Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another Reason I Love Trader Joe's!

I could go on and on about all the reasons I love Trader Joe's - the freshness of the food, the low prices for organic, the unique items (e.g., spicy dried mango or dried mangosteen), the cheap wine. But the best reason by far is their outstanding, boundary-breaking customer service.

I've told many of my friends the story of a time when I was in the checkout buying an unusual item, and the checker asked me if I had tried said item. I replied that I had tried a similar item, but didn't like it, so I was going to test out this new option. She promptly rang her bell and received approval from the manager to give me full credit for the item I bought previously - I had no receipt, no box, no proof whatsoever that I had ever even purchased the item! Further, she informed me that I could always ask a Trader Joe's employee to open any item and let me try it there in the store before purchasing! Wow!

Here is yet another story about their outstanding customer service - they gave a woman a free turkey simply because they felt sorry for her!

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Favorite Things - for Postpartum Moms and for Newborns

This book, The Second Nine Months, will make you hurt so bad from laughing that you will need an extra Percocet. The author is painfully honest and FINALLY provides a realistic perspective on life after delivery. Even if you had your child years ago, this is a must read. I think all new dads should read it as well. Heck, anyone at all would probably find it laugh out loud funny.

The Sleepy Wrap is my new best friend. It is the only way I have been able to get a nap during the day - I wrap my new baby in it, lie on my back, and we both catch some shut eye. Plus, it doesn't look quite as dorky as some of the other baby carriers.

I love, love, love this Yummy Tummy tank that my wonderful sister bought me. I probably never would have spent this much on a tank top myself, but now that I've worn it I think it is totally worth the money. It definitely minimizes the post-partum belly and is actually an attractive looking nursing tank. They also have non-nursing items that would be great for any woman looking to minimize the mid-section!

Leggings are quite forgiving under an oversized shirt or cute dress. I love the new modern take on the 80s stirrup legging (trust me, they aren't the atrocious kind that we tucked into our multicolored, fluorescent socks).

I love leggings with the bootie (also an 80s throwback) - this Nine West version is one of my favorites. When buying clothes is a less than desirable undertaking, there is nothing like a pair of new shoes to pick you up!

I love this nursing cover because it doesn't look like you are wearing a doily off your grandmother's side table.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Top Ten Do's for Friends of Families with Newborns

Well, I thought it might be good to do a little educational piece for the general public while the subject is fresh for me. It is also good for me to capture this in print for myself, since it is so easy to forget what it is like to have a newborn once you are out of that phase. Evolutionary psychology and survival of the species has helped us by allowing us to almost completely erase from our minds the downsides of having a newborn and only remember the sweet smell of baby powder and soft breathy snuggles.

Here goes. I hope you find this both humorous and informative. Feel free to add your own by commenting, or go ahead and critique the ones I've suggested.

Top Ten Do's for Friends of Families with Newborns:

10. Wash your hands and the hands of your children before handling the newborn. Especially if you drove to see us - we've seen too many people with fingers up their noses at stoplights.

9. Offer to run errands or pick something up for the family.

8. Be patient with the family and all their grumpiness, dishevelment, and absentmindedness. With the combo of sleep deprivation and general shock over the upheaval, the best they can do right now is get the baby fed, clothed, and changed.

7. Allow the family to rest and relax. Take care of them - they desperately need it! At the very least, fetch diapers and wipes. If you don't want to help out, then keep your visit very short (30 minutes to an hour).

6. Go on and on about how beautiful the baby is. Even if the baby looks like Yoda having a bad hair day.

5.If the family has another child, bring a small gift for the other child and give that child some of your attention too. If the family doesn't have another child, give that extra attention to the mom!

4. Make the sacrifice, just this once, and let the family hog the conversation with talk of the baby and the birth. We know it is terribly boring for you, but it is all we really care about right now.

3. When you visit, bring food, serve or help serve the meal, and then help clean up. This is the best gift you can give the family - you don't need to bring anything else!

2. Ask when the family is expecting visitors (frame it as "when" versus a yes/no "Are you taking visitors?" so it is easier for the family to put you off if they so desire).

1. For the love of Pete, tell the mother how wonderful and thin she looks, even if she looks like Jabba the Hut. No one will do this, so be the first to break the cycle.

Other helpful suggestions:

When to visit a newborn