Awesome DoTERRA Special

Mommas: there’s a great Special that DoTERRA is offering that I just had to share with you. It’s a limited time offer just in time for Mother’s Day

Mothers Day Gift Set

You get a 5ml bottle of Serenity, Whisper, and Balance and a free hand lotion for $35 Wholesale

Purchase directly from my website http://mydoterra.com/hillarysoils

Join as a Preferred Customer (pay just $10) and get a 20% discount off retail pricing on this very special gift set.

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Balance: a grounding blend that helps you relax, focus, and keep emotionally on track. I use this everyday and think it’s amazing (and trust me, you will too!). It includes Blue Tansy, Ho Wood, Spruce and Frankincense.  Learn more about it here 

Serenity: a calming blend that relaxes stress, soothes anxiety, and promotes good sleep. We love to diffuse this at night to help relax us and get us ready for bed. Includes lavender, vetiver, ylang ylang, vanilla, roman chamomile, sandalwood and sweet majoram, Read more about it here 

Whisper is a blend just for ladies blends with your natural chemistry to make your own unique perfume. It’s amazing, I wear it every day, and I love it so much. It’s the oil I use daily and honestly, I wouldn’t want to live without it. Read more about it here 

Truth: the weight isn’t over

I have struggled with my weight and body image for as long as I can remember. In fact, most of my memories circle around how I looked at the time. I can remember being in size 10 jeans at age 10 and feeling flabby. I can remember the years I was borderline anorexic, limiting my calories to 1,000 a day and my fat intake under 20 grams until my hair fell out and my cheekbones were gaunt, feeling the triumph of fitting into a size 5 dress and wearing what were skinny jeans before they were called skinny jeans. “This, ” I remember saying to myself at age 17, “is the best day of my life” as I stared at myself before prom, in a lithe silver gown that pronounced my hollows and lack of curves.

I have always yo-yoed. I’ve been “dieting” since I was 10 and became achingly conscious of my size, the fact that I was “fluffy” instead of slender, the fact that I didn’t fit any ideal of beauty that I could find respectable. I tried everything: low cal, low fat, pills, low carb, exercising until it hurt.

I remember consulting with my campus doctor at age 25 when he told me I was obsese. at the time, I was working out an hour a day, eating 1500 calories and trying to lose weight. I’m 5 10, I was starving every day, and he said “some bodies like to hold onto the weight. You maybe have a slow metabolism. My wife is the same way. Just keep trying. Try 1200 calories.”

If you’ve ever dieted– or spent a lifetime of diets, you get accustomed to that empty knawing feeling in your stomach where you want nothing more than something to fill that hole. For me, I’ve spent a lifetime feeling hungry and unsatisfied, empty and angry at my body for grasping at every calorie and not letting it go.

When I had a “reason” to lose weight I was motivated and focused. On my wedding day, I weighed 155 lbs. that was the thinnest I have been since those lean high school years (where I was 125 and sick).

Before my daughter, before I was pregnant, I was on the ketogenic diet. (Low carbs, high fat). I lost 40 lbs rapidly, had perfect skin, lots of energy, no gas (really!) but I felt
Sad and angry irrationally. Some people get this way from the lack of sugar in their diet. I remember wondering if it was worth the trade off: I wasn’t happy but I looked good.

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Then I got pregnant. Every day I was sick, but after the drugs kicked in and I felt ok, I would eat. And eat. And eat. Long lost carbs were again my friend. I ate sugar like it was going out of business. And all at once I gained– 12 lbs the first trimester (amazing since I really ate very little, but I’m sure it has a lot to do with sugar). Then, it just kept going. And going.

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And they just kept coming… A 12 to 16 week progression shot is below

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And by the end, I was at 250 lbs. I started at 184 (which was considered overweight to begin with!)

