My Toddler Designed a Tattoo… and I Got It!

Yes! You read that right. My three-year-old drew my latest tattoo. I loved it so much, I actually went and got it.

Toddler turned tattoo artist.

Tattoos are such a fun way to express yourself.

I have some that have a ton of meaning, one I just randomly got, and others that just make me smile. Yeah, they’re lifelong commitments and I know the whole ‘when you’re old’ comments. But, I still like them and want more.

This latest one will always be one of my favorites. I think I say that about all of mine.

A few weeks ago, I shared how Mila signed off birthday cards to other people. She draws a little creepy person and then scribbles for words.

Well, I really loved her creepy people and decided I wanted one of them tattooed on me.

So… I did it.

Before I went, I showed Mila the person I was getting. She was so ecstatic I was getting something she drew on me.

We talked about it a couple days before and I even heard her tell a few people too.

This is a big deal for her.

I love that I have the way she first drew people and seen the world. It reminds me that she pays most attention to facial expressions, if I’m paying attention to her, and legs. Which makes a lot of sense if you put yourself in a toddler’s shoes.

The tattoo took maybe thirty minutes to get. It was simple and quick to do.

Liz from Crown and Anchor Tattoo Club always does a great job on my tattoos. She’s easy to work with and is usually down for whatever pops in my head.

I’m sure it was super easy to decipher a child’s drawing, but she honored it, line by line.

When Mila first saw me after my tattoo, she immediately wanted to see it. She reminded my family that she was the one that drew it and was so proud when she saw it on my leg.

As much as I love it now, I know she’ll always love it too.

In the future, I’d definitely be open to getting more of her artwork. We’ll see what she comes up with. I’m most definitely getting her handwriting through. That is so special to me.

Would you ever get one of your child’s drawings tattooed on you? Or do you think I’ve gone completely crazy!?

5 June Affirmations for Self Love.

With post school craziness, I’ve been lacking on setting aside time for self care. I knew for June that I needed to make self love affirmation cards to remind myself to take time for me.

Since I love painting, I did random doodles to be the backdrop for my affirmations.

I love that they can be as simple or complex as I want to make it.

For this month, I wanted to focus on how colors made me feel. It seems like I always am drawn to rainbows, so I’m not surprised that’s what I drew. All the other colors were straight from my emotions and I tried to get the words to match.

Here’s my June affirmations this month. I also shared my cross between watercolor and digital art. Please feel free to use and share them if you’d like!

I spread love wherever I go.

I choose to let go of past anger.

Just keep shining.

I will ride out this wave.

You are important too.

Affirmations are so important for me to do. I hang them up in my kitchen where I can see them. They don’t have to be big pieces of paper to make a huge impact.

These little reminders will help me remember to make time for myself this summer. Mothers need self care and self love. This is mine.

Even if it’s five minutes, make sure to take time for you.

You’re important. You deserve it.

What affirmations or quotes have been speaking to you lately? Let me know in the comments.

My Everlasting Flowers.

I always dreamed of Jensen picking flowers for me. We’d have a house filled with dandelion and wildflower jars.

Although I do have a house like that now, it’s not from Jensen. Mila brings as much love as she does flowers into our house. Our life is happy, but we will always be missing a piece.

For a long time, I’ve wondered how I could get the dream of flowers from Jensen. Then I got a random tattoo.

After that tattoo, I talked to the tattoo artist about Jensen and how I’d love a bouquet of forget-me-not flowers on me. I wanted to always carry them, just like how he always walks with me.

So, we scheduled another tattoo session.

In a couple hours, I have my flowers picked by my Jensen. Every time I see blue forget-me-nots, I think of him. Now when I look at my arm, I think of him and the countless amounts of flowers he’ll have for me.

It felt a little radical to get a tattoo on my forearm that can always be seen, but I love it.

He and these flowers are a part of our story.

Most of my tattoos are in remembrance of Jensen. I love knowing that even though he’s not physically with us, I can always see him in my body. No matter if it’s on my foot, wrist, or arm, I can always catch a glimpse of him.

By the way, Mila likes this tattoo way more than the one on my ankle. She loves counting them and telling me how blue is for her brother.

What’s your favorite tattoo that you have? Or if you don’t have one, what would you get if you did?

