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Haiti Reunion 2009

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This past weekend we were at our beloved Pennsylvania Haitian Adoptive Families Reunion. We get together with these families twice a year. Once in the summer for the big reunion, and in the winter for the Christmas Party. These annual get-togethers are, for us, sincerely two of the highlights of our year each year. The only way I can think to describe it is that it is like a glorious deep breath. Really, though, I know that it is something indescribable — seeing what happens when these kids get together, and feeling what happens when these families get together — and I know I really can’t do it justice in writing, so I’m not even going to try to explain. But every family there understands. And that camaraderie and that kinship is something that is truly invaluable for each and every one of us. And that spirit helps to carry us through to the next get-together.

More photos are here.

2nd Annual Pennsylvania-Area Haiti-Adoptive-Families Christmas Party!!!

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Yesterday was a huge day. We went to Winter Fair at the boys’ school — which was just as magical and amazing as last year (I wrote about it last year in this post). We left early to hurry home to host, what is, for Kyle and Owen, truly, The Event of the Season. Our 2nd annual Pennsylvania-Area Haiti-Adoptive-Families Christmas Party. As I’ve been uploading the photos, I’ve been sitting here at my computer trying hard to think of how to write about it in a way that would do it justice. I was at a loss. Then I just went back and read my post from last year’s “Haiti Christmas Party” (as K & O call it), and I can’t think of any way to say it better than I did there. So, all I’ve gotta say is: DITTO to that post. This year we had 57 people, 37 of which were kids. There was a moment when we had a big group of them in the playroom all singing Jingle Bells. It was crazy, but it was also beautiful on so many levels. What an incredibly, incredibly good time was had. I feel like it is really Christmas now.

(O & K, unwinding from the party, watching Curious George after everyone left)

Top Ten: Readers’ Favorite Posts from Our 2nd Year of Blogging


  1. The “Adoption Stuff” Post (…and the controversy it caused!)
  2. Top 10: K & O In Unsupervised Moments
  3. The Hypothetical Game (boys in tutus)
  4. Happy New Year! (Heather’s Pregnant!) and then, in May, finally… Meera Grace is Born! Birth Stories… by Heather, by Braydon, by MorMor, by MorFar
  5. K & O become Big Brothers— especially: Pinky and Thumb and “We’re Your Big Brothers!” and Kyle’s relationship with Meera and Owen’s relationship with Meera
  6. Quotes from K & O— for example, this post and this post
  7. Braydon’s Videos (see sidebar) & Braydon’s Posts— especially: “Steel Gossamer” and “Home Coming” and “Forest of Kitchens”
  8. J-M Trips and Travels— vaca’s from this year of blogging include Arizona in Nov; NH in Dec; Sand Key Florida in Feb; Baltimore in April; PA Haiti Reunion 2008 in July; NH in Aug; Meera’s CT Baptism in Oct (note: photos from our trips are always posted in multiple posts immediately following the Trip Post)
  9. Baracko!!!!
  10. French Kissing in the Grocery Store

(To see all of the favorite posts mentioned click on ‘comments’ from this post)

Thanks for reading y’all! Cheers to another fun year of blogging!

