Dreams To Do

April 2013 archive

Mommy Confession: Reading to My Baby

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Near the end of my pregnancy with Landon I spent so much time worrying about how Leila would adjust to being a big sister and not having 100% of our attention any more. I wasted a ridiculous amount of time stressing about this and thinking about her. I never once thought about how Landon would feel as a second child or how my parenting skills would change as a mother of two.

And now I see it all so clearly.

I’m a good mom. I’m proud of myself most of the time. But it makes me sad that my second child has never had 100% of his momma’s focus. Sure, we still get our one-on-one time every now and then and sure, I love this kid like CRAZY. But, I’ve slacked in the parenting department with him. Most specifically, I hardly ever take the time to sit down and read books to him.

Ever since Leila was just an infant, we’ve read to her EVERY night before putting her down to sleep. EVERY night. Even after I gave birth to Landon, we kept up this routine with her. And our poor little Landon? Well, I think the craziness of returning to work after just 3 months and then having to balance two kids for dinner/baths/bedtime took a toll on my mommy skills. It has been more about survival than thriving. With Landon going to bed at least an hour before Leila, I’ve pretty much always just changed his diaper and put him down to sleep. No books or special bonding time with mommy. And then an hour later with the house quiet and the stress of the day dissipated, I read to Leila.

I’ve been living in such a whirlwind that I didn’t even realize this until just a couple weeks ago. How can I NOT be reading to my son?! I feel awful. I brought it up to Andy (who usually gets home from work after Landon is already asleep – thus the frazzled, burnt out mommy stress) and we both agreed that we need to make up for lost time. So, I have adjusted Landon’s bedtime routine to include book time. However, there are still some nights when he is cranky and tired and Leila is needy for me and I just want him to SLEEP. So, I skip the books. Mom fail.

I see Leila’s love for books and her interest in learning to read already and I wonder if my son will have this, too. From now on I am making books a priority in his life. After all, I have visions to live up to – visions of both of my children snuggling in bed with me as I read classic children’s chapter books aloud to them. Like my mom did with me.

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What about you? Are you good about reading with your kids? Any other moms of 2+ struggle with guilt like this?

The Memoirs of Megan

Looking back {& a GIVEAWAY}

As I continue to grow up (even though I’m almost 30, I still believe I have a lot of growing up to do) I notice the days blurring together more and more. In my memories only the big-picture events stand out. Little bits and pieces, smells and textures, and stolen moments get easily forgotten. This is why journaling is SO important to me. I don’t ever want to forget! Even the seemingly small, easily forgettable moments are important to reflect back on at times. It allows me to see how far I’ve truly come, even if it feels as though I still have leaps and bounds to go.

This blog is my primary journal these days (duh). But, I also have my trusty Journal 10+ to see me through the little day-to-day moments. Seriously love this thing! I posted a review on it about a year ago when I first got it – you can check it out HERE if you’re interested.

Little Leila fingers sneaking in my shot…
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Now that I’ve been journaling “one line a day” for over a year, I’m finally able to see what was going on exactly one year ago from each day that I write a new entry. Like one year ago today for example…

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Or one year ago from last Monday…

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Sure, maybe nothing miraculous or life changing happened on those days, but 10 years from now when I’m filling in that last space on each page, it will be so great to see how far I’ve made it. To see the growth, the happy moments, the tough days – to see every little detail that brought me to the present. Like the time I spent frolicking with my kiddos in the sun after work today. I don’t ever want to forget it.

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So, don’t you wish you had one of these nifty journals (if ya don’t already)? Well, now’s your chance to win one! Journal 10+ has kindly offered to give one away to one of my lovely readers. Please enter to win via the Rafflecopter widget below. You get one no-strings-attached entry with a few options for additional entries. This giveaway will run for one week and I will contact the winner via email after it concludes. Perfect timing for Mother’s Day! 🙂

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Skin: The Oil Cleansing Method & More

I struggled with acne and combination skin for as long as I can remember. I was not blessed with the genes for a flawless complexion (and I’m pretty sure you either have them or you definitely don’t – some people are just plain lucky). I’ve tried just about every acne product/mainstream skin care brand out there. I’ve used Proactive and Clearasil and some seriously hardcore prescription crap (that just scares me now). I wasn’t happy with any of it. So for the last 10 years I’ve pretty much fallen into a routine of what I thought was the most basic products possible, recommended by my dermatologist: Cetaphil facial cleanser + Neutrogena Oil-Free Lotion. It wasn’t giving me amazing skin, but nothing was so I just accepted this simple routine as a part of my life.