Making Over Motherhood: My Battle with Maternal Mental Health

With the Mother’s Day soon, everyone is celebrating motherhood. Yet, there is a side of motherhood not a lot of people talk about. It’s the maternal mental health challenges that 1 in 5 women face each year in the U.S. This statistic is why Maternal Mental Health Week is so important to recognize.

Mothers all over the U.S. are sharing their stories of maternal mental health and making over motherhood.

In the picture of Mila and I, you might see me as a mother who is comforting her child. We’re all dressed up for pictures and beautifully done. The things that you can’t see are what makes motherhood so challenging. You don’t see my son who should be five and helping Mila take pictures. There’s an endless amount of tears that I’ve shed to get to this point. You’d never understand the turmoil and challenges it took to get to this one moment.

No one can outwardly see mental health issues. As a mother, we instinctually put our children’s needs before ours. Our mental health can slip and slide away.

I am the 1 in 5 who have faced maternal mental health disorders.

Throughout my time on this blog, I haven’t been shy about talking about my anxiety, depression, and PTSD that I faced after Jensen’s birth. What I didn’t expect was postpartum depression after having Mila.

How could I not be happy and joyous after having a living child? I didn’t have to plan a funeral or never see her again. All the things I had wished for after Jensen’s birth was happening with her. She would be growing and learning. It felt so unnatural to not be in love with the time after she was born.

But, I wasn’t. I loved her and wanted all the best things for her, but I couldn’t be happy.

I think I cried more than I smiled that first year. It was hard to even get on a schedule or do certain things. If I wasn’t sad, I had horrible anxiety.

There were constant thoughts of her dying and all the scenarios that could play out. I honestly felt crazy. It didn’t feel like anyone else had these thoughts with their newborn. It was isolating, just like I felt after Jensen’s birth.

Except, after I had Jensen, I gained a community that helped and uplifted me as much as they could.

With Mila, I felt completely alone.

Now that she’s three and Jensen would be five, I’ve lived with anxiety and depression for quite a while. I’ve talked to my new therapist for a year and she’s been a big help with my mental health. It makes me wish I would have gotten help sooner.

We all live in a world where social media rules all. People can project to you happy faces and times, but there’s a side to a people’s lives we don’t see. Not talking about maternal mental health and the challenges of motherhood can be especially damaging to new moms. They might think their emotions to how they’re handling motherhood is wrong, but it’s not.

As a mother who has lived through their child die and then dealt with intense mental health issues after their living child, I’m here to tell all mothers, they’re not alone.

It’s time to make over motherhood. That doesn’t mean putting our best foot forward on social media or how we present ourself to the world. It means showing the struggle and letting others know there is help out there.

Please know you’re not alone in your maternal mental health struggles. Reach out for help if you need it. You deserve the same love and care you give your child.

I promise, you’re worth it.

Here’s some information about Maternal Mental Health Week. If you can, share some information to help another mom out. If you’re feeling brave, you can share your story too.

You are never alone.

Resources:

The One Activity to Help Anyone Write Poetry.

It’s the last “Self Care Sunday” of April and National Poetry Month.

Honestly, the month has went fairly quick. I think with how busy we were, it helped with my grief and anxiety. Keeping myself busy with school, writing, and poetry has given me the space I needed. Now that I’ve made it to the end of April and my college classes (!), I can relax just a little bit.

To celebrate the occasions, I wanted to share one fun and interesting way that anyone can create poetry. Yes, ANYONE.

One of the hardest parts with writing poetry is finding inspiration.

How does someone narrow down all the things that inspire them? Then pick out the words to explain it? It’s actually a pretty daunting task if you really think about it.

Yet, there’s something most everyone can connect with… music!

No matter what type of music a person listens to, there are usually lyrics and meaning behind them. I think everyone connects to songs differently, even the same ones. Song lyrics are just long poems, so one way to create your own poetry easy it to pull from what you’re familiar with.

How to create your own poem with song lyrics.

This is simple. All you have to do is look at lyrics from your favorite songs and pull different lines form it. You could do one or two songs and just pick the lyrics that speak to you.

I’ll show you an example.