Haiti Reunion 2008

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This past weekend we went to the 5th Annual Pennsylvania Haitian Adoptive Families Reunion — We’ve been waiting a whole year for this (since attending it last year; click here). In December we hosted a mid-year Christmas Party (click here), but the summer reunion is the real deal… and a year is a long time to wait!!! 14 families attended this year and it was just as amazing as we had been anticipating it to be for the past twelve months! In addition to the reunion being a huge highlight of the year for us (truly: a Top Ten day of the year for our family, for sure), it was also our first little trip as a family of five. A long weekend away. Everyone kept telling me that I was absolutely crazy to take a seven week old baby on a trip like this, but we were determined to not miss the Haiti Reunion no matter what. Meera travelled really well — the long road trip, the 2-night hotel stay, restaurants, etc. Despite the fact that the reunion day was super hot (like, 100 degrees and humid with very little shade), she did great (and was held by just about everyone there it seems!) As for Kyle and Owen… well, I just don’t even know how to state how heavenly this reunion day was for them. They love the Haiti Reunion. Even though they are the youngest kids there (there were five 4 year olds there this year — all born within a month of each other! and two of the other 4 year olds are twin girls that were adopted from the same orphanage as K & O!), they jump right in and are taken right in. Watching these kids play, you’d never in a million years think that they only see each other once/twice a year. There is something special about it. Really, really special. And I’ve got to say, it is really nice to be around other families like ours… it feels like a nice deep sigh of relief. There is something really nice about being in the ‘norm’ for a day. The biggest thing I came away with this year, though, was the visceral first-hand reminder of the spirit of our (all of our) adopted Haitian kids. I hesitate to make huge generalizations, and of course there are always exceptions to the rule, but it cannot be denied: these Haitian-American children have a gusto in them like none other. There is a certain life force inside of them that just jumps out at you — especially when you see them all together and notice that it isn’t just a couple of them, it is all of them, it is a pattern. And it cannot be a coincidence. These kids are FULL OF IT (full of a spirit, a tenacity, an intensity, a fun-loving-life-affirming-sheer-determination-muscles-rippling-larger-than-life spirit) that just cannot be explained. It is a miracle to witness. A true miracle. For Kyle and Owen, the comfort and joy they find in their “Haiti friends” is absolutely indescribable. They play with them like they play with no others. And the comfort and joy that Braydon and I find in knowing that our fellow families are as committed as we are to getting together each year is indescribable too. There is a certain solace in it that is invaluable. There is just nothing like attending this reunion — nothing. The power of it runs so deep that it will keep us going ’till Christmas when we host the mid-year party again. Even still… next year’s reunion can’t come quick enough.

P.S. Some of the reunion attendees are readers of this blog– a big hello and thank you to you all! And an especially big thank you to Melissa and Monica for organizing another great reunion!

For more, click here and here.

PA Haitian Adoptive Families Reunion

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Look at the look on my Owen’s face
in the midst of this fun/chaotic/healthy/happy
gang of Haitian-American kids!
Could he be any happier???

This past weekend was one of our best family experiences ever. We have had many amazing family experiences in the past 2.5 years, and this one was right up there. We spent the weekend together with 14 other families at the 4th Annual Pennsylvania Haitian Adoptive Families Reunion. Before going I thought, “Wow, only 14 other families in PA??? What a sad statement?!!!” And it is a sad statement — only about 150 Haitian kids are currently adopted into the U.S. each year… and that is not for lack of kids to be adopted… that is for lack of U.S. families adopting them. Anyway– I don’t want to get up on my soapbox about that so I’ll stop there. So, I must say: although collectively we were only 14 families from the entire state of Pennsylvania… 14 families can go a looong way. 14 families with super exuberant, happy, healthy, well-adjusted, thriving Haitian Adoptees can go a looooooong, looooooooooong. loooooooooooooooong way. And when you’re Kyle and Owen… and the kids from those 14 families are all super energetic/active/running-non-stop/happy/lovely kids… and those 14 families are all smack in the middle of an outdoorsy woodsy camp — complete with pond and playground — well, suffice it to say, K & O were in their glory.

The point of this Reunion is for us in Pennsylvania to get our families together for a weekend; to share in a way that, realistically, when you’re a Haitian Adoptive Family, you can really only share with other families just like your own. It is a unique kind of family. It is special in certain ways. It is challenging in certain ways. It is miraculous in every way. It was really special to be able to talk openly with other parents who have gone through and/or are going through similar experiences as us. And it was really special to watch our boys PLAY. ALL. WEEKEND. LONG. with all these wonderful kids who have life histories so similar to their own. Kids who were born in Haiti. Kids who survived in Haitian orphanages. Kids who were adopted. Kids who know resiliency. Kids who know transcendence. I could write forever about the past weekend, but instead I’ll just let the photos do the talking. It was hard to choose just 14 photos because we have so many beautiful ones. I will leave it to you to take from these photos what you will. There is a lot to see in them. I will only say this: each of these kids have an intense look in their eyes, an intense history, an intense engagement with their world, an intense zest for life. All of these things are familiar to me because I recognize it in my Kyle and Owen too. Spending the weekend together with these families really was spectacular, invigorating, affirming, and rejuvenating… especially for K & O. For all of you reading who were there—– thank you. We cannot wait for next year.

for more, click here, and here.

