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Don’t like the no makeup selfies? Get over it.

I have a bit of a rant. Consider this your warning.

There has been a viral movement called the no makeup selfie to raise awareness for cancer. I, along with countless others from around the world choose to participate.

The idea behind it was to post a photo of yourself without makeup to raise awareness for cancer. Simple, right?

Well, like with everything in life, the movement garnered negative attention. People scrutinized the efforts saying that posting a picture of yourself was vain and attention seeking and in no way could be compared to the struggles those with cancer have to endure. I agree. Posting a picture with no makeup in no way make me or anyone else “brave.”

But I think people missed the point of the movement. I do not think at any point in time did anyone think that by posting a picture of themselves on a social media site were they comparing themselves to having the same difficulties as those with cancer, and to claim that was the intent, is asinine.

To begin with, why would you bash something that was built on the premise of good intention. Why would you criticize something that was intended to do good and make a difference. Why you are standing there with your arms crossed and a scowl on your face complaining about what others are doing, what are you yourself doing for the cause? Are you trying to make a difference? Or are you just sitting behind a computer screen judging others. Get a grip.

I look at the cancer awareness selfies in two ways. First, I see the cancer awareness selfie as being equivalent to wearing a pink shirt or a sporting a ribbon of some sort. Those things do not cure cancer, but you know what it means and it shows support and solidarity. When anyone suffering from breast cancer sees someone wearing a pink shirt throughout October, or a pink ribbon on someone’s chest, they know they are not alone. They know with that simple gesture that someone out there cares about them and what they are going through. The same stands true with the selfies. At least for me, it was a sign of support and encouragement. No different than wearing pink, or purple, or any other color intended to raise awareness for a disease. How could you be mad about that?

The way I look at it, may be where the debate originated. For so many women, makeup is a security blanket. I have friends that would rather be stoned to death than be seen in public without makeup. It is literally crippling for some to go in public without it. So for them to be willing to bare themselves for all the world to see, it is brave. It does matter.

It may be the smallest of small sacrifices, but for so many women, it is just that. A sacrifice. A sacrifice they are willing to make in hopes of reaching someone fighting a battle with cancer. More even than that, with cancers like breast cancer, so many women lose their identity as their hair begins to thin, and their bodies become visibly weak from the treatment. In some cases, women lose their breasts, which too so many are considered to be identifiers of our sexuality.

So while it is simple and easy and small to wash off makeup and show the natural beauty women have, I think it sends a message of encouragement to the women fighting cancer that you do not need hair, or makeup, or even breast to be a strong, beautiful woman. Outside of all of those superficial or stereotypical ways of identifying women, at the core of us all, it is our natural beauty and resilience that carries us all through and will ultimately prevail in the end.

With that kind of message, and that kind of intent, how can you call someone vain or attention seeking? All too often we tear each other apart and want to bring one another down. Let’s change that. Let’s build each other up. Let’s encourage each other to make a difference.

Just because you look at posting a makeup free photo as being easy, or pointless, or even dumb, the person who posted it might have thought it was hard and just wanted to make a difference. But when you criticize them, it discourages any sort of future action or attempt they may make.

Luckily, the negative attention that the no make up selfies garnered only furthered the intent of raising cancer awareness. So, the movement is serving it’s purpose.

Image #nomakeupselfie

, SiteDart Author

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The number one question I HATE being asked.

I work a lot. I know I do nothing but gripe about that and I am sure you are tired of reading about it. But in case you haven’t read any of my previous blogs about my job(s). I have 2 1/2. I am a full time copywriter, a full time newspaper reporter, and a freelance journalist.

Last night, a friend of ours told me I worked so much because I wanted to and I didn’t have to, because Andrew has a job. This is the second time I have heard that this week alone.

Whenever anyone asks me why I choose (like it’s a choice) to work so much I always, and I mean ALWAYS get the same question. “But why do you work so much? Doesn’t Andrew have a good job?”

I cannot stand that question. I cannot stand that assumption. Why is it status quo for people to assume that I do not need to work because my male counterpart has a good job? Yes. Andrew and a job where he makes a very good living. And yes, Andrew takes very good care of me and Turner. Our family does not have to want for anything. We are comfortable and the majority of that is due to Andrew’s income. Even if I didn’t work at all and forced Andrew to let me have my dream job of being a stay-at-home mom, we would still be comfortable.

