The holidays are a crazy time for my family. First comes Eli's birthday, then Christmas, then my brother's birthday and finally mine, all within a 3 week time frame. Needless to say, there's a lot of present buying going on 'round these parts.
Eli will be 2 and Sam will be 8 months old on Christmas this year. Wow. Eli is at that age where he gets it, while Sam will still be stuck in the "Whatever, I'm going to chew on this dog toy now" phase. I know this time of year shouldn't be about how many gifts you can pile under the (fake, in our case) tree, but I'm not about to wad up a ball of toilet paper and tell my kids, "Here you go, Santa said hi" and call it a day.
Having two kids so close in age, it's been really important for us that we don't treat them like one kid. Sure Sam's wardrobe consists mainly of Eli's old clothes and he is currently gnawing on the same toys Eli had at that age, but we're going to be getting him a few new things for Christmas that he can call his own.
Pictured below are some of the things we got the kids and other things that I wish I had seen before we finished up buying their gifts. Eli loooooves his Scout so we picked up a Violet for Sam. And that Elmo potty training DVD? I won't 'fess up to how many times Eli insisted on watching our copy from the library over the weekend, so I'm thinking it might be a good idea to pick up a copy of our own.
(I have all of this crap up on my boards on Pinterest. Feel free to follow me if you like looking at crap I want.)
True story, I am finally at the point that Christmas and my birthday pretty much mean nothing to me. OK, I'm not some weirdo who doesn't like presents, but this year it's just not something I've thought much about. Still, presents, let's talk about presents. For me. Yay.
I am obsessed with that infinity scarf and definitely need a camera strap because the basic Canon one is killing me. And the Fuji camera? Yes, please. The Marc Jacobs watch is super awesome, but there is a very similar one at Target that I like just as much. Besides, NO ONE should ever spend $250 on a watch for me. OK? Promise? OK.
We're not the kind of people who get professional pictures done, not that there is anything wrong with doing that. In fact, I think it's pretty awesome, I'm just super cheap and figure I have an expensive camera, so why can't I just take the pictures for free? Even though they come out with some imperfections, they look perfectly fine to me hanging on the wall.
But I got really obsessed with the idea of getting newborn pictures taken by the hospital photographer as Sam's delivery date inched closer. I had an emergency c-section four weeks early with Eli because of pretty crappy pre-e, so I was too busy barfing my brains out from the mag drip when they came around asking if we wanted photos for him. But this time, this time I was ready. I knew every little thing that was going to happen and was able to prepare because duh, I was a pro at this baby by c-section noise. I knew when that chick was going to come around and ask us if we wanted to give her two week's worth of grocery money to take a few pictures of my awesome new kitten.
Oh, hey lady, surprise, I'm back. And I brought my checkbook with me.
We came home, settled into life with 2 tiny kids, I didn't shower for a long time and we felt like we had fur growing on our eyeballs. And somewhere in the midst of that shitstorm which was now our life, I lost the CD with the pictures on it. Oops.
But look at what daddy found this morning.
Isn't that kid just beautiful? He looks a bit Snookie-ish, I know, but damn, did we do good or what? I remember sitting there in the hospital bed, staring at him for hours as if I had never seen a baby before. That hair! The rubber band legs! Our signature off-the-growth-charts head! I had a hard time breathing during our time in the hospital, that's for sure.
I left the house today without wearing any makeup and it didn't dawn on me until I was already done buying cat food and back on my way home. See, there was a time when I was a teenager when I didn't leave the house without a full mask face of makeup, sans eyeshadow. Guys, there was eyebrow makeup involved. I had terrible skin, or at least I thought I did, so I caked on that foundation until you could barely tell there was a human under it all. I was also convinced I was the color of a vampire, which is seriously not true. Once I finally bothered to match foundation to the color of my skin, I looked like an entirely different person.
