No matter if you’re a good writer or not, journaling is healing. When used as a self reflective tool, writing can help organize your thoughts and come to conclusions about what you’re going through in life.
The hardest part of it all is just starting.
Sometimes it’s difficult to think about what to write. Prompts are a great starting point to get your thoughts moving.
Here’s six writing prompts that I find myself going back to when I journal for self care.
I hope they help you too.
1. What do you wish you could say to someone if there were no consequences?
2. Why do other people look up to you?
3. What is something you accomplished this week that you’re proud of?
4. How would your child/spouse/parent describe you?
5. What does your dream life looklove?
6. Write a letter to someonewho’s impacted your life the most.
Again, the hardest part to writing is starting. These are all thoughtful jumping points that can help you pick up a pen or type on whatever device.
At the beginning of the year, I made a jar to document the good things we experienced that week. It’s been fun reflecting, but knowing Mila, she has to make it a little weird.
That’s just what toddlers do!
I will admit, this one is more cute than weird, but I thought it’d be perfect to share with Valentine’s Day coming up.
Mila has had the same thing that makes her happy every week… ME!
When I go to our jar, I date it, then make an “M” for what makes her grateful. Then I ask her what made her happy this last week.
The second time we did it, she just said, “you.” I thought it was the cutest thing ever.
When it came to ask her again, she replied with the same thing. Admittedly, I felt a little bad. I was writing down things I wanted to remember at the end of the year, not just Mila or Jensen. Maybe it was a fluke of her just saying me?
On the fourth week, she said, again, said I was what made her most happy. Still feeling sad, I asked her to elaborate and she said, “playing with you.”
Since that fourth week, I haven’t re-asked her what made her happy and accepted this cuteness.
As much as she loves Pizza, her grandparents, Max, and Mickey Mouse, I always find it a little weird that she consistently chooses me as her happiness. Of all the things in the world and her lame mom is her answer.
Honestly, I’m going to love looking back and remembering that I made her smile for weeks in a row. I know one week she won’t say me and that’s okay.
For now though, I guess she’s just a weirdo, with a big heart for her mom.
Whenever I’m feeling down, I remember I have the most important cheerleader looking up at me.
She reminds me that I have the strength, especially when she hits this power pose.
Even on the days, I can’t imagine getting through, I know she’s watching. She reminds me that with love and determination, I can accomplish anything.
Now I know motherhood, and parenthood, in general, is hard. It’s even harder when the last year has been all out of whack. We’ve been through a pandemic, crazy election, and overall change in every aspect of life.
Somehow, we’re still doing it. Every day we come back better than ever. Before we know it, this hellacious time will be over.
Today, I’m going to be your cheerleader and verbally scream online, you have the strength.
If twenty-two grown men can go play a football game and are considered strong, you have the strength to do anything you set your mind on.
When your kids (human, animal, or plant) are demanding all your attention, you have the strength to keep doing it.
You have the strength of all the energy you put out in the world because all that good comes back.
No matter how long we have left with this pandemic and lockdown, you have the strength to do your best with it all.
You have the strength to decide what’s best for you.
During your time at work, school, or home with your children, you have the strength to crush all your goals. Whatever goal you have, big or small, I know you’ll hit it.
You have the strength to be the badass woman (or man) you’ve always been.
On the days where you don’t feel strong enough to keep going, I know you will find the strength to keep moving forward.
You have the strength of the stubborn toddler you raised.
If you haven’t raised a toddler… I’m still cheering on that strength to you because the energy that’s in a toddler could move mountains. Everyone deserves that.
Anyways, while waiting for my mask to do work it’s magic, I dusted my snake’s leaves. Dusting helps make sure your plant gets as much sun as it can. Even though this is a low light plant, it still needs to get as much as it can.
Self care is something everyone should make time to do. Mila put our DIY mask on too and helped me with our ‘planties.’ She just refused to take a picture.
Find something you love. Maybe it’s plants and masks or maybe not. Either way, you deserve self care on Sundays or any day.
Anyways, Mila is getting more and more into drawing and tracing letters and shapes. I haven’t really sat down and did a full activity with her yet, so I wasn’t too optimistic about how this would go.
