Nautical Baby Shower

For most of April and May I was prepping for my sisters Baby shower – which took place three weeks ago. The theme of the shower was Nautical and the main colors were green and blue. I made the invitations for the shower because it was my chance to be creative and personalize something for someone I adore. (For blogging purposes, I covered personal information with white paper)

For the decorations, I made a banner from the backside of the invitations, we hung green and blue pom poms and made little flags with washi tape and a cut out of the boats from the invitations I created as toppers for the cupcakes. We got the cake made with the colors of the theme and my mom painted a boat she had at home to put as the topper. My mom also made amazing center pieces and an anchor banner which we put at the bar – it came out amazing!

For the favors we bought Essie nail polishes in different tones of blue, white and pastel green. We put a label on them as a reminder of the shower, colored life savers in green and blue, placed them in white bags and tied them up.

I also painted a whale with my nephew’s name on it and framed it so that my sister can put it in his room (picture coming soon).

The shower turned out very nice. I am glad my sister was happily surprised and delighted when she saw everything – It wasn’t anything crazy, but it was definitely made with love.

These are the “Thank you” cards she will be sending out –

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And now, I am anxiously awaiting for my little nephew to arrive…

 

Mother’s Day

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It is incredible how much perspective you gain as a parent – Mommyhood has allowed me to truly appreciate and value my mom and all her wonders; and due to it I have my utmost respect for all mothers. Having said that, I think it’s impossible to show my mom how much gratitude and love I have for her – I do tell her often, but not enough –  because I truly adore her, and Emma and I are blessed to have her in our lives.

As for me, I feel like the luckiest mom in the world for having Emma. For mother’s day she recited a short poem to me – one that she was taught in school. It was amazing watching her recite the poem and do all the hand gestures that went along with it. The best part of it was how proud she was of herself when she finished it – as was I. She doesn’t seize to amaze me every single day :). The poem would have been enough but she also gave me some flowers and butterflies she colored in school that say “Mom I love you” and her handprint on a heart which I placed on my desk at work. The heart says – “My mom gave me life, gave me love and I repay her with my love and my heart. I love you, Emma.” Even though her teacher wrote those words, I know Emma means them – even if she doesn’t fully understand them. The other day she came up to me and said “Mommy, I love you so much!” and then proceeded to hug me. Ohh how I want to hold on to those moments… Emma means the world to me and I couldn’t be happier to be her mom.

Mommies can’t get Sick

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It’s true, mommies are not allowed to get sick – Of course, we inevitably do get sick, but we need to go on pretending like we are not. It sucks sometimes, but the fact that we have no time to think about our sickness eliminates our need to linger on the aches, pains and/or fever, and that’s a good thing since it helps us “forget” that we are ill.

This past week was a tough one – because what’s worse than having a sick child? Getting sick along with them. Emma was unable to go to school for most of the week as she had a really high fever. She had to take antibiotics and only began to feel better by Friday, at which point I was getting sick. It was nice spending time together, although it would have been more productive had we not been sick; and even though Emma wasn’t feeling well, she still managed to have more energy than me… My house is undoubtedly a mess as I had to come up with ways to entertain Emma while still getting some “rest” – which only meant not having to run around as much. Fortunately, we are much better now and are looking forward for the Spring weather to stick around.

Activities I did with Emma while we were both sick –

1. Watched movies – No effort on my part aside from answering random questions.
2. Read books – It is always relaxing and a nice bonding time.
3. Played hide and seek – She hid and then ran to me once I finished counting!
4. Decorated Easter eggs
5. Colored – what 2-year-old doesn’t like to color?
6. Played with play-doh – a little messy…
7. Poked cardboard boxes – Emma likes to draw and make holes on boxes with a pen. I usually draw things and she tries to trace them by poking holes.
8. Played with stickers – she enjoyed putting them on my husband and I the most. She said she wanted to decorate us.
9. Pretty much let her do whatever she wanted – very, very messy!
10. Took long naps – it was amazing! I had given up on the idea that this was still possible!

Life

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There are days when I feel like I am completely content with my life and others where I feel the innate need for change – Not in my family dynamics, but in my personal (career) path. You see, when I had Emma, my personal priorities shifted aside – by choice – but now that Emma is almost 3 and I am more in tune with the role of mommyhood, the workings of it, and what we can and cannot live without, I feel like I am ready to make some changes in other aspects of my life, keeping in mind that being Emma’s mom is still my #1 priority. Lately, that need for change has intensified – There are many things I want for my family and many things I want for myself and I know that they will eventually flow flawlessly together, but for now they won’t so I am trying to figure out the mechanics of it all so that everyone (including myself) is happy. Change is difficult and scary, but at times, necessary, and I think it is time for me to be bold enough to make some moves. I want to pursue my creativeness and embark on a new career path – I now know that it is essential for my soul. So fingers crossed, this year will be the year I pursue what I am passionate about, and what better inspiration and motivation to have than my daughter — EMMA.

