Sweetie and I were pretty secretive when we first found out we were expecting (despite that I wanted to tell absolutely everyone – the mailman, random children, the lady behind the counter at the gas station, stray dogs, etc – about our very happy news.) It had taken me quite a while to get pregnant (but that’s a whole other blog post for a whole other day) so we were both really cautious about spreading the news to too many people too quickly, before we were out of the scary anything-can-happen first trimester. (Translation: there was a lot of breath-holding and positive thought-thinking going on around here during those first few months.)
But once we reached our comfort zone (shortly after our 12 week ultrasound showed that baby was perfect and squirmy and had a good strong heartbeat) we decided to finally tell the future grandparents.
Being a rather monumentous and life-changing announcement, this wasn’t something I wanted to simply blurt out over dinner, mid-french fry. I wanted the announcement to be as special as the news itself. Unfortunately, I’m not an overly creative person. And while Pinterest showed me hundreds of amazing and elaborate and creative announcements, none of them felt like us.
Here’s the card I finally designed to spread the news…
(Please don’t giggle too much at my obviously lacking graphic-design skills. A graphic-design guru I most certainly am not, and the whole thing was put together using – gasp! – Microsoft Word.)
We printed the card on basic cream-coloured card stock that I had left over from some other random DIY project, and then I tied a ribbon around the card (so that the card wouldn’t accidentally flop open and ruin the surprise before the recipient had a chance to finish reading the cover.)
When the time came to hand out the cards, there were happy tears from one set of grandparents, high-fives from another (who apparently had speculated, a couple weeks prior at Christmas, that something baby-related might be up), and stunned silence from the third set of future grandparents we told (which quickly erupted into squeals of joy.) All in all, the announcement (and this announcement method) was a huge success. :)
And now, several months later, all of the grandparents are eagerly anticipating the arrival of this new little one. Who is currently way bigger than a lime. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve got a happy little eggplant or butternut squash or watermelon rolling around in there now. (A really, really, cute one!)
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Little by little we’re starting to put a nursery plan in place. With only fifteen-ish weeks to go until my due date (eek!) (seriously – where did my second trimester go?) we’re at the point where we need to start making decisions and purchases and moving forward with this space that’ll one day be home to someone so completely and utterly adored.
A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that the nursery will be a light teal-ish colour (which I see as very gender neutral – once baby is born we can add a bit of coral and yellow if we have a little lady, or navy and green if the bump is currently housing a little gent.) Here is our (ok, well, my – Sweetie has sorta given me free-reign on this whole nursery decorating project) inspiration pic (from The Farmer’s Nest)…
Happy sigh. Prettiest nursery ever.
And here’s what
we I have planned to date…
Remember the rocker from our staged quasi-nursery at the last house?
This chair once belonged to my grandparents, and my mom (hi mom!) has sweetly offered to have it reupholstered for our nursery here. The room that’ll be our nursery is quite a tiny little space, and this rocker is small but super comfy. And I love that it once belonged to my grandparents who, while no longer here, were such an important part of my life growing up. Having this rocker in the nursery is a little like having them be part of Baby’s life, and I absolutely love that. :)
Have I ever mentioned that I love sheep? I love sheep. Weird? Likely. But there’s something so awesome and peaceful about those grass-munching field-frollicking balls of white fluff that makes me insanely happy. So when I stumbled upon this mobile (courtesy of Etsy-seller GiftsDefine) I was sold.
Oh, lamby sweetness. I love everything about it. I haven’t yet hit the purchase button, but I plan to very very soon.
Yep! I may fall into the whole mobile-PLUS-bunting (how decadent for baby, eh?) category, mostly because (surprise surprise!) I can’t decide between the two. The mobile will likely float above the crib, and the bunting will likely hang above the change area.
This one is my current fave for a little girl…
And I love this option should we have a little man…
…both from the awesome Etsiers at The Spotted Barn.
Pretty little things
Have you ever noticed that Chapters has the absolute best stuffed animals? They really do. I’ve adored the super soft, squishy stuffed creatures from Chapters since way before Sweetie and I had baby-thoughts.
My favourites are the ridiculously adorable bashful lamb…
And the ever so sweet bashful bunny…
So much cuteness. So much. Like, an immense amount. (I’m seriously swooning over here.) Here’s hoping that Baby loves them as much as his mom does.
And then there’s all the other (far more important) stuff
And then there are the bigger, scarier, expensive-er, non-decorative purchases: the crib, the dresser (that’ll double as a change table), a bookshelf of some sort for stuffies and books and such… THESE are the items that I need to make decisions about soon. Very soon, in fact. I have a couple of friends who’ve had their babies far earlier than their due dates over the last few weeks, and I’m starting to get a wee bit nervous.
