Motherhood, Motivation, Madness.

If you are a writer type you understand the sudden urge to just let it out… even if you don’t know what “it” is. It has been a while since I’ve written anything more than notes, research papers, or to-do lists. My creativity has been non-existent. I can’t even find the motivation to journal. It has been an entire month since I used my beautiful Desire Map planner that JoAnna sent me, and even longer since I used it to its fullest potential. I plan to get back on track this week, but who knows if that will happen. I feel like somewhere in the madness of motherhood, school, work, attempting to prepare somewhat healthy meals, and maintaining a home that still somehow looks like the aftermath of a hurricane, I have lost myself. Like, I do not know who I am anymore. Why am I even in school? Why, exactly, have I decided that my kid can’t have dinosaur chicken nuggets for every meal? Where did this unibrow come from? And when was the last time I wore a real bra?

Seriously, this shit is hard. And I feel so alone in it. I know I have people who love me. I know that I am supported. I know I’m a good mom. But still, it’s hard to only ever see my loved ones with the same frozen expression on a screen. Of course, I have Ant to love and cuddle. But, I can’t vent to him. I can’t cry with him. That’s too much weight for a toddler.

And somewhere in this mess I’m supposed to take care of my own physical and emotional well-being. Yet, I cannot find the time or energy. And I’m so fucking sick of the you can do it!‘s, and the it’s not impossible!‘s, and the you just have to make time for you!‘s. Though well intended, those are not helpful. And honesty I’m calling bullshit on all you moms who somehow go to work, make healthy dinners, work out, socialize, keep a clean house, and have any patience left over for your children.  I’ve come to peace with the fact that I will not be able to take my fitness seriously until I am done with school. I was doing it for a while- the working out five or more times a week. For an entire month I actually got up at 4 am , did my 21 Day Fix workout, went to a boot camp class at 5:30, then was at work by 8. That was when I only worked about 25 hours a week. Now that I’m up to anywhere from 32-40 hours per week (not including the random date-night babysitting I do), it is not possible. Some how, though, I need to find a way to manage my depression. I know that I really do need to exercise, but I honestly do not have time to work out as much as I should. But I guess it’s better to work out a couple of times a week than not at all.

It’s really just a vicious cycle, depression. I can’t seem to ever get my life in order. At this point I would kill for a manic episode. Really. It has been so long. I have been depressed for months with no end in sight. Every day. At least now that I have been in therapy and learned about my illness I can manage and channel my manic episodes.

The beauty in all of this is that I really am happy and healthy. And it’s not that I have accepted that I will always be depressed. And yes, you CAN be depressed and happy at the same time. It comes in waves, for sure. Most of the day I don’t have time to be depressed. My job requires me to constantly be moving, redirecting, dancing, singing. And how can you not when you have three sweet little ones to entertain all day? Yah, it’s hard. It’s incredibly stressful at times. But its happy work. I do love being a nanny. But sometimes when they’ve all finally fallen asleep and I am alone with my reality it hits me, and I am reminded that there is so much more inner work to be done.

One of the things I have been working on lately is staying present. Anyone with anxiety knows how hard this is. It’s hard for anyone, really. When I’m at work I’m thinking about all the school work I need to do. When I’m doing school work, I’m beating myself up for not taking Ant to the park when I said I would. When I’m making dinner I’m thinking about the after-dinner mess I will need to clean up. This makes it really hard to enjoy my life. At Ariel’s wedding a couple of weekends ago I had to keep telling myself not to worry about all the things I was putting off and to just have fun. And I did! It was the first time in a while that I was able to just let go. I wish I could do that daily. I will always be an obsessive organizer and planner. That’s just me and its honestly what keeps me sane. But, what is the point of panning and organizing if you can’t enjoy the things you’ve planned and organized, right.

Anyway. I’m not exactly sure where I was going with this and it’s time for bed. Maybe tomorrow I will figure out how to not be a hot mess.

 

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My No-Poo Journey

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My hair after its last regular shampoo and style!

For the past month or so, I have had this ongoing internal debate about whether or not I should stop washing my hair with traditional shampoo. It seems like the most logical next step in my re-wilding journey. I have read so many positive testimonials from people who have stopped shampooing their hair. Women talk about how their hair is the most luscious, healthy, and beautiful it has ever been since they stopped shampooing. But is it really worth having to pin my hair back when it gets so greasy that it sticks to my forehead? Is it worth the dirty looks when I’m that woman in the super market with hairy pits (GASP) and oily hair (GASP)?

As you can see, my hair is pretty healthy. However, I do have a lot of frizz and some parts of my hair are a little dry and brittle. A lot of my hair falls out in the shower and when I brush it (my boyfriend says it looks like Chewbacca just used our shower when I get out), but over all it is much healthier than it was two years ago.

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My routine until now has been to wash my hair every 2-4 days with whatever inexpensive shampoo I had at the time, to brush it daily, and to style it every once in a while with some gel (like the one pictured above, which I received in my Birchbox).

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This is a ridiculous photo of me, so of course I had to include it! Two years ago my hair was totally fried from all the beaching and straightening I did to it. Shortly after this photo was taken, I realized I was in need of clean slate… so I decided to chop off my hair.

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Getting a pixie cut was probably the best decision I have ever made for my hair! In the year following this hair cut I didn’t style my hair with heat or products at all, I didn’t cut my hair, and I only washed it every 2-4 days. My hair greatly benefited from that dramatic hair cut and I am so glad I did it! But, there is definitely room for improvement.

So, I decided to go for it! I went one week without shampoo! Honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Here is what my hair looked like after one week of no-pooing:

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Instead of shampooing, while I was in the shower, I rinsed my hair with very warm water and massaged my scalp to stimulate oil secretion. Then, when I got out of the shower, I combed my hair and towel dried it. I realized half-way through my no-poo week that I probably should have been using separate towels for my hair and body to prevent breakouts.

