Last night, I barfed my brains out almost literally, while my kids barfed next to me. We apparently had a freakish stomach flu. The next day, I was supposed to co-teach a Social Media for Hairstylists class at VAIN, and had to cancel, which disappointed the shit out of me.
Needless to say, the girls stayed home from school and we found ourselves feeling slightly under the weather and also stir-crazy and bored with the meak menagerie of crafting supplies at home. So, I took them to the BABE CAVE! It was the kids first official studio day with mom.
I had to set some initial ground rules……No bickering, no negativity, breathing through frustration, etc…..The Cave is a sacred creative space, after all. They agreed, after a bit of backtalk.
When we got their, I pulled out my craft kit, and the girls dove into the hair chalk. I found this artist chalka couple years ago that is made for art but perfect for hair, and it is cheap and easy to find. The kids are obsessed with it.
Fully chalked, the girls moved on to other projects. Marley made Goddess Eyes with yarn and sticks, ( Which was the PERFECT start to finish project for a creative 8 year old)
and Selah………..Selah. First she rubbed my crystals all over her face for a while.
Then, she directed me through the construction of a terrifying pony doll named ‘Nightmare Moon,’ a project which consisted of me cutting out a winged-pony out of a doubled up old t-shirt that Marley had previously tie-dyed,
digging around in my beautifully chaotic thread box to choose thread to sew it with,
sewing it together and then sewing yarn hair on it,
then violently stuffing lumpy beans down it’s extremities hoping it wouldn’t explode, and then……… loving it entirely for it’s perfect weirdness. Pinterest, you won’t see this pony within your beautifully refined DIY’s.
All in all, I would say it was a good day considering it was a flu day.
Hope you all are enjoying your June, (without the flu.)
I know this is a hair blog, babes. But every once in a while when something stirs me enough…..a person, a story etc…..I feel the need to share it with you. This is one of those instances.
A few months ago, a beautiful woman sat down in my hair chair for the first time. She was getting her hair done for the first time since enduring a hellacious twin pregnancy and birthing two perfect babies, a boy and a girl.
As I did her hair, she told me her story of how she decided to have babies on her own, without a partner. What she described about her life and choices was both captivating and empowering.
I mentioned towards the end of our time together that I am working on building my photography portfolio, and she excitedly said she had been looking to find someone to take candid shots of her and her babies.
2 weeks later, we embarked on a photo shoot which involved her and I, her incredible newborns, a team of women on hand to distract, hold, prop up, feed, and swaddle the babes as needed, several important family heirlooms for props, and torrential rainfall.
Her photos turned out gorgeous, and really conveyed her dark, beautiful powerful sorceress-ness contrasted by the sweet innocence of her babies. After we shot, I asked her if she would let me ask her some questions for an HTHG interview, and she obliged.
Friends, I give you Charla Pereira…..Mother, Badass, Boss lady, Doing it Her Way.
Charla…Where did you come from, where did your parents come from, and how did you end up here. I am quite a few things – Portuguese, Anglo-Indian, Romanian gypsy, Ukrainian, German – the babies now also have Croatian and Scottish to add to the mix – my dad was born in India / Calcutta / my mum in Canada / she is first generation Canadian. I was born and raised in Canada as well. My grandfather always said that my widows peak made me a seer. The gypsy in me goes where I want, do what I want and create my world how I want it. You are a designer at Microsoft? Tell me a bit about how you landed there and what you like about designing. I am a Senior Design Manager at Microsoft Studios Canada, I eat the world with my eyes, I want everything in the world to be easier, prettier, and more fun. I have painted the world around me since I can remember and before that. Microsoft has allowed me to work on projects that excite me and make me feel like I am able to bring the future to life. What is your superpower, as a woman/mother? HMMMMM – I don’t know. I think all woman are in general super heroes in so much – If I were to say what everyone says to me about how I am it is that I know my babies instinctively – again I believe all women of course do – I think it goes back to my deep watching of the world around me – in a sense it is photographic to everything around me – but its deeper, its emotional not just physical.
Knowing peoples emotions before they know them and having the same reaction to my children that way – I love being able to know them better than anything in the world. It’s something everyone always notices about me – how my empathy mixed with my seeing abilities creates this ability to see into peoples energies, needs, and how I can help them.
You decided to have babies without a partner. Tell me a little bit about that choice, and why you are glad you made it. I’m more than glad I made it!! I have been married, been in love, plan to be again but wanted to be put my energy, love and effort into having children rather than a relationship at this time. These babies are perfect. I knew that the universe wanted me to have children – I knew in my heart and soul.
I don’t believe you need a partner to have the things you want and thank goodness for technology you don’t need one to have a baby either. I also think it comes to seeing others so unhappy in their relationships, what happens to those relationships when you have children etc. I didn’t want to chance that – I wanted babies and I wanted them to be all mine. Mostly having a partner is not a priority for me. Before kids the priority was me, my work, my art and then it just morphed into wanting children to share it. I was struck by the support you have in your team of women who have help you with your babies. SO cool. Describe a typical day/night with you and the babies and your crew of ladies? I had the worst pregnancy ever. Hospital and almost losing them, bedrest for 6 months, nerve damage, diabetes and a list of other crap – my mother, the most amazing woman is to be praised for keeping us alive. I am so grateful for these amazing ladies, friends, and mothers coming to my aid and giving me and the babies love and compassion. I was so lucky to have the doula that I have, Angie Dobbins-Frisbee. She has been available day and night, supported me with breast feeding the twins, making enough milk, sleeping a little.