Me in my hugely pregnant glory 2 days before we met our daughter:

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So, yes, I gained a lot.  About two weeks after giving birth I had dropped from 250 to 225, giving me hope that maybe the weight would just fall off like everyone told me it would with breastfeeding

But three months passed and instead of losing weight, I started to gain a pound here and there. It was awful. I struggled with my milk supply and noticed on the days I didn’t eat an obscene number of calories and fat my supply would drop the next day. I tried going walking at the start of the year and my supply further plummeted

At seven months post partum I am sitting at 235 lbs, the largest I have ever been (not pregnant that is) and I’m miserable in my skin. I kept thinking things would change, but now I realize that things aren’t going to change.

I guess I wanted to post this to go up in the face of the idea that all
Mothers lose the weight when breastfeeding. That’s a myth, and I’m
Proof of it. I know this is just a season of my life and one I try to take in stride, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

To my fellow mom readers, tell
Me about your weight gain and loss journey.

Adventures in home renovation: the before

We bought our sweet 1930s Tudor the year we were married with high hopes of DIY renovations. “How hard can it be?” We asked ourselves? How hard indeed— we have had our house for 2 1/2 years and only now is the downstairs in sight of being done. It’s something I’ve wanted to share and blog about because it’s been an adventure and I think people should know about the adventure.

We searched for a house for two years before finding this one. Two years, 111 houses total. I’m picky and I admit it, but I had a few basic needs I wanted to have in our home: we wanted brick exterior, something built pre 1950, something with character, something in a decent enough neighborhood. 3 bedrooms at least, a garage for my husband.

When we first saw our house, I knew. I’m a big intuition person, and I just knew it was “the one.” We walked in and it was well worn and well used and needed a lot of work. After deliberating we put in our offer on Valentines Day 2011. I’m a florist and at the time ran a flower shop so you can imagine that madness.

Here’s our house:

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A sweet couple had bought our house in the 1950s and probably planted those huge trees then that were once bushes. They grew when no one trimmed them. Ever.

Anyway, so they didn’t accept our offer. They wanted a lot more than we were willing to pay (and we were not going to go higher because we knew it needed loads and loads of work). I was pretty devastated.

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We kept looking but I’ll admit it, my heart wasn’t in it. At that point, I checked the MLS daily and about two weeks later our House was back on the market. The first couple had backed out.

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The living room and fireplace. Everything was white (they painted it in 1950 and then did nothing else with it).

We put in our new offer (a little
Higher this time) did some back and forth negotiations, and then we got it!

The original kitchen with original
Cabinets and dining room.

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As you can see, it needed lots of
Love and work, but we were determined. The bathroom was tiny:

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And the master had a weird closet:

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But there was so much potential. This is the upstairs landing:

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And we were off. We closed on April 5 and started working the very next day. I will share the projects with you in future posts!

DIY momma : lemon-lavender bath soak with essential oils

Once a week, I make a spa bath (complete with spa music and candles) with an Epsom salt soak I make at home that is super easy and pretty much magical.

The recipe includes Epsom salt and some essential oils. That’s it! It costs about $12 for 12 8 oz jars. I give them as gifts and let other people experience the goodness.

Here’s my recipe for a magical soak that will take away your aches and pains and leave you feeling refreshed and energized:

Epsom salts (12 cups = 12 8 oz mason jars)

I use these salts from the San Francisco Salt company from Amazon

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I get out a stainless steel (or glass) bowl. Avoid plastics — the essential oils can damage those! I strap in the babe and we get to making our salt

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I break up any clumps and then add 6 drops of doTERRA lemon

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Mix that all into the salts (I use a stainless steel ladle), then do the same with lavender

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Mix, mix, mix. This is a great combo for allergy sufferers (me, me) and for tired mommas that need a good invigorating soak.

Once well

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Now, fill up jars with the soak. I use these cute quilted mason jars because I like to give them as gifts to my momma friends.

This recipe will make a case.

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For gift giving, I wrap a little tag with bakers twine around them and voila! Done!

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Must Haves, Dos, and Don’ts: Baby’s first three-six months

DIAPERS:

So, no matter what you need to face the facts: your baby, your sweet little bundle of joy, was made to poop, And by poop, i mean explode feces everywhere. It becomes a fact of life you and your spouse will often laugh about as you wipe poop from everywhere. Emmaline’s car seat, swing, and anything that puts her in reclining position is affectionately known as her “poop chair.” Finding a diaper that helps contain the mess is a plus, but you have to go into it knowing that the poop can’t always be contained, and this is simply the nature of poop. You will soon understand and accept this, as it is the reality of your new life as parent.

