Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday spent with friends and family, filled with gifts and giving, and heaps of food and sweets. It's been a while since I posted so I thought I would do a quick photo recap of the last week or so. It was Ryland's first Christmas and it was by far my favorite "adult" Christmas I've had. I LOVE Christmas. It's my favorite time of the year. But I will say that I got so much more joy and fun this year out of trying to make Christmas magical for Ryland than I have since I was a little kid. And I realize she's not even 9 months old. She has no idea what Christmas is and cares more about wrapping paper than the gift inside. She can't eat Christmas cookies or ham (she would try but it may not end well). But everything this year just felt a little more sparkly and beautiful because I was sharing it with her. This was also the first year my husband and I were both at home (and not at work or out of town) on Christmas day, and it was really happy and lovely to hang out in our pajamas by the tree and open presents. This year I also felt more motivated to focus on giving and to spend more of the season with that intention, to do little things for the people I love and for strangers alike.
I spent Christmas Eve at work. And once again my job as a pediatric nurse does a wonderful job of putting things in perspective and making me so greatful for all that I have. So basically all of this is to say I was really appreciative of Christmas this year and really soaked in the season. It was nice, and I hope to be able to do that every year from here on out, and not get caught up in materialistic things too much or worry about everything being perfect.
But that's enough sappy stuff! Here's what Christmas looked like around our house.
We took Ryland to meet Santa and her reaction was as expected. I honestly can't say I blame her, because at this point Santa is really just a strange bearded man, and understandably frightening. The elf outfit was courtesy of my in-laws. The cutest right?
I also made salt dough ornaments with little impressions of her hands and feet. I had never done it before but it was actually super easy. Basically you just make a dough out of salt, flour, and water, make your impressions and then bake at low heat for two hours. I decided to paint them white and then decorate with glitter, because, sparkles :)
I also made a LOT of cookies this year, like enough to make Cookie Monster explode a lot. Don't worry. We don't way 500 pounds yet. I gave most of them away to friends and family and also brought a huge batch in with me to work on Christmas eve. I did sugar cookies, tea cookies, gingersnaps, peanut butter blossoms, and these crazy chocolate ones that were super rich and decadent.
We also spent a lot of time with my family celebrating the season. Ryland was a fan of Dapa and Bebe's (my parents) tree and ornaments.
Christmas morning, as I mentioned earlier, was really lovely and laid back. Since Ryland is a wee babe this year we didn't go too crazy with presents (1. She doesn't care 2. She doesn't know that Santa is a thing 3. I'm super anal and not a fan of clutter, and I know my house will inevitably turn into a toy graveyard but I'm resisting as long as possible.) We did of course get her a few things, and she had "fun" opening her toys :)
For our Christmas breakfast I made monkey bread for the first time (super easy and SUPER rich, we had teeny portions and were full for most of the day). And bacon, because Christmas = stuffing your face.
We spent the rest of the morning lounging and playing with new toys. We did get Ryland a red rider tricycle (it converts so they can start riding around in it as babies), and she was a BIG fan of it.
She especially liked chasing George ;)
After a few more spins we headed out, first to stop at my sister's to bring my niece and newphews their presents and see what Santa brought them, and then we made it to my parents' house in Ashland where my large and wonderful extended family gathered for our annual Christmas dinner. Ryland lasted as long as she could but ended up asleep in my parents room for the second half of the party. Which was okay because it allowed her mom and dad to eat dinner peacefully. We scooped her up around 8 and headed back home.
And that was our lovely Christmas, Ryland's first one which of course made the whole day feel even more special. I am so excited to see Ryland grow up and (hopefully) love this holdiay as much as her mom does. And I also hope we can always show her that it's a day about so much more than what's under the tree :)
So once again, Merry Christmas everyone! Peace and good wishes to you and those you hold dear.
