It's the little things: 2

9.30.2011

Today marks 2 months since my Mom passed.  It is harder today than a month ago.  The waves of sadness, grief, and loneliness that would wash over me suddenly, acutely, and often unexpectedly have started to pull me under for day(s) at a time.  I try my hardest to swim back up and be present in the moment and joyful for my daughter and husband but sometimes, I just can't.

Last night B took Eva out for a few hours so I could get a break.  When the front door opened and I heard her squealing 'Mommy! Mommy!' while looking around for me, I was reminded that it is indeed the little things in life that make it all worth it.

It's the little things: B took Eva out to run to base to grab something that he forgot earlier in the day.  He came home with a huge box of Lego blocks, new Nike running shoes, and a baby stuffed from eating McDonalds chicken nuggets for the first time.  (She loved them in case you were wondering).  I got a break and they got to bond.  Perfection.



It's the little things: A baby smile that lights up my soul

It's the little things: Running to the window squealing "Dadda! Dadda!" everytime she hears a loud car.  She thinks every loud car is her Dad's motorcycle. 


I am going to continue to try to focus on the litle things in life that make it all worth it.  Happy Friday!






How is your morning going?

9.29.2011




I wrote this long blog post complaining about my rough morning and lack of a support system because the military moves us around so much.

DELETE

I am thankful that I have a husband who works (and works hard).
I am thankful that I am able to be a stay at home Mom.
I am thankful that my daughter is healthy and strong willed.

Why my little princess is no princess

9.28.2011

There are many things that I dream of for Eva for her life.  Being a princess is not one of them.  With almost 100% likeliness, she will not become a princess in this lifetime.  She will not be swept up, moved into a huge castle with wait staff, unlimited funds, and no worries or cares in the world to live happily ever after.  That means she will have to go to school, get a job to support herself, and find her own way in this life.  

The princess complex is perpetuated by Disney.  Disney fuels the princess syndrome with a 26,000 item princess line resulting in 4 billion dollars/ year in profit for the company.  You can buy your daughter everything from Disney princess diapers, bedding, eating utensils, and toothpaste to tiara's, dresses, and thrones.  

There are many lessons that Disney princesses teach that I don't want my daughter to learn.  First and foremost, I don't want her to think she needs to be "saved" by a man ala Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel from Tangled, Ariel, etc.  I want her to get a great education and find what she is passionate about.  I want her to be able to support herself financially, emotionally, and socially before she gets into a relationship and becomes dependent on someone else.  I want her to partner with a man (or woman?!) someday because it benefits both of them and they love each other and because they enhance each others lives.  Not because she needs someone to swoop in and rescue her.  

I don't mind her current obsession with girlyness and sparkly things.  I don't think it is harmful for little girls (or us not so little girls) to yearn to be feminine.  However, I don't want to encourage her self-esteem or self-worth to be more wrapped up in having the perfect hair, loveliest clothes, or general beauty than it is already going to be.  In most of the Disney princess stories, the forlorn young woman is the "fairest" of them all and that is precisely why the prince is willing to save her.  No thanks.  Waiting around to be saved by a man based entirely on how pretty is she is not a lesson that I want my daughter to have ingrained in her psyche.

Her favorite book that we have read countless times (I know it by heart), is the Berenstain Bears book, "He Bear, She Bear".  An excerpt of the book is below,
"You could... Be a doctor, make folks well.
Teach kids how to add and spell.
Knit a sock.  Sew a dress.
Paint a picture- what a mess!
You could...Lead a band, sing a song, play a tuba, beat a gong.
You could do all these things you see, whether you're a he bear or a she!"

This is the lesson that I want to teach my daughter.  She can play mommy, doctor, teacher, actress, and monster.  She can play princess, car mechanic, baker, and cowgirl...

But really.  She isn't a princess. 

The paraben problem

9.27.2011

Do you care about your paraben exposure?

What are parabens?:  Parabens are a group of synthetic chemicals that companies add to their personal care products to expand their shelf life and inhibit mold and fungi growth in the product.  This chemical preservative goes by the names ethylparaben, butylparaben, bonzonic acid, or any other ingredient that contains "paraben" in its name.  Paraben preservatives are added into most lotions, shampoos, deodorants, make up, sun screen, self- tanner, hand soap, shaving cream, etc.

Why do you care?:  Many people care about paraben exposure because they have allergy issues including dermatitis and skin irritation.  Personally, I have begun to worry about paraben exposure because there is research that suggests that paraben exposure can be linked to breast cancer.  It is a fact that parabens are rapidly absorbed into the blood stream through the body's largest organ; the skin.  Parabens mimic estrogen in the body.  Increased estrogen has been shown to contribute to breast cancer by stimulating the division of breast cells.  Also, parabens have been found in low doses in breast tumors.  While there has not been a direct correlation proven between parabens and breast cancer but there is enough symptomatic evidence to cause scientific and medical concern.  In men, high levels of parabens have been proven to decrease sperm count.

