The Space Between

For the women trying to live life in the space between it all.

Monthly Archives: June 2018

To my husband. From the wife who lost herself.

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First, I want to say thank you. Thank you for still loving me like you did when we were fun and spontaneous. Thank you for not treating me any different than when we were newlyweds and could still be playful with each other. I’m not the same person you married. I know that. Two kids in just over two years has made me a little less fun and a lot more tired. I know I’m not as eager to go on date nights or show you affection because I have kids crawling on me all day long. I’m sorry I don’t notice and appreciate the little things you do for me. I’m sorry I don’t thank you as often as I should. I’m sorry I sometimes throw the kids at you without saying hi first when you walk in the door.

You have held this family together the last 3.5 years. From the moment I got pregnant, you’ve been attentive, caring, loving, patient, kind, and so many other things. You have a servant’s heart in how well you care for and love others. I’m so thankful for that. You maneuvered through my postpartum depression and anxiety so cautiously yet with so much grace. It couldn’t have been easy to deal with. It couldn’t have been easy dealing with a wife who cried all time and who constantly needed the house to be perfect and got ragey when it wasn’t. It couldn’t have been easy having a wife who was afraid to be alone. And yet, you did it. You were so loving and kind even though you didn’t understand.

I know it seems like I put our kids before you. And maybe sometimes I do, but I don’t mean to. We created this family together. We are partners on this incredible journey. I know I don’t look the same as I did before kids. I know I don’t act the same. I don’t even smell the same. Things changed. I changed. I lost a little bit of myself when I had kids. We now have two beautiful children and they took a piece of me with them when they joined this world. I know it seems like I lost myself but really, I have spent the last 3.5 years figuring out who I really am. I’ve learned that in the midst of being a mom, I’m also a wife and that has to come first. I know so many days it doesn’t but I’m working on it. I’m working on loving you better and putting you first. I’m working on being the carefree person you fell in love with.

We have an incredible life and I attribute that to you. You’ve provided for this family so tirelessly. You’ve stepped up to do menial tasks to help keep our household running. You’re amazing. You always say you don’t know how I do it. But I don’t know how you do it. You’re the piece my life was missing. This family needs you. We wouldn’t work the way we do without you. We wouldn’t have the things we do or be the way we are without you. You are the pinnacle of this family and we would be so lost without you. Thank you for the man that you are. Thank you for being the constant we’ve so desperately needed the past few years. We need you. We love you. Thank you for all you do.

Cloth Diapering Tutorial

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When I started researching to begin cloth diapering I was super overwhelmed with all the info that was out there and with the estimated starter cost being $500-750, I thought there was no way I’d ever be able to do it! I talked to a couple friends who encouraged me and helped me figure out what to get. Everything I read suggests getting 30-45 cloth diapers to start your collection. (WHAT?!) Now, this is very much dependent on how often you want to do laundry. I ordered 19 diapers and I do a load every day or every other day. I also got 24 additional inserts that are ruched because they hug the body better than the flat inserts. I use cloth wipes so I also ordered 45 reusable wipes. I got 19 cloth diapers with inserts, 24 ruched inserts, a wet bag and 45 cloth wipes for $211.86. That’s AMAZING and so much cheaper than I originally thought. I did the math and between the cost of disposable diapers and wipes, the cloth diapers and wipes pay for themselves in 8 months. That’s CRAZY! We’re 6 months away from our investment paying itself off. So cool!

Cloth Diaper Dos –

  • Wash all diapers and inserts at least three times before using them. This helps them become more absorbent so you have less leaks.
  • Change them every two hours (with the exception of nighttime) or they’ll start to leak and smell.
  • Double up inserts at night to avoid leaking.
  • Buy a wet bag. This is vital for going out and about.
  • Rinse them out after each use.
  • Use a free and clear detergent.
  • Use dryer balls to help with static. I even put a couple drops of lavender on them to help them smell good AND help sooth baby’s bottom.

Cloth Diaper Don’ts –

  • DON’T use fabric softener or dryer sheets. This starches them and they become less absorbent.
  • DON’T use detergent with fragrances.
  • DON’T use bleach. This breaks them down more and they won’t last as long.
  • DON’T leave used ones laying around the house all day during the summer. They’ll smell. I speak from experience.
  • DON’T wash them with hot water every time, this will wear them out faster.
  • DON’T dry them on high heat. This also wears them out faster.

