Friday, 30 August 2019

FFS Friday - Poor me

I would like a break from parenting. I'd like a week off, on my own, where I don't have to make appointments, prepare meals, try to educate my children, do housework, referee fights and all the other things that go with motherhood.

I'd like a supportive husband who takes the load off me and who shares the mental load that comes with raising a child with special needs. I want someone else to research therapy and treatment options. I want someone else to teach the boys so that I don't have to.

I want help and support.

I'd really like to be able to talk about Chai's issues but I just don't feel it's the right thing to do. It's not for me to disclose his personal information, even though writing about it would be a huge stress relief.

Having a child with special needs is so tough. There's no-one I can speak to who gets it. My friends children are all regular kids. Chai is a regular kid with extra challenges.

Our life would be so different if Chai didn't have challenges. It'd be a lot easier and less stressful. I look at other families and envy how much easier things are for them. Life for us is a daily struggle. We've adapted a lot to accommodate his needs and it's so very tough.

I hate to think what things will be like for him as he gets older.

I also hate to think about the affect his behaviour has on Eljay. It wouldn't be easy having him as a brother.

I can understand why special needs parenting breaks marriages. It's a huge load to carry.

Just for one day I'd like a normal life not affected by my sons needs.
I'd like to start my day happy and just have a regular, normal day where I didn't have to think about how Chai was coping and if he was upsetting Eljay.
I'd like to go shopping without a meltdown.
I'd like Chai to get dressed without taking half an hour to find something comfortable.
I'd like the boys not to fight.
I'd like to be able to drop them at a friends house so that I could have a break.
I'd like to feel happy and calm all day.
I'd like not to have to stop and take a few deep breaths to stay calm every half hour.
I'd like to not stop my gym workout every fifteen minutes to reassure Chai that I haven't forgotten him.
I'd like to enjoy motherhood not constantly check the clock and wonder how I'm going to make it through the day. 
I'd like to have a day where Chai's constant noises didn't set my nerves on edge.
I'd like to sit down and watch a movie with my boys.
I'd like to take them to a show or a concert.
I'd like to be able to go on holidays and for us all to enjoy it.
I'd like to lay in bed at night happy that we'd had a good day, instead of feeling like I've failed and planning ways to do a better job tomorrow.
I'd like to have a part time job.  
I'd like to sleep all night in my own bed without any children in my bed. 

I'd love to do the normal, everyday things that other people take for granted.

I've never really thought about how different our life is with Chai. It's all we've ever known. A few things lately have made me realise how restricted and challenging our life is and it's getting me down. Once I started looking around and realisation dawned it was a slippery slide into awareness of how very different we have to do things to accommodate Chai. 

Simple, every day things that should be easy are extremely difficult. This morning I spent 45 minutes helping Chai find comfortable clothes. An hour and a half later he's still not comfortable. This sets the tone for the day. Today will be a day of tears, meltdowns, anger and hurting Eljay. 
Nothing I do will change this. Cuddling, rough play, joking, trying to lighten the mood, taking them to the park, nothing will work. I know this because I've tried it all. 
This is our normal. I really wish it wasn't.

If you have a friend with a special needs child, check in on them. Don't just ask how they are and accept it when they say they're okay. Ask them how they really are and listen without judgement when they tell you how truly difficult things are.
Self pitying rant over. 
Have a beautiful weekend everyone.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Lanolips Lip Water

You know when you love a brand so much that you'll buy their new products even when you think they're going to be crap? That was me with the new Lanolips Lip Water. I was expecting it to be a watery, shimmery mess and yet I still purchased it. Silly. 

Happily it turned out not to be a watery, shimmery mess. 
I thought water referred to the texture, however after using it and reading what Lanolips have to say about it I realised that water refers to hydration.

Lanolips Lip Water is a light, hydrating, glossy lip balm/gloss? I really can't decide if it's a lip gloss or a lip balm. It feels balmy and hydrating but with the slip of a light lip gloss. 

Lanolips call it a lip hydration fluid. The texture is like a liquid lip balm with a holographic shimmer. I was concerned that the shimmer would be over the top but it's very subtle and makes my lips look glossy with no noticeable glitter. As Lip Water contains peppermint it has a lovely fragrance and minty tingle.

Lanolips describe Lip Water as a brand new kind of lip hydration fluid. Weightless, refreshing and glowy. 
With liquid lanolin, hyaluronic acid, glycerin and peppermint, Lip Water is non-sticky with an underwater-holographic glow. A bit like a serum. But more like a drink of water for your lips. Lip Water will dive down and hydrate your deeper layers, leaving your lips glistening and soft.

