Sunday, August 28, 2016

Rainbows and Retinol

We survived the first week of school! That makes it sound much more dire than it is - everyone in my house loves school. The kids thrive in our local public school system and woke up cheerfully every morning, donned their uniforms, and gave their teachers their very best selves. The problem is they are nothing but emotion-laden husks of themselves by the time the evening rolls around. Quick to cry, quicker to cry more, quickest to fall asleep the second their heads hit their pillows. It was a little rough.

Cora was the only one who handled the transition like her normal cheerful self. On Tuesday she dressed herself (always) and was utterly DELIGHTED to uncover this old baby headband. "A FOWER MAMA! A fower ON MY HEAD!"

She still had it proudly centered mid-forehead when I picked her up at 5:00.

It's an interesting week when the toddler is by far the most emotionally stable one.

owning her own emotional baggage and ready to rock her Friday

But the important thing was everyone was having really great days and James and I had a date night scheduled for Friday as soon as our nanny could get here AND I found great new shoes on clearance at DSW and I came across the new jeggings I'd bought in one of those online find auctions that I'd totally forgotten about because July in Texas is usually a ridiculous time to buy pants. They fit and were super comfy and according to my email receipt only cost $40!

We scheduled the date night on our return from vacation because nothing makes you need a date night like a family vacation (much as we truly genuinely LOVE taking the kids on them), but Tara wasn't free right away and we felt like bad parents if we went out (alone) the night before school started. But it worked out perfectly because as it turns out, a week-long Midwest vacation has nothing on the first week of school for making you need a night out. AND it was only a few days shy of the 15th anniversary of our first date!! A date-deserving occasion for sure and the kids were THRILLED to see their Tara again.

Sept. 2001

(Technically that picture is from our second date- the wedding of a teammate; if I'd known I'd marry the guy I would have made sure to get a picture of our first one!)

We tried out La Perla Negra, a newish Latin American place downtown. There was a rainbow over the city, a blessing from the date night gods if I ever saw one.

The food was so good and we ate everything. Then we stopped at Stir Crazy Baked Goods for just a little more.

Aug. 2016; our eyes are so much less red!
(and also we are so much older omg)

That peanut butter oat cookie with the bites out of it changed my life. All my peanut butter cookies will now have oats forevermore.

Speaking of food - we're eating some this week!

Sunday: chicken taco chili
Monday: chicken artichoke sandwich (copied after an amazing lunch we had in Duluth; grilled chicken on a ciabatta roll with spinach artichoke dip, tomato, and arugula)
Tuesday: taco tuesday! ground beef tacos, mexican rice, refried black beans, avocado
Wednesday: spinach artichoke pasta: remaining dip from the Costco tub that sucked me in with a sample, penne pasta, extra sauteed spinach, maybe diced tomatoes and chicken? I don't know I'm going to wing it.
Thursday: leftover chicken taco chili
Friday: meatball sandwich, chips, fruit
Saturday: Super fancy dinner date for our 11th wedding anniversary! Kids will eat Trader Joe's organic spaghettios and consider theirs to be the finer feast.

On a cancerous note, I finally started my anal wart chemotherapy cream to treat my basal cell carcinoma. I had to delay it because you can't get in lake water once you start- since you're turning your formerly unobtrusive red spot into an open wound, so I pushed it back until after our trip. The cream is not awesome. It makes my skin burn like fire and I can feel every bit of its plan to draw out and eat the cancer cells because it's eating them with freaking fire.

potty training is going about as well as the wart cream

On the plus side, I think my skin is getting better since I started with my new products. Brighter maybe? Smoother? I didn't have any particular trouble spots before so it's hard to make a straight comparison, but my skin got compliments in one of Claire's first day of school pictures and I don't think that's happened before, so I'm going to take it as dermatology money well spent.

Was it?

