Friday Favorites: {Guest Post by Julie}

Friday, March 1, 2013

Julie is a wife, new mom, and domestic engineer that loves trivia, meaningful books, and beautiful things. In a previous life, she was a research librarian. She blogs at Meddyphor.

I have spent the last year being either pregnant or a new mom. It’s been a challenging and beautiful experience. I’ve slowed down and adjusted expectations. I take payment in smiles, giggles, soft baby skin against mine, and watching him learn and grow.

Jeremy is our first child and so I spent quite a bit of time reading and researching. In the end I found, as I think most people do, that pregnancy and motherhood is often an individual experience and you do what works for you and your baby. Here are some favorite things that worked for me, both during pregnancy and in the last few months since Jeremy was born.

Pregnancy Favorites
What to Expect While You’re Expecting - book, website, and iPhone app: These were invaluable tools for me. Each week I read about what would be happening to my body, what new things were developing for the baby, and find answers to questions between visits to the doctor.

Journaling: I tend to be an open book with people I feel comfortable with. Before we told people we were pregnant, I had a hard time not sharing what was going on, especially as I dealt with morning sickness. So I created a Google document and started writing notes to my son. I called it “Notes to a New Friend.” I continued it throughout the pregnancy. It contains more information than my son will probably want to know, but it was useful, especially in those first weeks to have an outlet. Currently, I’m working on turning the entries into a book and adding a few pictures using Blurb.

Walks with Tammy: Most Saturdays, my friend Tammy and I would take walks along the Potomac River or Holmes Run and talk about everything. We were both having our first babies, both having boys, both going to the same doctor, and both due the same week. As we got bigger and the summer got hotter, walks sometimes happened in the pool. The walks got shorter and shorter until they stopped as we got too uncomfortable, but we continued to get together as much as possible. 

Clothing: The first thing that I grew out of were pants. Luckily it was late spring/early summer, so I was able to get away with wearing stretchy skirts and flowy dresses I already owned. By the end of summer, I needed bigger shirts too. It was hard to find maternity clothes I liked that weren’t too expensive. I found Old Navy to be the best value (they’re always having sales) as well as a great little consignment shop in the Del Ray section of Alexandria, VA called Bellies & Babies. They have maternity clothes, infant and children’s clothes, and baby gear.

New Baby Favorites
Aden and Anais: A friend of mine gifted me a set of muslin swaddles. I have absolutely loved them. They’re lightweight, but work nicely for all those complicated tucks needed to get baby swaddled snuggly. I also picked up a pair of burpy bibs. These are the best burp cloths I have. They’re large and soft and they convert into a bib later on. (Target and Amazon are the best places to purchase these items.)

Pandora: They have a great station called Children’s Indie Radio. They play a great mix of oldies, pop music, and children’s music. My new favorite children’s song is the Barenaked Ladies Crazy ABCs.

Ergo Baby Carrier: I haven’t used it yet - Jeremy isn’t quite big enough - but I’m ready to use it as soon as he is. You can carry baby in front, on your hip, or on your back, up to 45 pounds. My husband pointed out that our 7 ½ year old nephew weighs about that much, but we agree we wouldn’t want to carry him around.

Bath cloth: A friend gave me this ingenious bath cloth. You wet it with warm water and lay it over baby while he’s being bathed to keep him warm. Jeremy is happier and it protects mommy from any accidents.

Information: The Mayo Clinic (both website 
and book) has been great for general new baby health and development information and KellyMom has been excellent for breastfeeding information.

Napping with Baby: Sometimes during the day Jeremy and I fall asleep on the couch together. He snuggles up on my chest, I wrap my arms around him, and pull a blanket around us. Occasionally, I feel like I should be “doing” something, but I recognize that this is the only time he will be this little and the only time that I will have only one child. So I put off the somethings and hold him a little tighter and sleep a little longer.


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