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Happy Weekend!

Rad drink sleeve BGD

Hello friends!

I’m obsessed with these shoes. These are awesome too (and cheaper!), but my giant foot didn’t fit in them.

I will be living in this t-shirt from now until forever (or until one of my kids stains/rips/generally ruins it).  The fit is super flattering and it could totally be dressed up for date night.

We grilled this the other night when it was warm and pretended it was summer.  Deeelish.

If you’re looking for a book to add to you bedtime rotation, this one will make you cry like a baby.

The “You’re gonna be ok, Mama” essay you need this week.

These posters are the coolest thing ever and I’ve been sending telepathic messages to AJ to get me one for each of our babes for Mother’s Day.

This Bachelor parody cracked me up.

Happy weekend!

Motherhood

The Tick That Freed Me: The End of My Nursing Journey

I recently started trail running and training for a trail half marathon.  It’s been such a great way to get some much needed self care, catch up with friends and get back into shape.

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After my last long run, I found a tick on my side.  It had already started to bury itself in me, but luckily I was able to get the whole thing out.  I really have no idea how it got there because I had on high waisted leggings (Can I get an amen that high waisted is in?  Gotta hold that post baby pooch in, amirite?!!) and my shirt overlapped that and the tick got through both, but I guess that’s what ticks do.

I didn’t think much of it at first because there was only about a 5 hour maximum that it could have been on me and I didn’t have any bullseye rash associated with Lyme Disease.  I called my doctor just in case and they suggested I take an antibiotic just to be on the safe side.  Ticks carry a ton of gross diseases, so it sounded like a good idea.  In California the rates of Lyme are really low and it’s the dead of winter here,  but I wanted to exercise an abundance of caution and figured what can an antibiotic really hurt?  Take a pill for a few days.

Except, oh, one thing, you can’t take it while you’re nursing.

Pumping for 10 day seemed like extreme torture and I didn’t have nearly that much milk frozen, so I figured, ehh no big.  The risks were super low and I was being overly cautious anyway, so I decided to skip the antibiotic.

Then about a week later, I started to feel really sick out of nowhere.  Flu-like sick, which of course is the catch all symptom for Lyme Disease.  I kinda freaked out, knowing it could very well just be a virus (It is the dead of winter after all.), but if there was a chance it was Lyme or anything else gross, a lifetime of illness wasn’t worth an extra three months of nursing.

That sounds dramatic, but there’s no definitive test to determine if you have Lyme.  It could show up in 3 months or 3 years.  It just seemed silly to trade 3 months of nursing for an giant unknown that I could eliminate with a dose of antibiotics.

I won’t lie, it was an agonizing decision and I went back and forth a million times.  Formula had to happen at least for the course of the antibiotics because I just didn’t have enough milk in the freezer.  But the decision loomed whether to keep pumping and go back to nursing or to just wean all together.

There was the guilt of stopping three months shy of Nolan’s first birthday when I had planned to start weaning.  There was the guilt of not being able to give him what I had given Isla.  There was the financial cost of the formula, which seemed especially unnecessary since I’m basically an award winning milk maker.  There was his whole dairy intolerance and would we be able to find a formula that would work for him.  There was washing a million bottles a day.

Then on the other hand there was the borderline tragedy of pumping and dumping (all that hard work literally down the drain.). There was the logistical nightmare of pumping every three hours with two wild animals children running around.  There was the option for someone else to be in charge of feeding Nolan. There was regular bras that didn’t make your boobs look like the tangerines in tube socks that they are.  There was cheese, and ice cream and omg, cheese.    And the freedom…

The first day of formula, I had plans to go out and celebrate Brittany’s birthday.  Formula meant I didn’t have to rush back for bedtime because I was the owner of the boobs.  It meant I could drink to my heart’s content (Well, sort of.  I was driving.) and eat all the dairy my stomach could handle (Turns out that amounted to approximately 3.5 bites of macaroni and cheese).  I was thinking of all of this as I drove over and I felt this overwhelming sense of freedom.  Like I was getting part of myself back; a part I didn’t even know was missing.  I went from pregnant with Isla to nursing Isla to pregnant with Nolan to nursing Nolan.  My body hadn’t been my own for over 3 years and until that very moment, I hadn’t noticed the immense pressure I subconsciously felt.  I felt so relieved when I realized I wasn’t tethered to one of my kids.  I can’t tell you how excited I felt to not be apart of bedtime in some way for the first time in almost 3 years.

