Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Earth (Day) Mama

Happy Earth Day(two days late)! Funny...when I was in college Earth Day was mainly celebrated a couple days early and the celebrations was very...plant based.  It would be awesome sauce if we could save the planet by being environmentally friendly once a year...in the spring...when it's not too hot, or too cold, and we've planned for any inconvenience brought on by complying.  However, we are in the real world (where people stop being nice, and start getting real - "can you get the PHONE!") and so this year I am using Earth Day as a reminder to make more efforts to do LESS to destroy the earth and my body and the bodies that I chose to bring into this world and the world that I leave them - yadda, yadda. Oh, and it is TOTALLY prairie girl to make these changes...
Deodorant - I made my own twice with this recipe- the first time it worked well.  The second time I had used 2 year old ingredients and had some major chaffing during a Jazzercise class.  I decided I didn't want ugly pits for my wedding, so I put off the granola.  When I was pregnant I switched to the Crystal Deodorant, because...I don't know, I didn't think my blank tinted armpits needed anything else to help them be weird.  It worked well, worked through the pregnancy, labor, and back home through a time when a friend had convinced me I would have period of NO deodorant working.  As far as I know, I very rarely stink of B.O.
Shampoo - I've tried "no 'poo" before and was utterly grossed out at how oily my hair got.  There is an adjustment period.  My hair is always phenomenal the day after I do the Baking Soda/Apple Cider Vinegar treatment, but the days in between are a little iffy.  Well, I'm going to try to make it through the adjustment period this time...it's not bothering me too much - maybe because I'm already dealing with ugly for beauty by trying to let me eyebrows fill in so I can get them reshaped.
Soap - I've used Dr. Bronners soap on and off for years, and I am only bothered by the religious rambling all over the bottle and that it dries my skin out a bit.  But I put Coconut Oil everywhere before getting in the shower, and this really helps.  I think I might give a homemade body scrub a go too.
Lotion - I use the Coconut Oil and I like it, but I'm tired of the smell and need to find some essential oils to change it up.
Toothpaste - I tried straight Baking Soda...ewwwww.  No beuno.  I found a recipe including...of course, Coconut Oil, BS, and Mint Extract.  I want to try it.  I DID however try oil pulling.  I'm not holding my breath for it to cure my allergies, but it really does feel like you just went to the dentist when you're done.  AND it didn't make me gag.
Cleaning Supplies - still trying to get away with as much vinegar use as Mr. can stand. Seriously the stuff does everything - include kill bacteria and mold.  Down with Bleach!

And for the baby...
Diaper wipes - I bought one bottle of this expensive wipe solution called "Diaper Area Wash" and then started filling the bottle with a solution of strong Chamomile Tea, a few drops of Dr. Bronners Soap, and a few drops of Almond Oil.  I spray it straight on her hiney and she makes a "F*&$ing A! That's cold!" Noise and then all is fine..  Although, I never spoiled her with any warmed wipes.   And she's had one diaper rash for less than 24 hours, so it works for us.
Diaper Cream - I have about 5 bottles of the corresponding expensive diaper cream - when they are done, I plan on switching to Coconut Oil.
Soap - once we are done with the Aveeno wash that I got for my baby shower, I will switch her to Dr. Bronners
Lotion - Same for Lotion, I'll switch her to Coconut Oil or Almond Oil.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fighting Perfection

I recently read this article posted by another FB mommy.  But wait...deja vu, my mom drilled a few things down deep into my brain as I grew up, one of which being - you will drive yourself bonkers if you try to be perfect.  She was a victim of the "you can do it all" feminist philosophy that all too often changed the "can" to "MUST."  She had to be perfect in her wildly successful career WHILE being a dinner-cooking, entertaining, fresh-cookie-baking, Christmas-tree-ornament-sewing (this is 100% true) homemaker WHILE being at the forefront of fashion and hairstyles WHILE raising kids who danced, played soccer, swam, girl scout-ed, etc.  She gave up on perfect a while ago (but she is perfect to me) - and although she still struggles, she's pretty good at it.  Good enough that I should have soaked up some of it.  But this must be a lesson one needs to learn on their own...
So while this article preaches the difficulties of stay at home motherhood (which I don't discount at all - in fact I COVET it!) I would argue that the same pressures are being felt by the working mom who ALSO often wants to be the do-it-all SAHM, just in her time off.  This guilt-driven, sleep-deprived species of mom either wishes she was a stay at home mom (raising my hand) and wants to do all the things she thinks she would do if she were; or feels bad about not being the one to provide constant learning-based, multi-cultural, bilingual, organic stimulation to her kids.
How does this apply to me?
 I don't need to see the movie, I'm living it 
(Pee Wee's Great Adventure reference)
I have admitted more than once that I want to be Laura Ingalls.  I have always had this huge desire to live off the land and be fully self-sufficient - except for cable...and candy...and central air...and magic shell.  Anyways, you get it.  Some I do out of guilt, some I do because I believe I can do things better than other people, some I do for my family's health, some I do out of frugality, and some I actually enjoy.  But after reading the above article (way to get to the point THREE PARAGRAPHS LATER!) I finally said out loud, "I HATE making baby food." Ugh! I mean, I really freaking hate it.  I get stressed enough about trying new foods on C like she's a little lab rat, waiting to see if she'll explode.  But add to that needing to make it correctly (read: palatable), with the right (read: organic) ingredients, in a timely manner (must be food available when she eats...like multiple times EVERY day!!) I have to have gone to the store to do it, I have to have time in the kitchen actually doing stuff that I can't hold the baby while doing, and I have to do it while she's awake because it involves a food processor that is powerful enough to shake the house.  I have to be geared up to snap at Mr. for no real reason and make a sizable hole in the roof for my blood pressure to go through. Then I needed to carve out time to feel utterly unappreciated.  So there, I said it.  I said it to myself about a million times first.  Then I "stumbled" upon the article again as Mr. and I sat on the couch and read it to him...and then I said it to him.  And then I said it to my mom.  
Mom was proud...Mr. couldn't care less, unless caring would refer to being thrilled at the reduction in chance encounters of super-bitch, and then he was probably happy to some degree.  We went to the store that day to buy jars of the food I was comfortable feeding C.  I organized them.  And this is where I am simultaneously flattered and reminded this whole deal has very little to do with what I want ....
C doesn't like most of the food.  She likes her mommy's cooking.  I finally feel just a little valued for my peel, steam, puree, clean and repeat.  That along with just being able to say that I hate it, and I'm ready to get back to it...even sort of excited.  
And after I make this next batch with renewed enthusiasm, I'm guessing my sweet little child will decide she only eats solid food, not that silly mush.