Sunday, October 30, 2011

No 'Poo, No More

Pretty sure my hippie-no-shampoo experiment has come to an end. . . or at least on pause.  I just couldn't handle the gummy feeling of my hair.  That and I felt self-conscious and wondered everyday if people were looking at my hair and wondering why I hadn't washed it.  Hm.  I'm still interested in reducing/finding an alternative to shampoo, I just am not sure this was the right combination for me.  Plus, I've hit the massive hair-shed of the post-partum period.  Ridic.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sometimes My Husband Surprises Me

Last night we decided to order in so that we could watch the World Series game. . . that was postponed.   Being that we didn't have anything thawed and we received a coupon for Mooyah Burgers, off we went for a little family dinner.  Driving down our street, this happened:

Chris:  Look, it's the Steak People behind us.
Me:  The Steak People?
Chris:  You know, the people who knock on the door saying they have just a few steaks left and would we like to buy some?
Me:  (quizzical look)
Chris:  Oh that's right, you always make me answer the door.
Me:  (distracted) Mmmhmm.
Chris:  I always just tell them we're vegan.  They don't have anything to say to that.

Good thing the Steak People didn't see the meat lovers pizza box in the trash bin.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Click it Up a Notch Photo Share

Pintrest at work again. . . I found a fab site called Click It Up a Notch that offers all kinds of photography advice.  Well we're supposed to turn in our favorite picture of the month and I'm leaping out there to include this one.  I know you've seen it before, but I still lurve it.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Child Might be Smarter Than Me

I am typically not comfortable discussing issues of my intellect.  I'm reasonably smart, but I am fairly certain it is all a result of my freakish, savant-like memory.  It's ridic.  I have no idea why some of the things that stick in my head are there. . . like the start date of a therapist that works for me and has since 2008.  Weird.  I could give you a million more examples, but suffice it to say that anyone who engages in an argument with me has a serious amount of loathing for the memory.

So back to Monkey. He has a good memory.  I mostly attribute that to 1. genetics and 2. a speech pathologist for a mom.  Reasonable, right?

Well tonight he seriously put that theory to the test and has convinced me that I have, indeed, given birth to a wee one smarter than me.  This happened twice.  In one night.  Not. Normal.

1.  Chris and I were again questioning if Monkey's ear hurt.  Double ear infections last week have left us paranoid, especially with the random dramatic hand to the ear and statement, "My ear hurt."  We delicately explained to him that we want to make sure his ear doesn't hurt again and he calmly stated, "You need call Dr. Palmer."  Let's get this straight.  Dr. Palmer is the ENT we have seen exactly 4 times, the most recent being in May.

2.  Tonight we indulged Monkey's request to "go to walk."  Along with cooler temps (finally), it is semi-dark at this time.  Monkey looked up at me as we moseyed down the sidewalk and said, "We see noo-nick (music) and Santa."  I stopped in awe and looked back at Chris.  You see, he was referring to the home, three doors down, opposite side of the street, that had one of those fascinating and slightly tacky blow-up Christmas decorations synced to music last year.  Each evening in December, we would walk down to see the "pip--eee" lights.  He wasn't. even. two.  Not two!  Weird.

And that is how, in the course of one night, I became convinced, finally, that my son is smarter than me.  Imagine what his wife/husband/domestic partner will suffer in arguments?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Almost a Hippie. . . (Or Pintrest Strikes Again)

I am only a pseudo-hippie.  Recently, I have made up for my lack of cloth diapering with making formula from raw goat milk.  The other side of this is that I bought hair color from Target that was full of chemicals.  See?  pseudo-hippie.

My latest?  I'm forgoing shampoo and conditioner.  My greaseball-self.  I am substituting a baking soda & water combination, followed by an apple cider vinegar combination for the two.  It makes total sense to me that this concoction restores scalp health and by not stripping the scalp of oil, leads to an actual reduction in oil production.  Then there's the obvious benefit of saving money.  The inspiration post for me was this:  Simple Mom--No 'Poo.  Of course there are many similar sites and recipes on the interwebs, but this one was posted by my friend, Stephanie.

