Shame. Shame. Shame. 

Aren’t we all just trying to do the best we can in life and for our families? Why is it so common in our culture to shame others? More specifically mommy or parent shaming. Why do we feel the need to give other parents advice on why what we think is the best? Especially when they don’t even ask for it? I love to advocate for things I believe in and trust me I do just this but I want it to be in a positive light because unless you’re ready to hear it, it will literally go in one ear out the other and fire will be spewing from your mouth about how wrong I am. So instead I have recently changed my tune about sharing what I think is best based on my beliefs. I don’t want to stay silent but there comes a time when you realize that you can share your beliefs but you need to share them with people who are willing to listen. 
Recently with this whole measles EPIDEMIC 😷 *cough * cough, I just can’t stop thinking about all the hate I keep seeing spewed over social media. We all have a right to choose what we want for our children based on what we feel is best for them so why do others try and put you down for what you choose? 
I am in the minority for not vaccinating and truly it’s no one else’s business BUT I allow others to know we don’t vaccinate because if someone wants more information I want to help even just that one person. I want to advocate for babies who don’t have a voice. I want people to know why we don’t vaccinate, that our daughter had horrible reactions, thankfully all things she could recover from but she was extremely uncomfortable for the first 6 months of her life and vaccines are the only explanation. Frankly its insulting and ignorant when people think parents who don’t vaccinate are being neglectful when we’re the ones actually researching what these vaccines are for, how they work, why we need or don’t need them, side effects (reading the insert – and no this is not what the doctor gives you). We do research from credible sources not just mommy blogs and google and we don’t follow our doctors blindly. 
But this isn’t the only thing. Moms are shamed for so so so many things and why? Shamed for the food they feed their children, things they let them play with, how they let their children dress etc.  Why does everyone need to do everything the same? Why would we want everyone to be the same? Diversity is a wonderful thing and we should embrace it. We should show our children we have rights to choose what we want. We didn’t have so many people fight and advocate before us for human rights only for others to want to take them away. 

This week multiple people have shared a video about how non vaxxers need to vaccinate because measles is making a come back with this horrible outbreak in MN. First of all I want to address this. Yes the majority of the people who have come down with measles have been not vaccinated but do you know why? It’s mainly in the Somali community – they have naturally low levels of vitamin A – this is the vitamin (along with C) that your body needs to fight off measles. They have low vaccination rates in the Somali communities because they came to a country where autism is an epidemic, they call it the American disease because it’s unheard of where they’re from. So instead of following doctors blindly they search for their own answers and make their own educated decision. These individuals were not targeted they looked for this information on their own. Now back to others sharing this one video on Facebook. Guess what, I’ve scrolled right on by. Not because I don’t care but because I don’t want to waste my breath on someone who has their mind made up. It’s their own decision to vaccinate but I am so glad I have the ability to decide NO to vaccines. It’s great if someone wants to talk facts and share information but the majority of these people don’t want to hear what I have to say so, you got it, I scroll right on by! It’s so easy to do and I wish others would do it too. 
Thank you if you’ve stayed to read all of this and are open to what I advocate for.  We all want what’s best for our babies. We are all doing what we think is best so why must we shame others who have different opinions than we do? If you want to vaccinate good for you but it’s not for me and never will be. Anything you tell me isn’t going to change my mind. Just like anything I say to some strong vaxxers isn’t going to change their mind. So let’s all quit the shaming and just be friends. You can vax or not vax, you can eat food filled with pesticides or eat organic, you can feed your baby formula or nurse until your child is 5, I don’t care what you do because you’re doing what is the best for you and your family just as I am. Let’s all quit the shaming and just be friends. 

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Raising Girls

Raising girls in the world we live in today is going to be hard. It’s going to be one of the most challenging and trying things I will ever encounter in my life. I know this because I was a teenage girl once and I see the damage society does with putting skinny little models out there everywhere – magazine covers, size double zeros for mannequins in stores, those perfect airbrush looks on TV. Society does an awful job at depicting what real life women look like.

Today I see young young girls, like 12 or 13 contouring their faces and wearing tiny little belly shirts – this blows my mind. When I was 13 I’m pretty sure I looked like the most awkward girl ever and quite possibly had just recently stopped playing with barbies with my little sister. Isn’t middle school supposed to be filled with awkwardness and braces not perfect make-uped faces?  (totally didn’t just try to rhyme but hey I’m owning it ha!)

