Category Archives: Curls

Diva in the rearview

Driving home tonight with Miss Maeve in the backseat and my mother at my right in the passenger seat, I commented how quiet Maeve had recently become.

Glancing down at the clock, I reasoned that since it was just about her bedtime, and we’d just spent a good handful of hours out and about doing some good ol’ fashioned girls-gone-shopping topped off by dinner out, she surely was well on her way to dreamland. The snoring would begin any moment and since we were just around the corner from the house, I began to consider the task ahead of me: gently removing her from the car, a delicate diaper-change and then some juicy kisses as I would tuck her in, snug as a bug in a rug.

A glance in the rearview mirror, however, proved me wrong. (And suddenly had me feeling like I was on Miss M’s payroll. Her personal driver, bringing her home after a long day doing whatever it is that busy two-year-olds do.)

There was Maeve in her pink floral fuzzy coat, donning a new scarf knitted by grandma — wrapped and knotted ever-so-funkily ’round her neck and draped down her front, of course — a fleece pink hat keeping her delicious curls in check, and, despite it being very, very dark outside, there she sat, looking straight ahead, straight-faced and wearing her bright pink sunglasses.

Chillin’.

Hmm. (Like she didn’t know How Darn Cool she looked.)

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Filed under Adoption, Beauty, Children, Curls, For fun, Maeve, NaBloPoMo

Birthday awe

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Two years ago today you came into the world.

The next morning I learned of you through the most memorable phone call of my life.

Twenty-four hours later I touched you for the first time, and held you in my arms, your little newborn body, long toes and round rosy lips making an impression on my soul so large and deep I was sure I couldn’t love you any more than I did right then.

I was wrong. So, so wrong.

Now, when I can grab you long enough as you run by from one adventure to another, I rock your long body in my arms. But your legs hang over, heels hitting my thighs. Your arm reaches around my shoulders, fingers tickling my neck. Your head, full of soft brown ringlets, rests in the crook of my arm. Your toothy smile just bearing with sentimental me.

I sing “Rock a Bye Baby” but now, rather than being soothed, you giggle and shake your head, denying “baby” status. Sometimes you even request another song altogether, at which time I know my moment of cradling has passed. You jump from my arms to dance as I sing out of tune, in awe of you the entire time.

Happy birthday, Maevey Gravy.

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Filed under Adoption, Birthdays, Curls, Family, Growing up, Love, Maeve, Open Adoption, Parenting

Love Thursday

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Love is …
Maeve, in spiral-curled pigtails and “Daaahling, Let’s Do Lunch” sunglasses.

Love is …
Me, hurrying barefoot across her MegaBlocks (ouch!) to grab the camera.

Love is …
Asking “Who’s a cute girl?” and actually catching
her hand-to-cheek response in photographic form.

***

But most of all, Love is …
Believing I’m at least partly responsible for that glimmer in her eyes.

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Happy Love Thursday, everyone!
For more images and sentiments of love, visit
Love Is All Around and Love Thursday: Love is All Around Us.

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Filed under Adoption, Children, Curls, Family, Love, Love Thursday, Maeve, Parenting, Relationships

Love Thursday

So today for Love Thursday I was planning to post a picture of how my dear Maevey Gravy looked as she went to her little school yesterday morning.

But the ‘conversation’ she and I had this morning as I changed her diaper trumped even the most wonderful of images, which I’ll share another time. I’m letting her words speak for themselves, sans photo.

As I changed and dressed her, I began asking her what sounds animals make. Maeve, what does a lion say? From elephants, cheetahs and sheep to bumblebees, monkeys, kitty cats and snakes — she nailed them all, and sometimes with animation so perfect, National Geographic or Animal Kingdom just might have to do a double-take.

(I’ve always said the girl is a genius, thankyouverymuch.)

So then I asked her: Maeve, what sound does mommy make?

She looked me dead in the eye, clutched her little paws together, brought them tight to her body, and said:

“I … wuv … wu!”

‘Nuf said.

Happy Love Thursday!
For more images and expressions of love, visit Love Is All Around and Love Thursday: Love is All Around Us.

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Filed under Adoption, Children, Curls, Diapers, Family, Love, Love Thursday, Maeve, mamagigi, Parenting, Relationships, Someone else said

Love Thursday

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On Loving A Seven-Month-Old Maeve
(Written one year ago in my journal)

Because her big toothless smile greets me each morning.

