Motherhood & Childbirth

dreams of mothering

Mother’s Day has come and gone again, and for some reason each year I just feel more and more content and happy with our life that we’re building.  I’m not sure exactly why I feel more content and happy with each year, but it may have a lot to do with the growing sense of gratitude of living this life getting to watch our children grow, love my amazing husband, and maybe just getting a little bit more mature.

I still have sin!  Definitely have to work on things at times, but in this area of mothering, even when it’s really especially hard with lots of tantrums or just stubborn behavior and lots to do, I can still see the end result in mind, especially at the end of the day (happy adults that know they were truly loved – no, adored!) and it somehow gets me through those tantrums.

Motherhood is hard at times.  Life in general has so many unexpected things come up and little struggles or trials, to me, mothering my kids just falls in line with normal everyday things to face.  There are many ups and downs with small children when they’re teething or in a tantrum phase, but I think it’s harder if you don’t really understand the fact that it is going to be hard to begin with.

There’s a new disturbing trend of moms on social media complaining about Mother’s Day, using it as an excuse to say how unfair it is that even on that day where they’re supposed to be honored, they still have to take care of their children (wipe noses or change diapers), or clean sometimes.  From reading several of these kinds of posts and videos for 2 years (posted the week before to prep women to feel jipped), it’s clear these moms don’t understand that life is just hard.  Mother’s Day doesn’t always go perfectly or smoothly, especially with small children – and it comes across as insanely immature of an adult woman who doesn’t understand this reality.  Or one who understands it, but still acts like it’s not fair and has an online virtual pity party about the duties of being a mom.

From one of my favorite books that my parents had loved when I was growing up (and got me reading before I was a teenager:

“Life is difficult.

This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.  It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.  Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult.  Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

Most do not fully see this truth that life is difficult.  Instead they moan more or less incessantly, noisily or subtly, about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, and their difficulties as if life were generally easy, as if life should be easy.

They voice their belief, noisily or subtly, that their difficulties represent a unique kind of affliction that should not be and that has somehow been especially visited upon them….  I know about this moaning because I have done my fair share.

Life is a series of problems.  Do we want to moan about them or solve them?  Do we want to teach our children to solve them?”

                  -The Road Less Traveled

So back to motherhood… yes, it’s hard, but it’s also so beautiful and I think, really grows us as women to have to go through the struggles of mothering.  Anything hard generally (in my opinion) helps us to grow and mature.  At least it can, if we accept the struggle and go through it trying to learn from it and become better.  Unfortunately, as The Road Less Traveled points out, many people don’t allow problems and trials in their life to grow and mature them.  It’s easier to complain and have self-pity for our own struggles.

I love this quote from the 1800’s by Anne Pratt about the virtue of seeing life optimistically as a wife and mother:

“Every one must have remarked how pleasant is that household in which a cheerful spirit of energy is cultivated by the mistress and mother.

It is a pleasant thing to dwell with one who is not troubled by trifling annoyances,

who is skilled in looking at the bright side of things, and hoping for the best;

with one who believes that all the ways of the Lord are right,

and who attaches a deep importance to duty.

Such a one will work willingly, in the belief that God has appointed both her lot and her duties,

and it is surprising how many obstacles are met and overcome by such a spirit.”

~ Anne Pratt

In my life, it IS surprising how many obstacles we’ve overcome together, my husband and I, due to having such a spirit of adventure, optimism and gratitude.  In really hard times, it’d be easier to complain or fight or even blame each other, but instead we work together as a team to solve the problem and learn from it.  It really makes all the difference!

CHILDBIRTH

This is just an update on the pregnancy, but since it’s a “motherhood” post, I thought I’d squeeze it in here.

So because our first child was an emergency c-section, and afterwards we decided to not try a V-BAC, this will be my 3rd c-section.  We’re so lucky these days, even to be able to have c-sections!  I recently heard that death during childbirth affected 65% of women during the 19th century.  Obviously the risk is far less for us now, but still, having had repeated c-sections, medically we know each time the risk increases.  Then there’s always uterine rupture or tears where the scar has been cut and re-cut – these also increase with repeated pregnancies unfortunately.