I have to say, I did break out quite a bit this past week, mostly just on the back of my neck, behind my ears, along my hair line, and under my chin. This is to be expected if you go an extended period of time without washing your hair, but it still sucks a lot!

After going a week without shampoo, I definitely felt a little grody and wanted to wash my hair with some thing, so I used some apple cider vinegar and baking soda.

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First, I put baking soda along my hair line and in the part of my hair. I made sure to massage the baking soda into all of my scalp. Next, I mixed one part ACV and two parts water in the bottle pictured above. Then, I stood in the tub and rinsed the ACV through my hair. Of course, I got some in my eyes 😦 But other than that, it felt pretty nice! Finally, I rinsed my hair out with cool water and blow dried it with a diffuser.

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After blow drying my hair, it was much less frizzy than it was last week. It also looks a lot less greasy… but it did feel kind of oily. It also had this kind of weird grittiness to it. I’m not sure if that is from the baking soda? As of today it has been three days since my baking soda/ACV wash and my hair feels pretty normal.

I haven’t decided yet how long I will go without washing my hair again. I’m going to try really hard not to use shampoo, but it will be there if I can’t stand the greasiness any more! Since my hair didn’t get that greasy at all, I’m kind of hoping that my oil production regulates itself pretty quickly. We shall see!

In the mean time, I need to find some cute updos to keep my hair off my skin! I’ve just been using a head band and throwing my hair in a clip or bun. But, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and I’d like to do something cute with my hair!

I would really appreciate it if our readers could suggest some updos for me 🙂 Please head over to our Facebook page and share with us a photo of your cutest updo and a brief description of how it’s done. I will share the updos I like in my next no-poo post!

Review | Ariel’s January ’15 Birchbox

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Yes, that’s right! It’s the special time of year when I get to review my first Birchbox. The New Year brings great resolutions and you know that many people are choosing to get healthier! That is one reason why I chose the Tone It Up box. Continue reading

Review | Ariel’s November ’14 Birchbox

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Well, from what I’ve seen, several Birchbloggers have been having a problem getting their box this month! I got mine rather early, luckily–and I love my products.

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Review | JoAnna’s November ’14 Birchbox

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First off, let me just start by saying that I love this month’s theme – giving – and I am super happy that Birchbox has partnered up with (RED) to raise money and awareness for the fight against AIDS. Make sure you’re sharing a picture of the facts on your Birchbox and tagging it #shaRED! Birchbox will donate $1 to (RED) for each time this is done and it’s an incredibly deserving cause! Okay, now let’s get into the goodies…  Continue reading

The Dangle Position and Other Breastfeeding Resources

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Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful natural occurrences in the world. It is among the many amazing things that the female body can do. When I think about the fact that I MADE a human and am now feeding him with my own body, I am in awe. The first time I nursed my son, I cried. I had to wait almost a week to have the joy of holding him for the first time, and waited over a week to have the experience of feeding him (see Baby Update | Home From The NICU). So my tears were mostly tears of joy for finally doing what every mother normally does in the first hour of her child’s life. They were also tears of relief, because it was not easy to get Ant to latch. It was really, really hard. From that day we have had ups and downs- from having to switch to a special formula, to returning to breast feeding, to growth spurts, and blocked ducts. Fortunately, I have many knowledgeable friends and access to some really great lactation consultants. Because I know how difficult breastfeeding truly can be, I would like to share what I’ve learned with you. I hope if you are having hard times that this will help. Don’t give up, Mama!

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Baby Update | Re-admit Day 4

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Today baby Ant had his liver biopsy. The cat scan that they used to insert the needle didn’t show any irregularities, but we won’t have the results of the biopsy until probably Wednesday. Unfortunately, they were unable to draw labs during the procedure because they had difficulty getting the IV in. The whole point of drawing labs during the procedure was that he would be asleep and the IV would make it easier to get blood out. Now we have to wait until Monday to get most of blood work done and the genetics tests won’t be drawn until the 19th of November. This is REALLY frustrating and its looking more and more like we need to get to Boston and have Ant treated by the most experienced liver doctors.

Right now Ant is in the PICU for recovery. Because of his history with lung problems, he was put on a high-flow oxygen tube when he first arrived in the PICU. They just switched him to a regular oxygen tube and hopefully soon he will be completely off the oxygen. He has had nothing but an IV with dextrose since 8 AM, so I really want to be able to feed him soon. Most likely he will stay in the PICU over night so they can monitor him, but we can go home some time tomorrow. On Monday, Ant will have an appointment with his pediatrician. In the mean time his dad and I will be discussing if we will take him to Boston Children’s Hospital, and we will be in contact with them to see what they can do for Ant that isn’t being done here at Tulane.

Please, every one, continue sending love our way. It is greatly appreciated.

If you would like to donate to help Baby Ant get the care he needs, we started a GoFundMe account for him. You can find it here at GoFundMe.com. Thank you all!

Baby Update | Re-admit Day 3

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Today is day 3 of Ant’s re-admit. Yesterday we had a plan for labs and a liver biopsy to be done today. That plan got all fucked up and I’m trying really hard to be patient and not be a complete bitch to the hospital staff. After putting Ant through the stress of fasting for eight hours, the procedure got pushed back to tomorrow morning. His doctor reassured me that he was their priority for the morning, but its still very frustrating. Continue reading

Review | #ModaVoxBox by Influenster

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I lucked out and got my first VoxBox this month – I’m super excited to present to you, the ModaVoxBox! If you haven’t tried out Influenster.com yet – go ahead! If you get chosen you receive free products to review. And hey, free is always good in my book. Let’s get started! Continue reading