Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday, everyone! We had an awesome, albeit chilly, weekend here in Montana.

Friday, I had a job interview! It went really well and I'm really excited about it- it seems like a great place to work. We also interviewed a daycare, and found someplace we feel comfortable with. I'm still probably going to bawl like, well, like a baby! But we all agree that it's time for D to get some more socialization, and Momma too!

Sunday, we went to a Scarecrow Festival at Tizer Botanical Gardens, which is about 30 minutes away. They had pumpkin painting, live music, a scarecrow making contest, and a bonfire! Although it was really neat, it was pretty chilly and D was sooo not interested. He had just woken up from a nap and was completely unimpressed. It was such a neat place though, I'd love to go back when it is warmer so we can really explore! We ended up heading home, chilled to the bone and smelling of woodsmoke... all in all, not a bad way to end the weekend! We spent the rest of the night having dinner and spending time with the family. It was a great weekend!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

dealing with postpartum hair loss

One of the biggest challenges that I think new moms face (aside from, you know, that brand new tiny human!) is how drastically your body changes after baby. At a time when you are exhausted and don't even have time to change your clothes, and are feeling less than attractive, your body starts turning on you- hair loss, hot flashes, excessive sweating... it's a pretty picture. 9 months later, I am still dealing with the effects of postpartum hair loss. I think a lot of women associate their hair with their beauty or confidence, and I, for one, had a huge problem when my hair started falling out. And we aren't talking a few strands here and there...  it was like a full fledged hair animal on the bathroom floor every morning! Having already thin hair, it was traumatizing to lose even one little strand. Thankfully, the hair loss has stopped, but now I'm dealing with something even more ridiculous- all the hair is growing BACK! Thank goodness for that, buuut.. this also means I've got a halo of 2-inch baby hairs all over my head. I get flashes of Big Bird when I look at my hair every morning. So, I thought I would share some of the tips that I've found to be helpful with dealing with both the hair loss, and the regrowth.

Everyone is different, but most women starting losing their hair about 3 months postpartum. This is when hormone levels start to even out, and your body starts "going back to normal". There is a theory that pregnant women's hair is so full and luscious because the natural fall of their hair stops or slows down during pregnancy, and once the hormones regulate, the hair all starts falling out at once to catch up. There's not much you can do to stop the hair from falling out, but you can do a few things to lessen the sting:

1. Continue taking your prenatal vitamins! This is super important, as your body is already going through lots of changes, you don't want to deplete your vitamins all of a sudden. Also, everyone knows how good prenatal vitamins are for your hair!

2. Brush your hair each night and before you get in the shower. Do this over a trash can, or have a broom handy! This distributes oils, making your hair shinier, but also removes a good portion of the hair before you get in bed or in the shower (the two places I found my hair to be most prominently annoying as it was falling out). 

3. Play with up-dos! Wearing your hair up will keep the hair fall from being super annoying during the day. Just make sure to vary where you place your hair tie each day- if you wear a ponytail at the same height, you can cause breakage to your hair. You definitely don't want that!

4. As I said, everyone is different, but my hair started growing back around 7-8 months postpartum. I noticed a halo of light fuzz growing around my hairline and was so excited... little did I know that I would have to deal with 3 inch baby hairs for months! Since I have fine hair, one of the most important products for me is Argan Oil. Not only is it great for your hair's strength and shine, it weighs it down just a tad, which I find to be helpful for getting those tiny hairs to lay down, rather than stand straight up.

5. Try to avoid rubbing your hair with the towel when it's wet. Squeeze and pat instead. Rubbing will increase frizz, which will cause those tiny hairs to stand out all the more.

6. Also avoid blow-drying your hair upside down. You may have to sacrifice some volume, but drying upside down trains those tiny hairs to stand straight up, and then you end up looking like a Troll doll for the rest of the day.

This is exactly what I look like in the morning. Same PJ's and everything.

7. Utilize a good hairspray. Use a water-free formula that goes on sort of dry to reduce stickiness. I like Tresemme! Spray it on your comb, and then lightly brush down those tiny hairs that are still standing up. I also spray in on my finger and run it along my hairline to combat those little baby hairs that hide until it gets the slightest bit humid!

