Things Clara says (pt 2)

Clara: Mom, can I have 10 books in my bed?

Me: Sure, Clara. (I hand her three books. I should have known better.)

Clara: MOM, this is THREE BOOKS. I said TEN BOOKS.

… and then I handed her seven more books and realized that naptime might never happen.


picnic-in-the-park

We were on a family bike ride and the girls were in our new bike trailer. Isabelle was screaming at the top of her lungs (because she was way overtired), Clara was yelling at her for screaming, and Tim and I were both losing our minds.

Tim: Clara, let’s sing a song instead. Maybe Twinkle, Twinkle?

Clara: (singing) Hit her, bite her, wake her up and make her cry. Hit her, bite her, wake her up and make her cry!

Isabelle: (shrieking)

Tim: NEVER MIND. NO MORE SINGING!

And at that point I rode away from my family as fast as I could.


Tim was putting Isabelle to sleep, Clara was reading in her room, and I was reading in the family room. Then I realized the house was a little too quiet, so I went into Clara’s room and saw she wasn’t there. I went into my bathroom and…

Me: CLARA! What happened?!

Clara (naked and covered from head to toe in foundation, blush, mascara, eye shadow, eyeliner, with her hair matted with Tim’s hair gel): Mommy, I’m practicing being a grown-up!

Me: OK, great job practicing. Next time please ask me if you want to use my make-up. Now stand right here so I can get a picture before you take a bath… (#priorities.)


And then today I took Clara into her room for approximately 8 seconds to give her a lecture about calming her body down and not pushing her sister over. Of course, while I was in there with Clara, Isabelle climbed up on our ottoman, grabbed my mug of coffee, and flung it all over the pile of clean laundry and the couch. The only dialogue for that event was me yelling “NOOOOOOOO!”


Parenting is exhausting.

* Linking up with Kristen and Gretch!

Posted in family, loved ones, motherhood | Tagged , | 6 Comments

6 Natural Sunscreen Products (+ my thoughts)

I have inadvertently become a sunscreen tester of sorts. I’ve been trying so many different sunscreen products for my girls and myself that it’s become an unintentional mini hobby of mine!

The first year of Clara’s life I was oblivious about the importance of natural skin products. We lived in Chicago (not as hippy-dippy of a culture as Seattle) and I used whatever sunscreen I had around our apartment, which was usually Banana Boat or whatever else was on sale at the drugstore. I happily slathered it on Clara and thought nothing of it.

One day we were at a church picnic and a mom friend asked me if I had extra sunscreen she could use on her son. I pulled out my tube of Banana Boat and felt like a super-mom for even remembering sunscreen at all. Well, she very politely declined my offering in favor of a different brand of a natural sunscreen that another mom had. And that got me thinking… what’s the big deal about sunscreen? Are some sunscreens better than others?

You can read the research yourself, if that’s what interests you, but suffice it to say that after I started reading some articles I threw away all of my sunscreen and bought new, ‘better’ (aka less chemically made) natural sunscreen products. (Also, every single mom I know in Seattle uses the ‘hippy-dippy’ stuff, so this makes it easy to get recommendations from other moms!)6 natural sunscreen products for toddlers and families - my thoughts and which ones are my favorites!

I’m still on the hunt to find a sunscreen that works the best for my family, hence me having six different brands around my house!

Here are my thoughts on these six natural sunscreen products:

Badger

This was the first natural sunscreen I tried, and to be honest, my immediate reaction was that natural sunscreen just wasn’t for us. This stuff is hard to get out of the tube and hard to rub in. Plus, because it’s so hard to rub in, Clara got a sunburn in patches of her skin that we didn’t coat well enough (because the lotion doesn’t spread as easily as the lotions we were used to). Plus, this stuff definitely gives us a pasty white glow. The positives are that Badger has an EWG ranking of 1 (the best!) and I like the smell. We have a few tubes around the house and in our diaper bag for emergency situations, but it’s not my personal favorite.

Goddess Garden

At around $15 and an EWG ranking of 1 (the best score), I wanted to love this brand.  I find that it rubs in a little better than Badger, but not by much. Basically, I have a lot of the same thoughts as I did with the Badger lotion I previously mentioned, so after using this stuff, I was still on the search for something better.

