A Blast from the Past…The Verizon Store Poop Story Re-Visited

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Blast from the Past / Poop Story / Verizon Store
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I was scrolling through the last year or so of this space and one thing seemed to be on repeat… A ‘life is crazy right now, and were just getting through it’ motif.

Ew. Such a bummer.

But I’m really honest here–I cant hide stuff.  It has been kind of a gnarly year -or longer- so that is what my posts have showed.

As I read further though, I was cracking up out loud at all the funny old stories—I’ve totally gotten out of the habit of sharing the funny stuff, guys.

So, I have decided to bring back a blast from the past—-the blog that started it all, if I could be so bold.

The Verizon Store Poop Story, circa 2010 with a baby ZuZu.

Are you ready for it? Cause here it comes!

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October 2010

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I think I am emotionally ready to share this story that has kept me from blogging for 3 weeks.

Aren’t Verizon stores nice?! Well, the one me and my small family of 3 went to a couple weeks ago was especially nice since it was located on Rodeo Drive around the corner from shops like LouisVuitton, Gucci and other fabulous la-de–da stores that just make me feel so uncomfortable.

It was time to finally make the switch from AT&T to Verizon because I was sick of paying our crazy phone bill every month, so, we were on our way to the store to pick out new phones, and  Bronson was literally pouting/whimpering about me making him get rid of his Iphone.

This was where the problem started.

I was so preoccupied with trying to make my un happy husband pick out a stupid “non I phone” phone, that I kind of ignored all Zuri’s little nudges, pulls, and attempts to get my attention.

Here’s problem number 2:

We had been in the store for about 15 minutes so everyone and their dog (literally…there was a dog in the store) loved and commented on how cute Zuri was. By this time we had picked out phones and were at the counter trying to square away all the details.

This is when I noticed mud tracked all over.

Weird.

That was my only thought.

And then I looked closer………….

Ewwww! that dog pooped everywhere! And I do mean EVERYWHERE! I start saying out loud how disgusting it was, and that I have a child playing on the floors, so the owner should take it outside. I was outrageously disgusted.

And then………. I notice corn and black beans.

Dogs don’t eat mexican…?

Ummm….Uhhhhhh. Did we? Yup….We definitely had mexican chili earlier that day.

CRAP! I grab Zuri and secretly check her bum….OHH NO! How can this be?????!

She definitely pooped in her big girl underwears, and it definitely fell out her big baggy pants, and she has definitely been stomping around in it for several minutes without me noticing.

Problem #3

I look at Bronson…..Bronson looks at me…..and in silence we agree to pretend it wasn’t our child.

AH!  THE HORROR!

PLEASE DONT JUDGE US! We dont know why we came to this silent decision together…maybe it was because we had just made a big scene about the dogs owner not being responsible…or maybe were just severely messed up. I don’t know? BLAH! I really don’t know!

But, from there, I ask if Bronson has everything under control at the counter, and let him know Im walking to McDonalds to “grab a snack” and then I  walk out.

cut to:

We’re in the McDonald’s bathroom and I practically bathe zuzu in the sink.
I throw her little mermaid underwear away in the trash, and a homeless lady living in the McDonald’s bathroom chews me out-Thankfully, I couldn’t even understand her, and had too much else on my mind to care about anything she is yelling at me.
All I really remember about her is that Zuri kept calling her “ebil see witch ersellla” (Ursala the evil sea witch) and she was scared of her and didn’t want to go back to McDonalds….this is bad.
“And why?” you ask….You’ll find out in a minute.

We make our way back to the Verizon store and in my mind I’m 100000% sure the mess will be picked up by now….so, I am stunned to find white paper towels scattered everywhere when we walk back in.

We, and everyone else in the freaking store, are jumping and leaping over paper towel covered poop. Like every 2 feet in every direction is smeared, or balled, or logged poo!

My daughters smelly poop!

I practically run out of the store….there wasn’t a chance in hell I could stay in there with all her poopoo covered mounds all over the place, Ugh. I’m sweating!

And I think I was too stubborn to stop the “This poop isn’t my daughters” act by this point because it had been like 20 minutes….I couldn’t just all of a sudden start picking it up….I had already missed my window of responsible parenting opportunity!

I made my bed, then I had to lie it and go on with the charade that it was the horrible little dogs toddler sized poop.  Ahhhhh! I have anxiety even remember this- It was the worst!

So, now were stuck outside. Zuri is scared of the Evil Sea Witch Ursala in the Mcdonalds bathroom, so we cant go to Mcdonalds-and everywhere else is closed.

There we sit… on the side of the road…. its night……its lightly drizzling…..its cold, yet I’m sweating with anxiety and embarrassment, and I honestly can’t believe Bronson is still in there…all alone…with the poop.

He finally comes out a whole freaking HOUR later and tells me this:

He’s paid and walking out the door when the manager taps him on the shoulder.