Several years ago, I moved to make most of my personal toiletry products organic/all natural, so this is just one brave step forward.  I tried it for the first time today and so far, so good.  The instructions say that it may lead to an increase in oil production initially and that makes me nervous.  I don't think going to work looking like I combed my hair with a pork chop is a good choice for me.

So this is how I'm an almost hippie. . . living in conservy, Republican, surburbia and wearing store-bought clinical strength deodorant.  Yeah.  That one product totally ruins my hippie-cred.  Turns out I can't handle my stank that occurs without it.  Aluminum exposure be damned.  The other product that damns me?  Glammy's Agua.  It's the devil.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pintrest at Work (aka, Eyes!)

I think I mentioned that Pintrest is totally changing my life?  If you don't remember, you can look here and here.  Well, found a fun pointer list about how to photograph eyes in a way that is fetching and stands out.  I love to play with photography, but really know very little.  I hope one day to take a formal course. . . or two.

Anywho, we went to the pumpkin patch yesterday and when I went to change Little Bit's diaper in the back of our rented Jeep Patriot, the light. was. perfect.  So then when I had to take Monkey to the car to get his agua, you guessed it--I put him in the back to snap his picture, too.  I am really thrilled with the results.

And yes, some of these are copies--I couldn't decide if I liked them better in black and white or color.  Of course, my favorite feature of my children is their eyes and I'm always trying to capture the amazingness in pics.  Of course I'm not biased a bit.  Right?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Dirty Little Secret

Turns out my dirty little secret isn't dirty and it isn't all that little:  Piles of clean laundry are taking over our home.  Slowly encroaching on ever surface available.  We leave the house dressed, kids well fed, homemade formula in tow but our house is a ginormous mess.  The kind of mess that would make me want to slam the door in a friend's face should someone drop by unannounced.  Playroom strewn with toys, all my maternity clothes laid out on the playroom couch left over from my failed attempt to sell them on eBay, hallway full of dirty clothes, laundry room with a substantial pile of clean laundry wedged into a corner so that the garage door may be opened, master bath unable to enter the closet due to the sorted dirty clothes and, finally, the living room with two full laundry baskets and another pile of clean clothes.  My current mantra is: "This stage won't last forever and my kids and taking time to rest are far more important than a perfect house."

I think the house is just a symptom of juggling everything required to be a working mom.  This week has left me longing for days with my kids, uninterrupted by duties and errands and work.  I am fairly vigilant about making sure we keep to some kind of sleep schedule for my wee people and committed to performing my work duties with competence.  These certainly don't always mesh.  Especially when my wee-est wee one goes to bed between 6:30 and 7:00, leaving me only an hour of time with her each evening.  Suckety-suck-suck.  The amount of "The Guilt," as the ladies from Rants from Mommyland call it,  is rampant on this front.    I could keep going on this train of thought, but in hopes of preserving my sanity and the need to finish my glass o' wine are making me stop.  Stop.  No really, Courtney, STOP.

Say it with me now:  "This stage won't last forever and my kids and taking time to rest are far more important than a perfect house."

"This stage won't last forever and my kids and taking time to rest are far more important than a perfect house."

"This stage won't last forever and my kids and taking time to rest are far more important than a perfect house."

Did it help?  I know.  We need practice.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I don't do product endorsements. . .

typically, but today, I will.  Gladly and with gusto.  There was a tiny fender bender in our family last week, and per manufacturer's instructions, we knew B's infant carrier carseat would have to be replaced.  I scoured the website of The First Years to determine the fate of Elliott's two hundo carseat.  Nothing.  I suspected this meant the worst.

Today I put my proactive panties on and called the company to find out the damage.  I listened to the typical recorded message, pushed the right number to speak to a human and then waited for my turn while the reps were busy taking care of other callers.  Katie came on the line and I described my issue.  I expected her to quickly say that the seat had to be replaced, too bad, so sad.  Or something along those lines.  And I was right--the seat need to be replaced.  Sigh.  She then asked me to complete a report about the accident and I did--going on to give the site of the crash, who was present, my boy's birthdate, our address, etc.  She then asked what color our seat was.  Easy enough.  Then Katie politely informed me that she would be sending out a new carseat and that we would ship ours back to the company.  She even went so far as to ask what color I wanted.  I sucked in my breath and asked the dreaded question.  "How do I pay for this?"

