Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Denver is Here

I can't believe that one week ago, we became a family.  Denver Jude joined us on January 8...just as mommy and daddy both predicted he would.  This week has been an incredible learning experience.  As new parents, you really have no idea what to expect.  There is no instruction manual or how-to guide that can prepare you for the changes and experiences that come with a newborn.

One of the hardest things was preparing for this little man, when I had no idea what I would need.  Here's a few must-haves that helped us get through the first days with our bundle.

This swing is incredible!  We thought he might be too young to use a swing, but it put him right to sleep when he was tired, and let him sit with mommy and daddy when he was awake.  Any swing is probably great, but what I love about this swing is that it rocks in three different directions, and it plugs into the wall so no batteries!

Dr. Brown's Bottles & Bottle Warmer
We weren't sure what kind of bottles to choose.  That is by far the most intimidating aisle at Babies R' Us.  You have no way of knowing which nipple your little one is going to like.  A friend let us try a Dr. Brown bottle and we had instant success!  I think Denver appreciates the  little vent system that prevents air bubbles.  I appreciate the convenience of the bottle warmer!  I didn't think I needed the extravagant warmer and figured I would use the microwave or stove top, but there is no denying that this handy contraption is one of the best purchases we made.  I throw a bottle in, hit the button, change Denver's diaper, and it is just the right temperature in just the right amount of time!

Cloth Diapers
We use these for everything...except diapers.  They make great burp cloths, eye boogy grabbers, spit up catchers, and just about any other strange baby ooze getter you can think of.

Medela Nipple Shields
For some reason, the lactation consultant at the hospital let me struggle tirelessly all day and night to get little Denver to latch on and breast feed.  This was impossible, then frustrating, then a little depressing.  Then, she told me that she had a little trick up her sleeve...a nipple shield.  Why couldn't we start with this?!  It basically turns you into a bottle so your little one will latch on a little more easily.  Genius. 
Cute Socks
Just because they're so darn cute.

Amazing Husband/Daddy
Someone who will wake up with you in the middle of the night.  Someone who will help you with the laundry, dishes, and dinner.  Someone who will cheer you on when you wonder if you will be a good mommy.  Someone who will change diapers when you can't get out of bed.  Someone who will sing to the baby when he thinks nobody can hear him on the other end of the monitor.  Someone who will love that baby just as much a you do.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ornament Remembrance Gift

Christmas was a little rough this year since all of our funds are going straight to baby savings.  We had to get a little creative with our gift giving.  I won't claim credit for thinking of this.  In fact, I found it via my new addiction, Pinterest.  I am not very sentimental and I tend to toss invitations and announcements...but never again!

From Glitter to Gumdrops shares a great tutorial on how to turn a special mailing into a treasured ornament.  I won't walk you through this steps since Christine does a great job.  Here is her ornament.  Lovely!

I decided to do this for my sister and her husband for their first Christmas as husband and wife.  I think it came out pretty good.  The little Eiffel Tower is actually from her wedding.  It was a charm that we attached to her wine bottle favors.  It was hard to get a good shot, but basically I used my paper cutter to cut her invitation into strips, then wrapped them around a pencil to make curly-q's, and then twisted them into the ornament.  I stocked up right after Christmas and bought a dozen clear ornaments for future gifts. 

It's all in the presentation.  It looked great in this red box that I have been hanging onto for years.  You know when you get a box for a gift and it is such a great box that you keep it because you know it will be perfect for you to use one day?  Well, probably more than 10 years later, this box finally found the perfect gift.

A Long Time Coming

Sorry again for the lapse in posts. I really do want to be one of those dedicated and devoted bloggers, but I always seem to lose touch. My dear husband bought me an iPad as an early push gift and told me he hoped it would inspire me to blog more...am I crazy to think I could resume blogging and take care of a newborn? Probably, but it's worth a shot.

In the spirit of my due date (which is today, though our little man didn't get the memo), I will share a super exciting project that we've been working on...our nursery! Let's see if I remember how to do this.

 Remember our junk room turned guest room?  In our short time here, this room has seen many changes.  The blue and red molding that once trimmed the dingy walls, soon became bright white on pale country yellow walls.  We did this knowing that one day, in not-too-far-off future, this room would become a nursery.  First, some not so nice pictures.

And then who can forget the crafting closet that Ian built for me?

