(I'm taking a break from my hiatus, to post this wall of text.)
Unrequested advice for my sister in law, as she heads to the maternity ward this evening.
Take advantage of everything in the hospital. Not just the diapers, but don't feel shy to ask the nurses for snacks, drinks, pain meds, and to take the baby to the nursery. For me, the hospital was my last vacation! You'll want the chance to get to know your baby and figure out breastfeeding.
Speaking of breastfeeding: best shirts for wearing at home? Large button-downs. Easy access, still keeps you relatively modest. Best nursing tanks? Any stretchy tank you have, just without the shoulder straps up.
It will be OK. Birth didn't happen just the way you wanted? As long as there's a baby and a mommy, it'll be OK. She's only sleeping while being held? It won't last forever, and it'll be OK. Afraid to nose sucker her or clip those teeny nails? She'll cry, and you will probably draw blood at some point, but it'll be OK. Breastfeeding isn't working out for you and her? Don't beat yourself up; your nephew was raised on formula and he's healthy and smart, it'll be OK. You get out of the shower to realize she's been crying? She will have her needs met, and it'll be OK. The only time it's not OK is if you don't feel happy or if you feel something isn't right—I lost the first 4 months of Nathan's life to postpartum depression, and that's not OK.
Set one daily goal: take care of yourself and the baby. You'll have days where she demands every iota of attention, and if you had planned on doing the laundry, you'll feel guilty. This way, if you get that laundry done because she finally took a nap in her crib, it's a bonus.
Babies are funny. Laugh at her when she man-farts, or tries to latch onto a mole. Get that on video, because that's funny stuff.
This is the beginning of the 4th trimester. She's basically a fetus who breathes, eats, sleeps, and poops.
Ooohhh the poop. She will poop everywhere. She'll poop on your hand while you're changing her diaper. She'll poop out of her diaper as you're headed out the door. She'll poop 10 minutes into her nap and then not go to sleep again after being changed. That's why babies have lots of clothes. Also, baby poop stains if it's not washed the same day, so be prepared to run at least a load a day.
Don't run out of breast pads. (I like the kind without the sticky back, because I can shift them throughout the day.)
More poop: Don't trust the weight ranges on the diaper boxes. If she's having a blowout every day, then it's time for the next size up—unless it's just way too big, then you can experiment with other brands to see if they fit better.
Take snapshots as often as possible. She WILL grow out of that adorable outfit, that tiny nose WILL grow and change, the sweet little soft spot WILL close up, and it WILL happen sooner than you expect. I still don't have this one down.
I wish upon you peace with your decisions as parents. Know that they are your decisions to make, and no one else has any right to judge or look down on you for them.
I wish upon you a metabolism different than mine, which holds on to every ounce for dear life when I'm breastfeeding.
I wish upon you a baby who eats and sleeps like a champion.
I wish upon you a labor and delivery that you can look back on with a smile—even if you don't smile much at the time.
"They say" that everything changes when you have that baby. Going to the grocery store, mall, or on a date becomes a journey, but having that tiny one smile at you like you're the only one in the room changes you too.
We love you, and we can't wait to see pictures of our first niece!
I don't do my nails terribly often, mostly because I don't have the patience to let them dry properly, and then they just look like crud 2 days later. (I've tried so many different types of base coat, top coat, and polish, all to the same result. Grr!) Occasionally, however, I'll go on an I-wanna-be-pretty bender and get one of those glue-on acrylic nail sets from the drugstore and rock that for a while. They start to fall off after a few days (especially thumb and index finger) and so I'll glue them back on a few times, and then just paint everything once I get sick of that/lose the original nail. The fake nails hold polish and resist chips way better than my natural nails do, so that makes me happy! (I do the same thing if I get acrylics from a salon—I'll fill them once or twice, and paint when they start falling off, and then take them off myself when too many are gone. I'm cheap.)
Anyway, this time I chose a matte/suede color from Revlon called Ruby Ribbon, because it reminds me of Christmas. I've also got this gold glitter/holo that I bought a few weeks ago, and while I considered doing an ombre or something on all my nails, I got lazy and decided on an accent nail.
Anyway, I've seen ombre nail tutorials linked from Pinterest, and all those ones require pouring out some of your polish and using makeup sponges to dab. Yeah, I don't have time or inclination to do that, so I gave this made-up technique a shot, and it worked well enough for me! You'll have to pardon the inconsistant cell phone pictures… I have no idea how to take nail pictures.
These won't win any prizes, especially as the last third is fairly thick and the very very end doesn't have much glitter on it, but if you're looking for a way to add a bit of glitter and a bit of trendiness to your nails, this is an easy way to do it! (And if you hate it, well, the acetone is over there.) Enjoy!
As part of the get-off-my-duff movement, I decided to participate in Poofy Cheek'sChristmas Cookie Exchange Party today! (Admission: When I first RSVPed to the Google event, I didn't read carefully and I totally thought that it was going to be an actual cookie exchange party where I'd get to eat other people's cookies. When I realized the truth, I was somewhat disappointed, but decided that I should make cookies anyway.) Usually I view cookies as a vehicle for chocolate, but for some reason I wanted to do something different—hence the delicious egg nog cookies I found at The Girl Who Ate Everything! I made a couple slight changes to mine, but for the most part, it's the same recipe.
(Taking pictures right before work is great for the light, but it's awful for the "Mom, I'm hungry! I need a cookie! I need a cookie, mom! Can I have that one?" factor.)
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp allspice (my addition, because I heart allspice)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup salted butter, room temp (hahaha, room temperature butter… I took the butter out of the freezer and nuked it on half power for 30 seconds, then another 30 seconds. And then it did this, but the cookies are still tasty.)
