When they announced last month that they were going to begin offering a Birchbox Man subscription, I knew January would want to sign me up. This presented me with a conundrum. On the one hand, the amount of time I have spent thinking about toiletries is far less than the amount of time I spend thinking about almost anything else. On the other hand, I love getting stuff in the mail. So when January offered to buy me a three-month subscription for my birthday, it seemed like a good enough reason to give it a shot.
Coincidently enough, my first box arrived on my actual birthday. I know it took all the strength she could muster for January to not open up the box herself when it arrived, but she did wait patiently for me to get back from breakfast that morning. Regardless of what your thoughts are on "grooming and lifestyle products for men," you have to give Birchbox credit for their packaging.
As for the contents, here's a quick rundown of what came in this month's box.
Billy Jealousy LiquidSand Exfoliating Facial Cleanser - I have this thing about water on my face. I don't like it. Ever since I was a little kid taking showers on my own, my face has always been largely neglected. I don't know what it is, but I just hate sticking my face directly in the shower stream, and splashing water on with my hands isn't that much better. Getting out of my comfort zone, though, I gave this facial cleanser an honest shot over the past few weeks. While it felt a bit like rubbing very wet sand on my face, I did like the results: Much smoother skin, and many compliments from January. I'll definitely keep using this, at least as long as the sample lasts.
Kiehl's Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap - Before marrying January, I was pretty brand loyal when it came to bath soap: I generally bought a superpack of Irish Spring, because it was cheap and I didn't really care. After we were married, I promptly switched my loyalties to whatever she happened to have in the shower at the time, which for the past few years has meant some sort of body wash on a poof. Pretty manly, huh? I've been using this bar for the past few weeks, though, and I have no complaints. I've always preferred bars over body washes, because I somehow feel less greasy afterwards, so this gets a thumbs-up from me as well.
ZIRH Shave Gel - I'm fairly certain that the last razor I purchased was sometime in 2005, so this product is of pretty little use to me. January keeps telling me that I should probably get a razor to keep the neck of my beard a little tidier, which would give me good use for this shave gel. But you can't change a man overnight, so my bathroom remains razor-free for the time being. I'll scuttle this away, though, and maybe give it a shot at some later date.
Richer Poorer Socks - I treat my socks poorly. Very poorly. I typically buy them in a bulk pack from Target and wear them until they are barely recognizable as socks anymore. You see, I'm a shuffler and a pivoter; I don't always feel the need to pick up my foot completely when walking or turning a corner, and as a result the lifespan of one of my socks is pretty short. Over the past couple of weeks, I've treated these socks from Richer Poorer exactly the same way, and they've held up fairly well. They also do good job of staying up while not cutting off circulation in my legs, so bonus points for that. I'm not sure I'm totally down with spending $12 on a single pair of socks, but I'm admittedly pretty stingy with my wardrobe budget. I'll keep wearing these and maybe one day, when I've learned to walk properly, invest in a few pairs of these.
All in all, I was three-for-four on this month's Birchbox Man. They picked out some pretty solid products for me this time, so I'll look forward to seeing what they offer next month. If you want to give it a shot, go ahead and sign up. It's only $20 each month, and each box is customized to your tastes. What else were you going to spend that money on? An 18-pack of Irish Spring?
I celebrated my second year as a mother last weekend with my two cuties. It was a lovely rainy day, perfect for coffee, donuts, and reading on the couch while the baby bear napped.
We had breakfast at Grandview's DK Diner and Lucy made a little friend. He gave her his best bashful eyes and she offered him her (pre chewed) toast. C'est l'amour.
That's the first thing I say to you every morning when I pop into your room to get you up. And while I wish I could report that you respond with a chipper "Hi Papa!" it's much more likely to be either "bup!" -- which means that you want to be picked up -- "numanumanum?!" -- which means that you want to know if it's time to eat yet -- or "puppy!" -- which is pretty self explanatory. Up until a couple of months ago, your vocabulary was pretty much limited to "mama," "papa," "hi," "bye," and, of course, "puppy." In just a few short weeks, though, this list has nearly doubled. In addition to the already mentioned "up," you've been known to specifically ask for cheese, milk, and balloons. The balloons from your first birthday party must have been a major hit, because you could play with balloons for hours. I'm pretty sure I also heard you call me a "butthead" once, but I'm going to just assume that was a fluke.
You know what wasn't a fluke, though? That first day you strung a few steps together and started walking. Man, you really mastered that quickly!
Just walking apparently weren't enough for you, so you have since moved on to stairs. "Mastered" might be too strong of a word for how you handle the stairs, but you have absolutely no fear in working toward it. One Sunday when we were visiting Gramps and Mimi, you spent a solid hour ascending and descending the stairs. I'm pretty sure you will have moved on to learning to ride a bike by the end of the month.
In an effort to avoid what was beginning to be a babymullet, you had your first haircut a few months ago, and you handled it like a champ. Of course, we did have to ply you with Goldfish and Wonderpets, but you were very patient.
We've also managed to get you off of your bottle and onto sippy / straw cups. Bedtime was a little tricky that first week, but once you got the hang of things we were able to establish a really fun bedtime routine with you: First you get your last cup of milk for the day while we hang out in your room and read books. Once your milk is all gone, I get to chase you around with your tiny toothbrush as you laugh maniacally. After your teeth are all clean we turn off the lights, turn on your ladybug nightlight, and sing you a couple of songs as you interrupt us with a dozen or so bedtime kisses. After shutting your door we continue to listen in on the monitor as you babble for about 30-40 minutes. We're not entirely sure what you're talking about, but if we had to guess it would be that you're telling your good friend Donkey about your day.
Speaking of Donkey, you very clearly have it in your head that all animals are divided into two camps: There are the animals that roar -- such as tigers and bears -- that you refer to as "rowies," and everything else. This category of "everything else" is the "puppy" category. If we're walking down the street and you see any sort of dog, you point and say "puppy!" Kitty crosses your path? "Puppy!" See an elephant at the zoo? "Puppy!" Watching a video of JLo wearing a fur coat? "Puppy!" It's really one of the most adorable things you do these days.
Now that summer is here, I can't wait to see all the fun adventures you're going to have as we're able to do more and more things with you outside. The next three months will see your first beach vacation, first time in a swimming pool, and one of your longest road trips. Your mama and I are looking forward to all of it.
All my love,
As Lucy gets older, she wants to be a part of all of our daily activities. When I work at my desk, she wants to "work" too. When Andy cooks, she wants to help (aka, eat all of the ingredients). You have to be careful around this one. She'll eat all your grapes.