My husband is Chinese and his parents were born and raised in Hong Kong where they learned Cantonese and English. My husband grew up with English as his primary language, but he picked up a bit of Cantonese (mostly how to order food and be polite to relatives). When we found out I was pregnant with Owen, we talked a lot about what we'd like his cultural exposure to look like.
We decided early on that we'd like for Owen to be exposed to Chinese language. His parents urged us to teach him Mandarin, as it's becoming such an important language all over the world.
Seattle is a multicultural city and we're so lucky to have found the Sponge program. They offer classes for babies and children in many languages, including Mandarin. I brought Owen for a trial class when he was just 3 months old and I really liked the way the class was structured. They were very encouraging for multiple caregivers to accompany each baby, and they wanted the caregivers to learn alongside the babies. After attempting to learn Mandarin through Rosetta Stone for a trip to Mainland China, I really appreciated learning at an infant level!
I enrolled Owen in Sponge when he was 9 months old. It was fascinating to see him process the new language and as he got older and more mobile, he really participated in the class. The most helpful things were learning commands in Mandarin that we could easily use at home ("come here," "clean up," "wash hands," etc.) We also learned catchy songs for all the units. Attending weekly Sponge classes helped me as a Mom because I was able to focus on learning a new skill. It was also a great bonding activity for me and my son.
When he was 19 months old, I committed to a volunteer project where I needed to find childcare for Owen once a week. I found a Chinese Toddler program in Issaquah that fit the bill. After a couple of initial visits to really understand the program, I felt completely at ease. More importantly, so did Owen. After seeing how happy he was and how much he was learning, we decided to send him twice a week. He's been going there for 9 months and it's amazing how much Mandarin he can speak and understand. I watch him as he correctly follows his teacher's directions when I drop him off. When we pick him up from "school," he will usually start singing songs or counting in Mandarin. When I try to speak Mandarin back to him, he just looks at me and laughs!
What's really been cool about these programs is that I've met a lot of families whose children are half-Chinese and they also are trying to find a balance between sharing cultures. It's also been fun to see Owen's reaction when he hears strangers speaking Mandarin at restaurants or at stores. We've also gotten some electronic toys that speak Mandarin and we have some Disney DVDs that are dubbed in Mandarin. He really enjoys and seems to understand them.
Our goal with exposing him to Mandarin isn't for him to be bilingual. Neither my husband nor I speak Mandarin and it's unrealistic to think that he will be bilingual from learning Mandarin twice a week. What we do hope is that he will have a basic understanding of the language that he can continually build upon. By exposing him at such an early age, we hope it will be easier for him to learn Mandarin (or any language) and that he will have a better understanding of his Chinese heritage beyond what he experiences in our family.
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I've been excited for Disney's Moana for about 2 years. I'm not exaggerating. I'm a big fan of Disney movies and Polynesian culture and the combination sounded amazing! I've been reading about the legends of Maui since I was a kid and it made a lot of sense to me when I heard he'd be a character in the movie. If you've ever heard Israel Kamakawiwo`ole's song Maui, you'll understand what I'm talking about.
As a traveler, I'm wondering what new changes will appear at Disney's Aulani Resort on Oahu. Will the movie inspire more family travel to Hawaii and other Polynesian islands? What new additions might be in store for Disneyland and Walt Disney World?
As a hula dancer, I've been curious what the music will be like and how Polynesian dancing would be portrayed. I've danced "He Mele No Lilo" from Disney's Lilo & Stitch for the past 15 years and have been wondering if there would be an iconic dance scene in Moana. Will the movie inspire more kids to learn Polynesian dancing?
As a Mom, I've been eager to show my toddler a movie that features Polynesian culture and a sense of adventure. When I first heard about the movie a couple of years ago, my toddler was just a baby and I was hoping he'd be old enough to come with me. After seeing how much he enjoyed Finding Dory, I knew he'd be into Moana! I got him a couple of Moana books from Target the week prior (so he'd know the story) and one of those magnetic coloring boards from Costco featuring Moana.
