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Because I’ve Got My AlphaFoxyMamas All Up In Here

By Amalah

I am extremely pleased to report that we have an entire ARMY of newly-minted AlphaFoxyMamas out there, standing by to assist you in all your beauty queries. I wanted a panel and lo, I now have a LEGION.
People, I have MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS. I have a PHARMACIST. I have girls with REALLY CUTE SHOES. Mwa ha ha!
Thank you SO MUCH to everybody who responded. I look forward to picking all of your delicious brains.
I’m currently going through alllll your emails and sorting you into handy-dandy little categories so I can find you when I need you, and oh my hell, I know I will need you. Alllll of you.
Together, we shall pool our collective knowledge and become the number-one source for real-word beauty and fashion and God-know-what-else advice on the Internet! Together, we shall RULE THE WORLD!
I repeat: MWA HA HA!
Ahem. What?
Amy! Amy!
I saw the Smackdown for last week and I actually have a suggestion for that girl in the UK with the acne problem, because I have the same issue.
Boots Botanics Skin Brightening Toner.
She should be able to get it, because Boots is a UK brand (we can get in Target here) and honestly, it’s been the best thing I can do for my face since Clinique’s Facial Cleansing Bar in mild.
I was also using way too many oil-control scrubs and astringents, and the lady at the Boots counter here in my local Target gently told me I could get better results if I used gentler products. And she was right. The Botanics toner is very gentle, but effective. In theory you should probably use the whole range of Boots skin care products, but you’ll have to pry my Clinique bar from my cold dead hands. Between the two, my skin’s been much improved.
So – Boots! Hit the Boots counter!

Okay, when I think about how I’ve been slaving away on Advice Smackdowns for YEARS now, completely depending on my own small pool of knowledge this whole time, when I could totally get YOU GUYS to do the work for me? Lord. It makes me want to punch myself in the face.
Which, by the way, is looking like a hot mess today. I’ve been doing all kinds of crazy moving-related manual labor this past week and as a result have been a big sweaty um sweathog-type-person while I’m emptying out attic crawlspaces and lugging trash down three flights of stairs. All this sweating has caused my pores to grow so large they may eat my entire head, and– (I can’t believe I’m about to admit this to the Internet)– I have developed some kind of whitehead-type blemish on my EYELID. And it won’t go away. And I have no idea what to do about it.
Maybe I should send out the Bat Signal to my Wednesday Advice Smackdown Panel of Glamorously Fabulous AlphaFoxyMamas? Because SERIOUSLY. It’s GROSS and it’s on MY EYELID.
Hi Amy,
Love your blog, love your writing. Quick question for you: when and how did you start introducing Noah to solid foods? I know you are not a baby expert (or a pediatrician) but you do seem to be quite a Super Mom, raising quite a Super Kid, who at the age of not quite a year old eats a variety of foods and, based on what you have told us, adapted to it rather easily. I know all kids are different and develop at their own pace, however my daughter, Amelia, is big like your Noah, 9 lbs 6 oz at birth, and 12 lbs, 13 oz at her two-month check up. ( I also feel like I gave birth to one month old.) She has great head control and of course is super advanced in all her other milestones (right). But seriously, I am considering offering her solid food before the doctor-approved four months. I have been breastfeeding thus far, and after we got over the severe cracked nipples for the first six weeks, it has been going well I suppose. But she is a big girl with a big appetite and I would really like to start working in other meals, i.e. rice cereal, in a few weeks and my hope is that if we do solid foods it will help regulate her schedule (not just sleep, but also when she gets hungry and also give my husband more of a role in feeding her). We have also tried to give her a pumped bottle at least every other day since she was a week old but lately that is not going so well. Bottle strike maybe, but that is another story
Then again maybe I am trying to rush things and I should just slow down and not try to make her grow up too fast. Anyways…. Mom to mom, I’m just curious what do you think and what worked for you?
Thanks for the blog!

Okay, here’s what worked FOR US, and while I feel obligated to lead off with lots of “talk to your doctor blah blah blah cakes” I can also say that what worked for us was 100% recommended and approved by my pediatrician. And you know, I couldn’t have screwed up too badly as Noah is alive and well and continues to be an enormously brilliant little chunkin.
The big babies, they need the food. We started Noah on cereal when he was just shy of three and a half months old. Like your daughter, he was big for his age and could hold his head up. Like your daughter, he had a tremendous appetite that my poor boobs and their suck supply could not keep up with. It was either add even more bottles of formula to his schedule or give him some cereal a couple weeks before “the books” said it was okay. We gave him the cereal.
At his four-month check-up, my doctor went on a looooong rant about the crazy, highly regimented way we feed infants in this country. His way of thinking is more along the lines of this article, which suggests that whole cereal-then-veggies-then-fruit approach is actually kind of pointless. Every baby is different, so why are we clinging to some one-size-fits-all timetable and menu?
Example One of Why My Baby Is Not Your Baby: My doctor was actually irritated to hear that I started Noah on rice cereal, which is generally considered the best first food because it’s gentle, easy to digest and babies love it. But Noah is kind of (HA!) a chronically constipated kid and DUH. RICE AIN’T HELPING THAT, MOM. My doctor actually mentioned at Noah’s three-month visit that I should just give him prunes as a first food and skip the cereal entirely, but, well, I’d never heard of anyone skipping cereal and chickened out because it seemed wrong somehow.
I repeat: DUH.
So from then on Noah ate prunes and sweet potatoes and pears and whatever else he’d accept. We switched to an iron-fortified barley cereal (MUUUUCH better for the pooping) and stayed away from bananas and applesauce. And yes, I added seasonings to his veggies. No! Yes! And Noah never sprouted a second head or spontaneously combusted or ANYTHING.
Anyway, despite all this rambling from me, my doctor’s advice really boiled down to this: No one knows what your baby needs better than you do. And what you know your baby needs is more important than what some milestone chart says she needs, so don’t let them rattle your confidence.
For more, the comments on this old post of mine contain tons of great stories about what real moms fed their very real and very different babies. I re-read them a lot. And check out the video section right here at AlphaMom for more level-headed, this-ain’t-rocket-science advice about introducing solids.

One compelling reason to wait as long as possible? YOU WON’T HAVE TO CLEAN THIS CRAP UP.

I recently took inventory of my cosmetics and realized that one of the products dated back to 1993. Many were newer, but not much newer than 1999. So, I decided to purge everything that wasn’t purchased in the last six months, except for my favorite lipstick, which is no longer being made, because I have my limits. I bought a sheer foundation, SPF 15, and a foundation brush, a sheer powder and its own brush, a couple of lipsticks, mascara, two eye-liners and a small palette of eye-shadows. It was an exciting day, seriously. My problem is that I don’t really know how to use the foundation brush effectively. I feel like I’m using a lot more than I would have without it and am looking for the best way to get the foundation from the bottle to the brush.

Pump a very small amount of foundation onto the back of your hand. (If your foundation doesn’t have a pump top [hate!], quickly dip a Q-Tip or your brush handle into the bottle and then smear it onto your hand.) Then dab the tip of a clean, dry brush into the makeup, using the back of your hand like an artist’s palette. Start with your cheeks, brushing up and away from your nose, and then use a semi-circular stroke to blend it in. You want a thin, even coat.
If you are using the brush correctly, you will actually use LESS foundation than you would otherwise. I know I’ve obsessively photo-documented the foundation-brush process already, but just for good measure, here’s another picture of how much foundation I use with my brush.
Please note the clever way I’ve cropped my chewed-off fingernails out of the frame. Genius!

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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