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

Sep 052014
 

Did you know that Sunday is Grandparents Day?!

We are thrilled to celebrate Grandparents here at MommiesFirst, because we know just how important Grandparents are in our lives. Because of this, we would like to celebrate Grandparent ALL MONTH here at MommiesFirst!

Will you join us?

One of our brand partners, DK Canada has graciously offered up a few of their books for us to giveaway to some lucky winners! We all know how important it is to read to our little ones from the time that they are babies. Reading stories is a wonderful bonding experience and can be enjoyed by Mommies, Daddies and Grandparents (and of course others as well).
DK GrandParents Giveaway

Enter Our Snuggle Up With a Grandparent and Read Giveaway Below….

Prizes: Grand Prize = 1 copy of Grandparents Enjoying and Caring for Your Grandchildren, 1 copy of The Baby Book and 1 copy of Baby Day by Day (retail value of ~$100)
TWO Runner Up Prizes = 1 copy of Grandparents Enjoying and Caring for Your Grandchildren
Giveaway Open to: Canadian Residents only, of the age of majority at the time of entry
Giveaway Ends: September 30, 2014 11:59pm EST

Giveaway Rules and Regulations:
Giveaway Open to: Canadian Residents (must be age of majority in place of residence at time of entry to participate.)
Giveaway begins: September 5, 2014 Giveaway ends: September 30, 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, but we don’t take any responsibility for it as we aren’t the people doing the shipments!

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

With Love and Care,
The MommiesFirst Team

Sep 032014
 

Grandparents Photo
September is a big month for most families. For those with “older” kids there are the Back To School preparations, while those with “younger” babies there is also the settling into a fall routine and classes. And for any family, there is a coming to terms with a change in the weather and the (sad) realization that summer has officially come to an end. But, did you know that September also marks the celebration of grandparents? September 7th is Grandparents Day, and because we want to honor all the grandparents that are helping raise our babies – big and small – we are celebrating them all month long at MommiesFirst. While today, grandparents likely no longer live right next door, it still takes a village to raise our little ones. In my own case, I’ve found grandparents to be instrumental in helping raise our boys. So, in our home, it is more than just a “Hallmark” holiday, it is an opportunity to honor, celebrate and give thanks.

I did not grow up with grandparents. In fact, I yearned so much for a grandparent that my beautiful, white-haired kindergarten teacher stepped up to the role (what a special woman). So I love that my boys don’t to need to adopt a grandparent, but instead are building deep, meaningful relationship with their beloved grandparents. And there is another side of grandparenting that I have come to appreciate as a new mom and through MommiesFirst. A kind, patient mother (or in my case, mother-in- law) can have a huge impact during a first time mom’s pregnancy and her first year as a new mom. Home cooked meals, a call to check in, words of support and comfort, free babysitting or a sleep-in are all ways in which my mother-in-law (and father in a law) supported our family in the earliest days of our parenting journey. My father took super abuelito (grandfather in Spanish) to a whole new level as well. For a time, he moved in with us, and was the extra set of hands we needed to manage two kids and one start up – MommiesFirst.

In my role at MommiesFirst, I have the opportunity to connect with grandparents on a daily basis when they purchase boxes for daughters, friends, etc. Often times they share their stories and excitement. It is very special to “feel” that love over email and we do take extra care to honor their wishes through our boxes. I am thrilled to turn September in Grandparents Month and honor all the grandparents out there and thank them for they generosity and boundless love. Do you have an extraordinary grandma or grandpa story? Please share it with me at lorena@mommiesfirst.com.

With love and care,
Lorena
Grandparents Month
P.S. We have a couple of fun things planned this month to honour our Grandparents! Be sure to check in regularly.