You guys. I think my baby might be in the midst of a rare and feared parenting un-holy grail. We are in a Bermuda triangle of baby dramz. A trio of pain. A triumvirate of horror. We are simultaneously experiencing the three things that can most disrupt a baby's normal routine and turn them instantly and without warning into a GIANT DEMON GREMLIN BABY(that's right I said it).
If you read the title of this post and are a parent who has navigated the first year of a baby's life, it probably drove deep and total fear in your heart. Because there are three things that happen frequently and somewhat predictably during that first year that without fail ruin all of the carefully worked for routines and calm that you have previously established. These three things are why moms look forward to a 5pm glass of wine like it is the sustenance of life. They're why we go through bulk cases of k-cups of coffee from Costco in a matter of weeks. It's why we make endless trips to Target, just for a brief, flourescent lit reprieve from the madness.
As a new mom, every. single. time. you feel like you've gotten your shit more or less together that first year, one of these three things come into your life like an unwelcome house guest who farts on your couch and drinks milk straight from the carton.
There's the Wonder Weeks, which I have discussed previously. The name makes it sound adorable and magical, like a whimsical rainbow of fun. It's not. In case you don't know it's when your baby is about to learn a new skill and for whatever reason this developmental leap makes them more dramatic and histrionic than all of the Real Housewives combined. They last for weeks. They happen over and over again the first year like some kind of cruel joke. There's a "fun" app that lets you see on a little table when this leaps will likely occur the first year, and it basically is a cartoon calendar of when your life is going to suck. This, THIS, is what we're dealing with people.
Then there's teething. You know what I never realized until I became a parent. There are WAY too many teeth in the human mouth. Why do we need so many teeth?! Okay fine, there's that whole chewing and digestion function, not to mention a defense mechanism in a pinch. But really!? Do we really need THAT many teeth. Especially when they're baby teeth and are all going to fall out anyway. Is this some kind of sick joke that the human mouth is born without teeth and that they come in, one by painful one over the course of more than a YEAR? And each one is accompanied by buckets of drool and babies whose poor little gums hurt and have no coping mechanisms and will channel their pain into a desire to destroy their parent's lives.
And finally we have sleep regressions, the cruelest of them all. Here's how The Baby Sleep Site defines sleep regressions: "A sleep regression describes a period of time (anywhere from 1 – 4 weeks) when a baby or toddler who has been sleeping well suddenly starts waking at night, and/or skipping naps (or waking early from naps) for no apparent reason."
Awesome right? But just, really WHY?!? That is literally the only thing I can say about sleep regressions. Especially if you are a parent who has had to work to get their babies to sleep, a regression can feel like someone punching you in the face and then kicking you down a flight of stairs. And like the Wonder Weeks, sleep regressions happen A LOT the first year, but major ones tend to happen at 4 and 8 months.
These three things are just the worst right? The pits. The bottom of the barrel. A sick joke. And somehow, at this moment, I have landed into a heap of all three of them. Ryland is teething something awful. She is also right on the verge of crawling (she tries SO hard, but currently can only get her butt in the air in an excellent downward doge pose) so I think she is going through a pretty big Wonder Week. And, just because there has to be something else, she is 8 months old and I think hitting the sleep regression HARD.
I think for some babies, these three things can happen in varying degrees of difficulty. Mild mannered babies I would imagine may sail through these things with mere blips in their temperament or habits. I love my dear sweet Ryland. But she is NOT a mild mannered baby. There is nothing mild or mannered about her. She is a pistol, full of sass and spit fire and stubborness. She has been since she made her mother push for FIVE hours to enter this world, and even then only did it with the help of FORCEPS.
So for her, each of these events are not blips, but rather massive earthquakes in her little baby life. And right now my friends we are experiencing three simultaneous earthquakes. She's pretty much stopped napping entirely (for several days now). If she does nap it's for like 15 minutes. She's also the last few nights fought bedtime sleep which she hasn't done in MONTHS. Last night she was up from 8-10pm and I finally had to give her a bottle and tylenol before she settled down. Her daytime mood is hit or miss, but definitely more volatile than it was a few weeks ago. I drove home from my parents house the other night and she cried hysterically for the ENTIRE 25 minute drive.