Let the nursery decorating frenzy officially begin! :)
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Once upon a time, not so long ago, Sweetie and I bought a house. A rather sad-looking, old, mauve-coloured house. This house had a whole lot of P (for “potential!”), but was, admittedly, darn ugly. Sweetie and I, being the brave house-buying home-renovating troopers that we are, bought the sad little house knowing that we could one day, with a whole lot of work and a little bit of updating, make her pretty once again. Being ambitious folk with two previous homes under our belts (both of which started as fixer-uppers) we had high hopes for all of the loveliness we’d instill upon this new house, our ugly duckling soon-to-be-turned swan.
And then Sweetie and I received a little news. Good news. Fantastic and exciting news. Unbelievably joyous and wonderful and life-changing news, in fact. We were going to be parents, with Baby expected in early August 2014. The future grandparents were thrilled, friends were ecstatic, and Sweetie and I were elated at the thought of becoming a family of three (five, if you count the cats) (which, of course, we do.)
However, what has this news all meant to the fate of our poor little house?
Renovations have hardly begun. Like, nada. Nothing. Zilch. The kind of non-eventfulness that cues lowly crickets chirping in the background and spiderwebs forming around paint cans.
Why? I’m one of those crazy pregnant ladies who is afraid to paint. Yup. I used to make fun of those people. “Of course they can paint – that’s what low/no-VOC paints are for!” I’d exclaim rather pompously. Silly lazy pregnant ladies – they can paint, they’re just being stubborn, I’d think. But now that it’s my turn, my turn, and it’s the health of my baby (who I adore so much already) that could be affected, I’m totally wimping out. I have been paintbrush-free since October, and I could very well remain paintbrush free until at least August, and likely much longer (because, honestly, I’m not fooling myself into believing I’ll be particularly productive during the first weeks of mommy-dom. I’ll have other, far greater (and far cuter) priorities to tend to.)
It’s been quite the struggle, I have to admit. I’ve painted throughout every single winter for the past nine years (nine years!), since we purchased our very first (wallpaper-filled and salmon-coloured-trim adorned) house way back in 2004. Painting is what I do – it’s my hobby on weekends. Some people relax by cooking. Others unwind by reading or doing crossword puzzles or scrapbooking. Me? I paint. And it makes me feel amazingly accomplished and proud to see progress unfolding with each paint-roller roll across my walls.
I’ve toyed with the idea of bringing someone in to paint our main floor, just to feel like some paint-related progress has been made, even if not by me, even if just to have the living room and dining room painted – the green is so dark and so strong and just so not us. Our house doesn’t really feel like our home yet, because it doesn’t look like us. At all. There’s the (awful) mossy-green walls in the living room and dining room. There’s the gold-coloured kitchen and stairwell (oh how I despise the gold!) There’s the rather offensive red family room at the back of the house. (Yes, red. Bright red. So bright that that room makes me feel a little uncomfortable.) Our furniture and cats and clothes and interactions are all contained by the old mauve-coloured siding and under our big gray roof, but the house doesn’t at all feel like our home. Yet.
But, it’s worth it. It’s completely worth it. It’s only nine months (and, really, only five-ish at this point). I’ve given up wine (oh, wine, how I miss you!) and deli meat (despite crazy intense Subway cravings) and coffee (well, most of it at least) and anything that could potentially bring harm to my little growing baby… I can handle a few months sans paint. It’s our child. And nothing is more important than that. Not even ugly moss-green walls and an awful gold-coloured kitchen.
So, until paint returns to our house once again, we’ll be making little changes here and there. The cosmetic non-stinky-chemical sort of changes. Lights are being swapped out, a few loo improvements are looming, appropriately long non-sheer curtains will soon be in place, and a nursery is slowly unfolding upstairs.
And, truthfully, I suppose that home is where your family lives. And our home will soon contain Sweetie, me, Irwin, Erik, and someone little and new and perfect, regardless of whether the walls are green and gold and red.
