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Showing posts with label W2BW. Show all posts
Showing posts with label W2BW. Show all posts

15 October 2008

What to Buy Wednesday – Dinner

wow...16 weeks of me giving y'all suggestions on things to buy mamas and babies? I can't believe I came up with all those suggestions. For reals.

Alas, this is my last regular suggestion for what to buy. If you've been reading regularly I've gotten pretty busy with other blogging & writing gigs, that something had to give. I hope that I've given you enough guidance that you can walk into the baby aisle and think, "What would V think? Is this really necessary?" Don't fret, if I get hit by inspiration, I'll post another suggestion.

So my last suggestion for something that a mom and her baby will NEED is a gift certificate for dinner. And yes, it really should be for some place that delivers.

This gift idea came from a couple who did this for us. After our daughter was born, they called us up and asked us what night we wanted dinner delivered and from where. Perhaps you know that your BFF loves Thai from that place down the street or you know she misses deep-dish pizza from Chicago now that she lives in Seattle. But at the very beginning dinner often gets lost in the shuffle. So pick up that phone or send an email and tell her, "Where do you want dinner from Thursday night?" Don't take no for an answer, if you can...

And honestly, ask her if she wants some company. Many people are scared to invite themselves over. If you're that good of a friend, she'll enjoy the company and if she's not in the mood, she'll be honest with ya.

Good luck out there, I know it's a jungle! If you ever have a question, just drop me a line.

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, gift

Don't forget that VLF is participating in the DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge. We already have one class funded, let's get that second one funded! And don't forget that I'm giving out goodies to a few select peeps who donate!

08 October 2008

What to Buy Wednesday – The Diaper Pail

Someone will tell you that you need some gadget that wraps your plastic disposable diaper in plastic thus mummifying your lil one's poop for eternity. Don't do it.

Now don't get me wrong. We did the disposable diaper...Pampers to be exact. But we didn't mummify our daughter's diapers either. We used a regular garbage can just like the one pictured and a can of Lysol spray. And for the most part, it worked. There were times when the diaper needed an immediate trip to the alley, but not too often.

So you can do it!

And if you're a gift giver, put the money towards something else. :)

And we do have some friends who decided to not do the disposable route with, I think, Fuzzi Bunz. They love it! Feel free to leave your suggestions for cloth diapers in the comments.

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, gift

Don't forget that VLF is participating in the DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge. We already have one class funded, let's get that second one funded!

01 October 2008

What to Buy Wednesday

In order to focus on the economy, What to Buy Wednesday has been suspended.

For this week, Pregnant-Americans are on their own. Use your head, not the fear!

24 September 2008

What to Buy Wednesday – Baby monitors

Yup, those baby monitors are a must have. I don't think it matters if you get sound only or video, just get one. As much as your logical mind might think you don't need one, once that baby is home, you will find that you have a monitor growing from your hand.

I didn't watch "Friends" religiously but I recall that after Rachel had her baby that people were critical that after a few episodes the baby disappeared. Instead Rachel just walked around with a baby monitor in hand. I can only assume that Rachel's baby was a wonderful baby who actually slept without someone holding her. Unlike my daughter.

But seriously, you want that monitor in hand once you put the baby down so you can relax a bit, do the dishes, or watch "Project Runway" without straining to hear the rustle of the baby. Plus if you're like most young parents if you DON'T hear anything you run to the room to check on the lil one.

I live in a multi-unit building, so I actually ended up using the monitor to do things like go to the basement to pick up laundry, go upstairs to visit neighbors for a few minutes, or let the dog outside. So yes, I highly encourage the monitor for those of you with stairs and want to escape your own ears' hearing radius.

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, gift

17 September 2008

What to Buy Wednesday – Robe

I know what you're thinking, the robe is for the hospital. Well, yes, it is. If all goes well and a woman gives birth vaginally, she might only be in the hospital 2 nights. I rushed things (surprise!) and only spent one night. So having a nice robe is good to have when shuffling around the maternity ward and greeting loved ones.

