Perspective from the Other Side

I began writing this so that I could organize my thoughts. I’m hoping now that it will help shed some light on how the other side feels, so we can start to understand one another.

I’m trying to show compassion for those who are upset, because if the election would have turned out differently, I would have felt just as despondent as you feel now.

Like love, tolerance is blind. I pray that you can show tolerance for people who believe differently from yourself. The same tolerance that you have asked for people to show you. Try to see the positive here. This is your chance now to practice what you’ve been preaching. Lead by example. Show compassion.

I believe God gives us these challenges for a reason. When you pray to God to give you patience, and then you find your self in a situation that requires patience. That is his answer to your prayer. We are all a work in progress.

I think what needs to happen first, is we need to stop calling each other stupid and blanketly labeling an entire group of voters as racist, homophobic, bigots. Even if that were the case, calling someone names only makes them dig their heels in deeper. It does not inspire change and acceptance.

I voted Republican, and I am not a racist, I am not a homophobic, and I am not a bigot. This divide that we are encountering now would have been here no matter which candidate won. This was the fate of our country no matter the outcome of the election. What truly matters now, is how we choose to move forward and how we choose to treat one another.

I can only control my own actions. I know that I will raise my daughter to be kind, to be accepting of others, and to be compassionate.

For the sake of my daughter and generations to come, I pray that we can all find empathy for one another.

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Rodan + Fields – How to Become a Skin Care Consultant

In the rare moments that I find myself with downtime, I often spend that time idly perusing Facebook or Instagram (whilst also exerting the least amount of energy possible). If you are like me in this way, then I am sure you have seen an array of posts from friends selling things.

I was recently offered the opportunity to join one of these teams, but I am not currently in the market to add anything else to my already full plate. However, I thought I could at least be helpful to another mama who is working hard to support her family, and provide her with a platform here.

Her name is Ashley Richelderfer, and she is a consultant for R+F, a skin care company.

She, like me, considers herself to be an introvert. So anyone who thinks that this line of work is only for the most extraverted of characters, Ashley proves this not to be the case.

Below is her experience thus far as a consultant, and why you should become one too!

Why become an R+F Consultant?

I ordered some products from a neighbor in December, and after a couple weeks of use, I noticed such a difference in the texture of my skin that I was hooked.

In passing, my neighbor mentioned the business side of R+F, and the benefits of joining the team. I spent a week or two mulling it over. I saw the opportunity to not only share the products I loved, but to be able to contribute financially to my family as a stay at home mom. I’m not an outgoing person, and I wasn’t sure I would “fit” being in direct marketing. But my reasons for wanting to try it out eventually won over, and I joined up. Luckily for me, the “selling” wasn’t anything like that I expected.

My perception of what R+F would be was based on other direct marketing companies and friends I knew who worked with them. But I quickly found R+F does things differently than a lot of these companies.

We are not a “party company”

Meaning you aren’t required to spend your precious evenings and weekends at other people’s homes instead of with your own family. That is of course, unless you WANT to do parties. That’s totally your prerogative, but it’s not required at all.

No Inventory

Since our customers order off of our personal websites, consultants aren’t required to carry any inventory. We don’t have to place bulk orders for customers either, since everything ships directly to them.

Guarantee

Our products come with a 60-day, empty bottle, guarantee. That is how much the company stands behinds the products it sells. If a customer isn’t satisfied with a product for any reason, they can return within that time frame for a full refund. This INCLUDES the consultant kits. If you decide the business isn’t for you, you are eligible for the same refund.

Teamwork

The minute you join up, you will be part of a team of other consultants who support and help each other. You won’t have to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, because there is a plethora of information at your fingertips. From other consultants, from our team pages, and from R+F corporate. We also have a nurse line we can utilize for assisting our customers, so you don’t need to be a skincare expert to join R+F.

