Bare Minimum

Standard

I’m doing it again.

I’m procrastinating.

What I really should be doing is writing a 750 word eulogy for my English course (influenced by Tuesdays with Morrie), but instead I’ve decided to write about why I can’t seem to find time to get a damn thing done these days. Yes, I see the irony in case you were wondering.

Since becoming a mom of two, I feel like I’m only ever putting forth the bare minimum. And I am not a bare minimum kind of girl. I am the mildly obsessive if you’re going to do it you might as well do it right type.

Have you ever gotten to the point where you gave up even starting things because you knew you wouldn’t be able to see them through to the end? That’s about where I’m at right now. Take this blog for example. Instead of typing out a quick blurb and hitting Publish a few days a week, I take two hours to write a few hundred words, agonizing over each and every one. Instead of enjoying the process of writing, I put it off all week and dread the thought of logging in.

So I find myself doing a whole lot of nothing. Or a whole lot of half somethings, which still leads to nothing being accomplished. I have about ten projects on the go right now, and I keep breaking my own rules by taking on more. Aside from taking care of two kids and a household, running two businesses, school work, blogging and working out six days a week, I have just started training for my first triathlon and joined a book club. I don’t get to sleep until past midnight every night and D has me up at 6 every morning. No wonder I’m exhausted!

For the past four months now, I feel like I am constantly putting out fires and it’s time for that to stop. I am a mom and my kids are only going to be this small for a short time. They need me and they have always and will always come first. That is the promise I made the day I became a mother. Yes, I have obligations and need to make time for myself and for the things I am passionate about, but I also need to slow down and take a deep breath and know that it is physically impossible for me to “do it all”.

The way I see it I have two choices. I can give up on everything extracurricular that I love (and go crazy and be of no use to anyone) or simply lower my expectations. It’s okay that I’m late to everything and that I skip a couple workouts here and there. It’s okay that I only post once a week, or sometimes even less. I need to allow myself to not be perfect at everything I set out to do. I need to prioritize what it is I hope to accomplish. Most importantly I need to realize that no one (other than myself) expects me to accomplish much of anything right now, and be thankful for the days I find time to shower and get dressed.

Parenting is all about lowered expectations and I’m starting to be okay with that.

Sunday in the Kitchen (Friday Edition) | Homemade Bum Butter

Standard

So it seems these days, DD has traded in her colic for teething. Oh boy.

All that excess saliva, which is more acidic than usual because of the teething, has given my poor girl a diaper rash. At least I think that’s the cause. I have never dealt with diaper rash before and I haven’t been doing anything different lately. We tried naked time to air it out, and while adorable, it wasn’t all that effective.

When you have never had a baby with diaper rash before, you don’t own any cream. Except that unopened Costco sized tub of Penaten from a well meaning family member that’s been sitting on a shelf collecting dust since early 2011. But of course that’s not cloth diaper safe. (insert eye roll here)

Always up for a challenge, I decided I would make my own. I remembered I had pinned a recipe from Green Child Magazine awhile back, so I made a shopping list and headed out the door. Like most of my projects, this one cost me double what it would have if I had just bought something at a store (even though I already had half the ingredients at home), but at least I now have enough cream to last me until potty training.

Here is my attempt at making homemade bum butter, as I like to call it.

Ingredients:

* 1/3 cup of coconut oil

* 1/3 cup of shea butter (I used organic raw African shea butter… this was the most expensive part, but it is phenomenal)

* 56 grams/2 oz of beeswax (works out to be a 1/4 cup)

* 5 drops of tea tree oil

Image

First I measured out the shea butter and coconut oil into a sauce pan, then added the bar of beeswax and tea tree oil. Using the double boiler technique (another one of the things I learned from Jules), I melted the ingredients.

Image

Then I poured the mixture into a bowl and put it into the freezer for about 15 minutes.

Image

Here is what the mixture looked like before going into the freezer

Β 

Image

And after

Then I blended everything until it was nice and smooth and poured some into an old mint tin.

ImageWhat was leftover I scraped into a Mason jar for future use. I allowed the mixture to cool and thicken and then stored both that and the tin at room temperature.

ImageThere you have it, homemade bum butter.

Β 

Crack Pots at Crack Pot

Standard

Image

Took the littles to Crack Pot Studio today to visit my friend Emma and paint some ceramics. I have been taking D there since he was a baby and we always have such a great time. Since it’s March Break, I thought it would be a fun way to spend an afternoon.

