Guess What?

I am off the steroids.  Done.  No more.

That takes me down to…oh…ZERO MEDICATIONS!!

WOOT!

That is all.  Please resume your regularly scheduled awesomeness.

Scratch & Sniff

I’m rocking some homemade deodorant right now and I’ve got to tell you…it’s fantastic.

WHAT?!

YES. I swear. I put it through 3 solid tests and it is amazing.

In my ‘herd of turtles through peanut butter’ type way, I’m slowly trying to make changes to the the products we use. About a month ago I switched over to Tom’s Natural Deodorant and let me tell you…it sucked. Actually it stank. No, actually…I stank. I stank in that special ‘keep your elbows at your sides when someone hugs you’ type of way.

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Say goodbye to all of your friends…mwahaahahahahahahaa!

What’s the bigs about antiperspirant? Well, basically the aluminum swells your eccrine-gland ducts shut so the sweat can’t get out. Not so bad every once in a while (wedding…job interview…torrid affair with Tatum Channing…Channing Tatum?) but not something I want to happen on a day to day basis.

So I was interested but skeptical when I saw a post from Mommypotamus claiming that not only did she have a recipe for a homemade deodorant that worked…but she swore it worked on a man. In the Texas heat.

Now listen. I have a man. A sweaty man. And I live in the Texas heat. So I know that a claim like that isn’t something to lightly fling out into the universe. You can’t saddle a woman with a stinky man and not expect some lash back.

You can read her post and recipe here:

http://www.mommypotamus.com/easy-homemade-deodorant/

It’s 2 simple ingredients: coconut oil and baking soda (some people find the baking soda a little irritating and if that is the case, you can sub out the baking soda for an arrowroot/cornstarch blend). You pour some baking soda into a container and slowly add the coconut oil until you have a wet sand consistency. Then you just scoop a little bit onto your fingers, apply a thin layer and rub it in until it disappears. Easy peasy squeezy.

Update: My friend, Crystalyn (who is Jedi wise in the ways of the homemade products) had this helpful tip: Never use cornstarch. It promotes yeast growth. And then people who use it often get yeast infections in their pits. So always and only arrowroot :-)

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Delicious on toast!

I had both of these ingredients so I whipped up a batch yesterday. We were heading out the door to a pool party so I figured it would be the perfect testing ground…especially since I would be surrounded by the good kind of friends…the kind that would say, “Girl. You stink.”

But I DIDN’T stink! After the party I made Kyle smell my underarms and he did because he’s an excellent sport. And also slightly weird.

I wasn’t sure if it was a really good test though because I had been in the pool for a lot of the party. We rushed home and got changed for our date night but there was no time for a shower because the clock was tick tick ticking and I’m super lame and will turn into a sleepy pumpkin if I’m not home by midnight so I slapped on some more deodorant and we headed out to play putt putt. In the grossest, most humid conditions ever. And I was wearing jeans! WHY?? I was so hot and sweaty that I had excessive perspiration in my intergluteal cleft.

That’s right…I was sweating down my butt crack.

That’s hot. Literally.

My butt was sweaty but my armpits were daisy fresh. Unbelievable. Still…I was skeptical.

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Uh Kyle…it’s pretty hot out…Peter Pan’s crotch is probably not the best place for your head right now…

So we got back in the car and did that lame, unplanned date night thing where we drove around downtown saying, “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know, where do YOU want to go?” and Kyle cursed every time he drove too fast and missed a parking spot and I said helpful things like, “Oh! There’s a spot…oooh that guy beat you to it…OH there’s a spot..oooh you’re driving too fast…THERE’S a spot…never mind, there’s a SmartCar in it…”

I imagine Brad and Angelina’s dates are exactly the same.

We eventually found a spot approximately 823 miles from wherever it was that we didn’t know we were going. We trudged along with me giving helpful weather updates like, “ERMAGAH it’s SOOOOO hot. I can’t BELIEVE how humid it is! Is it hotter than it was last year??” and Kyle, who abhors talking about the weather more than anything else actually said, “Holy f&%$ is it hot out here.”

If that wasn’t an excellent homemade deodorant test, I don’t know what what else to do for you…

EXCEPT EAT SPICY MEXICAN FOOD OUTSIDE ON A PATIO!

