Saturday, December 21, 2013


Hope, I've begun to hate this word. Hold on to hope, don't give up hope, hope for a better whatever. Yada, yada, yada... Normally I smile and thank the person for the blanket response, how could they possibly know better? That's what you say when there is nothing else to say and you want to bring comfort to someone. But it feels more like a set up to be let down, or a silly fancy for the young at heart rather than anything comforting or tangible. I just couldn't do it again. Maybe it was the open accepted space of this particular yoga class that when asked, allowed me to feel the freedom to speak my mind. I just didn't want to start class in a lie. He meant well, as everyone who has uttered these words to me over the last 16 months has. It's what you say when bad things happen, as if the idea things might get better allows you to keep moving forward unchanged by the redirection of your path. But you can't. The good and the bad shape our spirits and the path gets moved and you have to adjust, adapt, and change. There are circumstances where hope doesn't get a voice. You smile and move forward all the while the voice you push down is anger and sadness and if you have to face the disappointment of hope it might just be the thing to tip the scale. Every time I hear it I feel like I've been kicked in the gut. So today I told a yogi I don't believe in hope. He was so gracious, so accepting of my feelings that I actually felt relief. It felt good to speak my truth, but it's not entirely true; I have not given up hope. I have so many hopes and dreams, they've just lost the ability to hold any weight in how I feel today. Screw hope, give me love. That is real, tangible, and something I wake up having and go to bed with every night. The only thing that brings me comfort. I am living moment to moment, hug to smile to bedtime kisses. Pain and heartache and joy and laughter never felt sweeter. As long as I have love, hope can stay in the corner. You're not out; just moved to the penalty box.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Epic Fail

So yea kill supermom and those of us who strive for it. But even striving to do the best you can can end up an epic fail. Trying to save money and make the holiday's more about giving and love and less about dollars spent, I set about making snow globes as gifts for teachers and grandparents. I waited too long to order cute little figurines off the internet and my first excursion to Michael's proved this project was going to be difficult. Normally my mom would be there to help, she's Martha before Martha made it big. And she could have directed me to the perfect thing, but this project I am flying solo. The sales ladies were no help and offered more of what wouldn't work but no ideas on what might. I left pretty devastated and feeling lost. Next up I tried a local craft store and found more luck. Even found the glycerin to make the glitter fall more slowly. I found cute little candy cane swirls, snowmen, and trees! Perfect little scene so I thought. I set about making these which took several days as the glue needed to set at each stage that when I had them all lined up looking great, I smiled and said I did it. It worked! Maybe just maybe I could create something on my own and I couldn't wait to show them off. I even sent one to a grandparent as the twins celebrated the holiday early with them, so confident it would hold up. HA! Well they didn't. Those dumb tree's were metal and rusted and turned those beautiful snow globe scenes into dirty nasty sewer water. So here I am no gifts for their teachers and embarrassed to call papa and say just throw it away. My mom knows why, would have stopped me given the chance. I would have been frustrated but knew she was right and we would have gone back to the store and tried again. Before I ruined 12 cute mason jars and a boat load of tiny snowmen and and candy cane swirls. So today I quit. I will try again for supermom status but today it's enough already.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Handmade Lotion

I first got this idea from pinterest as a shaving cream. At Christmas time, I like to do something little for each of the kid's godparents. Nothing too fancy or expensive, just a thought and a reminder of those special people in their lives. Here is the original I used Rosemary Mint Shaving Cream. Now it came out great and was super easy to make. I tried shaving my legs with it and while it worked was not my favorite thing to do. In a pinch or for a quick touch up though, it was great! My husband also tried shaving with it and was not a fan. I have gotten him to use it on his dry elbows, yay!

After I had the twins I started getting these random (or so I thought) rashes. On my ring finger, under my lip... never putting together that the same thing could be causing it. Around the same time I started getting a headache. And I say A Headache because it never went away for over 2 years. Literally woke up with it and went to bed with it, every day. Some days were better than others, and most often the pain would fluctuate like a roller coaster. I had an MRI, Cat Scan, put on anti seizure meds, barbiturates, pain killers, and eventually nerve block injections that dulled the pain to a low 2 but never stopped it completely. Most days I pushed through, but some were rough to say the least. I couldn't wear my wedding ring anymore and we were in discussion with a jeweler to make some changes, thinking maybe I was allergic to the metal or something. But before we went and overhauled my ring we decided I should get allergy testing done to be sure the change in rings would work. Well, that was fun. 7 day patch test that marked hundreds of possible allergens on my back and I couldn't scratch or bathe. Fun times. Since I suppressed the rash on my finger and lip the dermatologist wanted to brush me off, but after some persistence she agreed to do the test and was quite humbled when the results were in. I am allergic to a chemical called chloroxylenol with about 10 other possible names and narcissus (daffodil's) which is commonly used in fragrance, but because fragrance is a blanket term there is no way of knowing what the specifics are. So pretty much anything that lists fragrance as an ingredient I can't use. Also this chloroxylenol is an anti-bacterial agent used in almost everything from detergent to toothpaste, to cleaners. I was given a printout the size of a textbook with known "safe" products. After 3 hours in the store searching for brand, type, and whatever; I haven't ventured past my original findings.

Even the original rash cream I was given had it in it. So I stopped using that obviously. The most miraculous thing happened. My 2.5 year headache started dissipating the day I stopped using that cream. My lips went thru withdrawal for weeks because of the prolonged steroid exposure as the Dr. never told me anything other than use this when it flares up and stop wearing your ring, you're a mother now anyway. And after a month my headache was all but gone. We had spent so much money searching for an answer as to why, so many specialists, and then more to alleviate it, and in an indirect way found not only the answers we were desperate for but a new plan to eliminate this "chronic tension headache" I was diagnosed with. In actuality I was poisoning myself. I saw so many Dr.'s all of which knew I was using this cream continuously for years (thru a pregnancy as well I was told it was perfectly safe to use) and not one had a red flag to the length of use, nor the fact that it was a steroid. Seriously I still fume about it if I let myself. My daughter is healthy and happy but I still worry that she may have been exposed to that kind of toxin without so much as a warning to me.

Little by little I am beginning to make my own products. Ones that I know are safe without all the added chemicals, fragrances, and junk that makes up 90% of the accessible products on the shelves. My daughter seems to have the same reactions to products. Even the baby lotions out there bother her and me even though my list says they are safe. So I use this for myself and the kids. A little goes a long way and it leaves your skin so silky without feeling oily, smelling sweet without the use of chemicals. You can buy all these products through the internet (I usually use amazon) at a fraction of the price you will find in a store.

Handmade Body Lotion

1/3 cup raw African shea butter
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup sweet almond oil

(You can do any combination of scents that appeal to you -- lavender, orange, the list goes on)
10 drops peppermint essential oil
5 drops rosemary essential oil

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the shea butter and coconut oil, stirring until just melted. Remove from the heat and transfer to a heat-safe bowl.

Add in the sweet almond oil and the essential oils. Stir to mix. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill until solid.

Remove from the refrigerator and whip using a hand beater or a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Spoon into a jar with a top and keep in a cool, dry place. Makes roughly 8 oz.