I hope these tips help you if you are dealing with postpartum hair loss or regrowth! Just remember, it's all worth it for those tiny little bundles of joy :)

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekend Recap

I had big, idealistic plans for this weekend. I was going to ring in the start of fall with lots of autumnal activities... yet, here I sit, on Sunday night, eating dark chocolate and having accomplished nothing this weekend!

Friday, during our trip to McDonald's Pass, we ran into a big herd of cows, which for some reason was really exciting to me!! Montana is a free range state, meaning that it's legal for cattle to graze anywhere they want, they don't have to be behind a fence. If a cow is in the middle of the road, and you happen to hit it, then it's your fault and you have to pay the rancher for the cow!! So I was pretty excited to finally see the wandering cows in action :)

On Saturday, I had every intention of going to the Farmer's Market. I absolutely love Farmer's Markets; I love to people watch, browse handmade items and simply being outside. I ended up at Walmart instead. Tell me, how does one do that? Walmart, on a Saturday? It's like I was asking for a nervous breakdown. I barely made it out alive with my chili ingredients. As soon as I got home, I got that delicious chili simmering, and that was all she wrote, for the whoooole day. I do so love a good lounge day :)

D discovered Sesame Street, and is quite a fan!

Sunday, we tried a new church! I was impressed, it was D's second time in the nursery and he did great. The service was contemporary, the message was heartfelt, and I felt so welcomed by many people! When I went to get D, he was snuggled up, fast asleep in this nice little old woman's arms. It was the cutest thing... suffice to say he enjoyed church too! I'm excited to get more involved.

And finally, we found D's costume for Halloween! I was having such a hard time decided what I wanted him to be, and I happened to be browsing this little upscale baby consignment store while Hubs and my Dad were obsessing over mountain bikes next door, and I found the cutest little duck costume! We always call D "baby goose" because he makes this hilarious noise that sounds exactly like a goose honk... so I think a duck is pretty fitting! Here's a little sneak peek...

And that was it for the weekend! Not very productive, but it's always fantastic to spend time with my little family. 

How was your weekend??

Friday, September 20, 2013

High Five for Friday

I am waay late with my post today, but that's because I had such a great Friday! Ya-hoo!! My dad, husband, D and I went up to McDonald Pass, which is this great national park/vista/hiking trail system about 20 minutes from our house. We had just planned to go do a little recon for a horseback riding trip my parents are going on tomorrow, but we ended up walking around for a bit. It was absolutely breathtaking! I can't wait to do some serious camping, and to see the mountains covered in snow! And obviously, we had an impromptu photo shoot :)

And of course, D had a great time riding on Pappy's shoulders!!

It went from being about 80 degrees to being about 50 degrees practically overnight, so when I saw this hat at Target, you know it was necessary. This picture has made me smile all week!

He is enjoying living out in the country so much. He loves to watch the horses, dogs and cats, and gets sooo excited. He also is very interested in all the different plants- he loved this flower!

That's about it for this week...not even five things! Epic H54F fail. But, we're having a great time here, and feel like things are falling into place! A couple of great things happened this week (that I can't share here quite yet!) so I feel a little less overwhelmed than I did right after we got here. We are finding our groove, getting to know our way around town, and loving just how friendly everyone is- aside from the road rage, that is. I have a theory that everyone in Montana is so kind because they take all their anger out while driving!

We have some great things planned for this weekend; heading to the Farmer's Market, and trying a new church! I am super excited to find a church family, I think that will make all the difference in us feeling at home here. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Linking up with Lauren from The Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

an open letter to brad pitt

Dear Brad, or Mr. Pitt-y Pants, as I like to call you;

I had been anxiously awaiting the release of World War Z so that I could rent that bad boy, and bask in some post-apocalyptic, zombie infested, Brad Pitt sexiness. So last night, that's exactly what I did.

But, oh.

Did Angie talk you into a little too much Botox, Brad dear? Or are you just now processing the horrible decision that was leaving Jen, and that caused the deer-in-the-headlights, expressionless face you were giving me last night? At some point, Brad, you're going to have to stop relying on your looks (because hey, let's face it, those are fading) and start acting like a real actor!

