Art and Pumpkins

What I was going for (1)

I love art. I love looking at it, I love creating it. I give the credit for my love of art to my Grandma. Because of her I went on and got my Graphic Design Degree, and also just found a passion for it. Not only did my grandma create things, but for any, and I mean ANY holiday, she would create things for the day.

For groundhogs day she painted a sweatshirt with a cute little groundhog peaking his head out of the ground. For Christmas she would paint shirts, sweatshirts to wear often, and, would a lot of times, add lights. When her or my mom had a cast, which was weirdly often, she would paint their casts with fun things. So much so I tried to break my arm several times just so I could have a fun cast. Sad twist of events, I got a cast 3 months after she passed away . . . anyways not the point, but bummer.

I have more recently discovered that I have that same passion. I have painted shirts for Arwen to wear, but so far nothing with a groundhog. This Fall I have wanted to paint a lot of decor for fall, while eating pumpkin everything, and it’s so much fun, and I wanted to get Arwen in on the fun. She also loves art, but she is four and projects last five minutes. I found the cutest pumpkin patch craft (featured in the picture), we sat down to do it, and of course, it didn’t turn out like the image.

I am not a perfectionist, but I did catch myself trying to direct the craft a bit more so it would be perfect. I am happy to say I caught myself very quickly and sang “Let It Go” in my head, or out-loud, it doesn’t matter. The point is to have fun and do things together, even if it isn’t Pintrest perfect. I adore that she loves art, and I want to make sure I can make it fun for her, just like my grandma did for me.

I am hanging it up, and it will be part of our decor. Arwen loved it and I think it is adorable, plus, so much fun!

How to do this craft

Use whatever paper you want, dip one finger into the orange paint, and then on to the paper.  Let the paint dry, and draw green vines and leaves over each orange circle (our blobs), then you have a fun fall craft 🙂

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Arwen The Independent One

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Arwen the wonderful, sweet, sassy girl. If I am going to be real open, this season has been the hardest so far, but at the same time one of the best. It’s hard because she is making it clear that she is her own person, and she can do EVERYTHING on her own. I hate to tell her, but she is really just a tiny version of me, but she will learn that with time.
It’s also hard because not only does she think she can do everything on her own, she fights us on everything. When I say hard, I just mean tiring, because everything is a learning lesson, for both her and us. Really I guess that is just parenting.
It is also one of the best seasons, because she thinks she can do everything, so we get to watch her try, and a lot of times do new things and succeed, while other times she learns she still needs help and it is humbling for both of us. I mean we are preparing her to be an adult so she needs to learn, and I’m glad we get to watch her try. She is so independent and although we are tired, we see the wonderful leadership qualities she has, like how she has confidence in herself, and probably more than I have even now. I love seeing her grow, watching her try and succeed and learn from her failures, and encouraging her not to give up.

With all that said, the one area that we pretty much let her have full reign in (unless she has school, since princess dresses are frowned upon I’m sure), is we let her dress herself and we let her take control of that. It is so much fun. I actually just got back from a meeting where she got to come with me and did she have a regular dress on? Nope, she had a Belle ball gown on. That thing is a pain when you are trying to buckle a carseat…FYI. When we go to church she is constantly in something bold and awesome. This past weekend we had our Family Service, which means the kids get to be in service with us. Arwen was up front dancing with her best friend during worship and got to help her god father with doing a demonstration during his teaching. Now, we didn’t actually know when we came to church she would be doing any of that, or we may have encouraged her to wear something less flashy, but none the less, Arwen was princes Elena for the evening.

This just doesn’t seem like a battle worth fighting and I think it is wonderful to allow her to show her independence and personality through her clothes. In all honesty, I kind of want to dress up too from time to time and maybe I will. I just don’t think people will feel it’s as cute.

This is a hard season, but like I said a wonderful one, and I so enjoy watching her grow and become her own person. Even when she is in her princess outfits, if you call her by the princess name she will correct you and say “No, I’m Arwen and I am just dressed up like . . . ” I love that even with a costume on she is still her and she knows who she is. I pray we can encourage that more and more as she grows.

What where somethings you “let go of” so your kids could show their independence?

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New Feature About Moms I Love…Coming Soon!