(click to see any photo larger)

PA Haitian Adoptive Families Reunion – K & O’s Favorites

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The whole weekend was one huge highlight for Kyle and Owen, but when we try to break it all down with them (try to help them process it all — it was a lot for a three year old to take in!), it is clear from our conversations that there were three major highlights that really stood out. From Kyle and Owen’s perspectives the top three highlights of the 4th Annual Haitian Adoptive Families Reunion were: Tenting, Tabitha, and Together

The reunion was at a campground – we tented as a family for the very first time! It was awesome. We all four absolutely loved it. I wasn’t so sure how it would go, but I never should have even questioned it — the boys are game for anything, anytime, any place. And as always, they did not disappoint. The boys were totally into it. They loved sleeping in the tent. Absolutely loved it. Both woke up (at 9am!!!) with huge cozy cuddly smiles on their faces. Today they spent a lot of time talking about “the tent!” and “sleeping in the tent!” and how “it was soooo dark in the tent!” and “it was sooooo fun in the tent!” This was our first tenting experience, but definitely not our last.


Or, as the boys say it, “Ta-vik-a.” Oh my goodness. The boys (Owen especially) adored her. Tabitha was one of many kids at the reunion. But for K & O, she stood out in the crowd. And I can see why. What a gorgeous, sweetheart, fun-loving, super-sporty-super-wonderful girl?!!! The boys couldn’t get enough of her and stuck to her like glue. As soon as they’d lose sight of her for a minute they’d start persistently asking, “Where is my friend Ta-vik-a???” until they’d find her again and off-and-running they’d all go. Luckily, Ta-vik-a has more than enough energy to keep up with the two of them. She’s an extroverted energy force in her own right. And she definitely kept them laughing and on their toes. As our little family was going to bed Saturday night, lying in the tent, here were Owen’s last words before he fell asleep: “Mommy, I love my new friend Tavika. I love her. She is so beautiful. She is so nice. She is black like me. She is so gentle. She is so soft. I love her mommy, I love her.” As he drifted off to sleep all I could think of was, “God help me (and all the Tabithas of the world) when this boy is sixteen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Last night, at home, when I was getting Kyle ready for bed he said to me, “Mama, I miss Tavika. Tavika is at her own house in her own bed crying because she misses me mama. I need to see her. I miss her.” All day long today the boys talked on and on about “TAVIKA!!!” At one point they even were pretending to be talking with Tavika on the telephone. I have assured them repeatedly that I did, indeed, get Tabitha’s parents’ phone number and we have plans to try to get together sometime soon.

When you ask the boys what their favorite part of the “Haiti Reunion” was they say “together! the slide all together!” I know what they are talking about because I happened to see this happening and ran over to take some photos of it. A ton of kids were all riding down the playground slide together one right after another over and over and over. They’d purposefully make a huge big pile-up at the bottom… all laughing hysterically and dramatically the whole time. It was priceless. I’m glad I caught some photos of it because it really truly was K & O’s top highlight of the entire weekend. And from the photos you can see why…

Kyle & Owen’s Dreadlocks

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Kyle & Owen’s Dreadlocks
Locs. Dreds. Dreadlocs. Natural hair.
Nappy Hair. Perfect Hair. Black is beautiful.

