How We Met, Adoption Thoughts, Regrets From The Toddler Phase & More: Listener Questions on Selfie, Episode 48

We are answering questions from listeners today on everything from how we met, what our dream enneagram number would be, and how we handle the balance of private/public life.

This week we talked about:

Little Feminist Puzzle

BeatsX Wireless In-Ear Headphones

Native’s Activated Charcoal Deodorant

Bodum Iced Coffee Maker

Our old series Mama Said on Babble

Friday Finds: Fire Pits & More

1. CobraCo SH101 Hand Hammered 100% Copper Fire Pit

2. Modern Hand-Woven Stripe Fringe Throw Blanket

3. M Kitchen World Marshmallow Roasting Sticks

4. Rivet High Contrast Global Geometric Throw Blanket

5. Marshmallow Roasting Sticks Long 45″

6. Sunnydaze 30 Inch Fire Bowl Large Outdoor Fire Pit

7. Sorbus Fire Pit Bowl 30″

8. Arus Highlands Collection Tartan Plaid Design Throw Blanket

9. Yakura 8 Piece Marshmallow Roasting Sticks

Mommy, look at the brown boy! || On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from July 2008

On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from July 2008.

As a transracial family in a vanilla county, we hear these kind of comments every now and then, especially from other preschool-aged kids. This week, we heard on two different occasions. No biggie: it is perfectly normal for a child of that age to notice color. I mean, they are just learning colors and pointing it out is just an observation. I am NEVER offended by children making such comments. In fact, it can open up great learning opportunities for kids to understand adoption, difference, etc.

However, one of the circumstances this week was kinda awkward. A little girl pointed to Jafta, and this was how the dialogue went:

CURIOUS GIRL: Mommy, do you SEE him!?! He’s brown!

MORTIFIED MOM: (clearly embarrassed) Honey, be quiet.

CURIOUS GIRL: Mommy, do you see? Do you see that boy?

MORTIFIED MOM: Sweetie, BE QUIET. Be quiet right now.

CURIOUS GIRL: But mommy, look! He’s brown.

MORTIFIED MOM: (now angrily) If you don’t stop saying that right now, I will give you a spanking.

I totally get where this mom is coming from. I can imagine doing this myself, in another setting. But think for a minute what this interchange communicated to this little girl about “color difference”. What message did this well-meaning mom unintentionally send to her daughter, and to my son, who was watching the whole thing?

Avoiding the topic of race can be one of the biggest mistakes parents make in raising healthy, race-concious children. Shaming, igoring, or avoiding your child’s comments on race can send a strong message: racial difference is SO bad and SO embarrasing that we can’t even talk about it. (Kinda reminds ya of how some families deal with sex, huh?).

So how should someone react? I don’t know the perfect answer. Perhaps a Diversity Day, like on The Office? Okay, maybe not. But let me tell you about the other interchange that happened this week:

A little girl pointed to Jafta and said, “You’re so brown”. And my husband said, “Did you hear that, Jafta? Say thank you.”

And he did. With a big grin on his face.

Surpisingly Painless

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Esurance. The opinions and text are all mine.

I’m trying hard to get my kids proficient in the kitchen. I didn’t grow up really learning to cook, and I don’t think I could properly chop an onion until my 30’s. I want my kids to leave home with a basic set of cooking skills, and a couple easy meals they can make for themselves or for friends.

I’ve been attempting to have each of my older three cook a meal independently once a week. The other night, it was India’s turn, and it was chicken fajitas. I got her started, but then I had to run Jafta to a band audition, which I thought would be a quick drop-off situation.

It was not.

An hour later, I’m still at this audition and I’m texting India and not getting an answer and I’m starting to worry. What if she is overwhelmed? What if she’s freaking out? What if she can’t find something? What if the house is burning down?

I texted a friend about the predicament. “I’m worried about India. I left her cooking and it’s been a while and she’s not responding to my texts.”

This was the response from my friend:

“Oh, did you not see? She’s instagram-living the whole thing. She seems to have it handled.

Welp.

Apparently instgram live is the new mobile babysitter, and I have a pro in the kitchen. However, she did have a couple challenges. First, she got an eyeful of bell pepper juice when she first started chopping. Ouch.

Then she was struggling with the onions, which were stinging her eyes and making her cry. I hate chopping onions for this reason, too. It can be a little painful on the eyes. But she came up with a hack that was all her own:

Chopped onions, in a surprisingly painless way. She saved her eyes and now we have a new kitchen tool: goggles. I ordered a pair just for this task that will now sit in the drawer next to the knives. It will be handy for the kids but I think I might start wearing them too. No more mascara running while i’m cooking? Yes, please.

The meal was delicious. The onions were perfectly caramelized (a tenet of cooking I’ve perhaps over-emphasized) and the chicken was cooked through but not dry. We came home from the audition and feasted, and India felt great about herself. Ironically, she did not eat the meal she prepared, because she remains on the beige diet she started in toddlerhood. She does not eat things like onions or peppers or foods that touch. But alas, my kids may be picky, but they will know how to cook for others.

And honestly, the fact that she was skilled enough to make a meal for the whole family kind of saved my ass, too. I was shuttling her brother, she was handling dinner. A night that could have meant dinner disaster . . . surprisingly painless.

Esurance is a company with the goal of making insurance surprisingly painless for the modern consumer. For a task that has been painful in the past for many of us, they’ve created a website where anyone can apply for all kinds of insurance online, taking the hassle out of the experience. Esurance has demystified and uncomplicated the entire process. There are no pushy salespeople, no hidden fees, and no upsell. You are in the driver’s seat.

From car insurance to homeowners insurance, Esurance is a one-stop shop that is simple and easy to understand. Get a quick and easy free quote at their website.