Because of society I am going to have to work double or triple time on building my girls up.  I want them to know they’re beautiful and that they’re unstoppable, that they’re intelligent and they deserve the best, and I never want them to ever doubt that.  Its hard to see all this perfectness in society and then look at yourself in the mirror and see you “don’t measure up.” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again for the people in the back – your mind will believe whatever you tell it!

 Feed it good thoughts. Give it positive vibes!

I grew up with a mother who always built me up. I can’t remember a time where she told me something negative about myself. She was my cheer leader. Sometimes she did it so much I got annoyed with it. Why? Why wouldn’t I want her to build me up? Now as a mother myself, I look back at this and am so grateful for it.  After being exposed to my mother in law, she is someone who struggles with her own issues and without noticing it takes it out on others. Its hard when you’re feeling bad about yourself to not do that, I get that, but I see what it has done to two people I hold dearly to my heart and I never ever want my children to feel the way I know these two feel.

I read this amazing Facebook post this last week about a mother who was in the dressing room with her daughter trying on swim suits and her daughter had nothing but positive things to say and she brought up how kids always do what they’re surrounded with so we need to lead by example. This is so true. Having a daughter and another one on the way I often find myself thinking about what they will be like when they grow up, when they’re teenagers or a mothers themselves. I want more than anything in this world for them to be happy and confident so I will do whatever is in my power to help get them there.

Be who you needed when you were a child.  I often remind myself of this – I was shy, I had buck teeth and a big huge gap in my two front teeth. I was always self conscious about this but I honestly think thanks to my mother, I am so blessed to have had her building me up so much so that even though I was self conscious about my teeth I didn’t let it ruin or take over my life. Granted I was blessed and lucky to have my parents who spent the money to get me braces, I am so thankful for this. But up until I got those braces in 8th grade I could have already done a bunch of self esteem damage and hated myself. Thankfully this wasn’t my case.

So who knows what issues my daughters will face, whether its like me and they wont look perfect or whether its something else. I need to be there to build them up. I need to remind them they’re gorgeous, they’re so smart and can put their mind to anything and crush their goals.  And I absolutely need them to know beauty is more than skin deep.  I want them to lift others up like I lift them up.

Remember that saying from when you were younger to treat others how we want to be treated? I think adults need to be reminded this more. Society needs to be reminded this more so that we can stop this awful cycle of belittling women.

Raising girls will be hard.

I will have to instill in my daughters to not be the mean girls, but I think this comes with how you’re raised too.  When my sister and I were growing up if we fought our mom always made us hug and apologize – always.  This will be something I follow through with as a mother of girls. They will know not to hurt other peoples feelings intentionally and they will know when they need to apologize. But most of all I hope I can teach them to WANT to do this. Not just do it because its the right thing to do.

With mothers day right around the corner all that comes to my mind is how thankful I am to god for blessing me with the opportunity to be these girls mother. I am so blessed and I am SO up for this wild roller coaster of a challenge but I know god put them in my life because I am strong enough, I am up for the challenge and I know I can make a difference and be the person they need when they’re growing up.

 

There is always a plan.

That is what I live for. 
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Not today.

Life in general can be tough, and sometimes for no reason at all. We aren’t always all 100% smiley rays of sunshine every single day so why is it we expect children to never be cranky?  This is something that has been tugging at my heart lately not only when my own daughter is being defiant but also when I’m out and about and see other children expressing themselves or when mommies are posting on social media about it.

We cant all be perfect all the time. Its just not possible and we know this. 

I will be the first one to tell you if I’m having a bad day and that I just want to be left alone, so why can’t kids feel this way? We’re constantly telling children what to do, how to do it and when said thing needs to be done. But I have days that maybe I just don’t want to get dressed right this second or maybe I am just not hungry when supper is ready….. but I might be hungry in a half hour or an hour.  Since I am the boss of me I get to decide those things, our poor children, most of them, don’t get to decide this stuff. Not saying they should be the boss of themselves because they need us to guide them, show them right and wrong and help them learn so they can grow into wonderful adults but what about letting them at least express themselves enough so one day they know they have this voice and that they can use this voice and so that one day when they’re older they don’t just conform to whatever society wants them to think. I want my daughter to think freely and think outside the box and be able to question something if she feels it might not be right. I don’t want to her to grow up and just be able to be pushed around. She is a boss and bossy at times but shes my mini me so we all know where she learned this. I love this about her. I love that she is independent. I love that I can give her options and she can choose which one she wants whether its an outfit for the day or if she just doesn’t want what I made her for supper. That’s fine, I will let her pick something different. I do this because I like to have options, I like to be the boss of myself and be able to choose what I wear and what I eat, so I want that for my daughter as well.

