Creative Mamas: Karen

It's time for another creative mama interview!!

This month, we hear from my lovely friend, Karen--all the way in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea (say that five times fast! ...or once?)--of Our Little Joy Spot. She is a beautiful woman with two lovely daughters living in a world completely foreign to them and thriving.

Creative Mama No. 2:
Karen, 27.
Daughters: Hailey, age 4, and Lilah, 8 months.

What do you love most about being a mom?
Picking the one thing I love most about being a mom is not as easy as it sounds. I'll give you a few things that I love equally and you can pick from that.. I love waking up in the morning to baby kisses and beady little eyeballs peaking up over the top of my bed. It's the best way to wake up. Don't quote me on this at 7:30 AM though, I may have a different opinion. I love doing something that's bigger than myself. I'm raising the next generation of world changers and that's enough motivation for me to wake up with a smile on my face. Proverbs 29:17 says, "Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire." I love seeing scripture played out in my kids. I don't like to discipline Hailey but because I do, I am able to delight in her to the fullest. She's at an age where all the disciplines that I hated doing when she was a toddler have paid off,and now I can just sit back and delight in watching her play or dance. I look at her with awe because I helped create that. 

What does an average day look like for you?
I set my alarm every morning for 7:30AM. Around 8:30 I crawl out of bed and stumble to the stove where I heat up some water to make myself a nice fat cup o joe. Hailey knows not to mess with me until my first sip of coffee. She's learned the hard way...poor kid. Anywho, I make Hailey and I eggs and usually some fruit or a muffin. After breakfast Hailey and I sit down and do homeschooling. She's doing preschool curriculum for now so it's mostly reading and crafts. All the while, Lilah is just chilling in her high chair or bouncer. She's super happy in the mornings until around 10:30 when I put her down for a nap. Once the baby is down and Hailey and I have finished her schooling we generally pick an activity to do together. Wednesdays are library and ballet days but every other day, Hailey get's to pick what she wants to do. Her choices are bake, play with dry rice/beans, paint, play dough, park(on a nice day), or game. I may or may not have something else planned but mostly we stick with those things. After that we eat lunch and Hailey takes a nap. If i'm lucky (like today) Hailey and Lilah will take naps at the same time. Hailey usually wakes up around 4 and she helps me make dinner or entertains the baby if I need that. At 5:30 TJ get's home and he takes over with the kids while I finish dinner. Family time is important in our family so once TJ get's home we generally read together or play a game. On special nights we watch a short movie but mostly, we just enjoy being with each other. Hailey goes to bed between 7:30 and 8 and Lilah goes to bed anywhere from 10 to 1am...yeah, we're still working on that.

What creative things do you do with your kids?
We love different seasons so I try to do seasonal things with Hailey. Around Halloween, for instance, we cut out little ghosts, bats and black cats and decorated them with glitter. They don't look scary since they have pink glitter on them but they're super cute. We also made tin can lanterns. Basically we hammered holes in tin cans in the shape of Halloween creatures. Then we put a tea light candle in them, turned the lights off and told scary stories. 

What things do you do to keep your sanity?
Oh boy. This is a tough one for me right now because I have a 8 month old that want's to be touching me every second of every day. I get to recharge in small doses right now. For instance, going pee without a herd of kids following me to the bathroom is heavenly. Library time is always recharging for me. Hailey will run over to the kids section and plop herself down on the floor with a stack of books while Lilah and I head off to look somewhere else. Our Library is really small so I feel comfortable enough doing this.

Where have you found encouragement/inspiration in motherhood?
Other moms hands down. This is going to sound horrible but it's nice to know that I'm not the only one sleeping on spit up/breast-milk stained sheets. I love getting together with other moms to swap our horror stories. My husband also plays a huge roll in who I am as a mother. I would be a completely different mother if I didn't have him telling me every day how great of a mother I am. He's like my own private life cheerleader. I also find a lot of comfort in scripture. Whenever i'm feeling inadequate as a mother, I just read the scripture and allow God to give me a pep talk about my parenting skills. I always walk away feeling like Super Mom.

What does "creative parenting" mean to you?
lol! I feel like I'm back in my college english class and may teacher is trying to get me to think deeply about something I've never thought about. When I read "creative parenting" I think of all the different times I've had to switch up a punishment with Hailey because she wasn't learning anything anymore by putting her nose against the wall. The best one to date has been making Hailey wear her "ugly" shirt to the store with me. The shirt isn't ugly at all but Hailey thought it was which then turned into her punishment shirt for a while there. If you know my daughter at all, she's been a fashion diva since she could dress herself. She didn't get this from me! Wearing something "ugly" really messed with her head. This can be applied to anything though, not just punishment. I think creative parenting means knowing your children and doing things with them that caters to them. Whether that means creative punishment, crafts, reading, outings you name it. I do the things that I do with Hailey because I want to cater to who she is as a person and I want to encourage her to be who she wants to be. Hailey is a pretty little flower who loves to color and paint and really really hates wearing ugly clothes. Actually, getting her to wear something other than a dress is darn near impossible!

Share a craft, a creative tip, a recipe of your own, a timesaver, or an activity!
I checked out this book from the library so many times that i finally decided to buy it. It's called Crafting Fun. (Click on the picture for the Amazon link...)

I said up above that we love doing seasonal crafts and this book tops all the other ones I've read. The book has a handful of crafts to do with your kids for every season of the year. They are fun, cheap and creative. Plus they look great around the house. There's nothing like home made decorations for the holidays. They also have Cooking Fun also which is just as good. (A side tip: Go to the library as often as you can and read read read to your kids. They love it and it's free! Hailey loves books and I think it's because we take her to the library at least once a week if not more and have since she was a baby. We read as a family every night and just finished The Chronicles of Narnia then watched the movie. Now we're reading Anne of Green Gables and plan on watching the movie once we're done with that.)

Thanks, Karen! I love your love for your family and ability to laugh at life's quirks. It's a pleasure having you on the blog!

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