Hair Update 7/2017

My edges have returned and hair that has broken off is also growing back despite the horrible neglect it has suffered dating all the way back to the end of my first trimester. I was so excited to see my full edges that I took pictures at different stages of the process. EDITED: After I added the pictures I realized there aren’t any clear images of my edges #fail

My wash day is typical of most found on any curly-haired blog/ YouTube channel with the exception of adding heat so I can trim my own ends. I’ll admit I’m not super into my hair like I was before having a child so I’m sure if you look close enough you’ll see tons of SSK (single strand knots), split ends and general unevenness but hey it is what it is and I maintain my hair in a way that is easiest for me. Without further delay my edges (and the rest of my hair)!

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Photos above are of my hair right after I washed it. It was still soaking wet but I was feeling it way too much to let it dry šŸ™‚ However I did let it air dry (took 1-2 days) in big twists to minimize the amount of heat I used.

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1- After taking down twist

2 – Flat iron

3 – Trimmed

My bathroom is really small but I was stuck in there since I didn’t want to wake my son up. It was my husband’s awesome idea to put the giant fan in the bathroom with me so I wouldn’t ruin all my hard work with sweat. Needless to say whenever I flat iron it again I will be using the fan.

Size 4 Diapers

“What brand of diapers do you prefer?”

This was one of the most common questions I was asked towards the end of my pregnancy and during his first few months on the outside. The most common answers:

  • I have no idea
  • Whichever ones are on sale
  • Whatever you want to buy me is fine

Then the day finally came when I ran out of diapers from our baby shower. I had no idea what I was doing. I almost called my mom in tears as I stood sleep deprived in the middle of Target trying to figure out what everyone had bought us at the shower. All I could think of was “insert brand is the best diaper”. I knew there were lots of options including reusable, partial reusable and disposable as well as a million brands each carrying different types. What I didn’t realize is no matter what works for others you still have to find the one or a few you are personally comfortable with.

I am by no means an expert with only one child that is one years old and only having tried 5-6 different types of diapers. While I was gifted reusable diapers I never got around to using them as I had already gotten used to disposables by the time I received them. This is just a quick rundown of the few diapers I’ve tried. And I’m mostly posting this in case we have a second child I can remind myself that I DO want to give the reusable diapers a try as well as which ones seem totally unnecessary.

First I’ll give honorable mentions to the diapers I only used 3-4x

  • Honest Brand: Expensive and over-rated IMO but very cute and allegedly better for the environment than regular disposables
  • Seventh Generation: Too stiff/ hard but allegedly better for environment than regular disposables
  • Luvs: Chemical smell, very affordable, caused rash and had to return but could work perfectly for someone else (please note I’ve never had this problem with any other diaper and my son doesn’t have extremely sensitive skin)

Now for the diapers I purchased numerous times

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Note these are all size 4 diapers 22-37 lbs.

1 – Pampers Swaddlers

Pros: Fit well, soft & readily available

Cons: Not a good fit once baby started crawling due to the straight edged back (see pic #1 back)

Price: Coupons and discounts occasionally but good at places like Target that offer gift card deals if a certain quantity is purchased

2 – Huggies Little Movers

Pros: Cheaper than Pampers but just as soft, stretchy with elastic style back (see pic #2). It also has a purple patch on the front that seems to help the diaper stay in place better

Cons: Thigh area was a little snug until he started to thin out so if your baby has larger thighs then be mindful this could cause chaffing

Price: Always has coupons in our local paper (free coupons that come automatically) and has the gift card deal at Target

3 – Huggies Snug & Dry

Pros: Extremely thin!!! I didn’t think this would absorb as much as the regular diapers which all seem to be larger/ plusher but it does without all the added material. Wetness indicator & stretchy back (see pic #3)

Cons: Not as soft as other diapers, slight smell to them

Price: Same as Huggies Little Movers

4 – Kirkland Signature

Pros: Very similar to Huggies Little Movers (see pic #4)

Cons: Need Costco membership, only available at Costco

Price: Very affordable and seems to have a sale/ discount every few months

 

Review: Face & Body Brush

The Perfect Skin Brushing System (face & body brush cleansing system) by Essential Skin Solutions

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Price: Varies but this was under $25Ā on Amazon (Feb/Mar 2017)

Packaging: Efficient and easy to open (see product pic in collage)

Instructions: Not a lot included but I received additional instructions in an email from the seller which I found helpful. I would also recommend looking at a review on Amazon with one star that gives detailed info which is the reason I bought this product.