 What a sad world it would be if I didn’t have these options.  

We should let our children choose these things and be cranky if they want to be cranky. Just like how we all want to choose what we wear and what we eat, we want to be able to express our crankiness without someone telling us “no you can’t feel that way,” because who are they to know how I should feel? So why is it when kids are cranky parents often tell them to stop? It’s not like we can read their mind, we don’t know how they’re feeling or why they’re feeling that way so why not let them express it? Why would we want them to cover up their emotions? Personally, I like to express how I am feeling, not everyone is this way but I remember when I was little or even as a teenager my mom didn’t make me suppress these emotions.  She’d talk it over with me or just leave me alone if that’s what I asked. If I didn’t want what she made for supper (which I honestly cant remember one time I didn’t want her delicious food) but she didn’t care, she would let me have something different or she let me leave those brussel sprouts on my plate because she knew I just didn’t like this. Because you know what? There’s always tomorrow.  Maybe tomorrow I would want my vegetables.  I liked that she let me be independent and make these decisions because although they may seem small, to a child they only have these small decisions.  A small decision might be a big decision to a child.  Children don’t have to make huge life changing decisions like adults so why not let them choose these little things so they can be more in control of what life brings them?

Let those children be cranky and let them not eat those veggies.  Pick your battles with them because there’s always tomorrow.  Maybe tomorrow they won’t be cranky and maybe tomorrow they wont mind getting dressed when they’re told. Maybe today they’re just having a bad day and they just want to be left alone.  We can’t always do whatever others want from us 100% of the time and we cant always be happy rays of sunshine 100% of the time and that’s okay.

six short weeks 

Lately I’ve been worrying a lot about how Ellie is going to feel when we have this second baby. In just around 6 short weeks Ellie won’t be the only child. I worry that she will be sad or mad that I can’t immediately pick her up when she looks at me with those beautiful eyes motioning her hands to pick her up while she says “uh mere.” Which means come here to her 😩. I worry that she won’t understand why mommy has to hold this new baby and feed her all the time. I worry she will feel left out now that this baby needs a lot of my attention and I won’t be able to sit on the floor and play with her whenever she asks. 

Today a little bit of that worry dissipated as Ellie and I were snuggling watching our morning cartoons when baby started wriggling, kicking and punching away in my belly. Ellie saw the movement from the outside, her eyes got big and the sweetest smile swept over her face as she looked up at me and exclaimed “baby!” My heart melted right there. Ellie started rubbing and patting my belly. Then she started kissing it. Like 20 times in a row she kissed it and my heart melted even more. 

Today I worry a little less. I don’t know why I let myself worry at all because I know Ellie has the sweetest heart and is honestly the most generous little girl I know. She loves the babies at daycare and tries to help them when they cry. Although it will be a completely different ball game with a baby that lives in her house and shares her mommy and daddy but today I worry a little less because I see her tender heart showing through and her caring demeaner. 


I hope and pray that in just around 6 short weeks when she gets to meet her baby sister this tender heart and caring demenaer will show through. 

Don’t blink

Life goes so fast. Devin and I were talking today about high school and a class he took sophomore year which quite honestly is almost 10 years ago. 10 years. I can’t wrap my head around just how fast time goes. It got me thinking Ellie is almost 2. Like right around the corner she will be 2. It literally makes my heart hurt. It’s so bitter sweet. The seasons change so fast. I cherish this time with her before our second baby arrives just soaking in all of her adorableness. 

Soaking … that’s a better word to describe her, she’s such a sponge just soaking up and learning everything. Becoming her own little person but it feels like just yesterday she was this tiny little baby who depended on me completely. Now she’s miss independent. Just like that I blink and she learns something new or starts doing something she couldn’t do yesterday. Today she got out some oils and made me lift my shirt up so she could apply them to my back, she can’t quite figure out how to open the bottle yet so she just pretended to put drops in her hand and rubbed them down my back. She did this and then moved to my feet and applied them there too. It’s probably my pregnancy hormones but I started crying. As soon as she saw my tears she starts asking “okay mama?” With a worried look on her face. As much as they were tears of sadness that she’s so dang smart and growing so fast, they were tears of happiness.  My sweet little baby learns so much from me. She sees me applying these oils not only to her but to myself and she wants to be just like me. 

