Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Egg on My Face

I have horrible blackheads on my nose and I have tried everything for the better part of 25 years to get rid of them and nothing has worked... I used lotions and potions, that strange metal tool with the holes, spinning brushes—you name it, it didn't work for me.

So the other day I went to Pinterest in search of a natural remedy. I was surprised to find that many said to use egg whites... I was curious, and I happen to have a hankering for an omelette so why not. 

Here is my before picture—my nose pre-egging:

Now all of the pieces I read said to brush on three layers. So I used a basting brush because I couldn't think of another way to "brush" it on... And yes, I felt completely ridiculous...

I did the first layer and was more than a little shocked to feel it start to tighten, then I did a second and a third layer—keeping them very thin or the egg white would start to run off the tip of my nose (a little gross, but true!) It tightened right up, similar to how a Bioré strip feels. Now, some sites said you could peel it off, but I could not get a grip on it. It was kind of flakey at the edges, so I just washed it off and you know what it worked!

Here is the post-egg pic:

OK, so I still have blackheads... I am not saying this was a miracle treatment, but man it really did work. And it only took about 10 minutes total.

So hey next time you are enjoying some eggs, save a tiny bit of the whites and treat yourself to a beauty moment.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Smile Baby Smile

Oh picture day. That beautiful time of year when your child’s image is captured for yearbooks, mouse pads and mugs.

Unless these are their pictures….

Liam. Sure his hair could have been combed or at least pushed down. {Remember when we all got little black combs to perfect our look pre-photoshoot? While there was surely the risk of a lice outbreak afterwards, our hair was flawless. Anyway, back to Liam.} Like I was saying the coif is not cute, but hey we think this might be a keeper. I mean why tempt fate to get one that’s worse than this grimace-y beauty?
But seriously, how did he get so grown up all of a sudden….

Connor. Well this is just, it’s just…. wow. I think they tried to make him pose but he was not getting it—at all. And the “duh” face is so not his jam. This kid smiles all. the. time. It makes me wonder if they even said, “say cheese?” Because this little boy is an expert.

But it’s really the class picture that seals the crazy. The hand on the hip, the tongue out, it’s too much—pretty sure there are a lot of parents laughing around town right about now and we are happy our guy gave them a chuckle or two.
Verdict: retake at the end of October, so stay tuned…

And there you have it—a snapshot into the elementary school life of the Mumford boys.
Please note: The fact that they are wearing pretty much the same shirt was not planned...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Summer Recap

Wow, it’s pretty much October and I am still reeling from the summer… I feel bone tired, wrung out emotionally and physically drained from trying to make this the best summer ever for the boys.

After all, this marked the first time that I have ever been able to really spend time with them—like since they were born—and it was a mix of excitement and terror with a side of complete overwhelmed-ness.

Back in NYC, each summer we traded daycare and school for full-day camp. So over the last couple of months, it’s been a crash course in what makes these two kids tick. And man, they gave me quite the education…

I have learned that lack of a schedule is not freeing, it’s down-right frustrating while over-scheduling leads to crankiness and meltdowns. And if you go to the Minions movie, your three-year-old may stop speaking with words and only communicate via Minion-ese, leaving the six-year-old to translate—it’s been about several weeks now, I am anxiously awaiting the return of language to this house.

They are also hyper-drive experts, moving insanely fast when they are in destroy mode, instantly demolishing a clean house, anything edible—and oh yeah, my sanity. But they slow down considerably if there are toys that need to be picked up or peas to be eaten. So there's that...

Their excitement can be ignited by one look at each other, and the results is either magic or mayhem, there is no in-between… But their laughter is seriously the best soundtrack I have ever heard, the fierce way they protect each other is inspiring and the simple ways they show kindness and love when they think no one is watching left me feeling grateful—so grateful that I was there to see it, to see all of it, the good, the bad, the stressful and the beautiful.

So was it the best summer ever? Well, it was the toughest few months in full-time mother mode, but even with their worst behavior, there were moments that were simply breathtaking and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Summer of Independence

I haven't been around lately because not only are we sweating our way through all the hottness, we are working toward independence here in the Mumford house. I have lit a match and started a revolution and I carry my banner of hope through every room, proclaiming parental freedom.