Last time around I remember trying to prepare Patrick for if I was to die in childbirth during the c-section – I know it’s a slight chance, but you never know what’s going to happen and since there was that possibility, why not mentally prepare for it?  I wanted him to know that I wanted him to be happy and to remarry.  It’s been the same this time, except I’ve been having very strong pains where the old c-section scars are, which my doctor thinks is scar tissue stretching (little tears), and probably not “windows” which are where the uterus is so thin that you’re actually able to see things like the baby’s hair.  Windows are supposed to be painless, so the pain I feel at times is probably just stretching (hopefully!).  The risk of uterine rupture is still there though, even though it’s still likely very small.

Anyway, we really want at least to be able to have one more child after this, but unfortunately it depends on the state of my uterus – sometimes they can apparently become “paper thin,” or if they see windows when they open me up, or little tears, etc.  They’ll likely then advise me that I shouldn’t attempt another pregnancy.  😥  We’ll see, many women are able to have up to 5 or 6 c-sections… but it all depends on that particular woman’s genetics and her unique uterus thickness, strength, and elasticity.

Again, we’ll see.

 

Advertisements

The Truth About Venting (Shaunti Feldhan)

This blog is kind of on standby, it always seems to get that way when I’m pregnant 🙂 but I still like to post updates or fun posts just to have them here.  Enjoying the pregnancy of our little girl, playing with my kids and doing life as well as writing, has kind of taken priority for now.  Life is hard at times, but then again it is so beautiful!

This article on venting being BAD for you made a lot of sense to me in thinking about how we handle emotions or reactions to people who annoy or offend us.

I rarely complain about things to just anyone – there truly are just 2 people who hear my innermost thoughts and complaints in my life, and I like it that way!  You’re supposed to complain and talk to God about problems anyway, but it’s nice to have one or two very very close friends to divulge in or ask advice from.

I’ve seen what can happen when a person lets their entire existence be taken over with complaining or venting.  It’s very easy to do this with blogs since they can become like one’s personal diary of sorts – but it’s still not a good idea for a person’s mental and spiritual health/maturity.  It stunts your spiritual growth and I even believe it can cause mental health problems for the person engaging in that kind of constant negativity or “venting.”

When someone gets upset or annoyed enough to run off to type out a blog post as soon as their little fingers can, that’s them “venting,” and 99% of the time, it’s done in immaturity and not handling their emotions in the best way possible.

But until seeing this article below, I didn’t know for sure just how “bad” venting is – or rather, WHY it’s bad to do it!  I knew it looked immature and ridiculous… not to mention so sad when people in their forties and fifties still do it, but wow!

Here it is, from Shaunti Feldhan ❤

“Your co-worker just made you so mad. Or maybe it was your husband who said something insensitive this morning. Or your teenager who rolled her eyes when you asked her to empty the dishwasher. Again.

You feel like a pot ready to explode, so you just need to let off a little steam. A few minutes of “can you believe he just said…” or “she’s so obnoxious when…” will make you feel so much better. Right? Right?

Wrong.

What is commonly viewed as “letting off steam” or “venting” is actually a myth. It can feel very satisfying, in the moment. But it ultimately changes us. And not in a good way. I’ve seen this truth for years in my own research and in other studies. That’s why the first assignment in my newest book, The Kindness Challenge, is to say nothing negative about the person with whom you want a better relationship.  This includes saying something negative to them as well as about them to someone else.

I do quite a bit of work helping companies develop women’s leadership programs, and one high-level corporate client, Nadia, told me that she could trace her rise in corporate America to this one change.  Years ago, with a harsh boss, she would regularly gripe to a female co-worker.  But even though the co-worker was equally mistreated, she refused to join in.  Finally, she asked Nadia, “If you complain, does it change anything?”  When Nadia admitted that it wouldn’t actually change anything, her colleague shook her head.  “You’re wrong,” she said.  “It does change something.  It changes you.

Brain science researchers like Dr. Brad Bushman at Ohio State University have discovered that our idea of “letting off steam” as a way of dealing with negative feelings is completely wrong neurologically!  Instead, it actually further activates an interconnected anger system in the brain. So when we vent with our friends or co-workers, we’re building up steam rather than releasing it.

