bybmg: April 2013
Handmade goods have a big place in my heart. I admit I'm not the best at shopping for them because I'm often a last minute shopper, but I love to peruse Etsy and dream of what I would buy if I had endless funds.

Here are some things I'm loving lately.

These are adorable and pretty reasonable!  I'm sure I could make them, but that would involve me buying a lot of fabric.

If you don't have a perpetual calendar, I would recommend getting one. I have one from a while back and it's wonderful to keep track of birthdays. I'm not the best at always looking ahead on my Google Calendar.

You know I love me some chevron! These are adorable! Don't be surprised if you see these on Wesley's little toes in the fall.

If you know me, you know I love giraffes, but I didn't want to make ALL my children have everything giraffe. So with Wesley, we've tried to buy him some other animal items...mostly elephant. I love this little hat!

I bought a few sets of these from this shop 4+ years ago.  I STILL use them!

I knew the transition home when Wesley was born would be very different from Henry's first few weeks. Russ wasn't able to stay with me in the hospital over night because he had to be home with Henry. My attention has to be shared in the mornings/evenings between Henry and Wesley. It's just different. Not different bad or good, just different.

Here are some items and ideas that have helped us/me make these first couple weeks go well.

Mommy gear:

Nursing Tanks - HELLO! These are wonderful. I basically live in them. I have 5, and I just rotate through. They are comfortable. I lounge around the house in one of these and my sweats. Amazing. I've gotten all of mine from Target and am very happy with them.

Open Front Cardigans - I have a couple, and on a whim, I stuck them in my hospital bag. They are wonderful to wear over nursing tanks when you get a bit chilly or have visitors, but there's no rough zipper or buttons to contend with. I often wear them to bed so I am cozy, but ready to get up in the middle of the night.

This is one from Forever 21. I don't have it, but it's the closest I could find to what I am wearing and it's pretty reasonably priced!

Baby Carrier - I've only used ours a couple times so far, but I know it's going to be soooo handy playing outside this summer with Henry. I splurged and went for the Ergobaby Options with this baby, because I wasn't happy with the one we had for Henry. I like that is can just be plain black for daddy or I can jazz it up with some cute for me. This brand of carrier is one of the top rated baby carriers, and I can already tell why. It is comfortable and can be worn 3 different ways: front, back, or side.

Water Bottle - Being a nursing mama, my hunger and thirst is through the roof. I have this Camelbak bottle (in pink, of course). I don't have to worry about spills and it's a good size.

White Noise App - I've used this app for a while. It's only $1.99, and worth every cent! I used it in the hospital to drown out the random noises in the night. It's great to drown out some of the sounds during the day when I can get in a nap, and it masks some of the little baby noises I hear through the monitor. I can still hear Wesley when he needs to eat, but I don't hear every little noise the little man makes.

Blessings - Ok. This is nothing you can do for yourself, but I pray you have wonderful friends that surround you during this transition. We have had some friends bless us with meals. Whether it was calling in pizza to be delivered to our home or bringing over a home-cooked meal, we have been truly blessed by some wonderful people. If you know a family that is having a new baby, this is one of the biggest blessings you can give them. I HIGHLY encourage you to bring them a meal...home-cooked or simply some take-out from a place they enjoy. I have been the blesser and the person receiving the blessing and it feels good all around! (I think I said bless a few too many times, but it's true!)

For the big brother:

We didn't really know how Henry would react to his new sibling. We'd prepared him as much as we could, talking about how to be gentle, transitioning him to his big boy room, getting BIG BROTHER shirts, and having him shop for a gift for his new sibling. (I say sibling because we didn't know Wesley was a boy until birth.)

Henry really just needed some extra attention focused on him in the first weeks after Wesley was born. We were blessed to have family who made sure Henry felt special and got attention when they visited. We tried to do a couple things, and will continue to do things, that are just Henry things. Henry has remained in daycare, and that's been great for him to have his own place during the day. Our daycare provider has been through the 1 to 2 kiddo transition and understands Henry and his needs, too.

Movie Night - The first Friday night we were all home as a family, Russ took Henry to the store to pick a movie to rent and get some snacks. The kid got to pick out different colored M&Ms, a Spider-Man juice, and Wreck it Ralph, and it made his night! We made sure to tell him that this movie was all for him. Wesley didn't get to pick it or pick the snacks. It definitely made him feel special. We will do this often because it costs hardly anything and we can all stay tucked inside.

