Toddler Friendly Summer Bucket List – Paint Outside

Art is an experience, not an object.

-Robert Motherwell

Mila’s first painting was for Christmas. I wanted to do a craft with her, but she was too young to do something intense. So, I bought some red, green, and silver paint and a canvas and she went at it. In my perspective, it was so beautiful and festive. It made me smile and I had it hanging for way too long after Christmas. Since then, she’s done three others. They’re all different and each time she learns a new way to create.

I know I sound like I have a painting prodigy, I just love watching her create.

Yesterday felt like the perfect day to check something off of our bucket list. It wasn’t too hot like this weekend is supposed to be, but nice enough to be outside. I had picked up new summer, ‘mermaid’ paint for this project a few weeks before, so I just went with the flow.

Mila absolutely loves being outside and she’s only painted while sitting in her high chair. I was excited to see how’d she do and I was not disappointed.

For Mila, at her age, I put dots of color randomly on the canvas and gave her different sized brushes to start. She instantly went to each dot and started going. It was like she couldn’t take them not being drawn out and circled the canvas in a precise manner. Then I put different paints on her brush so she could see that’s where paint can come too. After getting rid of all that paint, she experimented with her hands… then the rest of her body. At one point I swear there was more paint on her body than the canvas. It’s a good thing we were outside. Then she figured out she could splat paint from the bottle. She shook and shook it to make an even bigger mess.

At the end, Mila created another beautiful painting and it wasn’t a huge clean up. She decided to run after the cat while I gathered everything up. When I went to take pictures of her and her artwork, she wasn’t the happiest with me. I’m guessing she was over getting her picture taken, but she has years left of me telling her to say cheese.

This has been one of my favorite bucket list items to do. We always have fun painting, but there’s just something about summertime and being outside.

I don’t know if she’ll grow up to like art or to keep doing this, so I’m making sure I keep all of these canvases. Making these memories are my favorite thing in the world. You bet that this new piece is hanging on my wall. It’s the first thing anyone who walks in my door sees. I hope one day she’ll be proud to see whatever she likes to do hung up and displayed. Hopefully she always knows how proud I am of her and how loved she is.

If you do decide to do this with your toddler, I’m just warning you, it took a while to get all the paint off. I had her play in the water and scrubbed the paint off her legs. A few hours later I found spots I missed, but we just made it apart of the fun. Don’t let the mess deter you. It’s well worth it.

And now on to the next adventure.

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I Am.

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The following words were written at 2:11am this morning. I couldn’t sleep at all last night with the whirling of thoughts and words in my head. In attempts to show what grief looks like at all times, I’m not going to edit or change anything I said last night. You’ll even see the scribble out of one word and the underline of another.

I wish…

I wasn’t writing this. I wish loss never happened. I wish Jensen was sleeping silently soundly in his crib. I wish wishes came true, then I’d bring our babies back for you and me.

I remember…

Only hearing 4:25 and feeling something I’ve never felt before. I remember the emptiness when I arrived home. It took place where Jensen had made his home for the past thirty-eight weeks and two days. That emptiness spread from his sacred spot and traveled in my veins to my heart, my brain, and even to my toes. I remember the second that emptiness and numbness turned to unbearable pain, that still hasn’t went away.

I could not believe…

Those six words that came out of the doctor’s mouth. Even worse, I couldn’t believe the confirmation of them with the silence of his birth.

If only…

I knew what I do now. Maybe I could have saved you. If I couldn’t have saved you, I would’ve changed the moments after your birth. If only there were one kiss or sweet whisper of ‘I love you.’

I am…

Jensen’s mom. I am on a raft of love in the sea of grief. I am Danielle and I’m learning how to journey and survive life after loss.

 

Healing through Creating.

After a beautiful morning and afternoon, I was stuck inside for most of the evening listening to the pouring rain. Most days I can keep busy with writing or reading, but I just couldn’t read or watch anything. This is when grief really sets in and since it was so nice out today, I was having a good one. I did not want the rest of the day to turn sour and completely breakdown for the rest of the night. My hands kept fidgeting, so I knew it was time to create. Thankfully I had a project in mind and I went right to it.

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