The “Mom Friend” Challenge & a Baby Shower

Well… I will just come out and say it: I am a failure! I wimped out and cancelled on the meet-up I was planning on going to last week. As you may remember, I am on a quest to make a new mom friend for myself who hopefully has a baby friend for my son. I am not sure when I developed this painful shyness. I think it has something to do with the fear of being judged as a mother or maybe it just has to do with the fact that I had a hard time in high school and I still carry that with me. In either case, I need to buck up and get over it. I read this article about the 5 qualities women need on other mom friends, and I couldn’t get over how timely the article was for me. I am going to start the journey next week! 

This week hasn’t been totally disappointing. I went to my friend’s baby shower and got in some great ‘girl time’! I wish my besties lived closer! After seeing the slew of gifts, it made me think back to one short year ago when I began my registry.

Knowing what I know now, I would have done things much differently. I seems as though every mother I have speak to feels the same way. It’s just so hard when you are walking through a store filled with shiny new baby items and a scanner to record your every wish, to not just start scanning away with wild abandon.

In our scanning frenzy, we suddenly think that 42 bibs are necessary, and that we will actually dress our infant daughters in frilly dresses every. single. day. Oh, and a different kind of wipe for the bottle, pacifier, bottom, face and nose is totally essential.  The exhilaration of the scan is intoxicating. The thrill of opening the package in front of 50 of your closest friends oo’ing and ahh’ing is divine. Setting everything up in the nursery, and having everything ‘just so’ is a feeling that is unmatched. Then, the baby is born and reality hits. You begin to ask yourself why you returned all but two of the sleep sacks and exchanged them for another set of receiving blankets. You stare at the stack of clothing that you have already washed, but your baby has already outgrown.

In an effort to help you avoid the same fate many of us already have, I hit the streets, (the virtual ones) and asked a group of mothers what they would return now if they had the chance. I present you with a list of 10 registry items that are a waste of money.

  1. Receiving blankets – One of the go-to gifts given to every mother-to-be is a pack of receiving blankets. Many of the mothers I spoke to recommended keeping about 2 or 3. Make sure that they are large enough to swaddle you LO, as some are too small. If you are like me, and already washed a pile of them therefore deeming them un-returnable, here is a tip: Use them to cover your changing pad. I use a changing pad cover, but if I had to wash is every time my son had an accident on it I would need a new one already. I use them to protect the cover, and just toss the blanket in the wash when an accident occurs.

 

  1. Lovies – You know those adorable little stuffed animal heads with blanket bodies? Those are not exactly a waste of money, but you will receive quite a few. Again the recommendation was to keep one or 2 and return the rest.

 

  1. Baby towel sets & robes – The consensus among the group was that the towels while soft were too thin to actually dry the baby. I personally bought a big, plush hooded towel meant for a much older child. It’s so warm, cozy and actually dries the baby. In regards to the robes, they just aren’t practical. Cute? Yes. Useful? Absolutely not.

  1. Baby Shoes – Any self-respecting, Carrie Bradshaw loving, woman knows that shoes make the outfit. However, shoes for babies that are not walking are not only unnecessary, but a complete waste of money. Do yourself a favor, and return the baby Uggs and get yourself another sleep sack.

  1. Wipe warmers – The average wipe warmer can cost between $25 and $35 dollars. While a cold wipe might me momentarily unpleasant for a baby, it isn’t worth that much money. Think of all of the diapers you can buy instead.

  1. Snow suits – My baby was born in December and I never used one. I spoke to a mother who also had a baby in December, and lived in Alaska and she never used one either. It could also potentially be dangerous if you put a child in a car seat with a snow suit on. I recently read an article on KWWT.com that quoted Registered Nurse and car seat safety expert Wendy Potter, in the article she stated, “So you don’t want to use a heavy snowsuit in the car. Snowsuits keep the baby nice and warm, but unfortunately they take up a lot of strap.” Would you want to wear a snow suit in a heated car? No? Neither does your baby.

  1. Bumbo Seat – There was an overwhelming response about the Bumbo, and I have mixed feelings about that. I personally used my Bumbo seat quite a bit. However, my son did find it uncomfortable to sit in for any longer than 10 minutes or so. Then, when he grew a little older he started to scoot around, and almost tipped it over. My aunt bought us this seat, and we tossed the Bumbo immediately. Since the seat has a wider base it doesn’t tip as easily. There is also an insert you can remove as your little one grows. One of the main complaints about the Bumbo was that the leg holes were too tight. This isn’t the case with the Mamas & Papas Snug Seat.

 

  1. Newborn Size Clothing – While it may be useful for a few weeks, newborn size clothing does not last all that long. You may go through 3 or 4 outfits in a day due to mess, however, you really don’t need the piles of cute little tutus and mini suits in 0-3 month size. Babies that age tend to wear onsies or pajamas all day. Before you take the tags off and wash, think about the probability that the clothing item will be used. If you love the outfit, return it for the next size up. 

  1. Potentially Toxic Bath Washes and Shampoos – What you wash your child with is a personal choice. Many of the mothers I spoke to preferred to use the organic, paraben/sulfite free washes, but received a ton of the brand that has recently gained some attention in the media for containing toxic chemicals. I personally registered for the brand that I researched and found to be safe. I returned all of the rest, and used the credit for the good stuff. If you are curious about a product that you are using or plan to use on yourself or your child visit http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/# to find out if it is safe. 

