This post is sponsored by American Express.
Rex continuously makes me slow down in the best way possible. Prioritizing being truly present with him is the biggest gift I can give both of us, and it brings so much joy to my world. All the laughter, silliness (oh the things–voices!–I make for him, ha), creativity, getting down and dirty… being around kids is just so good for the soul and not to mention, the ultimate stress-reducer! In fact, anything that is particularly weighing on me seems to just disappear when I’m focused on Rex.
(Attempting) to balance work and other areas of my life so I can be fully present when I’m with Rex is a daily struggle but one that is so important to me. Most days this means getting up a couple of hours earlier or working late into the evenings so I can finish a project or emails while he’s sleeping, but I’m hands down a better mom when I don’t have things hanging over my head when I’m with him. I’m in a season of life where I’m trying to be (and need to be) much smarter with my time. Saying no to things that I want to do but aren’t possible is hard, but also being more realistic with myself and my time now as a mom has been huge for me. It’s definitely true that mothers are insanely impressive multi-taskers, and I turn chores around the house into games and errands into fun outings for Rex, but creating a few hours each day to simply play on the floor or get dirty outside together has been one of the very best things for me. (I hope for Rex too!)
My girlfriend and I were just chatting about how important it is to truly seize those small everyday moments and to soak up as much as possible of this sweet age. Since creating these live life moments with Rex is so important to me, I’m thrilled to be partnering with American Express to help encourage you to create these daily moments in your life as well. Whether that’s making time for the people you love or creating dedicated time for yourself to do something you’re passionate about. Both are so equally important!
Now that Rex is a little older, and the weather is warming up, one of my favorite ways to spend the afternoon with him is painting in our backyard. He has become quite the little artist, and there’s nothing I love more than to watch how serious and focused he gets while painting. It’s pretty hilarious. Here are three of our favorite painting activities to help inspire your next art project… and hopefully a chance to unplug, create and focus on your little one!:
1. Sun Printing. (Here’s a tutorial I found and followed. ) This was our goal on this particular day, however it quickly turned into a Rex free-for-all.
2. Pressed leaves / flower stamping. Paint on leaves and flowers found in your yard and press them onto the paper to reveal the colorful shapes and prints.
3. Finger / body painting. You have to just let them go for it. It’s so cute to watch them experience the paint in-between their fingers and on their hands for the first time. (Tip: I’ve found that a painter’s drop cloth is the way to go as far as messes are concerned).
The moment he turned my overalls into… my permanent painting overalls with those black hands (totally my fault!). Saw that happen in slow motion.
For backyard hangs: make a batch of sun tea (just put the tea bags in a pitcher or jar and let the sun brew the tea)! My mom made sun tea every day during the summers. It’s one of my most vivid childhood memories of summer growing up.
Thank you to American Express for partnering on this post!
Photography | Stephanie Russo