Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What it feels like to be a mom

Can't. Even. Handle six-month-old Callum.

One of my favorite people in the whole world is expecting her first child this November. I get so excited for her thinking about what lies ahead. We've had many conversations about becoming a mother, but I've found it so hard to really explain what being a mom feels like. You can try to describe the insane and overwhelming feelings you experience after having a baby, but there really is no way to get the point across. You have to feel it. 

After thinking about it quite a bit, I've decided there are a few words that really just exemplify motherhood for me. Some I expected, and some caught me totally off guard. There are literally thousands more, but here are a few that stand out.

Now, this is an obvious one. But, love is not even a strong enough word to describe the feeling. I Googled "a word stronger than love" and the best answer I found was to "just put it in all caps." Obvi.

Since, I'm still not sure using LOVE will do the job, I'll leave you with this: You will love your child deeper and harder than anything else you've ever loved before. Thinking about it will bring you to tears every. single. time. It is unreal.

When your baby is born, that baby becomes your life. The feeling of being needed can be a great thing, but it can also be an extremely difficult thing. Your baby needs care all day, everyday. So, if you (and your partner) are taking care of your baby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, when do have time to take care of yourself?

I think one of the hardest things is finding that balance between being a mom and being whatever else you may want to be: a friend, a wife, a runner, a professional, and all the other things you want for yourself.  Which brings me to my next feeling:

This is one that caught me totally off guard. I had no idea all the things I'd feel guilty about after becoming a mother. I know how important it is to take time for myself. To meet up with friends. To take date nights. To just run errands without little hands grabbing at me. But, every time I leave Callum behind, I feel guilty about it.

I've also many a time done the wrong thing (in hindsight) as a mom, and have felt ridiculously guilty about it afterwards. I've watched Callum fall and get hurt. I've raised my voice when I shouldn't have. I've let him cry it out when he wasn't feeling well and needed to be snuggled. And, when I've realized I may have done the wrong thing, I feel like crap about it. This is where friends come in. You will need them to remind you that it really is not that bad and your child is not scarred for life or destined to be an axe murder. Probably, anyways.

This is another one I didn't quite understand. I had no idea how flippin' tired I would be as mom. There's the newborn stage where no one sleeps ever. There's the baby stage where no one sleeps ever. There's the toddler stage where no one sleeps ever. Don't worry. You'll get used to it. If you are ever unsure about how to help a new mom, just offer to watch her newborn for a few hours while she takes a nap. You will be a hero.

You mess with my baby and I will dive bomb your head like a mama bird. That's basically it. Hurt my kid and you will pay.

There are also times when your baby is hurting and there's nothing you can do about it. When Callum was about six-months-old, he needed blood drawn. The phlebotomist taking his blood had a difficult time finding one of Callum's veins and had to poke him several times. It was miserable. Callum was screaming. He was scared. He was hurting. I would've done absolutely anything in that instance to take his pain away and make him feel better. Anything.

You will question every single decision you make as a mom, doesn't matter how small or large. It is beyond important to do your best to trust in your natural abilities as a parent. You know your child better than anyone else in the world. There is no one more equipped to make decisions about their life than you.

Although the hardest job in the world, it is also one of the most rewarding. There is nothing quite like hearing your baby say "mama" for the first time, or watching their eyes light up when you enter a room. Despite all the difficult moments, and there will be many, there is nothing better in the world.

When you need to be reminded of that, give me a call. I'll be here for a pep talk.

If you could describe what it feels like to be a mom (or dad) in one word, what word would that be?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Young, wild, and kid free in Minneapolis

Happy Monday everyone! Are you as tired as I am this Monday morning? Holy cow. Waking up was rough.

Anyways, just wanted to share some images from my short kid-free trip to Minneapolis this weekend. It was a wonderful couple of days filled with sleeping in, bike rides to brew pups, and a much-needed haircut. I stayed with my brother, Andy, and his fiancĂ©, Anna. Anna's sister, Molly was also visiting Minneapolis while I was there. Matt's sister, Dana, and her husband, Rob, also live just outside of Minneapolis. So, I was able to spend some time with them, too. It was quite the crew.

If this photo series had a soundtrack, it would be 2Pac's "Gangsta Party." Before you scroll through the photos, go ahead and press play on that throwback. It'll really set the mood for how I felt on the whole trip. Straight up.



Quick house keeping note: You can now follow me on Bloglovin. I'd love for you to check it out!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Favorites

Hey all!

