Activity: Make a Mr. Shape Scarecrow with Education.com

Nothing says “Fall” like a spectacularly spooky scarecrow! And if you pay attention, you can see them everywhere this time of year. You can point them out to your child at the grocery store or in neighbor’s yards. This Halloween, you and your child make one of your own using some old clothes and a little creativity. Your child will practice his shape recognition along the way and he’ll get to see his scarecrow come to life. Not to mention he’ll be doing some serious recycling while he’s at it!

What You Need:

  • Paper plate
  • Markers
  • Popsicle stick
  • Glue
  • Yellow yarn or construction paper for hair
  • Fabric scraps or construction paper
  • Tape
  • Old long-sleeved shirt, pair of pants, and gloves
  • Straw hat
  • Lots of plastic bags for stuffing
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Tissue paper or newspaper (optional)
  • Safety pins

 

What You Do:

  • Help your child stuff the clothes with the plastic bags. The most effective way to do this is to scrunch the plastic bags into balls and then stuff them into the clothes. Do this until you have filled out the clothes completely so that they’ve got some body to them.
  • Add gloves to the ends of the sleeves. You can stuff the gloves with tissue paper if you like, or just leave them empty. You can attach them to the ends of the sleeves with safety pins.
  • While you’re making your scarecrow, talk to your child about the different shapes he sees within the scarecrow. Does he see any triangles? Are there any circles? Or squares?
  • Using markers, have your child draw a face on the paper plate. He can make it as scary or as friendly as he likes! Glue or tape a popsicle stick to the bottom of the back of the plate to hold the “head” up.
  • Help your child cut different sized strips of yellow construction paper for hair or use yellow yarn. Glue onto the plate.
  • Place the popsicle stick head into the neck of the shirt. You might need to reinforce it with some more scrunched-up plastic bags. Add a straw hat on top. You can stuff the hat with some newspaper as well if you like.
  • Ask your child to name some shapes. Help him draw them on paper or fabric. Have your child cut them out. These will be the patches for the scarecrow’s clothing.
  • Tape the patches all over your scarecrow’s clothes.
  • Sit your scarecrow outside in a visible place for all to enjoy! This makes for a great Halloween decoration to ward off those crows and any other unwanted guests!

*This guest post is courtesy of Education.com and this activity is exclusive to Crunchy on the Weekend!

Breastfeeding Awareness Month + Lansinoh SmartPump, Bessie’s Best Lactation Cookies, & Mason Bottle GIVEAWAY!

AUgust 2016 (1)

With a second baby on the way, nursing is going to be making a comeback in my day-to-day life! This time around, I am working full-time and pumping will be a big part of my routine. I always get excited when National Breastfeeding Awareness Month rolls around because I know how many moms truly struggle with this aspect of motherhood and it is HARD. And mamas who don’t nurse, I still love you, too, and, support you on your journey of motherhood! You’re all amazing.

From my pictures and stories, it may seem like breastfeeding came so easily to me and my daughter. It sure started out easily in the hospital – perfect latch, ate like a monster, plenty of wet diapers. I was convinced something had to be wrong… it can’t be THIS easy can it? The answer? NOPE. It cannot be that easy. When we got home from the hospital, it was like my daughter totally forgot what the heck she was doing. Her latch hurt, she cried, I cried. It was a mess. I was exhausted and convinced I was doing something so wrong. Some days, I lost my determination to keep going and bottles looked SO appealing. My husband was and is my rock. His encouragement is literally one of the biggest blessings in my life. He saw me struggle and he knew I was struggling. I’m sure he thought it would be easier to just give bottles instead. But, he also knew how badly I wanted to breastfeed and he encouraged me to keep fighting for that. So I did. We did. My daughter did. And we succeeded. We finally got back into a groove and a routine. We had some hiccups along the way, but, we did it. We nursed until she was 2 years old and I am so proud! I think if I hadn’t gone back to work, she probably would have still nursed at least a couple times during the day and night for a bit longer. I have such a special place in my heart for my nursing mamas, whether you’ve nursed for 2 minutes or 2 years.

