Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Favourite Products: Naturals Beauty

As a little girl I would always get sweet smelling bubble bath in the prettiest Tinkerbell, Care Bear or My little Pony bottles for my birthday. After the party my mom would pack it away only to be taken out and used on days that she felt brave enough to deal with a red, irritated crying toddler.  I had very bad eczema as a child and couldn't wear nylon, wool or use any perfumed or scented products. I really struggled with it and doctors kept telling my parents that I would outgrow it at 16. Sure it did get better over the years but never completely went away. I was very worried about Ben getting my eczema and unfortunately he did. Luckily it doesn't seem to be as severe as mine was.

We started off using Epizone A on Ben and then switched to Cetaphil.  The Cetaphil is a bit pricey but Ben's skin started feeling less sandpapery and more baby like so I was happy.  Then a fellow mom posted a picture of Naturals Beauty RR Baby Range and I just loved the look of it. You see I'm the kind of person who buy wine based on how much I like the label which is why we drank Tall Horse for a very very long time even though I didn't really care for the wine. I'm all about the packaging. 

The RR Baby Range products sounded lovely and I was very intrigued but also not sure if it would work on Ben's eczema skin. I was offered a trial pack to see how it goes.

The Baby Set I got contains a 200ml Body Lotion, Body Wash and Shampoo and the Gentle Milk Wash.  I spoke to the lovely Tanya du Boys creator of Naturals Beauty and mom of two who told me the following: 
- We use only natural ingredients and we use as many organic ingredients as possible. There are 3 products in total.
No matter what the child’s age is I would recommend using our moisturising milk wash instead of a soap or a gel cleanser. Gels and soaps traditionally draw moisture from the skin and as you know this is not an ideal situation for eczema skin. The milk wash cleans the body and face but very gently (think of a milk cleanser for your face) and does not strip the skin of any natural oils. Our range is also VERY lightly scented with chamomile and we use no synthetic fragrances which are also known to irritate a sensitive skin. The lotion is light and has a lovely ‘slip’ to it which means you can  massage him (if he’ll lie still long enough!!) as well as use it as a lotion -
I LOVE these products.  There was no negative skin reaction to it at all. I love how gentle the Milk Wash is on his skin and the gorgeous shine and softness the Shampoo gives his hair.  There is a bit of scalp dryness afterwards but we have been battling with a bit of cradle cap since birth so dryness is to be expected.  The body lotion is silky soft and like Tanya said it does indeed have a nice slip to it. I just adore the healthy shine of Ben's skin after rubbing him in with lotion from head to toe.
The product is very reasonably priced and will last you quite a while. I honestly have no complaints and will definitely continue using it on Ben.

Monday, 29 September 2014

What I learned my first year as a mom

You can read all the books and blogs in the world but nothing can really prepare you for motherhood.  Everyone will give you advice and tips but you will soon realise that what works for one mom and baby doesn't necessarily work for all.  You just have to figure it out for yourself and learn as you go. Here's the main things I learned after one year of motherhood.

1. I love you husband but right now I just want to punch you in the face

I've heard women say "having a baby is such a magical bonding experience, we've honestly never felt closer as a couple" Well I call bullshit. Having a baby is hard on a marriage. In the beginning its all baby all the time. I missed husband so much those first few months which sounds ridiculous because he was right there next to me on the couch, in the car, lying next to me in bed.  But I was so focused on the baby, I only looked at the baby, I only spoke about the baby that he might as well not have been there at all. I didn't even ask him how his day was when he came home from work. It just didn't seem important at the time. We also went from a couple who never had fights to one that did constantly. Who's day was the hardest, who was more tired, who's turn was it to get up that night, who did what wrong with the baby. It made me so miserable because this wasn't how it was suppose to be. Then I started speaking to other new moms and realised that a lot of them were experiencing the same thing.  We weren't a horrible couple for not basking in the 'bonding experience' glow. We were just normal. So if you find yourself crying in the shower wondering if you and your new baby will move back in with your parents when you and husband get a divorce, don't worry, this too shall pass. Things will return to normal.

2. Diffy up the duties

This goes hand in hand with number one, because if you get this right you might just skip most of the issues that was mentioned above. Decide who will be doing what before baby comes. Don't think it will naturally sort it self out once baby arrives. Husband must know what he will be responsible for.  Also avoid the 'if I want it done right I have to do it myself' mentally. I did that.  I wanted to do everything because I wanted it done my way. It nearly killed me. I was exhausted. I was going mental. I had zero time for myself and I was depriving husband of the 'struggle and figure it out for yourself' part of parenthood. You HAVE to share parenting duties. A very wise mom once told me: Just because you have the boobs doesn't make you right (or the better parent)

