Thursday, May 29, 2014

Balm Obsession: A Review Turned Loved Note

Let's be honest. I would buy this stuff for the little jars and
labeling alone. I am the worst consumer ever.
I am trying something new at The Lint Trap. I am going to start reviewing/showing love to things I really think are worth it. Especially stuff made by other mamas. Ladies that are doing it, lives, and following their passion. First up? The Pharmacist's Wife, Stephanie. Maker of balm, mother of females, teacher of all things of the earth. Like fermenting cabbage. And making cleaner out of oranges and vinegar.  She is tiny and adorable and educated in all things healthy and natural, and BONUS...she turns out fabulous body products as The Pharmacist's Wife. 

At my baby shower for Bear a friend gave me some of The Pharmacist's Wife signature product, The*Balm. I brought it home, threw it in my bedside table, and promptly forgot about it. A month later, when the babe was siphoning every bit of hydration from my body, I remembered I had stashed The*Balm. I pulled it out and put it on my hands at night. And it was amazing. So I started using it on my feet, which are, if I am being honest, a real situation. Ever since I traveled after college and wore flip flops for 12 months, my feet have never been the same. Cracks abound. And I have tried it all. Creams, ointments, and now Balm. I am hear to tell you, I am in love. It feels great, it smells great, and it works great. The only issue is remembering to use it. But that's my problem. I am sure y'all can do better. Happy feet, happy life. 
Grease is the Word, that you Heard

Then came baby. Though he is precious and wonderful and jolly, he came with a serious cradle cap situation. With LadyB I used olive oil, which took three baths and dawn dish soap to clean out. I decided to go a different route this time, and smeared The*Balm all over Bear's flaky head. While he did his best impression of a tubby Danny Zukko, The*Balm was doing crazy magic on his noggin. I plopped him in the tub, shampooed, and then combed his hair, and the de-flake was Ah-May-Zing. It only took two treatments and he has been cradle cap free ever since. Way better than the olive oil debacle of 2010. 

My second great love from The Pharmacist's Wife is Stink*Balm. It's a natural deodorant. Stop. I know what you are thinking. "My friend's hippie mom used that deodorant back in the day that looked like a crystal shard, and she smelled like onions and wool." This is not that. This is very very very better. This is light and smells wonderful and works astonishingly well. I discovered a few years ago that most of my friends don't wear deodorant, or they only wear natural deodorant. I was like, "say what now? No deo for the BO? Um, that's crazy talk." Mama has to wear something if she's going to be out among the people. Most of these friends stopped wearing regular deodorant when they were nursing. The baby's head was so close to their pit they felt like the chemicals were dirtying up their pure little babes. Which of course made me feel like I had ruined LadyB by nursing her in such close proximity to Secret. So I vowed to do better for number 2. Enter Stink*Balm. It is awesome. There is a trick that I didn't know that makes the natural deodorant do its best work, and that is exfoliating the pitties everyday. I now recommend this to everyone, no matter what underarm preferences are. I don't care if you are a stranger on the street. If we start talking deodorant, I will tell you to use apricot scrub every day to make them bump free and lovely. You're welcome.

I also loved the Nipple*Balm when I was nursing (a great gift!) and the Bedtime*Balm, which smells truly amazing. I use Whipped*Balm on my hands at night now. The*Balm has also worked wonders on razor burn in delicate places, done amazing things to chapped lips, and cured super dry spots on both kids.

SO. That is what I wanted to share. Follow her on Instagram (@thepharmacistswife) and Twitter. Like her on Facebook. Purchase her goodness on Etsy. (Keep in mind that this is a working mama with three childrens, so if she doesn't have something she is busy parenting, and you should check back! Not to mention her stock is so lovely it flys off the internets.) You should all become fans, followers, and users of The Pharmacist's Wife. She is another Mama who is following her passion, so let's all help her while helping ourselves. And we can smell great and stay smooth while we are doing it.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Grocery Store PTSD

Once upon a time there was a little girl. When she was 4 or 5 she went with her mom to Food Lion for Shasta and Cookie Crisp. She was quietly minding her own own business by her mom at the checkout, when the bag boy pushed a cart in her direction. The corner of that cart hit her smack in the head and  knocked her out cold. PLOT TWIST...that little girl was me, y'all. And being run over by a grocery cart is my cross to bear. And my children will forever pay for that bagger's misstep. 

