Gimme ALL the oils

LLP is a pretty common phrase in our family-Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint. My mom made rollers for us all with LLP oils and she swears they cure almost anything. Not gonna lie, she’s onto something.

Essential oils have been around FOREVER but are becoming extremely popular-and with good reason. As my mom says, “there’s an oil for everything”. Headache? Peppermint. Acid Reflux? Lemon. Acne? Tea tree. Congestion? Eucalyptus. I can go on for days!

There are a lot of great questions about using essential oils while pregnant, postpartum while nursing, and on your baby. Here are a few important things to know:

Oils have not been FDA cleared or approved and therefore have no regulations as to how much is safe and how much is excessive. Therefore, you need to be sure to do your research and always use food grade oils-these are the purest form and have stronger affects with less chance of

While pregnant:

The safest way to use oils wile pregnant is in a diffuser. Many oils have not been thoroughly tested on pregnant women for obvious reasons, and make them a bit risky. I loved diffusing lemon in my first trimester when I felt nauseous all dang day. As my pregnancy progressed, I found lavender and a DoTerra mix called calm to be relaxing.

Postpartum and Nursing:

Avoid peppermint at all costs! Peppermint has been proven to reduce breast milk quantity, so be sure to avoid this as much as possible. Postpartum I found that diluted rollers (like those found in our shop) were helpful in relieving postpartum pain “down under”. A mixture of frankincense, tea tree, and lavender helped to avoid infection and soothe.

On Baby:

Oils have to be EXTREMELY diluted to put on baby skin. Chamomile oil is amazing at calming little ones when fussy, but must be extremely diluted. Lavender as part of your nightly routine is always wonderful as well-rollers on feet and in the diffuser. Incorporating oils into routines can be very helpful too!

Tune in to our episodes on oils and check out the shop for mama and baby oils-you’ll find all you need there!

I need a memory like a toddler

Anybody else out there find themselves immediately forgetting the good things when bad comes their way?

I don’t mean “I’m hangry and I am forgetting some are going without”

I am talking “why do you keep throwing your food on the ground? this day has been rough” even though it’s only been rough for 5 minutes…

I am finding myself in a season of forgetting. I have been forgetting the good and the victories and the blessing daily when I find myself falling short.

I think it’s kind of funny-kids forget the bad so quickly and adults seem to forget the good. They fall and bust their faces or lose a toy or spill their drinks and the world is ending for 30 seconds until they get a new french fry or toy or you snuggle them after a fall and there it is. It’s like the bad never even happened. They have totally moved on with their lives and are in search of the new whatever it is.

But me, I am the opposite. All day she is great and fun and we are having a joyous time and then one fit makes me feel as though the entire day has been a wash and we accomplished nothing. Such a horrible habit.

I don’t think motherhood brought this on-I think motherhood exposed it. I think motherhood shows us the yucky that is already there. We are not experiencing yucky feelings because we had a baby-we may have been out of touch or blind to them until now.

I think it’s so cool that we get to have a living example of how we should respond to the bad. Sometimes-when my heart is full of yuck- this frustrates me to no end. I hate that she(my daughter) moves on so quickly and I cannot. She is ready for hugs and books and play and I am brooding and feeling like i can’t stop even though I want to.

Here is what I am learning:

brooding and holding on to the yuck, forgetting the 32057897634 good things because of 2 bad things, these are horrible habits that I have been building since long before motherhood.

And the great news is:

I can change.

I can build NEW habits that are totally different and are positive, uplifting, and bring light into my home.

I am reading “One thousand gifts” by Ann Voskamp (Ann I beg you please come on our show I will give you all my money PLEASE!!!!) and she talks about habits needing to be replaced. You cannot just quit something, it needs to be replaced.

This Holiday season I am writing myself notes and sticking them everywhere to remind myself to think of the good, the beautiful, the lovely, the blessings. I am actively sharing these things with my family and friends so that I speak good not bad to anyone who will listen.

