One Little Word: Nine Months of Nurture

Mid-September seems like as good a time as any to write your first post on your word for the year, doesn’t it? Oh good, I thought so too! This is the third year I have chosen a word (2012: grateful, 2013: open), and I love how each time it’s a different experience. Last year I did a pretty extensive course on it, but this year my word has been woven into my life in a more constant way. It’s a daily reminder, and it’s one I really need. It’s been fun to look back at these past nine months and see the progression of what this word has meant to me.

In January, February, and about half of March, I was sick sick sick with my pregnancy. Nurturing myself meant spending every single day on the couch and trying not to move too much, since that made me even more nauseous. It meant trying every single nausea relief trick I could find, even though none of them worked. It meant living on crackers, bread, and seltzer water until I could keep anything else down. It meant not having any expectations of myself. It meant watching so much tv, some of it so embarrassingly bad. It meant surviving.

It also meant taking my vitamins and doing my best to send my love to my tiny baby.

In the spring I felt SO MUCH BETTER and was able to start nurturing in different ways. My husband and I took a few last “just us” trips. I walked several miles every day and got back to my regular beans/greens/grains style of eating. I could feel Micah kicking away, and I told him how much I loved him all the time. I also slept SO much. And I am glad I did!

By the summer, nurturing moved on to the nursery, where we were organizing, decorating, and putting furniture together (okay, that last one was Eric only, but one gets a halo for every piece of Ikea furniture one puts together, so I am sure he didn’t mind collecting a handful of them). I spent the rest of my time reading books to prepare for labor and getting emotionally ready for this big, wonderful, happy change in our lives.

And then one night in July I nurtured myself by taking labor one contraction and one push at a time until I was holding our sweet son. It was the best day of my life.

Suddenly there were whole new realms of nurturing to explore. I learned, and continue to learn, how to take the best care of Micah, to meet his needs, and to encourage his growth. And, of course, to shower him with love and kisses every single day. If you saw his cute little cheeks, you wouldn’t be able to stop kissing them either.

Parenting has been a wonderful adventure so far, and I’ve loved being able to nurture Eric as a father, but also as my husband. Taking time (or making time!) for our relationship has been a joy (if also a challenge!), and one I look forward to keeping up for the rest of our lives.

And nurturing has also taken on new meanings for me. It meant taking it easy during my (thankfully easy) recovery. It means taking naps when I can. It means not expecting to cook dinner every night or have the house spotless (hahaha!). It means doing my very best to be present in each moment with our son, and in each moment when he is asleep and I’m on my own.

I feel like I turned a corner when Micah was about five weeks old. “Hey,” I thought, “I could actually do something.” It wasn’t that I was unhappy–I wouldn’t trade those newborn days for anything. I just was starting to feel like I might be able to get back to doing some of the things I enjoyed doing before he was born. I talked to (the ever-supportive) Eric about it, and I made a list of fun things to do during naptime or before bed. Things like painting and journaling and reading and blogging. And then, in true Cameronian fashion, I…tried to do them all at once! This was really stressful for a few days, and then pretty hilarious. The ability to laugh at oneself can never be overrated.

Now nurturing myself means taking it one thing at a time, and enjoying the slow pace. It means embracing the time that I do have. It means being patient with myself as I lose the baby weight (not a huge preoccupation, but I would like my clothes and my rings to fit again one day!). It means taking one million pictures of my baby because I don’t want to forget anything about these precious days.

But even throughout the happy roller coaster ride of this year, there are some things about this word that haven’t changed at all, and I love that. It’s still essentially about love, of myself and of others. It’s still about being patient and present. It’s still about living every day to the fullest. It’s still a fantastic word.

On New Parenthood

At the risk of jinxing ourselves, I think we are getting the hang of this new parent thing. Eric and I were laughing the other day about how we’ve become parent ninjas. As soon as the baby’s down for a nap, we dash off to start the laundry/load the dishwasher/check our email/take a shower/make the bed. Okay, that last one was just a joke to see if you were paying attention. Ain’t nobody making the bed around here. Ain’t nobody complaining about it either.