Well, I’m finally going to do it. I’m finally going to blog about my boyz’ hair. I have held off on this for a long time for two reasons: 1) for me, this is a supremely personal and intimate topic, and 2) I really hate to take the risk of being perceived as a white mother who thinks she’s all that because she does her kids’ hair herself [or thinks she’s an expert on black hair because she has some experience with two black kids’ heads]. For goodness sake!– Black women (and men!) have been doing black hair forever! And maintaining two kids’ hair by no means makes me an expert! Pleeeaaaase!!! However, I have to say… that since I started this blog in October questions about K & O’s hair have been streaming in non-stop. And when we’re out and about in the world their hair is by far the biggest subject that people approach us about, question us about, and talk with us about. Hair, hair, hair. All hair, all the time. Since we got the boys in January ’05 black hair has become a major (and I do mean MAJOR) part of my life. And doing their hair has become a major (and I do mean MAJOR) part of my identity as a mom to black boys. So, at the risk of exposing my children and myself too much, and at the risk of having some people out there think I’m a white-girl-who-thinks-too-much-of-herself… Here goes.

I am going to put it out there. My primary motivating factor is this: It turns out that quite a number of white folks who have adopted (or are in the process of adopting, or are thinking about adopting) black kids read our blog. Some of these people would like to loc their kids’ hair and need help, support, advice, information. And I want to support those people and their kids. There are lots of resources out there on the web (just type “dreadlocks” into google and start browsing!!!), so by no means take this post as any kind of expert advice. I’m just a white woman who has learned to do dreadlocks! Having given all those caveats… Here we go!

Katie, Dawnz, and all the rest of you who have emailed me, anonymously contacted me, and posted comments about the boys’ hair on our blog… This one’s for you! :)

We had received photos of the boys starting from when they were age two weeks. It was always striking in the photos how — even at age 2 weeks — they already both had very full heads of very nappy hair. I had some experience doing black hair because of the six years we helped care for our special kid-friend in Boston, Maria. And I knew enough about black culture to know how important hair-care is, and how many black people (all over the world!) think that cutting a boy’s hair before he’s one or two is bad luck. I knew that I was going to want to keep Kyle and Owen’s hair long at least until their first birthday. And I knew it was going to be a big undertaking.

When we first got the boys their hair was in bad shape. In their eight months of life their hair hadn’t ever been cut, but hadn’t been well cared for either. It was very dry and brittle. Some of it was breaking off or falling out in places. There were chunks of bald spaces on their scalps. And the back half of Owen’s head was entirely bald. The hair they did have was very long (did I mention, it had never been cut?!?!). Our first job was to revitalize their hair and get it healthy.

In the first year we had the boys, I think we probably tried just about every hair conditioning product out there! (not really, but we tried a lot of them!!) We never really settled on one that we absolutely adored. I started braiding their hair, doing knots on their hair, and doing twists on their hair. I never perfected the art of cornrows. But I had a wonderful student — Jessica Brown — who was a gifted braider! Other than me, she’s the only person outside of Haiti who’s ever braided the boys’ hair. She braided it twice. I absolutely loved how the boys looked with cornrows!

