The Absurdity of Motherhood

Color me over it. 

That’s my kid. Standing in my mom’s kitchen, crying over something trivial for the 10th time that hour. 

This is him sulking because we had to leave the grocery store. It looked very similar to the face he wore when told we had to go into the grocery store. Dammed if you do. Dammed if you don’t. 

The poor little nugget caught a nasty ear infection and cold more than a week ago and has been a whiny, crying, sleep refusing disaster ever since. Literally a week straight of listening to this kid sob over everything from not being able to magically transform into Catboy from PJ Masks to the sudden disappearance of the popsicle he just ate — while also being up every hour soothing coughing fits and fielding tears and vomit. Nothing – I repeat, nothing – was acceptable to him for seven long days. 

Thankfully, there’s light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and he’s mostly well again. The smile has returned sporadically and we’ve even had a good laugh or two. 

Still, the intervals between these happy moments are long and I just fielded a meltdown that could slay a dragon over ….. well, I’m actually not even sure what prompted this display of outrage. But outraged he was. 

Every mom has had these weeks. Whether you turn to wine, chocolate, Netflix binges, Amazon prime or all of the above to decompress after bedtime, we all have our coping strategies. 

Last night, I turned to my favorite vice — fried dough and cheese — and tore through a pizza and garlic bread. Let me assure you, it temporarily solved the problem. Or, at the very least, it induced a fried food coma that blotted out the exhaustion. 

(Please be sure to notice the super sexy socks I wear… because I’m nothing is not fashionable) 

This week has torn through my physical and emotional reserves and left me feeling alarmingly reminded of the depleted state I was in during newborn life with M. Yet, as I strolled through my errands today and noticed families with multiple kids, my ovaries did their familiar dance and that familiar ache of wanting a sibling for M happened. Even in the midst of the unsolvable toddler insanity I find myself thinking “gosh. Know what I should do? I should have a couple more!” 

THAT. That is insanity. And it’s a particular brand of insanity that is unique to moms everywhere. 

It’s the ability to go from “good lord I might die if he doesn’t get his shit together” to “my heart is so full” in an hour. 

It’s the selective memory that allows us to forget the half hour of kicking and screaming over not being allowed to eat a bug when he whips out something like “i push you in rocking chair and you can dream, ok?” 

It’s desperately begging family to take your child for the weekend and then missing them and kinda wishing they were snuggled up in bed with you after 24 hours. 

It’s spending three hours getting him to sleep before settling in with some cookies and scrolling through baby pictures and smiling. 

It’s nuts. That’s what it is. 

Whether you’re a “one and done” kind of lady or dream of a house full of tiny minions running around, the absurdity of motherhood is real. 

And that’s actually kind of what makes it such a hoot. I’ve always been a bit of a cut and run kind of gal. To heck with this shiz, I’m outta here. Momming is the first arena I’ve entered without seriously entertaining the idea of fleeing. It’s the first time something has felt important enough that no amount of pain could possibly cause me to call it quits. 

Sure, I’ve given it some good solid daydream space. But to feel truly unable and unwilling to bounce during some of the most trying periods? To spend day after day and night after night giving of yourself and have that still not be enough to soothe your kid and STILL know that a life without him isn’t one you can even fathom…. 

That’s an experience I’ve previously never encountered… and one I wouldn’t trade for anything. If it came with a lifetime supply of calzones and coffee, it would be better. Not gonna lie. 

Here’s hoping he sleeps. Here’s hoping he remembers that he – at one point in the not so distant past – had coping skills. Here’s hoping we make it to noon tomorrow without one of us dissolving into tears. But… here’s hoping I never forget what a gift motherhood is. Here’s hoping I never lose sight of the fact that I’ve been shown how to love unconditionally and how wonderful that feels. Here’s hoping I get to expand the brood and worry that two or three kids will actually be what does me in. Here’s hoping he remembers that through it all, I was there with a hug and a big ol’ ROAR. 

Here’s hoping to future snuggles with my boy and his little one… if that’s what the universe has in store. 

And, of course, here’s hoping I never forget my Seamless delivery password… 

Toilet Paper Roll Binoculars and a Rant about Personal Space  

I’ve vowed from the get go to keep it real here. So, here’s the real deal today… what the fuck happened to personal space???? If people had to guess what I most miss about pre-baby life, I’m sure they’d place their bets on sleep being my answer. Wrong! 