That’s when I knew I had to be done.  Someone once told me that nursing is a relationship and it has to work for mother and baby.  I had worked so hard for so long to make it work for my babies and it just wasn’t working for me anymore.  It was really hard to get over the guilt of it, but I really think it was the right thing for me.  My heart hurt a little bit (and my boobs because ouch to the basically cold turkey weaning) the first time I had to go buy formula, but he’s a healthy, happy baby and it really doesn’t matter how he’s fed.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel very fortunate to have been able to nurse both my babies.  It hasn’t been without struggle and I haven’t always enjoyed it, but that’s motherhood, right?  But Nolan was eating the formula like a champ and it could be a total fluke, but he’s even started sleeping better.  I’ll take the wins where I get ’em.

So to all the mamas who are grappling with the decision, just follow your gut and make sure the relationship works for you and your baby.  If you’re committed to making it work, then fight the good fight, but if it just doesn’t work out or you just don’t want to, it’s not the end of the world and I hope it doesn’t take a bite from a disgusting insect for you to figure that out.

Here’s the real kicker of this whole debacle.  I spent a day and a half driving AJ completely crazy because I was literally changing my mind every 10 minutes before finally deciding formula was the right choice.  The next day, I finally got a reply from the lactation consultant.

“It’s totally fine to nurse while you’re on Doxycycline!  Adult doctors always say not to nurse to err on the side of caution.  Go for it!”

Really.  REALLY?!?!?!?!  

 

Motherhood

4 Things You Hear When You’re Team Green

When I was pregnant with our first, the idea of being “Team Green” and not finding out the sex of the baby sounded fun.  We went to the 20 week ultrasound with every intention of not finding out, but got the “money shot” as the tech so eloquently deemed it in an envelope just in case my curiosity got the best of me.  I think I made it to dinner that night before I found out we’d be having a girl.

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Then about 12 months later, I found out I was expecting again, and I knew I didn’t want to find out the sex this time around.  Now, I’m not normally a go with the flow kind of person, but I felt this sense of calmness about having some unknown with this pregnancy.  Maybe it was because there weren’t many unknowns this time around.  Being just a year postpartum, I knew how my body would change,  I had experienced labor and delivery (and immediately started bargaining with The Universe for a much easier one this time around) and the newborn days were still fresh in my memory.

As harsh as it sounds, I just didn’t care if it was a boy or a girl.   I was more concerned with juggling two children and surviving.  However, just about everyone I spoke to seemed to have a deep seeded interest in the sex of my baby.  Strangers at the grocery store, family, long time friends, virtually everyone I encounter suddenly questioned my sanity because “How could you NOT find out?!” As if I was robbing them of something by withholding the information.

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Their reactions seemed to fall into four basic categories:

I’m a planner.  I’d have to know!”

I loved this one, because there was a hint of doubt in their voice.  As if not knowing if I was having a boy or a girl was stunting my preparations for motherhood.  Look, I’m as Type A as they come, or at least I was until I became a parent.  I love me a good list and I thrive on organization and consistency, but you know who doesn’t?  A baby.  They say God laughs when you make plans, but in my experience, kids laugh even harder at well laid plans.  Plus, I pretty much knew what I’m preparing for…a baby.   Now if there was chance it could have been a tiger, then, yeah, I’d like to know.

“How will I know what to get you?”

This seemed to be where people felt the most personally victimized.  I felt so fortunate and thankful that people were so excited to shower our new baby with gifts, but would they not be as excited to give a gift after the baby was here?  In the event it’s a girl, we were pretty set on clothes.  Our kids were only 20 months apart, so all of our big gear was still in good condition and still pretty current with what’s on the market as far as the new fangled baby contraption you can’t live without.  Diapers make great gifts.  Just sayin’.

“Oh I can tell you what it is!  I’m really good at predicting!”

Oh, you’re really good at 50/50 guesses?  Do you need to see my palm first?  I bet my love line is really long.  This response was particularly fun the second time around since I carried higher than I did with my first, which, of course, to anyone trained in the ancient wisdom of the Old Wives guarantees a boy.  (Side note: I DID have a boy, so take that for what it’s worth.)  Even better, it was usually accompanied by a request for me to stand up and display my body for inspection so Miss Cleo could make her guess, which obviously is every pregnant woman’s dream.

