January 23, 2019

The Reality of Mothering a One-Year-Old

Disclaimer: Every child + mother is different. This is in no way implying that there is a universal experience to mothering a one-year-old. Just my reality ;)

Let's face it: No matter what age, personality or gender, kids are tough. Mothering is complicated and full of unexpected challenges around every corner. When my first was just a newborn, sleep deprivation was my weakness. As she got older, finding things she liked to eat became the new challenge. It's always something new! Once she turned one, I feel like she woke up and thought to herself, time to pull out the big guns. She is a spitfire that is difficult to tame. Mothering a one-year-old can be hell some days, if I'm being honest. And yes, to all you mothers of older children, I am aware that it only gets lovelier. So please, keep your snickering to yourselves ;)


They scream and cry until they get EXACTLY what they want. They will scream if there diaper is dirty and proceed to scream as you change said diaper. They. Will. Scream.

They will absolutely love the food you slaved over last night for them, but give it to them the next day... forget it. They will act as if you are serving them literal crap. 

Oh, and it will end up on the floor, even if they do like it.

Speaking of eating, you think, "Wow! You ate all your food!" staring at their empty plate. Then as you lift them up, all the turkey, cheese, peaches and veggies straws are sitting in their seat. It's also down their pants because that's a new trick!

The days you bother to do your hair, it very quickly ends up in a messy bun. The concept of "stop pulling my hair!!" has just not registered in that tiny brain yet. It also will end up with applesauce, dirty dish water and boogers in it, if you're lucky. Which is why you feel like a new woman every single time you step out of the shower.

Have a good variety of toys and books for your toddler? It won't matter. The tv remote, trash can and syrup bottle they found are much more fun and entertaining. 

Most days I end up on the couch after what felt like the longest day and have to decompress for a few minutes. I think back on all the things that made that day good, bad, ugly, beautiful. Most days really are amazing. Nova makes me laugh and gives me the best hugs and kisses. She is so super sweet and loves to snuggle. We eat snacks together and read a lot of books. The little things that make motherhood challenging are just moments. 

On the hard days I remind myself that it's okay to cry. It's okay to indulge in some chocolate or ice cream or diet coke. It's okay to not be totally okay. That's just motherhood. I'm still learning every day. I am not the perfect example of learning from my trials but if I have learned anything it is that I am doing a great job. Regardless of the tantrums or food on the floor, I love this child with all I've got. Mama, you are doing a great job. Love that baby with all you've got and remember to laugh during the trials. 

"To all mothers in every circumstance, including those who struggle - and all will - I say, be peaceful. Believe in God and YOURSELF. You are doing better than you think you are." 
Jeffery R Holland

January 4, 2019

DIY Nursery Floral Letters

Back in August, I started to party prep for my daughter's first birthday. Granted, her birthday celebration wouldn't be until the first weekend of October but I was determined to be prepared and make the event of the year ;) The very first DIY craft I attempted was making cardboard letters into a beautiful floral display of her name for the welcome table. I'd seen this DIY floating around pinterest and instagram so many times that I figured enough people had done it so I should be able to figure it out. Well, I did but there are a lot of things I wish I had done differently. I'll be sharing the do's and don'ts for this DIY as we go along with the tutorial. So stay tuned ;)

- l e t t e r s  f o r   n a m e  y o u  a r e  d e s i g n i n g -
I bought ours at Target for $4 each, which wasn't too bad considering 
Nova's name is four letters. You can also find them at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. 

- h o t  g l u e -

- x - a c t o  k n i f e  o r  b o x  c u t t e r -

- f l o r a l  p i e c e s -
I decided to keep this craft as cheap as possible by hitting my local dollar tree!

- f l o r a l  f o a m  o r  s t y r o f o a m -
Dependant on how long the name is that you are working on,
you may need between 3-6 styrofoam blocks. I again got ours from
the dollar store but you can also get bigger blocks from a craft store.

- s p o n g e  b r u s h -

- a c r y l i c  p a i n t -

- w i r e  c u t t e r s -

1. Trace out where you would like floral bunches to be placed on each letter. Then, use your x-acto knife or box cutter to cut along your trace. Be sure to only cut on the top, not along the sides of the letters! In most cardboard letters there will be a little bit of other cardboard to keep it from caving. Just take out where your "empty" space will be.

I had to use a "Q" instead of an "O" because they were all out of "O's" - it didn't matter because I was able to cover that up!

2. Paint the letters with whichever color you choose! The reason I suggest using a sponge brush is because when you are working with this type of paper material, it will show brush strokes. In order to avoid that, I dabbed the paint on and it dries mostly flat with just a little bit of visible texture. In corners, I did use a small brush but those strokes aren't easily noticeable. Set aside and allow pieces to dry completely.

3. This is where your girl royally messed up, didn't care and then just continued with the diy. If I were to do this again, I would do it this way: Measure the depth of your letter. Use that measurement and cut your styrofoam so that it is the same depth. Then, using a little bit of wet paint, trace the border of your gap. Place the styrofoam on top of the wet paint space on your letter. When you take it off, it gives you the perfect shape to cut out! 

4. Cut each piece of styrofoam - be prepared with a trash can because this is messy! Use just a dab or two of hot glue on the bottom side of your pre-cut styrofoam and place within each gap of your letters. If any pieces feel a little loose, you can put slivers of styrofoam to fill in any gaps.

5. Grab your wire cutters and begin cutting your floral pieces! Remember that measurement for the depth of your letters? Use that but cut down just a cm or two and allow that to be your guide for how long to keep each stem while cutting. 

6. Arrange your flowers on each letter! This was my favorite part but another place for improvement that you can learn from ;) Instead of pre-arranging, I just went for it. While this might work for you, it didn't so much for me. If there was something I wanted to rearrange, it would just put more and more holes into the styrofoam. So, I suggest pre-arranging and trying to keep as little puncture wounds within the styrofoam as possible! This will help to keep things in place as well. 

7. Use command strips to put onto wall to avoid damage and to allow the letters to be flat up against the wall! 

This whole project took me a total of two hours to complete. It could go quicker if you aren't chasing a baby around (Nova was only 10 months at the time)! Something that I love about this craft is that it really doesn't cost a fortune. With the four letters, it cost me about $25. It was a huge hit at her birthday party and doubled as the cutest nursery decor. Because it is so lightweight, I never worry about it falling and hurting her, since it is right above her crib. Really, it's just the perfect craft ;)

Did you find a better way to do any of the steps while working on your project? Let me know in the comments!