The shimmer is very difficult to capture. These photos were the best I could manage.

Overall I'm really happy with Lip Water and will purchase it again. The only thing I don't like is the brush, it's quite hard and has already splayed after only a few weeks useage. A sponge applicator or squeeze tube would have been a lot better. 

I purchased my Lanolips Lip Water for $ 23 (AUD) from Sephora. You can also purchase it fron the Lanolips website.

Ingredients: lanolin oil, lanolin, calcium aluminium borosilicate, aroma, Vit E, sunflower seed oil, sodium hyaluronate, glycerin, silica, tin oxide, limonene, CI 77891.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Thoughts of the week

1. Chai and Eljay are currently video calling one of their friends. Listening to their conversation is so cute.

2. This week has been incredibly tough. Parenting is so very difficult sometimes.

3. I purchased some lip balms from A Kiss of a Bee this week and they're beautiful. The coffee balm is spectacular.

4. All of my people are back from overseas and nothing went wrong!

5. I'm very interested in the new Urban Decay Vice Lip Chemistry.

Friday, 23 August 2019

FFS Friday - Crap

Hello Friday my old friend. Lovely to see you again. 
I'm not sure what to talk about today. My head is spinning with lots of things but I'm not sure I want to talk about them here. Whilst I have no filter most of the time, some things that involve the kids I don't talk about here purely for their privacy. It's fine for me to talk about myself but I'm hesitant to talk about their issues even though I desperately want to. 

Today I'm going to complain about Shelby (our dog). This is her right now.

She's due for a visit to the dog groomers but I've been holding off until the weather warms up a bit. 

Yesterday morning had been rough. I had some heavy things to deal with and was feeling very stressed/worried/totally unqualified to deal with it. I'd gotten up, turned on the coffee machine and was lighting the fire when I smelled poo. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from so searched around until I saw a little bit of poo on the mat next to me. FFS.

Straight away I knew where it'd come from. I carried Shelby outside and checked her bum. Sure enough the long hair was covered in patches of poo. FFS.

I got a cloth and some scissors and started cleaning her up. After a while I realised it was a futile effort so carried her inside and put her in the shower whilst I cleaned up the house.

Our main living area is tiled. We have three rugs but the majority of the area is tiles. Do you think she got poo on the tiles? No. She got poo on each of the three rugs and none on the tiles. FFS.

I cleaned up the poo then went to the bathroom to deal with Shelby. It took a combination of three face washers, lots of warm water and a great deal of trimming to clean her up. Poor girl didn't enjoy it at all but she was very tolerant. I had to hold her by the tail to keep her still whilst I cleaned her up. 

When I finally got her clean I realised that she'd been sitting on me so I was also covered in poo as was her bed. FFS.

What a way to start the day. She could at least have waited until I'd had my coffee.

The good thing about starting the day like that is that it can only get better, which it did. The weather was beautiful so we spent most of the day at the park which was glorious. 

Have a beautiful weekend.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

PR Products I've repurchased

You know when you see certain brands and products all over Instagram, YouTube and blogs then all of a sudden they're gone and you never hear about them again? I always wonder if the products are as amazing as people claim they are. If they really were, wouldn't you continue to hear about them?  

Seeing the same products all over your feed/blogroll is a perfect indication that they're being sent out as PR, even if it wasn't disclosed. 

Having said that, back when I was getting quite a few PR packages, trying to get through them was overwhelming so I never had the chance to repurchase things I loved because I always had a backlog of new products to try.

Today I thought I'd show you some products and brands that I continue to use years after receiving them as PR. Funnily enough all of these are Australian Brands.

I love all of these brands and use more than one product from each of them.

These products are amazing for my skin. I am never without the Even Blend Serum and Vitamin C Powder. Together they're miracle workers. I've tried using them separately however I find them much more effective when used together. 
Other products I like from the range are the Glycolic Scrub and L-Lactic Cleanser.

McArthur Natural Products
When my skin is irritated I turn to McArthur. Their eczema cream is a lifesaver for irritated skin. I'm never without the Complete Skincare Cream, it's an all over product that's great for travel because I can use it as a face and body moisturiser and on the boys. 