In those first days at home, Eric asked me what I was most surprised by about being a mom so far. (He can always be counted on to ask sweet and thoughtful questions like this). I told him first that it was hard in a way that you can’t appreciate until you’re actually living it. Not impossible hard, and not even unhappy hard, but just challenging, mostly in the sleep deprivation arena. It reminded me of how I understood intellectually that morning sickness and labor were going to be hard, but I didn’t really understand what that meant until I got there. Happily, we are already sleeping an awful lot more than we did in those first weeks, but I’ll tack on an addendum: I have been surprised by how quickly you adjust to your new normal in terms of sleep. I always wondered how I would manage that, since an hour of tossing and turning in the night used to all but wreck my day. Now, six hours of sleep is my personal heaven, and I get a few naps in during the day while Micah is sleeping too. It’s awesomely manageable!

I also said that I couldn’t believe it was so much fun already. He said the same. Eric is a happy person, but I have never seen such delight in him as when he is with our son. It is amazing to watch. I’ll be down the hall putting clothes in the dryer and I’ll hear him giggling away at something Micah has done. And there are new sweet and funny things he does nearly every day.

I’d likewise add that all those parenting cliches are so, so true. It turns out that there is nothing better than holding a sleeping baby or being the recipient of a baby smile. Your whole heart is outside your body now, swaddled and lightly snoring in his crib. You can’t, in fact, imagine your life without this tiny perfect creature. I’ve never ever loved cliches this much.

And I love that we have retained the playfulness of our relationship, even while juggling so much new responsibility. The first couple of days, as we were adjusting to a new (lack of!) schedule and worrying about whether or not our baby was eating/sleeping/pooping enough, most of our conversations took place with furrowed brows and concerned expressions. As we got the hang of things, though, laughter crept right back into our lives. What you really need, I think, when you are entering a whole new world, is someone who can make you laugh, someone who can remind you that you are still you, even as you step into a demanding new role.

I have been really happy to find that my favorite things about our marriage have carried over into parenthood. We each truly want what is best for the other, and we find joy in being kind to each other. We communicate so well, and we are so good at asking each other for help when we need it. I feel like these last six weeks have shown us parts of each other that we never saw before. One night I was having trouble calming Micah, and Eric took him in his arms and said, “Here, Micah, come see your Daddy,” and I just stood there and cried, the happiest of tears.

What I Want to Give My Son

Hello, sweet friends! Thank you so much for your all your kind comments on the quilt! I am so happy to have it finished, and it was fun to show it off to my wonderful parents, who were here for the past week. It was the happiest flurry of activity: cooking and cleaning and baby rocking and walks in the stroller and, most of all, staring and smiling at our sweet baby. My parents are incredible, and this past week I saw their amazingness in a whole new way. I realized, once again, how unbelievably fortunate I am to have them in my life. Most parents want to give their children a better life than the one they had, but if I can give our son what my parents gave, and continue to give, to me, then I will consider myself to have earned an A plus at this parenting thing. I am not talking about material things, though it will be so much fun to watch Micah open presents on Christmas morning and take him to every zoo and children’s museum within a 100-mile radius. I am talking, essentially, about love. These are the things I want to give my son. These are the things my parents gave me.

A mother who is absolutely delighted to hear his voice every time he calls.

A father who proudly wallpapers his office with his artwork.

A mother who encourages him to try every little thing that he is interested in.

A father who tells him that he can be anything in the world he wants to be.

A mother who cleans toilets, cooks dinners, and always presses a $20 bill into his hand when he needs it.

A father who sends a check every month to help him make rent if he happens to be living in one of the most expensive cities in the country on a laughable graduate student salary.

A mother who fills his life with laughter and fun.

A father who tells him, when he wrecks his mother’s car three days after getting his driver’s license, that it’s just a hunk of metal and plastic, and that the important thing is that he’s okay.

A mother who will read him books all the livelong day and take him to the library whenever he wants to go.

A father who teaches him to drive stick shift, even when he accidentally runs dad’s beloved sports car up on the curb.

