As a young 20-something, the term “walk of shame” is well known for many people. You may be arriving to your 8am class the next day wearing the same outfit as the night before, with the nightclub handstamp image transferred onto your cheek, your hair array, and reeking of jungle juice. This obviously never happened to me, friends. Whatever you may fondly associate the term “walk of shame” with is your own prerogative. But I’m here to tell you that once you have officially traded in your dancing shoes for Toms and your clubbing skirt for a forgiving pair of yoga pants and entered the land of Momhood- the “walk of shame” evolves as well.
Yesterday, for example, is the perfect analogy of what a 29 (almost 30!) year old’s “walk of shame” has morphed into. In case you didn’t realize this, I’m talking about me. And just so you know, I also happened to be wearing Toms, and yoga pants (that have never even been to a yoga class.) So you’re getting the visual.
It was a beautiful day, so a small group of girlfriends from playgroup and I decided to hit up the local Denver hot-spot. The happenin’ place for all Stay at Home Moms and children under 5 years old at 10am. The zoo.
We arrived in good spirits. The 2 year olds were in good spirits, and the infants were content and/or snoozing in the strollers. We made a hard right for the monkeys, bypassing the giraffes and the “etephants” (elephants).
Tourist attractions meant for kids know what they’re up to. Putting a very loud and very obvious carousel at the zoo? Charging an extra admission price to ride it? The jig is up!
I should have known this was going to be the beginning of the end. The fact that Vivien began her temper tantrum before we even were able to purchase the tokens? The signs were all there. The waterworks started and the tantrums began. Friends, my daughter is not a cute kid when she’s throwing a tantrum. She contorts her face into what I labeled “ugly face”, and typically has at least three drool strands spanning from her nose to the floor at all times. That’s just the looks, too. The sound is loud, and annoying. And the actions? Oy. They almost always involve throwing something out of rage, plopping onto the floor, and sometimes kicking the ground as well.
She was able to pull it together after many threats from me of “time outs” long enough to enjoy the ride. And I’m sure you can imagine what happened approximately three minutes and one tiger-ride later.
The tantrum started again.
And it basically didn’t end. There was no reasoning with her, and it was escalating quickly. The ugly face was in full force, and my shoulder was literally soggy with drool strands and tears. My anger was rising as my patience level went down the toilet. It was time to just remove her from the situation, and stop the idle timeout threats. I informed her that we were leaving, and she heaved her entire body onto the dirty goose-poo covered sidewalk and began kicking. I picked her up and she arched her back and threw herself backwards. So I slung her under my armpit like a sack of potatoes, and haphazardly said our “goodbyes” and apologies to the other moms.
And then I started the long, shameful walk from the back of the zoo to the parking lot, with a toddler under my arm who was screaming at the top of her lungs, accompanied by kicking, punching and biting me as I walked. The modern day Mom’s walk of shame.
Additionally, it carried on for the next hour and 30 minutes as well, and being shoved into a carseat only escalated matters. (Along with waking up her brother.)
I wanted to bury my head in the sand and mutter stupid pre-kid cliche phrases like, “If my child ever bit me, there’d be hell to pay.”
On the way out, I caught many sympathetic glances and encouraging smiles, because most of us have been there at one point or the other. Living with a toddler is sometimes hard. It’s kind of like having a manic bi-polar with a limited vocabulary and the inability to go to the bathroom on the toilet as a roommate.
Toddlers, man. They bring a whole different meaning to the word “frustrating” sometimes. Especially when you still sport their teeth marks on your rib cage 8 hours later.
Valentine’s Day was a low-key day spent at a Mom’s Club party in the morning, and eating Chick-Fil-A at night, because everything else had a line around the block.
I was able to take some cute festive shots of the kiddos- and thought I’d share so they don’t sit in the abyss of my computer. So, pretend this is a wordless Wednesday post….on a Tuesday…..with just a few sentences. (Those who know me know for me, that is “wordless.”)
If you’re a local Colorado gal, you’re going to go nuts for the coolest new place to hit the Denver scene: Ella Bliss Beauty Bar.