3.  No baby no opinion

Pre baby I was VERY opinionated when it came to breastfeeding. Breast is best.  Its only a few months of your life, if you love your baby you will do it. I though women who chose not to breastfeed was horrible and SO selfish.  Then I had my baby and I had to breastfeed and it was one of the hardest and most painful things I've ever had to do. For the first two weeks of breastfeeding I hated every minute of it. And suddenly I realised that unless you have actually breastfed a tiny baby you have no right to judge anyone for choosing not to. 
I remember telling my mom that I will only be able to stick it out for 2 weeks. At the end of the 2 weeks I decided I'll finish the month. Then I said lets just get to 3 month.  Eventually it all fell into place. Breastfeeding became easy.  I breastfed my baby for 7 month, until I had to go back to work.  I am so glad I stuck it out and kept going. If you are struggling with breastfeeding think short term. Take each day at a time. Don't think "Oh my word I have to do this for 6 month to a year" Think "lets just make it to the end of the week" Worked for me.

4. Wipe the tears and forget the guilt

Unless you pull a bubble boy on your baby he will probably scrape and bruise quite a few times. Especially once they start walking. The first time your baby falls and gets hurt your heart will break. The mom guilt will be terrible. BUT it is amazing how fast they bounce back.  Yesterday Ben's finger got slammed in the door and he cried like I've never seen/heard him cry before. His poor middle finger is so blue and swollen. I felt horrible. How could I let this happen to him. And yes he was terribly miserable for a bit but after a bath, bottle and some Nurofen he was back to climbing on everything and giving me,  the horrible mom who turned her back for a second and he got hurt, big hugs and sloppy kisses. You might think you are a terrible mom but to him you are everything. Little accidents are unfortunately part of growing up. Best to have a cry, get it out the system and move on.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Birthday girl

On Sunday 21 September I turned 32. THIRTY TWO! How'd that happen?

As you get older the usual birthday excitement comes with a tiny side order of depression. Suddenly getting older isn't just something you side step on the way to your Birthday cocktails. Getting older becomes a real thing. You become frighteningly aware of your own mortality. You also become very aware of the fact that when you turn a year older so does your parents.  Suddenly your only birthday wish is for them to be around as long as you are because you just cannot imagine life without them. Depressed yet?  Okay so lets move on to happy thoughts.

Last year I had a pretty horrible birthday.  Husband woke up sick and was not in the mood to celebrate. My parents were on holiday and so were most of my friends. Ben was just over a month old and I was pretty much 90% pregnancy hormones and baby blues. This resulted in me feeling very abandoned and I pretty much spent half the day crying.  So I approached this years Birthday with a sense of dread. I was careful not to get too excited because I will most probably end up disappointed. BUT I had the most fantastic day. Hoorah!

We spent the weekend at the in laws holiday house on the West Coast. Its one of my most favourite places to relax. When I'm there I have zero troubles.

Although Saturday was a bit chilly I got the most perfect sunny day for my birthday.  Spending the day with my two boys at the beach was just perfect.  That night when I fell into bed I felt horribly ill from all the food I consumed all weekend long but also very loved and oh so very thankful for the amazing people in my life. Yes getting older is a hard pill to swallow but it is also such a privilege. I survived another year. So here's to being 32.


Monday, 1 September 2014

Bye bye August, Hello Spring!

Happy Spring day! My favourite month. No wait, December is my favourite month, but September is a close second.

August was all about new beginnings, big moments and crazy emotions.

You see 31 July I finished my temp job, Ben had his last day at Daycare, a place we grew rather fond of, and we moved from Stellenbosch to Strand. It was the most exhausting day. That night when I fell into bed between all the boxes I was all goodbye'd out.

Our little 2 bedroom house gave us 6 years of awesomeness.  The main reason we got the house was because of the amazing backyard. We have wanted to get a dog for so long. A month after moving in we got our Golden Retriever Knox and he immediately proceeded to steal hearts and destroy said backyard.  During those 6 years in our house we got engaged, married, husband started and then 3 years later closed his own business, had many Christmas parties in the backyard with fairy lights and a fire, had a baby and became a family of 3 (4 if you count the fur baby). It was Ben's first home even though he will never remember it.  Thanks for the memories little house. You did us good.

Then on 12 August my baby boy became my toddler boy. This means we took our last Hippo photo this year.  Taking Hippo photo's has become such a big part of our month that I cannot believe its over.  Towards the end it became such a big mission, he just would not sit still but I am so very very happy that we kept going.  If you only take one bit of advice from this 'new' mom let it be this: Take a monthly pic of your baby for the first year. It is something you will treasure always.
On 16th of August we had a Lion King birthday party for Ben. Organizing a birthday party while moving into a new house was rough. I felt like crying a few times. I was just feeling so overwhelmed by all the boxes looking at me while I was baking cupcakes and making cake toppers. But I am so glad I took a time out from unpacking to do the party. The look on his face as the little party guests sang 'Happy Birthday' made it so worth it. It really was one of the best days ever.

So August, thanks for all the excitement. It was a wild ride. Here's to spring braai's at our new house and my Birthday. Man I love birthdays.