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“Isn’t it just KILLING you not to know?!”

Nope.  Not even a little bit.  In fact, your exasperation at me not knowing made me love my decision even more.  It was a short lived mystery.  I did get to find out eventually whether it’s a boy or girl.  It wasn’t that long ago that no one knew the sex of their baby before it’s birth day, and somehow mothers lived to tell the tale.  Ultrasounds weren’t discovered as a result of the rash of babies who suffered ill consequences because their mothers were underprepared due to lacking the key piece of information of their genitals.  I found out with my first and it really didn’t make a difference to me about how I felt about the pregnancy or having a child.  This could be my last pregnancy, so why not?

I get why people want to find out the sex of their baby, especially when it’s their first pregnancy.  There’s so much mystery, if you can get one piece of information to help you see how much your life is going to change, why not have it?  By adding a second child to our family, I expected nothing less than pure chaos (Spoiler: thats exactly what we got), and that would have been inevitable whether we added a son or daughter.  My only defense against the chaos is to learn to go with the flow, and this was a pretty good place to start.

4 things you hear when you're team green

BGD, Lifestyle

2016 Can Suck It

We’re all in agreement that 2016 is quite possibly one of the worst years on record, yes?  The Internet is with me on this one, at least.  Aside from these absolute gems and the birth of this adorable, sweet angel boy (ok, there’s a little bias with that) this year can shove it.

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Photo: Lindsey Erickson Photography

With all the suck that was 2016, I’ve been eagerly awaiting 2017 and the fresh start of a new year.  I’ve reflected on the past twelve months (probably too much) and now I’m ready to take on the next twelve.  Well, more realistically the next week because that’s really all I can handle at once, but work with me here.

I really like the idea of using a word to define or guide the year.  Resolutions are long and I need simple and clean cut, otherwise it will be lost in the abyss I call my brain.  One word keeps coming back up in all areas of my life.

Intention.

There are so many demands on my time.  There are a million things pulling me in a million different directions, often at the same exact time. I feel spread so thin.  Nothing has been getting my full attention and that’s really not fair.  With so much important stuff vying for my time (my kids, my husband, being me and not just Mom) and all the less important stuff (hello, social media) I need to filter what wins my attention and get rid of the distractions.

These are the freaking days of our lives.  The ones little old ladies in grocery stores tell me I’ll look back on and miss.  I’m tired of bogging them down with a bunch of crap that I think I should be doing, should be buying, should be saying, should be thinking.  I’m done doing things just because they look good on paper or I think it’s what someone else wants me to do.

It’s time to take stock of where I am, where I want to go and only say yes to the things that are going to get me and my family there.

The same goes for BGD.  We want to say yes more often to the exciting things we love and think with the end in mind.  “What do we hope to get out of this?” is a question I plan on asking Brittany a lot, so hopefully she’s ready! Ha!  It’s so fun to jump on every opportunity we’re presented with or every exciting idea we have, but if it doesn’t line up with what we’re trying to do, it’s ok to let things pass or table them for when the timing is right.

So here’s to doing things we actually want to do because they make us happy and not doing things because we think we should.

And don’t let the door hit you on the way out 2016.

DIY

10 Minute DIY: Valentine Heart Garland

My life motto is work smarter, not harder.  I’m a Type A perfectionist, but I’m also incredibly lazy.  I love DIY and creating, but I try to choose projects that I won’t spend too much time on because when I get bogged down in the details the perfectionist comes out and I talk myself out of finishing.  Plus, I really don’t have more than, like, 10 minutes at a time to do any kind of crafting before I get discovered by “helpers”.

So when I saw this garland at Target the other day, I knew it was just the thing.  I loved that it was simple, I could add a little to it to personalize it and it was cheap.  At $3, I could risk making it into a disaster without kicking myself over wasting money.

Valentine Garland DIY

I had big plans for this little beauty, but they involved a trip to the craft store.  It’s been raining practically nonstop since the beginning of January here in Northern California and the thought of dragging two kids in the pouring rain to the craft store while I begged Isla to stay in the cart and not touch all of the shiny things sounded like torture in it’s purest form, so I scrapped those plans and dug through my craft stash.  I came up with lots of different ribbon scraps in reds and pinks.

