I’ve been a bit conflicted about officially announcing that I’m pregnant. Then last night I ran into someone (who I actually see pretty frequently) and she was shocked (like the kind of shocked where you jump back a step and do a double take) to see my swollen belly. I haven’t been hiding the fact that I’m pregnant. God knows I’ve not stopped complaining aloud about all my pregnancy ailments, poor everyone within hearing distance of me! But I haven’t officially announced it, so not even my besties from college or cousins know. And since it’s been so darn cold in Palestine, I’m always covered with a scarf, so the bump is hidden. ‘
So here it is. No extra effort to take a family photo or be creative on picmonkey. Just a simple shout out in a blog post: I’m expecting my second ladies and gentlemen. And that also means, a few months after baby is born, I’ll likely be putting some creative energy into new designs for Little Olea. I’ll certainly get re-energized about what a great thing to have around the Little Olea pieces are in the first two years of my little ones life, and mine!
I started the Little Olea teething rings when my first one started teething at 2 months (yea, crazy right?!)! I had put an all natural wood teething ring on my baby registry. A lovely friend bought that ring off etsy for my little one. Handmade indeed! It was made from maple wood that SPLITTERED in his mouth, the dye came off on his lips...and only then did I realize that everyone was buying these maple beads wholesale and stringing them by hand so they could label and sell the teething rings as handmade. That sure made this mama angry.
My husband and I packed our little one into his car seat and set off for Bethlehem, home of traditional olive wood craftsmanship. Olive wood seemed like such a better wood to use than maple. The olive oil in the wood even renders the wood naturally medicinal. It’s a hard wood and doesn’t splinter. My little one gnawed on it for the first year plus through teething and neither was it too hard for his teeth nor did I have to deal with splintering from it being a softer wood. And there are so many other great qualities about the teething rings and nursing necklaces I made for my baby--they are safely knotted and even sewn through the knots to guarantee they don’t open. Plus there are knots after beads on necklaces. I wore my nursing necklace for over a year and whenever someone held Kamae, I always put my necklace over their heads so he had his familiar wooden beads to hold. It became a familiar, comforting piece for him.
And it’s a keepsake. Now that I’m pregnant again, I thought to use Kamae’s nursing necklace for baby #2. Then I realized that this baby should have his own that will go in her box of keepsakes in the end. So we just made her (for me to wear!) a beautiful beaded necklace with a lovely, smooth heart pendant to hold.
If I weren’t the one making these teething rings and nursing necklaces, I would FOR SURE ask for them as baby shower gifts, enthusiastically listing them on my baby registry! Every all natural mama will love these. And I have a few other wonderful recommendations for new mama gifts while I’m at it, because let’s be honest--I’m about to be a new mama so I’m thinking about my baby registry and what I’d like to ask for!
Little Wooden Spoon
Many people don’t want to put plastic in their babies mouths and look for a friendlier utensil for baby’s first foods. This hand carved wooden spoon made out of olive wood and featuring an adorable little heart cutout is a perfect first spoon. It’s shallow and lightweight so baby can feed herself while all the grown ups have peace of mind, knowing it’s safe and natural.
Chamomile Olive Oil Soap
Babies have such sensitive new skin and many are sensitive to all the illegible ingredients in mainstream name brands. In my home, we always use olive oil soaps (also called castile soap) and this one from a women’s cooperative in Dheisha Refugee Camp, using the best olive oil we make in Palestine. I recommend the traditional olive oil soap with chamomile added in since it’s so soothing for the skin.
Needle Felted Animal
We didn’t do many stuffed animals for our little one, and the few we had he was honestly not interested in until after he turned 3 years old. But all of them (save one hand-me-down) were from natural materials, and often organic cotton or locally produced wool. Babies and little ones put everything in their mouths so many of us mamas are careful to have only natural fibers in stuffed animals. These needle felted camels, donkeys and sheep are made by bedouin women from local wool using traditional needle felting techniques. I love them and so do little kids!
Rebozos are great baby shower gifts because they support mamas in labor and can be transformed into baby slings or nursing covers or light blankets after baby is born. This one was originally requested as a custom order by a customer, and we loved the idea so much we started making them.