Thursday, 30 July 2015

A Photo Story

Four months ago today, we met our beautiful Sam Blake, and had the privilege of having Kim van Wyk, a budding birth photographer, capture the most special moments of his birth.

I meant to post this - or something like it - ages ago already, but I'm really retarded with these video making apps, so it took a while.

It's still not done (I've yet to figure out how exactly to edit this), but I thought it was time to share some of it at least. Not only is it a precious reminder of a miracle occasion, it's also a great opportunity to showcase Kim's work.

Thank you Kim for the gift of these pictures. To the rest of you: watch and enjoy xx

(Music: "The Father's Song" by Matt Redman)

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Six of the Best - Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Like 2012, 2015 is turning out to be another "year of the baby" with more and more people we know having given birth or fallen pregnant this year. As if Sam's arrival hadn't already turned my brain to mush. all these pending arrivals have pushed me even further into the land of all things baby.

Coupled with the fact that I have boxes (literally) of unused, still-in-the-package-new baby things that I've been encouraging baby-shower-goers to purchase from me (at a reduced rate, of course), I thought I'd make a list of my best baby shower gift ideas.

1. Meal Roster
This is, by far, my all time favourite. While this gift is not specifically for the baby, it is i.n.v.a.l.u.a.b.l.e. to the parents, and they will love you forever for it. It's really simple: you get as many friends and family to take part (you can do it alone, although that could become tiring and/or boring), and have everyone take a turn or two to provide dinner for the new family once Mom and Baby have returned from hospital. I had this done for me for nearly three weeks after Zac was born, and I would take it over most other gifts every time!

2. Mini Medical Kit
In my opinion, this is a handy little tool kit all parents should have. Most suppliers produce a kit that contains a medicine measure/dropper/syringe, an oral or axillary thermometer, a nasal aspirator, a pair of scissors, a nail-clipper and some grooming products. Neatly packaged in a compact zip case, the kit can easily fit into the changing bag, or be kept in the car.

3. Unscented Toiletries
With Zac, I had a stash so large, I didn't have to buy toiletries for a year. Seriously. A seemingly endless supply of wipes, aqueous cream (this can double up as bath soap and hair shampoo too), bum cream and diapers (naturally) can do wonders to help an already tight budget, and keeping everything unscented means there are no potentially nose and skin irritating ingredients. The only toiletries item that you won't really need, in spite of its popularity, is powder. There are some safety concerns regarding aspiration of the powder dust, and really, you can get away without it.

4. Baby Carrier
As this can be quite a pricey item, this is really nice to get as a gift. There are a good couple different options here from sling to woven wrap. My personal preference is a wrap. although Andel would say that a carrier is more unisex and easier to put on (and he's probably right). Either way, when there's a new baby in the house, the first six weeks at least, Mom is at Baby's beck and call, and there will be many days it seems like nothing bar feeding and carrying can be done. This is where baby-wearing is a lifesaver. It's the happy marriage of Mommy having her hands free, and Baby in his/her favourite place - even while feeding. And this product is versatile enough to cater for newborn baby as well as a growing toddler.

5. Body Vests
This may seem strange, but I have found this product to be grossly underrated - both for new and older babies (I used these on Zac until he turned three - which was last month). Body vests (the ones that clip at the bottom) are multi-purpose for me: not only do they serve as warm undergarments and cool outer garments, they also help to keep the diaper and everything else in place without the repeated tucking of tops into trousers. The reason they make it onto this list though is because, if my kids are anything to go by, these vests will be pooped into at least twice a week, and they can only take so much of that abuse before there's a permanent yellow tinge around the edges, so you'll need lots! Get them in long-sleeve, short-sleeve and no-sleeve. Also, get in all the sizes (babies grow super fast, and buying them a size or three up isn't going to go to waste), and get in as many colours as possible (they work great under t-shirts in older kids too).

6. Something for Mom
So often, the baby shower is all about the baby (which I do understand, is the point). Still, it's really nice, and super thoughtful, to give Mom something pampering - or practical - as well. My favourite pampers include a mani, pedi, facial or hair appointment (if you can have this done before baby arrives, it's especially well received), while practically, feeding bras/tops, nipple creams, breast pads, birth snack pack or just someone to come around the help clean the house, come out tops. Vouchers - most likely to be used on any of the above - also work.

Truthfully, baby-showers can be much like weddings (and funerals) in the sense that there's a lot of hype and help on the day, and often nothing after that. So while gifts are great, be sure to remember that sometimes the best present is a continual, supportive presence.

ps. Don't worry, you'll still get the baby clothes. Everyone buys baby clothes as well :)