Valentine Garland DIY

I cut them all into roughly the same size and tied them onto the garland string.  I used a hot glue gun to add the hot pink ribbon to the red hearts to give them a little variety.  Plus, I can’t pass up a good stripe.
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If you plan to use tulle, make sure to bunch a few strips together to get the full, fluffy look.

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And that’s it!  It’s nothing super fancy, but it’s just enough to make me feel creative and like I did something, but not too involved that I couldn’t clean up before Nolan was out of the high chair and trying to pull the hot glue gun down by the cord.

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10 minute DIY for Valentine's Day

Gifting, Holi-YAY, Motherhood

Gift Giving For the Little People

Gifting at Christmastime can get pretty out of hand.  I really like the idea of limiting how much we give the kids and being intentional about what we give them rather than getting stuff just for the sake of having boxes under the tree.

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This is only our third Christmas with kids, so we’re still figuring it out.  I came across the idea of something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read a few years back and I really like that idea. At first I thought it seemed really cheap to only get your kids four gifts.  But when you figure in all the relatives and Santa it adds up really quickly.  Not to mention the gratitude it teaches since in all honesty our kids want for nothing, especially since they’re not even old enough to understand the gift concept at all!

So here’s our run down on the need/want/wear/read gifting strategy this year. I think it will evolve next year when Isla is a little more savvy about how this whole Santa thing works, but in the mean time, I plan to take full advantage of them not having a clue.

  1. Save the big flashy gifts for when they’re old enough to understand. Pretty much anything from the Dollar Spot is like gold, so why spend more?
  2. At 2 and 7 months, the real gift is the paper, tissue paper and ribbon. I took care of the Something To Wear category with their new winter clothes.  I stocked up on Black Friday when Carter’s did their big 60% off sale. Both kids needed warmer clothes in the next size, so I stocked up and wrapped it all up. I definitely cheated since it’s more than one item, but it was something I would have bought regardless of the holiday and this way it counts as a gift.
  3. Keep it simple, especially for the Want category. If your toddler is like mine they could find 500 things they “want” within the first 30 seconds of entering a toy store. Chances are no matter what you get they’ll be entertained for about 10 minutes tops before they’re onto something else (probably the box the toy came in).
  4. Make your life easier with the Need category.  Think about something your kids have (or don’t have) that complicate your life. Are the lace up shoes slowing you down every morning? Get them a slip on pair.  Do you find yourself doing a special load of laundry so the favorite shirt is clean? Buy a second. In our house the baby is getting a new sleep sack because I’m tired of timing the laundry so it’s not in the washer at bed time.
  5. Farm out the boring stuffIf the thought of buying something boring like a sleep sack is too much, offer that up as an idea for a family member. That way you can double up on the fun stuff!

While I can’t guarantee this will eliminate noisy toys that come in a million pieces from your holiday season (you know, the ones usually bought by a grandparent), it will hopefully make you a little more intentional with your purchases.

How do you decide what to get your kids for Christmas?

Motherhood

How to give up dairy as a nursing mama and not lose your mind

It started out innocently enough.  Nolan always nursed well, but spit up like nothing I’d ever seen.  The pediatrician deemed him a “happy spitter”, which is the most ridiculous diagnosis ever.  How can you be happy if you’re basically barfing all day?  He was never too fussy so I rolled with it for a while, but when I found mucous in his diapers, I knew that couldn’t be good.  I was sort of in denial that it was a dairy intolerance, especially since the pediatrician didn’t seem too alarmed, but my husband was dairy intolerant as a baby so it made sense.

What really convinced me was during one particularly violent spit up episode when it came out his tiny little baby nose.  This had happened before, but never to this magnitude.  I felt so bad for the poor guy and never wanted to see that sad, confused little look on his face again, so I did a dairy free trial for two weeks.

I didn’t really notice anything at first and after the recommended two weeks, so I tried some nachos.  Mexican food is my absolute favorite, but guess what?  It’s basically not worth eating without cheese.  Probably not the best choice to go so big right out the gate, but hindsight.  The next day he was back to spitting up and funky diapers, so it was pretty clear the dairy was the culprit.