You’re welcome.

As is my way I still wasn’t convinced. Even though I had sniffed my scent free underarms about 100 times and poor Kyle had been in there enough times to qualify him for a quickie divorce.

So Test 3. This morning I took the boys to the splash pad. Have you ever wrestled a two year old into a swim diaper, swim suit and swim shoes in the backseat of a Honda Element? Imagine getting Paulie Shore high and then trying to dress him. Lots of Jell-o like limbs and giggling and nonsensical words. And he’s the only one who thinks it’s funny. Lots of opportunity for sweat. 3 hours of walking between the splash pad and the playground…because when you’re cavorting in sprays of cool water, why WOULDN’T you suddenly get the urge to rip the skin off of the back of your tiny kid thighs on a plastic slide heated to the same approximate temperature as the surface of the sun.

Kids are weird. But this deodorant? It’s the bomb diggity. For reals. I give this deodorant 2 arms up! Now get in here and gimme a hug!

I Can’t Hear You! LALALALALAAAA!!!

Ruh roh.

What’s this?

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Ankles are weird.

That, my friends, is vas-cu-freaking-litis.

What happened??  Is the juicing not working??

Oh yes.  It works.  If you actually DO it.

I went to a funny place in my head this week.  That negative little place with that irritating little voice that says crappy little things.

“You’re too old to go back to school.”

“Juicing probably isn’t really the reason that you’re healing.”

“You can’t pull off flesh colored jeggings.”

Actually…go ahead and listen to that last one.  No, really.  Please.

For some reason I talked myself out of juicing for a couple of days this week.  It was more than the ‘pain in the assedness’ of it.  I mean, yes.  Juicing is a pain.  And expensive. And it it sucks to clean it…blah blah blah…all the stuff we all know.

It was more than that.  It was letting the skeptics in.  And of course, you are your own worst critic.

“How can juicing REALLY be helping that much?  What is it about JUICE that makes my blood vessels stop exploding??  How is that even slightly possible?”

It was a talk myself out of it, cross my arms and pout kind of moment.  So I found myself juicing just once a day.  And then…not at all.

The little voice whispered:  “It’s not going to make a difference.”

“It might.”

“It won’t.  And is this really something you want to do everyday for the rest of your life?”

“Hmmm…I guess not.”

Here is a solid truth.  Dietary changes are some of the hardest changes you’ll ever make.  And definitely the hardest to stick with.  Convenience foods are called that for a reason.  They are convenient.  At the time.  But if they are making you sick then they aren’t convenient at all.

I’m an old school kid.  I was raised on pink antibiotics and chewable kiddie aspirin (remember those?? yum!).  If the Prednisone and Plaquenil and Colcrys had worked I would still be taking them…popping them in 2 twice a day and shrugging off the side effects.  Driving to the doctors twice a week…sitting in the waiting room…sitting in traffic…sitting in line at the pharmacy.  I would have done it all without question.

That total trust in Western medicine?  It is hard to let go of that mindset.  I’ve said it before and I still mean it…there is absolutely a place in our lives for medicines.  But not the whole place.  And not with blind trust.

Is juicing hard?  Yes.  Is making most of our food and cutting out processed food and constantly educating myself a pain in the boohiney?  Yes.

Are there side effects of juicing?  Oh hell yes.  Energy.  Better skin. Thicker nails.  Healthier hair.  NO HIVES OR VASCULITIS.

Are there side effects of the medicines?  Just a few.  Nausea, stomach cramps, loss of appetite, diahhrea, dizziness, or headache, arm/leg/back pain, fast heartbeat, hair loss/color change, mental/mood changes (e.g., anxiety, depression, hallucinations), ringing in the ears/hearing loss, worsening of skin conditions (e.g., psoriasis). serious (sometimes permanent) eye problems or muscle damage, sensitivity to light, vision changes (e.g., blurred vision, seeing light flashes/streaks/halos, missing/blacked-out areas of vision), muscle weakness, severe stomach/abdominal pain, severe nausea/vomiting, easy bleeding/bruising, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), seizures, shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, extreme tiredness, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

And that’s just the Plaquenil.

So shake it off, woman.  For reals.  I don’t know WHY my body seems to react so well to these diet changes but why the hell would I ever look a gift horse like that in the mouth?  And then shoot it?