She introduced me to a team of doulas that helped me around the clock to make sure the little babies were able to thrive and I didn’t die in the process. I don’t think that there is anything better than the energy of woman, young old and in-between, around babies. The nurturing, support, understanding and love that just comes out – watching this for me has been so amazing – you can feel this strong woman energy all around. It’s really beautiful.
A typical day for us is nothing typical, everything changes! I observe how they are that day and how I can make that day the best day ever for them – and not die of sleep deprivation in the process! Obviously you have NO TIME to spend right now on your hair, but I’m curious…..What is your general hair MO? Ponytail everyday, no wash?
My hair is long, up and away from being pulled lol – but always a part of me to express my creative side…….when I have the time.
Charla, we salute you! Thank you for sharing your story with us and empowering us with your experience. I look forward to shooting more photos of you and those sweet babies some day.
The other night, we had tea and braids night at my house. It was an excuse to quietly bond with my kids before bedtime. It doesn’t happen often that we get to hang out together, quietly doing projects. Key word quietly. My daughters know how to use their voices.
I have been teaching Marley to sew, a skill that I have collected in tidbits from both my parents, and both my grandmothers. My mom and her mom were very dedicated to following patterns. My dad and his mom were quite bold when it came to winging it and sewing by hand.
I consider my rudimentary sewing skills to be some of the most treasured practical skills that I have. Marley can now thread a needle, knot the thread, make stitches, and tie off the stitches at the end. I recently tried to throw away a tattered old pair of her underwear that had holes, but she insisted on mending them instead. She now proudly wears them, and I proudly pretend I am Caroline Wilder, raising pioneer children. Next stop, making balloons out of pig-bladders to play with. Simple pleasures!
Also, Marley mended a gaping hole in one of her favorite blankets, then tore out the stitches, deciding she liked it much better with the hole.
While she sewed, I brushed and braided her hair, which is like fine spiders silk but as dense and pale as pound cake. In the back ground, an uninterested fairy with droopy wings pretended to be the princess of the puppies.
For fun, I wrapped Marley’s dutch braid into a bun and pinned it with my incredible long steel 2 prong pins that I am obsessed with. I get them from an online shop called Mennonite Maidens. You should seriously check these chicks out.
Do you have daughters or long haired sons? Tea and Braids is a lovely evening-time bonding tradition for children and their parents. My girls love having braids in their hair, and then mermaid-y waves for the days following.
This post is dedicated to my mom, Ann. She has taught me many things and I have taught her many things back. She used to braid my hair into 2 french braids and it was pure heaven. So thanks, mom, for everything. And happy mothers day to all the mamas out there! I hope you have planned something nice for yourself to celebrate mothers day this year.
I took Selah to the playground today. It was peak playground time in Seattle. First sunny week of spring, 10 AM on a Wednesday. The place was crawling with moms. I got to thinking about mom hair.
Like all the other urban modern moms, I promised myself that I would keep my look together after having kids. I abandoned that promise about 5 months into my first pregnancy, when yoga pants and hoodies won out over cute vintage maternity dresses and designer jeans. I promised myself that I wouldn’t drive a mini-van. I promised myself I wouldn’t have a pancake butt and mom hair.
As I watched the children play, ( AKA studied the mom hair in action) I realized that not only do I have a mini-van, ( Not that cute VW bus behind the mini-van) but I also have mom hair. And it is not so bad. It is just a messy ponytail/top-knot, natural textured fuss free simple easy hair.
1. Tired of looking and feeling tired? Try bangs! They are an instant style pick me up and they are easy to DIY!
2. Make sure your hair routine suits your lifestyle. Are you spending more time than you would like trying to get your hair to behave? Maybe it is time for a hair consciousness shift. Free the beast. Work with what you have, not against it. Maybe it is time to try ShamPHree-ing.
4. If you color, stick with shades that flatter you. If you are stuck in a color rut and have been getting the same bleach highlights for the last 10 years, consider transitioning to a more low-maintenance color process.
5. Search high and low for a hairdresser that understands your taste and lifestyle. Ask around, search the internet, stop people on the street.
6. Have fun with your hair! This website alone has nearly a hundred easy DIY hairstyles for all hair types that can be done in 5 minutes or less with nothing but a couple of bobby pins and some small elastics. Even a small accent braid in your top-knot goes a long way. Experiment with DIY hairstyles. Try HTHG’s Tired Mama Braids!
What I saw at the playground today was a lot of moms who would rather be at the park with their kids than messing with their hair. I am grateful that mom hair has evolved from the days of that terrible mom-bob fashioned by Martha Stewart. Aren’t you?