I’m not a big milk drinker, so at first I just thought, “OK, no cheese.  That will suck, but I can give it up for my baby.”  Turns out it was a little trickier than that because dairy is in a lot of things I didn’t automatically associate with dairy.  No toast at breakfast because butter, no chocolate because milk, no cream in my coffee, no Ranch and most baked goods were out.  Dinners are a little more complicated too because pretty much all of my go to recipes have cheese in some form.  Declaring “It’s pizza night!  I’m not cooking!!” at 5 pm wasn’t an option anymore, which if we’re being honest has been the biggest challenge of the whole thing.  Actually, eating out in general got more complicated.

So, here are some do’s and don’ts of going dairy free.

Do:

  • Substitute avocado for cheese when possible.  This works really well on burgers, sandwiches and burrito bowls.
  • Use coconut creamer in your coffee.  I get mine at Trader Joe’s. Almond milk also works and bonus- Starbucks has started offering almond milk so you don’t have to give up your fancy drinks!
  • Use Smart Balance butter.  Can’t even tell the difference!
  • I have a crazy sweet tooth and chocolate has been hard to give up.  Ben & Jerry’s makes a non-dairy ice cream (using almond milk) that’s pretty good.  Oreos, while slightly questionable, are also dairy free!
  • Spices are your friend, especially when you’re eating chicken…again.

Don’t:

  • Don’t forget about checking sauces and spreads when eating out.
  • Chicken is a safe choice, but stick to grilled.  The fried stuff usually has buttermilk in it.
  • Be careful of carbs!  I found myself grabbing tons of carb-y snacks in a hurry when I got hungry throughout the day because I never have more than a 90 second window to eat, which leaves little time to read ingredients and I knew crackers were safe.  But they’re definitely not filling and you end up eating way more!  Nuts are a better quick snack.

Cooking at home is definitely easier than going out because I know exactly what’s in everything.  Below are my go to recipes that have been on repeat in our house since.

My Go To Recipes:

 

Eating Out 

I’ll preface this by saying none of these are really stellar ideas.  This is mostly things I’ve found out of desperation and laziness.

  • In N Out burger (or any burger really)- make sure to add ketchup and mustard because the sauce has dairy (cue angels crying)
  • Chick-Fil-A- stick- with the grilled and no sauce (more angel tears)
  • Sandwiches- no cheese, obviously
  • Chipotle- burrito bowl sans sour cream and cheese.  I thought this would be a total bummer, but I really didn’t notice it was missing!

Going dairy free has definitely been a struggle.  If Nolan was better at taking a bottle, I probably would have switched to formula.  By the time we figured out it was for a dairy intolerance he was already 6 months old. I figured by the time we trained him to take a bottle (he is very stubborn about bottles, so in my mind getting him to take a bottle full time would take at least a month, if not two) it would practically be time to start weaning him, so this seemed like the easier route for us.

It’s already a struggle to make sure I get enough to eat throughout the day while chasing around these two, so it’s really forced me to meal prep.  I get crazy hungry while I’m nursing and need to get food in my mouth fast,  and stopping to read labels and think about ingredients doesn’t work.  In reality, it’s forcing me to eat what I probably should be eating anyway (more vegetables), but it definitely takes the fun out of eating.

Having to eliminate something from my diet has really opened my eyes to the realities of living with a food allergy.  I know so many kids who have food allergies and this is their way of life.  I feel fortunate that this is only a short period of time that I have to go without dairy and that Nolan’s intolerance is fairly mild, but once Nolan is weaned and eating solids full time, it’s still something I’m going to have to watch until he (hopefully) outgrows it. Luckily, if he gets some inadvertently it will just lead to a stomachache and not a more serious reaction. It’s tough and I’ve been a trooper major complainer about it, but at the end of the day, it’s for my baby and that always makes things easier.

Have you had a kid with a dairy intolerance or other allergy?  I’d love more dairy free food ideas!

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Motherhood

I’m Sorry For The Things I Did When I Was Tired

If you’ve talked to me in the last two years since my daughter was born, chances are we’ve discussed how tired I am.  Or more likely, I’ve rambled on about it while you pretended to listen. The sleep deprivation has only doubled since having my son, even though he’s not nearly as crappy of a sleeper as she is.  I’m more than positive everyone around me is tired of hearing how tired I am.  For that family and friends (and all the random strangers who’ve innocently asked how I’m doing), I’m sorry.

