Gift Giving Galore – Gift Ideas for Mamas to Be

Last week I received an email from a friend who was trying to get ideas for a gift for another mom to be! And since over the past few months we have been BLESSED with so many thoughtful gifts for us and for the girls it was easy to come up with a list – but HARD to keep it short! Seriously, everyone has been SO kind. Each time I would get something adorable, I would stop and think to myself, “I need to remember that for future gifts.”  Sadly I should have taken pics of them while they were all cutesie and wrapped… BUT… I was on a lot of drugs during those first few weeks… so I’m just going to create a list here for my sake and for anyone else looking for fun/cute gifts for future moms.

Personalized Baby Blocks by

The girls received their sweet blocks from one of their amazing Cedarville Aunties. I had never seen these before but they are SO cute and a great way to capture all of the details of the day. Our sweet little girls’ blocks have their names, individualized scripture verses, their birthdate/weight/length, and then of course a shout out to NC State. They are cute “Little Wolfpack Fans.” Very fun gifts!

Ps. After proof-reading this… I realized one of the photos may or may not have nipple shields in the background… Look for the little clear sombrero – whoopsies. :) My b… My b…

Goodies for while in the hospital

I received a couple of great gift bags for while we were in the hospital as well – these were ALL so thoughtful! One was given during my hospital bed rest before the babies were born and the others were afterwards while the girls were in the NICU. ALL were extremely helpful and fun. Here are some items to consider when making a gift bag:

Chaptstick/lip gloss/mascara/headbands: we might be 50 lbs overweight, sweaty, and unshowered but by golly we still want to look semi-human! ;) Headbands are legit at hiding greasy hair and let’s all be honest, everyone looks a little fresher with mascara and lip gloss. I would also add a miniature thing of dry shampoo… it’s a life saver and they only cost $1 in the hygiene dollar bins at wal-mart and target.

Books/Magazines: My favs are Southern Living (love), Taste of Home, Real Simple, and of course People for the latest juicy details on pop culture.

Hand sanitizer and hand lotion: the lotion is really helpful for NICU moms because you have to wash/sanitize your hands so frequently when at the hospital.

Lanolin – if they’re planning on breast-feeding… this stuff is crucial those first few weeks.

Snacks and Gum: Hard Candies are great just in case they have to go on magnesium drips or other meds that don’t allow them to eat anything for 24 hrs. Other snacks are great too – I may or may not have quickly yelled at my inlaws to GIVE ME THE WHEAT THINS NOW at one point when the nurse who was administering medication said, “Let me go check with the doctor to see if you’ll have to not eating anything while on this…” and I crammed some in my mouth before the nurse could starve me again. And it was a good thing I did… I didn’t see food for another 24 hours. And as for Gum… let’s just say it’s nice to have on hand after that midday nap and you get a visitor or the nurse comes by again for their 302349th blood pressure check.

Fav Baby Books to read to the babies while at home or in NICU: Thankfully we were able to hold our girls while they were hospitalized, but some parents can’t. Reading to them is a great way to bond with the baby, even if you can’t hold them. And if you can hold them – it’s still fun! :)

A TV series on DVD: The Mister got me all 5 seasons of Friday Night Lights while I was in the hospital/bed rest and we continued watching it while the girls were in the NICU. It was a huge blessing to be able to come home at night, check out, and be entertained without having to do much interaction.

Cute Jewelry for the Mama

Ok there are SO many options out there for this one. I received a few adorable necklaces from friends along the way. Here are some cute etsy sites and options:

Two Peas in a Pod necklace by SomethingXtraSpecial. – I LOVE mine. I’m not sure if it was ordered from this exact shop or not, but it’s one just like it.

Then there are other necklaces and bracelets with baby/babies’ names or initials on etsy. These are great options for a personalized gift for the mama!

I ADORE the simple personalized gold initial necklaces on the circle disks (like THESE) – so simple yet cute! Pretty much you can’t go wrong with ETSY… actually… I take that back… you can… but it’s pretty hard to!