I tell myself it’s ok to be sad she’s growing up. 

One day our home will be empty and quiet and I am going to miss these early years of parenthood even more. I will miss the days of reading her favorite book ten times in a row, putting her hair in a pony only for her to rip it out, holding all seven of her baby dolls for her because her arms are too little to carry them all. I already miss it and it hasn’t even ended. The meltdowns are worth it, the attitude is so worth it. My little fierce girl.  She is becoming her own person and it’s ok to be sad about that because at the same time I am so happy. I am so happy to see her learning and thriving and giving everything 100%. Being a mom and seeing your child grow is a one of a kind of experience and it goes so fast. It goes too fast. I’m constantly reminding myself this will soon be a thing if the past and I will miss it. I am constantly reminding myself to cherish every damn second of it, the good and the bad because one day I will have a whole new set of goods and bads. I might very well look back at this and think of these as the good old days. 

Soon there will be two fierce little independent girls ruling my house and cannot wait to soak up every second of that. I cannot wait to cherish those moments. 

One day I will be sitting there talking to Devin about “10 years ago” and it will be when our children are teenagers and 10 years ago they were little kids who we still picked up and put on our hip or on our shoulders. I don’t want to blink because I don’t want this season to change. I am so in love with it and everything we get to experience in it. I need to remind myself though that it’s okay because with new seasons come new challenges and new adventures and new happiness. 

Be Present

Wherever you are – be ALL there.

I heard this today and it really resonated with me because I’ve been thinking a lot lately on time management and multitasking. Your brain can only be doing one thing at once. Right?

Some days I find myself thinking about everything I did that day. While yes the dishes are done, laundry is folded and put away and my house is picked up but what did I really do? What I really did was move from one room to another room constantly doing small little cleaning things (this is kind of impossible to avoid with a toddler).

I’m realizing I need to be more mindful of where I’m focusing my time. If I want to clean the kitchen I need to stick to that room and not get side tracked when I go to place Ellie’s toys she left on the kitchen floor in her toy room.

 

BUT this is not all life is about I get that. It wont always be perfect.

 

Which also makes me think about my cell phone. I run my own business and a lot of it I do straight from my cell phone whether it be making graphics, connecting with a friend or checking in on social media. I’ve been working really hard on putting my phone down while playing with Ellie or while we eat. This way she knows I am focusing all my attention on her. This way she knows if I’m here I am 100% present. She will get really mad and take a book and hit my phone with it if its in front of my face and she wants me to read her a book. One day when this happened I thought about being more present. These years with her are years I am never getting back and I need to soak them up. She is learning from everything I do and what kind of example do I want to leave for her that it’s ok to sit on my phone instead of engaging in activities with her.

Be mindful of where you are and what you’re doing and be ALL there. It can feel like you’re getting so much done when you’re multitasking and feel busy but being busy doesn’t mean you’re being productive. If you’re not completing tasks its not productive. Make a list and check it off so you can spend that much needed time actually completing tasks and being totally present.

 

Now taking my own advice, I’m getting off my computer and I am going to go soak in some Ellie time before I have to work tonight.

DIY Lotion

So following up from my  post the other day about knowing better doing better – I like to make my own lotion!  It’s the best lotion I’ve ever used. I get really dry hands to the point where they’re red and itchy and burn horribly when I put lotion on. So I went in search of something better!   Its actually really easy!

I buy most of my products (like sweet almond oil, beeswax, cocoa butter) from Bulkapothecary.com – the shipping is insane so when I buy from there I usually stock up on all of my favorites like last time I got coconut oil, aloe vera LIQUID and zinc oxide (this is what I use in my homemade sunscreen – that recipe will come later I promise!).

Using Aloe Vera Gel is key for this recipe though, and the Fruit of the Earth kind is alcohol free (which is what you want!). I get it on amazon but I have also found it at Walmart in the past. You want the clear kind!

Today I am using Young Livings V-6 carrier oil which is a mixture of carrier oils like sweet almond, coconut, and grapeseed oil because I was waiting for my Bulk Apothecary order to come as I’m out of just sweet almond oil.

The oils I am going to add are 5 drops lavender, 5 drops Frankincense, 2 drops Gentle Baby and 2 drops Helichrysum.  Why did I pick these oils? Well first off they smell amazing, second:

Lavender: helps with my itching growing belly and its calming/good for stress relief.

Frankincense: Among all the amazing uses for my growing baby its amazing for skin/stretch marks.