Well, now the room has undergone another transformation.  Now, it is our son's nursery.  It started off like this...a holding place for my old furniture, tools and fixtures for our mini bathroom, and gifts from my story-book shower (more on that later).  I should make a hidden picture game out of this photo.  Can you spot the hydrangea, CD player, dalmatian, 2 vacuums, the Hungry Hungry Caterpillar, and the toilet?

I hated to lose my craft closet, but my dad made us an offer we couldn't refuse!  If you've taken our house tour, you know that we rely solely on a single bathroom that is in our bedroom upstairs...awkward for guests, to say the least.  I am hoping to cloth diaper thanks to the inspiration of my favorite DIYers at Young House Love, so it only made sense to put in a bathroom downstairs.  This was not an easy task in our quaint little abode, so we decided to turn our craft closet into the tiniest bathroom you've ever seen.

We starting off thinking we wanted to go with a woodland theme...perfect for our setting here at Quaint Oaks.  But then I fell in love with bedding from Land of Nod...Glad About Plaid.  I had to go with primary colors.  I absolutely love the plaid!  This was my crib when I was a baby.  My little sister used it, too.  Now, thanks to my father-in-law, it has a fresh coat of paint.  He even painted the spindles for me.  In love.  We installed a cheapo shelf from Hobby Lobby to hold our baby monitors.  Yes, monitors.  One is your average monitor that we can use in and around the house. The other is the Bambino Wireless Internet Monitor.  This will allow daddy and grandma to tune in and see our little bambino whenever they feel like it through their laptops and iPhones.  Awesome baby gift from my team at school.

The photo wall underwent minor changes, with more to come over time.  I made the four primary color paper prints.  I love simple paper crafts.  The larger piece, shamefully blemished by my camera flash (still learning) is a collage of boy-terms inspired by an Etsy find.  The banner was made by one of my best friends who used it as a backdrop for the candy buffet at my baby shower.  It's cut short but you can probably guess...it says Once Upon A Time.  The little blocks spell the name of our little man, but I sneakily flipped them over for the pictures.  Can't take any chances!


I love this piece of wall art.  I'm surprised Ian let me get it because it's from Target, but I really fell for it.  Each state has the capital and illustrations that relate to each one.  The colors are perfect.  Did you realize that mobiles are oober expensive???  Why?!?  I could not bring myself to spend $50+ on a mobile so I made one.  I broke out my paper punches, again, and went nuts.  Some clear cord and 3 needlepoint looms later, I ended up with this crazy contraption.

Since I am using my old furniture, which was also used by my little sister after me, and our mother when she was a little girl, I do not have a proper changing table.  Also, since we turned our only closet into a bathroom, we sacrificed our only storage.  I have to get creative so I decided to buy 4 pails which I hung on the wall with simple wall hooks.  These hold diapering supplies and other things that I need to reach quickly.  The table just provides a place to put stuff while I'm changing all of those delightful diapers.  It's difficult to see in this picture, but I turned the small bachelor chest into a changing table.  It wasn't easy to find a mini changing pad, but I finally did!  I secured it to the dresser with Velcro.  The cover was another challenge, but I got one from Land of Nod to match the bedding.  I threw it in the wash and shrunk it down a bit, so it's close enough.

The lamp was another challenge.  I got the idea to find a fill-able lamp that I could fill with marbles, jacks, or Legos.  This turned out to be much more difficult than I thought.  After a number of stores and internet searches, I found this at HomeGoods.  It's awful, and it was a bit of a gamble because I wasn't sure if it would open nicely.

So, with a simple turn of the wrench, the bottom popped right off with a hole big enough to fill the lamp with anything I like!  The shade got swapped out, and...

And finally, the bathroom.  It's so tiny that it's hard to get a good picture.  My dad did the electric, his friend did all of the plumbing, and Ian did all of the drywall, painting, and bead board.  Though it's small, it has been sooo nice to have a bathroom on the first floor.

So here it is.  The hutch was a part of my furniture from when I was little.  My favorite part is the built in nightlight.  The shelves are from Ikea and offer some great storage.  I found that great oversized basket at HomeGoods for toys. 

Daddy and Booper are testing out our glider and ottoman...great thrift shop find for $12!  The rug is from Ikea.  Our little man is going to love it. 

Here's one more glimpse of the crib and changing table.  It took us a while but we finally got it all done.  It is so cozy in here. 

So I got through this entire blog and still no sign of our little man trying to make it on his due date.  Oh well.  I need to stop being so impatient and relish in these last days of quiet and independence!  ...but I really can't wait to just hold him in my arms.