and one that won't be too girlie.  And in case you didn't know, Sammy is a HUGE Cars fan.  I've lost count of how many Lightening McQueens we have floating around this place.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Another Visit From the Tooth Fairy

This time it was one of the upper front teeth.  It's been loose for weeks.  We were hoping she would lose it before Christmas so we could teach her the song "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth" was the slight variation of being "one front tooth" instead of two.  Oh well, still so cute to see Lindsey talking and smiling with the big gap in her teeth.
video

Saturday, January 8, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

I'm back home!  After 2 days in the hospital and 7 days recuperating at my mom's I'm finally home again today.  The main reason I stayed at my mother's was for peace and quiet so I could properly rest and heal.  My time around the kids was limited to just a couple of hours a day when Blain would bring them over for lunch or dinner.  I must have gotten somewhat spoiled by that because now that I've been home a couple of hours I'm ready for my quiet break.

But even though the kids are running around wild, there's no where else on earth I'd rather be right now.  There's no place like home!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Why I've checked out temporarily from Life

It's hard to tell from this picture but this is the incision where 4 discs were removed, C4 - C7, and replaced with cadaver bone, 8 screws and a plate.  This has turned out to be much more painful than I realized it would be.  Thankyou to all my family and friends who have helped, to the doctors, nurses and hospital staff.  And thankyou especially to the person who donated their body so I could use their bones in the reconstruction of my neck.