Valentine’s Diapers

Valentine's DiapersOne of the perks of using cloth diapers is that you can match the diapers to your baby’s outfit or even pick diapers to match holidays and events.  Cloth diapers have come a long way from plain white squares of fabric and rubber pants.  Nowadays, you can find cloth diapers in almost any color and print.  Here are some of my favorites for Valentine’s Day.

Thirsties Limited Edition Sweetheart Collection – A diaper with a fresh white background and a splash of pink hearts make this the perfect Valentine’s Day diaper.  Available as a cover, pocket, or AIO diaper you also gets lots of options to meet your cloth diapering needs.  Orchid and rose are also great.

BumGenius Dazzle and Countess.  A deep purple and a bright, hot pink make these adorable peeking out from under a cute Valentine’s dress.

Rumparooz Spice is a gorgeous muted red.  Sherbert’s purply pink is rich while Amethyst is softer.  Tulip is the perfect baby pink while Crimson is red hot.  Lux would also make a fun valentine’s print with it’s blends of pink and red.  Rumparooz offers so many Valentine’s friendly colors you could set up an assortment for the whole day!

Grovia’s Persimmon and Poppy add a little more color variation to the lineup.

Applecheek’s Love HappensSuddenly Royal and Jem add two pretty purples to the assortment.

BabyKicks Red would be perfect for your little gentleman.

Best Bottom’s Strawberry Shortcake gives us a little pop of yellow with our pink.  Very Cherry gives a classic red and white while Wild Berry blends two purples.  If you want to mix in a little green, try Plum Pie.  For a splash of black and white try Cookies N Cream.

ButtomBumper’s Cherry, Plum and Pixie are adorable.  Bubble Gum gives us a little bit of green with all the pink and purple while Licorice gives us a black and white chevron sure to compliment all those reds and pinks.  Sweet Cherry mixes it up a bit with fresh cherries and flowers on a pink backdrop.

Funky Fluff offers Love Bug and Pink.

I’ve always loved Itti Bitti’s rich, velvety colors.  Mulberry and Papaya are simply decadent.  Danube and Hanako add some adorable prints.  And Bubble Gum gives us another pop of pink.

Tidy Tot’s rounds out our Valentine’s Day diapers with Violet, Cheeky Cheetah, Pink Circles, and the adorable Tweet Heart.

Of course, the best part about all of these cloth diapers is that they can be worn every single day to add a bit of love to your baby’s tushy.

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Why I Don’t Feel Guilty Celebrating My Marriage on Valentine’s Day

this-is-our-dayValentine’s Day is just around the corner, and this year, I’m not going to feel one tiny ounce of guilt when I leave my kids with a sitter.  I won’t feel guilty when most of my thoughts on this day center around my husband and I ALONE, together, laughing, cuddling, and doing what we did to get these little life-consuming rugrats in the first place.  Valentine’s Day is for us as a couple, not us as a family.  And that does not make us selfish.

Since our kiddos were born, almost every single holiday has centered around them.  Mom and dad have forgone Christmas gifts.  We no longer bar-hop on Halloween – unless you count going door to door begging for candy which is sure to leave my kids much ‘drunker’ than I ever though about getting before they were born.  We typically spend New Year’s in bed…asleep.  Fourth of July is spent with the kids in a baby pool, fireworks, and sparklers.  There’s rarely a romantic moment under the fireworks anymore.  We certainly don’t get the stress free, mostly undressed vacations that we used to, if I’m being honest.  I love my kids, I love the laughter, the light, the hope, and the pure craziness they have added to our lives.  But Valentine’s Day?  That’s the day my husband and I remember just why and how passionately we love each other.  Our kids get every single other day of our lives, this is our day.

I spend a lot of time chatting with other moms.  When you’re a stay-at-home-parent whose main job is the childcare of your children, it’s kind of what you end up doing to break up the day.  Each year I’m saddened by how many moms say that Valentine’s Day is nothing special, that they won’t even celebrate.  I ache for them, I truly do.  Back when I was a ‘new’ mom, I was the same.  We went from a married couple who celebrated Valentine’s Day with passion and abandon  to a married couple with kids who had taken over our lives.  Slowly last year, as I found myself again, we started getting back to who we were.  There have been a few nights away and a commitment to spend more time with just each other.  We are still parents, but we are again truly each others.

This year, I’m not quite content with dinner being brought home so we can stay with our kids.  My kids have no real concept of what Valentine’s Day is.  Sure, they tell us they love us and know we love them.  We’ll do some crafts, stories, and I’ll get them a small gift.  They’ll then be happy to have a sitter, time away from mom and dad to do all the things I tell them they can’t do.  They still get their celebration and we get ours.

Longing LooksThis Valentine’s Day I’ll wake up as his wife as I always do.  I’ll wake up as their mother, and proudly so.  I’ll spend the week doing motherly tasks and maintaining our home.  But, then I’ll get to be his girlfriend again and feel all those pre-date butterflies and jitters.  I’ll pick out an outfit that makes ME feel good because truly, that’s what counts.  He already thinks I’m beautiful, it’s more about convincing myself these days.  I’ll spend too long getting ready, making a mess of our bedroom and closet.  We’ll go out together and not have a care in the world except each other.  I’ll be lost in his eyes and he in mine.  It won’t matter much what we do or where we go, as long as we’re together and it’s just us.  Because the most important parts, the whispering chats and the breathy giggles that leave us both with longing looks, those are what matter.  And those can happen anywhere…

Sewing Tutorial: Valentine’s Garland

Valentine's GarlandI love the look of festive garland for all holidays, Valentine’s Day being no exception.  This colorful, fun garland is easy to create and highly customizable.

