Remembering the First Year
We’re a handful of months into this mom thing and we both agree that it already seems like time is flying by. We love every single minute with our babies and are constantly taking mental images to try to remember every sweet second. Today we’re sharing ways to remember that first year with your little one.
Photo Credit: Linda Taggart Craik
We realize with technology these days there are lots of digital ways to capture your baby’s first everything, but there’s something oh-so nostalgic and special about filling out a memory book. Our parents kept one for each of us and we’ve loved going through it and finding out the first time we took a step, the first haircut and our likes and dislikes when starting solids. There are also SO many options out there, so whether your book is text heavy or picture heavy (or both!) there’s a perfect memory book for you and your babe.
Our phones are bursting at the screens (see what we did there?) with images of our little ones. While it’s ideal to have these pics on your phone so you can whip them out at a moment’s notice and share with everyone and anyone who will look at them, it’s also nice to have the real thing in hand. There are larger photo printers, but there are also more compact handheld printers that will produce the images right off of your phone. It’s quick, it’s easy and it fits right in your hand!
There’s an app for that! There are lots of programs and apps that will keep those one week, two week…photos in a tidy little spot for you. When we were pregnant, we used The Bump to record our growth from week to week. Now that our babies are here, we use The Bump to keep track of our babies’ growth each week.
There’s something ridiculously adorable about baby shoes. While hand-me-downs are great for child two, three or more, we’re saving at least one pair of shoes to have as a keepsake. Whether you go all out and have them bronzed, or you just keep them in a tiny box for safekeeping, your little one may appreciate looking at those tiny shoes when they’re all grown up and have giant (in comparison) feet!
Hand and footprints
This is another sweet way to capture just how small they once were. From simple imprints in a baby book to setting their hand and foot in clay, this is a cute way to create a lasting memory for you and your babe.
This Christmas may have been one of the best Christmases yet. Everything was a little more exciting and a little more magical. Baby’s first Christmas ornament, matching family pajamas, baby’s first Christmas blanket and so much more are all simple ways to remember the season.
We’re always on the lookout for unique and special ways to capture this first year. What are you doing to hold on to each moment?
DIY WOODEN CHARGERS
On New Year’s Eve, we shared in our Instagram stories Lindsay’s harvest table set for a dinner party. Each place setting included a black wooden charger adorned with a name. Besides being an extra layer between your plate and the table, chargers are also an easy way to dress up your table on special occasions. Check out this super easy DIY for wooden chargers that are sure to impress your guests.
To make your own wooden chargers you’ll need:
Cut the MDF into 12x12 centimetre squares. If a table saw isn’t at your disposal, a home store would be happy to do this for you. You can also adjust the measurements to your preference. We chose 12x12 because it fit our plates perfectly with just enough edge showing on all sides. You’ll also want to make sure they fit well on your table.
Paint your squares with chalkboard paint using a small and smooth paint roller. Three coats should do the trick. Make sure the paint is completely dry before starting the next coat. To cut your work in half, you technically don’t need to paint the bottom side of each charger as that side will never be seen and no one will ever be the wiser.
Once the paint has completely dried it’s time to write your names. Give each charger a good wash first to make sure the surface is smooth. I started with chalk before the paint pens to make sure I had the letters spaced correctly.
Go over each name with your paint pen. I used gold because I liked how it popped off of the black, but there are plenty of options at your local craft store.
Once the paint pen has dried, go over each charger with a damp cloth to remove any chalk that may be visible.
From Lindsay’s wedding to dinner parties at home, these chargers have been used on multiple occasions for an extra shot of fabulous at the table. Happy DIY-ing!
Roasted Tomato Soup
On a cold day, there are few things we love more than a hot and delicious bowl of soup. Today we’re sharing a roasted tomato soup recipe that is sure to satisfy and easy to prepare.
6 large beefsteak tomatoes
½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp fresh thyme
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp paprika
Working Out After Baby
A few weeks ago I had a stare down with my yoga mat. It was leaning against the wall in the corner of our bedroom and had been collecting dust for several months. That yoga mat and I used to have a standing appointment every morning, but as the bump got bigger and then when our baby girl arrived, the blue mat became just a pretty pop of colour in a dark space. Most mamas will agree that bouncing your baby around is probably the best workout you’ll ever do, but when I was ready to get back into a fitness routine, I kept these simple tips in mind.
Entertain your little one while you exercise
Georgia loves when I make funny faces and silly noises. I decided to incorporate that into my workout routine. Squats now include an up and down noise (voice goes very low as I squat down and very high as I come back up); a plank includes lifting one hand over my face to play peek-a-boo; and jumping jacks have become a full-on song and dance. If I’m looking ridiculous, then she’s having a great time.
I’d like to say the first workout I did after Georgia was born was level three of Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred, but that’s just not the case. I started with a (somewhat) relaxing (but mostly) exhausting yoga session. Even just a 10-minute floor workout would have had me feeling it the next day so I was in no rush to go hard too soon.
Mommy and me
If silly faces aren’t enough to keep baby entertained (they aren’t always for Georgia), then incorporate your little one into your workout. A brisk walk, light jog or hike through the hills will give your baby fresh air and keep you moving. At this age, our babies are also a perfect free-weight. Squats and lunges hit a whole new level of difficulty with an adorable baby in your arms.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t get right back into the groove
Once Georgia was born, I kept saying that I couldn’t wait for the doctor to give me the green light to workout again. Well I got the green light not long after her arrival and let’s just say I didn’t run home, throw on some kicks and start moving. I love spending every minute with my baby girl and in those moments when I do have a little “me” time there are a million other things I can think of doing besides working out. Ease back into a fitness routine at your own pace.
The reality is, I don’t workout every day anymore and I’m OK with that. I find the time when I can and for me it still feels extremely satisfying whether I get in five minutes or 30 minutes. I chose yoga as my starting point, but there are lots of other great options for getting back in the fitness game. What was your go-to workout routine once your little one arrived?
Happy Half Birthday!
We jump at any chance to celebrate the birth of our beautiful babies. So when we heard about the celebration of “half birthdays” we were fully onboard. Simply put, a half birthday is six months before your real birthday. Check out the impromptu half birthday party we threw on New Year’s Day.
It’s our opinion that every celebration should include at least one sign or banner. Unless custom-made, it’s unlikely you’ll find “HAPPY ½ BIRTHDAY” at your local party store. As our celebration was a rather last-minute plan, we just bought a birthday sign and added “1/2” in the middle with paper and a black Sharpie. (Basic.) If you do have more time, you could head to a printing shop and have something really beautiful made up or order a custom piece online.
As far as we’re concerned, a party without cake is just a meeting, so we knew we wanted a sweet treat to serve during the festivities. We made vanilla cupcakes with French chocolate icing. Some were cut in half to signify six months of life. (We obviously ate both halves because we’re adults and we can make those decisions sans guilt.) Other options would be half a birthday cake and you could send your guests off with party favours that include half a cookie. We’ve also recently discovered something called brookies. (Are we the only ones who didn’t know about this?) It’s half a brownie and half a cookie bound together…two delectable desserts in one delicious treat!
We’ve loved capturing the growth of our babies week by week and now month by month. A simple search on etsy will lead you to lots of cute custom onesies and tops that commemorate the six-month mark. Not only is this an adorable keepsake, but it’s also another great excuse to buy clothes for your babe!
What special but somewhat unconventional milestones do you celebrate? We’d love more excuses to throw a party so hit us up with suggestions!
Jacqueline and Lindsay are sisters and new moms living on the East Coast of Canada.