Sleep is my love language and since having kids, I’m just not getting enough of the lovin’ my sleepy little heart desires.

Without my precious sleep I turn into an angry person, and now I have some amends to make.  You know how hangry is hungry + angry?  I get tired + angry.  Tangry, if you will.  Please don’t confuse my tanger for my actual personality.  It’s not, I promise.

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Ever so slowly, I’m getting longer bouts of sleep and I’m starting to see how the Tanger has effected my interactions and relationships.  Fear not, you should start to see glimpses of my old self re-emerging, and sleepy kids willing, she’ll stick around for a while.

Tanger really presents itself in a number of ways, some obvious and some not so obvious.  If you have at least one of these symptoms, you might be suffering from Tanger.  Please note these symptoms are things anyone can experience on any given day, however, you will know if it’s a sign of Tanger because you will experience them to their extremes.

So freakin’ tired. Down to your soul.

You’re thinking, “Well, DUH.”  But only a truly tangry person will understand.  This is exhaustion like you’ve never experienced before, exasperated by the needs of the tiny people who caused your condition.  Every inch of you is tired and if you are up and moving, you are purely on auto pilot.  You walk around feeling like a cartoon character with toothpicks holding your eyelids open.  Wait, do you think that actually works because coffee certainly doesn’t.  You may start to consider cocaine as an worthy alternative, except for that whole illicit drug thing.

Lack of intelligence.

When you’re Tangry, you can feel your brain thinking.  It’s working so hard to think of the simplest things.  You find yourself getting frustrated that you can’t remember even the most basic things.  Countless times I’ve lost my train of thought mid sentence.  Just completely stopped talking because my brain just shut off.  Or, better yet, the words that are falling out of your mouth make zero sense.  Which is nbd if you’re talking to your partner because they probably also suffer from Tanger and didn’t even recognize you stopped talking, but if you’re talking to anyone else, they now think you’re a giant idiot.  And they’d be correct.  I promise I’m more intelligent than a recent conversation with me would lead you to believe.

Resting Bitch Face Champion.

Tanger has a multitude of physical attributes, but without question the most severe is Resting Bitch Face.  RBF can be a condition all on it’s on, but when it’s a direct result of Tanger it’s quite critical.  You literally don’t have the mental bandwidth to make a friendly face or make small talk, even if you want to.  Which is probably for the best because you aren’t going to be winning any conversationalist awards (see #2).  I promise I want to be at this social gathering, despite what my face says.

Indecision.

When my Tanger is at it’s peak I can’t make a decision to save my life.  Getting dressed takes 30 minutes.  Not the actual act of getting ready.  The choosing of the clothes.  Which is dumb since I rotate three pairs of sweat pants.  Deciding what’s for dinner?  Forget it.  If your partner is also suffering from Tanger, just quit now.  Nothing will be accomplished.

Forgetfulness. See also Mom Brain.

This one has hit me especially hard.  I am now the person who walks into a room and has their mind erased upon entering said room.  The reason moms are always at Target is because we literally can’t even remember what we went there for in the first place! That and the mind altering drug they funnel through the HVAC system that makes you buy everything, but I digress.  I forget everything.  I promise I wanted to call you on your birthday/do that favor for you/remember to ask about your sick Grandma/return that thing I borrowed that’s been sitting on my counter for 6 months.  I swear.  I just forgot.  I realize it sounds flimsy, but when your Tangry and you’re brain is doing it’s very best to make it to the next round of sweet, sweet slumber, it’s completely true.  Pair that with a husband who works a nontraditional schedule and I kid you not, I do not even know what day it is, so the odds of me remembering your event on any given day are slim.

Emotions like WHOA.

Tanger is also a roller coaster ride of emotions. Anything you’re feeling is instantly right on the surface.  There’s no hiding it, so get the Kleenex ready.  Or a shield.  You never know what the Tanger is going to bring out in you.  You are a walking Snickers commercial but for sleep instead of hunger.

Chicken Little Syndrome.  

