August 26, 2014

What I Couldn't Tell My Son About Ferguson

I didn't intend to tell my son anything at all about Ferguson. I considered it something to share with children only on a need-to-know basis, and - as far as I was concerned - there was no reason for my 7-year-old to know what was happening.

He saw the footage purely by accident. After a day spent at a museum on our last day of vacation in Vermont, he curled up on his grandmother's couch to watch a recorded episode of America's Got Talent. When the show ended, the channel defaulted to the local six o'clock news and images of the Ferguson riots were flashing on the screen. "What is happening?" he asked me, his eyes fixed on the television. "What is going on?"

August 24, 2014

On First Day of School Eve: A Lesson For My Boys

This morning was my turn for a "lazy morning." My husband got up with the boys, and I lay in bed reading. I opened the bedroom curtains to let the sunlight in and allow the view of the mountains in the distance, enjoying the quiet hour to myself. Out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed the door slowly creeping open, and I looked up to see which of my two children was hoping to slip in for a hello. I held up the bedcovers to let Zip slide in beside me, overlooking his already-dirty feet.

He eagerly snuggled up next to me, and I caught myself wondering at how my baby had gotten so big. Tomorrow is the first day of school and milestones always seem to amplify the way time has changed things, like a before and after picture. In this case I caught a glimpse in the rearview mirror of the 8-pound, brown-eyed baby I had brought home; curled up beside me was curly-haired, dimple-faced, long-legged 7-year-old. He told me about the turtle pond he is dreaming of building in our backyard - how big it should be and the turtles that will make it home.

"Do you know what today is?" I asked him, when he finished. At least, I think he was finished. Turtle-ponds are a frequent topic of conversation lately.

"Sunday."

"Yeeeeeeeees. And it is the last day of summer vacation. School starts tomorrow," I reminded him (for the 100th time, because I tend to get a bit overzealous when it comes to planning and change). This was the perfect time to have our yearly back-to-school chat, the one we initiated when he began kindergarten.

August 11, 2014

A Review & Giveaway for Mixtina {Multiracial Haircare Products}

I received several free samples of Mixtina products to try with my family and give away. The decision to write a review and all opinions below are my own. 

Ten years ago, I finally discovered hair products made specifically for curly hair like mine. Then when I became a mom, I started exploring the "ethnic" aisle, trying to find the right products for each of my boys' hair. I bought products for the boys and tested them on my own hair, and did the reverse. Over the past few years it feels like I've tried everything I can find in the aisles of Target, plus a few from the salon and even on-line.

So when Mixtina asked if I'd like to  give their new line a try, of course I said yes. Or, more like YES!!!!!

I love that the company's intent is to create a range of products that work for different types of curls, rather than assuming that all curls are the same. Just like my hair responds better to some products than others, so does the boys'. Zip's hair is much like mine (loose spiral curls that respond well to creamy styling products and good conditioning), while Bee has much tighter coils that tend to dry out easily.

A few things I immediately appreciated about Mixtina products:

August 10, 2014

Life, In Pictures {August 10}

It seems my grand plans of doing something "special" as a family each week this summer kind of petered out. I think we made it to the pool a measly three times (making me glad I didn't buy a season's pass) and we totally missed the window for squeezingin our annual trip to Hershey Park. But it has been a good summer nonetheless. And the nice thing about these photo posts is that they remind me of the fun stuff we have done. It has been a busy summer in many ways, but a leisurely one in others. The boys have spent many afternoons playing with friends in the neighborhood, catching bugs and frogs, nursing wounded birds, and doing the things that childhood summers are made of.

Here are a few highlights from the past two weeks. I'm planning on one more post when we return from our end-of-summer trip to Vermont and then I think I'll make this picture-post thing a monthly(ish) event. Sound good?

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I love this pup.Twelve years ago Hubby and I had just moved into our first house, and a few days later this sweetie joined us. His age is starting to show - the white fur, the slow walk - but he still appreciates the simple things: a walk in the evening, laying in the sun, an extra scratch behind the ears, wet dog food instead of dry. Maybe there is a message there?


August 7, 2014

A Momma's Reflections on Kindergarten {Musings}

We're in the final countdown to the start of a new school year here. 18 days left of summer. Has it really been TWO YEARS since I was anticipating my baby going off to kindergarten for the very first time? And come this time next summer, I'll be preparing Bee for his first day of Big Kid School, officially moving me out of the Momma-with-littles category. I'm sure I'll have some strong feelings about that when the time comes. For now, I'm just feeling grateful for Bee's winter birthday and the one more year I have with him at home.

For those of you with little ones who will soon be stepping on the bus for the very first time, I thought I would "re-share" some posts I wrote when Zip was starting kindergarten. (And, yeah, I'm being a little lazy about writing in these last weeks of summer!)

Here are some reflections from a momma who has been there, with all of the mixed feelings that accompanied the "freedom" of having a child in school all day and the bittersweet of saying good-bye to those little boy days.