Sep 242014
 

As part of my job, I get to “talk” to a lot of new grandparents. They share photos and their excitement on the arrival of a new grandchild. Often times they also ask for advice on the perfect gift for mom to celebrate this special time. (confession: I’m quite biased because MommiesFirst boxes make a great gift). So, I’ve put together some of my favorite ideas that come at little–to-no cost , but will be very special treats for a new mommy!
Nap-time-for-Mom
Number-1Come over for Nap Time. And by nap time – we mean mom’s nap time. During the early day’s of your grandbaby’s life, he or she will be sleeping A LOT, but sleep for mom – whether day or night – will be not be as frequent (in fact, more likely it will be non existent). Offer to come over and play or watch the baby sleep, so mommy can catch some much needed zzzzzz.

camera-brush
Number-2Take lots of pictures of mom and baby. The other day, to celebrate my son’s 5th birthday, I went through thousands of pictures (no exaggeration) and there were only a handful of pictures of my little man and I (no exaggeration here either). As a new mom, I was so eager to capture every moment of his life, and usually I was the one behind the camera. If I could go back in time, I’d ask for more pictures of the two of us. As an added treat, surprise mom on your grandbaby’s first birthday with a memory book of the two of them with all your favorite photos.

Meals-for-Mom
Number-3Meals for mom. Drop off or send meals for mom that can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer that are EASY TO PREPRARE. There is a big emphasis on EASY here. Moms (and dads for that matter) will want meals that require (ideally) 1 step to prepare and are easy to clean up! Remember a “gourmet” meal that requires prep work – chopping, dicing, and more than two dishes to clean need not apply!

bubble-bathbrush
Number-4Force mom to pamper herself. What’s great about this gift is 1) it gives mom some TLC and 2) it gives mom permission to put her first for a few moments. From the earliest days of motherhood, the dreaded mom guilt sets in, so moms feel horrible spending even one second away from her new baby. Let her know it’s okay to put her feet up and take time for mom with a manicure, pedicure, even a massage on you! I suggest actually purchasing a gift certificate to her favorite salon or spa. If you give her money to treat herself, in might go toward diapers instead!

DATE-NIGHT-brush
Number-5Date night vouchers.just the two of them is nearly impossible to come by. If you live close by, offer to come over and babysit, or if you’re far away, hire a babysitter so mom and dad can have a date night. Taking a shower, putting on a little makeup, and getting outside the house is a true gift in the early days.

Perhaps the greatest gift I received was from my mother-in-law was words of reassurance. Positive reinforcement throughout my first year as a mom was the greatest gift from a very special grandma. (And it didn’t cost a penny!)

With love and care,
Lorena

Sep 162014
 

Preggers Giveaway

Pregnant women deserve to be fashionable AND comfortable and Preggers.com helps them do that with their Support Garments and Legwear!

Did you know that Preggers
Support Garments and Legwear has
FREE SHIPPING in the US?


Preggers_Canada-CouponPreggers-Coupon_USA

Enter Our Preggers Support Garments and Legwear Giveaway Below….

Prizes: THREE winners will receive a $30 Gift Card to spend at www.rupregers.com
Winners are responsible for their own shipping.
Giveaway Open to: Canadian Residents and US, of the age of majority at the time of entry
Giveaway Ends: October 10, 2014 11:59pm EST

Giveaway Rules and Regulations:
Giveaway Open to: Canadian and US Residents (must be age of majority in place of residence at time of entry to participate.)
Giveaway begins: September 16, 2014
Giveaway ends: October 10, 2014 11:59 pm EST

