Aiming Arrows

Musings of a Mommy

Category: Hair


I can barely handle the cuteness here!

Yes, she’s in the sink.  Yes, I give her a mini bath and fix her hair in the sink.  Yes, she’s 2 1/2 years old.  I have an explanation.  Really, I do.  Maybe I’ll share it someday.

For tonight though, I’m just sharing this cutie pie sassy pants who was super excited to be finished with hair time!

While enjoying these moments of delight with Graceanna I remembered some other images from a day that is truly long gone.

Oh my.  Gunnar-bear.

Your cuteness factor just about did me in too!

Yes, he is in the sink too, but he’s only 9 months, not 2 1/2 years!

Oh and this picture really reminds me that your personality and need to explore everything orally was seen as a mere babe!
(So thankful for these pics of Gunnar snapped by my friend Carmnen.)


New Braids

Yesterday I spent 4 hours putting new braids in Graceanna’s hair.  Wow.  It was crazy, but here’s the result!

When I saw this image on my camera screen I was startled by how old she looks.
I normally just do about 7 braids.  This time there are 17 I think.

And this is just a little out-of-focus-bonus-pic because she is so darn cute!

Gunnar wanted his picture taken too and I was shocked at how old he looks too.
My camera must be on the fritz; my babies are not this grown!

Pumpkin Patch

Valerie and I took our 4 kiddos to a local Pumpkin Patch on Monday.  We all piled into her van and enjoyed a little time together traveling the winding, country roads.  It was beautiful.  Many of the trees are showing their deep reds and oranges.  I love this time of year.  It’s still so warm, and the air is crisp, and it seems there is an eager anticipation swirling about.  

As we were driving to the pumpkin patch on Monday, I thought about this same trip all 6 of us made two years ago.  Graceanna was only about 6 weeks old.   She was so tiny and so cuddly and already so attached to me.  I remebered her soft skin and fluffy hair and her sweet baby scent.  I revelled in the memories of those tender, fleating newborn days which already seem like a lifetime I ago.  Sometime during my trip into the memories, I realized all 4 kids had been under 3 years old.  My day dream came to a quick  end with the memories of how hard and exhausting that day had been with trying to keep 2 two year olds safe as they ran around like the crazy toddlers they were and all the while trying to meet the babies’ needs.  As tired as we were, this day produced precious memeories.  Here’s a look back at 2 years ago.

Annabeth – about 15 months – October 2008

Max – 2 and 3/4 – October 2008

Gunnar – almost 3 years old – October 2008

And, the winner of the greatest change is…….

Graceanna – about 6 weeks – October 2008


Here’s a look at our recent trip – October 11, 2008. 

Graceanna gave me this super sweet glance as we were waiting for the hay ride to start.

Oh Annabeth, I love your little pig tails!

The site of this huge pumpkin farm stopped these city kids in their tracks.

 Valerie’s kids seemed intent on finding the right pumpkin.

Graceanna was intent on getting as dirty as possible.  Oh my goodness.  She was covered in dust, and she already had a shovel full of sand in her hair. 

(By the way, when you have thick hair and tight curls, your hair will not let go of one single grain of sand.  We washed and washed for 30 minutes.  I did this last week also when she had dirt and crushed up dead leaves in her hair last week.  Ridding her hair of these things is not my favorite activity….just in case you were wondering.)

Gunnar enjoyed some dirt ball throwing and tried to pick up a huge pumpkin or two…

Then, he called it quits and took a seat on the big pumpkin.

This was our attempt at a group photo.  Nice.

On the way home I was stabbed with a terrible realization; Max & Gunnar will be kindergarteners next year and no matter if we go to traditional school or school at home, our time will be less free.  This is probably our last time to go with the 6 of us.  Boo Hoo.

(My friend Gretchen took her kids to a different pumpkin patch and captured these wonderful moments.  Oh how I wish I would put in the work to produce something similar, but I don’t see that happening.  Plus, we all know Gretchen has a little something special that just increased work on my part would not create.)

Hair Barrettes

A few weeks ago I bought barrettes so I’d have the supplies ready for the moment when I would take the next plunge in hair styles.  I’ve prepared myself by checking out every little girl I see with multiple puffs, braids, and especially barrettes. I don’t know why this was such a milestone for me especially since the hair itself is separated into sections just like I’ve been doing for many months. 

Last night was the night!  

I think it looks right.  What do you think?  One thing I’ve learned from much careful observation is that there are lots of possibilities!

Here’s the How To:

  1. Section the hair as normal and secure with an elastic band at the scalp
  2. On top of the elastic band secure a decorative band with plastic balls or the like
  3. Comb through the length of the hair in each section (I do this when her hair is wet.  You could also do it with a moisturizing product.*)
  4. Then twist each section by splitting the hair into two sections and putting one over the other repeatedly (you could choose to braid too)
  5. Secure the end with another elastic band (optional depending on hair type.  I did not do this)
  6. Add a decorative hair barrette.  I only used the barrette and it has stayed in fairly well.)

Note:  I never, ever comb through her hair without it either being wet with water or a moisturizing/styling product.


Graceanna will be having her adenoids and tonsils removed.  She will also have tubes in her ears.
Her surgery has been moved up to Friday at 11:00

For many of you, hearing of her surgery will be new information for you.  In some ways this has occurred quickly, but in other ways we’ve been heading down this road since her birth.  If you are interested in all the details, please keep reading.  Otherwise, just check back tomorrow for an update.  I expect that this procedure will go fine and we will only be in the hospital one night.   Hopefully, she will be excited to drink that off-limits liquid gold, (I blogged about that here) so we can go home the next day.   The plan is for Gunnar to be with my parents during the surgery.  Then, mid afternoon Friday and all day Saturday I have him farmed out to friends. 