So, this Thanksgiving I took my family (husband, toddler, baby, and mother) to experience the long-awaited Moana!
What My Almost-3-Year-Old Thought:
What I thought of Moana:
I'm already planning to download the soundtrack to listen to in the car and I know we'll be getting the BluRay as soon as it comes out.
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I am the memory-keeper of my family. It's a role that I stepped into willingly. In fact, I think I dove in with both feet and a notepad! Now that we have two kids, I feel the need to keep track of everything in case they want to hear how awesome their childhood has been.
One of my obsessions is using travel photos to commemorate our family trips. I have made photo books for nearly every trip my family has done. In the past few years, I've branched out and created magnets, place mats, art prints, photo blankets and more. Any time I get an email from Tiny Prints, I feel the urge to check the website to see if they have any new or extra fun products that we "need" in order to highlight the fun photos my husband takes on our travels.
With the holidays fast approaching, I looked to see what holiday items Tiny Prints has this year and quickly started creating memories!
Year in Review Cards
While I'm a big fan of sharing things on social media to let friends and family know what's going on in our lives, I'm an even bigger fan of sending Tiny Prints Christmas Cards. However, I find myself handwriting a lot of bonus info on the backs of the cards to each recipient because I'm naturally a chatty person. I really like the Year in Review concept because I'm able to add more details about our year.
This year, my family moved, went to Disneyland, Portland, Vancouver, and Maui and had another baby. I started my Marcie in Mommyland blog and my husband got a promotion at work. Our toddler grew leaps and bounds this past year. The Year in Review card was needed to update our friends and family!
I really liked the selection from Tiny Prints and was able to find a format that fit our personality. I enjoyed looking through all the photos I had for this year and relived some of our top moments, especially introducing our newest family member! As a Mom of a baby and a toddler, my free time is quite limited, so I loved that I was able to put together this card in about 20 minutes (most of the time was just scrolling through photos and picking my favorites.)
The most magical day of the year in our family is Black Friday because that's when we start decorating for Christmas. Our tree has always had a global theme. When our oldest was born almost 3 years ago, we packed away all our beautiful (but extremely breakable) glass ornaments and started collecting non-breakable ones. Those can be tricky to find. We use our tree to celebrate the fun we've had as a family, so it's only natural that we'd include photos of our family adventures.
Tiny Prints does a great job of offering a ton of ornament choices that are easily personalized. This year, I wanted to celebrate the birth of our second son (and create a matching ornament for my older son) as well as highlighting some of the new and exciting adventures we had in 2016.
When they arrived, I was impressed that each one came in it’s own bag, making them an easy holiday gift for friends and family! My toddler grabbed the bags and I’m sure they are filled with some of his treasures already.
I’m already looking forward to next holiday season because I know our cards will be filled with ever more adventures and we’ll get to add a few new ornaments to our tree!
I was really hesitant to buy nursing clothes after the birth of my first son because everything I saw looked so frumpy and cumbersome. I ended up just wearing regular shirts, which meant I had to expose my tummy to nurse my son when I was out and about. Normally I'd be fine with that, but it was winter and I was cold and it made the whole nursing experience feel make-shift and I didn't like that. When I had my second son, I knew I needed to really search for some nice nursing clothes. That's where Bun Maternity fits in.
While perusing their website, I was immediately attracted to the style of clothing they offer. It was all the same style I was used to wearing, but much more functional with the nursing option. I live in Seattle and I'm used to wearing sweatshirts basically year-round and was thrilled that they had a Hoodie option that looked comfortable but also fitted and what I'd call "Northwest Chic."
Bun Maternity sent me a few items to try out. The first was their Cozy Nursing Hoodie. I can't believe how soft the fabric is, which is perfect for cuddling with my newborn. It's light/medium weight, which is perfect for me because I always feel a bit overheated when nursing, however I also get chilly if I have to expose too much skin. The fabric also has a bit of stretch for a flattering fit. It's really easy to unsnap the top of the hoodie for easy nursing access. I've also successfully nursed in it while keeping the top snapped. My favorite feature of this hoodie is the front pocket! After perusing online for maternity and nursing clothes that have pockets, I'm stoked to have actually found something with a pocket so I can stash my phone (which has my nursing tracker app on it.)
