Sunday, December 30, 2007

First Haircut!

Natalie is known everywhere she goes for her curls. Little kids love to touch her hair. Strangers love to comment on how curly her hair is. It is a rare occasion when we are out at a store that at least one person does not comment on her curls. They are of the full-on Shirley Temple variety, and I adore them.

However, care and maintenance of said curls is not so fun. In the morning, she wakes up in full afro mode. In order to get the knots out, we must completely saturate her hair with detangler to make the comb out a little less painful. But it still hurts. No matter how hard I try to be gentle, she hates it. And it's a battle/bribe session almost every morning. Her hair is just below her chin when dry, but about halfway down her back when wet. That gives you an idea of the tightness we must detangle every morning.

The tangles seemed to be getting worse, so this weekend, at two and 1/2 years old, miss Natalie got her first haircut! We took her to a kid salon and it was great. They have a dvd player for the kids to watch, animal chairs to sit on and a play area. They know kids. The tricks all worked and Natalie was a perfect little girl. The results are below! I can't wait to see if the comb out tomorrow morning is easier and worth the new salon-grade detangler we purchased. Stay tuned...

Haircut in Progress
In progress

The Do
The "Do"

Friday, December 14, 2007

Farewell Grandma

My grandmother passed away last night. She was in her early 90s, and lived a long, lovely life. That she lived a long life should probably make me feel better, but right now, I just feel sad. You see, I hadn't been able to see my grandmother for the past several years. Since before I met and married my husband. Since before my daughter was born. And now the thought that I'll never see her again, and that she'll never meet her great granddaughter is overwhelming.

I am left with my wonderful childhood memories of all our Thanksgivings spent with my grandparents. For me, Thanksgiving is almost more special than Christmas. Every year, we'd spend a few days with grandma and grandpa for Thanksgiving. Those few days were filled with nothing but relaxing and enjoying one another's company. We'd arrive and there would always, without a doubt, be a cookie jar full of grandma's oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. There would be a roaring fire in the fireplace and football on all day. "It's time for Cheer" is a phrase etched into my memory when the Pink Chablis and Cold Duck (it was the 70s) were opened and the festivities officially began. It used to start at 4:00, but I think "Cheer Time" inched it's way closer to 3:00 over the years.

I'd always help set the table and grandma would lay out the feast. A beautiful turkey, always carved by grandpa at the table. All the fixings. Always a tray of pickles and olives (which I loved) Always canned cranberry and her jello with marshmellows (which I hated) and her homemade dinner rolls were heavenly. And for dessert, her amazing pumpkin chiffon pie and a birthday cake for me with yellow cake and chocolate frosting (my fav). We'd settle into dinner and grandpa would usually spend the meal telling the same family stories we'd hear year after year.

I loved it all.

It's been many years since we've had a Thanksgiving with my grandmother. But those years of visits left me with many wonderful images and memories of grandma:

Her beautiful collection of glass figurines that sat on her kitchen windowsill.

She always had oatmeal chocolate chip cookies waiting for us.

She made the best bacon I've ever had in my life. I still can't get mine to be the crisp deliciousness that was grandmas. To this day, I cannot eat uncrisp bacon.

She had the most beautiful rose garden. The house was always filled with her fresh flowers when we visited.

Her signature phrases "lordy, lordy" and "mercy, mercy me!"

Her pantsuits. Grandma always wore polyester pantsuits. I vividly recall the powder blue, rose pink and easter yellow ones. They were her signature style. But my cousin Tanya can tell you more about that.

And if you were to go into the bedroom with the twin beds, and look in the ceramic canister on the dresser, I'm almost sure you would still find the hot pink feather from her duster there that I hid about 30 years ago. I know it was still there when my brother last checked. I don't know if grandma knew about it, but somehow, the fact that something so small and silly from my childhood lasted so long is very comforting.

Goodbye grandma. I'm going to miss you terribly, but you will never be forgotten.