Coola 

This sunscreen is more expensive than I would normally buy, but it rubs in easily and I use it as my everyday moisturizer. Unfortunately, there is a wide range of EWG scores for the Coola products, but the Baby Mineral Sunscreen is given a score of 2, which is pretty good. Although now that I look at this list, the one I use on my face isn’t the best (actually, it’s the worst of all the Coola products!). Sigh. I definitely still recommend looking into this brand, just be aware that some of their sunscreens are more natural than others. I’ll be looking for another face moisturizer since mine received an awful EWG score of 7. YIKES.

Alba

The Alba Mineral Sunscreen has an EWG ranking of 2 and is the most inexpensive sunscreen on this list at around $10. A friend generously gifted me the sunscreen because her kids have sensitivities to the essential oils used in it. (This is an important point to mention, probably! A lot of these sunscreens use essential oils as the scents, so be careful if your babies have sensitive skin.) For whatever reason, I found this sunscreen was impossible to get out of the tube, but once it was on my hands, I could easily rub it in. But really, I hate how hard it is to get out of the dang container, so I’ll leave it on my diaper bag for emergencies but I probably won’t rush to buy it again.

Supergoop!

I hadn’t even heard of this brand until Audrey mentioned it on Instastories as her new favorite for her daughter. Since she’s from SoCal, I took her sunscreen recommendation seriously and bought some Supergoop! immediately. I love that it’s a mousse and rubs in super easily. Plus, it isn’t too expensive. This is our current everyday sunscreen product because it’s so easy to apply and doesn’t leave a white shine. It only has an EWG score of 3 (not the best, but decent), but we still use it because (honestly) I’m more likely to apply sunscreen often if it’s easy-peasy and at this point I’m really just trying to make sure my girls don’t burn in the bright PNW sun.

thinkbaby

This is the favorite sunscreen of a few of my friends, so after seeing various people use it and love it, I went right out and bought a tube. I’m happy to report that I think I’m going to start using this as my go-to for my family. It has an EWG score of 1 (yay!), it isn’t too expensive, and it comes right out of the tube. Plus, I like the scent, which is always a bonus.

—–

All in all, thinkbaby is the new favorite for my family, but we will continue using Supergoop! often, too. And I’m going to use Coola until I run out but then may will look into a different, even more natural, face moisturizer. I think it’s important to find a product you love and will use often on you and your babies. For me, even if it doesn’t have the best score, if it’s at least ranked as ‘ok’ and I know I’ll happily use it, then it works at this stage in my life. Right now, as the mom of a 1 & 2 year old, convenience is everything!

6 natural sunscreen products for toddlers and families - my thoughts and which ones are my favorites!

Of course the best way to protect skin is to keep it covered! 

+ Here’s a list of the worst sunscreens for kids (according to the EWG). They also recommend avoiding spray sunscreens, really high SPFs, and the ingredients Oxybenzone and/or Retinyl palmitate.

+ Here’s the full EWG report on sunscreens. I thought it was informative. I’ll be searching this list for a face moisturizer once my tube of Coola runs out.

And to think that when I was a teen and into my early 20s I tried to get as dark as possible and never even wore sunscreen… how times have changed! Now I really, really want to take care of my skin and encourage my girls to do the same!

Do you have any favorite sunscreens I should try out?! (And ideally a favorite natural moisturizer with SPF?)

 

Posted in consciously evolving, intentional parenting | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Currently | May 2017

What a busy week this one has been! It seems like the lead-up to a long weekend is always hectic, and this has been no exception. Plus it’s just that time of year. School is ending, the sun is out, and a ton of programs are on their final weeks before summer break! Am I the only one who feels like they’re celebrating (the end of) a bijillion things?!

It’s busy. But super fun.

Here’s a round-up of what I’ve been doing this month. (This was what I was doing last month, but then I corrected myself here.)