We started with Connor. The week between the end of school and July 4th we went into lock down with pants down—that’s right we potty trained. The first two days were a blurry mix of anxiety, crying—his and mine, OK mostly mine—pee, frustration, poop and lots of laundry. But by his 3rd birthday on July 6th, he had nailed it. Sure there have been a few accidents, but I no longer worry about him, he knows when to go and goes…
Independence from Diapers: Check

Next up Liam. We are tackling the “helplessness.” The never-ending asking us to do things for him, from getting his shoes to cleaning the playroom is over, starting now. We are working very hard on this, starting small and gradually building confidence and self-assured-ness to be more pro-active and not so reactive. One thing we have done is give him chores, which he is starting to earn a weekly allowance—to buy Legos of course….
Independence from Asking: Work in Progress

Last up: me. My goal for the summer is independence from self-shaming. I need to make healthy decisions, but why is it so hard? It so delicious to eat ice cream and sleep in, but I need to build my stamina to keep up with the boys. And fitting into my clothes is good for my self esteem and wallet, so fruit and working out in the morning BKW (before kids wake) are on the agenda with the occasional treat, because I mean, come on, a little chocolate has to happen.
Independence from Bad Choices: Work in Progress

PS: For Connor’s last challenge of the summer, we will be phasing out the BOBO! So be on the lookout for a crazed post about pacifiers in the near future.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Special Discovery

So, I just sent off an email to Boston Children’s Neuro so they can review Liam’s Individual Education Plan—or IEP as it's called if you're in the know, which I guess we are now…

I have been quiet on the blog-front for several weeks now trying to decide if I should talk about this very private matter. Then I realized the whole reason I started blogging was to share experiences with other parents so we all don’t have to feel like we are going it alone… So here we go.

A month ago my husband and I went to a meeting at Liam’s school. It wasn’t just a meeting, it was result of weeks of testing to see why he hasn’t been meeting the same academic goals of his peers. We were there for two hours, in a room where a panel (I like to call them Team Liam) of PT, OT, psychological and special education specialists revealed their findings.

I was so anxious walking in, I think my teeth were chattering and I had to remember to swallow—although then I forgot to breathe, which only made the swallowing even harder! But once they started talking, the anxiety rolled off my body and super tense muscles gave way to a full-body feeling of relief.

A while back I talked about the importance of trusting yourself, your gut, when it comes to the health and happiness of your child. And it was in that room that I finally let the gnawing feeling, the whispers in my self conscious be recognized. Because the truth is none of what they had to say about him or his development was in the least bit surprising, I already knew it instinctively. But unlike in the past, I was not as open, I was less willing to see it, and so I didn’t.

It was also in that room, in that meeting, that every decision we had made since leaving NYC felt right. The town, the community, the school. This was the perfect choice for my two boys and for us as a family. And was gratifying to know that all of the second-guessing, the late night talking, the what if-ing, it all lead up to the right fit for us.

And suddenly I was grateful, so insanely grateful to be there, to be sitting with these incredibly smart, talented people who all want nothing more than to see my son succeed—I mean how amazing is that? I was worried they would only see him as a number, as a “result” of their testing, but they all had such wonderful insights into his personality—how charming, funny, creative, loving he is.

So Liam is now a Special Education student. It feels strange to say it out loud like that.

And after a bit of a rough year—leaving NYC, living with my parents, living in a new, very different town, meeting new people and moving to a new house—and some small academic set backs, we are all going forward with a plan customized just for him. It starts with Summer School and then goes into Speech Therapy and extra help sessions in the fall to work on a developmental delay and some attention issues.

And that’s it, he’s still the same Liam—the crazy kid who announced last night that he wants to name his future kids Johnny, Michael and Ultron (Ultron Mumford, poor guy….) But now we have a better understanding of how his mind works and how his body responds to that—and that understanding is the ultimate gift.

OK, that it. It’s all out there, I am pulling myself out of my rut and hoping nothing will stop me from writing again. And please share your stories if you have them I would love to hear from any parent out there.