Personal. Space. 

The ability to go from point A to point B in my home without tripping over my toddler because god forbid he be more than a foot away from mama for more than 8 seconds at a time. All day. Every day. And most nights (since he almost always ends up in my bed or me in his), the 3 foot version of me is underfoot calling my name. Don’t get me wrong, obviously I adore my child. But man, what I would give to be able to pee alone…. 

I’ve begun looking for full time work and have all the feels about leaving SAHM life. Recently I took an interview for a job that would likely require me to commute via train for an hour and a half each way. People are very concerned about the length of this commute. Really? Do you have toddlers? Because the idea of 3 hours a day where I sit alone and no one climbs on me or calls my name 16 times a minute sounds like heaven. Most days I would cut off a limb for a commute to work. The chance to gather my thoughts solo, be by myself, listen to my music, ease in and out of the day… that will likely become my favorite part of being a working mom. Mateo is a delight. Except when I trip over him. End rant. 

Now, onto our craft. 

I wasn’t feeling a mess today… and I was strongly hoping for a bath free evening. Therefore, I opted for these adorable toilet paper roll binoculars. The craft was made even more perfect by the fact that we just checked out a new book called “Pretend” from the library and it’s a current favorite of Mateo’s. His favorite part? The binoculars and looking for pirates. It’s like the universe wanted us to make this craft. 

Super easy to make and incredibly mess free, this was a huge hit that resulted in every room in our house being cased by a super jazzed explorer with high powered binoculars. 

Check it out below and get crafting. It truly doesn’t get easier than this . 


  • Clothespin
  • Toilet paper rolls (2) / or one large paper towel roll cut in half. 
  • Construction paper
  • Tape
  • Stickers 
  • String
  • Hole puncher 


  • To Prep: Hot glue the clothespin in between the toilet paper rolls and punch a hole on the outside of each roll (to thread your string through to create a necklace). Cut strips of construction paper. Gather tape and stickers. 
  • Let your little one choose the order of the colored strips and allow them to tape the strips around the toilet paper rolls. (Since my toddler loves few things more than getting into a roll of tape, this was a huge hit). 
  • Once that’s done, let your little guy go to town with stickers. We chose a delightful combo of PJ Masks, Thomas the Tank Engine, Minion and star stickers for our decorating. 
  • Finally, loop the string or yarn through the holes and show your little one how to use them to find things (pirates, specifically). 
  • Let the exploration begin!! 

3D Flower 

#keepingitreal for a moment before we begin…

I’ve been on the receiving end of many an “oh you’re such a good mom… you do SOOO much with him!” This is usually followed by examples of things that make the person in question somehow less than. “My kid is watching moana again.” “I let daycare handle that shit. I don’t have your patience.” And so on and so on. The implication is that my kid never watches tv and lives in an oasis of patience and homeschooling divinity. Let me set you straight. Today we made this craft. It was lovely. We also got play dough lodged in our ear on purpose. Dumped milk on my bed intentionally. Tried to climb in the oven. Chucked all our trains at our door and had a meltdown the size of Texas at the library. I raised my voice. Many times. He cried. I cried. He’s now watching Lion Guard while I write this and I have #noshame. We may craft, but this is by no means a bastion of calm, screen free parenting. Don’t get it twisted.

Now, onto the craft. I’ve seen a few of these on Pinterest (otherwise known as my home away from home) and felt like Mateo would enjoy the texture of the project and could master the folding. As with many a craft, envisioning the end result was the tricky part for him. Getting him to visualize that the folded paper would become a flower (and therefore motivate him to participate) took a bit of explanation. Once he caught on, he enjoyed figuring out how to properly fold over the strips of paper to make the petals and was very pleased w the end result.

Some tips:

  • I generally use card stock paper for crafts like this. It just holds up better.
  • Skip fretting about whether strips are the same size. This is supposed to be fun. No one gives a damn if your petals are uneven in size or ripped a little. Your little one certainly won’t care. We aren’t trying for the best crafts in Connecticut. We are trying to enjoy our time together.
  • For the stem, I used hot glue once he glued the pipe cleaner to the paper with Elmers. I do this for a lot of crafts. Once he is finished, I’ll peel it off and replace the Elmer’s with hot glue. It simply prevents me from having to glue and re-glue pieces back on every hour.
  • I glued all the strips around the center of the flower before we started– to give him an idea of what we were doing. Older kids could probably glue the strips around the circle AND fold over.
  • Speaking of glue, I’ve taken to letting him apply glue with a paintbrush. This is easier for him and it reduces the chance of him squirting glue all over the place or sticking the nozzle up his nose (which is strangely appealing to him).