Their conversation:

manager: Sir, do you mind picking up after your baby?

Bronson: ohh, my wife checked. It wasnt her. It’s not her poop.

manager: Well, an associate of mine saw her defecate, then proceeded to trample the feces around the store. It’s hers.

Bronson: uhhhh, oh man.  ok. sure… ya, Ill clean it.

The manager handed him Lysol spray and a scrubby brush, and turned without another word. Then, Bronson had to go to each paper towel covered poo-poo mound and clean it up out of the carpets one by one. From the window to the wall, until the sweat dripped off his…..head. There was poop.

Nooooooooooo! No! No way! Its too horrific to even imagine!

The thought of this makes me close my eyes and scream like I’m about to go down a roller coaster. It’s such deep pitted embarrassment that we didn’t even talk about it for at least 24 hours after the incident happened. It took days to even start to laugh it off, and after a month we’re starting to think its a bit hilarious. But not really.

I did learn some lessons from this experience, though, and the most valuable one is to always use princess pull-ups when leaving the house. No matter what.

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Snail Photobomber

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Letter to my kids

Dear baby boos,

This week we had to get some photos of you guys in these clothes, which is no easy task-So we planned our whole day around the shoot. We stocked up with bribery items, adjusted nap times–the whole nine yards.

So, we get there and it’s time to take pictures, and guess what??

A  little baby snail  photobombed the entire session!

All of you were so obsessed with that little guy–we couldn’t get you guys away from it. We tried to move the snail, but every time we tried to get him out of the shot, one of you guys would start bawling or threaten to walk (you’re all a bunch of divas–its ridiculous. I feel like I’m working with J-Lo).  So, this meant that our new snail friend was just going to have to be in the photos, too.

We ended up not getting even one photo where you can see everyones face or outfits at once- HA! But we did manage to capture the exact moment Ozzy decided to eat our new beloved snail friend, which ultimately lead to the end of the day.

All in all?  Worth it.

Love you,

mom

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My love affair with Rodan+Fields

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beauty / Perioral Dermatitis / Rodan+Fields / SKIN CARE
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During my Skin crisis of 2014, I put everything and anything on my face. I was trying $200 serums from Dr. Perricone, La Mer, and Eminence that didn’t put a dent on my Perioral Dermatitis/acne that I was suffering from. I tried all my old professional esthetic lines, too, like Glymed, Image, and MD Forte thinking that the professional brands would surely help out… but they were only aggravating my PD.

After even more desperation, I went down to the drugstore to buy an anti-fungal foot cream to put on the PD—my rock bottom—and same thing. Nothing I was putting on my skin was helping a bit. So, when the all department store brands and drug store topicals didn’t work, I turned au natural.

I stopped washing my face entirely. I was using baking soda, apple cider vinegar, raw local honey, calendula cream, and even a natural brand of diaper rash cream to try and treat the perioral dermatitis that was all around my nose and spreading down my chin by this point.

Then I found Rodan+Fields.

One day on Facebook I saw a post gushing that this skin care line, Rodan+Fields, had helped with this little girl’s awful psoriasis. I don’t know about you, but my feed is filled with skinny wraps, and long eyelash magic mascara, and wrinkle shrinking miracle solutions that all my friends are selling. Not to mention the oils…. the freaking oils! I love essential oils, I really do …But I do not love all the crazy oil people. I’m fed up with all the friend-to- friend pushy sales tactics through social media, so I normally tune them out…

…But this picture was amazing. I couldn’t deny that it spiked my interest, especially for my daughter, Remi, who has pretty severe eczema. I started to investigate the Soothe regimen and Rodan+Fields further, and I actually liked everything I was learning out about the brand. But I found myself not really trusting anything I was reading online because I assumed everyone raving about the product was also selling the product.

I didn’t like that.

I just couldn’t get past the MLM feel of it. Then I remembered one of my best friends, Jessica, posting about her skin after using Rodan+Fields and It got me thinking a bit. I knew my friend was not the type to ever be into MLM’s, or even skincare for that matter (ha!), so I called her and asked her how she really felt about using R+F.

Her answer was simple. She loved it, and that she was seeing real results. She also told me that the Doctors who came up with the line had sold the same exact skincare at Nordstrom for 10 years, and it was actually Nordstrom’s #1 skincare line. When the Doctors decided to take what is now Rodan+Fields out of the department stores and into a direct sales system it was, and still is, a pretty controversial move.

Hearing all this from a trusted friend was enough for me, so I ordered the Soothe kit to try out.

The Rodan+Fields Soothe kit arrived and I, truthfully, forgot about it. Some time went by, until one night Remi was having a particularly itchy, uncomfortable time… I remembered about the Soothe regimen I ordered, and applied it behind her knees and in her elbow folds where her eczema was the worst. To my surprise —it worked. There was a noticeable difference in her skin the next morning.

