Boys with Curls: When to Stop Being So Damn Sentimental with Your Kid’s Hair

BoysWithCurlsBlog

In the tradition of Lao babyhood, all infants have their heads shaved for the belief that it will grow lustrous and strong. (For whatever else, I don’t know) This tradition is oft suggested to newborns, which is when my mom suggested we shave Humnoy’s head. The kid still had vernix pasted on his vagina-squeezed, oblong head when #AznGrandma about busted out the buzzer. Being the overprotective and wannabe-natural boho mommy I was, I absolutely refused no matter how unfortunate his hair journey started.

Humnoy had this weird, old-man hair when he was an infant: smooth/fuzzy on top; long on the sides and back. Shit was a M E S S. It wasn’t up until he was a full-blown toddler that he grew out of the old-man look and started showing growth and, to my softness for unique hair traits, perfect little brown spirals. I knew waiting out was going to be worth it. I thought, “Oh gee golly, I’m sure glad I didn’t listen to my crazy Lao mother because look at his hair now!”

For what seems like every public outing of his life, I’ve gotten the question: “When will you cut his hair?” usually right after they are offended/surprised that the little girl they are fawning over in the shopping cart is actually my first-born son, who’s never ever had a haircut. I would answer, “Well, I don’t plan on it really, [why?]” What is it about the length of a child’s hair define who they are? Humnoy was always quick to say, “I’m a BOY!” when I’d repeat my, “Oh, HE’S [insert his age]!” I was fiercely proud that I did not ever force him to get a haircut. For what? So strangers can see “who” they’re talking to? No way. Buzz off.

BeforeCurls

There was finally a time GH and I decided that, yeah, sometimes maintaining his brown curls was more work than not. One day, he got his hair so matted that he formed a baby dreadlock. I thought, “Crap, maybe he does need a haircut” but then he took another bath and fresh, new curls appeared after the baby dread was cut off, along with all my doubt. (It is now in a Ziploc bag in our kitchen because I’m fucking crazy like that). The only other time was when we were reviewing how he’s going to prepare for preschool. I hesitated on my motherly instinct only because I know how cruel people, even preschoolers, can be. I think we decided he would get an actual haircut when he enters Pre-K 4 this coming school year.

Ironically at one month before he was to turn four years old, his eligibility age for his preschool, it was clear that it really wasn’t up to me at all. Not then, not now, not never and Humnoy and his preschool scissors made that very clear (cut) while Lanoy and I were taking our nap, the time when Humnoy should be “quietly playing” since he’s given up on home naps. Long gone are naps for him, long gone are his beautiful baby curls and long gone is all my gushiness for his own hair on his very own head. ‘His hair, his body, his choice,’ isn’t that how it goes or whatever-someshit?

SelfHaircutPreschool

 When did you (or they) cut your kid’s hair?

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Seattle Winter Family Photography Session

Lao siblings family photoLao siblings wagon family photodad son winter family photo
mom daughter farm photo collagemom kids winter family photoGHTheek2winter family photo tree farm

Seattle Winter Family Photography

 

You can view our family card photo here: Merry Theeksmas 2014 || Photography: Skeeter Bug Photography

What time of the year do you have your family photos taken?

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Merry Theeksmas from the Laotian Commotion and Co.

‘My holiday wish for you is to enjoy this Winter more than I am.’

Seattle weather can suck it!

Holiday #familyphoto @ old tree farm in WALove,

Theek, GH, and the Noys

Are you counting the days until Spring/Summer too?