Remember the "Moms, please don't dress like homeless circus clowns challenge"? This one? One of the things that I took away from it was that giving myself a few extra minutes to do it up in the morning can do wonderful things for me. Up until that point it was BB cream and mascara, maybe a little lip gloss. I decided to add in an official makeup routine (which brought my getting ready time up to about 10 minutes) and I kind of feel all sexy pants now. Kind of.
I'll be back later with more pictures of my kids doing normal kid stuff and my dogs eating fish heads but, for now, here is a list of the things that help make me the most bonerific Midwestern mom of them all.
Basic every day things? Soap, lotion, deodorant and shampoo (and toothpaste, never forget the toothpaste.) I'm not loyal to any type of shampoo, it either needs to be moisturizing or I slop some conditioner on afterwards. I have a bad habit of never remembering to rinse out conditioner, so 2 in 1s are alright by me. I think the kind I have in the shower right now is the Costco brand, but I'm a fan of the Garnier stuff from Target. Nothing fancy, that's for sure. I buy my soap from Etsy or the farmer's market, the hippier the smell the better. Yes, I'm the girl who uses stuff that smells like patchouli and a compost pile. I love anything from Oakmoss and Elegant Rose Boutique. Anderson Soap Company is next on my list of soaps to try. Deodorant is Tom's or Secret when it's hot like an effer outside. Shea Nation lotion from Target is perfect for me, it's super moisturizing and makes me smell just a little dirty. Good stuff.
I don't wash my face. I splash water on it in the morning and do the oil cleansing method at night. I get a random breakout here and there (I put some tea tree oil on when I do get one), but I credit this as the reason I feel completely comfortable going out with a bare face now. I mix jojoba and castor oil because I tend to have oilier skin and I put in a couple of drops of argan oil if I'm a bit dry. Massage it in, let it sit for a second, put a warm wash cloth over my face for a bit and then wipe it off. Voila.
I always thought that oil + oily skin = one giant zit for a face. It took me a long time to realize that this is just a stupid myth. In fact, the more oil I slop on my skin the better it looks.
Cosmetic Lad is the greatest moisturizer to ever be made. Seriously. It sinks right into my skin and I have never, ever felt oily from it. It moisturizes the dry parts and helps out the oily patches. It's great for a guy after shaving, for soothing irritated skin or even if your cuticles are a little dry. I love it. The Roc stuff is a newer purchases and I put it on at night. So far, so good. I really like it a lot.
What do I use every day? BB cream, NYX blush in Pinched and mascara. I need an eyelash curler, otherwise my lashes are so long that I can see them and they hit my glasses. I've got real problems, obviously. I just switched to The Falsies mascara and honestly, it's weird because it makes my eyelashes so nice that they kind of look fake. So I guess it lives up to its promises? The blush is also a new addition and, truly, it's the perfect shade. I look healthy for a change. And I will never, ever go back to "normal" foundation, BB cream is where it's at.
If I ever need concealer, I go with the CG Olay stuff for old ladies. The Dream Matte powder is the most perfect powder ever, and the NYC bronzer in Sunny is the only bronzer I will ever let get near me. I'll put a little on my nose and cheeks, or sometimes I will use it as eyeshadow.
I'm not one of those ladies who wears makeup to the grocery store but, it's not like I'm out in da club either, so I'm usually sporting lip gloss. The blue ChapStick is the best stuff for the job (I share it with J and there's always a stray tube hanging out somewhere in the house), but I also love the peppermint balm from Oakmoss and anything from Long Winter Farm. Being a total hippie, I do not wear perfume. No thanks (but, if you were to twist my arm, I'd go with Philosophy's Falling In Love.) Instead, I use essential oils that I get from eBay that are buy three get one free with free shipping. This is also how I buy the oils for my face. Beware, the Fabulous Frannie seller can be kind of wishy washy when you ask to combine to get your free one. I had great transactions and then on my last one, they never sent me a combined total after I asked three times and then, all of a sudden, they cancelled the transaction and gave me pissy feedback. Oh. I just got the oil in the picture from Long Winter Farm and I'm hooked, so I'll definitely be back for more soon.