So what’s important ISN’T that I stumbled.  It’s that I got up.  And back on track.  It’s that I’m going to go register for classes next week and that I have bone broth simmering on the stove and that I’m about to drink my second juice of the day.  It’s that I put duct tape on the mouth of that awful negative inner voice and instead I listened to the whisper of the vasculitis.  The worst thing that has turned into the best thing.  My gift.

Craptacular The Magnificent!

Ladies and Gentlemen…prepare to be amazed…

BY ALL OF THE CRAP IN MY HOUSE!

Seriously. When did this happen???

I’ll tell you a secret. Before I had kids I had big, big plans to only let them play with wooden toys hand carved by silent monks who lived in remote mountainside Tibetan monasteries.

….

….

….

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No…plastic…toys…I think I just peed a little…

I know…I know…that was my hiiiii-larious plan. So how did this happen?

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To be fair…this was clean and then it got Trap Trashed.

And this…

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Someone at Toys R Us just erupted into evil laughter.

And that doesn’t even start to encompass the grown up stuff…

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Keep the corkscrew…toss the rest.

Stop! Wait! Put down the phone…do NOT call Hoarders.

I know that you’d look at these pictures and think you’d have to walk down a hallway of newspapers to get to that playroom but that’s the weird thing…we actually don’t keep a lot of stuff in the house. It’s just that we’ve slowly, slowly accumulated. As Mama Bear would say…”We’ve got a case of the messy build up.”

Hey Mama Bear...the bigger issue might be the demonic bear doll lounging on the floor waiting to eat your children while they sleep.  Just sayin'...

Hey Mama Bear…the bigger issue might be the demonic bear doll lounging on the floor waiting to eat your children while they sleep. Just sayin’…

Remember all of those signs your grandma had up around the house?

“I put my scissors on this rack, if you use them please put them back.”

“A place for everything and everything in it’s place.”

“If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie.”

Hee hee…that last one has been making me laugh since the early 80s…

But you know what? G-Ma was onto something. I mean, not the plastic carpet runners that would flip over and impale your feet with their little spikey undersides.

But the ‘put your crap away and leave my crap alone’ way of ruling the house. That was golden. THAT’S what I need to do.

I’m slowly identifying my triggers…you know…those little things that make you a little crazy. One or two things aren’t a big deal but when you add them all up they definitely cause more stress than they should. And if you can get a handle on the little stuff then the big stuff kind of just naturally starts to sort itself out. You get rid of the brain clutter too.

So. Instead of doing my old thing where I make grand fantastical schemes and then get overwhelmed and instead of actually doing anything I lay on the couch and eat potato chips while I watch whole seasons of The IT Crowd, I’m employing my new baby steps method.

Identify what exactly is driving me up the wall:

1. Laundry

2. Milk Waste

3. Toys. Toys Toys Toys. TOOOOOOOOYS.

4. Papers. Mail. Flyers. Bills. Magazines.

5. Emails. I currently have 26,987 emails. WHAT??

6. Car Keys.

There is other stuff but I can’t remember it right now. Or my little pea brain has gone to Happy Place.

1. Laundry. It’s ridiculous. Redonkulous. Reeeedonkulosity. We all complain about it. And then continue to do it. Or in my case, continue to START it and then rewash the same load of musty clothes 3 times. Why is there so much laundry? BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY CLOTHES!! My 2 children have THIRTY EIGHT TSHIRTS. 38. THREE EIGHT! That’s stupid. So. Reduction in clothes will have to equal reduction in laundry, right? Reduction in folding. In putting away. In options for my 4 year old to change clothes 78 times a day. A box in the bottom of each closet and I’ll just drop the things we don’t need in as I see them. No big schemes to CLEAN OUT ALL OF THE CLOSETS! Because you know what happens? The kids come in and start to ‘help’. Which consists of pulling all of the clothes off of their hangers. And screaming. And beating each other with aforementioned hangers. And while that activity is Joan Crawford approved…it is not Curious Sea Turtle approved.

Seriously Joan...have you thought about juicing?  You look a little tense.

Seriously Joan, you look a little tense …have you thought about juicing…OW! OW! STOP IT! I’M SORRY! I’M SOOOORRRRRRY MOMMY DEAREST!!