There is breast cancer in my immediate family so anything that MAY increase the chance of breast tumor stimulation, is a major concern to me.  I am going to start attempting to lower my exposure to parabens. 

Do you worry about your paraben exposure?  Do you have any recommendations for paraben free products?  In later blog posts, I will begin to research paraben free products.

http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ This website has a database of products and ingredients for an easy check of the dangers in the products you are using.

In doing research for this post, I accessed a number of articles including this one, this one, this one, and this one.  

Product Review: Glade Fragrance Collection Candle

9.26.2011


I think we can all agree that there are two things that a "Fragrance Candle"should do well; stay lit and be odorous.  I purchased a 10oz Glade Fragrance Collection candle (soy based) in "Sheer White Cotton". This candle fails at its life's mission.  It does not stay lit and it has no odor.  It is a complete waste of both the money I spent to purchase it and the energy I spent continually lighting it over and over.  I would not purchase these Glade Fragrance candles again.

Out of touch- Coat Edition

And in another installment of being completely out of touch as far as cold weather is concerned, I would like to introduce you to this "coat" that I purchased a few weeks ago.  I was so proud of myself for purchasing something not made of cotton and lace and something that is not sleeveless or a mini- skirt.  I bought a "coat".  I found this cute little coat in the little girls section at Target.  Score. 
 
 After my last post about cold weather clothes and getting feedback from friends, I realized that I am totally out of touch.  Please note that this coat is not lined. It is basically a long sleeve shirt.  I have a long way to go.  Ugghh. 
 
So, the question is.  If I only purchase one quality, higher end jacket this winter, what should I buy?

Saturday afternoon fun

9.25.2011

Yesterday we spent a nice afternoon in Milton, Florida.  The weather was hot and sticky, the food was good and plentiful, and the company was friendly.  I met a couple other wives who are being stationed at Ft. Meade so I will have a few contacts in place when we get there.  I also spent some time speaking with two of the older guys about the up and downsides of purchasing a home right now in Maryland.  Both were in agreement that isn't usually the best choice for people in our situation since we don't necessarily want to stay there for 5-10 years.  Both kept emphasizing how much we have to lose if things did not go our way (ie, he got stationed somewhere else when his contract is up, we put renters in the house who turned out to be flakey, etc).  Up until now, I have only been researching purchasing homes in Maryland but after our conversations yesterday, I am going to swap my focus to rental homes.   Hope your weekend is going well!
 (On our way out the door)

 (Chocolate chip cookie face)

Unfriend

9.24.2011

I stopped being someones friend yesterday.  This is weird for me because I am a friend hoarder.  I keep friends forever.  Even people who aren't great friends to me and might not even consider me a real friend... I keep in contact with them.  I like connections and I actively keep my connections going.  It is a weird thing to stop being someones friend.  Usually friendships just fade off into oblivion when people grow apart and time passes.  Calls go unanswered and emails take longer and longer to respond to until eventually both people forget to keep trying.  This particular situation wasn't that way.  She wasn't really a friend TO me and hasn't been in a long time.  She didn't return emails or bother to check in with me while my Mom was dying but at one point, I did consider her a real friend.  It was pretty ugly and I felt really crappy about it yesterday.  Anyways, life moves on.  I was upset about it yesterday but today is a new day.  I guess I need to go make a new friend now!

It is the little things: 1

9.23.2011

It is the little things in life that make it all worth it

  It is the little things: Mommy and baby pampering ourselves together.   

It is the little things: Because why can't PJ shorts be worn as a hat?!

 
It's the little things: An afternoon in the park with a Daddy who is fully engaged 




It's my anniversary!

9.22.2011

Happy 4 year anniversary to B and me!  I am not going to write a long blog post about him and all of the reasons that I am happy we are together, as I would prefer to tell him in person, but I hope we have 50 more anniversaries coming.  We have been kissing for 14 years.  That is half of my life.  I am proud to be his wife and I'm happy to continue following him all over this great country.

 

Anyways, there are two things B really, genuinely dislikes.  Clutter and homemade crafty type things.  So, in honor of our 4 year wedding anniversary, I made him a homemade nicknack!


PS- Was inspired (ie stole the idea) for the DIY project from here 

Fall Fashion 2

9.21.2011


We got word yesterday that it is 99% likely that we will be in Maryland, outside of DC, beginning November 1 and staying for a minimum of 3 years. Back to researching cold weather clothes. Here is another cute fall outfit. I was wondering if these little round scarves actually keep your neck warm or if they are just for looks. Anyone know? Because you can't wrap it tight around your neck to keep the heat in, I am imagining that they don't work that well. I am also guessing that a light cotton top like this one is not going to be sufficient in 30 degree weather (or less!) but coats are so ugly! I still have a long way to go in appreciating cold weather clothes.

Average weather in Ft Meade, Maryland
November: low 40's
December: low 30's
January: high 20's
February: low 30's

**note to remember- I have not been in weather less than 70 degrees in over 4 years (minus one trip to Seattle). The coldest place that I have lived is the beach in San Diego. I'm worried about being cold, can you tell?!?**

What I'd rather be shopping for.

