Styling a Biracial Child’s Hair in the Summertime!

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It’s unofficially summertime and if your child has curly hair, it’s a trying time! While our hair (Type 3 and Type 4) is rather resilient, it can also be rather problematic at times.

Here are some tips to keep your (and your child’s!)  hair looking fresh this summer, no matter what your hair type is:

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep your child’s hair moisturized. I have seen one too many biracial children with bird’s nest on top of their heads to realize it’s not a child’s hair issue but a parent’s timing issue.

There are a ton (and I do mean a ton) of products out there to keep your child’s hair moisturized. I have to recommend (of course), Shea Moisture’s Curl Milk. Another great choice is Mielle’s Curling Milk as well.

For a biracial child, you don’t want to use any oils for it will bog down the child’s hair. Oil is great for Type 4, but I would not recommend it for Type 3.

Co-washing is your best friend.

Ever since I discovered co-washing when I went natural, my hair wondered what took me so long to do it. I try to co-wash every other day or every two days. With Bear, I try to co-wash his hair every other day. He’s a lot more active than I am so he will get into a bit more mess than I do.

If you want to splurge, you can’t get any better than Bumble and Bumble co-wash. Not only is it a conditioner, but it also detangles the ever-loving fack out of your child’s curly hair. It’s also great for all hair types.

If you’re on a budget, I highly recommend As I Am co-wash or Pantene’s co-wash. Another great choice that is not readily available in stores is Head & Shoulders.

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Stick it in the fridge.

It’s hot outside, yo! And your scalp is going to need something cool for it. Put your products in the fridge to cool them down. It won’t harm them and your scalp will appreciate it.

Heat is NOT your best friend.

If you normally straighten your child’s hair, lay off the heat this summer. There is no point of using heat only for the humidity to make your child’s hair poof like a mushroom cloud. For Bear, I usually have his hair air dry.

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Ain’t Nothing Wrong with DIY.

Some of the best products I’ve made were just going into my kitchen or bathroom and see what works. In another post, I’ll share a few recipes, but there is nothing wrong in saving money (and most importantly, saving your child’s hair) by making your own. Heck, some of your products might turn out better than the store bought ones!

Finally, experiment!

I recommended some great products but there are a ton more on the market and they are catered specifically to curly hair. Some of them are very cheap and do just as a great job as the premium ones.

What are your tips for keeping your child’s curly hair looking great? IMG_0540.jpg

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Why Sweet Potatoes Are Amazeballs

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I recently had mashed sweet potatoes. Well, let’s backtrack just a tad. It’s not the first time I’ve had it, but it was a first time in a long while I realized just how freakin’ amazing they were.

Despite my newfound sent home to glory moment in the kitchen, I had to wonder why sweet potatoes and its various forms (my favorite being the sweet potato pie) was so good for you.

And it turns out there are a ton of reasons.

I’ll list a few but I do encourage you to click the link above. Let’s gooooooooooo!

  • They’re good for your hair and skin, yo.

They’re chalkfull of Vitamins A, C, E, which help nourish your hair and skin from the inside out. They also promote hair growth. So put down the potions and toupees, and pick up some sweet potatoes.

  •  They’re good for digestion.

If you need help going potty (sorry, I’m stuck on Mommy mode), you don’t need to take a laxative. Just eat a sweet potato. It has so much fiber, your stomach might start doing backflips because it’s being taken care of. That also leads to my next point:

  • They’re good for weight loss.

Because let’s face it: with all of that newfound fiber you’re consuming, you’re probably going to be going a whole lot more.

  • They’re good for fertility.

I’m not currently pregnant but I do plan to start trying again very soon (and I’ll only announce when I’m pregnant). Sweet potatoes have a healthy dose of iron, which is essential getting pregnant. Like I mentioned earlier, they’re also full of vitamin A, which is also super important in getting knocked up, y’all!

  • They’re super good for reducing stress, including insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

So, check it: if you eat a sweet potato, it has so much magnesium in it, you’re whole body will be at ease (and I imagine with all of those trips to the bathroom, that’s a part of it, lmaoooo). But eating sweet potatoes help alleviate depression and make you happier.

So, go ahead! Try a sweet potato. I even have a recipe you can try that I just used yesterday!

 

Mom’s Garage Podcast

Recently, all three of us (really, Maks and Bear) went to see our great friends, Ian and Josh, as they did their new podcast adventure, Mom’s Garage. The focus was on Maks as he spoke about his photography. He also touched on how he dealt with Ethan’s death, and how photography really helped me become a better man.

Bear clearly stole the show and he gets an interview as well! I also make a special guest appearance at the end.

A special shout-out to Ian (Chamo) and Josh, for being gracious hosts. Also, a shout-out to Ian’s mother, who was just so sweet and offered food. I honestly should’ve taken her up on that offer. Next time I will!

Underneath the interview are behind the scenes shots I took!

I hope you enjoy!

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Bear’s IKEA Bedroom Makeover

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I have a love/hate relationship with IKEA as I think a lot of people do. If you want cheap furniture and what-not, it’s your place. Sometimes that cheap furniture might really turn out to be a bust but that’s the risk you take.

