My Hospital Bags Are Packed

Baby G will be arriving any day now, and I just finished packing my hospital bags—a grand total of four.

21_My Hospital Bags Are Packed

A small suitcase for me, and a diaper bag for Baby G. I used this helpful list from BabyCenter to guide my packing of these two bags. (P.S. Vera Bradley, one of my favorite brands, carries these festive yet highly functional, high-quality diaper bags. You often can find discontinued designs at delightful markdowns, as I did several months ago with this Suzani pattern. The best places to check for these bargains are the Vera Bradley website and discount stores like Stein Mart.)

The black bag in the back right is my Medela Pump In Style Advanced breastpump. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to nurse Baby G fairly smoothly. But just in case I run into any trouble (as I did with newborn Little G), I’ll have my trusty breastpump on hand to help stimulate breastmilk production.

And that cheery pink bag? Several friends, as well as my OB/GYN, encouraged me to get a present for Little G from Baby G. What a sweet idea! Earlier this week, I picked out some Frozen figurines as Baby G’s gift to her big sister. I think Baby G chose well; Little G loves acting out stories and scenes with “little people” like these.

My next blog post here very well may be Baby G’s birth announcement … stay tuned, friends! 🙂

Four Hours, One Weekday Morning

Mornings with young children can be hectic, especially if everyone has somewhere to go. This past Friday morning was one such scramble …

5:45 a.m.: “Mom!” I can’t believe Little G has woken up this early—she didn’t nap yesterday, and I thought (optimistic as always) that she’d sleep until at least 6:30. I try to snuggle her back to sleep. No such luck because, “My belly’s hungry, Mom.”

5:50 a.m.: Downstairs, in the kitchen. “Island Vanilla or Rice Krispies?” I ask Little G. “My belly’s hungry for Hershey’s kisses,” she informs me. I shake my head; we settle on Island Vanilla.

5:52 a.m.: My nine-months-pregnant belly is hungry, too. I also have some cereal. Then Little G and I snuggle on the living room couch; I can tell she’s still sleepy.

6:15 a.m.: My hubby joins us, showered. “Daddy! Let’s play.” He makes coffee and then pulls out Little G’s Little People while I shower and get dressed.

6:50 a.m.: Back downstairs (all these stairs!), I tell Little G it’s a special day at preschool: Pajama Day. “Yay!” Little G is excited to wear pajamas to preschool. We hug and kiss my hubby good-bye.

6:55 a.m.: Problem: The last pair of clean pajamas is, in fact, not clean. There’s a bit of food stuck on the top. How did I not notice this before? I try to get it off with a wipe, but the food-stuck-ness appears permanent. “Why didn’t you do my laundry, Mom?” I need some coffee.

20_Four Hours, One Weekday Morning

6:59 a.m.: I help Little G into the (clean) pajama bottoms and a clean shirt that, while not the matching pajama top, still matches. “Mom!” A tear rolls down Little G’s cheek. “This is a play shirt! I need a pajama shirt! It’s Pajama Day!”

7 a.m.: I lug myself and my big belly back upstairs (all these stairs!!!) to Little G’s bedroom. There’s a saying, “Life is my cardio.” This is true for me. I find a gray “play shirt” that Little G has never worn before, with “Dream Big!” in pink on the front. It has a sleep theme and matches her pajama bottoms. Hopefully, this will work.

7:08 a.m.: “Ooh, I love it!” Problem solved.

7:15 a.m.: I finish dressing Little G in the “Dream Big!” shirt, socks, and shoes. Comb her hair. Help her brush her teeth. Make sure her backpack is packed up with her coat, water bottle, and the two books that our family has been asked to donate to the school’s upcoming fundraiser.

7:20 a.m.: “Let’s read these books, Mom!” No, honey, we need to go. “Mom! I love Curious George! Just the George one!” I’m a book lover myself, a writer … how can I not read my daughter just one book?

7:32 a.m.: We finish reading just one book.

7:35 a.m.: Little G is buckled into her car seat, I’ve got her backpack alongside my bag in the passenger seat … man, I forgot my coffee. Just half a cup daily because I’m pregnant … don’t judge me too harshly, friends! 🙂 I hustle from the garage back to the kitchen and pour my daily four ounces into my travel mug. “Mom! Where are you?”

7:42 a.m.: I get the green arrow to make a left out of our neighborhood. It’s a rainy morning, and I drive extra carefully. “Mom, come on! It’s Pajama Day!” (You can probably imagine what I’m thinking about Pajama Day right now.)