It was also around this time that I knew I was on to something about healing my skin from the inside out…. I was about 2 weeks deep into my new routine of detoxing with water, taking supplements, and administering coffee enemas—along with eating healthier and going gluten free (my 4 Tricks to Glowing Skin). I was finally noticing some positive changes for the first time in 6 months, but the PD was stubbornly hanging around—never clearing completely. I was pretty nervous by this point to put anything new on my skin that could potential screw up the progress I was making, but something inside me told me try this Rodan+Fields stuff out.

So, I did, and five days later my Perioral Dermatitis was nothing more than light pink skin. No more itchy, red and inflamed pustules—they were gone. Rodan+Fields was the tipping point and healed my skin.

I quite literally cried tears of joy. After months and months of stressing out over this horrible rash and acne all over my face and dealing with crippling insecurities and depression that seemed to be getting worse with each passing month that I suffered from Perioral Dermatitis…it was gone. I started to feel like myself again.

From that point on I was converted, and ordered all 4 of R+F’s lines for my clients and myself.

I ordered:

  • Reverse, for skin with pigmentation problems, age spots, and dullness.
  • Redefine, for skin with fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity.
  • Unblemish, for acne
  • & Finally, Soothe, for sensitive skin and clients with rosacea

I started using their Reverse regimen after all the signs of my PD were gone, and my skin started glowing. My dark marks were fading, my texture improved, and my complexion was clearer and brighter overall. People were commenting on my makeup all the time and I wouldn’t be wearing any… I would spray tan every 2 weeks, and go totally makeup free to let my skin just breathe. It was a crazy transition from not leaving the house without caked on makeup, to being totally makeup free within just a few weeks. It blew my mind!

My clients that I would do facials and microdermabrasion on loved the product and were seeing real, lasting results, too. They wanted to take the product home with them, so I did something I never thought I would do and I became a consultant so they could buy product directly from me…. from there, it has just grown.

Rodan+Fields has simplified skincare by making choosing the right product combination for your skin type fool proof. You cannot mess it up. So mix this simplified/no nonsense approach, with scientifically proven results, and top notch active ingredients–and you get R+F.

It just works.

If you’re intrigued like I was, and want to know more, click this link where you can use R+F’s skin mapping tool. It will tell you which product is best for your skin type and biggest concerns. It’s easy and you can order online directly from me, too.

BEFORE & AFTERS

Reverse

             070dc323-7a36-4b88-9538-6ff402cfceffRodan-and-Fields-Before-and-After-1024x665Before_and_After_Results_Page_25

Redefine Before and After and Fields 3rodan-fields-before-and-after-flipbook-vol5-15-63828ee2518caeaedb8e417eac3a083558aredefine-before-and-after

Unblemish

  before+and+after+-+unblemishrodan-fields-before-and-after-flipbook-49-6382483deb2fafcff692337e2a792b32644skin-care-for-acne-skin3

Soothe 

Before-and-After-Rodan-and-Fields-3 10980755_10153729369061002_4536089432156972676_n a15da67b298a1c20c57bd90f2370a3bb

& last but not least, me! using Soothe.

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I’m available to answer anyone questions anytime! Email me at weslie.christensen@gmail.com where we can chat and I can help walk you through the process.

My Skin Crisis of 2014

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candida / hypothyroid / Perioral Dermatitis / Rodan+Fields / SKIN CARE
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The story of my skin crisis starts in September of 2014.

To set the scene, let me rattle off a list of the shenanigans that went on in a period of 7 weeks for us.

  • Week 1: My husband quit his job. PS…I’m 9ish months pregnant.
  • Week 2: We moved from San Francisco to Utah.
  • Week 3: We’re temporarily homeless, and moved into my in laws basement.
  • Week 4: My oldest daughter started all day school for the first time and was having an extremely difficult time adjusting.
  • Week 5: I gave birth to my third baby, Ozzy.
  • Week 6: My husband tore his meniscus on a trampoline doing awesome tricks.
  • Week 7: We threw the worlds largest lantern festival to date in the Mojave Desert called, Rise.

So, it was a lot. And I was stressed. Like really, really stressed-and sleep deprived. SO freaking sleep deprived.

I was a brand new mom of 3, struggling with post partum hormonal hell, who didn’t know where she would be living in the next few weeks, and felt like I just hosted a party for 11,000 people. We didn’t have a day where something somewhat catastrophic or life changing wasn’t happening—and my body started to break under all the pressure.

I was coming down with strange symptoms like:

  • Tongue swelling
  • Facial puffiness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Confusion
  • Crippling anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • The worst case of acne I’ve ever had
  • Insomnia followed by not being able to stay awake at all.
  • Crying spells
  • Depression
  • Dry and oily skin everywhere
  • Keratosis pilaris (those Little bumps on the back of your arms)

Ugh, the works. These symptoms kept piling on top of each other one by one until the doozy hit…. Perioral dermatitis

Perioral dramatis was the straw that broke my camels back. If you haven’t heard of it, well, this is what it looks like.