Everything was okay when LadyB was small. I had complete control because she was in the cart. Now, despite my best efforts to cram her into the cart seat, she declines to ride. Mostly because she doesn't fit and the bars hurt her legs, which she is ALWAYS whining about. I mean, I'm willing to push your 40 pound arse around the grocery store whilst buying food for you, and you are going to complain about a little thigh pinching? That's rich. So, now she walks. And baby either goes in the ergo or his seat goes in the big part of the cart and I stuff apples, and loaves of bread, and dog food around him. And as Toodles walks she touches and hops, and bobs and weaves, and closes her eyes, and walks backwards, and pays ZERO attention to the world around her. And that incident that happened to the little girl some 30 years ago in the Food Lion that was all but forgotten is now an open wound on my psyche. I have diagnosed myself with PTSD that is exacerbated by being anywhere with carts with my child.

I now spend my whole time at the grocery store saying 'Stop being a fool' in various ways. It is a run on sentence that sounds something like this: "Don't touch those, please watch where you are going, come walk by me, watch out for other people, stop hopping, please look up, don't knock things off the shelves, watch out for their cart, don't pick anything up, come over here, don't run, stop pushing the things to the back of the shelves, stop running, come over here, STOP DOING EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING AND HAVE BEEN DOING SINCE YOU GOT OUT OF THE CAR." By the time we are in the frozen foods I am wild eyed, screaming, and foaming at the mouth. All because my child's level of bafoonery goes up 100% when there are carts everywhere. Or maybe it's because every time she strays away I have flashbacks of the cart knocking me out, which gives me visions of one knocking her out, which gives me a panic attack. Not only do I not want my first born to carry this burden and start the cycle all over again, but I have
Look Ma, no hands! 
enough going on trying to purchase food in a timely manner with a 4 year old who doesn't listen, a baby in an ergo I am giving a bottle to, a Starbucks coffee (um, I deserve a lot more than that for doing the hunting and gathering with kids in tow) and trying to keep up with my list that is on a ratty piece of envelope that I keep sticking in different pockets, all while trying to find the best deals. {which leads me to this aside: if Hubs had to shop like this he would pay double for everything just to get out and we would be bankrupt.} 

I don't have the time or energy to deal with a maimed Honey Badger. Do you want to know how I know this? About a month ago we were shopping and it was same-old-same-old. I whisper scream for her to stop acting like a crazy person and she blatantly ignores me.  And with a crowd of thousands waiting in line to checkout with nothing to stare at besides me failing as a parent, she starts hopping between tiles and she slips and falls. Right in front of the meal deal case. And she starts screaming and crying and carrying on like she broke her ankle. And everyone stares. And I start sweating. Awesome. But the best part is she then wanted to be carried because she is an overly dramatic person who can exploit weakness and she knows I hate a scene. So I pick her up, mostly to get away from the lookey-lous, with what little dignity I have left, and I trudge off carrying a 40 lb shrieking and sobbing child. Then I carry her for the next two aisles while I push a cart with my monstrous baby in his huge carrier in it all while shopping. It was heinous. I can't do it again. I can't. I'll die. 