This will also be the ultimate wardrobe piece for flying because it would keep me warm on the plane and I'd feel covered up enough. I have a feeling that I will continue to wear it even when I've stopped nursing because it fits so well.
They also sent me their Softie Nursing Tee, which is incredibly soft and lightweight. Like I said, I tend to feel overheated when nursing (which is the opposite of what I'm like when I'm not nursing), so I usually try to find shirts that are thin so I don't feel sweaty. Thinner shirts are also great because spit up and milk leaks dry quickly so you aren't walking around with a damp shirt. This shirt has a very flattering cut and I feel fairly stylish wearing it with jeans. It's hard to find nursing tees that aren't boxy or cumbersome, so I love that this shirt hugs me in all the right places. This is a great piece to layer underneath the hoodie and it can be worn out and about or paired with pajamas. They have lots of colors and they can be worn year-round in all types of climates.
Finally, they sent me a nursing poncho. This is also lightweight, so it's easy to stash in my diaper bag. I've used this piece not only for nursing, but also as a huge burp cloth to protect my shirt when we are away from home. I've also used it as a makeshift blanket for my son in his carseat. Full disclosure: I've already used this to cover up some epic spit up on my clothing!
Bun Maternity sent me products for review purposes.
I'm so excited that Bun Maternity has partnered with me to giveaway a nursing tank and tee combo!
In my effort to explore fun places closer to home, I decided to gather up some Moms and toddlers and head to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, WA. I had been here on a field trip when I was in 3rd grade and that was the last time. I had heard good things from friends about it being small enough to see before nap time. So, we met up at 10am on a Friday to see for ourselves.
It took about 45 minutes to get to from our home in Renton. I followed my GPS, which took me all the way to Point Defiance Park. I saw signs that suggested left turns to get to the Zoo along the way, which I'm assuming brings people to back lots. Not knowing where I was going, I opted to take the official route. I followed the signage to the parking lots, picked a spot and looked around to see which direction people were heading. I didn't see much signage about where the entrance was.
When we got to the entrance, the line moved really quickly. We were asked if we wanted to donate $5 to support conservation efforts and get a small stuffed animal. We usually donate anyway to help non-profits or parks so getting to choose a stuffed animal was a lot of fun for my toddler! After getting our tickets, we went to the entrance and scanned our own tickets before getting through the gate. Being 8.5 months pregnant at the time, our first stop was the restrooms!
Our friends arrived a few minutes before us and were already in the Aquarium, so that was where we headed. Even though my toddler isn't a fan of touching sea life, we went into that area just to see what was there. I really liked that the steps up to the tanks were perfect for toddlers and I didn't need to lift mine up to see (which has been a problem other places.) After he had sufficiently looked at the starfishes and sea cucumbers, he went over to a large mural with flaps he could lift up. I wasn't able to focus on what the mural was about because I was so focused on the flap that featured a boy with a boom box and I wondered how old the mural was!
After we exited that area, there was a staff member set up in the corner with a projector of live plankton. She patiently showed the toddlers how to shine a flashlight on the microscope and how to look into the microscope. These were both skills previously unknown to our toddlers, so it was quite exciting! The stool brought the toddlers to the right height to fully experience this.
We headed downstairs, just past the large shark jaw that freaked out my toddler. Once I told him it was "just pretend" he was able to make a bee-line for the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs were two of those pressed penny machines. This intrigued the toddlers more than the exhibits downstairs, so we spent some time playing with the machines before deciding to explore the Zoo area.
The Zoo area was fabulous! It felt almost intimate as we were able to get pretty close to the animals (without being TOO close.) This was especially true for the exhibit with the Anoa and the monkey named Bobby. My son was simply mesmerized as we stood behind the floor to sky window and watched them interact with each other. Once a group of kids flocked the area, Bobby the Monkey started playing around and really hamming it up for the crowd! And the Anoa kept walking laps around the area and right in front of the window, which made the kids all erupt in "oohs" and "wows!"
