Saturday, November 21, 2009

Seeking Hair Advice

Help! I need advice! Hopefully some of my African American friends can offer some up!

Ruby is very frustrated with her hair. It's getting longer now, and it is super kinky and thick. I usually keep it in corn rows, which looks really cute, but she gets tired of that (mostly of the time it takes to braid and later take down). However, she does like it that once the braids are in we don't have to mess with her hair much for about two weeks. She gets so frustrated when it's time to take down the braids and comb it out that she's about it tears. It's really hard to comb out -- takes a lot of time and hurts her scalp. (I use a great conditioner and then a detangling product and make my own shea mixture for moisturizer.)

So here's my question. Is it OK to relax her hair and let it grow, or would it be better to cut it shorter and leave it natural? I don't want her to think that straight hair is "better." I want her to love the way she looks naturally, but the problem is, right now she doesn't. She really dislikes having curly, tangly hair and is very unhappy with it. I'm not sure how to best handle this in order to make sure she has a great self image. I think she's beautiful just the way she is. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


This week the girls are learning about goats in school. We just finished going through lots of cool facts about goats, and their end of the day reward was a goat coloring sheet. After learning all of their "goat facts" Elizabeth proceeded to color her goat pink and green with a purple beard.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What I Know Now

A friend of mine posted something similar to this and inspired me to come up with my own list! Although I have a 22-year-old son and have gone through "these years" before, it was different. In those days I was not a stay-at-home mom, and now I am -- and I had one son instead of three daughters. Here are some things I have learned in recent years...

1. If you think you have a plan for the day, think again. On most days you will accomplish only about half of what's on the list.

2. If the phone rings and you're having a serious conversation -- especially with your sister -- this is when the noise level will rise and kids will misbehave.

3. The phone always rings at nap time, school time, or shower time. It doesn't mean you have to answer it, and it's OK to take it off the hook!

4. I'm pretty sure there will be a time in my life where the term "shopping" once again brings to mind Ann Taylor and Coach instead of Gymboree and The Children's Place.

5. Little bitty socks in large numbers take a long time to fold, especially when they're inside-out.

6. There is nothing happier than the sound of children's laughter, and there's nothing more disconcerting than their silence -- trouble is usually afoot!

7. It doesn't help to buy three of the same toy. There will still be arguments over it.

8. Little girls might forget their school work once in a while, but they will never, ever forget the name of a princess or the color of the dress she wears.

9. Nothing can lift your spirits more than the smile of a little girl in pigtails.

10. Nothing beats hearing a little girl tell you that you're the most beautiful and best mommy in the whole world.

11. If you want to see the world through a child's eyes, listen to their prayers at night.

12. Every day and every child is a gift from God -- treat it as such. Some days are easy and some are frustrating, but God will never give you more than you can handle.

School Days

When the girls had their school pictures taken I didn't expect much. I was pleasantly surprised -- they turned out great!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

No Television: Day 6

I'm amazed! The first few days without television weren't really hard for the girls, but they did ask about it -- especially cartoons in the morning. Yesterday they didn't even mention TV, and so far today none of them have mentioned it! Just goes to show that watching TV becomes a habit!

Monday, November 2, 2009

No Movies or TV: Day 4

I don't generally allow the girls to watch a whole lot of TV. Tony and I don't watch much TV either. However, we somehow slowly slipped into the routine of watching PBS cartoons in the morning -- every morning. And often (ok, most days) we would watch all or part of a movie -- usually "princess" something -- in the late afternoon or evening.

Well, last week the girls were really struggling to concentrate and remain focused during school hours. And furthermore, they were having bouts of sullenness and moodiness. I started to suspect that the problem was with the TV, so I decided that we would avoid it for a while. I didn't ground the girls from TV or anything. I'm just finding other things for them to do. They've been making cookies, doing jigsaw puzzles, coloring, playing with their toys, and playing outside more (since the rain finally stopped). Today is the fourth day of no TV for them, and they seem to have their behavior back on track. School was great this morning, they have not been bickering, and they didn't even ASK for the cartoons this morning. They woke up and headed directly to the play room.'s my theory. I don't allow my kids to watch anything even remotely inappropriate, so content is not the problem. TV doesn't cause a problem in our house because of what we watch. The reason too much TV is a problem is because it uses up countless hours during the week when kids could be doing something -- anything -- that encourages them to use energy, imagination, innovation, concentration, and creativity. Television is just a big time waster, and it puts kids in an entirely different frame of mind than when they are engaged in active play. It seems to stunt their ability to entertain themselves, and instead makes them feel like they can't find anything to do unless something is suggested or provided for them.

Having said all of that, I also realize there have been and definitely will be times when I just need to turn on the TV and let the kids sit and calm down...or let myself calm down...or just find something more for them to do on a rainy day. I'm not suggesting my girls will no longer watch TV or movies, but I am sure that I'm going to make TV less of a routine or habit in their day. No longer will we wake up and turn on PBS cartoons every morning simply because that is what we do!

And on completely different note... I'm not a very artistic person, but I'm finding that in order to be an effective kindergarten teacher, I really have to stretch in that area. The girls get a kick out of my drawings and like to watch and guess what I'm drawing on the board. Tony thought my dinosaur was a cat when I first started drawing its head, but did say it was pretty good once it was finished. We were all laughing at that one!

And, of course, whatever I draw they draw. They're actually a lot better at drawing than I am!

Part of the lesson was about the unique characteristics of insects -- one being that they have six legs. I think I counted eleven on Nora's ladybug (however, she does have six legs on her other insects). Guess we'll keep working on that part of the lesson. LOL