So, with National Breastfeeding Week wrapping up and it being Breastfeeding Awareness Month , I am so excited to show you some of my favorite products for nursing mamas and there’s an AMAZING giveaway thrown in here too ;) Woo hoo!

Read more

Packing the Hospital Bag!

 

Hospital Bag

Packing the hospital bag.

I’d say this task was even more daunting than packing the diaper bag after the kiddo had arrived earth-side, and now, we’re going to be doing it all over again! I had no idea what my experience was going to be like, what things I’d need the most, what would comfort me the most, and add in “end of pregnancy” hormones… yikes.

Once we got to the hospital, I didn’t even use a ¼ of the things I had packed. When people tell you to only pack the essentials, they’re right. But, what ARE the essentials?! Obviously, the essentials are different for every person, but, I’d like to think that us mamas can agree on some things :)

So, if you are seriously stressing about what to toss in your hospital bag before that buddle of joy (or bundles of joy!) arrive, read on!

Plus,  I’ll be adding a list of top suggestions that all of you wonderful mamas submitted to me!

Printable PDF Version

Printable (3)

Top Essentials from Mamas Like You!

CrunchyOnTheWeekend.com

 

Vote For Me @ The Top Mommy Blogs Directory Vote For Me @ The Top Mommy Blogs Directory

Are You Back to “Normal” Yet?

autumn moments (1)

I don’t focus too much on super serious posts. This is mainly because I like keeping my blog fun, happy, and light. However, as a mom, birth and postpartum is something I feel very strongly about and I feel like moms need more advocates for their births and postpartum healing.

Specifically? Postpartum depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. 

It’s a real thing and it affects more women than you think. “According to the Centers for Disease Control, 11 to 20% of women who give birth each year have postpartum depression symptoms. If you settled on an average of 15% of four million live births in the US annually, this would mean approximately 600,000 women get PPD each year in the United States alone.” I can guarantee that you personally know someone who suffers from some postpartum ‘thing’, and you probably don’t even realize it. The month of May is dedicated to Mental Health Awareness which also includes Maternal Depression/Mental Health. However, it doesn’t just happen in May and we need awareness ALL the time. There is a terrible stigma attached to mental health issues, which in turn, discourages an alarming number of mamas to seek help. “Only 15% of women with postpartum depression ever receive professional treatment.” 

Now, when I was pregnant, I never thought twice about PPD stories or statistics. And that’s the thing, you never think it will be YOU. But guess what? It very easily could be you and it is HARD. 

As a new mom, I already felt overwhelmed, but, I loved the time right after our daughter was born. Then, as 8/9 months postpartum approached, I just wasn’t feeling the same. I still loved being a mom and our daughter is literally the light of my life and my heart wants to burst with the amount of love I have for her (even when she’s being a grouch!), but, there were things that were changing. PPD, Anxiety, and Mood Disorders vary for every person they affect. Below, check out my Top 5 Most Frustrating Things About PPD.


 

 

The Top 5 Most Frustrating Things About PPD

1.) Anxiety– Anxiety attacks are SCARY, especially when they come out of nowhere and you’ve never dealt with them before. I always felt like an idiot for getting so “worked up” over things- things that others would find silly, pointless, no big deal. But, to me, those things sometimes overwhelmed me and I literally could not control it. My poor husband felt helpless, but, whenever an attack hit, he stayed calm and prayed. He told me that every time he began to pray, my anxiety attack would slow and I would calm down. I had NO idea about his praying until he mentioned it one day after an anxiety attack. So, for us, the power of prayer helped and it meant a lot to me that my husband did that.

