Hawkeye flashback!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Hawkeye football starts tomorrow! I love it, I love it, I love it. And in honor of that love, here's a little flashback for you from the first time we took the boys to the football complex and got a tour from Uncle Chic. The boys are so darn cute, and if we can brainwash them enough, they'll be Hawkeyes one day themselves. (Just kidding. Maybe.) Go Hawks!

 With grandma and the Orange Bowl trophy.

 In the weight room. Working on some guns.  Julian is more like, "Why is there a giant rock in the middle of this walkway?".

 Julian in his 3 point stance in the Hawkeye stadium locker rooms. This photo is EPIC. 

 Isaiah not impressed by being in the press box with Uncle Chic.

Isaiah judging the locker room.

Isaiah practicing sprints on the field. 

 Isaiah imagining himself in his helmet one day.

 Becoming best friends with Herky. 

Doing some leg work in the bubble.

Weighing-in in the practice locker rooms. 30 pounds! 

 Julian learning how to tackle. 

 Getting everyone pumped before they run down the tunnel.

THE SWARM! Running out of the tunnel lol. 

pretty things to look at.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Since the boys have been going to preschool 5 mornings a week, I've set some big goals for myself and my etsy shop. I want to be able to use this time to work. Working at home is so hard for me. There are distractions literally everywhere. That pile of clothes that needs put away. Last night's dishes still on the counter (and table, whoops). These and about elevnety hundred other things and a silent, kid free house, just call to me to get it done while I can. And then I end up not having enough time to really do what I want to with my business.

I've been asked so many times what I'm going to do when the boys start school full time. My etsy shop? I really want it to be what I do full time. I want to keep creating, pushing myself and my skills. I've never been happier in a job than when I'm working for myself. Right now I'm pushing myself to expand my skills and to put myself out there with new products. 

I've been working more on quilts the past few weeks and scouring the all-might Pinterest for some inspiration. I thought I'd share with you all what I've been loving on.

This perfectly simple and neutral quilt. 

This fun herringbone pattern.

This AMAZING Vintage Modern quilt. The colors! 

Yes on every level to this.

And of course, I love me a good colorful quilt

on having and raising children in a beautiful multiracial family

Friday, August 22, 2014

With all of the current events bringing race to the forefront of our consciousness as a country lately, I've been inundated with so many emotions I've never really known how to deal with or how to express. My husband and I have had our fair share of issues to overcome being in an interracial relationship and marriage. However, I feel like we've been sheltered in a way from how negative the world can really be. As events in Ferguson and around the country escalate and I find myself confused and afraid for what we haven't experienced yet as an interracial family and what lies ahead for our little tan skinned boys. 

Chikezie and I met in college at Iowa, not exactly where you'd expect to see buddings of many interracial families. Although we went through a few uncomfortable situations or garnered more stares than any other average couple, to me it never really felt like us being together was a big deal. To me, he's always been just Chikezie. Yes, he's a black man, but I just don't really think about it. We've been together for so long it just doesn't even register to me what other people think about us. He's my husband, I'm his wife, we're just different colors; like any other couple with different colored hair or eyes.  
When the boys were in my belly I'd often wonder how dark or light their skin would be. Maybe they'd both be different shades. Would their hair be light or dark? And their eyes? Probably brown like ours. We chose to give them both two middle names. One representing their Nigerian heritage and one passed down from an uncle on both sides of the family. We wanted them to always be proud of the mix of cultures they represented. One thing was for sure, how they would experience their lives from a racial standpoint, would be nothing like how we experienced our lives. They wouldn't be white or black, they'd experience their lives as biracial men. How do you prepare your children for something you've never experienced?