For the garland created in this tutorial, we will be using felt and/or vinyl sheets and ribbon.  You could also create the garland with card stock and twine if you’re not a sewer.

Materials Needed

  • Felt, stiffened felt, and/or glitter vinyl sheets. I like to use the 9X12 sheets you can buy at craft stores.  I’ve used four sheets for the garland featured. One piece of stiffened felt, two pieces of regular eco-fi felt, and one piece of glitter vinyl.
  • Valentine's Heart GarlandFusible/sewable stabilizer if you’re using regular felt instead of stiffened
  • Spool of ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • *Optional – Cricut or other paper cutting machine to cut out hearts. You certainly don’t have to use a Cricut, you can easily cut the hearts out by hand.
  • If cutting by hand you can use one of the heart templates provided in the tutorial.
  • The detailed and illustrated tutorial provided here:  Valentine’s Heart Garland.

Secret Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! The romantic soul that I am – I love today.  I love love. Always have.  An excuse to gush over the ones you love, have sweets, and get dressed up just because. Yes, I can be feminine when I want to be and today just makes me giddy.

My tots picked out Valentine’s pajamas this past weekend and I’m going to get them dressed in them and let them wear them all day.  A love machine and a love pirate – robots and, well, pirates – were their chosen themes.  Little boy dreams, but super sweet little boys who at 1 and 3 years still like to give me cuddles and hugs.

I stuck hubby’s card and note under his phone this morning and he read it before work.  We dug into the Valentine’s cake I made last night…we couldn’t resist.  It didn’t look perfect, but it tasted delicious.  Vanilla cake with marshmallow icing and rose and heart candy melts.  Yum…

I signed up to do a secret valentine gift exchange with a little group of artisans that I belong to.  While I haven’t met these ladies in person, they are true friends.  We chat, we share our crafts, stories, and lives.  I’ve received surprise packages and warm-hearted notes from many of them and I was very excited to get to create something for one of them.

I received my gift earlier this week and was excited to open it.  My secret valentine came from my favorite polymer clay artist Kathy.  You can see her shop Flowertown Originals here and you’ll see why I love her work right away.  Her work is amazing and she is an equally amazing person.  I absolutely LOVE my gift.  It was very thoughtful and just perfect for me.  The seam ripper works fantastically (yes, I had to use it as soon as I opened it) and is so much easier to use than the standard one you buy at the store. My fingers don’t cramp up and I can easily glide it through the seams.  And the pins are gorgeous!  I’d be happy to replace all my pins with these.  I also love my little magnet. I have it on my magnetic board right next to my sewing machine with some other little cards and trinkets I’ve received from my fellow artisans.

Valentine’s Day…it’s not just for lovers.  It’s for family, friends, and all those that we hold dear.  A day to remember that those around us can make our lives so much better just by being there.  I’m a lucky lady and I hope today that someone stops to make you feel a little loved too.

This is absolutely not a sponsored post.  I just wanted to share my gift and my love for Kathy’s amazing work.

What I Want for Valentine’s Day

Valentine's1I fondly remember the first Valentine’s Day my husband and I were together.  Flowers delivered to me at work, a dinner date, and an amazing night.  Without fail I received flowers to brighten my desk every year I worked outside of our home before we had children.

Our first Valentine’s Day as parents I wasn’t ready to leave our three-month old with a sitter so he brought dinner home to me.  I remember him coming home with two boxes of chocolates for a pregnant me and our toddler the next year.  Last year, with an infant, a toddler, and a job hunt in full swing, we didn’t really celebrate.

So, this year, with two toddlers who I’m more than ready to leave with a sitter, what do I want?  Candy, flowers, jewelry, dinner out?  Nope.  I want my husband.  I want his attention, no TV, no tantrums from the kids, no computers, tablets, phones, or iPods.  No distractions. I just want to be his girlfriend again instead of his overly tired wife.

I want to talk until we’ve giggled, cried, laughed, and dreamed.  I want to flip through songs (ok, maybe the iPod can stay!) and say, “Oh, remember when we saw them at ….”.  I want those songs to make us feel what we felt when we first heard them.  To remember the auditory clues of a life that has brought us to where we are.

I want to let go of the hang-ups I’ve picked up as a mother.  To remember that this man doesn’t care if my stomach now has a pathway of stretch marks.  He helped create the babies that left those marks and he was there when they came into this world.  He has walked moonlit halls with those babies knowing he had to go to work in just hours and his wife needed those couple hours of sleep to get through another day of spit-up, diapers, and tears.  He doesn’t care that I wear a size or two larger than I did on our first Valentine’s.  My hair, my waist, my hips…they’re familiar territory now.  In his eyes, I’m no different now than I was then.  Except I am the mother to his children, I am his wife…I’m no different, but I am more.

ValenTine's2I want to remember not to nag.  That it doesn’t really matter who forgot to clean up after the kids had dinner.  That while I swept, fed, diapered all day, he worked to bring money into our home.  He worked for our future just as I did.  No blame or ‘who did more’.  I want to remember that this man has seen me at my worst and I him.  He has seen me deliriously happy and has worked hard to make that happen.  He has seen me lose, cry, triumph, laugh, be sick…We have held each other in happiness and sorrow.

What do I want for Valentine’s Day?  Just him.  In all that he does and all that he is…We’re not special or extraordinary people, but we have created a love that transcends who and what we are.  We are more together than we will ever be apart.