7:56 a.m.: We arrive one minute too late for me to drop Little G off in the carpool lane out front. So with the rain pouring down, we run around the school building and into her classroom (what a sight I am, nine months pregnant and running). “It’s Pajama Day!” Little G’s teachers and classmates exclaim when we see them. Little G grins. I’m happy she’s happy. I hug and kiss her good-bye.

8:15 a.m.: Back at home, I finish writing this blog post. The only “work” I’m doing right now is updating my website with new blog posts … for your reading pleasure, of course, and also for marketing my past writing, especially my e-books. (If you haven’t checked them out yet, please do! 🙂 )

9 a.m.: I leave for my now-weekly doctor’s appointment at the South Texas Medical Center, where traffic can be crazy. But today’s my lucky day: green lights all the way!

9:18 a.m.: I’m 12 minutes early. Unbelievable.

9:22 a.m.: I begin reading last month’s issue of Food & Wine magazine. The desserts on the opening pages look good! My stomach growls; aha, I’m hungry.

9:25 a.m.: The “No Food or Drink” sign on a nearby table stares at me. I wonder if it’s serious.

9:26 a.m.: I decide it’s not. I sneak a few bites of a peanut butter granola bar—Little G’s favorite snack, so I always have some in my bag.

9:35 a.m.: Doctor’s appointment, just a smidge behind schedule—rare. Who knew reclining in medical-grade stirrups for a pelvic exam would be the most tranquil part of my Friday morning?

And that’s four hours, friends. What’s a typical weekday morning like in your home? Looking forward to hearing from you! 🙂

3 Great Cold-Weather Slow-Cooker Recipes

Baby, it’s cold outside! So why not warm up with one of these great cold-weather slow-cooker recipes? Just in time for your weekend menu planning … enjoy, friends!

Recipe No. 1: Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili

My sweet sister-in-law was the inspiration for my discovering this recipe for Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili. She made a similar dish for my brother-in-law’s birthday dinner, and everyone loved it. So I decided to try my hand at it, too, and was delighted to find this recipe from the October 2009 issue of Southern Living.

Pic 1

After I cooked the turkey on the stovetop, Little G helped me add it and the remaining ingredients into our slow cooker. I couldn’t ask for a better sous chef. 🙂

Tip: If you’re running short on time, you can cook this dish in the slow cooker on low for less than six hours. You’ve already cooked the meat on the stovetop; the time in the slow cooker simply allows all the ingredients to blend together.

One more tip: The majority of the alcohol content of the beer should “cook out of” the food after about two and a half hours, according to this article. Just FYI in case the alcohol content is a concern for you or your family.

Pic 2

The turkey chili wouldn’t have been complete without some semi-homemade cornbread. Luckily, HEB carries a delicious mix, Rosemary Olive Oil with Sea Salt. An excellent accompaniment to this great cold-weather slow-cooker recipe!

Pic 3

Recipe No. 2: Chicken With Carrots and Potatoes

This past Sunday, some good friends came over for dinner. I was excited to try out this recipe for Chicken With Carrots and Potatoes with them, compliments of the September 2012 issue of Cooking Light Slow Cooker Tonight. Slow-cooker recipes work so well for groups—lots of food, efficiently prepared.

Earlier that day, I chopped all the veggies.

Pic 4

Then around 3 p.m., I got out my nonstick skillet and slow cooker. You definitely want to brown the chicken before adding it to the slow cooker, so that it cooks faster and better. You also definitely want to use chicken thighs that are bone-in, skinned rather than boneless, skinless because the bone and skin help prevent the chicken from drying out in the slow cooker. Trust me on this one, friends—I’ve dried out boneless, skinless chicken in my slow cooker before. 🙂

Pic 5

Our friends brought along Caesar salad, my favorite. And there you go: dinner! Wonderful, and not least because it was shared in friendship.

Pic 6

Recipe No. 3: Crock Pot Minestrone Soup

Of the three recipes here, this one’s my favorite. I grew up in an Italian-American home, and I ❤ Italian specialties like minestrone soup. I also love vegetarian food, and you can make this recipe vegetarian—just use vegetable broth instead of chicken. Many thanks to the website Skinnytaste.com (July 2014 post) for sharing this winner!

Pic 7

You can use either your stovetop or slow cooker for this recipe. Because I had the time, I opted for stovetop.