Because when I least expect it, her hair springs a subtle surprise curl.

Because she places her little paws on my cheeks and watches me, face-to-face.

Because she can wear a pink beret like no one else I know.

Because her laugh is so darned hearty.

Because she curls up in my arms and finds peace.

Because she watches everything, taking her whole world in.

Because she notices her reflection in framed art and photos on the walls.

Because she lights up when mama or dada enter the room.

Because her big, dark eyes are the deepest pools I’ve ever waded in.

Because she fits in my arms as naturally as she does in my heart.

Because her little (toothless) jaw chews when she smells food or sees others eat.

Because she’s so inquisitive, so fearless, so in-the-moment.

Because she laughs when the cats dodge to escape her grasp, as if it’s a game.

Because her chunky, Michelin Man thighs are so delicious. 

Because there is so much promise in her chubby feet and long toes —
for they will take her on all her life’s journeys, long after I am gone.

Because she is my little girl.

Because she has changed me forever.

Because. Just because.

 

 Happy Love Thursday, everyone! For more images of love, visit
Love Is All Around and Love Thursday: Love is All Around Us.

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Filed under Adoption, Children, Curls, Family, Gifts, Husbands, Love, Love Thursday, Maeve, Parenting, Relationships

Berry-good, cherry-good

The bad news?

My day began bright and early, in a dentist chair, white knuckles gripping plastic-clad armrests, while sounds of drilling reverberating relentlessly inside my head. An hour and a half later, I left the dental office with a small envelope of gargantuan pills to ease the arrival of forecasted pain and discomfort.

I arrived at my office soon after only to have to dig my desk out from a blizzard of 80 or so proof pages (in 8.5-point font reduced 30 percent) requiring a careful read and deliberate eye, numerous rounds of corrections, and an extra hour-plus at the office this evening in order to push the project closer to completion before tomorrow’s 3 p.m. printer deadline. (It was middle of the afternoon today before I realized I’d not yet left my desk for the ladies’ room.)

The good news?

I am one seriously lucky woman.

This evening, feeling completely beaten by the day’s events, I arrived home to the sight of Maeve nestled in her daddy’s lap, fed, freshly bathed and smelling sweet, the regimen of her curly locks complete, listening to him singsong her book-of-the-moment, Jamberry by Bruce Degen. I watched her big, brown eyes travel from each turned page of adventure in Berryland to her father’s lips, where she watched intently as he recited, just for her, rhyming waterfalls of words like, “Raspberry, Jazzberry, Razzmatazberry, Berryband, Merryband, Jamming in Berryland.”

Also awaiting me was a dinnerplate of easily chewable foods, my favorite beverage well-stocked in the pantry and fridge, and, as a special sorry-your-day-stunk surprise, all the fixins for a tooth-friendly ice cream sundae. Maraschino cherries, too. (The one exception to my no-fruit-with-caloric-pleasure rule.) All of this handiwork, by the way, from the husband who called amid the paper frenzy at work to offer post-dental support. I am, after all, known for having needed intravenous anesthesia in order to make it through a previous (and tortuous) dental visit some time ago.

Gosh, I love this man.

Taking off my coat, I knelt beside Maeve and Tom while they finished the Jamberry fest already in session.

And a funny thing happened. I forgot about the drilling, the rinsing and spitting, the numbness and pain. I forgot about dropped copy, missing charts and 3 p.m. deadlines. I was no longer consumed by these events that had marred my day. Also gone was the looming pressure of night and household routines awaiting execution.

After all, before me in all her juicy glory was a baby girl who — ok, at 18 months she is every day less Baby and more Spunky Little Girl — is simply so lovely to love. When she had registered the sound of my jingling car keys as I entered the house, I’d heard her little voice whisper to daddy excitedly, “Mommy! Mommy!”

She and I soon hunkered down to read, to play, to giggle and wiggle. Me, still in my work clothes and shoes, her, set securely into the curves of my lap like there was nowhere else in the world she expected to be. And that’s just fine with me, because there’s nowhere else I’d rather have her.

Gosh, I love this little girl.

There’s nothing better than walking smack into the love in your own home to remind you how little drilling and deadlines matter.

