Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Feeling Lucky

I was sicker than I have been in a long, long time this past weekend. Swollen throat, almost no voice, croup-like cough, the inability to move. It was the first time since Sabine was born that I was so sick I felt like I couldn't get off the couch.

Kadin was amazing. He had a tea party with Sabine, took her for rides on her scooter, fed her and changed her--all so I could actually be the wilted vegetable that I felt like.

I know he's her dad and we'd all like to think that this is what dads do, but a lot of times, this what moms mostly do. So over the past few days, I've felt incredibly grateful for my relationship and for Kadin's relationship with Sabine.

On top of everything else, sweet husband also made lots of tea for me and showered me with plenty of back massages.

I guess sometimes you need to feel a little terrible before you feel wonderfully fortunate.

via Observando

SAG Awards, 2012

Overall, I was slightly underwhelmed by the fashions I saw on the SAG Awards this year, but these were my favorites:

images 1-3 via Glamour
image 4 via Huffington Post

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hairy Stuff

My friends and family are so sick of me commenting on the fact that Sabine looks nothing like me.

I can't help it. I thought I'd stopped caring, but the other day I realized I haven't at all.

I recently asked my African American neighbor what she uses to smooth down whispies in her daughter's hair. She took me inside her house and began showing and telling me about the great number of products she uses for all different reasons. She told me I need a certain shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, head scarf, hair ties and styles. She told me I needed to watch a YouTube video by "this woman who is a black hair expert." She told me I needed to brush Sabine's hair a certain number of times and that if she cried, I should ignore her because I need to "break" her. Then she offered to braid, or cornrow, Sabine's hair for me.

When I left her apartment, my head was spinning with confused thoughts: That was so nice of her to take the time; she gave me so much information; but it was too much information; information I hadn't asked for: information I didn't really need.

I forgot about the encounter for awhile but then bumped into her again about a week later at the farmer's market. It was just after Sabine had been traumatized by meeting Santa Claus for the first time. The neighbor had a large, male friend with her and he kept talking to Sabine and touching her and making faces at her while my neighbor offered over and over again to braid Sabine's hair. Suddenly Sabine was swimming in a large puddle of her own tears, freaked out by too much stranger danger. So I said I had to leave, but was more than happy to do so since I was feeling overwhelmed myself.

I went home and told Kadin the story. He was excited that our neighbor was willing to braid Sabine's hair because he has always wanted to learn how to do cornrows. He kept encouraging me to have her do it. Before I knew it, I'd exploded into a verbal frenzy and was spewing feelings I didn't even know I had. And they kind of went like this:

The way my neighbor offered her services and gave me a mountain of information instead of just answering my one damn question made me feel the way I constantly feel when people ask me whether or not Sabine is mine. They assume we're not biologically connected because we don't look the same. That's painful because I've never felt more connected to anything in my entire life. She's my almost everything, literally a part of me, a piece of me and an extension of me (who is also her own person) after carrying her inside my body for nine months and so intimately caring for and growing with her for these past two and a half years.

When someone thinks she's not mine or that I'm too different from her or that I don't know how to take care of her or just her hair, I want to punch them in the face.

My neighbor may mean well, but she's not respecting my connection with my own daughter and she's assuming that my daughter is more like her than she is like me. But Sabine's hair is more like mine than it is hers (I just regularly have mine straightened). It's curly and frizzy, not a traditional afro. I know how to do her hair because I've been doing my own curly, frizzy hair my whole life. Sabine is mixed. She's not black or hispanic or white. She's all of those things.

When my neighbor bombarded me with extra information, all I could hear were all of the voices of the black women in my life who go on and on about how sorry they feel for black kids with white mothers who have no idea how to do their hair.

I think people should feel sorry for children who have shitty mothers, not children with mothers who do hair differently than someone else might.