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{CLOSED} Laotian Entertainment: Family Movie Night w/ “How to Train You Dragon 2” & Giveaway

TheLaotianCommotion.com: Have your own #HTTYD2 movie night! #sponsored

I can’t tell if motherhood has really screwed me over (more than it has) or if family movies have really stepped up their emo game. I have cried at commercials, sure, but an animated, action-adventure movie? This latest movie was seriously no exception because not only did wet, hot things roll down my face (again) but the kids and I were cheering on the characters. Seriously, the last time we did were all rooting at the screen characters was *cough* kidsstayupwatchingTheWalkingDeadwithus *cough* In “How to Train Your Dragon 2” (HTTYD2), we got all of it: action, friendship, and heroism. I especially loved the reunited love story the mostest. I’m such a sucker for reunions because I hate losing things, ‘know what I’m sayin? Ugh. You also can’t go wrong with dragons. DRAGONS! And especially, widdo baby dragons. So kewt.

Enough of the movie, let’s move on to the the best part of movie: snacks. The good people over from DreamWorks basically tossed us the awesome gift of calories and sugar, which I have never been mad at someone for doing so, for my family to enjoy while watching one of the best films of 2014. We got to nosh on buttery popcorn and candies like Red Vines and Sour Patch Kids (which are VEGAN, wut), along with some longer-lasting goodness in the form of the newest addition to our bare feet grenades toy family: Toothless action figure! Toothless is the dragon companion to Hiccup, the protagonist of the HTTYD movies, and he’s one of those cute dragons I was talkin’ about.

If you haven’t seen any of the films from the HTTYD franchise, go-go-go now and enjoy a family-friendly animation that will have you cheer and/or cry from start to finish. Yes, I cried at the old love reunion! I recommend this particular film because dragons are so in right meow and if you aren’t on that dragon bandwagon, this is a great way to get the whole family started! Also, it’s really fun animation with really memorable characters and that’s probably what you’ll get out of it rather than dragon pop culture. So, this will be a family favorite, for sure!

Continue reading for a special surprise just for my beloved Laotian Commotion readers…

TheLaotianCommotion.com: How to have your own #HTTYD2 movie night! #sponsoredTheLaotianCommotion.com: Click to have your own #HTTYD2 movie night! #sponsoredTheLaotianCommotion.com: Click to have your own #HTTYD2 movie night! #sponsoredTheLaotianCommotion.com: Click to have your own relaxing #HTTYD2 movie night! #sponsoredTheLaotianCommotion.com: Click to have your own #HTTYD2 movie night! #sponsored

Haven’t seen “How to Train Your Dragon 2” but want to experience the animated adventure with dragons and their trainers in a faraway place?

Well, I’m hosting a DreamWorks giveaway that includes:

1) your very own copy of the Blu-Ray+DVD+Digital HD movie

2) a Toothless action figure to call your own

Here is how:

  1. Subscribe to TheLaotianCommotion.com on the sidebar all by entering your email. Don’t worry I’m too busy with life to blog everyday.
  2. Comment below on this post with your email and favorite movie time snack of all time. If it’s quinoa cakes, you might just be disqualified. Jk.

Giveaway ends Sunday, 12/14 11:59 PST and I will choose a random winner with details on a subsequent blog post so please subscribe, tweet, and instagram me!

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Pii Mai Lao 2014 With The Laotian Commotion Family

As much as I hate visiting my family, the food and reasons we usually get together make
up for all the crazy Lao-ness. Pii Mai Lao 2014 was an obligatory event where I must exploit my children to such culture so off we went for the entire weekend. It will forever be something that will be a tradition no matter the hassle and no matter the unworthiness of the time and energy. This year was just as nuts and we didn’t even get to do a water fight.

Now that I’m rocking the Two Toddlers At A Time life, it’s even more Lao’d and crazy. Throw in even more Lao’der and crazier family members and I am ready to drive five hours back home. The festivities were pretty timid on Saturday and we were exhausted just from the day and I’m not talking about going to the Wat (Lao Buddhist temple). My family is just e x h a u s t i n g. So, we drove five hours just to go to the Wat and eat overpriced Laotian pho. It was a stark contrast to the first few years of Lao New Year.