Hope everyone is having a beeeee - utiful Friday. I'm just dropping in today for a brief hello and to share a few of my favorite things this week. I've been up in Minneapolis visiting family since Wednesday, and I left Matt and Callum behind. It's been a blissful two days of naps, iced coffee, and brew pubs. I'm being reunited with them tomorrow at Matt's parents, which is perfect. As much as I'm enjoying a few days of rest, I'm starting to really miss those two. I'll be sure to share some photos from my trip on Monday. Until then, here's a look at what I'm loving this week.

1. Love wins. That is all.

2. Now, on to the important stuff: Purses.

My 13-year-old self was so excited to find backpack purses coming back. I love them. Not only that, they are probably the most convenient purse for toddler wrangling. I'm looking to upgrade from my middle school backpack purse covered in smiley faces and peace signs. Here are a couple that have caught my eye. 

3. You know what would go really great with those bags? This dress.

Seriously, how comfortable does that dress look? I need it. Yes, need!

4. Since the Fourth is right around, I've been peepin' all the cute toddler boy clothes for the occasion. I imagine the time I have to dress Callum up is limited. So, I'm taking advantage of it for as long as I can!

How many toddler outfits for one day is too many?

You know what, don't answer that.

That's all I've today, folks. Have an excellent weekend!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Father's Day without my dad

"I'd love to know how Dad saw me when I was 6. I'd love to know a hundred things. When a parent dies, a filing cabinet full of all the fascinating stuff also ceases to exist. I never imagined how hungry I'd be one day to look inside it." -- David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks

My dad passed away four and a half years ago. My life was so, so different back then. Just over a year out of college. Living with Matt, who was just my boyfriend at the time. No kids.

Since then, I have grown up drastically. Matt and I got married. We bought a house. We had Callum. The last time I was able to have a conversation with my dad, it was about none of these things. As terrible as it sounds, since my Dad has never been a part of what my life is now, it sometimes feels like he was never a part of my life. And, that feeling sucks.

On Sunday, I caught an article on Buzzfeed (of all places) with the above quote. Holy shit did it resonate. I never asked my dad what his favorite thing about being a father was. I never asked him what his proudest moment as a parent was. I never asked him what kind of grandfather he thought he'd be someday. God, the list could go on forever.

As time passes, sure, his loss becomes less of a open wound. But, it's obviously still there, and will forever be there. No longer as a constant, throbbing pain, but the sort of pain that arises in old joints on rainy days. The pain that erupts when you'd least expect it and hurts like hell.

One of my favorite things about my dad was the teary-eyed smile he'd give me anytime I boasted about a proud moment. I'd imagine that's the smile I would've gotten if I would've had the opportunity to tell him that he was going to be a grandfather.

I can't wait to someday tell Callum about that smile.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day Weekend

It was a big weekend in the Olson household. Big, big weekend.

Callum has officially discovered the humor in farts. Let the fun begin.

By the way, does anyone know where I can purchase a gas mask? Maybe Amazon?

A scraped knee and a mouth covered in cherry juice are definitely signs of a good weekend.

Saturday was a busy one. We started it off with Callum's first swim class for the summer session. This is actually the fourth round of swim classes Callum has taken. He's not swimming laps or anything, but he does willingly stick his ears and face in the water. He's getting so much more comfortable in the water.

Might be time for a new swim shirt, one that doesn't showcase his Buddha belly quite so much.

Class is half an hour, but Callum usually only makes it about 20 minutes. And, sure enough, the last ten minutes of class he was whining to get out. But, when we were changing out of our wet suits in the locker room, he kept saying, "More pool. More pool." So, who knows what the heck he wants.

After swim, we zipped over to the zoo for my company picnic. It couldn't have been a more perfect day for it. We didn't get around to see too many of the animals, since we were spending a lot of time catching up with some coworkers and eating lunch. There were a few tiny, tiny babies to hold, too. Callum loved the babies! When I was done holding them, he kept saying, "Momma. Baby. Momma. Baby." He wanted me to keep holding one so he could watch. It looks like he'll make a great big brother someday.

Riding the zoo train. Waving to all his loyal fans.

Not a fan of the carousel. 

The only nap Callum got on Saturday was during the 10 minute drive home from the zoo. By the time dinner came around, we were all counting down the minutes till bedtime. Those were some looooong minutes. Ooof.

