It should come as no surprise to anyone that a post about Mother’s Day would be late. After all, what better way to demonstrate the many, many balls that most mothers have in the air at any given time? If you aren’t sure, read I Don’t Know How She Does It, a hilarious, if not disturbingly accurate, depiction of motherhood. Screw What to Expect When You Are Expecting, this is what you should be reading before you have a child.

In my abundance of spare time (ironic laugh, accompanied by an eye roll), I help my little man make some gifts for the special women in his life. He is getting pretty into arts and crafts these days, but his attention span is still very limited, so we need get-in-get-out type of activities. Both of these were perfect for his little hands and little focus, and barely even made a mess. We got them all done in under an hour. SCORE ONE FOR THE WORKING MOM.

In some cruel twist of calendar fate, Teacher Appreciation Day and Mothers Day fell on the same week, so we had to double up on crafts. It is my little man’s first year with a teacher, as we did in home daycare for his first two years. He loves his Mo-Mo (Miss Debbie) and Miss Amber, so we wanted to show our appreciation: him, for all the love and fun, and me, for keeping my little person alive every day while I’m at work. These apple pretzels are adorable and very tasty.

Apple Pretzels

Ingredients

  • one bag red candy melts (Michaels)
  • one bag of mini pretzels
  • green icing: The original instructions (found here) suggested using green gummy worms or candy for the top but that did not appeal to me, so we went with frosting.

Directions

  1. Melt your candy in a glass bowl in the microwave at 30-second intervals. Stir in between until the lumps are gone and the candy is creamy. I think I’ve mentioned before that my microwave is an overachiever and heats things up in about half the time recommended for most things. This bag of melts took 2 30-second intervals.
  2. Let your little one dip the pretzels into the bowl until they are covered in red candy.
  3. Place each pretzel on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper to dry.
  4. Once dry (15-20 minutes should do it), put a small dollop of green icing at the top to look like a leaf. Put in clear bags and tie with pretty ribbon.

photo 1 (28)

Next up, we made some crafts for the “grand”-ladies in my little guy’s life. We liked them so much that we even made some for our own windows.

Flower Sun Catchers (inspired from The Handmade Home)

Ingredients

  • glass Pyrex dish
  • pony beads
  • flower shaped cookie cutters (various sizes)
  • twine

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Put your cookie cutter in the Pyrex dish, and let your little one fill it with one layer of pony beads.                                                    photo 2 (29)
  3. Make sure all of the pony beads touch but that there is only one layer, otherwise, they won’t be flat (we had a couple layers for the first batch, and they do look fine, especially since a 2 year old made them, but one layer makes them a little more “suncatcher” like)
  4. Put the dish in the oven for 15-20 minutes. You will notice a faint plastic smell, so no worries.
  5. Take the dish out and let it cool for about 15 minutes. You will hear the plastic breaking away from the glass, kind of a cracking noise. **NOTE – the original instructions tell you to make a small hole in the suncatcher with a toothpick when you first take the dish out (to put the ribbon through). Maybe we just didn’t have the beads close enough together, but we had some natural holes, so we didn’t need to make any extra. Your call.
  6. Once the dish is cooled, you can gently wiggle the cookie cutters off of the pony beads. You should be left with a lovely sun catcher!
  7. Feed your twine through one of the holes (man-made or naturally occurring). Hang them on your windows or from your car’s rear view mirror and enjoy 🙂

photo (24)

photo 1

I’ll be lying if I didn’t admit that the fact that my little baby is now capable of crafting and making gifts has me missing the days when he was teeny tiny, bald, and babbling. I almost cried when he saw me on Mother’s Day and said, “Happy Day, Mommy.” At the same time, I am in awe of the person he is becoming, equal parts independent, sweet, strong-willed, and bright. It’s a pretty wild ride. I know all of you ladies know what I mean. This is the most exhausting, rewarding, confusing, exhilarating, weird, and beautiful thing I have ever done with my life, and he’s only 2. God help me when he’s older and I have to embarrass, infuriate, protect, and support him, all at once. What a job.

So happy day, mommies. Go take a well deserved nap.

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