It’s time for some cuteness: nursery and celebration

photo-9We pulled it off! A skype baby celebration, with a group of family at my mom’s in Ohio and a group of friends at our apartment in LI. These were the decorations in our living room, paper puff balls and banners of baby animals (we just printed the little guys from a google image search) who have been making me smile every morning. I think we will transfer them to the nursery for baby to enjoy. The baby animals were entirely DH’s brilliant idea. My mom in Ohio went all out with decorations on her end, too—candles and streamers and balloons. She said she was up til 2 a.m. decorating.

Friends made the trek all the way out from Brooklyn to our place in the winding-road suburbs, and also from nearer corners in LI. One pregnant  friend got caught in a LIRR train delay. Our Brooklyn car-poolers got caught in madness traffic. One friend brought her, uhhhh, energectic and high-volume son. We had a scare with the catering possibly being late. And our logitech webcams on both sides of the skype call weren’t so awesome at transmitting audio of large groups. BUT every hurdle was gracefully crossed and it alllll worked out! There was lots of storytelling and laughter. People from different segments of my life seemed to have good chemistry. I enjoyed myself so much. The food was delicious. The GF cake from my sis-in-law was the best GF cake I’ve ever tasted. We felt so loved and cared for.

There was an absolutely astonishingly high mountain of presents in the corner, packages sent to us from all over, from friends and family, so many, in fact, that I couldn’t open all of them while guests were there. An embarrassment of riches!

Throughout the weeks of package deliveries, DH would grab any presents that weren’t gift-wrapped and steal them away and wrap them in cute paper, even the giant ones. He did this in his exhausted state after work. Not only that, if there were typed gift notes on the package receipts, he would rewrite them by hand on little cards and attach the cards to the packages.

photo-13There was a surprise toast by DH to me and baby. Made me cry. He was down on his knees so he could touch my belly easily, looking up at me, and saying the most loving things….he said that whenever I talk to “our son, the whole room lights up.” He talked about how he can’t wait to see me be a mom and how amazing I will be at it. He mentioned our struggle and how we’ve proven that we can overcome anything together. As ususal, the man made my heart hurt with love. Luckily, the audio worked well during that part of the skype call, and my mom, aunts, cousins in Ohio could hear what he said. I haven’t been toasted, well, ever before! It’s just not something my family does. I can’t describe how special and memorable it was for me–something I’ll think about often in the years to come. These things matter, you know? Toasts mark a moment in time, signify journeys taken, and beginnings embarked upon, and they memorialize love. Sometimes I have to pinch myself—DH is my dream partner.

My best friend growing up, my cousin, has this son who is remarkably thoughtful, smart, kind. I happened to mention to him the last time I saw him that he had to make an instruction book for DH and me about how to raise boys. Incredibly, this ten-year-old not only remembered my comment, but he made us that book. I opened it and read it out loud during the party. Here’s the cover.

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In it he reminds us that boys will not want to brush their teeth, that their rooms will be messy and we’d best just not fight that, and that boys DO NOT LIKE shopping (with a cartoon of his mom begging him to try something on in a store and him protesting). The one exception, he notes, are shoes, which are awesome to shop for. Some other words of wisdom: Moms are for hugging and dads are for playing—with an amazing close-up drawing of him going in for a hug from his smiling mama. Gah! I cherish this thing.

In between opening gifts, I read aloud brief stories about DH and me when we were babies or little kids, and everyone had to guess who they thought each story was about (most correct wins). (I stole this idea from your blog, Katie! Thank you!). It was so funny. I’ll put some of the stories at the end of this post.

We had collected about 33 anecdotes from our moms, his brother, and from our memories, but we only had the chance to read a handful of them. I wasn’t the fastest gift-opener—I wanted to show my attention and appreciation for each thing given, even while being mindful of how monotonous it might be for the guests. My dear angel of a friend, I don’t know if I’ve given her a pseudonym yet, so I’ll just call her C (the one who offered their Poconos house to us as a getaway last Christmas, the one who brought me flowers at work, etc.) was sitting right beside me the whole time, writing down each gift and who each was from, helping me tear off ribbons and paper, putting the paper in a recycling bag, taking charge and taking care of me when I was a bit overwhelmed and distracted by the millions of things—gifts, cards, living room full of people here, and living room full of people in Ohio wanting to see the cuteness of each gift, too. C is a special person, the kind of person who is gifted at being a friend. I’ve never met anyone like her and am so thankful for her.

