What I Want for Mother’s Day

Since I won’t be posting on Sunday, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish a happy early Mother’s Day to all the moms in the blogosphere. I’m so happy to have found this community of witty, articulate, intelligent women who, I have no doubt, are doing a kick-ass job of raising their children. I don’t always have time to comment, but I read your posts every day. Sometimes you make me laugh, and sometimes you make me sad, but almost always I find myself nodding my head along in agreement. You have made me feel, for lack of a better word, like a “normal” mom.

This year I will celebrate Mother’s Day for the first time. I’m really not much of a holiday person overall. I don’t make a big deal out of my birthday, and I could take or leave most of the other major holidays. But for some reason, I’m super excited to celebrate being a mom. Maybe it’s because I feel like I’ve been subjected to a six-month, grueling endurance test and I need some recognition for it. Maybe it’s because I get to revel in finally becoming a member of the sisterhood of moms. I think it’s most likely because I’m bone-tired and feel like I’ve sacrificed so much over the past half-year, and I want to be commended, damn it!

Mother's Day cake

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’ll be going out to my mom’s house for a nice brunch with her, my sister (mom extraordinaire), and my grandma. I don’t really expect, or even want, to receive any gifts or flowers from my partner. There are just a few simple things I would like that would make this Mother’s Day complete.

  • To get to sleep in. And by sleep in, I mean to not be the one to get up to give baby P. his first morning feeding. It would be nice to get out of bed on my own schedule for just one day.
  • To eat a hot meal with two hands
  • To wear something other than a milk-stained hoodie and track pants. To do something with my hair other than put it up in a pony-tail.
  • An hour out of the day when I’m not feeding, cooking, cleaning, or entertaining. Short of that, one day where I just don’t have to load or unload the dishwasher. Ugh. The never-ending cycle of that dishwasher.
  • Maybe a cookie. This isn’t necessarily specific to Mother’s Day; I just really like cookies

But mostly, all I want is:

  • To spend the day with my partner and my baby. To know that they appreciate me for all that I do, and recognize that I’m doing my best, and that everything I do is out of love for them.

I hope that you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day, whether you’re honouring your mom or being honoured yourself. A special happy Mother’s Day to all the fellow moms celebrating for the first time this year. You’re doing a good job! Keep it up!

Top 5 Baby Shower Gift Ideas

I recently wrote a post on the five baby items that I love the most. A friend commented that the post was helpful for people who want to know what to buy for baby showers. It got me to thinking. Before I had a baby, I had no idea what to buy as a baby shower gift. I usually defaulted to purchasing clothes because they are cute and easy to pick out. Now I know that the last thing that most parents need is more tiny clothes. The post on my five favourite items included some big-ticket items, like strollers and monitors, that you’re unlikely to buy as a shower gift. So I’m devising a new, slightly modified list.

Based on my experience, the following are the top five things that I was thankful to receive as shower gifts. Keep in mind, I’m a practical gal, so they aren’t all super exciting. These gifts might not get a lot of attention, but the parents will be thankful. Trust me.

Pampers diapers

Image courtesy of http://www.well.ca

  •  Diapers – You might have to do a bit of recon before you purchase this gift. There are about a million different types of diapers available. If the baby has already been born, ask the parents what kind of diapers they prefer. Then buy that brand in a size or two larger than they are currently using. Or buy a few different sizes. If the baby hasn’t been born, the parents probably at least know if they are planning on using cloth or disposable diapers. Buy them a small assortment. We received so many diapers at our shower that I don’t think we needed to buy any until baby P. was about three months old. It was fantastic.

Image courtesy of http://www.toysrus.ca

  • Receiving blankets – Yup, they made the list again. These blankets are so useful and you can never have too many. We received some pretty polka-dotted ones that I just love. Buy a few, because they’ll be used!
sleep sack

image courtesy of http://www.halosleep.com

  • Sleep sack – This was on my previous list as well. Most parents that I know love these things. They are a little bit pricey ($20-$30 each), so most parents will probably only invest in one or two. We only had one for a while and ended up washing it every other day when my baby spit up on it. We finally bought a couple more and it made our lives a lot easier. I think this is a safe bet for an awesome shower gift. And they come in different colours and patterns, so you can have fun picking it out!
Personalized blanket

Image courtesy of Sweetpeas & Bumblebees Etsy shop http://tinyurl.com/d425bza

  • Something personalized – This is probably only a safe gift if the baby has already been born and named. I know people who were dead set on a name prior to the birth and then changed it once the baby arrived, so if you’re attending a shower before the baby is born, use caution. Otherwise, personalized blankets make a great gift. Head on over to Etsy.com for hundreds of options, and the ability to buy a super gift from the comfort of your computer. We received a personalized blanket and a huge personalized bath towel. I love both. The towel is great because we can use it when we go swimming and I don’t have to worry about anyone else claiming that it’s theirs. Gifts like these are much appreciated and show a lot of care and thought.
gift card

Image courtesy of http://www.toysrus.ca

  • Gift cards – When all else fails, if you’re short on time or ideas then a gift card is a great idea for new parents. There’s going to be a bunch of stuff that they need that they didn’t anticipate and it will make it a lot easier on their pocketbook if they have a few gift cards. After our baby was born, we had to go out and buy bottles and a sterilizer within a few days home from the hospital. Thank goodness for the gift cards that we received. It turned a several hundred-dollar purchase into something much more manageable.