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(images via google)

These little itchy, red pustules gather around your nose, chin and lips, and sometimes go up to your eyes. Picture it like acne on fire…that’s what it feels and looks like. It is the most uncomfortable, painful and ugly rash that is known to hang around for months on end. There is no miracle pill or cream to get rid of it—only topical steroids that actually make the condition quite worse when you stop using them.

I had pictures similar to the ones above, but never in a million years thought I would show anyone. When my PD was at its worst it was all around my nose, down my chin and even gathering up on my forehead.  I bought full coverage makeup for the first time in my life,  and I caked that crap on like liquid gold if I had to see anyone.  It gave me intense anxiety looking in the mirror, and even worse anxiety looking at the photos I took of my PD and acne when it was at its height, so I deleted all of them. I’m kicking myself over deleting the real good bad photos of my skin now! I did, however, save a few pictures of me ‘making great progress’…you can see them down below, but yes, I was actually extremely happy with how my skin was clearing up in those ‘progress pics’.

Anyway, it was clear that the prolonged amounts of intense stress that I was under is what brought on the Perioral Dermatitis for me, and then ironically, having PD caused even more added stress. This all lead to me becoming extremely reclusive and embarrassed of the way I looked …then the embarrassment would lead to shame, and the shame would lead to guilt. I was turning into my worst self, and the whole thing was like this horrible snowball effect…Getting bigger and bigger with each passing day that I had to live feeling sick on the inside and ugly on the outside.

I went to doctors and they were little help. Neither were dermatologists or fellow estheticians. I finally got somewhere when a physician took my blood and told me I was dangerously deficient in vitamin D (my level was an 8), hypoglycemic, and was teetering on the cusp of hypothyroidism. He also had a hunch that my bad case of PD might be due to and overgrowth of Candida in my lower digestive tract, so I probably had that, too. He didn’t know how to treat the PD without intense steroids, and his only other solution was to push anti-depressants because he thought I might be suffering from post partum depression.

I felt like his treatment solutions weren’t actually solutions at all…but more like temporary fixes— a band-aid to cover the symptoms of what was really going on inside my body. I knew I was sick and unhealthy on the inside…I just knew it, and I wanted to be well, not ‘fixed’ temporarily.

Sooooo, (Welcome to my information over load phase.)

I declined the anti depressants and steroids, and I decided to try to heal my skin and body by myself.

I started studying whenever I had a free moment. I would be mom all day, and the minute the kids went to bed is when I really went to work.

I was going through all my old Esthetic text books, my instructor manuals, health books, diet books, web md, medical websites, physician theories, blog after blog, forum after forum of personal accounts…. Then I started studying medications and topicals…. then plants… then diets…. ugh it was endless! You name it, and I went there.

Until one day it all started to click.

I was finally absorbing more and more information, and really starting to truly understand the balance of the human bodies ‘ecosystem’ and how delicate it is.

And then all of a sudden I had it. My plan… and it was simple.

My plan was to create homeostasis (balance) in my body by:

  • Eliminating excess toxins that had slowly built up over time
  • Ridding myself of the candida overgrowth
  • And creating hormonal balance

The whole time I was searching for a cure and the cure itself was in my own body. My body knew what to do and how to do it…. all I needed to do was to aid it along, and stop filling it with crap food, chemicals, topicals, and stress.

So it begun!

I learned that 70% of our bodies immune system is in our gut…and that our skin is just a mirror of what’s going on inside our gut. So that, to me, seemed like the place to start. Heal the gut and you heal the skin!

But how?

Enter My 4 tricks to Glowing skin (shortened version here)

 

1) Detox

Eliminating toxins was priority one.

By the way , I have to say right off the bat that I’m anti the juice cleanse type of detoxes, or tea detoxes.  I don’t like detoxes where you eliminate whole food groups entirely. To me, it is not sustainable or healthy. I believe it can create a yo-yo dieting mindset where binge-eating habits can develop, and it just reeks of a negative relationship with food and body image. So, because of all that, I am adamantly opposed.

Anyway,  I researched and researched, and found these healthy detox solutions that are sustainable for prolonged amounts of time while still eating abundantly. They are:

A) taking natural supplements that aid in detoxing daily, like:

  1. Glutathione
  2. Vitamin c with rose hip
  3. Milk thistle

B) Drinking 90 ounces of water a day

C) Administering coffee enemas once a day for 7 days, then once a week, or as needed after that.

Right now youre like, “What the $^$#? What did she just say?! Ew!’,  and I know, I know. I get it. I was there right with you once, too. But just trust me…coffee enemas are like little liver detox bombs, and make you feel soooo amazinzg, soooo quickly! They speed up this whole detox process quite efficiently.

I really have so much more to say on these, but I will save it for another time ,simply because coffee enemas deserves their own post.