I can’t wait. :)
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A couple months ago, my friend Nad and I threw a baby shower for one of our BFFs, the (then) uber pregnant Tiff. And it was a lot of fun! We knew that our Tiffer was having a little baby boy, so we pretty quickly settled on a blue and green theme for the shower (since a colour theme is way easier to follow than, say, trying to work with an armadillo theme, or a backhoe theme, or something rather obscure like that.) (Blue is easy to find. Armadillos? Not so much.) And, being the Pinterest junkie extraordinare that I am, I volunteered to look after decor. Of course. :)
I worked and I toiled for weeks and weeks and I’m happy to say that everything was perfect and I was absolutely ecstatic with the final outcome. And (also important) Tiff’s shower was a success! Unfortunately, what did I NOT do? I did not take ANY pictures of the final product. At all. Oops. I know. Insert a dramatic and sad muted-trombone “wop-wop” here. Silly blogger. Nad and I were so busy day-of making sure that everything looked perfect, and ensuring that guests were eating/drinking/mingling/being merry, that it never once dawned on me to take pictures of any of it. And, sadly, despite all of the ooohs and aaahs that rewarded our decorating efforts, none of our guests took pictures of the decor either. Not one. Which, I suppose, I can’t really fault anyone for. The shower was for Tiff, afterall, and not at all about the decorations. (But I still really wish someone – ANYONE – would have captured just a tiny little bit of our lovingly planned-out and assembled decor.)
Suffice it to say: it was LOVELY. And I was proud. And Tiff was happy. So mission accomplished. :)
But despite that I don’t have actual images of the actual decor to show you, I wanted to pass along some of the free baby shower printables that I found while planning. These were all a huge hit at our baby shower, so I’m hoping that other shower planners might find these handy-dandy as well. :)
We could have purchased those fill-in-the-blank invitations that you can pick up at any party store or Walmart or, well, pretty much anywhere. That would have been the simple route. And, well, that would be very unlike me. I wanted to do a custom baby shower invitation, of course (which also required quite a lot more work, but the end result was very worth it, I think.) We didn’t have a big baby shower budget to purchase custom printed invitations, but, after a bit of an extensive search via my good friends at Google, I found these adorable customizable (including the colours!) umbrella invitations, courtesy of On to Baby…
Obviously the actual invitations themselves had a LOT more detail (and included important pieces of information like, um, names and dates and addresses and such.) But c’est cute, non? We were thrilled. And an evening spent with my printer and my beloved paper cutter later and – poof – we had invitations ready to go. :)
I made tissue paper pom poms, of course. Tissue pom poms are my thing. You could even, perhaps, call me the Pom Queen. (Ha. Get it? Pom Queen? Prom Queen?) (Groan… I know. K.) I made LOTS of them. In blue, bright green, and white. They were gorgeous, and a lot of time and love went into making each little fluffy ball of loveliness. We hung them behind the main table in the room, and so many people commented on how lovely and pretty they were and how they made the room look super cheery. I don’t have any pictures of those. Of course. But trust me when I say they were gorgeous. :)
What I CAN show you, however, is a free BOY subway art printable I used to add a little extra decoration to the main table in the room (printable courtesy of Simple Crafter):
I printed this on card stock and framed it in an expensive HomeSense frame and placed it next to the fun diaper cake we put together (as you may have guessed, I don’t have any pictures of our diaper cake either.) It was just a little something extra and fun, and not at all necessary, but it was cute. (And it now sits next to the change table in Tiff’s little blue nursery.)
Favours are one of those seemingly unnecessary extras, and Nad and I debated quite a bit over whether to do favours for the shower guests. I am a big fan of the non-trinket favour, so I was pretty adamant that if we did do shower favours, they needed to be either usable or consumable (and not just some random item that would eventually be thrown away.) Rachael Ray came to the rescue with a free printable and customizable chocolate bar wrapper…
Coincidentally, Walmart had Cadbury Caramilk bars on sale for $0.60 each around this time, so we were able to do favours for our group of about 20 guests for about twelve bucks (well, plus taxes.) And (most importantly) people loved them. :)
So there! Those are a few of the free printables that made our darling Tiff’s shower pretty and special. If I can’t share the photos, I can at least share the printables!
And, well, to put things into perspective: pictures may be worth a thousand words, but a happy friend with a beautiful baby boy (he’s now about two months old and he’s absolutely gorgeous) is worth way, way more. :)
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OMG. OK. Call me a big huge geek for planning this far ahead (we’re not yet prego, and who knows when we will be) but when I DO have a baby, I would LOOOVE to do something like this…
So absolutely amazing and wonderful and beautiful, eh? :) Read all about Adele and baby Mila (and see more lovely and sweet images) here…
I actually squealed outloud just a little while flipping through the slideshow. My poor (future) child is probably going to hate me someday LOL. Now excuse me while I go buy a better camera and some pretty grass-green blankets (I like to plan ahead.) :)
PS – here is link to Adele’s blog (there’s even more cuteness there)
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