Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Our Renaissance of Hair Styling

A few years ago, Janae was really into having her hair done.  I'd found a website called "Princess Hairstyles," where a mom had pictures and tutorial videos on how to do little girls' hair.  Most of the styles took a lot of sitting still, a lot of little elastics, and quite a bit of braiding, but Janae would sit and let me try them out.

One of my early braiding attempts.

This lasted for a month or so, and then Janae went through a long phase of not letting me touch her hair at all. 

I believe, of course, that this "hands-off" period was a direct result of all the attempts at princess hairstyles.  I am not good at braiding, parting, or removing elastics without ripping out hair, and I think Janae noticed that hairstyling=pain. 

Since then, it has not been unusual on a Sunday at church for me to look at the little girls with complicated-looking hairstyles and sigh.  I wondered if--with a little practice--I, too, could give my daughters that princessy look.  Still, practice was not possible--unless you counted throwing a hairband onto Janae or Alaina's heads as they tried to run out the door.

Recently, though, hairstyling in our house has been making a comeback.  One evening Janae asked, "Remember those princess hairstyles?"  We looked up the website and spent at least an hour scrolling through the pictures and seeing how the various braids and twists were done.

This has now resulted in hours of mother/daughter fun.  Janae still walks away if things are taking too long or having to be ripped out and re-done, but for the most part she is willing to let me try to do her hair.

We started with regular French braids,

but have now also conquered the basket weave,

some flower/snail/cinnamon rolls,

this quick and easy twist,

and some ribbon braids.

Alaina has even started joining in once in a while,

although we all know she still prefers something more along these lines:

 Janae, too, will most often choose to have her hair left alone, but it's nice to know we can try something different once in a while :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Our School's 80th Anniversary

Ben and Janae had a pretty unique experience at school today.  Their school was celebrating its 80th anniversary, and they got to spend part of the day in the old school house that is still on the grounds (for only a short time longer, before it is moved to be part of a larger heritage area in our city).
For the past few weeks the kids have been learning songs about their school's heritage--peppy little tunes about how things were when "grandma" was in school (it sounds more like my grandma than theirs, though!), how things have changed and how they've stayed the same.  Pretty much every song made me cry, of course :)
It was sweet to hear them singing and nice to know that they are a part of such a long-lasting heritage.
The kids in Grade 3 (and their teachers!) dress up like pioneers for the school's anniversary every year, so this time Ben got to be part of that.  He was very excited to wear suspenders and to take an apple to his teacher this morning.
Alaina and I went to an assembly in the afternoon to hear all the songs again--Alaina knew them well enough to sing along, too. 
At the end of the day the old school house--filled today with items from the 1920s--was open for the public to tour. 
 Our kids really have a special place to go to school!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Benjamin's (Almost) Motherless Birthday Party

Benjamin celebrated his 9th birthday today with a video game party.
In the past, I have had a lot to do with little Benny's birthday parties.  I've spent hours planning, then making invitations, decorations, food, and even costumes . . . then of course I've run the games and overseen all of the festivities.
Today, though, I didn't have much to do.
Jason reserved a "man cave" at a local video game store--four big-screen TVs with game consoles and a large selection of games to play.
Ben requested pizza, which Jason pre-ordered.
The girls and I dropped off Jason and Ben, then came home to wait until it was time to pick up the pizza and come with the ice cream (the last hour of the party).
I did, however, make the cake, with Ben's help :)
My sister Tina came with her children, too, for the last hour--I think it needed some girls!  They immediately broke out Just Dance and really got the party going :)
And Ben came home with a big pile of his favorite thing: Skylanders Giants (he'd just got the game for his birthday this morning!). 
So--even though it hurts a little to acknowledge this--a birthday party can be a success without a lot of fussing performed by the child's mother.
Who knew?
(Although I guess we wouldn't have had any pictures if I hadn't been there for at least some of the time!)