Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday Card Display

Are you watching for the mailman & trotting down to the box immediately like I am?
Oh what fun it is to open a Christmas card with family & friends' faces smiling back at me! My kids are just as amused. A few early birds have come in already & I can hardly wait to see what comes in over the next few weeks.

How do you display your collection? 
This year,  I transformed our family room wall, where the kids' artwork is typically displayed (like this).
I wrapped this IKEA curtain wire with berry garland & used the clips to hang the cards.
I switched out the framed art for our own family Christmas cards from years past. The background is a paper bag. (my favorite holiday use for your paper bag here)

I mailed my cards out on Wednesday. Tiny Prints came through with the perfect matte finish on a cheery card this year. I'll share it with you soon.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

25 Books Til Christmas project: FREE

Our 2nd annual 25 days til Christmas countdown!

Tonight we began our countdown to Christmas.
I chose 25 Christmas/Winter-themed books from the library and wrapped them in paper bags & raffia. Simple. (they aren't due back until 12.28. Remind me. )
My son's face lit up when he came home from school to find them all wrapped & under the Christmas tree. I like to buy a couple of specially marked books for us to keep.

The idea is: we will read one nightly, the last one on Christmas Eve, leaving the space under the tree bare. Good news is you can start this visual countdown at any point in December. Watching that space clear out builds anticipation for the big morning.

I wrapped the books in paper grocery store bags because I happen to have quite a stockpile & who doesn't favor "brown paper packages tied up with strings"?

Lay the bags flat, so the bottom is folded underneath. 
I cut the top off, just under the handle.
Slide the book in just the first/top fold.
Fold the top down like an envelope & tape.
Add a # & go crazy with ribbons & bows or don't. 
Spread them (& only them) under the tree & watch the space empty out before Christmas morning!

I like to gather the books at the end of each week & return any that won't be re-read to the library. I hope your family enjoys this tradition as much as ours has! Pin It

Friday, July 1, 2011

New Mom Gift Guide

Heading out to visit a new mom & 
don't want to arrive empty-handed? 
Think practical!

These are some of the gifts I've appreciated most over the past few weeks. And some I couldn't have done without.
grab these at Target on your way over
for your girlfriend:
 these are essential hospital items too. 
she'll likely be in pjs/loungewear until she fits into pre-pregnancy jeans for weeks, so new ones will boost her mood. 
don't spend much though, they'll get um..soiled.
slippers: hospital floors are creepy. 
lansinoh lanolin: for obvious purposes & chapped lips too.
dry shampoo. i love this brand b/c it's colorless & cheap!
hair elastic & bobby pins, of course.

for anyone:
 I think this collage is self-explanatory. these small items go a long way.

A playdate for the older kids

A home-cooked meal 
(freezable or heat it up later-friendly, even better) 
*the less they have to return to you the better, 
so spring for toss-able containers or those you don't need anytime soon
Photo gift cards
I got an Edible Arrangement of fruit yesterday-delish! 
Grab & go nourishment is where it's at.

A friend of ours brought a cooler of hors d'oeuvres & wine to the hospital for us to make the most of our romantic getaway. You think I'm kidding but those days together were as close as we'll come for a long while. And they were super special. She even remembered a cork screw & glasses.

What are the best gifts you've received as a new mom? 
Did I miss anything?
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dear new mommy

Dear new mother, 
Write this on your heart, on your mirror, or tuck it away for when you need it most: 
How you deliver your baby does not have any connection to your value as a mother. 
The same goes for how you manage your pain in the process and whether you offer breast or bottle at the 2am feeding.

Take it from the gal who pranced into L&D with her wide birthing hips ready to take on her first delivery, only to end up in an emergency c-section because the 7lb baby couldn't fit through. I didn't read the csection parts of What to Expect or any of the articles relating to recovering from cesareans in Fit Pregnancy. When you hear your baby may not make it out alive because his blood pressure has dropped so low & isn't returning to normal, in an instant you drink that disgusting cup of disgusting-ness & let them race you to the OR to slice him out. Choosing repeat cesareans because of the risks involved in VBAC and the knowledge that with every reason for vaginal birth to work the first time, it ended in an emergency c-section doesn't say a thing about my courage or femininity.

I completely skipped the bottle feeding part of TCLB and memorized the breast feeding routine. I had to humbly accept, I couldn't do that either. I'll skip why. One, because it's an exercise in mom-confidence not to validate the "formula-fed baby" note on my baby's crib card & partly because my transparency stops at describing personal anatomy on the www.

Turns out playgrounds are integrated so my formula-fed kids play right along with the breast-fed tike. Phew! 
It's the moms that segregate. Sometimes alienating each other or isolating ourselves.

Still, I'm surprised by the mourning that takes place walking in for a scheduled section with my eyelashes curled vs. standing in Target when my water breaks & calling my husband to say through bated breath, "It's time!" I stood in the shower last night for a good while crying and crying because I couldn't nurse my baby and have to feed her something that comes in a can. 

My head knows the truth.
My head nods when my husband points out that our kids are perfectly healthy.
They are rarely sick, with no food allergies or developmental delays.
I can even crack up through my sobs when he throws in the cosmetic bonus to being unable to nurse. Such a guy! Bless his heart, he's trying all he can to soothe me for the third time as I mourn the loss of birth and feeding as I grew up imagining it.

What really matters in the end
is not how they get here,
but that they're here.
And we're loving every moment of these past few days with our new Clara Lily
PS: While I did not love not knowing her sex while I was pregnant because so much of the excitement of pregnancy for me is setting up the nursery and filling the closet, I highly recommend waiting to find out until you're on the operating table, because so much about a c-section is predictable and planned. Since it's so uncommon now, everyone in the OR-drs, nurses,&  techs got in on the fun and started making predictions followed by big cheers when at last we saw, it was a she. Super fun!

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Packing the hospital bag

Well here I am. 40 weeks pregnant! And feeling every bit of it.
Just 3 days left of my last pregnancy. I would like to spend them soaking in a cool bath in an over-sized jet tub, drinking Chick-fil-A tea, browsing Pinterest. At least then I wouldn't be tempted to vacuum moldings and sanitize surfaces which has me running for the Tylenol every 4 hours.
I even humbly begged my mom to consider coming a day earlier because somewhere over the past 2 weeks my Italian, strong will lost the battle to my aching, swollen body! I can't bare to watch my husband pick up the slack any longer. He's doing it all without complaint, which is quite likely why I feel such sympathy. I owe him. And I'll owe mom & dad, since they instantly changed plans & we'll see them tomorrow night! I'm not even up to making a special treat to thank them.

Very soon I'll head in for my 3rd c-section.

It's time to pack my bag. Since sitting around creating a cute checklist is less taxing than actually packing, that's as far as I've gotten so far.
Free download: Hospital Packing Checklist
Did I forget anything????
For real. (This is not just me fetching for comments, though those are day-makers!)
Anything you wish you'd had while you were there 
or something you couldn't have done it without?
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