As a busy Mom, I hardly have time (or finances, honestly and realistically) to pamper myself at a day spa. Sure, I’d love to be able to justify a $100+ facial, and my skin would thank me, but to speak frankly, I consider it a good day if I manage to sneak in a shower that doesn’t involve me making faces through my glass shower door and singing the ABC’s with my 2 year old while I haphazardly attempt to shave my legs after a restful 4 hours of night time sleep. Keeping it real, right?
That is why I absolutely fell in love with Ella Bliss Beauty Bar. I really feel that they are keeping it real on a daily basis, as well. Ella Bliss offers a variety of different luxurious treatments, while catering to the everyday lady (and Mom!) by making it manageable and affordable to treat yourself regularly, without it turning into an all day affair.
With services such as hair blowouts, facials, manicures/pedicures, and massages, there really is something for every woman available, and it’s such an easy and ingenious solution to deserving a bit of “Mommy Time” away from the kiddos every month.
What is Ella Bliss?
Ella Bliss is “Not a Spa, Not a Salon…it’s a way of life.” It’s a one-stop-shop for all your beauty needs. It’s a place where you can get a fab hair blowout, and an amazing pedicure, all under one roof, without having to go to 10 different places. It’s paired with a great atmosphere, amazing talented staff, and a full bar. Yes, you heard me correctly.
Members receive a complimentary beverage! I sampled the “Bubbles & Bliss” drink, and I’ve been craving it pretty much ever since. It was amazing.
If you can spare an hour out of your schedule every month, I promise you it will be the best hour ever. The convenient membership status allows you to book a signature service every month, and also comes with some pretty amazing other benefits as well. You can choose whichever service you’d like each and every month.
Have a hot date night planned? Try the fabulous blowout! Are you dealing with some postpartum hormonal skin changes? Book yourself a relaxing facial! Manicures and pedicures are also a fun service (and cost effective! The nail salon I typically go to charges more, and the atmosphere isn’t anywhere near as posh and fun!)
I was able to go check out a couple services for myself, to get a hand-on feel for what Ella Bliss is about. I started with a Signature Facial from esthetician, Kristen. She was courteous, and really went out of her way to make me feel comfortable, since it had been
ages a while since my last facial. She examined my skin, and applied a variety of luxury, moisturizing products. While the first mask hardened under steam, she even gave me a relaxing foot massage. I left with silky skin that was vibrant and full of moisture.
I then was able to try out a blowout for myself. Aside from my hair stylist styling my hair after a hair cut, I had never experienced how amazing a blowout truly is. It starts with a relaxing head massage and hair washing. Then, each section of hair is meticulously blow dried with a roller brush, and then styled. My hair looked shiny, and so, so chic!
To speak candidly, my hair is a giant grease ball, however, I went two whole days without washing my hair, and it looked just as good on day two, as it did the day I got it done. You can see above, I chose to have soft curls which they refer to as the “bombshell,” and I felt just that.
Talk about a lifesaver for busy moms, eh?
Every single person was so nice, and one of the owners even came out to personally introduce herself and took the time to get to know me and my family. There are two sisters that own Ella Bliss, so if you prefer to “shop local” rather than a chain, this is the perfect option for you. Right now, there is one location in Greenwood Village, and the owners also hope to expand into the Highlands Ranch and Downtown Area soon.
Kelly, the owner, would like me to also pass on some specials available:
- Book a Signature Service M-W from 10-3 and receive a FREE upgrade! This is a $20 value for free!
- Sign up for a membership and receive a free Signature Service to use whenever you choose!
- Purchase a gift card for $45 or more and receive a free Signature Blowout or Makeup application!
- We will have last minute Valentine’s Gifts through the weekend! Gift card packages, jewelry, bubble bath, fragrances, etc!
I’m already planning my return to Ella Bliss, and am hopefully going to return with a group of girlfriends to celebrate my upcoming Dirty 30 birthday in style. Who wants to come with me?! Trust me, you’ll love Ella Bliss, and their way of life.
This is a sponsored post. I was able to try out the signature services in return for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.
*Disclaimer: this post will talk about boobs. My boobs, in particular. It also contains tasteful nursing photos.
