Tag Archives: being a mom

Homecoming Parade (October 20, 2014)

Last month, I took AJ to our first ever Homecoming Day parade. I grew up in Miami and went to school in Hollywood where our Homecoming traditions consisted of a Spirit Week and a football game. When my sister-in-law invited me to come to the parade, I wasn’t sure what she was talking about. Was it an early Halloween parade? A fall parade? A just-for-fun parade? She explained that it was for Homecoming and that just confused me even more. I had never heard of a town having a Homecoming Day Parade and I was very intrigued. I quickly decided that AJ and I would go even though Adam was working and wouldn’t be able to join them, so we made plans to meet at our friend’s house and walk to the parade from there. IMG_20141010_145031_894

I was excited that the parade wasn’t far from our house and so curious to see what it would be like. My sister-in-law told me a little bit about what to expect and also mentioned that the marching bands from the middle school and high school would be performing. I was in the marching band in high school and had been part of many parades in my four years of playing trombone, but typically it was a Christmas parade and a Spring parade and that was it. However, I had no inkling about what kind of music the band would play at a Homecoming Day parade. Maybe “The Fight Song”?

Either way, I was beyond excited to go and see for myself. So, Friday afternoon on the day of the parade I packed AJ up and drove the two seconds down the street to our friend’s house. I then pulled out his stroller, strapped his cute little behind in and we all started walking the three blocks towards Downtown. It was beautiful outside, the sun was out and warm when you stood under in it’s light, but the wind gave the most exquisite breeze and made it just chilly enough to need a sweater. It was a perfect day.

My nephews had empty grocery bags and my brother-in-law filled me in that the parade marchers often threw candy for the kids that attended the parade. I thought that was pretty cool. My older nephew and niece are in the middle school marching band, so we stopped by where they were hanging out to say hello and wish them luck before we went to find a good spot to watch the parade. On the way down, my sister-in-law pointed out a few floats with “Class of ’75”, “Class of ’85” and “Class of ’98” on the banners hanging on the sides. She explained that every year for the parade, some of the alumni would get together and make a float for the parade. They would treat it as a class reunion of sorts. I thought that was super cool.

As we walked closer to our two block Downtown strip, my eyes went wide behind my aviator sunglasses. There on the sidewalks lining both sides of the street were dozens upon dozens of people. I turned to my sister-in-law, “Does everyone in town come to this?” I asked, my eyes still taking in the hoards of people laughing and talking on the sidewalks. “Pretty much,” she answered as we parked our strollers in front of The Hair Company.

IMG_20141010_152131_809We saw so many people we knew, some of which didn’t even have kids in the parade or children waiting to catch candies. They were simply there to support their community. It instantly gave me the warmest feeling I had ever felt and I couldn’t keep from smiling as the parade finally started. The bands marched down the street, one by one, each playing a catchy song for the parade viewers to enjoy. Even the bands from the neighboring towns performed! I couldn’t feel prouder watching my niece and nephew march in our town’s middle school band with such confidence. It looked like they were having so much fun and it made me remember how much fun I had during my years in band.

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After the bands, came the alumni floats and some of the local businesses promoting their brand and showing their support for our high school’s football team, who would play in the Homecoming game later that night. The class floats came after that and it blew me away how beautiful and elaborate they were. It was obvious that the kids in the individual classes took this parade very seriously and that made me enjoy the parade all the more.IMG_20141010_151757_148

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And then the finale; the high school football team and cheerleaders proudly perched on a fire engine. It was surreal. It was so inspiring to see these kids and these people showing their pride and love for their town. I remember feeling like I had stumbled upon something so special when I agreed with Adam that we should move to this town. A town where I knew no one, but quickly felt as though I had family- real family- surrounding me and making me feel like I belong.

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The football team

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The Cheerleaders, three on each side of the engine.

I couldn’t keep myself from tearing up at how everyone was cheering, the kids shoveling candy into their bags as they were thrown by the people in the parade and I remember thinking, Thank God I have my shades on or people might think I’m crazy for crying at a parade.

 

I know it sounds strange but the fact that almost the entire town was there, in one place, for no other reason other than to support their local high school and show pride for their town was something I never dreamed I would experience. I mean, we used to have a ton of people come to our Homecoming games, but nothing- I mean absolutely nothing- compared to this. A parade thrown to celebrate Homecoming.

It’s been one of the greater experiences I’ve had in this little, tiny hidden treasure of the world and it makes me wonder what else is in store for me.

Baby Registry: What is suggested and what you need

I thought it would be nice to do a series on pregnancy since some of my friends have been announcing that they’re going to be mommies! A new baby is so exciting, especially if it’s your first one. It can also be very overwhelming for a first time mom because, while you’ve heard stories from friends and family about what to expect, you don’t really know what your own experience will be like since every woman and every pregnancy is different. I, for example, never got the morning sickness that people often talk about or the hemorrhoids (thank God!) that some women have told me about. All you can do is go along for the ride, try to read up and take as many classes as you can and let yourself experience being pregnant for the first time.

In my first post on this topic, I talked about considering using Amazon as one of the places that you register for your new baby. Once you’ve figured out where you want to register for baby gear, the next step is deciding what to register for. A lot of places offer “suggestions” for you to consider and some of the suggestions are things you will definitely need. However, a lot of them are things you probably won’t ever use. So in part 2 of this series, I’d like to give you mommy-to-bes some tips as to what you will definitely want to put on your registry and what you can skip purchasing or registering for.

This is a list of the things I personally have and use (or have used) for my son:

Bassinet- For the first three and half months of our son’s life, he slept in a bassinet which we kept on the coffee table in the living room (I’d had a C Section and couldn’t lay in bed, so I slept on the recliner until I’d healed a little more). Adam’s mom had given it to us at our baby shower. The great thing about the bassinet that we had was that we were able to bring it anywhere! Most of the day it sat on the coffee table so that I could keep an eye on AJ, but at night once I started sleeping in our bedroom again, we would bring it into our room and place it on the dresser! Even though we already had a crib, we felt that AJ was simply to little to be in that big open space, so the bassinet really came in handy!

Here is a picture the one we used:IMG_20140427_114418_153

Crib– We bought a crib for our son to put in his room but didn’t end up using it until he was about four months old. Still, it was good for us to have gotten the crib anyway because the one we bought has a changing table attached and can be later converted into a toddler bed and then converted again into a full bed! Now, having said this, this doesn’t mean that you necessarily need a crib before your baby is born. If you plan to use a bassinet for a while, you can always buy the crib later when you and your baby are ready. Also, when you’re putting the crib together, do so IN the baby’s room. Don’t try to put it together in the living room and then move it into the nursery. It won’t fit through the door and you’ll have to take it apart and put back together again. Promise 🙂

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Car Seat– You can’t bring your baby home from the hospital without a car seat 🙂 This is something you absolutely need before your baby is born so that you can figure out how to use it properly and secure it in your car (don’t forget that all newborns have to be rear facing! That means they should be facing the back windshield). The car seat we purchased will likely have to be replaced soon as AJ continues to grow, but I know I’ve seen plenty of moms with car seats that last all the way until their little ones are two and then can be converted into a booster for when they’re still too short for the seat belts to go across their chests properly. I recommend looking into those car seats as it will give you the most use for your money!

Pack-N-Play– You would think this would be something you could wait to purchase or not purchase at all! You can certainly do that, but if you’re using a bassinet for the first few months, it would be a good idea to get a pack-n-play as well. As I mentioned before, we kept AJ’s bassinet on the coffee table during the day and since we’d already put together the pack-n-play, we turned it into a make shift changing table! You can totally do this, too! Just make sure that whichever pack-n-play you purchase has a napper that you can flip over into a changing table. We used the open space in the pack-n-play as kind of a changing station. We kept diapers, wipes, desitine and extra onesies there. It was so much easier with everything in one spot (bassinet and changing station).

Diapers of ALL sizes- My sister-in-law started stocking up on diapers from the moment she found out she was expecting. My niece is now seven months old and she STILL hasn’t had to buy any diapers. This is a situation you will be happy to find yourself in! Start stacking up on diapers ASAP and get all different sizes. If you find yourself with an extra box of a size that’s too small, you can take that unopened box to any store that sells that brand of diapers and exchange for the bigger size! No money lost! Personally, I like the Pampers brand best, but register for more than one brand so you can try each one and see which works best for you and your baby.

Boppy Pillow- Please, please remember to invest in one of these. It makes breastfeeding much more comfy and makes it easier as well.

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SwaddleMe- You can definitely swaddle your baby with blankets but if you’re like us, no matter how many times people show you how to do it, you just can’t get it right. Anytime we would swaddle AJ in a blanket, it would look perfect and then five minutes later he would wiggle his way out of it and cry. We had gotten a pack of swaddles with velcro on them and decided to give them a try…huge difference! AJ would stay asleep for so much longer and he wasn’t able to wiggle out of it. Definitely invest in a few of these! You can find them pretty much anywhere, including on Amazon!

Stay tuned for part 2 of this list and be sure to check out Amazon.com for your baby gear needs 🙂

Disclosure: The owner of this website, Amanda, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking muchadoaboutmommy.com to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

Registering For Baby Items: An Untapped Resource!