Helpful Tips –

  • I wash them in cold the majority of the time with an extra rinse. Every once in a while I wash them on hot just so they can get really good and clean and kill any bacteria.
  • I dry them on low/medium. Never on high as that wears them out faster.
  • I rinse my diapers and inserts after each use and soak them in water mixed with ½ scoop of OxiClean all day.
  • I put ½ scoop of OxiClean in each load of cloth diapers and add an extra rinse cycle.
  • Some people wash the diapers alone, some people wash them with everything. I only wash them with small items like the girls’ clothing. I don’t wash them with blankets or sheets or anything big. I generally try to wash them by themselves but sometimes will throw some of the girls’ clothes in if it’s not a full load.
  • I’ve tried three different brands – Nora’s Nursery, SimplyLife, and Mama Koala. Mama Koala is my favorite. I really do like them all though. They’re all great quality and pretty affordable. Nora’s Nursery sends 7 diapers with inserts and a wet bag which is awesome. Mama Koala’s are super soft and so easy to stuff. They seem the most comfy because they’re so soft! Plus, Mama Koala has a Facebook page and they do giveaways all the time and they let you vote on what patterns you want for their next bundle! Such a cool, fun company.

Cloth diapering can seem really overwhelming, expensive and difficult when you’re researching it. Hopefully this helped some moms feel a little more at ease if they were considering making the switch. We’ve really enjoyed it. It’s SO good for the environment. Plus, their little baby booties look so cute in the adorable patterns. I hope this was helpful to someone! Happy diapering!

The power of essential oils.

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Before you roll your eyes and think this is another promotion post. Let me preface by saying that I don’t sell essential oils and I never have. I probably never will. I just really, REALLY believe in the magic within them.

At 6 months old, my oldest started suffering from terrible night terrors. We tried EVERYTHING. Putting her to bed later, putting her to bed earlier, white noise, night light, we tried baths, we tried waking her up, we tried taking her outside, etc. NOTHING worked. Her night terrors still came every night and she would scream and be incoherent for at least an hour, most of the time longer. I had a friend recommend diffusing lavender. I kindly thanked her and went on my way not thinking it’d actually work. You guys. IT WORKED. She stopped having night terrors. She did have one when we were on vacation a few weeks after the lavender but I blame that on the time change and sleep deprivation. She hasn’t had a night terror since! That was two years ago.

That got me hooked. I started researching a little more and asking people about them. I have horrible anxiety (I suffered awful postpartum anxiety after my first was born) so my mother in law gave me a grounding blend and a joyful blend to diffuse and wear together. I can’t tell you how much it helped me. Skeptics will cry placebo affect and maybe that’s the case but I honestly don’t care. The point is, I felt better. Now I’m not saying my anxiety went away completely or that I didn’t have bad days – the oils aren’t a cure all but they helped tremendously. During my second pregnancy I was SO nauseas. It was terrible. I carried peppermint with me and anytime I felt pukey, I inhaled my peppermint deeply twice with 10 seconds in between each inhale. Did my nausea go away completely? No. But it kept it at bay and tolerable! This past year was the first time I used a protective (a germ be gone) blend constantly and none of us got the flu!!! We don’t do flu shots and we all stayed relatively healthy this year with the exception of a mild cold. AND we had a newborn during cold and flu season and she stayed healthy other than a runny nose here and there. We wore it, diffused it, sprayed it, we did everything. This stuff WORKS. Maybe you still don’t believe me, that’s fine. I have plenty more stories to share but I’m only going to tell this last one. My 7 month old started the beginning stages of night terrors a month ago. Dread and anxiety set in because I know how awful they are. She wasn’t completely unresponsive or incoherent like my oldest was but just screaming and still asleep so I started diffusing lavender. Guess what. They stopped! She was still whimpering in her sleep every once in a while so I start diffusing a stronger restful blend and now she sleeps so great! It’s AMAZING.

I know essential oils don’t work for everyone and that’s okay! They’ve worked wonders for our family. Maybe you’ve been considering trying them out and this was the push you needed. I don’t really think one brand is better than another – I obviously have my specific brand I use but I think any brand – DoTERRA, Young Living, Eden’s Garden, Plant Therapy, etc. is fine. Just please don’t buy them from a grocery store. Only buy 100% pure essential oils. Do your research before you buy. Enjoy the oily life! It’s completely changed my entire world.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a medical professional. I do not claim that essential oils are to be used in place of medicine or medical treatment. I do not ingest them and I do not suggest that you do. I am not affiliated with any company aside from purchasing them. Please consult your physician and/or do in depth, research from a reliable source before diving into the world of essential oils. They are wonderful and helpful but can be dangerous when used incorrectly especially with young children. Most oils need to be used with a carrier oil when applied topically. Again, please do in depth research before using essential oils.

Below are linked pictures of my favorite oily items from Amazon! Just click the pictures and it’ll take you there. (Affiliated links.)

For the exhausted momma.