D) Clean your mind.

This detox step for me also meant detoxing my mind of negative thinking, feelings, and ideas and that were not bringing any joy into my life. Feelings like: jealousy, anger, suspicion, resentment, fear, and anxiety…. I had get to the root of those emotions, then let them all go in daily meditation.

2) Diet

I started eating meals of fruits, vegetables and protein, with nuts, legumes, gluten free grains, and some cheeses—And nothing else. Guys. Nothing freaking else.

This was killer for me. Anyone who knows me knows that I love food. Like it’s my happy place. Like I go to Disneyland with that corndog stand on the right hand side of the princess castle, right after Main Street in mind—not the rides.

So, this was tough—I won’t sugar coat it. But it was necessary for me to stop eating processed junk, simple carbohydrates, excess sugar and gluten to balance out my candida and my thyroid.

Plus, did you guys know that the chemicals you’re eating in your food not only mess with your guts, but with your hormones, too? I didn’t fully understand this before I dove head first into my research. Things like preservatives, dyes, casein and gluten (even if your not gluten intolerant or sensitive) can mess with your thyroid and adrenal glands and throw off your hormonal balance pretty severely.

Its kinda scary and actually a really big deal, so I added these supplements for healthy hormonal balance and thyroid support, too.

  1. Evening primrose oil
  2. Selenium
  3. And a goooood probiotic, too, to introduce healthy bacteria back into my gut.

I did this diet strictly (I want to say for 4 weeks straight) until I saw a major improvement in my skin and overall wellbeing, then only when I felt balanced and healthy again did I slowly start to ease up on the strict diet.

I love the supplements I added in, and have noticed such a positive change that I never want to be without them-so I probably wont. Ill take them until I die. I still try to keep as close to the diet as possible so that I can maintain my current state of health, but I’m not all agro about it. I go to carnivals and eat fried banana splits and Navajo tacos just like any other red blooded American still…. I’m much better at reeling it in afterwards, though, and keeping things healthier and more chemical/preservative free throughout the rest of the week.

3) Skincare Regimen

As an esthetician I know the importance of skincare, but I was so afraid of putting anything on my face after my whole  PD ordeal. I was finally making some headway with my health, and my skin was getting better slowly over time. It had been 6 months of hell with PD all over my face that always seemed to be worsening, so I was thrilled to finally be making some progress by changing the way I ate…. but the PD was stubborn and not going away entirely with diet changes alone.

So I hesitantly tried out this skincare line called Soothe by Rodan + Fields (the Dermatologist team who created ProActive),  and it rid the remnants of my PD entirely within 5 days. And guys, I cried tears of joy. No joke. It was like the cherry on top of my lifestyle change, and really pushed my skin into the healing phase.

Not only did it clear my skin, but my skin was glowing….the marks left, color improved, the texture was smooth, my complexion seemed brighter–everything. It was incredible to see both as a person benefiting from it, and as a skincare specialists, too. I’ve been obsessed with the entire line of Rodan + Fields ever since, and you can read more on what I tried on my skin before I found R+F (and my skepticism on them), here.

But my advice on skincare is this;

It’s your skin. You only get one. You wear it all day, everyday, and its seen by everyone you come in contact with. And more importantly, you! You get to see yourself everyday, and its vital for your overall physical, mental and spiritual health to like what you see staring back at you in the reflection.

So, splurge on your skincare. Invest in it more than you invest on your shoes or latest fashion trends.

And just remember that at the end of the day, aging occurs. No matter what–it doesn’t discriminate. It’s actually a  really a beautiful thing, in fact. I respect the aging process a lot and believe there is graceful way to do it by living a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a skin care regimen, and using preventative measures like wearing sunscreen.

If you’re lost with skincare choices, click here.  You can  get a good idea of what your individualized skincare regimen should look like.

& Last but not least,

4) Maintenance

This one is solely about upkeep. I know that in the beginning of anything new there is always a lot to process—-and I fully understand that change is hard, but there is power in getting past that initial beginners point, and creating a lasting habit.

And that’s all that this is…a good habit to create.

Get detoxed, drink water, make healthy food choices, and get on a great skincare regimen.

It works. Your body has been designed to run efficiantly, and your job is help it along the way, not hinder it.

Make a few changes, and keep with them! Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results after the first two days, too. Remember to have patience and trust in the process.

The photo on the right is the only one I have. I avoided cameras for obvious reasons, and got rid of most all of the evidence of ever looking like I did…But I do have this one, at least.   I took it right when the PD totally cleared all around my nose/chin after 6 months–and I was about 2 weeks into my detox regimen, and one week into using R+F.  I remember being so happy with this photo, guys—which is nuts, right!? I look at it now and am like, “Ewwwwww!’ But at the time, it was a big improvement and I was really proud of the progress. I took the photo on the left another 3 weeks after the one on the right. My face is so much less swollen! I never even realized how puffy and sick looking I was until I was no longer puffy and sick. My tongue was really swollen during those 6 months, too, and that also went back to normal. Along with my insomnia, anxiety, and depression–totally gone. And the crazy acne I was getting on my forehead and cheeks disappeared, as well. I remember being so worried that the bigger cystic acne marks would scar or leave dark marks, but any sign that they were ever there before are non existant now…I didn’t even realize how bad it was until I see after photos.  I’m cringing!

