My Miscarriage

Last week I found out that I lost my second baby. I was nine weeks pregnant, and I learned that the baby had stopped growing at six weeks.

I was out of town at the time visiting family, getting ready to share the good news, when I had to go to the ER and was given the sad news.

I had to call my husband, who was not traveling with me, and tell him over the phone. A little over a week later, I’m back at home and recovering from a D and C today. I chose to have a D and C because it had been four weeks since the baby had stopped growing inside of me, and I needed closure. I also am a planner so I needed to know what the next step was so I could move on both emotionally and physically.

Aside from being a planner, I’m also a person who opens up about things that are bothering me, and for some reason this is not something people talk about very openly. It’s nothing to be ashamed of as it happens to 1 in 7 women and there is nothing I, or anyone else, did wrong to make this happen. But still it seems to be a taboo subject.

When I started telling people that I had miscarried, more and more of my family and friends opened up about their own experiences. This made me sad for them, as I now understand what they went through, however, it also made me feel better in a way. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone, that if they could get through this and move on to have other beautiful children, so could I.

Oddly enough, in the news last week, Mark Zuckerburg announced that he and his wife are expecting but have also experienced multiple miscarriages. I appreciate him opening up about his and his wife’s experiences and hope that others will feel they can do the same when they’re ready.

I am fortunate because I already have one healthy, happy son. If I never have another baby, I will be okay because of him. He has brought me back to reality after this loss because he has no idea what is going on, and is wrapped up in his toys, or cartoons, or whatever is keeping him occupied in that moment (as he should be). I still need to be here for him and be his mom. No time to grieve, at least not for too long.

I keep explaining it to my close friends as a loss in the family, without ever having met the person. When we lose a family member to death, we are allowed to grieve, even in public, why is this loss any different?

My hope as a mother, as a woman, as someone who has gone through a miscarriage is that we can all be more transparent about these things when they happen. Everyone is entitled to take the time they need to heal after something tragic, but just like we speak about breast feeding (or not to), pregnancy joys and pains, I hope we too can discuss miscarriages and how we feel with the people we love.

I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. I am certainly not the first or the last person to go through this, just one of many. I just wanted to open up about my own experience in hopes that it will give others an outlet (if they need or want one) to discuss and find closure in their own way.

Shark and Fish Valentines for My Toddler

Fish and Shark Valentines - the crafty mommyI was inspired by some valentines I saw on Pinterest and thought “I have to make these for H.” He is infatuated with sharks and all things aquatics. He visits the aquarium at least once a week (and gives the volunteers there a run for their money in terms of shark facts) but he also loves Octonauts, Finding Nemo, and anything underwater related.

So for his little friends, and H himself, I decided to make these adorable aquatic valentines. They’re perfect for taking a “bite” out of candy or a special note.

Fish and Shark Valentines Supplies - the crafty mommy

Materials
Clothespins
Scrapbook paper in various colors and textures
Scissors
Craft glue
Googly eyes (optional)
Fine tip markers (optional)

How to Make the Shark and Fish Valentines
1. Start by cutting out a fish or shark. You can find templates all over online, I used this shark template and this fish template although I sized the shark one down to fit my clothespins. Just make sure whatever template you use is slightly bigger than the clothes pin itself.

2. Starting from the mouth, cut the fish or shark down the middle about half way.

Clothespin Valentines - the crafty mommy

3. Turn the clothes pin on its side. Glue the top half of the cut to the top of the clothes pin and the bottom half of the cut to the bottom half. Make sure you don’t get glue in between the two sides of the clothes pin or it won’t open.

4. Glue a googly eye on or draw an eye with a marker.

Shark Valentine - the crafty mommy

5. Open and close the clothes pin to insert a bag of candy, a sweet note, or other special treat.

Artwork with a Twist

octopus in central parkThis past Christmas I made a trip into the city to visit the holiday market in Bryant Park. I came across this amazing artist Naughty and Nice who uses photographs of real buildings (think the Empire State Building) and then adds amazing and whimsical illustrations.

monster on empire state buildingI bought this print for H’s room for $20. The artist also had these amazing frames which were painted in these bold and saturated neon colors, but they were $300+.