However, about 2 months ago I made some drastic changes to my skin care routine and my skin hasn’t looked this good or felt this healthy in a loooooonnnnnnngggggg time. Here’s my winning skin care combo…

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Let me break this down for ya…

>>> The Clarisonic Mia 2 Sonic Skin Cleansing System

First of all, I got this beautiful & magical facial cleansing brush for Valetine’s Day from my love! This little pulsating piece of magic is like a professional facial done in my own shower! I’ve been using it just a few times/week (don’t wanna over-work my skin) and it makes me happy. I get out of the shower with skin as smooth as a baby’s bum. Love it and highly recommend. You can check it out HERE. (FYI, not an affiliate link)

>>> The Oil Cleansing Method (aka OCM)

The largest change to my skin care routine came in the form of switching out my twice daily face wash/lotion routine for a once daily oil cleansing session. I read a post all about The Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) on my friend Lisa’s blog and I was intrigued. So, what is OCM? Well to put it simply, you massage a homemade oil concoction (like castor oil + olive oil + jojoba oil) into your face and then you “steam” your skin by covering it with a hot, damp washcloth. Leave washcloth on face until it cools and then gently wipe away the oil, leaving your face feeling clean and refreshed…. no water or soap or scrubbing necessary! And no need to follow up with a moisturizer, either. The oil does it all.

But isn’t the point of washing your face to get RID OF the oil? That’s what I always thought. But I guess OCM works by putting good oil back into our skin whereas washing our faces with cleansers can strip the bad AND the good right out of us. I don’t know the science behind it exactly, all I know is it works for me. Please check out Lisa’s post HERE for all of the details on OCM and making your own cleansers. And if you’re lazy like me and just want to BUY some OCM cleanser, Lisa will make one personalized just for your skin type! Check out her Etsy shop, ExtractSkincare, HERE. I’ve been using one of her cleansers and I’m loving it!

>>> 100% Argan Oil

The final addition to my skin care regimen came to me via my favorite monthly beauty box subscription, Ipsy. We got a sample of Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil and I started using it as a facial moisturizer (just prior to starting OCM) and fell in love. Argan Oil comes from Morocco and is high in vitamin C and fatty acids, making it great for skin AND hair. I just love how light and non-greasy it is (surprising for an oil, right?) and noticed right away the positive affect it was having on my complexion.

So, how do I incorporate these three things into one cohesive skin care routine?

Here’s what I’ve found works for me. I wash my face using OCM every night before bed. Afterwards I smooth on a few drops of argan oil for extra moisture (it is extremely dry where I live). In the morning I don’t wash my face at all anymore, except for my 2-3 times/week session with the Clarisonic in the shower (I still use a tiny bit of Cetaphil wash with my Clarisonic). If I shower, I put on some argan oil afterwards. In terms of SPF, my makeup (BB cream + mineral powder) covers that.

My attempt at getting some skin shots for you…
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Now for a little disclaimer. Obviously we all have different skin types. What works for some, won’t work for others. Often, when you change your skin care routine, your skin will freak out on you and break out or become very dry or extra oily, etc. Luckily for me, I took really well to all of these changes and only saw improvements in my skin. Usually you need to stick something out for at least a month before you can really tell if it’s working for you (or before you rule it out). Also, my skin is still far from perfect. I still have acne scars and I still get the occasional beastly pimple (oh the joys of womanhood, ya know?). But overall, I’m happier with my skin now than I have been since I was probably 10.

