There is an odd Chinese practice in which parents call their daughters ugly. When others compliment their child, they counter with something negative. According to my mom, this is done in hopes that the opposite will happen and their child will be beautiful. My parents are moderately traditional and thus did this in moderation; while they never called me ugly, they rarely said I was pretty. Not to be culturally insensitive, but this practice is completely crazy. Unfortunately for females, no matter what socioeconomic class you come from or your ethnic background, we are raised to be insecure about our looks. There’s always something that someone will pick on you about, even if you’re a supermodel.

My aunt once said that Baby Taco’s eyes are better than ours because they’re big. My mom hopes she will be tall and not short “like us.” But she can’t be “too tall”, otherwise she won’t get a husband. Also, she “better not” like girls. Sigh.

sigh meme

Everywhere we go, people comment on how beautiful Baby Taco is. I kid you not, a random woman at Target looked at her and completely lost her shit, squealing about how cute and pretty she is. That was actually a bit frightening. In addition to comments from strangers, ST, my family, and I are constantly telling her she is beautiful. My child is my sun, moon, and stars, and to me, she is the loveliest thing I have ever laid my eyes upon.

baby taco and mama at the ny renaissance faireMe and my lovey dovey at the NY Renaissance Faire. Photo credit: Aunt Kim.

But I worry about how this will influence her self-perception when she gets old enough to understand the concept of beauty.

I grew up feeling pretty inadequate about virtually everything about myself: my intelligence, body type, teeth, personality – you name it, I felt insecure about it. I’ve probably spent a down payment on a house in makeup, clothes, shoes, and handbags.

photo 3Why, indeed. The inventor of the Y U NO meme should get a prize.

I don’t want to give my kid an inflated sense of self, but I do want her to believe that she is enough, despite her imperfections. I am thirty years old and only just realizing that, as corny as it sounds, my flaws make me special. That’s why I love getting old – I’m so much smarter.

Anyway, because we live in a society where women – particularly “exotic” women of color – are objectified, leered at, and disrespected constantly, I know this will be a battle for ST and me. Fortunately, Baby Taco has a daddy who not only tells her she is valuable and a treasure, he shows her, constantly.

baby taco and daddy coney island beachBaby Taco and daddy hanging out in Coney Island.

She also has a mama who will actively work to see the beauty and goodness in herself so that she can grow up with a healthy sense of self-worth. I will not make derisive comments about my body or fret about how much I’m eating in front of my daughter. I want her to grow up respecting all body types and understanding that she is not beautiful because other people say she is. She is beautiful because God made her that way.

And you are too.

Sorry, I had to add that last cheesy bit in. But I mean it!

Summer Days

I have a million and one things to do right now, but I really want to post about this summer, now that it’s pretty much over. :-P This summer has been kind of a wash. I’ve had to complete a one-week residency in New Hampshire for graduate school, during which absolutely no one had fun (ST and Baby Taco accompanied me, of course). Then I’ve had to complete a load of coursework and I’m not even finished yet! :-( I’ve also had to work part-time getting my department set up at my new school, which has made me sad. Baby Taco won’t remember a thing but part of me is sad I couldn’t give her my undivided attention.

That’s not to say we didn’t have any fun though.

We attended our dear friends’ wedding in June at the Green Building in Gowanus. It was Baby Taco’s second shindig and she did very well.

baby taco and daddy at the green building wedding baby taco and daddy at green building wedding baby taco green building wedding green building wedding

We also took a few long walks through Prospect Park. These were early in the summer because Baby Taco’s legs weren’t as tan. They are so tan now! :-)

baby taco prospect par2 baby taco prospect park with auntie baby taco prospect parkHer legs are way more tan than that now! 

And we visited the Prospect Park Zoo with Aunt Kim, Uncle Tommy, and new friends!

baby taco prospect park zooThis picture perfectly captures her curiosity. I love this face so much.

baby taco prospect park2Yay for new friends!

baby taco prospect park3 baby taco prospect park4 baby taco prospect park5 baby taco prospect park6

We walked on the Coney Island boardwalk and lazed around on the beach.

baby taco coney island6 baby taco coney island1 baby taco coney island2 baby taco coney island3 baby taco coney island4 baby taco coney island5


That’s not all we did! :-) Stayed tuned for the Renaissance Faire (got to get them started young!) and our vacation in Mexico!

Side note: Bear with me as I figure out how to use free online photo editors. I edited this photo using PicMonkey and I just realized I should have saved them as the highest quality and largest files because I can see that some of the photos look pixelated. BOO. I’m way too tired to redo them. Just know that I had the best of intentions.

Adventures in homemade baby food: puréed seasoned beef and onions! A smashing success! Thanks @lilysown_babyfood! #homemade #babyfood #dinnertime #mixedbaby

Adventures in homemade baby food: puréed seasoned beef and onions! A smashing success! Thanks @lilysown_babyfood!  #homemade #babyfood #dinnertime #mixedbaby
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