And because my other post was so long winded, here's the short version of my current routine:

1. Cleanse (I'm loving CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser; about $12 and it's 20% off at Ulta this week)
2. Antioxidant Serum (LOVING SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic; "fountain of youth" according to some article I read and I have no reason to disagree)
3. Moisturize if needed (I'm using the SkinCeuticals AGE Interruptor moisturizer but I'm not in love with it; it's basically free in the anti-aging kit if you're buying the C E Ferulic and Resveratrol but I would never pay anywhere close to full price for it and am still on the hunt for a simple, hydrating moisturizer)
4. Sunscreen (loving Elta MD Ultra UV Clear SPF 46)

1. Cleanse (same CeraVe as morning)
2. Retinol 2x per week (SkinMedica 0.25)
3. PM Antioxidant serum (optional, though I really like mine- SkinCeuticals Resveratrol B E, it feels so smooth and amazing on my skin)
4. Moisturize

I'm kind of obsessed with skincare product reviews now, so let me know if you have anything you love! Also, I bought all my stuff at the end of June and the bottles look like they're less than a quarter down, so it's nice to know it will last a while.

And finally, in an effort to reign in, or maybe just more properly channel, the emotions in my house, I'm working to bring a little yoga home. Now that I'm doing yoga nearly every day and relying on a few of the mantras I love every night (after 6 years of perfect peace, Landon and Claire learned how fun it is to annoy each other some time over this summer, and if I could pinpoint that time and build a time machine to go back and DESTROY IT I would master physics/sell my soul just to do so), I've decided maybe we could all benefit by doing a little guided meditation together. And since I feel silly just saying things on my own, I turned to facebook and Amazon to help me. I have a few books coming my way (and I would LOVE your suggestions for others... any mindful practices you have with your kids to work on breathing, controlling our emotions, etc.) and one of them, Goodnight Yoga, appeared on our doorstep this afternoon through Amazon magic despite ordering it only last night.

I'm not sure it was restful, but the kids did love it.

And whether it was the yoga or the 20 people we had over this afternoon to swim in the pool, they did fall asleep VERY quickly tonight. We'll see what the next week brings!


  1. My kids are always super emotional after school for the first month or so. They love school, but I think it takes a lot of energy to behave all day, plus getting used to a new teacher, classmates, etc. They just fall apart once they get home. My MIL says this is because they feel safe at home. I think we will try yoga too.

  2. We absolutely love Goodnight Yoga! Our three year old will run to get it and proceed to do "oga" anywhere in the house. Love it. The first few weeks of school are filled with emotion. I agree with the first commenter that it's because they feel safe with you and James and at home. I hope everyone has a great second week.....both at school and at home!

  3. I don't have children myself but my husband is a former bookbuyer for a new age bookstore and he tells me that Sitting Still Like a Frog was a big seller.

  4. Please update us on how the yoga goes! I've tried to start something like this with my kids but it usually devolves in about 3 minutes into someone crawling on me. I'd love to see how it could work. And congrats on surviving the first week of school!

  5. Yes to them feeling safe to fall apart at home. Mine too - strangely, we have the opposite problem, our 2 year old is a total nightmare while the older two are doing largely ok, although the 6 year old is crying at everything right now. So basically the 8 year old is keeping me from losing my mind. ;) Of course we threw a move to a new home in the mix, which didn't help their emotional state (or mine, if we're being truthful). If we can just get to October 1 I feel like we'll all feel a bit more settled . . . and less HOT down here in the South, which never helps frayed nerves.

  6. i LOVE the yoga idea. I am going to order it! Mine started school yesterday and were sooooo tired. I am sure it's physically and emotionally exhausting for them to transition!!

  7. As far as products, have you ever heard of Beautycounter? It seems right up your alley, in terms of being healthy and aware that what we use gets absorbed into our bodies (i.e. why you don't use plastic anymore). They are awesome products with an even more awesome mission to get safer beauty and skin care products into the hands of everyone and to make people aware of some of the toxic junk we're putting on ourselves and our family. Happy to answer any questions!