Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nia's 8 Month Giggles

I could just listen to her laugh all day!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Nia's First Easter

Like just about every year since 2003, Uka and I headed over to Maria's apartment (my Wellesley roommate) to share Nia's first Easter with her, her husband, my sister Ariane and another couple. It was a special intimate Easter for all of us as my friends are expecting their first baby this September and the other couple is getting married in November.

Maria and her husband prepared a delicious meal (as usual), and we left in a bit of a food coma! Here's a teaser of what we experienced:

It was unseasonably warm here in NYC - it had been rainy and cold for a couple weeks so we were excited for the break in the weather. We attended service at The Jouney and it was so joyful and inspring! I volunteered with the elementary ageds kids during one service and the kids were so cute and excited for Easter. Nia fell asleep in the nursery and didn't last very long in her full Easter get-up.

I had shown Nia her Easter dress for a week or so and she knew what it was when I brought it out. I hung it on the closet door and kept asking, "Where's your Easter dress?" and she would look at it and outstretch her hand. ADORABLE! The dress was a gift from my friend Seyi who I met soon after I moved to New York in 2007.

Here are a few pics of Nia in the dress with the book Pat the Bunny (a gift from Maria - Nia LOVES it!) and the take-home newborn blanket my mom crocheted as the backdrop: 

{We had a few people ask why she didn't have shoes on and since she doesn't walk yet we leave her shoe-free and I've read that there's no developmental reason to put babies in shoes prematurely.}

Shout Color Catcher Review

I had posted before about the Shout Color Catcher I had been expecting in the mail. Whenever I see those commercials for free samples I always sign up! This sample, however, took FOREVER to arrive (about 3 months) and I finally used it a couple weeks ago.

I'm pretty anal about separating my laundry and reading all the labels. Our washing machine is HE so it uses just right amount of water and I use way less detergent too. All the light colored clothing to be washed on gentle is always separated from the dark colored warm wash clothing and the whites to be washed in hot water.

To try the sample, I washed a load of Nia's clothing. A few of her things say wash cold and gentle but I usually through most of her clothing in the wash on warm - it helps get the stains out. 

This is what the color catcher looks like straight out of the package - kinda like a sturdier dryer sheet:

Here's the load I washed with the color catcher:

The commercial claims the proof is in the color catcher of how it captured colors but mine just came out the same color so I guess my colors didn't bleed. I was surprised given the warm water. I tried a load of the same colors mixed together and had the same results so if it looks like Nia's clothes were pretty colorfast already.

I won't purchase a Shot Color Catcher to try this again on less colorfast clothing but if I somehow get another sample (I know they limit one per household), I'll try it again.

For now I'll stick to doing my laundry the way I always do!

Have any of our readers had amazing results with the Shout Color Catcher?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dad's Take: Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers

I came across this objective debate on cloth vs. disposables and thought it was very helpful. For us, we really wanted to save money and since we have a HE washer/dryer it makes sense for us. The green angle is an added bonus! 

{Coming up: review of Econobum cloth diapers}

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pinterest Heats Up the Blogosphere!

Sometimes I consider myself an early adopter - a term I've especially become familiar with from my years working in advertising, but I really have to say something about Pinterest

I don't remember where I first heard about Pinterest, but it's a place to catalog all the things you love (as the site says). I adore my tearsheet binders which took weeks to put together after collecting clippings for years. My ultimate goal was to store everything digitally once we purchased a scanner, but the thought of scanning each sheet and cataloging them seems daunting.

Enter Pinterest.

It does this digitally! I have hundreds upon hundreds of bookmarks strategically cataloged and organized. I am the woman who can find the most random products and pieces of information because of my cataloging system. Case in point: a coworker years ago was asking around the office to see who knew where to find personalized underwear. Someone suggested she come to me and lo and behold, in less than 2 minutes I had a website for her.

Pinterest takes mood boards and socializes them so you can share and swap your ideas. It's AMAZING! I have to admit, currently I only have one item on my Pinterest account (it's this octopus coat hook), but I need to find some time to sit down and start cataloging. The first board I want to delve into headfirst is for Nia's first birthday. I know it's going to come faster than I think!