AS a disclaimer, we did explore cloth diapering and decided it was too much for us to handle. So I have no reccs to that effect but can say if you do it, awesome. And we ultimately wanted a diaper that was more environmentally sound, but we got some from the hospital and as gifts, so we did try those out and that’s why we have a review about them.

Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive: If I wasn’t wanting to be environmentally conscious, these would be my diapers of choice. We got them at the hospital. The pluses: 1) they have a leak indicator with a moisture band— yes. 2 )Even though they are sensitive, they smell nice.  They fit well and we had really few blow-outs.  The main reason we didn’t get these is because they are chalk full of chemicals and are really mega bad for the environment.

LUV’s : We  got a huge box of these which was an amazing gift from a friend. In one use, Emmaline broke out in a rash— so we didn’t use them again.

7th Generation: These are dye free, no chemical, etc etc diapers. They didn’t do a good job containing messes,  She was always pooping out of these guys, and even pee would leak. Not our favorite.

Honest Co.: We love Honest Co diapers. Even if they are spendy, they are made from all natural materials, are chemical free, great for our baby’s sensitive skin, and are better than regular disposables for the environment. Add to the mix that they have some cute styles and you have my favorite diaper.  We order the bundle and get them delivered once a month and I never have to worry about having diapers. They magically appear on my doorstep in cute styles.

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WIPES:

Huggies “Natural Care”: These SUCK. They are kind of slimy and don’t do a good job cleaning up messes. Skip them.

Pamper’s Sensitive: We got these at the hospital and they are good at cleaning up messes, have a nice scent, and didn’t bother her skin. I like them

Honest Company: The first type of wipe we got we didn’t like, and then they changed the formulation to one with a pattern on it that made it so they were a little toothy and did a much better job cleaning. The only con: they don’t come out of the wipe container in individual sheets– you will get like a foot of sheets, which can blow in the middle of the night. But they are head to toe wipes (which you need, believe me) and we use them for lots of applications. Side note: 4 packs of wipes which come with the Honest co bundle are never enough, so we had to keep getting more wipes.

Make your own: We go through wipes like it’s going out of style, so we make our own. Recipe to follow in another blog post

PACIFIERS: Our kid isn’t really into pacifiers. Well, let me correct that, she doesn’t love pacifiers, but she does love her thumb, so I have that nightmare of her future messed up mouth to worry about– but at least she looks cute sucking on it.

Soothies: these are useless without the attached Wubba Nub, which you should just go ahead and get, mothers.  Please note: they are divided in age categories, so pay attention to that when buying your paci.

Nuk: Again, my child could care less, but if I could make her like one, I would think she would like this one the most.

Wubba Nub: These are cute little animals with a pacifier attached. They are adorable. She likes to suck on the eggs and not the actual pacifier, but if she’s happy I’m happy.

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BOTTLES:

We tried lots of bottles– Avent, Medela Calma, evenflo, etc etc. and ended up going with the Tommy Tippee because they really do have a slow flow and seems more like breastfeeding. Plus, now that she’s six months old it’s adorable to watch her hold them.

TEETHERS:

Monkey from Target: theres this monkey from Target that my kid loves. Like, loves. You could try to pry it from her fingers but it would be no use, she is not letting you take the monkey. I don’t know if it’s a good teether or not, but she really seems to enjoy it, so that makes me happy at least.

Sophie the giraffe — This b!&%h is from France, so that’s why she costs $25. I think Sophie spends more time hurdling through space than in Emmaline’s mouth. She seems to like to watch it fly through the air.  As a teether: sure, she uses it as such, but she’s really expensive.  But let’s be honest, what isn’t?

PASTES and SUCH

Dr Boudreauxs Butt Paste– don’t let the name scare you. This stuff is great for rashes and creating a protective barrier for tender little fannies.

