A Brooklyn Baby Shower + Gift Guide

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Baby showers. Interesting thing here in New York. In the south, I would’ve already been to at least twenty of these things by now, I mean heck, I’m already lagging behind with only one child under my belt. I think we can safely say I’d be the queen of a killer double-decker diaper cake the size of Texas. But here in Brooklyn, this was one of the first baby showers for most of my friends. Slightly uncharted territory for us city folk.

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What I Wore :: Dress // Jacket // Shoes // Clutch // DIY necklace

If I’ve learned something from being the headlining act at a couple of baby showers myself recently, it’s a few observations about what you want and what you need. What you want? Oh, easy. You want the all the cute, stylish baby clothes to dress them up in.... immediately. You want the most tricked out and souped up baby gear that, not only looks slick and comes with hydraulics, but promises to lull your precious new nugget into the magical unicorn baby that never cries. You want the trendy organic ____ (fill in the blank - mattress/pacifier/sheets/diapers) that will be sure everyone knows your eco-chic. You want all the things that convince you into thinking this whole motherhood shindig is going to make you look like the Beyonce and Blue Ivy of your block. Yep, me too. 

On the flip side, I always want to be the giver of the gift that everyone oohhh’s and ahhh’s over as it’s deemed ‘the best gift of the shower’ and a round of applause is given your direction.  Admit it.... don’t we all?

But, don’t read this wrong (that means you, if you recently attended one of my baby showers!).... I want everything I got. I am loving.... I mean.... Baby A is going to love sleeping and laying on the - softest thing I've ever laid my hands on - sheepskin fur throw straight from the Alps. But, I got to thinking, what are the other key things soon-to-be mothers need, but we aren't aware of since we still live in the land of blissful, baby-less and sleep-filled nights? I've been taking notes on 'practical' gifts that all my mom friends have been sending my way and figured they were super practical and needed to be shared. Note, my definition of 'practical' may be a tad different than yours. In my world, a sheepskin fur throw is absolutely practical over, say, any sort of basic life necessity.... but we all have priorities. 

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PRACTICAL + UNCONVENTIONAL GIFTS THE EXPECTANT MAMA WILL THANK YOU FOR ::

- Dry shampoo (in bulk) :: Because a new mom won’t get more than five uninterrupted minutes a week to take a shower. But who are we kidding.... I only wash my hair once a week now anyways.  

- Candles :: The long lasting and highly potent kind. If you live in an open loft setup like myself, you have to face the fact that it’s going to smell like a dirty baby diaper practically all the time. Yes, we got that fancy diaper pail that ‘seals in odor’..... but I’m not naive.

- Nip Cream :: Us first-timers don’t really know what all goes into this department (and I’ve purposefully left off the other mortifying necessities). And trust me, don’t go Googling it. So do us a favor, just use the this link to the one with the most well designed packaging and call it a day. Our ladies will thank you later. 

- Pajamas that can be disguised as clothes :: Remember, you used to wear them all the time in college. It’s like the ‘bedhead chic’ look..... but with clothes. Think Mary-Kate and Ashley.... but less ‘heroin chic’. These clothes are also used to trick yourself into thinking you actually got dressed for the day and aid in your appearance as a functioning human being to any one who drops by your home to visit the baby. 

- Jug Of Wine :: You can also substitute this with vodka/whiskey/sangria/tequila. Whatever the former vice used to be that has been abstained from for the past ten months.... just get it in bulk.

- Gift Certificate for a Pedicure :: Stuff a basketball in your shirt and then try to bend down and paint your toenails. Yep, that was fun... wasn’t it?

- iTunes Gift Card :: And don’t take the easy road and give the bare minimum.... new parents will be spending a ton of time awake at ungodly hours on baby meltdown patrol and nursing with nothing else to do but catch up on every rom-com movie (mom's will always win the ‘what to watch’ fight during these months).

- Batteries :: Think Sam’s Club/hoarder portions. Apparently, baby products are still the last things on earth that solely operate on batteries. I don’t know about you, but if the rocking device that keeps my baby from crying runs out of juice at 3:00am and I have no batteries on reserve...... the witching hour tables will turn.

- Baby Mopping Outfit :: It’s best they earn their keep sooner than later, and with all the chores you'll stop doing as a new parent, it’s helpful to know your baby is burning off all those milk calories and saving you money on a maid.

While we’re on the subject, here’s a few shockingly inappropriate things NOT to give. Oh, the horror of the internet. I couldn't help myself! 

- Baby High Heels :: You knew someone would make them.

- Fetus Cookie Cutter :: Nope, it’s never ok.

