Encouragement For The Everymama

I’ve just had a few thoughts swirling around in my head the last few days as I’ve been trying to catch up on housework and stuff after hardly doing any last week.

I’d had a great week of preparing for a wedding shower that turned out beautifully! And I got left behind in the daily stuff.  To make things even better, I think Z is working on another molar or two, and has been a bit clingy, making it harder to get anything done.  I decided I needed a bit of encouragement, and wrote this down. I hope it encourages you as well!

To all you mamas of one babe or five, here on earth or in heaven; whether you stay at home or work full time I want to let you know…
You’ve got this!

To the ones who feel called to a sphere of influence greater than just their family and are told they need (or feel pressure from others) to just stay home and take care of their family and are crazy for thinking otherwise…
You aren’t.

To the working mamas AND those who have put their lives and careers on hold, either by choice or out of necessity; whether you’re working to provide or staying home to care for your child or children…
You’re AMAZING.

You may feel like you’re trying to do too much but not getting enough done; like you’re constantly running on empty… Or you’re doing your best but it’s never quite good enough.
It is.

You might be drowning in laundry, dishes may be piling up, cupboards mostly bare, your little tornadoes are constantly making messes, and you’re sure you’ve fallen so far behind you’ll never catch up.
You will.

Maybe you’re struggling to make it through the day; dealing with postpartum depression or hormones that won’t regulate on their own, leaving you tired and energyless, and you don’t think it will ever get better.
It does.

Perhaps your babe is going having a bad day/week/month. Sickness, teething, tantrums, terrible sleeping patterns… it may feel like it will never end.
It will.

Maybe you feel invisible; your hard work goes unnoticed, nobody seems to appreciate the sacrifices you make for them on a daily basis. Like if you were to disappear, nobody would miss you or even notice you were gone…
They would. Oh would they ever!

You might feel like you can’t do this alone. You’ve tried and it’s not working. It’s ok. You weren’t meant to. We all need each other. We need to be there for one another.
In community.

To all the everyday, normal, hardworking, self-sacrificing mamas out there; you ARE strong. You ARE doing a good job. You ARE enough. You WILL get through whatever it is that’s happening right now. Be encouraged. Never give up. It’s ok to need help. It’s good to need each other. It’s essential that you take care of yourself as well as your family.
You go girl!
You’ve got this!

 

The Joys Of Mommyhood – Teething



I have to say, teething is a monster! Unpredictable and painful, for baby and even mama. I nursed poor Z to sleep FIVE times last night, before 3am. He just pushed out most of a molar last week, and it looks like he may be working on an eye tooth now. On the same side. Yay.
He’s mostly happy, but once in a while the pain gets to him and he becomes quite grumpy. Understandable.

I don’t remember the last time he’s happily eaten three full meals in a day. I have amber beads, holistic teething medicine, teething gel, and Tylenol that I use on him (not all at once of course), and though some things help a bit, nothing really seems to take the pain away. It affects the mouth, ears, and tummy (complete with diaper rash when it gets really bad), and can even give him a low-grade fever. What. A. Blast. It’s a constant guessing game as to whether he’s just teething or if he picked up a bug from one of the other babes at church or something.

And then there’s the biting. My shoulder, my lips as I try to sneak a kiss, my arm, fingers, and even my toes. And my nipples! Oh my poor mangled nipples. Z gets frustrated when he’s in pain, and when he’s frustrated, I need to nurse carefully! That boy has made me yell more in the last few months than I have in the last number of years! And I think he enjoys hearing me yelp. Though, funnily enough, he gets offended at me when I start yelling at him for nipping my nips…

Thankfully, like a lot of things in this life, this is just a phase. A short one compared to many. It’s been my least favorite phase so far of watching my little boy develop and grow, for obvious reasons. But I just need to keep in mind that ‘this too shall pass’. And so it shall. Hopefully sooner than later.  Until then, God grant me patience!

Yes, that’s food in the corner of his eye… And in his nose.

12 Ways To Relax (Plus Free Printable)

Oftentimes it can be hard to relax.