Honest Co. Healing Balm– This stuff is crack. We use it all the time for every type of skin issue (and I mix in some of our essential oils along with it). Emmaline has eczema so it helps having a nice thick salve.

Healing Balm

Mom tip: natural eczema and yeast infection cures

Our babe has some issues with eczema and with it getting nasty. Modern medicine wants you to use a cortisone cream to treat the eczema, and I’m not going to lie– before I had our babe I was all about quick fixes and over the counter cure. But now I want to keep her away from chemicals and anything that could potentially harm her. So I started looking into natural ways to treat common ailments.

Before she was born, we got the Honest Company sample pack that included the healing balm. This magical salve blends sunflower oil, coconut oil and other all natural ingredients to make an amazing multipurpose ointment that I feel good about using because it’s organic and there’s no chemicals ever. Check out the details here: https://www.honest.com/bath-and-body/healing-balm

When a patch beneath her chin (where the drool likes to hang out all day) got inflamed and then looked scabby, we had our pediatrician check it out. He said it looked like she had a bit of a yeast infection and to use some Monistat. I wanted an all natural solution, so I looked to my essential oils.

I paired the anti fungal melaleuca and the healing lavender with our honest balm and bam– her rash looks a million times better today!

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Just one drop of each applied twice a day is having awesome results. You could use this combo on any open rash, and we use the honest balm with lavender on her eczema after every bath and went from a whole body problem to just a few patches in a matter of weeks!!

Pretty awesome. Have you ever tried essential oils to help with natural healing in your home? I would love to chat with other moms trying this out!

6 months, still new

Today, my daughter is six months old. This seems incredible to me, life-altering and commonplace all at the same time. I look at her and can see glimmers of the little person she is becoming, my little baby slowly evolving to my little girl, and it’s wonderful and terrifying all at once.

The first few months were crazy chaos, not unlike being thrown into the deep end of the swimming pool and being forced to swim with no knowledge of swimming other than YouTube videos and books and forums and the advice of others on how to swim. “You move your arms like this and your legs like that, and you create a sort of buoyancy, see with your body, and it’s all really natural and really easy and honestly— anyone can do it. It’s instinctual. You’ll figure it out.” You become a mother in stages: I remember how my life changed instantly in the moment I saw those two pink lines, my joy followed by the complete and utter revision of life as I knew it. Everything, from how I ate to how I felt was amended for the health of the baby. No caffeine, no artificial sweeteners. Organic. The best vitamins, the best everything. Don’t get too stressed, the baby may feel it. My entire worldview was altered, and from that moment I was “mother” and yet so little trulychanged. In my heart I was mother to the child that would be, but I had no concept of knowing what mothering would be, what it would look like when I wore its delicate crown.

Right before Emmaline was born, I remember trying to squeeze in as much “us”time as possible. For 9 months all of our conversations had been around her– how we would be for her, as parents. What we would and wouldn’t do. But at the very end, the final chapter of my pregnancy, I wanted to slow down all the sudden. I wanted to go back to 11 months before and relive those moments just a little bit, to experience my life as not a million pound pregnant woman in the summer heat. I wanted to feel sexy and beautiful and my husbands wife. It’s not that I didn’t want to not be where I was, I just wanted a quick rewind, a chance to remember and relish and recall– because prior to being pregnant all our energy had been all about getting pregnant, and it was hard and we were sad a lot, and we felt like everything was futile. But then it all changed, and we were pregnant and spent months rehearsing parenthood and on the Eve of just that– of it all being real, I wanted to step back and just be husband and wife, a thing we would not “just” be again.

Now, we are his and her, and baby too— husband and wife and child; family. And these six months– my, how they have flown. How we have grown together in our new roles as parents. And how it has changed us in so many ways, changed us to know a different kind of happy, a clarified definition of tired, a strange new articulation of ourselves. It’s beautiful and wonderful and yet still alien at times.