I highly recommend pureeing the white beans, per the recipe, rather than adding them in whole. It’s an extra step, but the pureed beans ultimately add a wonderfully creamy texture to the soup. And be sure to cook the pasta separately, at the end, and then add it in to your soup bowl(s); otherwise, it will get soggy.

Pic 8

Now, let me be honest with you: While grocery shopping for this recipe, I inexplicably forgot some key ingredients: celery, fresh parsley, and spinach. (I’m going to blame it on my nine-months-pregnant brain!) Yet the recipe still turned out awesome; my hubby will concur. This one’s truly a winner, even minus a few ingredients.

Eat well, and be well!

Pic 9

Grocery Cart Psychology: What Does Yours Reveal?

On a recent HEB run, I noticed the young woman in front of Little G and me in the checkout line—as well as what was in her grocery cart. It was like looking at myself and my grocery cart, 10 years and a few stretch marks ago.

First, the lady: She appeared well-rested, toned, and unhurried in yoga pants and a coordinating top. In fact, she probably actually had just come from yoga class. Unlike myself and many other moms I know, whose love of yoga apparel stems from its comfortable, forgiving fit rather than the physical/spiritual exercise itself.

The woman finished unloading the contents of her grocery cart onto the checkout conveyor: a four-pack of bottled Frappuccino; a single serving of General Tso’s chicken from the prepared foods section; several cans of soup (organic, I think); Kind granola bars; and stuffed grape leaves.

Stuffed grape leaves. OK, there you go. I could be wrong, but if I had to guess, I’d guess the following about this early-20s “could have been me 10 years ago”: single; possibly a boyfriend; definitely no kids; lives alone or with a roommate; yuppie; eats out half the time, at least; hobbies include yoga (obvi) and reality TV (just a hunch); says yes to happy hour. (Those were the days. 🙂 )

The thing is—generally speaking—women don’t buy four-ounce containers of stuffed grape leaves if they live with or are married to a man, much less if they have children together. The majority of men, especially Texans, seem to prefer burgers, barbecue, and the like to vegetarian Mediterranean specialties such as stuffed grape leaves. And if you’ve got kids, you’re usually looking for hearty food that, fingers crossed, will last another meal.

Thus, my grocery cart …

Grocery Cart Psychology

You can see Little G up front. So immediately, my grocery cart reveals that I’m a mom. Some other “maternal giveaways” include the opened bags of multigrain pita chips and Goldfish in the back, not to mention the opened box of strawberry yogurt squeezers in the middle (letting your child snack while grocery shopping together makes the whole experience much smoother than not); two boxes of rigatoni (kids would eat pasta for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if you let them, right?); and the three-pack of heavy-duty sponges.

I never bought heavy-duty sponges before giving birth.

My grocery cart also contains a generous amount of nonperishables such as cereal, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, black beans, and marinara sauce, in family-size portions. Because I often make family-size portions of nonexotic but hearty meals like slow cooker chicken and chili. I promise there’s fresh fruit in there, too—wedged under the heavy-duty sponges and ready-to-eat salad kits. And milk. I’m a mom; of course I bought milk.

What does your grocery cart reveal about you? This is just for fun, friends. Grocery cart psychology isn’t an exact science. But I think we can make some generalizations. If your grocery cart contains the following, then possibly …

1. Hot Pockets, frozen pizza, Cap’n Crunch, milk, and beer: You’re a college student or just-graduated-from-college bachelor. You use self-checkout.

2. Hot Pockets, Campbell’s condensed soup, Life Savers, a quart of milk, the store brand of aspirin, tissues, and maybe some bananas: You’re an older bachelor—OK, much older. You use the “15 items or fewer” lane, and you have coupons for the Hot Pockets and soup.

3. Single servings of prepared foods, artisan crackers, gourmet cheese and olive oil, Mighty Leaf tea, lamb chops fresh from the meat market, and a bottle of red and bottle of white: Yuppie, similar to our yoga-practicing friend above. You know the best local restaurants, wine bars, and coffee shops. It’s fun to follow you on Twitter and live vicariously through your hashtags.

4. Strawberries, a value pack of pork chops, multiple boxes of granola bars, apple juice, and frozen chicken nuggets: Mom.

5. Random pieces of fruit, multiple packages of ground coffee or K-Cups, random boxes of frozen dinners, lanolin cream or cans of Enfamil, and diapers: New mom.

6. A grocery cart full of Chobani yogurt and bottled water: You play for the Spurs. (Occasionally, Little G and I catch a glimpse of some of the local NBA team in our HEB. This is all I ever see them buy … they must have personal chefs?)