Does this mean I am faking it till I make it?

Heck no.

Anyone who knows me knows I am completely incapable of faking anything-seriously.

But I am beginning to live the life I want to live, and I do not want to raise my child in a negative environment with a dirty lens that only sees the bad when there is so much good around.

I invite you to join me. Make conscious decisions in the bad, hard, rough moments to remind yourself of all the good there is as well. You can feel the bad and still remember that the good exists.

I believe this is truly life to the full-seeing it all.

And I hope we can all be more like our kids and learn to move on quickly from those little dings in life. Real wounds and trauma need addressing and definitely healing, but the little slips and falls in life cannot stop us from remembering the blessings.

If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude. -Colin Powell

Oh and last thing:

Eat the elephant one bite at a time. One day at a time-or rather one fit or tantrum at a time.

You are good mama, you are good.

What do you do when you just can't?

Coming to you from my warm bed in my warm robe next to my sleeping baby.

Yes, I am exhausted. I would love to join her in her sleep.

But I can’t. I cant sleep because the dishes are dirty and there are toys everywhere and no one made lunch and there’s laundry. And I need to shower. And we have people coming over later. And I need to work-so so much work.

But I am so tired.

I know you mamas know what kind of tired I am talking about. Not the “ man I need another cup of coffee tired”. I am the “my brain won’t stop and sleep only comes in spurts(thank you top 2 teeth) and I will never get it all done and this is making my body respond” tired.

Ya, that kind. Sound familiar?

I know I am not alone in this. Almost every single mama friend I have-and because of this amazing community through our show and Instagram, I have A LOT of mama friends!-has expressed or regularly expresses that they are experiencing this special kind of tired. If this is you, you are in good company.

So what fixes this kind of tired?

Like I said, I am coming to you from my bed, in my robe, maxed out and ready to tap out.

So much of the tired we carry as mamas is the tired from pressure, from responsibilities, and more than anything, the fear.

Here are my fears today:

  1. my house will look like the crazy mess it does now later on when people come over, and I will feel stressed or overwhelmed instead of present with friends.

  2. I will never actually sleep again, I’ll just be tired forever and then die-I realize this is less rational than the first but hey I am entitled to my own thoughts and fears!

  3. the work won’t get done and I won’t get paid and we will have to eat potatoes and beans all month-also less rational but still real.

  4. I really am not equipped for this all and I am not learning fast enough.

  5. My daughter and husband will not have all they need from me because I feel too tired to give.

I would say these are the top fears. Now if we really wanted to, we could sift through these and find 100 more fears- the little ones that paralyze you because fear of moving is greater than fear of what happens if I just stay here.

Now can we talk about something positive?

This month, I am reading a book called “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. I don;t know if you’ve heard of it or maybe you’ve even read it before, but if you are looking for something to shake the fatigue of the body and soul, give this book a holla.

This book is all about gratitude. Gratitude in the big cosmos, gratitude that I have hands to wash these dishes, gratitude that I have a family to wash dishes for. Gratitude-big, small, tiny, infinite gratitude.

On these days of daunting exhaustion that I can’t seem to see past, I have to return to gratitude. Like Ann, I list the things I am grateful for and am energized:

  1. clean sheets

  2. fresh apples

  3. boxes of mint chocolate cookies

  4. friends who pick up when you call

  5. that my daughter still takes 2 naps and I can breathe

My challenge to you today is this: if you feel exhausted, drained, and like tapping out(remember, you are not crazy if you do and you definitely aren’t alone here!) take a moment or several and get grateful. Not a forced gratitude of things you aren’t truly grateful for, but a personal gratitude of things you are. This can be anything, and you can start anywhere.

But take a breathe.

And make a list.

And feel a bit of refreshing for your mind and soul.

And when you’re done, take a quick nap.

I’m right there with you.

In a Holidaze

Anyone else feeling loads of feelings?

So excited?

Terrified?

Tempted to stress?

Can’t wait for it to be here?

