Family History Week

08.12.10 Week 39

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Well, no 8/9/10 baby for me—we’re still sitting tight here in Cambridge. I should be grateful, since we’ve been getting a lot of stuff done, from framing a few pieces of art for the nursery to writing out birth preferences and framing more family photos for the gallery wall we have in our hallway.

In fact, it’s been Family History Week in these parts, now that I think about it! I spent a bit of time this weekend sorting through boxes of ephemera left to me by my great-aunt. There were envelopes stuffed with business papers from her father and grandfather’s shoe store, including the bill of sale from the purchase in 1885. There were also stacks of old snapshots, including lots of Great-Aunt Kay and my grandmother as babies and young children. I am so in love with this shot of my grandmother at about one year old, in their front yard in Connecticut:

We have a very long, narrow hallway connecting two parts of the apartment, and we’ve lined with with family photos. Ben feels strongly about being able to point to old pictures of us and our families when he’s walking the baby up and down during late nights to come, so it was great to get another few prepped to hang up. (We didn’t have any of me in the first batch, for instance!) I highly recommend both the Kodak kiosks and the frames at Target. We’ve used a mix of their flat, matte black frames; the prices are reasonable and they look great.

Speaking of framing, I have long been a fan of buying custom frames and mats online instead of paying through the nose at a frame shop, unless I was framing something really complicated or delicate. It requires more work on my part, and you generally can only get plexiglass vs. real glass, but I’ve had very good results for a fraction of the price of professional framing. Last night we tackled the gigantic Binth poster, and for the first time the Frames By Mail people let me down--we got it to work, but the mat opening was a little big and the plexi (a giant sheet) was a little small. I almost melted down while trying to get the poster positioned so it didn’t pop through the hole in the mat; luckily Ben was in his most patient mood. Now I have to try to get them to send a bigger piece of plexi so it doesn’t pop out of the frame. The other objet we were framing was the one thing Ben had asked to include in the nursery: A piece of embroidery that his mom made for his nursery when she was pregnant with him. I picked a double mat, white with a bit of orange trim to pick up the nursery colors and the orange in the embroidery, and used a very simple black frame to modernize it. I think it came out great! (That’s it in the top corner photo.)

BTW, we took the infant CPR class last weekend. It was terrifying but I’m so glad we did it; infant CPR is very simple but it’s a precise method and now we want to make everyone we know take it, too! Look into local classes; we took ours at Isis Parenting, which has locations all around Boston, and it was about $60 for both of us.

I’m off to pick up a bassinet stand, which I found through the local mom’s listserve (around here it’s Boston Garden Moms). If you’re pregnant or raising kids and haven’t found a local group like this, go do it now! People ask and answer a million useful questions, and the classified ads are super.

Hopefully next week I’ll be taking a break to enjoy my new baby—I feel like I’m in such a holding pattern, waiting for the other shoe to drop and trying to decide what projects are safe to start on and what I should just leave alone. I’ve gotten pretty crabby in the last couple days, but now that the weather is cooling off I’ll try to reign in the Pregnant Crankiness and let us enjoy our last few days before parenthood!

Kate Flaim is a freelance journalist and food blogger based in Cambridge, Mass. When she's not cooking or writing, she is gearing up for the arrival of her first child this summer.