Later, after Maeve was tucked into bed with visions of “Quickberry, Quackberry, Pick me a Blackberry” and “Trainberry, Trackberry, Clickety-clackberry” swirling in her head, Tom and I sat down for an ice cream sundae together.

Feeling corny and especially lucky with the little threesome that is my family, I dropped some extra cherries on top. Three in all. And it was perfect.

A good day, I’d say.  A berry-good, cherry-good day.

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Filed under Adoption, Children, Children's books, Curls, Editing, Family, Gifts, Husbands, Love, Maeve, Parenting, Relationships, Work

Curls galore: hers, ours, yours

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Me with Taylor, left, and Maeve, right.  Fall 2006 

Let’s talk curls. Kids’ curls.

Maeve’s got soft, sweet curls. Spiral curls bursting with personality. Lovable little twists of delight.

Yet this child’s ringlets have been the impetus for many a Google search on my part in a frantic attempt to learn how to care for hair that is so very different than mine. How to keep the frizzies, knots and tangles at bay and ensure that it is as healthy as can be.

Seems I am not alone.

I recently received an e-mail — a desperate cry for help, if you will — from my dear friend Maureen, who had taken a time out from battling the remarkable, yet “unruly” (as she put it) curls atop her daughter Taylor’s noggin, to write little ol’ me for the name of my Curl Care Guru.

My who? My what? you ask. Oh, read on, dear lurkers, read on.

Ya see, Maevey Gravy’s very first and best friend in life is Taylor. How can an almost 18-month old child have established such an affinity with another tot at such an early age? Fair question. Truth is, we became fast friends with Taylor’s parents, Maureen and Paul, during our adoption journey. We met during the same point in the process, in the same bi-racial program, at the same agency. We began getting together, crafting what is now a cherished friendship with almost monthly gatherings. And, well, the girls really are beginning to interact, they try to say each other’s names, and they giggle and hug and follow each other around. Yes, the bestest of friends.

(Yet another fascinating fruit of adoption’s bounty. Like-minded, good-hearted people that can become friends for life. We joke we’ll all still be getting together when the girls have grown, begun rolling their eyes at us and take long walks to “hang out” — aka “meet boys on the boardwalk” — shudder.)

But I digress.

Maureen’s e-mail explained that Taylor came home from daycare in ponytail holders that she didn’t wear in that morning. Seems her teachers now were trying to rein in her curly locks. (Big, gorgeous finger-width curls, by the way.) Maureen noted she was having to wash it every day in an attempt to tame it. Just what is a mom (who’s just as fair-skinned and straight-haired as me) to do?

Call in my Curl Care Guru.

Luckily, I’ve found solace in a line of products from California-based Curls. More accurately, I found solace in the gentle guidance of its founder, Mahisha Dellinger. She answered my long-winded (what, me?) e-mails and since then I’ve been a faithful customer, getting her products shipped to me here on the East Coast.

Her children’s line is Curly Qs. Sometime last year, when then-five-month-old Maeve’s hair was just beginning to curl, we began with the “moist curls moisturizer” to tame frizz and “reactivate” her little curls.

Since then, Maeve’s hair has grown thicker and more intensely curly. In recent months we’ve added a coconut conditioner and a “milkshake” product, which brings Maeve’s morning hair — it’s all “afrizz” I tell you —  back to its state of juicy, spiraled curliciousness. (And with ingredients like avocado and grapeseed oils, chamomile and plumeria, mango and shea butter, how can you go wrong?) 

Mahisha counseled that we shouldn’t be washing her hair every other night with her bath (silly parents!), that it should only be shampooed once a week and conditioned twice a week (once after the shampoo and another time mid-week, sans shampoo). I’m always learning, I tell ya, always learning.

So the frizzies vanish each morning with “a spritz here and a spritz there” and “a massage this in” there. Yep, that’s it and my girl Maeve is good to go.

But this got me thinking about how other folks handle their curls and their kids’ curls and I’d love to know what works for you. From cleaning to conditioning to combing (gosh no!?) to coifing, give me what you’ve got. Product, regimen, tips. Whatever.

I’m listenin’. Maureen’s listen’. The floor’s yours. And since it seems to be National Delurking Week, this is the perfect time to chime in.

Besides, our daughters’ curls may depend on it.

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Filed under Adoption, Beauty, Children, Curls, Friends, Maeve, Parenting, Still learning