Everyday is a Princess Day

My daughter is going through the "princess" phase.  I find it absolutely adorable.  It's only fitting since her nickname has been Princess from day one.  Anyway, she has princess dresses in just about every color and cycles through them throughout the day.

She rides her bike in a pink princess dress adorned with flowers.

She has Hello Kitty sparkle shoes to complete the look.

She needed an Elsa dress and an Anna dress from Target.  We had to visit them before I finally caved and purchased them.

The ladybug dress "flew away" aka got thrown away because it was disintegrating.

Fortunately, Princess dresses are "at home wear" and aren't worn to school or running errands.

Sunday was a scorcher, so she and her brother were playing in the backyard in a small plastic pool.  Previously, they had been drawing with sidewalk chalk on the back porch and needed to take a "bath" to wash off the chalk dust.  A realized the chalk would dissolve in the water (she's been in trouble for doing this before).  So, of course, she chose a new glitter chalk (obviously it was pink) to experiment with.  She swirled it around in the water making pretty patterns before dunking herself in the pool.

Why, might you ask?  To be glittery and sparkly of course.  Princesses are sparkly in case you didn't know.


Near Perfect

Today was one of those rare perfect days.  I feel the need to document so I can remember this on a dreadful day that's bound to come.

I got to sleep until I woke naturally.  It was raining.  My ideal lazy morning.  The house was quite as my hubby had taken H to preschool and A was still snoozing in her bed.  Hubby brought home coffee.

When my daughter awoke, she came down stairs in a lovely mood.  She even let me brush her hair and braid it.  She went up stairs to play by herself. I lounged around reading blogs and taking pictures of my loves.  The dogs played together, gently.  I even got to capture a video, after all, Oliver will only be a puppy for a short while.

We had lunch as a family once H was home from preschool.  Hubby took a nap, I planned and started dinner.  I daydreamed about what I want from life while doing a few chores.  Almost decided to paint, but opted to wait for a time when hubby isn't home to ask questions.  H took a nap.

Hubby said I was sexy, despite me still in my pajamas and lacking a shower.  I may not feel it, but its nice to be reminded.

Made dinner with two vegetable side dishes!  Hubby and A made cookie dough.  Woke up H to join us for dinner.  Kids actually ate protein AND tried some veggies!  Of course we bribed with cookies, but there were no tears!

Hubby and I had a conversation about family goals.  It feels good to continue the discussion of what we want for our family and how we should proceed. It really helps to put the hard-life stuff in perspective.

I stole a few bites of cookie dough.  Don't tell. (its a sin to my hubby, something about wasting the final product?)

And I still have a few hours left in the day!  I might be able to squeeze in a soak in the tub and a DIY facial and still turn in early!


Trust your Gut

Have you ever had one of those gut feelings where you know you are right?  But you're sure those around you think your wrong?  It's a horrible feeling.  Especially when you don't have a solid piece of evidence to stand on.

The last few months I've been dealing with this gut feeling.  My gut says my daughter needs help with speech.  She needs help finding the right words to communicate with her world.  My gut says she simply needs extra help finding the key to unlock her language for learning.  Those around me said she was broken.  They said she doesn't fit with other kids, she's not smart enough, she's not this, she's not that.  Lots of finger pointing.  Lots of can'ts.  Surely, I've noticed she's different.  Surely, I've thought she's Autistic.

May I tell you something?  She's not broken. She's not average.  She's God's creation.

Monday, we had another appointment at MUSC in Charleston.  We met with an Autism specialist.  I didn't want to.  I put it off.  I tried to talk myself out of it.  But I knew we needed to go.  And I was afraid.  I was afraid my daughter would have a label for the sake of putting a diagnosis with a symptom.  My gut says she doesn't have Autism.  My gut says she has a language delay.  But who trusts my gut feeling?  No parent wants to admit their child has a fault, isn't perfect, etc.  I should want the extra services for school.  I should want to be able to put a finger on why my daughter doesn't talk.  I should want a simple answer to explain to people.

In your deepest fears you learn what makes you tick.  I poured my soul out to God.  I cried out on behalf of my daughter.  I don't want her childhood stolen from her.  I want her to live to her fullest potential; to be what God has created her to be.  And I don't want my pride to stand in her way.

Our appointment lasted nearly 6 hours.  We had interviews and evaluations.  We were in the room while our daughter was being tested.  We saw the same things the evaluator saw.  I am proud of my daughter.  She cooperated.  She had fun!  She did better than I expected.  And the preliminary results are too close to call.

So for now, we have no diagnosis.  We can't check off all the boxes for Autism.  Yes, she has some delays and barriers, but not enough. The team will provide us with an in-depth report in the next few weeks, and for now the recommendation is to re-evaluate in 5 to 6 months.  They would like to gather more information once she's back in school and see how she does in Kindergarten.  So far, my gut is right.

I am relieved.


Fresh face

Ok, so I love cosmetics.  I enjoy fixing my hair, trying out makeup, tweaking my morning routine.  I want to feel my best, but look like I didn't try too hard.  I think that's a bit challenging.  Have you noticed beauty products are expensive?  I am forever frustrated by purchasing a product, trying it, only to discover that it doesn't work.  Or its not the right color, it gives me a rash, or causes my face to break out.  I like to experiment, but not the price tag that comes along with buying products.  Not to mention the clutter it can bring.

Fortunately, I discovered Birchbox a few years ago.  Its a subscription service (like a magazine) that sends you curated beauty samples once per month.  Most are small sample size products, although occasionally there is a deluxe or full size product.  I've sampled skincare products, hair care, fragrance, make-up, and even candy!  I love how I've learned which brands and products work for me, what is worth splurging on versus what I can save.

About a year ago, I was introduced to face oil.  I think I even blogged about it.  Despite my initial reluctance, it has become a product I can't live with out.  So that initial product I did end up purchasing.  It lasted quite a while, but now its no longer available on the Birchbox website, and I'm having a hard time swallowing the price tag.  I tried a few other facial oils, even plain coconut oil, but they just weren't the same.  Until I found Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil.

I love it so much.  It works just as well as the other, plus its less expensive! (and more in the bottle)
I put it on every morning after I shower and at night after I wash my face.  I still follow up with eye cream and moisturizer, especially in the winter.  On days I don't wear make up, this is all I do to my face.  I love how my skin instantly feels soft and moist, but not greasy.  It evens my skin tone and doesn't cause breakouts.  In fact, I think it helps keep breakouts at bay.  If there is one thing I put on my skin every day, this is it.

Have you tried face oils?  What beauty product is your must have?