Saturday, May 2, 2015

Body Beautiful

Recently, I was having a discussion with a girlfriend of mine that revolved, almost solely, around our bodies. During our chat, which was about an hour, we did not say one positive thing about ourselves. This was a chat I've had with all the women in my life, almost everytime I see them. At some point, our bodies come up, and the conversation is never positive. What I found different this time around was that Little Miss was in some way absorbing this whole conversation as she kept herself busy in the background. After the conversation ended, I found that I was really concerned about what was said. We live in an age where women treat their bodies in a very negative fashion. Women discuss and critque their bodies in a very degrading way. Not only do we tend to criticize ourselves, but we even try to convince those who say otherwise that we are right. Then there's the criticism of other women. I'm guilty of making snap judgements, in my head or out loud, about other women. It's shameful, and detrimental to myself and those women.

Currently, there has been a lot of internet buzz loving on the woman body, "flaws" and all. I wanted to jump on this positive bandwagon to spread the love.

Here's the love your lines Instagram account full of beautiful women, and their beautiful bodies:

Here's a great link on loving your body after children:
postpartum bodies

Here's a post, from a blogger, about this very same topic:

This conversation, and buzz, has led me to decide that I don't want to have a little girl who looks at her body, or any body, and only see what she doesn't like, or feel envious about what other's have. I want a girl who is confident and strong, and one who knows she is beautiful. I don't want her checking herself in a mirror on the way out the door and think, "Ugh, I would look so much better if ____ were changed." I want her to look in that mirror and say, "Looking good!" I want her to believe that looking good. 

As a way to hold myself accountable I am doing two things, the first being this blog post, and the second, involving Joe in this goal. I expressed to him my feelings on this issue and he said he'd be happy to keep me in check. All he has to do is redirect my thoughts when I begin to speak negatively about myself. For example, if I make a comment about my bad hair day, I asked him to remind me to find one thing I enjoy about my look for that day. Simple, but I think effective. Frequently, the bad hair day comment can lead to a downward spiral of negative comments. By stopping them in their tracks, I can begin to view myself, and my body, as a thing of beauty. Eventually leading myself to thinking and viewing myself in a more positive light. I do not expect to change myself overnight, and I expect there to be setbacks, I am only human after all. The biggest thing I hope to gain from this is to have Hazel hear, and see, that loving yourself is important. I also want Hazel to know there is more to being a woman than just looks. 

I want to teach this little girl that she is beautiful in every way. That everything about her, and her body, is the way it is, and that's just fine. My hope is that maybe one day when she is a bit older chatting with her friends they'll hear that she's accepting of her body, and maybe, just maybe, they'll begin to love their's too.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

525,600 minutes

525,600 minutes*, 8,766 hours, 365 days, 12 months, 1 year. No matter how you slice it, Little Miss has been a part of our lives (on the outside) for one whole year!

It's funny how a year can feel under different circumstances. A year felt never ending while I was pregnant, and yet vanished in the blink of an eye as soon as Hazel was born. But, these realizations are known by all parents out there, so instead of rambling on about "Where does the time go?" I thought I'd ramble on about what we've learned about being parents.

To keep the list contained, I thought I'd write a "12 things we've learned in 12 months" kind of deal. 

12. Poop isn't that gross when it's your kid's. Since we cloth diaper, we deal with poop in a very direct way. Direct as in rinsing dirty diapers in your bathtub.

11. The topic of poop itself becomes less funny when you start speaking about it daily. I noticed I got over my apprehension of using the word poop when one of my first graders complained of a tummy ache and I asked, "Do you think you need to poop?" 

10. All sense of modesty goes out the window after you push a kid out (or maybe that's just me). After having several strangers with their faces precariously close to your lady parts as you're pushing out a human being (and possibly some poop) sure makes one feel like, "Well what do I have left to hide?" 

9. Say goodbye to sleep (once your baby learns to move). We were more rested when Hazel was a newborn than we are now. Once those peepers pop, it's game on! There's no quietly watching from the sidelines anymore. I'm pretty sure Joe and I are constantly running around the house these days making sure Little Miss doesn't get electrocuted, or choke on something. Super thankful for that small square footage. 

8. You realize just how unclean your house is. I don't mean like you won't have time to clean, I mean no matter how many times you vacuum, dust, pick-up, or put away, tiny baby hands will find something left behind and put it directly into their mouth. 

7. Babies and dogs are gross creatures. Like dogs, a baby will not hesitate to put disgusting things in their mouths, open mouth kiss you with a drooling slobbery face, or just enjoy rolling around in filth. I repeat, babies and dogs are gross. 

6. You'll second guess every decision you make, even when your gut is telling you you're doing it right. 

5. The first three months with a baby will be spent worrying if they are still breathing (even when they're awake laughing and smiling at you). It's like this crazy person takes over your brain and you can't help but indulge their irrational behavior. 

4. When all else fails, go outside! Screaming baby? Go outside. Restless baby? Go outside. No matter the weather, if you've changed, fed, and burped your baby and they are still not content, take that kid outside. 

