Because I’m the boss…

He's pissed...and not wearing any pants. that's what happens when he gets angry. He strips.

On my drive home yesterday, I came up with an awesome way to explain Unconditional Parenting to y’all.

Unconditional Parenting is almost exactly like being a good manager.
• You talk to your children like they are adults that can make their own choices, while giving clear guidelines for behavior and setting reasonable expectations.
• You LISTEN intently, repeat what was said so you are sure you understand the question, and help the person come up with a reasonable solution to their problem.
• You listen to their complaints and validate their feelings.
• You consider making adjustments when the team is not working at their full potential.
• You are always changing and growing with your team, working with their strengths and weaknesses.
• You are always available to talk, and you ask what your child needs from you in order for us to be successful.

I find myself dipping into my old bag of management tricks often when I’m working with my kids, and as they grow, they respond really well to these techniques.

It can be so tempting to speak with exasperation, or raise your voice, or be impatient with your kids. Most of the time, I feel like Jekyll and Hyde. I switch from being tolerant, understanding, explaining every detail, and managing their conflicting needs to being the most impatient, demanding and irritable mother on the planet. This usually happens when I am hungry, tired, or solo parenting for the day.

If you also find yourself sassing back at your 4 year old, I really really understand.

What usually helps me is a glass of red wine and a cuddle. Slow breathing, holding my kids tight and ignoring the to do list running through my head makes a world of difference. When we are back on track, I try my hardest to be a good manager; kind, understanding, firm, and guiding my kids through whatever totally ridiculous shit they insist on dragging me into….and sometimes it even works!

Posted in kids, Uncategorized, Unconditional parenting | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Hello, Beautiful

As someone with 40ish pounds to drop, I should probably invest in a pair of shoes for exercising. My husband purchased my last pair of tennis shoes for me before my daughter was born, 5 years ago. I recently was told that you should replace your shoes every 6 months. I am so behind the times. These are sooooo purty. I probably don’t need a $120.00 pair of shoes…but I can still drool!

So turquoise and shit.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a running shoe for people with a high arch? I look like I’m en pointe even flat footed.

Posted in exercise, weight loss | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The best version of Jingle Bells ever.

I have many memories of dancing in my living room, jumping off of our couches, and generally getting crazy while listening to this song!

Posted in Music | Tagged | Leave a comment

I’m just not very good at anything today.

I’m cuddling with two kids and a cup of coffee.

My house is a disaster, there is a long work day ahead, and I have done zero Christmas shopping.

I have a 22 lb turkey AND a ham defrosting in my refrigerator for the 120 person family party on Saturday.

Darian’s first dance performance is on Thursday. I don’t actually know for sure what her costume is supposed to be.

I just had my phone replaced yesterday, and it is still shutting down unexpectedly.

I have no winter vegetable garden. The backyard is full of weeds. I have neither the time nor the motivation to make things look pretty.

Some days I am awesome at juggling mom and work and other responsibilities. Today is not one of those days.

Oh, and Rhys just peed his pants IN the bathroom. At least the bathroom is already filthy.

Posted in cleaning, food, gardening, kids, Lists, Uncategorized, vices, work | 1 Comment

Sometimes I am right

Rebecca at Girl’s Gone Child just wrote a post about Josie Maran Argan cleansing oil. So fantastic that I am basically making a homemade version of the same thing.

Just sayin’.

Posted in Oil Cleansing | Leave a comment

Oil slick

Having babies gave me drug addict skin.
I’m serious.

Smearing oil on my face like a crackhead gave me baby-like skin.
Serious again.

I had barely had a pimple until my daughter was born. After her birth, my skin went Cray-Zay. I had painful underground volcanoes, little annoying whiteheads, big, nasty black heads…and I had no idea what to do about them. They were up and down my jawline, right in the middle of my cheeks, on the tip of my nose.

Worse than the acne alone, I am a picker. I can’t help myself…especially in stressful situations. Every day in the mirror, I spend time trying to get that shit OUT! It only makes it worse. Much worse. Rather than just a little red dot, after picking a blemish, it becomes a bleeding, scabby, red raw splotch. Not cute. Not grown up. Crackhead status.

When you start battling zits as a teen, I assume that you figure out something that works by your mid twenties. But when you start getting zits at 25, it is very hard to come to terms with them.

Things only got worse with my second pregnancy, and I began trying more than just face wash and moisturizer. I used retinol (itchy, dry, creepy), anti-bacterial wash (cleared it up for a bit, but then got worse), apricot scrub (too scrubby for my face), and finally settling on a mild face wash that didn’t help, but at least wasn’t making things worse. Moisturizer was no better and everything I tried seemed to either dry me out or give me an oil slick on my face.