I’d re-do the boys’ hair every 2-6 weeks. In between “styles” we’d leave the hair out and the boys had the cutest little afros you ever did see! But their hair is super kinky, super nappy, super tight. It matts up instantly. If we left it out, it would be napped up within a couple hours. So I kept it braided up or twisted up almost always. Everybody’s favorite “look” was when I’d do the boys’ hair in twists. The boys just looked so cute in them! And I loved the “carefree” and “loose” look of them on the boys. Their first birthday came and went. And I could not even bear to think about cutting their hair. But the boys were getting older and more active and sitting still for hours on end every couple weeks was starting to get real old real fast. So, I started thinking seriously about dreadlocks.
Locs are a big deal. They are permanent. Once you do it, the only way to take them out is to shave the head. Locs involve a lot of work and maintenance. It is a huge commitment. But I loved the idea of dreds for so many reasons. My biggest hesitation was that there are people who think you should not do locs on kids since it is making a permanent decision about their identity for them. I struggled with it and thought about it and talked with a lot of people about it. In the end, my logic went something like this… I want my boys to have natural hair, but I don’t want to shave it; I want my boys to embrace their ‘black is beautiful roots’ (so to speak) and be proud of their gorgeous nappy black hair, but I don’t want to make their life miserable for many hours every couple weeks just for the sake of “beauty”; I love the look of locs… and I love what they can represent (such as pride, embracing blackness, confident identity)… and while yes, of course my boys are too young to make this choice for themselves, as parents we all make all sorts of decisions for our children all the time that reflect our own values/politics/identities. We put our own ‘stuff’ on our kids all the time. It is unavoidable. And, I figured that down the road, if the boys decided to, they can shave their heads and have short hair. Once I started to get really serious about the idea of potentially locking their hair I talked a lot about it with one of my best friends from college, Roxann, who has gorgeous tremendously long locs. She strongly supported me and thought I should go for it. That was just exactly the support I needed. And I decided we were going to loc up the boyz’ hair. It is one of the best parenting decisions we could have made.
Here are the top ten questions I receive, and my answers to them:
1) Who does their hair?
Their mama does!
2) How long have they had locs? / How old were they when they started with locs?
We started Kyle and Owen’s dreadlocks on January 7, 2006. They were exactly 20 months old.
3) Who started their locs? Do you have a loctician?
I started their locs. We’ve never used a loctician.
4) How did you start their locs?
This is a big project and you need to do a lot of research on this! It would take me a long time to try to explain and/or “teach” someone how to do locs. There are lots and lots of different techniques that people use. But basically, we started with twists and just kept twisting. I started with a free-form look (not perfectly spaced, not all the same size, not too tiny twists) because Kyle and Owen are real “boys’ boys” and we did not want the look of their locs to be too “formal” or too “feminine” looking.
5) How do you maintain their locs?
To maintain dreadlocs you have to keep twisting and re-twisting them. About a month or two after starting their locs, I convinced Braydon to help me and taught him to re-twist. :) Yes! My husband is awesome! He may be the only white dad in America who maintains his twin toddler black boyz’ locs! :) For the first year we re-twised every week or two. In January of this year, after a full year, we started to go a bit longer- we’re now re-twisting every 3-4 weeks or so. Re-twisting locks (for us, at least) involves washing the hair, and then while it is still wet, using a pomade or wax or moisturizer of some sort and twisting up the hair to the scalp with it. Then we use hair pins to hold the twists tight. Once the whole head is re-twisted we use a hair dryer to dry the hair. Then take the clips out. Ta-da! Hair done! From start-to-finish this process (not including the bath) takes about 45-60 minutes per child. Braydon and I do it together — always on a Sunday night. We each take a kid (we trade off each time because I do a better job of re-twisting, so I rotate between each kid each time). We sit on the floor and the boys eat and watch videos while we re-twist. It has become a major family bonding time for us. We have all four come to actually really like this time together “doing hair.”
6) How do you get them to sit still while you do their hair?
Videos, food, lollipops, whatever it takes!!!!!!!! But the truth is that they’ve been having their hair done forever, so they don’t know any different. And they are really pretty good about it!
7) What hair products do you use for their locs? (note: see “P.S.” at the bottom of this post)
