New Baby Traditions: Baby Guest Book

When Daisy turned 1 in September, I went through Baby Box. I arranged some photos of my pregnancy and Daisy through the year, collected a few crafts we (or really I) made with her little finger and footprints, and saved my most favorite of her tiny newborn clothes. The whole process is very bittersweet. You love seeing your baby grow, learn, and become a real person, but miss the tiny baby sounds and snuggles of infancy and wish time would slow just a little. I did the same with Jack. Their boxes are very much the same, except Daisy’s has a notable addition I wish I had for Giacomo’s. When Daisy was a newborn, we made her a Baby Guest Book.

Daisy's Guestbooks

When Giacomo was born, I took photos of him with every person who came to visit. Those photos were taken with my nice SLR camera and are saved out in the digital world. I did the same with Daisy, but I took it one step further and made the guest book by taking photos with a Fujufilm Instax Mini I borrowed from my niece for an instant picture and having each visitor write a little message for her. Some messages were as simple and sweet as “welcome to the world. I personally loved when children visited and left doodles (including a traced foot) and cute messages like “nice to meet you.” Then there were the longer notes that brought tears to my eyes, and one day they’ll do the same for Daisy. My family is big, so the books filled up quickly and now Daisy has a tangible (not digital) keepsake from each visitor she had the first few days she was born.

Some notes for Daisy

 

I wanted the photos to be protected by a cover sheet, so I bought 2 small 4×6 photobooks from Micheals. I cut white cardstock to 4×6 squares and filled each page with a blank square. After each photo was taken, I attached it to a 4×6 square with photo corners. Because the Instax photo is so small, there was ample room for a message next to the photo. I knew Daisy was going to be a girl and her name would be Daisy, so I designed the book covers to reflect her name and added some daisy stickers to the pages. For this baby, I will make the cover after we are home. I’ll also add some colored paper and maybe some decals within the book.

Simple Supplies

 

I got the idea from one of my girlfriends. Her book is styled a little differently than mine, but anyone can take the guestbook and run with it however s/he wants. For example, my girlfriend used a pretty journal instead of a photobook so the person writing had more space (and lines) for a message. I went to Micheal’s yesterday to get the materials for the books, and there are TONS of options for personal journals and books that can easily be used for this, so head out and make your keepsake!

Advertisements

My Co-Sleeping “Problem”

The other night at around 3am, Jack crawled into our bed and wiggled his way between me and Matt. This isn’t unusual. He does this almost every night. Daisy sleeps in our room too. She’s always snuggled up on my left and Jack to my right. My husband and I can barely move.

We never planned on co-sleeping, but when nursing, especially a colic baby, it sometimes just happens. I didn’t expect to love it either. Before, the idea of cramping into a tiny space and barely being able to move sounded less than appealing. But now, I think of how I can snuggle their tiny baby bodies and smell their sweet heads uninterrupted as they dream.

Isn’t that weird how some things change? Everything changes from enjoying a cramped sleeping space to the meaning of songs. Their crawling into our bed reminded me of the (very famous love) song “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and how its meaning has completely changed for me. I remember when Armageddon was the blockbuster movie with the #1 love song sung by the main actress’s father. I distinctly remember an interview where Steven Tyler explained that he didn’t originally want to sing the song, but after seeing the movie and seeing his real life daughter cry to her in-movie father he was brought to tears and agreed to perform the song. When I was 13, I thought he just wanted to sing a song for his daughter’s movie. I didn’t realize how relatable he could see the lyrics as a parent.

Good Morning

I wake up to these silly faces every morning

This is intended to be a romantic love song, even the writer’s inspiration is a romantic one. I’ve heard it at school dances, on love song albums, and as many couples’ wedding song. But I think anyone who watches their baby sleep knows exactly what I am talking about. When my kids crawl into my bed, I watch them breathe and feel their little heartbeats while I snuggle them close, kiss them, and thank God for them every day. They won’t be sneaking in our room forever. Soon enough I won’t even be able to get a hug and kiss, or even a conversation without asking first. So I enjoy being cramped in my bed right now.

