From previous blogs of mine you know that my husband and I have lived through our own kind of hell and have made it through to the other side. Thank god. Sleep, even though not as bad from one person to the next, is definitely something that we all work to achieve in some way or another. And holy hell, there are about a thousand and one techniques found in 500 books that cost you around 1 million dollars, all of which I own and do not hold in high regards. Everyone has a unique baby, and every baby needs something special to get them to sleep. But I write this because I went from having the fussiest baby of all time, to the best sleeper in the entire world. He went from needing hours and hours of work and attention, to zero work and attention. So here is what we did.
One of my favorite recipes so far: Gourmet Golden Beet Puree
This particular recipe has so much flavor and pizzazz that your baby will be smacking his/her gums (or whatever teeth they have) for more. And chocked full of Vitamin C, plus potassium, magnesium and folate, you can’t go wrong. They are credited with an impressive array of health benefits, including cancer prevention (due to their anti-oxidant content), the ability to boost the immune system AND the potential to reduce blood pressure in later life.
Wow, the creative minds are out there and they have a solution to everything! Jack has 2 current issues, 1) Teething. Ugh, it has finally happened. I don’t know if it’s molars that are coming in or what, but what a crab he has become. I fell so bad for the little guy. And we are helping in any way we can. Holistic Teething Tablets are awesome, (Wholefoods) and work miracles. But that is just about all you can do besides hand him a wide variety of chew toys and cooled teething gels. 2) He is refusing the bottle, and after 11 months of turning down most jobs that I get offered, I have finally jumped slowly back into the entertainment industry. So of course this sucks because I am filled with anxiety about Jack not getting the nutrients he really needs while I am working on set. (By the way we have tried everything, he is like “Get that damn bottle/sippy cup/medicine dropper out of my face.”)
We all know that when you have a sick child the first thing a doctor tells you is: “Lot’s of rest and lots of Pedialyte, gotta keep the little one hydrated!” And this is true, but lately I have been looking at the ingredients in EVERYTHING because, I mean, what the hell are we giving to our little ones? I mean, it says it’s natural, it says it’s the cure, but what is in it EXACTLY? Last night I even found that my “Organic Almond Oil” that I slather all over myself after my shower and also massage my husband with after a long day, is chalk full of Parabens, as well as Palm Oil (http://www.saynotopalmoil.com). Click the links to see why I HATE THESE PRODUCTS. That’s a whole different subject though. Let me get back to Pedialyte. So I look at the ingredients and this is what I see:
Keeping up with my theme of having a hard time this week, I was thinking about all the things you read and watch to prepare for the transition into motherhood and all that it entails. P.S. you can burn every book you ever bought, because none of them tell you the cold hard reality of what you are signing up for, hence the tougher transition for people like I. It sounds awful I am sure, and I have to send out a disclaimer that it is still the best thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life. But I freely admit that on some days, it’s the worst. So keeping it real, here is the real “What to expect” Regan style.
Ladies, (and gentlemen) we all know that babies are a lot of work. That they take over and turn your life upside down. It’s commonsense. But there are blinders over our eyes about one HUGE subject. The marriage (i.e. what happens to your marriage) when the baby comes. Chris and I took parenting classes and labor classes before Jack was born, but we didn’t realize that we would possibly need marriage classes as well. Probably more than the other classes put together. And staying true with the whole “brutal honesty” I have going on in this blog, I obviously have to address the issue and maybe help a future mother along her path.
I decided to do a video tutorial because being a makeup artist I get so many people asking how to do a quick makeup, and mine usually takes around 7 minutes or less, so here is what I do from start to finish. I rush along to make the video shorter, but this is basically all about some simple techniques that you can use to create just about any look.
New recipe that I tried out this weekend! Let me just make it clear, I spend little to no time on these projects so I promise they are fast and easy and you can do them with a baby in the house. I don’t have a nanny of any kind, and it took me about 5 minutes to make these great deodorizer discs. I know the picture has them in a cupcake tin, but there is NO COOKING involved at all. A few ingredients mixed together, poured, and left to dry. That’s it. The reason for this particular need was because, to put it frankly, Jack’s diaper pail smells. It isn’t the freshest scent in the house. And I’ve been meaning to try to conquer the task but I have put it off until now. These discs are great, and with just a few ingredients I already had it was job done. I have one hanging in his pail now, and I can safely say it is working wonders and the smell is zapped. Here is what I did..
So the whole point of this blog isn’t to just pontificate about all the things I now know and spew them back out as if I hold the answers to the meaning of life, although sometimes it may seem that way when I learn something new and excitedly rant about how fabulous it is even though plenty of mothers have known these secrets for thousands of years. Every now and again, mainly now at the moment, you have a hard day. And funnily enough, the hard days always seem to have the most calamity of all time, just to dig the knife a little deeper. Today, it was one of those days. I just have to state that once upon a time I was a Makeup Artist in the entertainment industry, and the days at work used to be somewhere between 12 (if you are really really lucky) and 22 hours long. Then home for a bit of sleep and back at it again the next day. I am no newbie when it comes to hard work, actually I am a bit of a workaholic. So having this baby I thought that nothing could be harder work than what I am already used to, no problem.
Then days happen where you are sitting there thinking “Oh, my god. I am just so damn tired.” And unlike being on a regular job, you can’t take a 5 minute break and sit down and relax. So you try to dig deep for more energy in the hopes you can rest when the baby naps. And today, of course, no naps. So there you find me, depleted of any and all energy or will to live. And a cranky baby. So I let him do his favorite thing, run around the house naked. And suddenly I find him playing quietly in the closet by himself, happily. SCORE! I lay down on the ground behind him and relax. Then, what do you know, I find that he is now playing with his poo, which is all over the carpet and his legs and one of his hands. And as soon as I pick him up, it gets all over me. POO. ON. ME. That is the perfect end to a day like today. It happens. I’m sure I am not alone in this when I wonder to myself. “How the hell am I going to have ANOTHER baby!!!!” Seriously, I love it more than anything but whew!
