Brand New Babes - 3rd edition

Several good friends have recently had third babies.  Besides sending silent prayers their way - having three little ones brings a whole new level of munchkin chaos - I've been searching for some good 3rd baby gifts.  Because let's face it, third babies are different.  Third babies arrive home to a plenty of toys and piles-upon-piles of baby gear.   New clothes are often wasted on them because third babies are usually dressed in whatever is in the top drawer since that's the only thing their mamas can reach as they simultaneously change a diaper, beg a toddler to pull up her pants, and coach a kindergartner on how to spell a word.  (Often while sweating, cursing under their breath, and wondering how in the world they are going to survive the next few years).  And as a mom of three myself, I also know for sure that less stuff is more.

But let's not forget that third babies are so precious.  They smell insanely amazing - I swear.  I don't know why third babies smell so particularly delicious but I think it has something to do with the fact that, when you bring your third baby home, the only time you get to yourself are the hazy moments in the middle of the night when you place that tiny baby on your chest and nestle your nose into his or her soft neck.  That smell!  There are no words.  It's beyond.

And let's not forget their mamas.  These ladies deserve some recognition!  I once read that the best present for a new mother is a box of chocolate covered strawberries.  I agree.  But for these particular women, I want to give something a little more lasting.  So I've decided on books.  Shocker, I know.  Don't worry, I'm not gifting Star Sisters chapter books to a newborn (I've got plenty of big girl birthday parties for that!).  Rather, these beautiful Puffin classic books.  I think they look so pretty on a shelf and the cloth covers are designed in such an aesthetically pleasing way, something that is important to my OCD-self.  

For the baby boys, I'm thinking Peter Pan, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and The Secret Garden.

For the baby girls, I'm thinking Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, and The Secret Garden.  

The complete set would also make a stunning gift for someone special.

I bought several of these books for my third baby's nursery.  I placed them on floating shelves of reclaimed wood from West Elm (no longer available).  I added in a vintage looking mirror from RH Baby & Child, a pink leather elephant from Serena & Lily, and off to the left is a letter that I made from leftover Liberty of London fabric and placed in a embroidery hoop.  One of my craftier moments for sure.  

   

Creative Inspiration: Jess Brown Dolls

Having spent many, many unfortunate years suppressing my creative side (I'm talking about you, law school!), I am so inspired by all the artistic people out there.  But the people that really get me excited are the women who combine their creative passions with motherhood.  (After all, that's what I'm trying to do right now with Star Sisters).  Those are the woman I emulate, whose websites I obsessively troll trying to gather tips or insights about their paths.  

Jess Brown is one such victim of my stalker-ish tendencies.  I can't remember the first time I saw one of her dolls but it must have been before I had children because I swore that my daughters would only play with Jess Brown rag dolls, no plastic barbies with synthetic hair for my precious unborn offspring.  Well, those lofty ambitions fell by the wayside once I actually had children and realized that (1) they had minds of their own and (2) sometimes things are mass produced in cheap plastic because they are just so darn helpful (this realization started with the obnoxiously colorful and loud baby excersauce, commonly known among my friends as baby crack).  But I still stop and sigh whenever I see a Jess Brown doll.  So lovely, right?

Each doll is handmade and they're not cheap.  But fear not, there is an affordable way to get some Jess Brown beauty into your life.  "Kiki and Coco in Paris" is  beautiful book that tells the story of a girl named Kiki and who travels to Paris with her Jess Brown rag doll, Coco.  Photographed by Stephanie Rausser, the book is full of gorgeous images of not only Paris, but also the doll.  The story is a touching one about the connection between a doll and "her girl" who are meant just for each other.  It's one that I've read over and over, as much for the content as for the mini-bedtime escape to Paris.  
 

Or, if you're really in need of a Jess Brown doll and you've got a snow day on your hands, you can make one yourself.  I made this one with my oldest daughter one snowy day last winter.  It was a lot of work and I had to sacrifice an old sweater or two but I think it came out pretty well!  And we named her Coco, of course!