September

September feels like January 2.0 to me. The new school year and the transition from summer to autumn bring a certain weight to the month. September 1st feels like New Year’s Day all over again, three quarters of the way through the year.

I’ve got a few resolutions to carry me through 2019. I want to have a “buy nothing September” where we only spend money on essentials. I’d like to start eating more vegetarian meals, and journey further into the world of vegan meals. I’m going to clean out the front hall closet and donate anything that hasn’t been touched in the last year (I suspect this will be 75+% of the items in the front hall closet). I’d like to read more and watch less Netflix. I’m planning to read one parenting book per month. I am going to make a sourdough starter and make my own sourdough bread. I am going to plan at least one date per month with Shawn - no babies, no friends, no distractions. I am going to take deeper breaths and not get stressy or shrill during our morning routine. I am going to grant myself a little grace when I do get stressy and shrill during our morning routine. I want to do yoga with the kids, at least once per week. I want to start reading Harry Potter before bed with Grady. I’m going to continue to take Poppy to the pool even after the rains come and it’s cold and dark every evening. I want to get the kids more involved with holiday prep, and figure out how to consume less (presents, plastics, dollars, butter) this holiday season.

Do you have any goals you want to accomplish in the last bit of 2019?

Moon Magic

I like to mark the full moon by reflecting on the previous weeks and setting intentions for the coming weeks. I know it’s typically more of a new moon activity but I’m a visual beast and I connect better with the full moon. 

This morning I was in a bit of a tizz as I packed school bags and lunches and got kids in their shoes and car seats etc. At one point Poppy grabbed my face and yelled, “HILLARY, DON’T BE MAD.”  And I wasn’t mad, I was just stressed out and trying to do 87 things in four minutes, but it’s stuck with me all day. Partly because it’s hilarious but also because it’s made me realize how wound up I get when I think I’m going to be late or when my brain is going in too many directions. 

I’m not going to set a bunch of intentions or goals tonight. I’m going to set one: slow down. Slow down with the kids, with Shawn, with myself. Take a breath. Do one thing at a time. Give people my full attention. Sit down when I eat instead of shovelling food into my mouth while I help kids get dressed and sign permissions slips. Slow down my speech, think about what I want to say, say it kindly. Be with the people I’m with. 

What’s your full moon magic? 

We're fine. Everything is fine.

Last week when I picked Poppy up from daycare, her teacher said she thought Pops might have a stomach bug because she'd had a few terrible diapers that afternoon. My insides went cold and my voice got pinched as I tried to laugh it off with a panicked "oh I'm sure it's just the antibiotics she's on for her double ear infection, or the painkillers she's on because Grady accidentally slammed her hand in the car door."  

Less than fourty-eight hours later, in the middle of the night, Grady was vomiting in the top bunk of his bunk bed and Poppy was vomiting in our bed.  

Fortunately, the virus was fast and furious, and though it knocked out everyone in our family, it was gone within a few days. Unfortunately, it left Poppy with a terrible, hacking cough that had me staying up all night to make sure she kept breathing. Back to the doctor. And a second double ear infection diagnosis in as many weeks. 

I am so tired, y'all. I am tired to the bone.  

I started January with big dreams of organization, and exercise, and de-cluttering, and adequate sleep. You know, truly original January goals. And now here I am, wrung out, staggering toward the end of the month, wishing away time, frazzled and anxious. I need to hit the reset button. So! January 31st is my new New Year's Eve, as well as a full moon which brings with it some much needed moon magic. February 1st I start over, refreshed, re-inspired, and (hopefully) healthy enough to tackle my goals for the year. Let's do this. 

A Harried Mom's Skin Routine

I don't have much of a skincare routine because I'm fortunate enough to be a natural beaut-haaaaa, sorry, I can't even finish that sentence. I'm fortunate enough to have inherited my mom's skin. My mom has amazing skin. My mom is a natural beauty. And so far, I've been able to float through life without a complicated skincare regimen.

Until now.

Hormones, lack of sleep, anxiety (picking!) and forgoing drinking my usual buckets of water and replacing with coffee have taken a toll on my skin. Not to mention that my current skincare routine looks something like this:

  • Wake up. Shower, if I'm feeling fancy (and the kids allow it). If no shower, splash cold water on my face to wake up.
  • After Poppy's last diaper change of the evening, use a (CLEAN! I'm not an animal) baby wipe to wash my face. After her eczema cream application, smear whatever's left on my hands over my face.

That's it. I truly am that gross.

Funnily enough, my skin has suffered.

I need to make a change before I go from just feeling frumpy to feeling absolutely terrible about myself (true beauty comes from within, I know, but sometimes a gal just wants to look good, okay?). I've cut back on my coffee intake, and replaced it with water, and it feels like a positive start. I need to start taking better care of my skin though, especially as we head into summer and there's a possibility (slim as it may be) the sun will make an appearance.

What's your skincare routine? Do you love specific products? My skin is: sensitive and somewhat dry so moisture is a big concern for me. I also try to keep my products as "healthy" as possible (I use this as a guide when choosing products). I use the kids' sunscreen on my face and body but I think I should probably start using a face-specific one to prevent the pore congestion I notice every summer. What I need is someone to tell me exactly what I should buy and how I should use it. Help?