A better analogy: expressing our frustrations turns up the heat under the pot – and stopping our negative talk is like putting a lid on the pot and removing it from the heat.  That choice actually changes the way ours brain process the negative situation.   We’re just not as angry anymore!  Even better, if we can actually look for something that is worthy of praise in this person or situation, positive feelings often replace the negative ones – which can help improve even the most difficult relationships.

This doesn’t mean you should repress negative feelings, or that you can’t share something important with a supportive friend.  It does mean to be careful about why you are sharing and how.

A friend recently decided to do the 30-Day Kindness Challenge for her 7 year-old adopted son. As a child from a hard place, he had spent years fighting attachment and exhibiting difficult and unpleasant behavior, mostly directed at his new mom. When she first started the challenge, my friend was honestly stumped about how she was going to participate in her regular support group for adoptive moms since she couldn’t say anything negative!

What occurred was fascinating.  She was still able to share concerns and seek advice, but because she wasn’t sharing those “can you believe it?!” comments, she found she was much less angry with him.  As she sought support, her words were less heated – almost like reporting facts in a news story rather than fueling the fire of her frustration and anger.  In the end she felt more positive about her relationship with her son and she still felt heard and understood by her support system. Win-win!

So the next time you find yourself picking up the phone to call a friend to complain, or start venting around the water cooler, stop yourself.  Remember that it will not make you feel better.    Try it; you will see the difference it makes.   And it will help you want to go the next step, which is to live a life evidenced by graciousness even when others are harsh.  To be kind even when it isn’t warranted.  To notice the things that are worthy of praise, not just those that are worthy of driving you crazy.  And to be the one who reaches out to others, to share the truth that living life this way is a lot more fun.


Visit www.shaunti.com for more.

******

I can definitely attest to being amazed how little I care about minor things anymore.  Something seemed to happen when I turned 30 this past birthday – I completely stopped caring about things that didn’t matter, and found true beauty and freedom in depending wholly on Christ for my self-worth and assurance.  Something weird also happened with turning 30… along with not caring about things that didn’t matter, I seemed to find people’s over-reactions or ridiculous anger hilarious or entertaining.  I’m still not entirely sure why… but it’s a nice change of freedom and joy, embracing the beauty of life and freedom of Christ.

Besides… it’s better to live as a happy woman (wife and mother especially!) than an old sourpuss.  Perhaps this is what Christ meant when He talked about living life in abundance?

My Amazing Husband & His Boys

IMG_3653

Snapped this photo when we went downtown to see my husband working our annual city party called, “FIESTA!!”

My husband is an incredible hero.

It’s not just because he wears the badge, although the courage and bravery there are not to be discounted.

It’s his strength, heart, and mind that make him go above and beyond in teaching our sons how to actually be men.

Real men.

The kind that fight for goodness and against evil in our society.

The kind that are God’s warriors and ministers – both at the same exact time.

Words can hardly even describe the intensity with which I love this man so much.

patrickboys

 

Spring

IMG_3450

We’ve been enjoying this beautiful weather for a couple of months now since our “Spring” starts so early.  Each year it mesmerizes me with how beautiful Texas is in the Spring.  There’s something about the sunlight hitting the newly green grass or leaves and delicate flowers with a backdrop of the most gorgeous blue sky you can imagine that is just too much!

It’s like the weather itself radiates happiness and joy ❤

IMG_3341

 

IMG_3343

 

IMG_3346

 

IMG_3349

Our oldest found a rock with circles cut out like eyes from a skull LOL!!  Our boys could seriously be comedians… 😀

IMG_3356

St. Patrick’s Day craft making green peeps into little Irish men.  It was so fun!

IMG_3358

 

IMG_3359

 

IMG_3397

Our green Riverwalk dyed for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

IMG_3400

IMG_3423

 

IMG_3428

 

IMG_3430

 

IMG_3431

We let our oldest start taking care of some strawberry plants, it’s been fun watching them grow and produce fruit.  Just need to figure out some netting to keep the birds and squirrels away lol!  We recently found one with a bite taken out of it!

