The Never-Ending Cycle of Cycles: What to do when Baby goes through a New Cycle

If you have had a little one for any amount of time, you know what I am talking about. Cycles. They go from cluster feeding all night long, to sleeping a little longer. Right when you get used to that they start teething and sleep regressions. When you finally start sleeping again, separation anxiety starts. When they finally sleep again, teething happens, AGAIN.

It feels like a never ending cycle of well… cycles. Little man is going through two cycles right now… separation anxiety and teething. Right when I had him sleeping through the night and I thought I was getting my sanity back, hour wake ups, tears, and out right screaming begin again. It can really get exhausting!

What we are facing right now is mainly separation anxiety. It feels like I can’t leave the room to even pee sometimes and he’s crying. We attempted Santa pictures last night and well…. just see for yourself.

Sometimes it is precious to know that someone loves you so much and needs you as a comforter… sometimes it is smothering and you just crave a moment of silence, fresh air, a HOT cup of coffee, and uninterrupted bathroom breaks. I’m just being real.

So if you’re going through a new cycle, I am sorry and hang in there! I’ve heard it gets better! But last night, after FOUR times of trying to get John to sleep (me and the hubby took turns in between games of Farkle), I finally amidst the frustration thought about cycles. What was going through little man’s mind? What was he feeling to make him need some hugs? Was it because he was emotionally scarred from seeing Santa???!? (okay this one really did go through my mind).

Finally, I reached down and grabbed a small fuzzy rabbit and let him hug around it as I rocked him to sleep. And he took the ear and began rubbing it against his face as his eyes finally bounced, FINALLY drifting to sleep. I rocked him a little longer, and laid him down. He slept through the night, after about two weeks of waking up multiple times, he finally slept through the night.

Now I’m not going to say that a rabbit will fix every problem. But sometimes as mamas and daddy’s we get so fixated on sleep that we don’t really think about the Why’s behind the cycles. Maybe baby’s teeth are hurting bad, maybe they’re afraid when they wake up and find themselves alone because they’re still learning object permanence, maybe their tummy feels crampy because they tried a new food today that didn’t sit right. Babies are not just little dolls that go to sleep, they are humans with emotions and brains learning lots of new things. Baby John just needed some extra comfort, and to feel as though he was not alone.

Maybe if we remembered a time we felt anxious, we could extend a little grace and hug them a little longer. Maybe if we remembered how bad a tooth ache hurts or how bad it aches to grow wisdom teeth, we can cuddle them a little longer and give them some help with the pain. Maybe we can empathize with our little ones, when they wake because their tummies hurt by remembering that one time after a Mexican restaurant (we’ve all been there).

I say all of this because last night, I had to remind myself some things.

1. Babies are human; and that little human depends on me. So be there for them, and let the frustration go. I signed up for this.

2. It’s scary to grow and learn; there are new things every day that are broadening their minds. So empathize with them, and reassure them that you’re not leaving and you will be there as they explore new things.

3. We truly only have such a short time with them as little ones. Time goes by so fast. So let’s stop thinking about sleep and think about those precious times when baby can still curl up on your chest and you can still fit them in your arms.

So, if you’re going through a new cycle with baby, grab you another cup of coffee, suit up with your mom bun, and love that baby with everything in you. We are their safety nets, so let’s catch them, cradle them, and set them free. I want to start now as he is still little, letting him know it’s okay to ask for extra cuddles when insecure, to come to me and his daddy for comfort when he’s hurting, and that we will both be there for him, even if we lose sleep.

Love y’all and happy homemaking!

#Momfail: They All Fall Down

Can I just be honest and vulnerable here? This week has felt like a non-stop strand of mom fails. Non-stop.

Have you ever just messed up so many times you just feel like stopping? Or running away? Or just crying? Or maybe all of the above? That’s been me this week.

So John has been accelerating in movement. I’m talking crawling, pulling up on furniture, moving from item to item, trying to LITERALLY JUMP OFF OF STUFF. I’m pretty persuaded he wants to injure himself.

It’s one thing if babies hurt themselves when you’re not watching, but to have them hurt themself everyday when you’re just two steps away is pretty frustrating.

Let me let you in on this week. He fell off the bed, he hit his eye on the dresser knob (don’t ask me how), he’s fallen from holding on to the table about 15 times, slipped in the bathtub and got water in his face, and the list goes on and on.

It has really made me question my ability as a mother this week. I am sucking it up real bad at the moming. I know all babies fall down, especially when learning to move their little bodies, but at the same time you can’t help but blame yourself when it happens and you can’t stop it!