I knew that my hormones had shifted and that I needed to see a dermatologist. They told me to go on birth control. No thanks. I’m not interested in more hormones in my body quite yet. The ones I have are giving me plenty of trouble as is.*

I began researching alternate skin care online, thinking that SOMETHING has got to give. I wasn’t finding anything that wowed me. I figured maybe I would have to go on birth control, and just maybe I would have to deal with weird bumpy skin for the rest of my adult life.

One day, i was reading my Blog reader, and I clicked on an intriguing link about the Oil Cleansing method on Sorta Crunchy‘s blog. You guys! My life is completely changed.

I swear to you, my skin now looks like a kajillion bucks more often than not. This is a fucking miracle.

I make a mixture of 30% Castor oil (Whole foods), 60% Jojoba Oil (I buy it at Trader Joe’s) and 10 % Grapeseed oil (also from TJs). I add about 10 drops of tee tree oil for scent and it’s antibacterial properties. You can use any essential oil you like.

Massage a silver dollar sized glob of the oil (I keep mine in a travel size bottle I bought at Target) into your pores for 2 or three minutes, really focusing on the bumpy areas and places you know clog up easily. I do some “Dirt elimination visualization” which sounds dumb, but isn’t.

Get a washcloth wet with hot water.
Wring out the washcloth and steam your face until the washcloth is cold. Wipe the oil off of your face. Don’t scrub. just wipe it normally.
Repeat this steam and wipe process 2 or 3 more times, until your face feels clean.

VERY IMPORTANT STEPS:
-Tone with Witch hazel to give your skin an extra bit of cleansing
-Use just a dab of the same oil to moisturize your face after cleansing. I tried using straight Jojoba oil this past week, and I started getting breakouts again. I think the tiny bit of extra Castor oil helps to keep my pores clear.

I only have to use this method every other day. On alternate days, I skip the oil, still steaming my face with a hot washcloth, toning with witch hazel and using the oil to moisturize. If I have a blemish appear, I dab straight tea tree oil on it for a few days and it goes away. It has been about 3 months and I am happy as a clam that I tried something new.

The science behind this is that oil dissolves oil and Castor oil sucks the nasty stuff right out of your pores. Play around with the ratios of each type of oil, and check out this link as well, as she explains the process in great detail.

I know this sounds hippie and strange and like it would never work for you. I only did it as a last resort. But it WILL work, and you will save money and you will feel so CLEVER and you will tell all your friends.

The best part for me, personally: I have stopped my incessant picking. Something about knowing that if I leave them alone, they will work themselves out, has really helped me to keep my hands away from my face. I still have the occasional relapse, but it is NOTHING like it was just 3 months ago.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Have you tried washing your face with oil? Any other slightly hippie beauty secrets?

*I know, people. The birth control MIGHT help. But my husband didn’t have a vasectomy so that I would have to pop a pill every day.)

Posted in Acne, Oil Cleansing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Shiny happy stupid

I could not do anything right today. Everything I touched turned to shit, with a small issue here, a big explosion there. Coming off of a fantastic Sunday with family and friends, I thought that I would go roaring into the week. Quite the opposite. I squealed, groaned and crashed into a wall that I built myself.

Was it really that bad? No, not when I look objectively at the day. But I egged myself on, talking incessantly about how shitty everything was, until the shit was all I could see. This does no one any favors.

Usually, I’m the optimist. I look for the good, the bright, the shiny.

I should have gone to the gym. I should have put on some rockin’ music to get me through a shitty day. I should have been inspired by all my friends that ran the CIM this weekend. Those are all the things that I would usually do. But being in flux causes me to lose my footing. My confidence in my choices, my passions, my ability to do what is right-all these things are shaken when I don’t have a clear sense of where I’m going.

I focused on the cupcake fail from my weekend (more on this later. A baker, I am not), the weight I’ve gained and my lack of motivation to do the work it takes to lose it, the fact that my work speakers have so much static it is practically impossible to hear Pandora. I couldn’t find the good in anything.

To be honest, I think I’m worn down from all the shiny happiness of the season so far. November brought my 30th birthday, my son’s 3rd birthday, and Thanksgiving all in a 10 day span of time. I even have one more celebration planned this weekend, AND my company holiday party (which is a massive, fancy, fun night) so I am running extremely low on energy.

I walked in the door, and the babes were being tremendously silly. They both hovered near while I ate a dinner completely prepared by my husband (Lucky me), they told me jokes and CRACKED themselves up (smile), they put on their jammies with just a bit of supervision (it is always a fashion show at jammie time), and cuddled and kissed me until it felt a little uncomfortable (4 year old girls are VERY into kissing). The Christmas tree is up, and the kids decorated the house while I was at work. I have nothing to complain about.

Tomorrow, I will talk positive. Think positive. And call the flexible spending account people to bitch at them for denying my reimbursement claim. Because nothing makes me smile like making someone admit that I’m right and they are wrong.

Posted in frustration | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments