Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bring on the Baby Wisdom

December 1st has come and gone and just 4 weeks from now (give or take a few days) Alicia and Joe will officially welcome into the world their new little baby girl. And who could be better prepared? Having an innate knack for loving children, exuberance, creativity, and honed parenting skills, Alicia was always meant to be a mom. Joe, with his vast family experience and caring nature, will undoubtedly do well as a Dad. However, I am sure there are lessons yet to learn when it comes to raising a child. Which is where we come in...
Let's shower Alicia and Joe with wisdom that will help prepare them for the next 18+ years. What unexpected experiences did you have as a new parent during those first few days/weeks/months? What lessons have you learned that you wish you knew then? Any crazy stories or good memories that you want to share with the parents-to-be? Post them below (click where it says 'comments' at the bottom of this message)- as many as you'd like- feeling free to return to this website over the next few weeks to see the messages we have given to Alicia and Joe. 
Thanks for supporting Alicia and Joe as they begin this new, exciting, sometimes crazy journey. 
(*Please email me your name and mailing address so I can send you a little something to say 'thanks!')


  1. you're out of luck. i have no advice to give... i've never been a parent; i've never even been an older sister... but i am happy for you and scared for you and know it will all be as magical as everyone says... congratulations and hooray!
    love, taggylee

  2. I've never been a parent either, but after enjoying many nephews and nieces I can tell you this:
    1) For the infant years: I've heard you should always sleep when the baby sleeps (don't clean, don't do chores- sleep)
    2) For the early childhood years: Be consistent! So they know they can't sway you with tantrums and pleading. (but you already know this)
    3) For life: Love them, praise them, and be firm so that they'll grow to want to make you proud.

    And... lastly...
    Don't force them to go to church if they really don't want to. My parents did this, and all I remember is that they had really good cake at coffee hour.

    Congratulations Alicia and Joe!


  3. Golden rule for the first three weeks (it's up to you Joe to enforce this one!).

    Week One: Stay in bed!
    Week Two: Stay on the bed!
    Week Three: Stay near the bed!

    As Alice had to spend some extra time in the hospital I failed to follow this and I regret it to this day. All this time in the bed with the girl will help with hormones, stress, breastfeeding (way trickier than you might think see next tip), and healing!

    Breastfeeding tips: Schedule an extra appointment with the lactation nurse at the hospital! After two months you realize that breastfeeding is finally super easy but before that you and your little one are still trying to figure out how to work as a team. Don't give up! Also, Target has great nursing tanktops. And the "My Breast Friend" nursing pillow is horribly named but much more ergonomic than the Bobby!

    Baby clothes: Unless your daughter is wearing nothing but sparkly pink with the word princess on it everyone will assume you have a boy baby so dress her in whatever you want! She won't care if people think she's a boy! We even made up a boy name for Alice as to not disillusion little old ladies at the grocery store ("Archibald").

    Good luck! - robyn

  4. Dear Sha Sha, Alia, Asheila, (all the names my kids called you),

    Having been a Mom and having seen you mother my kids for about 12 years, I know I hardly need to give you any advice because you did it better than me! I have seen so many wonderful qualities in you over the years with each age of my boys... pushing back all the furniture and dancing like crazy in the house (to music other than Raffe), all the art projects, Snoqoualmie Falls Oatmeal every Saturday for the entire Valencia family for 4 years,(while ALL of us wore striped Hannah Anderson pajamas). But the biggest thing I remember about your time with my kids is that I always came home to smiling, happy kids who had been WELL loved while I was away.

    Take note on the breast feeding tips, they are always invaluable. It is a perfect machine after you get it down, but my start was rough. Hire a breast feeding consultant to your house (yes, they are out there- your OBGYN will have a name and #) if things are not going well. It is nice to learn in your own home, and the money spent will set you on the right track for saving gobs of money by not buying formula when you get it right.
    Tip # 1- Start a bottle only between week 3 and 4 of the babies life; too early and they get used to only bottles, too late and the baby looses her "sucking on anything" reflex and will never take a bottle.
    Tip # 2- Get "Soothies" at the Pharmacy...(too much to explain here). You'll be glad you did.
    Tip # 3- Dad gets to do the bottles, it's easier for him, cuz the baby will only want you.