Pay

There is no minimum amount that a consultant has to sell to get a paycheck. You CAN increase your paycheck by meeting certain goals, but you are never required to hit any sort of minimum.

What type of person are you looking for?

As far as the type of person I’m looking for, there isn’t really one type of person who is a good fit. I know stay at home moms, full time working women, and women (and men!) everywhere in between who are fitting R+F into the nooks and crannies of their day. If someone is serious about the business and willing to learn, anyone with as little as 5 hours a week can build a business and be successful. And that time can be 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there – at your kid’s soccer practice, over your lunch break or over a cup of coffee in the morning – whatever fits into your life. Since the majority of what we do is online, it’s totally flexible and you can take it anywhere.

With that said, it’s also possible to make it a full time career. I know several ladies personally who have been able to retire from their careers in their 30s and 40s. And plenty more who are well on their way to being able to do so.

Final Thoughts

The biggest surprise I have had with this business is the friendships I have made, and the people I have reconnected with. I get to work with a group of ladies who want to help others and reach their own goals, whatever those may be. Anything from starting a vacation fund, to paying down debt, to being able work less and spend more time with family.

Contact Information

My email is arichelderfer29@yahoo.com for anyone who is interested in hearing more about the company, and my website is: https://arichelderfer.myrandf.com

Thanks for the opportunity to share my business!

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Creative Outlets = Happy Mommy

Before becoming a Mom, I always enjoyed dabbling in the arts. Whether it be singing or photography, my soul has always needed a creative outlet.

Even now after becoming a Mom, I still think it is super important to find these creative outlets. And they can be different for everyone. It can be baking, drawing, or even just taking 30 minutes to walk around Home Goods. Peruse and daydream. This escape into the imagination is necessary. At least for me it is.

Flowers

After my daughter was born, I started buying flowers from Wegmans once a week. It was my “Weekly Arrangement Challenge”. It gave me an opportunity to be creative when choosing the flowers I wanted to use, and then also taking pictures of them afterwards. At the most, these arrangements would take me about 30 minutes. Perfect for nap time.

Flowers Happy Mommy
Purple Lisianthus, Green Dianthus & Peach Hypericum Berries.
Flowers happy mommy
White Hydrangea, Pink Variegated Parrott Tulips, Pink Ranunculus, & Seeded Eucalyptus.
Flowers happy mommy
Iris, Forsythia & Rudbeckia
Flowers happy mommy
Pale Pink Stock, Pink Tulips & Seeded Eucalyptus
Flowers happy mommy
Pink Gerber Daisy, Lime Green Carnations & Queen Anne’s Lace

It’s also nice to have flowers around the house too!

Photography

I’ve always loved taking pictures. I can remember as far back as middle school, we would be on a family vacation and each kid would have their own disposable camera. For me, it’s the tiny details captured in a photo that bring me joy.

Photography - Happy Mommy

Photography happy mommy

Photography happy mommy

Right now, I’m enjoying an “October Photo Challenge” I found on: http://www.astoldbyamy.com/blog/2016/9/28/october-photo-challenge

Each day there is a different word or phrase that you can interpret in any way. I find that they help inspire and challenge me a bit. Try the photo challenge for yourself!

Baking

Creating things in the kitchen is fun, but eating them afterwards is even more fun. And no matter what time of the year it is, if I’m baking cookies, it feels like Christmas.

Baking happy mommy
Making Lactation Granola Bars

Recipe for Lactation Granola Bars can be found here: http://www.amomandablog.com/lactation-granola-bars/

Cookies happy mommy
Chocolate Chip Cookies – My husband’s favorite 🙂
Cake happy mommy
Southern Praline Cake
Décor

One of my favorite places to decorate at home is the mantle above our fireplace. It’s the focal point of our living room, and one of the first things you see when you walk through our front door.

I also spent a lot of time in this room when I was home on maternity leave. I think I may have made a dent in the sofa during those three wonderful months. Which means I spent a lot of time staring at this mantle.

