Thursday, May 5, 2016

Helicopter Parenting With Twinsx2

This year I learned a new phrase to describe over protective parenting, “Helicopter Parents.” I guess this is where we hover above our child(ren) and monitor and direct all that they do. I had to sit back and think about whether I was being a helicopter mom. The short answer was yes, I am. I have a habit of running around after my kids, making sure everything they do is safe, trying to prevent every.single.booboo. That’s hard y’all! It was so stressful to take them anywhere because there is only one of me and 4 of them! How could I possibly run behind each child?

I remember reading this quote somewhere on the internet, “We must prepare the child for the obstacles in the path ahead, not remove all the obstacles from the path.” When I thought about the helicopter parenting, I realized that this is exactly what I was doing. I was going before my children and removing all obstacles for them so that they, and theoretically I in turn, would have a smoother path. But this does more harm than good. The end result is children who cannot think for themselves. Who cannot soothe themselves. Children who are afraid of any challenge or difficulty. And a mom who is overrun, overwhelmed, and stressed out.

In the past few months, I have decided to let my children be children and do more things that children do. I was so worried about their safety that they no longer had many outlets for physical activity. They were wound up and cranky. I now try to take a step back and observe the situation from afar; only stepping in when absolutely necessary. Before, I was also a referee; never allowing my 2 sets of twins to work out problems. I would be the solution, whether the problem was theirs alone, such as trying to use a shape sorter or if it was with a sibling. How will children ever learn conflict resolution skills or critical thinking skills if mommy anticipates every need and struggle and swoops in to fix or prevent it? Yes, there was less whining and screaming in the moment, but in the long run it led to more screaming and tantrums because they got to the point where they wouldn’t even try to do things for themselves. They would just cry and scream until I helped. Ugh. I’m the problem!

I really am trying to allow them to be kids. Too often, we as parents either consciously or subconsciously expect our children to behave like little adults, leaving no room for error. I too am guilty of this. Kiddos are going to jump on and off of the furniture, they will make messes, they will chew on and shred brand new books and important papers...they are tornadoes trapped inside a miniscule body. All that energy has got to go somewhere! But where? I really need some indoor energy burning ideas. Please share some with me if you have any! What works for your kids?

Are you a helicopter parent? If not, how did you learn to let go a little? I feel like I am constantly over concerned about my children. By being this way, I am adding undue stress to my life. What are some little things that you have learned to let go of with your kids? What things did you swear you or your kiddos would NEVER do, but now you allow it? I have heard that the more kids you have, the more relaxed you become with your parenting. But what happens when you have 4 kids, but 2 at a time? Its like I never had time to relax my parenting. And they are all so young! And into everything! Sigh. How does a parent who relishes control let go a little? If I figure it out I will let the world know; I promise! 

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Friday, April 22, 2016

No Poo FAQ's Continued

Hi there! Today I will be continuing to answer some frequently asked questions about the no poo method.

How often do you wash it? The answer to this question will probably change a lot as you continue down the path of no poo. Also, the answer will be different for each person. In the beginning, you want to start out by going as long as you can without washing your hair. This is basically how long you can handle having dirty hair, because at first your hair may have an adjustment period where it gets greasy. Or you may be one of the lucky ones who’s hair revels in this new found shampoo-less freedom and doesn’t go through an icky phase. So, go as long as you can before you wash. The goal is to go longer and longer without washing. I have gotten to the point where I have to write the date I wash on my mirror with a dry erase marker so that I can remember when I washed. That is how long I can go between washings.

Can you still color/process your hair? I actually didn’t know the answer this from personal experience until a few weeks ago. When I got pregnant with my first set of twins in May of 2012 I stopped highlighting/coloring my hair. I went 4 years without processing my hair. I did read online that you should be able to color your hair; but that you may need to use an oil treatment on your hair often due to the damage coloring can cause. I personally used unrefined coconut oil, once from solid form and then as a fractionated oil.

Is it for all types of hair? I believe that going no poo would be beneficial for everyone; regardless of your type or length of hair. Shampoos are full of chemicals. So not only do they mask your beautiful natural hair, but they also can cause health problems internally, and externally. Have you been experiencing skin issues on your back, neck, or basically anywhere else? Those chemicals can clog pores and destroy skin. Ugh. Women got by for many years without shampoo. Their hair was still beautiful and shiny because they washed it so infrequently. Bathing was often a luxury.

I really am new to this whole idea of natural skin/hair care, holistic medical care and clean eating. The hair care industry irritates me it creates products and tells us that we need it; then we need more products to repair the damage that their products caused. I’m trying to use less in my life. I am finding it true that less is often more. 