BUT...once you get home you're gonna be spending a lot of time in that robe too.

For one, the first week or two you might not get out of your robe until lunchtime. And even after you get into a routine, you still might want to stay in your robe...Yes, after the kid arrives, you might find that comfy desire to stay in your robe, drink your tea or coffee, and enjoy those precious few minutes before everyone else wakes up.

Because you'll be spending some time in your robe, I suggest you get two. At least. And seriously, what is better than a nice warm fluffy robe straight from the dryer?

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, gift

10 September 2008

What to Buy Wednesday – Toys

Have you ever heard someone say that kids have more fun with the box than with the toy that came inside?

It's true.

I don't mean for you to get your newborn nothing but boxes, but just a warning that you don't need to buy a zillion toys. See I use to collect stuffed animals. It started out with a few things, then Poohbears, and then carnival winnings. Thus I had a huge collection of stuffed animals when my daughter was born so she didn't need too many additional ones...but she still got them.

While she does play with some of her toys, stuffed animals, and board games, I wouldn't even say half...ok, maybe half if we took my stuffed animals out of the picture. Her room is full of toys that she doesn't play with and I honestly don't have the strength to toss most of them...even Happy Meal toys.

So take it from me and go easy on the toys. Not only do I not believe that any toy on the market is going to make your kid get into Harvard, but the money you save on toys can go right into the college fund.

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, gift

03 September 2008

What to Buy Wednesday – The Diaper Bag

Here me now, believe me later...

The only person to pick out a diaper bag should be the person using it. Since most women do the caregiving in this egalitarian world, let's talk about that first.

Mamas-to-be...First, do you think you're going to carry around that cute purse AND a diaper bag? You can try, but I'll bet that you'll get tired of it and start throwing your wallet, keys, and other stuff in with the rattle, wipes, and butt cream. Make sure that the diaper bag has a section FOR YOU. I had a pretty simple bag, two open sections plus a middle zippered section that held the changing pad. Come to think of it, it was pretty much like my work bag now, except in the middle is now my laptop. Hmmm....

Anywho, when out shopping for a bag, empty your purse essentials in there and then see if you have enough room for baby stuff. Yeah, put your stuff in there first. Selfish? Maybe, but you're gonna be pissed if you're out and can't find lip balm.

For daddies there are man bags out there, but I haven't tested any of them and can't tell if they are worth it versus just taking the mommy purse stuff out of the bag. Any daddy baggers reading this?

For most of us parents, the diaper bag will be our constant companion for at least 2 years, so choose wisely. Then when you find it, put it on your registry.

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, gift

27 August 2008

What to Buy Wednesday – Books

I know I said I would be positive in this series, so I am going to say that I am POSITIVE that buying your youngling edu-tainment toys will not guarantee them a ticket to Harvard. Instead I urge you to focus on buying your future student books. Plain old books. Buy them a few of your favorites and some new ones for that bookcase you are setting up in the nursery. Start reading now and never stop reading to your kids.

Parenting has a wonderful article on giftedness (h/t Kim) that not just says that gifted kids are rare, but that we can't make them with drills, toys, and extra work:

"Gifted" has become one of the most tossed-about words in the parenting lexicon. Unfortunately -- sorry, but let's get this out of the way right up front -- it's also one of the most misused. The vast majority of children are not gifted. Only 2 to 5 percent of kids fit the bill, by various estimates. Of those, only one in 100 is considered highly gifted. Prodigies (those wunderkinds who read at 2 and go to college at 10) are rarer still -- like one to two in a million. And despite the boom in infant-stimulation techniques, educational DVDs, learning toys, and enrichment classes, those numbers haven't been increasing. You can't build giftedness; it's mostly built in.

My daughter starts kindergarten next week and yes, she's in a gifted program. But we didn't drill her, send her to classes, or pile her with edu-tainment toys. I'm not saying that because I'm proud of it, honestly I'm deathly afraid that my trust in expert advice is actually wrong and all the kids in her class will come reading Shakepeare due to all the things we didn't do. I know they won't be, but that's what the edu-tainment & Co's are working off of...fear.

