Someone Told Them We Were Coming

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This was the sign outside of the door to our hotel when we went back to Toledo for a weekend to visit some of Scott’s friends and family. It was fun to bring T-Bone to see his grandparents, a proper autumn and the house in which his dad grew up, to mention a few of the highlights.

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Travel seems to have gotten progressively harder, though. What happened to my little nomad? He loves take-off and landing, but he starts asking for home the minute we get off the plane. Just when I think I have something figured out about T, it changes. It’s a great exercise in flexibility and living in the moment. That said, I think I’ll opt to live in the moment in L.A. with him for a while.

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Too Dorky For My Playlist

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After about ten years of working out to the 8 Mile soundtrack, my LA Marathon goal has finally inspired me to put a new workout playlist together. I’m not the kind of person who gets aggro and works out to death metal. I prefer to get extremely dorky and cheery. I thought I’d share with you my top ten. This goes out to all my fave running mom bloggers (Kristen, Christine, Tyler when you get back on your feet…).

A special holler to Jamie Ivey, who’s running the Chosen half-marathon for adoption this Saturday.

Warning: if you are allergic to eighties rollerskating music, major chords or show tunes, turn back now. That means you, honey.

1. “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey. Shameless inspiration.
2. “Milkshake” by Kelis. Makes me feel sassy about hauling my big tush around the track.
3. “Fire Woman” by The Cult. Oh Ian, how I loved thee back in the day. Hair extensions and all.
2. “Champion” by Kanye West. Obvious, but effective.
3. “Hey Ya” by Outcast. The perfect running beat.
4. “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes. I like to picture roller skates on my feet.
5. “Let’s go Crazy” by Prince and the Revolution. Classic.
6. “Shiny Happy People” by REM. The cheerier the better.
7. “Riding on the Metro” by Berlin. Almost as good as a trip to Paris.
8. “Centerfold” by The J. Geils Band. Perhaps not as resonant if you never had the treat of seeing yourself in a magazine with a staple in your navel.
9. “Burnin’ for You” by Blue Oyster Cult. Reminds me of the juke box at a Jersey diner.
10. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem. No need to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Optional mega dork selection:
1. “Defying Gravity” from the Wicked soundtrack. Did I just admit that?

Rites of Passage

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I’m way behind on blog posts because I turned in the final draft of my novel, Pretty, yesterday. Which means that I have about eight hundred unanswered emails in my in-box. It also means that I’m going to celebrate by totally ignoring them and watching taped Glee episodes until my eyes bleed.

I’ve been working on either Pretty or Some Girls for about the last six years, so finishing this book is the end of a major life chapter. Ever since Scott and I attended the premiere of Jackass 3D (that’s us in our sexy 3D glasses), I’ve been thinking about the place of rites of passage in our lives. The movie was pretty funny and oddly well-shot and, of course, unbelievably disgusting. Ultimately, I left feeling vaguely yucky, and not just because I had a tub of buttered popcorn for dinner. I think that the Jackass movies appeal to our tribal desire for rites of passage, but they don’t quite hit the spot because they’re all rite and no passage.

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The next morning we braved a true rite of passage. We took Tariku to his first day of pre-school. Our current arrangement with the school is that one of us is going to attend with him until he can “contract when the group contracts,” which I think in hippie language means sit still for snack and story time. As you can tell from our attempt at “first day of school” pictures, T is more of an expander than a contractor. If his first day was any indication, I might just be sitting in a wee chair next to him until his middle school graduation. But even though T’s first day at pre-school felt like the longest three hours of my life, I tried to stay present for it because I suspect that this school thing is going to get rolling and soon I’m going to wish I could see more of him.

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In terms of life transitions, T starting school is sort of like finishing my second book. I feel a strange combination of loss and relief every time I hear the word “school” come out of T’s mouth. I felt the same way when I sent the Pretty file to my editor.

We go to school again this Thursday and Friday. Stay tuned for more reports from the front line.

For now, I have a babysitter for another twenty minutes. I’m going to watch Glee. Or go hunt an antelope. Or give myself paper cuts on my tongue. Or something.

Good Hair Day

I heard about this “I Love My Hair” video on the radio yesterday. The head writer of Sesame Street talked about writing the song as a tool to help his African American daughter love her natural hair. I looked it up immediately upon returning home and it brought a little tear to my eye.

I know I’ve shared some on this blog about our hair journey, but honestly, our obstacles are relatively minimal, seeing as Tariku isn’t showing signs of developing a fascination with Disney Princesses (could still happen, but it seems unlikely). Girls have to contend with much stronger cultural messages around hair.

But while we’re on the subject, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite hair resources. Happy Girl Hair is a fantastic blog by a mom with twin daughters adopted from Ethiopia. It really has it all, from product reviews and styling ideas to basic natural haircare and detangling techniques.

And my favorite product line these days (for all of us) is Oyin Handmade. Yummy, organic, baby-safe. Love it.

If you’re reading this on facebook, you’ll have to go to my blog to see the video. It’s worth it.