2.) Feeling Like a Drama Queen– after my PPD and anxiety started setting in, it seemed like the silliest of things could push my emotions off the deep end. I’ve always been a sensitive person, but, this took the cake. I would get upset so fast, when before, the thing I was mad about wouldn’t have even phased me! I felt like everyone just saw me as over-dramatic and ridiculous because they just couldn’t understand. I always felt like I complain too much and that I’m a “Debbie Downer” who can’t just be happy and see the positive all the time. 

3.) Feeling Like a Failure– I know I am a great mom. My family knows I am a great mom. Even though I know this deep down, I still felt like a failure for so many reasons. I didn’t understand why I got upset over random things or why some days my patience was non-existent. I felt like a failure when I couldn’t get my daughter down for a nap or when she wouldn’t stop crying. Those things are SO common for moms, yet, I felt like I was the only one who had this “difficult” child. My sense of reality felt so skewed some days.

4.) Feeling Damaged– This is a BIG one. I still struggle with this daily. Motherhood is tough, especially as a first-time mom. The majority of us struggle with something whether we admit it or not. With PPD/Anxiety, I felt like I did something wrong along the way. I didn’t feel like I was capable of doing things or that other people did those things better than I did. The biggest factor in this is when people say things like “oh, calm down, it’s no big deal”, “if you did this, or this, or this, you’d feel better”, or “stop being so sensitive”. I already felt like I wasn’t normal, and then, feeling like I was damaged because of how I felt made me feel even worse. I always felt like I needed to put on a happy face because people just wouldn’t truly understand how I felt. I felt like I needed to be “fixed” and I still feel this way some days.

5.) The Hit To Your Self-Esteem– motherhood is exhausting for EVERYONE at some point or another. You barely have time to shower, put on make-up, etc. I expected that part of my life to take a hit as a mom because I was no longer my priority- my daughter was! However, with PPD, the exhaustion is different. It’s mental, emotional, physical. You no longer have the desire to be your best, because, you don’t feel your best. At all. You feel like a failure because you can’t balance life as a mom, spouse, partner, friend, daughter, whatever. When your brain is going non-stop, when can you find time to do anything “extra”? You don’t feel good enough so why bother pampering yourself? 

These feelings are so common with moms struggling with PPD and other mood disorders. Finding support and resources makes a world of difference. If you aren’t ready to seek professional help like counseling, make sure you find support in other ways like online PPD groups and friends who are experiencing or have experienced the same things (I bet you have at least one!). You can also check out some of the resources below also. 

I think many people who are not familiar with PPD feel like it’s a quick fix and wonder why we aren’t “back to ‘normal’ yet.” Besides, what IS normal after you become a parent!?

Just remember, you’re not the only one and it does get better with time. Don’t expect a quick fix- it’s a work in progress, but, a beautiful one because you are a mother who sustained life inside for 9 months. You are a wonderful mother whether you believe it or not. You will get through this! 

Basic Information About PPD, Anxiety, & Other Postpartum Mood Disorders
Postpartum Progress

Postpartum Depression Statistics

The Symptoms of Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

The 6 Stages of Postpartum Depression

Help & Tools

Six Things You Should Avoid If You Have PPD

6 Tools To Help You Feel Supported & Understood

New Mom Checklist for Maternal Health

Support, Events, & Health Resources

Climb Out of the Darkness 

Postpartum Depression Treatment Programs & Specialists

Postpartum Depression Support Groups in the U.S. & Canada

Have you struggled or are you struggling with PPD? What is the most frustrating thing for you?

 

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Rubbermaid Tupperware…My kryptonite. + GIVEAWAY!

null

As a mom, I have a whole new appreciation for tupperware. As a kid, I always knew my mom loved hers, but, I didn’t “get” it…until now. I hoard tupperware like nobody’s business and I am not ashamed. I have tupperware of all sizes- little enough for my husband to take dips to work for lunch and big enough to store enough watermelon to feed an army (aka my toddler). I have specific tupperware for freezing and specific tupperware for things like spaghetti- I can’t have ALL my tupperware stained red, no way. I even have a special tupperware container to store homemade diaper pail fresheners…it is permanently peppermint scented. 