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You are super mom. You run around all day, cleaning up after little hands and little mouths and you don’t ever have time to care for yourself. The mornings go so fast then all of a sudden it’s lunch time and you’re making lunch and feeding the baby then it’s everyone down for naps and when you finally collapse onto the couch and you feel your body relax for a split second you realize you didn’t eat lunch. You look around and realize everything you worked so hard for the last 6 hours was undone just as quickly as you did it. I’ve heard the analogy cleaning up with kids is like trying to brush your teeth while eating Oreos. While a very gross analogy, it’s accurate and it makes me laugh just thinking about that thought put into action.

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Actual photo evidence of my messy kitchen that I swear was JUST SPOTLESS. How does it get SO messy SO fast? 

You spend your days cleaning and organizing toys and books and unloading the dishwasher just to load it again and then you do it all again the next day. Sometimes you wonder why you even bother. You sweep and mop the floor just for a tiny helper to spill applesauce everywhere. You change your sheets just for the baby to spit up on them within 5 minutes. You dust and you vacuum and you do it again. You finally get all the laundry done! It really happened, all the baskets are empty! For about 5 seconds then someone tosses something in and you start the pile all over again. You change a diaper just for it to be pooped in immediately. All. Day. Long.

Everything you do all day just keeps getting undone. It’s exhausting. Why do you keep doing it? Because you are momma. You are a superstar. You are amazing. You are exhausted but you wouldn’t have it any other way. You do it all for everyone and you keep redoing it just as soon as it’s undone. You go, super mom. You keep redoing the undone things. You were made for this. Nobody else can do this like you can. You may be exhausted but you’re still rocking it. At the end of the day, your kiddos may remember that momma was exhausted but above everything, they’ll remember that momma did it all. She was exhausted, but she did it all. And she did it all for them.

25 things you NEED to do before summer is over!

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It’s sure felt like summer already here in Ohio even though we still have three more weeks of “spring.” I have so much I want to do with the kiddos this summer! Here are some ideas to ensure you have lots of fun this summer. 😉 I’ll provide a couple linked pictures at the bottom to our favorite summer items in case you need some ideas – just click on the pictures at the very bottom of the post and it’ll take you to the website.

1. Go to the zoo! Make it a day trip. Pack lunches in a cooler if you want to make it a little cheaper.
2. Play in the water table – I added shovels, pales and figurines to ours for added fun! I’ve also seen some people add bubbles.
3. Play with water beads in a sensory table or sensory bin. I underestimated how popular these would be! My toddler BEGS me to play with these multiple times everyday.
4. Catch lightning bugs.
5. Go to the beach.
6. Can’t go to the beach? Then go to the “beach.” I made a beach sensory bin using rice, white beans, rocks and seashells. It totally looks like the beach and Audrey has really enjoyed playing in it! I got everything from the dollar store so it was a super cheap project and I scrounged around the house to find the beach animals.
7. Make popsicles. This is on my list to do next week so when I perfect my recipe, I’ll post it!
8. Have a water balloon fight. Because sometimes it’s just fun to throw things at your kids.
9. Pool time. Whether it be a blow up pool in your backyard or traipsing off to the public pool – time spent at the pool is so fun!
10. Walk a trail. We’ve been trying to get out and walk a lot – it’s been so fun and relaxing!
11. Grill out. Burgers, dogs, chicken, just enjoy the outdoors with yummy grilled food.
12. Go to a farmer’s market. Summer time is the best time for fresh produce. Find a local farmer’s market and enjoy some yummy local produce. Plus supporting local farmers is just better anyway 😉
13. Have a picnic. Pack up some PB&Js and carrot sticks and head off to the park!

14. Too hot to go outside? Beat the heat and check out your local library for story time options.
15. Go on a road trip. Take a day and drive somewhere fun! Enjoy the sunshine and jamming out to music in the car. It doesn’t matter where you go. Sometimes the journey is the most fun.
16. Go camping. You can do this relatively cheap most places.
17. Get some cheap summer toys and make a day of it! We ventured to the dollar store yesterday and picked out some random summer time toys. Here are some ideas: Scoosh balls (I have no idea what they’re really called – I’ve just always called them this), a giant bubble wand, squirt guns, water balloons, shovel and pale, even just measuring cups can be fun in a water table, etc. There are so many options and random things you can get.
18. Go for ice cream, with sprinkles of course!
19. Fill up a birdfeeder and watch all the birds come flocking.
20. Eat watermelon and corn on the cob and all of that good summer food.
21. Watch fireworks.
22. Go to the park – swing, go down slides, test your strength on the handlebars, etc.
23. Walk in cool grass barefoot. I promise, it’s therapeutic.
24. Plant flowers or a garden.
25. Just enjoy family time. Embrace time with your sweet kids and soak up every ounce of sunshine you can.