Saturday, August 31, 2013

Frantic Mama Nominated for Liebster Award?!

Thanks to Mamamusing (www.wijnker.blogspot.comfor nominating my humble little blog, Frantic Mama, for the Liebster Award, which recognizes newer bloggers with less than 200 followers.  

I need to nominate 10 blogs to continue the tradition.  Here are some of my favorites (with under 200 followers on Bloglovin' or elsewhere) that I highly recommend checking out:*

Shakespeare's Mom
This Mom Said It
Faking Picture Perfect
My Toddler Rules...That's Official
The Campbell's (
Please Sleep In
Hip to Be Mom (
I Got This Martha
Wonderfully Unkempt

*If any of you have more than 200 followers that I didn't see because I use Bloglovin', my bad!  Please take this post as a compliment to your fantastic blog.  Or, if you already have a Liebster that I missed, well, twice the compliment to you!  And if this is all too overwhelming, no biggie.  Just keep up the great blogging, Mamas!  :).

The following rules apply to those who have been nominated:
  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back up to his/her blog.
  2. Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator.
  3. Nominate 10 other bloggers for the award who have less than 200 followers.
  4. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
  5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.

Here are the questions Mamamusing asked her 10 nominees with my answers in italics:

1. Are you willing to admit you sing in the shower and if so, what song do you sing most?
Yes, of course!  Mostly old R.E.M. songs.  Child of the 90's and all...

2. You get to become a villain for a day from a Disney movie. Which villain are you?
Professor Z in Cars 2 (is Pixar related to Disney?  Isn't everything?)

3. What is your most embarrassing moment?

I have so many embarrassing moments that keep me up at night...hmmmm... which to share, which to share...Probably the time I had to run out of a college class to puke from a hangover.  

4. If your friends could describe you in one word, what would it be?

Loyal (I hope).

5. Name a place you have traveled to that MOST surprised you.

Bermuda.  They really do wear Bermuda shorts.

6. If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?

That kids can't get cancer.  Make that anyone.

7. How has the Internet changed your view of other cultures and people?

I have met so many interesting people through my blog and social network.  I'm not sure it's changed my views, b/c I've always been openminded, but it is definitely fun to learn about moms across the world.  

8. What’s the strangest food you’ve ever eaten, and why?

In Minnesota, there is a fascination with eating things on a stick at the State Fair.  So I suppose a pickle on a stick (wait that sounds a little dirty...).

9. What is the most important thing you read online this week?  Include a link please!

That assumes I read anything important.  Okay, I do read blogs when I can, so I'll say Mamamusing for the compliment of nominating me!

10. What children’s book describes the meaning of life best in your eyes?

Guess How Much I Love You.

Now, here are 10 Questions for my Lovely Nominees:

1.  What's your favorite t.v. show or movie?

2.  What's your biggest guilty pleasure?

3.  If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?

4.  What's your trick for getting through one of those days when you feel like you might just lose it?

5.  Are you a cat person or a dog person?

6.  If you could have (for free): a personal chef, full-time cleaning person, or a private chauffer, which would you choose and why?

7.  Where is your dream vacation going to be (someday!!)?

8.  Coffee or tea (or neither?!)?

9.  What is your must-have beauty product?

10.  What is the cutest thing your kid(s) has ever said to you?

If you answer these, please comment on this post so I can check out your thoughts!  Enjoy the weekend :).

~Frantic Mama

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Arbonne Skin Care for Mom and Baby

I'm a couple years past the big 3-0, and after my second child, I started to notice my once random gray hairs were becoming more unmanageable (plucking one hair at a time was no longer practical), and those lines on my forehead were getting more noticeable (no matter what my mom told me; I could see them with my own eyes!).  I'll admit it:  I joined the ranks of many others who are interested in preserving a youthful look and always searching out newer, better beauty products. Hello hair dye and "anti-aging" skincare!

As I've written before, I accept very few review opportunities for Frantic Mama.  The business or product not only needs to be related to my blog (family/mother/baby oriented), but the businessperson has to be nice, approachable, and responsive (plus, they get extra points if a woman's in charge.  Hey, it's my blog, so I can show a little favoritism if I want to).

Click for Website

So, when an Arbonne consultant (their company has restrictions on listing name information directly on blogs) contacted me about a botanical skin care line that also encourages female entrepreneurship, I was interested.  I had recently gone to an Arbonne party (think the Tupperware parties of yesteryear or the newer, trendy Stella & Dot parties), and had a lot of fun.  It seemed like a good fit for my blog and a fun exercise to try out some products and share my results with readers (and perhaps reduce some of those lines).

