Friday, February 25, 2011

Why DIY?

This is NOT, by any means, a post against DIY (do-it-yourselves). There are many reasons why somebody chooses to make something you could buy at the store, such as:

Craftyness - Some people really have a kick out of putting something together with their own hands, but I do not consider myself one of those. Unless, of course, it involves chocolate.

Non-Preservativeness - Some not only think it's safer to use everything as natural as possible, they also (to my confusion) truly enjoy things better like this. God bless you. I'm sure you're a million times healthier than I am, and probably prettier too. But I've become dependent of the store smell my cosmetic bottles come with.

Savings - Now, this is a reason that made me research this subject a bit longer. All to come to the same conclusion I've always known:

I cannot DIM (do-it-myself).

True, I haven't really tried all the things that you can DIY - the only thing I remember doing is some honey & sugar scrub, which left my bathroom smelling STRONGLY like honey for several days. (You'd think honey would be a nice smell, wouldn't you? I thought so too, but it was like somebody had literally plastered thick honey on the walls. Nauseating.)

Now back to the savings topic, I've been trying to think of what I spend with the most, and the answer would be hair product. As you might guess from my pictures, I have A LOT of hair, and could go through a bottle in a week. It's thick, thirsty and requires more stuff on it to tame the frizz a couple times a day. Now, for those of you saying, "why don't you just wear it straight?" - I tried DIM that too (giving myself a blowout), but the enourmity of my hair left me half and hour later sweating and frustrated that I wasn't even close to being done. I know it's possible because I've done it in a salon, but it takes about 40 minutes and someone really, really talented with a round brush.

I SO wish I was the kind of person who could use a 2 in 1 shampoo & conditioner. That is my dream. I told hubby yesterday that I'm a low maintenance girl in a high maintenance body - I do not enjoy my LONG showers, because in them I'm not relaxing, I'm detangling my mane. If only I had stick straight hair, I'd cut it short and call it a day. Hubby, wonderful as he is, says it's in the marriage contract that I should maintain my big curly hair, and if I ever wear it straight and short, we should do counseling with the pastor haha. But sometimes I think I need counseling BECAUSE of my hair.

Anyway, I digress. So I've been researching on the internet about DIY hair products, and so far I'm not impressed. One person said she used a banana mask before a date, and afterwards her hair smelled like baby puke (like, as if a baby had puked gerber baby food all over her head). You can read her story and her experiences (successful and not) with DIY at her post 10 DIY Natural Hair Products: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. Todra, I admire you. You must be one of the pretty, crafty ladies I mentioned. Part of me wishes to be just like you, but most of me is too afraid of the bad and the ugly to get to it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How Moms Have Fun

When I say "moms", I mean "me", so please don't sue me if you don't like any of these things...

The Bachelor
To remind us what it was like to dream of a family - it makes us more appreciative. Or, even for the single ones, it reminds us that things could always be worse. Instead of a toddler, we could be chasing a man along with 15 other women.

Even though I don't post nearly as much as some people, I love it that it's my window to the outside world. It can get addicting, though. When I realize I'm annoyed that my child won't let me type about how cute she is, I close the computer (or attempt to).

Good Smelling Stuff
I've always had a pet peeve for icky smells, and after Melissa, well, let's say that has tripled. I honestly cannot think of any spot of this apartment where she hasn't puked (sorry, TMI). So after a quick trip to the mall, our place now smells like Bath & Body Works. And I love it so much that I'm actually grateful I had the pukey motive to do it.

Blogs (and Blogging)
Is there something better than reading about other moms going through exactly what you have? It gives us (meaning, me) hope that we'll come out of this alive. Or at least make good material for another post.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Baby Fear

<- This is MUCH harder than it looks.

Anyone else besides me sometimes feel a growing fear of your baby? Though I shouldn't call her "baby" anymore - she's a little girl now, excuse me - but you know, she'll always be a baby to me. And don't get me wrong, we're bonding, having little conversations (sort of), rolling around the floor while I tickle her. So yeah, of couse, it's been fun. But it's also been TERRIFYING at times.

Like when she's crying and crying and I don't know how to make her happy. When she wants a snack minutes after a huge meal, and I give in, knowing I'm completely going against doctors orders, and am probably wrecking her feeding system. When I've spent an entire day cleaning up after her, only to find the house not only is still a mess at the end of it, but now also smells like puke. Times like these make me fear for my motherhood. Make me feel like I'm missing something, and maybe someone cleaner, stronger and more organized should be doing this.