Let me know if you have any questions! Any other OCM gals out there?
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18 months

My boy is 18 months old today. At this point he may as well just go ahead and turn 18. Time is FLYING by. I know we all say this as mommas, but I really wish I could just slow things down sometimes. Or at least just hit pause for a while. With all of the go, go, going I feel like there is no way for me to soak it all in. But I guess that’s why God created weekends.

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My handsome little man. Landon Drew is turning into quite the character and he is REALLY good at keeping his daddy & I on our toes. Here’s what Lando is up to these days…

  • Babble, babble, babble but still not many words. He says Dada and Hot and Uh-Oh and said Apple yesterday, but that’s about it. Otherwise there’s just a whole lotta gibberish. Leila was also a late talker, so I’m not too concerned.
  • Even though he may not be talking much, this kiddo is smart. He understands pretty much everything. If I tell him it’s time to put his shoes on, he’ll grab his shoes and sit on the bottom step, waiting for me to put them on. If I ask him if he wants a bottle, he’ll go get one and bring it to me. He can build stuff with lego duplos and is a pro block stacker. He makes his momma proud already.
  • Landon is obsessed with “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” song. Every time he sees me (even in the middle of the night if he wakes up), he taps his little fingers together and says “bide, bide” (aka “spider”) until I start singing it. And even though I would almost pay $1 million at this point to NOT have to sing it ever again, the way his face lights up makes it worth the torture.
  • He’s getting quite good at using his utensils when eating. Today at lunch he ate a piece of garlic bread with a fork.
  • I know this is gross, but this kid has the most irregular bowels ever. He’ll go a few days without pooping and then he’ll literally poop 10 times in one day. His digestion is all messed up. I will be asking his ped about this at his 18 month check up (which I should probably schedule).
  • Still battling the eczema over here, but it is easing up a little. Poor little man.
  • Landon’s nickname at daycare is “The Hurricane.” This kid can tear up a room in 3 seconds flat. Our house is pretty much always a disaster because we just can’t keep up with him.
  • Sometimes I call him “Twilight.” There’s just something about his crazy hair that reminds me of Edward Cullen. I’m telling ya, this one is gonna be a lady killer.
  • Momma’s boy. What they say is true. My boy is all about his momma – and I love it. I get the best snuggles and cuddles. I hope he never grows out of it.

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Gosh, I just love him! I’ll never get over his cuteness.

And now for some more pics from our weekend. Like I said, I am so grateful for weekends. I get to make up for all of the lost time with my loves from the past week. We were blessed to get some surprise sunshine on Saturday after the forecast called for rain. It was wonderful! For the couple of hours that we got to spend outside together as a family, there were no troubles in the world. It was just us in our little bubble of happiness. I hope you saw some happiness this weekend, too.

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Again, I wish I could just hit pause.

Mama Memoirs: A Love That Hurts

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When I was 25 and pregnant with my first baby, I had nothing but warm-and-fuzzies in my head. Visions of pink bows and smooth baby skin. Family photos in the park. First words and first steps. Ballet classes. I love you’s.

I knew that I would fall in love hard. I knew that it would be the kind of love that’s indestructible, invincible, everlasting. I just didn’t know how much it could hurt.

Everything about what happened at the Boston Marathon earlier this week has shaken me to the core. If this would have happened before I was a parent, it would have still had a strong affect on me, it just wouldn’t be quite the same. I am so scared. Scared for my babies. Scared for this world that they are growing up in. This is when the love hurts. Every fiber of my being wants to protect them – shield them from pain. But, it’s just not in my hands.

Last night I spent a good half an hour rolling around on our living room rug with my two littles. Their laughter bounced off the ceiling and the joy and safety I felt in that moment was priceless. I wish I could bottle it up. I wish I could stay in that safe, cozy bubble forever. I wish I didn’t have to enroll Leila in kindergarten in one year. I wish Landon wouldn’t get any bigger. I wish I didn’t have to let go.

If I didn’t have a faith beyond myself, I don’t know what I’d do. Sometimes I think my heart may explode like one of those bombs in Boston. It’s insane how so much love and happiness can build into pain. But, it’s worth it. Every ounce of it.

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