Dear Mom Who Has a Baby in the NICU on Mother’s Day

Dear Mom Who Has a Baby in the NICU.jpgDear Mom Who Has a Baby in the NICU on Mother’s Day,

I see you.

I see you sitting next to that incubator.

I see you mourning the loss of a dream you had – a dream that included a neatly packaged birth plan and perfectly perfect baby.

I see you leaving the hospital without a baby in your arms.

I see you shedding silent tears while the nurse adjusts your baby’s O2 levels.

I see you feeling insecure that the NICU staff appears to know more about your child than you do.

I see you carrying the heavy load of What if’s about your baby’s health.

I see you eating hospital food day after day.

I see you scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing every last germ and dirt particle and skin off of your hands (and wrists and forearms and elbows) sometimes several times a day.

I see you worrying that all that adhesive they use to hold his nasal cannula in place is irritating his skin.

I see you anxiously hoping that today’s nurse will be be a good one.

I see you looking around frantically as the room fills with more dings and bells than an arcade.

I see you learning words like pulse oximeter, gavage, C-PAP, and surfactant.

I see you pumping faithfully every 2-3 hours around the clock.

I see you trying to hide rocks in your baby’s diaper before the scale comes in so you can get home faster.

I see you becoming a pro at converting grams to pounds.

I see you feeding your baby through an NG feeding tube and wondering how in the world that could be comfortable for him.

I see you dealing with social workers and insurance people and doctor after doctor and feeling like your brain is going to explode from information overload.  Suddenly deciding what diaper pail to buy seems so insignificant.

I see you researching on the internet (which is generally not the best idea, but you will do it anyway because you are a mama).

I see you trying to balance time at the hospital and time at home with your other child(ren).

I see you bringing goodies to the nurses who care for your little buddy.

I see you making hard decisions.  Really, really hard decisions.

I see you trying to learn the names of the bazillion different doctors that are monitoring your baby’s health.

I see you wishing you could hold your baby, but sometimes there are just too many of those darn leads and respiratory equipment in the way.

I see you praying and praying and praying to go home.

I see you.

And on this Mother’s Day I want you to know that God sees you, too.

God sees you and wants you to know that He is with you.

He wants you to know that He is very familiar with the pain of watching your own child suffer.

And He wants you to know that motherhood is so much more than those perfectly perfect expectations we dream about and make Pinterest boards about for 9 whole months.

Motherhood is realizing that our babies belong to Jesus first – that He knows what is best for them.

Motherhood is holding those babies – ventilator and all – up to the heavens in total and complete surrender of will, much like Jesus did on the cross.

Motherhood is resting assured that IT IS WELL, even in the NICU.

Even in the NICU on Mother’s Day.

I am so sorry for your pain.  I am so sorry that your journey of motherhood began this way.

But I am not sorry for the lessons that being in the NICU has and is teaching you, sweet mama.

You are learning how to depend on Him wholeheartedly.  You are learning to be strong and courageous.  You are learning to rest in Him.  You are learning to listen to His voice.  You are learning to celebrate small victories and find peace in impossible circumstances.  You are learning to walk by faith and not by sight (or doctor’s diagnoses).  You are learning that God has the last word concerning your child’s future.  You are learning to trust Him completely with Desats and Bradycardia and X-Rays and the roller coaster life inside the walls of a neonatal intensive care unit.

So this Mother’s Day, dear Mom with her baby in the NICU, remember that He sees you.

He loves you.

He is drawing you closer to Him.

And He’s got this.

- Julie

“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25

**See my Top 10 Reasons Why Having a Baby in the NICU is Awesome HERE.**

Easy Mother’s Day Necklace

Easy Mother's Day Necklace for kids to make - so cute and doable..jpg

 We hosted a Mother’s Day Brunch this morning in my little 2-year-old class.

I wanted to make sure the kids made something super sweet and keepsake-y to give to their beloved mamas, so when I saw this idea over at Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds, I knew it was meant to be!

mother's day necklace 1.jpgSupplies:

Air-Dry White Clay

Pretty Beads

Circle Cookie Cutter

Pencil (one end must be flat)

Yarn

Rolling Pin

mother's day necklace 2.jpg

Can I just say I LOVE THIS STUFF?!?!

Seriously, you’re telling me I don’t have to bake it?  Yes, this just might be a dream come true.