 

IMG_3440

This was the first strawberry it produced!  Our son ate it and although he “hated” strawberries before (yet still wanted the plants?? lol) he’s now decided he LOVES them!  (Sneaky parenting 101)

IMG_3463

IMG_3486

Sometimes our oldest reads bedtime stories to his little brother.  These are honestly the moments that you live for as a parent.  Just. So. Sweet.  ❤ ❤ ❤

IMG_3487

New kitten adventures.

IMG_3489

IMG_3491

 

HAPPY SPRING!!!

Our Winter Wonderland Experience!

img_2719

Taking a break from writing the Proverbs 31 series, I wanted to take some time to finally upload our pics from our mini “Winter Vacation” a couple of weeks ago.  San Antonio never gets real snow.  Well, one time back in 1985, but even that was called a “100-year snow,” for us.  Soooooo  we decided that since we missed going to the beach/island this Summer due to so many car issues, that we’d instead drive up to the mountains in New Mexico for a little less than a week to see if we could catch some snow for the boys to see!

It was the best decision ever to do this – our oldest had so much fun!  I’ve never even seen snow like we saw on the last 2 days there (we planned it somehow just right)!  It was so exciting (and FREEZING COLD)!  It made me SO GRATEFUL that we live in South Texas.  I love the heat… yes, even the really extreme heat we get in the Summer.  We live very close to a great waterpark and have access to swimming all day if we want.  It’s bliss ❤  🙂

But as for New Mexico’s mountain chill – wow!  We had all the correct clothing and even snow boots for everyone, but mentally, I was so not prepared for that level of cold!

We stayed a little cozy cabin in the area of a ski resort (that wasn’t open for a few more days – we got the best price because of this, and yet we still got to see their ski slopes with “created” snow).

img_2735

This day wasn’t actually that cold, hence the hoodies (they had layers of clothes underneath though!).  These were some photos of the bottom of the slopes at the ski resort.  We weren’t sure we’d be able to play around there so I didn’t wear my snow boots, the boys did though.

img_2736img_2737img_2731img_2733

img_2744img_2745img_2746img_2747img_2748img_2749img_2750

New Mexico with it’s deserts and mesas and mountains was incredibly beautiful!  I’m not posting a lot of our pics of exploring the town and the mountains because I tend to take too many anyway, but I wanted to show the most exciting parts for us: the snow!

I loved seeing all the thousands of fir trees, and we were lucky to get to see it before and then after the first snowfall of the season.  I thought it’s scenery was equally as beautiful – it was that stunning.

img_2794img_2764

Our big window in the cabin the morning after the big snowfall.

img_2908img_2822img_2911

Our patio showing just about how many inches we got overnight in the mountains!  Wow!!!

img_2917img_2918img_2919img_2920img_2921img_2922

Our adorable little cabin!  It was a great stay and experience we’ll never forget.

img_2939

So. Beautiful.

img_2937

Thanks for reading 😉

Post Pregnancy Body & Working Out

pregnancytracy

This woman is awesome.  Tracy Anderson is the tiny little workout-nazi that can turn your body into how God probably intended it to be when He gave us our design (the perfect muscle:fat ratio we all probably would’ve had if chocolate and McDonald’s never existed – AmiRight?!?!).  Anyway, now that I’ve been 8 weeks out postpartum, I’m starting to want to up my lackadaisical approach I’ve had to being serious about getting back into shape.  I don’t view it as some kind of vanity issue, although maybe it is to some degree, I actually view it as a “I’ve waited nearly 9 months to wear all my nice skinny jeans and dressy pants and tops again… I don’t have the $$$ to buy a whole new wardrobe so I’d better get my butt back into shape if I want more than 15 options of clothing items to wear.”  

That’s how I view getting my post pregnancy body back.  I want to fit in my clothes again.  It is like a major pet peeve not being able to.  I’ve always pretty much stayed the same weight/frame since high school, so I have clothes that date back to then that I still like to wear (I take care of my clothes OK?!).  LOL 😉  But really, I like my set of clothes, and it hurts to not have the regular options that I’m used to having all these years because of being limited by your body.