There are so many products I love from Botani. I've been using the Olive Skin Serum and Radiant Rose Mask for years. The Olive Skin Serum is one of the first facial oils that I used. It's light, absorbs quickly and is super hydrating.
I've recently discovered the Acai Berry Antioxidant Serum and Olive Repair Cream and will be repurchasing them soon. The Olive Repair Cream is heaven for dry, sensitive skin.

Simplicite is another great Australian brand that doesn't get enough exposure. 
I use the Sage Face Oil, Hydrating Floral Toning Lotion and Great Outdoors Moisturiser. They're all beautiful products that are gentle on my skin. 
I desperately want to try the Angelica Lip Care Balm but whenever I've gone to buy it it's been out of stock.

The Jojoba Company
I've used The Jojoba Company products for years now and they don't disappoint. They've recently come out with some new products that I really want to try. 
The two products that I always have in my collection are the Australian Jojoba and Ultimate Serum.  
My pick from the range is the Ultimate Serum as it makes a noticeable difference to my skin. Whenever I stop using it my skin is dull, patchy and rough, as soon as I put it back into my routine my skin is happy again. 

Subtle Energies
Oh how I love these beautiful products. I wish that their Facial Blend came as a perfume, the scent is gorgeous, it's instantly calming. 
If they were a little cheaper I'd have more Subtle Energies products in my life. I love everything I've tried from the range, everything is beautiful. If I could only pick one product it'd be the Facial Blend because of the heavenly scent. 
The Gentle Neem Daily Cleansing Gel and Mogra Rejuvenating Gold Moisturiser are two other products that I love from the range. 

What products do you repurchase?

Friday, 16 August 2019

Thoughts of the week

1. If I had half a day at home to myself I'd do a huge cull of my lipsticks and glosses. It's something I've been wanting to do for ages but it's not possible with the boys around. They love checking everything out and would want to try it all on. 
I'm in the mood to be very ruthless and get rid of 75% of my collection. It'll happen one day.

2. I've been using the Carmex Comfort Care Colloidal Oatmeal Lip Balm in Sugar Plum. It's a beautiful balm. I got mine from iHerb and will be purchasing another with my next order.

3. Staying positive when you're surrounded by negativity is f@#$ing difficult.

4. I am so tempted to buy this set from TVSN.

5. Who else struggles with gift buying? When I lived in the city it was never a problem because I was constantly shopping so knew what was available. Now I rarely shop so really struggle when it comes to buying gifts.

FFS Friday - Chokito

Hi beautiful people. I'm sitting here next to the fire with a Grumpy Farmer iced coffee. Right at this moment life is good. If you like iced coffee that's not too sweet, Grumpy Farmer is amazing. It's a cold drip coffee made in Fremantle.

It's time for me to get my weekly rant on and tell you about the things that have been on my mind this week. It's screens. Whilst technology is amazing and has made our lives so much easier in some ways, in other ways it's the devil. 

How often do you go out and see people ignoring each other because they're all on their phones? I hate it. 
My boys love screens which is something that really concerns me. Their screen time is very, very limited. I did consider getting rid of all screens but decided that's not a realistic option because screens are a part of our life now so they need to know how to manage them appropriately. 

I'm yet to figure out how to teach them to manage their screen time. I make sure not to spend much time on my phone in their presence, if I need to use my phone in front of them I'll explain to them what I'm doing so they understand that we can use devices for certain things. Hopefully one day that'll realise that using devices can seriously harm relationships if they aren't used appropriately. 

Also, if you've been following along at home, I'm still on strike. 

See that Chokito wrapper? It's been on the floor in the pantry for 5 weeks now. It was Tigers. The silver thing is the bin. No idea how he missed the bin, but he did and I'm not picking it up. 
Wonder how long it's going to sit there for. Any guesses?

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

The solution for sore, red, irritated eyelids

For years I've suffered from hayfever eyes. Every change of season my eyelids get sore, red, itchy and irritated. I've tried all sorts of products and the only thing that's helped them is cortisone cream, which is something I don't want to use on my eyes. 

The last few years I've given up and just accepted that I'll have gross eyes for several months every year. A few months ago when my skincare started irritating my eyes I got out some La Roche-Posay and Avene samples to give them a go. You can imagine how surprised I was when they healed up my hayfever eyes!

I use a combination of the Avene Soothing Eye Contour Cream, La Roche-Posay Toleraine Ultra Yeux and Avene Cicalfate. 

I use the La Roche-Posay to heal when my eyes are really irritated, Cicalfate at night time and the Avene eye cream as maintenance when my eyes are healed.