Lao new year 2011 humnoy

Pii Mai Lao 2011 was Humnoy’s very first New Year. He was barely a month old and I drove my crazy postpartum ass down there just to start this tradition to be a part of my cultural renewal process for my mixed family. It’s that important to me and I have done so ever since. I did it the following year when Humnoy toddled and danced around. The next year was when our family added a new member to celebrate the New Year. Lanoy was a little older than Humnoy was at his first Pii Mai.

This year. . . This year was nucking futs. Have you ever had to disarm wide-eyed destructo-ddlers from touching Buddhist relics? Well, it’s not only embarrassing but pretty fucking low key damning. Lao people love money and Lao New Year is no exception. Money is blessed and then donated to the Wat, monks and, in turn, the community’s only religious mainstay. You know who else loves money? Lao toddlers so they can try to rip it because paper. Please do check out GH as the Token White Guy Getting Buddhist Blessings.

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I love it all though. Lao’d and crazy and all. It’s the perfect and most annoying excuse to be with family. Lao New Year is all about family to me especially now with my own and I’m just going to continue on the crazy train.

Sabaidee Pii Mai, y’all. Sa. BAI. Dee.

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Does your family drive you Lao’d and crazy too?

If You Love Your Friends/Family, You Need Social Media Or At Least That’s What I Tell Myself

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Pic from http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/science-you-and-social-media/

As much as I loathe The Man and the stranglehold of social media, I seemed to have forgotten about the real people, who I care about and know. I actually do have real-life friends, believe it or not. Believe it because I’m a good decent one, at that. Well, that was until I decided to just vanish off of personal social media and dive into an online alter ego: Theek. Just one word. Like Madonna or {Symbol}.

I deleted my personal Facebook in spring 2012 and then just a couple months ago, my personal- turned semi-personal/blog’s Instagram with over 1100 followers. How many of those followers had ever met my family? Not including creeping stalkin ass stalkers, I’d say just a handful of real-life friends and family having to compete with 1085 other online users as their only chance to get to see their nephew, niece, cousin, or best friend. Poor Far Away Aunty got muffled by the Other Mommy Blogger.

You would hear shit like “Well, if you’re truly close then the phone works both ways” or “We spend too much time on our phone than real life.” To that I say, “No fucking duh, that’s the only way!” I don’t know if you’ve noticed but my schedule isn’t wide open like it would be negative two kids and balls deep in student loans. Unfortunately for my IRL friends, I have been quite nomadic since 2008 through college, both pregnancies, and many jobs so no, I can’t just “meet up with them.” I need social media for that. I at least convinced myself of the best one.

Not Facebook Facebook requires your mom’s birth city and dog’s social security number so that’s still a big fat nope. Ok. I lied but I know you gotta get past the CIA breach to register.

Not Twitter I would probably die the day my mother discovers twitter. She already knows “Fatebook” so I’m thinking in a couple years, she might say the word “tweet” in its context.

Not Google+ No one’s (still) on Google Plus. Nobody.

Instagram Ahh, my go-to app to quickly share a single photo and you can find out all about it in the capture and caption.

– Nice that you can choose any (available) username you want so go ‘head and choose ‘BigBooty69xxx’ I checked; it’s available.
– Also nice that you can quickly make your entire account private.
– It’s becoming more popular meaning it’s accessible to more users i.e., more far away family and friends.

So, what did I decide to do? I made a super secret Instagram account for our private lives: silly milestones, non-epic adventures, simple daily things that make up our life. Our life does include the people who have been physically a part of it therefore respect that part of intimate details. So super secret that it’s for the select few that know Humnoy’s household nickname. Yes, the kid’s got a Lao name, a Lao nickname, and a household nickname. I think this is a prime example of how social media can be used for good, not evil.

For family/friends, please let me know your username so I can add you to the private family account.

Dear awesome readers, please follow my blog IG: @LaotianCommotion

Is your Instagram for both IRL friends/family and online friends?

