Like most moms, I find myself jumping at the chance to be directly involved in as many of my daughters’ life experiences as possible. Since Marlowe happens to be only 4-months-old, that essentially entails being the changer of messy diapers, launderer of dirty onesies, and eternal giver of kisses and cuddles. For Gray, on the other hand, new opportunities present themselves daily, whether at home or at school. And while I’ve never thought of myself as much of a PTA mom, I’m discovering I just can’t stay away.
Gray’s daycare recently started preparing for their yearly fundraising event, and I thought I was just going to participate by attending with my husband. You know– buy tickets, break out those heels that haven’t seen the light of day in way too long, and show up to lend my support. At least that’s what I’d told myself… because with a new baby, blogs to write, a book deadline on the horizon, and a million other work and mommy-related things to take care of, I have enough on my plate already. I’m sure you know what that’s like too. Sometimes we just have to learn to say no, right? But the truth of the matter is that I find it impossible to watch things from afar; I’ve never been good at sitting on the sidelines. Hello, my name is Jenna, and I’m a busybody! It’s official. So despite my vow to stay out of it, I wound up collecting auction items and volunteering to spearhead a class project. I felt it was the least I could do to help out… Which leads me to this week’s “How-To” post. Inspired by my new obsession with Pinterest (because we all know I need one more thing to divert my attentions), I organized an art piece to have auctioned off at the fundraiser. I drew everything freehand, creating one balloon per student, and then had all of the kids in Gray’s class add their prints to it in paint. It was such a simple endeavor, but I think it turned out really cute!
Get a blank canvas, a pencil, an eraser, a “Twin Tip” black sharpie (with both fine & ultra fine points), and non-toxic paint in whatever colors you desire, matte sealant. The photo I’ve posted is probably pretty self-explanatory, but…
~ Sketch your design in pencil (if you’re anything like me, that eraser will come in handy!)
~ Carefully trace your design with the fine point of the Sharpie (the thicker side)
~ Apply a small amount of paint to your child’s fingertip, and put two prints in each heart balloon.
~ If you want to better preserve the fingerprints, you can spray a matte sealant over the canvas once the project is complete and dry. Make sure you follow the instructions so nothing drips, and please be sure to do it in a well-ventilated area away from kids and pets. That stuff packs a serious punch!
~Add each child’s name on the side of the appropriate balloon, using the ultra fine tip of the Sharpie.
Until next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,
Jenna von Oy
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If you’ve spent any time reading my blogs, you are probably well aware of the monkey pacifier debacle of 2013. If not, I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version:
My husband and I took Gray to the mall, so we could grab a few essentials for a trip we were about to take. We generally avoid that place like it’s an overcrowded Leper colony that has been inflicted with the plague, but what can I say? We’d procrastinated our online ordering for too long, and now we were stuck going directly to the source. We thought if we could hit it with a solid agenda, we could get out of there in no time flat. It was a veritable stroller derby, as we flew around corners and darted in and out of department stores. Which is, of course, how we managed to miss the fact that Gray’s special “wubbie” had been tossed overboard somewhere during the course of our errand running. Sadly, we didn’t discover this until we’d gotten all the way back to our car, at which point we didn’t have time to go scouring every aisle, clothing rack, and elevator for her best friend. I know I should have taken the time anyway, and I’ve been cursing myself up and down ever since. Truth be told, I can’t seem to let it go; it has definitely affected me more deeply than losing a pacifier probably should. I accept that Mr. Monkey isn’t the first thing to go missing, nor will he be the last, but he was a staple in every baby photo she ever took. He’s a memorable part of her childhood. He’d even been chewed up by our dog, Bailey, and then stitched up at the Grandma hospital, so he was a world-weary traveler. I’m more than a little sentimental about his loss; I actually cried the whole way home from the mall. Is this a good time to admit I’m a total sap?
We’ve lost pacifiers before, but we’ve (miraculously) always gotten them back. I’ve had fellow airline passengers and Target patrons frantically flag me down so they can return one we’ve left behind. We even temporarily lost her giraffe pacifier while Christmas shopping last year, and I had to make several rounds before locating him atop a nearby garbage bin (?!). Needless to say, we’re fortunate to have any pacifiers left in our possession at all at this point. Which brings me to… I’ve made a rule that Gray’s “good” pacifiers are no longer allowed to go out in public with us. Mr. Giraffe can no longer accompany Gray to daycare, and Miss Lamb stays in the car during zoo outings. I’m not willing to mourn another animal wubbie the way we were forced to grieve for Mr. Monkey. All of that is fine and good, but my daughter is pretty attached to her friends; she doesn’t like to go anywhere without the comfort of her pacifier. Without one, she immediately searches for my boob instead, which isn’t appropriate in certain public forums, such as church or the deli aisle at Kroger. Not to mention, suggesting that Gray attend daycare without one of her beloved friends would have been akin to declaring an act of war. But… drumroll, please… I’ve found a solution. In a sudden flash of mommy inspiration, I realized it probably wouldn’t matter what was attached to the end of my daughter’s pacifier, so long as there was something for her to tote it around with. I went to the fabric store and bought a few yards of inexpensive, brightly colored fabric. There are some great T-shirt material options out there right now, that are both soft and functional. Cutting off a thin strip, I looped one through the hole of a random Soothie we had sitting around the house. I knotted the end and, lo’ and behold, I had a brand new wubbie for Gray to fall in love with! Even better, she actually did. In fact, she often chooses it over her Giraffe pacifier because, from a practical standpoint, it has a loop large enough for her to wear it as a bracelet. The truly beautiful thing is, I don’t care as much if we lose it. And, as luck would have it, we’ve already succeeded in doing just that. Returning to the car after a particularly lengthy Costco trip, I discovered her wubbie was no longer nestled snugly in the seat of our shopping cart. With no time to spare (we were hosting a dinner party in a few hours), I skipped the three-hour search and headed home. All the while, Gray went to sleep in the backseat, happily sucking away on Miss Lamb, who’d been patiently waiting in her car seat during our grocery excursion. Amen.
~Cut a strip of fabric, roughly 24 inches in length, and 1 ½ inches wide.
~ Fold it in half, and knot the loose ends.
~ Poke unknotted end through the hole in a Soothie pacifier. (Other pacifiers may work, this just happens to be the brand we had lying around…)
~ Pull knotted end through the opposite end’s loop, and voilà!
If you have any unique “how-to” ideas that you’ve created during your own moment of mommy inspiration, I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,
Jenna von Oy
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