Friday, 04 March 2011
While creating Baby Eendje's Birth book I began to think back about all those wonderful wishes and comments we got on the day of his birth through our trusty ole' facebook. It's no joke when people joke that Facebook practically runs the world now a days. But I asked myself how I could take those little wishes from our friends over seas back home and from our new home and preserve them for Baby Eendje to see one day.
I was creating a book through Shutterfly (Check out HotPrints for another interesting offer) but I think you could do so many more creative things with it like copying and pasting just the names and messages or "print screening" the facebook window and pasting it into Word, printing it, and then using that in an actual scrap book. I like the latter because then you can see photos, dates, and times, but copying and pasting might look more classy and you can change the fonts.
So here is what I did, and I'd love to hear more ideas that you might have in preserving these messages whether it be for a Birth, Birthday, or Wedding. While I'm sure facebook will be around for a long time coming, you never know. It was quite a challenge to go back 2 months in daily post to find the day B was born.
Once I did I hit "Control +" to zoom in on the facebook writting ("Control -" to zoom out again). This is important because you want the pixels to be in the highest quality. Then I "Print screened" the window. I opened Photoshop (Gimp is another free program that works just as well) and I created a new white paper with resolution of 1200x1600 pixels and then pasted (or you can hit "control V") on to the paper. I then saved this as copy 1 and did it to several other groups of comments and comments from photos as well naming them copy 2, 3, etc.) Then I created the size for the official print. You could choose a whole 8 x 11 if you want to. I chose a 5x7 format which converts to 1200x1600. Then I opened up Copy 1 and cropped the messages I liked best and moved the cropped version over to the new page. I had a little room left so I then cropped a smaller section from Copy 2 and fit that in.Here you can see how I mixed and matched:
Once it was all done I saved it as a jpeg (photo format) and then uploaded it to my shutterfly account. Here's a photo of how it came out! I absolutely love it and now B can see what people were saying the day he was born!
On another note, I have to highly recommend Shutterfly. Below you can see the actual quality, but what impressed me most was there person to person customer service. I can't begin to say how impressed I was with how helpful they were when I made a mistake in my order! It's customer care like that, that has made a loyal customer out of me!
Thursday, 03 March 2011
Are you teaching your child a second language? Have you used signing or baby Sign language with you child to communicate? I'm positive I have friends (and a few family members) that think I'm nuts for trying to teach Baby Eendje sign language in addition to all the other languages he's learning. I'm also testing Daddy Eendje to see that he's learning how to sign too. We're using Signing time DVD's which is great for both baby and Parents to learn with. The Music honestly makes me want to bang my head against the wall from all the repetition, but I've retained all the signs after watching only one time! We're also practicing with free printable flash cards from Baby Sign Language.com.
As I've mentioned before, I live internationally. Daddy Eendje is half Dutch half Columbian and I'm American. That's 3 languages for Baby Eendje to learn! In the house hold Daddy only speaks Dutch to Baby and I only speak English. We asked my in-laws to only speak Spanish when around him. Luckily, the Netherlands has the highest English speaking population for it not being their second language in Europe. The fact is, the two languages are very similar so I'm sure Baby will learn either way, but why not give him a head start?
In addition we've bought English/Spanish speaking toys from the US, DVD's he can watch in Spanish also as well as English. I believe if you want your child to learn a second language and you don't speak it your self, it's important to let them watch, read, and hear the other language. Maybe even find some one who speaks that second language and have them speak it during a play date and most importantly: Learn a little yourself! Show that learning languages can be fun and know that it may open many doors for your child later in life!
They even start teaching children here in Europe at very young age unlike most of the United States that waits until Jr. High School. If you don't come from a multilingual family, teaching your child a second language can be quite a challenge. By the time European teens reach their level of highschool, they can speak 3-5 languages! Which really puts them in the lead for jobs that require multiple languages. It does make me laugh here how Dora The Explorer teaches children English rather than Spanish.
Further more, while Baby Eendje babbles the day away, I know he won't be speaking actual words until he's 11 months to over a year old. And even then, it's random things like "ba-ba", "ball", "lamp", etc. So if baby had a way to communicate "i would like some more milk please" through sign language, rather than guessing if he wanted something else or crying, why not use it? I've personally seen it used by friends and in the daycare I worked in so I know it works. I've even seen that the children continue to sign even when they do start speaking.
So now to teach Grandma and Daddy to use it and commit to it. I've heard from several sources that say baby will soak up the different languages with no problem but my idea was that he will learn that certain things in different languages mean the same thing if we all sign it when speaking to Baby Eendje. What are your ideas about this? Do you think it's a good idea or have you had success using baby sign language?
Monday, 21 February 2011
My super talented friend Elli makes the cutest and oh so huggable handmade sock monkeys! If you're looking for a gift for baby showers, small kids, or even grown up kids, be sure to do your "monkey business" with Sockee Monkee! Her Etsy is coming soon!
I posted a picture of the cute sock monkey she made Bradley before he was born under my blog post "Knuffels". Here he is with Beau Beau now.