As a 30+ mom, I told her my goal would be anti-aging and reducing undereye puffiness and dark circles.  I don't think I was off the mark when I assumed most of my readers would have similar concerns (the title of my blog says it all)?

The Arbonne consultant (a very responsive and enthusiastic businesswoman) sent me samples of the RE9 Advanced line (touted as age-reversal and full of peptides and skin-safe botanicals.  Woo hoo!), and some of the baby products that come highly recommended for little ones (and adults) with sensitive skin and eczema.

The RE9 line includes several products.  I tried the day and nighttime routine for a while, which includes: the smoothing cleanser, followed by toner, serum, eye cream, and day/night lotion.  It sounds like a lot of steps, but it only took a few minutes to put it all on.  And my skin felt immediately fresh and glowy (not easy to achieve as a frantic mama).  I often didn't wear make-up over it during the day because I wanted to see my skin clearly; I didn't feel like I needed much anyway after putting all of the products on because my skin looked so good.  To get scientific, in a clinical study, 96% of women reported reduction in the appearance of fine lines after using the RE9 line for 4 weeks.  I did after just a few days.  This is because they contain those little collagen-building miracles, peptides.

As for RE9 prices, they are more expensive than drugstore brands (Neutrogena, Olay, etc.) but less expensive than many other luxury brands (La Mer, La Prairie, etc.).*  RE9 Restorative Day Creme SPF 20 is $50, and the other products run either a bit higher or lower.  Arbonne is able to keep costs lower because of their selling model: they use independent consultants to sell directly to the consumer (Network Marketing) rather than shelling out millions for movie stars to advertise, along with a middle man, retail stores, etc.

I enjoyed ALL of the facial RE9 products I tested, but for budget reasons, I plan to order the RE9 Advanced Night Repair Cream ($85) first (because it works while you sleep!).

The ABC Baby Care line includes: Hair & Body Wash, Body Lotion, Body Oil, Herbal Diaper Rash Cream, and Sunscreen.  These products are more expensive than what you might buy at Target (the wash is $16), but it is nice to know that they are non-irritating and ideal for sensitive baby skin.  The smell is very fresh and light.  The diaper rash cream was my favorite ($16). It's thick, creamy, and baby powdery-smelling.  A package of the ABC line would be a lovely baby gift.

If you are a make-up junkie, I also liked Arbonne's lip polish (I tried a bright pink, "Posh"), but it is a little pricey ($24).  If you use primer (I don't), Arbonne's is supposed to be great.

To order Arbonne products, you must go through a consultant, but you can do that online too.  *She can also help you get products at a great discount through the preferred client program.  I am not allowed to list the consultant's name on my blog directly, but if you contact me through my blog, I can then give you her information.  She's great :).

She can also help you learn more about career opportunities with Arbonne-- those part-time (or even full-time) flexible positions that so many moms are looking for!  What an awesome job, right?

Please comment if you have used or plan to use any of Arbonne' products.  I'm always interested in the next best thing!

~Frantic Mama

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Postpartum Complication: PPH

Giving birth is a scary process.  Perhaps especially the first time we go through it. There are so many unknowns.  Just how much pain will I endure?  Will the baby that I carried for so many months come out healthy?  Will I make it?

My first child was delivered via c-section.  I've accepted it (even embraced it in the sense that he and I both remained healthy and safe during delivery).  I decided I would go ahead with the c-section for my second baby as well (in September 2012).

I wasn't as nervous going into things the second time.  I still had major butterflies in my stomach.  I still shook as the anesthesiologist had me hunch over on a cold surgical table for the extremely long silver needle that was to go into my spine.  And I still squeezed my husband's hand very tightly as the tugging and pulling on my stomach felt increasingly aggressive as my doctor retrieved my daughter.

But at least I had been through all of it before; there were fewer unknowns.  It was still frightening, but not completely new.  Immediately after my daughter's birth, we experienced the exquisite joy that I think one only feels when they welcome a new baby into the world.  Pride.  Happiness.  Relief.

However, within a couple hours (minutes?), I started losing a lot of blood.  I remembered this from when I had my son (even though I hadn't at the time known bleeding occurred with a c-section), but this time, there was a lot more.  And it wasn't subsiding.  The nurses were starting to get more serious, and they brought in other nurses.  They whispered a lot.  My doctor was called.  Suddenly I was being wheeled into another section of the post-delivery area of the hospital for intensive care.

I won't go into the various manual and medical procedures I went through over the next few hours to stop the bleeding and prevent a blood transfusion.  Frankly, I was so out of it from pain (epidural had worn off) and exhaustion at that point that it is all kind of foggy.

