Insane in the Mom Brain

Crafting with Small People: an Exercise in Patience

Crafting is something I love. I enjoy being totally immersed in a project, zoning out as I focus on painting, or mixing, or gluing, or whatever. So although crafting and baking with my kids was something I always looked forward to, right now, it’s challenging. Because toddlers don’t let you focus on anything (but them). And I’m a bit of a control freak. You’ll find out just how OCD you are when 1.5 and 3.5 year-olds want to “help” with projects! Whether it’s pouring glue all over the place or dumping flour everywhere. Or getting ink on your (inexplicably) white kitchen table. It. will. test. you.

But you know what? That’s a good thing for me. Doing projects with my little guys is not my idea of a productive craft session where I can get in the “flow,” but I need to adjust my own expectations and make it about their experience. I’m working on it! And while I build up my patience to a saint-like level, I’ve gathered eight easy(ish) and fun craft tutorials to try and listed them all right here on SheKnows.com. No need to scour Pinterest! I already found the best ones. These crafts will bring maximum cuteness for minimal effort, and they’re perfect for spring.

(Our version of a fairy/leprechaun house)

But it does help to prep a bit. One thing that’s reduced my kids + crafting anxiety is organization. I got one of those drawer cart thingies from Michael’s (with a coupon, of course) and sorted all of the kids’ craft supplies. I wish the chrome frame were rose gold-toned or white (I considered spray painting it because I’m crazy) and it would be so much better with cuter knobs, but I enjoy the rainbow drawers. It rolls around and I keep it in my daughter’s closet. We just scoot it out to the kitchen table when we’re ready to work on something. All the crayons have a home, all the stickers are in one spot, and there’s a place for every marker. It’s so calming! So when you work up the nerve to start a messy project with the kiddos, consider organizing first. Get your cart, your materials, your precious little children, and your big ol’ glass of wine. And then start making a mess.

 

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Surprise! You’re 20 Weeks Pregnant ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

April2014

Little did I know I was about 12 weeks pregnant on my birthday. I had gotten a Thai massage and had started drinking at noon.

Let me tell you a story that happened in late May of 2014. It all started with a sentence. “I think you should go pee on something,” my husband suggested as I was changing into my blue Bluth’s Banana Stand t-shirt for the night. Earlier I had been complaining about how I couldn’t seem to lose weight after the in-laws left a month ago. I had started being more active and eating somewhat healthier. But I didn’t think I needed to go pee on something. I didn’t have the typical pregnancy signs, only the ambiguous ones that in hindsight might seem obvious. Missed monthly visitor? She’d been finicky since I gave birth to my girl. Fatigue? I’m always tired, I’m a SAHM. Glowing? Never without bronzer. Hair? My hair has the ability to remain consistently flat and greasy. Weight gain? Yes, but my in-laws were with us for three months, they’re from the mid-west so most of our meals consisted of meat, potatoes, cream, liquified cheese, and butter. Cravings? I’m a terrible eater, I’ll satiate any craving, pregnant or not! Nausea? Never. The one thing that seemed a bit different was that I had the olfactory Spidey Sense. I would mention a funky stench in the house to my husband, but he couldn’t smell it. I just thought, ‘He’s a guy, they’re desensitized to most smells.’

A few days later I did pee on a stick. Lo and behold, double blue lines. I waited a few hours and peed on another stick. Double blue lines again. My husband came home while I was putting our daughter to sleep. I came out with the pee stick in my hand, “I’m pregnant.” He smiled, “How far along do you think you are?” I told him I couldn’t remember when I had my last period. Maybe February, perhaps March. April was fuzzy. I estimated that I must be about eight or nine weeks along.

Two weeks later we went to the OBGYN. The doctor does an ultrasound and starts off by saying, “Hmmmm, the baby has a big head.” My husband tells him “Bobbleheads run in the family.” The doctor measured the stomach and leg then says, “It looks like a 20 week baby in there and measures like one, too. I’m estimating the due date around the third week of October. Get ready, in four months you guys are going to have a baby.” Silence. I look at my husband and he’s Busey-ing. He looks at me; I automatically mirror his face. Now we’re both Busey-ing.

When we got home I neglected my first born to spend an hour Googling stories of how other women didn’t know they were pregnant until their second trimester. I wanted affirmation and validation. ‘See, this woman didn’t know she was six months pregnant and she’s studying biology on a graduate level!’ I started feeling good about myself. I told myself that it could have been worse, I could have been one of those ladies on TLC’s I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant or found myself writing a confessional blog spot on  XO Jane’s It Happened to Me, crying over my computer in the middle of the night reading nasty DISQUS comments. But thank goodness I caught it just in time.

When we started telling people, many would say “How did you not know you were pregnant?!” And I’d go through everything mentioned above. Then they would point out the positives like, “It’ll be great to have them so close in age so they could play with each other.” Or “It’s nice to get all the ‘having kids’ out of the way.” Or, my favorite, “Hey it’s awesome you skipped through the whole first trimester!” Yes it’s awesome but I didn’t “skip” through my first trimester, I still went through it – albeit rather obliviously, if not also rather recklessly (rock climbing, imbibing, caffeinating – to name just a few). Some of the people I have told are still incredulous about my not knowing. I’m still incredulous about my not knowing.

Now it’s been 18 months since Ellis came out of my vagina crying bloody murder. Luckily he was a big ol’ healthy baby and so far he seems “normal.” It was pretty insane to hastily add a new person to our bobblehead clan. Occasionally people  ask if we want a third. I politely reply, f*ck no.

As I Lay Crying

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Last night I was laying in bed with a big stupid smile across my face and tears streaming off to the side of my crows feet. Why? Because I was thinking about my kids sleeping. You may think it’s completely banal but what you don’t know was the sequence of events that led up to my mania. I had just peeked into their room and stalker stared at each one of them for what felt like a minute but was really more like 10. Then I went into my room to try to sleep but all I did was replay the image of them sleeping that I had burnt into my brain. It was like the internet froze in my mind and nothing was loading for a whole hour. Isn’t that insane? I don’t know how to handle mom brain.

Mother Hustler

punch

I’m gonna punch 2016 in the face! Oh wait, we’re already three months in…

 

As Poukhan and I start this blog, I’m in the middle of many, many “projects.” My crazed, manic energy could be fueled by caffeine, some warped version of PPD, or …. who knows. But I’m going with it! I’m selling children’s clothing on Instagram, making and selling jewelry on Etsy, writing (hopefully), and you know, taking care of two tiny humans. And then there’s the crafting, the momming it up with other moms, the projects around the house, etc. Things that have slipped off the to-do list? Exercise, for one. Cleaning up (right now there are approximately 32 dolls strewn around the living room). I have so much on my plate right now, but I’m really excited about it! Hormones? Maybe. High on that baby life? Perhaps. Have I had a 9.4% alcohol IPA this evening? Possibly. Or maybe 2016 is just going to be my year.