Post--Post Baby Hormones!

Apr 30, 2014

Hormones are all the rage during and after pregnancy right? And by rage, I mean RAGING! If you have had a baby you know that after that baby your body goes through just as many changes as it did during pregnancy. I wrote about my hair hormones after having Avalon in this post. But even after three kids I went through a huge change recently. 

With my boys I breastfed each of them until about 10 months when they weaned themselves. I was more heartbroken than anything, but when they were done, they were done. I also got pregnant around that time with the next baby so my menstrual cycle never returned. Until about a month ago! And when it did, it returned with a big old eff you! I was transformed into a hormone raging teenage girl! The mood swings, the pimples, the skin changes, the boob changes, just everything! All products I had been using for years just did not seem to work on my skin anymore. I was breaking out, my skin was so dry and flaking off. I lost all coloring (I am pale anyway) but my skin just looked dull. It was ridiculous. So I went into product research overhaul, I was trying samples left and right in an attempt to get my 13 year old self under control. Here is what has been working:

Murad Essential-C Cleanser: This stuff is amazing! A gentle cleanser, but strong enough to rid your face of makeup and dirt. The smell is so refreshing, and vitamin C is great for livening up your face and bringing back that pregnancy glow....even though you aren't pregnant. My mama always told me to fake it till I make it, life lessons hard at work here. 

Murad Essential-C Moisture: This little tube of lotion-y goodness packs a mighty punch! Nothing was working on my skin, everything was making me greasy or just not providing enough moisture. This has a great balance. The price may be a little alarming, but! but! It is well worth it in my book. I have a deep obsession with soft skin, and my face is no different. I like my makeup to go on smoothly, and look flawless, so you have to have the right canvas. Plus this has SPF in it...protect yourself before you wreck yourself! 

Clinique Emergency Gel: The name says it all. Pimple emergency!! I have never had acne, but when I get a pimple, especially with this hormonal craziness, it has a mind of its own! I found this stuff and BAM, pimple be gone. No joke. I would put this on at night after washing my face and by morning that blemish was gone or significantly reduced! 

Barr-Co Oatmeal Cream: I love the Barr-Co products. This lotion has saved my dry skin. Throughout this hormonal change, my hands and nails became very dry and brittle. I would apply this lotion throughout the day, and saw an immediate change after a few uses. Highly recommend to anyone battling dry skin. They also sell it in a larger size for full head to toe lathering! 

Biotin: I have been taking Biotin for years! It promotes healthy hair, skin, and nail growth. I take it once a day. But when I started noticing my hair falling out again with this new batch of hormones, I decided to up my biotin intake. It does seem to be helping, and my nails are getting back to a healthy state as well. I love this stuff. I have turned my whole family on to it throughout the years, and definitely recommend to my mamas out there having issues with hair loss. 

Now if only I could get my hormones to level out a bit, because we have renamed PMS- PMBS (premenstrual bitch syndrome) because man I was aggravating myself. Christopher if you ever read this, not sure why you would, but let me apologize in advance. Because that good old cycle should be comin around the mountain soon..... 

So ladies-Ya! ladies-Ya! If you wanna roll in my mercedes..... ok thats enough. But really ladies, hormones, crazy hormones! 

Mom Uniform | Neon Pop

Apr 28, 2014

shirt: j crew (similar) jeans: ag shoes: steve madden clutch: lookbook store glasses: gucci-vintage 

The mall...what a place right? Of all the shopping I do I very rarely step into a store to do it. I don't know if shopping in stores has lost its appeal to me, or if its the fact that I can't shop slow enough to actually enjoy the ambiance. I am a get in and get out kind of shopper. I almost never try anything on. I usually go in to a store with a item in mind....mission oriented! 

So when I took the three little pigs to the mall yesterday I half expected to just walk around and tire them out. (the weather was not very happy yesterday) But after getting them each a pretzel, the one amazing thing about the mall right?, they were all in cooperative spirits. I browsed various makeup counters, tried a new perfume, and sampled an eye serum. Made five bathroom breaks in less than an hour. And had not one.single.tantrum, at least from the children, I was mildly upset they didn't have my size in a shoe. But don't you worry I came home and found that shoe online. Ha!! 

It was a good Saturday...a good Saturday indeed! 

So tell me, are you a mall goer or a kick up your heels grab a glass of wine online connoisseur?

good things come....