We all slept like a rock and woke up totally refreshed for Sunday. We gave Matt his Father's Day gift and had a ridiculous breakfast of bacon and waffles. Then, we went to walk it off at Bradford Beach with the dogs. George swam after the tennis ball, and Jax swam after George. Again and again and again. 

George patiently waits for Matt to throw the tennis ball. No time for photos.

 Short walk after the beach to shake off some sand.

After the beach, we spent the rest of the day hanging out in the backyard. We filled up the wading pool for Callum. A full wading pool is a happy Callum.

I made a ridiculous dinner of ribs, french fries, and corn on the cob for Matt. I followed this method for the ribs, and they turned out sooooo good. I feel like making ribs is sort of intimidating, but these were super easy, just took a little time to bake.

Then, there was dirt cake. Because Father's Day.

I didn't have any gummy worms, so I added strawberries. Best decision of my life. I ate until my stomach hurt. No guilt.

We had such a great time celebrating Matt today. Callum is pretty crazy about his Da Da, and I'm so happy that Callum has a Dad worth all of his adoration.

Here's to another great weekend in the books. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

To the best dad in the world ...

Matt -

Thanks for supporting me when I don't even know I need it.

Thanks for encouraging me to have time for myself, whether it's a short run after a busy day or a long weekend away with the girls.

Thanks for always wanting ice cream.

Thanks for loving free stuff as much as I do.

Thanks for listening. So. Much. Listening.

Thanks for all the hugs.

Thanks for walking away when I'm looking for a fight.

Thanks for laughing with me when we're trying to be serious with our son.

Thanks for being so loving and affectionate with Callum.

Thanks for dancing with me (and now Callum) whenever the opportunity arises. 

Thanks for being at Mile 11.

Thanks for sharing my dreams for our family.

Thanks for making the bed. 

Thanks for making Callum smile each and every day.

Thanks for entering the wild, wonderful world of parenthood with me.

Thanks for putting up with all of my crazy ideas.

Thanks for letting me be right.

Thanks for taking Callum to story time and being the only dad there.

Thanks for making it possible for me to work less and spend more time at home with Callum.

Thanks for relishing in your time alone with Callum.

Thanks for being the calm in our storm.

Thanks for loving the dogs as much as I do.

Thanks for carrying the heavy loads, literally and figuratively.

Thanks for sweeping up the Rice Krispies. All the damn Rice Krispies.

Thanks for holding our screaming son while I try to give him a haircut.

Thanks for being patient with me when I am being unreasonable, rude, or insensitive.

Thanks for doing the dishes after I cook dinner.

Thanks for being up for any and all adventures.

Thanks for waking up with Callum in the middle of the night while I pretend to be asleep.

Thanks for doing the grocery shopping when I need you to, even if you come home with the wrong turkey.

Thanks for sharing your smoothies.

Thanks for loving me and Callum unconditionally, day in and day out. Believe me. The feeling's mutual.

There's no one else I'd rather raise a family with. You've fallen into fatherhood so naturally, perfectly, and lovingly.

Callum is one lucky kid. Happy Father's Day.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Favorites 3

We've made it to another weekend!

We had a great week over here at the Olson house. Matt's been on vacation from work all week, so we've really been living it up: date night on Tuesday, Tosa Tonight concert on Wednesday, Jazz in the Park on Thursday. I'm feeling pretty wiped today and am looking forward to hitting the sack as soon as I publish this post.

Tomorrow, Callum has his first day of this season's swim class and we have my company picnic at the zoo. Sunday, we'll spend Father's Day doing whatever Matt wants to do all day. I have a special dinner menu planned featuring some of Matt's favorites: ribs, corn on the cob, French fries, and dirt cake.

To kick it all off, here's what I can't get enough of this week.

1. In celebration of Father's Day this weekend, I've gotta give a shout out to this guy. He's a favorite everyday. Love you forever, Matt!

2. With all the rain we've had this week, my basil has really taken off. Bring on basil everything! I made these caprese skewers yesterday and they were so delicious. Is there really anything better than fresh mozzarella, basil, and sweet cherry tomatoes? Plus, they are probably one of the easiest things in the world to make. Callum wasn't a fan, which is totally fine. More for me.

3. This next favorite also happens to be food related. Don't judge.

On Tuesday's date night, Matt and I checked out a new chocolatier/ice cream parlor, Indulgence, that just opened in our neighborhood. I had a scoop of Purple Door's Whiskey flavored ice cream.

