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the newbie: Leaving the Baby

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


This week I’m on a two-day work trip across the country from June. It’s the first time I’ve left her for this long, and I thought I’d be okay with it. I packed, told her I’d miss her, and picked her up to hug her goodbye. And then… 

TEARS.

Streaming down my face like a fountain. I had no idea I’d have such an emotional reaction to just two nights away.

Don’t get me wrong: Staying in a hotel with no baby duties and waking up to an alarm clock rather than a crying infant feels quite nice. But at the same time, wah, I am really, really missing my baby girl. 

My husband is home with her, and my mother is even visiting to help out. She’s in perfectly good hands and, honestly, from what I hear, she hasn’t even totally noticed my absence. So I know all is well and she’s happy and safe.

But still, I’m counting the hours until I’m home again (27 as I write this, for the record). Did you feel this way the first time you left your baby overnight? Does it get easier? I’d love to hear!

the newbie: Hi, I’m June’s Mom

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


I’m lucky. Within my apartment building, there are lots of moms to babies under two years old. We smile at each other, stop to chat sometimes and even meet up for play dates. 

I realized last week that although I know every single detail about their children—from how they’re sleeping to when their first teeth came in—I know very little about these Moms. Besides the fact that they’re, well, moms. 

Occupations? Taste in books? How they met their husbands? Where they went to college? I have no idea! And that scares me.

Today, I’m hosting a little Happy Hour for us, and while I’ll coo as usual at their insanely adorable little ones, I’m also going to turn my head and ask some questions that aren’t child-related. Maybe I’ll even shake up a cocktail and put on some real music (instead of the kids’ CDs that are in heavy rotation on our stereo). 

Have you had this experience? Any suggestions for breaking out of the “Hi, I’m June’s mom” role now and then?

the newbie: First Foods

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


I’ll be honest: I had visions of feeding June the most natural, organic, good-for-you foods on the planet. I’d set myself up with tiny glass jars and blend healthy and delicious meals for her every craving. She would laugh and coo as she tried in-season fruits, brightly colored veggies and perfectly seasoned protein dishes!

The reality is that blending is boring, June doesn’t seem to like the foods I make very much, and those little packs of pureed organic foods? They’re incredibly convenient. June can feed herself with those! She’ll sit for an hour in a restaurant high chair as long as she has a packet to happily guzzle. It’s very freeing.

But… I feel bad. Shouldn’t I be making her food? Giving her a taste of what Mom and Dad are eating for dinner? Introducing something besides the puree texture, now that she’s 8 months old?

I’m not sure exactly what to give her, and she’s so happy with these packets. I’ll admit to being lazy: If it ain’t broke…

Still, I’m ready to move forward. Any suggestions for first non-pureed foods?


the newbie: Should I be teaching this baby something?
By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com


I posted a while ago wondering what I should be doing with the long days that stretched out in front of me and June, and I got some great suggestions! Now that she’s 8 months old, the days are a lot more interactive and fun (park walks, singing, dozens of rounds of peekaboo…), but I’m wondering if I’m supposed to be doing educational activities with her. Like, should I be going over colors, shapes, sounds? Or… something?

Trust me, I’m not an intense “my baby must be super advanced” parent, I just don’t want to short-change her by always taking her on my errands and having her life fit into mine. A few things, I’d like to do for June.

I’d love to hear if there’s anything you guys did with your babies in that first year that you really loved. We have a music class once a week that makes her clap and coo, but that’s over soon and I’m looking for more options.