Last week my daughter started first grade. Our new morning routine challenged us that first day, but we managed to get in the car with a few extra minutes to spare, even after a round of first day photos. On the way there, we talked about what new friends she’d meet and how much she’d learn this year until I realized this was one of those days that called for some grandparent celebration. I called my mom in New York and put her on speaker phone, giving her a brief update before she took the cue and ran with it, using her most exuberant grandma voice to offer encouragement and celebrate my daughter’s milestone.
Midwest born and raised, preacher’s kid, escapee of fundamentalism but lover of God and good, Kelle Hampton is today a wife, mother to three and step-mother to two. Residing in Naples, Florida with a bit of her heart still in Michigan, she is a writer, photographer, speaker and celebrant of life’s large little things. Her heartfelt blog post relating to the birth of her daughter Nella and her surprise diagnosis of Down syndrome led to the writing of Bloom, a New York Times best-selling memoir.
Kelle has contributed to Parents, Parenting, Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, Good Housekeeping and NPR’s All Things Considered. She shares photography and weekly journals about life and motherhood on her blog Enjoying the Small Things
Designing a nursery on a tight budget? Before you buy new, consider checking your local thrift shop or eBay for budget-friendly used goods. Here’s a list of common thrift shop finds that will add character and warmth to your baby room.
Planning a woodland nursery or looking to find some unique forest-themed products for your baby? From hedgehogs and toadstools to foxes and deer, here are 11 charming woodland finds to help your baby rock the forest friend trend.
At my son’s one month check-up earlier this year, I posted a picture of him all chubby and happy to Instagram with the title “One month check-up. Boy’s growin’.” Knowing I was nursing him, a few commenters who also breastfed left congratulatory sentiments like “Good job, Mama! Doesn’t it feel good to sustain life?” or “Nursing here too! Exhausting and overwhelming but so worth it—an amazing privilege!”
And it is amazing. I can’t say I looked at my son that day—all 10 pounds, 3 ounces—and didn’t think it was pretty cool that I passed on every one of those pounds to him. Maybe proud isn’t the word, but I was at least fascinated by the way my body had nourished him not only for the nine months I carried him but for the four weeks that followed.
The nursing comments on that photo continued, most of them well-meaning. But together, after a while, it might have felt like a nursing club secret handshake to any bottle-feeding mama looking on. One of those moms finally spoke up and left a comment that she felt nursing moms flaunted this sort of “we’re superior for what we do” feeling and that she was sick of it—that moms who chose formula deserved some praise, too. After all, it’s all hard work—raising babies, responding to feeding cries, helping them grow. And she had a point.
After six years and three babies, here are ten of my very favorite products for babies. From blankets to baskets to baby dolls, these tried-and-true picks stand the test of time!
Getting ready to celebrate your child’s birthday? It’s one of the biggest days of the year! With these 10 easy entertaining hints, you can pull off an amazing party with little effort. Let’s get started!