  1. Bottle Warmer –  Just soak the bottle in hot water. I wanted a bottle warmer because I thought it would heat our bottles up faster. There is nothing worse than waiting for the bottle to be the warm while your child is screaming at 3:00 AM. Before we went out to buy one we tried one that my friend had loaned us, and the bottle was scorching hot. Another mother in my group also reported having the same experience. So let me amend my previous statement by saying this: There is nothing worse than waiting for a bottle to warm only to discover that you’ve warmed it too much, and now you have to wait for it to cool. While your child is screaming… At 3:00 AM…

Well, if you are a new mother, about to register, I hope you found this list helpful. I compiled this list based on the opinions of regular moms such as myself. Every situation is different, and you are going to eventually find what works best for you. Best of luck, and happy scanning!

 

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A quest to be better & Pumpkin Muffins!

I cannot believe the summer has flown by as quickly as it did. As far as summers go, I think I had a pretty good one. B and I stayed in most days because of the oppressive heat, but I found that a trip to Target or the craft store really helped to cure our cabin fever.It would have been nice to have made some new friends or to have gone in the pool more but it just didn’t happen. Quite frankly, I blame myself for that. I am on a new ‘kick’ though to focus on being a better mother, wife, and blogger. I want to do more than just get through the day, and that is why I started this blog to begin with.  It’s hard being a stay at home mom sometimes. I feel like I am back in high school all over again. Many times I will start talking to a woman, and find that we really have nothing more in common than the fact that we are mothers. As much as I love talking about my son, there surely has to be more to talk about than sleep schedules, solid foods, diaper brand & milestones right? Even if we use that as an opener, the conversation quickly dwindles because I have ‘alternative’ parenting ideals. Here is how a typical conversation will go:

Mom: Oh how old is your LO? Is he on solids yet?

Me: Almost 9 months. Yes. we just started. He actually had quinoa and salmon last night!

Mom: Oh? Salmon? Have you tried rice cereal? I put my LO on it at 4 months.

Me: No. We didn’t. He liked chunks of food right off the bat. I started with Avocado.

Mom: Oh. That’s nice. What brand of diapers do you use?

Me: Cloth actually.

Mom: You are brave! I think that is gross! What do you do with the poop?

Me: spray it off, and wash. So how is your LO sleeping?

Mom: Good. we just started sleeping through the night.

Me: Mine was too, but now he is getting up to eat. Must be a growth spurt.

Mom: I don’t let my child manipulate me like that. Put rice cereal in his bottle before bed.

Me: Huh. I’ll try that (in my head THAT IS SOOOO DANGEROUS and UNHEALTHY!)

anyway it was nice meeting you. Bye.

***UPDATE 8/11/2014 the outlined conversation above made me sound like a pretentious ‘B’. At the time,  I was trying to be someone that I wasn’t, and was basically trying to find myself as a mother. Bishop eats chicken nuggets slathered in ketchup several times a week. In fact he calls them ‘ketchup’ and is currently wearing pampers. We still cloth diaper, but not full time. I apologize for being a judgmental A-hole. That is all.***

I have yet to find someone that I click with, and it’s hard. I either have conversations like the one above, or get edged out by a group of snobby cliquey moms. I think because I have an alternative parenting style I am either seen as ‘weird’ or even ‘holier than thou’ which I am neither. I am middle of the road kind of a gal who does her research, and that is all.

So, I’ve used this excuse all summer that I don’t click with anyone, and basically spent the summer alone. My son LOVES playing with other kids, so I vow here and now to continue my quest to be a better mother by going to a mother’s group tomorrow. In this day and age, there really is no excuse. Facebook and Meetup.com have provided platforms for moms to get together, share information, and arrange playdates. I am going to do this. I will hopefully find someone who wants to talk about Miley Cyrus instead of CIO, someone who will want to come over after the baby is in bed to watch a chic flick and drink wine, someone who will not pretend to be all knowing and perfect, and someone who will have an awesome kid to be friends with my little B. I know she is out there this new friend of mine. I just have to put myself out there to find her.

Oh and she must love pumpkin spice lattes!! I am soo excited that they are back on the menu. I actually LOVE pumpkin season, and decided to make these little beauties the other day. Feld like fall, even in the 86 degree weather.

Pumpkin Muffins

1 12 oz can organic pure pumpkin puree

2 eggs

½ cup coconut oil

¼ cup black strap molasses

3 Tbl raw honey

½ cup  organic palm sugar

½ cup flax seed meal

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup organic quick oats (run through food processor)

1 cup whole wheat flour

3 tsp brewer’s Yeast

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1 tsp. Nutmeg

2 tsp Cardamom

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Baking Powder

¼ tsp salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350.

  2. Line 18 slots in 2 muffin pans (fill the empty slots ¼ of the way with water. This will prevent the tin from bending in the oven).

  3. Add all the wet ingredients together blend on medium for 1 min.

  4. Add the dry to the wet in two batches blending until well mixed.

  5. Fill the cups ¾ of the way.

  6. Bake 15-20 min or until a toothpick comes out clean.Image