Dear Holly: Your Very 1st Haircut at Great Clips!

1 year, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

Since you turned one year-old back in April, your hair has been growing in strong. It didn’t take long before you had grown a baby mullet. Mommy and I saw no point in letting it get worse, just for the sake of, “Oh no, our baby girl is too young to get her first haircut…”

So this past Saturday morning, our entire family was there at 8:00 AM when the doors opened at Great Clips. All four of us got haircuts. Your brother and I got the same exact haircut. Mommy got a trim.

But as for our Little Goldie, you got the most noticeable haircut; almost like a longer version of a pixie haircut.

It was funny though, when I told the girl at the front desk what all of our names were for the list, they thought I said Hollywood for your name! That’s hilarious!

Mommy and I are so happy about your 1st haircut. You look so pretty.

I like the hairstyle because I know it’s designed to look good as it grows out, to help you transition into your hair growing longer. The proportions are right for that.

Now here is what’s truly amazing about your very first haircut: You never cried or got upset!

Anna, the girl who cut your hair, was completely confident in not only what she was doing, but also how to make you feel comfortable the whole time.

We didn’t even have to tell her how to cut it. She just knew, after we told her this was your first haircut.

As you sat on Mommy’s lap, Anna showed you the comb and let you feel it, so that you would know it was nothing that would hurt you.

 

Actually, you seemed to just like the all the action. By the time it was finished, you didn’t actually realize what had happened.

That was way too easy! I had expectations of you crying and screaming, and everyone in the place looking over at us. But, nope.

You had fun. And Mommy and I are not sad or sentimental about it all.

We are so happy our beautiful little girl got her first haircut.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: What I Learned from Father’s Day 2017

6 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

Father’s Day morning was quite special, as my very first gift was getting to sleep in, thanks to Mommy. I didn’t wake up until 9:30. It was glorious!

We then made our way to the living room, where I was bombarded with goodies from you and your sister. I now have a Captain America dad shirt. (He’s my favorite super hero.) Plus Mommy got me some vegan treats too.

And of course I was especially delighted to see crafts from you and your sister. You made me a special “shrinky dink” keychain, featuring a drawing you made of your and me; where you’ve again drawn us the same size. I’m so happy because I was a little jealous when Mommy got one for Mother’s Day last month…

Your sister made me a glittery “World’s Best Dad” award, based on the shape of her hand.

I took special care to read through all the questionnaire answers you gave,

as they reveal how you perceive having me as your Daddy:

My dad’s hair is black. (That’s darker than I realized!)

He’s as tall as a boy. (Are you saying I’m short?)

He weighs about 60 pounds. (Last time I checked, I was closer to 160. Guess I recently lost 100 pounds!)

My dad looks handsome when he wears hair gel. (I think you gave this answer because I fix your hair and mine at the same time.)

My dad always says “no.” (Hey, just trying to balance out how nice Mommy is to you. Though on the next page, you said, “My dad is my superhero because he is nice.”)

He’s not very good at cooking. Once Daddy was cooking before I was born and Mommy didn’t like it. (Very true- and very good memory!)

My dad’s favorite song is Metallica. (Yes, just Metallica. I’ll always think of you when I think of them because I really got into them back in January when I stayed overnight without you in the hospital, of all things!)

My dad’s favorite place to go is Whole Foods. (True, I’m there nearly every day, picking up groceries on my mountain bike during my lunch break.)

He always forgets… I don’t think he forgets anything. (True, unless it relates to where some obscure kitchen utensil goes in the drawer. In that case, I need Mommy to draw me a diagram with directions and instructions!)

He really likes to hike. (Yes! And I love the creative way you drew us hiking together, with our backs turned. That’s cool.)

My dad’s job is truck driving. (Actually, I’m the manager of the retention department for a trucking company- but that’s a mouthful!)

He likes to wear plaid shirts. (Right on, good eye!)

He reminds me of a bozo. (If you’re saying I’m funny, I’ll take the compliment!)

I love my dad because he plays Hungry Sharks with me. (Not only did I spent countless hours of our Christmas vacation earning you extra points on that game, it also was a game we took turns playing while you were in the hospital.)

Father’s Day really was special. It actually reminded me of a birthday or something.