Quality: Appears to be great buy for the price and service. The customer service seems to be great. I’ve been contacted a few times to verify the product is working correctly

Progress:

Skin – I spaced on taking any decent before or after pictures so I will not include any. However I will say with regular daily use I noticed old acne scars start to fade, smoother skin and softer smile lines. I will add taking before and after pictures when using any skincare product (no makeup of course) would be the best way to see if a product is truly working for you but if you have a really observant husband like I do who compliments you on the improved texture and clarity then that goes a long way šŸ˜‰

Feet – Unfortunately I can’t give a thorough review of the pumice stone as I became lazy and stopped using it regularly but I can say after 2 weeks of (every other day) use I noticed slightly smoother feet. It made a bigger different on my rough heels than on the pads of my feet but I do still use it for pedicures.

Overall: TheĀ Perfect Skin Brushing System (face & body brush cleansing system) by Essential Skin Solutions is worth the money for me as I really like the ease of use, battery life, handle and hanging string plus all of the accessories. The only downside is having the time to spend brushing your entire body. If you are on the larger side like I am and want a thorough clean then it takes a bit to be able to use the body brush all over then switch to the pumice stone then switch to Ā the facial brush. Was it time well spent? Absolutely! Do I have that kind of time as a new inexperienced mom that likes a tidy house and is attempting to get on a schedule for son, husband and personal care… No but I still use this entire system (face & body brush and pumice stone) when hubby takes over and I have an in home spa day.

 

Nail Polish & Unicorns

WARNING: This is a random emotional dump so if you want more then read something else.

It has been rough in every sense: emotional, physical, mental and spiritual. The toughest being wondering if I have PPD or am having violent mood swings. The other realizing I am failing spiritually.

Instead of continuing to drown in my emotional state, I started to workout which I mentioned in my March Update post. I’ve since committed to working out at least 10mins daily in hopes I’ll improve my mood and alleviate stressing over things that are beyond my control. Well I was wrong. It has boosted my mood however the same problems exist and come flooding back as soon as the high of the workout ends. Today was no different…

Started the day by exercising. I’m currently doing Slim in 6 but I’ll do a separate post once I’ve completed theĀ 6 weeks. Played with my son who was screaming MOM at the top of his lungs by the time I was done then clapped for me after I picked him up. We watched family vlogs until I got in the shower. I prepared for my appointment and this is where things started going wrong. The appointment was mislabeled, changed then rescheduled all after I had shown up for said appointment. I decided not to complain and just continued onward to lunch. The restaurant closed at 2 which was especially annoying as we’d been waiting to go back since Saturday plus we paid for parking but we found a different place within walking distance so the parking wasn’t a total waste. At this point hubby and I were both annoyed at the events, realized we’d forgotten something due to our extreme irritation and both expressed our grievances which took up all of our lunch. That is when I told him we needed to do something to wash off the stink of these events in order to salvage the rest of our day.

First stop was taking care of what we’d forgotten and that felt pretty good because yet again we’d hit a personal/ couple goal. Then on to Starbucks for the new Unicorn Frappuccino which my hubby described as a sweet tart ice cream. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever had but the name mixed with the colorful appearance put an instant smile on my face and changed my perspective.

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The Unicorn boosted my mood and lead me to do something I haven’t done in what seems like months; give myself a mini manicure & pedicure. I call it a mini because I didn’t soak or massage beforehand I simply cleaned up my cuticles, clipped and shaped my nails then polished. I was running late for my religious meeting (totally my fault I was 30min off…), messed up on a nail and ended up having an unpolished thumbnail but we made it. Once we got back home and were in comfy clothing, I polished my thumbnail and for some reason the whole day felt right. The weather was perfect (rainy and cloudy my favorite no joke or sarcasm intended), we made it to our meeting, our son was asleep, my fingers and toes looked nice, my hair was somewhat done (read better than all over my head or in a knotted bun) and we were relaxing together watching Founders which kind of turned me off of McDonald’s not that I frequented the place.

However my wow moment didn’t come until after the movie. I was deciding between going to bed and reading. I needed sleep desperately but I hadn’t read in silence in a while. Reading won; Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul pt 2. As I was reading the short stories, I couldn’t stop looking at my nails. I caught myself admiring the color and the time I took to do it even withĀ all the interruptions. Finally I came across a story that (like the book had warned/ suggested) stopped me in my tracks and helped me appreciate my day even more. I closed the book right that second so I could reflect on the emotions the story evoked. Finally the WOW moment. I was happy because of two simple things: Unicorn Frap and my nails being polished. It wasn’t huge but it sent me straight to my Gratefuls book which I hadn’t used since late 2015. I wrote down a condensed version of this post with a few extra more personal details and here I am. I felt so inspired I decided to add writing in that book to my list of things to do. I’m hoping it’ll force me to find at least one thing to be grateful for daily beyond the basics that everyone is grateful for namely food, clothing, shelter, family and good health.

