Thanks to everyone who voted on whether to cut Miles' crazy hair. "A little trim" won by just a single vote.
Here's how he looks after. Still wild? Still Miles?
It's been a while since we've featured a house project, hasn't it? The winter weather has been just too gorgeous here to stay inside for long, so I've been reserving my DIY list for this coming summer.
However, B has been asking for a bigger bed for a while now, and I finally gave in. I envisioned a vintage spindle bed or wrought iron daybed with a trundle underneath. I kept an eye on Craigslist, but didn't see anything that fit my vision (at least not at the bargain price I envisioned).
A friend told me that instead of a trundle, I could slide B's old toddler mattress under a conventional twin bed. So I expanded my search and came across a 1920s carved maple four-poster bed. The woman selling it kept it in a far corner of her 7,000-square-foot (!) home -- so it was hardly touched and in pristine condition. Score!
I disassembled B's toddler bed, rearranged a few things and LOVE how sweet her room looks now. I loved it before, but the larger bed just screams "big girl" to me. I imagine slumber parties and hours spent reading and playing dress-up.
In case you forgot what it looked like before, CLICK HERE.
Here's the new look:
Last fall I wrote about the challenges of raising daughters (and sons) with a healthy body image. What I learned: You can't shield your kids from all the negative messages out there about how they "should" look, but you can teach them to filter those messages. You can help them to love themselves even when TV commercials or celebrities or magazines claim they have some flaw that needs fixing.
More than that, though, you can learn to love your own body more than you currently do. Kids mirror their parents. They follow our lead.
If you struggle with your own body image, check out the article I wrote for Experience Life magazine about how to rebuild it. I'd love it if you commented and shared it with friends.
One last thing I wanted to point out from my research, which didn't appear in the article: I talked with a dozen leading psychologists/psychiatrists/body image experts and one thing they all pointed out: Young people who struggle with eating disorders typically have a broken relationship with at least one parent (often the father).
It makes sense. Parents are the mirror. If the mirror has cracks, then the kids will not get an accurate reflection of themselves.
That's not a slam against dads or single parents. It's not to say that if you argue with your teenage daughter she's doomed to have an eating disorder (and yes, I know eating disorders are about much more than food and body image).
As with most journeys toward health and healing, the first step is acknowledging there’s a problem. To me, it's more of a call to awareness. A call to slow down and make sure my kids feel heard, nurtured and accepted by me and Kris. And a call to take time to shore up my own self esteem so that it's reflected back to them...not an easy task when I'm sleep deprived or overworked or stressed.
But then again, I notice the things I am most reluctant to do when I'm stressed and tired are just the things to pull me out of the dark cloud: Go outside. Breathe. Say or think self-compassionate thoughts. Go for a walk. Exercise. Eat something healthy that will give me energy. Turn off the computer and play on the floor with the kids.
Start small, and realize you have more influence than you think you do.
Spring Break 2012: Four hours on an airplane followed (the next day) by almost six hours in a car -- including one carsick toddler -- would leave a mama fairly stressed, no?
I was...until we sat on the beach and the kids buried my feet in sand and we listened to the waves lap the shore. It was impossible not to relax. Thanks to some dear friends who hosted us in their condo just steps away from the sand, B woke up and yanked back the curtains and exclaimed "The ocean! It's RIGHT there! I want to stay here FOREVER and EVER."
We couldn't, of course, but we put a piece of Florida -- sand, shells -- in a Mason jar, which she is sleeping with as I type this. A promise we'll return.
The hubs and I are having a debate about whether to cut Miles' crazy hair. We decided to put it to a vote on The Daily B's facebook page. Hop on over and let us know what you think. We'll close the poll and give the results next week.