Thursday, February 16, 2012


Happy Day After the Day After Valentine's Day. Truthfully, we have never given much thought or significance to Valentine's Day around our household. In fact, most of our Valentine's dinners have involved things like a toaster sandwich with an ocean water from Sonic. Or, if we're feeling really fancy, cheeseburgers and champagne (which was actually the meal on our wedding night). We usually exchange cards and maybe a favorite sweet treat or two, but nothing crazy. I love love and all, it's just that I don't like the pressure and all the hype that Valentine's Day seems to bring.

But, because it was MR's first V-Day, I decided I better do a little something special. So, we made daddy a one of a kind, homemade Valentine's card that was inspired by Pinterest (and, by the way, I am way late in jumping on the Pinterest train but am now successfully spending copious amounts of my day in Pinterest fantasy land).

This was an extremely easy and unambitious craft, perfect for a novice SAHM like myself. It's really so easy that giving instructions is not even necessary, but I snapped some photos of the process just for fun. The things you will need to make a card similar to this one are:

1. Paper, washable paints (I used Crayola), and a Sharpie. I used a thicker card stock which helped the card feel more substantial.

2. A willing participant to help make the body and wings of the "bug."

3. The participant's snack of choice. This is optional but highly recommended. It works great as a distraction while you are desperately trying to put paint on a baby's hand, uncurl their fingers, and keep them from touching anything other than the paper.

It is also best to restrain put your little helper in a highchair before starting because it keeps everything a whole lot neater.

After all, we can't have little feet trotting around the house like this now can we? Oh, and I just dipped my finger directly into the paint and spread it onto her foot. It's thick enough to not drip off and wipes away clean with a damp towel.

Once you cover your helper's foot in paint, simply stamp it onto the center of the card (I chose to make the card horizontal because it allowed plenty of space for the wings). Then, repeat with each hand, stamping one on either side of the foot. Starting to look a little buggy, eh?

Finally, add some antennae (that's the plural form of antenna, by the way) and a little smiley face. It would be cute to use glue and glitter but I did not have glitter. So, I just used another color of paint. And VOILA!

With a few basic supplies and 15 minutes or so, you too can have a card that money can't buy. A little hand made gem from your little one is, afterall, priceless.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Avoiding fellowship

Some of you might be surprised to find out that I tend to be somewhat of a hermit (and some of you that know me very well and have had me cancel on you at the last minute many times may not). It's not that I'm socially awkward or shy or have a social phobia. Most who have met me would probably say that I'm a little goofy, talkative, and even easy to talk to. Heck, I don't even mind speaking in front of large groups. I'm not prone to be hermity because of some sort of insecurity surrounding social interactions. But when it comes down to whether or not I'd rather get together with friends for a night out (or even a play date) or stay at home with my own thoughts and cozy surroundings, I'd choose the latter.

I don't know if I've always been this way or if it's age and circumstance that are changing me. Or maybe a combination of both. But I suppose I've been thinking about it more lately because I don't want to hinder MR in any way by not getting out enough. It was perfectly fine before I had a child if I wanted to go home after a long day at work and pop open a bottle of wine, open a pint of Ben & Jerry's for supper (uber healthy, I know), and watch a Real Housewives of Atlanta marathon on a Friday night. Then, if I watched Lifetime movies all day Saturday and caught up on some reading on Sunday it was fantastic. No big deal. And, if I had several lengthy conversations via text with a couple friends and commented on no less than 15 status updates and photos on Facebook, then that qualified as some "social" interaction, right? I'm sort of not kidding.

But now, it's different because it ain't just me anymore who is affected by my actions. I definitely feel pressure to network more with other moms and build a support group of sorts. I know I need that in my life for balance and, quite frankly, my sanity. The really odd part about all of this is that I do honestly enjoy being around people. And on those occasions when I do push myself to do something with others, I always think "Why don't I do this more often?" And I don't have the answer.

Is this common? Is this something many women struggle with? Or have I been a closet introvert my whole life and never even realized it...? Or, have social networking and media altered my sense of friendship and meaningful relationships?

There isn't anything wrong with being an introvert, mind you. It's just that I have never, ever thought of myself as such until recently.

One thing that I do know is that God did not intend for us to be isolated. All humans yearn for a sense of connection and togetherness in some capacity, which is made evident by the fact that I am even contemplating all of this in the first place and feel "guilty" about not getting out more. We all want to belong and know that others would notice if we suddenly weren't around anymore. That innate desire is there. I just need to put some action behind it every now and then.

My first small goal is to have a play date once a week, whether it's at my house or someone else's. I also want to take MR to story hour at the public library very soon. It's free and on Fridays they teach sign language along with the stories. Children 10 months and older are welcome so I figure we should give it a try. Also, we have been visiting a local church in the past month or so and we took MR to church for the first time a couple of weeks ago. She did great and I know it will be good for her (and great for us). It is my desire to find a church home and build a strong network of friends who I can lean on and learn from. I hope to make this desire a reality and I hope that maybe, just maybe, my hermit ways will become a thing of the past (or at least be reserved for special occasions).