Nursery Artwork!

It’s crazy some of the baby and kids rooms you see now! People seem to be spending more money on their children’s rooms than their own! I know that’s been the case with our family- the little one has the nicest bedroom of the lot! Some of the rooms you see look like they’ve come right out of a magazine, and i think alot of the credit has to go to how you accessorize the space. 
Even if the room (and/ or budget) is small, you can have a beautiful space- it’s all in how you work with what you’ve got.
That being said, it doesn’t take alot of money to buy the supplies to make your own cute nursery artwork, or to find some inexpensive pieces online. (Check the artwork I make below) ๐Ÿ™‚
I’ve recently been working on some fun projects for the little one’s room. If anyone is interested in having their own custom nursery artwork, let me know ๐Ÿ™‚


Love & Marriage After Baby

Do you remember the playground rhyme:
…First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage…?
Once that babe arrives, alot of people realize a tough truth: all of a sudden, that rhyme reverses: When you’ve had a baby, love and your marriage aren’t first anymore even if you want rough sex like you might have decided to watch online porno on tubev. At the very least, more conscious effort is needed to maintain that bond between you and your mate.
My hubby and I definitely had to adjust. We’re a family of early risers- and that means (read:ย meantย for me) early to bed. I’m talking 9:30/ 10pm the hubs and I were tucked in for the night. Now throw in our new precious bundle. SMACK! All of a sudden I could no longer go to bed when my body was so desperate for sleep and let me tell ya, the first few weeks took alot of adjusting to this new sleep pattern (sleep- what sleep?!) I had to accept that I would no longer be snuggling up to my husband every night- either because one of us had to sleep on the couch, or simply because I no longer had the same bed time as him- and I was overwhelmed with how sad that thought made me.
After the first few weeks of up- side down bedtimes, I’m finding that I’ve adjusted to this revised routine and that I actually get a little ‘me’ time to unwind before the last feed of the night. Whether this involves finishing up tasks left over from the day, hobby time, or just relaxing in front of my laptop and tuning out for a little while, I’m enjoying this little pocket of time while I have it.ย 
We have also since learned the importance of setting a date night. We have yet to go on one, but are looking forward to some much needed alone time and maybe a full 8 hours of sleep :). It’s definitely true what they say about having to work harder to keep the flame alive- especially when you’re both sleep deprived and the new boss wants to hang out with Mommy and Daddy all the time! We’re learning as we go, but I think we’ll be able to go for dinner and a movie soon- I’ll let you know how that goes.ย 
Before I even got pregnant, my sister- in- law gave me some sage advice: Always remember who you are outside of being a wife and mother. I’ve since learned just how valuable this is to do.ย 
I hope you find some special time that’s all yours too- even if it’s only a few minutes right now ๐Ÿ˜‰
Image Source:ย,or.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=4659df3406ea462b&hl=en&q=hearts&rls=en&sa=1&tbm=isch&um=1&facrc=_&imgdii=_&×

LOL: How to Get Through the Crying (And Have Some Fun Doing It!)

We all know babies cry…
These cheeky little bundles come into our lives without a care in the world and with no regard to how exhausting they can be to Mom & Dad. And of course it seems that it is when we are the most tired that these little creatures decide to show off their lung capacity.
There’s a saying ‘it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings’- I think they should rewrite to ‘it ain’t over ’til the lil baby screams’ ๐Ÿ˜‰ All parents have been there. Heck, they send you home from the hospital with a DVD that warns you about how much babies can cry and that you can’t always soothe them. In some ways this is comforting to know and in others it’s a scary preview of reality for many new parents. I think labour was prep for this- it’s painful and you don’t know when it will be over ๐Ÿ˜‰

About a week ago our little one started to really notice the world around her. She clued in that there’s a big ol’ world around her, and she’s ready to take it all in. This new curiosity has made it more of a challenge to settle her down for naps, which leads to overstimulation, which leads to lack of sleep, which leads to grumpy baby :(. That, and/ or you can chalk it up to the infamous ‘fussy’ period babies experience at around 5/ 6 weeks. Yay.

To paraphrase a Barbara Streisand song, send in the screams. You know it if you’ve been there. The inconsolable baby. Enough said. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I worked up until 10 days before I gave birth, in a job where I was on my feet all day and surrounded by noise. My baby  seemed to have grown accustomed to lots of movement and the noises of the world before she even made her debut, so I expected a child that would probably want this replicated once she arrived.

Now, I know it’s a common suggestion that rocking, etc and music can help calm a baby, but when you’re pooped out and all you want to do is sit down- never mind lie down- and you have a baby that needs soothing, it can take every last ounce of strength to pull yourself up and bounce that lil bundle.