Wednesday’s Child: Meet Logan

 

Every Wednesday I feature a child recently highlighted by a local Wednesday’s Child newscast to share the stories of children from around the country who are waiting for a family. My hope is that this can broaden exposure for the children highlighted, but also serve as a reminder that these children represent thousands of children currently in the foster-care system. Perhaps their stories will inspire you to consider opening your home to a child needing a family. For more information and to learn about other waiting children, visit AdoptUsKids.

Life Lately


It’s funny how little traditions can pop up on vacations in less than a week. Ours became taking a blanket down to the beach and playing games while we watched the sunset. (And of course, virgin drinks at the bar at happy hour.)


Last night of summer vacation. Games on the beach. Only one kid on a phone. 👍


I sure do like these people.


I introduced the kids to virgin daiquiris so now they are watching the clock for happy hour each day at the swim-up bar so I win at parenting or maybe I lose I don’t know …


Soaking up our last week of summer


Fanta y fresca


Carnitas tacos cooked by #foodiejafta himself. He’s mad I wouldn’t let him put chicharron on top. @jaftahowerton

Rolling Needles On Your Face & Jade Eggs Where The Sun Don’t Shine: Microneedling, Dermaplaning, & Fillers | Selfie, Episode 47

Claire Boyce, Kristen’s neighbor and our resident oversharing aesthetician, is here to tell us about the wacky world of yoni eggs, and the difference between microplaning and dermarolling. (Hint: one involves a super-sharp razor and the other, a million tiny needles on your face.) Who’s excited?

In this episode we talk about:

Derma Roller Cosmetic Needling Instrument For Face .25mm

Jade Yoni Eggs

Exfoliating Dermaplaning Tool

Jade Face Roller

Gua Sha Face Scraper

Cooling Ice Facial Roller

The Marco Polo app

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

Hanging Toiletry Bag

CHI Magnified Volume Finishing Spray

Throat Coat Tea by Traditional Medicinals

 

 

 

Getting Real || On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from July 2008.

On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from July 2008.

Angel over at Voice of Adventure just posted this challenge on her blog:

The truth is I am SICK, SICK, SICK of people feeling all alone because they think everyone else is less screwed up than them. It’s ridiculous. We all have our times we are flying high and our times we are doing a nose dive. Why do we all pretend? It’s all a pack of lies wrapped in a bunch of arrogance. So I am going to give it my best shot and TRY to get real on this blog. This is a get real zone. No bull allowed.

I love it! Alright, I’m taking the challenge. For your Schaudenfraude pleasure, here is me, getting real:

I am online entirely too much, blogging or reading other people’s blogs. I’m often sitting in front of the tv while I’m blogging. I hate this image of myself.

I do the “stuff and hide”. If someone is coming over, I frantically hide messes in drawers, closets, and corners to try and pretend like I live a clutter-free existence.

If I found a Skittle on the floor of my car from a few weeks ago, I would probably eat it.

I am a horrible pastor’s wife. I used to see Mark get approached for help, or prayer, or just a chat from a well-meaning congregant, and I would keep walking and pretend I didn’t know him. I have done this at church and in Target on a number of occasions.

When I go running, I listen to music that is very naughty. I know it is inappropriate, and yet I find it helps me run faster. If someone knows the Christian equivalent to Rage Against the Machine, Snoop Dog, or Jay-Z, I am all ears. (and if you mention Audio Adrenaline or DC Talk you are permanantly banned from my blog).

I often wear the same outfit several days in a row, if it has no visible stains and I’ve deduced that I won’t see the same people that I saw the day before.

I don’t wear socks. EVER. It makes my shoes smell really bad.

Mark criticized the way I folded his clothes in 1997. I have never done his laundry since.

I am terrible at budgeting. Mark and I are great with the macro-finances (investing, no credit cards, etc) but horrible at the micro-finances. At any given time, I have no idea what is in our bank account. I don’t balance my checkbook and we are usually dipping into our overdraft protection.

I pretend to be philisophically opposed to homeschooling, but in truth, I think it’s probably a good thing. I just don’t want to do it.

I would be truly happy to have 25-30% less time with my children, and look forward to the day when they go to kindergarten and I get some solo time back. I often feel guilty because we tried so hard to have children, only to feel like we want a break from them.

I get drained being around people. I hate this about myself. I am an introvert desperately trying to be an extrovert.

I wear heeled shoes that really hurt my feet, because they make my short legs look longer. I am frequently in pain due to my shoes.

Every 28 days, on the dot, I have a meltdown about my son’s energy level and whine about how demanding and hard he is. My husband pointed out this embarrassing product of my PMS.

If I didn’t pay Rosie to clean my house once a week, I think I would be living in filth.

Sometimes I think I continue working just so I can have something that forces me to wear “grown-up clothes” twice a week.

I do about a gazillion things as a mom that I judged other people for doing before I had kids.

Every time I watch a broadway show, I regret not pursuing musical theater. I still get audition notices and keep my headshot updated, as if I’m gonna get back in the game at any minute. Right.

I am crazy about my dental hygiene. I have left events early because there was something stuck in my teeth and I needed to go home and floss.

I refuse to get a minivan because I think it will make me look lame. Yeah, I am really that shallow.

Wednesday’s Child: Jasmine

Every Wednesday I feature a child recently highlighted by a local Wednesday’s Child newscast to share the stories of children from around the country who are waiting for a family. My hope is that this can broaden exposure for the children highlighted, but also serve as a reminder that these children represent thousands of children currently in the foster-care system. Perhaps their stories will inspire you to consider opening your home to a child needing a family. For more information and to learn about other waiting children, visit AdoptUsKids.