Apr 24, 2014 those who wait out winter! We are officially in spring here in the A-K! This means most days are filled with 16 hours of sunshine, temps in the 50's, and the snow has melted!! I decided the other day we were going to spend the whole day outside. Just stay out there until my children fell asleep standing up or something. I just can't justify sitting inside any longer. So the park was the plan. I happen to be one of those people that will drive 20 minutes to a park that is guaranteed to be empty than walk a block from my house to the park that will guarantee I will become a babysitter for someone else. Off we went...
The park I had in mind was flooded, even the parking lot had ice floating in it. Fail! We did a couple drive-by's to some other parks....too crowded. Then we found a place to settle down with our little red boxes full of the happiest of meals around (we love you mcdonalds). 
It was gorgeous out! Just the perfect weather. Weather we have been looking forward to for a long time. Which got me thinking....nothing normal can come from that. So my thoughts were that living in Alaska can only be compared to one thing, pregnancy! Stop scratching your head and hear me out. Finding out your pregnant is kind of like the first snow of winter here. Your are excited, filled with happiness, and in awe of such a magnificent thing. You stay in this blissful state for months. But then it starts to wear on you. You are having mood swings, you are frustrated and randomly scream obscenities. Are you still with me? 
And oddly enough winter in Alaska and pregnancy last about the same amout of time, nine months! Anyway, so then you are getting to the end of winter where it just feels like it is dragging on. You feel like it will never end. You pop vitamin D supplements like skittles. You think this is it, you will just live in this doom and gloom forever. Much like those last few weeks of pregnancy. 

Then its time, you're in labor, or last week of winter, where things are just painful and you want to get it over with. You curse the the very fact that you made the decision to live here, you just want this to be over. You have shed resemble something like an exorcism, and then it happens. You wake up to sunshine and no more snow, or you pop that baby out. You are filled with so much joy. You are on a high and you think this is the best thing that has ever happened to you!
You sit there and think this is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. How could anyone not love this? And after a while you think, ya I could do this again....absolutely. And then winter comes back around, or you get pregnant....again, and you go through all the same before mentioned emotions. Thinking clearly I am insane!

Did you follow all that? These are just the thoughts I felt I could share, could you even imagine what the hell else goes on inside my head!! Frightening. 

Oh and to relate this post to these pictures, we went to a park. It was fun. The end. 

The Wife

Apr 23, 2014

You may or may not know, but my husband is in the Army! I don't really talk about it too much on this here spec of the world wide web, but we don't talk about it too much at home either. Not that it is not important, we just happen to be one of those families that when dad is out of uniform, dad is out of uniform. I don't really think of Chris's chosen profession to be any different than if he weren't in the Army. Sure he is gone a lot, works a ton of hours, and comes home exhausted. But I look at my dad and realize that he is in four different cities each week, every week. So to me a job is a job....
Obviously military life comes with its own unique set of challenges, but for the most part it keeps you on your toes. I actually enjoy the moving aspect of it all, okay not the packing and unpacking, but living in different places. We have moved into seven different houses in seven years, I have had plenty of opportunities to tap into my interior decorating side. We have lived in Seattle, Arizona, Georgia, and now Alaska. I now possess a wardrobe that can handle summers in the desert of Arizona, non-stop rain in Seattle, and below zero temps in Alaska. Not too shabby right? 
My experiences with being married to a man in uniform have been somewhat unorthodox. I married my husband when he was a private, then he got out of the Army. Then got back in as a recruiter, then got back out. Then got back in as on officer, then got back out....just kidding, clearly he still puts on a uniform everyday. You can read more about that stuff here. But I have seen the many different stereotypes be thrown around from each and every situation we have been in. And to be honest with you I just don't get it. Or maybe I have just chosen to stay an arms length from it all. I support Chris and his career 100%, all day everyday, and he knows that. But I also have hobbies, goals, and aspirations that have nothing to do with the military. Half the time I have no idea what my husband is talking about. I can't count how many times I realize I forgot my ID when I pull up to the gate. I find myself saying "wait what time is that?" when my husband tells when he'll be home from work. 
I happen to think we are relatively normal as far as family dynamics go, if you have been reading this blog for a while you know we are minutes away from one who flew over the cuckoo's nest! But life is an adventure and who doesn't love planning a family vacation only to have the date changed six times? Ha! 

Head over to Samantha and Mallory's blogs to read about more amazing women just livin the dream!

April showers bring May sandals

eleven/ twelve

There are just too many cute sandal options out there right now. Our weather has finally gotten to the point where snow boots are not required! So hello sandals! Which probably means I need a pedicure like yesterday.  And Birkenstocks are back with a vengeance, my 9 year old self is jumping for joy!! I am pretty sure that is going to be my go to choice of shoe come summer time. How do you feel about them? 