It's been awhile now that I'd been telling myself that the "accomplished mother" feeling will come, just as soon as (fill in the blank). Maybe when she'd start walking, maybe when she'd understand me more, on the rare occasion she'd take a longer nap, etc. But this feeling have NEVER COME. Ever. I'm starting to lose hope that it ever will, and that can be really discouraging.

True, I have glimpses of it - throughout the day, she's always doing something so cute or smiling so big that I think to myself, "there, here's the proof that you're not doing it all wrong." It's wonderful. But it also only lasts until the next meltdown, or until about 3 in the afternoon, when I start looking at the clock, desperate for hubby to get home.

I've thought that maybe if we had a house (with more space for her to explore), or if I was a better housekeeper who made everything look like a pottery barn ad, I wouldn't feel so helpless. But now I'm thinking this might not be true.

So this morning, instead of stressing out about giving her the perfect breakfast experience, I just played it by ear, shared my croissant & cheese with her, gave her some strawberry pieces and some bread. To my astonishment, I realized afterwards that she'd had a protein, two starches and a fruit - exactly what the doctor had recommended. Wow, I don't think I'd ever achieved such success. Maybe the secret is in not trying too hard - or maybe trying as much as you can, but not thinking about it so hard.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Welcome to Toddlerhood

"Toddlerhood" is like a new country. After going through all the baby stages, and finally feeling like you've got it, life (your baby's, that is) throws you a curveball called toddlerhood. That sweet little infant is now a tiny person, who knows what she wants and wants it now.

So I'm not claiming AT ALL to be an expert on this (since I've just arrived myself), but if you're in the same situation, let's commiserate. I'll tell you the ways I'm trying to cope, and they may be all wrong, but a girl's gotta start somewhere...

Ignore the Tantrum
The tantrum, not the baby. But thou shall not fear the tantrum, give in to the tantrum or try to match the tantrum. I've been trying to just stay calm (or at least look like it in her eyes), hold her (as she kicks and screams), remove her from the situation and do anything else with her calmly (like reading a book). It might not always soothe her, but it does wonders for me.

Make Her/Him Laugh
I've noticed that if I spend more time being silly with her rather than scolding her, she's a lot more likely to want to please me. Now that gets REALLY tricky when the silly thing she wants to do is wrong. Then, that brings us to what I just discovered...

The Power of the Gentle "No"
Whenever I tried to sound extra angry when saying "no" so she'd get my message, Melissa thought it was hilarious. She'd even run to me giggling for a hug, and then go right back to doing what's wrong. But when I just said "no" in a serious but not as entertaining way (and, of course, led her to something else), she was more likely to follow.

Notice that I say "more likely", which usually means on a good day, when the sun is shining, her belly is full and she's well rested. And even then, sometimes (often) the meltdown is coming, and there's nothing you can do about it. Welcome to toddlerhood.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

*Chocolate Winner!!!*

**Drum roll please!!**

The time has come to announce the winner of the H&S Chocolates Box!!!!

Sorry I didn't say beforehand when that would be... Mostly because I wasn't sure myself haha. I wondered if I should give it more time for more people to comment or not. Oh well. Here it goes!!

And first of all, I just wanted to say that I did NOT expect for the 4 contestants to be none other than 4 of my favorite women alive! Jen, beautiful mom-to-be and my "free therapist", who's listened to endless venting sessions over pie; Kim, a friend that feels like family, and REALLY had just the right things to say when I flirted with postpartum depression; Betsy, who's everything I want to be when I grow up (even though we're the same age), both as a writer and as a person; and Mommyfriend, who's one of the most hilarious & talented bloggers/vloggers out there (seriously, you should be famous). How do I give chocolate to only ONE of you???

When I said on the giveaway post that the winner would be chosen randomly, I actually assumed that only random people would comment. I didn't expect to like the commenters so much!

But, in this recession time, one has to make choices :). And, as promised, my choice had to be random. The only solution to this was writing the names on pieces of paper and picking one without looking (I tried having Melissa pick but she got mad - I think she thought I wanted her to eat them haha). So anyway, with that being said, the winner is.......

***Kimberly Farmer***

She's SUCH an amazing person, you guys. First of all, she puts all of us mommies to shame with her crafty abilities (check 'em out in Mommyhood Craft Corner) - and by the way, she has an adorable etsy shop, Fiddledee. And as if that wasn't enough, you can catch a glimpse of what a wise woman she is on her personal blog, Kimberly's Expressions. It's funny that I haven't seen her in about 6 years, but she's one of those people you never forget.

Anyway, Kim, I'll notify you soon, but you just might know about this here first! :) Some chocolate is on your way! And the other girls, please accept the chocolates of my affection hehehe. LOVE you all!!