- 1/2 cup eggnog
- 1 tsp vanilla (plus a bit, because I spilled into the bowl)
- 2 egg yolks
- Preheat oven to 300.
- Mix flour, baking soda, and spices in a bowl; set aside. (The recipe says use a wire whisk, but I hate getting out and dirtying extra utensils, so I always use one of the measuring spoons.)
- Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer.
- Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks. Mix on medium until smooth.
- Slowly add dry ingredients. (I like to use a measuring cup, so I'm not holding the big bowl above the moving mixer and hoping that my kitchen doesn't explode.)
- You know the drill for drop cookies. Rounded teaspoonful, inch apart, etc. I bake my cookies on a layer of tinfoil so I don't have to clean cookie sheets.
- Bake for 21-24 minutes, or until the bottom edges are golden brown. I don't know if it's my oven, my altitude, or the tinfoil, but I ended up baking each batch for over 30 minutes.
If you click on the original recipe, you'll see that I didn't do the icing drizzle. I was going to play the 7-months-pregnant card, but then I realized that she blogged about these cookies the night before going to the hospital to be induced, so I think I'll play the my-back-hurts-so-bad-I've-been-using-a-cane-since-September card and the I-just-finished-24-hour-heart-monitoring-to-make-sure-I-don't-have-heart-problems card (what, you don't follow me on Instagram?) and leave it at that.
Oh, and if you don't know this trick already, store your cookies with a piece of bread! It's been two days, and the cookies are still delightfully soft. And I'm about to go eat one for a lunch appetizer.
I really do rock at Rock Band. (Not in a way that would win me any tournaments, but I can get mostly 5 stars playing Medium and I can (mostly) pass songs when I play the bass on Hard.) I think Jeff is starting to get annoyed about me wanting to play Rock Band every evening, but since it started the week where he didn't come home until I was getting ready for bed (or later) 4 out of the 5 weekdays, I think I'll blame my addiction on him…
Actually, the real reason I've liked playing Rock Band lately is it's something I can do from the recliner that's more interactive than watching Charmed on Netflix. I'd rather be sewing Baby Girl's quilt (all the annoying prep work is done, I just need to start sewing) or sitting at my desk making jewelry for Christmas presents or even loading all the dang dishes in the dang dishwasher (anybody in the area want to come help me with all this stuff for an hour or so?), but by the time Nathan goes to bed, I just can't. So, my options usually are go to bed at 8:30 (I've taken this one more than I care to admit), watch TV with my brains oozing out of my ears, or play Rock Band.
What's the point of this post, you ask? Where's the entertainment value? (Well, besides Nathan occasionally picking up the microphone and singing along, when I start playing before he goes to bed. I'll have to get a video of that someday.) Here are some observations and oddities that have happened in the last few weeks:
- I've learned that I can play guitar/bass way better when I'm stoned on hydrocodone. Seriously. The dosage I was prescribed is higher than I'm used to, so it actually affects me—usually I can take it no problems. I expected it to make me a worse player, since it makes me practically fall asleep standing up, but I was able to get my first 5-star score on Hard!
- Nathan often asks to play Rock Band, but only wants to do the guitar. Too bad for that sucker, guitar is the only one I can do from the recliner, so he's stuck on drums.
- Related: He doesn't actually notice if he's not technically playing, nor does he notice if he fails out of a song when he is playing. I plan to encourage this naivety as long as possible.
- Made Jeff laugh: "Holy cow! This is like the Lord of the Rings of Rock Band songs… it's had half a dozen endings so far!" (For the curious, it was Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas—which I now have stuck in my head.)
- When Nathan and I play together, I feel like I'm educating him in decent music. For example, he now loves Weezer (specifically "troublemaker song!"), "Hello There" by Cheap Trick, and "the zombie song" by Jonathan Coulton. I'm so proud.
- Also made Jeff laugh: I love the Dryers frozen fruit bars, and I usually let them soften before I eat them (my teeth are very sensitive to cold). I played a couple songs in a set, paused, and started unwrapping my popsicle. Jeff looked up questioningly from whatever it was he was doing, and I said "I am a rock star. I can take a popsicle break in the middle of a set, and my fans have no choice in the matter."
- I haven't decided if Baby Girl loves or hates it when I play Rock Band… but no matter how quiet and still she's been, within a song or two of me starting to play, she'll start attacking the guitar. Every Single Time.
And, if this isn't enough amusement for you, here's a video of Nathan playing the drums when he was 18 months old. Holy cow, he's grown…
What better thing is there to do when you're gimpy than to make to-do lists? And what better place to find things for your crafty to-do list than Pinterest? I know, I know, "Pinteresting" is a totally overused portmanteau… But I love it. Some of the things I want to do are more immediate (Halloween shirts), some are baby/pregnancy related, and some are just family life related, but all are things I hope to accomplish before the end of the year! And now you can keep me accountable…
This is a great tutorial for making your own nursing tanks—something I desperately wish I had the first time around! And she even shares a great place to get the basic tanks for really cheap! Source: thejensonjaunts.blogspot.com
I also have a baby quilt in the works—it's cut and the first set of things to sew are pinned.
I've tried to make a keychain with pennies of the years of my family's births (was that too many plurals and possessives?) but it fell apart (I think I need to solder the loops) so now I want to remake it… but how cool would it be to stamp initials on the pennies? Source: www.lilblueboo.com
This leather/metal/button bracelet is something I pinned a while ago to make for the craft booth we did over the summer, but never got around to working on… Well, I've got all the supplies and it's actually started, I just have to finish it figure out what to do with it! Source: brassyapple.blogspot.com
Well, that's my to-do list for the rest of the year… Not including Christmas presents or anything like that! Hum, maybe I'm overextending myself… We'll see!