Special Toy - I'm not an advocate of buying your kids things all the time, but that first week, we also went to the toy store. Henry thoughtfully looked over the toys. We helped him narrow it down to a few choices, and he came home with the Pizza Planet truck that shoots out pizzas. Again, we expressed that this trip and new toy were just for him. Wesley wasn't getting a new toy. The kid grinned from ear to ear!

Special Outings - We've done a couple special outings in the evenings to keep Henry a-float. We aren't always regulars at the library, but daddy took him to the library the other night to pick out a book. We have also been to our local ice cream shop a couple times. Again, I'm not a proponent of buying off your kid, but you may know that small children really appreciate gifts and the gift of time.

Mommy Time - I spend a large chunk of my time feeding and rocking Wesley. Daddy is an awesome partner, but I'm the only one that can feed him right now. We're not ready to head to the bottle just yet. I try, as often as I can, to be Henry's night time routine person. If it's not time for Wesley to eat, I hand him off to daddy and snuggle in for some nighttime stories and chatting before I tuck Henry in. Henry gets lots of daddy time driving to and from daycare as well as many mornings when I'm trying to get in a few more winks of sleep.

Helper - Whenever we can, we ask Henry to help with Wesley. There isn't a ton a three-year-old can do right now, but when he can, he fetches a diaper, pacifier, or watches Wesley's bath.

So, we're into Wesley's third week of life. I'm sleep deprived, but amazingly blessed (There's that word again!). I just wanted to share with you a few things that have kept us going these first weeks.

I'd love to hear some ideas you have if you've been through this before. 

Linking up for Mommy Mondays with Simply Just Lovely

For Christmas, Russ got me this awesome page-a-day calendar compiling both of our Instagram accounts from Printstagram. I keep it on my desk at school and definitely don't throw a single page away! I keep all the photos of past days in a box, and the other day I had time to go through and pick out some of my favorites.

I had a couple random canvases laying around the house, so I put the Mod Podge to work again! I trimmed off the dates from the photos and arranged them on the canvas. Then I put a couple layers of Mod Podge over them. I ended up with a great piece of art for our bedroom!

The wall looks pretty bare right now, but I'm sure I will create some more things to add to it this summer.

I also made a smaller version for Henry's room. It looks fun next to the Oh Henry art his Great Aunt Karen got him.I know I probably need to stop with the Mod Podge and canvas, but I just can't get enough right now!

I thought I'd also sneak in a couple shots of the art I made 2 summers ago for above our bed. Henry had to get into the picture, too. :) These trees were in inspiration for my tattoo.  I'll share my tattoo with you another day!  Have a great week!

I don't know what it is about buntings, but I like them though I haven't made many. I also have a thing for canvas, so I decided to combine the two for a piece of wall art for the baby's nursery.

The supplies you'll need: canvas, Mod Podge, brush, fabric scraps, and string. I used a small brush (not pictured) as well as the big brush.
I also made a small cardboard pattern for the bunting triangles just to be consistent with their shape.
Then, I cut out a variety of colors of triangles. I hunted through my scraps of fabric and found colors that are in the nursery.
I laid out the triangles first and used the Mod Podge to secure them to the canvas.
Then I added the string and layered Mod Podge on it to secure it down.

I filled in all the gaps on the canvas with Mod Podge so that it would all be shiny when dry, not just the areas around the fabric and string. I let it dry for a small amount of time and then touched up areas that looked like they might need a little more Mod Podge to stick them down. Then, I let it dry for good.

I'm happy with how it turned out. I grouped it with a framed chalkboard and another piece I made using this tutorial. Also, I got some new fabric to make curtains. Lots to do and little time to do it.

The DIY'ers I linked up! You should too!
As you probably know, my shop has its home on Etsy. There are so many great sellers on there, and if I had an unlimited amount of money, that's where I would probably go to spend it. My husband has really taken a liking to Etsy and gets most of my gifts from there.

I thought I would take the opportunity every once in a while to feature some cute things I'm seeing there!

Birdhouse Jewelry - State Charms
These would be adorable for a charm bracelet or just to sport your home state around your neck. I may be getting Iowa soon!

For Henry everything is giraffes. LBG 2.0 has an elephant to take his/her monthly picture with, and I hope to make elephants his/her special animal. This would be a cute one to add to the collection.

I know this seller personally. She makes the cutest little hats. If LBG 2.0 is a girl, this one will be ordered ASAP!

Bootcuff Susie - Crochet Boot Cuffs
I ordered a pair of these for myself. I really like them. They add a little detail without a lot of bulk and you can't beat the price!

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