I have a new recipe that I absolutely LOVE and I have to share it. I, as you know from previous blogs, I use Honest Company diapers and wipes (they come as a package). So the wipes are totally natural and basic, and sometimes (this is about to get gross) Jack can do a massive poo and these wipes don’t really cut it. The older he gets, the more stink is occurring in these particular instances. By using the word stink I am being kind to Jack and preserving some dignity for the little guy. It’s actually pretty hard core what he does in those diapers, it’s like hazmat suit time.
So last week I spent time trying, and succeeding, to go chemical free. It has actually been amazing, the house is fresh and clean and I feel free from a film on my skin of chemicals and perfumes. Jack has been coughing less and we are a happy little unit. I don’t even smell bad from the natural deodorant, although I do freshen up in the middle of the day with a little extra application. My hair is still adjusting to the natural shampoo, and I am trying all natural beauty products. I will write some reviews on what I like and what I hate beauty wise in a later blog, I have to make sure.
I gave up watching t.v. for the most part when Jack was born because really, when you have only 2 hours of free time each day and it’s right before bed, you start to really narrow down what’s important to you and do that instead. So I find my time being spent cooking a meal, catching up on emails and internet news, downloading photos I took during the day, trying and failing to learn fluent French, stuff like that. Then it’s usually me in bed watching whatever Netflix streaming tells me to watch. Recently, Netflix told me to watch a documentary about chemicals we use in the home and how harmful they are. I know this already. We all on some level know this. But I have kept this thought in the very back of my mind and continue to use products like Bleach, Clorox, Lysol, Windex, you name it. Of course I kept them all in the garage and safely out of the house and out of reach from Jack. And I would only clean when he was napping or out with Chris and I would make sure to open all the windows to air the house out after I used all of my glorious products.
Oh what a joyous time it is in the life of the Livingstone’s. I swear, it just gets better and better. Although Jack seems to be only wanting one nap these days, which seriously cuts into any moments of free time I might have had, the time spent awake is some of the funnest I have ever had.
Today we went to Gymboree for the first time. They offer a free class to see what you think, and both Jack and I think, “Um, yes please.” At first when we walked in I have to say that he looked at the room of 15 babies or so crawling around and shrieking and drooling and then looked back at me like, “Seriously? Are you crazy?” But after we sat down and started the activities, he let go of my hand and started climbing and playing like I have never seen him do before. Crawling through rainbow tunnels, stealing toys, having toys stolen back, parachutes, bubbles, climbing obstacle courses, it was like baby heaven. It was almost everything you could ever think up to out into a baby paradise. Needless to say we signed the membership like it was going out of style and will now spend several days a week enjoying our new quality time together.
What a couple of tough weeks! Just before Christmas Jack got his first cold, not great. It was your standard cold, runny nose with bubbles coming out every time he breathed, puffy eyes, the usual. Of course I had the humidifier blasting day and night with essential eucalyptus oils to help him breathe, and then a few times a day I would drum up the courage to go face to face with him and use the most torturous device known in the baby community, the nose suction device. Holy Jesus, trying to suction anything out of that tiny nose meant I had to deal with slapping hands, swift head turns to the right and left, and a scream cry that sounded like I was giving him a bath in hot lava. The drama involved in each instance was enough to win this baby an Oscar nod at the very least, and I was so over it that I thought “Okay, no more”. But Jack needed it! So I said “Screw this awful bulb sucking device, there has to be a better way” and we headed out to CVS. And yes, there are many better ways and in my opinion these bulbs should just be taken off the market. Straight up banned even.
I purchased a device that looks like this:
It was $20 and was a battery powered dream come true. You hit a button and the sucking begins, accompanied by lovely calming music. Now, Jack had the same Oscar winning reaction with this contraption as he did with the nasty bulb, but the difference was that it got the job done in one go. Literally, in the nose, suck, fill the little cup with mucus, done. And low and behold Jack was breathing fine again.
So 2 weeks of a fabulous cold, all better and healthy for 3 days, then BOOM. He wakes in the morning feeling hot enough to fry an egg on. I have never had him have a hot temp before, so after a quick rectal check I saw that he had a 103.4 temperature and I freaked out. I immediately gave him Tylenol, didn’t help at all. I put cold packs under his arms and on his head and after a quick chat to the doctor I learned that we would just have to ride this one out together, there was nothing we could do. These things happen supposedly, I’m new at this. It was so hard, Jack wasn’t himself at all. Just blank stares through red rimmed eyes. Also this started the very same day we had a big New Years Eve barbeque, so I had all my friends downstairs partying while I took care of poor little Jack upstairs. Awesome. Then after 3 days, poof. Done. He broke out in a rash all over his body (which is normal after a fever FYI) and now he is right as rain.
So a tough couple of weeks. You never know what will happen with these little ones. Plans are for people without kids. These guys keep you on your toes.
Here it is, the Christmas photo we all wait for as parents. The first meeting between the mystical creature known as Santa that all little children lay their hopes and dreams in. And wouldn’t you know it, Jack was terrified, mortified, and screamed like he was being skinned alive right in front of me. As if Santa had set him on fire himself. And I have to admit, it was lovely and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I guarantee that this photo will magically re-appear throughout Jack’s life in many fitting and embarrassing scenarios. Fantastic.