Thursday, November 13, 2014

this is how you are loved.

This morning we bundled up for a weight check for Hazel and then stopped by Aldi to grab a few things for the weekend. The weather has been absolutely dreadful this week and Clementine has had a perpetual runny nose. When you have children and it's cold, a grocery trip is anything but simple. You bundle everyone up for the trip to the car and then remove the coats once they are in the car (because it isn't safe to have bulky coats on while in the car seat), and then you re-bundle everyone back up for the trip into the store. Inevitably, the two year old will remove all extraneous clothing throughout the course of the trip and litter them throughout the store, so you  collect and re-bundle a third time before leaving.

You can imagine that the bundle-rebundle song and dance coupled with the cold wind and the runny nose caused a fair amount of crankiness for us all.

But we were hanging in there. We were smiling even.

On the way out the door, we met the final straw. A well meaning old man stopped Clementine and said:

What is a Monkey's favorite snack?

Blank stare from Clementine.

A chocolate chimp cookie!

Clementine, confused, says: please, please!

And then he walked away. Cue toddler tears. As I packed the girls into the car I tried to explain that there weren't actually any cookies, that was just a silly (cruel) joke. There were sobs and demands I wanna chocolate cookie! I wannit. This continued all the way home and finally resolved itself during lunch time. As I snuggle Clementine before her nap, she tearfully reminded me: Chocolate cookies justa siwwy joke.

While Clementine slept, I nursed Hazel and then set to work cleaning up breakfast and lunch dishes. As I scrubbed steel wool against cast iron, it dawned on me that there actually were cookies in the freezer. Chris had brought them home last week, professing to have "felt vibes" from my direction.

Inexplicably, I was no longer annoyed by a morning turned sour. I was giddy at the thought of witnessing a toddler's delight over waking up to "sweeties." I pre-heated the oven and broke apart frozen, hockey puck cookies onto the cookie sheet. In the afternoon quiet I felt a stirring:

This is how you are loved.

So much in this world was created to mirror something bigger. A father's heart for his children is a mirror of how the Father feels about us. For many, the idea of a Father filled with unconditional love just fits. Their fathers, though imperfect, mirrored the Father well.

There are others who cannot reconcile this truth in their hearts. A father who loves without condition is a hard sell. For whatever reason--addiction, mental illness, absence, abuse--they have a poor frame of reference for fatherly love. For me, there have been many prayers of "I admit I don't trust that you love me unconditionally, make my heart believe."

Because of this, if something clicks, I'm running with it.

Today, I am loved in a "mama sneakily making cookies during nap time just to see a smile" type of way.

Mary

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"
Matthew  7:7-11

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Two Under Two


With a little over two months between today and my due date I have a lot on my mind about preparing myself to be a mom of two under two. This week, I have a post over on What To Expect about the things I am doing to help me feel prepared for this big life change. Will I ever be ready for two under two? Probably not, but there are a few things that are helping me feel more comfortable with the idea. I'd love for you to stop by and read about the 5 things I've been doing to prepare for the new baby's arrival.

Love,
Mary

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hallelujah.



We've had a few days of goose chasing, chalk drawing, evening walkin', sun on our face weather and we're just a little bit giddy over it around here.

Now, it wouldn't be Missouri if there weren't also a few slushy, snowy days thrown in here and there. But, this week of mostly warm days has been a little reminder that winter does end eventually and warmer days are ahead.

Hallelujah.

Hope you're enjoying warmer days as much as we are.

Love,
Mary










Monday, March 10, 2014

two in a room.

After finding out we were pregnant, we quickly landed on the decision to let our daughters share a room from the start. We have an extra room in this house that is currently serving as a catch-all storage space and is going unused at this point, but we won't be cleaning it out to create a second nursery.

We were really surprised to find that a shared nursery by choice, not necessity, was met with a lot of questions. Don't get me wrong, many who have asked about our plans were supportive but some were confused or concerned by our choice. I thought I'd share some of the questions we have been asked and the reasons for our choice for the curious or for parents who are on the fence about their sleeping arrangements.

So why put two in a room if we don't have to?

To encourage closeness. I anticipate that our girls will have a strong bond, mainly because they will be close in age. We look forward to our daughters being each others' best friends from the very start. Why not encourage this by keeping them close?

It's practical.  This choice makes sense for us for many reasons. First, we hope to have more children and don't plan on moving out of our modestly sized home anytime soon. Why not teach our children to share space from the get go? Additionally, keeping toys and cloth diapers and baby clothes condensed to one room will help us keep up with the clutter and mess.

Won't Clementine's sleep be interrupted during the new baby's wakeful months?

We co-slept with Clementine for most of the first year and we plan to do the same with this baby, so this is not a concern for us. Night feedings will be a regular part of our lives and it only makes sense to keep Hazel close while she is still eating at night.

Don't you want your girls to have their own space and privacy?

Quite frankly--No. We believe that the concepts of having "our own space" and "privacy" are very American (for lack of a better word) and that they are rooted in entitlement. We believe that our value for community should start in our home. We hope to model for our children that closeness is good. Sharing belongings and space is enjoyable because the things we have are gifts and far less valuable than the relationships we have with one another.

I am sure we have plenty of growing pains and learning ahead of us, but I look forward to figuring out this aspect of being a growing family and sharing it with y'all as we go. I would love hear about your experience with shared nurseries. How do you keep organized? How do you orchestrate bedtime? How to keep up with the chaos of toys and clothes? Leave me some tips in the comments below.