I’m not sure if any one thing will help or if I need to see my doctor to make sure this isn’t PPD but I do know all these little changes will only help me even if it doesn’t fix everything.

March Update

Well things went south… Details would be boring so here are the highlights šŸ™‚

Parent Life

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  • breastfeeding beyond one
  • trying solids
  • teething
  • tantrums
  • clingy mommy only times

Food

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  • too much so I’ll show the healthy ish ones and avoid pics of pasta, buttery shrimp, fried stuff, cookies and muffins… (avoids eye contact)

Life Changes

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  • Weight: 230.2lbs
    • it is 6:38pm PST and I’ve been drinking lots of water but it’s still bad…
  • Health/ Fitness: exercised 4 out of 10 days (3/26 – 4/4)
    • big accomplishment considering I haven’t been this consistent in years!
  • Note: I was going to write “before pics” as the caption but I already started the journey so these were rightfully captionedĀ “IP (in progress) pics”

Self Care & Balance

Life happened and I wasn’t being balanced. I haven’t been on the diet in weeks, was eating everything in sight (thanks Pinterest not so healthy food pins) and my weight showed it. As of Sunday March 26th, 2017, I stayed awake (son still wakes 2+ times per night), drank coffee possibly ate breakfast then prepared to walk. I didn’t let my son getting back up stop me. I dressed him in his track suit and strapped him into his stroller and off we went. This started a chain reaction which included exercising intentionally, weekly pampering, drinking more water Ā and eating meals with more attention to health.Ā For nowĀ life seems to be all over the place but those are little things I can do no matter what.

What I learned:

  • Don’t forget about yourself
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Appreciate the present even if it isn’t ideal
  • As long as you’re alive you can change things but it is up to you if it changes for good or for bad

Weight & Stats – 2nd Month

Explanation (excuse) – As you can see there are no pictures, stats or measurements. The last week of the diet month was terrible. I could say Superbowl started me down this slippery week long binge but I’d be lying; there was more to it than that. I won’t give details because it doesn’t matter since it is an excuse. I’m not giving up or giving in. If it was easy I would’ve never gotten out of shape and unhealthy in the first place. I’ve set new specific goals and I plan on crushing them. I also plan to cheat wisely until I gain the willpower to cheat only on the planned day. This is the compromise I am allowing myself. If you’re physically healthy yet mentally deteriorating then what does it matter? I want balance and this compromise will allow me to find it in order to make a lifetime change and not a temporary one.

Goals for the Month:

  • Find something to replace emotional eating
    • Write down specific triggers even if it is as simple as boredom or I wanted xyz
  • Finish one workout DVD
  • Lose 4lbs

Weekly Details:

62 Days down (9 full weeks completed)

Week 1 (1/8*) ā€“ I failed this week… I cheated 3x on non-cheat days šŸ˜¦ but I did ask my husband to force me to throw away my candy if I cheated again so my candy stash is no more. I still won’t give up this time. I’ve got goals!

Week 2 (1/15*) – Only cheated on my scheduled day!!! Winning šŸ™‚

Week 3 (1/22*) ā€“ 2x but I know what happened. This was an emotionally intense week and I defaulted to my old habit of finding comfort in food.

Week 4 (1/29*) – 2x again but once was during a play date and I regret nothing.

Week 5 (2/5*) – All bad… Cheated all week long

*Weeks begin on Sunday because cheat day (Saturday) is the end of the diet week. I originally was counting by Monday – Sunday but that confuses me when it comes to making notes for a specific week.

What I learned:

  • Drink more water – succeeded
  • Incorporate exercise – failed which is why it is back on the list. Actually it would’ve continued to be on the list because I am going to set monthly fitness goals like the one I’ve listed for the coming month

 

 

Family Day Date

As I write this, I’m listening to The Point Of It All by Anthony Hamilton on Pandora. This song sums up how I feel about my little family. I love when we’re together; that’s why I chose to make this a Family Day Date instead of a Date Night post. Call me mushy but with everything going on in the world I find my family to be a refuge thus I’m taking advantage of it by having a family date. Now to the post!

We decided to take our own family pictures because budgeting… The perfect backdrop was the beach. It had a combination of water and sand along with trees and dirt. It also gave us flexibility since we could bring our own lunch, E could move around (somewhat) freely and it still felt kind of romantic. Plus it was cheat day and this was the perfect environment for bad snacks.

Below is E and I goofing around in an attempt to get him to smile for the pictures.

The picture below is of one of the elephant seals. There were warning signs every where saying to stay away from them and not to approach for any reason because they’re aggressive. They wereĀ minding their own business while sunbathingĀ and besides the dead pup all seemed tranquil. With that said we still gave them the respect and room they deserve because wild animal.

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These pictures are of the beautiful scenery.