Baby life is rough right now my friends. Ryland pretty much lives in a glass case of emotion. My only consolation is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This evil trio of awfulness will come to a stop (granted it will start back up again many more times in the next few months, but if I think too much about that I may run away to Fiji). There will be a reprieve (I hope?) And until there is, here's how we are coping.
-Coffee. ALL the coffee. And then when all the coffee has been drunken (drank? as an English major I should know), I find more.
-Wine. You know those jumbo bottles of Pinot Grigio. I think this is why they were invented.
-Trips to Target. Apologies to my husband for next month's Target bill.
-Tylenol. I do not advocate over medicating infants, but I am an RN and my reaction to problems/pain is to find solutions. When it's pretty obvious my daughter is hurting because a little tooth is working its way in, I am going straight for the good stuff. Tylenol works beautifully. It's a wonderful medication (if you use it as directed, do not give more than the max dosage in 24 hours or you can have serious liver consequences!).
-Cold stuff to gnaw on. Because duh.
-Extra snuggles and love.
-Letting her destroy my magazines.
-A promise to not guilt trip her (too) much over these times when I am feeble and old and want to come live with her instead of go to an old folk's home.
So with a little coping, we'll get through it. The baby will have new teeth and new skills to show for all of this. Her mother will have more wrinkles and a possibly an unhealthy dependence on caffeine and Pinot. But that's parenting right?
Have any of you guys ever experienced a triple whammy of baby drama? Any tips/advice/coping mechanisms I haven't mentioned? Favorite wines ;)? Would love to hear!
So here's the thing. This 8 month age is pretty great a large percentage of the time. The baby is all cute and interactive now (well she was always cute in my biased opinion, but early on like all babies she was a little more smooshed and wrinkly). She SLEEPS THROUGH THE NIGHT (I don't think I will ever stop being excited about that). She doesn't crawl yet so I can still leave her for a few minutes to go to the bathroom or brush my teeth (she can spin herself in a circle and push her way backwards across a room, but these are all fairly slow forms of travel). She smiles and giggles a lot. I know this is a good age. And strangers routinely tell me this when we're out in public, how fun things are now. "Enjoy it while it lasts!" they say, with a slightly menacing smile. "Just wait until she's a toddler." And then they cackle maniacally while I run away (or maybe not, but I always excect it).
But, and I feel like the angry parenting gods will smite me for saying this, even though, yes this is a FUN age, and I do enjoy it, and think Ryland is the best thing in the world, even better than peanut butter, it's still not exactly a cake walk every second of every day. Our nights, like I've mentioned and done numerous happy dances over, are awesome. Baby is almost always asleep by 6:30 and sleeps through except for occasional little cries that usually don't last more than a minute (I'm thinking nightmares, and I am deeply curious what baby nightmares consist of, empty bottles? loud noises? continuously having shirts pulled over her head? a world with no boobs?). But baby has also decided she no longer cares for chunky naps. She is back to micro naps or cat naps, or as I like to call them, demonic naps from hell, usually about 25 -30 minutes. And because she is taking these cat naps her dispostion is not at its peak of sunniness. By the time it gets to oh, 3pm, it is usually an uphill battle to keep her from a total nuclear meltdown before bed.