7. Several packages of all-purpose flour, a few cartons of eggs, and an economy size package of Styrofoam cups: You work at the local bakery around the corner. (The white apron you’re still wearing is a “bakery worker giveaway,” too.) Whoever’s in charge of buying must have underestimated how busy you’d be today.

8. Two boxes of freshly baked muffins and a large container of prewashed, pre-cut fresh fruit: You work at a nearby office, and it’s your turn to bring refreshments for the weekly staff meeting.

9. Taco seasoning mix and children’s Tylenol: You’re my husband. I forgot these things yesterday, and I asked you to pick them up on your way home from work. True to form, you didn’t stray from “the list.” (How long have we known each other now? Did it really not occur to you to surprise me with some dark chocolate? I know, I know … I told you we needed taco seasoning mix and children’s Tylenol, and so that’s what you got. 🙂 )

Write Your Best Résumé: 7 Winning Tips

A friend recently asked me to edit her résumé, and I was happy to help. Before I began editing, though, I did a quick Google search for some résumé writing and editing tips. Because it never hurts to hear what others have to say, right?

Below, I share the seven tips I found to be most helpful, and which I applied to my friend’s résumé —what this Tulane University webpage calls a “word picture of the unique combination of skills and qualities you offer an employer.” Word picture: I like that.

1. Avoid writing a one-size-fits-all résumé. Monster’s Peter Vogt advises, “Employers want you to write a résumé specifically for them. They expect you to clearly show how and why you fit the position in a specific organization.” So for every job you apply for, set aside time to make specific adjustments to your résumé.

2. Bullet-point accomplishments, not job responsibilities. Both Vogt and Tulane agree on this one. These accomplishments “may be an award you received or money you saved the company. You may want to highlight a skill you developed, one which would benefit your prospective employer,” Tulane notes. For example, instead of “Monitored employee productivity to reduce operational costs,” try “Increased company-wide revenue by 15 percent by managing employee productivity.”

3. Make your “word picture” speak for itself (Tulane). What unique skills and qualities do you want your résumé to highlight? If you’re an operations manager … your prompt commitment to customers’ needs? Say: “Respond to customers’ phone calls, e-mails, and texts within 30 minutes.” If you work in public relations … your intuitive understanding of search engine optimization? Consider: “Integrate keywords in Web communications to increase online visibility by 5,000 views monthly.” Your high school English teacher may have said it best: Show, don’t tell.

4. Begin with a “career summary,” not an “objective.” According to the professional association ASME, the average hiring manager scans a résumé in only 25 seconds. So start your résumé off strong with an attention-grabbing career summary of “who you are and what you do”—rather than a clichéd objective like “Motivated professional seeking interesting position.”

For example, my career summary: “Ten years of professional experience in writing and editing. Expertise in a variety of writing styles, including AP and APA. Flair for developing content that is concise yet engaging. Communications work experience in the fields of higher education, marketing and public relations, and newspaper and magazine publishing. Energetic, organized, dependable.”

Get nearly 200 more ideas for your career summary here.

5. Use the right keywords (Daily Writing Tips). Make sure the words you use to describe your accomplishments, skills, and qualities match those included in the job description. This is especially important if your prospective employer uses technology such as keyword-searchable databases to screen job candidates. Learn more here, “Tapping the Power of Keywords to Enhance Your Résumé’s Effectiveness.”

6. Similarly, use verbs that mean something, urges David Silverman in the Harvard Business Review article “How to Write a Résumé That Doesn’t Annoy People.” Think action, short and sweet. Better yet, don’t think much at all—simply check out this article from The Muse, “185 Powerful Verbs That Will Make Your Résumé Awesome,” and choose the verbs that best fit you.

7. Lots more tips from Forbes. I love the excellent resources on Forbes, and I especially love the hundreds of helpful search results that come up when you look up “résumé writing.” So here you go, friends: everything from “Five Things Your Résumé Must Convey in 10 Seconds” to “Three Marketing Tips to Make Your Résumé Stand Out.”

Good luck getting that job!

23 Conversations With Little G

At 3½ years old, Little G has become her own person. There are times when she banters with my hubby and me that catch us off guard. Little G can alternate between thoughtful, funny, and downright self-centered—like all of us, right? 🙂 Some of these moments follow. And, please “Leave a Comment” to share your moments with your kiddos, friends.