I Was The Worst Kind Of Instagram Mom

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Don’t worry, I’m not drunk-blogging this one although it was a nice buzz of confidence to deactivate my Instagram, which I started in 2010 (yep, right when it launched). I do feel a little guilty for just up and leaving so many amazing parent-friends I have come to know and laugh at with without as much a goodbye photo. Ironically, if you remember, my last photo was a very, very rare photo of the kids’ faces that I captioned “For old times sake.” By the sheer nature of that photo alone, I really had no idea that in less than a day after, I would delete the entire account. Yet I got up, logged into my Instagram.com on my laptop, deactivated 1000+ posts and said goodbye without saying “goodbye” to the specially chosen few on my feed view. I left the Instagram attachment parenting community because of Instagram parenting.

I would read things like, “Oh, I found you through the #cosleeping hash tag!” or “I saw your gymnurstics pic on FB!” The most common was “I found you through [insert Instagram mommy]!” As a mom, Instagram was great for a quick peek into others but you can move on with your day (or the rest of your Instagram feed). With a great and interesting community, I still managed to hate it. I quit Instagram for a clusterfuck of reasons but the main reasons were a little more deep than me not ever being selfie-ready:

Addictive It is truly addicting and the only way for me to kick that disgusting habit was to delete and be done with it.

Obligation It was nice to know people liked my pictures, humor and all that but I felt I always had to entertainment the masses. Once people see one meme, makes sense to make more, right? I’ve got issues.

Vain Instagram parents everywhere post about what they’re doing so you know they’re doing it. As mundane as it was, I felt I was cornered into this tiny corner of niches and I couldn’t break out of it. It was mommy-everything or nothing at all.

Playa-Haters I managed to piss off a few other Instagram mommies and I laughed and laughed because they weren’t that cool anyways. You don’t have to like me but you hating on me won’t make you less uncool.

“Frenemies” So, when I pissed those IG mamas off, our mutual followers seemed to not want to tell me about it and that hurt me. A couple of legit friends came through to let me know Offended Mom thinks I’m speshul enough to get my own screenshots. Like I said, “Not. Cool.”

Perverts Instagram role-play is just a horrible and wrong thing. I know how it was too easy to slap a photo up on Instagram so I had to shut down any and all excessive mentions of the kids’ physical identities. IG needs a mass-delete option though, pho real.

Babies I think I was just kind of over babies. Babies all over my damn feed. All the time. There were just so many back-to-back photos of your kid’s foraged lunch that I could stomach so I’m just over it.

My babies Oh, my poor neglected babies. How fucked up is it that I’m “spending” more time with other people’s babies than my own real-life ones? I’d be thwarting baby limbs just to find the perfect filter and caption. This was my wake-up moment and it’s not my proudest.

I’m here to change all that because I now have a new daily feed– real-life parenting! I’m vowing to be more present with my family, especially the kids. Here are some suggestions to kick the Instagram Mom habit:

1) Leave the phone in another room
2) Designate non-family time only for Instagram
3) Log out/in each time so it’s not so easy to open the app
4) Carve out an entire day without Instagram once a week
5) Ask, “Do I need to share this right at this moment?”

I was buried in this existential world and false lenses with strangers scattered across the planet while my kids saw my face buried in my phone screen. To be honest, I am already back on Instagram but have not found a healthy balance to dive into it quite yet. Also this account will not be any ol’ mommy account. Trust. Instead of showcasing my “parenting” through glossy film and filters, I will make sure I’m actually parenting .

What’s your social media usage rule?

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This Is What A Laotian Four-Generation Gap Looks Like

20131228-020004.jpgFour years after his wife died, he still is living in the home where he relocated his entire family from war-torn Laos in 1979. His eldest daughter would bear a daughter as her eldest as well. This daughter would go on to have her own children. Within same home, the 81-year-old Laotian patriarch has been able to get to know the newest generation of refugee descendants and holiday visits are a time where this four-generation gap meet.