No purchase is necessary.
Giveaways are subject to all Federal, Provincial, and Municipal laws and regulations.
Giveaways are void where prohibited by law. By entering the following giveaway, you are accepting that if you win your contact information (including email address) will be shared with a company or PR agency for the purpose of mailing your prize.
All giveaways hosted by MommiesFirst are not associated, nor sponsored by Facebook or any other Social Media platform. We hereby release Facebook (and all other social media platforms) of any liability.
Winners will be selected randomly using Giveaway Tools within 72 hours of the giveaway.
Winners will be notified via email. Winners will have 72 hours from the time the email was sent to respond with the answer to a skill testing question and their full name, mailing address and phone number (required for shipping purposes only). If no response has been received (note – MommiesFirst will not be held responsible for faulty email or any technical difficulties related to the sending/receiving of an email) by this time the winner will be disqualified and a new winner will be randomly selected.
Potential or disqualified winners have no recourse towards MommiesFirst or any other company, pr firm or person involved in this Giveaway.
Giveaways may end and/or be cancelled without notice.
MommiesFirst assumes no responsibility for any technical difficulties that may affect the entries in this giveaway or the communication/reception of emails, posts or messages between the winner and MommiesFirst. In other words, if your entry isn’t received properly due to technical difficulties, MommiesFirst will not be held responsible.
All giveaway entrants are entering giveaways on the MommiesFirst website, at their own risk. MommiesFirst nor the giveaway sponsor assumes any responsibility for the shipping, safe arrival, quality, taxes or duty fees for prizes.
Prizes are shipped by the PR agency or directly from the company with a few exceptions.
One entry per household/IP allowed, and any abuse of this condition will void all entries from household/IP in question.
Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received during the contest period.
Please wait 4-6 weeks prior to contacting us with regards to unreceived prizes unless it is a time sensitive prize. We’d love to hear from you when you receive your package and we’d also love to hear from you if you don’t so that we can help you out if we can. Unfortunately, we don’t take any responsibility for the safe arrival of your package as we aren’t the people doing the shipments…this time!

Good luck to all Mommies, Daddies, Grandparents and Friends!

With Love and Care,
The MommiesFirst Team

Sep 152014
 

Wow, time sure does fly when it comes to birth, babies and businesses! We cannot believe that it has already been TWO WHOLE YEARS since we first delivered our very first boxes out to new and expectant Moms.

Just like in motherhood, starting a new business is all about learning and growing. We sure have done a lot of learning here at MommiesFirst. The #1 thing that we have learned is just how much we LOVE to connect with our Moms, Dads and Grandparents. YOU are all the experts and we have learned SO much from you.

Thank you for helping us grow and becoming a TOP CHOICE for a Baby Shower Gift Idea and MORE!

Happy-Birthday-Coupon

Until September 25, 2014, please enjoy 10% off any 3 month (or more) subscription that you order.
Use CODE: MOMMIES2 at checkout.

Sep 082014
 

At MommiesFirst we believe in moms helping moms!

We also believe in debunking myths. So let’s wipe out Super Mom and replace her with Happy Mom! And in support of Happy Mom, we’re launching the Help Mama series, which is dedicated to introducing our community of moms to companies whose sole purpose is to ……. yes, you’ve got it – help mama.

This week, we are sharing a company called Curiosity Box ….

Curiosity Box
Curiosity Box is a subscription service whose mission is to provide you the convenience of having a collection of crafts and activities on hand at a moments notice – for use on a rainy afternoon, a quiet evening after a busy day, or some quality one on one time!

Can you tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial story?

I have always been a self-motivated, enthusiastic and adventurous individual both in my professional and personal life. For ten years I poured every ounce of my passion and abilities into a job in the field of social services. After my first son was born, like many new moms, I struggled balancing a 9-5 work week with the responsibilities of being a mother and wife. After realizing for myself how difficult it was to spend quality time interacting with my son as well as pushing myself professionally, the idea for Curiosity Box was born. Taking the plunge into entrepreneurship is no easy feat, but after diligently developing a business plan, a marketing strategy, an online retail website… as well as having a second child… Curiosity Box was officially launched in April 2014. Not without its challenges, Curiosity Box is now almost 5 months old. After a furious start and unwavering commitment the business has continued to grow and has now delivered crafts and activities to curious young minds across Canada. As we continue to develop product and explore partnerships I am continuously inspired and humbled by the support I have received from family, friends, and other entrepreneurs in London, Ontario and across Canada… without them Curiosity Box would still be an entrepreneurial story waiting to unfold.

How do you feel you are helping moms (and Dads!) most?