Cicalfate can be used all over the face. It's quite rich, so I don't use it during the day, but it's a great intensive night time treatment. 

If I could only choose one product it'd be the La Roche-Posay Toleraine Ultra Yeux. It feels very soothing and heals my eye irritation within two days. Out of all the products I've tried Toleraine Ultra Yeux is the only product that heals the irritation.

None of these products sting upon application. They don't cause puffiness even when I apply a thick layer at night time. After years of being resigned to having sore, red, wrinkly old lady eyes, I'm thrilled to have finally found a solution.

La Roche-Posy and Avene are both on sale at Priceline at the moment, so if you want to try them now is the time!

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Thoughts of the week

1. I love this story.

2. Those of you who love hot cross buns will be thrilled to know that Coles are now selling them all year round.

3. Who's watching the latest season of The Bachelor? I'm not. The last seaon with Nick Cummins really put me off. I'm sure the new bloke is nothing like Nick, but after last season I'm over it.

4. This week I got a bike. I'd forgotten how much fun riding is. It's been about 30 years since I've ridden so I'm quite wobbly but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it again. If this is my last blog post you'll know I didn't get the hang of it.

5. For long term readers who followed along with the Sephora saga when they first opened in Australia, you'll be pleased to know that I've now had five successful orders with no issues at all. Hopefully they've got their customer service issues sorted.

Friday, 9 August 2019

FFS Friday - Get on with it

Happy Friday beautiful people. I hope you've all had a good week. If you haven't, the weekend is nearly here. 

Time for the latest episode of what's been getting my goat this week. Want to know? Let me tell you. 
This week I've been told by two kind, well meaning health professionals that I can't keep going like this and I need to take care of myself. 

You know what? I know that! But really, how am I supposed to look after myself? I do the best I can but certain things I can't change. I can't change Chai. I can't change Tigers job. I can't put the kids in school unless I want to send us all crazy. I can't get a babysitter because Chai is too anxious to stay with anyone. So please, tell me how I'm supposed to take care of myself?

I do the best I can but some days are just tough and that's the way it is. I figure I have two choices. I can sit around complaining about how tough life is or I can get on with it. I choose to get on with it. 

The other thing that helps me is I know this is only temporary. Whilst Chai is extremely difficult to deal with at the moment, it's not permanent. Nothing is. In time I'll get the right combination of treatment for Chai and life will get easier. That's what I focus on. This too shall pass.

It'd be great if, instead of telling people they need to look after themselves health professionals offered help or suggested appropriate support services? Almost anything would be better than telling someone they need to look after themselves. We all know that, it's not helpful.

All of us can and do get through difficult things because the simple fact is we have no choice. Things happen and you deal with them. You might not deal with them well, it might be tough, messy and awful, but you still deal with them. 
You get up and you get through the day, go to bed and then get up and get through the next day. Some days you might not make it out of bed but you're still dealing with it and the next day you'll start again. 

Life is tough. It's ugly, it's messy and it's soul destroying. It's also beautiful, heart warming and wonderful. Whether we're having a great day or an awful day we all do our best. We get through the day and live to face another day.

So, what would I like people to say instead of you need to look after yourself? Here's a few suggestions:
You're amazing.
You're coping so well.
How can I help?
Here's some chocolate.
Would you and the kids like to meet at the park so we can chat whilst they play?
Can I take the boys to the park for a little while?
Here's a coffee.

Or any other kind, helpful words. Just not you need to look after yourself. That's not helpful.  

Truth be told most days I don't know how I survive. Most days I barely cope. That's my reality. But I have no choice. There aren't any other options. So I cope. As do we all.

Have a beautiful weekend

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Skincare for sensitive eyes

Strange things have been happening lately. 

For the last few months I've suffered with extreme fatigue. Getting through the day has been a struggle, by lunchtime I'm ready to go to sleep. When Tiger is home I've been sleeping for an hour or two every afternoon. Gym days are worse, I get home from the gym and can barely function. I've had blood tests, started taking vitamins, changed my diet and nothing has helped. I thought perhaps it was my Crohn's so had a colonoscopy and endoscopy. They came back clear.

A few weeks ago we were staying home for the day and I didn't bother using any skincare. That day I was full of energy and wasn't exhausted by lunchtime. Interesting. 
I've known for a while that some sunscreens make me really tired, but I hadn't considered that my skincare might have the same effect. 
The next day I used my skincare without sunscreen and I was exhausted by lunchtime. 
Over the next few days I experimented and realised that the majority of my skincare irritates my eyes which then causes fatigue. 

