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Nursery DIY A,B,C’s

29 Sep

Shortly after my husband and I moved into our house, we found out we were expecting a baby.  Much of our time here has been spent updating minor things and making sure that our home is in order.  Attentiveness to decorating our children’s rooms has been somewhat low on the list.  My baby is now 14mo old and I am FINALLY getting around to creating some fun decorations for his room.

The absolute best part about this creation is that it cost me under $5 to make!!  If you don’t have the items on hand, I can imagine this project costing at most $15.

What you need:

  • An old pair of jeans
  • scissors
  • glue
  • glitter
  • yarn/ribbon/twine
  • mini clothespins (I got both colored and plain wood)  <—the only thing I had to purchase
  • push pins

 

Using a pair of jeans that my 10 year old son had grown out of and a pair of scissors, I proceeded to cut hearts out of the jean material. 

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Each heart out is a different size creating variation for a visually interesting piece.

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Make sure that you have at least 27-28 hearts in case you make a mistake later in the project.

Next, you will need glue and glitter.

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Draw a letter of the alphabet on a heart with the glue and then sprinkle glitter onto the glue (gently tapping off the excess).

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Set the letters aside to dry overnight.

The glue will bleed through the back of the jean material, so be sure to put each heart on a hard surface that can be cleaned easily once they are fully dried.

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Once the letters are dried, you will need yarn, ribbon, or twine and your mini clothespins.

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Shake off any additional glitter and then attach each letter to the yarn/ribbon/twine with the mini clothespins (you may need to readjust the letters a bit later)

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Be sure to make a loop before the “A” and after the “Z”.

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Once you are done attaching your letters, carefully take the finished project to the nursery as well as a handful of push pins. 

Push a pin into each end of your nursery wall and then hang the string of letters up using the loop at the beginning of the “A” and the end of the “Z”. 

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Once you’ve hung the “A” and “Z” end up, go through and push a few pins in at different points along the string of letters to create a wave pattern on the wall.  If you’d like, you can also hang the letters more tightly so it forms a straight line across the wall.

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I had to go along and adjust some of the letters so they weren’t hanging funny off of the yarn after I pinned each section up.  You may need to do this as well so each letter can be seen properly. 

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I loved this project because it was easy, took only a moderate amount of time (easily broken up into segments which works for busy moms like myself!), and was almost free!!!  The only thing I had to purchase were the mini clothespins, which I found at Hobby Lobby for around $3.  Aren’t they darling!!!

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Baby boy loves it too!  ❤

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On the Heels of Success…

15 Oct

I am sitting here with dirty hair, an iced capp, a glass of water, and a forlorn look on my face.  The baby is still in his car seat.  I’ll probably leave him there for a bit since he is sleeping and I need a moment of silence.  I’m forlorn because yet again, I failed at this thing called parenthood.  This failure naturally comes right on the heels of awesome successes, but the mistakes just seem so much more giant to me than the perfections.

A few minutes ago, I barked a quick ‘I love you’ and stern ‘be good in school’ and frantic ‘hurry up’ at my son as he scrambled out of the car to get in to school before the bell rang.  His responses were in tune with mine and thankfully he made it to school on time.  I drove away, shaking my head, super frustrated with myself.  Tim Horton’s tried to sugar soothe my bruised ego a bit with a cinnamon roll and iced capp but to no avail.  I still feel miserable.

Remembering to set your alarm is a great thing to do.  I did that!  Woo!  But, remembering to set your phone to ‘alarm’ or ‘vibrate’ or ‘ring’ would have been much more helpful than the ‘silent’ that I left it on.  So, yea, my alarm went off…silently and I kept sleeping…silently.  Waking at 7:40am to my almost 3 month old baby’s cries wasn’t so bad.  I mean, school starts at 8:30am and we live 2 minutes away, so that wasn’t a huge deal.  I got my 9 1/2 year old up and in the shower, changed the wee babe, and started nursing him.  Once my eldest son was dressed and ready to go, I had him check his book bag to make sure he got all the papers out and put his reading book in.  I heard an “Oh man!!” from him as he pulled things from his bag.  “What?!” I yelped.  “I had homework and totally forgot about it!!” he cried.  Of course then I went off with pointless parental questions such as “Why didn’t you remember?” or “Don’t you realize how important getting your homework done is?” or “Why did you do that?”  Sigh.  Naturally, I got equally as pointless answers.  Now, here I am wondering to myself how in the heck this happened.  I always check his book bag and make sure he gets his work done, but here we are, Monday morning, frustrated with one another and a large project unfinished with only 27 minutes left before school begins.  I started pressing him to get as much done as possible which was a pointless venture considering the sizable amount of information he would have to retain and record.  My perfectionist brain got upset when I looked over his paper and saw spelling errors and so he heard about that too.  I’m just not a picture of love and flower blossoms when I’m feeling the heat and turning into frazzle dazzle mommy.

Reluctantly, I wrote a note to his teacher explaining that her student failed at remembering his homework and therefore it is unfinished and I failed at checking up on him until too late.  That was painful.

