Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Natural and Safe Carpet Deodorizing Powder

If there is one thing that makes a home feel happy and clean it would be a clean and fresh smelling living space. With pets, kids, and "man shoes" it can be hard to battle those unwanted odors that often get caught in the carpet.

We bought a carpet cleaner but we don't always have the time to clean them and wait for it to dry before my kids are rolling all over the floor. So I've been on the search for a smell good method to spruce up our carpets.

Carpet powder is something that I used a long time ago before I had kids and was considerate of the chemicals I brought into the house. Most store bought powders have been irritating to our dog's skin and I would assume the same for kids. Since we have kids I need to be extra careful about what we use.

Here is a safe and natural carpet powder that works like a charm!

What you need...

  • 2 cups of baking soda
  • essential oils ( I used lemon and lavender) about 15 drops of each.

What you do...

You can use a dollar tree Parmesan shaker or you can use an old ball jar with the lid. Put all of your ingredients into the jar and shake until the oil has dispersed.

Let it sit for 30 minutes and then vacuum up. Your house will smell so fresh!
If you don't have any young kids or pets that play on the floor you can also replace one cup of baking soda with a cup of borax. Baking soda and borax are both natural ingredients but borax can also be a skin irritant. Both substances also absorb odors really well. Borax is a natural pest deterrent so that is an added bonus!

This natural carpet powder has really been a godsend! My carpets no longer smell like wet dog thanks to this carpet deodorizer! Sprinkle this stuff before you're expecting company and they will wonder how you keep your house smelling so fresh!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Stuck In Mommy Limbo

Edit: Okay, time to be honest. So I did go back and edit some of this post:) But... the 95% of this was just a free write.


We are going to try something a little different here. Today I am going to just write and publish. I will not edit and re-read so apologies in advance for spelling and grammar errors. here we go...

Lately I've been in a funk. My anxiety has run high and my excitement for things has run low. I left my job to be a stay at home mom... something I thought was the solution to my problems but the funk has not gone away and I'm still stacked with an endless to do list that has left me unmotivated for the things I enjoy.

Unmotivated and uninspired.

Maybe I have piled on too much.

Maybe I do place impossible expectations on myself.

No more than a year age, we had a rough situation with one of the parents in our Girl Scout troop. We could say this was the tip of the iceberg or the catalyst for my mood. I did what I thought was in the best interest and safety of all the girls in the troop and this person retaliated with legal action. The passion and energy I had poured into this program, as a volunteer and to be left treated in this manner, really broke my spirit. The legal expenses and the humiliation of having a sheriff serve me an order at 11:45 PM was enough to make me reassess things in my life.

I had enough. I'm not a punching bag and I refuse to be bullied.

I'm trying to get back to what I love, blogging. I've recently split my blog in two because I feel the different viewpoints are clashing. So we are continuing 3 Wittle Birds here and keeping Mighty Girls Rock over Don't get me wrong, I love being a troop leader and sharing all of those ideas but it's really a niche area that doesn't allow me to express other sides of my life.  I have gotten away from the reasons why I loved blogging so much. I miss 3 Wittle Birds.

Maybe motherhood has left me feeling lost.

I'm trying to get back my joy for things.

I'm feeling like I'm in Mommy Limbo. Like when you quit your full time job to stay home while the kids are young but have ambitions in life that you can't momentarily work on but you still have that itch. I have ideas and ambitions. I love the idea of being an entrepreneur but taking care of the home and kids doesn't leave much time to work on myself, let alone a business.

This time in my life is like a waiting game. A waiting game that you don't want to rush through because that means your kids are getting older and you are missing those special early years. Yet, you're still anxious to get on with what it is I'm meant to do. What am I meant to do?

I've spent a lot of time this year in the garden. I find peace in tending to the flowers and vegetables. There is a bit of anxiety release each time I pull another weed out making the raised beds look decluttered and tidy.

A tidy home is what makes me happy. It seems impossible with three young children. With a little declutter I've already seen progress and it gives me hope. My goal this year is to find beauty in the little things and transition from a maximalist mentality to a minimalist lifestyle.