Now, here’s how to make it happen


  • Blue, yellow and red card stock paper (any other thick paper will work)
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue
  • One dark green and one light green pipe cleaner.


  • To prep: cut 8 thin strips of yellow card stock paper, cut a small circle for the center, collect one dark green and one light green pipe cleaner. Draw a circle near the top of your page. Leave room for the petals. Glue the strips around the circle. Fold light green pipe cleaner into petals.
  • Show your little one how to fold over the paper without pressing it down to create the 3D or “fluffy” petal. This took a few lessons for M to grasp but he really enjoyed trying to get it just right.
  • After all the petals are glued, use the red card stock paper circle to make the center of the flower. Glue in place.
  • Ask your little one to apply glue to the dark green pipe cleaner and adhere to the paper. Don’t expect it to stick all that well.
  • Let dry- use hot glue to adhere the stem at this point.
  • Hang and enjoy

Also, originally my plan was to use this a chance to teach M about the parts of a flower and what each does. Given our day (and the fact that I was operating on 3 hours of sleep), I skipped the education today. He didn’t seem to care 🙂

10 Reasons #momlife Is So Worth It… An Honest Look at the Joys We Can Overlook During the Chaos

Dude! Facebook’s bumming me out lately. No, I’m not talking about the compare and despair phenomenon that leaves folks like me in a puddle on the kitchen floor. I’m talking about the seeming onslaught of Mommy blog articles lamenting the struggles of #momlife.
Like many moms, I follow a host of mommy blogs. Stay at home mom blogs. Crafty mommy blogs. Toddler mommy blogs. I’ve got it all covered. Like many, my mornings are spent giving Facebook a quick scroll as I drink coffee and make breakfast for my wee one. Lately, this has left me feeling a bit sour. Link after link pops up with titles that clearly spell out the trials and tribulations of motherhood.

  • The meltdowns.
  • The lack of sleep.
  • The never ending todo lists.
  • The unhelpful spouses.
  • The helpful spouses who still just don’t get it.
  • The kids who are slowly trying to kill us.

All of it. None of it is untrue. Yet, somehow, after skimming the third article, I feel overworked and under appreciated.

I get it. The bombardment of #soblessed posts has left too many moms wondering why they’re the only ones feeling like they’re constantly sinking. I’ve yet to encounter a more lonely feeling than sitting at home with an infant who simply will not stop wailing and feeling like everyone else has this motherhood thing figured out and you’re just an epic fail. Or scrolling Facebook in the middle of the night after you’ve had yet another tango with your toddler who won’t sleep and realizing everyone else is in bed… because they’re good moms who have figured out how to get their kid to sleep. I’ve taken the unshowered, pajama clad walks around the neighborhood with my kid in the stroller and stared enviously at the put together moms I saw passing me by. What do they know that I don’t? And then I’ve gone home, scrolled some mommy blogs and realized that I’m exactly where I should be… and likely doing far better than I give myself credit for. So I understand the need for these articles.

All of us, at one time or another (sometimes multiple times an hour) need to be reminded that the glossy pictures we see on Facebook are just the surface of mom life. The women we see who clearly have it all figured out and are sailing through momhood with nary a self doubt are actually struggling just like we are. (I laugh as I think of the specific woman in question that I’m thinking about. I foolishly lived in jealous fear of her and her momhood prowess for months only to accidentally stumble upon a friendship with her and realize she’s no different than I am. The same fears. The same self doubt. The same sense of being overwhelmed. Lesson learned.) I’m not saying these articles are untrue or unneeded. They absolutely are!

If today is not your day, your week, your month or even your year, you are not alone and the collective we totally gets it. Keep on trudging, mama. You’re doing fabulously.
If, however, you need to be reminded of the good that makes motherhood the joy that it can be, this is the post for you.