I made three different pages for Mila to do.
The first is a sticker activity.
Is anyone else’s toddler obsessed with stickers or is it just mine?
I knew if the other two activities didn’t work out, she’d love putting stickers on this big piece of paper.
All I did for this was tape two pieces together and write ‘2021’ in marker.
The goal of this activity is for your toddler to put stickers along the numbers. It helps them get the hang of the shape of the letter without writing it. Plus, they’ll be using motor skills by taking the stickers off and putting them along the lines.
She might not have put all of the stickers on the letters, but stickers are always a hit with Mila!
The next activity is writing. There’s a bubble number one. For this one, they just practice their numbers inside the letter. It’s just to get them familiar with it.
Honestly, this is more Mila’s speed. She did her best with trying to draw it and I think she did well.
The final page was way too challenging for Mila, but a good way to keep numbers familiar for her. I ended up asking which numbers were where and told her the letters too.
Overall, the sticker activity was a hit and I’ll continue doing similar ones for this stage. The other two I’ll keep doing similar things to see how she progresses with them. One day she’ll be a pro at them.
These can all be made with computer paper at home. The sticker activity gave me enough time to make food and wash dishes!
Hopefully, this can help give you some time to get last minute things done for NYE at home.
If you try this out, let me know in the comments. I’d love to know how it went!
I feel like it’s been awhile since we’ve talked, but I see all of you and your babies gone too soon.
Whether this is your first Bereaved Mother’s Day or fiftieth or somewhere in between, I want you to know that your child and the way you mother them is not unseen. I know some days are harder than others and maybe you’re in a long line of hard ones, but you are doing the best you can do. Please reach out on this day or any of the difficult ones you have. There are so many of us here to remember our babies with and to lift each other up when we need it most. And if you’re having a good, gentle day, I’m so happy those moments are here for you. You are so deserving of them.
I’m so sorry that we know this deep of a loss and the tidal waves of grief that comes after. There’s nothing quite like it. On the other hand, there’s love. That love you feel for them, oh, it’s so powerful. This love powers through death, not that anything could tear apart the love a mother has for her child.
Like everyday, say their name. Share a memory about them with someone who knew them or someone new. I know how proud you are of them. They’re proud of you too.
So today, and everyday, I want you to know, I see your motherhood and your child matters and is loved by many. And you, beautiful mother, for as much love as you pour out, there is so much coming your way.
A few posts ago, I was talking about eco-friendly changes I’ve made and how I wanted to share them. Since it’s techincally “Earth Week,” I thought now would be a great time to start talking about those and some activities Mila and I are up to to thank our world.
Before I start, I am not an expert on this stuff at all. Just thought I’d throw that out there. I do what’s best for my little family and try to imagine what would be interesting for Mila. If anyone ever has suggestions or anything that would help benefit others with anything I talk about, please let me know and I’ll do my best to add it in here! As humans, we’re all doing our best to get by and be happy.
Back to the earthy things.
Last week, I got ambitious. I had been thinking about starting a garden this year or just getting a tomato plant or two. Honestly, I’ve never really had a green thumb, but maybe that’s because I’ve never tried? I just knew I wanted to try it out and see how it went. In my mind, I have this beautiful vision of Mila and me gardening and making a dinner with some vegtables we helped grow. It may sound silly, but I’ve never done it before and there’s no time like the present.
Back to ambition, I saved up some egg shells, egg cartons, and other containers to try and do seed starters. When I saw so many people starting their seeds, I knew I needed to hurry. I walked down to the local hardware store and grabbed some potting soil and seeds. I ended up getting two different types of tomates (I heard they’re the easiest to start), green peppers, and a few different herbs. When I got home, I prepped everything on my kitchen table to start our little garden.
Mila loved playing in the dirt and crushing the excess egg shells that I had. Yes, I was going to use them, but she mashed them up and was having fun; so, I guess I’ll pick my battles. She helped me put the dirt in most of the containers and sat watching me for a while. After about thirty to forty minutes, she was over it. She’d come over while I continued pressing on to make sure I was doing a good job, but she played and did a good job entertaining herself.