Being Memorable

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A friend posted this quote on Facebook from her webpage www.projectbond.com and I loved it – 1) Because I know that I can be a pain to deal with sometimes and my family and good friends still love me (memorable people), and 2) because it inevitably made me think of Emma and how memorable I hope I can one day be to her.

As parents, we worry so much about our children, we want to give them so much, but maybe what we worry about most are the material things we can provide rather than what is really invaluable – love and time. And sometimes it is the most simple things that produce/leave the most powerful impact. Once I became a mother I realized even more how grateful I am to have such wonderful parents, and how invaluable they are to me. They are definitely memorable to me, they will forever be, and that is how I wish Emma views me one day.  

When you love, you love deeply and unconditionally and when you have children you love beyond words, beyond life. That is why every morning when she wakes up, every time I drop her off and pick her up from school, every time I put her to sleep, every time she calms down from a tantrum, every time we stop “arguing”, every time we make up after she disobeys me, I tell her how much I love her. She already knows – “more than the whole world.” I love her –  the good, the bad and the ugly. That’s what being a mom is about – right?

Raising a Toddler – Funny Moments

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I didn’t own a cell phone until I was 18 and even then, the one I owned was pretty crappy. It definitely did not have any applications or challenging games – it didn’t have internet – Period. The most it did was take photos and it I think it had flash. I’m sure there were already better cell phones out there, but mine wasn’t one of those. The point is, when I was younger and we sat at the dinner table, my parents did not have to worry about us texting our bff’s, browsing the internet, or checking our friend’s lives via Facebook, etc. Nowadays, that seems to be the norm, but I didn’t think I would have to address it with my daughter until she was at least 14 years old…

My husband recently gave Emma an old cell phone. It is virtually useless but Emma likes to pretend it works and in her mind she is always calling people, speaking to them and I don’t know what else she thinks she is doing when pressing all the buttons. I know she sees my husband and I with our phones and knows that we can not only speak to people on the phone but also look at pictures, shop and read on it, so she is obviously imitating. I always try to leave my phone on my bed when I get home and while I am with Emma, to avoid looking at it since it has become a reflex – it is addicting – and actually spend quality time with my daughter.

On Sunday, Emma and I sat at the table to eat lunch, she took her phone with her and I didn’t think anything of it. We were eating and conversing and in the middle of lunch she picked up her phone and started to “use” it. I almost laughed but held it back because I know that this is not something I want her to do on a daily basis (See the pic. FYI – if not obvious enough, she drew all over the place mat). I never thought I would have to tell my 2-year-old to put her phone away, but I did, and I had to make every effort to keep a straight face. I also had to be persistent because she wasn’t going to give up easily –  she finally let it go when I told her “Put your cell phone down or I will take it away from you.” I guess she really values her cell phone…. Hmm….

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I am glad this didn’t turn into a tantrum – disaster averted! Because anyone who has children knows that toddlers can be extremely stubborn and as parents we have to carefully pick and choose our battles.

Baby

So my sister is now 5 months along in her pregnancy and she is having a boy! Both she and her husband are ecstatic and so am I, although I admit that I was hoping for a girl so that Emma could have a playmate. However, Emma will be the big girl now – 2 younger boy cousins. Maybe mommy and daddy will give her a sibling soon (emphasis on maybe).

Going through the stages of pregnancy with my sister is nice and her bump is finally beginning to fully form. From what I recall, during the next three months is when the belly really starts to grow – what seems to be – exponentially every day. In giving advice to my sister, I am trying to come up with the essential things needed when you have a baby and this is what I’ve come up with:

  1. Patience – I know this is not an object/item, but I think all parents will agree that this is the most essential thing that is needed when you embark on the journey of parenthood. I would say love here as well, but I don’t want to be redundant, since it is kind of a given.
  2. Diapers – This is what everyone always says, and they are right. You need to have at least 2 at hand when you are changing the baby – One to change him into and the other to use as a shield against potential and common accidents.
  3. Hand sanitizer – probability that people will actually wash their hands before touching your baby – 50% – so it is better to be prepared.
  4. Several onesies as the baby will likely only wear that for the first month or two.
  5. Swaddles – They bring comfort to most babies. I loved that Alex and Anais ones – I still use them on Emma when it is warm because they serve as a light cover.
  6. Aveeno eczema cream and diaper cream – As a baby Emma had several heat rashes and the Aveeno cream helped. Also, I would put a small amount of the diaper cream almost daily, just as prevention.
  7.   Lots of burp clothes – for other people to use and for you to have at all times while burping the baby.
  8. If breastfeeding – Medela pump, lanoline cream and ice packs to ease the pain at the beginning stages.
  9. Dry wipes, to clean them in areas that you might not get to during bath time – neck, behind the ears, butt if they have a rash etc.
  10. Humidifier – to help congestions. Emma got sick at 3 months and it wasn’t pretty. The humidifier helped.

 

It seems like mommyhood also helps in giving you a lapse in memory as I KNOW there were other things I found essential during my first 3 months of motherhood, but I can’t seem to think of them now.

What are your tips and essentials?