Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Self Preservation

A couple of the Moms in my life have told me that reading my blog makes them "feel like a bad Mom" because I do more projects with Zoe than they do with their kids.  It bums me out for a couple of reasons:

Reason #1:
Every Mother I know is amazing.  We all have our different styles and I learn from other Moms every day.  When I share my thoughts and our activities on here it's in part to try and give back to other Moms in the way that I personally sharing my struggles in the hopes that others will read and know that they aren't alone in this crazy, difficult, inspiring and fun (all at once sometimes) job that we have.  I was telling my friends the other day that I had a good cry after my morning got turned upside down and Zoe was having one of her "I'm going to throw a fit every time you ask me to do something" days.  I was hanging up the laundry and just bawled my head off.  One of my friends said "I'm glad I'm not the only one!" and I immediately thought to myself: "That statement sums up one of the main reasons I write my blog."  We all struggle with the kids, ourselves, our spouses...well, just LIFE I suppose and you know what?  Sometimes it brings me to my knees.  That doesn't mean I'm weak or unhappy or a bad Mom, it just means that what we do is really hard sometimes and once in a while the only thing left to do to help you through a moment is to bawl your head off.  So, go ahead and know that I'm right there with you!  I also like to share our activities and projects just to give you ideas!  I've become so much more crafty and motivated this year and a big reason why it's seemed so accessible to me is because I started reading OTHER blogs and getting ideas.  Once I started seeing more and more people doing little projects with their kids, the easier it all seemed to be.  I wanted to add to that big pool of people sharing ideas in case anyone in my personal circle isn't into surfing the net and reading as many blogs as I am.  I'm hoping this is another way for me to give to other Moms like other Moms have given to me since I became a parent.

Reason #2
If any more than 1 minute passes in which I don't have an idea of what we can do, ZOE TAKES CHARGE AND STARTS TELLING ME WHAT TO DO.  Don't get me wrong, she is loads of fun but man I just can't stand getting sucked into her games sometimes.  They always involve something I'm not in the mood to do and I do so much eye rolling, sighing and complaining that not only am I bored out of my mind, but I also end up feeling guilty that I'm not enthusiastic enough for her.  If I stay a step ahead of her and have a few things in mind to do, while it doesn't always work, it usually diminishes the time in which I'll be forced to, for example, pretend she is my dog and walk her around the house on a leash trying to figure out what she is saying in her "doggie voice". Doing crafts and stuff is just my personal way of dealing with this dilemma we all have in common.  Some people tend to the house, but that doesn't relax me so I try to do my cleaning when Zoe and Owen are otherwise engaged or asleep so it doesn't happen as often as it should.  Some people bake and cook but, while I enjoy doing these things sometimes, doing them with the kids around just stresses me out more.  I marvel at the meals many of my friends prepare for their families on a regular basis.  Our dinners every week almost always include frozen pizza, mac and cheese (sometimes twice), spaghetti with sauce from a jar (sometimes heated up, most times not), and scrambled eggs, all paired guessed it:  frozen mixed vegetables (or a bowl of applesauce if the thought of cooking the veggies is just too much to think about).  Let's not forget my favorite (when Nathan isn't home for dinner) tater tots, string cheese and edamame.  So, these little projects are how I personally get through my days and choose to spend the better part of my parenting energy.  Yes, I feel proud that the stuff we do together is fun and interesting and sometimes a learning experience for Zoe and that is also why I do it but I can't tell you how many times I set something up for us to do and she gets bored with it after 2 minutes and moves on to something else while I finish the project.  Lots of times when that happens, she plays alone until I'm done or colors alongside me or something.  Not to mention it just makes me feel good to have something to show for the hard work I do during the day.  I like having something to show Nathan when he gets home that goes along with a story about what we did that day.

So, if  I've ever made you feel like you "don't do enough" with your kids just keep in mind that a big reason (probably the biggest) why I do all of this stuff with her is to just keep my mind from imploding, just like you do in your own way.

Anyway, all that said....since winter has arrived here I have plenty of reasons to stay prepared for ideas every day since it's more and more common for us to be stuck inside for the whole day together.  I saw this idea the other day and knew we had to give it a whirl because I had all of the supplies in my house already.  When I went to do it today, I totally forgot about the liquid soap and ended up putting vegetable oil in.  We will have to try it again with the soap and see how different it looks.  Also, you wouldn't want to do this with oil if your kids tend to get really messy because you'd have a lot of oil to clean up.  It was fun though...didn't last long but I thought it was totally worth it...
Poured the milk and oil in a tray and then added however much food coloring as we wanted

Then we just sort of played around with the bubbles and watched them change

It looked really cool!

Zoe was a princess for Halloween and I happened to come across this autumn leaf crown the day before.  She was already planning to wear a beautiful birthday crown that was made for and given to her by my friend Jessica last year and I was totally cool with that so I wasn't planning on making it for her costume.  During the day on Halloween though we were out playing in the beautiful weather and I decided I wanted to fiddle around with some leaves and see if I could make one.  I thought it would be cool if she liked it enough to add to her costume, but I also knew I just wanted to make it just to make it, so I didn't mind at all when she decided to go with the birthday crown in the end.  I struggled with it quite a bit just because I vaguely remembered the blog post I'd read and couldn't remember how they had done it exactly.  I couldn't get the stems to work for the weaving for some reason and thought I was a genius when I decided to use pine needles instead.  After concentrating for at least a half an hour on it, I went to put it on her and it totally fell apart!  Ugh!  Of COURSE!  My former dresser-self scoffed at the present-time me when I realized I never would have expected a costume to stay together if I'd used a bunch of straight pins and not sewn it together at all.  So, I threw my pile of leaves down in a huff and almost left them at the playground.  At the last minute, I turned around and got them because this really nice mother, who had watched me carefully put it together that whole time, quietly said "Oh, don't give up!  It's so beautiful!" and I realized she was right...I'd be disappointed if I didn't keep trying.  What finally worked was stitching them together with embroidery floss.  Although I'm sure that alone would have held it together just fine, I glued on a  strip of construction paper on the inside edge, just to make it more sturdy and also to make it less itchy to wear.  Anyway, here is the result!
Held together with just pine needles fold the bottom part of the leaf and sort of layer them however you want.  Then you sew or weave through those folds.  When I knew it was long enough I stitched it together after I sized it to her head.
Gluing in the construction paper

Beautiful girl!


  1. Best post, Sarah! MAN, that made me laugh right out loud when you said that Zoe would make you pretend she's your dog! :D And that leaf crown looks stinkin' awesome!


  2. Thanks Marisa! Yes, her "games" can honestly be torture. I'm lucky there isn't a camera running constantly in our apartment and streamed live for the world to see because I'm quite sure I'd be labeled "The Pathetic Sucker" on that show. Thanks! I loved it too...she didn't really care but at least now I know how to do it...won't be so hard next time.