Books, Babies, and Bling

Sorry, no cute pictures of babies for you to swoon over  – at least, not yet!  Although I can’t wait, because my precious little baby girl is currently making her opinions known from inside my body – as in, every morsel of food I put in my body causes me agony, even a sip of water can bring on heartburn, and her kickboxing practice appears to be focused on my kidneys and bladder.  With remarkably good aim, especially at 3am.  Five weeks to go, five weeks to go, five weeks to go, sigh. 

Instead, I bring you pictures of baby books – specifically, the mound-o-books I received at my baby shower recently.  I’m at an avid reader – well, when I have the time, anyway – so a book themed baby shower was a no-brainer.  Also because the hubster and I are the very last of all of our friends to have kids, which means we have scored big time in the hand-me-down department.  Leaving hardly an item to be purchased by us or gifted on us.  Except books!

Amazingly, in all the books received (filling the two shelves of the bookcase pictured above!) from more than a dozen friends and family, there were only two duplicates!  The best part was hearing why each person chose the books they did – whether it was a favorite book from childhood, or one of their child’s favorites, or one that they loved to read to their child.  The range of books was also impressive – everything from high contrast black and white books for the smallest of babes, to ABC’s and animal picture books, to Where the Sidewalk Ends (Shel Silverstein, totally awesome) and Of Thee I Sing, written by Barack Obama for his two girls (also totally awesome).  There were many that I was familiar with, like Goodnight Moon and Goodnight Gorilla, Moo Baa La La La and of course all things Richard Scarry.  There were mini books for traveling, books with cords for attaching to the stroller, and big padded block shaped books.  And from my stepmom, there was this amazing thing:

Entirely handmade, of course, by her.  It’s absolutely beautiful – all different fabric textures and colors, with numbers attached by velcro, buttons and snaps and puffed up princesses, it’s exactly the type of thing that you would love as a child, hold on to through your teenage years, and cherish as an adult.  Even my soon-to-be 10 year old niece said she wished she had one.

But that gift wasn’t the one that brought me to tears, as beautiful, surprising, and heartfelt as it was.  The one that got me right in the pregnancy hormonal jugular came from my dad (who wasn’t in attendance at the shower).  It was a small box with a necklace, and a card.  The card was written by my dad, but written as if it came from my late grandmother – and, caught up in the moment, I actually believed it was from her (I found out I was pregnant several weeks after her funeral, so that wasn’t remotely possible).   The gift was a small beaded necklace that belonged to her as a child.  Something she saved, as she was prone to do, for just the right future occasion.  She already had five great-grandchildren when she passed away last year, but mine will be the first baby girl, and I’m sad that she won’t be here to celebrate with us.

But now let’s move from tears to smiles, shall we?  Bring on the bling!  And the part where all the ladies out there elbow their husbands in the gut and say “how come you’re not like that”?  Because my husband is AWESOME.  *shhh, don’t tell him*

My husband, who works 50 hours a week at a job dealing with very angry people, then comes home and cooks me dinner the moment he walks in the door–while singing and joking around–is possibly the most supportive and nurturing man on the entire planet.  I try to keep this kind of information under wraps, because for heavens sake we don’t want him to realize that his behavior is something other than perfectly normal, now do we?

So, my perfectly normal husband did the type of thing all perfectly normal husbands and fathers-to-be would do, which is that he arranged for not one . . . not two . . . but three surprise gifts for me at the baby shower.  Gifts from him.  That he picked out.  From specialty gift places.  And paid for on our seldom used backup credit card, so I wouldn’t see the charges on our account statements immediately (I like to stay on top of our money, so sue me).

So this perfectly normal guy managed to squeeze in a few minutes on a rare day off to drive out of his way to a specialty sock store to purchase for me three pairs of fun and silly (and warm!) socks – a pair of thigh high knits in green stripes, a pair of calf high multicolored, and some ridiculously cute pink fluffy ones with piglet faces on the feet (sorry no pictures of these!).  Why socks, you ask?  Because my feet are always cold, and because at our birth classes the instructor told us we should pack some socks for the hospital.  Therefore, a surprise gift of three pairs of specialty socks to choose from.  Natch.

Of course he did not stop at socks.  Socks are nice, but they are not *bling*.  So he bought me some shiny, too:

Poppies (square tile pendant)

Swing (large round pendant)

Two shinies, to be exact.  (and because they are shiny, we count them each as a separate gift, therefore, THREE surprise gifts!).  And not just any old jewelry, oh no.  These babies are handmade by a good friend of mine, who recently opened an Etsy shop called Avenue 49.  You should check it out.  And then send the link to your baby daddies, since Mother’s Day is right around the corner.  She has all kinds of fun jewelry designs, including things made with her own gorgeous photos, fun and wacky illustrations, designs like the Swing above (my photo does NOT do it justice, it is gorgeous) – AND, if that is not enough deliciousness, she will custom make a piece for you, using your own photo or design.  Like a photo of your children.  Gorgeous.  I like her stuff so much that I was tempted to have a piece made with my baby’s ultrasound.  But then that would be creepy.  Right?

Oh, and if you were wondering, I did photoshop some serious age spots right off my chest in the above pictures.  Of course I did. 

Here’s one last parting shot – I made some cute thank you cards for all my shower gifts, using some assorted scrapbooking paper.  And coordinating bookmarks to include with the cards, cute and fun.  My crafting gene has really been itching.

Thank Yous and Bookmarks

I know, it doesn’t make up for the lack of chocolate, and sugar, and food-type items that would normally be in a post.  Maybe you’ll be content with a little surfing through the Chocolate and Toast recipe archives?

Next time:  less gab, more drool.  No, not baby drool.  Five weeks to go, five weeks to go. Deep breath.

Two years ago on C&T:  Salted Butter Caramel and Boozy (Rum Currant) Cookies

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