So just recently, for the very first time I had to leave Baby Eendje to go off to work. I'm a lifestyles photographer and not working full time...the whole point being that I can spend more time with baby. My photoshoot however, was in a whole other city. So Daddy Eendje dropped Baby off at his Oma's (grandma's) and I began my journey of what feels like endless public transport.
To be honest, I quite like riding the train, it excites me. I also love the idea of visiting a new city for the first time, but Baby B was in my mind the whole time! I've been away for a small amount of time, but Baby B was always with Daddy and I was never going this far away before. In the end, the photoshoot went fantastic and I had a nice walk through the city of Utrecht back to the Central Station. I even whipped out my phone to snap a couple of things along the way. My favorite was this Dutch Oma Fiets (Grandma Bike):
Why is it that it always feels like the trek back is always longer than the one to the destination? I'm not sure why, but on my way home I felt extrememly exhausted and I missed Baby B sooooooo much that it's hard to put into words. I've heard that breast feeding mothers have extra hormones that make them feel this way. I just can't help but wonder will this feeling ever go away...or do we new mothers just need to get used to it?
I always heard adults say how having their child was the best thing they ever did in their life, or that the best job they've ever had was being a parent. I don't think I really understood that until I had my son. It's not that I'm very good at being a parent (which is what I thought others meant) but it's simply the fact that Baby B makes me soooooo Happy! But I have to admit every since his birth, I've had my hands full and a busy life. Seriously! Where did the time go? So with much anticipation, here's Bradley's birth story (as written to him in his birth book) with a few illustrations.
It all started on Friday the 15th when Daddy and I were on our way to Breda for cousin Roderick’s engagement party. It was 5 pm so we caught down time traiffic plus it was the beginning of the fall vacation day. I had made jokes about being in labor during traffic, and sure enough I began to have contractions while we were stuck in more than 2 hours of traffic. After Roderic’s party I was very tired and still having contractions sometimes, so I went home with Yesinia to go to bed while your father went to eat with his cousins.
The next morning Saturday the 16th, when I went to go to the bathroom I noticed that maybe my water had broken. We went by your cousin Deivin’s house because it was his wife Ilse’s birthday. We dropped off her Brithday gift and I called the midwife who said I was in labor and we should drive back to Amsterdam.
Once we were back in Amsterdam the Midwife came to visit. She said that labor had started but heard something funny when she heard your heart beat. So we went to the Amstelveen Ziekenhuis to have your heart monitored. After they said you were ok, and we should go home and get some rest. I couldn’t get much rest because I knew you were on your way. I woke up and watched my favorite show to pass the time. Finally I woke Daddy up too to sit with me. The midwife called on Sunday morning and said that we should go back to the Amstelveen Ziekenhuis because you were taking too long to come out.
We went to the hospital at 10am. They checked and thought they heard something funny in your heartbeat too. They ended up having to do a heart monitor attached to your head and one on my belly. They said they had never connected two to the machine and couldn’t explain it. They started me on some medicine to help make you come out. I was already very very tired from the busy weekend we had and they said it would be best if I got an epidural to help. I really didn’t want one, but they were right. I was tired and it helped a lot. Daddy brought up my hospital bag and your clothes bag, my camera and the laptop from the car. We watched Alice and Wonderland and Gabriel Iglesias to pass the time. Oma and Opa Roos had just returned from a trip to Ireland and they stopped by quickly to bring Daddy some yummy lasagna from Tio Claudio’s restaurant.
2 shifts went by at the hospital so we got to meet new nurses and Dr.s. They were switching workers again because it was almost midnight but I felt you were ready to come out! Daddy knew too and he went to go tell some one to come and help. The new Dr. and nurse came in and had a look. She said she could see your head and that I could go ahead and push you out. Daddy held my hand and supported my neck while I pushed you out. He and the Dr were great coaches! After about 20 minutes of pushing you came out and they put you on my chest. I just couldn’t believe it! You were beautiful and handsome from the moment we saw you. Daddy came and cut the umbilical cord and then they had you weighed and made sure you were healthy while I got a few stitches.
Daddy held you while I went to take a nice warm shower and when I came back I breast fed you for the very first time. After it was our turn to eat and the nurse brought in a tray with bread, ham and cheese, hagelslag, beschuit and muisjes and applesap. Daddy had to go home to go sleep because it was so late. You and I went to our hospital room to rest from all the hard work and get ready for the very next day.
Monday October 18th
Your first day! We both slept for a couple hours when we got to our room but I couldn’t barely sleep because I was so excited to see you. You woke up around 3 am because you needed your first diaper change! The sunrise that say was beautiful and we watched together out the window. Daddy came back to the hospital as soon as he woke up. He brought Oma and Opa Roos and you got to meet them for the very first time! The Pediatrician came and looked at you and said you were doing good. Daddy brought me a very yummy lunch and some movies to watch because we had to stay the whole day in the hospital. He then got to change your diaper for the first time and did a very good job. Later Uncle Alex, Melissa and Nina came to visit also with Opa Roos.