Okay, that's all I can get out of my brain for one evening. I know this was a rambling post and if you have made it this far, thanks for listening.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

6 Week Post-Op and Postpartum Depression

This past week I had my 6 week post-op doctor's appointment to give me the A-Okay to return to work and other things (*wink). I still have two weeks before I have to return to work but it seemed like just yesterday I was being discharged from the hospital. This precious little time always seems to fly.

I'm so blessed that I work for an amazing company that lets me work from home and is so flexible with my schedule. I don't think I could be in such good spirits about returning to work without these two things! I did want to open up to you mamas about my past experiences with postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression can make a Mama feel awful. It can make us feel incompetent and downright crazy. It can make us think and feel things we wouldn't feel in our right minds and it's not your fault. It happens and the best thing you can do for yourself is just admit that you are struggling with it and talk about it. Why does it feel that this is something so taboo to talk about still? It's heavily screened for at the doctor's office and the nurses aren't afraid to ask but why is it so hard to talk about with friends and family? Is it TMI? It's got a stigma behind it and it's not fair. It's not fair to a mother who is already going through so much to make them feel ashamed about it.

I was so sure this time around I was going to have it. Why wouldn't I? After all, I had it with my first two pregnancies. Well, it's still a little early to rule it out and things might change when I do return to work but for the most part I'm feeling really high in spirits, which is much better off than the previous experiences. I will still be on the lookout for it because that nasty old PPD can pop its devilish head out even after a year of giving birth. My second child it did take a couple months and even then I was in denial until about the 6th month mark.

I remember battling it with my first. I isolated myself and was anxious to even pick up the phone to shot the shit with a girlfriend. My daughter had just had heart surgery and I remember the guilt and blame I placed on myself. I didn't admit it back then that I needed help and I kept PPD a secret.

With my second, I was more open and willing to address the situation perhaps because I was downright miserable and decided I no longer wanted to live my life feeling this way. I couldn't be the mama and wife I wanted to be feeling this way. It also helped that I have a very honest and supportive relationship with my husband. He was actually the one who finally pushed me to call my doctor.

It took 6 months to fake a reason to see the doctor. I remember the nurse asking me over the phone what was the nature of the visit.... uhhhhh pelvic pain?  When I finally did speak up in the exam room I felt like the weight was lifted off of my shoulders. The doctor was wonderful and made me feel like I wasn't the only one in the world feeling this way. I did get a prescription and was referred to a clinical counselor to hash out my feelings. The doctor called the medicine "a little something to help put my hormones back in balance". It wasn't meant to be permanent.

I filled the prescription and made my appointment and was on track with feeling better.... Yet, there were people in my life, close people, who were judgmental of the fact that I was seeking help for my mental health issues.

Mental health is so important for us Mamas!

This time around there have been somethings that I have tried to do differently to possible ward off the nasty PPD. Do I think these things prevented it? I can't say, sometimes these things just happen but we can only try to take care of ourselves more to feel better. We can't ignore when we are not feeling right and anyone who thinks they are struggling with PPD needs to discuss it with their doctor. Like seriously... make the phone call and get an appointment!

What has helped me fight off postpartum depression

Essential Oils
I can tell you that there was a couple of mornings that I didn't want to get out of bed. I had about 10 things to do before I could even think about doing anything for myself.... change the baby's diaper, feed the baby a bottle, pump breast milk, get the kids some breakfast..... It was a real struggle to get myself up those mornings and I felt pulled in a million directions. With the help of diffused lemon oil, I started at the list of things to do and I felt better. I was happily awakened and feeling energized and motivated. As I sat there feeding the baby while the other two kids ate their breakfast, I thought to myself "I might just clean the whole house today!"

....Did I clean the house that day?.....

....Heck no! This Mama had way more things to accomplish in that day but the point was I was motivated!

Letting go of things
I used to take on everything. I used to believe that if I stayed busy I could make time for it all. I had a lot of plans for this upcoming year and a lot of things I put on my plate. I've had to let go of some of those things and take a second to stop and smell the roses. This will probably be my last baby and I wanted to take some time and enjoy it. I honestly don't remember my other two when they were infants. It's hard to imagine those times and I feel it's because I didn't take the time to take it all in. We miss out when we are too busy and we don't get to enjoy our children.

I've also let go of the idea of a perfect home. It will probably never happen even after the kiddies have fled the nest. Sticky floors and toys everywhere is just my life these days. I can try and keep the house perfect but that will just stress me out some more. So like Elsa says... "let it go!"