He would call her “Ee Theek Noy” (“Little Girl Theek”) because everyone knows how she looked exactly like her mother as a baby. Theek is the family’s first female grandchild and now have some -noys of her own. My grandfather is lamenting how Lanoy shares my baby traits of peach fuzz hair and many tears in new environments. While she is basically frightened of anyone other than my boobs, Lanoy has still somehow connected with Paw Tao Yai (“big/great grandpa”) just at the cutest distance.

The state of the octogenarian’s health leaves very little windows of interaction. My grandfather is mostly resting his aching body in his room once shared with the love of his life and comes out to eat his meals. When we visit, he interacts with the great-grandbabies by kissing their heads and warning them to stay away from the stairs in a cute, soft great-grandpa way. He would have to get so close to each great-grandchild as his increasingly clear-colored eyes are failing to differentiate which -noy he’s kissing. Like I said, Lanoy is not very fond of unfamiliar faces so she doesn’t immediately reciprocate Tao Yai’s affection. When she is ready though, this is what Laotians, four generations apart, look like:

Laotian great grandfathe and baby r.jpg

What generation are your kids?

Not Pictured: Most Memorable Moments Of Home Birth

From start to finish of my almost precipitous home birth, there are so many things I had to think of like trying not to poop, breathing, and pooping anyway. Thank Buddha for my doula of MamaEarth Doula for not only writing out the details but also capturing my birth story in photos. Apart from pixels and filters, I was constantly reminded about the day we became a family of four in other details.

The best memories about #homebirth | TheLaotianCommotion.com

Tub Every time I grudgingly stick two dirty, cranky kids into the bath, I relive that day. We went without a birth pool and kicked ass with our bathtub. When I get mad that Humnoy squirted his bath toys spouts at me, I remember how he came to greet me in the first stage of labor. I remember how the littlest soon-to-be-big brother was so concerned and sweet and curious all at once. Seeing the littler of the sibling pair now trying to climb over the ledge of the same vessel she arrived into the world just nine months prior is more scary than sentimental but still emotional.

Towels Funny story: I’m the worst home birth prepper evar. I had the birth kit, sure, but missing things like extra-extra linens for the massive postpartum bleeding that I repeat every time I pop out a child or completely necessary things like a warm receiving blanket for newborn Lanoy. I had only a few of each. My awesome midwife made do and handed me a brand new chub all wrapped up in our bathroom hand towel. When this very towel comes into rotation at our sink, I remember how she nursed for the first time wrapped up in TJ Maxx discount fluffiness.

Bed Lanoy didn’t take to the breast right away though– newborns assumedly still amniotic drunk. She eventually nursed after I hobbled my ass over to the bed with cord still attached, pulsing (duh). I love to sleep so you know all the feels come flooding back when my little brood and I take cosleeping naps or read bedtime books in the same spot where she was weighed in at seven pounds and four ounces just at the foot of the bed. We rarely do but when we get a chance, we get to relive a family nap much like the day she was born. I have the hemorrhoids but everyone else was tired. Ok.

Freezer Every time I reach in the freezer (uh, daily), I’m reminded of a postpartum savior clank with inertia. My bottle of placenta pills are happily stored in the freezer next to ice packs, forgotten bottle of vodka, and homemade chicken stock. Birth of the baby is one thing but lest us not forget the afterbirth, where you have to deliver the placenta. My doula did her doula-ing and presented me with a bottle of my own happy pills! I pop a placenta on days where I go to the freezer with intention for that vodka.

It’s everywhere; I can’t really escape the fact that I had my birth in my home with my home’s resources. It is easy to forget that memories aren’t just in pictures and made-for-event things but the random, everyday items. When the toddler mom tantrums at the same spot where he kissed his baby sister for the first time trigger popping all the placenta pills, I just stop and try to remember by just looking at myself, at my kids, at living. These memories trigger that day’s unique moments so much more than all the detailed photos would.

What is a unique detail do you remember from your birthing day?

You can find me tweeting my hatred for pants on twitter, filtering the shit outta mom lyfe on Instagram, pinning food I’ll never make on Pinterest, and being a SEO creep on Google+. Check out our family Youtube channel.

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