Here’s where the fun comes in. No really, I mean it. I’m a lover of jazz, Broadway musicals, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, etc. While I enjoy other genres, I was raised on this kind of music and I love belting out ‘New York New York’ at the top of my out of tune lungs. Luckily, babies don’t care if a) you’re a good singer, or b) if you’re a good dancer. Hence, my prescription for inconsolable babies: crank that iPod and sashay, swing, bounce, and sway that lil munchkin to your heart’s content. You may not be able to cure the crying, but you can at least have fun trying. Plus, babies love the sound of their parent’s voices, so if you make a playlist of songs you know, you can add that to your repertoire.

I’ve had to do this a couple of times, with varying success (I think that’s going to be my catch phrase for this whole parenting thing), but can honestly say that the music not only calms the babe, but helps calm me (or at the very least, take the edge off my nerves) and turns what can be a very unpleasant time into a fun one. Laugh it out and give it a try. I’m not saying you won’t be exhausted and/ or grumpy and/ or ready to scream yourself, but why not try and channel that crazy energy into something that may give you back a teenie tiny piece of your sanity?

I hope this helps. Or at least gives you a way to laugh through the crying.


Swaddling: Snug As A Bug

Like so many things with babies and kids, there are plenty of opinions and taboos. One person says something is ok, another says it’s not. All of the conflicting information can be very confusing and stressful to a new parent.
One of the topics I have encountered is swaddling. I have heard arguments both pro and against swaddling, but have opted to swaddle my little one. Given that I was on my feet and moving during my entire pregnancy, I was warned by a few people that my baby may need help to settle- including lots of rocking, walking, and swaddling to help ‘it’ (We didn’t know what we were having) to settle. My Mum swears if she had swaddled me that my Dad and her would have had some sleep before my first birthday! Of course there never is one ‘right’ answer, but I have to agree with my Mum on this one. I bought a swaddle blanket before my little one came along just in case.
So far I have had quite a bit of success swaddling, but there is an art to it. I have used regular and muslin receiving blankets, and the swaddle with velcro, all with varying success. Since I have a Summer baby, the challenge of swaddling is the heat. I can tell that it’s getting to her, so she’s been sleeping in just a diaper and swaddle. Poor lil monkey has been harder to settle the past few days because she’s so hot. I have had the most success with just a diaper in the velcro swaddle (it’s a thicker fabric than the muslin blanketss)- she’s a cheeky monkey and can wiggle out of everything else!

For simple & clear instructions to swaddle your lil one, go here. (aden+ anais has ADORABLE  muslin receiving blankets)

The swaddle I’m using can be found in the TPB shop and there are different options for different ages. I’m using the 2nd stage size small right now. 

If you plan to swaddle, I do recommend trying a few different options to see what works for you and your baby. I wish you all the best with this- it may make the difference between a sleepless night and getting some well needed rest!

I’d love to hear if you’ve tried swaddling and how it’s working/ worked for you ๐Ÿ™‚

10 Fingers & 10 Toes

Everyone always tells you when you have a new baby to enjoy every minute of it because ‘it goes by so fast’. Today my baby girl is 5 weeks old, and I can honestly say that this is so true! We are doing everything we can to document these precious early days.
Of course we’re taking a TON of photos and video, but we’re also trying to capture memories in more creative ways. One way we have tried is the plaster hand/ foot print. I will say this: it is not as easy as you might think! We tried to do her footprint and ended up with dry plaster before we could get her little foot near the mold! We have bought another kit and I’ll let you know how it turns out- it is best to do these hand/ foot prints when the baby is asleep because they are so relaxed (they’ll clench their little fists if you try and do hand prints when they’re awake- cute, but ineffective!)

Another cute idea I got from my sister- in- law is to do a mini canvas with poster paint so you can get all 10 fingers and toes in one place. Again, easier said than done! With some work, we managed to get 2 handprints with several blobbies in our first attempt, but had to call it quits when the young lady announced she needed a diaper change. Our mission for the second attempt: feet!
Canvas Supplies- Just add baby!
Attempt #1: 10 Fingers! (+ blobbies!)
What I love about these projects is their simplicity (even if they’re not so simple to create!)  and that they are budget friendly. Plus, it’s nice to be able to show your child just how tiny they once were. Great for decoration now, and memories later.

The plaster print kit I used is from Walmart and cost $8.99. I have heard some dollar stores carry similar kits, but I haven’t looked. I also really like the idea of doing Christmas ornaments for the Grandparents, but we’ll have to practice more first! The same goes for the canvas and paint- just make sure you buy washable, non- toxic paint (I used Elmers) and wash baby’s hands and feet after.

I’ll update the photos when we can get our young lady to cooperate (read: when she’s sleeping). We’re going to try and finish this little project ASAP, but have to wait until a morning or afternoon nap in case she doesn’t settle back down. 

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