A Day in the Life

Just a few fun photos from my afternoon with the kiddos yesterday. Violet was my buddy, connected at the (virtual) hip... (she's much shorter than I am).

We cooked... we cleaned... we finger-painted... we danced... we napped (in her new sleep cap!)... and she gave us both manicures (see: previous reference to "finger paint").

What a life!


Natural and Unnatural Fireworks

We experience BOTH natural and unnatural fireworks last night... and while man-made fireworks are fun, nothing compares to the beauty and majesty of crazy big (and close!) lightening.

We drove up north to Lake Pleasant with some friends and enjoyed a "night before" celebration. Violet did fabulously with the fireworks, sitting in my lap munching on carrots and guacamole, and sipping the lemonade drink Fernando got her as a treat. (Which was mostly to keep her diverted from the funnel cake we all were sharing that she cannot eat... so sad!)

But she was a happy camper, snuggled in for the whole set of fireworks, yelling "purple!" so loudly that I thought the folks in front of us were going to say something.

I am so proud of her boldness - even when she's frightened, she is able to work through it and enjoy the very thing she was scared of. We were close to the fireworks, so they were quite loud, but she gradually removed her hands from her ears and ended up pumping her fist in the air yelling, "Go fireworks! Come on fireworks!"

The skies opened up mid-show and cooled us off with a welcome rain, and the lightening competed for our attention all evening.

It was a relaxing, fun, change-of-pace, kind of evening.


Detangling the Mess

Always in search of a fun new family-friendly movie, we rented "Tangled" to watch all together. We popped popcorn, got in our pajamas, and snuggled on the couch to enjoy the show.

From a surface, "keep us entertained and laughing" standpoint, it was better than I expected.

But any deeper than that level, and it was a complete mess for young kiddos - especially ones in an adoptive situation.

1) The "mom" situation is complicated from the get-go. Evil witch steals sweet baby from crib (in a too-terrifying scene, by the way) but then the mom appears young and kind for a while. Enough so that Violet kept pointing: "Mommy, that's me and you! Violet and Mommy!" I kept trying to correct her: "That's just pretend Mommy..." but there was enough affection that the evil chic was convincing as a mom. Subtly she reveals herself as evil... jabs and slightly mean comments that just made the kids uncomfortable. It's a grey area.

2) Which leads to the next point. Maybe unintentionally, but this movie teaches a clear lesson: If your mom is mean to you, or you just feel like there's something better "out there", it's ok to run away. It's ok to go find your "real" family.

3) Which leads me to point number 3. Once you do run away and find the "real" family you always knew was out there, naturally, that mommy is more beautiful, kind, gracious and (naturally) everything is perfect. Life has no problems.

4) Which leads me to maybe my biggest complaint with the whole movie: Hair. Real mommy, like all movie heroines, has long, straight, shiny, curl-free hair. Rapunzel herself boasts insane amounts of golden flawless (tangle-free) hair. This might seem silly or even trivial. But to a 2-year-old who is watching EVERYTHING, this is a big deal. Especially because there IS someone who has her hair: The evil witch. Deep black curls. It's actually a beautiful head of hair. Too bad it's on someone who re-defines evil AND the worst mommy complex I have ever seen.

We are officially on the hunt for princess/heroine/fairy tales that feature curly-headed girls as the main item. It's harder than it sounds, and it's certainly not coming out of anything Disney-related. Even their African-American heroine straightens her curls into a sleek bun.

It's heart-breaking to view this world of fantasy and romance through Violet's eyes. It's amazing too, for a little girl, how much of that fantasy and romance is tied into glamorous (straight) hair. I think the part that I didn't expect to struggle with is that I HAVE that hair... long and straight. And already Violet is stroking it, playing with it, and telling me it's beautiful.

I'm determined to change this. I will find heroines with curls that she'll adore, even if we have to create them. I'll make sure she sees the beauty in her coils. And I'll do my best to demonstrate that longing for hair you don't have is a waste of energy and time - no matter your original color or texture.

Even if it means I have to chop of my hair, dye it black and perm it. Just kidding. Kind of.