Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Posh in Clover Review

At the beginning of May I had the chance to attend the Utah Valley Women's Expo. This is a great annual event where companies come to showcase their products and services. My birthday also happens to be at the beginning of May. I finagled a day to myself to explore the Expo. Even with a day all to myself, it's hard to take off the Mom hat!

I found myself drawn to children's products at every turn. My first purchase was an adorable tea set for the girls made from recycled milk jugs. It was a big hit. But my next find won my heart as a solution to an endless problem: eczema.

The company is Posh in Clover, which I love because it sounds luxurious but I don't actually know what it means. According to their About page, "All of our products are artistically crafted by hand using the finest natural ingredients. Our art studio, where our products are crafted, is filled with the raw ingredients we use to craft our products. We do not simply buy a base from wholesale companies and add scent to it. We are passionate about creating natural, cruelty-free spa products that are far beyond the ordinary. Every ingredient we use to create our products has been carefully chosen based upon how it will benefit you. We pride ourselves on using luxurious ingredients that make our products stand out from the crowd and leave the least environmental impact."

Posh in Clover carries two lines I was particularly interested in: Mother & Baby and Kids. I decided to get the spa soap, whipped butter cream, and bubbling bath bomb to try on the girls hoping that it would help Sammi's eczema. Let me back up just a bit. When deciding between the spa soap and the wash, I was leery of the soap because it was so big-twice the size of a regular bar of soap. I wasn't sure how to handle such a large bar of soap and not have it get ruined in the shower. I was hesitating and the gal in the booth said she uses a butter knife to cut off a slice of the soap. That way it fits perfectly in a child's hand and helps the soap last longer. Immediately I could sense Sammi's independence rejoicing at having control of the soap as she washed herself. I was sold.

I brought home the new products and endured Brent chuckling at me since I spent my birthday money on things for the girls. I was excited for bath time and that was enough for me! Sammi was intrigued by my cutting the soap with a knife. And, as I had suspected, relished in holding the soap herself. I love the scent of the soap and the way the girls smell after the bath. Then we tried out the whipped butter cream. Sammi has been rather resistant to lotions after the Eucerin stung her skin so badly. But I let her scoop some out of the tub and apply it herself and she was game. The cream smells like an orangesicle in a light, summery kind of way.

What I noticed first thing the next day was that Sammi's skin was so soft. It felt like silky baby skin again. She hasn't had soft baby skin since she was 5 or 6 months old when the eczema started to flare constantly. She still had some rough patches but the overall feel of her skin was soft and smooth. I am happy to see such quick results. I have tried a lot, a lot of products and this is the first that I have seen such a dramatic improvement in such a short time.

The bath bomb was a big hit too with both the girls. It's made of Dead Sea and Peruvian salts along with a host of other natural ingredients that work wonders on the skin. It dissolves into bubbles under running water. Sammi had fun holding it under the tap and feeling the bath bomb dissolve in her hand.

I now use the baby spa soap for myself and always rub a little extra cream into the back of my hands after their baths. My hands feel soft and even look younger. I'm so happy! No more cracked and bleeding knuckles. I love this company and its products.

If you're interested in trying Posh in Clover out for yourself, you can save 15% by entering the code "posh15" at checkout. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thoughts on Love

So I've been missing Brent. Brent loves music. On our first date he took me to a concert of one of his favorite local bands, Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband. It was great bluegrass music followed by a wonderful fireworks show. At the end of the night, I was a fan of Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband and I was a little more in love with Brent.

This week I put in their CD Hey! Hey! Hey! (recently rereleased under the title Dream Big) and have been reliving that magical evening. The chorus of one song really got me thinking the other day. It goes, "Would you love me if it won't hurt you at all?"

I have been contemplating the implications of loving without the risk of getting hurt. I don't think true love exists without the risk of getting hurt.

Inevitably Brent has said or done something that hurt my feelings. We're human and we're different; it's bound to happen. I'm sure I've unintentionally hurt his feelings. Now, to be honest, I could enjoy loving Brent without this kind of hurt. It's usually over superficial things and the hurt passes quickly.

But, as I scrutinized our relationship, I realize there are a whole host of experiences we've shared that have brought us closer together, but have also involved a bit of hurt. I remember the semester we were engaged, Brent failed one of his classes. He agonized over that grade and the effort he had put into the class. I hurt right along side him. I didn't just feel his pain, though, I also felt my own pain at the part I had played in that grade. I could have given him more time to study. I could have helped him study. The list goes on. But, in the end, we learned, together, what he needed in order to do well in a class. I'm happy to say that not only did he never fail another class, his GPA steadily improved and he was accepted to medical school despite that failing grade. We have had so much joy over that accomplishment and we would not have known that together had we not also hurt together.

