Posted by: Emily
Hello, world. I’m back.
For 3 months, I have been completely lost in the amazing, all-consuming world of my newborn daughter. She is an absolute delight, and I have been blissfully happy (and, let’s face it, pretty tired! But seriously, REALLY happy.). Until 3 months ago, I had spent my life always thinking ahead, dreaming long-term, setting goals that have nothing to do with “the moment” and everything to do with “the future.” Having a baby has forced me to live in the moment and appreciate each day, and that is the best gift Hallie could ever give me, besides her delicious smiles.
Each day with a newborn is just about moment to moment. It’s impossible to be on any kind of schedule with a brand-new baby (if you’re out there and you have figured out how to make that work, let me know!) so I learned to set smaller goals, and even to enjoy them. For example: at the beginning, my goal for the day may have been “today, I will feed my baby 8-10 times and change her diapers.” And that would be the only thing I had to do in a day. And at the end of that day, as my husband and I sank into bed, exhausted, Hallie swaddled and fed and sleeping peacefully in the co-sleeper attached to our bed, we’d look at each other and think, hey, today was a huge success! She ate, she slept, she’s happy and well. We did it.
It was such a refreshing change from my previous days spent type-A style worrying about the little things on my to-do lists that had, in my mind, huge, long-term implications in my career and life decades into the future. Suddenly, life was a little slower, a little smaller, and a lot happier.
Now, I know it can’t go on like that forever. Hallie will grow and I will have to think about more things than just feeding and changing her. In fact, I think one of the best things I can give her is an example of leading a full life. So I want to return to blogging and writing and acting and seeing friends and being a real grown-up, whatever that means, so that Hallie sees all that. But I hope I can always keep a sense of living in the moment, of defining success as taking care of myself and Hallie and my husband and loving them and enjoying the little things.
Now that I am resurfacing, there’s another surface I have to start thinking about again. My skin could use a little resurfacing. I have been sorely neglecting my skin since giving birth. Bad time to do so, since the huge surges and drops in hormones mean this is a crazy time for my skin. Not that I’ve noticed, or cared, until recently. And even now, I have to say I care a lot less than I used to, and that feels GREAT. But I still do care 🙂 I am still a product junkie!!!
For the first time since my early teens, I have given up moisturizing after every single shower. I know, gasp. There’s just not time, and also, I don’t want to get moisturizer all over Hallie, and since I’m breastfeeding, we have a lot of skin-to-skin contact. (I do use all-natural and unscented body moisturizers, John Masters Bare and California Baby Super Sensitive Everyday Lotion, but still don’t want to get anything on Hallie’s perfect, untouched skin yet!) (Note: I am talking about giving up moisturizing my whole body after every shower, not my face– that is a “must” twice a day no matter what or I get that tight-skin-feeling).
Anyway, a side-effect of not moisturizing constantly (I’m just happy to get the shower in– forget the moisturizing!) is that I have all these little bumps on my skin in places where it’s really dry. I decided a few weeks ago that I needed a good body exfoliator. Before birth I’d previously been using a fabulous homemade sugar scrub recipe that Jordan taught me, but it can make the tub very slippery, so I decided to try something else that was a little easier to use when one is sleep-deprived and in a hurry. I bought Weleda’s Birch Body Scrub when they had their 50% off sumer sale and gave it a try.
Despite thinking that everything Weleda makes is perfect, I was skeptical at first. You see, the Birch Body Scrub feels so gentle and soft on my skin– I was kind of thinking that in order to be effective, a scrub would have to be really abrasive and harsh, and this one is not; the little scrubbing beads are smooth, not jagged. So to my delight, after a few uses followed by a little Skin Food on the really dry patches, the little bumps are going away! I am so impressed, but not surprised. After all, it’s Weleda. And I love the scent– fresh and woodsy. Different from any other scents I have, and perfect for summer/fall.
Now I am in the market for a good facial exfoliator! Any suggestions out there? I’m tempted to use the Birch Scrub, but it clearly says “body” on it, and not “face,” so I am looking for something made for the sensitive skin on my face. Please post ideas for me in the comments, and I will try and review the suggestions! Feel free to suggest things you use and love, or suggest something you want me to try out for you so I can tell you how it works 🙂