I started their dreadlocks with Murray’s 100% Pure Australian Beeswax (note: see *** at bottom of post re: beeswax), and then we re-twisted every week or two with that for the first year. Beginning this past January (a full year after the start of their dreds) we began using BB Maximum Strength Super Gro Conditioner with Vitamin E to re-twist. In addition, every day we put Motions At Home Oil Sheen & Conditioning Hair Spray (the boys’ favorite – they love it because it is a big bright yellow aerosol can and they love the spraying!!), or Kemi-Oyl (my favorite because it is an incredibly incredibly awesome product; I consider it to be “liquid gold”!) in their hair.
8) What other products do you use for their hair and skin?
I have tried tons and tons of products! Seriously, so many!!!! Here I am listing my absolute tried-and-true favorites…
Pre-Locs: Originally, before we started the dreds our goal was to get their hair as healthy as possible. Our favorite rinse out conditioner (in bath, after shampoo) was Dark and Lovely Beautiful Beginnings Conditioner. The best leave-in-conditioner I found for them was Pink Oil Moisturizer Hair Lotion. An airline attendant told me about it once on a plane – she said it was all that she used and all she ever used on her own daughter and it is “the best!” I tried it and instantly fell in love with it (after trying just about every other oil moisturizer out there!!!) We used Pink daily when their hair was “out” (i.e., in a ‘fro). For doing twists (before we started the dreds) my favorite product was Organic Root Stimulator Natural Hair Care Lock & Twist Gel Pre-Mixed Creme Formula. Our absolute favorite product was Just For Me Foaming Braid Release — it worked miracles in helping us with the huge project of taking their braids out!!!
Bath: Kyle and Owen love the bath. In addition to lots of bubble bath liquid (of course!!), to their bath water we add either Ginseng Miracle Wonder 8 Oil or Booth’s Shea Butter Cream Bath. We’re not picky about soaps and use whatever is around.
Shampoo: Absolute best of the best (in my opinion!!!) — Creme of Nature Professional Detangling & Conditioning Shampoo Extra Body Formula. This is all we use now. We are currently washing their hair about once per week.
Skin: Aquaphor Original Ointment on their faces and hands every single night; Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Cream or Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Lotion or Proclaim Cocoa & Shea Butter Lotion all over their bodies every couple of days.
Other: We are dedicated with serious humidifiers in the boys’ rooms that run every night.
9) Where do you buy all of these products?
I buy these at either Sally Beauty Supply, Eckerd Drugstore, or our regular grocery store pharmacy section. In all of these places they have pretty good “black hair and skin care products” sections (at least where we live).
10) How did you learn to do all this? Why did you decide to do locs? Do you have any regrets?
I learned from reading everything I could get my hands on (the internet was super helpful), and talking to everybody I possibly could. I learned that once you start talking openly with black people about black hair and black hair products you can talk for hours and hours and hours about it. I decided to do locs because I didn’t want to cut their hair and I like what dreadlocks represent. I don’t have any regrets. It was really hard last summer because we have a swimming pool and the boys were in it everyday — the chlorine is just HORRIBLE for their hair. That, plus the constant swimming, made keeping up with their locs an incredibly difficult challenge. There were times this past summer that their hair looked so bad that I was embarrassed for people to see it! But the flip side is that they had a great summer swimming in the pool! I seriously considered cutting it then, but we got through that, and I’m hoping that this summer is a little bit better since their locs are so much more dreaded up now. I’m so glad we have done dreads and I now truly cannot imagine Kyle or Owen with any other “look.” It has become so much a part of who they are.
EXTRA) One of my favorite parts about my boys’ dreadlocks is that their hair has never been cut and their life is in their locs ~~~ The tips of their locs are Haiti. Their birthmom touched that hair. The women in the orphanage braided that hair that is now napped up in the ends of those locs. About an inch up their locs is their coming home. In those locs is where we held them in our arms for the first time, and brought them from the heat of Haiti to the depths of a Pennsylvania winter. Their adoption is in there, our attachment, all of our time together, the good and the bad, every vacation and every sick day — it is all in their locs. The thick parts of their locs, close to their scalp, that’s their new growth – literally, and figuratively. I know it is hard for people who don’t understand locs, but for those who do—– well, they just get it. I’ll never have locs myself, but I’m glad I “get it” a little bit.