So, what lead us to this point:

Constant Runny Nose:  Graceanna has had a runny nose since she was born.  I remember the wonderful foster mom that kept her during her first 10 days of life telling me she was afraid Graceanna had a cold because she sounded gurgly and had lots of drainage.  I have always thought Graceanna had a deviated septum (I don’t really know what that is!) or something that was keeping her sinuses stuffy.  There have been many times that, because her mucus was so thick, she has vomited while trying to cough and clear her throat. 

Too Much Sleep:  As a newborn, she slept all day and every night.  In some ways, that hasn’t changed much.  Her normal sleep time is from 7 pm until 8 or 9 am.  Plus a 2-4 hour nap in the afternoon.  And, for at least the last two weeks she’s been sleeping until 10:00 am.  So, we see that she is not getting enough oxygen, she’s also experiencing apnea, and she’s just working hard to breathe. 

Darn Skinny:  She’s still on the healthy growth chart, but I keep feeling like her little arms are getting skinnier and she’s so light to carry.  This is indicative of so many calories going to support her difficult breathing.

Fluid Behind Her Ear Drums:  Graceanna has never had an ear infection, but our doctor found that she does have a lot of fluid behind her ear drum.  He said this is completely expected because her adenoids are blocking the eustachian tube from draining down the throat as it should.  She definitely can hear us talking to her and other normal noises around the house.  But, I have noticed that I can open the door to her room and walk over to her crib without her hearing me.  Of course, Steve and I are really excited about getting this done to avoid any potential delay in her speech development.

Difficulty Breathing:  Since about September, she has had even more difficulty breathing at night.  During the day, she just breathes through her mouth, but at night she only breathes through her nose.  There’s just not enough space in her airway to pull in enough air.  Sometimes the air makes a whistling sound, like a tea-pot, as she’s inhaling.  Most of the time, she can’t get enough air to really snore, but we don’t know how to describe it other than to say it’s loud.  So, we keep our ear to the monitor all night.  This last week, we’ve been alarmed to find how she’s struggling even more.  Her ribs are protruding as her ab muscles work to draw the air in through a mostly closed airway.  It’s pretty scary.

This fall, I was putting all these pieces together and began realizing she probably had a problem with her adenoids and tonsils.  In November and December we started getting names of ENTs.  By mid December we starting to become quite a bit more worried about her breathing.  On December 30th we saw an ENT, a friend that we serve with at our church.  I had talked with him several times before our appointment, so by then, I knew she’d be having surgery.  He did look at her tonsils and said, “Wow.  Those are smokin’!”  He also said something about them probably touching.  The news about the fluid behind her ear drums was new, but it makes sense.

We are a little bit anxious about listening for her breathing one more night.  But, we are so excited they decided to move her surgery to tomorrow.  (It was originally scheduled for next week.)  I will post an update on my blog when she gets out of surgery.

For kicks, I’m posting a picture of Graceanna’s, “hurry!  we have to go!” hair style.  It’s kind of wild in the back but add a little product and those ringlets will be bouncy once again!  You may see this look again soon if I post pics from the hospital.  Actually, you will probably see this look a lot because I love it!

Don’t Touch the Hair!

I’ve started a new category on my blog for hair.  My intention is to include all the things I have learned so that others can benefit and also to help remind myself in case I ever have another curly headed baby.  But, today, I begin this new category with a rant

Graceanna’s hair was lookin’ cute today!  We went to our regularly scheduled outing and I dropped her off in the nursery.  Now, her hair style was a couple days old, so it wasn’t perfect, but it was still well across the acceptable-hair-do line.  In fact when I dropped her off  Miss J complimented her style.  (Miss J is not normally in Graceanna’s nursery class, but today she was their volunteer.)  I really appreciated that, because two weeks ago Miss J saw me in the parking lot and asked if I knew how to do her hair as it was not pulled back but instead curly and full.  I assured her I did and continued a great conversation about all sorts of things.

Two hours later, I pick up my daughter.  Miss J decided to twist each of her 5 puffs.  She had nothing to secure the twists with so they were all fuzzy and not very twisted, and they were sticking out everywhere.  I was TICKED!  Miss J had already left, which was probably a good thing or I fear my mouth would have gotten me in trouble, but she left a message for me with the regular nursery lady (who is wonderful!).  My message included things about her hair needing to be twisted for this reason or that and of course, needs moisture and oil.

I will not defend my care of Graceanna’s hair other than to say hair STYLES are OPINIONS.  I will fix her hair how I like it until Graceanna can tell me otherwise.  And, I know how to care for her hair and I do it well.  Her hair is not dry and it has plenty of moisture and oil.  Her hair is very curly and curly hair will NEVER shine like straight hair.  More on all of this later in future posts about the way hair works.

For your enjoyment I’m including a few picks of Pippy Longstocking.  Ok.  It’s not Pippy Longstocking.  It’s Graceanna after Miss J got ahold of her head.



I have decided that Miss J was probably just trying to help me.  It felt like an insult but I believe it was well intentioned advice.  I have to remember this experience when I want to “help” someone who doesn’t think they need help.

Now I will spend the next 30 minutes fixing her hair.

Our First “Do” as in Hair-do

Yesterday, my friend Andrea showed me how to do these cute little pony tail, knot things.  The process is pretty much what I thought; Part and pull together for an elastic band.  We had about 15 kids swarming when we were do this, so the parts are a little crooked, but you get the idea. (6 of the 15 were Andrea’s!!!!)  We’ll see if I can do it now.