Holidays

Mamas, Take Time for Yourself!

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As Man-Cub Mamas, we realize that being a mama is rewarding, but at the same time draining. So this Mama’s Day, I’d like to remind you to take time out for yourself EVERY DAY, not just on Mama’s Day.

I was talking to a good friend today who mentioned that when she was young, her mother started a part-time job at Hallmark stocking cards. Sometimes her mother would bring her along. My friend remembers how much she hated having to help out. But what she also remembered is that her mother had an extra spring in her step every time she went to work. It seemed that she was a little more rejuvenated and happier. I think this is because she took time out for herself.

Another one of my friends, who is a single mama, described this perfectly when she explained that she was able to adjust better to her new life as a single parent when she started taking time out for herself. She started hiking. She took classes through a local university like home repair and rock climbing. She volunteered at a non-profit organization to help other single mamas find better employment. She said, “Making time for myself has transformed my life and helped me to embrace the life I have.” She also has a better relationship with her kids now that she has dedicated time to herself.

Taking time out for myself has not been easy to do, but it has been worth it. This past month, I have been dedicating all of my son’s nap-time (which is about an hour) fully to myself. I can do whatever I want. I’m not required to clean, or study for the Bar, or anything else I don’t want to do. It has made a big difference in my happiness level and with how I interact with my son. This has come with some sacrifice. I still need to study for the Bar, so my husband will spend an hour of one-on-one time with my son in the evenings so I can have that time.

I know it’s not easy finding time to yourself with young children. But it is so important and worth the sacrifice, whether it means finding a babysitter, adjusting parenting roles, or whatever else you have to do to make it work. Find a hobby! Volunteer! Do something that is meaningful to you (aside from raising your kids).

Happy Mama’s Day,

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Holidays

A Pinterest Easter with a Toddler

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I had high aspirations this Easter to make it the most fun-filled event ever. I created an Easter Board on Pinterest and tried out several of the ideas. Here’s how it went:

-Fingerpainting: Fail. D is not interested in doing different cute designs to go through the week of Easter. So just know that any finger painting you see that requires a steady hand should probably be for ages 3+.

-Printables: Most were too advanced for my son. We ended up just trying out the Easter Finger Puzzle. This lead to a meltdown because I wouldn’t let D cut out the square and fold it. I would recommend cutting it out ahead of time, letting your little color it, and then folding it when they aren’t looking, so you don’t have to hear “No I DO IT!!!”

-Dying Eggs: D had lots of fun and I was slightly stressed he would drink the dyed water we dunked the eggs in. Let’s just say there’s a reason I added some “Getting Dye off of Hands” pins to the board. You’re welcome.

-Easter Books: Win! We checked out eight Easter books from the library. While they were all cute, my favorite was Looking For Easter, because I felt like it tied in more of the true meaning of Easter (new life). IMG_1381

-Non-candy Egg fillings: I would highly recommend this, because D got plenty of candy from other sources on Easter. We chose to put a toddler sock in each egg and he was just as excited to get those as he was the candy. (These were patterned socks we let him pick out at the store a few weeks ago). I loved the other non-candy filling ideas on the pinterest board, and look forward to trying them in later years.

-Reusing Plastic Eggs: So far we’ve only tried making the egg maracas from this video, and they were a huge hit! We have so many eggs left from the four Easter egg hunts we did this week, so I look forward to figuring out other uses for them.

-Christ-centered activities: Since D is still young for most of the ideas I pinned, I went for just drawing a picture of Christ on the cross and Christ rising from the tomb. That seemed to resonate with him the most. I also introduced him to Handel’s Hallelujah chorus and he now constantly requests it. Music is a powerful tool in teaching children.

-Food: We used our hard-boiled dyed eggs to make Eggs Benedict for dinner. We also tried out this Resurrection Roll Recipe. If you do these rolls, be aware that they will have liquid inside from the melted marshmallow. I chose to make mine in a muffin tin instead of a cake pan, which led to some spilling in the oven. Despite that, these were delicious and worth the effort. IMG_1482

We had a wonderful week leading up to Easter, and I hope this post can give you some ideas for next year!

Why I Needed a Mom Vacation

Holidays, PInterest

DIY Holiday Crafts

A lot of these projects were inspired by pinterest pictures and posts, which I’ve linked to the name of each craft below.
Sock Snowman and Sock Santa– Santa was inspired by a snowman with a red hat – I used a red sock for Santa’s body/ hat and a white one for his head/beard. The mustache for Santa and the nose for the Snowman were made out of felt. These tutorials recommend using beans or rice to fill your sock creations. I would suggest putting either beans or rice in the bottom, and then filling the rest with a cloth stuffing. Man-cub D through these around like crazy, and having these be all of rice made them more dangerous projectiles. So I ended up gutting them and adding the cloth filling.
Reindeer and Snowman Felt ornaments- I used cotton balls as extra stuffing for these cute ornaments! For the details of the snowmen, I used a black and an orange sharpie. Man-cub D learned the songs Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Once There Was a Snowman because of these ornaments.
Felt Nativity– I’ve been eyeing the little people nativity for months, but concluded it was just too expensive for this year. So I made my own finger puppet nativity! The outline for everyone except Baby Jesus was used from my Quiet Book posts. I chose not to be as detailed with their dress since I hot glued everything. I’ve learned that the more things you glue, the stiffer the puppets become, and the harder it is to fit your finger in. For Baby Jesus, I chose to cut out a brown arch and then a star shaped piece of yellow felt for the hay. I only glued down the outer sides of the hay so I could slide my finger between the brown and yellow pieces. 
DIY Mickey Mouse Stocking– My mom sent me this idea (thanks mom!) and I just had to try it. You’ll see I altered it a bit since I used two pom poms that came with the stocking. I also didn’t have enough black felt to do an entire head, so I just did the ears. 
Overall, these crafts have been quick and cheap to do! Man-cub D has gotten a kick out of all his new “gifts” this month, and has enjoyed playing with them all (minus the stocking).