Monster Artwork and Frame - the crafty mommy

I decided to do a little searching and I found two similar ornate frames on Ebay. They were gold and ugly at first sight, but I thought they would work when painted. Turns out I was right! All it took was a can of paint and some patience to ensure all of the nooks and crannies were covered in blue and I had my own version for under $20.

 

DIY Valentine Wreath

Valentine's Day Wreath - the crafty mommyI don’t normally get into Valentine’s Day, but for every other holiday this last year I’ve made a wreath for our front door and garland for our mantel. Because I had some time the other day during one of the many winter storms we’ve had recently I thought I would do the same for Valentine’s Day.

 

Valentine's Day Wreath in Process - the crafty mommy

I started by wrapping a styrofoam wreath form with pink grosgrain ribbon. Then I cut out two different shaped hearts from felt in four different shades of red and pink. Although you could totally hot glue the hearts just as they are to the wreath and it would look adorable, I wanted mine to have some dimension and movement. So I sewed the hearts (two of the same color and size) together down the middle. Then I folded them open and started gluing them randomly on the wreath I had covered with ribbon.

Heart Garland - the crafty mommy

I had some leftover hearts so I decided to use the same idea and glue them to a skinny red grosgrain ribbon for a garland.

Stationery Perfect for Your Kids

LL2014Oct 027 2I love personalized stationery, both for myself and for H. He has had his own set since birth. In fact, as soon as we chose a name for him, I was online ordering his very own thank you notes.

That’s why I was so excited to get a sampling of note cards, thank you notes, and holiday cards from Ellen at Letter Learning.

OutsideOWL

Not only are the cards super cute and well designed, but they’re also educational. Your little one can trace the words on the cards while learning to spell and he or she can either continue writing a personalized note or dictate to mom and dad depending on his or her age.

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Visit letterlearning.com to see all of her designs and purchase your child’s own stationery. And right now you can get 40% off and free shipping on orders over $20.15 by using the code celebrate.

DIY Joy Holiday Wreath

Joy Wreath - the crafty mommy

I had seen some adorable yarn-wrapped letters that spelled out “JOY” in a holiday catalog I recently received, however, they were $70.

I decided that I could easily make some of my own and bought cardboard 3D letters online (you can also get them at Paper Source) and some inexpensive red yarn from Michael’s. Other than being a little time-consuming, it was a simple project that anyone could do in front of the TV.

Joy Letters Step 1 - the crafty mommyI anchored the end of the yarn to the letter with some hot glue and secured it with hot glue every so often. Especially around the edges. To ensure all parts of the letters were covered, I wrapped yarn vertically as well securing with glue, then I hid the ends of that yarn with the horizontally wrapped yarn. You could also paint the letters the same color as your yarn to do away with this step.

Joy Letters Step 2 - the crafty mommy

Joy Letters Finished - the crafty mommy

Joy Letters Finishing - the crafty mommy

When I was finished, I loved the result, but decided to use the letters on a plain wreath for over my mantle. To secure the letters to the wreath, I just wrapped them with another piece of red yarn and tied that around the wreath.

 

Simple Thanksgiving Favor and Table Decoration

paper turkey leg - the crafty mommyWe are hosting Thanksgiving this year for the first time at our new home. We have around 12 adults coming and 6 children so I decided to make a table for the adults and a table for the kids.

I’m going to have kraft paper covering the kids table with crayons so they can draw before, during, and after their meal. I also made them Indian and Pilgrim hats to wear.

When thinking about a centerpiece for their table, I wanted something fun that they could enjoy after the part was over as well. I was inspired by a few images I saw on Pinterest, which looked like turkey legs or full turkeys made out of kraft paper and stuffed with goodies like popcorn and candy.

I didn’t see any instructions for these, so I decided to make my own. Here is how you can do the same for your little turkeys this Thanksgiving.

