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!
Honesty time: a while ago (before starting this blog), I hit a point in being a stay-at-home mom where I felt more drained and frazzled than joyous and engaged with my little one. Don’t misunderstand: I love TJ more than I thought a heart could ever love anyone. But there are moments that being a mom, alone all day except for a baby or toddler who doesn’t understand the concept of reciprocating love, is HARD. I felt a little lost—like I had lost most of what made me my own person, and was instead just Momma.
These feelings were especially difficult to deal with on my own, and of course I felt guilty for not loving every moment of the amazing blessing of raising my child. However, if you are or ever have been in a similar place, let me be the first to tell you that you are not alone! Momming is HARD! There are moments of joy and love, but there are also moments of tantrums, tossed food, explosive diapers, difficult naps, and (with TJ, at least) so, so, SO much screeching. Let me offer you some relief—feeling drained and not-joyous sometimes is NORMAL. It’s OKAY. Once you realize that and accept your feelings, you can be proactive about them and your situation much, much easier. So if that’s you, take a deep breath, know you’re not alone or a terrible person, and keep reading. (And if it’s not you, keep reading anyway—you might still find some tips to make your wonderful experience as a parent even better!)
If you’re feeling like your time alone with your little one is less-than-joyous, you have plenty of options to try that might improve being at home for both you and your munchkin(s). Maybe you would benefit from more structure in your day. Maybe you need LESS structure. Maybe you could try planning simple outings with your kiddo a few times a week. Maybe you can find a group of mom friends or moms in your community for support and play dates (check out Facebook for local groups—there are probably at least a few!). Maybe you need to look into getting your partner, a relative, close friend, or even a nanny to take care of your munchkin for a few hours here and there so you can do your own thing! (I reached a point where I needed that, too, and so appreciated having an afternoon to just be by myself. I’ll be sharing that part of my journey someday as well.) For TJ and me, what made a big difference was developing a better habit of independent play.
Trust me, if the thought of keeping a clean home (especially with kids) is a little daunting to you, you are absolutely not alone. But I’m a “rags to riches” cleaning story who’s here to tell you: yes, it is possible! And it may not be as hard as you think!
My precious little TJ is an inquisitive, affectionate, and passionate ball of energy. He is ALSO an incredibly strong-willed extremist in many ways. TJ’s tantrums rival the most formidable forces of nature and often leave a wake of destruction in their path.
Okay, I’m obviously exaggerating (well…mostly). But TJ’s tantrums truly are a thing of terrifying beauty. He’s always been a screecher, and he will drop to the ground and/or bang his forehead against things. He is inconsolable and often doesn’t respond to my attempts of diversion or punishment. Learning how to handle these intense moments has been a challenge on its own, but I’ve also learned a few tricks that help to neutralize a tantrum situation before it even begins.
I mentioned in an earlier post that we just moved in to a beautiful new home, and amidst the chaos of unpacking, sorting, and adjusting to the space–there’s also the fun of decorating! We brought a good deal of decor and wall art from our apartment, but a bigger home means more walls– and that means NEW ART! (Eee! DIY!)
This house comes with something I’ve never had in my adult life before–more than one bathroom. Our half guest bath on the main floor is small and functional, but also incredibly well-designed with bronze detailed fixtures, a pretty oval mirror, and elegant navy-gray paint on the walls. The space needed just a little something though– a piece of simple but striking art.
I’ve seen several examples of modern, minimalist art on Pinterest and Google but had never tried my hand at them. I knew I wanted some sort of texture and a simple color pallet, so I started researching how to create texture on a canvas. Most sites suggested gesso, which is a great, versatile art material–and something I didn’t have. I looked up some recipes for how to make a DIY version of gesso but inevitably was missing one ingredient or another. So, I instead turned to the resources I had and came up with a crazy idea.
Spackle. Why not?
Just a plain-old, Dollar Tree tub of spackle I bought before we moved to fill in the holes–would that work to make a durable nice-looking texture on a canvas? I decided to find out! (Spoiler alert: obviously it works; otherwise this would be a pretty pointless post. But I digress.)
Hello Friend! If you’re reading this, you’ve stumbled upon my first-ever blog post on Delightfully Frazzled! Lucky you! I have spent a lot of time thinking about and planning this blog, and I am ready to create an online environment where women can find helpful tips, authenticity, and encouragement about parenthood, living green, saving money, and creative projects. I’m so excited!
Also, I have no idea what I’m doing.