Top 10 Reasons #momlife is #SoWorthIt

1- The Smiles: Sometimes I see that smile all day. Sometimes I get a rare glimpse every 3 hours because life is just doing my kid wrong over and over that day. But every time, no fail, that smile slays me. Why? Well, who doesn’t love to see their kid happy? Duh. But, really, have you looked at a kid smile big? It’s a true, genuine display of pure unadulterated happiness. No self consciousness. No “smile with your mouth closed because your teeth are weird looking” thoughts. Just pure joy. Who doesn’t need a reminder every so often to stop sweating the small stuff and be happy. (Disclaimer: that smile is often quickly replaced by tears when the “small stuff” is suddenly threatening to ruin your kid’s entire life)

2- The Milestones: I’m not talking about how early your kid crawls or how many words they can say by the time they’re 3. I’m talking about the little, daily milestones that no one would notice but you and your little one. The first time he can put his dish in the sink. Realizing he couldn’t do that puzzle last week. Seeing him struggle with fixing a train track and succeeding. Watching a kid take his toy and seeing his little brain working to figure out what to say.. rather than resorting to tears or pushing. The first time you walk to daycare without having to remind him 212 times that he has to hold your hand when you cross the street. These are the moments that stop me in my tracks and remind me that I’m doing something right and he’s working hard at life as well.

3- The Unconditional Love: Disclaimer for this one– last week I was informed that my son likes the neighbor’s mama more than his. That said, pay attention the next time your kid looks up at you. Stop and take in their face when they see you first thing in the morning. That’s love at its purest and that look makes every hour spent drowning in the world of “I’m not good enough” and “this kid is going to be the death of me” worth it.

4- The Purpose: I’m not talking about living for your child or making them the be all and end all of your world. Lord knows I’ve struggled with that and have recently made a conscious decision to get a life outside of my kid. Still, there’s a purpose that comes from raising another human. An immediate answer for the question of “why” you keep on keeping on even when it feels insurmountable. Little people are relying on you. Your little people. There’s no greater feeling, in my mind, than the sense of purpose that comes from raising a tiny human to be a respectful adult.

5- The Sudden Willingness to be Silly: Perhaps this doesn’t apply to everyone. But, I’m a shy, quiet, socially awkward lady. Rarely does pure silly come out of me. And even more rarely does it appear in public. My son is a 2.5 year old crazy person who lives to be silly and loves nothing more than getting ridiculous with mama. He’s also the first person in 34 years of life who brings that out in me. He’s the first person who overrides my feelings of self consciousness and compels me to get on the floor and be a little nutty and possibly even roar at him in public. Because, apparently that’s the greatest thing in the whole damn world. This silliness in me is something I didn’t know I missed until It showed itself with him.

6- The Appreciation for Sleep: Yes, yes I know. You’re tired. Believe you me, I get it. My little small fry is 2.5 and still rarely makes it through the night. And strangely, this is actually not the worst it’s been with him. Honest to god, I can probably count the amount of nights I’ve gotten more than 4 hours of sleep in row since he arrived on two hands. But, the flip side of this exhaustion is what I experienced this morning (after my guy spent the night at grandma’s). THE GLORY OF A FULL NIGHT OF SLEEP. Before Mateo, I was simply unable to recognize the divine nature of sleeping for seven hours in a row.

7- The Empathy: I cared about the world before Mateo arrived. Absolutely. But not quite as deeply as I do now. Seeing news stories of children in crisis, families struggling to get by, schools closing because of lack of funds, and people fighting for justice for our kids slays me in a way it never has. That child in crisis is someone’s baby. And, for the first time, I know what not being able to take your baby’s pain away feels like. That family struggling could be us at any moment and I can practically feel the late night worry they must be experiencing. Motherhood has opened the flood gates of empathy in a way I never expected.

8- Internet Friends: Wait. Before you roll your eyes, hear me out. It’s no secret that it takes a village to raise a child. Sadly, however, many people’s villages are spread over the country and family isn’t as readily available as it was once was. Finding mom friends you click with is not nearly as easy as it sounds. College friends grow up and move away. I had some wonderful work friendships that inspired laughter daily. Since leaving to stay home with M, I’ve not seen them more than a couple of times. Life happens and it can be lonely. Bring on the world of Facebook mom groups. Sure, yea, an entire article could (and has) been written about the drama that can EASILY take over in these forums. Still, there’s a sense of shared purpose and fellowship that I know eases the struggle for many a mom. I mean, where else are you gonna turn to post a picture of the nasty rash your child has developed before asking for some suggestions for relief until your doctor can see your kid? Where else are you gonna turn when your everything is handed a truly upsetting medical or psychological diagnosis? I’ve seen these groups rally like no one’s business behind these mamas and I can only hope it’s provided some relief and comfort. Who else cares that you’re in Target alone for the first time in a year? Guarantee your internet mom friends give a damn and salute your solo shopping excursion.

