Happy Mother’s day!

Man, I am feeling burnt out lately. It’s just this stage with Madi that’s rough, I think. I don’t know if it’s common, but Karissa went through this too–around 5 months it’s like they’re stuck in their bodies, bored, immobile, and just sick and tired of it. Madi is super pleasant and happy until she’s not, and then suddenly it’s like a black cloud of inconsolable cries rolls in. I remember the few months with Karissa before she learned how to crawl being long and hard, and here I am again, only this time Karissa is going through it too. Boy, she is not a fan, haha. I tell her that we will be through it soon but I’m not sure that she believes me.

Anyway, I’m here feeling like my whole body just wants to melt into jello at the end of every day and then I’m up and at it again in the morning. We’re walking a bunch of times a day out of boredom (and because mommy has a heck of a lot of weight to lose) and I just really understand the meaning of tired. Almost anywhere we go someone says something like, “Oh, that must be hard,” “You’ve got your hands full,” or “Wow, you must be busy.” I don’t really feel like my job is hard or busy because I love my kids and I’m usually having a lot of fun, plus I am extremely lucky that I get to take care of my kids, but I do have to admit that it is exhausting.

So, Mother’s day is upon us, and I’m suddenly so very grateful for a day dedicated to moms. I don’t rightly know how I do it, I don’t know how other moms do it, and I don’t know how my mom did it, but kudos to every mom ever. We are a bold, hard, and probably underappreciated workforce. We’re the glue holding all the household crazy together–we’re crazy glue!

Well I sure am missing my mom these days as I am learning just how much motherhood is about getting to know yourself. I’m a year and a half in and I’m discovering parts of myself that I had no idea were there. I’m finding patience–like woah, I have never been patient but evidently having babies planted some magical patience seeds in me that are beginning to sprout, which is great because I really need them. I’m discovering a vast reservoir of understanding and empathy that I was unaware of until recently, so that’s been a great resource that I hope holds out. The most important thing that I’m learning in all of this is self-appreciation.

Our children will learn from the example that we set, so we should demonstrate that while we love them and they are important, sometimes we need to step back and love ourselves first. We need to show them that this is how healthy, functional people behave and how quality relationships are built. Even if it’s as simple as 5 minutes alone in the shower (which is my nightly ritual at the moment), it’s important to keep in touch with yourself. This sounds cheesy, but for Mother’s day I’m considering buying myself some cheap flowers and writing myself a love note. I feel like that would be a great therapeutic exercise for me, and would you even believe that I made it up myself? Sounds like some genuine Dr. Phil type stuff.

I remember back when I thought that being a mom would be all sunshine and roses (which it is, but with little interjections of poop and screaming throughout the day) and chuckle. So today I would just like to remind you to give yourself a little loving pat on the back for keeping the kids alive through another day–heck, they might have even gotten fed and bathed. Try to hold on to those great, indescribable moments, like the look of joy when they taste solid food for the first time, the first little giggles and smiles, and the look in your kid’s eyes before they give you a hug. Sure, it’s not easy when they’re laying on the floor screaming because you asked them if they wanted you to take their socks off and you aren’t sure what to do, but at the end of the day when I look at my angels I really feel like love conquers all.

Mother’s Day Print Cards

My sister is visiting, so she gets to help with a special Mother’s Day project today! I love my mom–my sweet, far away, Texan mom. Sadly, the distance means that she doesn’t get to see the kids. She’s seen Kari three times and Madi once, so we have to let her know that we’re thinking of her on this special holiday! This card didn’t turn out as great as I wanted it to, but it incorporated more people and was still a ton of fun.

Difficulty: medium

Supplies:
8 1/2 × 11 thick paper or cardstock cut in half
Paint
Embellishments (feathers, sequins, glitter )
A little helper or two

Steps:
1. On the front of the card, write your sentiments. I have also added a few decorative feathers and sequins as embellishments.

2. Paint your hand green, turquoise, blue, or purple–some peacocky color. In the center of the inside press firmly, leaving an imprint. Have anyone else participating do the same thing on top of yours in a different color, creating layers of “peacock feathers.” My sister, husband and two girls are doing this with me, so we have 5 layers.

3. For the body, take blue paint and paint the body off to one side–let him show off that tail! I mixed dark blue, light blue, and lime green glitter in with my paint.

4. Put some white paint for an eye–I just did a dot with my finger. Once it dries, Add a pupil with black paint or a sharpie marker. Add a beak with a little bit of yellow or orange paint.

5. Against the top of the peacock’s head add a little feather tuft using a blue, green, or purple feather.

6. Label your handprints and send to moms and grandmas!

Easter Print Cards

I am very excited about Easter this year! This is the first year with both kids, and Kari is finally old enough to enjoy Easter eggs. I will be trying to fill them with alternatives to candy, such as socks, stickers, and little healthy snacks. We may also buy some more egg shaped crayons and chalk–they’ll be pulling double duty as Easter eggs. We are also going to be making cards for relatives near and far. All of my family is in Texas, so we are trying to send everyone little mementos and reminders that we love them.

Difficulty: Easy

Supplies:
8 1/2 x 11 Paper or cardstock, cut in half
Washable finger paint or colored ink pads
Other assorted crafting supplies–whatever your toddler fancies
A little helper or two

Steps:
1. In light, springy colors have your little helper(s) print hand and/or footprints inside the card, spaced out a little. These are flowers. Add stems, grass and leaves. Let your paint dry between phases.
2. Put a few brightly colored fingerprints in the grass–Easter eggs!


3. On the cover of the card place a gray, white, or brown upside down footprint. Add bunny ears, tail, and a face.
4. Add grass and Easter eggs around the rabbit.


5. Finishing Touches! This is the time for sentimental thoughts, glitter, stickers…be sure to label your hand and footprints!

Valentines Cards

Today we’re making cards for family for the next upcoming holiday! I have a 16 month old and a 3 month old, so the cards are very simple for now, just crayons and paint. Kari actually participated happily, which surprised me. She scribbled on the paper–I had six papers out–and slapped red paint onto the page for me.

Difficulty– Easy (depending on your participants)

Supplies:
8 1/2 x 11 paper or cardstock cut in half
Washable finger paint or colored ink pads
Any other crafty supplies your toddler might enjoy (glitter, glue, foam shapes, crayons, sequins–the possibilities are endless!)
A little helper or two

Steps:
1. Let your child/children color the paper, write, etc.
2. Have your child make a handprint on the inside of the paper. Decorate the handprint if desired.


3. On the cover, use two footprints in the shape of a heart to adorn the card. I am using my 3 month old’s feet to make hearts.
4. Write a cute phrase on the front of the card. Add embellishments–here I added stickers and ribbon.
5. Add any finishing touches, such as names and dates. Make sure you label the prints for relatives!