Sweet Dreams

And watch these sweet faces dream every night

But there’s a problem with thus and my big, silly, mom worry moves into my head. Baby #3 is coming very soon. Jack stays on my right and Daisy on my left. Where does #3 go when he or she wants to come in our room? Will I have to kick someone out? Will someone feel rejected? I only have two sides! I don’t want to miss any of them while I don’t have to. If you don’t ever co-sleep, this probably sounds ridiculous to you. I understand that. Before I had kids, even while I was pregnant with Jack, I knew we were not going to co-sleep. It was weird, and I liked my space while sleeping. But it just happened, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

PS – if you’re wondering how my poor husband feels about being squished in bed, I will not let him fool you. He’ll say the bed is too small and joke that he almost falls off the bed, but he’ll also panic if he wakes up and no one has crawled into bed. He’ll even offer to bring one of the kids in the room if they fall asleep on Jack’s bed together. This was my Valentine’s gift for him this year. The little mouse family are asleep in one bed with mommy and daddy mouse separated by little mouse babies. But at the end of the bed, their tails are touching. It was such a sweet reminder of our own nightly ritual. We know we can enjoy baby snuggles now because we always have each other anyway. My husband’s reaction to the gift was “we need to find a third baby muse to add to this,” so I know he is okay with it.

The Honeymoon is Over

We’ll be adding one more mouse to this soon

Welcome 2018

It has been a LONG time since I have blogged! So long, I am now close to 30 weeks pregnant! It has been a wonderful few months. After I learned I was pregnant again (SURPRISE for me!) My baby girl turned 1 (and I cried at her sudden change from infant to toddler). She’s now walking, saying a few words, and sings all day. She is looking more and more like her daddy and Jack is looking more and more like me, and I keep wondering who baby #3 will not only look like, but who will this baby be?

IMG_20170821_093730

I threw Daisy an adorable picnic birthday party,

Daisy's 1st Birthday

we were an awesome Red Riding Hood group for Halloween,

October2017

Jack celebrated his 3rd birthday with a Lion Guard party, and Santa came to the house to see him and Daisy.

Dec2017

Also, around Thanksgiving I had my very first craft show! I have been registered as an LLC for some time, but this craft show was the first time Asterisk Gifts was publicly launched. Since then, I have been selling custom made shirts, ornaments, cups, potholders, and more from my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/footnotefeatures/. (I am working on a website and Etsy page also).

IMAG0200

All this wonderful craziness did have a downside. I realized I’ve been investing a lot of time in my family and my small business, but nearly none on myself. It hit me when I noticed how uncomfortably dry my skin had become. I haven’t even been applying lotion! I then realized I haven’t journaled, blogged, gotten a haircut, or even bought myself a tube of lipstick in who knows when.

I decided to make my New Year’s Resolution to be sure to take some time for myself. We lost 2 loved ones very quickly after the New Year. One of them, my husband’s grandfather, promised it 2018 will be a good year moments before he passed. I think it’s important to make his statement a reality by taking things a bit slower, appreciating our time here, and taking care of ourselves.

IMAG1175_1

I finally wrote this blog, started my grateful-a-day journal, got my hair done, and for the first time since I started my business I made some things for myself.

So here’s to a wonderful 2018; I hope I can keep up with everything!

Mystery Machine Little Tykes Remake (An Eventful Summer)

It has been an insanely busy summer. We traveled a lot, and I spent a lot of time planning for a personal goal (I hope to have ready to launch in the next two weeks).  We went to New Orleans in early August, and a few weeks later we drove down to Florida and enjoyed the theme parks and Daytona.

New Orleans

Jack loved meeting his heroes, Mickey, Spongebob, and Shrek and Donkey. Daisy was less than thrilled about the characters, but had fun. We ended summer with Daisy’s first birthday. Oh I just can’t believe my baby girl is one!!

Florida

One thing I was able to do this summer in the craft realm was make this awesome Mystery Machine for Jack (and eventually Daisy). It was originally a pink and purple Little Tykes that my niece Myla long grew out of and donated to me.

Honestly, the hardest part about making this Mystery Machine was cleaning it because my hose was broken so I had to use a bucket of water. You have to take it apart to clean it well. All pieces come off easily except the tires. Instead of taking them off, I just tied bags around them.

Little Tykes Redo

After it is clean, just spray paint. For the tire wheels, eyes, and steering wheel, I sprays paint into a bowl and used a brush. Once all the pieces are dry, put it all back together. I made the Mystery Machine logo and flowers with my cricut and cut them from Oracle 651 vinyl.

Mystery Machine

Jack loved it so much he kissed it! So of course I dressed him up like Shaggy and had a mini photo shoot with it.

Jack Mystery Machine

Cute right? I hope your summer was wonderful!