To read about my nursing journey with Vivien, click here, here, here and here. (It was a long, hard journey!) I ended up successfully exclusively breastfeeding Vivien for 11 1/2 months. At 11.5 months, she self-weaned off nursing, and with the help of formula for 2 weeks, we transitioned her into drinking only whole cow’s milk from her sippy cup.
William will have a one part story, because, while his journey was still far-from-perfect, things always felt more natural and easier with him from the start.
William was born hungry. When they wheeled me back into the post-op recovery room, one of my first memories of him is being able to hear him smacking. To this day, he is still the loudest smacker ever. He latched on like a pro right away, and went to town, wanting to nurse non-stop.
I had him mid-day on Wednesday, and my milk came in on Friday morning. However, Thursday was a bit rough for him. He was very restless and frustrated when I would try to latch him, and was irritated and crying. I called in the lactation consultant at the hospital, and she worked with us with his latch, however, that wasn’t the issue. I honestly just felt like he was angry because he was hungry. The hospital has a wonderful program available to patients, where you can opt to feed your child donor breastmilk, rather than formula. I requester that they bring me a small amount of that, and I used a supplemental nursing system provided to me by the hospital to deliver the donor milk to him. He instantly calmed down and was finally able to sleep for longer than 45 minutes.
Luckily, just a few short hours later my own milk came in. I swear by this Milkmaid Tea by Earth Mama, by the way. I was downing it in the hospital non-stop trying to jump start my production. I still use it today, actually.
However, on Friday, William failed his first bilirubin test (checking for signs of jaundice.) The doctor discharged us with the condition that we bring William to the pediatrician’s office the next day (Saturday.) On Saturday, his levels were lower than the day before, so the doctor set up an appointment for us to come back two weeks later.
The next appointment was more of a whirlwind. My family had just left, William was eating non-stop around the clock, and I was on the road to sleep deprivation. At this appointment, my doctor’s main concern was that he still hadn’t gained back his birth weight. His new bilirubin test also produced higher numbers than he had shown two weeks earlier, as well. Having been “failure to thrive” pro now after dealing with it also with Vivien being low in weight, I had an honest heart to heart with his doctor. I was not interested in supplementing with formula now, or ever. I don’t judge Moms who formula feed. It’s just not for us. I asked the doctor’s permission to explore a more natural approach for one week. During the week, I had plans to visit a lactation consultant to see if there was a problem with his latch, and see exactly how much he was taking in per feeding session.
The next day, I went to a breastfeeding support group, and the lactation consultant did an oral check and told me that William had a “tight frenulum” and was partially tongue tied. She gave me the number of a pediatric dentist that specializes in this. I went home, equal parts upset and relieved that there was a legitimate answer. Babies who are tongue tied cannot work their tongue properly to latch on to a nipple. Long term effects can be speech impairment and/or difficulty eating solid foods. One of the reasons why William was nursing so often was because it was physically taking him a longer amount of time to drink his desired milk because of his poor latch. (It also explained my bloody and extremely painfully cracked nipples that I expected to escape with #2, for some reason.)
The very next day, we took Will to the dentist bright and early, and he clipped his frenulum. William cried for about 20 seconds, and when they handed him back to me to nurse in the office as they suggested, his latch felt 100 times better.
The next week when we went to the doctor to check on his weight, he had gained over a pound in one week. She was shocked, and I was proud of finding the natural solution to the problem.
Unfortunately, most pediatricians are not trained with recognizing tongue tie, and you must visit with a lactation consultant trained specifically in it.
Since then, she has never shown concern for his weight again, even though he is still a skinnier kid, being in the bottom 30th percentile for weight according to his last checkup at 2 months. (Though that doesn’t surprise her, or me, since Vivien was always skinnier as well.)
Nursing Kangaroo shirt can be seen more in this post over at Daily Mom.
Physically for me, this nursing relationship has been a little rough. I have struggled with over-supply, leading to many cases of clogged ducts, along with quite a few painful milk blisters (often called blebs.) Both of those things are extremely painful, and have caused quite a few winces, and tears from sheer pain. I also had quite bad cracking because of his initial poor latch, that didn’t heal fully until around 7 weeks postpartum. (I love this natural, lanolin free, nipple butter for the early painful days of nursing. I also use doTERRA Grapefruit Essential Oil on my nipples daily now to help prevent milk blisters, and I haven’t gotten one since I began using it.)