I very much enjoyed celebrating fatherhood with you and your sister, and gaining your personal perspective.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: You are My Golden Senorita who Loves Munching on Tortillas

1 year, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

I doubt most people would guess it, but you are indeed part Mexican. My grandmother’s parents were born in Michoacán, which is in southeast Mexico. She was born in Buffalo, New York, but was completely Mexican. So Nonna is half Mexican, I am a quarter, and you are 1/8th.

You’re 12 and half percent Mexican. Of course, your golden hair sure doesn’t help imply that. Nor your blue eyes. Nor your fair skin.

But if nothing else, you have definitely been showing your Mexican roots in that you are currently obsessed with Tortilla Land brand tortillas.

I like them because right there on the package, it says there are only 5 ingredients: wheat flour, water, canola oil, salt, sugar. No unpronounceable chemicals or preservatives. Plus, I can eat them because they are vegan.

Mommy gets them at Kroger, which is where we buy most of our groceries each week.

You just can’t get enough of these tortillas. I love watching you use your little figures try to aggressively grab the little morsels that Mommy and I tear for you. You quickly stuff them in your mouth as if each time were the last time.

Of course, your brother regularly eats them for breakfast, so I suppose there is indeed some legitimate concern that we could run out of these tortillas before you’re ready for another one.

And Mommy makes quesadillas out of them as well. She uses avocado instead of cheese, since I can’t have dairy.

I’ve been trying to get your brother into spicy foods, but he thinks black pepper is spicy. So if I can’t convert him, maybe I can convert you. I need to have at least one kid who can appreciate spicy food.

Perhaps it all starts with a 1 year-old little girl’s fascination with tortillas.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: You are Trying Violin Lessons for the Summer

6 and a half years.

Dear Jack,

A couple of weeks ago as our family was driving down the Interstate, your sister was having a hard time falling asleep that morning. Mommy turned the radio station to 91.1, which is the classical musical station.

You call it “the violins.”

During the time it took to get your sister to sleep, you were staring out the window listening to the music. To my surprise, you sincerely enjoyed what you were hearing.

You expressed this out loud.

Within a few minutes, you proclaimed to Mommy that you would like to learn to play the violin.

Well, it was an easy sell.

It’s the summer. You’re a very intelligent boy. You need something challenging and productive to do to keep your brain engaged in things beyond shark and dragon games on the Kindle.

So this week, I took you to a performance center, just around the corner from our house where they teach violin lessons. How convenient!

We got you fitted for your violin. You’ll be starting your lessons soon!

Granted, Mommy and I are just having you try this out for the summer. We’re not expecting you to become a prodigy at this. You may decide by the end of the summer that this just violin thing just isn’t for you.

We are just so proud of you for wanting to take on this challenge, on your own. You have truly been so excited for the weeks leading up to this.

Who knows? Maybe you will truly end up committing to it. Maybe you’ll continue playing the violin beyond the summer of 2017. Maybe this will even led to you playing other instruments as well.

A 6 and a half year-old boy who is genuinely excited about learning to play the violin. Seriously, how cool.

Love,

Daddy

7 Intriguing Science Experiments for Your Kids (By Guest Blogger, Sandra Cobain, of Best for the Kids)

As we all know, getting our kids to take an interest in school and lessons and homework and all the rest is a complete nightmare. Going through my kid’s textbooks, dated from at least five years ago, all I could see was boring diagrams, tedious equations and faded pictures. It’s no wonder that kid’s these days play up in school because they find it so hard to engage in lessons.
One of biggest subjects my kids find it hard to get into is science. Whether it’s biology, physics or chemistry, the long words, meanings and just the overall concepts can be extremely difficult to explain, especially to a child. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case.

By putting the infographic below from BestForTheKids.com to good use, you will be able to stimulate your children’s minds, showing them how fun and exciting science can be with these seven simple experiments:

 

• The Fire-Proof Balloon
• The Straw Through the Potato Experiment
• The Water Defying Gravity Experiment
• The Egg & Toothpaste Experiment
• The Tea Bag Rocket Experiment
• The Turning Pennies Green Experiment
• The Making Fake Snow Experiment
These are all incredibly easy experiments that you can conduct in the comfort of your own home and they’re sure to leave your kids stunned and excited. Who knew science could be so fun? All these experiments are incredibly fun and will help you introduce your child to the wonderful world of science!
 

Infographic by BestForTheKids.com

Our Back Porch and Back Yard are Like 2 More Rooms of Our House in the Summer (Featuring American Plastic Toys)

This makes the 3rd summer we’ve spent in our house since it was built, yet it’s the 1st summer we’ve really made an effort as a family to utilize those 2 forsaken “rooms” of our house: the back porch and the back yard.