I can’t blame her, if I was watching someone put seeds into random egg cartons and old containers, I’d be bored too.
FULL DISCLAIMER. I didn’t realize how much work was all entailed with planting everything and getting it all started. Halfway through planting, I realized that I had purchased entirely too many seeds. I felt like I was planting seeds for seven hours. By the end of it, I was just like throwing seeds into pots because I didn’t save enough egg cartons and containers for everything. Then I was stressing out because I was worried about the watering situation. I’m just being real here. Next year, I’ll be a lot more prepared!
When it was all done, I was super proud of myself and Mila’s patience with the whole ordeal. She likes to check on our little garden throughout the day. It makes me happy that she’s so excited about it, it’s probably because I make it a big deal every morning to see if any have sprouted.
It’s been a week since we started our seeds. I’ve been a little disappointed since nothings sprouted, but it hadn’t even been a week. Well, last night, I checked on them before I went to sleep and there are sprouts! I’m feeling like such a proud plant mom. Hopefully, more will sprout up in the next few days too. I’ll for sure new you guys updated as they grow and we eventually move them outside.
If anyone has any suggestions or tips moving forward about starting a garden, I’m all ears. Seriously, I am going into this blind and just relying on Pinterest and blog posts. I’m really excited though and can’t wait to see Mila’a reaction as our little plants grow.
Later today, I’m going to share either a new eco friendly project or subscription that’s newly in my life OR Mila and I’s Earth Day craft box, which is a monthly subscription that provides various crafts and activities monthly for kids!
Another day, another toddler activity to try with Mila.
For the last week or so, I’ve seen so many Easter inspired activities. Since we’re going to be quarantined until Easter, I thought I’d tackle one activity a day. A lot of them used the little, plastic eggs that you can put things in. So I got a bag of them for a dollar at the dollar store and thought I’d give it a go.
Turns out, Mila loves the eggs as they come. She will just sit there and open and close all then over and over. We’ve played little games where I have her give me certain colors or we count them. I think an easy, independent activity to do would be a basic color sort.
Since it was so nice out yesterday, I figured we could do something with them out there. I grabbed painters tape, a tub from an organization bin, tongs and a spoon, and her basket of eggs. You’re supposed to make a crazy pattern for your toddler to maneuver around with the tongs, grab the egg, and put it in a basket or even color sort. I got the inspiration from this activity from The Ever Co’s Instagram page (@theeverco).
After I was done getting the tape on there, we went outside. Her and Max ran around for a while and played fetch. When they were over that, they ran to me, but I already had something for her to do.
At first, I just watched to see what she’d do. She stuck her hand in there and got it caught on the tape, which really surprised her. After I told her to use the tongs and put them in the basket, she was on a mission. She played independently for about forty-five minutes with it. When she realized she could put the eggs back in there, she would open them up and try to pick them up that way. To challenge her further, I’d definitely do different colored bowls for her to place the egg into. Maybe next time.
One thing I would have changed if I didn’t throw it together in five minutes… instead of painters tape, I would have used different sizes of yarn and ribbon. Sometimes the eggs or tongs got stuck on the sticky side. She worked around it, but it might have been nicer if that wasn’t in the way.
Hopefully if you get to try this activity, it works a nicely as it did for me. Today, Mila and I are going to try to make salt dough Easter eggs and paint them. Wish us luck!
One of Mila’s favorite things to do is paint… hence the paint still on her face.
She knows exactly where all the materials are and goes up to them and says, ‘I paint!’ We usually try to paint twice a week, but it can be a lot sometimes. She’s not super into coloring yet, but I’m going to keep pushing it.
Anyways, while looking for activities to do while we’re locked down, I actually got invited to a random Facebook group. It’s called 518 Rainbow Hunt – Spreading Rainbows Worldwide. If you look it up on Facebook, it’ll pop up and you can join the group.
It’s really cool actually. There’s a Google link that you can add your house or whatever to show that you are participating. You can also just post a picture too. I loved looking at everyone rainbows and really enjoy how someone created something so creative to spread hope during this time. Plus, I love rainbows. They mean so much to me and Mila will always be my rainbow personified.