When you’re Tangry, everything is the end of the world.  Any comment, sideways look, gesture-both well intentioned and otherwise are taken the wrong way.  Red lights, mile long lines at Starbucks, forgetting your shopping list, literally anything that doesn’t come up roses for you is a sure sign The Universe is working against you and only you.  Spiraling is the only way you can function because you lack the cognitive ability to talk yourself down.  You can’t see the big picture because every ounce of your presence is being used to get through the current moment you’re in.

If you read these symptoms and thought them all to be nothing but flimsy excuses, take pride in the fact that you are either a unicorn impervious to lack of sleep or have never suffered from Tanger.  It’s a real condition that affects many and has serious side effects.  I’d like to think that lack of appreciation for Tanger is an express ticket to being blessed with a child who likes to greet each day before the sun and on little to no sleep.  Karma.  She is a bitch.

When dealing with a Tangry person, it’s best to remember that their actions have no reflection on you.  If you find yourself a victim of someone’s Tanger, the best thing to do is to put them in bed and tell them to take a nap.  While the only cure for Tanger is adequate sleep on a long term basis (AKA, not being a parent of small children), a nap is a good place to start.

Have you suffered from tanger? Tell us your story in the comments!

Motherhood

Dear Mother Nature, I Can Explain

Dear Mother Nature,

There once was a time where I tried really hard to reduce my carbon footprint and help you out.  Growing up in the 90’s meant we were the first generation really exposed to this idea of recycling.  Recycle, reduce, reuse and close the loop, right?  I knew that my actions wouldn’t completely reverse global warming, but if many people make incremental changes in their daily life it would be enough to make a difference and I made it a point to change my habits to do my part.

Planning my errands so that I could make multiple stops in one trip (this one really makes me reminisce about easy errand trips pre car seats) was simple.  I even was religious about using reusable grocery bags.  My showers were short, mostly because I was able to take them daily and they weren’t an excuse to hide from people.  And paper towels? Only some kind of monster would use those!

Like I said, I had no illusions I was single handedly saving entire polar bear clans, but I felt good about the contributions I was making.  Sure each of these things took a little bit of extra time and effort, but it was important to me.  I mean, ice caps are melting!!

Then, I had kids.  Please, here me out, Mother Nature.  I don’t want to let you go forever, but I need a break.  Just while I figure some things out.  It’s not you.  It’s me.  Let me explain.

forgottengrocerybagsOne day these things will actually make it to the car. I’d say into the store too, but ya gotta start somewhere.

Trying to save you didn’t stop being important to me, but convenience is now king.  And queen.  Those extra 30 seconds it used to take to run in and grab the grocery bags I left on the counter on the way to the grocery store is now more than I can spare when it’s already taken 30 minutes to load everyone in the car.

So here, dear Mother Nature, is a list of all the things I’m going to suspend for sanity’s sake.

  1. No more farmer’s market and eating only organic, local food. Only shopping on Saturday morning requires a level of organization I can no longer achieve.  Not to mention that kids are a giant money suck and feeding two extra humans has really stretched the grocery budget.  I might try and swing it if my kids didn’t end up feeding most of their food to the dog.  Maybe when the local farmer’s market starts offering free cookies and carts with tiny race cars attached to them we can reconsider.  I’ll still try to sneak in a few organic, local things when I can, but when you go through blueberries faster than diapers (and that’s saying a lot), I can only do so much.
  2. Saving energy.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve slept with the light on so as not to disturb a sleeping babe, or left it on out of sheer laziness because I finally got two seconds to sit down.  Plus, do you know how hard it is to keep a light off with a toddler and a step stool in your house?  Switches are toddler crack.  At least they’re CFLs?
  3. Waiting to run appliances.  Running the dishwasher only when it’s to capacity? Not up in here.  That sucker is running if it’s even close to full because chances are the next time I get around to dishes, there will be a whole other load’s worth piled up in the sink. Do you know how many tiny plastic things kids come with?  The top rack of the dishwasher is now prime real estate for our extensive collection of rainbow dinnerware.  At least it’s BPA free…I think? The racks are never full at the same time, but if you think I’m going to risk not having a clean sippy cup at the ready, you’re dead wrong.  I really think you’d agree one whiff of a day old milk cup is reason enough to run the dishwasher ASAP.  Full loads definitely aren’t happening with laundry either.  Children are like tiny bodily fluid time bombs.  You never know which end will explode, but chances are it will be at 2AM when you’re more concerned about how quickly you can get back in bed rather than if you set the washer on the water save mode.img_9960

    Can you even call yourself a parent if you don’t own a rainbow set of IKEA bowls?