A mother who will let him jet off to Russia or Bosnia or wherever else he wants to go, even though it makes her nervous to have him so far away.

A father whose gentleness, patience, generosity, and persistent faith make every difficulty in life seem manageable.

Parents whose unconditional love is felt every moment of every day.

And that’s just the things they’ve done for me. Multiply that list by three to get the full effect. I could go on and on with this list of things I want to give Micah for days, but there is one thing I know I have already given him: two sets of grandparents who absolutely adore him.

Baby’s Quilt: Finished!

Baby's QuiltFirst of all, let me thank you all so much for your love and sweet comments on my last few posts. It’s probably going to be a little while before I can respond to comments regularly (someone is keeping me busy!), but I treasure each and every one of them. The only thing better than having a tremendous joy in life is having friends to share it with. Thank you so much! Also, if you would like an invitation to Micah’s baby blog, To Love So, please just leave a comment here, or shoot me an email or facebook message or send a carrier pigeon–whatever works best for you. I now realize it was probably too ambitious of me to think that I could cull through thousands of comments and enter everyone’s email addresses into the system between feedings and changings and laundry foldings. Ha! More new mom naïveté. But I don’t want to leave any of you wonderful friends out, so please email/comment/message/carrier pigeon away!

Baby's QuiltAnd now: the quilt! I finished it two days before Micah was born, which was most excellent because let me just tell you, if it hadn’t been finished before he was born, I am pretty sure it would be gathering dust for the next few months. I have to say, I love it, and, like labor, I still kind of can’t believe I did it. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to two ladies who went before me in all things quilting, without whose experience I never would have believed I could do it. The first one is my mom, who should really get the Nobel Prize for Awesomeness. Get on it, Stockholm. One of my strongest memories of childhood and adolescence was that my mom was always working on some new colorful project: fabric marbling, stamp carving, knitting and sewing and painting. There was nothing too intimidating for her–she just decided it looked like fun, and she did it. Her quilts are bold and vibrant things of beauty. I have one sitting right next to me, and I shall never give it back. The second lady is Elise Blaha, who is always inspiring me with her creativity and her can-do attitude. She started quilting a few years ago, and she made it look so…possible! I used her tutorial and this book she recommended for this quilt.

Baby's QuiltSince I have now officially finished a whole quilt, I wanted to reflect a bit on the process. There are a million steps to making a quilt, and some of them I really love. Some of them are rougher for me, but not enough to dissuade me from dreaming of making many more quilts (um, my quilting board on Pinterest is officially out of control). I came late to quilting in part because I didn’t think it was very well suited to someone of my temperament. I am not a person of great precision. Making things for me is about enjoying the process and making a mess, and I have jettisoned all the remaining shreds of my youthful perfectionism (hallelujah!). Nothing I make is perfect, and that’s how I like it. But quilts are things of precision: all those sharp angles and perfectly measured and cut strips. I really did not think I could pull that off perfectly. And I didn’t. There were a few times when I was disappointed, but I have been amazed and heartened to see how forgiving the quilt is, especially for one with such a geometric design. You can for sure find all the little flaws if you look for them, but otherwise they are sort of hidden away in the stitching. I love that.

And so, here is my quilt reckoning. I wanted to list the steps in order from my favorite to my least favorite, just for fun, and because these are the kind of things I think about when I am feeding my baby in the middle of the night. Here goes!

Buying fabric. Is there anything more fun than the very beginning of a project, when you’re still dreaming and envisioning it? Buying fabric was exhilarating, and I expect that it always will be.

Quilting. Even though it’s quite hard to get the whole blanket crammed through the sewing machine on the long middle rows, I absolutely loved seeing the quilt come together as I stitched all three layers together. It started to really look like a blanket, and that was so exciting.

Baby's QuiltBinding. This was a surprise! I never expected to enjoy this part of it because it calls for precision. But I found that I actually had an easy time sewing in a straight line when I had a guide to work with (the edges of the binding), and I couldn’t believe how amazing it looked as I sewed each side on.

