S: Precious Moments. Advice. Must Haves. Friendships. Support. Shelley's baby shower 2010
BC: Made with love, friendship and endless free passes to call me when you want advice, have a question or just need someone to vent to! xxoo, Sarah Surritt
FC: To Mama-to-be Shelley With love, Sarah
1: Dear Shelley, What an exciting time! I am so thrilled for you and David. Before you know it baby Brayden will be here with us! Here’s something I put together for you to reference when you just need a moment to yourself to figure things out! I interviewed close to 40 moms (even a couple not-yet moms!) and asked them for their must haves, advice on parenting, favorite quotes or any other advice that stuck in their minds and made an impact on who they are today and what they do with their own little ones when the goin' gets tough. It was all pretty thrilling for me to be a part of. I have collected these thoughts and put them down in this keepsake book for you to thumb through when you wish. Each page you come across includes a familiar face along with the mom, family member or friend who shared it. I hope you will enjoy this as a dear friend made a similar gift for me. and it still holds a special place in my heart! One day,... or several!... you may find yourself breaking out in a deep sweat (these are the days you need the wine handy!)due to ultimate embarrassment because of your child’s behavior in public, or you may be on the phone crying to your friends (call me any time!), your mom or your pediatrician because your baby won’t sleep, eat or has a fever; you may also become overrun with pride, admiration and a new inexplicable love for someone you never thought possible. When these days happen take a deep breath, close your eyes and take a picture and know that everything will be Just when you think it can’t get better, it does! Memories will last a lifetime. So many moms told me ”it goes so fast, they grow so fast”..it’s true, so enjoy each and every moment. I wish you and Dave all the luck on your new adventure with Brayden. I hope you enjoy motherhood every bit as I have. . It's the hardest, yet most rewarding job I've ever had and every day I am thankful for the experience. I know you are going to be great too! I hope this gift brings you a few laughs, some tears and most of all empathy for all moms in the world around us. It did for me. Welcome to the club! With love and endless friendship, Sarah Surritt October 2010
2: Must Haves!!! Baby Bjorn that's what got us through her fussy evenings-life saveR! Papasan a Cozy place for them to sleep Alison Donaldson Mother of Haley, 2 yrs | Tucks Pads For some of us, the pushing had some longer term reminders. Have in case you’re a bit extra sore down there when you get home from the hospital. Amy Abola, Mother of 2 | Aspirator and Saline Drops AKA: The booger sucker works wonders!!!! All Moms
3: "Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs... since the payment is pure love." - Mildred B. Vermont | Advice Since I'm not a mother, I'm going to have to defer to Dr. Laura on this one. Be sure that you can always say "I am my kid's mom" and "I am my husband's girlfriend." | As a wine wife- be sure to have your wine on hand! -bonnie
5: Must Haves Podee (hands-free!) Bottle! Wet Wipes Warmer Advice: Don't CHANGE your lives for your baby rather ADJUST your lives to INCLUDE your baby :) & Always have your camera close by... Kari Toni, Francesca 16 mo Advice "Aways remember....when children are young, the days are long but the years are short..." Stacey Little, mother of 2
6: Advice Try not to eat the leftover chicken nuggets, mac n cheese and grilled cheese your kiddos leave on their plate as you will eat extra calories without realizing it every time you feed your kids the bland, beige foods they love and you swore you wouldn't serve them regularly. Which reminds me, "I was an amazing mother before I had a child" is my mantra. Give yourself a break and don't try to do everything as a mom. Loving your kiddos and caring for them does not mean you have to make your own baby food ( I learned this the hard way). The grocery store has amazing healthy and organic options already in jars- you have enough to do already; give yourself a break because the time you save is worth the sanity. - Maria Advice “Set a good example.” Penny Coleman, mother of 3, grandmother of 7 A piece of advice given to me that rings in my head daily that I'll pass on to you..... "You've always been excellent at your job and excelled at all tasks. well being a mommy is your new job. embrace it with the same focus and enthusiasm." -Tanya Hauer | Must Have Aspirator and Saline Drops AKA: The booger sucker- works wonders!!!! All Moms Must Have Dr. Brown’s Bottles I had registered for all Avent bottles, but my baby couldn’t latch on to Avent at all. The nipples were too big for her newborn mouth. I had to toss the Avents and buy all Dr. Brown’s bottles. They were the best. Lisa Tucker, mother of 2 (plus many other moms that love Dr. Browns Must Have Umbrella Stroller I love the umbrella stroller, it's soooo easy - especially for shopping, gets around all the tight spots and liam is big enough that he likes to push it too. Megan Eriksen, mother of 2 | Advice Don’t do anything at home that you can’t do or bring “out and about”. Ie: Diaper wipe warmer heating up bottles of formula. And always have lollipops in your car. Libby Perry, mother of 3 Must Have Vaseline Some doctors require you to take the baby’s temp through the rectal area. If so, you want plenty of Vaseline. All Moms Must Have Snacks! Once you hit the toddler years be sure you pre=pack a mini cooler of on-the-go snacks!! You will be so thankful you did. In the car, in the stroller, at the the park. WHEREVER you are....you will hear the statement: "mom.....I'm hungry, I want a snack!"
7: Try to plan a date night with Dave at least once a month if not once a week. It is so necessary to dress up, shave your legs, feel sexy and connect with your husband. The best gift you can give your child is to show them how much mommy and daddy love one another. This will give them confidence and security for their lifetime. -Maria | Always pack an extra outfit for the baby and yourself. There will be juicy, wet blowout diapers when you are all dressed up with your little one in their finest...it never fails. Don't forget to have a change of clothes for you both. I also learned this the hard way. Mustard colored poo is not hot to sport at a dinner party all over your outfit especially when you've actually showered, put makeup on and done your hair for the first time in months. ;) You will have to go home and mama doesn't want that when daddy's on duty and mama has cocktails. | Must Have: SPANX are my friend and I am proud to sport them to hold in my mummy tummy since I have my two lovely kiddos to show for my bruised and battered bod from childbirth. Don't be afraid to consider buying a SPANX swimsuit/tankini, I do everyday! -Maria, Mother of Tanner 4 & Skylar 16mo
8: Advice Always try and stick to an early bed time for the kids! This way you and Dave have some quality quiet time in the evening reserved just for you! All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his. -Nicole Lane, Mother of 1
9: Shelley, I am so excited to see you become a mom! You and Dave are in for the ride of your life! The best advice someone gave me was to think about a habit you are starting and ask yourself if it is something you want to keep doing EVERYDAY. Example....If you start the habit of laying in bed with your son every night until he falls asleep, you will get stuck doing this all the time. Habits are hard to break, so if you start something, make sure that it is good for you and your child. Also, find a good sitter and go on date nights often with your husband! Paige and Sydney wanted to give you advice too.... Paige says "Don't make Brayden eat spinach" Sydney says "Teach him how to wash dishes" -April Amoroso, Paige 6 and Sydney 4 Must Have Never leave home without a big pack of baby wipes! The serve MANY purposes...wiping butts, washing hands, cleaning stains...the list goes on! -Nicole Lane, Leighton 6
10: Advice work as a team with David-especially before you get out numbered (like I am now), multi-tasking is a must- you have to give up some things and pick and choose your battles in order to remain sane, enjoy all the little moments-they go by fast, trust your gut-it's probably right 90% of the time, play with your kids and be creative-they enjoy even the simplest things like rainbow sprinkles, shake-milks, pancakes for breakfast, a new box of crayons and a blank piece of paper... Jacqui Campuzano, Ryan 7, Caden 5, Keegan 2 | Motherhood While some think of this as the marriage vow of love, it certainly has true affinity to loving the children who will test us, question us and some days, wonder where we came from, but despite that, we are the mothers who bear them, and we have the honor of raising them and showing them the way, and loving them unconditionally. Therefore, this holds the test of time with spouse or children, to always keep them in that most sacred place. Love is patient,love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. Sara McNamara, mother of 1
11: Advice Keep a Journal, Get their hands and feet imprinted, Get dressed first thing in the morning or you'll never get another chance all day! Drink lots of iced tea and beer--its good for breast milk and you too! Christina McTigue, Haley 5 & Joseph 2!