I'm defensive or maybe overly defensive because of the constant questioning or assuming when it comes to my relationship with my daughter. My neighbor's hair advice somehow just felt like more of that. Whether it was or wasn't, it helped me to see that I will be dealing with the questions and people questioning our physical differences for the rest of our lives; that I need to learn how to better handle them for myself and for my daughter; and that those questions are probably the reason that I am super extra close and connected to Sabine in a way that feels unbreakable.

via Observando

Neon City Flats

These would look amazing with just jeans and a white T-shirt. Adorable.

Friday, January 27, 2012

To Mix and Be Mixed

I received a comment yesterday that highlighted the fact that the title of my blog paired with the masthead I've chosen implies that my blog is about mixed race and mixed marriage, but that it's actually more about parenting and style.

When I thought about starting this thing, I thought to specifically focus on the fact that our family has  a mixed race identity--one that is worn more obviously than it is in some other families--and what it's like to move through the current world with that identity. At the time, I was naively astounded by the looks, the comments and questions I received while in public. But as time has worn on, I've stopped paying as much attention or dwelling on people's reactions.

I always knew the blog couldn't exclusively be about mixed race or identity. I think about and am interested in too many different things to write about just that topic almost every day. And just because other people look at us and think about just that or just that at first, we almost never think about it when we're together doing our own thing at home. Our mixed identity and identities don't define us and I never want them to.

I've worked for beauty, design, art and pop culture magazines. I love books and decor and architecture and color and stories and photography and politics and thought and food and travel. Whenever I've worked for a magazine with a specific topic, I became so entrenched in that subject that I longed to write about or explore everything BUT that. I'm a topic schizophrenic. I have no focus. Just like my new family, my interests, experiences and what I want to write about are All Mixed Up. I created this title to reflect both the wild variation of things I write about as well as our mixed race identity (as explained in the "All About Me" section in the right margin).

With that said, I don't want people to visit the blog in hope of something and to be disappointed that it's something different. I don't want the title or my photos or my intentions to be too heavy handed or confusing. So I'm not sure what to do. Would a less intense photo be better? Do I need a subhead or a tagline that explains the blog is about "mixed" things in general? Do I need to write more often about our mixed race identity to have more balance and better support the title?

Your feedback and honesty would be fantastic. Don't be shy. I really want to know what you think. When one starts something like this, there's no editor or co-workers or constructive criticism. It's just you. And it's easy to become confused or lose perspective when it's just you.

via The Beauty File


Whenever I think I should be more this or that, I try to remember just this.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Masthead?

What do you think? Should I change my masthead? Are these photos too in-your-face kissy or do you like them? Which one? PS We're working on a family photo of all three of us.

photos by Shannon Corr

All Mixed Up

I love the idea of a quirky dining area with mismatched or different colored chairs. Makes a dining "set" seem so boring and unimaginative, doesn't it?

via Pink Wallpaper
via youaremyfave

Bump Style

I'm trying my best to dress my bump well this time as opposed to cloaking it in tent-like dresses. So far, Thefashionguitar is providing some great inspiration. And of course, I look as awesome as she does every single day.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


There may be a big change in our lives coming soon...I will know by the end of this week. I can't tell you yet what it is because Kadin would kill me if I did.

It's a change I said I wanted but now that it's knocking on my front door, I'm flooded with tears and can't seem to get off the couch or put on makeup or a decent outfit.

Kadin told me yesterday that I looked like I just rolled out of bed. I had. He said you never leave the house like this. Like what? I had makeup on--just no lipstick. My mom always told me I looked much better with lipstick. And I was wearing sweats. What's wrong with wearing sweats all day on a rainy Sunday?

But once I arrived at the bookstore, a man who I've never met congratulated me on my pregnancy and asked how far along I was. "Seven, eight months?" he said. "Six," I told him.

I waddled home feeling insecure on too many levels.

via Observando

Tiny Coolness

I'm not a fan of cookie-cutter nurseries or kids' rooms devoid of imagination. I think they should be spaces full of life, color and creativity.

via rikshaw design

Monday, January 23, 2012

Portrait of a Family

Kadin gave me a photo scanner for Christmas. I can't wait to dig through all of my old memories and slowly add them to our digital files. Sabine loves looking at pictures on the computer. When I showed her this photograph of my grandparents, my mom and her siblings, she was utterly confused since she has never met my mom or my grandparents. It sort of magnified my loss of them--of her, my mom. The next night, I dreamed I was in the hospital. I was waiting and waiting for my mom to come but no one could find her. At the end, she came into my hospital room, sat on the edge of the bed and I suddenly wasn't sick or afraid anymore. It's mind blowing and beautiful and huge for me to think that this how Sabine feels about me, that I anchor her in the same way my mom anchored me. I hope Sabine doesn't lose her anchor for a long, long time.