There have been other disappointments that have come to us individually but that we have endured together. My love for Brent is stronger and deeper because I have been a part of the most vulnerable and painful experiences he has had over the past 5 years. This ability to share and to feel together is what bonds our hearts as one. That to me is true love.

On the other hand, how hard would it be to be the one who promises it won't hurt if you love me? Think of all the things we could never share, all the tears we could never shed, and consequently all the joy in overcoming that we would never experience. My intent is never to cause pain, but I'm so glad I can tell Brent that I'm absolutely miserable without him here at home and know that it may hurt him to know I'm miserable, but it also reaffirms my love for him and the permanent place he has in my heart and life.

I'm not a masochist, but I wouldn't accept the offer to love without getting hurt. The two emotions weave in and around each other creating a rope that binds us together and makes us stronger as a couple.

I love you, Brent. We're halfway done!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Physical Friday: Crawling

First an explanation and apology: So Brent's been gone about 2 weeks now at training for the Air Force. Before he left I thought it would be great to use the time in the evening after the girls were in bed to blog, catch up on reading and get the house work done. Maybe even some of my sewing projects, too! That was so naive! The truth, I've been completely exhausted and when I sit down, I have the hardest time getting back up again. I've completely lost my stamina and I feel like my brain shuts off at 8:10 when the girls are finally asleep. Ugh. It's been a lot harder than I thought it would be. I apologize for not posting more regularly the last couple of weeks. My goal is to be better! But, we're also moving in three weeks so I'm working on packing up the house.

Just as not all children crawl at the same age, not all children crawl the same way! The standard image of crawling is the baby on hands and knees with belly lifted off the ground. Other forms of crawling include the army crawl where the baby sprawls on the floor and uses arm strength to pull his body along; the scoot where the baby is in a sitting position and scoots her body to her feet then extends the feet out and scoots the body again; the hand-foot crawl where the baby moves along on hands and feet instead of knees. Most babies perfect one or more of these forms of movement before learning to walk.

It's vitally important to note, though, that crawling is NOT a standard developmental milestone. It's perfectly acceptable for babies to bypass the standard image of crawling all together and get right to walking. I have heard tell that babies who don't crawl but go straight to walking are poor readers. From the academic research I found, that information is not supported. I did find some rather interesting stuff, though!

Crawling is a complex system of movement. Babies must learn and master a long list of skills before finally figuring out how to put them all together to crawl. Obviously babies must learn how to hold their head up and how to get up on their hands and knees. But they also must learn how to rock back and forth while on their hands and knees. Finally, they need to learn how to move opposite arms and legs simultaneously, i.e., right arm out with left leg back. This skill is learned and improved as babies learn to reach for objects and begin to realize they can move their whole body in order to reach a desired object.

Once babies learn to sit, they pick up on clues about depth perception in their surrounding environment. When children have been sitting alone for a while, they are able to make good decisions about how far to reach for objects and whether they should reach for objects across an open space. When babies become crawlers, they have to relearn the appropriate clues to depth at this new level. That's why new or inexperienced crawlers will crawl right off the edge of the bed or stairs after an object (or an older sister like Elli did earlier this week!) With practice, though, babies learn what's safe and what's not. The next time Elli approached the stairs she backed up, sat up and looked at me for help! They learn so fast.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thinking Thursday: Bean Bag Number Game

This idea comes from Brandy of Some of This and Some of That. She used this bean bag toss game with her school-age daughter, but it could easily be adapted for preschool-age little ones.

In her post, she says, "I am so excited for the Valentine party in my daughters classroom. I am going to have two kids toss a bean bag on two different numbers, and the two of them will have to add the numbers together to get the sum. I just took four big posters and taped them together, cut out a heart and put numbers on the heart.

"I had my daughter test it out just to make sure they would think it was fun (never know!) and she loved it. Her and I played it for a long time and had fun and learned all at the same time."

This would be a great game to introduce numbers to little ones. Simply have them throw the bean bag on the heart (or whatever shape you make!) and then say the number that it lands on. This could be done in a very informal, undemanding way. As your little one becomes more familiar with numbers, you can ask them to identify the number the bean bag lands on. Once they are fairly comfortable with numbers, you could switch the game by having your little one tell YOU a number and you have to land the bean bag on the number.
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