You can find this awesomeness at Michael’s.

mother's day necklace 3.jpgStep 1 – Have your child use the rolling pin to roll out a small lump of clay.

mother's day necklace 4.jpgStep 2 – Press the circle cutter into the clay.  Remove the excess clay.

mother's day necklace 5.jpgStep 3 – Poke the flat edge of the pencil into the top part of the circle.

mother's day necklace 6.jpgmother's day necklace 7.jpgmother's day necklace 8.jpgmother's day necklace 9.jpgStep 4 – Have your child press pretty-colored beads into the clay.  Allow to dry about 24 hours.

mother's day necklace 10.jpgmother's day necklace 11.jpgStep 5 – Thread some yarn through the small hole and give to a mother to wear!

So cute, right?

The Happy Buddy made one for Mom-Mom and one for Grammie.

easy Mother's Day necklace.jpgYou still have time to whip together a few of these beauties before Sunday.

Make sure you email me a photo of the results! ;-)

Happy Easy Mother’s Day Necklace-ing!

Mom-Mom

mom's day 2The other day a conversation arose between the Happy Buddy and me while I was changing the Happy Baby’s diaper.

We were discussing how one day, if it was God’s plan, he would get married.

I began listing for my firstborn son all of the qualities I am praying God provides in his future wife.

mom's day 4“I am praying she will be kind,

mom's dayand generous,

mom's day 6and pure,

mom's day 5and fun,

mom's day 8and full of joy,

and in love with Jesus…”

But before I could finish my list,

The Happy Buddy interrupted and said, “Oh, you mean Mom-Mom?”

:-)

mom's day 7

Yup, that sounds about right.

Happy Mother’s Day to someone who exemplifies all the qualities of the perfect woman.

You are amazing.

mother's day hand and footprint art

We love you! :-)

Easy Mother’s Day Gift Idea – FREE Printable!

easy mother's day gift idea at happyhomefairy.com - so cute! free printable!!!

It’s my job every year to put together Mother’s Day favors for the moms that attend our church.

I have a budget of $1 or less per mommy… This is no easy task, people.

I spend A LOT of time scouring the dollar sections of various stores – if you ever see someone’s hiney poking out of a dollar bin, it’s probably mine!  I’ve found the deeper you dig, the more treasure you find. :-)

With that said…

Have you seen the new bright-colored pocket hand sanitizers at Bath and Body Works?!

Just look at this adorable line-up…

mother's day printable1You can get 5 for $5, so I knew immediately this was the answer.

Add a cute tag and BOOM.

mother's day printable3Super-easy-budget-friendly-make-mom-happy Mother’s Day Gifts.

And they’re inspirational, too!

Proverbs 31:31 went PERFECT with our theme of pampering a mom’s hard-working hands.

mother's day printable2

If you want to make some of these adorable little favors for the all of the moms in your world, you can click the link below for the FREE Printable tags.

Print on card stock and attach the hand sanitizer with a Glue Dot.

Click HERE for the FREE Printable Mother’s Day Tag

Happy Mother’s Day Gift-ing! :-)

*Note – If you are a reading this and you are a member of my church, please pretend to be super surprised and delighted by your Mother’s Day prize on Sunday (wink!).*

How to Help Your Hubby Give You the BEST Mother’s Day EVER – FREE Printable!

Give your husband this letter from happyhomefairy.com and you are SURE to have the BEST Mother's Day EVER. This is SO funny and SO helpful!!!!!!

Mother’s Day…

It’s one of those days (kind of similar to Valentine’s Day) where we women heap all kinds of expectations of storybook romance on our precious husbands and then when those expectations aren’t met, we fall into a heap of despair.

Some of us have husbands that are great at intuiting our deepest wants and desires.  These special days begin with breakfast in bed, followed by rose petal trails, ending with horse drawn carriage rides and original love poems.

But the reality is that most of us are not married to natural romantics.

give this letter to your husband for mother's day and you will have the greatest mother's day EVER!The Happy Hubby is amazing.  He is such a wonderful provider, leader, father/husband, etc., etc.  When it comes to these holidays, though, he simply doesn’t know what to do.  And I don’t really help him out – instead, I just sort of hope he will figure it out.  I mean, we’ve been married for 10 years – doesn’t he know what I would like?

This thinking, sweet friends, usually does not end well for any of us.

My man’s heart is precious – he wants to bless me, but all of my unspoken and unrealistic expectations would make any man freeze under the pressure.

funniest letter ever to give to your husband for mother's daySo, this year, let’s give our men the gift of knowledge.

Let’s tell them exactly what we’d like for Mother’s Day.

Good news is I’ve made it REALLY easy for you.

give your husband this letter and have the best mother's day ever!Simply print the FREE Printable letter (download at bottom of post), fill out, and deliver to your man.

