The Joy of a Child

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You know one of the (many) things I love about our son?  He loves life.

It’s so funny to me how we can just be going about our day and suddenly he’ll say, “Doggy!”  I’ll stop and listen for a second and sure enough, there is a dog barking in the distance.  Or when we’re driving down the road and he gets so excited in the back seat because he sees a truck.

It is super adorable.

Sometimes I just get down on his level and look around.  What is life like when you’re only a couple feet tall?  What kinds of things do you see and hear?  Everything is still new to him.  Everything is still awesome to him.  He just plain loves life.

We adults are so used to just tuning things out.  We are used to the noises and distractions, so we can tune everything out and focus in on whatever it is we want to concentrate on.  Or we bury our noses in our phones and forget to just look around.

I’ve enjoyed the little reminders from my son to just take a second to stop and notice things.  Things that normally I might take for granted but if I stop and think about it it’s actually pretty awesome.

What do you notice around you right now?  What awesome things are going on in your life?


You Know You’re a Mom When…


Being a Mom is awesome.  It really is.  But sometimes there are the more unique aspects of motherhood that only a Mom can understand.  I asked a bunch of my Mom friends for help in making this list.  Sometimes you just gotta laugh at what motherhood hands you!  😀  So I present you with…

You Know you're a mom

You Know You’re a Mom When….

1. You rock back and forth even when you are not holding a baby.

2. You don’t care if you have another person’s poop on you.

3. You don’t remember what it was like to shower daily.

4. Hot food, alone time, and shopping are all distant memories.

5. You know exactly how many months it has been since you had a full night’s sleep.

6. When you find yourself constantly saying to not eat objects that are not edible.

7. When fixing your hair is an accomplishment.

8. When you get dressed up, makeup and all, just for a trip to the grocery store when Daddy has the baby.

9. When you will drive around for hours because you are  desperately trying to get a cranky baby to fall asleep.

10. When you sit in the driveway with the car running because the baby just fell asleep and you don’t want to wake them up.

11. You enter any store and head straight to the baby/children’s section.

12. You feel naked if you leave the house without Cheerios and a sippy cup.

13. You think that ringing the doorbell during bedtime/nap time is unforgivable.

14. You know the songs/tunes to annoying baby toys.

15. When you smell something funny and you automatically smell the butt.

16. You find pacifiers, bottles, and/or onesies in your purse.

17. You realize you can count on one hand the times you have actually carried a purse instead of a diaper bag.

18. There is Sharpie on your walls.

19. You have to hide your sacred chocolate.

20. You wash little bed sheets every day.

21. You go through 4-6 gallons of milk a week.

22. Private bathroom time is a thing of the past.

23. Every piece of fruit in the fruit basket has little bites in it.

24. You’ve gotten used to ice cream soup since it always melts while you’re taking care of the kids.

25. You get excited about 4 straight hours of sleep (and your non-Mom friends look at you with wondering pity).

26. You can change a diaper in 4 seconds flat.

27. You no longer wear jewelry but spit up is your new accessory.

28. You say “potty” instead of “restroom” or “ladies room” like most adults.

29. Your one year old’s improved bowel movement not only makes the dinner conversation but is also the highlight of the day.

30. When you can no longer fathom staying up into the wee hours of the morning….on purpose.

31. When you haven’t shaved your legs in so long, your child uses the stubble as a sensory game.

What would you add to this list? 🙂




When I Pondered My Love as a Mom


I pondered my love for my son.

I thought about how just looking at him makes my heart swell with love.  How he can be in his own little world, not even knowing I’m watching him, and my heart skips a beat.  He can bring a smile to my face when he isn’t even trying.

I thought about how I want to protect him.  To care for him.  How I want him to come to me when he is hurting or sad or scared.

I thought about how I take care of him.  I feed him, I play with him, I comfort him.

I thought about how much I just delight in him.

And then I thought… this Your love, God?  Is this how You love Your children?

This post is amazing.  So powerful.  So true.

As I wrestled these questions, I began to ask God the thing I really wanted to know for so long: “Why do You love me?”

Imagine your child asking you this. It would be a baffling, heart-paining question to any mother or father. “What, do you mean, ‘Why do I love you?’” But your child’s face is earnest; they really don’t know what you thought was obvious all along.

“God, why do you love me?”

And at last, He answered,

“Because you’re Mine.”

And suddenly all the doubts and fears and striving for perfection are all—gone. I am His. And for the first time, I know it. He has pledged Himself to me. He has made a way through His Son Jesus to atone me. To cleanse me with His blood. To make a way. Not because of what I have done, but because of what He has done. He has made me His own. And no one can pry me out of His hands. Ever. When He sees me in the End, seeing Him, He will look at me and shout, “Mine!”

“She is Mine.”


She points out Isaiah 49:15, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?  Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.”

The thought of forgetting my child is….impossible.  For one….his cries would quickly remind me.  But on top of that….he is the son of my womb.  He is my baby.  My child.  My sweet precious son.  There is no way in the world that I could ever forget him.

I belong to God.  I am His.  As inconceivable as it is for me to forget my son….it is even more so for God to forget me.

Part One Part Two Part Three
Part Four Part Five Part Six
Part Seven


DIY Sharpie pen plate


Homemade Christmas presents! 😀  I kept seeing awesome tutorials on Pinterest for making mugs or plates using Sharpie pens and baking them in the oven.

I finally gave it a shot!

I got all the supplies at The Dollar Tree….plates and some permanent markers.

Then I let the Wingman have at it.  He was much more fascinated with taking the cap on and off the markers, but every now and then he would give the plate a swipe with the marker.

