Monday, January 7, 2013


The week or two prior to Christmas I steadily worked on Christmas presents for the various people I love [some of which, I'm a bit ashamed to say, are still in progress]. In elf-like fashion I sewed, mixed, drew, and printed. I measured, cut, cooked, and taped. In the midst of all the merry-making, I also carried out my mom-duties including waking throughout the middle of the night to nurse a hungry 4-month-old.

Prior to all of the creating and designing and bopping along to George Winston [you can bop to that right?], I was exhausted and drained. I'm not sure the word "zombie" could cover it. When you can't remember if you've taken a shower....this's bad. Really bad.

Then, a few days before Christmas, I realized something. It was nearing the end of a long, busy, toddler and infant packed day where tantrums happened, tears were shed, games were played, hungry mouths were fed. Bouncing on the bed was a must, balls were thrown, snuggles were had, puzzles were completed, books were read, [and then read again, and then again...], and "mom!" was yelled much more than it should have been. Despite all the activity of that day, I wasn't anxious to collapse into bed, something I am normally more than ready to do. For some reason I had an extra reserve of energy, a life that wasn't there before.

This of course leads me to roughly five minutes of contemplation [Five minutes? Yup, five. I don't have the luxury of dilly-dallying with deep thoughts - two active, giggly girls are about to wake up]. In this five minute space I am able to acknowledge something. I was born to create, to design, to imagine, to dream. Some people have been wired to run, or to organize, or to speak, or to help, or to give. We all have our something - the thing that fills us with hope, and joy, and contentment, and excitement, and energy, and a bit of crazy zealous happy. It's the thing that you want to wake up for, the thing you think about as you go to bed, the thing you wish you had more time to do, and, unfortunately, it is typically the first thing to go when life's demands and realities step in and take over.

I can go days, weeks even, without creating something. And I feel it. I sense it in my soul. There is less bounce in my step, more sigh in my days. My eyes loose a little sparkle, eyelids droop, and black and blue bags set in. Pretty, right? My outlook on life shrinks to simply surviving the tasks that never seem to get finished. My girls sense it. My husband senses it. The people closest to me sense it even if they aren't able to name what is off. Shoot, the nice man who greets me at the grocery store senses it when I give him that pitiful, "I'm too busy and tired to offer a hi" look.

On a regular basis I give up the thing I love to do [create, design, and imagine] in order to do the things I "have" to get done [dishes, laundry, picking up toys, washing counters, running errands, picking up more toys, doing more dishes, folding more laundry, etc.]. The irony is, when I don't make space to do the thing that gives me life, I can't really do any of the other things well. Eventually I stop living and just exist and the world dulls a bit more each day.

So, as I reflect back on the holiday season and enter into this new year, I am making space to create on a regular basis in hopes that it becomes habit. And I'm taking my girls along with me. I want them to see life as more than housework and meals, baths and bed. I need them to know that life is less about the "have-tos", not at all about the "shoulds", and completely, fantastically about the "I love tos". And it needs to start with me.

So dump the dishes, ignore the toys, and give the vaccuum a break. Hang up the phone, kill the TV, shelve the computer. Put on your favorite music or enjoy a little quiet. Gather your kids or go it alone. However you do it, may you find what gives you life [or reclaim it if lost] and, without apology, indulge in doing whatever it is that gets you to loose track of time.

Oh, and do it again tomorrow. And the day after that.

On a completely different note [I'm not even going to attempt to tie in my babe's butt with the bulk of this post], I recently realized that diaper wipe juice is easy and extremely inexpensive to make. You would think I would have know that...some things just go "whoosh", right over the head.

Here is my slightly-edited version of a wipe juice I love and works wonders on my daughter's bum. I like to make a large batch of the calendula tea and keep small jars of it [pre-measured] in the freezer so I don't have to make it each time. Use with unbleached, organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo cloth wipes.

Adapted from Mountain Rose Herbs "DIY Herbal Baby Wipes" 

4 c. of boiling water
1/4 ounce [appx. 1/2 cup packed] dried calendula flowers [use fresh when in season!]
2 tsp. organic castille soap
1/4 c. 100% aloe vera juice [gel needs to be refrigerated]
5 drops of organic lavender essential oil

Place calendula in a wide-mouth quart jar. Pour in boiling water, making sure flowers are soaked, and cover with a lid. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Once calendula tea has cooled, strain and compost flowers. Measure out two cups of the tea and place in a jar to be refrigerated [up to a week] or frozen. Add soap, aloe juice, and essential oil to the remaining two cups of calendula tea [add a little water to make 2 cups if necessary]. Cover and shake well to mix. Pour over wipes, saturating cloth completely. Ring out and add more cloth wipes if necessary. Or pour wipe mix in a spritz bottle and spray wipes individually prior to use. This is a great option for travel.

1 comment:

sugar steps said...

Very nice and inspiring blog! Lovely pictures and recipes!