Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

Top 10 Reasons the Hello, World book is the Perfect, Personalized Baby Gift October 11, 2013

Written by Jennifer Dewing and illustrated by Holli Conger

Written by Jennifer Dewing and illustrated by Holli Conger

My neighbors recently welcomed home their first child, a beautiful baby girl. My husband and I didn’t falter; we bought the biggest box of newborn-sized diapers we could find. Babies need to be changed an average of 12 times per day–a practical gift makes sense.
We were stumped about choosing a more personal gift to offer. The transformation of becoming a parent is life-changing. The overwhelming love that blooms within the heart deserves to be honored, nurtured, and celebrated. But how?
Hello, World! delivers on the top 10 list of what to look for in a baby gift. Written by award-winning author Jennifer Dewing and illustrated with adorable animals by artist Holli Conger, Hello, World! comes personalized with the new baby’s name and photo (optional). If you provide the parents’ names, the city where the baby lives and the baby’s birth weight, the book will include that optional personalized information as well. Like all I See Me personalized books and gifts, this new title makes a special gift and lasting keepsake.

1.     Make it a Keepsake. Personalizing this book with baby’s thoughtfully selected name will be something that baby (and the new parents) will treasure for a lifetime.

2.     Educational. Babies learn and develop right before your eyes. This gift is educational and helps to fuel the new baby’s brain development.

3.     WOW Factor Hello, World! is sure to get a lot of “OOOHS” and “AAAAHS” when opened by the new parents.

4.     Growth Potential. This gift grows with the baby. A special book is a gift that baby will use for years and keep forever.

5.     Picture Perfect. Any gift that can be customized with a baby’s photo is sure to be a hit with new parents. And, baby will delight in seeing himself or herself on the gift. (My “big kids” STILL loving seeing photos of themselves as infants. Me too!)

6.     Drool Over It. We’re talking “baby gift” here. Hello, World! is colorful and something baby will literally “drool” over.

7.     Cuddle Factor. Both parent and baby will love snuggling up with this story.

8.     Built to Last. Let’s face it, babies have curious and exploring little hands and mouths! This book is a quality gift that is built to last.

9.     Easy-to-Order. Hello, World! can be delivered to your special delivery within a couple weeks of birth.

10.  Made in the USA. Feeling patriotic? Hello, World! is made right in the USA.


*I was not compensated for this recommendation. Hello, World! is a high-quality, charming keepsake.


Top Ten Things I WON’T Give My Man This Christmas December 22, 2009

Shopping for my husband is nearly impossible. While other men would not be fit to appear in public had their wives not imposed a fashion intervention, my man is very particular about what he wears. The same goes for his penchant for software, hardware, music, video games, tools, boating or camping equipment, you name it. Even when he specifically asks for something, I am left on a wild goose chase to nail down the exact make and model that he would most enjoy…and I am invariably incorrect. 

And, while I am somewhat of a (ahem)  tightwad, my husband is comparatively more loose with his money and will buy exactly what he wants exactly when he wants it. What is boils down to is that it is nearly impossible to shop for gifts for him. To add to the pressure, he is a wonderfully thoughtful and generous gift-giver, who (I just know!) will present me (pun intended) with a variety of intuitive, sentimental yet practical gifts on Christmas morning. Mind you, thanks to his good love and our holiday-crazed offspring, I  already have  everything I’ve ever truly desired, so everything else is Sephora, er, icing on the cake.

I just want to give him something that says: “I know you so well, and here’s X to prove it!”

In the midst of my dilemma (and because I do know him well), I came up with a Top Ten List of gifts that he would–without question–NOT want to receive.

1. Neck ties or woollen scarves (Ties and his neck: nary the twain shall meet)

2. A set of hankies to match the neckties

3. A pocket watch (Among other things, his iPhone does tell the time. Besides, there’s probably a pocket watch app anyway)

4. A man-purse 

5. A gift certificate to get his ear pierced (the only jewelry he has ever acceded to is his wedding ring)

6. A dozen little throw pillows for our bed, each showcasing an applique, sequins or other adornment rendering them “useless” as a pillow.

7. A flask (To quote Jim Gaffigan, “I think giving someone a flask is a nice way of saying: ‘Hey you seem like a drunk on the go This would be good for you in your car.’”)

8. A software package barring adult online content

9. A carton of cigarrettes (he has a zero tolerance policy on smoking)

10. A life-size cardboard cut-out of Robert Pattinson.

Having the same problem? What WOULDN’T your man want to receive?


What the? Almost 1 in 5 people report injuries due to “gift wrap rage” December 16, 2009

Over the years, we’ve all been warned of dangers lurking in holiday celebrations. For instance, poinsettias have long been accused of being poisonous. has confirmed they are actually rather innocuous. Certainly, glass ornaments can pose a potential threat to little ones, but the worst culprit for holiday hopsital visits lies within the the all-consuming rage experienced by would-be gift-recipients in the process of opening a wrapped present.

Yes, you read that right. The act of unwrapping gifts can send people into a rage resulting in personal injury.

According to a poll of Pennsylvania adults, about 17% of Pennsylvanians experienced an injury or knows someone who was injured (such as receiving a cut that required medical attention) while opening gifts during past seasons.

According to the American Dialect Society, wrap rage is defined as anger brought on by the frustration of trying to open a factory-sealed purchase. The organization recognized the term in 2007 as one of the “most useful.”

A March 2006 story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  quoted Todd Marks, a senior editor at Consumer Reports, as saying, “Today’s packages force consumers to fight tooth and nail to get at what’s inside.”

The same article also claims that 2001 Census Bureau data shows people suffer twice the injuries from packaging than injuries from skateboards or swimming pools.

I guess this proves it truly is better to give than to receive.

As we enter the holiday season, avoid an unnecessary trip to the emergency room by following these tips:

  1. If you must use a knife or another type of sharp object, cut away from your body.
  2. If you must use scissors, use ones with blunt tips.
  3. Wear protective gloves.
  4. Avoid opening tough-to-open packages in a crowded area.
  5. Don’t use your legs to keep the product stable.

For our children’s good pleasure (and to free us from having to work through all the little twist-ties and clamshell packaging while our children practically vibrate with anticipation) we, er, Santa will be displaying much of our children’s gifts front and center in our children’s little play area. On Christmas morning, we will open the door to reveal ready-to-play-with toys… without the fear of injury, or the excess waste paper.