Archive for December, 2007

New Year’s Baby 2008

What better way to start a New Year and a new life than to be born at 12:01 am on the morning of January 1, 2008? Across the world there are prizes given to the first baby born in the New Year– everything from Savings bonds donated by local banks, bouquets of flowers or free diapers given by the hospital, manicures and donuts for the new mom, and gift certificates for dinners out and baby gear. It seems that every hospital across the country has special gifts set aside for that lucky first baby born after the stroke of midnight.

Some have asked why prizes aren’t given to the last baby born of the year and why the first baby is more special. Well, the answer is that the baby isn’t more special because she was born a minute after midnight instead of a minute before. Every baby is just as special and unique, but the way we calculate time and days, the rollover of a New Year traditionally is a big deal– and what better way to ring in the New Year than with a new life.

The parents of a baby born on December 31 have the prize of getting a tax deduction for that year. The parents of a baby born on January 1, unless they schedule a C-section delivery to be completed at exactly the stroke of midnight, don’t have any say as to what day or time their child will be born. But why not reward that hard work that delivered the baby precisely after midnight with a little extra gift, more than just the joy of looking into the newborn’s face and welcoming the baby into the world.

So, would I plan my pregnancy to have a due date of January 1, 2008 and schedule my labor to be induced in the hopes of winning the prize and the prestige and the fifteen minutes of fame for my newborn? Not a chance– because any day that a baby is born is a special and wonderful day and a new beginning for a new life. Of course, if the hospital still wanted to give me a year’s supply of free diapers I wouldn’t complain!

Let me know how you feel about the New Year’s baby tradition with a comment. Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Baby Laughs

Nothing is quite as infectiously happy as watching or hearing a baby laugh. Seriously, I don’t know of anyone who can see a little baby’s smile, hear a happy toddler giggle or tickle a baby to make her laugh who doesn’t end up smiling or laughing themselves. Children help to remind us of our own happy childhoods and their laughter and adorable toothy or toothless smiles make us smile too.

They say that a mother knows her children by their cry, but I would have to say that I know my children by their laughter as well. It’s the sound that I definitely prefer over crying and it makes me feel like I might be doing a good job of being a mommy if my kids can go around the house laughing all day.

My twenty month old little boy earned himself the nickname Cheez-it a few months ago when he learned to put on a special face for the camera or anytime we asked him to smile. It is such a hilarious grin and he gets so excited and happy when we laugh at it that he does it even more. Now we can be sitting around the dinner table and we will look over at him to find him grinning us down, just wanting us to see how happy he is and make us smile too. It makes cleaning up after him a whole lot easier (as he’s also known as the messiest eater on the block!)

I am sure that every parent prefers laughter to crying, and I’m also sure that all of us have memories of our babies first smile that will never leave our minds. Check out some of these cute babies caught on tape laughing and giggling out of pure joy. I bet it will brighten your day! Let me know with a comment.

Kids at Christmas (Magical Ideas and Activities)

Nothing is quite as exciting as watching children at Christmas time. This morning I had the pleasure of witnessing the pure joy of innocence as my three year old really was able to anticipate Santa’s arrival and woke up so excited. He woke up and the first thing he said was “Did Santa come to our house? Did he bring presents? Can I go and see him?” He thought Santa was going to stay at our house after making his deliveries.

Our 20 month old is too little to really understand everything that’s going on, but he caught on to the present opening and new toys really fast and was so excited every time we put another present in front of him. The toys he was happiest with and carried around the longest were the simplest toys that Santa had brought– a little toy truck and a suction-cup ball that sticks to any hard surface. He walked around the house saying “Ball, car, ball, car!”

As a parent the thing I want most for Christmas is for my kids to be able to have those happy memories that I remember from my own childhood. Christmas has a different meaning for me now that I have kids- it’s no longer about what I want or what I get surprised with. It’s all about making Christmas magical for my children so I can see their happy faces and tell them how much I love them.

This year I also had the opportunity to help with a project to bring Christmas to homeless children in our community. I got to organize the making of 200 Christmas stockings in an organization of women in my neighborhood. It was a neat experience to watch a couple dozen women donate supplies, money, time and creativity to the project, all for children they would probably never meet.

This was just another reminder to me that Christmas is a time to think beyond ourselves and reach out to love the world. Whether this is a community project or within the walls of our own homes, I think every person can make a huge difference in the world. Merry Christmas!

Leave a comment to let me know how your Christmas was.

Santa’s Deliveries

A few days ago I asked my 3 year old son where Santa was and what he was doing. He said “Santa’s at the North Pole and he’s making toys.”

I said “That’s right. Is Santa going to come to our house and bring you presents and fill up your stocking?”

He said “Nope. The mailman is going to go to the North Pole and get all the presents and bring them to our mailbox.”

Well, that would certainly make Santa’s job easier, but look out mail carriers– your Christmas Eve delivery schedule could get even more crazy! We finally convinced our toddler that Santa would bring the presents down the chimney himself, but we’ve been laughing about the inventiveness of our kids since that incident.

I’m sure everyone has stories like this to tell. Please share them with a comment.