Monthly Archives: January 2013

Got beer?

I received an email today from my not-so-little cousin, Darby. She’s graduating with her Masters degree in Brand Management in May.

Darby has always lived out of state so unfortunately, we’ve never had the opportunity to spend more than holidays and family vacations together, but I’ve always admired her. She’s smart, kind, fun, and something I’ve never been, adventurous. She studied abroad in Dublin, lived in NYC for a summer internship, and hopes to pursuer a career in advertising after graduation in a big city.

Anyway, long story short, Darby asked for my participation in a survey to assist with her thesis. She’s located in Virginia and is seeking feedback from a geographically diverse population. Since I know a few of you readers are from all over the country, I thought we could help her out by taking a few minutes to complete the survey.

It’s about beer. How fun is that? Here’s the link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SJ7RPQK.

Now I’m craving an ice cold Michelob Ultra. Thanks, Darby!

Happy almost hump day, all!

Home sweet home

This last week has been quite eventful. We made an offer on a house that was accepted, and listed our home for sale the next day. 

Having built our current home, we never went through the traditional process of buying and selling. It’s fun, exciting, nerve racking, stressful, and exhausting; not exactly as it appears on House Hunters. Midst the excitement for buying our what-we-hope-to-be-“forever home,” I find myself feeling a little sad about leaving behind our current home. 

It’s where we picked out flooring, counter tops, and paint colors to make four white walls our own; where we bought grown up furniture and said goodbye to (most of) the generous hand-me-downs; where we met our neighbors who have become friends.

It’s where we played competitive games of flip cup with our friends at our annual Halloween party; where Brian spent several days building our deck with his Dad; where we hosted our first Christmas Eve for family. 

It’s where I took a positive pregnancy test on a Thursday morning and woke Brian to share the news; where Brian stained a bookshelf that had been in my family for four generations for Bridget’s nursery; where we left at 3:45 am on May 29 and came home two days later with our 10 pound bundle of joy; where she rolled over, sat up, and crawled for the first time.

It’s where we come home at the end of each day and kiss each other good night, rock Bridget to sleep, and roll over to a sounding alarm the next day for work.

It’s our home. And although this may sound selfish, it’s difficult to imagine it being someone else’s. I know, I know. I can’t have my cake and it eat it, too. So, I will file the many, many memories we’ve made in this home and carry them with me to the new house. The house that we’ll make a home in time.

A challenge to myself

I’m not big on New Year resolutions. I can only think of one that I made and successfully stuck to in the past: Flossing my teeth every night – no excuses. And as a result, I had my first cavity-free dental checkup in years. Yay me!

This year, I contemplated making another but nothing notable came to mind. Sure, I have lots of goals that I want to accomplish in 2013 (read more, organize our pantry once and for all, waste less time on my iPhone, learn more about my new camera, etc.), but none of these seemed like resolutions.

And then it came to me this past Sunday when Father Wally delivered his usual educational and inspirational homily. The message was nothing new: love God and your neighbor like you love yourself. But then he added some spice to that idea. It’s just as important to be lovable.

I asked myself: What makes one lovable? What can one do to be more lovable?

So, this will be my challenge for 2013 and beyond…to be more lovable.

Here I go…

Love,
Shannon

P.S. Input and insight welcome!

Unconventional must-haves for new parents

As rookie parents, Brian and I relied on books, blogs, and advice from fellow parents to navigate the maze that is a baby registry. Thanks to these aforementioned resources and the generosity of family and friends, we had everything Bridget could possibly need and then some when she arrived.

Aside from the obvious necessities, there are other must-haves for new parents; those items that can’t necessarily be wrapped up and tied with a pretty bow.

Here is my ever-growing list:

Thank you cards and stamps: I was overwhelmed by the generosity of family and friends when we brought Bridget home. Meals, clothes, baby blankets, etc. Since it’s difficult to get out of the house during the first few weeks, keep thank you cards and stamps on hand to easily pop in the mail.

Vacuum cleaner: The loud, obnoxious buzz of a vacuum cleaner works wonders against crying. I caution that there are two downsides to this remedy: 1) you have to turn it off eventually, and 2) your electric bill.

Fan: Not only does a fan produce the best form of white noise, but studies have shown it also reduces the risk of SIDs by as much as 70 percent.

Darkening shades: Our nursery is decorated in gray, white, yellow, and green, so to coincide with the color scheme, we bought white blinds and light green curtains. Cute, right? Yes, but not practical when you have a baby born in May! Until our trip to Lowe’s for darkening shades, a dark blanket and tape to hold it up did the job.

WD-40: There is no better sound to wake a sleeping baby than the creak when opening and closing doors. Buy a can for a quick fix.

What To Expect – Baby app: The What To Expect – Pregnancy app was fun and informative during pregnancy, sharing health tips and estimated weight and size of your baby at each week. The What To Expect – Baby app is even better. At the hospital, you’ll track your baby’s feeding times and diaper changes on paper. When you get home, a paper and pen isn’t always handy, but your iPhone probably is. The app tracks feedings, diapers, sleeping, and vaccinations. If you were in a normal state of mind, you might be able to remember this information, but when your days and nights run together, it’s a welcome help.

Three sleeping bras: Fellow new Mom and friend of mine, Carrie, told me to have plenty of nursing bras because breastfeeding Moms wear a bra 24/7. During the first few weeks, I rarely got dressed during the day (sorry, Brian!), so wearing a normal bra with snaps and straps was unnecessary. I found sleeping bras at Babies-R-Us for $12.99 and they’re like cotton sports bras but more comfortable and much easier to maneuver. Having three has served well: one to wear, one in the wash, and one clean for back-up. Save the real bras for when you venture out of the house.

Ambiance iPhone app: While this app didn’t cut it for Bridget when it came to the vacuum cleaner or fan, it mimics the “sshhhh”-ing sound relatively well and lends a break to your exhausted lungs. There is a free version of the app but you can upgrade for access to thousands of sounds for $2.99.

A fully stocked medicine cabinet: Although there isn’t much you can safely give a newborn, there are a few must-haves that you should have handy. Our first use for all of these required a late-night run to the corner CVS. Save yourself the hassle and extra stress when your little one is sick:

Gas drops
Tylenol
Nasal saline
Nasal aspirator
Thermometer
Humidifier

Pinxav: I had never heard of this nor seen it since, but for our baby shower, a guest bought us this diaper cream. It works magic on a diaper rash. Which is why we still have most of the original bottle left because we haven’t had to use it very often.

What are your must-haves for a baby?