Conversation No. 1

Little G: Morning, Mom.
Me: Hi, honey. Come snuggle with me.
Little G: No, Mom. Time to wake up!
Me: [yawning] Let’s snuggle a minute, honey.
Little G: It’s wake-up time, sleepyhead!

Conversation No. 2

Little G: [snuggling into me] Can I have a treat, Mom?
Me: [loving the snuggles] OK! Here are three chocolate-covered pretzels.
Little G: Because I’m 3! [a few minutes later] Can I have a treat, Mom?
Me: Little G! I just gave you a treat.
Little G: Come on, Mom. [more snuggles]
Me: O … K. [giving her some Goldfish]
Little G: [15 minutes later] Can I have a treat, Mom?
Me: Little G! You’ve had nothing but treats all morning.
Little G: Haha! [pause] How about a cookie?

Conversation No. 3 

Little G: Read me a book, Mom?
Me: Sure, honey. [Little G hands me “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” I begin reading.]
Little G: Mouse really likes his cookie.
Me: He does!
Little G: I like cookies, too. [looking at me]
Me: No, Little G.

DSCN5868

Conversation No. 4

Little G: Is this the right feet?
[Asks this question every time before putting on her shoes.]

Conversation No. 5

Me: Ready for school?
Little G: Yes, the big sister’s ready!
(Little G’s little sister is due in a few weeks.)

Conversation No. 6

Little G: You’re too big for your car seat, Mom.
Me: Thanks, honey. (The ninth month of pregnancy will do that to you!)

Conversation No. 7

Me: Hmm, I think this is the right turn.
Little G: Are you sure you know where you’re going, Mom?
(Who doesn’t love a backseat driver, of any age?!)

Conversation No. 8

Little G: Look, Mom: I’m not picking my nose today.
Me: Good job!

Conversation No. 9

Little G: I want a treat!
Me: You need to eat your lunch first. Got it?
Little G: No, I don’t got it!

Conversation No. 10

Me: Ouch!
Little G: What, Mom?
Me: I just hurt my back. I’m OK, though.
Little G: Sorry about your owie, Mom. Let’s sit down and talk about it.

Conversation No. 11

Little G: Time to go to Starbucks!
Me: Yes!
Little G: Your favorite place, Mom!
Me: Well … one of them, honey!

Conversation No. 12

Me: Today is your school program! Yay!
Little G: I don’t feel like singing today.
Me: Well, maybe you can try.
Little G: Hmm … no, not today. 

Conversation No. 13

Little G: Fix my hair, Mom? Dad didn’t do a good job, again.
Me: He tried his best. But yes, let me fix your hair.

Conversation No. 14

Me: Here’s your dinner, honey.
Little G: No! I don’t want tacos! No.
Me: It’s either tacos or nothing.
Little G: [sighing deeply] O … K, Mom.

Conversation No. 15

Me: I need to use the potty, honey. I’ll be right back.
Little G: I’ll come with you, Mom.
Me: No, it’s OK, honey.
Little G: No, it’s OK, Mom. I’ll just sit right here on my step stool, right here, and watch you. OK?
Me: [sighing deeply] O … K.

Conversation No. 16

Me: Oh, man. I just messed something up.
Little G: It’s OK, Mom.
Me: I need to redo this. Man!
Little G: No pouting, Mom.

Conversation No. 17

Little G: Mom, you’re my best lady in the world.
Me: Awww … you, too!

Conversation No. 18

Me: How was your work dinner, honey?
Hubby: Good!
Little G: What did you have?
Hubby: Chicken Laredo.
Little G: Wow! That’s different!

Conversation No. 19

Me: Do you know who loves you?
Little G: You!
Me: Yes! And …
Little G: Daddy. And Jesus loves me, too.
Me: ❤

Conversation No. 20

Little G: Look, Mom! My feet are dancing.
[Says every time I turn on the car radio.]

Conversation No. 21

[at the library]
Me: Let’s check out some books!
Little G: Or, some DVDs!
Me: How about books and DVDs?
Little G: I just want DVDs.

Conversation No. 22

Little G: My shirt doesn’t fit anymore!
Me: It’s just fine.
Little G: No, it’s too small! My head’s stuck!
Me: Here, let me just unbutton these buttons … there you go. It’s fine.
Little G: [stunned] Hey, you’re right, Mom!
Me: What do you know?