Funny how irritated eyes make me tired. I don't really understand how that works but I suppose when my eyes are irritated I blink more? I have no idea. My eyes don't get red or irritated but they clearly are. 

This was good news and bad news. Good because I no longer struggle to make it through the day, bad because I can't use most of my skincare.

Who would have thought that skincare would migrate to my eyes and cause fatigue? It's so strange. I don't put my skincare anywhere near my eyes, I apply it above my eyebrows and below my cheekbones yet it still manages to migrate into my eyes.

Now that I've figured out what's going on I can tell when my eyes are irritated, I recognise the feeling. 

Thankfully, there are still some products that I can use without any irritation. So far the list is very small, hopefully I'll manage to find a sunscreen that I can use. I've ordered a La Roche Posay one that's designed for sensitive eyes so I'll let you know how that goes. I've also ordered some La Roche Posay skincare.

Kiss Ready Skin Chia Oil
Botani Antioxidant Berry Serum
Botani Olive Day and Night Cream
Avene Cicaplast
Avene Hydrance Hydrating Serum
Avene Soothing Eye Contour Cream
Avene Skin Recovery Cream
Liar Wrinkle Cheater
The Jojoba Co Jojoba Oil
La Roche-Posay Toleraine Intensive Moisturiser
I'm grateful that I can still use whatever I want to at night time, I need to keep up with my anti-aging routine!

Do you have sensitive eyes? Got any advice for me on how to deal with it? 

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Thoughts of the week

1. This week our house has turned into the neighbourhood kids hangout. I am not sure how I feel about this. The introvert in me doesn't like it, the Mum in me likes that the kids all feel comfortable here.

2. I loved this video of Liv Tyler doing her skincare routine. She has such a soothing voice.

3. Watching Liv inspired me to take more care with my skin care. I used to view it as a nightly chore but the last week I've been treating it like a self care ritual and it's been lovely. Funny how a small change in attitude can much such a big difference.

4. What's with make-up being so ridiculously expensive here? The new Chantecaille Lip Veils are $73. How ridiculous. I really don't think any lip product is worth $73.

5. Also, whilst we're on the topic of cosmetics, what's with Aussie brands that release products overseas before they release them here? Lanolips have just released a new lip balm and it's only at Ulta. They don't even ship here. How annoying.

Friday, 2 August 2019

FFS Friday - Sad

This week I had an epiphany. I was reading about parents who had trouble toilet training their kids and was very confused. I didn't toilet train my boys. When they showed signs of being ready I just created an environment where using the toilet/potty was easy. I put the potty in the lounge room, we read books about using the toilet and didn't put pants on them so using the potty was easy. 

That got me thinking about homeschooling and I realised that all I have to do is create an environment where learning is easy. For a few minutes I thought that I didn't know how to make learning easy, then I realised that I do. All I need to do is have interesting things around so that they want to learn about them. Children (and most adults) are naturally curious, so I just have to pique their curiosity. Easy.

Well not that easy, but theoretically it should be easy. I just have to figure out how to have interesting things around. I suppose I could get a pile of different things and just swap them around, but I want the boys to choose what they're interested in, not me to make it up for them.  I suppose at the age they're at they're interested in most things. Yesterday they were asking about mosquitoes. Maybe nature is the answer. They're both very interested in animals and how things work so maybe if I start with nature and the environment I'll get the hang of it.

I'll let you know how I go.

Right. Now it's time to talk about what's been getting my goat this week. Actually, I've got nothing. I'm sure there's plenty but I've blocked it out. 
So let's talk about Chai. I'm thinking that I might have to medicate him. 

I really don't want to, it's something I've been trying to avoid but I think we may have reached a point where he needs it. My poor baby. He has funny tics and habits caused by anxiety. Whilst they are quite irritating to me they haven't caused him any concern until the last few weeks. He's always been aware of them but when he's mentioned it we haven't made a fuss so he's been okay. Now he's worried about some of the tics and he asks about them every night. A few nights ago he was crying because he's scared he'll go blind. 

When his tics and habits were only annoying me I didn't mind, but them upsetting him is not okay. I hate the thought of him being on medication from such a young age and the effect that it could have on him really scares me, however I won't have him upset at things he can't control. 

This week we start the process of getting a diagnosis for him. I really don't want to go down this path, I just want to fix everything and make him okay. 
If only it were that simple.