    Alicia and Joe, have the most fun ever with your baby girl, and keep your love alive for each other too.

    Love, Heather (Johnny and Bo's Mom)

  5. Hi there.
    I am so excited to finally have a real friend to have a baby. We will no longer be alone! Ok, so here are my tips. I'm sure I will have many more as time goes by but for now...
    * Buy the "Miracle Blanket" - Remy could get out of all the other swaddling blankets but this one.
    * Don't be afraid of the pacifier - this was a life saver for us.
    * Don't give up on breastfeeding! It is so fricken hard (in the beginning) but so worth it. Your little one will thank you.
    * Ask for help when you need it. You can call us at any time!
    *Try to enjoy the newborn days, even if you're miserable. You'll look back one day and miss them.
    Ok, that's all for now. We're looking forward to meeting your little one!

  6. Hello Miss Alicia!

    I'm not a yet a Mom so I can't add mommy wisdom to the wonderful advice you've already received here, but as an auntie I can share with you something I've admired about my siblings' parenting over the years. It is this:
    My sister-in-law has done an excellent job of sharing her children with our family. Not only has she made an effort to involve us in their birthdays and special events, but she has been okay with us whisking her kids away for fun outings, and has encouraged us to invite them over to spend a weekend (here and there) away from home. Hopefully this has given her a little time for herself, but it has also given me/us a great chance to form valuable relationships with my nieces and nephews. I recommend that you (when the time comes) feel totally fine about letting your child stay with friends and family while you take a day for yourself here and there... we all need relationships and community throughout life! And this will help your child develop theirs.

    I'm looking forward to spending time with my newest niece!

    love, Beth

  7. Alicia, the almost-momDecember 14, 2008 at 11:28 PM

    Everyone -- thank you for all the advice so far!! I am loving it. I am a little overwhelmed at the moment with last minute baby stuff (all those annoying/fun little details like laundry and bag-packing and whatnot) but am going to try my best to keep up with posting news and pictures here. Right now, we are three weeks away from the Big Day...but I guess technically she can come whenever she damn well wants! Keep writing and I will keep reading, ok? Love to all of you.

    xo alicia

  8. Sue Jeffress, longtime friendDecember 18, 2008 at 8:47 PM

    Talk, read, sing, dance to your baby girl from the time she is born. She will love it even when she doesn't understand what you are doing. I did it to Cheryl and am doing it to my grandsons. It makes me feel closer to them as they smile and clap and rock to the music. I do everything from French Christmas songs to spirituals (I know I'm weird). I do have to be careful as the neighbors might complain!

    Alicia and Joe, you will make good parents, whatever you do. Best wishes with your new little one.

  9. Advice I have plenty .And will always be willing to provide .However having your own child is as you will find .A magical journey .You will learn and develop your parental skills by each movement and turn.You have been both blessed with good parents and family .With that structure you both have started to build your onw family.The love between a cild and parent cannot be matched .Your parental instict will kick in at babies first breath . Teach your child right from wrong good from bad and to love unconditionaly,
    Alway remember God and Family. Good Luck and God Bless you and your Family!

  10. "Pop Pop Joe "
    Good Luck !If little Isota is as great as the two of you. Well no advice should be needed .
    But do not hesitate to call if advice needed because Papa Joe has plenty . But only when asked
    Love you guys
    PaPa Joe

  11. Congrats!!! I couldn't be happier and even though i'm not a parent (yet), the only advice i've heard people say to me is... "enjoy sleep now because you won't get any later". Alicia, you rock, always have and always will...i know you will be a great mother... one of those cool types who all other parents will hate because their child will say..."well, Baby Girl's mom lets her listen to rock and dye her hair..."

    Love always,