It’s been a challenging few weeks.  Just like a relentless boxing match (and I DO know about those having fought in one….gotta try everything once, right?) where you think you’ve got your opponent covered until you feel the blow and realize it’s getting the best of you……

(Yes, that is me in the red…..)

We survived Round One of the Chicken Pox with flying colors.  Olivia was clearly sick and uncomfortable, but she handled it with such grace and maturity that I suppose my main discomfort (besides the fact that I felt helpless and wanted her to get better!) was being stuck at home and a minor dose of cabin fever.

You can check out any time you like….but you can never leave (well, that’s what if felt like anyway!!).

Round 2 came, followed closely by Round 3 and let me tell you!! I know it’s part of life for most people (chicken pox, or general childhood sickness!) but sometimes when you’re caught up in it, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to end!

I had to include this….the girls love this book which was given to them for Christmas and I found this page particularly amusing this week.  Hmmmm, IF I could sleep with 2 girls sandwiched between us, alternating between fits of hysterical crying and scratching (Lily), and snoring (Rubes) then I really wouldn’t care WHERE I slept!! But, since you asked…..the pink canopy bed will do nicely thank you!!

Yes, just when you think you have settled them and their poor aching bodies to sleep, you’re flying down the stairs again to get some water,  a thermometer or whatever medicine you can find to ease their pain.  Kids are hearty, they’re tough as nails for the most part but that vulnerability is still there and when it hits in waves, you feel your resources quickly depleting.

I am always acutely aware that we are very lucky with our children’s health ( touch wood, touch wood!).  I never have to look very far to know that there are many kids out there who are doing it rough……battling through life threatening illnesses and soldiering on.  So while it feels hard and the going gets tough with another crying babe who cannot be soothed through their discomfort, I’ll take solace in knowing that in our current reality, this little patch of “rough” is only temporary.

My spotty girls seemed to find comfort during the day in each other’s company…..

Even though they had their own little thing going on with Lily engrossed in her book (or rather checking the book out before she decides to rip it apart!!!)….

While Rubes gives her doll her morning workout….

Since Ruby has started school and weekends are normally pretty busy, I had to remind myself that this was like a little gift I had been given.  To have my babies at home, snuggled up in the their jammies and enjoying each other’s company without too much interference is something I’m not always going to get to be a part of. They are growing every day and while I’m cursing at night (Ohhhh believe me, I AM A CURSING!!) when I have to get up for the 5th time, I know I’m probably not going to be able to take away their discomfort but I’m also reminded that I am lucky that this is only a patch of rough.

They may be spotty, but they are strong….

With all this extra time spent at home I have been able to flip through a few good books I picked up from the library, as well as a few good websites.

I often suffer from cracked heels and hands in the winter and no amount of hand or foot lotion seems to do the trick.  A friend recently sent me this wonderful website called MADEON where you can buy or learn to make “hard lotion”.  Hard lotion has the appearance of a bar of soap but when you pick it up and start rubbing it into your skin, you can feel all that emollient goodness seeping in straight away!  As soon as I saw this site I knew I had to have a go at making the lotion bars…..

You can watch a quick video on how to make hard lotion here.

You can buy the home kits, a ready made bar or order your own supplies (I got mine from Lotus Oils online).  It is very cost effective, not to mention the best damn lotion I have ever used (my cracks are disappearing in my feet and THIS people is EPIC as it seems I have lived with crevices in my heels for longer than I care to remember!!), AND it makes your kitchen smell gorgeous and really doesn’t take long to make.  Makes a great gift too….

Start with equal quantities of coconut oil (I used the non refined oil but next time I think I would try the refined as the coconut smell overpowered my essential oils), beeswax, and shea butter.  I used 200 g of each as a test batch.

So you’ll need equal quantities of your 3 ingredients, a good sized pyrex bowl or measuring cup, some molds to pour your lotion into, and a saucepan (essential oils are optional).

Place all 3 materials in a double boiler (Renee Harris of Made On recommends using a large pyrex measuring glass with a spout so that you can pour the contents of your melted lotion into the molds) on medium heat and stir occasionally until all 3 ingredients have melted this took me about 5 minutes as I started on low heat and worked up to medium).

Add essential oils at this point if you want to (I used lavender and rosemary as these are both great for the feet!).

Pour into molds (I used large silicone muffin cups as this is what I had on hand) and wait to solidify (depending on your room temperature this will vary).  I think mine took about a half hour before I could pop it out of the mold and start using it!

I would love to find some rectangle shaped molds as this would be a nice shape to wrap up as gifts or for guests but the circular bar works well too and I am loving how it doesn’t leave any residue behind but goes straight into your skin.  Lovely!!

Oh, and judging by these 2, I think we are through the worst of it and this week things are looking up (or down depending on which way Lily lands….yikes!)

“A test of what is real is that it is hard and rough.  Joys are found in it, not pleasure.  What is pleasant belongs to dreams.”-Simone Weil

7 Conversations about
Rough, Tough, and Spots

  1. Sara Reply //

    lovely to hear the girls are on the mend 🙂 it’s comforting to know that if you have kids at home with ‘chicky pops’ (as they were known in our house), that your life is completely normal – and for that I was always grateful. would have loved some of that hard lotion in the Kingdom – my feet were never so dreadful as they were there.

    • Nektar Reply //

      I know, tell me about it!! Hard feet have been following me around since I moved over to the magical Kingdom…lol! I think a lot of mine comes from low thyroid and all the joys that come with it (dry skin is a biggie!) so I was thrilled to find the recipe for the hard lotion and it really works well (just need to remind myself to put it on my feet every night!). Will try and bring some to book club for you next time!! 🙂

  2. Leonie Reply //

    Glad to see your girls are getting better! Only one of my three has had chicken pox and that was bad enough!
    I love the idea of the hard soap. I have had cracked heels for such a long time and have not found a thing that works.
    Im going to check out getting those ingredients!!!

    • Nektar Reply //

      Thanks Leonie! Yes, the hard lotion is fab!!! I can honestly say it is the only thing that has worked for me….I am still “on the mend” as the cracks in my heels are pretty deep but I have seen a huge improvement and this is only in a week!! It is very economical to make, smells great, and I think would make a lovely gift but need to get some good molds and wrap them up pretty!! I’m sure everyone could use it! Let me know how you get on with it!!

  3. Caitlin Grace Reply //

    Hi, ladies. First off Thanks for another great pos! Always lovely to read.
    Regarding cracked heels it si usually a sign that you are not getting enough protein.
    regarding the lotion/soap that you made the unrefined cocnut oil is a better option
    ( even though it overpowered your oils) as it has more nourishing qulaities.
    heres is a website where you can get all sorts of molds and stuff for making all sorts of lotions and potions.
    Thanks again for a great read.

    • Nektar Reply //

      HI Caitlin, thanks so much for the great link for the molds…have all the ingredients to make soap as well but was lacking good molds. There is a great wooden one which looks like a good investment. MIght have to get it! Ok, will stick with the unrefined coconut oil…good call, you are right…will be better for healing if kept in it’s pure state. I believe my hard skin is caused from my thyroid being underactive as they seem to have worsened once I was diagnosed. Once my levels are back on track it usually gets better but with winter here I needed something to soothe the pain and start healing. I have just gone off sugar as of 2 days ago which should also help. Thanks again for your lovely comments!!! x

  4. Lisa Reply //

    Hi there,
    Thanks for the kind comment on my blog. I woke up to 3 comments and that was totally unexpected 🙂

    Your photography looks good! Nice clear shots…what I’m striving for.

    Your girls are sweet. I wish I had better documented my kids when they were younger 🙁

    Take care!

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