Being a mother is about learning about

 

Starting very soon, I am going to be featuring a mom that I personally look up to and feel deserves for the world (or those who read my blog) to know about!
I have found myself looking up to moms and “taking” notes on how they raise their kids since I was in high school, not because I wanted to be a mom, but because I was curious. My up bringing was definitely not traditional and there were lots of things that happened to me or around me that no kid should experience. At age 14 I was placed in foster care and separated from my mom.  It was a tough season, but I am so thankful for where I am today after going through all of that and now that I am a mom, I still love looking at moms and watching them. Not in a creepy way (well maybe, but not on purpose), and not to judge, but to learn and be encouraged, or, I hope, even an encouragement to other moms.
I have an awesome husband and getting married was something I never envisioned for myself. Once I meet Chris, getting married was the best and easiest choice of my life.  Now, becoming a mom was not so easy.  I didn’t really know if I wanted to be a mom.  I just felt clueless and very scared, which any mom does.  After seven years of marriage and through so much healing, I MEANS SO MUCH, I felt like I could be a mom, and that was also one of the best choices of my life, because I can’t imagine our life without Arwen in it.  As soon as she came into the world if felt like our life started.
Because of growing up without a lot of great examples of parenting, there were so many things that I felt scared about, on top of normal first mom fears.  There have been fears and anxieties of things I didn’t realize would emotionally come up. Things like when I am in the bathroom and shut the door for privacy for 2 minutes, and Arwen is sobbing “I need you, I don’t want to be alone.” I have to fight tears, because I would say the same exact thing, but for some darker reasons.  I have to fight myself and remind myself, asking for privacy while I use the restroom is not bad. So, I looked, and still look to other moms for guidance, and I am so thankful for the moms and people I have in my life.  Even my own mom, with our relationship being mended, has taught me a lot as Arwen grows.  So with all of that said, I am excited to start featuring moms who have brought joy to my life, and hopefully will to yours, by getting to “know” them.
Are there people who you have looked up to while trying to do this thing called parenting?

Just Like That, I am Back!

I'm Back!

I am so excited to be back in the blogging world! I was just going to start posting blogs again without addressing the fact that I have been MIA for about a year, but I am not one to run from pointing out the obvious or the awkward, so here we are.
Most people may have not noticed, but since it’s something that has been nagging in my brain, I thought lets just address it, and get back into doing what I love so much….talking about life, hopefully bringing humor, and now that my daughter can talk, and really just speak novels, I will be adding a ton more Arwenisms, because to me she is hilarious.
Why did I stop and why did I stop for so long?
To simply answer the questions, the questions I posted myself and no one is really asking but me… well, life happened. At one point I was working three jobs, and I was tired, and a bit lazy when it came to writing. I am a stay at home mom, which I love, but it has become harder over the years since Arwen and I seem to be the same person. I wasn’t looking for a job out of the house, but last December my husband and I went to a bier garden on our date, and I just felt like I needed to work there and then I did for about 7 months, but sadly the restaurant didn’t make it and we were all laid off. I feel like the whole first part of this paragraph was the start of a good story and then it just went down hill, sorry about that.
Much more yet to come on all of the in between details in a different post. It was truly such a fun experience, and I am so happy I had the opportunity to work there.
With all this said. I’m BACK!

Arwen The Threenager: It’s a Thing. Right?! I Also Didn’t Know

untitled-design-6I feel like when I was pregnant with Arwen I was ambushed with more advice than I ever wanted.  I was told stories that I never wanted to hear (this means strangers, like people in the store, not friends that I was actually having conversations with).  I received warnings and I can’t even express how many awful stories I was told about going into labor.  I don’t know if people don’t realize this, but when you are a about to deliver, you have no choice! You can’t choose to not deliver, I mean you can, but it will be super awkward when you have a 16 year old living in your uterus. Being pregnant is just like you are on a roller coaster, once that coaster starts you can only get off when it’s over. Well unless the ride operator is really mean and keeps making you go around and around, but let’s hope that is never that case, or you will learn about changing soiled pants quickly as well, if we want to use this same metaphor for babies, but I stray. So telling all the awful stories is just making the coaster a bit more scary. I am not exactly sure why people felt I needed to really hear about the most awful things possible.  I was of course aware of the things that could happen, in fact I have my own scary story that I can ambush random strangers with.  

With all this to say. I thought I had heard every single thing that I should be prepared for whether I wanted to know it or not, until she was 14.  BUT in all the advice and stories I received, I had never heard of the “threenage” year, or that that the terrible twos was nothing compared to your child hitting three, or in our case almost three.

I was relieved when I would share my stress, and people would ask if she was almost 3, and finally they let me in on this secret that this is a stage, and I don’t need to call an exorcist. My sweet girl became a bully…to me, hitting me, threatening to stab me, leaving me in tears, where I would “tattle” on her to my husband and let him know she was mean to me, and hurt my feelings, while pointing and stomping my foot, you know, like 32 year old women do.  Not my best parenting moment, but I was so confused as to why the devil was coming out of my child.  In fact, I only had relief when I was told, this was a thing, and each stranger just covered every other age, but three, as of this point, the most scary. We are still in the “threenage” year, but I am so relieved that I don’t have to worry just yet about getting her into therapy because she is so mean…there still may be that moment, but let’s hope not.