*** re: beeswax — I would really strongly not recommend using beeswax to start or maintain locs (too heavy/sticky and thus stuff gets caught in/on the locs). However… if you’re starting dreadlocks on a very young child (remember, we started K & O’s locs when they were just 20 months old)… then, in my own experience, you really don’t have a choice but to use beeswax. It is the only thing strong/heavy enough to hold up to the wear and tear of baby boys’ crazy lifestyle. K & O have always been extremely active and physical. They don’t care about keeping their hair pretty. They roll around on the lawn and in the sandbox, they splash like nuts in the bathtub, they wrestle each other like there is no tomorrow, and… when they were 20 months old (all the way up until they were about 2.5) they had a very bad habit of pulling each other’s hair/dreds as a way to lash out with anger/frustration. They also have always loved to touch their own hair and each other’s hair. Also, Kyle and Owen always refused to wear any kind of wrap/cap over their hair at night– so we were/are dealing with them sleeping with their hair freestyle. And, since they are such huge swimmers in the summer, and we have a swimming pool, and we don’t force them to wear swim caps, we’re also dealing with swimming freestyle. All of these things are not conducive to starting dreadlocs. And it is nearly impossible to get a 2 year old (at least our two two year olds) to be careful of their hair, not pull out their locs, not rub their head on the back of their carseat (or high chair, or pillow, or the carpet when they’re wrestling), etc., etc., etc. So… don’t use beeswax if you have a choice. But for us, it was really the only choice. If I was doing it all over again, and on much older kids, I’d choose to start locs with either Carol’s Daughter Loc Butter (click here), or Aveda Humectant Pomade (click here). We’re using the Loc Butter now and we love it (see P.S. below), and I’ve heard wonderful things about the Aveda Pomade for dreds.
P.S. to this post — As of summer 2007 we started using a whole new line of products for K & O’s hair… we bit the bullet and started using the seriously expensive kinds of stuff. And, sad but true: as with most things, you get what you pay for. We’re now full converts to Carol’s Daughter and Aveda. Carol’s Daughter (click here) products are our ***PANACEA***!!! Liquid (or lotion or oil) GOLD!!!!!!! Try it, you’ll like it!!! We’ve tried many, many of the Carol’s Daughter products and have loved them all. We mail-order them from online. Also, as of summer 2007, to shampoo and condition K & O’s hair we’re using Aveda Rosemary Mint Shampoo (click here), and Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment (click here). We have a salon nearby that sells the full line of Aveda products, so we buy them there. But you can also purchase Aveda online. For a related blog post, click here.
UPDATE as of November, 2007:
Our current hair-skin-care regiment goes something like this~~~
  • Shampoo & condition about once per week using Aveda Rosemary Mint Shampoo (click here), and Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment (click here). [Even if the boys have more baths we normally only wash their hair at most once per week.]
  • Carol’s Daughter Some of Marguerite’s Magic Cream Hairdress (click here) on damp hair after bath (even if hair has not been washed during that bath).
  • Carol’s Daughter Khoret Amen Hair Oil (click here) every 2-3 nights, on dry hair, before bed [this is especially important for Owen, whose hair has always been much more dry and brittle than Kyle’s].
  • Each morning before starting their day, we either spray on Carol’s Daughter Tui Jojoba & Shea Butter Hair Sheen (click here), or smooth on Carol’s Daughter Hair Balm (click here) to K & O’s locs.
  • As of now (fall, 2007) we can confidently say that both boys’ hair is finally fully 100% dredded [Owen’s hair, just because of its texture, took quite a bit longer to fully loc up]. Because their hair is completely dredded now, we are currently only fully re-twisting about once every 6-8 weeks or so at most. We sometimes do a little “touch up twisting” in-between just to polish up their locs (maybe only once ever 2-3 weeks or so). For real re-twisting and for our “touch ups” we use Carol’s Daughter Loc Butter (click here).
  • Skin— after each bath K & O get lathered up, heavy duty, with Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Body Oil (click here). We also sometimes use Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Creme (click here) between baths. We use Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment (click here) every single night, without fail, on faces and hands before bed.


*** November 23, 2007 we finally trimmed the boys’ hair for the very first time. Click here for post about that.

*** December 7, 2008 we trimmed the boys’ hair for the second time. Click here for post about that.

As of spring 2009~~ Re: hair — At this point we’re using Aveda shampoos and conditioners for washing and conditioning. We wash and condition 1 time per week (maybe 2, at the most, and only if necessary). We’re using only Carol’s Daughter products for loc care… one of the hair oils (like Khoret Amen Hair Oil) after washing and conditioning; the spray on Tui Jojoba & Shea Butter Hair Sheen almost every morning; and the Loc Butter for re-twisting/loc maintenance (which we’re doing about once every 2-3 months at this point). Re: skin — still exactly the same as ‘November 2007’ above.

*** August 23, 2009 we trimmed the boys’ hair for the third time. Click here.

*** October 2010 New Favorite Hair and Skin Product post: Click here.