Baby’s First Words

Sure. Say Dada first. It’s fine. I only carried you for 40 weeks. Stretched my skin, gained immense weight, and strained my back, knees, and hips to accommodate your growing body. My feet are bigger. My gigantic sagging boobs will never be cute and perky again. I only produce your food and comfort you while nursing. I take care of you all day and cater to your needs. It’s totally fine that Jack’s first words were Dada and BABA. And I’m completely OK with Dada and Jack being Daisy’s first words, too. It’s adorable how much she loves her brother, plus it’s mostly babble anyway. It’s not like after weeks of reinforcing the sounds “Jack” and “Dada” will stick and they really will be your first words. But it’s fine. I’m not bitter. Not at all.

I didn’t fool you? So maybe I’m a little bitter. Why do you both want to day Dada be said before Mama? What’s he do?

Besides worry way more than me. Buy and install baby proofing stuff throughout our house and our families houses. Jump up out of bed much faster than me when you cough in the middle of the night. Tend to every sneeze and ouchie with a hawk-eye. Have the magic touch getting you to fall asleep for naps and at night even when I swear you both bounce off the walls whenever I try to get you to sleep. Invent games to entertain you.  Make up silly songs. Show you how to squirt water with your hands in the bathtub. Wave from the ice when he plays hockey. Make you want to be just like him. Be so incredibly patient with all your needs. Never rushing you while you learn.

And help mommy with cleaning and diaper changing. And still tell mommy she’s pretty.

And not once, ever complain.

IMG_20170717_120207

So fine, I’ll give him this. I can see why you like Dada. He is an alright guy. I shouldn’t be jealous. I still have those quiet moments that are just me and you throughout the day. Anyway, I can’t blame you both. I guess he is pretty great. I understand. I don’t know what I’d do without him, either.

 

Baby Feet

imag2202

I am absolutely revolted by feet. The idea that there are people who have foot fetishes turns my stomach. The person who invented this is a damn lunatic.

foot-pillow

Feet are repulsive. I hate looking at them and I especially hate touching them. I know I’m not the only hater of feet. There are others out there like me who cringe away on beaches and in swimming pools.

But then there’s baby feet. Not just any baby’s feet, your baby’s feet. I know it sounds like a given, but even when you hate feet you love your baby’s feet. I didn’t think it was possible. My mom told me I’d be kissing my baby’s feet all the time. I told her she was disgusting. It turns out she was right and I was wrong. As gross as adult feet are, baby feet are that much more adorable. They are the sweetest part of a baby’s tiny body and oh so kissable.

imag2205

Whenever I hold my children, my hand naturally falls to hold a tiny foot. Daisy’s are so small, I can hold both in one hand. Her little tiny toes are smaller than peas and in constant need of kissing. Sometimes when I play with Jack I put my foot against his, and apparently the size difference is hilarious. The other day I put his foot against Daisy’s. It must have been the most amazing and funny things he’s ever seen. This time it was his foot that was bigger! He laughed and laughed while he touched her toes and tapped his foot against hers.

imag2321

My mom recently bought him dinosaur feet slippers. He stomped around the house roaring and growling at anything in his path. A few days later we stopped in the store for clothes and Jack spotted little pink dino slippers that matched his. He grabbed them from the shelf yelling “Daisy! Daisy!” and I couldn’t leave without them. Their matching dino feet must have been the second most hilarious thing he’s ever seen.

img_8683

At some point seeing Jack compare his feet to his sister’s hit me. His feet were once as small as hers. I could hold both of his in my hand. Now only one fits. I still kiss his tiny toes and hold his little foot, but those feet get bigger and bigger every day. I don’t know when his feet will no longer be cute to me, but that day will come (probably with athlete’s foot).

img_8756

Being a parent simultaneously freezes and quickens time. Some days Daisy is only four months old and Jack is only two years old. I worry so much about them meeting their developmental milestones. I try so hard to teaching and engaging with them making sure they are where they are “supposed” to be.  Plus I feel like I’ve known them forever. Life has adjusted to them, and I am in a comfortable space of understanding their needs. Then suddenly only becomes already. Jack is already two! I was just throwing his first birthday party and then all of a sudden I was planning the second. Daisy is already four months old. Didn’t I just take her home from the hospital yesterday?

imag2420

It’s both beautiful and heart wrenching watching them grow. Daisy is realizing she can move on her tummy if she kicks her legs hard enough. The other day Jack figured out how to climb the playground “rock wall,” something he couldn’t do two months ago. I want them to stay little, but I love seeing them discover new things. I’ll enjoy their littleness while I can. It feels slow but time is going quickly, and those baby feet won’t be as cute as they are now. I never thought I’d want to savor my time kissing a foot, but here I am soaking in every toe filled kiss in.

img_8692

Merry Christmas!