But to me, that is not realistic. I have bills and things that have nothing to do with Andrew. I have school loans and credit card bills, and phone bills, and the desire to buy things for myself with money that I actually earned.

Why does society think that I shouldn’t have to worry about money and Andrew should just take care of everything for me?

I can go ahead and tell you that on no planet would Andrew willingly want to pay MY $600 a month college loan payment for the next 10 years. And on no planet should he have to.

I do probably work more than I should. But 1) I like to work. and 2) God forbid something happen to Andrew like a tragic bull fighting accident (which is impossible but I am trying no to be morbid and depressing here) or something like he decides to join a monastery in India… I want to know that I can take care of me and Turner without anyone’s help. And although I am working a bagillion hours a week, I have that security now.

So yes. I do not HAVE to work because I have been blessed with someone who could take care of me. But because I know nothing else but to be a hard worker and earn everything I have on my own, I do it

, SiteDart Author

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The best weekend I have had in a long time

I had a beautiful weekend. The best weekend I have had in recent memory. I am always on the go. I am always going 100 miles an hour with three more things to do when I get done. But this weekend was different. I stopped all of that. All I did this weekend, was spend it with Turner and Andrew. I couldn’t be any happier. 

After spending a half a day in the office on Friday, I left early to get some work done on Buckle Up, Baby. The best part about that was, Turner got to come with me. I actually got to spend most of the day with him. It felt like Christmas. The things I would give up to work one less day a week and do nothing but hang out with that little guy…

Friday night Turner and I had a sleep over with Madison. For some reason, I thought it was a good idea to attempt to watch both of the kids by myself. That was basically a train wreck. I do not know how people do it. Every time I get stuck with those two alone… I am convinced without a shadow of a doubt that one child is plenty enough for me. I could have pulled my hair out! Even though I was seconds away from losing it, having the two of them together was wonderful. Watching them talk and communicate with each other is the sweetest thing I have ever seen. 

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After my mother reaffirmed her title of Nana of the year and rescued me from Madison, I got some mommy and Turner time. It is very, very rare that this happens. I got to spend a couple of hours with just the two of us. I was not fighting dad for Turners attention, it was just the two of us. And it was some of the best hours of my life. It really isn’t fair. I should be able to do that every day. 

Sunday was family day. It was pouring rain in the morning, so that kept us away from church, but didn’t stop of us from spending time together. Just me, Andrew, and Turner. While running errands, we even took Turner to see his great-grandma, which is always a treat because she just loves him to pieces. Seeing how much other people appreciate your child makes you appreciate them even more. We are lucky to have such an amazing little boy. We are even luckier to have such wonderful family to love him as much as we do. 

We didn’t do anything over the top. We didn’t have any extravagant plans. We had just us, and that is all I ever need. ❤

, SiteDart Author

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Why I Had to Breastfeed: One Mom’s Story

frommtvtomommy

breastfeeding

I am not a doctor or a nurse. This is not a diatribe on how women must breastfeed. I make no judgments about what other moms do, and quite honestly, it’s not my business. Or yours.

How you want to feed your baby is kosher by me, as long as you don’t feed your baby worms. That would be so wrong.

But for me, I had to breastfeed. Under no circumstances, was I not going to. And it wasn’t just for health reasons and because breast milk is so awesome for babies. While I don’t care what you decide with your child, if you ask me, I will say that breast feeding is awesome.

Here’s why I had no choice but to be a successful milk factory.

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Forever grateful for my better half.

First and foremost I owe a huge thank you to Andrew. I am always exhausted. Regardless if it is because of my work schedule, my up all nights with Turner, because I am lazy, or whatever else factors in, I am always tired. So I usually go to sleep very early. I am talking 8 p.m. Lately, it has been worse. I have had a little bit of a cold/cough, and I have just been more drained than usual. Not to mention that on top of this annoying bit of depression, which I know drains you as well, I am also starting a new diet that essential consists of starvation. With all of those factors, and what I am sure Andrew would describe as my less than pleasant attitude, he has been picking up my slack. 