Don't they look like the Mexican mafia?

Chloe Spring 2012

I love it.

Friday, January 20, 2012

This & That

I'm sitting in my car and eating a Milky Way while I type this post. It was the the only way I could escape Sabine to write. She's been crying and yelling, "come back" at the top of her lungs if I go anywhere without her. So recently, I bribed her into letting me go by telling her I'd bring her back a cake pop. Now when I say I have to go somewhere, she says, "Otay. Bye Mama. Bring cake pop." It's comforting to know how easily she'll trade in her mama for cake on a stick.

I've been wondering, can you get breast or stomach cancer for resting your laptop on your chest or belly too often?

What if everyone just boycotted the Kardashians? I mean, do they really need more money? And they're nice to look at, but are they really THAT interesting?

Lately, when people approach Sabine on the sidewalk or in the grocery store and go on and on about how cute she is, she furrows her brow, hits their hand or arm and says, "no, go way! get back!" I'm slightly horrified but happy she's so expressive when she's uncomfortable.

I don't think Beverly from Top Chef deserved to go home the other night.

Kadin helps Sabine get dressed for bedtime each night. The past two evenings, she has slept in her bathing suit. She almost always wins with him.

I recently started putting tiny monster in timeouts. Yesterday, she stabbed her cousin with a huge stick and then walked into a bedroom and shut the door, putting herself in a timeout.

I often feel like if I see one more kids' movie or television show, I will poke my eyes out. But I will never ever tire of watching the Jack Black episode of Yo Gabba Gabba: New Friends.

Speaking of Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba has just launched a new company: Honest.com, an eco-friendly and affordable monthly subscription service and design-minded brand that gives parents a hand with a range of safe, sustainable and non-toxic infant essentials, offering diapers, pampering products and cleaning solutions.
"Honest.com aims to educate, inspire and fulfill the promise of creating a sustainable future for the world's little ones."

Check it out.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Free To Be

It's mind blowing to me that in the late sixties, interracial marriage was against the law in sixteen states. Then again, when I sometimes walk down the street with my family and feel stares, the late sixties don't seem so far away. 
“When any society says that I cannot marry a certain person, that society has cut off a segment of my freedom.” --Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1958.
I'm dying to see the photographic exhibit by Grey Villet, who documented the story of interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving in the 1960s.
The Loving Story: Photographs by Grey Villet  
International Center of Photography
January 20 through May 6, 2012
Forty-five years ago, sixteen states still prohibited interracial marriage. Then, in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the case of Richard Perry Loving, a white man, and his wife, Mildred Loving, a woman of African American and Native American descent, who had been arrested for miscegenation nine...
An HBO Documentary on the couple and their fight airs on Valentine's Day.  
I hope that forty five years from now, people will find it mind blowing and unbelievable that gay marriage was once prohibited, too.

Colored Denim

I'm kind of obsessed with bright blue, green, yellow, red and pink denim. I love the idea of wearing a pair of brilliant jeans with a skinny belt in a contrasting color.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Sound of Music

Sabine is obsessed with her music class. She turns from a tiny monster into a perfect little baby girl who I fall in love with all over again and want to gobble up as I watch her dance and smile for an entire hour.

Jessica Alba and Her Teensy Weensy Mismatched Bikini

Alba Shmalba. I mean, who looks like this after they just had a baby? I almost don't believe she actually had one. Did she fake her pregnancy and keep her surrogate a secret for nine months? It's enough to make me buy a big fat package of yoga classes and swear not to eat cold pizza, chocolate and coffee for breakfast once this baby is born.


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