After a good 15 minutes admiring Bobby and the Anoa, we headed to see the tiger. Again, it was handy that I didn't need to lift up my 30lb toddler to get a better look as he could see perfectly fine from tiered seating area. We opted to have a light snack while watching the tiger roam around. Then, we headed to see the elephant. There was a bench that wrapped around a tree so we stood the boys on the bench to get a better view of the elephant, who was eating. The boys decided that running around on the bench was more exciting, so we quickly moved on.
We also came across the Camel Ride area, which looked really fun! Kids have to be 3 years old and at least 36 inches tall. My toddler is 2 3/4 and I was tempted to say he was 3, but after carefully watching other kids on the ride, I realized that kids needs to be able to hold on tightly. No need to rush! I told my son we'd do it next year.
We took the roundabout way to the see the Arctic Fox and came across a Peacock next to the path! This was fascinating for the toddlers and when the Peacock decided to stroll down the path with us, it took a lot of coaching for the toddlers not to chase him. We followed him to the Arctic Fox and the toddlers were more interested in seeing where the Peacock would go next, but alas, he wandered out of sight.
The boys seemed done looking at animals, so we thought we'd check out the play area we found on the map. Of course, it was up at the top of the hill near the entrance, so we had to walk uphill the whole way. And our toddlers were physically pretty tired from running around the Zoo and they all wanted to be carried. Being very, very, pregnant, I wasn't up for that task, so it took us about 20 minutes to slowly walk to the play area.
We arrived at the Animal Avenue and were disappointed at the lack of interactiveness with the items there. It was a large space, which made the activities there seem really small. It took us about 15 minutes to realize it wasn't the main play area. Once we walked around to the other side (Magical Movement) we saw an area much more suited for our toddlers. The favorite item was the slide because at the top of the slide was an amazing view of construction vehicles. They also enjoyed going down the slides over and over again.
At this point, we'd been at Point Defiance for about 2 hours and it was lunch time. So, we headed to their Cafe to grab some food. I really liked the selection of items. I was a bit shocked that my total ended up being almost $18 for a sandwich, fries, soda and Goldfish crackers. Kids meal prices were better and I might just do that in the future, if we don't bring lunch.
My biggest complaint about the Cafe is that they put a shelf of toddler snack items right at toddler height near the cashier. This caused a huge meltdown when I told my toddler he couldn't have a bag of gummy bears for lunch and he ended up running off with the bag clenched in his little fists. This forced me out of line, having to chase him, ripped the gummy bears out of his hands and explain why that wouldn't be a suitable lunch option. Thankfully, I was with awesome friends who shared their food with him while I headed back to return the gummy bears to the shelf. Of course, by that time, there were about 20 people in line in front of me. Had I been alone with my toddler, we would have just left at that point. Waiting in the line and then waiting for my food cost about 25 minutes, which was a steep price to pay with a toddler on the verge of needing a nap.
But, I'm always a fan of ending adventures on a high note, so we made it a priority to hit up the Carousel before heading home. It was such a fabulous experience! For one thing, it only costs $1.50 to ride and if you are planning on just standing next to your toddler, you don't have to pay for yourself. The Carousel has lots of colorful animals and benches, so kids of all ages can enjoy. My toddler rode the Zebra and he was quite excited! He had such a good time that we decided to do one more time before heading home.
6 Tips for Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, WA
The Bag: Lassig Green Label Neckline Diaper Bag
I'm absolutely in love with my Lassig Green Label Neckline Diaper Bag! It recently won the 2016 Eco Excellence Award. The Lassig Green Label Neckline Diaper Bag keeps me organized and looks like a super-chic handbag. Made from pollution-free and recycled plastic bottle fabrics, it includes a 2 large main compartments, lots of pockets, a changing pad, wet pocket, zip pouch, and more. Also notable is that it's free of PVC, AZO, Phtalates, Nickel and Cadmium. Mine is in Black Melange.