Sewing. While kind of tedious in the beginning, it was fun to see these tiny triangles become squares and then strips and then a whole quilt top. I do love sitting down at the machine (and I *LOVE* my sewing machine) and hearing its gentle whir.

Laying out fabric. Oof, this was hard on my back because I don’t have a table big enough to lay everything out (how do you amazing quilters make such huge ones?). It was initially really cool to get the pattern set up, but it was a lot of bending down and straightening things out for a pregnant lady. I also had trouble getting the layers to lay flat when I was making the quilt sandwich: ahhh! And my least favorite part of all was trying to get the strips to line up evenly: super ahhh! I ended up ripping some seams out and moving them to make things more even, but that is not anyone’s idea of fun, and there are still puh-lenty of uneven spots in the design. However, Elise says in her tutorial to decide how much you want this to bother you and then move on. And so I decided that the answer to this question was “not much” and moved on as directed.

Ironing. Well, does anyone like to iron? The upside is that ironing really makes whatever you’ve sewn look crisp and professional. I am down with that.

Cutting fabric. Argh, this is my least favorite part because, as noted, I am not a master of precision. I am sure I still have lots to learn, but it was frustrating that no matter how hard I tried, I ended up with uneven squares and triangles. In an ideal world, I would just outsource the fabric cutting to my dad, who is so good at things like that. But in the meantime, I just like to get it out of the way and embrace the imperfection that comes with it.

Baby's QuiltThat’s it! There are just a few things I wish I’d done differently on this quilt, but none of them really bother me too much. I sort of wish I had chosen a slightly darker green for the binding, but I do think it looks fantastic with the turquoise backing. I am pretty sure if I’d chosen a darker green, I would’ve wished for a lighter one! The other thing is that the backing wasn’t quiiiite wide enough for the quilt, so I had to trim off about half a square from each side. I think it’s possible to find a wider backing at a quilt store, or I could have just sewn two pieces of fabric together to make a wider backing, but somehow that did not appeal to me. And so I don’t regret it too much.

Baby's QuiltI sort of ninja-ed my own technique for the corners of the binding, and I am pretty happy with how that turned out. It’s a bit of a hot mess on the back, but I double and triple stitched it to reinforce it, and, in the immortal words of my wise mother, “Who cares?” I find that this is a good attitude to take when dealing with minor imperfections, along with some other immortal words of my wise mother: “It just adds character.” Of course, my quilting stitches aren’t perfectly straight, in part because my strips aren’t perfectly straight, but this bothers me not at all. You can tell it was made by hand, and I love that.

Baby's Quilt(Don’t worry–we are not using his crib yet and will remove all soft things before we do!) Despite the parts that I didn’t love (ahhh, fabric cutting!), I had SO MUCH FUN making this quilt and would love to make another one. Playing with fabric is awesome, and I love that I am getting more comfortable with my sewing machine and learning new techniques. I am so drawn to interesting patterns, but I think for my next quilt I will try to work just with solids. I love the rainbow look! And I think maybe next time I will try to use the real quilt binding method (although bias tape was just what the doctor ordered for this one). I think I have gone overboard on my use of the word “fun” in this post, but it is seriously just my favorite part of pursuing any craft to try to pick up new techniques with each project I do. I have a whole world left to explore in quilting, and I am pretty excited about it!

To Love So

FlowersHello, wonderful friends and family! Thank you all so much for your sweet comments and excitement about our sweet baby’s arrival! (And thank you to my parents, who sent the most adorable flower arrangement ever!)