We decided to furnish our entire home with mostly IKEA items. (No, this is not a sponsored post.) We decided on that for two reasons: Bear and Sushi.

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When you have a small child and a pet who thinks she rules the household, you have to adjust accordingly. Maks and I decided from early on, we weren’t going to get any expensive furniture and the furniture we did get, we had to be okay with it being torn.

Yes, these are things no one really talks about during the cutesy little baby showers.

We furnished Bear’s room when we moved in a year ago, yet over time, well, we just stopped caring:

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I mean, we really stopped caring:

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Even Sushi was like, ‘What the hell is this?’

I finally had more than enough and I’m sure me binge-watching Tiny Home Nation along with some sprinkles of Hoarders and Marie Kondo made me realize my baby needed a playroom and bedroom; not makeshift storage.

Bear wanted to go to IKEA recently and originally I had no reason to go. Then I realized, ‘Oh wait, your bedroom is a hot-ass mess so maybe we should go.’

I found a super good deal on a new toy chest:

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The frame was heavier than I thought it would be and I’m surprised I didn’t get a hernia carrying it to the car.

I picked up six containers and told Bear to choose which colors he wanted:

And we picked up a small stool for him:

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Now, it was time for the redecorating to begin.

Maks and I pretty much cleaned out Bear’s room. I sat with Bear and asked him what toys he wanted to keep and which ones he wanted to donate. We also did a trash pile for toys that were missing pieces or broken.

I feel it’s very important to have the children be hands-on in getting rid of their toys instead of the parents. While it’s painstaking and there’s a lot of back and forth, it’s ultimately the child’s decision to part with the toys, not the parent.

We decided to throw away the Paw Patrol toy chest because it was broken and torn. Plus, as Bear is getting older, he’s probably not going to be into certain things like he used to be. This kid was obsessed with everything Thomas the Train three years ago. Now it’s Minecraft and Roblox.

After we rid of the old toy chest, it was time to construct the new one. Maks did an amazing job constructing it while Bear and I cleared out his toys. Once Maks was done, it was time to move it to Bear’s room:

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Then, it was time to clear what was underneath Bear’s bed and transform it to something more suitable for a child and any playdates he’ll have:

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We have the frames in Bear’s room so he knows it’s his room. He chose both pictures and frames.

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Maks found a spare hook he had and added Bear’s lantern to give Bear some extra light.

Bear’s room is still in the process of being made over. We’re going to add a curtain to give him some separation from the  desk and the rest of the room. We’re also going to add another small mat for Bear to lay on.

So yeah, there you have it! I’ll do a full video about his makeover soon!

To purchase items shown:

IKEA bed

IKEA toy chest

IKEA table and chairs

IKEA containers – small.

IKEA containers – big.

IKEA stool

 

 

Why We Chose Arts Over STEM for Bear

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Choosing a good elementary school is rolling the dice. You honestly just don’t know what you’re going to get. You hope to get a Lucky 7 but you might end up with snake eyes.

After some careful deliberation and going back and forth, we ended up choosing an Arts school for Bear. Our other choices were a Quaker elementary school and a STEM school.

So, you’re probably wondering why we made that choice considering that was the same school I had an issue with previously? Well, it wasn’t an easy breezy decision at all. In fact, the Arts school was actually third on the list.

We originally wanted Bear to attend the Quaker school but after going through the finances aspect of it, it was just a bit out of our reach. Affording half of the tuition wasn’t the problem, but affording the other half was going to put us in the ‘How badly do we need to eat dinner tonight?’

The STEM school was the second choice because of its California Distinguished School certification and plus, they’re all things math and science. We felt that would’ve been a great fit for Bear.

But then a funny thing happened – Bear is into all things arts – music, painting, dancing, and just a bit of acting.

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Makeshift picnic in our backyard

He loves to explore his creative side, and as a result, we love to explore it with him. We keep pictures of his artwork all over the home and we constantly do painting and creative sessions at home.

We also introduce Bear to some great music. Maks introduced Bear to Ukrainian rock music while I play a lot of old R&B such as The O’Jays, Temptations, and Four Tops at home. And of course, Bear’s namesake – Michael Jackson.

Bear constantly sings and dances at home and also at school. Even when he’s with his friends, they do dance parties. At first, I wondered if us choosing an arts school was the right fit just because it’s a public school and the class sizes are significantly bigger than what Bear is used to.

However, we think it’ll be the best fit since the school is arts-centered and that’s something Bear is rather passionate about. I think having two parents who are also creatives, brought out the creative side within Bear.

It’s still a concern about the class sizes, though.  I decided to incorporate some homeschooling lessons to ensure Bear is getting the right amount of education in addition to what he’s being taught. If you follow me on IG, I occasionally post lesson plans I do with Bear.

We learn his letters and numbers (writing), spelling his name, and I’m teaching him Spanish in addition to Ukrainian. We also do a lot of outside activities and take advantage we have a backyard to do them in.

I’m still uneasy at the thought Bear won’t get too much attention in kindergarten with a class of 25+ other students, but I can also be assured with the lessons we currently have will soothe his transition.

So, yeah, there you have it. Bear’s going to an Arts school. We’ll see if it’s a success or if we’ll be choosing another one. I have a feeling, however, it’ll be the right fit for Bear.

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