When the baby would go down for a nap that was always my opportunity to have some creative fun. My maternity leave also happened to start during Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was an amazing time to spend at home with our little bundle of joy.

Decor happy mommy
Spring means Forsythia

Decor happy mommy

image
Variegated Pink Parrott Tulips for Quinn’s Baptism
Decor happy mommy
Green Dianthus for Easter
Decor happy mommy
Bells of Ireland for St. Patty’s Day
image
Fall Theme

image

For most holidays I can use a lot of the same pieces and just switch things up with different flowers and vases. Halloween and Christmas I have a little more fun, but for the most part I try to keep things simple and pretty. AKA Pretty Simple 😉

Time is the most valuable thing that I covet. Having time with my family is number one, but I also need time for myself. This is how I preserve myself.

 

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Sleep Tall – A Lesson in Accepting My Own Insecurities

Stand up straight.

I glance at my reflection as I breeze past a glass wall at my office. Stand up straight, I tell myself, as I lift my chin, instinctively pull my shoulders back and right myself. The sudden change in my posture must be bewildering to anyone who happens to catch sight of me.

I’m taller than average, just about 5’10”. Growing up, I always slouched and slumped to not stick out in a crowd of friends or classmates. I didn’t like being taller than everyone else, and did everything I could to just fit in. In pictures, I would always be stooped over or have my knees bent to appear to be the same height as everyone else. In class pictures I inevitably always ended up in the back row. It was a battle that I never had a chance of winning (DNA is DNA).

We were recently at a viewing for a family friend. Afterwards my dad said, “You looked like a question mark in there”, which I’m sure I did. My posture tends to get even worse in situations where I’m uncomfortable. Or in this case, if I’m trying to portray my empathy to someone going through a difficult time. This is one way that I communicate, which I think can be endearing at times. Other times I think it can be attributed to a lack of confidence.

I don’t want this not always appealing habit of mine to rub off on my daughter because she is going to be tall. Or at least, the odds are in favor of my daughter being tall (my husband is 6’5”).

Tall Baby

My Daughter is going to be Tall.

At 9 months old, Quinn is in the 95th percentile for height. It seems pretty unavoidable that she will be faced with some of the same challenges that I dealt with growing up. Which means, I will undoubtedly relive most of my own awkward gangly moments through her. I mean, the height struggle is already evident when her little pants look like little capris.

At the onset of writing this, I thought my initial intention was to put more pressure on myself to exude confidence at every turn and in every moment of every day. But as I reread and rewrite, I find that my main concern is not that my daughter will most likely be tall and possibly have height issues. It’s that I do not want her to have my height issues. I do not want to pass on my own insecurities.

Everyone has insecurities. I don’t pretend for a second to think that my daughter won’t have insecurities of her own. But if there is anything that I can do to avoid letting my own insecurities influence hers… Heck, I would do whatever it took, until it broke me into a million pieces. I think this is what often happens with mothers and perfectionists.

I know I’m not the only one. I’ve read so many blogs about moms who strive to be perfect and about how they drove themselves crazy in the beginning to do everything flawlessly. Then suddenly realized one day, how sheer and utter madness the idea of perfection is. However, walking the line between trying to be perfect and trying to just do the best you can without driving yourself insane… It’s like walking on the edge of a cliff. It’s quite tricky. I guess that is why it takes so long to get a good handle on this parenting thing.

The whole transition to motherhood, for me, wasn’t always easy.

My anxiety during the early weeks really knocked me off of my game. It has taken a while to get to a better place, but in some ways I think I am still recovering from those early overwhelming days. It’s almost like learning to walk all over again. Or in my case learning to stand up straight again. I know that as soon as I think I’ve got this parenting thing figured out, a new phase will begin, and I’ll have to start back at square one.