I will continue to update the blog with tips and tricks for the no poo lifestyle. I welcome all suggestions and comments. Is there a particular method that works for you? Tell us about it!
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Thursday, April 21, 2016

I Decided Not To Poo Anymore...and No Poo Frequently Asked Questions

I quit pooing almost a year ago, and I couldn't be happier...Shampooing that is. I became one of the many who have stumbled upon this craze called "no-pooing." The basic idea is that you "wash" your hair without chemical shampoos or conditioners. There are actually several methods of doing this. I personally use baking soda as a shampoo and apple cider vinegar as a conditioner. 

You may be asking yourself, why in the world would you want to do that? The most common questions I get are:

  • Why?
  • How do yo do it?
  • Does you head smell?
  • Do you have a dirty head?
  • How often do you wash it?
  • Can you still color your hair?
  • Is it for all types of hair?
So let me address some of these questions for all you skeptics and interested parties ;-) 

Why I have hated my hair since I was 8 years old. I inherited frizzy, wavy, dry hair, along with its ugly twin, dry/flaky scalp. My hair wasn't pretty and straight. It wasn't bouncy and curly. It wasn't shiny. If moisture so much as glanced at my hair, it would morph into an undulating mass of frizz that I'm pretty sure was alive; it had a mind of it's own. Not to be outdone, dryness could turn my hair into a conduit for electricity; it was so full of static electricity that it could spark. Sigh. What in the world do you do about hair like that? Nothing. I was a young girl; I had no clue how to combat my hair or tame it. 

No one gave me a straightener, or a blow dryer, or product. I had no stylist. I walked around with terrible hair, and a cowlick right in the middle of my forehead to boot. I was doomed. I don't know about you, but a good haircut/hairstyle/hair day can make me feel beautiful. Well, I didn't know what that was like for the majority of the past 20 years. I had low self esteem and I know my hair was a major factor in that. Every time I looked in the mirror all I could see was the hot mess that my hair was. When I finally did discover straightening irons, blow dryers, and product, I had no idea how to properly use them, nor how to take care of my hair. Thus, I ended up with heat damaged, frizzy, unruly hair. 

About a year ago I was getting my hair cut and I asked the stylist how I could remedy this hair problem. (Now, mind you, I asked this question a 100 times) She recommended a regimen that consisted of 5 products; things to shield my hair, protect it, and heal it. She used these products on me and she was right, my hair looked great. However, the price for said products was outlandish and I have 2 sets of twins. My budget is small and so is my allotted time for hair care. I felt sucker punched. Finally, I had found a regimen that would make my hair beautiful, but I couldn't realistically do it. 

Thankfully, some tiny part of my brain that survived carrying and raising (currently) 2 sets of twins remembered this thing called no poo that I had read about years ago. I thought, "why put all these expensive products on my hair when there is this potentially great method of hair care where I basically do nothing to my hair." It was worth a shot. I started by reading everything I could online about no poo. I found a few bloggers who had experimented with this as well. After reading about their experiences and results I was hooked, and ready to give it a go. 

How do you do it? I found several different no poo methods such as using baking soda and apple cider vinegar, using water only, adding essential oils to the mix, etc. I also found varying amounts of each ingredient suggested for use. I am kind of clueless about natural health/beauty care, so I went with the most frequently suggested routine of baking soda for wash and apple cider vinegar for conditioner. 

I started out by using a cheap detergent shampoo to clarify my hair and scalp. You want to find one that does not have any silicone in it, like Suave or White Rain (make sure nothing ends in -cone in the ingredients). Silicone is the thing that coats your hair strand and makes it something it isn't supposed to be. It is what weighs your hair down and causes build up. I put the shampoo in my palm and added a tsp of baking soda to it to give it a little extra cleansing power. I then scrubbed my hair and scalp; scrubbing my scalp for a few minutes to truly remove any chemical build up. Essentially, you are removing a mask from you hair; giving it a chance to truly breathe and eventually look like it was intended to look! I then used a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water to "condition" my hair. And no, I did not smell like vinegar when it dried. 

Does your head smell? Sadly, I have made my friends and family smell my head, and no, it does not have an unpleasant odor. You won't smell like a botanical bouquet or a piece of fruit like you would with a chemical shampoo, but if you really want to add a scent you can add a drop of your favorite scented essential oil to your baking soda mix.

Do you have a dirty head? No! When you tell people that you don't use shampoo, their mind tends to immediately conjure up an image of a greasy, smelly, lank head of hair. The opposite is the truth! If you regularly use chemical shampoos but don't wash your hair that often, you will get smelly, oily, lank hair...because that is the result of using chemical shampoo. Shampoos strip your hair and scalp of it's natural oils (sebum) which makes your scalp go into overdrive trying to produce enough oil to moisturize your hair. But it over produces, so you get greasy hair, thus having to shampoo again. However, if you use the no poo method, your scalp eventually gets back to its roots (ha ha) and corrects the amount of oil it produces. You will no longer have buildup on your scalp. Voila! No smelly dirty buildup, and no more extra grease! My hair is healthy and bouncy; I get more compliments on my hair now than I have ever gotten in my whole life. 