Instead, I ask you to have faith in your kid and yourself as parents. I know, many of us don't have our parents close by or if we do, they might not understand this new world we are raising our kids in. We all want more for our kids, but sometimes less is more.

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, gift

20 August 2008

What to Buy Wednesday – Baby clothes

Well d'uh....of course you buy baby clothes!

What I want to stress is to focus buying baby clothes that aren't size 0-3 months. And even skimp on the 3-6 months ones too. Why? Because people like to buy itty bitty tiny baby clothes, socks, and shoes. People also love to gift you baby blankets, so don't go over board like we did.

It's also hard to believe when you're pregnant, but those first few months go by so fast and they grow so fast, well, before you know it, they are in the next size. Of course it's a rare bird (hint, hint friends & family of pregnant woman!) who buys an outfit for the lil one that is larger than six months.

So...if your budget is tight, focus on the larger sized items. Heck, you can always run out and grab a new pack of onesies.

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, gift

13 August 2008

What to Buy Wednesday – Our Bodies Ourselves *GIVEAWAY*

When I was pregnant I got two books, What to Expect When You Are Expecting and The Hipmama Survival Guide. While I hated WTE, I loved Hipmama, but was still unfulfilled. Both are such extremes and apparently I am dead in the center, ok left of center, but still.

Now Our Bodies Ourselves Pregnancy and Birth is more my pace.

I'll admit that I did not read each word in this book, but I feel that I did my due diligence. What OBOS's pregnancy book is is a book that combines the best of hipmama granola with honest medical advise. Yes, OBOS spends a lot of time talking about midwives and what an optimal birth would look like, but I never got the feeling that it was guilting me into having the "perfect" birth.

The tone is set at the very beginning on page 9:

When used appropriately, maternity care inerventions such as artifical inductions or labor, episiotomies, epidurals, and cesarean sections can improve health outcomes and even save lives. Yet far too often, these interventions are used routinely on healthy women who are at low risk for medical complications, despite clear scientific evidence that they are unnecessary, ineffective, and/or can cause harm."

Yes, it sounds contradictory and confusing - it is. Being pregnant & giving birth have so many 'what ifs' that is really is confusing and sometimes goes against all that you or your hippie midwife would normally do.

On pages 196-197, there is a brilliant chart on how far you want to go with medication during labor.
What this means: I want no medication, even for a cesarean delivery. (An impossible extreme.)
Your partner, doula, nurse, or caregiver can help you by: Helping you gain a realistic understanding of risks and benefits of pain medications.

Even at -7 "I have a very strong desire for a natural birth, for personal gratification along with the benefits to my baby and my labor. I will be disappointed if I use medication." they suggest you plan for using medication. As someone who fell into -7, I never really planned on using medication. I left that decision up to my husband in the delivery room really. Perhaps if we had discussed it more, I wouldn't still be beating myself up over having meds.

My favorite part of the book also on page 9. It is a short list of questions to guide you in making informed choices. This chart is reminding you that this pregnancy is happening not to you, but that you are pregnant, you are in charge, you have agency, so act like it. Looking back on a pretty darn good pregnancy experience despite gestational diabetes, if my midwife had told me to eat seaweed each day, I would have. When you're pregnant that guilt of being pregnant consumes you and you rarely question your medical team's directives.

The book is in nice sections that allow you to read some, skip others, and save sections for later. The most touching section is on loss of a pregnancy or child as well as the section on prenatal testing and making a decision to continue or terminate the pregnancy.

Obviously, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to get pregnant or newly pregnant. While it does have an excellent section on breast feeding, I'd suggest La Leche's book instead of OBOS if all you want is breastfeeding in. Perhaps La Leche's book will be for next week...

I received this book from Our Bodies Ourselves themselves! Considering that I don't plan on getting preggers anytime soon (knock on wood everyone!) I am offering my copy up. Please note that while this copy is signed by the fabulous Judy Norsigian, it is signed to me.

