27 March 2015

A Shower for Every Baby

I'll be honest, when a friend of mine asked if she could throw me a baby shower for our upcoming #2, I hesitated. Even though last fall I had attended a beautiful shower thrown by the same friend for another pal's #4, I still wasn't sure if anyone I knew would want to come.

It seemed odd. I didn't need any "big stuff," or really anything at all. But my friend reminded me that the shower isn't about the stuff, it's about the baby and the mommy and her support network. Really, this was going to be a bit of a 'blessingway' (minus the power circle and the hippy-dippy henna belly crap; not my style).

I trusted her, and we had a nice intimate shower (I probably would call it a "sprinkle") a few weeks ago. My husband's mother, aunts, and grandmother came. My neighbors and some friends showed up. All in all, about 10 people. My mom and sister were there in spirit.

There were just a few food items and super-yummy cupcakes.

There were introductions and some good advice from the older women (and a bit of good-natured ribbing about me reading so many parenting books and trying to find evidence-based methods--have I mentioned I majored in Child & Family Development and have no clue how to parent?).

Onesies were decorated. A few faves include some "Little Sister" onesies and "Mom's Little Peach" (hey, I am from Georgia, after all).

There were also gifts, but not the crazy explosion from my shower for #1. I received some small items like bibs, but for the most part I got diapers, both disposable and some new cloth. Cora even got a "Coolest Big Sis" shirt.

We also made bracelets/anklets (or a keychain in my case) with 3 cords, based on the verse from Ecclesiastes 4:12:
Where one alone may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken.
I think the premise is to wear/have it until the baby comes and pray for the baby and birth every time you see it.

At the end, my friend prayed over me and handed out a sheet with some intentions on it for everyone to take home and keep in their prayers. I'm sure her freestyle prayer made the older Catholic ladies a bit uncomfortable, but due to my Bible Belt upbringing, I'm more than happy to make them squirm. (And hey, it's Lent! Get uncomfortable.)

Only five days later, my work threw a baby shower for me and another girl who is due in July. Our office hasn't had anyone pregnant in at least 7 years, so that one was awesome, too, in its own special way.

I definitely think we should support our friends in their subsequent pregnancies, not just their first. The shower really is about the baby and mama, not about the gifts. A simple non-Pinterest-worthy diapers & wipes party with some flowers, food, and festivities would probably be appreciated by any pregnant mama, whether it's her first, second, or even eighth child on the way.
I got to take that pink hydrangea home, and I amazingly haven't killed it yet.
What are your thoughts on having a shower (or just a 'sprinkle') for every pregnancy? Tacky or sweet?

21 March 2015

I Can't Have a Baby Right Now -- My Schedule is Already Full (7QT)

I wrote most of this last night, but B forced me to go to bed before I could hit "publish." He's a good man, but he'll never understand blogging.

It's all there in the title. While most women are trying everything under the sun to naturally induce labor by this point, I'm actually avoiding some of that stuff. No castor oil for me (never never, yuck).

First of all, I'm sick. Cora got some type of plague this past weekend and missed daycare in favor of sleeping all day on Monday and Tuesday, and then it hit me bad enough that I skipped out on Tuesday Zumba class. I'm still congested and should probably be sleeping instead of blogging right now.

I was lying on one couch, her on another. We sure know how to party.

Of course everyone at the daycare thought Cora's absence meant baby sister had come, especially since when B dropped her off on Wednesday morning, she kept telling everyone she has a sister. A sister named Daisy. Girlfriend is convinced her sister's name will be Daisy Duck.

We took Cora to an Easter egg hunt at her daycare this morning. They did a great job and even read The Story of Easter before the kids got to go on the hunt. For tomorrow, I won a photo session from B's very talented cousin, so I guess we'll be doing some [very] last-minute maternity and family photos (what to wear?).

If the baby comes in the next week, it messes up my maternity leave a bit, making me have to go back to work while B does his Reserve commitment in Italy the last 2 weeks of May. I'd have to find a sitter just for that short term since he'll be staying at home for half the summer (as far as we know right now).

