March 31, 2010

Thank You

I just wanted to say thank you for all of the emails that I've gotten on the layout about my son's premature birth. Thank you for every story that you shared with me, every prayer and every well wish. I was floored by the response!

I rarely talk about the details of my son's birth, so it was good to get it out and on to a page. Sorry that I made so many folks sad. I know that the journaling and the photos are raw. But that's how it came out, so I stuck with it.

And for everyone that has asked - YES! - that tiny baby is the same Nico that you see on all of my pages. He's made a full recovery with some minor exceptions here and there. He's a little pip of a boy who lights up my life!

March 30, 2010


This was a hard page for me to get through, yet it was an important story that I wanted to tell. I've done some pages about my son's prematurity and our time in the NICU, but I haven't done a new one in years. Last week I was watching the Discovery channel and they had a show on about micropreemies. I remembered that there was a time before Nico was born that I would flinch at the site of a premature baby and I would quickly flip the channel. It's ironic how life throws challenges at you that you think that you could never handle - but you do. And you come out a different, stronger person in the end.

I know just how lucky we are that Nico survived the NICU with no long-lasting effects. I watched way too many babies pass away during our two months in the hospital to take that for granted. The experience though, was horrific and it changed me. It's a very big part of my life's story.

The journaling reads:
There was a time when I could not stand to look at a sick or premature baby. I remember having to change the channel anytime those type of stories were on the news or on TLC. I just couldn’t watch. The image of those tiny fetal looking babies made me flinch. How ironic that I would become a mom at just 28 weeks gestation to a tiny, sick, 2-pound boy. I found myself right smack in the middle of a nightmare that seemingly would never end.

And so I watched.

I watched a respirator breathe for him because he couldn’t.

I watched as all of his little veins collapsed from too many IVs. They put one in his forehead.

I watched as he turned blue one day because of apnea.

I watched a team of doctors rush in to save him at 3 weeks old when he developed sepsis and almost died.

I watched as he developed a hole in his heart.

I watched when an IV leaked a caustic substance onto his skin and burned a big hole in his forearm.

For 58 days I watched my boy struggle and suffer. I couldn’t change the channel, because this was now my life. I didn’t flinch anymore and this became my normal.

In the tiny envelope at the top is a note from me to Nico. I just wanted him to know that even though this was the most difficult thing I had to go through in my life, that he was so so worth it! And how blessed and lucky we are to have him in our lives.

Okay, so on to the details of the layout - almost all of the paper, the trees and the cloud are the Quite Contrary line by My Mind's Eye (love their paper). I made the "life" banner with some twine, cardstock, and tiny rub-ons from Doodlebug. The title is from Making Memories (cork) and Thickers (aqua).
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March 24, 2010

Leaf Monster

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year in the northeast. The weather is perfect, the humidity low and the days are still long. This was the first year that we had to rake leaves. The one downside to living in a newer neighborhood - no mature trees = no leaves. We scraped up every leaf we could find to make Nico this pile to jump in. And jump he did - laughing and screaming "cannonball" the entire time. We buried him and he would jump out and growl at us. He said he was a "leaf monster" and this was the perfect title for my layout. The fact that his hoodie matched the theme was the proverbial icing.

I love these woodgrain papers from Cosmo Cricket and they were perfect for these pictures. Actually all of the chipboard accents, the letters and the paper are from Cosmo. The stripe paper is October Afternoon and the owl is from Michael's Recollections line. The wood tree is actually made out of wood and I found it at the NJ Scrapbook Expo this past year. A little bit of twine and you have my first fall layout since 2005. I guess that can be blamed on the lack of leaves?!

Until the next post...

March 22, 2010

Christmas Morning

I've been digging into my stash of Crate Paper and reminiscing about Christmas lately. This is what I came up with for our Christmas morning pictures. I love this mix of traditional red and green colors with a pop of aqua and lime. It was perfect for the vibrant reds in my photos. I always have so many photos of Christmas morning, so this is always a 2-page layout for me. I pared down from the dozens of photos and these are my favorites.

All of the paper is from Crate Paper's North Pole collection. I love the weight and texture of their papers. The chipboard accents are also Crate and I strung them along the top with some Martha Stewart baker's twine.

I added some ribbon from an old Creating Keepsakes kit since the colors matched perfectly. The red letters are Scenic Route and the pins are Making Memories. It's just a big old mix of new products and some of my old stash.
Until the next post...

March 19, 2010

It's a Halloween Parade!

These photos are from my son's Halloween preschool parade. I had tons of photos so I decided to make this one a 2-pager. Actually it's more like a 1-pager stuck in the middle and a bunch of plain old 4x6 photos on the sides. Almost like a portfolio. It was a quick way to get alot of photos down.

Most of the paper and chipboard is My Mind's Eye. The green scallop paper and black title are Fancy Pants. The green letters are Thickers.

This was so hard to photograph. Sorry about the glare! It really washes out the colors and you can't see the studs on the scallop paper - but you get the general idea!

Until the next post...

March 18, 2010

The Magic Number at Disney

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I'm still plugging away at all of the Disney layouts from our trip in September. There are so many pictures and stories that I want to tell, that sometimes it's overwhelming!

I love this monster line from Sassafrass Lass. When I saw the playing card with the "tall" monster, I knew it was perfect for this story that I wanted to tell. Finally, Nico was tall enough to go on all the rides that DH and I love at Disneyworld. This was a big milestone for him and us.

I made the huge arrow out of red Bazzill dotted swiss cardstock and sewed up the center just to add some dimension. The black ticket is from MME and the letters are a mish mosh of old painted Heidi Swapp and A-Z Essentials (teal).

My favorite part of the layout is the little blue monster on the lower right hand side. I poked holes in his hands and added string with the #40. I love to add little details like that when I can. It was fun making this, I really love the bold colors and the monsters remind me of my boy.

Until the next post...