In all honesty its just been a really hard week for me in general. As a mother and wife I’ve been going and growing through some things. I have felt like no matter how hard I try, I end up failing. I’ve been studying the fruits of the Spirit and ironically feel like I’ve done nothing but walked in the flesh this week. Impatience, anger, frustration. Just falling on my face, over and over.

And as I write this, maybe that’s the whole lesson for me this week? Maybe God is wanting me to realize, like babies, we all fall down. But scripture says the righteous man falls seven times but gets back up.

So, if you’re a mama who has failed this week? Get back up. If you’re a wife who has been naggy a little too much, get back up. If you’ve complained instead of being thankful, cursed instead of blessing, or have really done a bad job at portraying Christ, my answer is this: get back up.

Keep pursuing holiness and not perfection. Keep pursuing His strength and not your own. Keep leaning all of yourself on Him completely.

Paul says that he boasts in his weakness, because where we are weak, God is strong! (2 Corinthians 12:9)

God’s grace is sufficient for you AND your clumsy little baby.

I love you guys! Happy homemaking!

Easy Salt Dough Crafts for Kids

With the Holidays coming up, nostalgia and memory-making is at an all time high! Here is a fun and easy craft for you to do with your babies or big kids! A simple at-home recipe for old-fashioned salt dough makes making memories so much easier!

So, this is one of my favorite crafts that I found this year! Having a new baby and going through the Holiday seasons for the first time, I kept wanting ways to make those crafts that scream nostalgia and memories. I found this recipe for salt dough crafts and fell in love!!

Salt dough is soooo easy to make, you most likely already have these ingredients in your home, and it is a fun craft that you can do with your babies, toddlers, or even your big kids! You can make ornaments, picture frames, and pretty much whatever your mind can create!

So a lot of people have begun Christmas decorating already and I will be sharing some Christmas crafts soon! However, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought some cute turkey crafts would be a fun way to bring a little more warmth to your home! Salt dough crafts are also so much more fun and less costly than expensive at-home ceramic kits or cement kits that don’t work and are hard to use (especially with a baby who will not cooperate)!!

So far I have not ran into any issues with baby John letting me use his cute little fingers and toes for memorable craft-making! I have been making so many types of crafts using his hands and feet, and I want to keep everyone of them! I never knew that you would feel guilty for giving one away (cursed mom guilt).

So with such an easy recipe, you can make so many more crafts so you don’t feel like you’re giving a piece of your heart away!

Let’s get started so you can get crafting and memory making!

salt dough thanksgiving crafts

What you will need:

  • ***1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional if you want it to smell a little more like the Holidays)

*** So a small disclaimer that I learned through trial and error. When choosing what flour to use for your salt dough craft, I would HIGHLY recommend using an unenriched flour that does NOT contain any kind of leavening agent (such as baking powder or baking soda). I found if there is a rising agent in the flour your salt dough craft will bubble up and not stay in the shape you make it into. So just a note!

There will be directions for all three of the crafts shown of the turkey hand print, the hand turkey, and the foot print! Choose whatever you like or do your own thing and let me know how it goes!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees (F). [cooking your salt dough at a low heat for a long period of time creates a hardened clay-like substance that lets you keep it forever!!]

In a mixing bowl, measure out your flour, salt, cinnamon (optional), and water. Mix together until it forms into a dough-like ball! (It should be malleable and not sticky – underneath is what it should look like).

Once you have the dough ready, prepare a baking tray with parchment paper and divide the dough into thirds.

Circle turkey hand craft

Take the first third of the salt dough and form it into a smaller ball, taking a rolling pin (or your hand if you don’t have one) to smooth it out into a perfect circle.

Once you’ve smoothed it out to the size and thickness of your liking, then you will want to press your babies/kids hand down, making sure it is deep enough to get the print but not too deep to make the bottom weak. Pull the hand up and you should have a perfect print! (If the first try doesn’t work, just re-roll the dough and try again!)

You can also use the end of a pen to make a hole in the top in case you want to tie a ribbon around it to hang!

Like all of the rest of the salt dough crafts, bake at 250 degrees F for 3 hours (or until all moisture is gone). Let cool and then paint however you desire!!

This is raw, unbaked dough! Final craft will be shown below!

Cut-out hand turkey craft

Take another third of the salt dough and do the same procedure of smoothing out in a circle, pressing your babies/kids hand, and setting aside. This time, rather than pressing so hard to get a good print, just press hard enough to get the general outline of the hand, leaving enough volume of the dough behind.

Then take a knife and cut out the outline of the hand and remove the excess dough from around the cut out. Take a small ball of dough and add it to the bottom of the hand (this is where the turkey’s legs will go). Make sure to use your finger to reconnect the hand to the small square at the bottom so they will bake as one piece.