I’m so happy to be putting together a place where I can share updates on our sweet baby with you. It’s a private blog called To Love So. What does the name mean? It comes from the same Nabokov quote that gave me my original blog name, Krug the Thinker:

“And what agony, thought Krug the thinker, to love so madly a little creature, formed in some mysterious fashion (even more mysterious to us than it had been to the very first thinkers in their pale olive groves) by the fusion of two mysteries, or rather two sets of a trillion mysteries each; formed by a fusion which is, at the same time, a matter of choice and a matter of chance and a matter of pure enchantment; thus formed and then permitted to accumulate trillions of its own mysteries; the whole suffused with consciousness, which is the only real thing in the world and the greatest mystery of all.”
-Vladimir Nabokov, Bend Sinister

Bend Sinister is a brilliant and complex text, but at its heart it is a novel about love, about a father trying to protect his child. The agony that he speaks of is not a negative one, but one that all parents know: a love this all-consuming makes you vulnerable in the most overwhelming and beautiful way. Has this new mom already sobbed while thinking of all the things she might not be able to protect her precious baby from in his life? Oh yes, she certainly has. What Nabokov is getting at here is that love is the craziest and most wonderful adventure we can have on this earth. In joy, in sorrow, in worry, in delight: it is the greatest experience we can possibly have.

I have always been incredibly moved by this passage, but now I understand it in a whole new way. There’s a mystery and a magic in this tiny new person, one that combines parts of both Eric and I, but one that holds its own as yet unseen mystery and magic too. We don’t know what kinds of toys Micah will like or whether he will prefer peas to carrots, what he will want to be when he grows up, how he’ll choose to cut his hair or what kind of style he’ll adopt. Watching all of this take place will be one of the greatest privileges of our lives.

I wrestled a little bit with what to do blog-wise after Micah was born. Although there are a million different ways to share and not share, everyone must make the decision that feels right to them. I respect everyone’s personal choices (and heaven knows I LOVE reading about others’ families!), but I decided, with Eric, that I feel most comfortable keeping this blog private, where I know it will be seen only by friends and family, and will not be publicly searchable. I am thinking not just of Micah the baby, but Micah the toddler and Micah the teenager and Micah the adult. I am trying my best to be respectful of the decisions he is not yet old enough to make. So this feels right to me. And I am so happy to be able to share him with you wonderful people. Thank you for joining us on this new adventure!

Logistics: I’ll be slowly but surely sending invitations to you through WordPress to the email addresses you use to comment here. If you haven’t commented here, but if you know me (including blog and Instagram friends–I love you guys!), please just send me an email at sheisincognita at gmail dot com, and I’ll add you. Hopefully all the kinks will be ironed out in the next few days. Thanks for your patience! What’s next for To Love So? Micah’s birth story and some thoughts on new parenthood (spoiler alert: it’s AWESOME). What’s next for Krug the Thinker? The finished quilt post and a nursery tour (as soon as we get the last few things hung on the walls!) Thank you, thank you, thank you, as always, for being such kind and wonderful people. I so appreciate every single one of you. Sending much love from blissful babyland!

The Sweetest Welcome

Our precious baby arrived early Thursday morning and stole our hearts forever. His name is Micah David; his middle name is in honor of my sweet Daddy. He weighed 6 lb 12 oz (exactly as my doctor predicted!) and has a head full of blonde hair, just like his Daddy. It’s impossible to describe how much we adore him–he is the love of our lives. We had a wonderful hospital stay and came home Saturday afternoon. Everyone is doing great! There is so much to say, but right now we are doing lots of swaddling, rocking, diaper changing, gazing into the most precious blue eyes we’ve ever seen, and catching naps where we can, all in a state of exhausted bliss. Hopefully soon I will have a chance to type up and share his (kind of unbelievable!) birth story. After that, I think what I’d like to do is set up a private password-protected blog where I’ll post baby updates for family and friends (blog and Instagram friends, this includes you!). I will still be writing here, but just want to create a more private space for sharing about Micah. I will let you know when I get that set up. In the meantime, thank you so much for your love and support! We are so moved and touched by your kindness, and your sharing in our joy just makes this precious time in our lives all the more sweet and wonderful. (PS: This photo was part of Micah’s newborn shoot at the hospital. They have a photographer who comes and takes all the pictures in your room. Amazing!)

