The following is a very easy craft. I like that the craft was easy for my son, 3 yrs old, to do with minimal facilitation from me, while also being something different, useful and special for his teachers. We also made an extra pot for his grandfather for a just because gift.
This gift can be made for moms, dads, friends, and all family members just personalize your wording for what seeds they have planted in your life.
For teacher appreciation gifts this year, we filled pots with seeds and gift cards. I also added garden gnomes, for my son's German teachers, lol, and gummy worms. My son decorated the pots with his handprints, painted, and for pot stuffing I used bath sponges. Pots were delivered via a brown box, with the words, "Teachers plant the seeds of Learning" painted.
What you'll need
Stuffing for inside the pots; I used bath sponges but you could also use a foam ball
Wood sticks; I used tongue depressers and some popsticle sticks
Small bags of seeds
Cards; I used white envelopes and painted their name on the outside with personal messages written on the inside of the card enclosed
Additionally, we used garden stickers which were 3D to put around the handprint of the pots and on the box (that we used for delivery)
1) Have your child paint his hand and help them to make painted handprints on the pots
2) While that dries, take wooden sticks and glue the bags of seeds, gift cards, personal cards or whatever else you would like to use for filling the pots
3) Allow those to dry
4) On the while envelopes, I let my son paint butterfly sponges and stamp them on the cards
inside and out while I painted the names of the teachers on the outside of the envelopes
5) I put bath sponges into every pot and once dry, I placed the wooden sticks with goodies amongst the sponge
6) I added in garden gnomes as my son goes to a German school and thought that would just be a cute touch.
7) I also added gummie worms around the top of the pots for additional yummy cuteness
8) At the dollar store I found adorable 3D garden stickers and I let my son place them all over the pots and the box used for delivery.
I have referenced before how I had wonderful dreams of surprising my husbandwith some sort of cute way to say “I’m pregnant” but instead came back from a doctor’s appointment saying the words “I’m pregnant” followed by “They can’t find a heartbeat”. This has been some of the hardest words I have ever had to say and sadly I’ve had to say them on multiple occasions.
When you learn you are pregnant, your world immediately changes. It doesn’t matter if the pregnancy was expected/wanted/prayed for/unplanned/medically assisted….whatever, knowing that potentially in nine months there will be a little being with half your DNA is SHOCKING NEWS. So shocking that some people will cry or yell or go into shock or even act like nothing big is happening for days or months. But in your mind a million things flash through your brain and it consumes a lot of your thoughts.
Now, here is the kicker….read what I wrote again “knowing that POTENTIALLY in nine months there will be a little being”. You see the statistics are varied but most will say that around 20-25% of women miscarry. Basically that is you going out to dinner with 3 friends…and one of you just experience a miscarriage. Yes, one in 4 (or 5) women experience miscarriage…but we don’t talk about it and this is what is sad to me.
So here on October 15, I want to talk about it….why today? Today is “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day” in the US, Canada and many other nations around the world. This is such an impactful event in so many people’s lives, that there is a day to support the people who have suffered this kind of loss and remember those babies who we never got to meet. I see this is beyond an epidemic or a curse, this needs to be dinner table conversation between friends, partners, family, sisters, mothers and daughters.
My personal experience is with miscarriage. I have not experience etopic pregnancy, stillbirth or infant death so my reference will be about miscarriage. I want to express my thoughts to those families who have suffered these kinds of losses, as each one is a different kind of loss with its own emotional turmoil.
As Amy Roberts puts it so well, “When you become pregnant you enter a big club for women. Its a subculture. You are accepted into the club with open arms. But when you loose the baby you are no longer a part of this club and you can no longer “fit right back in” to where you were before you were pregnant. You are in limbo. There’s no where to go.” Your childless friends don’t really know how to console you. Your friends who are pregnant avoid you because they don’t want to feel upset that they have a baby and you don’t. Your friends with kids are so busy with their kids; they usually don’t have time for you anyway.
After months of sorrow, pain and healing, my husband and I became comfortable talking to people about our first loss. Surprisingly the more people we told, the more people confided in us that they had miscarried too. In a way, it was comforting to know that I wasn't alone, but in another way, I really needed these people when I was hurting and wanted to talk to someone.
Why didn’t I know someone who suffered a miscarriage when:
I was bleeding and cramping curled up in a ball for days
My due date came and went and I had no baby to hold onto
My Pregnancy Tracker sent me that irritating reminder email of “Your baby is this old and as big as this piece of fruit” that made me avoid the produce section of the grocery store
Every time someone announced their pregnancy on social media I counted how far apart our babies would have been
I attended a baby shower and hid in the bathroom crying
Every time I saw a baby I touched my stomach….then realized I needed to stop
My husband tried to touch me and I recoiled
I avoided driving by the maternity store on my way to work.
