I can't believe another week has passed, seemingly in the blink of an eye. The past month has certainly knocked me off the blogging wagon but I am hoping to hop back on! So lets start the catch up. Last Sunday we celebrated the impending arrival of the newest Shepard with a baby shower for my brother and his wife. We tried to keep it fairly casual and relaxed but we did put a few decorations and I made these sheep cupcakes. Can you tell which ones my assistant "helped" with? I'll give you a hint, they had much fancier ears than the ones I did ;-)
Cupboard spruced up with any and all available sheep, including a sheep painting I did approximately a million years ago.
Tried to come up with a cute quote for the chalkboard (since our "welcome 2012" seemed a little dated) and I've just always loved this Pooh quote. Plus it seems like what you need to remind yourself frequently during those first few sleep-deprived months.
My sister had seen cute "bunting" done with onesies and baby hats - this isn't the best picture but it was very cute. Then they could also take the teeny outfits home after the shower!
The new parents to-be - probably the most attractive couple I personally know, can't wait to see how cute their little peanut will be (a boy by the way).
And a few of the little people who were in attendance. What is it about cheese slices and crackers and teeny, tiny veggies that draws them like moths to the flame? I think mine made a plate for everyone with exactly one of each item on it whether they wanted it or not! I think I see a little bossiness in her, completely mystified where it comes from ;-) Perhaps another teacher in the making? My husband also says possible "middle management" based on her love of endlessly organizing things unnecessarily (and the reorganizing them 5 minutes later), as well as her great capacity to delegate.
Our own little peanut from back in the day - it seems like forever ago that she was so small. And she was HUGE here compared to how teeny tiny she was when she was born (3 lbs, 5 oz).
I've been thinking about what advice new parents REALLY need, what advice we needed. I think the best advice I can give is to breathe deep and know that it IS hard and wonderful in equal measure, but not to let the hard moments overshadow the miraculous ones. Try to be present as much as you can and take in all the little details that will change and be gone in an instant. Be kind to each other as you adjust to your new roles. It's ok to be a little sad when you realize your old life really is gone. You will sleep again, just not as soon as you'd like to. Ask for help when you're at the end of your rope - the people who love you WANT to help (especially when there's a cute baby involved who isn't keeping them up at night).
How can you truly give people any advice who are getting ready to embark on the most life changing adventure they'll ever have? I think all we can really do is wave from the shore and yell "Good Luck! We love you!", knowing that it'll be okay, it'll even be great some days, and try to give them a light to turn to as they try to find their way. I know that I am eternally thankful and grateful to all the people who shone their lights for us as we navigated those HARD first months (alright, really the hard first 18 months but who was counting?). It certainly was the best and worst of times - but then again, isn't that just called being a parent? ;-)