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8 posts from February 2010

February 10, 2010

B&W Wednesday: Fedora

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Gwen loves hats and if her future career as a professional Knight doesn't work out, she could probably fall back on modeling headwear.

Would you believe that this fabulous felt fedora is BRIGHT red!  I used to think that black and white photography was just photography without color (duh!) but I'm finally starting to understand it.  Without the distraction of colors, the viewer can better appreciate the contrasts and textures.  The black and white photo tells a completely different story compared to its color counterpart.  I took this photo because the theme on Mamarazzi this month is "red" and I had nothing to contribute.  But I think I actually prefer this one in black and white.  And don't you just love that sweet little heart bokeh in the background?

(see the color photo <here>)

For more Black & White Wednesday fun, check out The Long Road to China.

February 06, 2010

Oh boy! Ketchup! (are you a dipper or a squeezer?)

Heinz new ketchup package When it's not raining, we spend at least an hour each morning (before Kindergarten) at a park where the girls can work off some of their excess energy while I muster the strength to stare glassy eyed at them and wonder how the hell they do it.

When it rains, we can't go outside so the walls of our house have to contain all of that insane physical energy.  Even if the plaster and drywall could hold up to it, I'm here to tell you that my nerves can't.

We're always looking for something fun to do on rainy days and there aren't many options but one we've come to rely on is the Burger King right down the street.  It has a big two story indoor play structure and the kids can happily play for hours while I chat with other moms or read the newspaper or listen to the Armstrong & Getty podcast on my iPhone (and try not to let anyone see me laughing aloud like a crazy woman because those guys are hysterically funny.  But that's another post).

On these inclement days, lunch always consists of Orange Juice and Chicken Nuggets but the girls probably love the ketchup the best.  Trust me, there is a lot of ketchup going on!  I spend at least five minutes kneading those little packets then ripping open the corner and squeezing out the pathetic little teaspoon sized glob of nectar onto the paper place mat while the kids stand by and drool and tell me to hurry up. 

They use at least 20 packets -- more if we have french fries (and we usually don't) -- and as I squeeze each one, I wish someone at the big Heinz Ketchup factory would finally figure it out:  We are a society of DIPPERS who want nothing more than to have our favorite tomato based condiment delivered to us in a package that is ready to accept whatever we want to dip into it!  Yes, I obviously have very simple needs. 

What?  You don't want to dip your cheeseburger?  No problem.  Just tear off the tip and squeeze away!

Ah, life is good.

February 05, 2010

Fitting In

You probably think I'm going to tell you that Gwen and Maddy are represented by that lonely red flower but if you guessed that, you're wrong.

My girls are actually better represented by the two lovely yellow ones (no pun intended) in the upper left.  Can you spot them?  One is taller than the other and they're both standing happy and proud right next to each other.  Just as you'll almost always find them here in the real world.

At first glance, the yellow tulips all look the same.  But are they really the same?  If you look closer, you'll see that they have different sizes and shapes.  Some bloomed sooner and are already starting to fade while others are still waiting for the perfect moment to show the world what they're made of.    Many have imperfect or broken or missing petals.    Some are so tightly clumped together that they nearly disappear completely in a bright blur of yellow while others seem to prefer to stand all alone.

I thought about this photograph when Gwen and Maddy brought home their Kindergarten class photo last week.   I quickly scanned all of the little faces for my two sweet girls and then I took a moment to stand back and examine the entire class photo in a bit more detail.  My girls have been talking about most of these kids for months so it was fun to finally be able to put the faces and names together.

The first thing I noticed was that most of the kids were Asian.  I always sorta knew this (since we researched the school before we moved here) but didn't realize the ratios had grown to be this wide.  I specifically looked for Caucasian kids in each class (my girls are in different classes) and I only spotted one.  All of the rest of the kids were quite obviously Asian or Indian (one or two Black or Latino).   Really, I'm not good at guessing but I'd say that the overwhelming majority (75% or more) were clearly Asian while the rest were Indian and a tiny fraction (like one or two kids total) were something else.  Only one was unmistakably Caucasian and I couldn't help but wonder how it was going to be for THAT kid growing up.

What does this mean to my kids?

I think it means that they are the ones who will have to be tolerant and open minded and accepting of classmates who are "different" (instead of the more common situation in International Adoptions that it be the other way around).   I'm glad my girls will fit in -- in almost all of the immediately obvious ways -- but I also hope they'll be kind and compassionate and make the red flower kids feel like they belong and fit in too because some of those red flower kids will discriminate against them when the tables are turned.  And the tables will turn constantly.

The world is much more multi-cultural than it was when I was growing up but that doesn't mean that kids will automatically embrace all of those differences.  My husband and I have a big job ahead of us because our girls won't always be able to blend in.    We need to prepare them for that.  But we also have to prepare them for the reality that other people will feel like they're unaccepted too.  It's a big job and I hope we're up for it.

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