Happy Thanksgiving!

Funny-Family-Thanksgiving-Pictures-11

Thanksgiving is a time most of us spend with our families. Between stuffing your face with turkey there is bound to be gobble about politics, as well as whispers about the black sheep of the family. Dirty looks and jabs will be exchanged between competing members. And surely at least one comment about someone’s weight. Here’s wishing you and I luck over this holiday weekend, may the dysfunction and debates not drive us to making national news in a murder spree this year!

Chocolate Sugar Body Scrub

With the holidays approaching I found myself dreading the thought of entering the shopping malls, driving through the insane traffic, and fighting crazy bargain lady for the last of whatever item she had her eyes on, and doing all of that with my littles in tow. So I remedied that this year was the year of making! I was going to DIY some presents and save myself and my kids the hassle of dealing with mankind during this joyous season.

To ease myself into the world of crafting the first item I made was a simple Chocolate Sugar Body Scrub. This process was so easy that with pre measured ingredients I would have trusted my four year old to make this.

Here’s what I did:

Chocolate Sugar Body Scrub DIY mixIngredients needed

½ cup of Sugar

½ cup of Raw Cane Sugar

1 tbsp Cocoa baking powder

¼ cup olive oil

1 tsp vanilla

This fills about 2, 8oz jars

  1. Combine all dry ingredients, do your best to make sure the cocoa is well mixed with the sugars. DO NOT USE EXTRA POWDER. You (or in my case my mother-in-law) will turn brown. Not so much fun…
  2. Add oil and vanilla, again checking the cocoa is well mixed and hasn’t formed any clumps.
  3. Spoon into container of choice.
  4. Seriously that’s it. You’re done.

Chocolate Sugar Body Scrub DIY

I used this in the tub to test my product (making sure I won’t be turning my mother-in-law brown for Christmas), and holy moly do my legs feel amazing! I found variations of the recipe everywhere. For example you can use coconut oil instead of olive, you can add chocolate shavings for aesthetic, but every recipe cautions against using more cocoa baking powder. Try the alternates out! Let me know how your scrub feels and smells, or if the receiver of your gift enjoys it!

Negotiating with a Terrorist

Never did I ever think that I would be faced with someone trying to break me, to force me to do what they want, using torturous techniques to try and get me to give in to their demands…meet my four year old daughter. Since the age of two and a half my daughter has been determined to see me checked into a mental institution. At that age she was asked not to return to a daycare, and had babysitters asking me if she had been screened yet for developmental disabilities. She is perfectly fine may I mention. Due to her flamboyant stubbornness and determination to conquer, every 6 months or so me and my husband have to revisit and restructure our family rules and consequences as to best suit whatever form of mental warfare the four year old is bringing to the table.

Most recently we realized that we were falling into the trap of empty threats, too many bribes, and being worn down by whining and bartering. Every parent I think is guilty of this a little bit… If you don’t get tired and agree to extra screen time just so you can have a cup of coffee in peace then you must have magical powers.  As well as, a hefty dose of back talk each day was leaving us frustrated and quick to react with raised voices and more empty threats. I knew this had to be addressed and quickly if we all wanted to survive.

So in a place of neutrality (the breakfast table) I met with the opposing force. I asked my daughter to tell me what she thought our house rules were. We also discussed the house rules that I knew were there but maybe as a four year old she didn’t realize were actually rules. That was a light bulb moment for me, how could she follow rules that she didn’t know? After making a list of rules together (she wrote the number of the rule) I laid out for her the set consequences that would happen when rules were broken. We discussed how if the consequences happened it would be due to a choice she was making.

Here are the House Rules for The Momffice Clan:

Our House Rules

Our Consequences

I would suggest tailoring these to best fit your child individually, think about what they would see as a real consequence. 

Every time a consequence is chosen by not following the house rules, Mom or Dad explains why the consequence is happening and that she has chosen the consequence by doing/not doing  _____.

1- Deduction of screen time

We use 15-20 minute intervals because we try to limit to 3hrs a day. If we take away hours the time is gone before we know it.

2- Twenty minutes of being “grounded”

The word timeout doesn’t work for us. This is where the four year old sits on her bed, no toys, no books. We do this if no screen time is left OR if the behavior is bad enough that both parties need a break from the warfare. Time can be less for less serious things, but time can also be added, or her time starts over, if a tantrum or back talking occurs after the time starts. Time starts over if she is caught playing. This is the reset button we have found works the best for her.

