Saturday, October 12, 2013

Making Men's Shaving Cream (And How It Can Ease Pregnancy Woes)

About a month ago I felt really ambitious during nap time. Before I was pregnant, Blanche's nap time would be my moments of freedom during the day. Memories that have good parts always get a little sugar coated in my mind. Even though it may have been only a handful of times in Arkansas that Blanche really took a good nap and I was able to be productive, it seems like it was more often in my mind. I picture myself back in our town house in Arkansas. Our kitchen was small but the natural light always poured in the window above the sink. I really liked that, but never really knew it until we left. I would make homemade granola or teething paste with real clove, or something else that made me feel productive and domestic, with an artistic flare. I think back to how I had the energy to make a huge mess and start a project while Blanche was asleep. I guess looking back it felt like I had more of a daily flow, with Andrew leaving and returning to work each day at the same time.

In my pregnancy now, I often lay down to nurse Blanche and end up falling asleep. I am just so exhausted.  I will literally be debating in my mind whether I should get up and be productive or rest. Then I wake up an hour later to Blanche requesting juice, and I have horrible heartburn. While pregnant with a toddler, most days I feel like we are just surviving. Moving across the country in the midst of my pregnancy was necessary but seems like more work at times. All of us are still trying to find our rhythm. It is hard to explain to someone who has never been pregnant, but at least for me, it is extra hard to find a daily or weekly rhythm while growing a baby. I think it is that my body and so much of my energy is constantly used for my pregnancy. I have so little left in the moments that aren't spent helping or playing with Blanche or cleaning around the house. After several months it can start to make me feel like I am not really my own person. I am mostly a person growing another little person. And keeping the older one alive and happy. Or at least trying with the happy part.

All that to say, one day during Blanche's nap and after some strong cold brew coffee, I had the energy to start a project. I decided that I would make Andrew his shaving cream. He had been on the end of his older stuff for awhile, and I had already bought or had all the ingredients. I found the recipe through pinterest from one of my favorite herbs and spices store, Mountain Rose Herbs. My pictures show the steps that they describe below. I was proud that I read and harvested my own aloe vera gel from our plant outside.

Even though it was something small, making something that day gave me hope that I will not always be so tired. There will be times ahead when I have energy. It is hard to describe myself as more than a mother when that is so much of what I am right now. I cannot even escape my motherhood. It follows me everywhere as a bump under my shirt. And honestly, I am so thankful I can create life. I am happy to have these babies and most of the time, feeling like a mother is the most natural thing in the world.


Gently melt the oil and butter together in a double boiler until just melted. Remove from heat and add the other ingredients. Using a stick blender, mix well for several minutes. Transfer cream to a jar or container to store. Check while it is cooling to make sure it doesn’t start to separate. If it does, shake or mix well to re-incorporate. Lasts up to two months and maybe longer.

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