Balancing Chronic Illness and Parenthood

When a parent gets sick, it can be difficult for the whole household. When a parent has a chronic illness or disability, it is something that the whole household has to adapt to. It can be very frustrating and lonely at times. Today, we want to share a few tips for those who may be struggling to balance life with a chronic illness and parenthood.

Do Not Strive for Perfection

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Your children do not need a perfect parent, they need you! Each and every one of us have different abilities and talents. Comparing yourself to other parents, especially those without health struggles, will always leave you disappointed. I have learned to embrace both my limitations and my strengths.

Respect Your Own Limits

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You are allowed to have a bad day. You are allowed to give yourself rest when you need it. If you need to order delivery for dinner, skip the laundry, or let the dusting wait a day, then you should do that without guilt. Your health is more important than a spotless house. Do not be afraid to use your support system. I am blessed to have a mother who is always willing to give me a little break when my chronic illnesses are causing me extra problems.

Join A Support Group

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It can be super helpful to know that you are not alone! Since not everyone has time to go to an in person support group, Facebook groups can be very helpful as well!

We hope these tips are useful. If you are living with a chronic illness, we’d love to hear from you! How do you balance your life? How do you take time to care for yourself? What is your biggest challenge right now?

Paper Chick

Spring is officially here! Today we are enjoying some chilly, but not freezing weather, and are thrilled to be able to retire our winter related crafts! We will be back with new ideas next winter, but now it is time to move on. This paper chick craft is simple to prepare for and is great fine motor skill practice!

Materials Needed

  • White construction or computer paper
  • Yellow construction paper
  • Orange construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Googly Eyes

Getting ready to make this little chick is super easy. Start by cutting out squares from the yellow paper. Children who are younger or have issues with fine motor skills will need bigger squares, but if you have a preschooler or kindergartner, smaller squares will work well. You will also need to cut a triangle for the beak and two feet from the orange paper.

After the cutting is done, put glue in an oval shape onto the white paper. If you are feeling brave, you can also draw an oval and let your little one put glue inside.

Next, let your little one put on the yellow squares one at a time.

After all the glue is covered, add the beak, legs, and eyes!

After it dries, it will make the perfect spring time fridge art!

Mess Free Painted Turtle

Our toddler loves to paint, but some days we do not have the time or energy to clean up a big painting mess. We love using a mess free method!

Materials

  • White Paper
  • Brown Construction Paper
  • A Marker
  • Scissors
  • Green Paint
  • Glue
  • A Plastic Gallon Size Sandwich Bag

We started by folding up the white paper to fit in the plastic bag and then put green paint on the paper. After that, we put the paper into the bag.

We gave the bag to our toddler and let her move around the paint. This is a great sensory experience for little ones! The green shape will be the turtle’s shell. The turtle could come out in pretty much any shape or simply take up the whole paper, but that is just part of the fun!

While we waited on the paint to dry, we cut out four “legs” and a “head” for the turtle. We also used a market to give the turtle eyes.

Once everything was completely dry, we helped our toddler glue on the arms and the head.

The finished turtle was as unique as our toddler!

Pop Century Review

We recently enjoyed a wonderful eight day stay at Walt Disney World. We stayed at Pop Century for the second time. We had a blast and were not in the room much, but we want to share a little about the resort with you! This is not a sponsored post nor were we asked to write it, we just love sharing our travel experiences!

This was our first Disney World trip as a family of three, so we were looking for a resort that would be very interesting for a small child. We looked at a variety of resorts, but decided on Pop Century because the price was something we could easily afford and we knew from our previous stay that it was very nice. The rooms had been refurbished since our last stay, so they were new to us.



Overall, we really enjoyed the new room design. We loved the hard wood floors because we all have allergies that can be sometime bothered by older carpet. The decor was fun but simple. The only thing we did not love was the glass doors on the bathtub. We know it is probably more sanitary and saves the hassle of changing shower curtains, but they did make it just a bit challenging to bath a wiggly toddler. We absolutely loved the room as a whole though.

