craft pack - with you are my fave

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

First, let me tell you a little about Melanie. She is a gem. Her style is spot on. Her party ideas are genius. And, her kindness is forthright. You Are My Fave was the first blog I ever read, and has been my favorite ever since. I can say that because Mel is also my real life best friend.

Mel has used classic buntings in many posts over the years. Most recently she made a beautiful Spring-inspired floral and dotted bunting.

Paper bunting in the hospital is simple enough, but easily provides a cheerfully personal touch. We put 20 (4 inch by 5 inch) flags in each craft pack. Of course, we used the Cricut Explore which made the design and cutting a breeze.

Literally, it took picking a design out of the hundreds available and pressing "cut". Parker helped me load the mats and feed them into the Explore. An hour later we had 200 flags to distribute among the packs. The Explore also cut slits in the corners for threading string.

Even if you were to take the time to hand cut some flags and bring them to a friend who is in the hospital, it would be well worth it. Just think how it would cheer up the room. I loved decorating Matilda's space when she was in the PICU. The doctors and nurses would always smile and compliment how bright and cheerful the room looked. It lightened the air and gave us something to talk about other than Matilda's medical status. I believe that a positive attitude and an encouraging environment help the healing process. Both for the parents and the child.

In the pack we also included a good amount of string and a roll of removable tape as an easy way to display on a wall or attach to a bed. Markers were also given so that an encouraging word, the patient's name, or doodles could be added.

Classic bunting will always be simple, beautiful, and effective. It was the perfect fit to include in our hospital craft packs.

the after easter post

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter weekend was beautiful. We played hard. We laughed often. And, we celebrated a truly blessed life.

craft pack bags

Friday, April 18, 2014

Using a tote to hold the craft packs was a must. We left for the hospital with nothing but Matilda's diaper bag, not expecting to be sent so far away from home. Our family sent us clothes and toiletries, but we didn't have anything to carry them in, so one of our nurses brought us a tote bag from home. It made walking down the hall to freshen up in the bathroom less awkward and trips to the RMH a lot more manageable.

We bought these bags and chose to decorate them with a few different designs using the stencil process. Really, making stencils has never been easier with the Cricut Explore. Simply choose a design, affix the stencil material to your cutting mat, and press go. Of course, if you don't have a Cricut Explore, you could complete the same process with an x-acto knife.

Once you have your stencil, tape it down and begin painting. I like to use a sponge brush, so that the least amount of paint build up will occur. It also makes for clean edges. Remove the stencil, and you have a beautiful bag. Check out this tutorial if you want a little more instruction.

The craft packs featured in this post were fully sponsored by the kind and generous people at Provo Craft, makers of the amazing Cricut Explore.

a new crib

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Every Thursday I look back at a specific day and time that was spent with my daughter Matilda as she waited for, received, and recovered from a liver transplant. She was in the hospital for 72 days and we remained in NYC until she turned four months old.

October 25th, 2012 - a new crib

When Matilda arrived at Mount Sinai Hospital, she was 9-days-old and weighed a little less than 6lbs. She was tiny and an isolette was the perfect bed - it had a warmer that could be turned on to help keep her body temperature stable. It was where Matilda remained for the next three weeks. Until October 25th, when our nurse wanted to make Matilda a bit more comfortable.

Remember a few posts back, when I mentioned that Tyler had found a routine and was feeling really comfortable with this new normal that we were living. Tyler is the kind of person that takes some time to get to know. He is not shy, but rather a bit guarded. He is perfectly comfortable to sit in silence and only speaks when he has something to say. Once you get to know him, he always has something to say. On this night, he took our nurse a bit by surprise.

Dahlia came around the corner with a huge crib for Matilda. She was so proud of herself for finding the newest bed available and was excited to get Matilda set up in a new space. Tyler, being the type who prefers consistency and familiarity, was immediately unhappy. And, because he had become friends with Dahlia, he spoke freely with her about how ridiculously huge it was.

Neither myself nor Dahlia knew if Tyler was speaking out of seriousness or jest. I guess it was a little of both. Or, maybe I hope it was a little of both. But it did take up all of our space, which was not much to begin with. I was upset because I understood that Dahlia was doing her best, that she was excited to put Matilda in a real crib. I needed her friendship, and I was afraid that Tyler was being too honest and upfront.

The next morning, just as Tyler had ensured the entire night staff would happen, our day nurse walked in and said, "What the hell?" And, soon enough, she had commandeered Matilda a much smaller (but older) crib. I was relieved because it gave us more space, and it made Tyler so proud and happy that he got his way. As long as their was forgiveness from Dahlia, things would be okay. In reality Matilda could care less where she was, for her I can imagine, it was more about who she was with. And, I wanted Dahlia at her side.

Meanwhile, Matilda was silently sleeping. Silently shouting that something big was about to happen. Something no one would have control over.

eggs and bunnies

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

And this is what Parker will get in his basket this year. Well, most of it. You see, he walked in while I was taking these photos. So, I quickly handed him a goodie and started chasing him away with my camera in hand. He was distracted enough, I think, at least.

Also, Tyler never wants to decorate eggs, so when he sat down with the kids and pulled off the cutest little man egg I have ever seen, my heart nearly melted.

And if you are ever in NYC, you must stop by the cutest little candy shop in the world. The Sweet Shop is right across the street from the Ronald McDonald House (on E. 73rd St.), and the owner, Kelly, is an absolute dream. I got all the goodies for Matilda and Parker's baskets from him. That is actually where I was when Matilda lost her tooth.

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