9- Watching the Growth of a Personality: Hands down, the coolest part of parenthood has been watching my son turn from a squishy little newborn into a person with opinions and likes and dislikes and a unique personality. Watching him develop into his own person has been mind blowing. He’s shy, yet silly. He’s cautious in public, yet tries to end his life through daredevil stunts at home on a daily basis. He rarely acts without thinking first… especially in social situations. He’s smart as all get out, yet as illogical as they come. He’s obsessed with whether he has a hangnail at any given moment and is currently holding firm to the statement that his name is Potato. No one is really sure why. But that’s my guy. And watching him develop into who he will eventually become is a gift unlike any other.

10- The Gut Wrenching Love: It’s been said that having kids is like removing your own heart and letting it wander the world outside your body. This sounds exactly right to me. The level of love I feel for this hooligan is absurd. Simply absurd. Yet so wonderful. Five days from now he begins at a new daycare. His first “real” daycare. This has occurred to me daily … actually many times a day for weeks. Why? Worry. The worry produced by a love that feels like it might physically overtake you sometimes. Will he be fine? Absolutely. Will be likely enjoy it? For sure. Will I cry? Oh god, yea. Probably more than once. My unfortunate friends (and probably those internet friends I spoke about earlier) will be bombarded with my need for reassurance that he’s fine all day. I will pick him up at the end of the day and be almost genuinely amazed that he is really, truly fine. While insane, that’s a love for someone I’ve never felt before and I am so grateful to experience it.

There you have it. My top ten list. 

Parenthood is hard. It’s hard for us all. It is often times thankless. No one is handing out medals for figuring out how to entertain your toddler while ALSO showering. And, I’ll be the first to admit it. My sister took Mateo to grandma’s house yesterday and is keeping him until Saturday and I nearly cried tears of joy. And then took a nap. But it’s also the bee’s knees and the cat’s meow and the jelly to life’s peanut butter. It’s simply the greatest thing I’ve experienced and sometimes I just need a reminder when it feels relentless.

-sticker makeover courtesy of my toddler-

What The Mini Sees…

Ask my kid to think about something and you’ll witness him place his tiny little pointer finger on top of his pursed lips and tap it a few times while he ponders the matter.

Catch me in a moment of contemplation and you’ll witness the same gesture.

The fact that I birthed a mini me is no secret. In fact, for most of his life he’s actually been referred to as “mini” by friends of mine. From the getgo, this kid has been a spitting image of his mama and has prompted many an exclamation of “oh my goodness, y’all are twins!.” The novelty has actually worn off for me. And, as he gets older, he starts looking less and less like my little twinie. This fact will likely serve him well in middle school.

What I have noticed recently is how much of who I am – as a person – is being mirrored back to me by him.  My mannerisms. My gestures. My sense of humor. My cautiousness. My preference for books over people. So much of what makes me who I am is being reflected back by my son. While this makes for more than a few adorable anecdotes (my personal favorite being when he responded to the offer of a bath with “not diggin’ it, mama”), it’s recently prompted some self reflection.

Like every other mother out there, the vast majority of my mental activity is focused around him. Is he meeting his milestones? Was that rash there yesterday? Will today be the day that his food refusal results in starvation? Should he go to preschool this year or next? Will kids make fun of little gremlin teeth?

I know that kid like the back of my hand and obsess about everything from what he eats, to how many numbers he can properly recognize to whether he will ever master algebra (something I’ve yet to accomplish). Who he is, who he is becoming and who he will end up being occupy an awful lot of brain space. Pretty par for the course as a parent, as I understand it.

What I haven’t given nearly as much brain space to is who I am. Who does he see when he wakes up? Who does he hear when its three in the morning and I answer the middle of the night calls for Mama? Who does he see when I think he’s not looking? And, how is this shaping him?

