When you have a special needs child, most of your time revolves around therapies, doctor appointments, phone calls, specialists, and pharmacy runs. It can be quite draining and unfortunately leaves so little time to actually just BE with your child and enjoy them. It’s super important to constantly stimulate and work with your child when they need that for their development, but it’s also equally as important to give yourself “normal” moments to play and snuggle and relax with them too. There’s even an extra sense of that hustle and bustle during the holidays, but enjoying the season and making memories with your kids is what it’s all about, whether they have medical needs or not!
Last year since it was Madison’s first Christmas I did the cliche hand and foot print ornaments with her. They came out super cute, although were not as easy to get as you might think. Every time her hand or foot touched the salt dough she would scrunch it up lol. After a few tries we got it though, and it was fun to look at them this year and see how much she’s grown. We were sadly in the hospital a lot around Christmas last year which made it hard to enjoy the season and make memories, but I’m super glad I took the time to make ornaments with her commemorating her first Christmas, even if it wasn’t as enjoyable of a first holiday as we had hoped.
Salt Dough Recipe:
- 1/2 cup of salt
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- 1/4 cup of water
Knead until dough forms. Make impression with hand or foot and cut out with a knife leaving a border. Poke a hole in the top for hanging and then bake at 200 degrees F for 3 hours. Paint, Seal, & Hang!
This year our craft day was even more special because we made it our first annual kiddie Christmas craft day with my bestie Erica and her new baby girl Lizzie. Erica and I have known each other since we were little, and we cannot wait to make this a yearly tradition with our girls! Crafts, cookies, and watching them grow up together and look forward to this day each year will be nothing short of the sweetest! Of course we’ll make tweaks to it each year as they grow and can do more (I even have dreams of us doing this when they’re 21 that include Christmas cocktails!), but for now it’s all about making memories that us mamas will remember.
Erica is a health & wellness blogger (you can check her out here), so she brought some awesome non-toxic paint for us to use with the girls! It was super interesting. Instead of your normal paint the eco-paint came in powder form & we mixed with water to create a paste. If you’ve ever used that Aztec Clay Mask that you mix with vinegar, making this paint went something like that! I’ll link it below, although word to the wise, the packaging says it’s a 1:1 ratio of powder to water and it is totally NOT. You need far less water then powder. We learned that the hard way lol.
While we planned to do multiple crafts (hello, who can pick just one off Pinterest?!), we wound up only accomplishing one ornament! Between feeding our girls, keeping them from fussing, and just plain catching up with each other, one craft was all we had time for. But, man did they come out cute! We opted to use their tiny fingerprints to make a string of lights on an ornament since it was an easy and less messy way to introduce them to the paint. And I gotta say, it worked! Both babes did great, we didn’t mess up the design, or make too much of a mess either. Total win. We also made some Christmas sugar cookies, because what’s a Christmas play date without cookies. We hope that as the girls grow we can start a cookie exchange, or decorate gingerbread cookies and houses with them too!
Even though we didn’t get as crafty as we may have hoped, we had a blast just being together with our babes. Erica is like sorta my cousin (in some weird Italian way), so I consider Lizzie my sorta niece and I just love getting to spend time with her! Crazy to think Maddie used to be as tiny as her, smaller even! A true reminder of how fast kids grow and change. Even kids who may not be where others are developmentally.
It was truly special making today’s memories with my sweet girl (even if she slept through half of it in typical Madison fashion), and Erica & Lizzie too! Can’t wait to continue adding kiddos to this tradition and seeing where the years take us. How fun it will be to look back each year at how we’ve all changed. So I hope this post serves as a reminder to all of you to take a minute and make some memories with your kids, your family, your friends. Especially those of you with special needs children. It’s hard to step out of our routine and simply have fun, but it’s important to do so just the same. The day may not go perfect, and the memories made may not be the same as someone’s with a healthy child, but that doesn’t mean it counts as anything less to you or your kiddo. Madison may not remember today, but I will! Happy Holiday’s!