The first time I started doing Tracy’s Metamorphosis, within the first week I saw drastic results to my body.  My muscles started coming out in places I didn’t ever have definition, some of my shorts (that weren’t able to fit due to having my first son) were suddenly fitting – and they were actually getting loose!!!  The results were coming so fast that it made the workouts easier to some degree (and I hated Tracy less lol), because I understood that she was really right – her workout method was working.

Growing up, I was a dancer… from the time I was 4 until I was 18 I danced.  And from age 15-18, I danced in a competitive showgroup that was extremely intense with practices that were 3 hours long once a week, and included performing around our city at different events or in parades (dancing in a parade is the hardest kind of dancing I’ve ever done – talk about an amazing workout).

So I’ve virtually always been “in shape,” however, the way she works out (particularly her mat exercises) it is more intense than I’ve ever experienced (and I was also a Hurdler & in Cross Country – I understand bodily torture that comes from running miles and miles).  Her kind of workout is different.  It is much more painful (the mat exercises), however, you get results that are better than I ever had from running, or the lyrical/jazz/performing/tap kind of dance I used to do.

My husband is an Insanity lover 🙂 love that man.  I tried Insanity, it is hard in very different way.  Since I did grow up dancing, I actually prefer Tracy’s workouts because it IS dancing all the way through the cardio.  I’ve done it off and on periodically for 4 years now, so her workouts are like coming home for me – they’re actually comfortable at a psychological level.  Like being with an old friend.

Pregnancy is hard on your body – but after my first, even though I still had 20 something pounds to lose after the first two weeks postpartum, I had this immense feeling of pride in what my body was able to do – to go through a pregnancy, birth a child, and come back so strong and able.  It’s empowering to have a child… it fills you with a new self-esteem about your body that you’ve never had (at least, that’s my personal experience from pregnancy).

This time, I lost all the weight, however since I really wasn’t working out faithfully during the entire pregnancy, my body has become what I’d call “squishy.”  I’ve gained fat in places and lost lots of muscle tone.  So even though I’ve technically lost the baby weight, my body still does not fit into all my clothes, and when it does fit, it isn’t toned and feels different than it was.  I understand many women are totally fine with staying that way – this isn’t me trying to shame anyone for being comfortable with their post preggers body, however, for me, I’m just not comfortable leaving it that way.  I like my body to be stronger and firmer – it just feels better to live inside such a body… literally!  After I got my muscle tone back (after my first son), I was so much stronger, we’re extremely active in our family, and everything we did was easier.  My upper body finally had the strength I’ve never had… thanks to Tracy.  And my posture was corrected with having the muscles developed in the right places (like when I danced for hours a week).

She honestly turned me into a dancer/athlete’s body – and it felt so different in the best way.

Now for pictures:

pregnancytracya

The woman in the photo collage above ran a blog that I followed before buying Tracy’s Metamorphosis.  This woman entered her photo into a bikini contest (the photo in the pink bikini)… and won.  Her journey, since I followed it via her blog, was so inspiring. She had setbacks and issues with trying to get people to understand why she was dedicated to continuing it (the program she was doing was I think the 90 day program), but it was wonderful to see her victory in the end as she worked to overcome any obstacles.

This is Tracy herself (below), and the work and transformation she had to undergo in her developing her specific type of workout in order to truly sculpt a dancer’s body from virtually any body type (as far as I understand).

pregnancytracyc

Here are some photos of women’s before and after with Tracy

tracymakeovers

tracymakeoversa

tracymakeoversb

tracymakeoversc

So if you’re reading this and wondering if you should go for it and get Tracy’s Metamorphosis (or virtually any of her products), I am all for it!  The workouts take immense discipline and dedication because they hurt a lot at first (especially if you’re not used to being active all the time or don’t have a history of working out).  That doesn’t mean you can’t do it – I believe you can!  Tracy believes you can.  She is the ultimate optimist ❤ and it really is a gift that she’s made these DVD’s so that regular women like us (instead of her normal celebrity clients) can have access to her personal training.