If zombies are chasing you and your family, society generally dictates a change in expression. Maybe even a genuine yelp of terror. Instead, I got this for two straight hours:


Now, let's discuss the scarf. You know as well as anyone, my dear Brad, that I am a huge proponent for the scarf as an accessory. However, I gotta say it; if I were getting dressed for the occasion of oh, say, the end of the world... the scarf is probably the last thing I'd think to grab. But you sir! You made that scarf work. As a blindfold, a bandage, and a jaunty fashion statement- you had it going on. Honestly, I think your scarf deserves the Emmy this year, because it did a hell of a lot more for the movie than your face did.

The perfect jaunty loop, thrown casually over the shoulder... the zombies are shuddering in fear from the fashion smack-down.

But I will give you this much, for the over-the-top expensive, epic fail that was World War Z... SCARIEST EFFING ZOMBIES EVER! Which probably made your lackluster performance stand out all the more. If this is staring you down, I'm gonna need you to give me something. An eyebrow twitch, a lip snarl, maybe even a little piddle in your pants. But something, Brad darling. You look like you're at the supermarket, picking out which brand of denture cream is the most effective.

So in conclusion, Brad, I invite you to re-evaluate your life, and your priorities, because obviously, something isn't working. Possibly you're an overworked dad of 1700 children- you're also rich as all hell. Pay a nanny. Get some sleep. Or next time, audition for the part of Zombie Number 1, because you've got that performance in the bag.

And don't make me waste my $3.99 again. Or I will go straight up chipmunk-zombie on yo ass.

You've been warned, sir.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

a pumpkin flavored life

Well, it's finally happened.

The most exciting day of the year.

Fall officially arrived!! (I get excited, ok?)

Yesterday it was dark, dreary, rainy, and 55 degrees, max. I was ecstatic! I got to break out my boots for running errands, which made my little heart jump for joy. Then I realized my ENTIRE (extensive) scarf collection was in a box in the dark recesses of my storage unit, and I cried a little.

Then, when I tried to get D dressed, I realized all of his pants were 3 inches too short! Baby man-pris are a good look for no one, so a-shopping we did go!

I get a special kind of glee from shopping for baby clothes...tiny little cargo pants? I mean, really.

And, because it was just too damn cute to pass up, the teddy bear hat. I die.

Could I be any more excited for Fall? According to the locals, we will have snow by Halloween, so my Autumn season will be fast and furious. I've already researched all the local pumpkin patches and fall festivals, and can't wait for the cuteness overload of D in a pumpkin patch.

Break out your pumpkin flavored everything, girls, because it's officially Fall!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week in photos

Wow, it has been a hot minute since I posted! We've just been slowly adjusting to life here in Montana! Job applications, apartment hunting and exploring has been taking up most of our time. I've decided to go back to work, so researching childcare has been high on my list of priorities this week. If anyone has any tips on transitioning from stay at home mommy to working mommy,  I'd love to hear! I'm very nervous about this transition!

I'll leave you with our week in photos, which is far more entertaining than I can be on this Monday morning!

Monday, September 9, 2013

feeling contemplative

I'm sitting alone on my parent's back porch, with their cat in my lap. It's about 65 degrees, the sun just going down, looking out over the clouds hovering low on the mountains. I can see the city lights stretched out before me, but all around is just horses and hay bales.

I'm sort of pinching myself that we actually did this. We actually picked up and moved 2,000 miles away from everything we know, across the freaking COUNTRY. It's really rather terrifying, if you must know. Oh, it still feels like the right decision. I still feel like this is what we were supposed to do... but have you ever heard that old saying about how God only helps those who help themselves? Well, right about now, I feel like we need A LOT of help! I don't feel nearly as capable of handling this as I did a few days ago. I know that it mostly has to do with the fact that we had a long day today- we unloaded our moving truck of belongings into a teeny tiny storage unit, only taking with us what we'd absolutely need for the next few weeks, and moved into my parent's room above the garage (yeesh, talk about a step backwards!).