So if you don't mind that your copy is signed "To Veronica"
Thanks to OBOS for offering a clean copy of OBOS Pregnancy and Birth. AND the winner will get to have it signed and personalized. So please leave a comment with your email and either your best advise for pregnant moms or your own question about pregnancy or motherhood. Hey, maybe you know another Veronica who just happens to be pregnant!

Deadline for entry is Tuesday, August 19, 2008.

You can purchase a copy at your local indie bookstore, , or Amazon. Please note...the Powell's and Amazon links benefit OBOS.

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, gift, Our Bodies Ourselves, pregnancy, book, book review, giveaway

06 August 2008

What to Buy Wednesday – Reusable Water Bottle

So you're pregnant. Aren't you seriously thirsty now?

Since I'm not a medical professional all I can offer is my personal experience. But I have never been more thirsty than when I was pregnant. It's one of the Goddess' evil tricks she plays on us. The more pregnant we get, the thirstier we are, and the smaller our bladder gets. Oh, and then she throws in fluid retention...which is ironically helped by MORE WATER.

I'm going to ask you to be green and NOT buy water bottles. Get a reusable one! Of course with the uncertainty about PBA plastic bottles, it may be hard to find one that you feel safe with. I want to error on the side of safety...That said, I'm still toting around my cancer bottle. I might error, but I'm a lazy person sometimes. But back to YOU!

The Center for the New American Dream has a great marketplace where you can investigate which PBA-free bottle is for you. Disclaimer: The executive director for CNAD is also a Progressive Women's Voice...that's how I know about this resource. But no, she has no idea I'm totally pointing you to her org's website. Also, I know that the price for these bottles is about $15. That seems a lot for a water bottle, especially for lower income women. But a friend put it this way, if you went 2 weeks buying a bottle a day that would be at least $15. So get one and then you're done!

Of course, when you're out and don't have your bottle or can't find a fountain to refill at, go ahead and grab that disposable water bottle! Just don't reuse it, k? And seriously, I've never had a restaurant or coffee shop turn down my polite request to fill up my water bottle...especially after I plop down $4 for a chai.

I'll return to this green theme later, but believe me, once you start reading about how well you have to take care of your body, you're gonna read the label for everything you bring into your home. Just breathe. You can't make your condo a toxin-free zone. All you can do is minimize what you have control over. There a zillion other things you have to worry about, focus...You still need to pick a name for the lil sprout.

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, gift

30 July 2008

What to Buy Wednesday – Nipples & Pacifiers

Now that title should get me some real traffic from the search engines! haha...

Seriously, I can't tell you which nipple, bottle, or pacifier to buy for your lil one. I say that because I really feel that each baby has its own preference. To illustrate this, let me tell you a story...

Five years ago I was home on maternity leave and poking at my belly. "Hurry up baby! We're wasting precious maternity leave time!" At the same time I was tidying up, getting all the bottles set, onesies washed, etc. The bottles were all cute Winnie the Pooh bottles. While I knew I was going to breast feed, I also knew that the new Papa was going to do bottle duty.

What I didn't plan on was that missy was going to be picky about her bottle nipple AND her pacifier. I think that we went thru at least 3-4 different bottles before landing on the Avent nipple. Which let me tell ya really sucked because I had bought the Medela breast pump. If you don't know, the breast pumps FIT the bottles perfectly. Yes, so I'd pump into one bottle, dump into a Advent and then store in the freezer. UGH!

The moral of the story? Don't buy too many bottles at once cause your kid might not like the cute one or the "perfect" bottle. And yes, it's hard to know which pump to get before the kid tells you which bottle they prefer. Just guess...you'll do that a lot as a mom. Get good at it. ;-)

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, gift

23 July 2008

What to Buy Wednesday – Baby sling/carrier

The item I miss using the most from when my daughter was a baby is the baby sling & the Bjorn.