Adventures in Pregnancy: 39 Weeks

39 WeeksIt’s exciting to be getting close to the finish line, especially now that we are so much more ready. These past few weeks have been a flurry of activity, including lots of furniture assembly, washing of tiny clothes, moving things down to the garage for storage, and freezing meals for our first few weeks as parents. When the doctor and the doula told us at 37 weeks that he could come anytime, we *really* kicked it into high gear, and, if I haven’t made this clear before now, my husband is a saint, who has tackled all the things that I told him were of the utmost urgency. We actually never expected to get this far–I am about 20 minutes away from having the quilt finished, for instance, and Eric wrote most of an important paper this morning while I did laundry, sewed, and cooked meals for the freezer. What a considerate baby we have, giving us enough time to finish all these things! On the other hand, Eric said today that it feels a little bit like throwing a party, when you’re scrambling like crazy at 6:59 and then 7:00 hits, then 7:01, and then 7:05, and no one has arrived yet, and you think, “Okay, what do I do now?” An apt simile! And a website to answer the all-important question: Have you had that baby yet?

However, as I am looking at the calendar, I see that I could actually be pregnant for two more weeks (I am 39 weeks 3 days as of today, and my doctor said she will let me go 10 days past my due date). It’s a bit of hurry up and wait around here, and I can’t imagine what I’ll do if I really am pregnant for two more weeks, but I am sure I will think of something. Naps seem like a good idea. And maybe I will finish the last year or so of my scrapbook: ha!

I am still feeling really good on the whole, but I am starting to feel uncomfortable. I don’t think it’s that he’s really much bigger than he was a few weeks ago, but between Braxton Hicks contractions and carrying him very low in my pelvis, walking has become a bit of a challenge. I can feel the pressure of his head, and it sort of feels like a bowling ball is about to come falling out! So I take a wide stance and go slowly. Also, the heartburn is really starting to kick it up a notch. It’s been kind of brutal these past few days (but still…so much better than the first trimester alternative!) I definitely am up a lot in the night, including about an hour sometime between 4 and 6. I usually get up and read for a while and then can go back to sleep. I consider this good practice (if on a smaller scale!) for the nights ahead of me.

39 WeeksI am so grateful that he has stayed put this long, though, so I know that his little lungs and organs have had plenty of time to fully develop. My discomfort is so far very manageable, and that is a gift. However! I admit to being a little impatient. I just can’t wait to hold him and kiss him and tell him I am his Mommy!

But also, knowing that I’m close to delivering, these are some things I am looking forward to, in no particular order: coffee, pastrami, soft cheese, wearing my wedding rings, no longer having feet and ankles that look like flotation devices! It will take some time for the swelling to go down, I’m sure, but I am excited to be able to wear more than flip flops again (however, thank heaven flip flops are pretty much year-round appropriate footwear here).

I have to say, though, this is a really really special time. The baby is really active at night, and he responds to touch and voices. It seems like he can sense when Eric is lying next to me, and he always kicks away. It’s so sweet. We are both so excited and so in awe of how our lives are about to change. We’re savoring this time of expectation and feeling so close to each other. It’s a beautiful thing.

Currently : July

July: CurrentlyFinishing the nursery! It has been so awesome to see it take shape this week. What’s left: a few odds and ends, decorating the walls, and clearing out the closet. I can’t wait to share pictures when it’s done!

Eating all the things. I can tell I am nine months pregnant because everything sounds SO DELICIOUS ALL THE TIME. I am still keeping things pretty healthy around here, but I am so enjoying eating when I am hungry. It is glorious! Melons and peaches and (stereotypically) kale are really floating my boat.

Listening to NPR while I work on stuff around the house. I finally figured out how to stream it on my phone, and this makes up for all the years I haven’t been able to get a clear signal on the radio or stereo.

Washing crib sheets and tiny baby things.

Walking in the mornings and evenings to beat the heat. Enjoying cool breezes when they come my way.

Packing our hospital bag.

Reading labor books and doing lots of pelvic rocks to try to turn the baby anterior.

Quilting away and hoping to finish before the baby comes.

Enjoying all the little kicks and squirms and I’m feeling throughout the day.

Feeling so excited, so happy, so in love with our little baby. So looking forward to meeting him!