- Snoozie :: I'd rather my child use a leaf.

- Butt Fan :: Guaranteed to turn your child into a helpless diva.

- Daddy Horse :: Where to being??

- Crumb Cap :: The before and after pictures are riveting.

Any seasoned baby mamas out there want to share other practical and necessary gifts that we new mamas will thank you for? List 'em out below! Our survival depends on you, no pressure. 

37 Weeks + An Interpretive Dance

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How am I doing at this point? I’d tell you, but better yet.... I decided to show you through the interpretive dance depicted in these photos. Pretty exciting stuff, eh?! Currently, when I look at the calendar, I think, ‘how did we get here?’. I feel like it was just yesterday we were soaking up free time like teenagers on summer break and I was still wearing skinny jeans.... comfortably. The ‘here’ we are currently at is the ‘rush to the finish line’ that I imagine all first-time parents experience. For some reason, I’m more concerned about what I’m going to wear at the hospital than what we are bringing the baby home in. Again with my priorities.

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:: Confessions on Pregnancy ::

- File this under things not to say to a pregnant lady. My mother-in-law and I were grabbing lunch a couple of weeks ago and the woman behind the counter pointed to my stomach and asked ‘boy or girl?’. I replied, ‘Not sure, what’s your guess?’...... which apparently opened the flood-gates of her word vomit. She informs me that when her sister was pregnant with a boy, she was all tall and skinny and just had this cute little belly... and she loved being pregnant. But when she was pregnant with her daughter, her hips exploded, her lips swelled and she was nearly two-hundred pounds. Then she stopped and said, while motioning dramatically towards my stomach with her salad tongs, ‘I think you’re having a girl’. Which I immediately responded to (in my head) as …. ‘Oh, you wanna take this outside?’.

- Few things have become an overall difficult ordeal during this pregnancy. I still take the subway, walk up the stairs at work and can make my pants magically stay up with the help of a hair tie. But get out of bed? It’s like watching a turtle that is stuck on its back. Or, better yet, reference this amazing video for the perfect example of what my life looks like. And yes, it is that painful to watch.

- I know I've said it before, but I’m a creature of habit. If I do things enough times, it just becomes second nature. I have a specific routine to how I get ready and I walk the same path to the subway. More recently, take checking into my lady doc appointments..... every time you go, you have to pee in a teeny-tiny plastic cup. Literally, every single time and I’m the worst at it. You would think someone would’ve come up with a more innovative process for this by now...... like just register your sample when you flush the toilet or something. Bigger problem being is that recently when I checked into my dentist appointment, I asked if they needed a urine sample. After an incredibly awkward stare, I realized..... ‘Oh, riiiiggght. We don’t do that here’.... and just slowly stepped away from the receptionist counter.

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34 Weeks + Baby Mama Drama

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Over the past few months, I’ve started to realize why mothers really bond together. There aren’t many other people you could discuss, with a straight face, some of the things mom’s discuss with each other. Heck, I still whisper the word ‘breast feeding’ like a twelve year old boy. Admit it, it’s a weird thing to say out loud... at least for modest me.

Once this whole pregnancy thing became more real, and since I really haven’t read a single book or blog about how things in the motherhood department work, I’ve relied heavily on friends to keep me informed on all my ‘what to expect when you’re expect-ings’. If it wasn’t for them, I would still think all births are like they are in the movies. Oh, it lasts longer than 15 minutes and you don’t have a fresh blowout and full makeup on? Seems like a lot of work.

Once the panic set in that we had entered, what E calls ‘the red zone’, I knew it was time to call in some reinforcements. The big guns. The fellow mamas I know, new and seasoned, who have already ventured to the places I’m about to go. I decided to ask these ladies to share their advice, memories, tricks and survival skills with me in a little series I decided to call ‘Baby Mama Drama’. It started first from a selfish need to compile as much information as I can so I don’t have to read any motherhood books, but also, I realized every mom has been in the place I’m at. No one really knows what they are doing, you do in fact ‘fake it until you make it’... and even then, do you ever officially ‘make it’? Maybe that’s when you send them off to college or maybe it’s the first time they actually say ‘thanks mom’. It’s always refreshing to hear from others about their experiences first hand, the honest parts, the perfectly imperfect parts and the humorous parts. I’m deeply thankful these women took the time to depart their wisdom. Whether you’re a mom or not, we can all learn a lot.

So what better time to kick this off than the week leading up to Mother's Day. Be sure to check back later this week for the first ‘Baby Mama Drama’ post!

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34 Weeks // dress (similiar) - jacket - boots - scarf (similiar) - bag (c/o)