Currently | the May edition

Currently I’m…

// Working on: So many things!! I’m doing a lot of volunteering for our local MOPS chapter, we’re working with Isabelle on weaning/sleep training, we’re working on Clara with potty training (more on that topic later…), and I’m attempting to be a more consistent blogger so I have an outlet away from whining and tantrums and clingy babies… And just, you know, life stuff! I feel like I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off, except the chicken that somehow just keeps going and going and going.

// Eating: At this very second I’m eating greek yogurt mixed with peanut butter, granola, and blueberries. Have you ever tried yogurt + peanut butter? It’s delicious, plus it’s higher in protein and lower in sugar than ‘regular’ flavored yogurt.

// Drinking: Lattes and LaCroix. But not mixed together. I’m not that nuts or sleep deprived – yet.

// Reading: I’m reading this one (The Shoemaker’s Wife) and I’m only on the first 100 pages, but I think it’s going to be good!

// Wanting: I just bought myself this (a Gathre picnic mat!)  as a belated Mother’s Day present, so I don’t have a wishlist item right now! Actually, I bought two – one midi size and one large size.

// Listening to: Lots of podcasts! I’m keeping current on Up and Vanished and am loving getting caught up on Dear Sugar and Modern Love.

// Planning: Our summer to-do list! But I’m also trying to stay relatively unplanned / unstructured this summer so we can say ‘yes’ to more playdates.

// Loving: I said the same thing last month, but the sunshine we’ve had in Seattle lately is a total game changer. I even let both girls skip naps the other day so we could go to two playdates, one of which was to the zoo! I had the best day with so many mom friends and the girls had a lot of fun. When the sun’s out for the first time in forever we need to (literally) soak it in!

// Feeling: Energized and a little bit overwhelmed! My to-do list still seems pretty long, but I’m trying this new thing (half-joking) that involves checking things off of it quickly. I tend to put off unpleasant tasks and keep writing the same things on my list day after day, which is mentally exhausting. Now I’m trying to really do the quick (sometimes mundane) tasks right as I think of them, instead of putting them on a list that I have to keep thinking about.

// Watching: The Bachelorette! Which you know if you read the last post. I’m not sure how I feel about some of the guys this season, though. And I picked Michael to win it all and he’s already gone soooo yeah, I have no clue what’s going to happen! I agree with Rachel’s first impression rose, though!

// Looking forward to: So many things. Honestly, I can’t wait for summer and to be at the playground and eating outside and just spending time with the girls in different settings. It’s so great to be able to get together with friends and have the kids play in yards and at water tables and on trampolines… my mama heart is so happy. More of this, please! Last summer was really hard because I had a newborn and she was so.freakin.fussy (especially in the heat) so I’m optimistic that this summer will be better. Now Isabelle just needs to learn to walk to give her knees a break!

Wow, I wrote this entire post during naptime, after I had already cleaned the kitchen, did some volunteer work, and made myself a snack. I am feeling great about this day! (Which is an improvement because this morning was NUTS and I put the girls down for naps two hours early! Yes, it was that bad.)

Shoot, just as I typed that sentence, Isabelle started yelling. I totally jinxed myself!

Do you have any plans for this long weekend?! How has your week been?

Posted in currently | Tagged | 6 Comments

First Impressions of The Bachelorette Contestants

I’m sure you already know this, but the new season of the Bachelorette starts tonight! I know I can’t be the only one who still watches this show, right?! Tell me some of you are going to be watching it, too. And if you don’t watch it, just skim right over this post – I’ll be talking about parenting/mom related things again soon. But right now, this is where my mind is.

I just spent today’s entire naptime going through all of the Bachelorette contestant bios to select my final four men, who I shall cheer on throughout the season. And then I realized that the fantasy league I’m in might let me change my guesses all the way into the finals so maybe this ‘research’ was a bit premature and unnecessary. OH WELL. I’m still considering this to be time well spent.

My initial thoughts on the contestants for Rachel's season of The Bachelorette

(Original photo from ABC)

In case you’re wondering my thoughts on these men based solely on their internet bios…

Here’s the rundown of my initial thoughts for The Bachelorette contestants

Adam – A threesome was his most romantic gift? SAY WHAT? No sir.