Pool day

9.20.2011



Today was a pool day.  It is still really warm outside here in Florida.  It is a good break from the normal routine to go out to the pool.  Eva gets a break from the apartment and I get a break from trying to keep her entertained in there. Some days it's really difficult to keep her entertained.  More toys is not the answer.  Going outside to the pool or going on a walk to hunt for puppies and kitties is usually the best solution.
I think her favorite game at the pool is pick Mom flowers.  She is turning into such a sweet little girl. 

16 month photo shoot

9.19.2011

We did a 16 month photo shoot yesterday.  I wanted a couple family pictures and a couple with Eva and I since I tend to be the picture taker in our family and therefore, not in any pictures with her!  Eva wasn't in the smiliest mood but they came out cute.






It's a pee pee kind of day

9.18.2011

It's been one of those mornings.  The kind of morning that you feel like you should look around and make sure there aren't hidden cameras capturing the moments and people hiding around the corner waiting to jump out and yell, "Smile!  You're on candid camera!".

Eva and I were cuddling in bed (B is working today) like we do most mornings after she wakes up. She was straddling me and rubbing my arm (so sweet!), when all of a sudden I feel a very warm trickle of liquid leaking onto my stomach, puddling in my belly button and running down the sides of my belly.  I had made the rookie mistake of not changing her immediately when we got up and her diaper was too full to handle one more pee.  So we get up, I change my pj pants, wipe her down, and make her oatmeal. As she is walking over to me to get her warm oatmeal, she does the "banana peel" slip because as I was heating up the oatmeal, she peed again but this time on the kitchen floor because I am an idiot and didn't put a diaper on her after I wiped her down.  So, now she is screaming because she fell, hard, on the floor. I pick her up and give her cuddles and now I am covered in pee again because she fell flat in the puddle of pee. I decide she just needs a bath so I don't bother to wipe her down this time. I set her down after she stops crying so I can wipe the pee up from the floor and we can head over to the bath tub. After the pee is wiped up, I look over to her and there she is. Standing in poop. Lifting her feet up and setting them back down in the poop.  Smearing it all over the floor.

It's one of those days!

Happy Sunday!

 This is a terrible picture of both Eva and me and the lighting is horrible but this is from our lunch in Alabama yesterday.  I am including this picture because it is the last day of blond hair. 


Review: OPI "Over the Taupe"

9.17.2011



I bought OPI "Over the Taupe"to change my nails from their standard hot pink summer shade to into the fall.  I like the color.  It isn't too, too dark but it is definitely a fall tone.  The color seemed a bit thin.  I had to apply two coats for a decent color and a third coat made the color deeper and richer.  It lasted almost two days without chipping which spells success for me.

Empty

9.16.2011

Every day I miss my Mom. 

Some days I miss her desperately. 

Achingly. 

Painfully.

Today is one of those days.

September Goals

9.15.2011

I whole-heartedly believe in goal setting and goal achieving.  I wrote an entire post about how to make goals and how to use goals to better your life.  I think that most people underestimate the power that goal setting holds.  I have my newest goals listed below. 



My current goals are similar to the last goals that I set (found here) this summer, but not identical.  I have been successful with my reading goals.  I finished "1984" and "How to analyze people on sight through the power of human analysis" and am almost done with "All is Mind".  It feels good to read for pleasure instead of reading for school.  It feels way more productive than watching TV.  I will not lie though and say that I prefer reading over watching my beloved trash reality TV.  I failed the running goal that I had set for myself.  In July, I set a goal to run 8 miles in less than 80 minutes by the end of September.  The week before my surgery, I had gotten up to running 6.5 miles in about 55 minutes.  Because of my surgery and then dealing with my Mom's cancer and then death, I did not run for 7+ weeks.  I started again this week but I am SORE from running 3.5 miles.  I reset my running goal to 5 miles by next month.   

My universal goals are the same as last month.  I want to be a happy wife and active mom.  I want to joyfully take care of my loved ones while taking care of myself.

What are your goals?  Do you make them? Write them down?   

Fall fashion inspiration: 1

9.14.2011

Most likely I am going to be living in a place that has seasons for the next three years.  I have never experienced a real fall or winter.  Ever.  Living out my entire life in Southern California, Honolulu, and now Florida has me spoiled and pumping very thin blood.  This also means that I have never put much thought into cold weather clothes.  I don't particularly care for sweaters, coats or boots but when the temperatures go down below 75, I guess they become necessary.  Anyways, I am going to start a collection of looks that I like and inspire me and might like to attempt to replicate.  This is the advice of my always fashionable and super organized friend, Lauren.  She explains her pro shopping skills very eloquently on her blog here.  But the quick and dirty of it is to through magazines, find looks or items that inspire you, decide what you need to purchase to make this look come to life for you, then go shopping. 

For me to do this look above, I would need to purchase... everything.  Well, except the dark jeans.  I still carry a diaper bag so the bag is out too.  I think this look will be fairly easy to recreate and probably a good place to start.  
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