These past two months have been filled with joy, heartache, laughter, and tears. It’s been eventful and hectic. We’ve celebrated life and loss. Between it all plus the holidays, I havent stopped cooking, cleaning, baking, decorating, memorializing, and (as I write this) wrapping! So I am taking a break to say Merry Christmas! Jack has been searching the skies for Santa, and now that Jack has finally nodded off to dream of those sugarplums, maybe Santa will finally get here!

Have a wonderful Christmas!

At the Movie Theater Concession Stand Halloween Costumes

Halloween is over all ready. November 1 starts my unofficial boycott of Christmas. Not that I have anything against Christmas. I love it! But I’m sure like many others, I like to enjoy the fall and Thanksgiving, rather than rush into the holiday. It gets old by the time December 25th comes around.

So my boycott begins by again dwelling on Halloween. This year we were “At the Movie Theater Concession Stand.” The weather was beautiful this year. Jack joined in with Trick-or-Treating with his older cousins. I think he enjoyed the walking better than the candy, although he did dip into his bucket a few times during the walk. I took Daisy along too. Her costume was so good, most people didn’t even know she was there!

moviefamily

 

Like last year, I made costumes for almost everyone so we could walk as a theme.  I based the theme off Daisy’s costume: the popcorn bucket. I saw a version of it on Pinterest and knew I wanted to do it months ago, but my version was a bit more extreme. My version was made with a felt blanket I painted as a popcorn bucket using stencils I made from my Cricut. I used tissue paper as the popcorn and glued it to the blanket and to a baby hat for daisy. I just wrapped the blanket around Daisy’s carrier and tucked it in the sides. Her little head stuck out but was covered with the popcorn hat. I put on some 3D glasses and it looked like I was just walking around with a giant tub of popcorn at the movies.

angelaanddaisy

 

Jack went as a movie ticket and Matt was the Box Office Ticket collector, both costumes made with cardboard, Cricut cut vinyl, paint, and ribbon. The “over the shoulder” type costume was good for Jack because it was easy to put on and take off when he was fussy.

matt-and-jack

 

The rest of my nieces and nephew also joined the theme. I made 3 of their 6 costumes. I made Laila a cardboard Kit-Kat bar costume (I have a lot of cardboard on hand between boxes of diapers and wipes.) Olivia was Button candy, made with an old dress and painted Styrofoam balls. Myla was our cup of Coca-Cola, made from a small hamper, craft paper, paint, and vinyl. I especially liked her straw hat (complete with “Diet,” “Regular,” and “Other” buttons).

lailaoliviamyla

 

The store bought costumes were cute too – Craig was also popcorn, Angelina was an M&M, and Jenna was Nerds. I think we made a really cute concession stand!

movies

Welcome Miss Daisy

View More: http://momentsbymarie.pass.us/daisy_nbView More: http://momentsbymarie.pass.us/daisy_nbView More: http://momentsbymarie.pass.us/daisy_nb

She’s here! She’s home, healthy, and oh so beautiful! I can’t believe she’s mine, that I made someone so pretty and sweet.  Giacomo adores her too. Before I had her I was so afraid that he would be resentful or upset because of the new baby and/or because of my surgery. I underestimated him for sure! The first thing he does in the morning is give her a kiss (if I’m lucky, I get one too, but she is #1 to him). I did cry, though, looking at how tall and grown he looked next to her. It didn’t help that he is so tall (he isn’t even 2 yet and is in 3T clothes). It’s so bittersweet, watching him grow, and now I get to have the emotional rollercoaster of mommyhood twice over with my little Daisy girl.

img_6704

When I first saw Daisy, I was in complete awe. I couldn’t believe that I made someone so perfect. I couldn’t hold her in my arms for a long time (the wait was much longer than when I had Jack), but I was able to touch noses with her little button nose, kiss her sweet soft cheeks, and laugh as she blew raspberries from her perfect plump lips. I know every mother thinks so, but I just couldn’t, and I still can’t believe how beautiful she is.

img_7773

My Daisy girl has been here a month and a half. But I feel like it’s been much longer. I feel like I’ve known her forever. I think because now I am constantly going. I’m pretty sure Jack and Daisy are in cahoots. Once one stops fussing the other needs my attention. It is tiring for sure, but never boring. And on those rare occasions where they both have naps in sync, the time is all the more blissful.

