The other day a coworker asked me for some recommendations on what toys to buy for her infant daughter. I had a moment of panic because I knew the RIGHT answer was wooden toys, recycled books, and gender neutral organic … Continue reading
There was a time when Dan and I would decide that we wanted to go to the lake, and we would get in the car and drive there. Those days are farther gone than Bruce Jenner’s man card. Leaving the house … Continue reading
The day has finally come. It took 5 long weeks, untold hours of bickering, and about 75 million trips to Lowes, but our downstairs bathroom is finally DONE! Dan did the entire thing himself (except a little bit of plumbing) … Continue reading
My love affair with Maine began at 2 years old, the first summer my parents rented a cottage at Higgins Beach. I was the ultimate beach babe – with sand in my hair and my sandwich and a bucket full … Continue reading
I’m the least crafty person I’ve ever met. Seriously. Not only do I NOT have the patience for crafting, but I also hate getting dirty, using paint or glue, kneeling on the floor, going to the craft store, waiting for … Continue reading
First things first, an update on the shoe situation:
Last week I posted a picture of a pair of Freshly Picked Moccasins on Facebook. It looked like this:
It generated a surprisingly heated discussion about whether or not I am a completely self-absorbed snob for wanting to buy $60 shoes for a 1 year old. Here’s a sampling of some of the (15+) comments:
Just kidding!! I was totally going to buy them the whole time – ha! Haters’ gon hate…but what can you do. A girl can never have too many shoes.
Oh and just in case this story makes it seem like I am raising a spoiled, prissy little princess, here’s a video of Mia at a local farm giving hugs to all the sheep. Just after this video was taken she laid down in the middle of the sheep pen and legit rubbed dirt/hay/grain all over her hands and legs. Then she took off her shoes. The girl knows how to make a mess. And while I think Dan may have been having a heart palpitations, I couldn’t help but smile. She’s for sure a farm girl at heart.
After hugging the sheep Mia had her first ever ice cream cone, and got to ride on her very own miniature tractor. (Also pictured below, some shots from the Cumberland Fair)
All in all we had a pretty fun weekend – and I felt especially grateful for every moment we spent together. Even the ones when Mia was screaming and Dan was annoyed because we were missing the football game.
I’m feeling especially grateful these days because last week something unimaginable happened to a young family in our community. A friend of a close friend lost their 11 month old son in a tragic accident. I hesitate to even write about it because I don’t know the family personally (only through another friend), and the small way in which their sadness touched me is absolutely incomparable to the crushing, horrific, all consuming grief they must be experiencing right now and for the days, months and years to come.
I think that our minds actually protect us from this kind of tragedy by preventing us from being able to fully comprehend the reality of the situation. So instead of trying to understand what they must be feeling, I’m turning my energy inward, and focusing on how I can be more mindful. More grateful for every day, every moment. Every 3am wake up. Every kiss hello and and hug goodbye.
It is so easy to feel frustrated by the many things I don’t have. The stuff I’m not good at. The things that don’t unfold they way I wish they would. But a quick step back and sharp breath in make me stop in my tracks and realize that the things that really, truly matter are sitting right next to me on my couch. And they are perfect.
If you know the Hartfords, or were touched by their unimaginable loss, you can help them with medical and funeral expenses here, or simply send them a message of love and support. Please keep their family, and their sweet little angel Henry in your prayers.
Today I’ve been married for 2 years… which makes me completely unqualified to give marriage or relationship advice to pretty much anyone at all. Doesn’t stop me though. Here’s the thing. I have an imperfect marriage. Which I guess makes … Continue reading
I just went to an awesome conference on content marketing. It was called Content Marketing World, and it was hosted by the Content Marketing Institute, which is located in the amazing….wait for it….Cleveland, Ohio! I’ve never been to Cleveland before, … Continue reading
Before I had Mia I heard moms whining about leaving their one, two and even three years olds for the first time for a night and I rolled my eyes so hard it hurt the frontal lobe of my brain.
The kid is three for pete’s sake, get a grip.
And then, like so many things in life, I had Mia and I became one of them.
I agreed to this work trip when I was still pregnant, woefully unprepared for motherhood and classically ignorant about all things mommy. I did the math in my head, figured out that Mia would be a little over a year when the work trip rolled around – and eagerly agreed to go. She would be done breastfeeding (she’s not), she would be sleeping through the night (only sometimes), and I would be so excited for a little break from the chaos.
The only thing I was right about was being excited for a little escape – but what I completely didn’t take into account was how incredibly, heart-wrenchingly difficult it would be to leave my baby for 3 full nights. Three bedtimes with no kisses. Three mornings with no nursing. Three full days without hearing her sweet little voice cooing for mama and dada.
The trip in question was admittedly a pretty awesome one. A work trip to Bar Harbor to host a bunch of nutrition bloggers and teach them about Wild Blueberries. It was pretty much a paid vacation. But the separation from Mia was awful.