Lately, with our Renovation going on and my broken ankle, we’ve been doing big, family-style style dinners with my parents, Gramma, me, my husband, and our daughter. That makes 6 of us with a sometimes ravenous toddler (depending on her mood for the day). My mom’s been the main cook since I was in a non-weight bearing cast for 4+ weeks. She makes a bunch of food with plenty for leftovers! And what else would I want to store those leftovers in besides my amazing Rubbermaid tupperware!? Nothing. I love it more than my scarce alone time…okay, maybe not THAT much ;)

I was more than excited when I got to try out some of Rubbermaid’s best tupperware- their large Party Platter and their Easy Find Lids 24-piece Set. Be still my heart! This is one of my ongoing mom dreams come true…more awesome tupperware to add to my collection! I received the platter and set a few days ago and I am in love with them!

Plus, one lucky person will win their OWN set of (1) Party Platter and (1) 24-Piece Set of Easy Find Lids! Woo hoo! Good way to start the football season off when you have tons of snacks and leftovers from your game day parties!

Enter below!

Let’s start with the specifics…


 

Party Platter

  • Large outer container with a secure lid to hold chips, veggies, and other snacks
  • Removable Twist & Seal™ dip container nests snuggly into the base
  • Leak-proof Twist & Seal™ lid secures the dip and prevents spills
  • Divided platter base keeps different foods and snacks separated
  • Outer lid snaps onto platter base for a tight seal and secure transporation
  • All components are BPA-free
  • Microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe
  • Available in ONE SIZE- outer container is 2.3 L/9.6 cups; dip container is 473 mL/2.0 cups
  • Available at Kroger, Publix, Meijer, and select online retailers
  • MSRP $8.99

Easy Find Lids

  • Lids snap together and to container bases so you can always find the right lid
  • Graduated sized containers nest for compact storage
  • One lid fits multiple bases
  • Square shape for optimal space utilization
  • Microwave / Freezer / Dishwasher Safe
  • Thick, durable container walls for everyday use
  • Bases and Lids are BPA FREE
  • Available in a variety of sizes
  • Sets range from $8.99-$25.99 MSRP
  • Individual containers range from $2.50-$8.99 MSRP
  • Available at Walmart, Target, various grocery stores (Kroger, Publix, Fred Meyers, and select others), & Club Stores (Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s)

 

Now, I love pretty much every piece of tupperware, but, these Easy Find Lids are my favorite. The pieces are solid and sturdy without being too bulky. These pieces ALWAYS stay organized inside my lazy susan (and yes, I have an entire lazy susan dedicated to tupperware…no judging!). Everything “snaps” together so there’s no loose pieces sliding around and no crazy organization needed. Another bonus- multiple lids fit multiple containers! I also love that the lids and containers are BPA-free. That’s important to me when I’m using the containers to store food in that my family will be eating!

With football season here, the weekends are full of get-togethers and parties. The new Party Platter from Rubbermaid is the perfect thing to tote your snacks and dips in. You have 4 larger spots for veggies, chips, crackers, fruit, whatever you want! Then, you can store whatever dip you want in the included center tupperware without it leaking all over the snacks! Super easy and no weird nooks and crannies to clean. That’s great when you’re worried about more important things like just getting the dishes done quick so you can spend time with your friends and family and watch the game! Check out some of our favorite snack and dip combos for get-togethers here! :)

null (1)

Enter the giveaway below and share with your friends and family! :)

Good Luck!

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
Rubbermaid Party Platter & Easy Find Lids Set Giveaway!

*DisclaimerCrunchy on the Weekend does not get monetary compensation to review all products. On occasion, companies will send me a product for review on my blog. I personally decide which products to review and feature on my blog- these are products or services I would use myself and for my family. Receiving products does not influence my final review at all. I will not we be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and you are dissatisfied with it. I state my opinions on the products and do not claim any guarantees for you as the reader.*