Monday, April 28, 2014

Somewhat Unrelated, But Important Nonetheless for Mommies and Mommies-to-be

I spend so much time blogging and educating about the importance of documenting our little ones, what is important to document and why, and how to make the best digital photo and video scrapbooks so that our kids can know just how much we love them.  These things are very important and letting our kids know in more ways than one just how much they are loved will set a strong foundation of confidence throughout their lives.

But something I realized this past weekend while being pampered at the Mommy Blogger Pre-Reception for the Pregnancy Awareness Month kick-off event is that we really need to make sure to take time out for ourselves, and not just during nap time and after we put our little one's to bed.  I had planned to attend the event with my son, as he is almost always with me.  But his runny nose and cough made me think twice about being "that mom."  It turned out to be for the best, as I was able to take a step back for an afternoon and focus on me. 

As moms we give so much to our little ones: from the moment I found out I was pregnant I became  hyper conscious about everything I was putting into my body and well as on it, the environment I was inhabiting, and even the air I was breathing in order to give my son the best start in life. I extensively researched everything that I brought into our home for him.  My baby registry was chock full of organic and natural items.  I took numerous precautions to avoid being GBS positive so that my son wouldn't be exposed to antibiotics during birth, I took all sorts of herbs and homeopathic pellets near the end of my pregnancy to help with having an all-natural childbirth, because I believed it was best for him.  I endured a month of extremely painful nursing, consulted lactation consultants and researched everything I could get my hands on to become successful at breastfeeding because I believed it was best and am happy to be able to continue to do so through his second year of life.

But what I l realized this weekend while having a complimentary eyebrow waxing, a really informative make-up consultation (both courtesy of the all-natural evolue beauty store of Beverly Hills), and a wonderfully relaxing chair massage (courtesy of Berlin Wellness and Chiropractic), is that if I don't take the time to focus on me, at least a little here and there, I can't be the best mommy that I can be to my son, nor the best wife to my husband. I want to set a positive example for my child, teach him about treating himself with the respect and love he deserves so that others in turn will do so as well. As a stay-at-home mom/mompreneur I tend to forget about the importance of "me time" and consequently cannot be my best self as a mom and a wife. It's definitely true that our lives become more full as we become life partners and mothers, but we forget that we were a whole person before any of this happened and need to make sure to continue to take care of that whole person for everyone else's sake too. 

Give everything you have to your kids, they deserve it, but they also deserve a happy and healthy mommy who takes the time to put herself least once in a blue moon.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What Kinds of Things Should be Included in Your First Year Video Baby Book?

Whether you choose to hire a professional for photo shoots or video shoots in the first year of your child's life, there are many things that you can capture on your own that your child will appreciate being able to look back on years down the road.  When people only did traditional baby books, the preformatted questions and spaces for specific photos made it easy to know what to include, but in non-traditional times and with such easy access to recording devices, creating your own video baby book will serve you and your child much better in the long run.

Start as soon as you can.  If you can capture on video your own reaction or your partner's reaction to finding out that you're expecting, that would be ideal.  Otherwise, any other family or friends reacting to the news would serve you as well. If you're sharing the good news over video conferencing, there are plenty of good screen capture programs or even setting up your own camera/cell phone to film you telling someone else will be a memory to cherish.

As I mentioned in my previous post to all the pregnant mommies, capture your ultrasounds on video.  If you're seeing a midwife and not doing regular ultrasounds, even capturing elements of your appointments, measuring your belly, listening to the heart beat, etc. will be something special to look back on. There are some great 3D ultrasound services that create videos for you as well.  But make sure you're capturing your reaction to the ultrasound, not just the ultrasound itself.

If you can, get some photos, video, or both of when you are in labor.  I really did not enjoy having my picture taken at that time, but looking back, I am so happy I have images from then because it really does become such a blur, time goes by in very strange ways when you're in labor.  I also did not feel particularly pleased that my husband wore a helmet cam during my son's birth.  But the fact that he ultimately helped guide my son into the world with his own hands and we have that from his POV on film will be cherished forever.

Definitely capture as many firsts as you can once you arrive home with your baby.  The first bath is something you'll want to remember. You probably will want someone else filming as it is a nerve wracking time washing such a tiny baby for the very first time. The first time members of your extended family visit and hold your little one, grab the camera and film their reactions. Prompt them to tell you their first thoughts holding your child for the first time. Along the same lines, if you have pets, document their first introduction to your family's newest addition.  Having my dog smell my son's hospital blanket before we actually brought my son home seemed to help with a more peaceful introduction. Other first include baby's first tummy time, first walk in the stroller, first time exploring new toys, your baby trying solid foods for the first time, etc.

Of course you'll want to capture the early milestones, like your baby holding his head up for the first time, rolling over, smiling, laughing, cooing, discovering hands, discovering feet, pushing herself up, scooting, crawling, and ultimately walking. But every day interactions will be the things that you will tend to forget as time marches on.  The days tend to go by very slowly, but the months fly by at the same time. Suddenly you'll have a one year old and you'll forget just how tiny your baby was only twelve short months prior.

Once you edit everything together you can include photos as well as audio clips documenting thoughts, emotions, and baby's sounds throughout the first year.  It really is such a special time that deserves immortalizing.