Although I'm not a regular in the Sunday pews, I have found prayer to be so helpful and encouraging. It's amazing what we can put on Him and what He gives in return. I've spent many mornings praying before I even opened my eyes. Praying for God to give me the patience and love to make it through the day. Being a mama to three young children is very demanding and at the end of the day I want to feel that I loved my kids enough, It's amazing what we can do in prayer.

I'm really looking forward to carving out some time for this now that I've got the clearance from the doctor. Yoga is something that I've have really grown to love. It empowers a mama to feel stronger and it's great for keeping a balanced mind.

What are some helpful ideas you can give me to stay healthy and happy? Please leave your suggestions in the comments!!
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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Girl Scout Troop Leading: Parent Meeting Planning

It's that time of year again!!! Time to start preparing your troop year, if you haven't started already. Last year I wrote a post on what I included in the parent packet. This year I want to revisit this topic and also provide some additional posts throughout this month on how to plan, organize, and make it through another year of troop leading!

Last fall was my very first year as a troop leader. Boy.... did I not know what I was getting myself into! When I first set out to conquer the world of girl scouting and provide this grandiose idea of the best troop experience ever for these girls, there were a few things I underrated and failed to realize.

I didn't realize how important parent communication was.

I will say this again, I didn't realize how important parent communication is.

Communication is key to a successful year in leading a girl scout troop. Communication with your co-leader, cookie mom, and the non involved parent. I happened to have a very uninvolved and sometimes non-existent co-leader. I had parents, no matter how many emails sent, a clear cut communicative website, and phone calls, still misunderstood guidelines and date and times. There are some parents that you simply can't be clear enough with. For the others, it's important to make the communication easy. This is sooooooooo helpful for them and yourself!

Have that Parent Meeting! Set those expectations and guidelines from the very start before their girl even signs up. Keep in mind that you are the leader, the mother who is volunteering their time and energy for free, you set these expectations of how you will contribute your time. These expectations and guidelines can all be provided to each parent in a documented letter. Hand this letter out at the parent meeting, share it on your troop website, send it in a follow up email after the meeting. Make sure that each parent has a copy of this letter. No cuts, no buts, no coconuts! Comment below if you can name the movie.

What did I include in our troop parent letter?
    • Troop Leader contact information (phone numbers, email, address)
    • Troop Meeting information
      • Day and time of the week
      • Location
      • What they do at the meetings (overall layout of troop meetings)
    • Uniforms and Handbook
      • What badges to purchase before hand
        • Council ID
        • American flag 
        • Troop Numerals
        • Insignia tab
    • Troop Dues
      • What does troop dues cover
      • How much?
      • Due date
    • Importance of volunteers
      • Positions open
    • Share site
      • Shutterfly offers an amazing share site to keep the parents up to date on meetings. I would strongly recommend checking it out!
You can download a copy of the parent letter I used here --->>>> Download Parent Letter

In addition to a parent letter, you will want to make sure that your parents have all the information they need to get their girl started. A Parent Packet can assist in this department!

What do you want to include in the parent packet?

Each girl/parent gets a blue folder with their name on it. Last year I used this as a parent communicator folder that was brought to every meeting and I would send home a letter of updates and information of the next meeting. This year I will not have the parent communicator folder. As a Girl Scout we teach to use resources wisely and with the age of technology communication can be done via the web, reducing our use and expense of paper.

Below is what I included in the folder for the parent packet...
  • Parent letter (including troop expectations, rules, meeting schedule)
  • Parent Helper sign up form
    • Uniform handout (explains the items needed for uniform for the parents to purchase, unless you will purchase the entire troops)
    • Forms
      • Girl Membership Registration Form
      • Adult Membership Registration Form
      • Medical History form (both girl and adult volunteers)
      • Permission slips

    At the parent meeting take time to go through your parent letter and your expectations for the troop. Go through the different forms included in the packet and make sure parents know the next steps and what they need to do for the first troop meeting. Make sure they understand where and how to register and that this is done before their girl attends an official meeting or outing. If you can collect the registration and health forms at the parent meeting it will make things a lot easier for you!

    Keep following along... I will be posting some more helpful planning tips over the next month and other ways to get you started on your troop leader journey! Please follow along on Facebook!

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