Our toddler wakes up super early, so we got to enjoy walking around the resort several times. All of the buildings really captured the Disney spirit as well as the decade that each building represented. We tried to get some pictures of our toddler in front of some of the cool decorations, but she just was not feeling photogenic.



Before we stay at any hotel, Mr. Not So Crafty checks out the nearby food options. One of the biggest differences between a Value hotel and the Moderate and Deluxe hotels is that the value hotels do not have restaurants. They simply have food courts. The food court at Pop Century has a very large selection of foods, so we did not really miss having a restaurant. They have a lot of allergy friendly options as well, but you must speak to a chef for safety, and that can mean that you have a wait a bit longer for your food, but allergy safe food is worth waiting for!

We highly enjoyed our stay! Pop Century offers affordable lodging while offering all the perks of staying on Disney property. We will be visiting again!

Circle Rainbow

Spring and Saint Patrick’s Day are both coming up fast. In honor of both of those things, our most recently learning art activity is a paper rainbow made of circles! This activity not only is a great way to work on colors, but it is also is an excellent way to work on fine motor skills.

Materials Needed

  • Construction Paper (Light blue, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, and white)
  • Scissors
  • Glue

The prep work on this one takes a bit longer than most of what we do on this blog, but it is still pretty easy. Start by cutting out small circles from all but the white and light blue paper. The light blue paper will be the background. The white paper will need to be cut into four bigger circles.



Next, draw lines for your little one to place the colors. The lines we drew were just a bit too close together. If we were doing it again, we’d leave a little more space.

After you draw the lines, put glue on one line at a time and hand your little one the colors. Name each color for your little one as they work. This process will take a little bit of time, but it is wonderful fine motor skills and our little one had fun with it.

After all the colors are glued on, let your little one glue the white circles on the bottom of the rainbow.

Fun Ways to Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day

It is officially March! In North East Ohio, that may or may not start to bring warm weather, but it also brings St. Patrick’s Day. Unless you enjoy green beer, it is a holiday that often gets overlooked. We have gathered a few great ways to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day that are perfect for families with small children!

Make Crafts and Learn Together

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We recently published an adorable leprechaun hat craft. For an assortment of printables and other fun things, head over to Heart and Mind Homeschool. They have compiled a wonderful list with so many options!

Cook Together

Photo Credit Mommy Needs Cookies

Irish Potato Candy is the perfect choice for a fun, festive Saint Patrick’s Day food to cook.

Catch a Leprechaun

Photo Credit Mommy Needs Cookies

This is a St. Patrick’s Day tradition that has really caught on in recent years. Our toddler is still a bit young for this one, but it looks like so much fun! There is even a book about catching a leprechaun. Visit Mommy Needs Cookies to see the book and a fun trap!

Play in a Sensory Bin

Photo Credit Mama Writes Reviews

We do tons of sensory bins. This St.Patrick’s Day themed bin looks very fun and we can not wait to try it out for ourselves.

Make Gifts for Others

Photo Credit Faking It Fabulous

You can help others celebrate by handing out little gifts. These cute little pots of gold would make perfect gifts for teachers, medical professionals, or friends!

We would love to hear from you! How do you celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day? Do you go all out or is it a holiday that does not appeal much to you?

Toddler Face Activity

We love to make art with our toddler, but we try to also plan some activities each week that are designed to teach specific skills. Right now, we are working on teaching her the parts of her face. She has “eyes” down, but is still struggling with everything else. This activity is perfect for children age two to four and can be easily done at home or in a preschool setting!

Materials Needed

  • Construction Paper (A lighter color would work best)
  • Magazine Clippings of Face Parts
  • Glue
  • Marker or Colored Pencil

We started by writing “Sara has two eyes, one nose, one mouth” on the construction paper. We always keep an envelope full of magazine clippings, so we just had to dig them out. If you do not already have the face parts cut out, it will probably only take you about five minutes and one magazine to do so.