Materials
Kraft paper
Scissors
8 1/2 x 11 White paper
Craft glue
Hot glue gun
Candy or other treats

How to Make the Paper Turkey Legs

diy chop frill step 1 - the crafty mommy
1. To make the chop frills, take a piece of white 8 1/2 x 11 and cut in half lengthwise. Take each piece and fold it in half lengthwise.

diy chop frill step 2 - the crafty mommy
2. Using your scissors and being careful not to cut all the way through the paper, make small slits on the folded side of the paper about halfway down all the way across the length of the paper.

diy chop frill step 3 - the crafty mommy
3. Keeping the paper folded, roll it. When you reach the end, use craft glue to adhere the end.

diy chop frills - the crafty mommy

4. Next, cut a piece of kraft paper so it measures approximately 8 inches by 8 inches. You can make them bigger or smaller depending on what you want to stuff inside of them.

paper turkey leg step 1 - the crafty mommy

paper turkey leg step 2 - the crafty mommy5. Take the treats (candy in my case) and place it in the center of the kraft paper you just cut. Pull the corners of the paper up around the candy and twist making a cone-like shape.
6. Take the chop frill you made earlier and put hot glue inside of it then place it around the kraft paper you twisted. Pile them high and serve on a platter for a festive centerpiece the kids will enjoy.

Our Halloween Party Hits the Suburbs

Every year for the past several years we have hosted a Halloween party. This year was very different because there were children involved, which meant no scary or disgusting details could go into the decorations, food, etc. and we are in the suburbs in a house.Orange and Black Halloween Decorations - the crafty mommy

Each room had a different theme. The entryway had spiders and webs galore, while the living room was all black, white, and orange with pumpkins, my painted funkins, witches hats hanging from the ceiling (my personal favorite), and jack-o-lantern treat bags. The dining room was glitter-themed, with glitter pumpkins, candles, and glitter bats and spiders hanging from the ceiling.

The witch hats were strung from the ceiling on thick white string.

The witch hats were strung from the ceiling on thick white string.

I drew jack-o-lantern faces onto plain orange treat bags and filled them with goodies for little guests.

I drew jack-o-lantern faces onto plain orange treat bags and filled them with goodies for little guests.

Mummy Door - the crafty mommy

I bought the spooky eyes at Michael’s and then tore a white bed sheet and wrapped it around our front door to make a mummy.

The front entry was spider themed with a large spider that spanned the entire entryway and miniature spiders and webs everywhere.

The front entry was spider themed with a large spider that spanned the entire entryway and miniature spiders and webs everywhere.

Glitter Pumpkins - the crafty mommy

The dining room had a glitter theme. There were store-bought glittered pumpkins, candles, and hanging spiders and bats all in purple, green, and black glitter.

Just one of the cute and festive party goers.

Just one of the cute and festive party goers.

This guest was dressed up as spider prey. Scary!

This guest was dressed up as spider prey. Scary!

And here we are dressed up as Woody, Buzz, and Jessie from Toy Story.

And here we are dressed up as Woody, Buzz, and Jessie from Toy Story.

Simple Outdoor Halloween Decorations

Hallowen House - the crafty mommyThis is the first year we’ve had a yard to decorate for Halloween so I was really excited to decorate the inside and outside of the house.

I didn’t want to spend a lot of time or money so I was looking for ways to make a big impact, without spending a lot of time and effort.

Exterior Halloween Decorations - the crafty mommy

My favorite outdoor decoration are the “boarded up” windows. I used cardboard boxes, cut them up into long, narrow pieces (sometimes taping two pieces together on the backside to make the right size). Then, using scissors, I cut the edges to look like scrap pieces of wood. And finally I took brown spray paint and loosely painted the cardboard here and there and outlined knots and grooves to accentuate the paint with a brown permanent marker.

To hang them I used double-sided outdoor tape, which has held up remarkably well. We have had several storms and the boards have stayed in place without a problem.

I also used wooden dowels and added some styrofoam tombstones to the yard with plastic hands coming up out of the ground.

Halloween Porch - the crafty mommy

To top it all off I tied cornstalks to the columns of our front porch, lanterns I got from Pier 1 (they look like the ones from Pottery Barn, but are much less expensive), and some gourds and funkins. The funkins, I carved and shaved with our initial and haunted house designs.

I think the end result looks great and is sure to draw a lot of trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

Easy Halloween (or Anytime) Ribbon Garland

Halloween Mantel - the crafty mommy

I love ribbon, and always have a lot leftover from other projects. This year for Halloween, I decide to use some old and some new ribbon to make a festive garland for my mantle.

I paired it with a store-bought “Trick-or-Treat” banner from Pottery Barn Kids and some black and white funkins I painted and voila, a modern, decorative mantel perfect for Halloween or all fall long.