Working Overtime

Recently I have been reading pieces of the Bible here and there in addition to going through the prophets with my husband.  A few weeks ago I came across Proverbs 31:27:

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Am I a lazy individual?

No, not necessarily.

Even Beard will tell you I like to be busy.

But at times, when I feel overwhelmed with the girls, I can become idle.  Almost stuck in my thoughts.  I can’t physically do the next task because I can’t think of what has to be done, or I cannot bring myself to change my train of thought to something besides the kids.

I do spend a good amount of time with my girls each day.  We read, we play, we cuddle, we tickle, we giggle.  I really enjoy them, and I am so grateful for the time I get to spend at home with them.

But.

Of course there’s a but…

am home.  And there are certain things that need to be done while I am home.

I am coming to the realization that having two babies at home really is a full-time job, and sometimes it is hard to pull myself from them to get the dishes done or to vacuum or sweep the kitchen.

But if I don’t, these tasks stare me in the face at 7:00 pm when the children are in bed.  And because my husband works a late shift, I find myself doing household chores much later in the evening than I should be if I have a 5:00 am wake up call from Clara.

I am literally working overtime to get my chores done at night, and I am cutting into my time to myself or to work on other house projects.

This, I have noticed, has truly affected my attitude towards the girls.  I can embitter myself towards them because they take up so much time.

How dare those babies be selfish and want their momma’s attention?!

But seriously.

It is my own fault for being idle and not choosing to step away for 30 minutes to an hour to get my household chores done while the little ones giggle to themselves in the living room over plastic food and “tea”.

Perhaps this is something that will save my sanity.  And get me a bit more sleep each night.

Who knows?

All I know, is that if I were my own employer, I wouldn’t pay me overtime to get done after work what I should have gotten done during the day, so why should I tax my body overtime because my mind is too stubborn?

Re-Centering on Normal

In my last post I shared a few details about our summer so far and how it has just completely turned our lives upside down.  I am not naive enough to think that we will be able to put ourselves back together very quickly after my mother-in-law’s passing, but I do know it is important to at least try.

My Beard and I had a fun date night on Tuesday evening, one of just a few in the past couple of months.

I worked in my garden yesterday.  After weeks of neglect I had many many weeds to pull, and I had a few new plants to put in the ground, namely an azalea bush that was part of the floral arrangements at the funeral.

The girls and I actually went grocery shopping today.  Actual grocery shopping.  I don’t remember the last time I went into Sam’s club and bought things with the expectation that we would actually finish them.

All of these things helped to get us, me, back to center.

Tomorrow, though, I will be continuing my re-normalization.

Several months ago I had begun a practice of fasting one day a week on Friday.  I wasn’t always consistent, especially if there was a family event on a Friday, but since my husband works weekends, a Friday was ideal.  I may never call myself a practicing Catholic, but there are some details of that faith that have ingrained themselves into my subconscious.  Fasting on Fridays is one of them.

With the blur of home-cooked meals brought by friends, church groups, neighbors, etc., I honestly let my fasting Fridays fall to the wayside.  I had other things to focus on.

Tomorrow I will resume the practice though.

Why?

Because my fasting Friday is a constant reminder that food does not satisfy or fulfill me.  Food is not my comforter, nor is it my all.

As simple as this sounds, abstaining from food gives me the opportunity to pray more throughout the day, and I am reminded to pray each time I am hungry.  Although it doesn’t sound like the most pleasant of days, the routine of fasting on a Friday has really brought me closer to the Lord.  Through it, He has shown me how much I really depend on Him.

Not Uncharted Territory

Ladies and gentlemen, first let me give my humblest apologies for my extended absence. The little people and I were visiting relatives in New Jersey, and I have a rule about blogging while visiting family: I just don’t. I never seem to find the time.

We arrived safely Tuesday, and Wednesday morning I promptly began what has been the most dreaded parenting task to date:

Potty Training

Or if you are vaguely British:

Toilet Training

That still sounds weird to me.

Anyway.  Madeline is quickly nearing her second birthday, and for more than six months now she has been able to tell us when she needs to use the potty and use it successfully.  She wasn’t consistent, and she might end up using the potty only once a day or less.  Nonetheless the signs were there.  This little girl is ready to start learning to get rid of her diapers.

But I wasn’t ready.  I hadn’t studied how to potty train a toddler.  I didn’t know what method to use, how long it would take, what materials to use (besides a potty, of course).  After months of mildly useless internet searches I have come to one conclusion:

There is no right way to potty train your child.

Differing advice comes from all over the blogosphere, as well as informational websites like WebMD and BabyCenter.com.  Some sites claim babies can be potty-trained by 18 months without the use of training pants, while others say waiting until 3 or later will ensure quick success.  I have read how some parents leave their child without diaper or underpants and simply put them on the potty when they see them going number one or number two.  I have read others who swear by complicated reward systems

Seriously.  It’s just potty-training.  Could there be that much variation?

Considering I have not yet successfully potty-trained any children I have little room to talk, but I will share how Beard and I intend to go through the process with our oldest:

  1. Training pants:  I felt these were nice to use because they allow Madeline to pull up and down her own pants but absorb more accidents than just plain underpants.
  2. Little potty:  Because, let’s be honest, the big potty is at eye-level with her.
  3. Reese’s pieces:  One for number one and two for number two.  Simple, yet effective.