Phew! That is a lot of words! I will continue this post in a few days and answer the rest of the above questions. If you have any questions of your own please feel free to leave them in the comments section or email me @

To be continued! 

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Finding Time to Blog With Two Sets of Twins

It has been a while since I wrote. But I really am still here. Life with 2 sets of twins can be crazy, hard, and beautiful all at the same time. It is hard to believe that my big kids are 3 now, and that my "babies" are almost 2! I vacillate between expecting the babies to act like the big kids and treating them like 5 month olds. It is really strange to have so many kids so close in age; they are close enough that it tricks your brain into thinking they all share the same capabilities, yet far enough apart that they are in totally different stages of development. 

The 3 year olds are now almost 100% potty trained. We have a few accidents once in a while, and sometimes they still pee while sleeping, but for the most part we only have 2 in diapers now. Woohoo! The babies think they should be potty training now too though, and they are insistent. Almost every time the big kids go potty the babies are whining to go also. They insist on sitting on the potty, and then proceeding to get up and down 100 times and run around the house naked, often peeing on the carpet. Ugh. Cute, but also frustrating. I do think they are close to being ready. They tell me 1/2 the time when they need to poop or have pooped, and they certainly want to use the potty like big girls. 

Potty training 4 kids is stressful and time consuming. I feel like I spend a majority of my day cleaning poop from butts or pottys. The rest of the day is spent preparing food, serving food, cleaning up children and said food, and then cleaning the surrounding areas. I often find myself feeling like I am doing the same thing over and over again. We have breakfast for 5 people, snack for 5 people, lunch for 5 people and dinner for 6! It can be hard to not feel like my days are monotonous; filled with the same routine over and over again. That kind of life could literally drive you crazy. So I try to find ways to make it a little different each day. 

Now, any mom of multiples will tell you that schedules are a must; that her family lives and dies by a schedule lol! However, I have found that we can survive just fine with a schedule that has some flexibility to it; it may just be the thing that keeps us sane. 

I am so thankful that the weather is starting to get a little nicer. Now we can slip some outdoor play into our day. Someday soon we may even be able to go for a "walk" in our quad stroller (now if only someone would just come push me in it too...) and maybe go to story time at the library, yes, with all 4 kids. No, I am not certifiably insane. Yet. I even went so far as to set up an outdoor play/climbing cube in our basement and a large play kitchen in the hopes of providing some indoor entertainment. 

My house officially looks like a daycare center. If you have any great ideas or tips for indoor toddler entertainment or energy burning please comment below or shoot me an email. 

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Beauty in the Breaking: My Pride Hurts

God is good, all the time. Even when it hurts. Right now life is tough. We are going through some hard things. More often than not I find myself last. Last in line, last to be thought of, looked over and left out. This isn’t fun for me. I grew up as an only child. I can be very selfish and “all about me.” So being in the background can be hard for me. It makes me want to whine and complain about not getting enough attention or consideration. Ugh. I can make myself sick.

So I regularly find myself with hurt feelings. But wait, how can your “feelings” be hurt? Thanks to a teaching called The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller, I have realized that feelings aren’t sentient, nor do they have nerve endings, thus they cannot be “hurt.” In reality, it is my ego, my pride that is taking a hit and making me feel hurt. This is so true in my case. I can now acknowledge when it is my pride getting offended.

The crazy part? I am thankful for this hard, hurtful time in my life. I believe that God is doing something big in me. I think He is stretching me and growing me; testing me and giving me chances to exercise the things He is teaching me. I am uncomfortable and that is a good thing. I was too comfortable in my selfishness and pride. God is beginning to wreck my life and I love it. In Jen Hatmaker’s book, entitled 7, she speaks to this. She says, “ [Sometimes] we [have] to shed and cull and purge before God can even remotely begin to deal with [our] serious issues.” And I feel like that is where I’m at now. I feel like God is pruning me, shaping me, purging me. All so that I can become the woman He created me to be.

There is a beauty in the breaking of oneself. I am a clay vessel that God is allowing to crack, break, and crumble, all so that He can reshape me. I am learning to serve with a joyful heart and not expect anything in return; not even a thank you. I am learning to be second, third and fourth; I don’t need to be front and center of attention. I am learning to share freely of my time, gifts, and money because none of those things are mine; they are God’s.

