Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We are all packed and ready to go. I even devised a plan where Husband will take the girls with him to fill up the vehicle in the morning while I cram the Loving Dollhouse accessories in and shove Princess videos down stockings.

I'll slurp the chocolate milk (Bella insisted on it for Santa), nibble the carrot and toss the cookies back into the jar.

Then we're off on a four hour journey to my parents'. I'm very excited to see my family yet dreading the drive. This time I was super smart and put Bella's potty in the back because there's no "just in case" when we travel. It is more like "inevitable pee panic" and I don't feel like holding her naked behind out over the grassy knoll just to be splashed anyway.

No trip begins without a Starbucks fix. Tall, non-fat Peppermint mocha. Thank you, weird Bleached Bangs Girl in the window as you complain to your BFF, Gay Guy, about the previous night's boring party. No, I do not want a 350 calorie piece of lemon pound cake. Today.

On we go to visit, laugh, play and rip into gifts with our family. First mine, then Husband's. He gets irritated that I separate the families out like that but how else do you explain it without sounding confused? We're going to visit my family and then my family.

I hope you all enjoy your families, however many or whoever's they are.

Merry Christmas and I hope to read all about YOURS soon!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tiny Teachers

I have a very strong conviction to teach my children to accept diversity in this shrinking world. While I may not know the details of how or what I'll teach them, I feel it is important for my kids to be socially educated, compassionate and empathetic. Of course there are moral limitations and I'm still trying to define what those should be as my children grow.

Sometimes kids turn the tables and teach us instead.

I took Bella to an indoor playground last week after school. We arrived about the same time as two other little girls about her age.

One girl was named Kylie and she was African American. The other little girl looked as if her face had been beat up by concrete with cuts all over, swollen eye, nose and lip. Her name was Sarah.

Bella doesn't have many African American girls in her school, I'm not sure why. She hardly ever sees children with injuries or disabilities (I had to double-take with Sarah because I first thought she had a facial deformity).

But after formally introducing themselves and giving each other the once over, the girls gleefully ran off towards the slide, chatting non-stop.

The discussion?

How they got out of their mommy's tummy. A universal topic.

None of the girls pointed out each other's differences or even Sarah's poor beat-up little face. There was no staring or grimacing. There was immediate acceptance and willingness to be best friends for the 15 minutes we were there. They hugged, held hands, cooed over Ava and told silly secrets.

It was wonderful to see and I was proud of all three girls. I know social exchanges won't always be so pleasant or without judgement, but I hope I can teach my girls to always be kind, think before they speak and not stare at those who may be different from them. Then again, they will probably learn more by example and that is the most important lesson of all. For all of us parents.

Monday, December 10, 2007

What Kind of Friendship IS THIS?

Thanksgiving weekend, my sister Amanda and her family drove two hours to spend the day with my little family and my inlaws. Not only is THAT sweet, she also brought four starter kits for Amish Friendship bread.

I know. She's amazing.

I rarely bake. It requires precision and patience, both of which I'm lacking. But because she brought me the generous gift, I decided to go for it. I read the directions which called for mushing the bag every day for 10 days, but on the 6th day in, I'm supposed to add a crapload of ingredients before the daily bag mushing.

I opened the bag and...

Oh! *gag*

Gaw! *eyes tearing up*

I had to ask Amanda if this was actually moonshine bread because I'm pretty sure at this point it would explain her 2 year old's love of the stuff.

After that nice whiff, I spent the next four days grimmacing at the fermenting goop in a bag on my counter.

I came thisclose to tossing the bag out on day 10. But I knew that I couldn't lie to Amanda about a bread I never baked. So I followed the rest of the directions which basically told me to separate into 4 more starter kits. Out of love for others, I chunked that.

I did, however, make one batch of the BEST BREAD EVER! Wow. My kids loved it and we polished off the two loaves in less than a week!

All of that painstaking mushing and grossing out taught me a valuable lesson. Well, besides having a little more faith in my sister's love for me.

It made me remember that not everything in life is as it first appears to be. Often a bit more time must go by and with a few changes, what seemed awful can turn into something wonderful and unexpected.

Yeah. Check out the deep thought. I have no voice (oh, the kids LOVE it) but I've still got random thinking going for me.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Help. Me.

So Bella was supposed to be taking a nap, or "resting" as she calls it, and as I'm just about to sip on some nice hot tea, she comes into the room, tears streaming down her face.

Me: Honey, what on Earth is wrong?!

Bella *sobbing*: I can't sleep because my hair isn't curly!

And she hands me the hair gel.

Oh, yes. Vanity has arrived. For the past two weeks, she's obsessed about her curly hair. It is no wonder though because everyone and their Grandma comments on how pretty she and her curls are every time we leave our home!

I think the whole pretend beauty shop ploy to get her to wash her hair has backfired on me.