One song that I love is “More Than a Feeling” by Boston. It’s catchy and reminds me of song you can drive around with your windows down in the summer. When I looked into the lyrics, I found different lines to construe the song to make it have more of a connection to me.

Here’s the pretty version of the poem I came up with. If you pull up lyrics from “More Than a Feeling,” you can instantly tell where I pulled from.

Now my poem might not give off the vibe of driving around with the windows down like the song did. But, it’s not supposed to do that.

When I wrote this poem, I thought about my motherhood. Losing Jensen and how it felt like he slipped away from me. Then having Mila and wanting to hold on to her. It sort of reminds me of how grief creeps up on a person and takes them away for a little bit.

Okay, let’s do another one.

The second song I chose is “Thnks fr th Mmrs” by Fall Out Boy.

All I did was pull different lines from the song to make it into my own poem. It’s really as simple as that.

No matter what feeling you get from a song, you can put your own spin on it through a poem. It’s also a nice way to start writing poetry. There are people that don’t think they’re good at writing, but with this activity, you already have the words provided for you. All you have to do is put them in the order you want.

There’s not right or wrong ways to write poetry, but writing it can be a great way to express yourself.

I have a few more poems that I’m going to share in the next few days about motherhood, of course with Mother’s Day coming up. They’re vulnerable to share, but I love creating and getting feedback on them too. It’s such a great self care activity too!

If you happen to try this poetry writing activity, I’d love for you to share your poems in the comments or just thoughts on it in general.

Remember, YOU CAN DO IT!

Self Care: Keep Growing

I can’t explain how important self care is at least once a week.

By the end of the week, I usually can feel my body and mind aching for a little me time. Just a few moments of not being a mom or any of my roles. Five minutes of just being me.

I was able to write another poem and knew I needed to share it here.

Keep growing…

even when things pull you
apart,
it’s just the time to show heart.

you can do all hard
things,
no matter what life brings.

just keep growing.

Throughout life, there’s always times where it feels constant. You might feel like different responsibilities are ripping you apart. Before letting it tear you down, center yourself. Realize how powerful you are. All you have to do is keep growing and going.

After filling out my planner this week, my thoughts were running; which isn’t the goal for that activity. It was nice to be able to take a few minutes and just paint.

I love plants. They remind me we can grow through any conditions, but when we try to give them what they need, they thrive. Humans aren’t too different from plants in that aspect. I see my plants that are slow growing right now, even during spring. They remind me of myself and getting through these last two weeks of school.

Soon, I’ll be thriving. I need to just keep growing.

How have you practiced self care this week?

3 Self Care Tips for Busy Moms.

After another intense week of grief, schoolwork, and parenting, Self Care Sunday is here.

Now I know it’s still hard find a moment to yourself when you’re a mom, but taking a few moments for yourself is crucial. Set your child up with an activity, go outside with them, or give them a few minutes of screen time. Setting time aside for you is needed.

Even though my time is short today, I wanted to share with you three tips I use every Sunday to recoup. It’s not a ton of time, but it makes me feel prepared and refreshed for the next week.

Use a planner.

If I didn’t have a planner or make lists of what needed done every week, I’d be lost.

I try to put important dates in there every month, but like to review each week. Things pop up and I need to know the game plan.

If you’re juggling more than a few things like me, I’d highly suggest using different colored pens. It makes your schedule more appealing to look at and it’s always fun to write with gel pens. I guess you could say I’ll always have the heart of a middle school girl.

Don’t let your planner make you stressed out. Sometimes if I plan too far in advance, I want to get everything done. Your planner should help guide you, not stress you.

Looking for some planners? Check out this one from Alena Michelle. I love how it breaks down habits, weekly schedules, and your role goals. Or if you prefer a classic planner with lots of space to write, try something like this out.

Take ten minutes for you.

Yes. You deserve ten minutes ALL to yourself.

This shouldn’t be the ten minutes with your planner, but ten minutes (or more if you can) of something you actually want to do. Maybe this is just sitting in silence, listening to your favorite songs or podcasts, or reading. Trust me, after you take that small chunk of time for yourself, you’ll feel refreshed.

Here’s a list of toddler activities you can use to occupy them and give yourself ten or more minutes.