These days right now, with their lack of real naps, are long. And when my husband is working they feel even longer because his time at home does not overlap at all with any of the baby's awake time, so it's all mom duty, all the time. I typically try to get out and see people and do things, but on days where we don't see anyone and I don't interact with another adult human, it can feel like time slows to a crawl. And I feel like a jerk saying this, because I love my daughter more than anything. I LOVE spending time with her. I hate to be away from her. And yet, like most things with parenting, I've learned it's possible to be absolutely in love with your baby and not want to be away from her, and also go slightly insane on days when your baby is the only human you interact with and start having too long conversations with "Alexa", your robot overlord (or Amazon's hands-free voice activated speaker that I mostly use right now to play Christmas songs and tell me jokes). I thought the best way to illustrate how long these days can seem is to show you what one looks like. So here goes, the good, bad, and the ugly:
5:30-6:30: Somewhere in here the baby wakes up, typically with a brief cry followed by a stretch of silence followed by cackling noises. R is either already gone or just about out the door at this point. I usually lay in bed for a few minutes to see if she will fall back asleep, until I hear the telltale thud of her kicking her crib with gusto. After a moment of "ugh, I wish I could sleep more", I actually jump out of bed and still get excited to see Ryland because I've missed her over the last 12 hours. I walk in her room, and from her crib she shoots me the biggest grin you've ever seen while thrashing her lovey around in the air. We go straight to a diaper change followed by a bottle (and mommy's first cup of offee). I give her the bottle in the family room while we watch the Today show or local news while the sun comes up.
6:45: Almost send out several texts before realize that it's 6:45am and not the most appropriate time to send texts, particularly if it's a weekend. This used to happen all the time when I worked nightshifts when I was so used to being up at 2am that I would almost send a text or email and then have to stop myself and realize that normal people (outside of college students) are not awake at 2am.
7: Bottle is finished. Playtime. I put the baby on the rug and surround her with her toys. Depending on her mood, she will either spend an hour entertaning herself or 5 minutes. On the days where it is 5 minutes, I'll put her in the jumparoo, buy another 5 minutes or so, take her to lay on her nursery rug, another 5 minutes, and on and on little increments. Usually though, even in the midst of the current Nap Strike, the morning is her happiest time. I watch the Today show while she plays. I used to always think it was kind of strange/worrisome the way my friends with kids talked about the Today show anchors, with fervent passion, like they were their pals. And now I TOTALLY get it. When you're a parent and spend almost every morning at home with your baby, the Today show anchors become your second family. Matt, Savannah, Al, Tamron, Dylan, heck even Carson can feel like the only fellow adults around me. It is absoultely a little deranged, but you do start to get attached to them in a borderline unealthy manner.
8-9ish: Time for baby's first nap. I put her down awake and she falls right to sleep (this part is always easy, thank goodness). And then I have to make a choice with this precious baby free time, productive or non-productive. Usually all I want to do is watch whatever TV I DVR'd the night before, but since nap time is so short these days, I usually decide to instead take a shower or unload the dishwasher or write or do laundry, etc. I always have a list of about 5-10 things I need to do, and these days typically get through 1, a shower.
9:30: Coos and cackles come from the nursery. She seemed exhausted just 30 minutes earlier and fell asleep so quickly. Surely today would be the day we were back to longer naps. But no. I finish whatever I was doing (usually putting contacts in) and get the baby. Another diaper change.
9:35: Breakfast! A jar of some kind of puree, usually a fruit. We're also starting to try some puffs. Typically she just smashes her hand into these and gets maybe 1 out of every 20 actually into her mouth, but it's progress!
9:40: Breakfast is finished. Crap, now what to do? If it's not too cold outside we might take a walk. This is also usually the time I go to the grocery store as long as it's not a weekend. Or we have more playtime which is usually the baby rolling around on the floor like a little caterpillar. I Pinterest activities for an 8 month old, see the elaborate Montessori level "games" depicted that look to involve about an hour worth of prep time for a 5 minute reward (seriously who cooks up an entire package of spaghetti noodles just to let their baby sit on them?), and instead hand the baby an orange to chew on. That's educational right?
10:15: Have run out of activities. Walk the baby around the house and show her things or take her outside in the yard to throw George a ball. We are both a little bored.
10:30: Bottle time!
10:45: More play time. Rotate from the jumparoo to her toys to letting her roll around and wedge herself under furniture.
11:30: Since she only napped 30 minutes last time, she's already tired and rubbing her eyes. Nap #2! This one will be a winner right!?