So, I guess to be a hypocrite, I am going to give a warning that wasn’t asked for, be prepared for year three…be very prepared, hard hats, tissues, whatever you need, but the good news is, you will come out of it with just a couple of scratches. 

Baby Hulk Came Back…For 2 Weeks!

baby-hulkcame-back-i-may-or-may-not-havehid-in-my-hallway-1In the midst of Arwen’s plans of making sure I stay humble, she decided I also needed to be destroyed, whittled down to nothing and then picked up and slammed down again.

My sweet Arwen became the baby hulk again, but full time, for two weeks straight.  Only to me, not to my husband and sadly to a couple of innocent kids.   Sadly she had a small Bible that someone gave her and she whacked our sweet friend in the face.  I was driving and had to yell “the Bible is NOT a weapon.” Not in that sense anyways.  Action was taken, but I was so horrified that she would do that.

People are just now telling me it is because she will be three and to watch my back.  I could have used that advice before I realized I need to wear a full time helmet around her. Ok I am being a bit dramatic, but really from how she usually is, it was bad. She woke up one day and was so angry, she started to hit (me really) and scream at the top of her lungs where I thought “wow the police may be stopping by.” It was all her and there was nothing I could do to calm her. She was angry because I wouldn’t let her play with sharp knives (we locked those up and away quickly) and that I didn’t want her staying in pee soaked clothes. She would run to the couch and bounce off with anger. She started wailing on me and those little fists can really hurt. We did time outs and tried to get creative on punishments and she didn’t care. I may or may not have locked myself in my hallway where I could still hear her, but cry for a bit. I may or may not have tattled on her when my husband walked in and I said how mean she was…in that moment, I seriously became five years old. My poor husband.  And when Arwen yelled at me that she was NOT my best friend, I may or may not have yelled back “Good!”  Wow.  Mature. Really Mature.  My husband on the worst day gave me a break, because obviously it was getting really bad and I had just explained how she would threaten to stab me in Target.  Excuse me??? Where did she even get that? We don’t talk like that.  Luckily I talked to my father-in-law and he explained he was teaching her to “stab” her chicken at dinner when they were watching her.  I am not a chicken!  

While I was in my own personal time out, Arwen came out to say sorry for hitting me. She ran out, whispered “sorry for hitting you,” HIT ME, and then ran back to Chris. It was lovely.

I was wondering if this was it. This was my life and maybe we need to look into some counseling for her. But all of a sudden this past weekend she woke up and was no longer baby hulk, but Arwen.  We are now reading up on strong wheeled children and how to discipline.  

That was crazy, but I am glad, at least for now…it’s over.

Arwen’s Plan to Make Sure Mom Stays Humble

Untitled design (5)We have been potty training and I think I got a bit too cocky about how we were done with diapers and how great Arwen was at not peeing the bed or having accidents. I am assuming this was a rookie mistake, but I am pretty sure Arwen looked at me and thought “nope, you are too confident about that, let me change this for you.”

She started realizing that every time she had an accident, which at this time, was NOT often she would get a bath right then and there, instead of at the end of the day.  This girl loves baths and so she started to pee herself on purpose and I caught on quickly and would just wipe her down and wait until the end of the day, or else at the rate she was going she would be in the bath all day.  Then she started to go to the toilet and instead of going in the toilet she would just pee, right there on the floor.  

I was losing my mind, because I had no idea what was going on. I really thought I caught on to her and learned my lesson from her mastermind plan of “bath all day every day and make sure mom doesn’t get to cocky,” but no, no, there was more to this lesson.  Now it is still not perfect, but at 12 am on June, 25th we discovered what was going on.  I was nervous because she was going to be staying at my in-laws so my husband and I could have a night away for our 10 year anniversary, but it all came together.  I had her go to the bathroom, but her stool wasn’t there, so I came in and she was standing facing the potty and asking for her stool so she could go standing up.  I then realized she wasn’t not making it to the potty because of the bath (well, at least not that day), instead, she was trying to stand up so that if I left the bathroom and wasn’t watching her, she could go like a boy.  

I can’t tell you the relief I felt, but then came another talk that I wasn’t totally ready to have with my two year old. I thought it would happen a bit later in life. I asked “have you been having accidents because you want to stand?” She explained how that was what was happening and she wanted to be able to stand and not sit. I then had to explain about boy and girl parts and I didn’t even laugh while doing it!  I was very proud. After explaining the boy parts, she was very upset because she wanted a boy part so she could pee standing up, I didn’t say this, but I was thinking, me too sister, me too.  She then said Ok, I want one then when I am older. I just left that there, it was midnight.

Although her masterminded plan is still a bit in force, it is better and I can at least say we got to have a nice conversation at midnight about “parts”. Every mother’s dream.