And I have been finding so many cute footwear options at forever 21 lately, oh and Target is killing it in the sandal department. many choices for someone who still has one small patch of snow in the backyard! Ha! 

Mom Uniform | Monochromatic

Apr 20, 2014

hat: target blazer: gap (old) similar tank: target (old) similar leather leggings: american apparel shoes: zara (old) similar on sale!

I wore this outfit the other day, and my little brother said "did someone die?". No, no one died, but I think my subconscious was in mourning because it was the last day my family would be here visiting! It had been a whole two years since I had seen my little brother and sister, we moved a few times. They were busy becoming teenagers (kind of a big deal). We had another baby. We live in Alaska (not a hop skip and a jump away). So the stars aligned and they were able to visit, and we could not have been more thrilled to have them here. My kids could smell fresh meat from a mile away, and they took advantage of my siblings youth! I let them....

And my mom, man, I forgot how much that lady likes to clean. Pretty sure she had a mild panic attack every time the kids would dump out a basket of toys, or legos...oh the LEGOS! It brought me back to my childhood and the fact that that stuff just didn't happen. I kept telling her she would drive herself nuts if she kept picking up all day long, just let the mess happen and once they are all tucked in at night the cleaning crew comes in (me). But grandmas are a whole different breed of saint!

On to this outfit! As much as I love color and patterns, I am a neutral girl at heart. And a monochromatic look, especially in the shade of all black, makes me a happy lady! The key to pulling it off is mixing textures. Cotton blazer, silk shirt, leather leggings. It gives the outfit a little more dimension even though you are in all one color. And these pics happen to be taken outside of a chocolate is slimming right? Right! Because I ate my weight in mocha truffles! 

Toddlers, Accidents, and Bears Oh My!

Apr 18, 2014

Before my family came to visit I was racking my brain as to what to take them to do. We are in break-up right now, also known as "spring" in Alaska. Everything is melting, its raining, some days are warm(er) and sunny, others are cold with on and off snow showers. Nothing is lush and green, but nothing is blanketed in snow either. Its just a state of mud everywhere. So to be honest there is not too much to explore. But Alaska is the furthest thing from Las Vegas, so really showing them anything is going to be an experience. Girdwood is one of my favorite places to spend the day, and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is down there as well. This place is like a zoo on steroids! Can you say bears?
I was hoping that the bears would be awake, and sure enough when we pulled in the guy at the gate told us the bears had just woken up yesterday, I got skills when it comes to timing!! I mean only in Alaska can you be mere feet from a brown bear with only a little wire fence between you. It is amazing! We all got out of the car and just marveled at these animals. The boys had me cracking up with their commentary. 
"mom dat is a bear"
"he is going to eat us"
"shhhh you had to be quiet or he gunna bite you"
"whoa whoa whoa dat is a huuuuge bear"
"o o o he getting up mom, mom he getting up"
The conservation center is a huge plot of land that you can drive through and stop at the different animal exhibits. You can go at your own pace, which is nice with toddlers. But being that you are driving around further and further from the visitors center you are also further and further from the bathrooms. So when Ace announces that he has to "pee and can't hold it" you kind of want to hit your head against the car window. This time I had a car full of people, we are outside yes, but at a wildlife refuge, I doubt being one with natural would go over well. So I pulled out a diaper, got peed on in the process of trying to get it on him....but what would an outing be without a pee story? 
A little Aunt and Uncle time with the boys! It is hard to believe I left home when my little sister was Ace's age! Now look at them, full fledged teenagers!
It really is amazing to see places like this that take in animals and rehabilitate them, or provide them with a safe home in the beautiful backdrop of the Chugach Mountains!
Being a military family really does have its perks, not only for us who get to live in different places. But for the family members that come to visit us. I don't think that my brother and sister had ever anticipated visiting Alaska. But sure enough this is where they find themselves on their spring break, and we could not feel more spoiled by having them here!! 

