Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Parenting your second child

I hate trying to write this.  I hate trying to describe Oliver at all, because any time I do it sounds like either a) I don't like him or b) I'm just comparing him to Wes.

Well, obviously I like my kid.  And if we're being completely honest, is it actually possible to not compare your kids?  Especially if they're super close in age.
Wes, for the most part, has always been "easy" for me.  Yes, he has tantrums.  Yes, he pushes back at me.  He's human.  But at the end of the day I've always thought I was a pretty good mom!  And I've never questioned whether or not I'm being the best mom possible for him.
Oliver makes me question myself every damn day.  He has tantrums.  He's defiant.  He's stubborn.  Until very recently he had zero interest with cuddling or being close to me.  I call him my stinky boy because he just glares out at the world (with his "stink face") almost constantly.
And every day I wonder what I'm doing wrong.  Why did he have six different tantrums today.  Why doesn't he want to give me hugs and kisses.  Why does he get more excited to see a bird fly across the sky than he does over anything I could do.
Seriously - I could juggle and do back flips and I wouldn't get a smile like that.  But a bird passing by gets a huge grin.

There is no easy answer.  I was accustomed to having a child who didn't have tantrums (with Wes).  And now I'm the asshole eating my words because it turns out there's not much you can do in the moment when you have a toddler who has tantrums.  I didn't judge the moms of tantruming kids before, necessarily, but I definitely wondered why they couldn't control their kid.  I mean, I could control Wes, shouldn't everyone be able to do the same with their own children?

If you were hoping to find some magical advise on how to deal with your stubborn toddler, I really don't have any.  Stop blaming yourself, for one! And know you aren't the only one dealing with it.

And to my sweet, Stinky boy - you may make me want to rip my hair out on a daily basis, but at least I know life with you will never be boring.

...but dear God, if v3.0 is even more stubborn/intense/challenging I may end up in a padded cell.

Do you have a stubborn toddler?  How do you deal with it?  Because seriously, I need all the advise I can get, hah!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

DIY Hair Pomade Recipe

So Wesley, being the absurdly cool 3 and a half year old that he is, has a pretty snazzy haircut.  It's technically an undercut, I think.  Basically it's buzzed all around and long on top.  Because he inherited his father's super fine hair it needs product with some serious hold to style it.  Product with serious hold that you buy usually either a) is a shitstorm of chemicals or b) is very expensive (and sometimes both) so I decided to try my hand at making my own.

When I do DIY stuff like this I really only do it to either save money or minimize the chemicals in our house.  So when I look up a recipe on Pinterest and it has 37 different ingredients that just doesn't work for me because that gets expensive! So I made my own simplified version.

Beeswax (I got mine here, but if you can get it locally I totally recommend that!)
Coconut Oil
*optional* Essential Oils (I pretty much exclusively use Young Living oils because, well, I sell them!  If you need information on any Essential Oils I'd love to help you out)
Double Boiler (I just use a Pyrex bowl on a sauce pan, because I'm fancy like that)
Container (I used a mason jar)

So you'll need equal parts beeswax and coconut oil.  For a single batch a quarter cup of each works well for me.

If you're rigging a makeshift double boiler like me, put enough water in your pan that it barely touches your bowl when it's place on the top.  Bring water to a bowl.  Place bowl on top.  Bring the heat of the burner down to low.  Et voila.  A super fancy double boiler.

First melt the beeswax because it will take a bit longer to melt than the coconut oil...
Throw in your coconut oil...
Once it's all melted pour it into your container and add your essential oils (if you're using any)...
I'm aware I need a shorter mason jar, I forgot to get one.  When I eventually remember I'll switch over.

I added five drops each of Cedarwood, Frankincense, and Lavender.  For one thing, I like the way they smell.  And they'll help keep his hair healthy.

Then you just need to let it solidify.  It really is that easy.

So in hand it feels really smooth, not waxy or sticky.  And once it's in hair it doesn't harden really, and stays pretty malleable.  It's pretty damn fabulous, actually.  If I still had a pixie cut I would totally use it.

He clearly wasn't into me taking photos at that moment.  When I asked him to take a nice picture, this is what I got...

So there you have it!  The simplest DIY hair product you'll ever find.

Do you make any hair products for yourself or your kids?  Would you like to?

In case you were wondering, we actually usually have his hair pulled out of his face in a pony tail.  Because, like I said, Wes is an absurdly cool kid.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Super Simple Babywearing Costume!

Whether you're a die-hard babywearer or just a "I only wear my baby when I have to" babywearer, odds are, with Halloween coming up you've considered a babywearing costume.  Because let's face it, if it is your kid's first (or even second) Halloween, they're probably going to just end up in a carrier at at least one of the events where you plan for them to be dressed up.

Well, never fear, less-than-crafty-babywearer!  I have a quick, easy, and inexpensive solution for you - a dog costume.

Yes, you read that properly...a dog costume.

Turns out size large dog costumes fit very well over many structured baby carriers.  Here, I'm using a Lillebaby Complete, but many carriers will work.  What's great about the Lille specifically is 1) that the shoulder straps can unbuckle and 2) how the hood attaches.  Any carrier that has arm straps that are not permanently attached to the body of the carrier (any soft structured carrier that has the ability to unbuckle the arm straps or any mei tai) will work easily.  If you have a SSC that the arm straps are fixed, you could make it happen, but it will take more work.

Step one - Unbuckle everything.
No fixed arm straps here! 

Step two - Attach the hood.

So this is super simple in a Lille because they don't use snaps; I was able to take the chin strap of the "hat" part of the costume and feed it through the plastic slide.  If you have a carrier with a hood that attaches with snaps, you could always add snaps to the "hat."  If you don't already have a snap press, that isn't exactly an economical option.  If all else fails you could either ignore the hat completely or just put it on your kid's head directly.  I promise, I won't tell anyone your kid is wearing a dog hat.
I just put each strap through the plastic slides used to hold on the hood
Step three - put the waist straps through the leg holes.

Step four - Pull the front/head end of the costume over the carrier like you were putting a t-shirt on it.  Your baby will not be in the costume at all, only the carrier will.  Pull the arm straps through the arm holes.

If you have a carrier with straps that are fixed to the body panel this won't be possible.  Instead you could cut open the front/arm holes of the costume and pin or use tape to wrap the "arms" of the costume around the arm straps of the carrier.  This isn't ideal, but hey, it's a cheap and adorable costume.  Some dog costumes are actually velcro around the neck, so obviously that would be easier.

If you were able to attach the "hat" as a hood, pull that through!  If not, don't worry about adjusting the costume to try and hide the head hole until it's actually on a person with a baby in it.

And that's it!  You're done!

Oliver doesn't really tolerate hoods (or hats of any sort) so when he's not wearing it I'll just shove it in the head hole of the costume.  I actually used a safety pin to attach the tag of the costume (on the body) to the base of the hat/hood so that there wouldn't be a gap when he was wearing it.  There was no pinning to the carrier just one piece of the costume to the other.

Lucky for us babywearers - people are obsessed with their dogs so there are tons of dog costumes to choose from!  Don't want to be a skeleton like us (which, I got this costume for $6 at Target with a 40% off Cartwheel offer #justtakemymoneytarget)? How about baby is a banana and Dad dresses as a monkey? Or mom is a web and baby is the spider? What about Dad is an apple (or any of the other snacks from The Very Hungry Caterpillar) and baby is the caterpillar? Let me know what you pick in the comments below!

All pictures are my own and none of these links are affiliate links.  I don't make any money off this post, just trying to spread the word!

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