3. No more free time. Wanna read for an hour? Too bad, your free time is gone. Think you can get your stuff done while baby is napping? Sure! Right after you put that load of laundry in, take a quick shower, and pee. By the time that's all done the kid is awake and it's go time again. 

2. Staring, watching, staring, and more watching. This is what your life turns into, and it's amazingly beautiful. 

1. Everything you said or thought you would do before baby comes is most likely going to change, so go with. I was sure once we brought Hazel home from the hospital she'd go straight to her crib. She's taken three naps in it her entire first year....

Here are a few of Hazel's favorite things these days:

Tilly! Still this cat resides as her number one favorite thing.

Sharing every piece of food she has with the dogs. 

Telling us no.....


Playing phone

Waving to everything and everyone

And pulling out every plug from every socket. 

We would also like to go on record with "banana" being Hazel's first word. She has pointed to and said "nana" on a couple of occasions now, so we're putting it in the books! 

Since Little Miss has turned one (become old news) the baby updates will probably end, and life at Small House Love can go back to DIY.......maybe 


*There are really 525,948.766 minutes in a year, but that's not as catchy. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Getting Crafty

When my sister in law, Alison, asked if I wanted to make wreaths with her my first thought was, "I didn't know people did that" and my second thought was,"I'm not crafty." You see my sister in law is one crafty chick. She designed and made all the decorations for her wedding. She even has Girl's Nights with her friends spent wrapping mason jars in burlap. I didn't even know what burlap was until we were shopping.

We met up on a chilly afternoon and headed off to Michael's to gather our supplies. After feeling totally lost in the flower section, and asking way too many questions, we finally checked out and headed back to Alison's place to make our wreaths. Coincidentally, when Alison asked if I was interested in making wreaths, I had recently pinned a cute Mickey Mouse wreath (See here for inspiration). I decided that I wanted my wreath to last a little more than one season so I went with a more neutral theme. Putting the wreath together was actually pretty simple. 

To start, I attached the smaller grapevine with fishing line to make the ears.

Ears on
 After I attached the ears, I got to work adding the flowers. For this part I used more fishing line. I didn't have the patience waiting for hot glue to dry, and the way I was curving the flowers around the bottom of the wreath just wasn't working with the hot glue. 


After the flowers were on, I enlisted Alison's help with creating the bow. As stated above I am not crafty, and I can barely tie my own shoes much less a fancy pants bow.

The bow was applied using copious amounts of hot glue and then I decided to wrap the ends of the flowers in some lace to pretty them up a bit. That's pretty much it! 

Final Product 

I can honestly say I had a pretty fantastic time and am very pleased with the end result :-).


Here's a pic of Alison's pretty spring wreath. She's clearly a pro at this :)

Alison's creation :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Decem Mensium

Little Miss recently hit the 10 month mark! She's growing like a weed! She's officially in the beginning stages of walking, and is getting stronger every day. We've even made it through her first sickness.

Her little personality is shining through more and more these days. She is one chatty little baby. We are still woken every morning to the sweet whisperings of Baby Hazel. She's got a lot to say when those peepers pop open. We are still bed sharing, and I'm sure there are many of you scoffing at this. I'll listen to your feelings about this if she's still in our bed when she's 18. Until then, you'll have to keep your opinions to yourself :-). In all seriousness, it really is one of my favorite things. Waking up to Hazel's smiling face and her little whispers sure takes the edge off being woken in the wee morning hours. And I don't have to drag myself out of my snuggly bed to get the kid. Win-win in my book :-).

Here are few of Hazel's favorite things (In no particular order):

Our cat, Tilly. (Tilly might actually be her most favorite thing). Anytime Hazel sees Tilly she squeals and begins calling to Tilly. I'm pretty convinced she's working hard to say her name. There's a lot of, "tttt" when Tilly's around. 

Being chased up the stairs, around the house, or just about anywhere. 

Eating. Whether it's from the boob or stove, this kid is an eater!

Sweetums. (For this reason only, Sweetums gets to stay....). 

Dancing! Anytime there is any kind of sound that might resemble some kind of tune, this chick's booty gets to shaking. 

Daddy. Hazel is a bonafide daddy's girl. She lights up every time Joe walks into a room. I mean he could go upstairs to take a quick pee, be gone for maybe 2 mins, and when he comes back downstairs Hazel acts like she hasn't seen him in weeks. It is literally the cutest, sweetest, bring-a-tear-to-your-eye thing you've ever seen. For this reason, Joe gets to stay. ( I kid, I kid). 

It's hard to wrap my head around that in just two short months, Joe and I will have a one year old. Like for a whole year we've provided and kept alive a whole person, and she's still in one piece! That's crazy, and sure leaves the future looking bright. 

Just the other day we were discussing (read I was nagging Joe so I'd have something to put in the blog) how we think we've done this first year. We both came to the conclusion it hasn't been nearly as hard as we thought, and we've lost a lot of that alone time we used to have. Yet, neither one of us felt that was truly a bad thing. 

Well that's all for now. Hopefully once summer comes I'll have a post about refinishing kitchen cabinets!

Until then, cheers!