As I nurse my drink, I realize that in the hustle and bustle of the morning, I completely forgot that our Friday routine got thrown off by a wedding I was matron of honor in.  I mean, generally, when he gets off of the bus on Friday, as soon as he comes in the door I ask him if he has any homework.  If he does (and he often does), I make him do it right away.  But, this past Friday, my husband picked him up for school, got him and our baby ready for a wedding, and carted them off to the church to celebrate with the lovely couple.  The whole evening was filled with celebratory festivities.  The next day, we did chores together as a family.  I had a vocal audition which scared the crap out of me.  Then, we left as a family and went shopping for diapers, paint, and a halloween costume in the dreary rainy weather, came home, ate nachos, watched a movie, and went to bed.  It was a good day.  Sunday, we had church, went to lunch with friends, dressed up and went to the State Theatre to watch Scared Shrekless, walked to the library, checked out some books, went home, did more chores, ate dinner, and then read books together until it was time for bed.  I fell asleep Sunday evening feeling happy about how successful the weekend had been even though my house is a cluttered mess and my refrigerator and pantry are pretty empty.  And then this…  this failure.

As a parent, mistakes like this really make me feel low, stupid, weak, and like a complete and utter failure.  I mean, I know super moms who are probably going to read this blog and smile at my simplicity and think of a hundred ways I could have organized my weekend better and why I shouldn’t be flying by the seat of my pants.  I wish I didn’t even think of the super moms.  I definitely didn’t ‘save the day’ here.

But, while driving home earlier, I had a thought.  As a Christian, the Lord is my perfect and holy Father.  He cares for me and loves me perfectly.  He also has consistently offered His help if I simply ask for it.  He has told me over and over again that in my weakness then he is strong…that when I fall, He will pick me up.  Yea, I expect to be perfect like He is…I mean, He is my Father after all.  That bar is set pretty high, I guess, but He has told me over and over that He alone is perfect and that’s why I need Him.  Most of the time, I try to just get through the day.  I get frustrated at myself when I fail and question my worth right along with those short comings.  But, this morning, I am reminded that He is my friend and that He wants to help…I just have to ask, you know?  I wish I had it all perfectly together, and I’m sure as the years go on, I’ll learn how to get it more and more together like so many other women I know and admire.  But, for today, I am going to have to get back to the heart of the matter and start relying more on the Lord to help me get through each day.

It’s not easy to just ‘shake off’ failures like these, so instead, I am going to pocket this lesson in the memory book of my mind and do my best to include the Lord in my future moments so my failures can become His successes.

I am not perfect, but I am perfectly me and in His perfection, he formed me.  I am thankful for being wonderfully made and I am thankful that when I am knocked down I know that I don’t have to stay down.  I’ve got a Friend that sticks closer than a brother and He teaches me how to forgive myself with how perfectly he forgives me.

Now, for that shower before the baby wakes up…

Baby Love

6 Sep

When I look at myself in the mirror, I can definitely pick out all my flaws;  the ill fitting clothes, the bulges, the dark circles under my eyes, the greasy hair, the fact that I haven’t been able to find time to make a proper meal, brush my hair, put on any make up, or take a shower in 2 days.

But, I am learning a lesson… from my 7 week old son.  When he looks at me, he doesn’t see my flaws.  He just sees his mommy.  I can tell he loves me…unconditionally.  When I pick him up or make funny faces or noises, he’ll reward me with the most adorable little smiles.  He’ll stare into my face forever with his beautiful blue eyes, and I am overwhelmed with the fact that no matter how much wrong I see about myself, he sees all the good.  My baby just sees his mommy, the one he loves, no matter what.

I guess, it just reminded me that I need to look at myself differently.  I carried this tiny being inside of me for almost 10 months.  I nurse and nurture my tiny babe with all the love I can possibly muster from my heart.  I sing, rock, bounce, and cuddle my little one.  I change dirty diapers 50 gazillion times a day.  I laugh at his silly little scream cry and the adorable faces he makes when he is waking up, sad, happy, intrigued, or upset.

Yea, I’m imperfect, and everyone else may see me that way too, but to this one little being, he sees me perfectly, loves me no matter what, and that makes all the difference.

Busty Confessions

3 Jul

At almost 37 weeks pregnant, the pressure has really been on for me to not only complete everything I have at home left to do (which has been a lot due to a water leak that made our bathroom ceiling cave in), but also to make sure I am set for nursing when my baby boy arrives.  This means finding well fitting nursing bras.  It’d be nice to have a night gown, well fitting tank top and a few shirts designed for nursing as well, but either way, the bras are the most important.

I have been searching and searching and searching for the right fit.  I’ve tried on bras at JcPenney, Macy’s, Motherhood Maternity, Target, to name a few.  All, to no avail.  I was actually very impressed that Target carried bras in my size, and even more surprised that they had nursing bras at all, so I scooped 4 of them up.  Once I got them home, I sadly realized they just weren’t going to work.  I had been lying to myself to try to make myself believe that they would be good enough but after trying them on multiple times, I realized that I would be wasting my money to keep them.

Standing there in my bedroom, staring at my enormous breasts hanging awkwardly and bulging disturbingly out of the poorly fitting nursing bra, I hit my breaking point.