Adventures in Pregnancy: 38 Weeks

38 WeeksIt is so exciting to be nearing the home stretch! Or, who knows, we may already be in it! At our appointment this weekend the baby’s heartbeat sounded great, and the doctor said he has moved down a little more (still posterior, but not too worried about it). She also told me I am 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced, which is awesome. I am more excited about the effacement than the dilation, since that’s pretty much a prerequisite, and also: apologies to our baby. I thought all this time that he was punching me in the cervix, but it turns out he is innocent! It was just my cervix doing its thing. It is wonderfully reassuring and empowering to find that my body is trucking right along, doing exactly what it’s supposed to do, with no particular help needed. The process of birth is so many things: mysterious, sacred, incredible. I am excited to have gotten things underway.

38 WeeksOn the other hand, we still have a bit to do before we’re really ready. But ready is relative, right? We have everything we need–it’s just not exactly in the right place yet. However, this week was one of enormous progress. We went to Ikea to get a dresser and an extra bookcase, and we also got this gratuitous panda. Every baby needs a panda. So says me.

38 WeeksEric has been heroically putting things together all weekend. Almost all finished now! He’s also been bolting everything to the walls so our little tiger can’t pull things over on himself. As is evident here, he has maintained a good sense of humor throughout this process, which makes him even more deserving of the automatic halo one earns every time one puts together a piece of Ikea furniture.

As for me, I’ve mostly been organizing and rearranging things and washing all of the baby’s tiny clothes, which has been so much fun. I can’t wait to get them all put away in his dresser, which should be tomorrow’s job.

I am, remarkably, still feeling fantastic! I am not exactly sleeping so well these days, but that’s just practice for the future. I can’t really complain when it’s still very easy for me to take an afternoon nap. My feet look like Shrek feet again (maybe due to the heat?), and there’s some intermittent heartburn, but nothing of any real seriousness. I am having lots of Braxton-Hicks, but those don’t hurt at all and are a great warmup for labor. On the whole, I am really very comfortable and super thankful for it.

Words cannot express my gratitude to all of you: THANK YOU! Thank you for reading and commenting and for your love and support and encouragement. Thank you for sending your well wishes and for rejoicing with us in this amazingly special time. And thank you so much to all of you who have sent such sweet gifts to us, many of them made by hand, even though we have never met in person. I have been reduced to tears many times by your kindness, your thoughtfulness, your great generosity. When I started this blog, I was hoping to find a creative outlet, but I didn’t really expect anyone but my parents to read it. I could never have imagined that I would meet such wonderful people and form such deep friendships as I have with you. Thank you so, so, so much. You are incredible, every single one of you, and you are so loved and appreciated.

Map Bookmarks

Map BookmarksI have been wanting to share these bookmarks Hillary and I made for the baby shower–so fun and easy!

Map BookmarksHillary bought a fat book of pre-cut bookmarks in pretty colors from Michael’s and we measured and cut the map strips with a paper cutter. These are actually Doctors Without Borders maps–very easy to find in thrift stores (though the map possibilities are endless…I just liked the pretty colors of this one).

Map BookmarksWe affixed the map strips with double-sided tape and glued little compasses on top. I bought about a million of these at the Depot before our wedding, thinking I might use them for favors. Glad to be finally showing them off!

Map BookmarksWe punched holes at the top to thread a ribbon through.

Map BookmarksHillary typed and trimmed these little banners for the bottom, and they might be my favorite part! The magic of reading has been such a joy in my life from early childhood to my glee-filled trips to the library today. I hope it’s a joy we’ll share with our child. Speaking of reading your way around the world, check out this awesome project–reading one book (or more!) from every country in the world! Who wants to do this with me?! It sounds so amazing.

Map BookmarksWe gave them a little stamp on the bottom, and they were ready to go!

Map BookmarksI really love these compasses, even if they only marginally work.

Map BookmarksHere they are, peeking out of the totally rad gift bags Hillary made for the shower. I think there will be more map bookmarking in my future, if only because I forgot to keep one for myself! But it makes me so happy to think of the people who came to the shower, our most beloved friends, using these to keep their place in whatever adventure they’re immersing themselves in.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...