And that is when I decided we needed to speak up about our loss and support anyone who went through it again. It HURTS, it hurts your body, your mind and your soul…and it is OK and normal to hurt! This loss is just like any other death, you will grieve and this grief looks differently for everyone. It is NORMAL to feel angry, guilt, denial but how do you know this if no one talks about it? Going back to the statistics... one in FOUR women experience miscarriage but we, as a society, never talk about it. We don't console each other nor prepare each other for the terrible heartache that it causes us, our marriages and our relationships around us.
On October 15thRemembering Our Babies campaign encourages people to light a candle at 7:00PM with the hopes that there will be a continuous wave of light across the globe. But let’s go beyond that: use social media to show support for yourself or those who have lost a baby due to miscarriage, still birth or infant death. Ways you can do this include:
Posting/Tweet a link to this blog or October15.com
Change your profile picture to a candle (or use the one above)
Post/Instagram a picture of a candle
Post/Instagram a picture of you lighting your candle at 7:00PM.
Also, if you have experienced a loss, be more open about it and do not be ashamed of it. By being more open, you can support, guide and lift up others through their losses. Losing a baby, no matter when it happens, is life altering and needs all the support you can get. I also encourage you to light a candle(s) in memory of your angel babies to show that you have experienced such a loss so that other people can be comforted that they are not alone and if they experience a loss they can reach out to you.
If you have never experienced infant loss, I encourage you to still take action on social media to support those who have and let them know you are there for them. If you know someone who has suffered an infant loss or if you meet someone in the future, it can be uncomfortable to know what to do or say. Amy gives some great ways in her post above and I would like to add that you can acknowledge the loss even when you think it might be a difficult time for the person. One of the most moving moments for us has been when our friends made an effort to tell us in private about their pregnancy, knowing that it was going to be emotional for us to hear. They didn’t want us to hear it from someone else, and they wanted to be there beside us as we juggled the emotions of happiness and sadness at the same time. We’ve also had friends who have given us an easy out when we were invited to their baby showers, knowing we were not in the best place to attend.
Miscarriage is hard for so many and I have found that by being open and talking about our losses my family has healed and we have helped so many through such difficult times. It makes us realize that our three angel babies have a purpose way beyond their little lives and this is the greatest gift they could ever give us.
Every Friday we will share some ideas on how to improve your family values or life. The hope is that as you end a busy week and enter the weekend with your family that you can reflect on these ideas and connect as a family through them. If you ever come across something you think would be great to share, please share with us on our Contact Us page:
When you are a family going through adoption there are a lot of special moments or day: the day you go “live” with your profile, the day you are matched, the day your child is placed with you (Gotcha Day). Every adoption is different and weaves its own story, but all adoptions have one day or moment that is the same: Adoption Day. Adoption Day is the day that you legally are bound as a family. Sometimes the child(ren)’s name(s) are changed, sometimes the birth family is present, sometimes the judge is really nice and hands out toys to the newly adopted. But Adoption Day is a BIG DEAL to adoptive families.
For us both sides of our family came into town, friends threw us an adoption party and our son’s legal name was changed. It was the day we had been counting down to for many, many years and we wanted to make it special.
My husband came up with a wonderful idea, every year on our son’s Adoption Day we make it a Family Day (yeah, catchy name). Everyone takes off work/school and we spend the day as a family doing something fun. That first year we spent time with our family that was in town. The second year we went to the Texas State Fair and let our son enjoy all the sugary goodness he wanted to enjoy (OK maybe us too)! The next year, my mother-in-law flew into town to help our small little family out because we had just grown by one more since my daughter was born a few weeks earlier. This year we have talked about going to the Zoo which our son loves and my husband has yet to go to. Future plans include day trips to see dinosaurs and working farms but also longer weekend trips of camping and festival crashing.
Here’s the special thing about our Adoption Day turned to Family Day…it’s not a new concept. People have Gotcha Days, Sobriety Day and Debt Free Day and other special days that have purpose & meaning for them. Everyone does something different, but the idea is that this day has MEANING in their lives beyond the typical Christmas, birthday, engagement, Labor Day where you celebrate in some festive way. These days symbolizes something significant that happened to change the course of their lives. Maybe you already have a day like this in your life?
Our Family Friday Challenge is to think of a special day for your family and start strategizing on how to make it a day for the whole family. Maybe this day is the day you moved to a new place, or a day that you lost someone close to the family or you could even do a special day for each member of your family, like a Half Birthday. I’ve heard many great stories of people celebrating half birthdays by giving away possessions to other families in need. So pick a day special for one or for the whole and take action! Make it special and purposeful, do something you normally don’t do; explore a special interest; engage in activities that you normally wouldn’t do and celebrate each other! This day is about celebrating YOU, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR JOY, YOUR LIFE TOGETHER. Spend it together, talk, laugh, cry, spread the good news, go sailing, do something that your family will remember each and every year.
Does your family have a special day already? What day would you pick? What would make you choose to do a Family Day vs. individual days? What will you call the day and how do you envision using your time?