Gentle Baby: this blend is specifically made for mom and baby – it helps with growing itching skin, stretch marks and it helps create the bond between mom and baby.

Helichrysum:  this has cleansing properties and is great for enhancing the appearance of healthy skin.

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1.5 tablespoons beeswax
1/4 cup sweet almond oil
1/4 cup coconut oil
1-2 tablespoons cocoa butter
1 cup Aloe Vera Gel
10-20 drops Essential oil

 

 

Heat the beeswax, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, and cocoa butter until combined.

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Pour melted oils in your blender or another bowl to let it cool – cooling completely is a very important step!!

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Once its cooled it will sort of harden up but its still a light texture like when coconut oil is in the harder state.

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Once cooled add your cup of Aloe Vera Gel and your EO.

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Then blend it up! I like to use my hand mixer if its just one batch but when I make double or triple batches I use my blender!

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It fits in a larger mason jar. Its truly that EASY!

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Know better. Do better.

Okay let’s talk about this for a minute… how come when someone talks about a healthy lifestyle it ALWAYS includes you have to work out but almost NEVER do they talk about the chemicals in the products we use every day!!?? There are way too many people counting calories and not nearly enough people counting chemicals. I’m not here to shame anyone because we’re all doing the best we can or at least what we think is the best. Trust me I was there. But I am here to share my knowledge because when we know better we do better. Simple as that.

I’m not just talking about the obvious ones like bleach for cleaning or herbicides/pesticides sprayed on food. I’m talking about all of them, have you ever looked into what is actually in that face wash or moisturizer you use everyday? OR how about that body wash used on little ones!? Have you ever looked into the ingredients? First off you can’t even pronounce them. Second, once you actually start looking into them it is shockingly terrifying that we are even allowed to rub this stuff on our bodies!

We are literally the sickest country in the world. Cancer is so common, obesity is everywhere, infertility is even more prevalent and don’t even get me started on allergies.  Why is this? Why is it that within the last few years I have personally known YOUNG people to be affected by things like heart attacks and cancer – and let me just add, these young individuals were truly some of the healthiest people I know. They work out regularly, eat fruits and veggies, the whole nine yards. Could this be because of the awful chemicals the US uses in everything? Chemicals that many countries BAN for being carcinogens!!?

Endocrine disruptors are found in SO many of our household products and cosmetics, our bodies can’t filter out all of these toxins. Endocrine disruptors do just that, disrupt our normal cell function, disrupt our hormones, when our hormones are out of whack this causes infertility issues and weight gain.  Or how about tricolsan – it has been used in our personal care products now for how long and they’re just now banning it for being cancer causing! It’s in hand wash, body wash, deodorant… and you’re thinking ok well at least I’m not eating it. WRONG it’s even in TOOTHPASTE!  Check out the Think Dirty App if you want just a little peak into this. If you think just because the label says natural its safe, think again.

I don’t work out, in fact I despise it. When I was pregnant with my daughter I gained 80 pounds. I dreaded how I was going to lose the weight because I will literally do anything to get out of working out or even getting as little exercise as walking, call me lazy, whatever, I’m not doing something I don’t enjoy. So how did I lose MORE than what I gained while pregnant? Well first off I gave up dairy – this included everything that had hidden dairy in it which is A LOT of processed foods. Processed foods are horrible for us. Truly just diet change, eating real organic food like our grandparents used to, no poptarts (and I LOVE POPTARTS), no milk, no ice cream, stuff like that. It’s amazing how much better my body felt too. I am back on dairy but since I cut all that crap out I truly buy better food now, I make better decisions about what I am putting in my cupboards so that no one in my family even has the option to eat these.

Like I mentioned before, I do not want to shame anyone because I was there once. I was the one always saying they wouldn’t make that stuff legal and able to sell on the shelf of my favorite store if it were bad for me. They just wouldn’t.  Right? Wrong.  So that’s why I’m here sharing now. I share because if you know better, you do better. I share so that maybe, just maybe my post will plant a seed in even just ONE person’s mind because then I know I’ve helped at least one family. I don’t know what it is but this resonates with me, I must share what I learn. This doesn’t mean my way is the only way but maybe it’s a way someone else wants to follow and they just don’t know it yet! Just like mainstream thinking might not be wrong for one person, for me not being mainstream is what works for me. If people want to call me some crazy hippy because I choose to eat and clean chemical free, then damn I am strapping on those shoes and wearing them because this is what works for me and my family.

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