Anyway, back to the early adopter. . . I went back to my Gmail and found I had requested to be added to Pinterest back on January 6 and was invited to join on January 10. I sat on activating it until a couple weeks ago and now have seen the following blogs suddenly abuzz with talk about Pinterest:

Today's Nest

I Heart Organizing

Young House Love

If you're on Pinterest, please follow me, and I'll follow back!

Holy MALM!

In 2009 Mr. Love Bird and I bought IKEA's MALM furniture suite a few months after getting married. It wasn't ideal, but it was deeply discounted and fit our budget. 

Photo Credit: Gear Patrol

We still have it, but I often dream of the day we get rid of it - at least the bed. The rest of the pieces would be fine in a guest room, but it really annoys me how the bed isn't conducive to underbed storage, which is a must in NYC. I can fit a few flat bed boxes under and some shoes but it requires lifting the entire bed up to access them.

I was over on Apartment Therapy and came across this hack for the dresser. Check out this before and after:

Photo Credit: Apartment Therapy
Isn't this AMAZING?! I'm definitely keeping this on file for when it comes time to re-purpose our MALM suite.

In doing research for this post I found out IKEA now has a MALM bed frame that is redesigned for better underbed storage; from the website: 

This higher version of the MALM bed frame makes it easier to get in and out of bed and easily fits underbed storage boxes.

Photo Credit: IKEA
So I'm a day late and dollar short!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More Baby in a Bonnet & a Bit of a Scare

This past Thursday the weather was gorgeous so I took Nia to the park to swing for the first time. My mom had given me a bonnet during our last visit that she came across while sorting through some things and I decided to put Nia in it again especially to help protect her from the sun. Here she is about to go outside:

Now Mr. Love Bird thinks Nia looks silly in her bonnet but I think she looks cute! I was a fan of Holly Hobby when I was a little girl and the oversized bonnet reminds me of her:

Photo Credit:
Here are a few swing pics of Nia; she was more interested in watching the other kids at the playground than being in the swing:

Right after we left I was almost home (less than a 5 minute walk) and I realized my wristlet which contained my keys and license were missing; I had put it in the zipper pouch of the stroller which I kept beside me the entire time. I quickly retraced my steps and couldn't find the wristlet. Our super let us in and later that night when Mr. Love Bird came home and opened the mailbox he found just the keys and my license there but no wristlet. I believe the mail carrier returned them and the wristlet must've fallen out at some point because she's the only one with access to the mailbox (you have to use the mailbox key to close it back in place). This was quite a scare, but I've never in my life lost my keys. I am going to be super vigilant from now on!

Dancing Royals

Mr. Love Bird was watching this the other day and now I can't get enough:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Harlem Brownstone Love

Harlem Bespoke is one of my favorite blogs for all the latest developments in Harlem, especially real estate. A few days ago they posted this wonderful townhouse:

Photo Credit: Harlem Bespoke
According to the comments it's now for rent for over $6K/month. WOW! A girl can dream, right?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nia's First Playdate

Nia had her first real playdate this past Saturday in Central Park. It was with my my fellow Wellesley alum Val's daughter Isabelle ("Bella") who's a couple months younger than Nia. The first time we attempted a play date this past winter it didn't go over too well with Nia, but this time was much better:

I look forward to getting the girls together more often as it warms up!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sewing Mama

This past Saturday I visited Pins and Needles, a fairly new sewing boutique on the UES, for a book signing for Little Things to Sew.

Photo Credit: Pins and Needles

I was able to meet the author, Liesl, who was so gracious to take a picture with me and Nia:

Nia LOVES books!
I come from a family of avid sewers and crocheters; my mom even made her own wedding dress:

She also would sew coordinating outfits for us and later for me and my siblings:

Gotta love the 80s!
Despite this I never learned to sew from my mom; this isn't to say I tried. One afternoon in highschool she helped me make Rugrats boxers which I still have, but somehow I misaligned the print and one leg is going the wrong direction!