The two of you are sure to get a good giggle out of this silly note, but hopefully, come Mother’s Day, it will help you feel appreciated and him feel satisfied that he was able to bless you the way he wanted to but didn’t know how.

Girls, this FREE Printable comes with 1 important disclaimer…

*DISCLAIMER*EXPECT NOTHING.  Even though (if) you are giving your Happy Hubby this letter, hold it before the Lord with open hands.  Your Happy Hubby may read the letter and have wonderful intentions, but then STILL forget about Mother’s Day or simply not act as you hoped.  I don’t want anyone’s marriages falling apart this Mother’s Day because of unmet ‘checkboxes.’  Got it?!  :-)  Plus, there are always those unexpected moments of motherhood where everyone ends up with the stomach flu on Mother’s Day or something and the whole day is a wash.  This requires faith on our part as daughters of the King.  We must lay our expectations at the foot of Jesus and find our ultimate satisfaction in Him alone. :-)

give your hubby this letter and have the best mother's day ever!

Just wanted to hang mine in a place I know he wouldn’t miss.  Ha!

OKAY.

Now for your FREE Mother’s Day Printable to help the hubs out.

Click HERE.

If I could, I’d give Tiffany diamonds to each and every one of you.  Y’all are the best Mommies {and readers} EVER.

Happy Mother’s Day FREE Printable-ing! :-)

Top 10 Reasons Why Having a Baby in the NICU is Awesome

I never really thought about the NICU until the Happy Baby landed there on Day 1 of his life.

I never really thought about the hundreds of mommies who end up there as well.

Some with preemies, some with health complications like us, and some… some who never even get to take their baby home.

There’s Kristen and Patrick who had their twins at 24 weeks.

Sadly, Jackson did not make it, but his brother Wesley is hanging on at 2 lbs 2 oz.

Kristen comes to visit the Happy Baby and me and she is always smiling – always hopeful for her little man.

Then there’s Dareen who had triplets at 28 weeks.

Dareen who is there all day, every day, standing over her buddies’ isolets and willing them to get through yet another surgery.

Finally, there’s LaShay.

LaShay and her little Prince Kendrick who one day seems to take two steps forward and then the next day two steps back.

LaShay and Kendrick have been in the NICU since January.

These 3 mommies share a commonality.

They are warriors.

They are fighting a battle with an unknown end.

But they have not lost hope – not given up.

Because life is something to fight for.

When you’re in a battle like this day in and day out, sometimes you just need a little something to lift the burden.

A little lemonade, shall we say. :-)

So here is the card I made and handed out to all the NICU mommies on Mother’s Day.

Maybe you can share it with a NICU Mommy you know.“Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

To all the Warrior NICU Mommies out there – Jesus Loves You!

Berry Sweet Ideas for May

The Happy Buddy and I were at the grocery store yesterday and as we were walking through the produce section, I almost got knocked over by the sweet smell of strawberries.

I grabbed 5 cartons of those beautiful, fat, juicy red fruits and then felt inspired to do a post featuring all things strawberry!

Here are the berry best ideas I found…

Click Image for Idea

With Teacher Appreciation Week starting on Monday, here is one more super cute FREE Printable and idea from eighteen25 using some fresh picked items from Bath and Body Works.

Psst!  This FREE Printable also has a version for moms for Mother’s Day!

Click Image for Idea

Speaking of Mother’s Day, here is a precious Strawberry Mother’s Day Card from All Kids Network that uses your Happy Buddy’s fingerprints as the strawberry seeds.

Click Image for Idea

Or transform your Happy Buddy’s handprint into a strawberry like this one from Meet the Dubiens.

Click Image for Idea

I love this Scented Button Strawberry from itmom because once you have painted the strawberry on white cardstock, you get to sprinkle strawberry Jell-O or Kool Aid powder on top!  Yum!

Click Image for Idea

This clever Strawberry Necklace from Parents is made from a WALNUT (how cool is that?!) and just two other supplies.

Click Image for Idea

Surprise your Happy Buddies after school this month with these cute Strawberry Mice Snacks from Family Fun.

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People.

Have you ever tasted a Strawberry Pretzel Salad?

I made this a few months ago for our MOMs group at church and I had a flood of emails practically before the meeting was over begging me for the recipe (you can find it HERE)!

This is the perfect thing to carry to a Spring picnic or Summer BBQ.

OR check out this DELICIOUS Strawberry Trifle Recipe that  I made for my mom last Mother’s Day, as well as this addictive Strawberry Salad Recipe.

Thanks for PICKING Happy Home Fairy as one of the blogs you read! :-)

I think y’all are BERRY sweet.

Happy Strawberry Idea-ing!