My before pic (below) was taken at 4 weeks postpartum, and I do believe (even though I wasn’t actively doing her workouts during the pregnancy) that my body owed a lot of its strength and resiliency to her training before pregnancy.  I might be squishy, but I’m excited to truly get down to it and do her workouts until Summer is here (it’s good to give your body a break).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So if you’re wondering if you can trust your body to Tracy?  My answer is undoubtedly… YES!!!!!

Early Spring in Texas

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIts been a beautiful, wacky-weather January this year – with days where the weather is in the 20’s and then days where it is in the 70’s.  This past week, we found our first dandelion – something we’ve started to look out for as a new little family tradition.  To see the promise that the bright yellow brings after all the grey and brown of winter is just exciting, the brightness of the yellow makes us anticipate summer!

My oldest playing outside in his Ironman costume 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEven our cats are ready for Spring after being lazy all Winter.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Since its been relatively warm, we’ve been bringing our littlest son outside – one of the great things about living in Texas, January doesn’t mean you’re always stuck inside!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And, with this gorgeous warmer weather, i was even finally able to wear one of my pre-pregnancy dresses!  My husband loves seeing me in a dress, and its been awhile since I was actually able to FIT in one of my pre-preggers dresses, it was a shock and pleasure 🙂  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Beer, Gulash, & Oktoberfest 2014

oktoberfest2014dLast month, we went to our city’s local Oktoberfest, it’s something my family’s done since I was a teen and performed in it with my showgroup.  The atmosphere is family friendly but obviously something the college scene is keen to experience as well.  It’s a lot of smoke, beer, amazing German food, and seriously rocking loud & live German music 🙂  It brings back many memories, and still feels a little nostalgic every time we go back.

oktoberfest2014a

The older generation that belongs to the club who hosts the event dresses up 🙂  My son loved this man’s look!

oktoberfest2014f

The food was prepared right there in makeshift kitchens on the side of the open courtyard, allowing the scent of bratwurst, German pancakes, Gulash and other tasty foods to tempt you all night long.

oktoberfest2014b

Below is evidence I couldn’t resist the tasty, meaty Gulash!

oktoberfest2014i

oktoberfest2014c

They had open dancing for the crowd to join in later on in the night, so my son made me get my pregnant self (in 4 inch heels) out on the dance floor with him!  We had so much fun & laughed so much… another great Oktoberfest.

oktoberfest2014e

oktoberfest2014

My cutie getting me to come to him.

oktoberfest2014h

We loved every bit of it!

oktoberfest2014j

Can’t wait until next October…. ❤

oktoberfest2014k

What Makes a Good Mother?

motherhood

With my pregnancy with boy #2 well on its way at 20 weeks this weekend, and my husband’s and my anniversary being today, 7 years of learning and growing together ❤ , motherhood has been on my mind a lot lately.  My husband is working a difficult schedule from afternoon into late at night; he’s gone right after lunch, and comes home long after our son’s been asleep.  This means that our adorable son only gets to see his dad in the morning, and loves to push the limits with me in the afternoons and evenings – often driving me insane. 🙂  This also means that I appreciate my husband all the more for how much he really contributes to child-rearing, and helping me with household chores!

The frustration has made me realize the importance of really being a good mother – a consistent, patient, loving, and caring mother – even when you are pregnant, tired, moody, and your little son is realizing he can get away with more when dad’s not around!  I have to constantly remind myself that the pregnancy is why I feel exhausted and extremely low energy, and that my son still needs me to be the best mom I can possibly be right now, regardless.  I’m glad I have my own models of motherhood to look up to – my own mother, and various other women who were so supportive and unselfish for the only sake of the children under their care or around them.

Its a beautiful and challenging model of motherhood for me, and of trying to be better at all of it, for his well-being.

 

Here are some character traits I was thinking about early this morning, things I want to focus on more and develop my inner being’s muscles in:

 

To be truly attune to my son – interested in him and everything he is doing and telling me.  To really listen to him and his concerns, his adorable thoughts, and most importantly, his questions.  He asks the most interesting and deep questions about life for a child who just turned 4 years old this summer.  He’s so intelligent and understands things beyond I’m sure, what I understood at that age.