11:45: Frantically run around the house trying to get things done or fix myself lunch and eat while raptly watching last night's Real Housewives of Atlanta. I mean can you believe this Sheree/Kenya feud? And Kandi's baby daddy drama!
11:55: That couldn't possibly be her making noise from the nursery right? I mean she JUST went down. That must be the neighbor's cat. I don't think our neighbor has a cat, but I'm still blaming the noise on it. Wait a few. Nope, that's definitely not an imaginary cat. She is cooing and crowing and kicking the crib rails, wide awake.
12:00: Diaper change. Also finally time to get her out of her pajamas (on days we don't go anywhere I always wonder at the point of changing her into real clothes, but I guess even babies should have standards). Let her play with a diaper (clean of course!) or her tube of butt paste on the changing table for a few minutes.
12:10: Put the baby in the highchair for "lunch", either some more puffs or a few more spoonfulls of puree. Hand her a banana which keeps her entertained for a solid 5 minutes.
12:15: Playtime! Dump her entire basket of toys out on the floor in front of her. Will at least get a solid 20 minutes out of that.
2:00: We've managed to keep ourselves entertained for a solid chunk with a mix of toys, random household objects, and location changes (it's amazing how simply moving the baby to the rug in the nursery will create entertainment out of nothing). Once again the baby is acting super sleepy since once again her last nap was almost non-existent. Put her back in the crib.
2:05: Pay some bills. Send some emails. Maybe move the load of laundry to the dryer that has been sitting in the washing machine for the last several hours.
2:30: You've got to be kidding me!! Baby is awake. Only this time, unlike the last two naps she's woken up already cranky. But at least it's bottle time!
2:45: Bottle finished. Baby furious after the last sip and after I won't let her destroy/eat the paper towel I use to clean her chin. Look at the clock. More than three hours until bedtime. Even worse, it's more than TWO HOURS until it's appropriate to have a glass of wine.
3:00: On our way to Target. Not that I need anything at Target. In fact I just went there yesterday. Posisbly the day before. But because I HAVE to get out of this house or I will start discussing politics with Alexa (again, robot overlord from Amazon) and things might get heated. It's too cold/rainy to go for a walk. I don't need anything from the grocery store. I'm good on things I could get at the mall. But Target is a magical place, because you can go there and kill an hour even if you absolutely need nothing at all. You can grab some coffee at Starbucks and then just peruse the aisles in a leisurely fashion and no one will think you're weird. In fact, on any given weekday every Target in America is full of mothers with their children. And I used to think they were just shopping, but now I know the secret truth! None of us moms in there NEED anything. We just had to get out of our houses and see other adults or we would lose our ever loving minds! I typically leave with some baby item and maybe a candle or magazine. And of course wine if I don't have any at home.
4:15: Back home, and this is when things get dicey. By now the baby is really tired because she hasn't slept enough during the day. It's way too early for bedtime, too soon for another bottle. She's not in a jumparoo mood. And it is STILL not time for wine. We are out of options folks. And so begins our frantic keep the baby from losing her shit dance that we will perform for the next 2 hours. It's sort of like the movie Speed where Sandra Bullock has to keep that bus above 50mph or a bomb will go off. Only in this scenario I'm Sandra Bullock, the baby is the bus (or perhaps the bomb?). Anyway my point is unless I keep things moving we're all going to explode. We might try another walk. There's always the trusty let the baby destroy a magazine trick (only this inevitably leads to issues when she gets tired of ripping the pages and instead wants to eat them).
5:00: I've made it!!! No it's not bed time, but it is the next best thing. It's WINE TIME. It's also dinner for the baby which keeps her happy for at least 10 minutes. Usually a veggie purree. (Or kale mixed with apples, because that still counts as a veggie right?). I ask Alexa to play us a tune in the kitchen. When I ask her to pour me a glass of wine, I get only silence in return (one day our robot masters will have this ability). After the baby is finished, I let her play with an orange again or tupperware or wooden serving spoons. Everything is violently tossed on the floor (babies are super violent right? thank goodness they are tiny and lack fine motor coordination or we'd all be screwed!).
