i keep a glass amber bottle next to my bedside that’s water and lavender essential oil. i cannot get enough of the fresh, soothing scent right before bedtime. it helps prepare me mentally for sleep. but lavender, rightly so, can be an easy scent to turn to in eco-friendly products for home. so i looked up ways i could spice up my scents for other rooms, while still maintaining the calm of lavender. my first search led me to a mixture of essential oils i already had (bonus!): sandalwood, chamomile, and lavender. used in essentially equal parts (though i have chosen to make mine more sandalwood heavy bc i love the masculine smell) it is a great spray perfect for living rooms or offices. it calms, relaxes, relieves some anxiety, and just plain smells amazing.
in a 4 oz glass spray bottle, fill with water and add equal parts sandalwood, lavender, chamomile. adding a bit of vodka can help emulsify the concoction, allowing the oils and water to mix evenly. shake it up and spray around. inhale. relax. repeat. enjoy.
life is going to change dramatically when little bug arrives. i can anticipate and foresee some of these changes but others are going to take jp and i (and ramona!) by storm. before life gets rocked and we’re juggling a toddler and a helpless newborn and patio season opening up at the populist (which makes for an increasingly busy hubby) jp and i set aside a long weekend to spend some time with just the two of us. our intention was to slow down, be a pair free of our daily commitments and distractions, and reconnect with each other. so off to a ranch in hye, texas (that’s hill country, y’all) owned by jp’s aunt and uncle.
we were blessed with great weather, free and spacious accommodations, beautiful sunsets, wonky wi-fi that forced us –even more– to be present with each other, and a golf cart that enabled me to explore the land freely (this belly doesn’t get me too far these days). i understand a baby moon is a luxury that many people can’t find the time or finances for and i do not take it for granted we were able to steal away for these handful of precious days.
jp is the most important person in my life. he is my lover, my rock, my best friend, my confidant, my reason, my chosen one. he is steadfast, kind, humble and pretty much your poster-child of patience. living and learning and loving with him has taught me much about being grounded, listening well, and constructively and respectfully agreeing to disagree. at the risk of sounding cheesy, being his partner has made me a much better person than before i met him. and he also loves and embraces all my quirks and who i am at my core!
i gush about all of this bc, while i LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mother and that will always be a part of who i am, my partnership with my husband is the most important relationship i will cultivate on this earth. we are a team. and i want to continue to work on our marriage and our union so that when ramona and little bug watch us, it will be so evident to them how we are able to love them so well: bc jp and i love each other as best and as selflessly as we humanly can. jp and i working on a strong, healthy, loving, respectful marriage is, perhaps, one of the most essential things we can give to our children (that and the freedom for them to be themselves… but that’s another post). my hope is that a strong marriage will set them up to love themselves and to expect and give good, honest, respectful love from and to their future significant others.
furthermore, if we do things right, ramona and little bug will be leaving the nest around the time they turn 18. and i shudder to think that jp and i will have not made the effort and taken the time to grow our love and connection with each other and, instead, feel like strangers bc we don’t know what the hell to do w the other now that we don’t have such an active role as parents.
parenthood, especially the early years, is hard. when ramona was first born i had awful thoughts about jp and our marriage. some of these were fueled by crazy hormonal changes going on in my body, and others were caused by the great shift that had happened in our family. in the beginning, with all this newness, we didn’t always adjust as well or as quickly as our emotions needed. and there are, of course, still days every so often where we completely miss each other. and having young (basically helpless) children compounds this. and it can be lonely and frustrating. but, i will tell you this: it is a season. and it too shall pass. especially if both you and your partner are on board w working your darndest to communicate honestly and respect the other (even if biting, nasty words get hissed in the heat of the moment) and are open to being humble and asking for forgiveness and giving it freely.
this post didn’t quite go the direction i had originally planned: but marriage is hard and i think struggles like how babies can totally knock your marriage on its head need to be talked about more openly so that others don’t feel they’re all alone. that, and how important it is to set aside the craziness of life and find time to connect with your lover. the payoff, when the chicks have flown the coop and it’s the two of you old birds wondering what to do with your empty nest, will be well worth it.
thought you’d be getting more of texas hill country? below is my list of suggested things to do (besides soaking up the open space, wide skies, and drinking on the porch) if you find yourself one hour west of austin, texas, in what people are calling the napa of texas (i know, 30 weeks pregnant is prime time to go wine tasting. ha!)