So, on my daughters 6 month half birthday I realize that the chaos has died down a bit and we’ve really settled into our new normal. My house is starting to be cleaned on a regular basis, and I’m not zombie tired all the time. I’ve figured out how to get stuff done (like blogging again!) and how to wear the mantle of mother, but also as wife and lady who works and person who needs a few minutes to herself every day.

I have no idea what the next six months will bring, but I do know this: today, my daughter is six months old, and she has made my life different abs wonderful, and I can’t wait for tomorrow and the day after, but would be just as happy for it to slow down and crystallize this moment, this day, this hour— so I can savor and reflect and relish all that it means to be a mom to a six month old.

Here’s a peek of her getting her 6 month photos done today, where she sat up totally unassisted for the first time.

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Milestone: 6 months breastfeeding

When I was pregnant, I had a lot of goals. One — and perhaps one of the most important — was breastfeeding. I knew I wanted to make a commitment to being a breastfeeding mom. I went to a class. I read books. I felt prepared and empowered and ready to commit to having the special bond with my child of being the sole provider of her nutrients.

When she was born, she went Right to my breast and suckled. I felt so awesome, like I passed some incredible mom test. I won. My kid latched! She fed from me. The lactation consultants came and helped
Us achieve an even better latch. She squeezed my breast and out came the honey colored colostrum, the liquid gold that my baby craved and needed. She nursed constantly those first few days, and the doctors and nurses all applauded her. We were making our way! We were being a perfect little
Family!

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We were discharged and everything changed. She cried and cried. She suckled for hours but nothing would console her. We desperately watched the Happiest Baby on the Block and we tried to shush and swaddle and swing. And then my husband noticed that she seemed warm. We took her
temperature— it was 101 degrees.

We freaked out. I called the answering service at the pediatrician and left a message every hour on the hour until finally she fell asleep for 2 hours in sheer exhaustion. We didn’t know we should have taken her to the hospital. The pediatrician didn’t call us back. I cried. She cried. It was the worst night of my life.

The following morning, we took her to the doctor (there had been a problem with the answering service– they were deeply sorry). The on call doctor told us that since leaving the hospital, Emmaline had lost 1/2 a pound— and that he suspected that she was hungry. Starving, actually.

He gave her formula and took her bloodwork and she ate that formula like a baby that had never once eaten. And I cried and cried, because I felt like a failure: why wasn’t I able to give my child the one thing she needed and wanted?

So, we entered into a tenuous relationship where we had to supplement with formula. My milk came in, but it still wasn’t enough. And thus, I started on every supplement combination you could imagine to get my supply where it was enough to feed her. I tried power pumping. I tried pumping after every meal. I started Mother’s Milk Tea. Fenugreek. Lactation cookies. Here’s my recipe of what worked for me:

Fenugreek, 610 mg 3 tablets twice a day

Blessed thistle, 3 tablets twice a day

3-5 cups of mothers milk tea

Vitanica nursing blend– 1
Per day

Nursing vitamins — 1 per day

New mom must have: the wonder weeks

So, let me confess that I have no idea what is going on with my kid most of the time. I mean, I know she’s adorable and she’s growing and everything like that, of course— but I don’t always know what is going on with her developmentally.

Early on, in a desperate google search trying to figure out what was up with my baby who had suddenly morphed into some other persons baby— I’m talking going from being so sweet I couldn’t barely believe she was real to being quarrelsome and unhappy… I found out about the Wonder Weeks.

The WW are directly correlative to growth spurts and are essentially developmental milestones. This handy book (or in my case, I phone app) tells you what to expect and what development is happening and when. It’s super helpful and way in tune to the reality of what you (and your baby) are experiencing.

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The WW gives you a cool little chart on the app to follow that tells you where your wee baby child is at so you can know if it’s a stormy time (when your baby is in the midst of the leap and is fussy and sad and not sleeping or eating as well as she normally would) and then the sunny time, when all the elements of the leap are manifesting.

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Check it out— I highly recommend the spendy price tag. It makes you feel slightly more informed. Because, let’s be honest— there’s really no good way to understand even 1/4 of what is going on when you first become a parent. It’s helpful to have any little bit of additional info to make you feel less in the dark.