After that, we let our toddler pick out which parts she wanted to use. We are working on language skills, so we put each part in a pile and asked her to pick out the correct number. We would say things like “You have two eyes, please pick out two eyes”. Once she picked what she wanted, we helped her glue. As she was gluing, we named each face part again. When working on language skills, repetition and pictures are both great learning tools!

Once all parts were glued on, we held it up in front of her and read it all together. “Sara has two eyes, one nose, one mouth”. You can also laminate the paper so that your little one can practice naming the parts of the face over and over again!

Date Ideas Perfect For Busy Parents

Life gets hectic. I’m a stay at home mom, but Mr. Not So Crafty works six days most weeks. In his spare time, he helps write this blog, plays the role of tech support for our house, and spends as much time with our toddler as possible. When we get time where it is just the two of us, it is so valuable. We are sure that we can not be the only parents who are constantly looking for quick, easy, and affordable ways to get in some alone time. We would like to share a few ideas we love. 

Mini Golf

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Heading off to play a game of mini golf is a super fun date idea. It is silly and a great way to get a little exercise together too.

Visit a Local Park

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We love just spending even a half hour together outdoors. You can sit on a bench and talk or even do a bit of hiking. Sometimes, if we are feeling lazy, we simply drive around a larger park and listen to music together.

Netflix and Ice cream

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Give Netflix and chill a new meaning by picking out a movie you’ve been dying to watch together and enjoying some ice cream sundaes!

Bowling

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Bowling is a classic, but still totally fun, date idea. When we were dating, we went bowling all the time, so for us, it is also nostalgic!

Board Games

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A little competition is always fun in a marriage. We love trying out a new board game or playing an old favorite together for an hour or two.

We hope that if you are in need of some date time ideas, we have inspired you. What is your favorite thing to do to spend time with your other half?

Mess Free Painted Car

Our toddler loves go to bye bye in the “vroom”. We were not going anywhere yesterday because it was nasty outside, so we painted a car instead!

Materials Needed

  • Construction Paper (Any color, black, and white)
  • Paint (We used two different colors)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Gallon Sized Plastic Sandwich Bag

Start by cutting a car shape out of construction paper. Next, cut two circles from the black paper and a rectangle from the white paper.

After that, put small dots of paint on the car shape and put it in the plastic bag.

Now your little one can get to work painting. Let them move the paint around in the bag. Our toddler loves the squishy texture and we love that there is no big mess to clean up.

After your little one is done, gently take it out of the bag. It will take a bit of time to dry.

Once the car is drive, let your little one glue on the circles as wheels and the rectangles as the front window.

Shape Leprechaun Hat

We are just under a month away from St. Patrick’s Day, but we decided to take a break from winter themed activities and do something different! This leprechaun hat is super easy and can be done with materials most of you will already have at home!

Materials Needed

  • Green Construction Paper
  • Black Construction Paper
  • Yellow Construction Paper
  • White or Other Light Color Construction Paper
  • scissors
  • Glue

We started by cutting the green paper into several thin rectangles and one thicker rectangle. We recommend between six and ten thin rectangles. Next, we cut out a black rectangle, a small black square, and a yellow rectangle that was slightly smaller than the black rectangle. If your child is preschool or early elementary school aged, you can just draw the lines and let them do the cutting!

After all the cutting was done, we set our toddler down and let her get to work! We started with the thin rectangles. We put glue on the paper and then let her place the rectangles, but if your child can use a glue stick, that method is much less messy!

Next, we helped our toddler put the thicker green rectangle horizontally under the thinner rectangles.

Lastly, we gave her the remaining shapes to make the “buckle” part of the hat. The older your child is, the less guidance they will need.

The finished product is a cute little leprechaun hat!