It can be hard to find the time, and when you do have the time, it can be difficult to stop your brain from thinking about all the stuff you ‘should’ be doing rather than relaxing.

But relaxation is essential to self-care. Sometimes all we need is a few minutes to de-stress, and we’re able to carry on with our day better than we would if we just tried to keep going.

So here are 12 things I do to help myself de-stress and relax a bit.  Hopefully you find a few ideas in here that work for you!

 

1. Stop and breathe  
In my case this usually happens while I’m in the car, or somewhere and doing something that doesn’t take a ton of concentration.  There are widgets and apps for Apple Watch, iPhone, and I’m sure android as well that remind you to stop for a moment and take some deep breaths multiple times throughout the day.   You could also set alarms at different times of the day you know you’ll be free for a minute or two.

2. Put on some comfy clothes
If you’re working (or just puttering around) at home, why not throw on some comfy clothes?  Scrap the bra, and go for a hoodie and some sweats. Be comfy. Be cozy. It helps, bigtime!

3. Make yourself a cuppa
Sitting and drinking a nice, warm, soothing cup of tea doesn’t have to take an hour. Just take 10-15 minutes to sit and enjoy the scent, feel, and taste of that tea.  Then get back to it.

4. Turn on some instrumental music
I love music. I very regularly have music playing in the background, and its almost always instrumental.  New age music is my go-to, but I like some post-rock and classical once in a while as well. Spotify, Google Play, and 8tracks all have some great instrumental playlists.

5. Have a hot bath before bed
Pour yourself a glass of wine, throw in a bath bomb, grab a favorite book, and hop in! Or, slide into your swim suite (or not!) and go for a dip in your hot tub if you own one. Baths are great for relaxing alone time and getting yourself sleepy before bed, whereas hot tubs are nice for tech free chats with loved ones before sleep.

6. Utilize some essential oils
If you have a diffuser, put a few drops of your favorite oils in and enjoy. It takes no time at all, and depending on the oil, they can relax or invigorate you in no time.

7. Light some scented (or unscented) candles
I like to light candles in the evening; they set a relaxing, romantic mood, perfect for drinking tea and daydreaming or bathing and reading . Which brings me to the next thing…

8. Read a good book
Pick something light, a comedy or romance. Maybe an adventure or fantasy if that’s your thing. Read a couple of chapters. Let yourself get lost in the book for a while. It really can do wonders!

9. Daydream
Close your eyes for a few minutes and let your mind wander. Go to your happy place; Hawaii, Disneyland, or wherever it may be.  Don’t let yourself think about the stuff you have on your plate; that will still be there when you’re ready to get back to it.

10. Take a short walk; get outside
I know for myself, a nice little walk can almost be like a reset button.  If Z and I are having a bad day, I’ll pack him up in a carrier, and just take off. Rain or shine. It doesn’t need to be a long walk; just a change of scenery and some fresh air do us both a world of good.

11. Pamper yourself with a mani, pedi, or massage
These can be expensive. I’m not suggesting this happen every week, but once in a while, its worth it to spoil yourself a bit. I find there’s nothing quite as relaxing as a good massage!

12. Put that phone away
Step away from the phone, computer, TV, tablet, etc. It has been scientifically proven to be beneficial to ditch screens and technology for a while every day. We spend so much of our time staring at screens, and it can become tiring physically, emotionally, and mentally. Go ahead, leave your phone on your desk and walk away for a bit. Those emails can wait will still be there when you get back.

Here’s a prettified list of the ideas that I made just for you! Feel free to download and print it out. 🙂

June Goals

I’m getting a bit of a late start on this, but here we go. I’ve never written out monthly goals before, so I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve seen quite a few other bloggers do it and they seem to quite enjoy the process, so I’m going to see how it works for me.
My goals for the beautiful month of June are:

Try four new muffin recipes 
I’ve been wanting to start a new blog segment for a while now; muffin Mondays. We’ll see how it goes. I’d like baking to be a thing Z and I do together as he gets older, maybe once a week or so.