People who shrug off c-sections as being easy used to bother me.  It made me defensive and sensitive.  But after my hemorrhaging experience, those opinions and judgement simply sound ignorant.  I write this post-- a definite break from my usual lighthearted tone-- to raise awareness of a complication that, if it can't be avoided, can at least be known.  Because while it might seem alarmist to call attention to all of the risks that come with birth, it might also help at least one person feel a little more prepared or raise awareness of the issue in general.

Postpartum hemorrhages (PPH) can occur in a vaginal birth or a c-section (in about 6% of all births).  It is the leading cause of maternal mortality (though if you are fortunate enough to live in a developed country, risk of death from PPH is much lower).

I did not fit any of the risk factors, such as clotting disorders, heart issues, severe preeclampsia.

I write this birth story so that if there are any pregnant women out there reading, they can choose to ask their doctor, "if this happens, what would be the plan?"  Sometimes it is comforting to have a game plan.

All of that said, I wish all of my pregnant readers as healthy a birth experience as possible. Regardless of how your baby is brought into the world, no one can take away your joy when you first get to hold him or her!

Click here for more information on PPH.

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Naptime (Revisited)

Ah, naptime.  Every stay-at-home mom's short respite in the day.  Naptime is often when I try to write a quick blog entry, along with attempting minor household chores.  Of course, all of those lofty goals of what we "need" to accomplish during naptime rarely seem to happen for many of us.

For a while, when my son switched to one nap a day (and before I had my daughter), the hour or two would fly by so fast that I felt like all I did was gobble some food, pick up a toy, and brush my teeth before hearing him on the monitor.  Doing laundry, checking email, making a phone call...all of those little tasks seemed impossible to get done.  In an effort to feel more productive during that time, I started making a list of 2-4 things I would like to accomplish during naps, and that helped me feel a bit better.  I enjoyed crossing items off that list.  More often than not, however, I still ended up spending those precious minutes lying on the couch "for just 5 minutes," or scrolling through get the idea...

And now baby makes 2 kids with naps in the house.  My daughter still takes two naps a day, which makes my son and I housebound in the morning-- a blessing and a curse.  But most days, I decide that I'd rather suffer from some cabin fever than drag a tired baby around town, so I commit to those two naps.  

I suppose the message here is that naptime should be a restful time not just for our children; there's no harm in moms getting some R&R too.  In fact, grabbing a bit of rest and time for myself feels necessary for me to be the best mom I can be.  And yet it's so hard not to feel guilty if you put your feet up for 10 minutes, or, (gasp!) watch an old episode of Sex & the City.  But let's all try to not feel guilty (especially if we can manage the unthinkable: getting both kids to nap at the same time) because before you know it, that familiar red light on the monitor will flash and you'll hear the cries, and all too soon you'll be back at it!

~Frantic Mama

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

11 Non-Kid-Related Things I Hate

It must be that time o' the month for me again, because I'm finding there's a lot of stuff that annoys me out in the world.  Yeah, I know, I just wrote about my parenthood-related annoyances, but wait, there's more!  And it applies to my pre-mother self too.  Grab a cup of coffee [or beer] and see if you can relate to the following [in no particular order] nuisances:

1.  When you're sitting in your car in a Target parking lot, eating some food you've managed to scavenge, and of all the parking spots left in the lot, some dude pulls up right next to yours.

2.  People who are consistently more than 10 minutes late.  Especially if they don't acknowledge their lateness.

3.  Relentless Devils Advocates.  Don't they realize that no one wants to be around someone who always says the opposite?  Did no one teach them the social skill of occasionally letting things go for the sake of getting along?

4.  People who actively look for the gift receipt upon receiving a present.  (Come on, at least wait til the party is over).

5.  Overly helpful salespeople.

6.  Salespeople who completely ignore you.  (There must be a middle ground, right?).

7.  When the person in front of you in the checkout line begins to write a check.  Dear God!

8.  When people make fun of me for going to bed early.  Why on earth do they care?

9.  When you look forward to your favorite t.v. show all day and when 8 p.m. rolls around and you get in your special couch spot, it turns out not to be on that night because of some lame political update/catastrophe/fake thunderstorm warning. The disappointment!

10.  When people [besides best friends/sisters] blatantly ask if "we're all done" having kids or if "we'll have one more."  Ok yes, that's a mother-related nuisance, but still, come on.  A little presumptuous, don't you think?

11.  When the food you order at a restaurant arrives to the table cold.

So, readers, what bugs you?