You guys. It was beyond. It was so carmel-y and creamy. I have a feeling we'll need to increase this summer's ice cream budget. By a lot.

Whiskey ice cream on the left. Matt's espresso ice cream with toffee nibs on the right.

4. A friend posted this video on Facebook last week and I've watched it at least once every day sense. I can not get enough.

Watch. Dance. Enjoy.

5. And finally, I just have to give a big ol' virtual hug to everyone out there reading this blog. I've always wanted to become a more active blogger, but was always a little nervous about what others would think. I thought people would find me ridiculous and wouldn't care what I had to say.

I ultimately decided that if someone didn't like me or didn't want to read my posts, than they just wouldn't follow along. And, now, I'm ok with that.

So far, I've received an amazing amount of love and support from everyone out there, and I appreciate it more than you'll ever know. Thanks for joining me on this journey! I'm so glad we're all friends.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thoughts on having another baby

Newborn Callum.

I'm not even sure where to start with this post. I should probably begin with this: I am not pregnant.

Alright, now that we've got out of the way, let's continue.

Do we want to have more kids? Yes. Absolutely. Without a doubt. We can't wait to expand our family.

I think about having another baby and my heart just explodes. Not just with love and wanting, but also with fear and guilt. Can I handle two kids? Will Callum feel less loved when we add a new baby to the family? How can I love another human as wholly and completely as I love Callum?

To me, Callum is perfect. I wouldn't change a thing about him. Even when he's screaming and whining, I can't get enough of him. I have a feeling all parents feel this way about their kids. But, I can't help but wonder, will I feel this way about our next child? How can someone else be just as perfect as Callum? It just doesn't seem possible. There's no doubt in my mind that another child will be a totally different person than Callum. So, is it possible that they'll just be a different type of perfect?

I also think about how much I cherish my one-on-one time with Callum. I try to give him as much undivided attention as possible. When another baby comes along, the time I'll have to spend with Callum, and only Callum, will be much less than now. I feel ridiculously guilty about that.

Having another baby also means having a newborn. And that's some scary shit. Newborns are no joke. I need to prepare myself again for that overwhelming amount of exhaustion. I've managed that before, and, despite all of the craziness, I loved it. But, I've never managed that while also being a mom to another child. I'm worried being that tired, while trying to parent, will make me far less patient with Callum.

On the other hand, there's no doubt in my mind that Callum is meant to have siblings. Despite his moments of not wanting to share, he loves being around other kids. In fact, on some days, I'm pretty sure the word "Ollie" comes out of his mouth more than "Mama." Callum would make an amazing big brother.

Before Callum was born, I had no idea I could love something as much as I love my son. The magnitude of it is unreal. As much as I enjoy date nights or going out with the girls, I just feel incomplete without him in my arms.

And, just like I was without a clue about what being a mom actually felt like, I have a sneaking suspicion I'm just as clueless about becoming a mom again. Yes, I'm scared. Yes, I doubt myself. I have a feeling that's only natural.

But, there's one thing I know for sure: There's more than enough space in my arms for another child and I can't wait to fill it. One day.

Monday, June 15, 2015

A dog filled weekend

Hey there! Hi there! Hope everyone had an excellent weekend. Ours was filled with a bit of rain, but still turned out to be pretty amazing.

We started off Saturday morning by crossing the first item off of our summer bucket list: taking George for a swim in the lake. It was a huge success! I had no idea if he would like it or not. He's always hated baths and refuses to go in to the small wading pool in our backyard, so I set my expectations pretty low. But, it turns out George will follow his tennis ball just about anywhere. After a little initial hesitation, there was no holding him back. He ended up loving it! By the end, he was doing straight up belly flops

Callum, on the other hand, wasn't quite so happy. He could't figure out why I wouldn't let him swim on a 58 degree morning.

There was a huge road race happening along the lakefront Saturday morning, too. So, in addition to getting George in the water, we also got to cheer on some runners. Callum was clapping and cheering for everyone going by. It was so adorable. It definitely would've motivated me if I was running.

Despite the rain and fog, it turned out to be the perfect Saturday morning adventure.

That afternoon, I volunteered for a few hours with Tailwaggers 911 at Fido Fest in Wauwatosa. Fido Fest is a huge dog festival that takes place at a local park. There are so many fun activities you can do with your dogs: dog diving, swimming, obstacle courses, and so much more. We look forward to this every year.

You guys. This is the dog I got to handle for Tailwaggers while I was volunteering. I was in heaven.