Love,
Mary

Thursday, March 6, 2014

doTerra Essential Oils: On Guard

This post is the third in a series of posts on my experience using doTerra Essential Oils. When my new friend, Karyn, contacted me about reviewing oils for her on my blog I didn't hesitate to say yes. I have dabbled a bit with oils, but I am so excited to have an expert walking me through everyday uses for oils in our home. 


On Guard is a new oil for me, I just began using it right after the first of the year. After round three with a head cold, I was searching for the best way to boost our immunity. Karyn suggested that I start taking On Guard internally and rubbing it on Clementine's feet daily to fight off illness. 

This oil is one of doTerra's trademark blends, made up of Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary essential oils. Together these oils create a powerful oil blend that functions as an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogen, and immune booster among many other things.

In my opinion, if you are going to use one oil daily you should make it On Guard. 

There are many ways you can use On Guard, in fact there are 52 uses listed here. Personally I have a handful of ways I use it regularly:
  • I take a shot of elderberry concentrate and two drops of On Guard daily during flu and cold season to keep my immune system functioning at it's very best. 
  • I rub the oil on Clementine's feet during cold and flu season to keep her immune system in tip top shape. (Dilute with coconut oil for newborn or sensitive skin)
  • I add a few drops to a tablespoon of coconut oil for oil pulling daily. (Don't know what oil pulling is? Check it out here!)
  • If someone in our home has been sick or we have visitors who are sick, I sanitize door knobs with 2 cups of water and 15 drops of On Guard.
So, has it been helping? Definitely. I normally get head colds if I am exposed to them even once. Since taking On Guard, I have kept from getting sick two different times while Clementine had a head cold. I was exposed several times at work last week and ended up with a cold, but what normally would have been at least a week of sickness, was only three days this time around. Clementine has still had a few colds this year, but I honestly think that is because of inconsistency on my part to make sure it is applied daily. I hope that with more consistent use we will have a much healthier 2014.

If you are interested in purchasing On Guard, you can follow this link to Karyn's store. If you have more specific questions, you can reach out to Karyn by email at: doterrachic@gmail.com
Keep an eye for an On Guard giveaway coming up next month! I'm so excited to share this product with one of my lovely readers. 

Love,
Mary

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hello There, 3rd Trimester!

Clementine is struggling to share the spotlight already.
Time is flying, y'all. Yesterday marked 28 weeks for me and the beginning of the third trimester. Clementine and I braved what is hopefully the last of our snow and subzero temperature to visit my midwife yesterday morning. The main goal for the day: passing my glucose test (success!). My complete blood count showed I was anemic, but besides that Hazel and I both seem to be healthy and growing right on schedule. 

Physically, I still feel great most of the time. No swelling, minimal heartburn as long as I keep my diet in check, and only occasional discomfort. My twelve hour shifts at the hospital are starting to become a little more exhausting and I usually fall into bed minutes after Clementine goes down for the night. Hopefully a change in diet will help my anemia and I'll see an improvement in my energy level as well?

Emotionally, I feel a mixture of things. I am getting so excited for Hazel's arrival. I am very emotional, in the best way, about our growing family. I have found that all of sudden, I also feel nervous and uneasy about her arrival from time to time. Nervous about what? Childbirth, breastfeeding, postpartum hormones, returning to work, making quality time for two babies and a husband, you name it.

Practically, we have been crossing some things off our our to do before due date list and boy does it feel good. We finally have two car seats that will fit in my compact car and still allow my six foot two husband to drive (I was stressing about that one!) We have a second crib and plenty of baby clothes. We still need a handful of items like a mattress, a few newborn cloth diapers, and nursing friendly clothes for mama but I am feeling great about what we have accomplished this far. 

I'm glad you stopped by for a little update. I hope my pregnant and postpartum readers are feeling great!

Love,
Mary

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Peaceful Mornings: Mama First

Some things get repeated over and over again because they're cliche, other things because they are true. The idea of self care is an ever visited topic in the world of motherhood. At one point or another each mom I know has spoken of it, and how important but difficult it is to accomplish. For me, making time for myself before the sun rises each mornings is a way for me to prepare my heart for the day ahead.

In my never ending quest to keep my life simple, I broke down self care into two categories of focus: body & soul. Today I wanted to share my routine for caring for my body each morning.

Taking care of my body means developing the simplest routine possible for my skin and hair so that I feel put together before I start my day. Most mornings I manage to squeeze the essentials into about fifteen minutes by keeping my make-up and hair fairly natural.















Face: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer and 3 in 1 Concealer// Cheeks: e.l.f Essential All Over Color Stick// Eyes: Sonia Kashuk Matte Monochrome Eye Quad and Almay Intense i-Color Eyeliner and Covergirl Lashblast Mascara// Lips: Burt's Bees Lip Balm

Now that I have some length to my hair again, most days I just run a brush through my curls and smooth in a little leave in conditioner.  I also love these tutorials for quick hair from Jessi and Haley and I fall back on them often.

Getting dressed has never been easier since being pregnant has limited my wardrobe to about seven outfits I rotate through each week. I look forward to adding more variety once I am bumpless, but for now I welcome the ease of a small closet.


The newest part of my routine is a little yoga first thing in the morning. Since time is limited before Clementine wakes up (or I head out the door for work), I only make time for ten minutes of yoga before she wakes. While I would really like to learn more about yoga, for now this Good Morning Yoga sequence has been a regular part of my mornings. I am finding it helps me wake-up and has been helping with some of my pregnancy hip pain.

What about you? How do you make time for self care each day? Do you squeeze it in early before the kids wake or wait until they are preoccupied with play?

Love,
Mary