But as of right now, at 11 weeks (oh my gosh! 11 weeks?!) William and I have finally found our niche. He nurses religiously every 3 hours around the clock, but at night time has just started to give me a longer stretch, ranging from 4-6 hours, which has been wonderful.
All in all, breastfeeding with William was much easier than the first time around with Vivien. I was much more confident in myself and my mothering abilities, as well as seeking out alternative and natural solutions to problems that arise. I never felt defeated like I did with Vivien, or bullied into formula feeding either because of his jaundice or his low weight.
Breastfeeding wasn’t perfect this time around, as I naively imagined it would be all along. It still had an adjustment period for us both that required attention, and there were still issues that came up that had me consulting Dr. Google on many occasions.
Looking back, I am 98% positive that Vivien also has a degree of tongue tie that was never diagnosed or addressed.
I still stand strong that nursing, for many women, is more of a mind game. It took me a long time to legitimately appreciate my nursing bond initially. It would have been much easier to give up and put a bottle in their mouths, however, like I mentioned before, it just isn’t a path that I’m willing to go down with my children. (Partially driven by the additional exuberant financial burden of formula feeding a child.) Nursing my children is a memory that I want to squirrel up and keep forever. I love looking down seeing his mouth move and hear him gulping loudly. I adore catching his coy smiles mid-nursing sessions. I live for him to unlatch and fall into a deep content milk coma with drops of milk running down his face. I love nursing, truly.
But like I mentioned before, it took me a while to get there with Vivien. With William, all those emotions flooded me from the get-go. And that? That’s the perk of being the second child. The older kid already smoothed out all the kinks for you.
You guys, let me tell you a secret about my perfect first born child. She was a teething monster. She started teething at 4 months old (I know, right?!) and I felt like it really never stopped, with each new tooth, or section in her case, getting progressively worse every time.
Pretty much every time she would teethe, she’d run a fever, and would have sleepless nights of non-stop crying, especially those canines and molars. I hated doping her up on tylenol all day every day, so I went in search for a more natural solution. I found Vivien an all-natural, pure amber necklace, and boy oh boy, what a change!
What is an amber necklace?
“When the amber comes in contact with the warmth of your baby’s skin, it unlocks the natural healing properties within each stone. Since amber is the fossilized form of tree resin, it has special properties unlike any other piece of jewelry on the market and releases healing oils that reduce the pain and redness caused by teething. This makes the entire ordeal as painless as possible for your child.”
There are some things to be aware of when you’re purchasing an amber necklace such as:
- Type of stone: You want to make sure that the amber is unpolished, as that is the most pure form, and will help with pain relief much more.
- Safety features: Let’s face it, putting a necklace on your baby can be somewhat nerve-wrecking. You want to make sure that each bead is knotted individually, that way they will not scatter or fall off in a group if broken.
- Safety clasp: When placed under pressure the clasp will come apart easily, reducing risk of injury.
Amber For Babies has all these features, and beyond, featuring double knots between beads, as well as many different styles and colors of amber necklaces, sure to fit each child’s unique sense of style. Additionally, Amber for Babies has super fast shipping, shipping USPS same day if you place your order by 2pm EST. Can I tell you how crucial that is for something like this when you’re in the midst of teething hell?
Want to win one?!
Uhm yeah, who doesn’t? Amber for Babies is giving away a honey colored amber teething necklace to one lucky winner. Enter the rafflecopter to win! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
For another opportunity to enter to win an Amber for Babies necklace,check out Rachel’s blog to enter her give-away!
Contest open to US Residents only.
Disclaimer: I was not paid for this post, and all opinions expressed are 100% my own. Please consult your doctor before starting any pain relief regiment for your baby. I was given an amber necklace for the purpose of review in exchange for my honest opinion. All photos are copyright The Memoirs of Megan; please email me if you would like to obtain them in any way.