June 27, 2017

Gipsy Wild...


*I received these products for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my very own.*


At 8 months old, Vivian's personality has really begun to shine bright.  Over the last month, we have noticed some strong personality traits of our daughter's.  In my opinion, this is where it starts to get really fun.  Tiny babies are adorable, but I really love it when I get to watch my children begin to form opinions and decide what they like and don't like.  Hard to believe I gave birth to her over 8 months ago.  It still feels like I was pregnant with her yesterday.  Her birth definitely gave us a taste of what she would be like.  A wild child who knows what she wants...


She is not a fan of green things...

From avocados to green beans, she is not a fan of the greens.  She loves orange things...like pumpkin, sweet potatoes and carrots.  Her favorites right now are probably pumpkin and peaches.  She is a little impatient during feedings, meaning we can never get another spoonful in her mouth quick enough, and she also has my sensitivity to textures which makes for some interesting and messy feedings when trying a new food.





She likes to be free...

The more naked the better in her book...which is something we will have to work on as she gets older, but for now it is endearing...When she can't be naked, She prefers coveralls and dresses to footie pajamas and pants.  She likes to feel free to move, twist and crawl.





She is fast approaching her first teeth...

We have plenty of drool and teething toys to prove it.  This gal is always trying to put something in her mouth to chew on...which is terrifying, so I have made a point to have plenty of teething toys around the house for her to grab.  Our favorite teether is the 100% organic wood rattle teether from Finn & Emma.  The teething rattle is made from Indian hardwoods, filled with Indian cooking beans and finished with vegetable seed wax.  I don't have to worry about anything toxic going into my baby's mouth so long as she is gnawing on this rattle.  What I also love about this rattle is that it is chunky, which makes it easy for her sweet baby fingers to hold onto it.




She is a ham...

This girl definitely has our sense of humor.  She absolutely loves to smile and laugh.  She brightens the darkest of days.  Her personality is truly magnetic and she is chock full of charisma.  She has the gift of spreading happiness and I intend to support and nourish this gift, as the world needs so much of it.



She wants her mama...

There is not much in her world that I can't make right, and I am eating up every second while it lasts...I know all too well that daughters becomes daddy's girls, just as they should. She wants to be held all of the time, which is a bad habit...but considering I am about 85% sure she is our last baby, I am going to enjoy it while it lasts...Even if my back is on fire and my arms are jelly...



She is inquisitive and adventurous...

Vivian wants to know about everything...so she is into errything! Once she sets her eyes on something, so must get to it...whether it be by kinda-crawling to scooting or just rolling...she is going to find a way to get to what interests her. She loves to be outside looking at the sky or feeling the grass between her fingers and she really loves to feel the wind in her face.  She is definitely our little earth-loving, gipsy-hippy girl.


Clothing has become more and more important now that she is so active.  She is pulling up on things, rolling across the room, scooting on her behind and army crawling.  She definitely needs durable clothing that gives her the soft and easy comfort she craves so she does not feel constricted.  Finn & Emma 100% organic cotton coveralls are perfect for my little explorer.  Vivian is wearing the Fairytale Coverall in the photographs and it is easy to see how comfortable she is in them. I demand  quality cotton clothing in tasteful patterns and styles for my children.  I limit the amount of tulle, glitter and characters on her clothing, just because that is my person preference.  Finn & Emma has unique and tasteful patterns in gorgeous colors all while maintaining the integrity of their products by using 100% organic cotton, lead/nickel free snaps and non-toxic dyes.

This girl is on the move and I have a feeling she will not be slowing down any time soon.  Goodness, gracious babies sure don't keep.


June 21, 2017

The unseen battle...


I don't talk about it on here much, but I happen to be severely hearing impaired.  I am deaf in one ear and am hearing impaired in the other.  I wear a hearing aid in my better ear and it corrects my hearing a great deal.  When I was little, my parents were told by doctors to enroll me in a school for the deaf.  I am so thankful they did not heed the advice.  Instead, I was enrolled in normal schools, swam competitively on a USS swim team, graduated from Auburn University and was expected to advocate for myself and to never use my disability as a crutch.  My tough-loving parents, and how they chose to raise me, are a very significant part of why I am as high functioning as I am.  

I received a new hearing aid about a week ago.  One of my least favorite things to do is get a new hearing aid.  It is a very emotional experience for me.  I work extremely hard, day in and day out, to rid myself of vulnerability...I assume many people with disabilities work hard at this.  The hearing tests that always accompany a new hearing aid make me very anxious.  Growing up, hearing tests felt like a matter of life or death.  It felt nearly the same last week, as I sat in the little vacuum-sealed pod raising my hands when I heard beeps and repeating words meant for a 5 year old like "airplane" and "tree".  No matter how confident I feel, I always cry in that room...Sometimes a lot, sometimes just a single tear.  I can't fake it til' I make it in that room.  In my mind, that room reveals just how vulnerable I really am...

Once I got the hearing test out of the way, some of the adrenaline that was pulsing through my body begins to calm.  My shakiness and anxiousness begins to settle.  Then it was time to try on the hearing aid and get the acoustics adjusted.  There are a series of tests I had to go through and give feedback on sound quality...all of which is done in a private and quiet room.  Then, they sent me off into the very loud world for me to figure it out.  