(Side note, I've gotten some great things from Good Earth Living, but it looks like they've closed up shop until the end of the month.)
(Baby Lips in Pink Punch and Cherry Me, Maybelline 14HR Lipstick in Enduring Ruby, Revlon Super Lustrous Creme in Certainly Red, Revlon Just Bitten Balm Stain in Honey.)
(Revlon Just Bitten Balm Stain in Honey, Baby Lips in Cherry Me and Pink Punch, Maybelline 14HR Lipstick in Enduring Ruby and Revlon Super Lustrous Creme in Certainly Red.)
I do own lipsticks, though. The Baby Lips from Maybelline are my go-tos because they are easy like a lip gloss but have just enough color to make me feel all done up and purty. The other three cover the basics, a long-lasting darker color, the perfect red and a go-to everyday stain. If you like things in tube form and want a little color, Burt's Bees Tinted balm in Honeysuckle is awesome. I would have included it, but I recently lost my tube. It's very similar to the Just Bitten Honey stain, so I haven't felt the need to replace it yet.
Do I use eyeshadow? Sure but, as you can tell, I'm not super comfortable with it and thus, have three packs of the same colors. The one on the left is Wet N Wild's Walking on Eggshells and the one on the top right is Cover Girl's Shimmering Sands. I just got the Mary-Lou Manizer from the Balm in this month's Birchbox and it's become my every day "shadow." It's really a highlighter and can be used all over your face, but I like to use it on my lids.
Hair care? Eh, not really. I had two hair cuts from the time I was pregnant with Eli until after I had Sam, so it was never high on my list. I hate sitting in a chair and making small talk, and I tend to go to crappy places that give me terrible cuts, so I never put much importance on the need to keep my head groomed. I recently tried a place and LOVED it (dudes, my stylist is a puppeteer, for real) and figured out that not keeping my hair up in a ponytail for months really does wonders for my self confidence. So, I blow dry quickly in the morning and put a little bit of this dry shampoo in and I'm good to go. Please note, get the gold bottle from Suave and NOT the silver bottle. The silver bottle is gross and makes you look like you get your hair color from a can, like this guy.
Is there anything that you love that I should know about? Leave suggestions in the comments, I'm always up for trying new stuff.
I know I have said that my days have become a blur recently, my head
foggy on occasion and my body craving sleep from the minute that I wake
up. I could blame it on the shorter days, the cooler weather, life dying
and swirling around me in that predictable way that it always does this
time of the year. But, truth be told, I can't place my finger on it.
don't miss the heat or that air that knocks you in the chest and makes
you run back indoors. The chill this time of year is comforting,
especially at night when I feel like I'm breaking some kind of law by
having the bedroom window open with the heat turned on, while I bury
myself deeper under an endless sea of blankets. The days could be
shorter, the nights longer, it really doesn't matter to me because I
will always have the same amount of hours in a day. Hours are hours,
months are months and seasons are seasons, I keep living and breathing
and loving the same today as I did yesterday. But still, there is
something different. Something that I just can't put my finger on no
matter how hard I try.
What is different from days of the past is that I am content. Happy, even. I seem to always feel this way nowadays, my brain and heart can push past the bad
every single time. And I don't mean the kind of gross overabundance of
smiles and laughs that are still covering the underlying bullshit we all
have somewhere beneath us. But, whereas in the past the fog wouldn't
lift for weeks and weeks, I feel it opening its eyes, peek around for a
bit and then get bored. Each time I'm stunned that it hasn't come back
for a long stay like it used to.
And maybe that's what this is all about. I started living in a new and
different way without even realizing it. I move forward but my mind
doesn't hold my body back as it always has. I still have bits of my old
life coming back, those moments that I feel dizzy and tired, but they
aren't keeping me down anymore.