Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cece's "First" First Birthday

Cecelia is almost one! She is going to have a few first birthday celebrations, and for her first one, her "RaRa" (Grandma Stephens) and her Aunt Karen took her to Busch Gardens!

The start:


Have you ever tried to take a picture with four kids? It's hard!


This was Cece's expression most of the day; she was just taking it all in, but very seriously!


I think "RaRa" (Grandma Stephens) had the most fun:









The end:

A special thanks to "Aunt Karen" and "RaRa" for a great "first" first birthday! Aunt Karen and I have both been crying a little today as we think about the next five years and not being able to live life together. . . .

And, you may be asking, "Where was Brian?"

Gooooo Gators:)!

Thursday, November 5, 2009



First, I want to share about a new documentary that Chris Rock made called Good Hair. I have not yet seen it, but I cannot wait. Here's a brief description:
Director Jeff Stilson follows Chris Rock on this raucous adventure prompted by Rock's daughter approaching him and asking, "Daddy, how come I don't have good hair?" Haircare professionals, beautyshop and barbershop patrons, as well as celebrities including Ice-T, Nia Long, Paul Mooney, Raven Symoné, Dr. Maya Angelou, Salt n Pepa, Eve and Reverend Al Sharpton all candidly offer their stories and observations to Rock while he struggles with the task of figuring out how to respond to his daughter's question.

I have been learning a lot about Cecelia's hair. What products to use, what brush to use, how to part it best, how often to wash it. And, all though I feel like I'm just scratching the surface, I have also learned a little about black culture and hair.

To be perfectly honest, I was a little insecure about Cece's hair, at first. When she was about six months old, African-American ladies (particularly, one that works at our grocery store) started telling me that I "better start doing something with her hair". Up until that point, I was putting a headband in it, some days. Don't get me wrong, the ladies comments were not meant to be offensive, at all. They were very sweet ladies--they were just being matter a-fact. Thus, the afro-puffs were born. I learned how to do that, and they have moved farther down her head. The part is different now, and what used to take at least 30 minutes, now takes about 15. I also gave in and took some advice about letting her watch TV while I do her hair. So, every morning, Cece sits in her bumbo, and most days, she watches Sid the Science Kid as I do her hair.

In addition to the afro-puffs, I also sometimes let her have an afro (which is my favorite), but I part the front and clip it. From the little that I understand, that counts as still doing her hair, and I'm a good mom.

Well, I was in the grocery store the other day, and Cece was sporting her afro with the clip. She's very interactive, so she usually gets a lot of attention. A younger, black girl, who works at the store, was doting on her. She commented on how cute her hair was. I felt like a proud mom.

So, I ran into the same young girl today. She told me that she has not stopped talking about Cece's hair. She had a whole conversation with her mom about it. About how impressed she was with it (she didn't say it and she was very polite, but I think she wanted to say--this white women knows how to do her black girl's hair). I was beaming! She said she had never seen hair done like that--with the part, clip, and afro, and she said she loved it! (Today, Cece had her afro puffs, and the girl like them also.)

Then, when I was leaving the store that girl said to the older black lady, "Look at her hair." The older lady is the one who told me months ago that I need to learn how to do her hair. She responded today with, "Girl! I told you! You go girl!!" And, lots of smiles!

All that to say, I'm feeling a little more confident; however, as I'm learning, being a mom is tricky, no matter what. Just when you start to think you've figure it out (I'm stopping there).

Just for fun, I put together this little video that shows Cece's hair, but sends the message that she should not be defined by it! (Nor should I!) There's also some pretty sweet breakdancing moves in there, enjoy!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

Very much like my friend, Heidi, I'm not really a huge fan of Halloween. For very similar reasons as her; I don't like being scared. I also don't like it when people think you're a clown, and you're not! I remember when I was in Kindergarden. I wanted to be Rainbow Brite. My mom gave a really good effort to "my demands". I'm sure I wouldn't let it rest. I had boots (appropriate for both Rainbow Brite AND Halloween in Minnesota), leggings, and a red turtle neck. It was my hair that was a problem. I'm not sure if I insisted on a wig or what, but my mom searched and searched for a Rainbow Brite costume; however, at the time I think all our town really had for searching was a K-mart. So, my mom got me a "rainbow" wig. All through out the day and night (at school and during trick or treating), everyone said, "Are you a clown?" I just remember being so annoyed at everyone. And, being the "not-afraid-to-speak-child", I said very matter-a-factly, "no, I'm Rainbow Brite!" Thankfully, Cecelia is not old enough to have an opinion on what she would like to dress up as. Oh, I must say, this stage is so very much fun. My sister-in-law, Karen, found this adorable little costume. So, this Halloween, I was not afraid, AND everyone knew that Cece was a little ballerina. Who knows what will happen when she's in Kindergarden?!