We will not be disciplining any mistakes in potty-training, because that seems silly.  She is still learning this behavior, not willfully defying our training.

If anyone has any suggestions or ideas for successful and simple potty-training, please send them my way.  I would love the help!

 

No Smelly Hippies, Here

Warning:  Before you read this post I should let you all know that I have officially been bitten by the “all-natural” bug.  I recently watched a Canadian documentary called “Chemerical” which follows one family through their journey to rid their home of toxic chemicals in cleaning products and self-care products.

Why is it important that the documentary was Canadian?

Because Canadians are a silly folk.  🙂

And I love them.

Anyway.

Some products, you can imagine, have more potent chemicals and are more likely to damage a person’s body.

Two women very close to me (emotionally and genetically) have had lumps removed from their breasts, and one of them had researched and discovered that traditional deoderants contain many carcinogens.  She has since switched to all-natural deoderant.

But what did I do yesterday?

I made my own. 🙂

100_2460

I researched a few different recipes for homemade deoderant, and settled on this one because it seemed simple.

It was!

Here are the ingredients:

100_2455

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp cornstarch

20-25 drops essential oil (I chose lavender)

I melted the coconut oil in the microwave since I was feeling lazy:

100_2457Yay, coconut oil.  Then added the cornstarch and baking powder and stirred:

100_2458Finally I added the lavender oil and stirred that in.  I poured my deoderant into this nifty artichoke appetizer jar (you know you’re Italian when…).  Then I used that trick everyone uses to make chalkboard paint and made a shnazzy label.

100_2460Bam.  Deoderant.

Now, I thought it might be inappropriate to share a photograph of my underarms on the internet, but I will happily report that this deoderant doesn’t leave any white residue, nor does it clump or look gross at all.  It rubbed on smoothly, and didn’t rub off on my shirt.  I call that a win!

 

More Decluttering and Baby Acne

First, I need to show you all today’s fifteen minutes photos.  They are ridiculous.

 

100_2284Please note the absence of the large pile of junk that used to sit on my sewing machine.

(Yes, folks, I’m sure you were all wondering what that was.  It’s a sewing machine.  Now it can be used. 🙂 )

100_2285I just hadn’t really taken a shot in this direction.  I didn’t work in this corner, but this is the spot where I blog from.  I will confess that the two things up on my bulletin board are old and are trash.  I am ignoring them until I decided I want to paint the board.

100_2283And finally, the bookshelf.  BAM.  It almost looks pretty.

This little sweetheart:

100_2286better known around this house as Squishy Girl (Squishy Bean, or just plain Bean) had developed quite the case of baby acne.  I know it is completely normal for baby’s her age, so I honestly wasn’t concerned.  She gets a bath every few days or so, and I usually wash her face with Johnson’s Baby Wash in the morning.  I know she is clean, so I assumed the baby acne was just her skin’s way of acclimating to her environment.

Well, yesterday morning I was feeling a teeny bit lazy and didn’t want to bring her to the bathroom to wash her face.  Instead I just sprayed one of our cloth wipes with my cloth diaper spray and washed her face with that.

The cloth diaper spray is something I have been making since Bitsy Girl got into cloth diapers almost 18 months ago.  It is simply the following:

  • water
  • 5 pumps (2-3 tbsp) Johnson’s Baby Wash
  • 2-3 tbsp either baby oil or olive oil (don’t judge, olive oil works wonders on skin)
  • about 5 drops lavender essential oil

I mix these together right in my 6 oz spray bottle and I’m good to go for a few days.

(A bottle used to last much longer when I had only one person’s diapers to change. 😉 )

I’m not sure if it’s the olive oil or the lavender oil, but one of them cleared the Bean’s baby acne right up.  When she woke up this morning it was all but gone.

It was sort of a stumbled upon cure, but hey, it works.

 

A Not So Dainty Bottom

Yesterday I talked about Squishy Girl’s poor little bottom and how I had been trying everything to get healed. You will be happy to know I took the plunge last night and put her in a cloth diaper, and this morning her skin already looked noticeably better. And, most importantly, the diapers didn’t leak. Score!

Today, though, I will be discussing a very different bottom. My own. Having a child really does something to a lady’s shape, and it isn’t pretty.
Thankfully I’m still fairly young and my body is more likely to bounce back; it did wonderfully after I had Bitsy Girl. That wasn’t without effort, though. I went for my first postpartum run two weeks after giving birth, and with Squishy Girl I had to wait a full three weeks.
Both times now I have been itching to get back on the road. This time I have even more reason to: I have a sweet new pair of kicks to try out.
My first run back this time was not as difficult as it had been after my last pregnancy, probably because it has been a comfortable 50 degrees here instead of the 90+ it tends to be in July when I had the Bits. Even so, it was still my first run in several months, and I’m sure it didn’t look pretty.
Pregnancy makes you gain some extra “maternal fat stores” and widens your hips; that doesn’t make for a graceful runner, let me tell you.
I’ll be slowly but surely trying to get myself back into shape by running and doing some light weight training to make this not so dainty bottom just a little more dainty.