I’m with you. I LOVE the holidays so much but approaching them as a mother is brand new and honestly terrifying.

My family and I celebrate advent-the season of waiting for Emmanuel- and it has really centered us to focus on what truly matters to us. But it is still tempting to enter the frenzy of holiday madness. We do not give many gifts. Instead, we have people in our home for quality time, good food, and fun.

That being said, it can be really tricky to navigate conversations with family about what truly matters to us-and not be offensive or critical! I have let all of our family members know that we are taking a minimalist approach with gifts and do not need or want many things. So far I have only had 2 tricky conversations about this!

It’s hard to celebrate and feel joyful and grateful for your family and time with them when you do not feel like you can be yourself and stick to your values. I had a wonderful conversation yesterday with a friend who reminded me of something crazy bananas:

I have a choice.

I do not have to engage. I do not have to attend. I do not have to make unnecessary purchases.

I have a choice.

This is so important to remember as we enter into the Holiday season. You do not have to engage in conversations that make you feel offended. You do not have to attend parties or affairs that make you feel anxious, exhausted, or stressed. You do not have to purchase things for people for the sake of purchasing things for someone.

Now, if choose not to engage or attend or purchase, you may have to have conversations. Prepare yourself, knowing you may need to let people know where you stand to avoid hurting others in the process.

But again, you have a choice.

This Holiday season, choose your family. Choose according to your values. Choose what will leave a wonderful, joy-filled, gratitude inducing experience for you and yours.

Babies grow fast and you only get one first Christmas and so on. Make them count based on what matters to you and yours.

You have a choice.

My name is Alexys and I have FOMO.

I love instagram.

There I said it.

I love it!

My feed is full of awesome small farms, families living almost completely off the grid, moms of youngins, and loads of homeschool for littles. Oh and a few friends, and yes, I mean a few.

I love to fantasize that I live on a small farm somewhere with loads of nature, animals, and kids who are almost always dirty.

The reason I do not follow my friends is that i suffer from FOMO.

F.O.M.O.

Fear Of Missing Out.

I already suffered a small amount from FOMO before becoming a mom, but now I am fully aware of how deep it really goes. It was really embarrassing for me to admit this a few months in. I felt like I shouldn’t have FOMO since I was so lucky and blessed to have this baby. And I am! I am completely blessed and totally lucky to be a mom.

But this does not mean I don’t have room for other feelings, like FOMO.

Transitioning to motherhood can mean major shifts in friendships, and sometimes, it is solely because you do not have as much time to spend together. It’s not because you are a bad friend or they are, but you have an almost all consuming responsibility right now that was not there before. There is no way to truly prepare your relationships for this type of shift.

The more I talk about my FOMO, the more I discover that SO MANY MOMS suffer from this! Dare I say it’s normal!

For me, I have found that if I don’t see my friends hanging out without me, I am able to really be happy when I see them and cherish our limited time together. It is not beneficial for me to know that their lives totally went on without me-and definitely not through social media!

In reality, everyone’s lives do go on. I am the one who became a mom. My life changed. And sometimes, theirs don’t. But who am I to harbor salty feelings towards them for just being themselves and living their lives!

Eventually I hope the FOMO shrinks and I can look at all of my friends having a ball without me and feel nothing but love and happiness for them. For now, while I adjust to this new normal, I will stay in my fantasy and bliss. Because teething is already hard enough, I don’t need constant FOMO as well!

More stuff = more stuff

Before you get pregnant, it seems like having so many things for your baby is straight up frivolous.

And then you get pregnant.

And you need it all.

ALL.

Crib. Changing table. Moses basket. Onesies-enough for 5 changes a day. Homemade blankies. Store bought blankies. Pacifiers. A baby bullet. A thing to make those pouch thingies. At least 2 diaper bags. All the sheets. All the mobiles. Books on books on books.

I’m not judging you mama-I am judging me. And I am with you.