All in all this was a great day. Hubby and I were able to relax during the drive up because E fell asleep and stayed that way for most of the drive. We had a pit stop so I could nurse E and grab a few things we forgot. Arrived at the beach which was unusually busy because of some sort of tour but not too many people were on the beach because of the elephant seals. We took all of the pictures we wanted then ate snacks and relaxed. It was the perfect family day date.

Baby Book Expectations

What I said:

  • I need a baby book
    • reasoning – it’ll help me keep track of all of his firsts
  • I love this one; I’ll add it to my registry
  • Yay I have it!
    • I’ll fill it outĀ regularly

What I did:

  • Brings to hospital
    • forgets it exists becauseĀ baby
  • Pulls out once during unusually quiet moment
    • imagines all the cool things I’ll be able to fill in
  • Ā Fast forward to present
    • rushes to fill everything in
    • extremely thankful for pictures and videos that have a date šŸ™‚
      • haven’t actually printed any of the pictures to put in book…

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What I learned from this experience:

  • I don’t (didn’t) need a book
  • pictures and videos on cell phones make up for the book
  • I haven’t printed pictures in years so what made me thinkĀ a book would change that
  • I’ve forgotten lots of stuff so some things only have the month
  • I don’t check it every time he hits a milestone

To all of you first time parents who might be considering a baby/memory bookĀ ask yourself these questions before purchasing one or adding it to your registry:

  • Will I remember to fill it out
    • most start off with basic info and hand/ foot prints
  • Am I honestly going to print out accompanying photos
    • do you have a printer at home or will you needĀ to have them printed elsewhere
  • What am I going to do with it later
    • Will I keep it in a box filled with other keepsakes for that child
    • Do I plan on giving it to them when they’re old enough
      • Will they care
      • What will I do with it if they don’t want it

With that said I plan on finishing his entire book and apologizing to future children because I doubt I’ll do this again… I hope this is helpful to someoneĀ who is considering adding one to their registry or buying one.

House Update – Temporary Doors

We’ve been in the house for a few months now and I understand why other people kept tellingĀ us our house would always be a work in progress. We haven’t officially completed anyĀ room but we’ve done a bunch of stuff halfway. The big problem is the unexpected. We fix one thing then another goes haywire. For example, we finally bought a washer and dryer, installed it and have been enjoying it then our heater went out. This whole house has been a bunch of wins and losses.

One recent win was finding a solutionĀ to our door problem. We’d been debating whether or not we’d buy doors for 3 roomsĀ and wait on the rest or if we’d replace all the doors in the house at once so they could all match. We came up with an affordable quirky solution.

We received 3 sets of window panels from family that sat in a bag in the corner for longer than I’d like to admit.Ā After putting it on the back burner for a while, I bought curtain rods and decided which curtains would go where. Then hubby came up with a great idea. Sure he was kind of joking (I hope) but it was a good idea. He said to hang a bead curtain up as a temporary door. Of course I wasn’t going to do that because it didn’t fit in with the rest of our house but it got me thinking. I could use the extra panels as doors. They’d be fun, effective (blackout curtains) and cute. Later on the same day we went to my favorite store and bought the spring loaded rods pictured below. I love them!! They were the right price and perfect length for our hallway. It’s not the fanciest thing in the world but it is a great temporary solution that instantly made our house feel a little more put together.

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Weight & Stats – 1st Month

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Stats* as of 1/12/17

Arms 16

Waist 43

Hips 49 1/2

Thighs 24 1/2

Weight 220

BMI 35.3%

*measurements are in inches and pounds and BMI is based on Weight Watchers scale

Changes:

  • Arms no change
  • Waist -4
  • Hips & Thighs -1.5
  • Weight -11
  • BMI -1.8

Goals for the Month:

  • Drink more water
  • Incorporate exercise

Weekly Details:

31 Days down (4 full weeks completed)

Week 1 – Excited but went to Red Lobster with my mom. I went right back to the diet for my next meal and still managed to lose an amazing amount of weight. (thanks to breastfeeding and period)

Week 2 – Husband talking me off the cheating edge. If it wasnā€™t for him Iā€™m sure I wouldā€™ve given up.

Week 3 – I did terrible by cheating off and on the whole week but I didnā€™t quit. I got right back to it the next meal.

Week 4 – I had a plan. All of our meals were planned out and I had nuts, coffee and tea as my go to items when I felt like cheating. However that didn’t work… I cheated but regretted nothing because I enjoyed it!

What I learned:

Perfection doesn’t matter as much as improvement. I feel very good about not giving up this time and I know I’ll reach my goals if I don’t quit! I also realized weight loss without exercise could leave me dissatisfied with my end result… which is why I changed my goals to include exercise of some kind.