I miss having her so close to me; I miss her being small enough to fit into the darn things!

Now baby slings are associated with granola moms or attachment parenting. Sure, they strap their babies to them, but I have to tell you, you are going to want to have that carrier, especially if the baby comes during nice weather (spring – fall). I put my daughter in the Bjorn to take a walk, to walk around the apartment to get her to sleep, and well anytime I wanted to use both my hands, I put her in there.

My daughter certainly lived up to the theory that babies like to be close to you. Heck, she's almost five and she still wants to be next to us.

I also used a wrap sling. It wasn't as easy to use as the Bjorn, but I'm sure that was because I didn't use it enough to learn all the tricks.

In the end, the carrier was quite a life saver. So send your friend this perfect gift.

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, gift

16 July 2008

What to Buy Wednesday - Maternity Clothes

Maternity clothes.

Some women loathe the time when it's time to admit that those jeans just ain't gonna button. I gotta tell ya that maternity clothes have gotten so cute that I often find myself in the middle of the Target maternity wear section without thinking. Or rather thinking "Oh...cute shirt dress! What size...oh...maternity!"

Thus buying maternity clothes for your preggers BFF or partner is a tricky thing. I highly suggest gift cards...but NOT to maternity specialty stores like Motherhood Maternity.

When I was growing up, the MM was at the start of the mall. I passed it for 15 years and my mom use to note that "when you're married & get pregnant, I'll take you here." Instead she was living in North Carolina and we hit the mega-MM at the mall. She bought a few hundred dollars of clothes for me because she knew (ironically) that she wouldn't be able to buy me more clothes for a while AND she knew oh so well, that I'd wait until the last minute to buy nice clothes for work. So why do I suggest not shopping there.

Because of their return policy. You can't return the clothes. I get that it is a specialty store and I'm sure people abuse return policies. But seriously, when I'm 3 months pregnant and I'm shopping for my whale days aka 8-9 months pregnant, I'm totally guessing on how big I'm going to be or I might guess wrong on what the weather will be.

Rather stick to department stores where if you do see that "must-have" shirt for yourself or your friend, you can return it if you have buyers remorse.

Althou, I do have to say that Motherhood Maternity and other specialty stores do have some really nice nursing bras.

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, gift

09 July 2008

What to Buy Wednesday - Journal/Blank Book

Soon after I got pregnant, Cinnamon mentioned to me that one of her most cherished items is a journal that her mom kept while she was pregnant with Cinnamon. I kept both a pen & paper journal and a blog during my pregnancy. Of course now that the daughter is here, I do more blogging about her than writing...and in the last six months, I've hardly blogged about her too!

But this week's suggestion for a possibly low-cost gift for the pregnant woman in your life is a simple blank book and pen. Sure, go ahead and spend more on a diary or even a diary for moms as well as a nice pen instead of a regular ball-point pen.

Write a short note to her on a sheet of paper or even inside the journal. Perhaps she will open up to her child-to-be in those blank sheets. Go ahead and talk about the ups and downs of the pregnancy, I sure did. If something happens to me before my daughter gets her hands on it, she's gonna need some therapy. I wrote very honestly about my mother's illness, her death and my pain.

Of course, I wish everyone a very happy and glowing pregnancy journal. I also encourage new moms to journal the first year. Yes, you may think things you may not want your child to know, but maybe you can have one for yourself and one for the kid. But journaling, like blogging, is to therapeutic.

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, gift

02 July 2008

What to Buy Wednesday - Body Pillow

When I got pregnant a good friend who was about six months ahead of me said, "You have to get a body pillow." I said, "Sure..." and filed it in the back of my head.

By the time she had her daughter, I was just at the end of my first trimester and starting to actually FEEL pregnant. That, "OMG, I feel an extra few pounds heavy...And I can't roll on my belly!" Yes, medical folks will tell you that you do need to sleep on your side and for someone who is a belly sleeper, that's a HUGE adjustment. So when my husband & I went to visit the new lil baby, I said a world of YES to her offer to borrow the body pillow.