So yesterday, Lady B was acting like a tap dancer on crack having a dance off with an imaginary friend, while I was trying to buy my K-cups. You gave to understand that this is the most important 3 minutes of my whole trip. Coffee is my thing. No schwag Folgers crap, it's gotta be good. But it has to be the best deal. I have to study the options. And because she almost gets hit by a cart for the 367 time just this trip, I have a psychotic break and yell at her, really loud. I'm not proud that someone's sweet grandma picking out her Nescafe had to witness me giving my child a tongue lashing, but it happened. And it happened again by the baked beans. And a third time in the Popsicles. I. Can't. Take. It. But I don't know how to make her stop acting like an animal that has never been off its leash when we are there. Not taking her is not an option 99% of the time. 

So I'm open to suggestions. She's not being bad on purpose. She just can't seem to control herself. She is in her own world doing her own thing, which usually involves paying zero attention to old men with cataracts driving in little rascal carts who just want their aspercream and earl gray and Cheetos. Or the lady in a suit who obviously has seven minutes to buy two weeks worth of groceries and is sprinting while throwing things in her cart. They aren't watching for little girls who are reorganizing the Gatorades, and she is oblivious to the fact there is anyone even in the store with us. So I must remain ever vigilant that my firstborn doesn't end up on the floor with cart wheel tracks across her back and a dent in her skull. This duty really slows down my food buying. It takes us like an hour and a half when it should be 45 min tops. But vigilant I shall remain, in honor go that little girl, laying on the dusty floor at Food Lion, right by the locked cigarette cases and quarter machines with bouncy balls. I will not let my child experience this horror. Even if it means getting a prescription of Xanax so that I can grocery shop without ending up in the fetal position by the organic yams, rocking and crying. 

I think I am going to either put everyone on a diet, start living off the land, or order my groceries for the next 5 years.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Life Ain't Easy. Ever.

We have two kids now. That is twice the laundry, twice the attention needed, twice the work. And it's not easy. It's manageable and we are not falling apart, but at the end of most days, I feel like I have given all I have to give. And the amazing thing is, I felt like that a lot when I had just one child. I even can remember feeling like that back when I had no kids and a full time job. You know what that says to me? It's all hard. No matter what we are doing, it is hard and we are tired, and everyone should be treated as such. Life is life. We are all doing our best every day to survive. 

I think it is so easy for people with more the one kid to look at families with just one child and say, "they have no idea how easy they have it. It's two on one. They can tag out when they can't take it anymore. It is so much harder with two." And I promise for every couple with two saying that, there is a couple with three or more saying the same thing about the family with two. And the parents of the singleton are looking at the ones with no kids that are working full time jobs and saying basically the same thing. It is human nature to think we have it harder than the next guy. But I don't really think that is true. The saying "life ain't easy" is a saying for a reason. Cause it for real ain't easy. It is messy and hard and we are all going through trials and situations that add stress to everyday toughness. 

I was talking to a mom friend and we were discussing the fact that she and her husband had  made a decision to do no screen time for their son until he was two. I was commending her, and said that was out the window as soon as we realized our child loved TV and would sit and watch a whole episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse when she was one, giving me a whole 26 minutes to actually do something.  She said, "but it is easy for me to do because I am not working from home like you." And my comment back to her was this..."it is hard to be a work from home mom, but nothing we as moms do is easy. It's all hard in different ways." 

We should all stop judging each other and appreciate that we are all in different spaces. And every space has hard parts and easy parts. I am just as guilty as the next person of thinking how much harder my life is than the next person's. But it really isn't. Just remember, even Beyoncé and Jay Z have the moment where they decide, do I let her watch another episode of Mickey Mouse? Just one more so I can breathe for a second? Even famous people and rich people and people who rule the world have to make choices and decisions and are doing the best they can.

So go ahead and pat yourself on the back. You are doing a great job. Sure, you mess up sometimes. You yell when you should take a deep breath. You give them cake when they should be eating an apple. You remember back to the easier times, and wish just for one second that it was 2003 again and the biggest decision of the day was who was going to pick up dinner. And that's okay. Remind yourself that every day is hard for everyone. Cause no matter who you are, life ain't easy, friends. 



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