As soon as we get there, D bursts through the door to let everyone know he has arrived. The staff (especially Em) are fantastic and it’s okay that he’s a bit of a wild man. He has yet to break anything, so I think that works in his favour.

Within seconds he decides on a robot coin bank to paint. I totally envy his ability to be so in the moment sometimes. He doesn’t consider that there might be something he likes better. He doesn’t even care that there are a hundred other options. He happily picks out the first thing that catches his eye, while I spend ten more minutes browsing, before finally settling on a heart shaped plate for DD’s footprints.

Two hours, three trays full of colour and sixty sponges later and our masterpieces are finished. This week they will go into the kiln to be fired and when they are all shiny and ready for us, we will get to bring them home and add them to the collection.

Image

D’s work in progress… check out those buttons

Image

Beginning stage of the plate

Image

Em and DD after we washed the paint off her toes

Image

Spongehead Robotpants

Image

D’s finished product (his artistic vision included a lot of white space)

Image

Baby’s First Crack Pot Creation

Image

D and Taylor, aka Hot Girl as he called her

Bravado Designs | Review

Standard

So I have been wearing the The Essential Nursing Tank from Bravado for a full week now, and to say I am in love would be putting it mildly.

I have worn it as a shirt. I have worn it as a bra. I have slept in it. I have worked out in it. I have literally taken it off only to wash it and hang it to dry, which was quick and painless. I have often had to hand wash delicate and expensive bras (and who has time for that?) or realized after putting them in the machine that the bra was ruined or at least never the same again. This was not the case with Bravado’s tank.

It is not only comfortable, seamless and stylish but the functionality makes breastfeeding a snap, which is perfect for a busy mom like me.

I did find that the clips don’t function the exact same as other nursing bras I have worn in the past, so the first night wearing it I had an unhappy baby on my hands for about 3.25 seconds while I tinkered with the clip. Once I got it though, it was completely fine and I haven’t had an issue since. Give me some credit, I was half asleep.

I actually put on my old nursing bra one night while my Bravado tank was in the wash, and woke up with a plugged duct… ouch! Luckily it went away in a couple days with the help of a few hot showers, but that underwire nursing bra went straight into the garbage.

Bravado Designs’ Essential Nursing Tank is a great product and should be in the drawer of every pregnant and breastfeeding mother. I know will be heading out tomorrow to pick up another one for myself and maybe even a couple new bras. My comfort (and yours) is worth every penny.

IMG_3756

My Day as a Test Wearer at Bravado Designs

Standard

IMG_3746

Whether it’s your first baby or your fifth, being a “new mom” is hard enough without worrying about little details. Breastfeeding can be challenging, especially in the beginning and anything you can do to make it easier and get off to a good start is crucial in those first few months.

The first time I heard ofΒ Bravado Designs was after I had been nursing D for about nine months. My localΒ Momstown was offering a chance for its members to be on a test panel for Bravado nursing bras. I got to try out the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra which is still the comfiest bra I have ever owned to date. I continued to wear it long after D was weaned, using their handy conversion kit. Unfortunately our dog decided it would make an awesome chew toy and that was the end of my beloved bra. I may or may not have cried.

That being said, when I was given the opportunity to be a test wearer again for Bravado, and visit their head office in Toronto for a fitting, I jumped at the chance!

This morning DD and I hopped in the car and braved the rush hour traffic heading into the city. She slept the entire way of course and I put on some tunes for the ride. A perfect way to spend a sunny Monday morning if you ask me, even if it was -15.

After arriving at Bravado and signing in, we were greeted by Lindsay who brought us into the fitting room. We chatted over a cup of tea and then got down to business.

First, Dayna took my measurements and then I tried on a few bras to help determine my proper size. I learned that 80% of women are wearing the incorrect bra size – and I was one of them. I also found out that my band size measures quite small compared to my cup size, making it harder to fit that “perfect fit”. I had measured myself at home prior to today, using a method I found online, and estimated myself to be about a 36D (my prepregnancy size), but when I was fitted by Dayna and Lindsay, it turns out I am actually a 34H/I… yikes! This is a prime example of why every woman needs a proper fitting. Needless to say, a good nursing bra or tank is essential to keeping my, ahem, girls in check.

