June 8, 2015

Kicking off Summer Vacation

It's been nearly a year since my last post.  A lot has changed in the last year.  Luckily, the way we celebrated the last day of school did not.
We celebrated with decorations, water, silly string, music, ice cream, pizza and friends.  I'm already planning next year's celebration!


June 12, 2014


I returned this morning from a two day hiatus.  It wasn't exciting or glamorous.  I basically camped out on my mom's couch for two days.  It's good to be home.  Why did I leave?

Two days ago, with a racing heart and shaking hands, I was struggling to breathe normally when I called my doctor.  I did my best not to scream at the voice on the other end of the line, I made an appointment to discuss treatment for anxiety and depression.  It doesn't make sense to me how the two go hand in hand.  It seems to me that they are opposites, but there are many things that I don't know or understand so I'm not going to stress over it.  I hadn't stepped foot in my doctor's office in over a year.  I have taken no medication.  It was time.

As a mother, I know there are many things that I do wrong.  I am always honest with my kids, though, and I know that is something I do right.  I don't sugar coat things.  They know that grown ups have struggles, that we don't have all the answers, that we're not perfect or invincible.  This was no different.  I called them all into the living room and explained that I have been having problems, I am going to see my doctor and after I'm going to visit grandma for a couple days.  Worried, they all asked if I was sick.  I told them that I was but not in a way that you can see.  They see it, though.  They know that I haven't been right.  As I went on to explain anxiety and how sickness can't always be seen, I could see the recognition on their faces.  I know that it clicked.  I could read the relief as they realized that the way I've been acting is my problem, my sickness, not something that they've done wrong.

For a year, I've been on a vitamin/herbal regimen.  I hate the idea of taking prescription drugs.  The vitamins worked.  Not as well as I would like, but they kept my head above water.  For whatever reason, I stopped taking them about a month ago.  I've been drowning for about two weeks.  I find myself walking around in circles, unable to focus on or accomplish anything.  I can't breath and my chest is tight.  I want to yell a lot.  I can't relax and it's unbearable.  I've felt it.  I know my family has felt it.  Anxiety is much easier to deal with and hide when your children are babies and toddlers.  They don't understand it and easily forget the change in your moods.  Now that my children are older, I have to worry more about how my anxiety is affecting them.  I can't put them through this.  I can't let them pay for my problems.  I've been on this roller coaster my whole life.  I've taken so many medications since I was about 20.  It's time for me to accept that this is me and fix it, even if it means taking medication for long periods of time.  My eyes are open, I can see that this isn't going to go away on it's own.

Here I am.  I'm home.  The kids wanted to know if I am all better.  No, kids, but I'm rested.  I have a prescription and hope that someday soon, I'll be at my best.

June 2, 2014

How We Rocked the Last Day of School

Summer vacation is here! 
We celebrated in a big way with decorations, balloons, goofy outfits, pizza and ice cream.
We even handed out popsicles to kids as they left school.
It was so much fun and maybe the start of a new family tradition.
They look pretty happy for kids who are about to spend the summer with no tv, don't you think?

May 21, 2014

Simplifying My Skin Care Routine

I am not a fan of my skin.  I never have been.  It's blotchy in places, I have large pores and am prone to cystic acne.  I have tried so many products to get the skin I dream of having.  None of them worked any miracles.  My solution?  Accept my flaws (this is the most important thing that I cannot stress enough), stop wasting money and cut down on the chemicals.  My skincare routine is not 100% natural, but it's fairly close.  

First, I switched out my eye makeup remover for olive oil.   It does the trick and I always have it available.  I know what's in it and it provides extra moisture to the area around my eyes.

I dissolve 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt in 1/4 cup water and add about 5 drops of iodine and keep it in a plastic bottle.  About 20 minutes before I wash, I swipe it on and let it dry.  It helps bring blackheads to the surface to be washed away.  You can find Epsom salt for as little as a dollar.  It's also something that I always have on hand. 

I use Dr. Bronner's to wash my face.  I use a 3oz plastic bottle and dilute it 1:1 with water. It doesn't take much to clean your face.  It's very thin and watery and easy to use too much.  Don't be tempted, though.  It only takes a couple drops.  I don't recommend using the peppermint soap.  It might be too harsh.  Try rose, almond or lavender.  If you are acne prone, you can always try the tea tree.  A 32 oz bottle of Dr. Bronner's will cost you about $17 and can be used for so many things.  It's almost always diluted when used so 32 oz goes a long way.  Much better than the $20+ I was spending on Clinique face wash.

I have also started making my own toner by mixing 1 part apple cider vinegar with 2 parts water.  The smell isn't great when putting it on, but it quickly disappears.  I love it because it is so simple, cheap and good for your skin.  Again, apple cider vinegar is something that I always have on hand.  In the summer when have an abundance of cucumbers from the garden, I make a cucumber toner. If you have a juicer, mix the juice from 1 cucumber and 1 lemon with a teaspoon of honey and keep in the refrigerator.  If you don't have a juicer, you can give the cucumber a whirl in the blender to make a puree and run it through a mesh sieve or cheesecloth.

During the day, I use a store bought moisturizer with an SPF.  At night, I use a thin layer of coconut oil.  I whip 1 cup coconut oil with 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil in my Kitchen Aid mixer until it's light and fluffy and keep it on hand in a glass jar.

When it comes to breakouts, I spot treat blemishes with tea tree oil.  Also, once a week or if I have a large break out, I use an egg mask.  I mix 1 egg white with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of honey until it's frothy.  I use a cotton ball to put it on, wait for it to dry and rinse it off.  It tightens pores and is great for acne.  If used too often, though, it can be very drying.

Since I've started this routine, I haven't had a problem with cystic acne.  I can't tell you how happy this makes me.  Even though I usually only had a couple blemishes at a time, it was still painful and ugly.  Mostly painful.  I feel for people who deal with widespread cystic acne.  I still get the occasional garden variety breakout, but it's easily treated and doesn't bother me.  I should also add that since I have made it a point to drink my 8 glasses of water a day, I no longer have a problem with dry patches of skin on my face.

I think that covers everything.  I like knowing the ingredients of the products I put on my skin.  I also like that I am saving a ton of cash!

May 20, 2014


I don't know how to explain it when the feeling sneaks up on me, when that moment hits me so hard from behind, it almost knocks me over.  That moment when I am certain that I can not referee one more fight, I can not wipe one more dirty butt, I can not survive one more tantrum.  It's there, so intense one minute, then gone the next.  It's not the moment itself that bothers me.  It's the frequency.

All moms have that moment, think the thought, feel the feeling.  Every once in a while, though, it hits so often that it never seems to leave me.  It's always in the back of my mind, nagging me, making my heart ache, leaving me to question everything about myself as I try to shuffle through my day like normal.

There are questions.  What am I doing wrong?  What should I be changing?  What should I be looking for?  How do others make it look so easy?  Will I ever have peace?  There are answers.  Try spanking.  Stop sleeping with your kids.  Find a hobby.  Have a date night.  You just don't appreciate how lucky you are.

In my heart of hearts, I know the answers to my questions.  I know that what it really boils down to is the all consuming hugeness of motherhood.  It's hard to swallow sometimes.  I know that soon enough, this feeling and the difficulty will lessen.  It will be all but forgotten, tucked in the back of my heart, like the pain of childbirth.  Of course, I'll keep muddling through.  I just wish I could get more days off than off days.


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