5:15: Attempt some more play time. Sometimes we'll get a few minutes, but usually things devolve fairly quickly.
5:30: Bath time. Ahh. This is when I know I've made it. Combined with the calming effects of the wine, bath time is soothing for both of us. Ryland loves her baths. Mama loves that Ryland is happy and content to sit in the bath for a while. We all take a deep breath. Only problem is that Ryland has learned how to splash with her feet and so whatever I am wearing (as well as our kitchen floor) will be drenched in a matter of minutes. It's kind of like sitting in the splash zone at Sea World and the baby is a tiny shamu.
5:45: Pajamas! More changing table playtime with an empty tube of butt paste (endlessly fascinating to an 8 month old). Also now we're all relaxed and happy from our bath that we might even have some more happy solo play time.
6:00: Bottle time! And, this is a fairly new development, after she finishes her bottle most days she'll snuggle! It's the best. I sound like a total weirdo, because I usually say something along the lines of "mama needs her snuggles!" right before she rests her head on my shoulder, but I don't care. Mama really does need her snuggles.
6:15: Stories and bedtime routine. Also the best.
6:30: We have made it to bedtime people! The bus did not explode. We are all okay, and we even did it without Keanua Reeves.
6:45: Ravenously down my dinner and lay back in the chair with my full concentration now on Vanderpump Rules (because everyone knows that Vanderpump Rules is a show that requires your full and total attention, it is basically Game of Thrones set in LA)
Okay so there you go. Now granted this is one of our "long" days, when the baby is cranky/going through a Wonder Week and doesn't nap. We've been in the thick of days like this for a couple of weeks now, so it's hard to remember our "easy" days, but they do exist and will hopefully return soon. And even in this cranky phase, I wouldn't trade days like this for my pre-Ryland days, not even for a second. The times she smiles and giggles and rests her little head on my shoudler, the moments she looks around at the world in wonder, all of those things outweigh the fussing and the short naps by about a million to one.
And of course, the wine helps too ;) Also they make babies cute for a reason.
Karen Mabon silk pajamas
Lululemon sweater pullover
$53 - jcrew.com
New Balance suede shoes
$105 - jcrew.com
Toms Slip On Slipper Red And Black Plaid
$38 - very.co.uk
Sur La Table kitchen gadgets tool
Magnolia home decor
The Magnolia Story
So I have to start my post by sharing that today was grocery day, and I was really, really dreading it. It's pouring rain and in the 40s outside, and I could not motivate myself to get out the door, not to mention get the baby dressed, wrestled into a coat and hat, and out the door, but knew I needed to because we have nothing for dinner, and our only delivery option is Goochland pizza (and I'm trying to eat somewhat healthy between holidays).
And then, I was staring at the refrigerator for the 10th time, and bam, it hit me: BUDDHA BOWL. If you don't know what a buddha bowl it, it's basically a mess of veggies (any you have on hand) cooked up and served over rice and quinoa. And in my fridge I had broccoli, kale, and zucchni, plus sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and rice in the pantry. I felt pure jubilation when I realized I could take off my jeans and real bra put back on my yoga pants and sports bra.
This has absolutely nothing to do with my post today, but I really did have to share, because that moment you realize you don't have to put on real pants for an entire day is really worth a million bucks. Today's post is actually another gift guide. Last time I did a deep dive into the psyche of a new mother (totally stalker level obsessed with her child). Today's list is a little more well rounded and could apply to any woman you know, mom, non mom, mom to be, etc, etc.
I feel like for Christmas you want things that make you feel cozy and happy, and everything on this list does. There are fleece lined leggings (which I'm dying to try), cute and joyful New Balance sneakers, fancy pajamas, cozy Tom's slippers, and a Lululemon top that you can really live in. There's also a few little extras like baking mats (also really am dying to try these), a cute water bottle, and a subscription to the Magnolia home journal, for those ladies like me who are a little unhealthily obsessed with Joanna Gaines.