Co-Sleeping - the magic, the mystery, the mayhem

Apr 9, 2014

I know little about parenting, really, like almost nothing but I always tell people your first child is like your guinea pig child, your science experiment, just a bunch of trial and error. You have no idea what to expect. You are like a moth to a flame when it comes to information. You ask family members, read books, stop a nice looking grandmother at the Target check out just to pick her brain. You are clueless! At least, that is how I felt with Ace. I was 22 and had no one around me who had kids. I lived in a different state so help from family was not always a realistic option. I tried going off of instincts, but my instincts were thrown off sometimes by the weight of my college classes. So I listened to other people telling me what they did with their kids...BIG MISTAKE! As a mom it is good to bounce ideas off of one another, seek advice, but that doesn't mean it will work for you and your baby. This held true for me.
With Ace I did not initially start out co-sleeping, people around me told me it was bad. My pediatrician at the time frowned upon it. So I listened, I put him in his bassinet in our room for the first couple months and then moved him to his crib in his room after that. I hated it, I complained to Chris all the time that all I do is wake up and go check on him. So we moved the crib into our room. That wasn't good enough for my paranoia. I still would get up and make sure his little chest was moving up and down.....

Finally by the time he was about a year old I said forget this shit and brought him in bed with us. For us, this was perfection! We all slept so much better. It was just so easy, it was so comforting. I questioned why I didn't do this from day one!

Now fast forward to Pierce, and he stayed in bed with me until just about a month before Avalon was born. We loved it! And it was more of his choice to start sleeping in his own bed because he wanted to sleep with Ace. So to start the transition off we would let them sleep together in their room. This worked great because by this time I had Avalon in bed with me. For me, there has never been a rhyme or reason behind co-sleeping. I never did any research on it, I could care less about the science behind attachment parenting, or detachment parenting, or ball and chain parenting....what have you. I just do it because I like it. I sleep better knowing my little babe is right next to me.
I have always done nap time in their crib so that they have some sense of independence. But I am not ready to pull the trigger on Avalon just yet. When people find out we co-sleep the first question they ask is does your husband get annoyed? I would have to say no, he is gone more than he is home. I think he finds comfort in it as well, and he knows that I will constantly be getting up if we didn't co-sleep. I have a habit of bringing all the kids in my bed when Chris is gone for longer periods of time.  I will say that there are rough nights, teething nights, sick nights, and on those nights Chris will get up and go sleep in the guest room because he has to be up early and the sound of a crying baby doesn't really lull him to sleep. There is a lot of acrobatics that goes into co-sleeping, feet in your face, or your back, a random slap in the face my a flying arm, or a swift karate chop to the neck. There is lots of horizontal sleeping. Some nights Avalon has to have 63.7% of her body on mine at all times. Other nights our room resembles a chinese fire drill. But we like it, no really we do! 

Do I think co-sleeping is for everyone? Absolutely not, neither is natural childbirth, breastfeeding, homeschooling, bottle feeding, cloth diapers, diet coke, the real housewives. But like my good friend Britney Spears once said "its my prerogative"(well bobby said it first but lets not get technical). 

How do you feel about co-sleeping? Like it, love it, never tried it, just say no? Lemmeknow! This stuff genuinely interests me...... 

I wonder if my kids think I need friends?

I don't know if the conversations with my kids are getting funnier, or if I have gone without adult interaction for so long that I can only find humor with a child that still relies on me to keep their backside clean! Amanda came over the other day with her amazingly cute daughter, and I am pretty sure some of the things that came out of my kids mouths left her scratching her head! 

I mean who doesn't enjoy their diet coke laced with absurd humor coming from two toddlers?
As we were playing in the playroom:
Ace- Hey mom can you watch the kids for me? I have to pee. 
Me- Oh sure....

After we put the kids to bed....or so we thought. We were watching Gravity in 3D (glasses and all):
Ace- walks down the stairs WHAT ARE YOU GUYS DOING! It's bedtime, ugh, take off those glasses and get to your room.
Chris: Ok, you're right.
Me: No, I have to see if George dies. 

Picked up Ace from school:
Me- How was school?
Ace- Good we got chicks!
Me- You got what?
Ae- Chicks you know chicks.
Me- Like chickens?
Ace- Ya eggs that are like chickens not bacon.
After struggling to get Ace to eat his dinner:
Ace- But mom I am so full I think I need some chocolate. 

After watching dad get ready and leave for work:
Pierce- grabs a sword and a small frying pan Otay mom I going to work now see you next morning. He walks outside in a diaper and rain boots. 
Me- Watching from the window
Pierce- Otay mom I home it was too cold at work.  
Dinner conversation:
Chris: How was your day?
Ace: Good I just worked a lot. Pierce annoyed me. And mommy got a box. 
Chris: Mommy got a box? Of what?
Ace: Just stuff. she got a box da odder day too.
Chris: Oh she did? Does mommy get lots of boxes?
Ace: Ya like all da time....
Me: Wow Ace I thought we were friends! 