Today, I read rupi kaur’s home body. Rupi is a poet that I’ve followed on Instagram for a long time. Her writing is beautiful and I really connect with her words. She’s relevant to what’s going on in the world and I think anyone can find a connection through her writing.

In my ten minutes today, I read, cried, and felt a lot better about the week and where I’m at with life.

Drink water.

This might sound like a silly tip, but drink some water.

I’ve cut out almost everything besides water with mio added to it. Admittedly, I still can’t cut out my Cherry Coke with dinner, but what can you do.

Anyways, there are SO many benefits that come with drinking water. A big glass always makes me feel better. Plus, my body is thanking me for all the water. My skins been clearer and I’m not craving sugar as much.

The drink your water tip is not just for Sundays, but you could do something special today. Find a water bottle that you love to motivate you to keep drinking water. Lately, I’ve bought different cups and water bottles to keep me wanting to drink more. One of my favorites is my S’well bottle because it stays cold all day. Plus, I love the marbled look.

Pun intended, but you deserve self care and to feel your best.

Did you get any self care time in this week? What can you do to get some in this week?

5 March Affirmations for Self Love.

Self love can be a difficult journey, especially during hard months. One way to keep my self care routine in check is by using positive affirmations.

I have a ton of affirmations saved, but this month I needed more than just saved pictures.

Since I’ve been really following the Law of Attraction lately, I figured I needed to physically create March affirmations.

If you don’t know the Law of Attraction it pretty much means you attract whatever you’re focusing on. Affirmations are great for this mindset. I can literally write down what I want to focus on and read it out loud everyday. Those affirmations will find their way back to me.

Or that’s the belief with it.

Anyways, after Mila’s rainbow activity earlier this week, I made prints with the left over paint. All I did was take white sketch paper and pressed it on the bubble wrap.

I knew they would make a cute project for later!

Then, I cut the paper into four rectangles. That way I didn’t have huge pieces of paper for the March affirmations.

Next came the more challenging part: coming up with the affirmations.

I will admit, I did look to Pinterest for some inspiration. Then I searched for some crown chakra affirmations, since mine easily gets blocked.

Eventually I ended up with these.

  1. I love and accept myself.
  2. I am here to make a difference.
  3. I am creating the life of my dreams.
  4. Good things are coming.

The final one I made digitally so I could share with all of you.

All of them are so powerful to remember.

With my anxiety, I have to constantly keep myself in check. My thoughts can race, but these help remind me that anxiety does not run my life.

This next month is going to feel heavy for me; as March usually does. We’re quickly approaching Jensen’s fifth birthday and my grief feels really heavy this year.

I’m hoping with the extra positive energy I’m putting out in the world that it’ll surround me when I need it most.

What are some of your favorite affirmations?

I got a random tattoo and here’s how it went.

Last weekend, I went to a new tattoo shop and picked a tattoo from a sheet.

Before I went, I had no idea what I’d leave with or if I’d like even like it. I just knew I was getting one. It might be crazy to get a random tattoo, but it reminds me nothing is really permanent.

I’ve wanted a tattoo for a while now. Since I’ve been trying to do a new self care project each week, this happened to be what I wanted to do last week.

When I went into the tattoo shop, I instantly saw the one I’d be getting: a little flower.

To test me, I had to wait two hours to actually get it done. After some chips and salsa with a margarita, it was time to get my new ink.

It hurt a little more than I remembered my other ones. I’m going to blame the placement.

I think it turned out beautifully.

The healing process has went smoothly too. Honestly, the only bad thing from my spontaneous, surprise tattoo is Mila dislikes it. She loves all my other ones, but not this one.

That’s okay though.

Of my five tattoos, only two of them have not been ‘planned’ or rest thought through. My favorite tattoos will always be my Jensen ones, but these are full of me.

It’s been years since I’ve gotten my last one and I have more in mind now. Actually, I’ve planned for another tattoo here soon and I’m embracing it.

Self care is also about self expression. This is what’s working for me. Tattoos are kind of like glimpses back to our old selves. This tattoo will remind me of this healing time of my life.

I love it.

It’s me in the present moment and I think I really like the path I’m on.

Even though Mila HATES this tattoo, she graciously helped me take these pictures of it. She did a pretty good job.

Have you ever spontaneously gotten a tattoo before? Or would you in the future?