Saturday, October 30, 2010

Homemade Halloween

Harry and Daddy were hard at work this week in the garage. We heard the crinkling of foil furnace tape and infectious giggles as the two of them constructed Harry's Halloween costume. Our garage was transformed into the laboratory of a mad scientist...scratch that...mad engineer and his eager miniature assistant. Together they reconfigured a couple diaper boxes, some tubing from the dryer vents, light switch covers, and pipe cleaners into a robot costume which Harry wore to the Halloween parade in town today. My eager little robot loved waving at the crowd in his homemade creation. And, he caught the eye of quite a few other kids and parents, happily smiling at their compliments on his costume.

Not to be outdone, my littlest one donned a homemade costume inspired by Not the Kitchen Sink on Etsy. A white onesie, orange washcloth and fish bath toy, tied up with a large black ribbon made for Luke's sushi costume. Oh my happy little salmon maki!

Both of them will venture out tomorrow night for our first trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. Happy Halloween!

Video from today's parade can be found at All Things Media.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A few finishing touches

Well, the everything-but-the-cake birthday box is almost complete. I just need to finish putting together the party hats, sample thank-you card, and the high-chair banner, take some pictures, and post it to my Etsy shop tomorrow.

The boys and I had a wonderful time making cupcakes this evening so that I could show off how the cupcake toppers looked in photos. Take a look!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Mother Knows?

While standing in the kitchen of a friend's home this weekend, my little one, eight week old Lukas, let out an ear-piercing wail. I carried him into the living room where I laid him on the couch and starting pumping his legs, bringing his knees up to his chest and letting him push them back down. Almost instantly the cries stopped, and Lukas gave us a gurgle and wide-eyed smile. "It's amazing how mothers just instinctively know what each cry means." Not yet a mother herself, my friend made the same assumption that I did prior to becoming a mother for the first time two years ago, that mothers have this natural intuition when it comes to their infant's cries: we instinctively know what each whimper and wail means.

This is not the case.

It's a myth that mothers can simply tell by the sound of a cry what their child may need. However, it's been repeated so many times in parenting magazines, books, blogs, and by well-intentioned grandmothers that as a culture we've convinced ourselves that mothers must have nearly magical powers when it comes to their children, that all women are born with these magical powers of premonition. I'm here to tell you this is not the case. I may have other magical powers, but I certainly can't distinguish between the cry for food versus one for a messy diaper simply on sound alone. "It's a myth that you can tell what's wrong by the sound of the cry," says Harvey Karp, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block. "Babies are like smoke alarms: You can't tell if you burnt the toast or if the whole house is burning down."

So why do new moms (and even not-so-new moms) berate themselves for not being able to decipher a need to burp cry from my-feet-are-cold cry? We drive ourselves mad, buying each new book or DVD that might help hone our intuition, in an effort to be the natural-born mom we think we should be. It is not intuition that makes us parents. It is experience.

Unlike two years ago when we were first learning to be parents, my husband and I are much less anxiety-ridden, or at the very least, we are less anxious about the little things when it comes to our newest arrival. We don't know what every cry means. Instead, we're more comfortable in the not-knowing. Each time Lukas lets out a cry, we don't rush to the baby, worry-faced, concerned that each cry indicates something horrible. We've learned that babies cry. They just cry. Instead, being a parent has taught us the importance of being patient, taking deep breaths, and remembering that our newborn is learning just like we are.

In the case of this weekend, I knew that I had fed Lukas about an hour earlier and that he tends to be a bit gassy following a feeding. So I took a guess that Lukas was crying because he needed to pass gas. I pumped his legs to help relieve his tummy. He gurgled and smiled when he filled his diaper. It wasn't intuition. It was gas.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy Birthday

I'm almost finished putting together our first birthday box - a monkey-themed first birthday set that includes:
  • 10 invitations - customized with your party information
  • 10 thank-you cards
  • 1 large banner
  • 1 high chair banner
  • 1 door sign
  • 3 smaller signs
  • 15 cupcake toppers
  • 15 napkin rings
  • 18 stickers for treat bags
  • and a booklet of even more ideas to help you plan your party!
Watch for it to hit our Etsy store early next week!
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