Tuesday October 19th
Another day of firsts! We go to leave the hospital. It was your first time outside, first car ride, and first time coming home. Daddy picked us up and took us home. Oma was there to meet us and she brought you a big present! It was a baby swing! I was very happy because I really wanted one for you. I was super tired so I took a little nap while you hung out with Daddy and Oma in the livingroom. You were such a sweetie! No tears or crying. I was just so happy to have you home for the first time! Later before bed you had your first Skype date with Great grandma Pam and cousin Ryleigh in the US.
Wednesday October 20th
Today was the first day the Kraamzorg came to help us out. She weighed and checked your temperature. Daddy had to work so you and I just hung out and releaxed the whole day while the Kraamzorg cleaned. (A Kraamzorg is a Dutch translation "Crib helper" and basically they come for the first week after baby is born to help out with everything like cooking, cleaning, showing you how to bathe the baby, or the take care of the baby while you get some rest)
Thursday October 21st
“It’s official, bradley long legs is an Angel! He slept so well last night- and didn’t fuss or cry at all! (except for once when I was changing his diaper and accidentally let him wet himself. He was not happy that Mommy has to take all his warm snuggly clothes off. I don’t blame him) Guess I could use that tee-pee blocker.” Last night you were wide awake in bed. Your eyes were big and open and you just layed there looking at me and smiling!
Friday October 22nd
We had a rough night last night. You weren’t fussy, but a very hungry little man! I had to wake up to feed you so often. I was very tired because of this. I think you must be growing and the Kraamzorg agrees! You’ve gained weight and are more than 4 kilos now. The consultation bereau came today to test your hearing and do a blood prick from your heal. You only cried for a second. The Midwife stopped by also today. She says she’s impressed too with how big you are. I was worried that I wasn’t making enough milk for you and that’s why you were hungry but she says that’s not the case. When Daddy came home we got free delicious Thai food from the restaurant owner down the street who heard you were born. I was happy to not have to cook! Later Daddy gave you a bath for the very first time and you loved it!
Saturday October 23rd
Today we had the first string of family visitors here to see you! Opa and Abuella stopped by first. Cousin Yesinia came with Yeya, your Uncle Alex, Melissa, and Nina brought their new puppy Vega, and Cousin Will and Mirijam visited also! I made cupcakes and Beschut. We took photos with every person you met for the first time. We also had a new Kraamzorg from Suriname who was very nice.
Week 1 Sunday October 24th
You are one week old today! I can’t believe it! You’ve grown and I can see it. Today we had more visitors. Ashana and Hans, Sophie, Francois, and Megan, and cousin Deivin, Ilse, and Jayden came to meet you! “I can’t believe Bradley’s going to be a week old already! It’s gone by so fast but I’ve cherished every hour (all 168) every minute (all 10,080 minutes) and yes, every one of the 604,800 seconds (times 7 days) he’s been here with us.” The Kraamzorg made Roti for us or dinner and your cousin Deivin, Ilse, and Jayden stayed for dinner. It was a busy hectic weekend and I’m happy for it to be over so we can have some relaxing down time. It was just a little too busy for us!
Week 2 October 31st 2010
Another week has gone by! This week I posted the photos from your birth and First week. I also did a little photoshoot with you to share with everyone. You look so perfect! Everyone loves the photos. Kassandra your cousin visited and she and I took you on your very first walk. Daddy and I took you out to do grocery shopping and you were so good! People couldn’t believe you were only 11 days old. They thought you were atleast a month old already! Friday, you and I made our first trip into the city together and met Daddy at work after. Then we took you to Opa and Abuella’s house for dinner for the first time. My favorite time of the day is our 3pm nap time. I love how you snuggle with me, how you smile in your sleep, and the strong grip of your little hand.
Week 3 November 7th 2010
It’s been a rainy week! But you and I have stayed snuggled and warm inside. Your God Mother Silvia just came back from vacation in the Galapagos Islands and got to meet you for the first time! You really seem to like her. You also got to meet your God father Andrew for the first time. Daddy has been working very hard and going to meetings late at night, but we’re always happy when he gets home. I caught him singing “Mama’s got Milk” to the tune of Baby’s Got Back to you the other day. It was really funny!
One Month November 17th 2010
You’re a month old! I can’t believe it! You were so tiny and you’ve grown so quickly. Your Great Aunt Sheri was right, I have to enjoy all these moments-even the stinky diaper ones because I know they are going to go by so quickly and before I know it you’ll be all grown up! You had your first trip to the Consultation Bureau and they said you are growing too quickly. You’re growing way faster than the average Dutch babies! This week Kelly visited with her baby Tom who is your little friend. On the weekend we took a trip to visit your Uncle Alex, Aunt Melissa and cousin Nina. I love how super smiley you are! You must like it when I sing “You are my Sunshine” because you always start smiling then. I’m so lucky to get these smiles for free. They are the greatest highlight of my day! I only wish I could tell you how much we love you. We love you more and more every day!