Well, that’s my list. I hope you find it helpful. If you have kids, what did you receive as a shower gift that you were grateful for?

Top 5 Baby Items That I Love (0-6 months)

If you’ve been to a Babies ‘R’ Us lately then you know about the ridiculous variety of items that you can buy for infants and toddlers these days.

When you find out you’re expecting, it can be overwhelming to choose what to buy. Most of us are on a limited budget, and don’t want to spend money on a bunch of crap that we’re never going to use. But how do you know what you need? Well, that’s where I come in because I’m going to tell you. I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of a ton of free baby stuff, given to me by my brother and sister whose kids had just outgrown it. Some of it was useful, and some of it wasn’t. I have compiled a list of the top five items that I would definitely recommend for new parents. I’m not being sponsored or endorsed by any of these companies; this is totally my opinion based on my experience.

sleep sack

Image courtesy of http://www.halosleep.com

  • Sleep sack – I love putting my baby to sleep in this. Safe sleep guidelines suggest that you not put your baby to bed with a blanket, but I wanted to keep my baby warm. The sleep sack is warm, comfortable, and roomy enough that your baby can move his legs around inside it. It comes in different sizes, and depending on the brand may be sleeveless or have long sleeves (I love the long-sleeved ones). They can seem a little pricey at $20-$30 each, but if you use it every night like I do, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of it.
bottle warmer

Image courtesy of http://www.toysrus.com

  • Bottle warmer – babies like warm milk. I didn’t want to warm bottles in the microwave, but waiting for water to heat up on the stove, then placing the bottle in the water until it was warm took forever. When my little guy is hungry, he’s hungry now! The bottle warmer that we have is awesome. It heats up a bottle from the fridge in about 2-3 minutes. You just dump some water in the bottom of the warmer, pop in the bottle, and press a button. Steam heats up the bottle quickly with no hot spots. I love my warmer!

Image courtesy of http://www.toysrus.ca

  • Receiving blankets – I was given many of these as gifts. At first, I had no clue what they were for. I folded them up and put them in a drawer and figured that if I didn’t need them, I’d just get rid of them. Now, almost six months later, I probably go through two or three blankets a day. They are great for cleaning up spit-up and drool on your baby’s face, clothes, the floor, etc. When your baby is little, you can use them to swaddle him. If I’m out at a play group or someone’s house and want to put my baby on the floor, I can spread one out and put him on top. I tuck one onto my baby when he’s in the car seat or stroller to keep him warm and for easy clean-up. Honestly, it’s rare to see me without one of these blankets tossed over my shoulder. They are so immeasurably useful. Buy more than you think you’ll need, because you’ll be using them all the time and they get dirty quickly.
travel system

Image courtesy of http://www.toysrus.ca

  • Travel system – if you’re going to leave the house with your baby, you’re going to need a car seat and probably a stroller. Travel systems are cool because the car seat clips right on to the stroller, so you can transition the baby from your house to the car to the stroller without having to take him out of the seat. It’s great for babies who like to sleep in the car because you can get them into the house without having to wake them up. My little guy just outgrew his travel system car seat and we’re adjusting to having to strap and unstrap him from the new seat to get him in and out of the car. The travel system was WAY easier. I miss it.

Image courtesy of http://www.toysrus.ca

    • Video monitor – my partner and I had a lot of discussion about what kind of monitor we wanted. The video monitors are quite a bit more expensive than the ones that just provide audio, so we were trying to decide if it would be worth it. In the end, we decided to splurge and spend a bit more for a video monitor and I’m glad we did. I love being able to turn on the visual and watch my baby in his crib. Even if I can’t hear him, sometimes I can see him wriggling around so I know that he’s okay. When he’s older and more mobile, it will be nice to be able to check on him and see what he’s up to in his room. Considering that we’ll be using the monitor every day for at least a couple of years, it was definitely worth the extra expense.

These are the five items that I have found most useful in the first six months of my baby’s life. I hope that you find this helpful. In my next post, I’ll help you save some money by listing the five baby items that I found totally unnecessary.