This is the dumbest thing ever, but ever since I knew my due date was April 3, I never even considered having a March baby. April Fool's day baby? Yes. (This has been a very popular date in both my work and family baby pools, too.)

Aside from babies, who is playing the March Madness brackets? We have a tourney going at work that I'm pretty sure I won't win, but it's the first time I ever put money down on sports. I also filled out a women's bracket because I technically know more about that than the men's stuff. Notre Dame women all the way!
Georgia Lady Dogs didn't qualify for the tourney for the first time in YEARS, then our coach retired, but at least I have an awesome co-worker who made this dress for baby!!

My sister gave me a TON of hand-me-downs for baby. Reason #197,489 she can't come yet is this mess:
The 'pre-sort' pic is over on Instagram. It is scary.
My sister had twins a year ago, and between this and the clothes that multiplied, I'm a bit overwhelmed. Blessed, but overwhelmed.

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06 March 2015

How to Do Laundry Only Once a Week (7QT)

When I hear that some people do laundry every single day, you should see the odd sideways glance I give them. Actually, no, you shouldn't. I'm probably a jerk. I don't care how many kids you have, once a day is too flippin' much. Our family, with 2 working parents and a fully(!) potty-trained 3-year-old girl does laundry on Saturday. And only Saturday. (I will admit when I stayed home full-time, we did laundry on Tuesday AND Saturday. But we could have gotten away with just Saturday.)

Side note: Cloth diapers don't count as laundry, so none of this applies to those loads. Also, if you have an infant under 6 months old, I wouldn't even attempt any of this. Carry on.

Know that you'll be doing more than one load on laundry day. The most I've done in one day is 4 loads. (But I think that actually included diapers, so maybe only 3.)

B and I have one very full basket, Cora's basket is half-full or a bit more. (Kids' clothes are small!) For us, that's usually 2 full loads on laundry day.

Have only 1 child. Don't know what you'll do with the rest of them. Ship 'em off to somewhere sunny and let them run around naked, I suppose.

*I'm pretty sure I can maintain this once a week thing with 2 kids (after the 6-month window). Time will tell. After 2 kids, maybe we'll bump it up to twice a week.

Live somewhere so cold that you're inside all winter. Make sure that winter lasts at least 9 months.

Read: no mud stains to sort out. Snowsuits and coats don't get washed until June, of course.
None of this is laundry.

Have LOTS of clothes. Too many clothes, actually. Especially underwear and workout clothes. Your drawers need to be full of drawers--enough undies for everyone in your family to be able to go 2 weeks if it came down to it.

[I say this, but I'll also claim that I only have enough maternity office clothes to last me about one week right now. And yet we still make it work.]

Get a HE (High-Efficiency) washer. Our top-loader HE fits an entire basket full of clothes in it. Make sure you have a dryer with similar capacity. I don't know why top-loading HE's aren't more popular--they're only a bit more expensive than the old-school kind. This puppy has probably paid for itself in the 4.5 years we've had it.

DO NOT separate your colors. No. Just don't. Segregation is over, didn't ya hear? It's unnecessary. Separate your laundry by how it needs to be washed. Which, for us, is 2 things: hot water/high heat dry; or delicate/cold water/low heat dry (or hung). If you're afraid of your colors running, maybe try a color catcher thing. But I don't use 'em. (We also don't use bleach or fabric softener, so no need to separate towels or whites or do any of that nonsense.)
The 'hot wash' (don't-care clothes) are in the washer and the 'delicates' are standing by

Lower your standards. This is probably the most important step. Bed sheets get washed once a month. Maybe. When's the last time that bath towel was washed? Meh, keep on using it unless I have some spare space in the 'hot wash' load. The only thing I really make sure gets washed are washrags and kitchen towels, because ain't nobody got time for salmonella. And Shout totally works on weeks-old stains.

On that note, don't pre-wash anything unless you got it second-hand. This tip especially applies to brand-new baby clothes. Because if you don't take the tags off and baby never wears it, you can totally re-gift it.

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