Mommyhood part 2 is much different. I remember spending most of my time with Jack holding, rocking, and soothing him, and on the rare occasions when he did sleep, I just watched him. It was a very sweet time, and it does not exist at all now! Not that I don’t want to hold Daisy all day and watch her sleep, but time is divided now. I have to put her down to play with Jack, and I have to make him wait when she fusses. I think he has adjusted better than I have. Jack has learned patience and he has not one ounce of jealousy in him, so I can tend to Daisy when I need to and he will wait for me to play with him. I also learned that my baby can cry for longer than a few seconds so I can finish feeding or changing my toddler.

img_7640

They are better at handling my divided time than me. I wish I could split apart and tend to them both all day. I’m sure that’s something all 2nd time moms think. But I knew this was coming, and it’s why I wanted to have children close in age. I knew they’d be better at adjusting than me because they are so young. I’m just anxious for the time when I have adjusted!

I took to using a baby carrier for Daisy. I tried with Jack but it didn’t work, I think because I didn’t have a “good” carrier. The one I have now is much more comfortable and made with small framed people in mind, so it’s much easier to use. Plus I get more done, and it’s a lot easier than lugging out the double stroller. The only downside I see is that Daisy isn’t as visible for pictures. (I know that sounds silly, but you know how I love my photos!) This weekend we went pumpkin and apple picking. I have some adorable shots of Jack but Daisy was too tucked away for pictures. (In reality, I wouldn’t have taken her out of her stroller for a picture, I’m just being whiney).

The night before Daisy was born I wrote them each a letter telling them how much I love them. Up until a minute ago, both of my babies were sleeping, something that rarely happens. But now I hear Daisy, so I guess blog and journal done for now. I should have been cleaning my house, as it is a complete disaster, but instead I thought a few minutes of journaling and blogging would be nice because I hope one day both Daisy and Jack can read the letter I wrote and look through my blog and see how much I love them.

The Time Has Come!

Tomorrow is the big day! Daisy will be here, and I finally get to meet her. Because I am at a higher risk for suffering from a ruptured uterus and preeclampsia, we have a scheduled C-section for tomorrow at noon. I am everything at once.

the-tims-has-come

I am nervous about having a surgery, and I am even more nervous about the recovery.  Taking care of 2 children while recovering from a major surgery will be difficult enough, but I am also so nervous that Jack will not understand why I can’t lift him. I am so nervous he will be hurt and resentful because of it.

I am curious to meet my little girl. What will she look like? How will she act? Will she be a good baby? Will she be colic like Jack? Will she and Jack be friends?

I am sad. My baby won’t be my only baby anymore. I love him more than anything in the world, and I am nervous my heart won’t explode again, the way it did when I first saw him. But I know it will. How could it not? I didn’t have any idea, no one does. You hear it over and over again by people how wonderful it is. I was so scared I wouldn’t love my baby. But I did, and I still do. Now I get told over and over again that I will love my second baby as much as my first.  So I know I will, but until it happens I am sad that I can’t understand it now. I am also sad that pregnancy will be over. Even with the constant heartburn and backaches, I love feeling my baby inside me. I am really going to miss those kicks.

I am excited. A little girl! A daughter to share my girliness with. Flowers and tea parties can now compliment my son’s trucks and superheroes. A princess to schmooze her daddy. I know I’ll be tougher on a girl because I am a tough girl myself, and I want her to be tough too. I also know I’m a softie for my little boy. I’m excited that Matt will get to understand the feeling too. He is the “tough one” with Jack, but he’ll melt for a little girl.

I am everything at once right now, and all I can do to calm down is write this and watch my Jack sleep.

wp-1473645307656.jpg

I spent the last week really focusing on spending time with Giacomo. In the weeks to come, he will not have as much attention as he’s used to. It will be an adjustment for the both of us. I already imagine the little spare time I have vanishing from existence, because my time will be divided to two little people, not just one.

He will never remember what it was like to be an only child. We planned this on purpose.  I always thought it was strange when people would criticize those who have children close in age because Child A didn’t have enough time with the attention all to his/herself. No one besides the oldest ever knows what it’s like to have the attention all to his/herself. I am the youngest of 3 and Matt is 3rd of 6. We never had attention completely to ourselves.

But now that I’m a parent I get it, albeit just a little. I want to give Jack all my attention and I know that won’t be possible anymore. So instead I snuggled him all week. I played with him when I should have been cleaning.  I danced with him when I should have been packing. I watched him sleep when I should have been cooking backup freezer dinners for the next few weeks. But I don’t care. My bag eventually got packed and my house clean. Giacomo is my joy. The best thing I ever did with my life, and I’m about to add another best thing to my resume. In just a few more hours life will be forever changed.

wp-1473645289893.jpg

Until then, I am going to soak up these small delights in my life while I only have a few more hours to do so: watching my only child sleep and feeling my daughter’s kicks in my belly.

Previous Older Entries

Texas Craft House

blood, sweat, and glitter y'all