My husband and I might be what one would consider minimalists-we like to say “we tell ourselves we are broke so we don’t ever really have to be” but minimalist works too. We do NOT have a lt of anything-clothing, shoes, books, kitchenware. Negative. We are not without what we need in any way, but we definitely do not care to have many things. Honestly, for me, more stuff means more to clean and y’all know I am not about that life!

I digress.

Once Queen Baby Maya was born I found myself looking on Instagram(I love insta ok this is not a bash on insta it gives me liiiiiiiiife somedays) at all of the things I don’t have-and things she might need! I didn’t buy a bassinet because we co-sleep, but all of the sudden I found myself wanting one. We didn’t buy a sounds machine, we just figured our fan was enough. But then I discovered some cool ones with lights and projectors and found myself wondering why we didn’t!

Here is the thing my friends: more stuff=more stuff.

We all know this. Having more doesn’t necessarily bring you what you are looking for. Having a sounds machine won’t make your baby sleep better if they are teething or colicky. Having a bassinet won’t make you have more energy when you aren’t sleeping and your body is healing more slowly than you thought.

More stuff is just going to be more stuff.

And let’s be real-more to clean, more to organize, more to store.

Do we really need all of this? What is the reasoning behind these desires?

For me, it is a desire to be content. I long for inner peace ALL OF THE TIME and I am always trying to figure out how to simplify. Sometimes having specific things-or imagining my life with these things-makes me feel I will find contentment and peace.

But we all know that’s not true.

I am not here to say do not buy anything for you baby. Or not to desire the best for your baby. We are moms-of course we will always want what’s best.

I think it is wise to take a minute between purchases, or while scrolling, or in those quiet moments of discontentment and ask ourselves why we think these things will fill us.

You don’t need a moses basket to give your baby love. You don’t have to use a baby bullet to feed a baby. You don’t need a million blankies to warm your baby. You can do all of this with little because mama,

You.

Are.

Enough.

Holla.

When Do You Stop Nursing?

I was lucky enough to have my baby latch fairly quickly and have been able to nurse since day 1. I know that this is not the case for everyone, so I want to be clear that all of these thoughts, feelings, and opinions are coming from a perspective of someone who has easily and successfully nursed. If this is not your story, I hope and pray you know that a fed baby is a loved baby and no matter your journey, you are no less of a mother if this wasn’t your experience! This is a post from my perspective and I hope it doesn’t add to any of the lies that you are any less of a mother than nursing moms. No way Jose. You are doing the dang thing even if this is not the same route you took and this doesn’t take away form the love you give to baby!

My daughter has teeth now. And I am still nursing her.

Yup.

2 teeth. Still nursing.

I knew while pregnant that I wanted to nurse for as long as possible. But with every passing month I find myself asking “how much longer?” and having zero plan or answer.

I would love to nurse until my daughter self weans. She nurses several times a day throughout the day and also during the night.

Not gonna lie, she’s nursing right now.

Before I was a mom I had a lot of thoughts on nursing. I didn’t really understand why some moms were nursing their 2 year olds-or 3 year olds. I didn’t understand why you would want to keep doing something uncomfortable and exhausting for such a long time.

But then I had a baby and now I can’t imagine my life without nursing.

Of course there are so many benefits to nursing for longer stretches-especially the bonding benefits with baby. And pumping, well then you got food for life!

But here’s the thing:no one, and I mean no one, know how to stop nursing until they do. It isn’t something any of us learn in school-or is even discussed before baby comes out honestly! I can definitely hear my inner voice being nervous that shes nursing for too long or that she isn’t getting enough or fearing I will have zucchini boobs!

I just wanted to share a post with some real feelings-I have no idea when to stop nursing but I know it’s not now. I am trusting my inner mommy clock to let me know it’s time, and so far that hasn’t happened.

I think that is something we don;t talk about enough-listening to your inner voice for the answers. I don;t mean that in a hippy way(though I love me some hippies) or weird religious way(but again I love me some Jesus). I think all moms have an inner voice that helps us.

don’t ignore it.