Well, this morning, Mila asked if she could paint. I had already planned out to do this craft Monday night, so we jumped right into it. So, I low key feel like a weird person because I made one too, but Mila thought it was so cool that I painted with her. She hyped me up by clapping every time I painted another layer to the rainbow. Just as I did for her too.
They both turned out so good. I’m so proud of Mila and how well she did keeping the colors where they needed to be. This is one of my favorite little projects we’ve done. I had fun with it and Mila did too. She got it all over herself and face. Some age was doing that, I added clouds and a string to each so we could hang them up in the windows.
While Mila napped, which she did immediately after this, I went and hung them up. I am SO proud of how they turned out and that her painting skills are getting more consistent.
I love the symbol of rainbows and how they instill hope. Through this time of isolation, I think we all need a little hope and to know there’s an eventual end in this craziness. I also love that my rainbow made one for herself too. She has no idea how special she is and what she means to me. Here’s a closer look at Mila’s little rainbow. If you’re local and know where I live, you’re able to see it in the window.
Our next craft is going to be salt dough Easter eggs. I wanted to start a tradition with getting wooden eggs and have her decorate one every year, but I can’t go to Joann’s this year. So instead, we’re going to make a bunch of the salt dough ornaments and decorate them. I’ll make sure to share when I do that and the recipe I use too!
As always, if you have any recommendations of what Mila and I should do, let me know! I’ve been trying to look at some of The Mama Notes activities. It’s a really good blog with a ton of different things for toddlers to do. These rainbows are inspired by her posts earlier this month. There she talks about using other supplies on hand rather than just paint. Some used ribbon, paper, and other supplies that made beautiful rainbows. Mila just likes paint so, that’s what we went with. Also, if you decide to make a rainbow for the rainbow hunt, posts in the comments or in the community Facebook group. I love seeing all the rainbow pictures and knowing we’re not all alone through this.
I still screenshot every time I see 11:11 pop up on my phone.
After almost FOUR years, it’s still Jensen’s way of saying hello; amongst many others. I take that moment and just look at his face and tap it to my own. It might not be every day, twice a day this time jumps out at me, but it is most of them. I imagine he’s right next to me and I feel a sense calm fall over me.
When I look through the screenshots on my phone, a good amount of them are of Jensen with 11:11 over his head. Four years of screenshots and countless minutes that were just him and I even after he’s been gone.
Recently, I saw an Instagram post from another loss mom that described how it was hard to write about their child now than it was when it was still so raw. I found myself agreeing with everything she said. During that first year and a half, words flowed so easily. I tried my best to put what I was feeling into words and it helped. It helped me heal and remember Jensen in the best way I could.
Since Mila’s been born, it has been hard to write. She fills my day and each time I think I get a minute to write, she either wakes up or finds my laptop extremely interesting to inspect. The words seem to still come to me but get stuck in my head. They jumble up, and when I go to actually get them out, they stop flowing like before.
It’s so hard being without him. Even when it feels like Mila and I are doing good, I know he’s missing. He’ll always be missing and that fact will always make my little family feel incomplete.
I wish I could finish those blog posts that I’ve tried so many times to write. About when I found the notes to Jensen and me from his baby shower or how I already feel the weight of my grief crashing down as April draws nearer.
I really can’t believe he’s going to be four. Just knowing how much I’ve missed out on all things Jensen for four years. I wish I knew his likes and what movie he’d have Mila and me watching 800 times. I wish I could see him be a big brother for Mila and play all day, every day with her. I wish I could hold him tight and never let him go.
Gosh, I miss him.
Anytime I hear Usher, I think of Jensen’s movements. I think of seeing him on the ultrasound screen and watching him cover his face when the wand was over him for too long. I think about this time four years ago about how excited I was to meet him, wondering what kind of mom I was going to be. Now it feels like I’m always waiting for those moments I thought I was going to get with him.
In some ways, I think he still gives me the moments I needed. That’s why I have hundreds of screenshots of 11:11 and the feeling of him giving me an Eskimo kiss during that minute.