Two and a half is a challenge in many ways. Between the whining, the sassy comebacks and the sudden need to assert himself in all matters, toddlerhood has given me a run for my money (as if I get paid for this shiz) and has resulted in many an exasperated exclamation of “for the love of god, Mateo.” It’s also been mind blowing to watch. He’s coming into his own. He’s turning into a little human with cognitive thought processes, very clear likes and dislikes, a response to everything (usually a sassy one) and a wild streak that will serve him well as an adult but will ensure I never sleep during his teen years. These days I’m literally watching him become a person. Every day new aspects of his personality emerge. Some are adorable. Some I could do without. But all of it is fascinating and I’m often left in awe of the tiny little dude who races around my house making poop sounds (all day, every day).

I’ve also been caught off guard on more than half a dozen occasions recently by a sudden and very clear demonstration that he’s paying attention. He sees me. He hears me. He hears what I don’t say. He’s taking it all in and mulling it over as he navigates his days.

What is it that I want him to see and am I that person?

Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. Like everyone else, I’m flawed and wonderful and snarky and selfless. I have days when I am nowhere near the mom I want to be. Days when I have failed at being a decent friend. Days when I go to bed thinking “for the love of god, Lizi.” And vow to up my game the next day. But, overall, am I modeling what I want for him?

Am I showing him what kindness looks like – both in how I treat others and how I let others treat me?

Am I handing him delicious lemonade when life throws me lemons? Or, am I sulking over things that don’t go my way and wallowing in the land of “it’s not fair?”

Am I showing him what a strong woman looks like? Am I serving as a living, breathing example of the truth that women are powerful beings who deserve respect?

Am I turning the other cheek metaphorically when he comes at me with toddler hostility and rage? Am I showing him how to respond to those who hurt his feelings, put him down, try to infringe on his rights?

Am I the face of tolerance and love for others? Does he hear me make disparaging comments about people? Or, does he witness unconditional acceptance for those around us?

What am I saying to my friends on the phone when he’s around? Is he hearing optimism or a sense of victimhood?

What’s my general mood? Is life a vale of tears or is each day greeted with a sense of excitement and enthusiasm? Obviously, no one actually wakes up and radiates sunshine and happiness all day, every day. Let’s be real. But, overall, does he see a woman who is enthused about the life she gets to live? Or, does he see the frustration, worry, exhaustion and stress that sometimes plagues me?

I don’t claim to have the answers to all of these questions. And, in some cases, I know the answer and it doesn’t thrill me. What matters, however, is the realization that my little Mini is picking up what I’m putting down and it’s my job to make sure he’s picking up gems instead of glass. Bring on the sunshine and optimism!

Cat In The Hat Paper Bag Puppet

mateo_cat in the hat collage

Small fry is recovering from a nasty fever that left us couch bound all of yesterday. To pass the time and keep the little one content, we watched The Cat in the Hat Goes Camping more times than any human should in any given 24 hour period. Add to this the fact that the Cat in the Hat is one of our nightly books, it seemed an obvious choice for our next crafting adventure. Now that he’s feeling a little more energetic but still isn’t ready for public interaction, we opted for an adorable Cat in the Hat paper bag puppet.

The craft was a HUGE hit. Practicing his puppetry skills, on the other hand, could not have been lower on his list of interests. The Cat proudly took us residence on our fridge and was the first thing anyone who entered the house in the following weeks heard about.

One note I will make…

Mateo’s strong suit is not coloring inside the lines. Therefore, if I were repeating this craft (or walking someone else through it), I might have painted the stripes on the hat ahead of time. His enjoyment of the activity would have remained the same and we would have simply bypassed the frustration over not being able to paint where ever he wanted. Reluctant to give up the painting aspect of the hat? Another strategy would be to cover the white striped portions with masking tape and let your little one let loose with the red paint. Once it dries, simply peel the masking tape up and you’ll have perfectly placed stripes.

Wanna get started? Here’s how.