Tall Baby

My husband and I have a cute saying that started somewhere in our early days of dating. Late nights, texting back and forth would always be ended with “Sleep Sweet” from me, and “Sleep Tall” from my husband. I know that we have many hurdles ahead of us, and expectations are the culprit of disappointment. So instead of spending my days endlessly fretting and stressing myself out about how my posture will somehow someday scar my baby girl. I will pause and take a breath. I will try not to hold myself to an impossible standard. But at the same time I will also do my best to project confidence when I can because I do see her gaze watching me from across the room. For now though, I’ll just say:

Sleep Tight, Sleep Sweet, Sleep Tall, my Love.

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Stop and Slow Down – Parenthood Confessions

Last month I was pulled over for rolling through a stop sign.

I was definitely in the wrong. I rolled through and barely looked at the other car also approaching the intersection (or the cop car sitting there, waiting for someone like me).

At the time of the incident, I was on the phone (blue tooth) with my husband. I was telling him about how I almost knocked over a pregnant woman and her little girl, as I bustled out the front door of the daycare facility. That was the first moment where I should have said to myself “Stop. Slowdown.” Instead, I continued rushing on with my morning.

After leaving daycare, I stopped for gas because my car was running on fumes. Then I had to stop at the grocery store for a few last minute birthday gifts for my husband. The effect of the extra errands that morning, caused me to drive a different route than I normally would…

I pulled over before the officer even turned on his lights.

I knew what I had done was wrong, and I felt terrible. As he ran my information, I sat in my car and waited. I begged with myself not to cry, not to get upset, as tears formed in my eyes. I refused to make any silly excuse to the cop about why I did what I did because I had no legitimate reason for my failure to stop.

As he approached my window with the verdict, I could feel my stomach knotting up. I was about to get a ticket. I wondered, how much would this cost? If it would increase our insurance rate? How many points would I be getting on my license?

The officer began his spiel, and as he spoke I started to get the feeling that he was going to let me off the hook. I waited patiently and kept my mouth shut. He kindly gave me a warning, and left me with a word of advice, to always stop at stop signs, especially when a cop is sitting there.

I couldn’t believe it. Perhaps it was because I have a good driving record. Or maybe he saw the two stuffed animals sitting in my passenger seat and took pity on me as a mom. For whatever reason that day, he did not issue me a ticket.

Parenthood Confessions

I sat in my car for a while after the officer pulled away, and I cried. I cried so much that you would have thought that I HAD received a ticket (and had also been sentenced to 10 years in prison). The feeling I had was a mixture of relief and disappointment. The pressure of a looming ticket was gone, but in it’s place was a feeling of pure embarrassment. The kind of feeling that makes you want to crawl into a hole and disappear for awhile.

I completely deserved that ticket, no questions asked. As much as I was mad with myself for doing something that I knew was wrong, there was also a part of me that was just upset that I had been caught. Upset for not upholding this perception of perfection.

This was a wakeup call, and one that I desperately needed. I am not perfect, and that is okay. Sometimes, I just need to be reminded of that. I also need to stop and slow down, and enjoy these moments of parenthood because I know they go by so quickly.

Parenthood Confessions
Take time to stop and slowdown – Parenthood goes by too fast
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Lactation Granola Bars Recipe

I tried a new recipe last week for lactation granola bars that my friend Aislinn sent to me. This recipe was great because it didn’t require a ton of time or ingredients, which is very important nowadays.

List of necessary/optional ingredients:

  • 2 Ripe/Ripe-ish Bananas
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of Ground Flax Seed
  • 1/4 Cup All Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 Cups Rolled Oats
  • 2 Cups Steel Cut Oats
  • Handful of Craisins (optional)
  • Handful or 2 (definitely 2) of Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Dark Chocolate Chips (optional)
Lactation Granola Bar Ingredients
All 7 ingredients for the Lactation Granola Bars.

First, turn your oven on and preheat to 400 degrees (I always forget to do this step in the beginning). Then proceed to mash up the two bananas.

