Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Homeschooling Multiple Kids is a Trip!

Don't I look crazy in this picture?

Well, homeschooling multiple kids gets a little crazy for me! Sometimes I find that most of the day has gone by, and if we didn't have to leave the house for an errand, I may still be in my pajamas.  As the day progresses, an apron may get added to the ensemble.  I am sure the UPS man thinks I have no sense of fashion.  I got many chuckles on Facebook after posting the following scenario, which plays out at our house often, so I thought I'd post it here:

Mom is working with her kindergartner,"Silent E makes the vowel say its name but---"

Kid 1 yells from across the room," Mom, she took my book! Give me back my book! Give me back my BOOK!"

Mom: "Silent E makes the vowel say its name but---"

Kid 2 yells from upstairs, "Mom, I HATE math!  This doesn't make any sense.  Can you help me?"

Mom: "Silent E---GIVE ME A MINUTE--silent E"---

Kid 1 taps Mom on the shoulder, "Kid 3 says her arm hurts, but I told her not to touch my book!"

Mom: "Did you hurt her arm?"

Kid 2: "What about my math Mom?"

Kid 3 is crying and wailing that her arm is broken, but Mom can see it is clearly not broken.  She tries to calm her down with hugs and kisses while scolding Kid 1 for being too rough.

Mom: "Where is Kid 5? It's almost noon! Is he still in bed?"

Mom walks back to Kindergartner,"Silent E makes the vowel say its name, but shhhhhhhhh...he is very quiet.  He doesn't say anything."

Why can't kids be like Silent E ya'll?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

How I Stretch My Girls' Hair

My girls really hate shrinkage, but what can  we do?  I remember being endlessly frustrated as a teenager when my hair would shrink after being exposed to moisture.  Some moisture like rain, or shower spray is easily avoided, but on a humid day, shrinkage would win no matter what. I really hated planning my life around how much humidity was forcasted  for the day.

I have been happiest since learning how to work with shrinkage and coming to appreciate that a little shrinkage can actually bring life to a stretched style.  I love it when a crisp twist out or wavy set transform into a more natural look as my strands respond just a little bit to the moisture in the air.  Just a little bit.  Unfortunately, this is very difficult to control.  I keep my sense of humor close and before I decided to lock my hair, I was flexible and never without the tools to change up my style if too much shrinkage was a factor.

To be honest, I wore my hair in mostly shrunken styles.  I was the queen of  twists done on damp hair.

I would like my girls to do the same, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I have noticed that their hair is easier to work with once it has been stretched. Here are a few things I have learned along the way:

1. The best case scenario for me time wise, would be if I could wash a mocha girl's hair, detangle and put the style right in.  I would love to get it all done in one sitting.  I have done this, but the result is maximum shrinkage.

2. Even a little bit of stretching makes the hair a little easier to detangle.  My first detangle is far from perfect.  my goal is to remove as much shed hair as possible but a comb won't slip through.  After, this rough detangle I will put in an oil and braid the girl's hair into 4-8 big braids.

3. Allow the hair to dry completely.  If I take the hair down before the hair is dry, it will continue to shrink up.

4.  If I pay attention to how I do those 4-8 braids, I've even been able to fake like their hair is styled and take them out of the house as the hair stretches.  It's amazing what can be done with headbands, bows and other color coordinated accessories.

5. I generally go from the 4-8 braids to a final detangle and style.  I have learned that I can stretch the hair even more by detangling those same 4-8 braids, putting it back in and stretching some more.  This principle works for any stretching method...the more you do it the longer the stretch.  Banding, African threading, roller setting or even doing multiple styling sessions in a week will result in more stretch as long as you control the moisture exposed to the hair.

6.  I do mist the hair to detangle even when I am stretching.  I work quickly, and generally a small bit of water won't cause much shrinkage and is invaluable towards keeping the strands pliable and moist.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Oh No, My Daughter is Doing Her Own Hair!

I always imagined I would really enjoy watching my daughters do their own hair.  In my dreams they ALWAYS followed my methods step by step in exactly the way they had seen me do.  They are super gentle--I mean why destroy all of the progress we had worked so hard to make?  No one ever complains about the hard work and depending on the style of choice--the long hours it takes to finish.  After all, my daughters are super evolved because of all the things I've have poured into them.   My girls loved every step of the process and never considered rolling with whatever their hair was bent on doing naturally.  At the very least, they never had to be reminded to do the basics--like wash their hair.  They never let weeks, and then more than a month go by without at least rinsing the sweat from their scalps.

I could laugh for days because with both HmG and Mg2 being completely responsible for their own hair I am realizing how absolutely ridiculous my expectations were.

They have their own process to make.

They don't get excited about the things that excite me.

What I think is amazing, is at times considered a hot mess by them.

Maybe when they grow up they will, but right now they don't care about all of the hard work I have painstakingly put into their hair.  To them, it's just hair and they are not sure how they feel about it sometimes.  Sometimes they don't care or don't want to be bothered.  Other times they just hate it.  Not necessarily because it's nappy or they wish they had some other kind of hair...but just because....

I am learning how to keep my mouth shut.  My daily mantra is...you may not be thrilled but it is still their hair.

I'm not going to lie.  It's hard.