13: "This to shall pass." Everything you will go through is short term, sleeping though the night, teething, showing their independence, crying tantrums, potty training. The list goes on and on but remember to cherish these moments as well because they go by way to fast. Item: Make sure that he has something that can soothe himself with and it's not your boob Jenny Slusser, Cole 6, Abby 3!
14: Advice: Give your child a strong foundation in the Lord. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
15: Advice: Something bad happens, always try to compare the incident to something much worse so that it really doesn't seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Expect the unexpected, drink wine, watch lifetime, and always be thankful for the little gift sent from above. -Kellie Barry, Mama #2 to Cheez
16: My aunt once said “My 7th child was the child I would never have allowed my first to hang out with” – I think it is a good lesson to just relax and not fret over every detail of their lives. -Allison Bell, Leighton 6 | Guidance One of the most important things is to love whoever they are and whatever they choose while guiding them the best you can along the way. Lots of patience helps too!! Anne Geiger, mother of 3, grandmother of 5 | Must Have “wine” Andrea Coleman, mother of 3 | Q-Tips These are great for getting boogers out of the little noses.. I know, gross but a Kleenex and your big finger just don’t work that well! All Moms
17: Must Have! A SERVICE I cannot live without is Diapers.com – you can order all your baby needs but primarily diapers and wipes online with free shipping and they arrive within two days. My Costco cart now can have food instead of being loaded with diapers! Most baby gear I can live without – I think the less the better! Advice Just have fun. Get out and enjoy life with your little guy. Go out to dinner and the movies when they are just a “baby in bucket” (car seat) and enjoy. They sleep a lot those first months! Also, double wrap your crib mattress with a mattress pad and sheet twice so when you have to change it in the middle of the night you can peel off the top two layers and then have a fresh set of sheets already on it – cribs are a pain to change so it gives you an extra round of use! | Advice Nap when the baby naps. Don't do chores during that time. Just let the house chores go until the baby sleeps longer periods of time. The new mom will be much happier with a little sleep even with a messier house. Sheryl Nelson, mother of 3
18: Advice: Don't ask mom for advice because you do what you want anyway. But I will still be there for you. Always have your stroller so you can walk them to sleep and a bottle of wine to help you relax. Shelley: Love your babies. You will have your ups and downs but it will always turn out for the best. -Mom, mother of 2 and Grandmother to 2 +1 soon!