Nothing on here is revolutionary or too surprising, but I'm pretty a lot of women out there would be happy to open any of these items come Christmas day :)
Happy Monday everyone! So back in my freelance writing days, one of my favorite pieces to put together was a Christmas gift guide. I used to do it every year. I'm not freelancing at the moment, but I still thought it would be fun to throw together some good old gift guides. I thought I would start (selfishly) with one that was right up my alley, pefect gifts for any new mamas (or old mamas) you know. As I've quickly learned, mothers are crazy creepy stalkers when it comes to their own children, so the theme of these gifts=crazy obsession with your own baby. Let's all just embrace the creepiness right now because I imagine when your kid is in their teens it's no longer cute, but really just flat out weird to have an acne ridden teenage face plastered on your cellphone case.
So in no particular order, here are the new mama themed gifts I'm loving right now (ahem, husband/santa if you're listening, any of these would be welcome under the tree this year ;)
1. These custom silouhettes on Etsy are just the sweetest right? My grandmother has these for each of her six children, and I always thought they were so lovely and charming. These would probably work better for slightly older kids, because, let's face it, babies don't have much of a silhouette (it's all kind of one shape, especially in prime pudge months). I think these would be one of those items you keep and treasure for always.
2. Stackable name rings. Also on Etsy! Love, love, LOVE these. Just such a sweet way to keep your baby close even when you're not with them. These would be especially great for any working mama who has to be away from their babies for long chunks of time.
3. Rose gold name necklace. Another sweet little way to keep your baby close even when you're far away. I'm on a super big rose gold kick right now (just ordered a new iPhone in rose gold and cannot WAIT to get it in the mail), and this is the perfect way to add a little pink into the jewelry mix. Love these with just the initials or the full name.
4. Minted heart photo collage. Nowadays when all of our photos are online, it's really nice to have pictures that you can actually hang on a wall. I know I can never decide what pictures to print and frame, and this sweet collage is ideal for people who like me can't decide, because you can pick a whole slew of prints. I think this would be a great way to display family pictures from a photo session or to illustrate an entire year in a baby's life.
5. Photo phone case. So this is bordering on over the top, but I still think these personalized phone cases are really cute. Modern technology really allows parents to just dive right into stage 5 level clinger territory. Not only can your baby be your home and lock screen, but their cute face can also be plastered all over the case!
6. Mama bear mug. My goodness but do I love a mug. Might have something to do with my crippling caffeine addiction. And this mug is just so darn sweet right? Love, love, LOVE. Etsy really is a magical land.
7. Some kind of subscription box. So new mamas don't always get out of the house like they used to. Especially with wee babies, it can be a monumental task to go to the store, let alone a mall. So a subscription to a fun delivery service like Fab Fit Fun or Birchbox or Stitch Fix can be a huge treat.
8. A gift subcription to Recently. New moms take a LOT of pictures on their phones. Like ridiculous paparazzi amounts of pictures of their baby. We have used Recently since Ryland was born and I love it. Basically every month you upload all of the pictures of your baby that you took (or choose 50 out of however many there are) and then they send them to you package in a sweet little photo book. It's a great way to get your baby pictures off your phone and have them somewhere physical that you can hold and show to people.
9. Gift cards for massages/pedicures. This is super cliched, but I cannot over state how welcome a massage or a pedicure is for anyone who has recently birthed a child. Especially if you offer to babysit while mom goes to get this done. Then you automatically win best Christmas gift EVER.
10. I'll love you forever locket from Etsy. The book this quote is from is really, truly sad, but also beauitful. I've always thought so. And then I became a mom and it got even sadder and even more beautiful. Even looking at this locket makes me want to cry a little, but in a good way if that makes sense?
And that's it folks. Ten gifts that I think any new mama you know will love. Coming up I plan to do guides for new dads and for babies so stay tuned!
I'm a thirty-something mom of two, wife, pediatric RN, and writer with a passion for the all the big and little things in life.