I think we can all unanimously agree that the most precious thing in life is time. Time spent with our children, grandchildren and loved ones is even more precious. Time is fleeting… it should be everyone’s goal to make every second count. The whole concept behind Curiosity Box is to simply enhance the quality time that you get to spend with your children, grandchildren and loved ones by having a collection of crafts and activities on hand at a moment’s notice. It’s partly about convenience it’s partly about not having to plan… but it’s all about having fun during those precious moments that you have with your loved ones.

What (or who) inspires you when it comes to creating a business committed to helping moms (and/or babies)?

Inspiration for creating Curiosity Box has come in all sorts of forms but my biggest inspiration is from my two busy little boys. I’m sure every mother goes through the same thing I went through when both my children were born, you feel this overwhelming urge to spend every conceivable moment with them. Easier said than done right?! It turns out life is kind of hectic and that precious time you yearn for is something that a lot of us either don’t have or crave more of. The overwhelming need to spend more precious time with my children is really why I created a business that is solely focused on helping parents engage in creative time with their kids. As with a lot of good ideas, the concept behind Curiosity Box has an amazing number of positive spin-offs… Obviously quality time is important… but what parent doesn’t want to pry their kids away from their iPad, TVs, and video games to take part in some good old-fashion crafting and activities?! There isn’t a child psychologists around that won’t tell you that social interactions as well as cutting stuff out with scissors, colouring, painting and gluing… and perhaps just as importantly, following directions, asking for help, and putting stuff together… foster the sort of developmental skills that turn kids into world renowned artists, genius engineers, and steady handed surgical residents. Ok, so putting together a sock puppet isn’t going to magically turn your child into a rocket scientist… but you really never know what that precious moment spent with your child is going to end up inspiring… Curiosity you say?! Heck ya!

What are some exciting new developments for your business?

We always are finding new ways to help busy parents and kids be excited about crafting, creating and exploring! Therefore, we continue to add product line to help parents find convenient ways to engage with their children while having fun. We are also currently growing our brand partners. Just recently though we have made a first-of-its-kind partnership with global brand KINDER® SURPRISE® and we were also awarded the PTPA Winner’s Seal of Approval, which is a parent-tested, parent-approved review-based award.

The 2 biggest pieces of wisdom you’d impart to about being an entrepreneur?

It isn’t easy… but it’s so worth it. I think there is another level of job satisfaction when you are involved with building, developing, shaping and growing something that you’ve started with your own hard work, patience, sweat and tears. As with anything in life being an entrepreneur takes dedication. You have to be wholly and earnestly devoted to your business, take your lumps when they are handed out to you, and humbly accept credit when credit is due. You might be thinking to yourself, oh boy I’m not sure that I have what it takes… but it turns out when you are truly passionate about something you’ll start leaping over hurdles that you would have otherwise been terrified to leap over and not even think twice about it. Don’t think you can handle the late nights? Have another cup of coffee. Wondering how your sales projections will pan out? Don’t worry about it, just knock on a few more doors. Worried about whether your business will be a success? Throw away everything you ever knew about the metrics of success and ask yourself one simple question… Do I love what I am doing? Then just do it. It isn’t easy… but it’s so worth it.

Some more information about the founder:
Curiosity Box Founder

Our favorite part about Curiosity Box is…  how excited kids and parents get when they see that they can have a box full of fun delivered right to their door! Seeing pictures and hearing the stories about how kids have LOVED their Curiosity Boxes coming every month have truly brought tears to my eyes. I love that I can help parents engage with their children in a convenient, fun and creative way.

When people find out what we do, they often say: “What a cool concept. I love this idea! What kid doesn’t love getting mail?!”

In my free time, I love to … spend time with my family and friends. My husband and my boys mean so much to me and we love to do so many fun things together…of course we love crafting and doing activities, but we also love camping, hiking, exploring and just hanging out! I also love hanging out with our friends.

The last book I read was… Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.

We are dreaming of… so many things for Curiosity Box. I have big goals and dreams for this company and I can’t wait to continue to see where things go!

 

If you have an occasion to give a child a gift, we highly recommend Curiosity Box as a great option!

Use Discount Code MOMMIESFIRST to receive 10% off of your subscription.
Valid until September 15, 2014.

You will receive Easy Daysies in your first box in October!