Write at least four blog posts
I’ve been off the grid again as far as blogging goes. I’ve never been a very consistent blogger, partly because I want my words to mean something, and not just be fluff and filler.  I want to inspire, share insight, and have what I write actually be interesting and useful to others. Most of the time though I just don’t feel like I have much to say that people would want to read. That’s about to change though. I’ve decided I’m going to write about whatever I feel like writing about, and if people want to read it, awesome. If they don’t, great. I’m going to write for me.

Keep on top of the house work
A realistic, yet seemingly unachievable goal for me. I’m working on it though, and (I think) slowly getting better at this.

Send out ‘thinking of you’ cards to four people 
Everybody likes to know someone’s thinking about them, and everyone loves to get mail that’s not a bill or advertisement. So I want to start writing just one little note to one person at a time, stick it in a cute little card, and mail it out to them. There are four Fridays left in the month; lets do one a week.

Walk at least 3 times a week
I love going for walks. I often pack Z up and take off when we’re having a grumpy day or he’s not napping, and it just clears both of our heads and puts us in better moods. And sometimes it helps calm Z down enough to fall asleep! Bonus! Its been quite hot here, and I haven’t gotten up and moving in time to walk before it warms up too much. So I want to actually make an effort to walk earlier in the day on hot days, or drag the uber hub out for a family walk in the evening around sunset before Z hits the hay. I love an evening stroll with my boys!

Get through the 30 day Instagram challenge
I’ve never done a photo challenge before, so I thought I’d give it a try… Its all about consistency; something I’m working hard on in most areas of my life (yay.). I thought this would be a good way for me to get into the habit of posting at least one photo every day.

Clean up the back yard
We’ve done quite a bit of spring cleaning in our yard already, but with all the rain and then extreme heat, I haven’t nearly finished. There is a huge pile of sticks and branches sitting in the middle of our yard that I’d love to get rid of. Definitely want to make that happen this month for sure!

Go on at least two dates with the uber hub
In my opinion, hubs and I don’t get enough alone time together. I mean, what marriage can survive on just those few minutes in bed before both parties drift off to sleep? And, as I believe one of my love languages is quality time, I may need a smidge more of that than others. So. Two dates? In a month? Seems doable….

Explore one place I’ve never been before
We live in the Okanagan; its such a beautiful area! There are a bajillion things to see and do around here, and I sure haven’t seen and done them all yet! So, from nature walks to wineries to whatever else this amazing valley has to offer, I’m making it a goal to go somewhere I haven’t gone before, either with Z, or on a date with hubs, or as a family.  I may even write blog posts about what I discover!

Make a large dent in my sewing room 
My craft room has been a disaster for way too long now. First step I think is to organize that large pile of fabrics lying on the floor, and then chuck anything that can be chucked.

Sell three things I’ve made
I’ve been making and making and making, but I have done absolutely no selling. I don’t like to try to market my stuff; its awkward. But, I’ve been accumulating made things for too long now, and its time to try and get rid of a few of them. Facebook buy/sell groups, here I come!

So, there’s my first monthly goal list. Lets see how many of these I can accomplish in the next few weeks! What are some goals you have for the month of June?

Life right now…

Sometimes it gets hard to keep up with the daily grind, let alone extra stuff like blogging and creative work. Sometimes you have to choose between doing what you want to and doing what you have to. Sometimes you just have to do what you can and be content with that. And sometimes that’s ok.

Its been a really slow, cool, dark, cloudy, rainy spring so far in the Okanagan, and it hasn’t helped the motivation/energy factor at all.  Many days its a struggle just to get the counters cleaned off, the toys picked up, and the dinner made.  Sometimes we have eggs or grilled cheese sandwiches. Its hard being a mom. Its hard staying at home all day and feeling like you’re not accomplishing anything. Its hard when you’re tired and have a migraine and don’t feel like getting out of bed but there’s a little person who needs attention, food, and love.

I often feel like I can’t do the things I want to do until the things I need to do are done, and that would mean that I’d never get to do what I want to, because the list of need-to-dos is endless. So I put off blogging, crocheting, reading, and other creative activities, and try (and usually fail) to get the house, laundry, groceries, etc. in order while trying to keep my little weapon of mass distraction from becoming bored and getting into things he shouldn’t be getting into.