Her response?  "Oh no ma'am, we'll ship you a new seat FREE.OF.CHARGE."  My immediate response? "You have a customer for life with our family."

Was she kidding?!  I thought maybe, especially as she called me back to ask if tan would be okay, as she didn't have a blue one that matched our model in stock.  Evidently not.  I am so beyond impressed.  This is customer service for the ages, and that kind of service will sway me anytime.

Moral of the story:  If you need a new carseat,  The First Years True Fit Premier is worth your money and your business.  Even better?  It's got the highest ratings of carseats on the market for both rear and forward facing and for ease of installation.

*I was not compensated or encouraged in anyway to write this post.  I only speak what I know and in this case, I know good service.  

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Like Mama? Disturbingly so. . .

I'm clumsy.  Disturbingly so.  I hoped, oh how I hoped, that my children would inherit Aunt Manny's athletic prowess.  After attending two gymnastics classes, I can say assuredly that Ell did not inherit those skillz.  Anyone I've told this to says, "He's just two!"  or "I'm sure everyone is like that."  Chris attended yesterday and looked at me and said, "I get it."  This is certainly a good use of our dollars each month, because we now know that he's more like mommy than just in looks and having the memory of an elephant.  Further proof:

I'm a Crafty Beeyotch. Fo' reals.

My mom is a crafty genius.  In my stupid rebellious younger years, I decided to eschew my crafty tendencies for the most part.  This, of course, was excepting rock painting at camp.  Pintrest, while helping me discover I have no style, has also helped me find my inner crafty gene.  Proof you ask?  Sit back and watch, bitches.

French Memo board for the Monkey's room.  Made from a rockin' 80s bulletin board purchased at Goodwill on half-price day for $1.50.  Covered in broadcloth ($2.99), ribbon ($2.50 a piece at half-price spool sale) and cute scrapbooking buttons ($2.99).

Halloween wreath for my door.  Spray-painted grapevine wreath ($3.99 for the wreath, spray paint was $3.00), rolled pieces of felt, hot-glued together ($.25/sheet of felt) and "Spooky" door hanger with ribbon cut off ($1.99).

And finally, I added the fringey-balls to the bottom of this lamp for Monkey's room.  I think it's super-cute and took a plain ol' lamp up a notch.  

You might notice all the shizz in the background of each picture.  Dang if it isn't the constant state of my house.  Don't worry, I just kept on crafting.  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rebellion and Baby Formula.

I am not a rebel.  I'm not.  Until I am.  My guess is that it depends on who you talk to on if I fit into the rebel category.  My guess is that I am a conventional rebel, but not a risk-taker.  Is that enough qualifying and justification?

When I choose to be a rebel, I tend to start by being very quiet and then end up telling on myself.  I think it's my people-pleasing tendencies.

You might or might not know that my sweet baby girl has had difficulty gaining weight.  As any mommy would do, I questioned if this was because my breastmilk wasn't right, the formula wasn't right, that it was the glass(es) of wine I had while pregnant--blah, blah.  This has led to about a million weight checks only to come to the conclusion that she has a high metabolism.  High. Metabolism.  Clearly, she did not inherit this from her mother.  The treatment?  Give her more calories by adding extra scoops of formula to her bottles.

The good news is that this is working.  My baby girl is visibly filling out.  And pooping more.  This is a good thing.  Really.

The hold up is that I kind of hate giving her processed formula that smells and tastes foul.  Seriously.  It has a metallic, iron-y smell.  Blech.  Compared to breastmilk, which has only a light sweet smell, the difference is startling.  Well, after much thought and consideration and internet reading, I am rebelling against conventional wisdom.  Going against conventional wisdom is hard for me, but after researching and agonizing, I feel really good about my decision.  The decision?  Whew.  Here goes:  we are feeding Brook-Brook homemade raw goat milk formula.