More Help Mama Posts:
MADESQUARE – an app, but is MUCH more than just an app! It enables you to use photos from your phone and create them into a beautiful memory, keepsake or gift!
The New Mummy Company – a company devoted to helping new Moms!
L’il Tights by Skights – fun and warm knee high socks for little ones
Simply Fun Families – a website filled with great ideas and products for families to do together
LPH Illustrations – Susy the Soother Fairy (a book about giving away a soother)
Naked Nursing Tank – one of the best nursing tanks out there
coldfront – a personal cooling pack that stays cold for up to 12 hours
Zipadee-Zip – a slumber sack that helps babies transition from swaddling

Sep 082014
 

Grandparents Month
I’m a first-time grandmother to Jeremiah who is now three months old. He will most likely call me Sweetie (or some baby-talk variation of it) since that’s what my husband, Rich, calls me.

I finally had my daughter, Morgan, after some fertility issues requiring surgery. I was 32 years old and I was obsessively anxious to be a Mommy. Morgan was born three months early due to a condition called pre-eclampsia (can somebody find a cure for that, already?) and she took us on the preemie roller coaster ride of ups and downs with fluctuating oxygen levels, blood transfusions and retinopathy, to name a few. She was so fortunate that she emerged virtually unscathed, compared to many preemies who fight a losing battle or live with life-long complications. Even though there were still health concerns to watch and make accommodations for, we considered her normal and got on with the business of raising a girl. A girl, who happened to be fearless (she broke her arm jumping from a church pew at age two, pretending to be Superman), tender-hearted in a Dr. Doolittle way toward animals, and loved rocks and sticks. That little tornado was five kids wrapped in the skin of one tiny little girl who lived her life with a zeal that had her sleeping twelve hour nights!

Now, at 22, she’s a mommy. Bless her. Although I was ten years older when I became a Mom, I don’t think those extra years prepared me for the frustrations of incessant crying (her, not me. OK, sometimes me) due to colic or sleep deprivation (definitely me!). My mother and I still laugh at my exasperated call to her in which I accusingly asked, “Why didn’t you TELL me it was going to be like THIS?” I’ll tell you why. Because, darlings, nobody can prepare you and you wouldn’t believe it anyway.

Since Morgan was in a hospital for her first three months, I didn’t have the same newborn experiences as my friends. I spoke those words many times, sometimes lamenting the loss of the experience. So, when we ended up caring for Jeremiah for most of his first two months, my words came back to me. My sweet baby girl had developed postpartum depression and was admitted to a hospital for treatment. Jeremiah’s Dad had to work and spent as much time at the hospital with Morgan during visiting hours as he could. We were all stunned and heartbroken and hanging on by our tattered fingernails with her. She missed Jeremiah, we missed Morgan.

Somehow, through some of the most harrowing days and nights of worry about Morgan, Rich and I loved their precious baby boy without reservation, as if he had been our very own. Boy, did I get my ‘newborn experience’! Little sleep, working a full time job and shuttling him to my sweet cousins who cared for him during the day. There’s definitely no substitute for having family close by, especially those who are so willing to help. I received his first intentional smiles, his first giggle and we giggled too as we watched him pack on the pounds.

When Morgan was released from her treatment, I knew my role of substitute Mommy would change. I knew I would feel a hole in my heart when he left my arms. But it was time to be the Sweetie and not the Mommy. The day was July 4th when I asked her if she was ready. Her emphatic “YES!” gave me comfort. She’d missed her baby as much as I’d missed her being healthy. So, in a matter of a few minutes, Jeremiah and all his clothes, diapers and furniture were gone from our house. Rich and I wept occasionally for days, but knew he needed to be with his parents and they needed to be with him, too.

We know the bond formed with him will always be safely stowed in our hearts. It’s what we’ll blame when we let him have cake for breakfast and ice cream for dinner. Being a grandparent brings out even stronger protective instincts than I remember having as a new mommy. I find myself more relaxed as a grandmother than as a new mother, able to soothe him when Morgan can’t. It’s different when the ultimate responsibility rests on someone else and you know you can go home and sleep all night, except for those times when I feel so connected to him that I STILL wake up for that 3am feeding. Love him so!

About Juli, a loving grandmother…
Juli Bio