This is sweet Honey Bee. She's nine weeks old and is still available for adoption! She was such a sweetheart. I just know she is going to find an amazing home.

After I spent a few hours with Tailwaggers, I went home and picked up all of my boys, Matt, Callum, and the two pups, and we came back to Fido Fest to hang out for a few hours. My mom joined us, too. We had a great time just strolling around, snacking on festival food, playing in the park, and listening to music. It was the perfect day all around.

Sunday morning was, once again, super rainy. We needed to get out of the house for a bit, so we went to check out a Lego display at Mayfair Mall. They are currently hosting The Lego Americana Road Show, which features a ton of American monuments built out of Legos. The different Lego monuments were super impressive! 

Here's Callum waving in front of the White House. Can you believe that's built out of Legos?!?

Callum was a bit young to really appreciate the Lego sculptures, but Matt and I really enjoyed just strolling around the mall, coffees in hand, checking them all out. The little signs next to each display had a few facts on the scales, hours it took to build, etc. The signs mentioned that each building was crafted by Lego Masters. It made Matt and I wonder how one gets to be a Lego Master. It sounds like a pretty cool title.

By Sunday afternoon, the rain finally cleared up. I was able to get in a five-mile run, which I desperately needed. I was feeling pretty lethargic since I hadn't worked out in a few days. The run gave me that energy boost I needed.

We ended our weekend by taking a bike ride to the local beer garden for dinner and music. Callum loved watching the band play, and Matt and I enjoyed winding down with a beer and plenty of snacks.

Despite the less-than-thrilled look on Callum's face, he really was enjoying himself.

We ended up hanging out til around 7:30, and didn't get Callum in bed until almost 8, a whole hour after his bed time! I was worried he'd be super crabby once we put him down for bed, but he did just fine. The evening was the perfect end to a perfect weekend. 

Matt's on vacation from work this week and we plan a taking full advantage of it. We have several plans including a date night on Tuesday, and Jazz in the Park with friends on Thursday. Here's to a good week ahead!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Favorites

Gimme an F!

Gimme an R!

Gimme an I!

Alright. I'm reelin' it in. Just a little pumped up for this weekend. We don't really have any big plans, either. Just looking forward to a fun family weekend. Last weekend, I was gone all of Saturday for Walk Wisconsin, and Matt was gone Sunday for an ultimate frisbee tournament. So, I'm excited to spend the time with both my boys (plus the pups) all weekend.

To kick it off, here's what I can't get enough of this week.

1. Orange is the New Black!

I am so excited to binge on Season 3 this weekend. I ended up watching a few episodes last night after social media blew up with the news of the early release. It already has me hooked! I can't wait to see what happens with Piper now that her life outside of prison has basically disappeared. I'm going to try my hardest to not watch the whole season this weekend. Wish me luck.

2. Homemade Healthy Fudgesicles from Baker by Nature

I made these this week for a play date we were having at our house. They were a huge hit among the toddlers. I thought they were delicious, too. The recipe did recommend straining the pops before pouring them into the molds. I skipped this since I'm lazy, and I thought they were still perfect.

3. The peonies in our yard.

Our peonies in our backyard went crazy this week. I'm trying to soak them in as much as possible, since those gorgeous flowers only last for such a short time. Callum has been walking up to them every day and giving them a nice, long sniff. It's adorable.

4. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Can. Not. Put this book down. I started it a few days ago, and have been staying up way past my bed time to read these past few nights. I read My Husband's Secret by Moriarty, and couldn't get enough of that one, too. If you're on the hunt for a good summer read, check it out.

5. This beautiful video by hannah maggs. I've always enjoyed this family of vloggers, but this recent video of theirs is one of my favorites. Seriously brings out all the feels. I recommend watching with tissues, and with your child nearby and available for hugs.

6. Ten years ago this week …

Speaking of all the feels, this week, ten years ago, I graduated high school. I really can't believe it's been that long. It feels like just yesterday. Although I'm definitely happy to no longer be in high school, I miss it like crazy. I wish I could go back, knowing what I know now. Like, just how easy we had it. And, my problems weren't really as serious as they seemed. In fact, they were hardly even problems at all. Just like Andy from The Office said, "I wish there was a way to know that you're in 'The Good Old Days' before you've actually left them."

That about wraps it up for this week. What're you loving today?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Our summer bucket list

There's nothing sweeter than summertime in Milwaukee. The sunshine. The festivals. The food. It is by far my favorite time of year. But, it also turns into the busiest time of year with all the plans we make. And, before we know it, we're staring Labor Day right in the eyes.