Here are some pictures of both the celebration and the nursery…

The Chevron pattern curtains I made for the nursery shelves

The Chevron pattern curtains I made for the nursery shelves

The plant pots I painted for the window shelf in the nursery and monkey booties

The plant pots I painted for the window shelf in the nursery and monkey booties

....and leather elephant shoes

….and leather elephant shoes

Blankets handmade by friends

Blankets handmade by friends

The corkboard of art made for baby by the kids in our lives

The corkboard of art made for baby by the kids in our lives

A gift from sis-in-law. Footie chucks!

A gift from sis-in-law. Footie chucks!

Gift bags for guests

Gift bags for guests

The crib! A generous hand-me-down from friends

The crib! A generous hand-me-down from friends. DH and I put up the wall decals together.

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And here are some stories:

*

When I was little, I used to become very emotional whenever I heard the “I’m A Nut” song. It was about an acorn on the ground, and I felt so sorry for the poor little acorn I would cry. The song went like this:

I’m an acorn, small and round

Lying on the cold, cold ground

People come and step on me

That’s why I’m so cracked you see

Who do you think that one was about? DH!

*

When I was about three years old, I liked to take off all of my clothes and run around the house, calling out, “I’m free with nature!” (This would be hippie me.)

*

My brother and I once rescued two baby birds in the back yard and named them “Ruffles” and “Pringles.” (Me.)

*

When I was about four or five, I would hear music in the middle of the night and tip-toe out to the living room, where I was sure I saw a skeleton grinning and playing ragtime music on the piano. (Me.)

*

My parents were friends with a married couple. The man’s name was Harold. Whenever I would talk about them, I would call him, for mysterious reasons, not “Harold,” but “The Man From Harold.” (Me.)

*

I used to lasso our brown recliner with my rope, and pretend I was being dragged by a truck, like Indiana Jones. I would also pretend I had been captured and would tie up my own hands and put tape over my own mouth and lay on my back on the coffee table, screaming for help. (DH.)

*

One day when I was maybe four years old, the four-year-old who lived next door and I decided were going to get married. We let everyone know that we planned to live in a cardboard box placed on the dividing line between our front yards. We said we were going to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day. (Me.)

*

I had a collection of large, ornate Japanese robot toys, and I told all of my friends that my guys were invincible, and their guys were not invincible. Every time we battled I just shrugged and said: “Well, looks like I just killed every single one of your guys again.” (You know who. DH. Yeah, some are more obvious than others. But so funny.)

*

When I was about seven or eight years old, my friends and I started what we called The Mystery Club. We would carry little Memo notebooks around the neighborhood and jot down clues to “mysteries” about our neighbors. The clues came from making up stories about the random bits of trash we found in the street or in people’s yards. (Me.)

*

When I was a baby, my brother would stand on a stool and look down at me in my crib and sing the ABC song. I would crack up laughing every time he did this. But when anyone else tried to make me laugh with the ABC song I wouldn’t laugh. It had to be my brother doing the singing. (Me.)

*

My favorite season was winter, because we could make forts. Sometimes I would lay alone inside a snow fortress, in the dark, for hours, while my family was in the house. (DH.)

*

Even when I was very young, I really listened well to people and made even adults feel at ease by listening so well to them. This made my mom proud, but also made her nervous when she saw me having conversations with strangers sometimes. (DH.)

*

When I was five or six, I had a stuffed koala bear I loved very much. My family took a trip to a big city, and I accidentally left my koala bear in our hotel. When we got home and I realized I had left him there, I cried because I was worried that he would be scared, all alone in a big city. (DH.)

 

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12 Comments

  1. I love this, all of this – and you all deserve it – so happy you were all properly celebrated! And the stories are precious <3

    Reply
  2. This is awesome…the baby animal pics, the boys book of rules…what a totally amazing experience! I love that you were able to share this day with so many people, and see just how loved you are!

    Reply
  3. Julia

     /  October 28, 2014

    What a glorious celebration. I am so happy that you and your baby were celebrated in such a nice way!

    Reply
  4. Super cute nursery! XOXO

    Reply
  5. I love everything about this post: the people from different part of your life getting together, the love from these people, your thoughtful and wonderful husband, the instruction book from the ten year old… and everything else! I am so happy for you, friend! <3

    Reply
  6. What a lovely idea! Super cute nursery and love all the adorable clothes!

    Reply

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