Not being able to describe how you are hearing something is very frustrating because it is all subjective.  It is unnerving to not know how you should be hearing things.  Adjusting to the sounds of your surroundings is exhausting and new noises are startling.  You are essentially retraining the brain in certain ways.  The worst is hearing your children sound different than when you woke them up that morning.  Their sweet little voices sound different...not better or worse, just different...and it is a little devastating.  

The process of getting a new hearing aid serves as a glaring reminder of my differences and deficits.  I have worn hearing aids since I was three years old and can, honestly, say that I have harbored very little anger or sadness about being hearing impaired.  I have always accepted it graciously for the most part.  I have always known how lucky I am, when there are those who do not have access to hearing aids at all..Even still, ungrateful emotions rise to the surface...

The ugly emotions rear their ugly heads.  I am reminded that I am hearing impaired, which I often forget, and it makes me angry.  I am reminded how sad it is that I cannot hear my children's laughs and squeals while playing in the pool with them.  It is a scary reminder of how dangerous life can be sometimes...from not hearing fire alarms or tornado sirens...to not hearing someone trying to get into the house.  I am reminded of all the deficits that I have to fight every day...and am then reminded of how exhausted I am from working so hard to compensate. 



I am reminded of my strength and how I always come out on the other side of these transitions hearing better and being more capable.  This process reminds me how vulnerable I am, which I hate, but it also reminds me of all I have to be thankful for.  This process of adjusting to a new aid is one of the biggest first world problems I can think of.  There are children watching their friends and family get killed as they dodge bombs in Syria.  There are women who fear being attacked with acid, all because they want an education.  When I compare the battles I have to face with the, quite literal, battles of women and children around the world...Mine is extremely insignificant..and I am so thankful for that!



June 19, 2017

Three Steps to Make Mornings A Little Less Painful...



This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LockInSoftSkin #WetSkinIsBestSkin #CollectiveBias




Mornings during the week with two kids are exhausting.  I get up at 5AM in hopes of being able to get the kids ready and out the door by 7:10AM.  You would think that would be enough time, but when you have a son who hates getting up in the morning and a baby girl going through separation anxiety issues...meaning she must be on my hip, and only my hip, for every waking second possible..there is never enough time in the mornings.  




Did I also mention that I am not a morning person?  Each time my alarm goes off I pretty much just start crying and begging the universe to make it Saturday.  I will contemplate whether or not I really need to shower and then try to rationalize my greasy hair by saying it is good for the environment to conserve water...so people should really thank me for not showering.  Then, my voice of reason speaks up and reminds me that I have a meeting or something going on at work that I need to be presentable for...so I finally give in and, begrudgingly, slide my feet across the floor to the bathroom since I am too tired to actually pick my feet up and take steps. I stand in the shower hoping that it has transformed into a smart shower overnight that will wash your hair and shave your legs without you having to do anything.  To my disappointment, the shower is still a slacker that can only pour water on you.

Since I am really pressed for time in the mornings, and usually grumpy, I am constantly trying to find ways to cut corners in order to make more time for the family in the mornings.  Here are three things I do in efforts to make our mornings go a little smoother:





Prep the coffee the night before

My husband and I both work full-time, we have two children, one of whom plays baseball roughly 3 days a week, not including the weekend tournaments...As you can assume, we depend on coffee to help us survive.  To free up a little time in the morning, I grind up fresh coffee beans and place in filter and also add the water to the pot the night before.  Doing these couple of steps the night before means all that I have to do in the morning is pour the water in the reservoir and turn the pot on.





Prep the kids meals and lay out their clothes

During the school year I prep my son's lunches, and my daughter's bottles the night before.  I also like to have outfits picked out the night before.  Many times, I have my son's outfits coordinated for an entire week. By doing this, he can pick which outfit he wants to wear.  This is a win/win because I get to make sure he still has an outfit that matches and he feels like he has some control over what he wears.  Simple steps like these really help to make mornings a little less chaotic.




Shorter Showers

The most effective way I have been able to cut down on time is by taking shorter showers and spending less time in the bathroom.  I used to love taking really long showers, but now that I have two kids there just isn't that kind of time in the mornings.  Now, I am all about the multitasking and products that will help me save on time.  I'll shave while I let the conditioner sit in my hair.  I will wash my body while I leave a face mask on. Instead of using lotion once I have dried off from the shower I use  Jergens® Wet Skin™ Moisturizer with Nourishing Monoi Oil 10 oz that I purchase from Wal-Mart.  




Moisturization is extremely important to me as I want my skin to be smooth and healthy.  The way I see it, why would you take the time to shave your legs if your skin isn't soft anyway.  I love that I can apply this while I am still in the shower, right after I have turned off the shower and before I dry off. I used to use regular lotion, but was always disappointed in the lack of moisture my skin was getting.  Since I began using Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer, I have noticed a big difference in my skin's texture and tone. It is quick to apply and does not require you to rub it in like regular lotion does.  The Monoi Oil has a delicate, sweet fragrance that lasts throughout the day. Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer has helped take several minutes off of my routine in the mornings all while pampering my skin. 




If you are looking for a few extra minutes in your morning routine, without sacrificing vital skin care, try Jergens® Wet Skin™ Moisturizer with Nourishing Monoi.  It is quick and easy to apply, while being effective in nourishing your skin. Plus, it's just fun to put on and smells amazing.




Happy Monday, y'all!