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SO why am I sharing all this? Because it sucked being in this confusing, ugly spot I was in for so long. I wanted help, and somebody to relate to, and quite honestly, I felt so alone and pretty insecure. It might seem vain to some, but it was affecting my whole life. I lost myself in this skin and health crisis…my kids didn’t have their best mom, and my husband had a shell of his wife. I was really sad.

I know that these 4 tricks work. I’m proof! If one person is feeling like I was feeling back then and finds this to be a little helpful, then that’s all I want. If you have more questions, feel free to comment—or email!

Marshmallow Parking Lots

comments 3
Letter to my kids / Uncategorized
mallowozz

Dearest Baby Kids,

Today I went to Costco and I got lost in the parking lot.

 Lost Lost.

It was the only time I’ve been to the store here without all you weirdos, and I realized I’ve never had to even think about where I park normally because, Zuri, you do it for me. You are a wiz with directions and remembering things that I am horrible at-like where I parked the car.

I roamed and roamed…I want to say I looked for at least 20 minutes, and the whole time I was pushing a cart bigger than my body that I had to peek sideways over to see where I was going.
I honestly felt like I was being Punk’d, then I thought the car got stolen.  I just couldn’t believe I was really that lost, but then I realized with my inability to be aware of my surroundings mixed with Costco deciding to set up a maze style parking lot in the stupidest semi circle with 2 different “lots” in each section, that it was bound to happen to me sooner or later.

So, after starting at one end and working my way alllll the way to other, just to re-start my search back over at the very beginning…I found the car

I got home and started putting the groceries away where, Ozzy, you were extra clingy because I had left you for 2 whole hours, so you were letting me have it by not letting me out of your sight. I tried to distract you by giving you a ginormous marshmallow and it worked for about three minutes but that wasn’t enough…You needed to be touching me…No. You needed to be crawling on me.

So I stopped putting away groceries to sit in the pantry with you, and I took off my shirt.

I let you slime me (and yourself) with half chewed marshmallow smudge mixed with other floor goo until there was no more marshmallow to spread around.

Remi, then you and Auntie Haidyn came into the kitchen and neither of you said a thing. Not a word. I realized something in that moment that prompted me to even write this to you guys, and that is:

You guys didn’t say anything about the messy/strange/half naked scene you walked into because that scene is our normal.

Right now our life is messy. I’m messy. All of you are messy. None of us do our hair and we’re happy if everyone has clothes on, and most days I truly don’t even recognize myself in the mirror. We’re flying by the seat of our pants 98% of the time, and there is no way I can commit to anyone or anything else, because I’m barely hanging on.

Being a mom is hard. It just is. You guys aren’t hard, though…you’re the best kids, you really are…Parenthood is hard. I strive to live with intent vs. living out of habit, but I hate to admit that sometimes I’m just too tired. My intent these days is to get to 9pm somewhat peacefully so we can all go to bed, and I can mindlessly watch an hour of TV.
And Guys… that’s a sucky intent. I don’t want you  to live with a tired mom, but I really am sooooo tired. And I’m sorry about that.

So, your dad and I have these pep talks probably once a weekish. We’ll take turns being tough when the other feels weak, and they always go something like,

“They’re all so little right now…they each need help with everything they do. Ozzy will take a bottle soon, (probably not–but we like to dream) and we’re outnumbered, babe. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Plus, Think about what a year will do! In a year, each of them will be a little more self sufficient. They can help out more…we’ll be more settled. We’ll sleep! Oh my gosh! We’ll actually be sleeping through the night a year from now.”

Those always make me feel good, and then immediately sad, because in a year-it’s true, it will be easier, but you’ll also be older. Too old. I won’t have a baby baby anymore, and Zu and Rems, you guys already seem like pre teens, so I can only imagine how different that will all actually be.

It’s a bit ironic that the ages you are now (6,3,and 9months) has been my hardest yet most favorite of the whole time I’ve gotten to be your mom. All of you are hilarious in your own way, and in different phases of the most exciting self discovery. I absolutely love it. I don’t want it to change, I really don’t, but I’m also looking forward to what our future holds, too.

And I’m going to try to do better, guys. I really am.

I love you little munchkins a disgusting amount, marshmallow goo and all.

Love,

Mom

To my kids,

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Letter to my kids

We dance clean.

Here’s proof.

CLICK ME TO WATCH

And after reviewing the little clip I have decided that:

Zu, you’re the best dance cleaner of the group so far…and get extra points for major facials.