Monogrammed Goodness

I never thought I’d say this – but I now LOVE monogrammed items. When I first moved to NC, I liked them… but not on everything! And it seemed like just about everything for in Raleigh was monogrammed for the ladies: purses, luggage, necklaces, towels, furniture, food, EVERYTHING. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated a good monogram every now and then, just not EVERYWHERE. But now that I have two girls – having their names/initials monogrammed on clothes, blankets, burp cloths, EVERYTHING is AWESOME. I think monogrammed outfits are adorable on babies in general – but they are definitely essential when there’s TWO. Plus it’s a great way to make sure your gift can’t be regifted – ha! ;) jk jk jk.

Oh wow… just looking at these photos makes me tear up a bit! Look how tiny they were! They’ve grown so much in the last few weeks! :)

CozeyPosey Hats

Confession – These weren’t given to me, but I just found their website through a fbook friend TODAY. But HOLY COW these hats are adorable & I’m totally getting some. I couldn’t leave them off the gift list since I’m going to be using them as gifts as well! I have a shower that I’ll be missing in October and plan on getting one of these for the lucky baby. SUPER cute.

Alright – those are my gift suggestions for mommies to be! And if all else fails – you can’t go wrong with diapers and wipes. They might not be show-stoppers at showers, but they’ll be singing your praises at 3am when they “run out” and realize they have another stash in the linen closet from you! Hope these help!

Much love,

“So how are you doing?”

Hello friends!

Well our girls have been in the NICU now for 2 weeks! It’s hard to believe it’s been that long, yet on the other hand it feels like forever. They are back up to their birth weights and then some! Noel is 3 lbs and 14 oz and Felicity is 3 lbs 12 oz. We were very excited. Also, when I walked into the room this morning I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had been removed from their isolettes and were sleeping happily in their own “big girl beds” as we like to refer to them!

They’re holding their temperature like champs so this mama was a happy woman. So the girls are doing really well… but that’s not really what this post is about.

We frequently get asked ” So how are you doing?” and to be honest, it’s pretty hard to be honest. So we usually smile, state that we have so much to be thankful for (which is SO true) and smile our way through the convo until I can get out of sight long enough not to have a hormonal breakdown in public or on some sweet nurse in the parking lot. But the truth is, I cry a lot these days. For one, I’m hormonal. Second, I really don’t think there is anything in this world that can prepare you to be  NICU mom. As thankful as we are for the wonderful NICU staff, it’s torture leaving those girls at the hospital every night. We’re starting our 3rd week, and probably have about 2 more weeks more and again, we’re so thankful, but I’m ready to bring my babies home.

The truth is – this is hard.

It’s hard walking into the hospital each day, seeing new moms being wheeled to their cars with their new babies as you prepare yourself to walk into a room and find who knows what, and you’ll be walking out of that room hours later leaving your babies behind. Plus you never know what you’ll find when you walk in that morning. The nursery could be calm or it could be chaos. You might be able to bring your food in one day, and the next day the staff is more strict and you have to leave your babies to go eat. You could walk in and your babies could be moved, in a different room, with different nurses, with different cords, different feeding schedule, and so you learn each day to adjust in order to care for them. Then you leave, begrudgingly, and go home and pump every 3 hrs not to babies’ cries, but instead to an alarm clock. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, I’m just being honest about this. This is hard. And we’re doing great, really, we’re doing great – but this is hard and there are a lot of tears on my end.

And I am so thankful, we know that we have many friends who have lost children or are unable to conceive and would give anything for the blessings we’ve been given, so please do not think we’re complaining.  I’m just being honest. So for those of you who have asked… we are so blessed and thankful, but this is difficult. But difficulty isn’t a bad thing; it’s a part of our story and our girls’ beginning, but it’s not a bad thing. It gives a lot of opportunity for growth.

Our girls are doing great. We are doing great and are so thankful as well! But as I’ve said in previous posts, this blog isn’t a place for only the “pretty” things in life – but it’s a place for me to be honest and capture life: the good, the bad, and the messy. So tonight as I go to bed, after a night of crying for no reason off and on, I am a thankful mama. Thankful – but hormonal. And that’s the honest truth on how I’m doing.

Much love,