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Overheard in Our House

– A conversation between me and Jonathan hours before leaving C.J. with a sitter for the first time.

Me: I feel weird having a pizza delivery person go to the house with just the sitter there. What if he’s a psycho?

Jonathan: Dial it back, cuckoo.

Me: I don’t think that’s that crazy. Cute girl, all alone, babysitting, ordering pizza. That is a perfect recipe for a scary movie.

 Jonathan: Erika — would you not order pizza if you were by yourself?

 Me: Yeah, I would.  

Jonathan: What’s the difference? That’s nutty. I don’t think this is a, “Hello, Sydney” situation.

Me: The difference is, I’m a mama bear, and she is not.

Jonathan: This kid is going to need therapy. Should I just go to the movies with the babysitter and let you watch C.J.?

Wordless Wednesdays: A Sunday in Pictures

 

Out for a Sunday walk.

Out for a Sunday walk in the Baby K’Tan.

Modeling for mommy

Pooped after a Sunday funday

Pooped after a Sunday funday

The Cutest DIY Baby Shower Invitations Ever

The Cutest DIY Baby Shower Invitations Ever

For the record, I am not a Do-It-Yourselfer. Martha Stewart would be appalled at my uncraftiness. For me, shopping at Michael’s is like wandering aimlessly through a foreign country. But I couldn’t resist making these Celebrate the Peanut shower invitations for the elephant-themed baby shower I’m co-hosting.

The mom-to-be has wanted a baby for a long time, and now, finally, she is just weeks away from giving birth to C.J.’s future bestie. There are seven of us hosting the shower, and we want it to be perfect — an amazing, slightly over-the-top shower to celebrate a long-overdue pregnancy.

Naturally, I turned to Pinterest — you know so I could browse thousands of far-fetched ideas I knew I would never in a million years undertake. (Thank you, endless hours of nursing and pumping for affording me the time.) But then I saw it. The most adorable baby shower invitation I have ever seen.

Celebrate the Peanut Baby Shower Invitation

Celebrate the Peanut

I know! How could I resist!? It seemed positively meant to be. I was so inspired that I dug deep (really deep) and channeled my inner DIY-er. Martha would be proud.

I can almost guarantee that at some point, you, dear reader, will take part in the planning of a baby shower. If I can do this, so can you. Here’s how I did it.

Step 1: Find boxes. Shopping! This part, I could handle.

I purchased these treat boxes with windows. They are a nice compact size for mailing, but most importantly, you can see the “Celebrate the Peanut” punch line.

Step 2: Buy crinkle paper, ribbon and of course, peanuts in the shell. More shopping! So far, so good.

Step 3: Make the invitation.

I work for a digital ad agency and am surrounded by graphic designers. Done and done. (If you don’t have direct access to an awesome designer, check out sites like Shutterfly, Vistaprint or find trifold business cards. Just be sure it’ll fit inside whatever box you choose. Try calling customer service so you can give them your exact specs.)

Step 4: Assemble the boxes.

Oy.

This part took me a while. Thankfully, I only had to assemble 21, but finding the right crinkle-paper-to-peanut ratio really is an art, as is tying the ribbon into a neat little bow. Wine helps

Step 5: Mail them.

The first place I took them to quoted me $10 apiece and I nearly fainted. Thankfully, the second place (good old, USPS) charged me just $2.25 for each one (I bought yellow mailing envelopes with bubble wrap at the dollar store and printed out my own navy blue address labels, complete with elephants on them).

The process above seems fairly simple, but it took me a good week and a half to complete all five tasks.

I couldn’t WAIT for my friend to get it in the mail. I felt like a kid waiting for Santa Clause. I mailed them on a Monday morning. Tuesday night, her name popped up on my phone. I played it cool.

“Hey, what’s up?” I answered, all nonchalant like.

“Um, are you trying to win an award for the Most Awesome Invitation Ever?” she asked.

Why, yes. Yes, I am. Cue silent happy dance and eye-rolling husband.

Minutes later, a text from a fellow shower co-host rolls in: “My parents are gushing over the invitation. You rocked it!”

I read the text aloud in a sing-songy voice for all to hear. Happy dance becomes even more obnoxious. Husband goes into full-on Ignore Crazy Wife mode; reaches for beer.

Wait until he sees the favors.

A New Mom’s Belated New Year’s Resolution

WindowI don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions. Well … I don’t usually keep New Year’s resolutions. But this year will be different. I know: EVERYONE says that. But perhaps announcing it on a blog for millions of readers to see (hey, a blogger can dream) will make it seem more real.

From the moment I learned I was pregnant, C.J. has consumed my life. Since before he was even a he, before he was a C.J., back when he was still a Samuel or an Emilia or a Jack or a Nora, this little being has found a way to infiltrate nearly every waking moment of my life, and on several occasions, even my dreams.

C.J. is now 7 months old. He’s been sleeping in his crib since he was eight weeks old. Yet, I still jerk awake several times a night to look at our video monitor. Still tiptoe into his room and put my finger to his nose to make sure he’s breathing. I examine his swaddle to make sure it’s not too tight, that no loose fabric has crept up over his perfect little nose, a miniature replica of his father’s. My weekends revolve around his feeding schedule. My non-existent gym going revolves around his feeding schedule. When and whether I enjoy a beer or glass of wine revolves around his feeding schedule. We have yet to leave him with someone other than a friend or family member, and even then, I have a nervous tick that compels me to check in every hour. (Let me just call and make sure we didn’t leave the doggie door open, I’ll tell Jonathan.)

I know it’s only been seven months. And I know this is normal behavior for new moms. At least, I hope it’s normal. But I’m ready for it to stop. I need it to stop. Or at least ease up a bit.

Don’t get me wrong; I like Erika the Mom. I really do. I’m actually pretty proud of her. But truth be told, she’s a little crazy and, frankly, a little boring. OK, so maybe I was already a little crazy. But no one ever accused me of being boring. Pre-Mom Erika used to do stuff. Like go to the gym and go out to dinner and speak in a language other than Baby Talk. I was capable of holding entire conversations that didn’t revolve around babies. I used to pay attention to my dogs and read for fun (I was almost finished with Mockingjay, the last installment of The Hunger Games, when I found out I was pregnant. I’m still working on it.).

Even as I write this, little waves of guilt wash over me. But then I remind myself that C.J. needs a mom who’s more than just his mom, and my husband needs a wife who’s more than a mother to his son.

So, this year, my New Year’s resolution (better late than never, right?) is not to lose weight (though given the fact that I can’t get my pre-pregnancy jeans halfway up my thighs, maybe it should be). It is to regain some semblance of Life Before Baby. To be a little less “mom” crazy and a little more “let’s get out of town this weekend” crazy. To finish Mockingjay once and for all. To find a good babysitter (or two). To go to the gym after work and let Jonathan handle C.J.’s dinner. To find a little more balance between Erika the Mom and just plain old Erika.