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Last night he managed Turner while I took a realizing bath, and then passed out before 9. Then, when I normally get up with turner for his midnight wake up session, by the time I woke up last night, Andrew has already gotten up to tend to him so I could sleep. And this comes with Andrew being sick himself. He even just had to have a chest x-ray because he coughs worse than a 50 year old smoker, and we have no idea why. 

I am so blessed to have him and once again am reminded how incredible single mothers are, because there is no way on this planet I could do what they do. 

Side note: Some of my endless work was evident in the local papers today as the press release for the car seat safety event was printed. Yay! 

, SiteDart Author

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What no one tells you about being a mom

Warning: There is nothing fun or entertaining about this post and was written more for therapy for myself. So feel free to skip reading this one. 

I am in the midst of fighting a bit of depression. Surprisingly enough, it is in no way tied to the fact that I am basically a cow at the moment

No, instead the mental battle I am fighting is a result of the crippling weight on my shoulders. I just feel like everything is too much. I need an escape. Mere days separate me from the one  year anniversary of my dad’s death, so that certainly isn’t helping. 

God how I miss him. How these last few weeks have been filled with nothing but regret and shame for not making the most of his life while he was here. A guilt I know that I will never be able to lift. 

 Then there is the car seat safety event that I have been throwing myself into. I have somehow managed to find the time to organize this event while maintaining two full-time jobs, a free-lance job, this blog, and well, the whole being a mother thing. I admit I have let the housewife duties escape me. Oh well. But without knowing it, when I scheduled the car seat safety event months ago, the date was picked for me by others involved and I simply agreed. Well, it turns out that the car seat safety event is scheduled for April 5, one year after the day we laid my dad to rest. I am sure it is another one of those signs from God. Part of his plan to give me and my family something to do rather than sit around and weep about him. So there’s that. 

Then there is my uncontrollable thirst for baseball season. I know it may seem odd to say this is something causing me angst, but it is. I feel like Andrew and I live two completely different lives with the only thing we have in common being Turner. We even work for the same overall company and are still basically strangers (I am sure I am being dramatic here, but as of late and this wave of depression, this is how I feel). But baseball season will change that. That is the one thing that we undeniable can each relate to. The one thing that can bring us back together. Baseball is where we had our first date, where we have spent many dates since, and our love of the game encompasses us so much, yes our son’s name is Turner. So Opening Day cannot get here soon enough. Anything that can make Andrew feel less like a stranger to me. 

 And then there is the milestones in Turner’s life that I am unavoidably missing because I do nothing but work. All day everyday someone else keeps him. While I am lucky enough for that someone else to be my mom, it still is not me. So his steps, his words, his everything belongs to her. Not me. That is crushing. I want to live in a decade where women stayed home. That is where I belong. I would rock that decade. 

And I do nothing but work, but for what? I feel like I am always drowning in money woes. I make a considerably comfortable living. Lets be honest, writers are certainly not CEO salary positions, but because I write for two newspapers and am a full-time copywriter. I do way better than most people. Yet it never seems like enough. Part of that amounts to the $500 in college loans I pay each month and will continue to pay for the next 20 years. If that is not depressing, I do not know what is.

Nothing seems like enough. No one tells you that you are always going to feel like that. I always feel like I am coming up short. In my job(s), as a mom for Turner, as a partner for Andrew, as a family member for my mom and sisters. Nothing I do is good enough. It is never satisfactory. That is what has me down. That is what is weighing on my soul and taking over my mind, preventing me from functioning. Ugh, ready for this to be over.

Song that is getting me through it all: Dave Matthews Band ‘Mercy”

, SiteDart Author

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0 – 6 Months Baby Products – Must Haves! (Part 1)

I agree totally! There are some products you just cannot live without!

Baby Step by Baby Step

Since Baby E turned six months a few days ago, I will share six must have baby items and six unnecessary months baby items.  I will share the first three must have baby items today.

To be honest, I didn’t know all these products even existed before Baby E was born!  I hope expectant mothers will find them useful!

I will first start with the items that I cannot imagine life without.

Quinny Zapp Xtra with Folding Seat

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Love this pram! I love that the seat is reversible so that when the baby is small it can be parent facing.  Having a parent facing pram was one of my main criteria.  It’s so wonderful to push Baby E around for walks because he will laugh and giggle and look around the world with such wonder and amazement.  Something you won’t see when the seat is facing outwards.

The only problem…

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