Ace came into my room in the middle of the night:
Ace- Mom! wake up!
Me- Ace? Are you okay?
Ace- I had a bad dream I need to sleep with you. climbs in bed
Me- A bad dream about what?
Ace- You
Me- _____________
Putting Pierce to bed:
Me- Night night little man
Pierce- I need a tiss
Me- kiss
Pierce- I need a hug
Me- hug
Pierce- I need anudder tiss
Me- kiss
Pierce- I need to pick you nose
Me- Goodnight!

Just some random sitting in the kitchen:
Ace- So babe....
Me- Did you just call me babe?
Ace- Ya dad does it.
Me- True, but you can call me mom.
Ace- What about Kewlsey?
Me- Or mom, mama, mommy
Ace- Or babe, right babe?
Where is the child that doesn't speak yet?
She's like.... that shit cray!

April is Month of The Military Child

Apr 7, 2014

A whole month dedicated to military kids! They deserve much more than a month, but if mothers only get a day, I guess a month will do. I happen to have three military "brats" and who would I be if I didn't take time to recognize my own little people that sacrifice without even knowing.
recruiting 2010
The military isn't an easy life for anyone involved. I grew to know the challenges that I faced as a military wife, but I am still learning how to deal with parenting in the military. Your children look to you to be the strong one, and guide them through all the changes that happen. If you appear to be happy and okay, they tend to do the same. 

But there are hard times for them as well. Ace has questions that I cannot answer. And even when I do answer, the answer he gets is not satisfying because it does not end with dad being able to appear. There are tears shed over wanting dad to read a bed time story, or dad to play hockey in the living room. There is anger, confusion, and sadness. But there is also an overwhelming amount of pride tucked inside these little bodies. Every time they see a plane in the sky they say "hey mom is dad going to jump out of there?" or when we pass someone in uniform they whisper "my dad has a uniform like that too". They run around the house in all his boots, they play "army" with their toys, and it is a fight to see who will be playing "dad".
ranger school graduation 2012
It is amazing to watch these incredibly resilient kids say hello and goodbye. To reintegrate each and every time. Pierce didn't get to meet Chris for a few months after he was born, and now they have one of the strongest bonds. These kids teach me more about how to deal with all different circumstances because they do it all the time. They know nothing different.
the first time they met november 2011
Military kids are truly amazing, each and every one of them. They learn how to adapt and change. They learn how to embrace new places and eventually call them home.  They are tough, and possess a sense of strength and selflessness for something much bigger than they even know. They sacrifice the most.

I am so grateful for these little humans they make it all worth it.

Nighttime Reading and a Giveaway!

Apr 3, 2014

Reading! We are kind of big on the night time reading routine around here. I wish we could get to more day time reading, but no one can sit still until about 8 in the pm, so that is our designated time. If you read this post you know that I have tried to streamline our routine and make it a little bit easier on all parties involved. 

Sasquatch books was awesome enough to send the boys some new Alaskan themed books to add to their collection!! Thrilled would be an understatement. The boys are obsessed with all things having to do with their current home in Alaska. Sled dogs, fishing, bears....bears....bears! 

The two books they really enjoyed were Alaska's Dog Heros, which is a true story about some of Alaska's most famous dogs! Ace is now running around the house calling all kinds of different names in hopes that one of these dogs will magically appear! Sorry such luck.
 yes he is wearing rain boots in my bed...gotta pick your battles around here!
Pierce happened to really enjoy Alaska's Sleeping Beauty (actually I really liked it too). It is an adaptation on the original, but with Alaskan heritage in the forefront! 

These books along with so many others have been nightly staples around here. And I love that they are jam packed with so much history and facts about where we are today. The kids are able to relate the things they are reading to the things and places they see all around them. I really encourage you to check out Sasquatch books because they have so many other books that are great for kids! 

Best part about this is that they sent a bundle of books to giveaway!!! Whaaaaat! So jump on the ol' rafflecopter and win yourself your kids some really amazing books. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Currently Craving- Radiant Orchid

Apr 1, 2014

When Pantone chose Radiant Orchid as their "color of the year" my spring heart skipped a beat. I love purple in any hue, and a fuchsia? Forgettaboutit! 

I can't get enough...I just love so many things in this color pallet. I will admit that I have already indulged in buying a few of these things on my list. But for me, this color is going to stick around in my wardrobe long after 2014! 

So what do you think? Yay or nay on the radiant orchid?? 


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