Tuesday, May 18, 2010

April showers bring decked out babies: Big City Moms Spring 2010 Biggest Baby Shower

The Big City Moms always put on a wonderful event, and their Spring 2010 Biggest Baby Shower was no excception. This time the venue moved from American Girls Place to the spacious Park East ballroom. Products filled the two ballrooms from dozens of vendors. On display were new products from some of our favorite vendors including Orbit Baby, Momma Couture, Zoli Baby, Maclaren, Skip Hop, Bugaboo, Boon Inc., and Oeuf to name a few. Also on hand were fab newcomers like Simplisse Breast Feeding Products, Stride, Hop Pop, Tomee Tipee, and the amazing Taga Bike and Luxury Stroller. Expectant moms had the opportunity to test out multiple brands of strollers, check out furniture, diaper bags, and the latest in all things baby.

Guest speakers included Dr. Alan Greene (see this post to learn more about Dr. Greene) and the wonderful Carley Roney from The Knot empire. Roney spoke about her favorite essential gear for new moms. These included some of our personal faves like the Orbit Baby stroller , which she highlighted as the "Sunday Brunch" stroller thanks to Orbit's patented technology that allows you to pull the stroller up to the table and spin the seat so baby faces you! She also talked about Momma Couture's clever Stinky Bum diaper clutch (another of our favorites and a previous "Fab Find"). Roney pointed out that no matter which stroller you chose, having only one stroller will never fulfill all your strolling needs. She suggested getting a lightweight umbrella stroller for traveling onthe subway on in the airport. Her picks were any of the strollers in the Maclaren line or the Uppa Baby G-Lite. Roney praised the ubiquitous Baby Bjorn carriers for babywearing, and spoke about The Bump's new iPhone app called Baby 411 (see my other favorites in this post).

Finally, Roney, a serious career mom, gave some fantastic advice on being a new mom:

1) Get OUT of the house and take lots of walks!
2) Make sure to network with other moms and build a support system
3) NURSE in PUBLIC (my personal fave!)

Roney explains that breasts are very portable and make it easy to feed on the go and to find places in your neighborhood where you can comfortably nurse such as baby boutiques and department store lounges (Saks has a great one on the fourth floor). Don't hesitate to meet with a lactation consultant if you are having any nursing problems. Other key advice Roney imparted on the expectant moms was to relax, trust your instincts, and give yourself plenty of time to learn this whole motherhood thing! She is truly and inspiring women!

As always, the gift bags far exceeded expectations. The overflowing (and heavy) bags had far too many items to list them all, but some standouts included the new Uppa Baby Car Seat Bubble (universal to fit dozens of car seats), a Bugaboo Stroller Blanket, gorgeous mittens from Oeuf, Robeez shoes, a Company Store Kids crib sheet, a Naturepedic Organic Piddle Pad, a set of Boon Benders utensils, bottles from MAM Baby, Prince Lionhart, Born Free, and Tomee Tipee, and multiple coupons for everything from strollers to nursery furniture. And that's just scraping the surface of the booty moms received in their gift bags. Add to that the individual gifts the moms won in the Baby Bingo Raffle and it almost tops the shower your friends and family throw for you!

Pooka's First Birthday Celebration!

Last month my sweet little Pooka turned one. I can't believe it! I spent the week leading up to her birthday thinking about that same week one year ago when I was awaiting her arrival. I thought about the luxury of laying in bed and dozing until late in the morning that last week of pregnancy (will that ever exist again?), but mainly I thought about the anxiety and anticipation I experienced. What would the birth process be like, and what would I do after I brought Pooka home from the hospital? Who could believe so much can change in one year! My life is so radically wonderful now with Pooka in it. I don't think I have ever spent a year filled with so many intense emotions: overwhelming love for my baby girl, a strengthening of my bond with my husband, fear and anxiety over first illnesses and shots at the doctor's office, and hours and hours of joy and laughter over the simplest things. And that only begins to describe the wonder of our first year with Pooka!

We celebrated Pooka's first birthday with family and friends at my mother's house in Connecticut. We chose a spring flower theme, and filled the house with daffodils, tulips, and grape hyacinths. I made tissue paper pom-poms in shades on blue, purple, and yellow to match the flowers and invitations from Sarah + Abraham (see previous post). I used these easy directions from Martha Stewart to make them. They are unique, more environmentally friendly than latex balloons, and if you have the room you can store them for use at future parties.

I wanted to bake Pooka's birthday cake myself so I could use all organic ingredients and control the amount of sugar that went into them. I had a hard time choosing between a single multilayer cake and cupcakes. In the end I found this adorable Buttercup Cakelet Pan at Wiliams-Sonoma and made individual flower cakes. I Used Ina Garten's recipe for Lemon Cake and it was absolutely delicious! I glazed the cakes and decorated them with Williams-Sonoma's colored decorating pens in blue and yellow.

Finally, Pooka looked resplendent in her simple blue and white Larissa Dress from Baby CZ (it's only available in the Marrakesh Print online). She got so many compliments! All and all it was a wonderful day and we made memories to last a lifetime. The only bummer was that Pooka woke up the next morning barking like a seal...she had croup! That was the start of over a month of sickness in our house that kept us from regular posting. But we are back in action now and thank our readers for their patience while we convalesced!