Mashed Bananas - Lactation Granola Bars
It looks like baby food, so it must help you produce baby food, right??

Next, add the ground flax seed and peanut butter.

Flaxseed, Banana, & Peanutbutter - Lactation Granola Bars

After that, add both oat amounts to the bowl. Aislinn said the combination of rolled and steel cut oats really adds for a nice texture to the granola bars, which after tasting them, I agree. If you prefer softer granola bars, I was advised to use a little bit less of the oats, or if you prefer crunchier bars, you should add a little more of the oats. This is one of those recipes where you can experiment a bit. I prefer things softer, so I added a little bit less than 2 cups of each oat.

Lactation Granola Bar Recipe
You can never have too many oats.

This last step is open for interpretation. Aislinn said that she normally adds craisins and Ghirardelli 60% dark chocolate chips. It just so happens that I also love those two things, so that is why I listed them in the ingredients section. Feel free to add nuts, or raisins, or coconut, or anything that tickles your fancy, as long as it’s edible 😉

Final Ingredients for Lactation Granol Bars
You can never have too much chocolate.

After all of these ingredients are mixed up, pour/dump your creation into an 8.5″ x 11″ baking dish. Using your spoon, smash the mixture down into the pan so that it is flat. Then pop it in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.

Lactation Granola Bars Recipe
Getting ready to bake!

And Voila!

Lactation Granola Bars Recipe
Lactation Granola Bars

JK, I didn’t leave them on this plate, I only put them there so that I could take a pretty picture. I actually put them in Tupperware and stored them in the fridge because they last much longer that way.

Lactation Granola Bars Recipe
Ready for storage.

This whole process took me about 25 to 30 minutes, and that was because I was taking pictures at each step. I think this is a great recipe because after you’ve done it once, I can see how it would be really easy to make a batch of these super quick while the little one is taking a nap. They make for a quick easy breakfast or afternoon snack, and I like them best after popping them in the microwave for 15 seconds. I’m not sure yet if they have made a huge difference in my milk supply, but they have definitely been very yummy. I hope you enjoy them!

P.S. The more chocolate, the better!

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Pinkeye – My New Compulsive Fear

I have a constant fear of pinkeye.

Growing up I never experienced pinkeye. Strep throat was the ailment that constantly plagued us, so I do not have experience in dealing with maladies of the eyes (or the ears for that matter).

My daughter Quinn has just had her second round of pinkeye, which has only intensified my fear of it. These are some of the thoughts that go through my head daily:

  • Must wash hands 20 times in a row.
  • Did I touch my eye?
  • Don’t touch your eyes, Caitlin!
  • Clean every surface.
  • Did I touch that dish rag before I washed my hands, or after…
  • Must do laundry until there is nothing left to wash.
  • Is my eye itchy?
  • I think my eye is itching!
  • When in doubt, just throw it away.

New Compulsions

When people talk about how motherhood has changed them, this is one of the things that comes to mind for me: I now strategically apply makeup, so that certain applicators only touch either my right eye or my left eye, incase an infection breaks out. This way, hopefully only one of my eyes will be affected, and I’ll only have to throw out half of my makeup. I think this is called PTPED (Post Traumatic Pink Eye Disorder).

I also feel the need to explain to complete strangers that it is VIRAL pinkeye. Not the bacterial kind. No, I did not get poop in my eye. I know it is viral because it went away without drops. Each time Quinn has gotten pinkeye, it has started off with a cold and a lot of mucus. The doctor explained it to me like this: the mucus needs to find a way out, sometimes it will come out of the ears, sometimes the throat, but in my daughter’s case, it decides to come out of her eyes… Wonderful!

I just looked in the mirror, and my right eye looks a little pink in the corner, but that could just be from exhaustion… right?