Rems, you get an honorable mention and are proving yourself to be more of a dance singer rather than cleaner.

And Ozzy, well, you’re just a bunch of dead weight.

I love you kooks so much it makes me sick.

Love,

Mom

Remi,

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Letter to my kids / Uncategorized
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Remi my darling girl,

Today started with me shaking you awake and your first words before you even opened your eyes were a very grumpy, “Nooooo.”

Then, in my hopes to distract you out of your early morning mood, I told you about how our skunk friends, Pepe le Pew and his baby, le Bebe, came again last night, but this time they ripped up our trash leaving a huge, gigantic mess outside.

This worked and got you up and out of bed to look at the scene of the crime.

As we walked Zuri to school you were reeling about how your sister took the dress you put out last night for YOU, “Not for zeweeee!” you kept saying over and over again.

We we were ignoring you a bit as we walked, then finally you said, “fine..but that dress does not fit you anymore, zu! ….and  I KNOW WHAT IM DOING! I get it when she gets back from school, mom.”

ha ha. You kill me, kid.  You didn’t ask…you just told us. This is pretty usual with you these days, missy. And I do have to admit that you really do know what you’re doing 95% of the time, which is impressive considering you’re still only 3.

Then we got home, made pancakes, and you started singing the nationwide song, “nationwide is on your side” in your best little voice ever as we ate. It was so cute…and I obviously let you watch wayyyy too much tv.

I love you,

mom

 

 

 

Dear Ozzy.

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Letter to my kids
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Today you are 7 months and 2 weeks old.

You are commando crawling all over the floors, putting anything and everything into your mouth, jumping like a crazy man in your jump-jump toy, and still not drinking from a baba or sippy no matter how hard we try.

It has been proven that you have picked me to be your comfort item, and between you and me, I think you’ve chosen wisely, son.

You are starting to eat food! This is exciting especially for your sisters and dad because they can finally start feeding you a bit.

You hate baby food and moved straight into loving rice and beans, avocados, and other big people food. This gives me a small heart attack daily, and I end up feeding you like a baby bird wherever we go. Gross…I know. But right now you’re into it, and we all have trouble not giving you exactly what you want around here.

Case in point…our bed. You have taken over our bed, little boy. We sleep with all you babies when you’re little but you have been a little different than your sisters…more particular, maybe? More vocal? Definitely more demanding and more persistent. Lately we have been trying to get you to sleep in your bed and you simply won’t have it. Everyone around us tells us that you should sleep on your own now, and eventually you will self soothe and drift off to sleep, but those people obviously don’t know you. You have a strong will, kid. You will not fall asleep unless you are snuggled up close to me and nursing.

By the way, you’re huge. Like huuuuge. You’ve got rolls on top of rolls and it’s basically your dads and mine dream come true.

None of us can stop kissing you!  We all have expressed the strange desire to want to eat you…we seriously want to gobble you up.  It’s weird and I guess it’s a real thing.  Your sisters and I even googled it. It’s like you’re so cute it causes our brains to literally want to bite you because it can’t handle your cuteness.

You’re really that beautiful. I mean it, too. Like so, so handsome it’s kind of unbelievable.

But best yet, you’re happy. You’re the happiest little guy. You smile all day long and give complete strangers the biggest grins.

And ozzyboy…I need to thank you. You’ll never know how much you saved me throughout these last few months. Our world started to crumble all around us just after you were born…mine especially.  For 5 months straight we didn’t go more than 8 days without earth rattling news, or a horrible event happening, and I broke. The blows kept coming month after month, and I truly hit my ultimate low. I put on a brave face each day for your sisters and our family and friends…and I would try not to burden anyone with my own suffering. But you knew. You were my person in that dark time and I’m so grateful I wasn’t alone. I would wake up in the nights panicking…having the worst anxiety attacks and waves of despair I’ve ever experienced, but then you would wake up too, and you would need to be fed.
So I would feed you. I changed you. I rocked you. I loved you. And in those moments I couldn’t think of myself, or my pain, or my fears…all I could feel was the overwhelming desire to care for you. I often wonder now what those long nights and days would have been like for me if it wasn’t for your warm, squishy body and beautiful soul to snuggle up on…and I can’t even bare the thought.

You’re so special, son. You bring so much light into any room you’re in. I can’t wait to see who you become as you grow older–it makes me smile just thinking of it.  I know the timing of your arrival was impeccable and very meant to be, and our family feels so much more complete and happier with you in it…I’m so grateful to be your mama.

I love you so much,
Mom

2014

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After some thought, I’ve decided to call 2014 the year that I reached my bullshit limit.

Bullshit limit meaning that one day I got up and realized I was doing things I didn’t want to do, in a place I didn’t want to be.

…We dont love where we live….We dont have enough time for the things we want to do anymore….This is bullshit….Let’s move…..We’ll figure it out along the way.