What makes the Lassig Green Label Neckline Diaper Bag the ultimate travel diaper bag is that there's a place for everything. When I travel, I need help organizing all the baby stuff. I like to know where to find specific items and this bag has so many compartments and storage spaces that it's easy to locate things. I also really appreciate that there's a mini cooler bag for storing cold/frozen milk. We usually grab a bottle of milk at the airport for our toddler to drink on the airplane and this will keep it colder a bit longer. There are several hooks on the bag for attaching additional items/toys that don't take up precious "inside the bag" space. It also features a wet/dry area for stashing soiled clothing.
Since it is large and has so many compartments, it's easy to overfill this bag. I think it's best to empty the bag completely and lay out everything you plan on packing. Make sure you are only packing the things you'll need (putting the rest in your checked luggage) and then pack up the bag.
Diaper Bag Essentials While Traveling:
Lassig provided the Green Label Neckline Diaper Bag for review purposes.
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MommyCon will be making it's mark on Canada for the first time ever! MommyCon Vancouver will be Saturday, July 22nd at the Pinnacle Harbourfront. I'm especially excited because I will be attending and blogging about the event. I was able to attend last year when they were in Seattle (loved getting tips on potty training and a cool swag bag of stuff I actually use) and I'm intrigued to see what the event will look like in Vancouver. Since I'm a MommyCon blogger, I'm able to offer you a $5 discount on General and Expectant Parent admissions using my Discount Code: Marcieinmommyland17.
What is MommyCon?
MommyCon is a nationwide convention series dedicated to creating and nurturing a community of parents and parents-to-be in celebration of natural parenting. MommyCon takes a gentle and positive approach to educating parents about the emotional and physical benefits of natural birthing, breastfeeding and babywearing. They advocate values of holistic health, eco-friendly diapering, child safety standards and procedures, and female self-care and wellness. Their mission is to create a community of support, acceptance and non-judgement for parents journeying through parenthood.
What do I need to know?
HOTEL & PARKING: Their current hotel block is at the Pinnacle Harbourfront. They suggest booking early as their room block always sells out. Parking is available at a reduced rate.
WHAT TO BRING: Yourself, your bump, your baby and even your kindergartner! They plan around the growing family and offer a changing room, plush nursing area and even a play area. Children 16 years of age and under are free to attend with a paying adult. There is no limit to the number of children you may bring.
STROLLER POLICY: They recommend that you leave the stroller at home. If this is not an option, please be mindful of crawling children and do not block the aisles. They will have a stroller check, but are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
DONATIONS: They have teamed up with Share the Love for cloth diaper donations and The Carrying On Project for baby carrier donations. Both of these organizations take new and used items to give to families in need. Share the Love provides cloth diapers to families who could not otherwise afford them, and the Carrying On Project provides baby carriers to military families.
What else should I see in Vancouver?
Vancouver, BC is an incredible city for families! Since I live in Seattle, my family heads up to Vancouver frequently to eat and play. Find out about my suggestions of what to do/see in my posts 4 Days in Vancouver with a Toddler Itinerary, Downtown Vancouver from Above and by Sea, Day Trip to Squamish, BC, Braving the Capilano Suspension Bridge with a Toddler, and Exploring Stanley Park with a Toddler.
You could also head over to Victoria, which is stunning in the summer! There are ferries from Vancouver. Some ideas can be found in my posts Ultimate Babymoon in Victoria, BC, Babymooning at the Fairmont Empress, Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC, Afternoon Tea at Abkhazi Garden, and the Royal BC Museum.
Our family also enjoys exploring Richmond, BC, which is known for their Chinese restaurants. We have spent entire weekends up there eating our way through Richmond. They also have Chinese shopping centers with yummy bakeries and clothing stores. And they have a large Daiso store that's always a lot of fun to explore!
If you'd like to attend, be sure to use my Discount Code: Marcieinmommyland17 for $5 off General Admission or Expectant Parent tickets. Enjoy!
