It’s A Girl

How’s your summer going? Do you have any plans?

How about your life, how are those plans working out?

Plans. Plans? Yeah, scrap those damn things.

So we have a new addition here. Yeah, my nice big living room/bonus room has been “renovated” into 2 smaller rooms. Okay, that’s not really an “addition”, but more of a remodel.

Our new addition is my Mother-in-Law.

All in all, it could be MUCH WORSE. She could be incontinent. She could have anger issues. She could be immobile. I am very appreciative for BOTH our sake that she’s none of those. Physically she is very healthy. But she does have Alzheimer’s.

I am trying. T.R.Y.I.N.G. trying really hard to be patient & kind. I really am so nice, so nice on the outside. Inside I’m such a bitch (like you didn’t know).

 

What is a Girl Worth?

I recently had a 13 year old neighbor girl babysit for me. Two weekends in a row. The first night, I didn’t have enough cash on hand & didn’t give her all that I planned to. The next weekend I drove her home & handed her the money (which included what I felt I owed her). I had to insist she take it. She kept shaking her head insisting that she didn’t mind not getting paid, she was obviously embarrassed at taking the money. I told her that I just paid a 14 year old neighbor to cut my grass, because I needed the job done, & that she provided a service to me that was valuable too.

Where did girls get the idea that their time isn’t valuable?

When Jasmine was a teenager she babysat for many families. Often she’d have to ask several times to be paid (and I’ve often forgotten to make it a priority to get money to pay my sitters too). A few times she was paid well below what she should have been paid.

When my son did jobs for people, they almost always paid him on the spot. Not only that, but he was better paid than babysitters were/are. Again, I’m guilty of that as well.

I paid my sitter $12 for 3 hours. I paid the boy who cut my grass $20, & filled his lawnmower with gas, and it took him not quite an hour. Is cutting the grass a harder job? Is it a more valuable service?

I’m guilty of being part of it myself, but it has always bothered me that boys’ neighborhood jobs are more valued than the girls’.

 

(and yes, I’m aware that I’m assigning gender roles here, but it reflects my experiences)

That Looks Good

I love cauliflower. 

I see those pins of “healthy mashed cauliflower” that “looks” like mashed potatoes.

They are supposed to be a healthy alternative to mashed potatoes.

They are supposed to be delicious. 

They are not.

moral: don’t get conned by Pinterest

What I Want To Do When I Grow Up

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” – Elie Wiesel

 

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are”- Benjamin Franklin

 

 

 

2013

At the beginning of 2013, I said “here’s hoping THIS year doesn’t suck”.

And, in comparison, it didn’t.

But, lemme tell ya, I’d define this year as “Loss”.

My Mom died early in 2011. A year and a half later my Dad died. (both of these deaths occurred unexpectedly after a brief illness.) Yes, there were people who reached out to me. People that checked up on me. And I appreciate them for doing so.

But I have been heartbroken by my oldest daughter leaving. I want her here. I want our family together. I want her to take my son with her when she does an errand, or goes with a friend for a late-night ice cream. I want her to make his first girlfriend feel comfortable at our home. I want my little daughter to cuddle in bed with her, to eat “sister soup” for breakfast, to paint nails with. I want her to be there when my little one comes home from school to show off her art work. I don’t want her having a serious boyfriend that I might not ever meet. I don’t want her squeezing in a skype call if she can when she’s having Christmas with some family I don’t know.

Add to that having a close meaningful friendship fall apart. This is a friend who we used to have holidays with, who we’ve vacationed with, and we were each other’s “go to” person when we’d have a crisis. Although we are both making overtures of friendship to each other, we’ll never be the friends we used to be. And now that I have a young child again, that friend isn’t available for me to drop my little one off for an hour while I run out to do some chore. I can’t send her over there to show off her newly pierced ears. She won’t be on Addis’ “emergency contact” form when she goes to Kindergarten next year.

 

Feeling lonely and heartbroken.

Anniversary

Three years.

Wow. What the heck were we doing all those years before? I can barely remember not having Her.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Three years ago:

  • I had just returned from Ethiopia after meeting my little girl
  • Although the wait for our Embassey appointment wasn’t terribly long, it sure felt that way.
  • My neighbor had a baby shower for me. I wore a pillow under my shirt.
  • We were finishing up getting that little room ready. Straw colored walls, Pink & green trim, princess blanket (which has always been her favorite), cute pictures on the walls, shelves full of books.
  • Jet lag. Seriously, I didn’t see it coming, it took a long time to recover from!
  • Pictures, pictures, pictures. I couldn’t stop looking at them!

The first pictures we saw of Addis she looked stunned & worried. When we met her, her expression was flat. In fact, she had that flat look to her eyes until she had been home for about 6 weeks.

First dayThis picture is from the first daw we met her.

 

Box Braid Tutorial using Micro Braids

I took some pictures while doing hair today, I’m hoping that I can use them to explain how to do synthetic box braids.

This is the hair, I like using the “curly” braids, the ends don’t have to be secured.

HairsyntheticbraidsI use two strands together…but the strands on the left are one strand of the braid, the strands on the right are another strand of the braid, and then Her hair will be the third.

hairboxbraidThese synthetic braids are often crocheted into corn rows, but I’m not talented enough for cornrows! So we do box braids. She’ll have about 45 when we’re done. It might look better if the boxes were even smaller, but Addis’ hair is very fine & if I make them much smaller there isn’t enough hair to hold them in good.

hairbeginingbraidThe synthetic braid just gets wrapped around Her hair. The first few times I used tiny bands, but they didn’t help much.

hairbraidingJust braid them in. Really simple. You’ve got to keep them tight & smooth, but if you can braid you can do this. Keep braiding down, using 2 strands together as each strand of the braid + the Hair, until you’re a half inch or so from the bottom of the natural hair.

hairsplittingbraidWhen you get close to the bottom of the natural hair, split one of the braid strands away & add it to the strand that is Her Hair. Now you will have 1 strand that is really 2 together, 1 strand that is 1 tiny braid, & 1 strand that is 1 braid & natural hair. Braid it keeping those ends tucked into the braid as much as possible. Braid all the way down.

That is it!

After a few days, the braids start coming apart, but usually don’t reach the natural hair until they’ve been in 2 weeks. Maybe I’ll braid them back down again, or maybe she’ll have curly ends.

And then after about 2-3 weeks, I’ll start re-doing sections, keeping this styling in for 4-6 weeks.

Good luck!!

 

 

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