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After he decorated them all, I put it in the cold oven, then turned it to 450.  Once the oven was completely heated, I set the timer for 45 minutes.  It only lasted about 30 minutes I think, though, because there was a horrible smell (I’m wondering if it was the stickers that I had forgotten to take off the bottom of the plate??  😦 ).  I then turned off the oven and let the plates remain inside until completely cool.

The colors definitely faded a lot in the process.  I don’t know if it’s because I used cheap markers or if that is typical.


One of the finished products

All in all it was fun and pretty simple!  I would definitely try this again with some other awesome designs.  Pinterest has some great design ideas!


Tips for Traveling with a One Year Old

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I recently was flying by myself with the Wingman.  Traveling with children can be pretty unpredictable.  I was pretty nervous about it, and could just see us being “those people” who make the flight miserable for everyone.

I did my best not to worry about it, though I will say that I stuffed my backpack full of anything and everything that the Wingman might enjoy.

  • Snacks.  I had an old Puffs container with Cheerios and the Wingman loves taking the lid on and off.  He enjoys that more than he enjoys eating the Cheerios, so it was a two-for-one…snack and a game! 😉  Fishy crackers in a Munchkin snack catcher (again, two-for-one as he loves eating them and also spent a lot of time trying to reach in and get them out).
  • Dollar Store.  I went to the Dollar Tree and scoured the aisles for things that might be interesting to him.  I ended up with a pair of sunglasses, measuring cups, and duct tape.  The first two were huge hits and the duct tape was enjoyable but not quite as mesmerizing.  I would take pieces of the tape and stick them on the tray in front of us.  He had fun pulling it off and sticking it back on.
  • Anything in our house.  I found an old wallet, a dinosaur toy he was given for his birthday, this Fisher Price flashlight (also a birthday present), two birthday cards that played music, etc.
  • And as a last resort, I downloaded some apps on my tablet.  His two favorites were Baby Toy (especially the screen with all the animals) and Ballon Popping (Yes, the balloon is misspelled…no idea if that’s on purpose. lol).
  • Books.  I packed a lift-the-flap book, a touch and feel book, and several “regular” books.
  • Change of clothes.  Wingman pretty much never needs a change of clothes during the day, so I didn’t think that we would need it.  But…..I am sure glad that I packed it because we did end up needing a change in the airport!
  • Gate check.  It is so simple to gate check items.  I kept our stroller with us in the airport and took it right to the gate with us.  Then when we got off the plane it was immediately ready for us.
  • And of course diapers and wipes.  Way more than I thought I would need.
  • When the steward/ess comes to take a drink order, ask for an empty cup.  This can provide some much-needed entertainment!

And I kept thinking that if all else fails, my tricks go out the window, and the baby doesn’t like anything I brought….it would only be for a few hours.  It will only be a few hours out of our trip.

He ended up doing really well!  We didn’t end up being “those people” although I’m not quite sure how considering the fact that Wingman was so exhausted and of course he wouldn’t fall asleep until 5 minutes before we began the descent.  But somehow we made it!

What are your tips for traveling with young children?


Foam Shape Puzzle Busy Bag

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When I made my 101 in 1001 list, I decided I wanted to make a busy bag for the Wingman.  When my sister suggested doing a busy bag swap, I was so excited!

My sisters and I each made three sets of two different busy bags.  One set we kept for our own kids and the others we mailed to each other.

After scouring the internet, I finally decided on the two that I wanted to do.  This post was my first inspiration and what made me decide to make foam shape puzzles.

Supplies needed:

  1. Construction paper
  2. Foamie sheets or self-adhesive foam shapes
  3. Scissors
  4. Pen
  5. Elmer’s glue

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I couldn’t find self-adhesive foam shapes, so I just bought a pack of half sheets.  I definitely understand why the lady in my tutorial recommended the self-adhesives, though!!  It was painstakingly time consuming trying to trace and cut out these shapes.

Being the uncreative person I am, I based most of my patterns off of the ones shared at Tot School.  When I ran a Google image search, I came across this post at Vista Woman.  I love her patterns as well!

I was able to get two puzzles out of each sheet of construction paper.  If I had it to do over again, I think that I would purchase full sheets of foam (unless I can locate self-adhesives…then I would definitely do those!!) and use full sheets of construction paper.  Some of my foam puzzle pieces ended up being quite small and I can imagine they might be easily lost.

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Here are my final puzzles!  I folded them in half, which served to help me to keep the patterns  only on one half.  Plus it makes for more compact storage.

Wingman is still a ways away from being able to understand how to do this project.  But I am excited for when he is able to!!



Tugging Box


While Googling and Pinteresting for activities to do with a one year old I came across an idea of making a tugging box!  I followed this tutorial and it was super easy.

I had a shoe box from several months ago when I bought some heels.  Ribbon was left over from our wedding.  At Walmart I purchased three sheets of felt (23 cents each) and a package of pipe cleaners (97 cents).  So it was very inexpensive.

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All my supplies

I used a pair of scissors to poke holes into the box.  I wasn’t sure how many to do, but I just poked a decent amount, figuring I could add more if necessary.

After I made the holes, I simply threaded the items through two holes.  Some of them, like the shorter pipe cleaners, were placed close together.  Since the ribbon was longer, I threaded it through holes on opposite sides of the box.

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In order to further encourage hand-eye coordination, holes were left empty on top so the Wingman can stick pipe cleaners in there if he wants.

It took probably a total of 10 minutes to make.  Super easy.

I made it late at night.  While I contemplated waking the Wingman up to try it out, I managed to wait until morning.  I was so excited to see what he would do!

He was definitely intrigued.  He loved pulling on the various pieces.  He has yet to notice that when he pulls on one end, the other end gets shorter.  But we’ll get there.  For now he just enjoys pulling on them.


Definitely a success!!