Was there NO ONE that cared about big busted women in this world?!!  I mean, there are a lot of us out there.  I know it can’t just be me, right?  I’m sorry, but I’ve never had small ones.  I’ve never been blessed with the ability to walk about in a cute little tank top with a soft little mini sports bra to hold up my tiny still perky bumps.  That is a blessing women of a different breed were given.  Not me.  I have large melons that hang off of the front of me.  If I walked around without a sturdy bra on, they would sag down to my belly button, or I’d have to push one of the monsters out from underneath my armpit, or I’d be so perky I’d be walking about with my arms crossed over my chest so no one would notice my nips that appear out of no where with no shame.  Ugh.  While I love my breasts and am very thankful for them, they have also at times been the bane of my existence.

If you don’t have large breasts, carry on, and read no further.  All this will give you is a good laugh, but you have no possible way of even beginning to understand what it is like…  the back pain, the awkwardness, the shirts that fit everywhere except there.  Yea.  It’s just not your battle.  But, it is mine.

And of course, I would have to make the decision to nurse my child which means for months on end, I’ll have to pop one of these puppies out at any given minute for my child to suckle.  Being this far along and knowing that day is coming soon (very soon), I was getting very ticked off that no one could accommodate my well endowed form.

Now, let me be clear.  Just because a tag claims that it’s XL or XXL or 38DD does not mean that it will actually work, thus my experience with the aforementioned companies I had shopped at.  I needed something that would support my form.  A bra that had enough padding that I didn’t have to stuff it full of nursing pads just so I didn’t have to cross my arms in front of my chest all day.  Something where I didn’t bulge out in weird places.  In short, I just wanted a bra that I could wear all day long without having to think about my boobs all day.  I mean, seriously.  It’s like wearing underwear that keep giving you that horrid wedgie, or cause the butt bulge because they’re too tight…all you can think about all day is those dang underpants!  The last thing I need to be concerned about when I’m getting to know my newborn is how awfully my bra is fitting me.

Last night, in a last ditch attempt, I begged Google for an answer.  I found a few well endowed nursing comrades truly did exist in the world and they had great advice!  A bra company called Bravado! was well recommended by quite a few moms out there.  So, I went on a hunt for a store in our Great Lakes Bay Region that carried this highly acclaimed boulder holder.  My searching led me to Corset Shop Intimates in Saginaw on Center Rd.

This morning, I called and timidly asked them if they carried nursing bras.  They said YES!  I then asked what sizes they carried for nursing mamas.  They spouted off some number like 46H or something ridiculously bigger than I am (and sweetheart, if that is a size you need, I feel your pain!).  I was asked what size I was looking for and with renewed faith in this world, I told them I was looking for 38DD and they told me that they had a few different styles.  Oh my goodness, for real?!?!??!  I hopped in my car and promptly drove myself straight there.  When I walked in, the ladies were very friendly, professional, knowledgeable, and kind.  I didn’t feel intimidated or stupid because my breasts were as large as they are, and believe me, when you ask at a typical department store if they have your size (and it’s that big), you get looks and “welllll…..I’m not so sure about that…I’ll have to look, but, I just don’t know….”  At Corset Shop Intimates, I never felt silly.  They were so helpful!

Not only did I find a nursing bra, I found 3 of them (and could have purchased more if my pocket book had allowed me to do so)!!  I purchased two different styles by Bravado! Designs.  The 1st style is called ‘The Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra”.

The Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra

They had a few neutral colors available in my size (which happens to be L for this particular style). While this bra does not have an under wire, it is still very supportive and has pockets for nursing pads to easily be inserted, is very soft, and meant to be worn comfortably through the night or with a casual outfit.  This bra was $49.00.  The 2nd style I purchased by Bravado! Designs is called “The Bliss Nursing Bra”.

The Bliss Nursing Bra

This came in size 38 D/E(DD) and fit beautifully.  It also does not have an under wire (which I typically can not go without), but the band under the cups is very sturdy and the straps fit firmly over your shoulders without digging in to them.  The cups cover the full breast, are comfortably padded, and the design, while not the most sexy, is still classy with a lovely sheen and lace embellishment on the front.  This bra was $54.00.  The last bra I purchased was called “Sexy Mama-Nursing Bra” by a company called Le Mystere.

Sexy Mama Nursing Bra

The bra came in size 38E and while the most expensive of the 3 bras I purchased, also fit so well and looked so great, I had to have it.  This bra is an under wire with a fully padded cup, 4 rows of clasps in the back (horizontally and vertically), and is a lovely nude color with an ivory lace overlay.  It is a nursing bra that makes me feel like a WOMAN (not just a buffet):  sexy, confident, and proud of what God gave me.  This bra was $66.00.

At Corset Shop Intimates, if you purchase 3 or more bras or panties, you receive 15% off your purchase, so instead of paying $179.14 with tax, I ended up paying $152.27.  Given the fact that I never make such expensive purchases for myself, this normally would have been extremely difficult for me, but I felt extremely comfortable buying these well fitting items from such a well managed shop.  I am so thankful that I found this shop and am now ready to have this baby knowing that I am well equipped to nurse him comfortably!