we are a pickle family. there is always a jar of some in our fridge. not the sort you can get on an unrefrigerated grocery shelf. no. never. the good kind. the kind that has funk and spices and crunch to it and is usually found in the deli section. so imagine my delight when i discovered the real dill pickles, made in denver. they’ve got funk, they’ve got punch, they’ve got tang, they’ve got spice, they’ve got crunch.
i first tried them at the populist pop-up holiday market and ramona and i kept sneaking back to their table to steal samples. i have sworn to justin, one of the owners, that i will never buy another sort of pickle again. this is a promise i am confident i can keep. justin is offering colorado readers of A Denver Home Companion the chance to win a jar of pickles as well as a jar of their bloody mary mix (you best believe when this baby is out i will be drinking my fair share of that during weekend brunches).
leave a comment below about what you most admire in a pickle or, if you’ve had the real dill, what your favorite flavor is. for more chances to win like them on facebook (please leave a separate comment for this). a winner will be announced next monday, 2/3.
don’t win this giveaway? that shouldn’t deter you from picking up a jar of your own. check their website to see what grocer near you stocks them.
p.s. the real dill is one of the sponsors of the upcoming colorado makers pig roast hosted by the populist on sunday, 2/9. we are so very excited to partner with them and showcase their delicious pickles next to a juicy roasted pig (c/o tender belly). interested in attending? tickets are going fast. get more details and purchase tickets here.
pregnancy brain is a real thing. and it has set in hard for me this past week. well, i think it set in earlier but it’s just now i’m realizing what is happening to me. i’m both glad to know there’s a reason for this madness and anxious to see how the next eight weeks pans out with a brain for mush.
what is pregnancy brain?
one pregnant friend of mine due this week, described it best: “i feel like somebody pooped in my head.”
amen, sister. amen.
it’s a mixture of fuzziness and lethargy and discombobulation and unclear thinking. mine is accentuated by a complete lack of motivation (how long has it been since i wrote a blog post?!) and i have zero ability to concentrate. i’m not sure if it’s an inevitable part of pregnancy for every woman but it sure has been for both of mine. call me crazy, but i’m super looking forward to a newborn who doesn’t let me sleep through the night more than this soupy brain bc i can operate a lot better on little sleep than i can with fuzzy head.
it can be desperately lonely at times, this pregnancy-brain malady. it’s my hormones and my changing body growing a human, surely, but messing with my head?! just leave me be. being present with ramona in the last weeks we have together, just the two of us, is becoming increasingly hard, and my patience is tried bc my mind isn’t thinking straight. and i don’t quite have the enthusiasm about getting out of the house but then, of course, i feel so cooped up and that brings me down as well. i’ve already had to stop doing yoga and i have intense ligament pain that prevents me from walking long distances. i feel like a beached whale and already weigh more at 32 weeks than i did at 40 with ramona. woe is me.
the upside to all of this is that i am understanding it is my body’s way of telling me to sloooowwwww down. take it easy. rest up. there is a baby about to be birthed and a complete change in schedule and life and dynamic. and it’s best if my body is ready for this. so i’m nesting like a maniac. trying to keep the house clean and organized. cutting back on social commitments. emotionally and mentally preparing my self and my heart for this new bundle of craziness that’s about to be a part of our family.
admittedly, i don’t do pregnancy very well. certainly not this second time around. i was far better at embracing all of the changes my body and mind went through the first time as it was all so new and magical to me. i remember gushing and glowing to jp and my midwives about being pregnant with ramona and they would lovingly listen but gently remind me that it gets harder the further you get along and the more pregnancies you have. i scoffed at them. don’t rain on my parade! but, yes, my body is not handling this as well as the first time. i am not glowing and gushing. it is very very hard for me to embrace how this pregnancy is making me feel. it still is completely magical (growing a baby inside of my body, what?!) but i’m over it. i know what happens. now i just want to meet this little girl and have my body and my clarity back.
have you experienced pregnancy brain? how did your pregnancies compare between your first, second, or more?
photo of me at 30 weeks by miss ramona bean.
resolution prayer for myself this year, 2014. to find –amidst the deadlines and errands and active toddlers and helpless newborns and obligations and hobbies and beautiful hullabaloos that happen with life– quiet and space to be. to set aside the lists and must-completes and intentionally seek out the what-do-i-GET-to-dos with this one wondrous and blessed life and family and community.
from myself, and jp, and ramona, we say namaste and peace and love to you in this hopeful new year.