When I was in Boston a fellow Wellesley alum and I signed up for sewing classes at the BCAE. Every Saturday for two months we brought our sewing machines through the snowy streets of Boston and I worked on my first real sewing project: black pants. Unfortunately, I got stuck on the zipper and never finished them. Also, I think the fabric I picked out wasn't the best. It picked up lint and was too crunchy or something!

Right now I only use my machine for minor projects and would like to pick sewing back up. When I was engaged my mom researched making my wedding dress and visited and called the various fabric stores here in NYC. While it was more economical to purchase my dress given the cost of flying back to Ohio for fittings my mom exclaimed how I'm right in the middle of all the best fabric and notions and with so much at my fingertips I should take advantage of it.

I don't have a lot of time to devote to sewing so when I read the reviews of Little Things to Sew I was very excited by the simplicity of the projects. Take a look:

Photo Credit: Oliver + S
During the signing Pins and Needles had a raffle for the book as well as a one hour sewing lesson. Well guess who won the sewing lesson??? 

Me! So the stars have aligned and I'm going to jump back into sewing. I'll post an update on my experience and my projects. I'm thinking of sewing my way through the book for the rest of the year and tracking my progress. I'll see how it comes together . . . 

{Check out this local news story about the shop.}

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Life With Nia: 8 Months Old

Serious here but usually she's smiling!

Oh boy, does Nia have a personality on her! Eight months is much more social than the previous months. We're not sure who taught her but she now waves goodbye and hi! Too too cute! Only issue when she wants to touch people on the subway (ewwww!). I have to admit I already have her first birthday on the brain. Nothing written down or purchased yet, but I'm sure I'll be pulling things together soon enough.

Here's the update:
  • Baby's Weight: Her appointment's next month but she still feels pretty light weight. I'm imagining 18-19lbs.
  • Baby's Height: Seems like she's really stretched out all of the sudden; I'm thinking 27."
  • What size of clothing does baby wear? 6-9 months is getting tighter in the length and I've started her on some 12 months clothing =(
  • Any milestones baby reached during the month:  
      • She can wave goodbye and hi
      • She's clearly crawling backwards now - very quickly!
      • Eating more solids such as Cheerios

  • Special outings baby had during the month: She went to her first playdate in Central Park. Here's a teaser pic (separate post to follow):

    • She also went to The Natural History Museum with a few other Destination Wedding Knotties and babies; we didn't do a full walk through but she was so interested in the few things we did see, especially the dinosaur skeletons in the lobby. She kept waving hi to them! I definitely need to plan a return trip.
    • What are your thoughts about the past month? She's less baby and more toddler to me already. I think this is because she's blossoming socially so quickly.
    • What was baby's routine? We're in a much better routine now with bedtime between 8-9p.m. and sometimes earlier; one or two 1-hr naps/day. She's eating when we eat and will wake up when we wake up (5a.m.). 
    • Reflect about the highlights of the month: First playdate; more social at storytime especially - she's singing along now and dancing! Not sure if it's a highlight but she had her first cookie thanks to Grandpa Agbai! We also traveled on Megabus to DC to visit my parents; she held up pretty well.
      • Did any big changes occur, such as baby started daycare, stopped nursing, slept through the night, etc... Just more solids.
      • What are baby's favorites - toy, food, person, etc... Sophie! {Read about it below.}

      Monday, April 11, 2011

      Nia, Meet Sophie!

      I've posted before about wanting to get a Sophie for Nia, but I never did. I had read mixed reviews on Amazon about how it could be a choking hazard, but on the flip side I know a few moms in real life whose daughters ADORE their Sophies. 

      This past weekend I was in Giggle with my friend Val (a fellow Wellesley alum mommy!) who surprised Nia with a Sophie after our daughters' playdate (blog post forthcoming)! Nia has two top teeth coming in so I knew she'd enjoy something new to gnaw on:

      These top two widdle teef are taking FOREVER!
      Boy, was a I right . . .

      What is this, mom? Is it for me?!
      I LOVE my Sophie!
      The neck is extra delish!
      Want to learn more about Sophie and see her in action? Watch this:


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