This may not seem huge to many.  But to me, it's out there enough that I'm nervous to tell her pediatrician.  The truth is, I think we are so entrenched in Western Culture that we can't see that anything else could possibly be right.  For babies, this means that if not breastfeeding, feed your child highly processed formula.  Processed food is the norm.  Just like nasty rice cereal as a first food.  When our chiropractor suggested goat milk formula, as it more closely resembles human breastmilk I was intrigued.  This intrigue was furthered by some reading I have done about "real foods" with as little processing as possible to preserve naturally occurring nutrients.

So our new plan is to make homemade formula and hopefully she will thrive.  It's a lot of mixing.  It's a lot of buying of special ingredients.  It's driving to purchase the raw goat milk from a local farm.  BUT it feels so. right.  A relief.  If I cannot pump enough milk with enough fat for my baby girl, then this makes the most sense.  I know many babies thrive on regular ol' formula.  I'm one of them who had it as a child and I'm okay.  I'm not condemning anyone who chooses that route; heck, we fed Ell regular ol' formula exclusively from 8-12 months.  I just know that buying the least expensive formula from Costco has never sat particularly well with me and the smell just furthered that feeling.

I know there are many who may not agree with the choice.  I can live with that.  Because this feels like the right choice for our girl.  I have a feeling she is going to thrive.  So with that in mind, I am thumbing my nose in the face of convention.. .  and even discussing it openly on a blog.  Who knew?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Most Eligible Dallas?

Confession:  I love me some trashy tv.  Love it.

My latest exploration?  Most Eligible Dallas on Bravo.  I have a love-hate relationship with this insipid show.  I stare at the people and wonder how they became to be so shallow and yet I can't move away from the screen. I stare and wonder, where do these people work?  when do they have time to sleep? do all children of wealthy parents end up as not-so-hard-working socialites? do people across the nation assume that all Dallas-ites are that shallow?

Now Dallas is way different from Fort Worth.  Wayyyy different.  I typically turn up my nose at Dallas-ites, my husband is known to assert that he would NEVER live in Dallas.  Before my sister up and decided to attend college in Dallas, I was certain of the same thing.  But then something happened.. .  I realized there's some great neighborhoods in Dallas.  Great people.  Great restaurants.  Great shopping.  Now, to be honest, I also realize that there's the plastic, shiny side of Dallas that makes me tired just to contemplate.  This is the side featured in my trashy tv show.  Inherited money, girls constantly shopping for husbands, big hair, big make-up, all-designer, all the time.  Even a local radio host has fallen into the trap.  Listening to him hosting shows on stations featuring oldies from the 60s, 70s and 80s, I assumed he was a fun-loving, family man.  Fun-loving? Yeah.  Family man?  Yes, in so far as he has 4 ex-wives and numerous children.  That's a lot of family time.

I digress.  My point is that I can't stop watching because I have to know if Matt and Courtney finally kiss.  Pathetic, but true.  So if you are watching this out in trashy-tv-land, please know there are darn nice people in Dallas.  We aren't all on the plastic, seen-to-be-seen scene. 

Now back to America's Next Top Model, my original trashy tv addiction.  All Stars?  Even better.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The perfect day?

Gymnastics for toddlers?  Yep.  That makes for a pretty major work-out for mama.  For mama holding an infant=double work out.  That's what I learned on Saturday.  That and the fact that my child has inherited my motor-planning, discomfort with new situations and initial compliance with rules and then a bit of defiance.  So it just solidified the fact that he desperately needs this class.

Saturday was one of those perfect days.  Or almost perfect.  Beautiful day with my kids, farmer's market, shopping by myself, a nap, and dinner with my parents at a loverly restaurant with delicious food, perfect patio and amazing drinks.  Oh and some live music.  Dreamy.  I even completed a crafty project.  I'm telling ya' it was almost perfect.  Even Minnie agreed.  Beware of the cuteness overload.

So excited to see Glammy.

Loving the live music.  Seriously.  He was mesmerized.

Making sure Minnie enjoyed the music, too.

Chocolate chip cookie?  Oh, even yesser.

Minnie was pretty much wiped out by the end of the night. . .