  4. All the disposable things.  There are so, so many.  I know, it looks bad, especially since most of them are used so often they’re shipped right to our doorstep.  Paper plates, cups, take out containers, fruit snack and granola bar wrappers and Ziplock bags galore. California is in a drought, so it’s a few less things to wash, right?  My sanity lies in not having to stand at the sink at the end of the day, and for that Mother Nature, I apologize, because it means more trash.  While we’re talking about disposable things, sorry about all diapers.  Oh, the diapers.  We have two in diapers.  Ain’t nobody got time to even think about cloth diapering.  Especially our, shall we say, metabolically efficient duo.  Surely you can look past that one, Earth? Paper towels?  Oh, you noticed that one too, huh?  We easily go through a roll every few days.  My condolences to the trees, but they’re just so damn useful. But we color on both sides of the paper.  Six of one, half dozen of the other, yes?  I’m not even going to mention all the paper Starbucks cups.  I’d like to think we both understand the necessity of that.

I’m sure there’s a thousand other ways I’ve let you down that I’m subconsciously blocking out.  Raising kids is a messy business and anything that can help you cut a corner, save some time and/or sanity must be utilized.  I hope that you can see that I want to do these things, but it’s just something I had temporarily give up.  Convenience wins every time, but it comes at a cost to you, dear environment and while it does leave me with a certain amount of guilt,  I’d like to think that I have enough good karmic reserves built up to cancel out some my destruction.  I mean, I still cut up the six pack rings and recycle the wine bottles.  I’m not a complete monster.

One day, life will be a little slower paced and all of those things I used to do won’t feel so unattainable or burdensome.  It will be a great teaching moment when my kids are old enough and hopefully something I can pass on. But, while they’re still too little to notice I’m giving myself permission to stop feeling guilty for not trying to single handedly save the environment.

Please don’t give up on me Mother Nature.  We will be together again one day.

XO,

Heather

Motherhood

Hi! I’m Heather, and I’m coming to you live from the trenches

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Like deeeep in the trenches. I have two kids, 20 months apart, so the artillery fire is pretty intense here.

I’m the Brand Manager for BGD. I handle collaborations, our Brand Babes, giveaways and other marketing type stuff. It’s a long way off from my pre-baby life as a teacher, but I’m starting to think maybe I missed my calling. I’m having a blast getting to know so many of you through social media, learning about running a small biz and getting to use the creative side of my brain for something other than toddler distraction (Hey! Do you hear an airplane? Keep looking!…Feel free to use that one. It will buy you at least 30 seconds.). And now, I get to blog!

I’ll be taking over the blogspot every now and again bringing you tales of the crypt #momlife. The way we see it, you can fight it as long as you want, but eventually the yoga pants and dry shampoo win. I mean, there’s a reason things become cliches.

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My daughter, Isla, is 2 and my son, Nolan, is 6 months old. Two kids in as many years is pretty crazy, but it’s what my husband, AJ and I always talked about. No, seriously. We planned this. We met in high school and have been together for practically half our lives. Crazy. We have a lab/retriever mix named Astro and the fluffiest cat in the world, Julius who add to the melee around here. I’m a recovering Type A who is doing her best to embrace this season of chaos, but I still have relapses (read: tantrums when my plans don’t work). I like to run, cook, bake and decorate for holidays. I think I liked other stuff at one point too, but sleep deprivation precludes me from remembering basically anything anymore.

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I met Brittany through our running group. We became fast friends when we learned we both went to the same college at the same time (and never met!). I knew I found my people when she brought wine to a play date, because a play date is really just an excuse for moms to ignore their children together, right? Just us?

First and foremost, BGD is a graphic design shop, but our hope is that we can use the blog to give you a peek behind the BGD curtain to show you what we’re all about. So, from here on out it will be a good mix of Brittany bringing you all things shop related and me showing you the other side of life these days. At the end of the day, we’re just moms running on too much coffee and not nearly enough sleep trying to live out our boss babe dreams, just like you.