To make bedtime like it used to be – before I was lacking energy, moody, and pregnant.  I’ve always thought that bedtime was the best time to have one last impact on your child’s day – to get last words in of counsel, or assurance, and a last attempt at praying and leaving them with spiritual guidance.  Even reading to them (which has always been part of our bedtime routine) simply shows them how much you VALUE them as people in their own right.  Without my husband being there for support and literal “back-up,” bedtime has been rushed and stressful at best, and tumultuous at worst!  I’m amending this… bedtime is supposed to be peaceful, reassuring, and that last push for connection and love that can last a lifetime of remembrance for my son.

To be kind, even when tantrums are at their peak and I’m thoroughly exhausted from what seems like endless confrontations. 🙂  He is the most assertive little one I know – whereas my husband and I are both extremely easy going people, our son (at this age at least) is definitely more head strong, and takes more energy to constantly explain and discipline.  Even though he may be harder in this one way, I wouldn’t have him any different, he is so wonderful and is such a complex mixture of tender-hearted sweetness.

There are so many other wonderful traits to mention, to be caring, honest with him, supportive, affectionate, lovingselfless, being strong (having strength to endure times like my husband’s schedule), having great humor, creativity to ease stress, ingenuity, and stability no matter our circumstances or my cocktail of pregnancy hormones.  🙂

Let’s Talk Skin Care

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ever since I was about 12 years old, I’ve been obsessed with skin care… taking good care of your skin, not abusing it.  Washing your face every morning and night is healing in a way.  I was lucky my mother cared about it too, she always urged me to wash my face, eat healthy, take my vitamins and fish oil supplements from an early-teenager and on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Eat Clean

 

My pediatrician (who was an amazing wonderful man, now passed on) noticed when I started breaking out and promptly gave me a referral to one of the best dermatologists in our city.  I love that woman, but wow is she intense!  Even now I still go to her every once in a blue moon (1 or 2 years) and she is now into the botox injections – which I am completely against and will never get.  I enjoy aging, and intend to keep enjoying and accepting it from a embracing joyful attitude… an attitude that stems from gratitude that I’m simply getting to live life, getting the privilege to age.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Give Your Face a No Make-Up Break

Aside from all that, I truly do believe in good skin care, regardless of it’s affect on your aging (which believe me, it DOES affect it) this is a different matter completely.  Taking care of your skin is good for you right now, as well as later.

Most women nearing thirty are starting to think about skin care and starting to ask the questions of “Well, what on earth works….  And what do I really need?”  Aside from the advice of eating healthy, and taking vitamins and supplements… I think I’ve found my own answers on what is simply and truly needed.

You need these basic things in your skin care routine:

1) A nightly routine of washing your face and washing with a gentle cleanser (think Neutrogena) or a towelette/wipe to get it clean (I use baby wipes by Pampers because of the added Aloe Vera & because I have super-sensitive skin, it might sound weird but they get the job done well, and Aloe is soothing).

So make it a nightly thing if you don’t already to clean your face before bed.

2) After my face is clean, I wash with a toner that has a chemical in it to help remove the dead skin build up (I use Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner with Alpha & Beta Hydroxy acids in it) .

Aside from causing early-aging due to the skin cells not being able to reproduce as well beneath the layer of dead skin build up, your skin also needs to BREATHE to look healthy and vibrant.  This serves as a gentle exfoliant that can be used nightly.

3) You need a good moisturizer to pile on after the toner both at night and in the morning.  Your night time moisturizer can be thicker (and your face will love it, think of it as feeding your face), but a good daytime/nighttime choice that I use right now is simply Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion.

4) You need to exfoliate with something a little more abrasive (but not much so) at least 3 times a week.  This really is crucial to smooth beautiful, make-up free if you wish kind of skin.  I love my St. Ives Apricot Scrub (I use the medicated version with salicylic acid but they have milder versions as well), there are many good brands on the market, find a good one for your skin type and apply it into your weekly routine.

Doing it 3 times a week is great, your skin shouldn’t get irritated because it isn’t daily, and yet it’s often enough to keep your skin fresh and breathing and renewing constantly.

Take care of yourself, you’re the only one who can.