To help me make the most of Summer 2015, I thought I'd jot down a few ideas for stuff I'd like to do or accomplish this summer. Most are things I want to do. Some are things I don't want to do, but need to get done anyways. I'll revisit this list at the end of September to see everything the Olson's managed to pack in to these next few months.

Here's to a great Summer 2015!

1. Make a pizza on the grill.

2. Take Callum to the airport and watch planes take off and land.

3. Paint our guest room. It's currently bright blue. It's so bad. Beyond bad.

4. Eat our way through State Fair.

State Fair 2014

5. Swim and build sand castles at Bradford Beach.

6. Run a 5K in sub-7 minute miles. (My current 5K PR was run in 7:02 miles.)

7. Keep Callum up way past his bedtime for fireworks. Deal with the consequences.

8. Make homemade ice cream.

9. Go fishing and eat our catch.

10. Work towards potty training Callum. I realize this is a loft goal for someone who turns two this September. But, we've had one pee in the potty already, and he shows so much interest in the toilet. So, go big or go home. 

11. Since we're really shooting for the moon now, I'll drop this bomb, too: Eliminate the nay nay. (That's what Callum calls his pacifier.) Pray for me.

12. Family Brewers game and tail gate.

13. Take George, our one-year-old lab, swimming in the lake.

14. Have a picnic dinner at Jazz in the Park. Followed by dancing our hearts out.

15. Try a new restaurant. We're really good at just counting on the old stand bys.

16. Ride our bikes (with Callum in the Burley) whenever we can.

17. Go strawberry picking.

18. Relax. Breath. And just enjoy.

Did I miss anything? Tell me: What do you want to this summer?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Father's Day Gift Idea: Handprint Baseball

Hey peeps. Happy Tuesday to ya. Hope you're having a spectacular day so far. Today is one of my days at home with Callum, and his friend, Ollie, is hanging out with us for the day, too. It's been a pretty busy morning so far.

We did a little building. And a lot of fighting over who had the hammer.

And, we filled a little pool in the backyard. It's supposed to get up to 85 this afternoon, and I'm hoping it will be warm enough for them to get in after their nap. Although, they both got soaked just filling the pool and neither seemed to mind the icy water. (Hence the shirtless Ollie.)

Cutest pool boy eva. Eva. Eva.

Father's Day Gift Idea: Handprint Baseball

I also wanted to share this cute Father's Day gift that Callum and I were working on for Matt earlier in the week. (Don't worry. I have faith that Matt won't check this blog until after Father's Day.)

Matt loves, loves, loves baseball. I know he dreams of the day that he can play ball with Callum. He already enjoys taking him to Brewers games whenever he can and he's convinced that he can turn our right-handed son into a left-handed pitcher.

We have a ton of old baseballs lying around the house from Matt's glory days. *Cough* Highschool. *Cough* So, when I saw this Father's Day gift idea on Pinterest, I knew it would be perfect. All you'll need is an old baseball, some paint, a paintbrush, and your kid's hand (probably the most difficult supply to harness down.)

I set everything up outside, thinking we'd make a huge mess. It really wasn't too messy, just be sure you have wet paper towels or a rag ready for immediately after you put the handprint on the ball. Once Callum realized the paint was on his hand, he wanted to touch everything.

I used a red acrylic paint and simply painted Callum's hand with a thin coat. Then, I stretched his hand over the ball and said a quick prayer that all would turn out alright. Our first attempt wasn't the greatest. I tried to wash the paint off the ball, but it still left a pretty bad stain. So, I just grabbed another one from our stash and tried again. If you only have one baseball, you might want to be a little more careful on the first try than we were.

After we had a hand print that we liked, I filled in the print in a few spots that were a little lighter. Another good idea is to have a small bowl that you can put the baseball in to dry. Obviously, the ball will roll if it's not resting on something, and you won't be able to hold it since you'll be trying to stop your toddler from touching everything with his painted hand.

After the paint was dry, I wrote "Callum 2015" on the top of the baseball. On the sides, I wrote "Happy Father's Day" and "Dad's Little Slugger."

I'm planning on adding this to a little gift basket with a six pack of craft beer, peanuts, cracker jacks, and a Brewers T-shirt. I know Matt will love it.

Are you planning on making anything for your baby daddy this Father's Day? I'd love to hear your ideas!