Disclosure: The owner of this website, Amanda, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking muchadoaboutmommy.com to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends have recently found out that they’re expecting a little one! Congratulations! I’ve decided that I would do my next blog “series”  on preparing for a new baby, as I finished up my adoption series yesterday. I think all the new mommy-to-bes can really benefit from a series on being pregnant. I want to start with the registry…now, most everyone knows how to register for baby stuff, but just in case you’re like me and don’t really know how you go about it, here’s the break down: You go to your favorite stores and typically them have a kiosk you can use to put in your names, address, when you’re due and so on. You will then get a print out which you take to the customer service desk. They give you a scanner and off you go!

During my pregnancy, I remember how much fun it was to register for baby stuff that we would need when AJ graced the world with his presence. I also remembered how overwhelming it was at first and how the longer we stayed in xyz store, the worse my random charlie horses would get. We also had a considerable amount of family that lived elsewhere. Okay, they all lived in a different state…but the point is we decided to register on Amazon as well as the local stores in town. We were amazed at how many things (and cool things) they had on Amazon!

We didn’t even have to leave our living room to register for a TON of stuff we would need when the baby was born and some of them were items they didn’t even have at our local stores. Not only that, but registering online also allowed me to eat a huge plate of food while I browsed through baby gear- something that would make any pregnant woman happy as a clam. As I stuffed my face and equally stuffed our registry, I couldn’t keep from smiling around my food at the fact that I was shopping for my baby while sitting on my bottom. And the best part? Instead of trying to schedule going to the store and sifting through the pages of your registry, your family and friends can look for a gift online from the comfort of their own home and have it delivered to your door-step!

Seriously, how awesome is that?

“But wait a minute…I’m totally having a baby shower. What if they want to bring the gift to the baby shower and give it to me there?” Well then they can have it delivered to their house! Woot! Double win, ladies! You get to make your registry while sitting on your couch in your PJs and your family and friends can do the same while shopping around for you and your little one. Plus, think of how convenient it will be for those out of town family members!

We loved the Amazon registry, not only for the convenience but also because we were still getting goodies even after AJ was born. This is probably because your registry never goes away. I just checked to see if ours was still there (almost a year after we first made it) and it is there! It stays there until you delete it! Which means that if someone can’t make it to your shower and hasn’t gotten you a gift yet, they can simply go to Amazon’s website and look up your registry!

Amazon is a great untapped resource for registering for a new baby and it’s free! You already know how I feel about free.
Shop Amazon – Create an Amazon Baby Registry

Week-Long Social Media Strike Inspired

A friend of mine from high school, fellow creative mom and owner of Little Miss Mrs, Amanda Burton, recently participated in a social media cleanse with 8 other creatives. For one week, they refrained from visiting Facebook and Instagram and Amanda even went as far as to delete the apps from her phone. That’s how committed she was to this! She was determined to spend the extra time on her blog, spending quality time with her family and strengthening relationships she’d built with fellow creatives.

It’s a genius idea, I have to say, but it’s definitely a lot easier said than done. I had never really given much thought to how much I time I spend on social media daily until Amanda shared her experience. It got me to thinking about how my son seems to be growing at an exponential pace, and the fact that I am constantly “scrolling” through Facebook, Instagram and now Tsu (the latest in social media for bloggers) was making me miss a lot of time with my precious Bubby. I realized that while being active in social media helps me network with inspiring people and also helps me grow as a blogger, what really matters is the reason I started blogging in the first place- my son, my family and my passion for being mommy to a wonderful little boy.

I felt it was important to share Amanda’s experience with you, fellow mommys, because even if we don’t abandon social media all together, even if we don’t take a week off, we can certainly be aware of how much time we spend online instead of with our families. I encourage you all to read Amanda’s blog post about her “week off” and what she learned during the experience. Maybe it will inspire you to try it as well! I propose we schedule our own week off from Facebook and Instagram, and after the week has concluded, we write about what we did with that extra time 🙂 Who’s in?

Here’s the link again for Amanda’s blog post about her week away from Facebook and Instagram!

Kiwi Crate Is My New Best Friend!

Disclosure: No compensation was given to me for this post. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Okay, so I am a complete sucker for things that have anything to do with being creative. I have so often said to my friends and family how I wish more kids would want to do things like play outside, arts and crafts and imagination games. Alas we live in a world of video games, tablets and other forms of instant gratification. Today I was introduced to Kiwi Crate, an amazing site that offers arts and crafts, family activities, holiday fun and more for sale. Most of the stuff is very reasonable in price and all of it stimulates your kids’ imagination.

Kiwi Crate even has a package where you can make your own superhero cape. How awesome is that?! This site is awesome, because it doesn’t just try to sell you things, it also has some DIY projects that some of their members have shared, ideas for stocking stuffers, even party favors! With Christmas just around the corner and AJ’s birthday following soon afterward, I believe I will be doing a lot of buying from this site and I encourage you to check it out too!

Kiwi Crate could be just the thing I’ve been looking for to do with my nieces and nephews (my son is still too little…but he’s next!)

 Kiwi Crate