The first time I ever traveled with a nursing baby was when my family went to Thailand when my son was 6 months old. I had no idea what to pack and ended up not packing very smartly. I was so pre-occupied with making sure I had all my breast pump parts and extra bottles (which I didn't use once) that I forgot more important things, like nipple ointment. We traveled with a lot of extended family and I didn't feel comfortable nursing in front of them without a nursing cover or proper nursing clothes (which I didn't pack) that I ended up sequestered in our room for a lot of the trip. That's not how I envisioned exploring Thailand.
Traveling while nursing a baby can be a new experience. You may be traveling away from your baby and need to pump on the go or you may be traveling with your baby for the first time. There are a lot of items to consider bringing either way. I've compiled a list of items that are helpful based on my experience traveling with nursing babies.
Packing List for Nursing Moms
I hope this list helps get you started when packing for your first trip as a nursing Mom. The more trips you take, the more refined your list will be. You will also figure out your own must-have products. Please comment below with any items I may have missed!
Bravado, Bun Maternity, Covered Goods, Happy Wrap, and My Brest Friend provided products for review purposes.
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My oldest son was born 5 weeks premature and spent time in the NICU. It was several days after he was born that I was finally able to hold him and it was pure magic! I held him for almost 2 hours doing skin-to-skin and his health drastically improved. I did as much skin-to-skin as I was able and each time he seemed to get stronger and thrive more. I knew I wanted to do skin-to-skin for my second child. So, when I heard about VIJA Design's Kangaroo Care Shirt, I was instantly intrigued.
When my shirt first arrived, I was surprised how thick it was. I had been envisioning a much thinner shirt and was curious how long I'd comfortably be able to wear a baby. The thickness makes the shirt feel much more supportive and like a normal baby carrier.
I really like that they offer clear instructions about how to use this product on their website. And they send an instructional postcard in with your purchase that has pictures to show you how to get your newborn in the shirt. This makes it easy for new parents to figure out (especially those who are sleep-deprived.) I can't tell you how many hours my husband and I spent looking at YouTube videos on how to work some of our baby carriers the first time around!
It did take me a few times of putting our baby in the shirt for me to get the hang of it. I originally put him in the outer pouch and then realized I should put him inside the inner criss-crossed parts. I had my husband help me one time and it was easy for him to slip our son into the shirt. The third time, I did it on my own and found it to be fast. My son loves snuggling next to me and it's perfect now that the weather is getting chillier.
This shirt also converts to a nursing shirt, which makes it ideal if you are planning on traveling anywhere with your newborn. I'm a big fan of versatile clothing, especially when traveling, so the fact that it's a carrier and a nursing shirt is a win for me! I can see this being especially useful on an airplane. I tested out the ease of nursing in it and I found it to be just as convenient as a regular nursing shirt. I like that I can wear it as a nursing shirt out and about and then slip in my newborn for his post-nursing milk-drunk nap.
The only thing I don't like about this shirt is that it feels a bit short. Granted, I have a longer torso, but I'd feel so much more comfortable if it were about 3 inches longer. I like to wear this shirt with yoga pants, which are usually medium to low-rise and I don't like it when the shirt rides up to show an inch of skin.
I wore this shirt just 3 days after giving birth because I was really excited to try it out. Because the fabric is thick and designed to be supportive, it was perfect postpartum. It was snug around my ever-changing tummy, which felt really good. I also felt really confident having my super newborn inside the shirt. I wasn't worried about him flopping around or anything because he was very snug to my body, and I could hear him breathing and cooing the whole time. This shirt made it easy for me to wear him while eating, drinking, checking email, packing the diaper bag, going up and down the stairs, etc.
What I especially like about this product is that I'm able to be more hands-on with my toddler. I'm able to sit on the floor and play trains with him while knowing my newborn is safe and snug inside my Kangaroo Care shirt. It also enables me to grab my toddler milk, make him lunch, hold his hand while heading up for nap time, and giving him snuggles with both arms. My toddler stills gets the physical attention that all kids crave.
Intrigued? Here's your chance to win your very own Kangaroo Care Shirt from VIJA Design! Simple fill out the form below to enter. Good luck and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter to find out more about future giveaways!