This was after a few weeks of us looking for one at a reasonable price. Of course now you can buy one at Target for $18 ($9 for the pillow, $9 for the cover) and I have it! You can spend more on one and I bet they feel great...seriously, a body pillow is freaking heaven, thus a Tempur-Pedic one must be heaven with fat-free cream cheese frosting that tastes like full-fat cream cheese frosting.

Sleeping has to be one of the biggest complaints for pregnant women. You try sleeping with 20 pounds of water on your belly for 5 months...It throws off your natural sleep positioning, your back is already hurting from the strain of the baby and then you get into bed. It should be relief, but sometimes it isn't.

As I said, I have the $18 Target pillow. I found that my back isn't the same after having the kid (my theory is part being pregnant and part the epidural...MY THEORY only!), but after getting even just this cheapy version, I am sleeping way better. AND for those of you who think that a normal pillow between your legs will work? Maybe for you, but I move a lot in my sleep, so a normal pillow just gets lost.

I recommend this gift to come from the partner of the pregnant woman. She's gonna be bitchy about sleep, so why not show her you know it's gonna be rough by getting this early?

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, gift, pillow

25 June 2008

What to Buy Wednesday - Prenatal Massage & Yoga

OK, OK...some of you just rolled your eyes at my suggestion for this week. But trust me, if you are a friend or partner to a pregnant woman, she will love you for gifting her with a prenatal massage and/or prenatal yoga classes.

If you are in Chicago, I highly recommend Corrine Peterson. She use to run the prenatal classes at Sweet Pea's Studio (studio RIP, massages still available) and that's where I met her when I was preggers.

First, the yoga -- In Corrine's prenatal yoga, which I started taking maybe in my 3rd month, I learned so much about what my body was going thru it was scary. You'd think that a women's health activist would know, but ya just don't know. Class included not just learning yoga (I've never taken a yoga class without being pregnant...I know, I really should.), but we spent a few minutes in each class listening to Corrine talk about the physical changes as well as sharing some of our thoughts, fears, and questions.

It was part Sweet Pea and part Corrine, but I felt so safe and protected. Considering all the drama that was happening with my life (FT grad student, FT work, FT worrying about my dying mom) it meant so much.

Second, the massage -- The day after my mother died, I called teh studio to schedule a massage. I had been putting it off, but I knew that if there was a time to "pamper" myself, it was now. I didn't get Corrine, but Jenny was awesome. And yes, dear readers it was my first full body massage as well.

Now, my pregnancy itself was pretty darn awesome. I felt better than ever (thanks to my strict gestational diabetes diet) and I looked pretty darn good too. But I was still tired and felt awkward with the strange alien thing inside me. So that massage felt good in so many ways! If I could have, I would have kicked myself for not getting one sooner. If you haven't been pregnant, you have NO idea how sore you body gets. Thank you hormones for masking most of it!

While prenatal yoga and massages get a bad rap because well, they are so out of the reach of most women, they are a luxury that is well worth it. Especially if she's not having a happy-glowing pregnancy. If you're going to spoil your BFF with one thing during her pregnancy, this is it.

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, book, gift, yoga, massage

18 June 2008

What to Buy Wednesday - Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5

One of the first gifts we ever got was this book, Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5. For the first few years of our daughter's life this was our bible. If she sneezed, coughed, or had a slight fever we ran for the book and tried to diagnose our problem.

There's still a business card stuck in the section on spitting up. Oh, did we have issues with spitting up. Let's see, there had to have been at least 3 times we came home to find our daughter had spit up an entire bottle on the babysitter (aka my younger sister or Cinnamon).

It was seriously a life saver and I don't know why pediatricians don't just hand this out like candy because it saved us from calling many a time. OMG, I just realized that she's almost outgrown this book. ACK! And damn...should have given it to my younger sister when she moved a few weeks ago.

Buy at Women and Children First, , or Amazon

Technorati tags: What to Buy Wednesday, motherhood, parenthood, book, gift


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