Mateo_Cat in the hat face


  • Brown paper sandwich bag
  • White and black construction paper
  • Googly eyes (you can also draw the eyes on)
  • Red and black paint
  • Glue
  • Scissors


  • To prep: cut a face out of white construction paper (simply an oval). Cut three black whiskers for each side of the face. Cut a hat out of white construction paper. To assist with keeping the stripe aspect going and prevent Mateo from painting the entire thing red, I painted a small red line on the top and bottom of each portion he was supposed to paint red. Then I instructed him to paint in between the lines. See above note about how well this went.
  • Have your little one paint the entire bottom half of the paper bag black.
  • While that’s drying, help them use glue to assemble the face. To save time and reduce the amount of steps (I mean, he loves to craft but he’s still got a two year old’s attention span), I drew the mouth and nose on the face ahead of time with a sharpie.
  • Next, paint the red stripes on the hat. (Or, be a little smarter than I and hand your little guy or gal a pre-painted hat to glue).
  • Once all parts are completed, have him glue the face on the paper bag’s flap.
  • Lastly, add the hat with glue. (A note: have your little one glue the hat on with a good portion of the hat’s brim covering the paper bag. Otherwise, it will flop backwards and lessen the effect.
  • Show your little one how to make it work like a puppet. Take a deep breath and contain your disappointment that they have zero interest in it being a puppet (maybe that’s just me……).


More Coffee, Less Advice– A Note from a Sleep Deprived Mama

The three week mark is nearing. In a few long nights, it will be almost three weeks of surviving on under 3 hours of sleep a night. That’s right, folks. While my son excels at many things, sleeping has never been one of them. Lately, however, the proverbial shit has hit the fan. Transitioning him from a crib to a toddler bed has proved to be the nightmare I fully expected and this mama is so tired that I almost can’t even function. Yet, I do. Because… parenthood.

After two and a half years of being the proud and heavily caffeinated mom to a poor sleeper, I have heard it all. Everything from “have you tried monster spray (to rid the room of monsters he is not yet afraid of)?” to “if my child slept like that, I would have quit a while ago.” I’m not entirely sure what you mean by quit and it doesn’t sound entirely legal. People are quick to jump in with ideas and suggestions. Especially fellow moms who knows the pain of sleep deprivation. The motive is good. The delivery sounds a lot like judgement to an exhausted mom struggling to make it from one day to the next.

Nearly everyone knows that my adorable bundle of toddler goodness has never been a champ at the at sleeping. Hell, I – honest to god – know newborns who sleep better than he’s ever slept. What most people don’t know is the guilt that lies behind every smile I present and every selfie we take. It’s impossible to lie awake at 2am (for the fifth time that night) with your toddler and not feel like a failure. At least, for me it is.

Yes, I have read the books. I’ve listened to the podcasts. I’ve worked with a few professionals. I’ve read blog after blog about sleep and toddlers. No, none of it has helped. Come midnight, he’s calling my name. Come morning, everyone is tired and cranky and I’m already dreading nap time and inevitable chaos. At secretly hating myself. Because, surely, I have somehow massively failed my child. Therefore, when you chime in with your ideas or exclaim that you’ve never heard of such a thing before, the voices of self doubt get louder.

Instead, try coffee. Simply pat me on the head and offer coffee. Throw in some free childcare and you’ll be my hero in life. Make a conscious effort to resist the urge to remind me that these are the moments and he will only be small for a short period of time. Yes, that’s probably true. But it also doesn’t negate the fact that I’m so tired that every muscle in my body hurts and without coffee I might actually cease to function entirely. It doesn’t offset the hours spent awake every night and does only a little to make the epic tantrums that erupt every single night any less frustrating. Will I look back when he’s 20 and think “god… I really miss that month of being awoken every hour on the hour by him when he was 2.” I doubt it. But I could be wrong, open to that possibility. Right now, however, I’ve been awake since god knows when and there’s no relief in sight. I have no reason to believe tonight will be any different.

I’ve got a new strategy and a whole lot of coffee… but I’ve had both those things before.

So, rather than tell me all about what I could try. Try just being there. Because  many don’t realize  that having a child who doesn’t sleep much at night is rife with a loneliness that comes from spending hours awake at night by yourself (or with an angry tiny human) and wondering why on earth you can’t solve this problem. Coffee, hugs, childcare offers and cake do a whole lot more to soothe the tired than suggestions and advice.

Just a friendly reminder– in the event that you encounter another mama with kids that don’t sleep at ages when they really should be.

And, finally, some crafts we have done recently. Expect blogs with directions and thoughts to come in the next week… or so.