2. Milk Waste.

If you’ve paid close to $6 for a gallon of organic milk than you know the weepy frustration of finding full, 5 hour old sippies of it casually tossed all willy nilly around the house. ACK! I fixed that. I fixed that good.

Kids!  Drink your White Russians! It's almost bedtime!

Kids! Drink your White Russians! It’s almost bedtime!

Milk. Only at the table. In a big kid glass.

Done and done. I’m happy to report to the board that milk waste has been reduced by a whopping 56%! Just kidding…I have no idea how much it is but we go through SO much less milk now!!!! And it has cut out the mindless drinking so they eat better too.

3. Toys.

That’s too big. That’s for another post. “But Turtle!” you say. “Box up half the toys and rotate them out!”

Yeah yeah yeah. Done it 100 times. The problem is that we don’t have hidden storage in this house so it’s only a matter of time before they stumble onto the hidden toys. It usually goes something like this:

Purple: “Mommy! What’s in this box??”

Trap: “BOX!”

Me: “Uhhhh…it’s broccoli…holding a needle to give you a shot!”

Purple: “No it isn’t! What is it??”

Me: “Nothing! It’s private! Don’t open it!! DON’T OOOOOOOPPPP—NOOOOO!” (picture me slow motion diving across room…very Die Hard…all the sweat…none of the muscles)

Purple: “GASP! A 3,876 piece toy set! Is this new?? When did we get this?? Look at how TINY the pieces are!! Look how MANY of them there are! YAY!”

Trap: (Can’t talk because mouth is full of tiny toy pieces.)

Me: (Can’t talk because I’m curled up in a corner softly weeping.)

So yeah, we’ll tackle toys later, thank you very much.

4. Papers.

Don’t we live in a paperless society? Then what the h-e-double hockey sticks is all of this tree pulp doing in my house?? Some of it is my fault. I’m very much a ‘pile it now, deal with it later’ type of person. Except subtract the deal with it later part. Ooops. I thought about one of those receipt scanners except I know in my heart of hearts that all that will accomplish is a pile of papers cascading on top of a $200 scanner. Still in the box. So this is another one that I’ll have to put to the side for now. I need to recycle, file and shred as things come into my house. I’ve stopped renewing my magazine subscriptions because I never read them but I THINK I’m going to read them so I keep them because getting rid of them would mean that I’ve become the person who can’t make time to sit down and read a damn magazine. And I’m not…I’m NOT! Except I am.

I’m pretty good about recycling but awful at filing. And the shredding? We keep the shredder unplugged and hidden because…well…Trapezoid.

5. Emails.

Gilt. Totsy. Zulilly. West Elm. Fab. Touch of Modern. Living Social. Groupon.

For someone with no money to spend I sure subscribe to a bunch of shopping websites. So I’ve been employing the teeny tiny method here too. As I get an email from a site I don’t need, I unsubscribe. That’s it. One at a time. Simple. Effective. Easy…ooooh are those new boots on Zulilly…NO! UNSUBSCRIBE! Better for me. For my wallet. For my marriage 😉 I still have 26,987…nope now 26,989 emails but that’s because I’m a terrible deleter. TURRIBLE. I just typed Amazon Local (when did I start getting those??) into my email search bar and deleted 240 Amazon Local emails that I have never even opened or read. Slow and steady, my friends…slow and steady.

6. Car Keys.

Do you know how many times I have wept…literally wept over missing car keys? Only a couple of times but still…that can’t be good. And then I find them places like behind the television in the guest room or in my make up bag or even better…actually in my purse. All true stories. All the cause of tears. So I came up with the awesome, innovative, mind shattering way to never lose my keys again.

Hook. Keys. Front Door. Boom.  Mind blown.

Hook. Keys. Front Door. Boom. Mind blown.

I think we can all agree that 19 years of driving is the appropriate amount of time to come up with a solution like this, right?

(19 years of driving?? When the heck did that happen???)

Update: Holy Shamoley I am a weak minded idiot. I’ve been driving for 23 years!! 16 + 23 = 39. Duh.
So I’m on my way to a zen and harmonious household. I figure at the rate I move I should have the toys sorted and cleaned out just in time to box them up and give them to my grandchildren. That’s recycling!

See…it’s already working 😉