I feel unsettled, precarious, adrift in the wild Montana wind. However, with that panicked sense of fear, there comes a sense of clarity, as well. It's amazing how much we identify with our stuff. Take away the materialistic items, the feeling of a "home base", most people start to feel a little uncertain. I mean really, does eating off of my dishes instead of my mother's really have any effect on my day whatsoever? Does being surrounded by my things really bring me that much security, that I'm so off balanced when it's stripped away?

It's a question I never really thought to ask. We've been striving over the past few months to simplify our lives, to get rid of all the stuff. How funny is it then, when we've ultimately achieved our goal, that all I want is to see my pictures on the wall? The curtains that I picked out? To be surrounded by, not just the people who make up my home, but the things that do so as well? It's one of the many things I've been struggling with today, the feeling of packing up my life and starting a new one.

It's humbling to realize the lessons that are being learned by doing something so big, and so scary. Starting over is never easy for anyone, but really, should the best things in life be easy?

Somehow, I get the feeling that the big guy upstairs is answering that question for me, and the answer is a big, resounding, no.

Promptly followed by, "Get it together, small fry."

Sunday, September 8, 2013

review : tear stained beaches

Recently, I was contacted by Courtney Giardina, the author of the new book Tear Stained Beaches. This is Courtney's first novel, and she asked me if I was interested in reviewing it! I said yes, of course, because I never turn down the opportunity to read!

Before I get started, there is one thing you should know about me. I am a girl who likes a happy ending. It drives my husband crazy, because when we watch a movie, I always hate it unless it ends the way I want it to. Personally, I think there is enough bad stuff in real life, in my fictional life I like things to turn out peachy, darn it! 

Which may have a lot to do with my response to this book. The main character, Haylie, suspects that her husband is cheating on her. She tries to ignore it at first, but her intuition keeps telling her something is wrong. She finally goes digging, and finds things she wishes she never saw. In an attempt to clear her head, she leaves home and heads for a small North Carolina beach town for some rest and relaxation. She never imagines that this sleepy little town will bring her face to face with her, and her husband's, demons. And, in an effort not to include spoilers, I will just let you know that I was not a fan of the ending.

While this book does bring up some extremely important points about marriage, fidelity, and self-reliance, I had a hard time getting invested in the story. I almost felt uncomfortable, like an acquaintance I didn't know quite well enough was unloading her marital woes on me. I did however find myself reading faster and faster, because I desperately wanted to know what the twist was going to be. I was definitely on the edge of my seat trying to figure it out! 

If you are interested in a quick, short read, and definitely not looking for a love story, then I would recommend you check out the debut novel from Courtney Giardina, Tear Stained Beaches! You can find it for purchase here!

The book Tear Stained Beaches was provided to me by the author in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own!

Friday, September 6, 2013

High Five for Friday!

Happy Friday!

1. My first, and most obvious high five this week is that we made it to Montana! It was a stressful journey, and I'm glad it's almost over! The guys should be arriving late tonight!

2. I'm loving the fall-ish weather! We left 95 degrees and 80 % humidity for 70 degrees and 10% humidity....and it's niiiice!

3. Dylan is having difficulty adjusting his sleep schedule, which means I'm up in time for these beautiful sunrises each morning.

4. Watching a storm roll in... he got so excited each time there was a gust of wind!

5. This gem. No explanation required,  my kid's got sass.

How was your week?

Linking up with Lauren.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

We (finally) made it!

It seems like it was a long time coming, but D and I are finally in Montana! My husband, dad and brother are about halfway through their looong 5 day drive, but when they get here, it will be REAL! I can't wait for Mike to see it, I'm so excited to see if he likes it!

It's been an exhausting few days. We got back from vacation Sunday evening, and was able to relax for a few hours. Monday morning we were up, bright and early, to go pick up the moving truck. A full day of loading and packing, then Tuesday morning was cleaning time. They dropped us off at the airport at noon, and we arrived at about 11pm. Like I said, exhausting. But not nearly as bad for me as it is for the guys!!

Currently, I'm sitting on the back porch with D, sipping my chai latte while he tries to coax the cat to come just a liiittle closer. It's about 60 degrees, quiet except for the occassional horse whinny, rooster crow, or baby raspberry, and I'm feeling nothing but peace. That this was the right decision, everything is going to work out, and this truly is the best thing for our family.

If that isn't a good way to start the morning, I don't know what is.