~Frantic Mama (I swear, I really am a nice person!  :))

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Monday, August 12, 2013

How Frantic Mama Began

I started blogging as Frantic Mama when my son (my oldest) was about 1.5, in 2011.  I barely told anyone; it was just a place for me to vent and find some humor in the challenges that I faced as a new mom.  I had no clue how hard motherhood was going to be when I brought him home from the hospital, and blogging was a way to get back in touch with my creative side while also airing and sorting out my thoughts.

I took a break, of course, when we added my baby daughter to the mix this past fall.  Sleep took priority whenever I had an ounce of free time.

But after a few months, I decided to plunge back into the blogging world.  I finally told my husband about Frantic Mama (yes, truly, I hadn't even told him about my little project yet!).  He was really supportive, which gave me the courage to continue.

My brother urged me to join Twitter and create a Facebook page to grow my audience and make connections.  I was nervous to put myself out there like that, but then I thought, well, what the heck?  One reason I started the blog in the first place was to help other moms feel less alone-- maybe this would be a way to do that.

So, Frantic Mama was born!  A blog where I admittedly do not cherish every moment of taking care of young children.  Where I admit that I really do sometimes miss being childfree (seriously, I miss being able to get in my car and go to the mall without checking with anyone first and organizing the whole day around it.  Make that, being able to take a shower without checking with anyone first...).  A blog where I acknowledge the unconditional love we only experience once we become parents, and the children we love with our whole hearts who also manage to drain us of every last ounce of energy.

One of my favorite parts of Frantic Mama and social media in general has been to receive comments from readers and learn about parenthood across the world.

So, welcome to the Frantic Mama blog: the less glamorous side of new motherhood.  A judgement-free, supportive, fun environment where parents can connect about the trials and tribulations of motherhood with humor and honesty.

~Frantic Mama

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Love Letters Charms

Because the goal of the Frantic Mama blog is to be honest and keep it real, I have not reviewed any sponsored products or placed any ads on my blog yet.  However, when the owner of Love Letters Charms (, Adele Hubbard, contacted me about her handmade silver charm jewelry, I saw that her products relate to my blog (they are pretty mother-focused), and that I actually really like them.

When Adele contacted me, I explained that I would only consider doing a review or placing an ad on my blog after seeing her products in person (God forbid Frantic Mama become a sell-out!). She was happy to send me a sample, and they really are beautiful.  The charms are a light, shimmery silver; each one is slightly different since they are handmade.  Here's a photo of the charms I received:

When I put my necklace on (I ordered the shortest, 16 inch chain to avoid the grabby pudgy fingers of my baby), I-- Frantic Mama-- actually felt...(can I say it with a straight face?) a little glamorous. Yes, fine, I was still wearing a blue t-shirt and black shorts from Target, but now I was also sporting a sophisticated, elegant yet practical necklace.

The Love Letters charms are unique because they have an organic, rustic feel (they are not perfectly shaped, smooth squares or circles).  Each one is hand-stamped by Adele to order (with letters or symbols) and can be worn alone on the included chain or along with other charms. Charm bracelets are also available.  Adele also offers really cute "mini charms" that you can mix and match (these would be such a fun gift for a daughter, granddaughter, or niece!) *Adele is offering my readers a 15% discount with the promo code: Frantic.  

I could picture giving these charms as a gift to a new (or experienced) mother with her children's initials on them.  They would be really lovely birthday or Christmas presents (e-mail this post to your hubby?).  Or a well-deserved gift to yourself.  Adele packages them in a pretty little sky blue mesh bag wrapped in turquoise tissue paper, so it is ready to send as a gift directly from the site if you choose.

In closing, Frantic Mama believes in supporting women entrepreneurs creating cool things, so I fully support Love Letters Charms.

Website:  (Promo Code: Frantic).

Readers, please let me know if you order any of these products.  I'd love to hear what charm(s) you chose and if you love yours as much as I do mine!

~Frantic Mama

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Sometimes I Wonder

Sometimes, after a long day alone with my young children, I wonder what life as a mother would have been like a long, long time ago, when we were cavepeople. 

While it certainly sounds unpleasant to cook squirrel meat over a fire, hide from wooly mammoths, bathe in a cold river, and make clothes out of coyote fur, what sounds appealing is the cavemama communal living.  Maybe the phrase “it takes a village” originated then:  a time when mothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, helped each other with daily child-rearing and cave-hold duties. 

In a world where so many of us find ourselves hundreds of miles from our own mothers and sisters, it’s oddly comforting to picture myself as a cavewoman, stirring a pot of bison stew with my nephews while my sister straps my baby on her back to forage for berries, and my mom potty [bush?] trains my son.   

~Frantic Mama

*I'm honored that this essay was featured on my favorite literary website, Mamalode.  Find it here: Frantic Mama on Mamalode.

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