3- Grounded

The end all. When the parents have given every chance to reset and the screen time is gone, or when we’ve been called losers and screamed at for the whole drive home from a pick up from a friends house because she wants to apparently live with them. This is where she sits on her bed for the rest of the day. She is allowed to use the restroom and if she can maintain good behavior during she can join us for our family meals…where mom reminds her that she loves her and wishes she wasn’t grounded because she doesn’t like it when she is.

It’s been an adjustment for all of us, husband and I have to make sure to be mindful of our execution of the consequences, and follow through for this process to work. However, it has completely eliminated any reason to raise our voices. Of course she is adapting and trying to find new ways to get us to give into her demands at times but we are holding strong. After all, we don’t negotiate with terrorists…unless we really need five minutes with a cup of joe and some sanity.  

I hope this post leaves you inspired or provided some light bulb moments about rules, like it did for me. What do you do to provide structure in your home for your children? Have you found something like this or of your own design to be helpful as a teaching and growing method?

Grounded from the Scale

A few days ago I weighed myself. I weighed the exact same I weighed at 4 weeks postpartum. I found myself frustrated and doing that weird thing where I argue with the scale. “But I’m breast feeding and eating better and have been getting up and being more active!? How can I not have lost a single pound!?“

Well, I have some news for myself, I grew a human being inside of me. While growing said human being I sometimes ate more then I needed to, I sometimes said yes to sweets and junk food, because sometimes when my pregnancy hormones said, “LET US BURN THE WORLD DOWN!” I said “Chill girl, have some cheetos.”

221H

I sometimes ate great all day long and went on walks and did trimester appropriate work outs. I tried to keep a balance. But my body decided that no matter how hard I tried to keep a balance I needed to gain 40 lbs.

After I delivered said human being I stepped on the scale to see I hadn’t lost a pound.

“HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?!” I argued.

But I let it go, went about my way living life, recovering and getting to know the human, learning to mother two instead of one, and about a month later I had lost 20lbs.

“HOORAH!” I proclaimed, “Breastfeeding is paying off! HOORAH! HOORAH!”

I visited my midwife and got clearance to return to normal activities. Then… life happened.

I had laundry to catch up on, I had a baby who wouldn’t sleep unless I held her, I had a 4 year old who needed extra attention to compensate for the attention her new sister was getting, I had dinners to make, I had sleep to get, I had a husband I was trying to get 3 minutes alone with. I attempted to start working out again, slowly rebuilding what I had lost being pregnant. 3 workouts a week. Only 10 minutes of just repairing. Even those were hard to squeeze in, and sometimes I didn’t.

I stepped on the scale to see…no change. I’d plateaued. The cheetos instead of flames, the extra servings at dinner, the late night cereals, the guilt started suffocating me. How could I have done this to myself? I looked in the mirror disgusted. I was back to where I started 2 ½ years ago. Fat and hating myself. Not knowing what to do except wallow and give up. I thought I was “getting my body back.”

After throwing myself the nicest pity party you could ever attend, I started to wonder a few things. What are you “getting back” really? Is it not the same skin that was here before the baby? And before the first baby? Are these not the same muscles? How can I get a body back I never lost? This is only an opportunity to build myself into the best me I have ever been, like a house reno… still got great bones, I just want to do some updating!  (I’ve been watching way too much HGTV)

I thought about how I had achieved some non-scale victories, such as I was able to put on a pair of jeans. Jeans without a stretchy belly band, definitely a victory.

And so it was decided…

I want to build a better me. I don’t want a “you look like you haven’t even had a baby” body. I want a “you are so awesome for having two kids and keeping yourself in good health” body! I want to show my girls that happiness is loving yourself as a mother, not remorseful self hate for doing something as amazing as growing a child.

I hereby vow to stop weighing myself for the next 30 days. And to focus on how I am feeling, and where I can push myself without draining myself or spreading myself any thinner then you are already spread as a new mother. I am grounded from the scale. And I couldn’t be more relieved.

Do you find that worrying about the numbers on the scale is defeating? What is the best thing you do for your overall health and self care on a daily basis? What kind of change can you make for the next 30 days to help build a better you?