It was fun trying on all the different styles of bras and Dayna and Lindsay were so awesome and friendly and made me feel right at home. The hour long fitting flew by and DD woke up hungry and just in time to have our photo snapped by Julie, Digital Marketing Manager for Bravado.

I had such an amazing experience today at Bravado Designs, and I even got to take home an Essential Nursing Tank to try out. Of course I put it on as soon as I got home and haven’t taken it off since. It is seriously so comfortable! I will be doing a review here on the blog later in the week.

Thank you, Bravado Designs!

For your chance to be a test wearer, follow the link and fill out the form on their website: http://www.bravadodesigns.com/about/become-a-test-wearer

Here is DD and I posing with
Dayna and Lindsay of the design team

Beyond the Sling

Standard

Since I’m on maternity leave and have little else to do with my time apparently, I have been reading, A LOT. I recently finished reading Beyond the Sling by Mayim Bialik. If you’re older than me, you will remember her from Blossom. If you’re my age or younger, it’s probably more like The Big Bang Theory.

Most people are aware that she disappeared after Blossom and became a rocket scientist or something (neuroscientist, more accurately), but not everyone knows that she also birthed two children and has been using her PhD background to explore (and put into action with her own family) the theory of Attachment Parenting (AP). The book covers topics ranging from natural childbirth and breastfeeding to family bed-sharing and elimination communication.

Bialik begins by assuring the reader that her life is not perfect. She has no nearby family members or hired help that assist her and her partner in raising their children, like you might expect from a celebrity. She then goes on to give a brief description of the eight principles of attachment parenting (which vary slightly from the 7 B’s of Attachment Parenting as laid out here http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/parenting/attachment-parenting/what-ap-7-baby-bs by Dr. Sears, the father of AP himself):

1. Birth

2. Breastfeeding/breast milk

3. Be sensitive

4. Bonding through touch

5. Bedding

6. Be there

7. Be gentle

8. Balance

While Beyond the Sling contains some information about each of these topics, it reads more like a memoir of Bialik’s experience with AP, rather than being “A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way” as the byline claims it to be. I did find it slightly annoying however that she kept reminding the reader how “normal” she apparently is. We get it. You aren’t the typical former child star.

I guess anyone writing a guide or advice book is bound to end up sounding at least a little bit preachy or judgmental, especially someone with a PhD, but surprisingly Mayim does a pretty good job not placing herself in that category. Although I think that would depend entirely upon the background and parenting style of the reader.

I fancy myself to be a fairly open minded person, but I’m not going to lie, as the book went on even I started to raise my eyebrow a few times. Is it terrible that I didn’t think she was completely nuts though until she said she didn’t let her kids watch TV? How does she get anything done?

All in all, I enjoyed reading this book and I think it’s pretty awesome that Bialik is using her celebrity to shed some light on attachment parenting, even if it might reaffirm for some disbelievers what they’re already thinking. That’s okay though. Attachment parenting is not for everyone. But if you think it might be for you, this is a good read. Just take from it what you will and leave the rest.

Feels Like the First Time (Or, not)

Standard

I would just like to say that it is incredibly difficult and frustrating when you experience issues with your second baby after having a first baby that had none. I know I should consider myself lucky that I had an easy baby the first time and that the “issues” I am referring to aren’t life threatening, but I totally thought it would be the same if not easier the second time around. Between that and lack of sleep, I’m starting to feel like I suck at this parenting thing.

D was proficient at breastfeeding from first latch, barely cried and didn’t even get his first cold or fever until well after a year old. That hasn’t been the case with Miss DD. Her feeding issues have really picked up in the last little while and her “colic” is starting to look more like reflux.

While I was pregnant, I went through an extremely rough patch with D. I thought to myself, “I can’t wait until the baby comes because she will be easy. Babies are so easy!” Kicking myself in the ass for that one now. It’s actually been quite the opposite, and although DD is the sweetest little thing, she is definitely not the easy one. (I’m sure that statement might vary depending on when you ask me though.)

Trying to balance a household, two kids and my sanity is seeming to be an impossible task lately. I thought only “new moms” weren’t able to find time to shower and my sink looks like a game of Jenga. Like quoting a hipster’s clichΓ© tattoo collection, “this too shall pass” has become my new mantra.

Love me some Scary Mommy on days when I feel like I'm sucking the most

Love me some Scary Mommy on days when I feel like I’m sucking the most
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/212372938649466898/