Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to Respond to (Stupid) Things People Say

Nothing seems to inspire the output of advice and well-meaning comments that pregnancy and new babies do. And let’s face it. Some of the advice and the comments will probably make you want to swing your belly like a wrecking ball and say, “Yup, big as an elephant!” as the less-than-innocent commenter flies through the air. But . . . it’s probably better to use words. So here are some ideas:

1. For the unintentionally rude comment (e.g., Wow your ankles look huge!”), I sometimes just smiled and said “Thanks!” or “Thanks for the feedback.”

2. Choose to be amused instead of annoyed. This isn’t always easy, but it can be done.

3. If you don’t know the commenter, you can always pretend not to speak _______ (insert your native language. Probably English, since you’re reading this).

4. If you’re dealing with unsolicited advice (especially delivery horror stories or “proven methods to calm a colicky baby” stories, changing the subject (doggedly, if necessary) will usually do the trick. With these types of comments, you usually know the person, so you’ve gotta be a little more careful here. I usually found that it was more painless to say, “So, tell me about your new job,” or something, than to say, “Actually, Aunt Bertha, my pediatrician says . . .”).

Ok, now for a couple that I really find amusing but you probably shouldn’t actually use (under most circumstances anyway . . . J)

1. For pregnancy-related hugeness comments, try responding with, “I’m not pregnant.”

2. And my all time favorite . . . Resort to third-grade tactics. It’s a surefire response no matter what the comment. If someone says “Your baby needs a hat,” you simply respond, “No you need a hat.” And so forth.

But seriously. Whatever it is you say or don’t say, let the experience make you a more empathetic mom/friend in thinking twice before judging another belly mama. Like it or not, we’ve all likely been on the “well-meaning but exasperating advice” end of things.

Monday, October 11, 2010

make your own: finger puppets!

i am all about fun, easy, and inexpensive craft ideas.
especially crafts that my little guy can enjoy.

that probably explains my recent obsession with felt. who would have guessed that a sheet of felt could offer endless possibilities for crafts--and for only about ten cents a sheet!

lately, i have been on a finger puppet kick. since i have already made some farm animals, and need a horse to add to the collection, that's what this tutorial will be:

{my pre-made finger puppet pig, cow, and chicken}

the best thing about this project is you don't need a sewing machine!
here is the line-up of what you will need:

{a needle, glue gun, thick thread, scissors, and light and dark brown felt}

i already had the felt pre-cut, but the size of the finger puppets are approx. 1-1/2" wide x 3" tall. i just rounded the tops to create the look i was going for.
the ears are just small triangles--you can make them as big or as small as you want.
and the actual head of the horse, again, was something i just eyeballed. i wish i knew how to make a printable pattern for you. but the pictures below show the face pretty up-close and personal so i think you should be able to do it. if you have any questions at all, let me know!

once everything is cut out and glued into place, you are ready to start stitching! {is glued a word??} this is my favorite part. the stitch is actually really easy, so don't run away if you aren't a sewer.

if you are new to the blanket stitch like i was, check out this great tutorial by future girl.
and then, just go to town on your horse! stitch around the entire edge of the horse, starting inside the finger puppet to hide your knot. at the end of the stitch, i just make a double knot, and then cut as close to the knot as possible to hide it all.

a word of warning: when gluing on the mane + ears, make sure you glue on the back side of each piece. i forgot to do that with the horsie, and because of that i was unable to do the blanket stitch on the front. i continued the stitch on the back, but now the horse isn't as uniform as the pig. just remember that when you are making your own! :)

and here is the finished product! our little barn is now complete.
{if you are interested in making a barn as well, check out the link below to handmade by jill. her quiet book is inspiring!}

you aren't limited to animals with finger puppets, either! i made these little historical finger puppets for a project i had in school. they took a little more time {especially since i decided to get so intricate on some of them...} but i was very pleased with how they turned out! if you need further directions on how to make people, feel free to email me:

{beethoven, leonardo da vinci, king louis VI, shakespeare, martin luther, and queen elizabeth}

if finger puppets aren't exactly your thing, but you are still interested in playing around with felt, check out these sites. i can almost guarantee that you will find something to satisfy your little one {or you!}:

adorable felt food + quiet book: homemade by jill
butterfly mobile: bugs and fishes

what other fun, inexpensive crafts have you made for your little ones??
i'd LOVE to hear!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

take time for yourself.

it's important that as a mama you remember to take time for yourself.
whether it's a moment of meditation,
a solo trip to the store,
or just doing something you love.

make a wish, dream big, start a new hobby, take a deep breath,
embrace motherhood, embrace your spirit, and remember to take time for you.