I'm not normally a traditional person. I'm all about sharing things on social media and texting photos to friends and family. However, I'm very traditional about sending real, paper birth announcements. I love adding in the statistics (birth date, weight, height, etc). Most importantly, though, is that I like to select photos and design the card myself. Besides our annual Christmas card, it's the only time I mail things to many family members.
I was so excited to plan our birth announcement that I actually booked our photographer when I was just 3 months pregnant. Then I spent a few months envisioning how I'd like the shoot to go and what I'd like the birth announcement to look like. This may sound excessive, but I wasn't able to do a professional newborn photo shoot with my oldest son so I really wanted to get the most out of the experience. Here are the steps I took to get my aviation-themed birth announcement:
Hire a Photographer
If you are able, it's so helpful to hire a photographer to take newborn photos so that you and your family can be in the photos. My husband is a great photographer and I love the photos he takes of our kids, but I also love when he gets to be in the photos, too! We like to use the Happy Film Company here in Seattle because they know how to get relaxed, candid photos of our family.
Here are some photos to get:
Choose an Outfit/Theme
Since my family is obsessed with traveling and our baby has a travel-themed nursery, we thought it would be fun to continue the theme through the birth announcement. Karen from HandMadeCraftyOne Etsy store sent us an aviation-themed crocheted outfit that was perfect for our photo shoot! I really like how soft the yarn was and that the pants were adjustable for skinny babies but could accommodate heavier ones. We plan on using the hat when we visit the Museum of Flight and other airplane-related outings for cute candid shots! I repurposed my vintage reproduction suitcase from our wedding and stuffed a Queen size blanket inside. I also repurposed a metal vintage-looking airplane to set the scene.
Order Birth Announcements
Even though it's so easy to post birth announcements on social media, there is something special about sending something in the mail. I like being able to add personal messages to the back. Plus, it's fun to see your baby's photo on other people's fridges when you visit them!
With my oldest, he was in the NICU for awhile after he was born prematurely and when we finally got him home, one of the first things we did was take newborn photos for a birth announcement. For me, I really needed to do something to celebrate his arrival and move past the emotional journey we had endured. Creating his birth announcement was such a positive experience that I knew it was just as important with my second baby.
I really enjoy using Tiny Prints because they have quite an extensive collection of designs, themes and options. They also offer sales all the time and lots of fun add-ons and customization. They make nice keepsakes and you could even frame and add to the nursery. I picked this birth announcement layout because it highlighted the aviation-themed photo and there was a spot to fill in a photo-strip with 4 additional photos. This added to the vintage travel vibe I was going with. Additionally, they offer birth announcement pillows, which are pretty fun!
Send Birth Announcements to the White House
One of the fun things you can do with extra birth announcements is to send them to fun places! My favorite place to send them is the White House because you can get an official greeting from the President! We did this with my oldest and it was really fun to receive something in the mail with his full name on it! You can send it anytime within a year after your baby's birth (but not before baby is born.) Keep in mind that because this is an election year, you should be mindful of when you send if you are hoping for a particular President to send the greeting. You can request the official greeting online (that's what I did) or at the following address:
President Barack Obama & Mrs Obama
The White House
White House Greetings Office
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Send Birth Announcements to Disney
Another fun place to send extra birth announcements is to Disneyland or Disney World.
Mickey and Minnie Mouse
Walt Disney World
1675 N Buena Vista Dr
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Mickey and Minnie Mouse
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 91521
Send Birth Announcements to Your Favorite Sports Team or Celeb
My oldest son was born right before the Seahawks won the Super Bowl in 2014 and so I sent Pete Carroll our Seahawks-themed birth announcement and he sent back a congratulatory message and a Super Bowl key chain! This was really cool for our family and it was a nice addition to his baby book. I've also heard of people sending announcements to fan mail addresses for their favorite celebrities.
I hope these ideas inspire you to create your own birth announcements that are just right for your family!
Disclosure: Tiny Prints and HandMadeCraftyOne provided complimentary products.
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I'm a mom to a 3-year-old and a baby. We believe in traveling as a family as soon as possible and sharing our tips and tricks with other families!