Surviving Parenthood, Part 1

If you’re Type A like me, time management, organization, and schedules are critical for sanity. After Samson falls asleep, I prepare lunches for the next day, clean around the house, shower, and maybe watch an episode or two of my favorite show(s). By this time at night, I’m running on fumes, but it saves me a lot of running-around in the morning. Ideally, waking up 30-45 minutes before Samson is best to prepare his bottle, dress, wear minimal make-up and put my hair in a bun. Everything runs smoothly and on time… until, a minute before heading out the door, there’s a mess in Samson’s pants and it gets on me too!  Then traffic is hateful, in addition to crazy metro delays.

Okay, breathe in, breathe out, Maria. Oxygen to the brain! I’m freaking out by this point. This one classic example may or may not backtrack me at least 30 minutes to work. Example numero dos: let’s say that the entire week has been executed as planned– no accidents, minimal mess, cooperative metro ride, and then… my poor baby gets sick. Whether I’m at work or home, it’s a rush to the doctor or pharmacy.

Tres! Sometimes Samson is unlikely to stay on his sleeping and/or eating time; I have to find flexibility in my schedule and accommodate it to my baby’s needs. There’s A LOT, A LOT of multitasking, COFFEE, and sometimes wine involved– but that’s its own blog post, haha!

The three examples share this in common: schedule disruption. Even if there’s good time management and organization, key to surviving parenthood is flexibility and PATIENCE to abrupt changes! Stay calm and approach the issue efficiently with a lot of love, hugs, tickles, bottle and toys! Oh, this also means, being late to work, missing work or a special event.

Sacrifices must be done without freaking out about the schedule disruption(s). Samson is my top priority and whatever comes our way, all the challenges of being a mommy, it’s all worth it for him. He’s growing to such a smart, funny and sweet little boy! He’s definitely the best part of me and his daddy combined. Most recently, he prefers to throw the baseball with his left hand…hmmm! ❤


Who’s Got The Herb?

herb3After work, my co-worker and I had herbal lemonade from the local farmers market’s urban+ade in DC. Perfect for a hot summer day– so yummy and refreshing! It prompted an investigation for more recipes. These recipes are so simple and a great healthy sipping choice.

Seriously, the best things in life are gifted by mother nature! Basil, mint, rosemary, sage and thyme have antioxidant and therapeutic properties. It delivers digestive, nervous, endocrine and immune (just to name a few) system benefits. Let HERBS be thy medicine.

Of course, it’s been known for centuries that herbs are great remedies and why not add a little yummy twist to make it an herbal lemonade or tea… all year round, lol. So Joan and I made herbal lemonade (freshly squeezed lemons) with berries. I added rosemary, sage, thyme and honey. Joan added basil, mint and rosemary:

And on a kinda-related note:


Monday, Where Art Thou?

This weekend needs to be over soon so I can see my bubby, Samson! He spends every other weekend at his father’s house. I miss him so much already! It’s Friday night and I’m at home looking through all his pictures and videos on my phone… from the first time he smiled (at 5 weeks) to the first time he crawled (at 8 months). He’s sooo precious; without him I feel incomplete and restless. Ughh, this sounds like a bad case of separation anxiety, but I’m glad he has lots of fun with his daddy.

Isn’t he the cutest, most handsome and beautiful boy everrr??


Summer’s Blissful Skin

It takes trial and error to know what works well with one’s skin during the different seasons of the year! Some are lucky not to struggle with major delta between seasons. Click below for tips on controlling extra oily skin in the summer:

Test a few or all of these tips! Whatever works. 😉


Straighten Up Lil’ Soldier

Slouching, leaning, and drooping are few problematic postures on the metro…and at the office…and everywhere else. Reminds me to make an appointment with my awesome chiropractor. It also reminds me to keep a good posture for its advantages:

  • Prevent muscle aches and fatigue
  • Ensure proper breathing (oxygen to the body!!)
  • Maintain a good appearance
  • Avoid future health complications such as an abnormal permanent position (aka hunchback)

And here’s a quick tip to start the week off right:

Wrong –> Correct

Bring the object (phone or book) to eye level instead of drooping your head. Do not bring your shoulders forward.

me

Ignore the frizz 😉 Phone at eye level

Photo credit: Tochi (model) & Brandon (instagram @bandobreeze)


Defense!

The market does a really good job of luring the customer to its product. It really REALLY hurts (emotionally lol) to know that some of these “essential” products contain harmful chemicals. In effort to make healthier/safer purchases, use informative tools, avoid the product, or find other alternatives (e.g. DIY product) for the skin.

Immunology must have been one of the toughest and coolest courses I took in college, but here, let’s breeze through the body’s first line of defense: the skin. It is an active immune organ equipped with competent cells from innate and adaptive responses that work in concert to protect us from pathogens and toxins. Personal care products containing toxic chemicals are often applied directly on the skin, where it’s quickly absorbed. The body learns to fight such chemicals with exposure; however, long-term exposure may lead to health problems.

These chemicals may be carcinogens, allergens, mutagens, and/ or endocrine disruptors. For example, infamous parabens (used as a preservative) and Aluminum-based products (found in deodorants) are linked to cancer. Another major hazardous chemical that can be easily avoided without sacrificing your personal care products is Triclosan. It is found in antibacterial products, which is known to impair thyroid function and create microbial resistance.

Click here to see a more complete list of chemicals and ingredients to avoid.

If you did not research the product before shopping, no worries! Use this amazing cellphone app by Environmental Working Group (EWG) to see the hazardous level of a particular product, just a scan away:

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By minimizing the exposure of bad environmental agents, we can avoid compromising one’s health. Unfortunately, that exposure is almost inevitable. Often times that product may have great reviews and marketing techniques while containing harmful chemicals. To make matters worse, the government does not prohibit the use of some dangerous chemicals in personal care products (but let’s not discuss politics). Read these tips for safer alternatives.

For further reading I recommend:

Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power by Mark Schapiro

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I hope you found this as a helpful tool for guidance to safer products. I am still in the process of perfecting this habit and incorporating into a healthy lifestyle for my family and me.


Reminder from Voltaire: Cultivate Your Garden

Because the last couple of years have been tough, I was not able to cultivate my garden. Thankfully, this spring/summer, I am able to start all over again and yesterday was the perfect day to do so! The soil temperature was auspicious and so was the weather– low-70s, clear skies and sunny. (Mother Nature kinda owed us a beautiful warm day after such random low temperatures in May!)

It was so silly of me not to garden the last two years. Gardening it is so therapeutic! It is a moment in harmony with nature, surrounded by the earthy scent and sound of male birdies singing to potential mates, ha. Ralph Waldo Emerson explains it well, “Nature is made to conspire with spirit to emancipate us.” I know…it is only a small garden in my front yard, not the wilderness, but it is a small part of nature that I am able to nurture. Butterflies and hummingbirds will soon be able to nurture my dahlias too, hopefully.

This year I planted “Sweetheart” and “Decorative” mix dahlias, comprised of Trengrove Jill, Alva Supreme Figurine, Glorie Van Heemstede, and Porcelain, just to name a few. (I will be posting pictures when they start to bloom.) In addition to the fertilizer, I added to my plants the very talented fungi, Mycorrhizae. It colonizes the roots and increases the plants’ absorption of water and nutrients. This also increases plants’ survival (by promoting healthy roots) and improves the quality of the soil. Symbiosis! God’s beauty right there! 😉

This is a very expensive ounce of Mycorrhizae!

My dahlias in full bloom two years ago. This one I  gave to Joan bone.