In their 4 short years of life I've had a few situations that really opened my eyes to what other people see when they look at my babies and me. I'm almost always asked by strangers if the boys are mine. Shortly after I'm asked in a round about way what color their dad is. I kid you not, this is almost every time someone stops me to talk because of the boys. You know, because it really matters to a stranger what race this child is that they're looking at. I try to take it in stride and not get ruffled by their somewhat offensive curiosity. Once in a check out line at Target a woman straight up told me my kids didn't look like mine, they looked Mexican. (I then told her the race of my children was none of her business and that she should be ashamed of herself. And I was applauded by the people in line behind me.) I don't get so angry now because I can protect the boys from this. They don't understand yet and I can shield them from others' insensitivity. 
As they get older and this issue of race starts to bubble to the surface again, I'm afraid. Since they've been born, especially now - we live in an extremely diverse area. Our friends are all different colors. The boys are constantly surrounded by a rainbow of different cultures, languages, colors. But I start to think about how or when do we teach them about who they are? As they grow up, I know we will always reinforce to them that they aren't just one thing. They are so much more than the sum of their colors. 

I'm most afraid of how society will choose to label our sweet boys. If their future is anything like what it is in this country now, I'm terrified that we won't prepare them for what they could face. Do we tell our kids all of the negative things that they could face based on the color of their skin or do we continue to teach them to be confident in who they are and not worry about what other people think? 

It will happen. At some point, someone is going to say something highly offensive to them, whether it's other kids on the playground, or a school bully, or some dick-of-a-person when they're older. It breaks my heart to think about this but at the same time it feels like such a huge responsibility to create and help mold these little beings of change. When the going gets tough, will they truly understand that people who judge others are only doing so as a reflection of their own fear and insecurities? How they react in the future to being judged by the color of their skin will be a telling staple of the kind of men they'll become.

How the rest of the world teaches their children to act toward people of all colors will be the base of how all of our children's futures will be. Don't say you don't see color. Diminishing our differences will never help us to accept and embrace them. Teach your children to see color, to see a whole rainbow of colors. And teach them that all of those colors are beautiful in their own way but all just the exact same thing; they're all just colors. If we don't start changing how we think about and speak to each other, my children are going to grow up in a world where things like this happen, and I don't think there's a thing we can do to prepare our beautiful boys for that. 

Life Lately.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I feel like we've been moving in fast forward this summer. How are we nearing the end of August already? I feel like it literally just started, but when I try to think back to the beginning of the month it feels like so long ago. Time, I do not understand you. (insert Hootie and the Blowfish song here)

Here's a little bit of what we've been up to in the past few weeks via Instagram.

Our neighborhood had it's yearly ice cream social. The boys chowed on some ice cream and played with these other boys that live on our street. We live on a small cul de sac and only 2 other families with kids. One of the other families is another set of twin boys! They speak mostly French so it was hilarious to watch them interact with the boys. 

*On a side note- I took some old clothes and toys over to their messily-beared, strong french accent father (he looks like a gray haired version of Santa lol) the following day and he answered the door in his extremely tight underwear and continued to stand there and talk to me in the driveway in them like it wasn't a thing. It. Was. Weird.

The boys started at the new Montessori preschool by our house. It's only 4-5 blocks away so on days I don't have errands to run after I drop them off, I can take them over there on the bike. They go 5 mornings a week now instead of the 3 mornings they were doing at their old preschool. They've been going for a week and a half and it's amazing. They love it there so much, they often don't notice or care that I'm there to pick them up and when I drop them off there hasn't been a single tear. Often times they don't even stop to hug me before they're off to play. I was nervous about the transition, and it's a little more expensive than their last preschool but it has been amazing so far. Really a decision I'm happy we made for them.

They sat completely silent looking through color books for a good 10 minutes. This needed to be documented and I'll never forget it. Complete silence is like a unicorn. 

We got a piano! Best purchase of the year. The boys love it, love singing and playing songs on it. I've spent so much time at it this week just trying to get myself back up to speed since it's been so long since I played. My hands and wrists are tired but our hearts are full of music. 

We took the boys to the circus. (And had fantastic box seats thanks to a work friend.) I'm never quite sure how I feel about the circus and haven't been since I was little...but we had the opportunity so we went. The boys really liked it and ate their weight in popcorn. I left feeling a little guilty and depressed. Not sure we'll take them again. 

I used the dirty piano box to make the boys a fort. They loved it. There's about a million Pinterest tutorials on how to make these super intense cardboard box forts for your kids that require lots of money and time to create. Come on, it's a cardboard box. I cut a hole in it, used the cardboard from the hole and made a sign. Done. 




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