19: Keep your friends' and or family or anyone who has just had kids recently on speed dial because you will call them every second of the day. - Jill Jones, mom of 2 | "The story of a mother's life: Trapped between a scream and a hug."- Lety Miller | “Parenting is the most humbling job there is, but also the most rewarding!” Cherie Foreman, mother of 1 and 1 on the way | Kleenex Tissue - cause we all had our moments of "joyful-torturous emotion"
20: Daddy David at 3 months and 1 year of age..... | A mother's heart is the child's classroom
21: Advice A baby is a gift from God to nurture, love and raise and then let go- Phyllis Eschleman, mother of 3
22: Advice Enjoy them soft, little and cuddly and most of all engrave their little angle face in your head. You will need it when they talk back. Kids are smarter than you think. Don't say something you don't want repeated later (send them out of the room first) -Lety Miller | Sign Language The book Babysigns. Both kids signed a ton and talk a lot- Emmy is up to 20 signs and 20 words. Crazy. Amanda Stroberg, mother of 3
23: Remember we teach them to understand "NO". Don't get mad when they say no to you. They are only letting you know they understand. Lety Miller, Eric 11 & Lilly 9mo | Extra Outfit Always keep an extra outfit and diaper with wipes for the baby in the car and at least a pair of pants in the diaper bag. I've had Liam prance around in his diaper with only a shirt on too many times you'd think I'd learned my lesson. I usually put an outfit that's not my favorite so it wasn't too missed. Amber Wilson, Liam 3 & Sophia 10 wks
24: Must Have Cheerios Never leave home without a snack! It helps with everything especially a distraction to a possible nulclear meltdown! ( I said I would never let my daughter eat in the store.little did I know!) Steph Rossler, mother of 1 Toy On your long walks or trips out to conquer your errands, make sure you have a little something to keep the little one entertained. All moms | Must Have Coloring book and Crayons Don’t assume your child can entertain themselves and don’t assume that the Dr.’s office or restaurant will provide things for your little one to play with. Super Nanny Lansinoh If you want Dave to enjoy your boobs again some dayyou will put this on religiously! Anonymous | Advice Sleep when the baby sleeps. The dishes and laundry will be there when you wake up! Routine, routine, routine. Nighttime routines are a MUST! It took 9 months to put the weight on... you have to give yourself at LEAST 9 months to get it off! -susie Metzger, June 5, TJ 3
25: Must Haves Socks Shout Extra Wipes Extra Diapers Spare outfit Baby Orajel | Advice The three most important things for a new mother to know: First, for a really sore episiotomy: rip up an old towel into squares, soak them in a salt/water mix, squeeze out the excess water and pat onto the episiotomy after using the toilet. Second, do not continue to nurse when the baby has a bad latch - this will lead to a huge cracked nipple and more pain for you - instead unlatch and keep trying! And finally, you must give your husband oral sex every day. Love, Uncle Tom | Must Have Duck thermometer Use this all the time so you don’t have your toddler look and say to you ”you burnt the baby!” - Katherine,Babysitter | Must Have: Motrin Just a quick tip that you can alternate Tylenol and Motrin every 2 hours when baby has a fever or is sick. Also, Motrin is much stronger than Tylenol. -All Moms
26: Must Have Books Books Books It's never too early to start reading to your child! They are never too young to listen. I think we started at about 6 months old. James and Charlie LOVE books. Their first favorites became: Goodnight Moon, Brown Bear Brown Bear, The Big Red Barn and I love you through and through. It made my heart skip a beat in utter amazement the first time James pointed to the red balloon when I asked him where it was (Goodnight Moon). Damn he's smart. Ha Ha. Nothing better than having your little boy grab a book and walk up to you wanting to cuddle into your lab on the floor so you can read him a story. At 16 months James did it and NOWCharlie tells ME what books he wants me to read. I love that they love story time so much! Sarah Surritt, mama of 2 | Advice For the safety of your child, don't teach or promote your children to be magnetized to dogs. Choosing the fantasy of look how much the dog loves the baby leads to heartbreak too many times -Sarah, dog mom
27: Advice Go with the flow and give up expectations of yourself. Follow your instincts and your babies' cues. You will learn their language. Be patient with them, with yourself, with your loved ones. be sure to have a bottle of wine on hand. And lastly, ask for help. -Sarah Surritt, proud mama of 2 boys | Camera Splurge and buy an SLR Digital Camera. Take pictures -lots and lots of pictures. Each month during his first year, take a photo next to a favorite stuffed animal to see Brayden's growth. Use your camera to take little videos clips- that way they are simple, 1 minute videos you don't have to worry about editing later. Even if you don't print every photo, you can keep them organized on your computer sometimes it's nice to just sit down and look back on your little ones to see how far you've all come..time goes by so fast and trust me, you'll be so glad you captured those moments. And don't listen to Dave if he tells you that you take too many. PS. Don't forget to label those photos- when he's a year old (or older) and you go back you'll forget how old he was in the photo.... was that 2 weeks? 6 weeks? 12 weeks?? Sarah Surritt, James 4 & Charlie 17mo