I feel like I’ve been singing this song for too long now – I can’t get everything done. I don’t have the time or energy to do what I want to do when everything else is (mostly) done. I don’t understand how people look after the house and kids, and still run a business, plus blog, plus have time for themselves… They must be insanely organized! I’ve never been a very organized person; just look at my bedroom and you’ll see the proof.  Actually, maybe you shouldn’t look in there…

I started out this year with the aspiration of being more present and in the moment; of slowing down and just being. I haven’t done a very good job of that so far.  I’ve filled my days with outings and people (which isn’t a bad thing in itself) because I’ve found it easier than staying home and just being with my little boy. We both like to ‘do’, and he enjoys the commotion of going places and seeing people as much as I do. But I make myself way too busy, and then I don’t get much accomplished, and feel bad at the end of the day. So I’m going to be working on that. Slowing down again. Even just a little bit. I need to not try to fit so much into my day, and I need to stop trying to escape from this lovely house of mine, and time alone with my son. I’ve been taking Z on walks when its not raining out.  I’ve really enjoyed getting outside a bit more lately.  I can’t wait for the weather to become a bit more predictable and less tumultuous.  Its been a weird year so far, weather wise.

Well, there’s life right now. Always trying to get on track and become organized.  Maybe someday I’ll succeed.

 

 

10 Free Spring Printables

Happy first day of spring!! [Read more…]

Its March!

March is one of my favorite months of the year for a few reasons.

  • It starts to actually get warmer, and the snow melts.
  • All the birds come back to my yard and sing so sweetly for me (although I had quite a few lovely visitors all winter). I love waking up in the early morning and lying in bed just listening to the birds sing their sunshine song.
  • Everything starts to come alive; trees and shrubs get buds on them, and little green pretties pop up out of the ground.
  • There’s a noticable difference in the amount of daylight we get compared to around Christmas! And, daylight savings time starts, which makes it feel like the sunshine sticks around even longer!
  • Speaking of Mr. Sun, he tends to shine more in March, chasing the dreary, cloudy days of winter away.
  • Spring! Need I say more?
  • Last, but definitely not least, my birthday is in March! So yay!

So many things to be happy about in the month of March… And after a long, dreary, seemingly drawn out winter, its good to have lots of stuff to be happy about.
Although, I don’t think the weather got the memo… Its a winter wonderland out there today; not springly at all!

It was almost monochrome outside this morning!  (Can you find the dove in the picture?) Thankfully its above freezing, so all the fresh, heavy snow should be gone in no time.

Here’s a picture of two of them in my tree from the other day… I’ve been really enjoying photographing the birds in my yard this last couple of weeks!

I have some (hopefully) interesting things lined up for the blog this month, so stay tuned!

Book Page Heart Wreath – With Link to Video Tutorial

This week I had some time in the evenings to spend working on some crafty stuff. It’s been beautiful! It seems like so long since I’ve spent any time making anything in my craft room. I feel like I just took a big breath of fresh air! It can be hard to make time for creativity when one has a babe to take care of.
I saw this super cute book page heart wreath by Christina at The DIY Mommy, and as Valentines day is coming up, I knew I had to make it!
I followed the video tutorial pretty well exactly, except for two facts. First, instead of folding the book pages, I crumpled/wrapped them around a pencil eraser. Basically, I stuck the pencil in the middle of the page, and wrapped and folded the page around it. That gave me a base on which to put my glue, and a nice tamper to hold the paper onto the wreath as the glue was drying. I found it went faster when I started doing it that way.
Second, I just hot glued some jute twine to the back of the wreath instead of using lace like she does. I didn’t have any lace or ribbon that looked good handy at the moment. Anyway, I think it still turned out pretty darn cute! What do you think? (Please excuse the dusty mirror…)

You can find Christina’s video tutorial here if you’d like to make your own book page heart wreath. You could even experiment with different shapes or maybe children’s book or magazine pages! Be creative and see what you can come up with!

Welcome February!

Wow, would you look at that; it’s February! [Read more…]

Wordless Wednesday – Cinderella’s Castle