You will need to bake again at 250 degrees F for 3 hours (or until all the moisture is removed). Once cooled, decorate and have a memory forever!

Pictured is raw craft unbaked! Final craft will be shown below.

Thanksgiving foot salt dough craft

So if you want to just have a keepsake memory craft of your babies/kids foot, this one is for you! You can do this craft any time of the year or for any milestone in your baby’s life (or if you just feel like it).

Take the remaining amount of salt dough and form into more of an oval rather than a circle (this is necessary if your baby has sasquatch sized feet like mine – who is only 7 months old btw).

Press baby’s foot into the dough, making sure it’s pressed in deep enough to get each little toe! (An easy way to achieve this for bigger kids is to set the pan on the floor and let them step on it themselves).

Then bake at 250 degrees F for 3 hours (or until moisture is fully removed) and decorate as you please!

This dough is still raw! Final craft will be pictured below.

Yay crafting!

Now that your salt dough crafts are cooled and decorated, it’s time to set them around your house and let the memory-making begin! I remember growing up loving to look at all of the crafts I made as a kid, so I wanted to do the same for John!

Not to mention, I will now have a forever keepsake that will have his little hands and feet captured for a moment. I am a very nostalgic person, and want these salt dough crafts everywhere around my house for every Holiday!

And when John is older you better believe we will create salt dough ornament crafts together every year!

It’s okay to want to make memories, and easy recipes like this will make that actually seem doable! I hope you find much fun and memory-making from this, and most importantly, happy homemaking!!

finished salt dough crafts:

Yay!!! I love them so much!

Below are some more ideas that I’ve done for this fall!

Acorn Craft
Pumpkin Craft!

I hope you all enjoy this Thanksgiving salt dough craft as much as I always do! Can’t wait to see your keepsakes and memories, happy homemaking!!!

(Our Not so) Happy Halloween: Letting Go of Expectations

What a happy family….. you think!

So I promised to be real and share the good, the bad, and the ugly. So I will be sharing my Halloween story. This picture looks like a cute little family, in their cute little costumes, all happy and put together. What you don’t see is a mama on her brink of psychosis, a husband who has heard her griping all day being forced to wear blush, and a baby who is STILL teething and actually not crying for two seconds (or ripping off his hat). 


As mamas, wives, humans in general, sometimes we have these expectations about the way things should go. Our marriages should be chalk full of romance all the time, our children should always be clean and happy, and most of all, our holidays should be smooth experiences full of laughter, smiles, and cute babies who willingly wear costumes and cooperate. Having these expectations isn’t necessarily a wrong thing, but what you will notice if you haven’t already, they lead to a big stumbling block: disappointment. 

Yesterday was quite disappointing at first; I won’t lie. I had all of these dreams and visions about John’s first Halloween going so well and being full of the best memories. My Halloween can be summed up in the following ways: last minute wardrobe malfunctions (literally sewing a new costume for John because Amazon sent me a 2T), a crying baby who would NOT cooperate because of teething, my skirt tearing as I try to pick up the crying baby, and just a general sense of chaos to be honest. 


For a moment I told Tyler, “You know what, let’s just stay home. I don’t want to do this anymore!” Luckily I have a husband who can keep his cool in the midst of chaos (thank God) who didn’t let my spoiled outburst ruin the day completely. 


See I almost let expectations take a memory away from us. Whether the memory is perfect or perfectly messy, it is still a memory that is precious to our home! Without the chaos and crying baby (who cried the whole time in the car by the way), I wouldn’t have the perfect moment captured in my head when I glanced over at my gnome-dressed husband in the car, him looking back, and us simply smiling at each other at the humor of the moment. 


I say all of this to say, once I let go of expectations I actually enjoyed the rest of the night. I got to enjoy popcorn, watch Hocus Pocus, and relax a little. It’s okay for us to begin letting go of expectations. Those we have of God, our spouses, our children, even of ourselves. It is okay to let life unfold the way it is and simply enjoy the moments we have! God is clear on what expectations we should have, which is expectations of His goodness to us (Philippians 1:20; Psalm 5:3).


Disappointment in collapsed expectations give us a false sense that our life is not good; and this is not true. If you have your family together, full bellies, and a roof over your head, your life is good! We have to take the pressure off of ourselves of life having to be so put together and perfect, and let life happen as humor-filled and unperfect as it wishes. So I leave you with two things: the Word of God and pictures of my Halloween reality to encourage you if your day didn’t go as planned. Happy Halloween and happy homemaking! 


“We wait [expectantly] for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For in Him our heart rejoices, because we trust [lean on, rely on, and are confident] in His holy name. Let Your [steadfast] lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, in proportion as we have hoped in You.” Psalm 33:20-22 AMP

Reality