Alex – One of his worst attributes is ‘unapologetic’, which I don’t think is going to go over well. Oh wait, he once ate a live salamendar?! NO. Next.

Anthony – Education software manager from Chicago? So far I like where this is going! OK nevermind, he chose his mom as someone he would like to be for a day. I’ll put him as a ‘maybe’.

Blake E. – An aspiring drummer from Southern California? Next. (Also, engaged to a ‘crazy girl’ for 48 hours?! What the heck?)

Blake K. – This is the second contestant who has mentioned ‘The Rock’ in his bio, and I’m only to the letter B… strange. And another nod to a mom. I mean, I like moms and all, but in a Bachelorette bio? It’s a non-starter for me. Moving on. (Sidenote: When he says his ideal mate is “Great smile long and fit” what does that even mean?!)

Brady – Male model. NOPE.

Bryan – He’s a bit older and he’s a chiropractor and his answers contain actual words and sentences and make sense… maybe.

Bryce – He caught a girl’s hair on fire when he was having sex. And he’s a firefighter… so that’s extra questionable. He can’t form a coherent sentence so I’m not even reading this entire bio.

Dean – Well I guess he’s allowed to mention his mom since she passed away. But… this guy is boring so he won’t be making my team.

DeMario – This guy clearly has a lot of personality and LOVES pop culture, as there are like 15 celebrities mentioned in his bio. I’ll put him as a ‘maybe’ because he’ll probably be fun, and to be honest, I’m beginning to think I’ll never get 5 good guys out of this cast!

Eric – He’s a personal trainer which means he must have great abs. I already like his chances. He wants to go to New Orleans during Mardi Gras which I think was where Rachel and Nick went for one of their dates… right? Maybe this is a sign of good things to come. Or a disaster. He’s a strong maybe.

Fred – Well, he really had me interested until I saw that his biggest date fear is having his card declined and he also loves it when his date pays for herself. Nope, nope.

Grant – He seems full of himself, but maybe that’s a good thing on this show, at least to get through the first few rounds. He’s a maybe.

Iggy – Consulting firm CEO? Is it a successful firm?! His answers aren’t TOO strange and I actually think he’s probably pretty smart. Plus, his question/answer to: If you were stranded on a dessert island, what would it be made of? Banana float… get it?? made me smile. I shall think about keeping him.

Jack Stone – An attorney! I feel like this has to be a plus. OK, I like all of his answers because I’m also a John Grisham book fan and he isn’t going to share the wildest thing he’s done in the bedroom BECAUSE WHO WOULD SHARE THAT?! (Some of these men, apparently.) I’ll keep this one on my list o’ favorites, too.

Jamey – Well he doesn’t have female friends and his ideal mate looks like a model. Nope.
Jedidiah – He has a Bible verse as a tattoo and we know Rachel is a Christian so maybe this is a good sign… Wait, he built his parents a 5000 sq foot log home?! WHAT?! I want to see this on the hometown date! Gosh this guy seems interesting. Is he going to be too weird or outdoorsy or boring, though? Time will tell…

Jonathan – He’s a tickle monster as an OCCUPATION?! No.

Josiah – An attorney? Tell me more… Oh AND a Bible tattoo. I like where this is going. He seems to have good values, so strong yes on this one.

Diggy – It seems like so many of these contestants are from Chicago! I love it! But… he seems a little too party-ish and pretty immature so I don’t think he’ll get too far.

Kenny – Professional wrestler? Another mention of ‘The Rock’! What the heck, guys?

Kyle – “Gluten? Not really sure what it is or what food it lives in” Is this actually a question? How is the word “Gluten” a question?!

Lee – Meh, boring answers. I feel like there’s always a wannabe-musician from Nashville as a contestant.

Lucas – Occupation is ‘whaboom’? What? I don’t think I want to know.

Matt – I like him! He volunteers, he likes Wedding Crashers, and he admires his parents’ marriage. He’s officially drafted to my team.

Michael – Another scripture tattoo and a (former) professional athlete! Wooohooo! Also, Denzel Washington is another fan favorite of these guys. This guy seems confident but not arrogant so I’m picking him for sure.