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Milk Production Down, When Aunt Flow Comes to Town

I know that I recently wrote about how Fenugreek and oatmeal have boosted distribution at “Mommy’s Milk Factory” over here, but milk production has been down today, and I think I know why…

Aunt Flow is on her way to visit me (scratch that, she has arrived).

I noticed that this happened last month when my period had just returned after about 6 months postpartum. This led to my first milk scare, but I quickly discovered the correlation between the two (or in other words, I read a million things online that confirmed what I thought). Now it appears to be happening again.

To oppose this outcome, I’ve upped my intake of Fenugreek and Mother’s Milk tea. I might even try a magnesium/calcium supplement because I have read that can also help. For now though, it looks like Aunt Flow wins again, she always does.

At least now I have a good excuse to eat more chocolate.

Chocolate - Milk Production
Chocolate makes everything better.

P.S. Here is a recipe for lactation snack balls that a friend recommended:

  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup flax seed meal (ground flax seed)
  • 2.5 TBS brewers yeast
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup of honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional or add cocoa powder for chocolate ones)
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My Paranormal Baby Monitor

It is 2:37am, and there is a humming glow coming from the baby monitor propped up next to me. I hear baby girl moving in her sleep. She scooches herself towards the end of the crib, and sticks her thumb in her mouth. With her other hand gently strokes her own head until she settles back down into sleep. I love being able to see her in these peaceful moments.

We have one of those new high tech baby monitors with a camera and video display (Levana Astra). It allows you to control the camera to look around the room, play music, or even speak soothingly to your child, from the comfort of your living room sofa. Or if you would like to be like my husband, you can speak into the monitor as if it is God speaking from the Heavens.

Sometimes when I sneak a peek at her, she looks so dreamy and peaceful, it’s as if she is about to float away on a cloud:

Baby Monitor

So Precious

But other times, I look and see this:

Paranormal Baby Monitor

I mean, what is she doing here? Is she trying to scare the life out of me? That is one creepy sleeping position, my dear.

Far too often at night, I have found myself gazing at the monitor for way longer than necessary. Often trying to make sure baby girl is still breathing, but other times I find myself waiting to see some sort of paranormal activity. I’ll nudge my husband, waking him from slumber to look at an orb of light in the corner of the screen… Only to remember that it is merely the night light.

Sleep deprivation can really play tricks on your eyes. Sometimes it literally feels like I’m living in one of those “Paranormal” movies, which I have never seen. I have, however, seen the commercials, and that is enough to get my imagination working.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually really love this monitor. It gives me so much peace of mind, and I would recommend it to any new mama out there. It’s my own imagination that I can’t handle most of the time.

Sleeping Baby - Baby Monitor
Sleep Sweet, My Love.
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My Intentions as a New Blogger

Hello, my name is Caitlin.

I probably should have started this blog with this post to explain what my intentions are with it, but I really did not know what I was doing at first…

To begin, I would like this space to be a positive space injected with a little bit of humor because let’s face it, this world is crazy. The best way to get through life is with a few jokes here and there. I am by no means a comedian, but I do make my husband laugh (he thinks I’m funny :)).

I imagine if I ever attempted the art of telling jokes, the audience would look something like this:

Michael Somerville - Intentions
This is my friend, Michael Somerville’s, third comedy album, it is available on iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify, he is much funnier than I!

Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, humor. Everyone has a different sense of humor, and not everyone can see the same humor in any given situation. With that said, I promise I will never purposefully shame anyone with my humor. And if anything I write is ever perceived in the wrong light, I apologize now because that is, and never will be my intention. I just want to make you laugh, and share some of my experiences with you. To build connections. To remember how funny these early days were when we were crawling through the trenches of young parenthood. I want to root you on, and tell you good job at the end of a long day because in the end you have to do what works best for you and your family.

So Cheers, Proost, Cin Cin, & Salute to all the mamas and papas out there giving it their all every day. You all amaze me. I hope I can provide some entertainment for you.

Intentions
That’s the smile I was looking for 🙂
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