Monday, August 3, 2015

Love and Clinging

I wonder if, when my daughter is busy perfecting the art of making me completely insane, if she's also pondering the art of how to show me how much she loves me.

Because although this has been a challenging week with Maeve's behavior, with various events, and especially, dramatic exits, that I wish I could sponge from the record of the universe, it's also been a week of Maeve showering me with love and even clinginess.

She cried when I had to go to work on Saturday, which is the first time in a VERY long time that has happened! She usually is anxious for me to leave, like, waving me off and hoping I'll go soon so she can have more special time with Daddy or whoever. But she was really, so sad that I was leaving! In fact, I had Daddy let her stay up just a couple of minutes so I could sing to her when I got home, at bed time.

I don't really know why she both shows me more love and more anger right now, but it does help a little on the hard days to know she loves me, too.

Of course, it helps that I'm the one who buys the snowcones.

Friday, July 31, 2015

School Supply Shopping

I loved every academic aspect of school. I could have done without the group projects, the forced social interactions, pep assemblies, etc, but give me a project or a report and I was in it up to my nose, every time, ready for another A.

And if we win the lottery this week, I will without a doubt go back to school and pick up a master's and a PhD, because that's my idea of a good time. For real.

With that in mind, I'm excited for Maeve to start school. I have every hope that her inquiring mind will soak up like a sponge all the good stuff that's waiting for her. I fervently hope all the stupid testing that swaths our school system like cheap cotton batting will not dissuade Maeve from loving the learning itself.

And today I am eagerly anticipating taking Maeve school supply shopping. She'll get to pick out her backpack, and I'll get to tidily check items off her list, like a person who's organized and ready for anything. It's a win-win situation.

Ah, school supplies! The gateway to a successful school year!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Few Things I Like

Shall we not speak about yesterday? We shall not. It was... rough. It is over.

Today I wanted to blog about a couple of products that I'm really happy I found. And no, no one is paying me to mention them, I promise.

But the thing is, I am always on the hunt for specific kinds of beauty products. I have three qualifications: No parabens, cruelty free, and available at Target. Target has expanded what it carries in these catagories lately, and I've found some good stuff, so I'm going to share.

Also, why do I care about parabens and animal cruelty? Why not organic, or all-natural, or whatever? Well, we all have things we care about and things we can't be bothered to care about. But parabens are illegal to put in beauty products in Europe because they're known to cause cancer. And no way do I want my family using known carcinogens in products we use every day.

And animal cruelty? Well, let me put it this way. You know when your bottle of shampoo says "Dermatologist Tested"? That means that in a lab, someone squirted it into hundreds of rabbits' eyes, every day, for years, to make sure it wouldn't, I don't know, give them a rash or cancer or something. But screw that. I look for products that say "cruelty free" or "not tested on animals" because I can't live with myself when I think of animals suffering just so I don't get a rash.

Okay, so here's the good stuff.

This is Pacifica mineral mascara. Love it! It's the most expensive product on this list, but cruelty free makeup is really hard to find. And it's not too bad, at $12.

I've been using this line of shampoo and conditioner for a year now, so it's time for a change, but this line is by Burt's Bees, and has a few nice scents. Also, it's only $6!

This is the new shampoo I've picked up, it's in Target's shampoo aisle instead of  in the 'organic beauty products' aisle. The best thing about this product is they donate the gear to make clean water to various places around the world with every purchase. Good stuff, it smells good, and $5!

This one I'm particularly proud of. It's paraben/cruelty free shaving cream! So hard to find! And it's not even an aerosol can, it's a lotion. I really like the texture, the smell, and it's only $4 as I recall.

I love using a makeup remover cloth, and the Yes To is a great line of products. I used to use their shampoo for a very long time. These little beauties are perfect and are cheaper because they're not full cloths. I think they were $3.99
Anyway, I wanted to share. Maybe you care about parabens and cruelty-free stuff, maybe you don't, but all these things work great and are pretty affordable. I'm really glad I'm at the point in my life financially where I can spend time and energy looking for products that don't violate my standards or my conscience. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Kindergarten Countdown

Here's the good news: there are only three weeks until Maeve starts Kindergarten. And at this point, I do not feel any melancholy weepiness about this event. It's more of a gleeful anticipation. Like, I may be counting down the weeks.

I won't rule out that I might cry on that first day. I mean, I might. But right now, I just know that Maeve is extremely bored of me and all my good ideas, and is really ready to be in a class full of interesting kids again. And I am ready to have some quiet mornings in which to walk the dog, make phone calls, run errands, and generally make myself useful. Or read.

I mean, probably read a lot.

But I just want to shout out solidarity to my fellow mommas who are feeling the burn of summer. It's not just your kids that are acting out and driving you crazy. It's not just you feeling short on patience and looking longingly at the calendar. It's most definitely us, too.

A rare shot of Maeve and the dog getting along

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Maeve Meditation

One of the things I've been trying on my journey to help Maeve deal with her angry feelings is meditation. I got the idea from this video.

I watched it with Maeve a couple of times, and it gave me some good vocabulary for talking with Maeve about her feelings. Sometimes, now, right in the moment when she's angry, I ask her, where do you feel the anger in your body? And kind of interrupts the flow of feelings, when she stops to examine them from the outside.

After I ask her about where her feelings are, sometimes I can get her to sit and meditate with me. Sometimes I put on a video from Youtube, (there are many children's meditation videos on youtube, some are cheesy but so far all of them have worked well for us) or sometimes we just breathe together for awhile. We do in for one, out for one; in for two, out for two; in for three, out for three.

Now, meditating has not turned into a magical solution that makes Maeve just never feel angry anymore, but she has seen it work to help herself calm down, and I feel like I'm finally giving her a tool she can actually use. And that's a good feeling for both of us.

My education board on Pinterest has a lot of the youtube videos we've used, in case you want a place to start: