Okay, friends. Mega honesty-time today.
Some days, TJ is a picture-perfect example of the curiosity, love, and fun a toddler can be. We have so much fun reading, laughing, and learning– and it makes me love this life we live together.
Other days… Not so much.
I love the fact that TJ has a strong will and a passionate personality—really, I do. Those character traits will serve him well later on in life. Right now, though, they make bad days when it’s just the two of us REALLY bad. TJ’s tantrums are an awe-inspiring explosion of screeching, inconsolable sobbing, and often physical reactions. While I have developed some tricks to diffuse tantrums before they start and have learned a lot about how to help TJ through these overwhelming emotional outbursts, there are still days when it feels like the moments of screaming outnumber the moments of peace—where TJ is simply inconsolable and gets worked up about everything, and I’m left reeling in the wake of the emotional tsunami.
Today was one of those days.
Yesterday was one of those days where I just couldn’t seem to get my mom-act together. We did play outside and go for a walk, but we also snacked sporadically instead of eating legitimate meals and spent more time than I typically like watching TV. I was “noping” pretty hard all day. One of these days I’ll actually be consistent with my toddler. (Who am I kidding? We have Nugget 2.0 coming any day now! It’s only getting worse from here! Hahaha…Ha.) Well, know that if you have days like this (more often than you might like to admit), know that you’re certainly not alone. I was definitely feeling the “frazzled!”
This past weekend I had the incredible honor of hosting a baby shower for my big sister and her first precious baby! Some people thought I was crazy for hosting while also being so pregnant myself, and maybe I was (just a little). But I had such a blast– and come on, it’s my sister! For her, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. And hey– now YOU get to benefit from all of the DIY inspiration and photos!
I knew it. I just KNEW it. The little life growing inside of me was a girl. It was more than just a feeling, more than just my hopes. It was an inexplicable instinct I chalked up to my “motherly way”– this time around, we were going to have a little girl.
If you don’t know this about me yet, you will soon. I really, really love Goodwill. I mean, I REALLY love Goodwill. At least 80% of my closet is from there, and I just love going to Goodwill and hunting for those few special treasures (especially on sale days! Ka-ching!) It’s like a game–one that I consider myself to be VERY good at. I love when people compliment me on a clothing item and I get to answer nonchalantly, “Oh, thanks. It was from Goodwill,” usually leaving them dumbfounded. Hey-yo. No overly-priced fashion for this Momma. I can look GOOD in Goodwill!
What’s not to love about fuzzy, bendable, colorful stick thingies that can hold a shape and do so many different things?! Nothing, that’s what. I remember so many fun crafts from my childhood, both at home and at school, with pipe cleaners in all sorts of varieties, and now I’m learning how amazingly fun they can be for any age– including my active almost-two-year-old.
I’m not going to lie to you– I usually don’t get excited about cleaning. Having a clean home is another story, but getting there… (It’s like shaving my legs: love the result, hate the process. But I digress.) However, ever since I finally got a Swiffer WetJet to clean my floors and got to replace a dirty mop (and the hands-and-knees scrubbing method), I actually somewhat like Mopping Day!
However, as much as I love using my Swiffer, I don’t love having to buy disposable cleaning pad attachments to be able to use it. 1) I hate spending money on things I don’t have to, and 2) waste waste waste. Ick. I’m trying to be MORE green in my house and life, not create more unnecessary WASTE.
So of course, as soon as I picked up my beautiful new Swiffer (well, new to me. Found it at a garage sale for $3.00, with a full container of the liquid cleaner. Boom.), I started looking up ideas on Pinterest for making my own reusable Swiffer cleaning pads. A simple search will show you there are dozens of ideas and tutorials for making your own pads. While I love DIY sewing projects, sometimes I’m more of the attitude of “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!” I like DIY projects that are quick, easy, and, most importantly, aren’t going to cost me a lot. Here’s the method I used for making four reusable Swiffer pads in under a minute, for a grand total of $1.00–and there’s not even measuring involved!
I’m a huge fan of sensory play and activities for toddlers that help with motor skills and independence, especially with Nugget #2’s arrival rapidly approaching. (Check out some great tips to encourage independent play in this post for more ideas!) TJ and I have been trying some of these activities lately, and thus far he’s been doing much better at playing semi-independently because of them. (“Semi-independently” here meaning that I’ll introduce a new activity, then back off and let him play while I remain in the room or nearby-ish.) Even if the activities themselves don’t last for very long, it helps both TJ and me to have a change of pace throughout the day. If you’ve got an active munchkin at home too, give this simple idea a try!