Conversation No. 23

Little G: Time to dance, Mom!
Me: I’m a little tired, honey. I’ll just watch you, OK?
Little G: Because of my baby sister?
Me: Yes, she’s making me a little tired. But I’m excited to watch you! OK?
Little G: OK. Just sit right here. You’ll be OK, sweetie.
Me: Awww … thanks, honey.

Baby G’s Hand-Me-Down Nursery, With Some New Turquoise Touches

With Baby G’s due date approaching, my hubby and I just finished transforming our guest room/home office into her nursery. Come take a look. And, I hope my bargain-hunting tips help you save some $$ in your own nursery project!

The room, before …

Pic 1

The room, now …

Pic 2

Luckily, we were able to repurpose so much from when Little G, now 3½, was a baby, including big-ticket items such as the crib, glider, and double dresser. So Baby G will be living it up in a hand-me-down nursery, with a few new elements.

You may notice that the finishes of the hardwood differ on the crib and dresser. My mother-in-law kindly gifted us with the solid oak crib, which she found on an excellent sale at a baby boutique in Dallas. Meanwhile, I discovered the Ethan Allen dresser for just $200 on Craigslist here in San Antonio. These high-quality pieces of furniture were simply too good to pass up, despite their mismatched finishes. I’ve tried to minimize their differences by situating them on opposite sides of the nursery.

In addition to her older sister’s hand-me-downs, I incorporated some fresh touches into Baby G’s nursery. An inspiring starting point was this turquoise-colored Sea Glass Lamp, which Little G and I stumbled upon at Pier 1 ($40 on sale that day, originally $50).

Pic 3

The colors for Little G’s nursery (now toddler bedroom) are pink and yellow, and I wanted to work with a different color scheme for Baby G. The calming blue/green of this turquoise lamp struck me as perfect, especially when paired with pink. I knew we’d be reusing a lot of pink products from Little G’s babyhood: blankets, burp cloths, Breathable Mesh Crib Liner. So turquoise and pink it became for Baby G.

Soon after, I was delighted to find this turquoise-and-pink Claudia Medallion Crib Fitted Sheet at Pottery Barn Kids, also on sale (just $10 with free shipping that day—yes, I’m a shameless bargain hunter!). I love the hearts in this Moroccan-toned design. I added another on-sale sheet to my online shopping cart (plus we have several sheets from Little G), so now we’re good to go on bedding.

Pic 4

Above the crib is a cross with a turquoise stone (coincidentally) in the middle—a gift from good friends two Christmases ago. The cross represents my hope that Baby G’s life will be a joy-filled one, and reminds me of the beauty of friendship.

Another new element was this Turquoise Framed Chalkboard with Burlap Banner from Hobby Lobby ($20 on sale, $40 originally). I still need to borrow some chalk from Little G to write Baby G’s name on it. In the meantime, I think it offers cheery, whimsical décor to that corner wall.

Pic 5

By the way, that chocolate-colored glider … possibly the comfiest chair I’ve ever sat in. I believe you can still find it on Amazon, here. A friend made the accompanying pink blanket before Little G was born, and I’ve had that pillow for more than 15 years now. It reads, “Best friends are we, my sister and me”—a gift from my younger sister to me. I don’t think she’ll mind that I’m passing it along to my daughters.

Speaking of mementos from years past … the stuffed pink pig you see here, peeking out of that basket, was a gag gift from my hubby to me back in the early 2000s. Yes, I still have it after all this time! Still have the hubby, too. 🙂 The basket is new, though: $20 on sale, $40 originally, at World Market. It’s deep enough to hold a lot of toys, yet has more panache than the see-through Sterilite containers I use in Little G’s playroom.

Pic 6

A sweet friend kindly hosted a cozy diaper shower for me (and Baby G!) this past Saturday morning. Over warm drinks and muffins, she and other friends thoughtfully made sure I had plenty of diapers before Baby G’s arrival—including this diaper cake, which is almost too adorable to take apart. I’m so thankful for all the love that awaits Baby G.

Pic 7

After the shower, I finished washing some of Little G’s old clothes, along with some new ones. (Gymboree is in the midst of its semiannual sale—up to 75 percent off!) Using the dresser’s built-in dividers, I organized the outfits into sizes (1) newborn, (2) 3 months, and (3) 3-6 months. We’ll see how long things stay so tidy …

Pic 8

Meanwhile, the closet is assisting with additional storage for more outfits as well as wipes, blankets galore, and odds and ends.

Pic 9

Baby G, we’re ready for you, and we’re so excited to meet you soon!