Congratulations on your pregnancy! You’re about to enter a world with more love than you’ve ever known. And more laundry than you know what to do with.
Here’s what you’re in for:
You clean everything with special detergent that smells like pink baby unicorns. Ooh and ah at the teeny tiny socks peeking from neat, color-coordinated piles. Marvel at the fact that all of baby’s clothes fit into just one drawer and baby’s blankets and sheets fit into another.
Week 1 and 2
Two drawers of baby’s dresser become dedicated to the slightly stiff swaddle blankets with hospital stripes that (ahem) somehow managed to get into your bag. That “going home outfit” you debated so much about? Baby will either have thrown up on it or pooped out its side in the gap between tiny leg and diaper. Or both. Yes, you completely under-appreciated the hospital’s laundry service.
Weeks 3 and 4
Baby outgrows all newborn clothing one day between breakfast and lunch. (Not that baby has any sense time.) The majority of outfits you cooed over at the baby shower go into a storage tub. The rest that still fit are either in the dryer or sitting in the basket emanating the smell of curdled milk.
Months 2 and 3
Baby’s epic blowouts involve you cutting off onesies and throwing them in the trash. Pajamas and daytime clothes become interchangeable. You give up on the cloth changing pad cover because you keep forgetting to buy another. Plus, wiping plastic down is easier than decontaminating it one. more. time.
Months 4 to 12
You are in awe of each milestone and the fact that such a small human can generate such enormous piles of dirty clothes. You think your machine could break and suspect it’s eating small socks in protest. You won’t be able to find matching socks if your life depended on it. This is fine. All baby wants to do is chew on them anyway, preferably while wearing them.
Thirteen to 24 Months
These months will all be one big blur involving mashed carrot splotches, yogurt splotches, spaghetti sauce splotches, grass stains, and that-better-be-chocolate splotches.
24 Months to 35 Months
Are you really still counting months? Okay then. Baby’s mobility combined with a new sense of discovery equals a destructive force to reckon with. And those aren’t armholes. They’re holes through the knees of baby’s pants. All of them.
Baby is no longer a baby (or a toddler for that matter). You’ve officially got a “big kid”! Big kid has a strong opinion. So when big kid wishes to wear a favorite pair fire truck pajamas to pre-school every single day, you might as well go with it. It’s less laundry.
Well, I can check that one off my list. And before the month is over to boot! Here’s proof.
However, both “be more active” and “eat less cookies” are still work in progress. Better check back with me on those in February. Or never.
The thought definitely matters. The presentation? Well, that’s up for grabs. So I’ve created 10 tips for wrapping those perfectly thoughtful presents a little less than perfectly. Okay, okay a lot less:
1. Don’t buy enough wrapping paper
Nothing says Merry Christmas like neon Happy Birthday paper. This will lead into a natural discussion of the birth of Christ and the reason Christmas exists in the first place. It’ll be like you planned it. Almost.
Because I live in fear of this scenario, I have the reverse problem:
Every time I buy Christmas wrapping paper, I realize I already had Christmas wrapping paper.
— Taylor Family (@TheYuleLog) December 18, 2011
2. Don’t buy enough “Santa” paper
Santa’s favorite method of wrapping is a stocking. He fills it with small items curated by elves and calls it a night. If Santa also chooses to use wrapping paper on larger gifts in your house, be sure to he’s stocked up. A half wrapped sled is sadder than a sled wrapped in its entirety.
3. Don’t buy enough gift-wrap tape
4. If it has adhesive on one side, consider it gift-wrap tape
This includes masking, duct, packaging, painter’s, medical and athletic varieties as they can all get the job done. Band-Aids work too, but if you have to resort to them you’ve reached a new low, friends.
5. Accidentally purchase reusable adhesive tape
You’ve got more than enough tape. Hooray! However, you discover at 10:30pm on Christmas Eve that what looks like normal gift-wrap tape is actually the repositionable kind with Sticky Note-style adhesive. Turns out Sticky Notes aren’t all that sticky. This will not end well.
6. Find those adorably festive gift tags December 26th
But you’ll so totally use them next year!
7. Spill alcohol on a present
You only need to rewrap if it absorbs before you wipe it off.
8. Bleed on a present
Wrapping paper cuts sting. However, wounds from its cardboard tube gouge far deeper. Good thing you have Band-Aids.
9. Hide at least one present so well you lose it completely
With any luck, it’ll turn up right before a birthday.
10. Don’t wrap Santa’s presents until the last possible minute
Late night fatigue leads to impatience which leads to gifts getting wrapped progressively worse. The plus side? Leaving Santa’s for last means there’s someone other than you to take the heat.
In the end, it doesn’t matter whether your presents look like they have been wrapped by magical Pinterest elves or angry trolls. The most important thing is a room full of smiles on Christmas morning.
I remember being excited to get an iPhone mostly for its camera taking capabilities. You mean I can see my pictures, here and now? Sweet (but expensive)! I held out awhile but finally purchased one during the third trimester of my second pregnancy. However, I didn’t tweet my birth.
That was over five years ago and now I’m starting to feel that all the instant seeing, editing, cropping and filtering is too much. Too many pictures are too edited into some idea of perfection and immediately posted. If the lighting on your breakfast croissant isn’t quite right, you can change it. Also, years ago, I had photo albums. Actual books of my photos with pages of that adhesive paper and clear film that never stays flat after you pull it up once. For years I put nearly every picture I developed in one. Now, aside from my children’s school projects, I hardly ever print pictures anymore. I take tons, but I stopped printing them en masse when my first child was around two. He’s eight.
I fell out of love with printed photos because I know what’s in that processing envelope before I open it. That is, until recently.
Inspired by my son’s preschool that gives their “Star of the Week” a disposable camera to document their special status, I started giving both of my sons their own.
“Take some pictures,” I tell them.
I’ve found that when my kids have a disposable camera in their hands they look around. Take things in. They don’t ask to play Angry Birds (as much). And after our Disney trip last year, their developed pictures were a delightful stack of surprises.
My dad lost in Animal Kingdom.
Sure, the camera itself is ugly. As are some of the photos. But for every few not-so-great pictures, you see something that makes you smile. Or laugh out loud. You get a peek at what someone found fascinating at that exact point in time. And not only do you get to see it from their perspective, you have to wait to see it. And once you do, you can put it in a photo album. Well, eventually.
A non-Angry Birds bird. Yes!
Elephant butts = picture worthy
So that’s what I look like speaking to the concierge upon arrival.
I think Giraffes are cool. My eight year old agrees.
And this one simply looks like child wonder.
Oh, disposable cameras, you’ve charmed me. And Lena Dunham, too. She thinks you’re thrilling enough to post on Instagram.