Monday, April 27, 2009

hair

so i finally learned how to braid. it was one of the goals i set for myself at the start of winter. i figured i had plenty of time on my hands that i needed to learn how to do it. people have lots of feelings about african hair, myself included. one friend who is a social worker told me that as a case was going before a judge where the birth mother had too many drug problems to care for her child who was entering the foster-care system. the mother's chief reason she didn't feel her daughter could be taken care of by the white foster-mom was because she wouldn't possibly be able to take care of her daughter's hair.
i have issues. i realize this. i obsess over my girl's hair. i worry that if it's not done properly that i will be judged by strangers on the train or people we pass on the street. why in the world do i care? transracial adoption is such a BIG issue, an article i read today even said adopting outside your race is 'cultural genocide' and so i wonder if i feel all this internal pressure because i'm a white lady, or if other moms feel this, too. i gave up on hilina's hair for awhile because she pitches such a fit and when it was wild and crazy i got SO many compliments on it from, you guessed it, white people. i have such boring straight hair i love her curls... but when i started 'doing' saida's hair i got so many compliments from friends who are you guessed it, black. i'm just thinking out loud here, wondering about the differences.

i knew it would be different than caring for my hair. i knew if i basically did the opposite of what i did for my own, namely, taking the oil out, i would be heading in the right direction. i guess what i wasn't prepared for was the cultural stigmas surrounding african hair and how it's taken care of. if it's long or short. straightened or natural. braided or 'down'. on the bus i'll look across the aisle and see white kids coming from the playground or school with their hair in haphazard pony tails, looking like it hasn't been brushed in days. you almost never would see a black child out in public like that. is it because it requires so much attention to make sure it doesn't get damaged?
anyway, i just never thought i would feel so insecure about it. and judged. and proud when it looks good. i'm not sure if the judging is in my head or actually exists, probably some of both i imagine. i just don't want my girls as adults to look back at pictures of themselves as kids and think, lord what was she doing to my hair?!?!?!? even though i say that about my mom (thanks for the bowl cut, mom!). i just want to be able to answer that i was doing the best i could, and for me that involved learning how to braid.
parted into triangles and braided
i was just playing around here in the back trying to braid braids into each other.

these little barrettes at the end of the braids can be picked up at any african hair braiding place for cheap. i think they work great at the ends of braids. trouble is keeping them from judah...
i joined one of those yahoo groups for african hair but i felt too embarrassed to ask any questions so if anyone has any questions ask away. i'm no expert but i've sampled my fair share of product (carol's daughter - totally overrated!) and dropped enough braids to offer a little advice if anyone has a question.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

the vipers in diapers...

my friend beth, the one i keep talking about? well she kindly babysat for us last weekend and made an observation that warmed my heart... we had put judah down for the night before we left and were letting the girls run off their dinner before she put them down and she said judah was just beside himself (i'm getting to the heartwarming part, trust me) but that once the girls were in there with him, she never heard a peep out of him. she said she can tell already that they're functioning as a little unit. i'm thinking of starting a band... we had our first rehersal on the evening of my birthday when we realized our children were in desperate need of a bath and some post-bath songs.

the girls are absolutely thrilled that 'all of the 5 little ducks came back' YAYYYYYYYY! judah looks like he's trying really hard not to roll his eyes at them. could it be? why yes, it is...A BEN LOOK!

have you ever seen someone 'wash the spider out' with such gusto? impressive, if i do say so myself.

how big is saida? 'shhaaaa beeeeee' apparently.

3 peas in a pod, errr, tub.


father and son



and just in case you were wondering...
scratchy throat? check! watery eyes? check! flowers in bloom? check! TWO consecutive days in the seventies? CHECK CHECK CHECK! spring is here and we couldn't be happier!

Monday, April 13, 2009

thirty shmirty

who says getting old is no fun? on friday i turned thirty whole years old, although, i've felt thirty for a few years now...gee, i wonder why? in keeping with a thomas family tradition we went out for pancakes to celebrate with our friends the aplins.
gus really went all out when he found out it was my birthday...
look how excited saida is to get some of that cupcake! could her mouth be open any wider?

this is where judah asks if he can have some and i laugh at him, maybe this summer, buddy...
here's my lovely friend beth and "old" susannah...
hilina is a pro at tom's now, here she's trying to keep things out of judah's reach, turns out the boy has serious swiping skills...
only part of the reason why dining at tom's is a holy experience...

afterwards we went to the playground where judah could just hardly contain himself...

and hilina walked all the way to the slide on her own!


in other news saida has picked up a couple of new phrases that she uses randomly, one being "go, judah go!" which she says whenever he does anything really. sitting there chewing on his hand, she's right there cheering him on... and the other is 'oh, man' which we were having trouble figuring out where she got until we realized it was our favorite egyptian, sammy, who says it all the time and that's why the accent is different... so ben was saying the lord's prayer with the kids and he got to the end and said 'amen'. and saida scrunched up her face and looked so seriously at him and said, "oh, man." close enough, i guess...

Friday, April 3, 2009

judah crawls!

It's been big week here! I now have 3 very mobile children... I've forgotten so quickly what it is to chase after a baby who's suddenly on the move. He's into everything, and maybe I will get some flack for this, but I do think boys are different than girls. He has no fear of crawling over anyone or anything to get to what he's got his eye on. And even better is that when I tell him no, he sits up, smiles, and laughs. It's actually pretty adorable and I melt every time... "oh sure, baby, you can pull the computer off the table, ok..." i challenge you to watch this video and see if you could muster up a firm no.

video