It’s becoming the norm these days that, as a family, we end up hanging out there under the blue sky, with the soybean field in sight right over the fence. My one year-old daughter loves it when I take her out there just to watch the robins fly by. She points to the sky, “Wuh? Wuh?”

I then confirm, “Yes, birds. Birds.”

While we were on vacation in Florida last week, American Plastic Toys sent our family some samples of their outdoor sports equipment for kids. (And yes, these products are actually made in America.)

So this past Saturday morning, we finally were able to break out the new outdoor sports toys and have some fun.

We made our way out onto the lawn so my son could hit some home runs. I forget how big our lawn actually is, but playing baseball helped put our “field” to use.

Our back porch transformed into a golf course, as our son wanted to refine his skills for the next time we visit a putt-putt place. Eventually, our golf game transitioned in to a hockey match, as our son is quite aware of the Nashville Predators. Before he was ready to move on, though, he also engaged me in a sword fight, using the golf clubs.

Summer is on its way. I want make sure we make good use of the great outdoors, especially when they are literally right outside the back door.

As for my daughter, she’s happy just to watch her big brother play, as she uses our back porch as a training facility for learning to walk.

Decorating Your Child’s Room Can Be Fun- By Special Guest Blogger, Angela Berry

Is it time for you to decorate or redecorate your child’s bedroom, but you’re just all out of ideas? Or you don’t feel like doing it, because you don’t know where to start? Here are some helpful tips and tricks on how to transform your kid’s room and make it super fun, cosy, practical and stylish.

Get your DIY on

Even if you’re not big on DIY projects, you will probably enjoy making things for your toddler’s room. We don’t mean you should make furniture from scratch, but some small details such as framing a picture or crafting a piece of décor. You can also bring out your sewing machine and make some cushions for your nursery glider, transforming it from an essential piece into a focal point for the room.

Bring in some colour 

If you’ve been planning to paint the nursery one colour, that’s ok, but have you thought about 3 or 4 colours? Maybe some dramatic stripes to make things more interesting? You can always go for a nautical look for boy’s room. Think blue and white stripes, wooden shelves, turquoise linen and furniture, and some fun suitcases as storage space. Maybe put up a life buoy as a finishing touch.

Don’t rush into things 

Buying a finished bedroom with all the matching furniture and décor will never look as good as a personalized room. You don’t want your kid’s room to look just like any room, but want it to have a personality that matches your kid. You can collect different décor pieces and furniture over time to achieve that new vs. old, cool and eclectic look. Or, you can choose one piece of furniture, and then build around it. If you don’t know where to start, you can browse for decorations from Angus & Dudley Collections  and find something beautiful for every nook in your kid’s room. For instance, you can get cosy Grey Raindrops Bean Chairs, put them in a corner and create a little nest for reading and relaxing. Reserve that corner for peaceful activities which will provide your kid with some space where they know they won’t be disturbed.

Shelving 

Most of the kids are collectors. They are very proud of what they own and want the world to see it. Make sure to provide your kid with enough display space, so they can arrange and rearrange their collection as they want (put shelves and cabinets on their level). If your kid wants to display photos and other memorabilia on the wall, it doesn’t mean you have to go with corkboard. You can hang them from thin ropes or clip them to a string attached to the wall. Also, you can buy (or make) a cool magnetic board made of galvanized metal for a more contemporary and industrial look.

Light it up 

One thing you must think about is the lighting. Your kid will need multiple kinds of lighting, such as overhead lighting for play, task lighting for studying, and a soft light for dark nights. Night lights come in interesting shapes and size, and are perfect for nurseries and young kids’ rooms.

Personalize for older kids 

Teenagers don’t care about themed rooms, but they want a space that tells you who they are. The best advice is to take things your teen loves, and incorporate then in the design. Is your kid an aspiring athlete? Frame their favourite athlete’s jersey or make a classic display shelf for all of their sports souvenirs. Is your kid a future musician? Find a cool spot for their instruments and records. If you’re raising a little explorer, put up a world map.

As you can see, decorating your child’s room can be so much fun, not just for you, but for your kid too. Let them help with decoration to make them enjoy their new room even more. Have fun!

photo
Angela Berry
Editor, Ripped me
angela.berry@ripped.me https://ripped.me/