So if you find yourself in a hard time or place in your life right now; STOP. Take a minute to love God even in your pain. Acknowledge that He will never leave you, that He is with you even now. Then ask Him to reveal to you what works He may have at hand. Sometimes bad things just happen. Not every mishap is a lesson from God. But we can trust that God will work all things for our good based on Romans 8:28a which says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…”(NIV)

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Jammy Jams: Once Upon a Rhyme Lullaby Review

My kiddos LOVE music. I mean, they even dance to the noise that the vacuum makes! We have daily (sometimes more than once a day) dance parties. See, I too love music, from almost every genre. Thus, my kids are exposed to music from many, many decades and sounds. We often use Pandora to listen to a steady stream of music. Thanks to Pandora we were introduced to Jammy Jams. So cute! Jammy Jams is a collection of songs recreated to be lullabies for children. How creative! There are no words, just instrumetals.

I was given the chance to review a special Jammy Jams Collection called Once Upon A Rhyme. This version is based on rap songs. Even my husband can now enjoy baby lullabies because they are essentially throwbacks to our younger days. We love that these are such fun songs. We can listen to them during the day for play, or during the night for soothing; they are versatile. Jammy Jams offers lullabies based on rock, 80's, pop, punk, Christian, etc.

You can order these as CD's or you can buy a download. Jammy Jams would make a great addition to your children's music collection or a great gift! Not to mention you could listen to these yourself. Check out Jammy Jams for yourself today!

Click this link to check out a FREE sample of Jammy Jams.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Being a Mommy Brings Out the Best and Worst in Me

Part One: The Worst

Have you ever been going about your day, minding your own business, when out of nowhere you catch a glimpse of yourself and you cannot believe that it is really you? Your actions/words/thoughts just seem so foreign? Since becoming a mommy to my second set of twins (19 months apart) this has been happening a lot lately.

I guess I wasn’t too stressed with the first set. I mean, twins are all I have ever known. So it wasn’t more or less stressful than having one baby at a time because I had never lived any other way. About 3 months after the second set was born I started changing. I began to notice things in my behavior that I hadn’t seen much of previously.

I am usually a calm, patient, positive, and gentle person. But man, 4 children under the age of 2 quickly changed that. I became irritable with a short fuse. I found myself raising my voice and yelling. All. The. Time. I was so stressed and not sleeping much. Everything was negative. The negativity in our home was tangible. You could cut it with a knife. I was speaking harshly to my children and my face was contorting into these ugly, scary expressions. I can only imagine what I must have looked like to my tiny, precious, sweet children. I was a monster. At least I felt like a monster. On particularly bad days, when 10 out of the last 12 hours were filled with screaming, crying, moaning and poop…so much poop, I would have moments when I felt like I was literally losing it. I would open my mouth and venomous words would just come spewing out of my mouth. I imagined myself looking like the chick from The Exorcist, with my head spinning around. I began to hate myself. I loathed what and who I was becoming.

I was in a spiritual wilderness. God, my Rock, is unchanging. He never left my side. But oh did I wander. I was filling my mind and heart with things of this world and letting my Bible and my praying knees gather dust. I was breaking inside and my soul was so dry and aching for the cool, restorative waters of God, but for a long time I thought I was just going crazy or had postpartum depression. It took 4 months of this for me to realize that these behaviors of mine didn’t come from out of the blue. Trees don’t just appear; they have roots in something. Well, my tree was sporting rotten fruit and the roots were being fed from the ugliness that my treacherous heart was harboring.

The Bible is full of scriptures that warn us that what is in our hearts is what will flow from our mouths.  So one night my husband and I talked. I mean really talked. And we realized that we had been living under a cloud of negativity in our home and neglecting our relationship with each other and with God. That night, we both hit our knees in prayer. That was a life changing moment. Life has become so much more enjoyable! Now that I am daily spending time with God through prayer, devotionals, scripture reading, etc. I am able to recognize when I am becoming uber irritable, and bring it down a notch. God has given me so much joy. He has helped me to serve even when I don’t want to. He has helped me to speak kindly and semi-control my temper ( I was born a read head ya know).

I also finally went to see a doctor about the bi-monthly periods I was having. She put me on birth control to help regulate my hormones. It makes me really nauseas but I think it is helping. I only had one period last month, so only one week of PMS; yay! God, and prayer is always the answer. God will move mountains for you, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to pick up a shovel! Meaning, ask God for help, but take medication when you need it. In my case, I needed something to help regulate my wacky hormones. I needed Zoloft right after the second set of twins were born to help me stop crying all the time; and that is okay. There can be such a stigma in the Christian community in regards to taking anti-depressants and the like. But honestly, why? Our brothers and sisters should do what is necessary to remain sane and healthy.

 So if you feel the way I described, you are not alone. But pray. Ask God to show you what is really going on with you and please don’t be embarrassed because you are not perfect. Ask for help. Seek a doctor’s help if need be. I bet there is a mother you know who is secretly struggling too but is too ashamed or proud to ask for help. Be strong for her if not for yourself. Speak up. 

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