As the trip approached I became increasingly panicked. I cried, I decided to cancel, I called my mom and told her I wasn’t going to go. I couldn’t believe how pathetic I was acting. Especially because I knew I DID NOT want to be one of those codependent moms who can’t or won’t carry on a life outside of their kids. And I knew I didn’t want Mia to be one of those kids.
And that’s why I had to go.
Not because I didn’t want to be “one of those moms” but because I didn’t want Mia to be “one of those kids.”
I want her to go cheerfully, and confidently to sleepovers. I want her to be soothed by her daddy in the same way she’s soothed by her mom. I want her to get her own apartment when she’s older and cook her own food and kill her own spiders. I want her to know how to change a tire and tile a bathroom. How to manage an investment account and navigate an airport. And she won’t do any of those things if 1. I don’t let her and 2. I don’t show her that she can.
I realize that going on a 3-day work trip is not going to teach Mia how to manage an investment account, or even prepare her for a sleepover. But it did show her that she doesn’t need to be nursed to fall asleep. That she can count on her daddy to comfort her when her new teeth are hurting. That she can be Mia without Mama. This trip taught me that I am strong and independent enough to spend time away, and that she’s strong and independent enough to be fine without me. We are deeply connected, but we are two separate people.
I’ve always believed the best relationships are between people who love each other but don’t need each other. I think the same goes for motherhood. I want Mia to want me in her life – but if I do my job right, she won’t need me forever.
As mothers we often pride ourselves on giving everything to our children. But sometimes, I think the best gift we can give is to hold onto to our own identity too. Because before we were mothers we were daughters, and wives and best friends and employees and rock climbers and mud runners – and those people are worth fighting for, too.
Let me preface this by saying that I am not a non-toxic organic mom. I wish I was, sort of. But I only have so much energy to expend on a daily basis, and making sure my baby is fed, clothed and comfortable takes up about 90%. The other 10% goes to making enough money to keep the baby fed, clothed and comfortable, being an at least tolerable wife and catching up on past seasons of Game of Thrones – so that doesn’t really leave a lot of energy to devote to searching out carseats made of beeswax, or biodegradable bottles (are those a thing?). Organic baby food pouches (Happy Baby Organics are my fav) and non-toxic teething rings (Love these Chewy Qs, which are made in Maine and modeled by Mia) are about as far as I’ve ventured into the world of all natural child-rearing.
However, this past week I discovered a product that is both organic AND non-toxic and it works so freakin’ well that I had to blog about it because seriously, every mom needs to have this in their diaper bag. Plus, it made Mia way more comfortable which means it falls into the 90% energy category.
So…without further ado: Calendula Diaper Rash Cream by Weleda. It costs $14 which, I know, is like 3 times the cost of Butt Paste, but guys, this is worth it. I mean your baby’s butt cheeks are in the balance here! And believe me, Weleda is not paying me to write this (I wish they were!) – I was actually so impressed with their diaper cream that I wanted to blog about it so other moms could find it and give their babies the smoothest butts ever :)
Mia got her first “real” diaper rash last week and of course my first reaction was to completely ignore it and hope it went away (mom of the year award!). When that didn’t work I slathered her up with one of the 12 tubes of Butt Paste I received at my baby shower – and her rash promptly got WAY WORSE. I guess chemicals are bad for babies after all…
So I was about to call the doctor, when deep in Mia’s changing table drawer I discovered a tube of Calendula Diaper Rash Cream. It was given to me by one of my mom’s friends (a massage therapist and expert on all things natural) along with a tube of Calendula Body Cream (which I have been using on Mia since she was born and absolutely LOVE – mostly because it smells so delish). Since I loved the body lotion so much I figured I would give the diaper rash cream a try. It’s made with zinc oxide, Calendula flower extract, chamomile and beeswax, which made me skeptical it would work (where are the hard to pronounce chemicals that actually cure things?!) but literally overnight her rash was gone and her bum was smooth and yummy as ever.
Which brings me to the daycare part of this story. I was so impressed with how well the diaper cream worked that I wanted to make sure they were using it at daycare, so her rash wouldn’t come back. I brought the tube with me this morning and asked Melissa, her home daycare provider to use the special cream. I told her I would buy a tube to keep at daycare in the future. I had barely even made it to work before I received a text from Melissa, letting me know I didn’t need to buy an extra tube, she had already ordered it online and it would arrive at the end of the week. I offered to reimburse her and she refused. She wants the best for Mia, too.
I know that might sound like a minor thing but how many daycares do you know that will special order a non-toxic, organic diaper cream for your child? How many do you know that buy your kid clothes to keep at daycare so you don’t need to bring back-up outfits? What about a daycare that feeds them 3 meals a day at no extra cost? Takes them on weekends or at night as needed? Offers to drop them off at your house when you get stuck at work? I mean seriously, how did we get so lucky?
Leaving your child at daycare is one of the scariest things ever. How could a stranger ever care for your child as well as you can? I can say with complete confidence that Melissa cares for Mia with as much love and tenderness as Dan and I do – and for that I will be forever grateful, and forever spoiled. Thanks Melissa!