And that, my friends, is the conversation that started it all.

I took all the rules and pretend boundaries we as parents (and mostly just ‘we’ as humans) put on ourselves, and kicked them to the curb.

All these fake rules and boundaries like:

You’re not supposed to move your child unless you absolutely have to. It’s hard to make new friends.
What are you going to tell them you’re doing, you need a plan B?
You’re leaving a good job?!?
You’ll never get with a good insurance by yourself.
What about school, Zuri will be behind, right?
How will your kids feel secure?
Unless you have x amount of saving you shouldn’t be taking such risks.
You know, when kids feel unstable they start acting out.
Moving right before a baby will be too hard.
Moving right after a baby will be too hard.
Moving is hard.

Blah blah blah. The list continues.

But who comes up with these anyways? Why do we all play into these ideas? It’s like ancient folklore or old wives tales. It’s something to talk about when people fear the unknown. But these ideas are not real, unless you’re the one making them real.

Plus, I’ve found that if I am open, honest, attentive, and loving to my kids, family and friends then things usually end up working out. The big things do, at least. The rest truly doesn’t matter.

There were, and always will be, a million and 1 fear based reasons to just keep doing what you’ve always done because you know it works. But where’s the fun and adventure in that? Living a life you’re not in love with because you’re too afraid of change doesn’t feel like living at all to me.

So we left the amazing full time job with wonderful benefits just 6 weeks before I was due to deliver our new baby boy, Ozzy (whom I must properly introduce in another post coming shortly. He’s so awesome that he most definitely deserves his own). We moved into our families basement and sent all our belongings 12 hours away to a storage pod near the vicinity we think we want to potentially end up. Zuri started full time school in Utah, then 3 weeks later I had a baby. 5 weeks after the new baby, we threw a freaking Lantern festival in the Mojave Desert where 11,000 people showed up. 11,000! It was kind of amazing to say the least and is now the largest Lantern festival in the world.

Along the way we took people for their word. We got burned a few times but for the most part have we continue to find that people are good, and timing in this life is impeccable. We made a lot of mistakes. We took risks. Bronson lost jobs, gained others. I juggled kids seamlessly, and then had moments where I truly felt as though I was drowning in motherhood and all my children’s needs. My marriage and personal life had flourishing times and then periods of complete and utter despair.

This. is. life.

What I’ve rediscovered this past year is that to love someone is to know them. All of them. The good the bad the ugly. And I promise you this: That if you understand someone….and I mean truly get to understand, then it will become very hard for you to hate that person. If you’re having ill feelings towards anybody, I urge you to talk to them. Not at them. To them. Get them to open up and tell you their life story. Be a trusting ear….Not a judging one. You will find a love for the person you thought you hate. Test it.

So it’s now 2015. I have fewer answers to the questions I had in 2014, and only more questions. Nothing is for sure. Life can change at the drop of a dime and it’s silly for us to think anyone is actually in control. But I do know this:
I’ve decided I want to create a life I don’t have to vacation from. And Im not going to stop until I feel like we get there.

Come at me, 2015.

Quiet

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During times of extreme change I become quiet. Private, maybe, is a better description. Either way, I have been going through one of those periods for a few months and I feel ready to talk about it now.

For the longest time I have known we needed to be somewhere else….Doing something else. I’ve felt pulled in an unknown direction for months and have been pretty confused as to why, to be quite honest.

On one hand, I felt greedy. I felt greedy because I am fully aware and appreciative of the awesome life we live. So why was I having these underlying feelings that it wasn’t enough…that there is something more…something else out there for me and my family?

And on the other hand, I know these types of thoughts are not random. They are your gut. Your intuition…a divine power stepping in and urging you to make a move–and if I’ve learned anything over the last few years it’s that you listen to your gut.

….even when your gut is telling you, ‘NOW! Flip your life upside down, and do it right now.’
–and you’re like, “Ummmm, you sure about this, gut?? This is so risky. Plus,
this is the worst timing ever… Remember you’re having a baby in like just a minute? And the kids each start school next month?? What about our insurance? …this is just a really crazy time for us, gut. Can all this life altering moving and job change stuff happen after, pleaseeee?”

Gut’s response: No. Now. Do it all now.

So we are.

We flew home from a wonderful vacation with my family in McCall, Idaho last night, sans children, to pack up our whole house up in just 7 short days.

From there, we’ve decided to move to our favorite little town in San Diego as soon as all the dust settles and we find a house…and, of course, deliver this baby boy of mine.

It all sounds so fast doesn’t it? It’s because it is. But when I truly look back, I can seen a chain of events all leading up to this exact moment starting almost a year ago. Everything from chance encounters with random Instagram friends, to getting invited to go on a trip to Thailand with total strangers and saying yes without any hesitation at all….it’s all meant to be. I feel it and see it so clearly now.

Life is pretty cool when you sit back and don’t resist it, isn’t it?