Milton – “What do you hope to get out of participating in this television show? Real answer? Discovered.” At least he’s honest! Moving on…

Mohit – Tabasco is his answer for wildest thing done in the bedroom? That sounds painful.

Peter – Another business owner, which I like. Plus, we have the same favorite TV show (Modern Family) and he’s competed in some Ironmans… OK, he’s drafted.

Rob – A law student, hmmmm. I’m not sure I love the ‘student’ part of this. Gosh I actually like his answers except that he wants the woman to pursue him which is kind of not going to happen on this show. I’m not sure if I’ll draft him.

Will – He won’t be someone’s second choice for love, which isn’t good because on this show he could pretty much be someone’s 30th choice..

Overall impressions

Are these guys all from Southern California or Chicago?! It seems like it! There are a lot of guys who just want to be famous in here, which is what I think of everyone from SoCal or Nashville. I  just can’t believe this is the best they could come up with for Rachel. PUH-LEAZE. They all love Denzel Washington and The Rock and most of them can’t even write in full sentences. I don’t understand why they don’t have better bios! They know this stuff is going to be online, right?! All things considered, I had a hard time narrowing it down but…

For my top 4 contenders I’m going to pick:

  • Josiah
  • Matt
  • Michael
  • Peter

If I could pick a bigger team it would include Iggy and Jedidiah and Jack Stone, for the record.

Do you have any favorites?! The first episode airs soon so I’ll have to update you with my thoughts after the introductions!

Posted in favorite things | Tagged , | 12 Comments

It’s Friday! Let’s chat.

It’s FRIDAY! And I don’t know about you, but I’ve been asking ‘when is this week going to be over?’ since Monday. It’s just been one of those weeks. Bring on the weekend, I say! But before that, let’s chat about some things.

Sweet moments with Squeaky Pops

Let’s talk about…

Weaning.

It’s happening! Finally. I’m really not very scheduled about this sort of thing, but basically I’m not breastfeeding Isabelle during the day anymore.  Well, unless I decide to out of a moment of desperation/frustration. But generally, we’re weaning off the boob and I am so ready to be done. I’ll probably continue to nurse her for a while in the morning, but we’ll see how long that lasts.

Those looooong mom days.

One day this week Tim left for work at 6am, so of course both girls were up at that time, too. He got back home at 6pm and I was so ready to be done momming for a while. Clara and Isabelle hadn’t napped at the same time at all and everyone was cranky and I was also exhausted but I had to rally to attend a meeting. And then of course the next day he had to be at work early, and then again the day after that… Basically, I’ve put in a lot of SAHM hours this week and have also been drinking more wine (post girls’ bedtime) than usual.

A toddler sized table.

We’ve had a toddler table hanging out in our basement for quite a while, and we finally moved it upstairs for Isabelle’s birthday party the other weekend. Well, we’ve kept it upstairs and I absolutely love it as a table for the kids to eat at. Even Isabelle sits on her own little chair or stands at the table. I love it because it keeps the mess (and oh what a mess it is) away from the ‘big’ table and is much easier to clean. Plus, I can bring it outdoors or on our porch… It’s my new favorite thing and I can’t believe we haven’t been using it all of this time.

Sweet sister moments.

Even though this week has been pretty extremely challenging for me, it’s also been full of sweet moments. I took the girls to a coffee shop for some bonding time. We ate popsicles in the yard to celebrate some warmer temperatures, Clara has taken on the responsibility of ensuring Isabelle’s hair is brushed and ready to go in the morning… sometimes these moments can get lost in the blur of attempting to survive, but they are good, good moments.

Toddler summer shoes.

Confession: I don’t love baby clothes for little girls. There, I said it. BUT, I do love toddler clothes! Now that I almost have two toddler girls, I’m in clothes buying heaven. I’m trying to keep it under control, though. I usually buy things secondhand, but shoes are difficult to find at this age because toddlers are so rough on them that they often don’t get passed down to secondhand stores. So, I splurged and bought these brand-new shoes for Clara because I was told they’re a toddler staple for summer. (I hadn’t even heard of them before, this is how out-of-the-loop I am!)

How was your week!?

Posted in currently | Tagged | 16 Comments