Baby Shower
Ten on Tuesday: Hit the high spots

It's December -- and a contest!

It's on to other things! I've actually been reading something other than -- or, rather, in addition to -- books about childbirth and labor support. 


I recently received two copies of Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting, edited by Ann Hood -- one to keep myself and one to give away! I was only vaguely aware of this book a while back, and then read Barbara Kingsolver's "yarn" in the November/December issue of Orion magazineWhere It Begins -- I love this part about friends:

It begins with the circle of friends. There is always something beyond your beyond, the aged parents and teenager who crack up the family cars on the selfsame day, the bone-picked divorce, the winter of chemo, the gorgeous mistake, the long unraveling misery that needs company, reading glasses and glasses of wine and all the chairs pulled into the living room. Project bags bulge like sacks of oranges, ripe for beginning. Cast on, knit two together girlfriendwise. Rip it, pick up the pieces where you can, along the headless yoke or scandalously loose button placket, pick up and knit. Always, you will have to keep two projects going: first, the no-brainer stockinette that can run on cruise control when the talk is delicious. And the other one, the brainer, a maddening intarsia or fussy fair-isle you’ll save for the day when the chat gets less interesting, though really it never does. Knitting only makes the talk go softer, as long as it needs to be, fondly ribbed and yarned-over, loosely structured or not at all, with embellishment on every edge. Laughter makes dropped stitches.

"Cast on, knit two together girlfriendwise...."

I never thought I'd like knitting in a group with other people, and now I can't imagine not knitting with friends! My knit night attendance has been scarce of late, but that's life... and it will change.

Anyway, the list of authors is amazing, naming a scant few more of my favorites: Elizabeth Berg, Jane Smiley, "our own" Ann Shayne, and even Andre Dubus III! I've barely begun because, you know, there's still childbirth and labor support happening in a few weeks, but it is a nice respite from that -- even, in a way, a part of it because many of these are stories about knitting and how it helps us get through.

I am pretty sure I'll be knitting while helping Ali through her labor and delivery and, then, in the following days, I'm sure it will help to keep my head and heart from exploding all over the room as the reality of my first grandchild sinks in... that I'm a grandmother, and that Ali is a mother, too. Ka-BOOM!

Alphabet-scottieOne more shower photo - a slightly better look at the adorable alphabet sleeper and scottie dog hat direct from Aunt Kate in Edinburgh!

So, it's a wonderful book and I am savoring it, and I can't wait to share! With five knitting patterns by Helen Bingham, as well, it would make a wonderful gift for a knitter -- and I'll get it to you in plenty of time for Christmas giving (or to keep for yourself).

And there will almost certainly be yarn.

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Share a tip for a new mama & papa AND/OR tell me your favorite holiday movie!

Deadline is Friday, December 6th at 11:59 pm CST.

A winner will be drawn at random from all comments on this post.

Tell your friends.  :)

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(Meanwhile, I can't wait to hear whether LoLa will be in The Big Game!!)



This book sounds wonderful! my best piece of advice is "trust yourself" (followed closely by "it's ok to ask for help") and I have lots of favorite holiday movies. kind of depends what mood I'm in. but White Christmas and Love Actually are ones I'll watch over and over and over. Thanks, Vicki, for the chance to win!


Sleep when the baby sleeps in those early days and weeks! My midwife talked about thinking of sleep as a nighttime nap and a daytime nap and that did help. It almost always gets better around the 6 week mark, and don't be afraid to ask for help. I am terrible with holiday movies. I wish I liked them better!


If you can find a Johnny will make everybody happy. Are these still made?


My grandmother told me to remember that nobody knows your child better than you do, so trust your instincts, do your best, and love and enjoy your child. Being blessed with my children is the best thing that ever happened to me!


All the good advise I can think of right now sounds so cheesy when I try to put it in words. No matter how much you think you are prepared for the changes a baby brings to your life ...... you can never know. It is an amazing adventure.


I second everything said so far. I would add that Dad may do things a little differently than you do, and that's ok!

Also, skin to skin contact is very comforting for the baby. Enjoy lots of snuggling!


Trust yourself - you will always do the best you can with what you know and have at the time. So excited for both you and Ali!! I've said it before - being a Grammy is ALL it is cracked up to be. Oh, and Love Actually - my favorite holiday movie!!

Dana Simerson

My best advice is not to take too much yourself and love your baby. It's just that simple! My fave holiday movie...Love Actually!


My best advice - let your mom show you how to do stuff. She KNOWS how to do stuff. I remember struggling trying to put a sweater on Hannah while my mom ran around the living room vacuuming. Then she saw me and immediately put the sweater on the table and put Hannah on top of it and the light bulb clicked. And here's the thing - my mom was all "you spend time with your baby and I'll help you with your house" but I had NO clue what I was doing and my mom had all kinds of tricks! My other advice -if you possibly can manage it (and it's rough in the first weeks) then breastfeed your baby. It's better for them, it's better for you, it's easy (once you get past the first couple of weeks) and there are no bottles to wash! Don't be afraid to ask for help from a lactation consultant in the early days but honestly, once you get the hang of it it's just the easiest thing in the world.

Laura from beautiful West Michigan

Baby books are good guidelines, but your baby will be unique. Trust your instincts. And at first, I don't think you can hold a baby too much!! Favorite holiday movie? The old faithful It's a Wonderful Life!!

Julia in KW

Christmas movie: Love Actually as others have and dad advice: wow! I can't believe how hard it is to come up with something here, because it is so subjective...I loved the time I had when my son was a baby, before I went back to work (a year and a half after he was born), so I would say to live in the moment, but take lots of pictures - they really help to transport you back in time when you look at them afterward! remember when we did...


My best advice is to Take turns sleeping in on a Saturday. It's amazing how much better you will feel with a few extra hours of sleep now and then.
My favourite Christmas movie is Christmas Vacation. I can't remember how many times I've watched it, but it still makes me laugh out loud.


My favorite Christmas movie is Elf!


Looks like a great book!
Relax, slow down and love your self and the new one--the time seems to fly so savor every moment!


Keep breathing. Baby will take every bit of your energy and keep you guessing. Life will be all about baby, but your still there. Take care of you, too.


Oh yes, favorite movie. It's a Wonderful Life. Is there any other? :)


The best advice for a new family is partly, tried and true. When the baby is asleep, you should be too. I quickly gave up on the idea of getting things done while Zoe was napping. Plenty of time for that later! I also benefited greatly from stocking the freezer, before she came along. On those nights where I didn't have two brain cells to rub together, I had trays of ready-to-heat-and-eat meals, just waiting for the oven. And in my mind, as long as you're eating well and getting some sleep, the rest will come.

And since I just can't help myself, one of my favorite Holiday Movies is Holiday Inn. Oh and the Bishop's Wife..... pretty much anything black and white lol


I'm so excited for you and Ali both. My best advice is for Mom to get lots of rest. Forget the chores, let other people cook for you, and cherish every minute!


Looks like a great book. My advice for new parents is sleep when the baby is sleeping. Everything else can wait. And also to enjoy those first few weeks. They go by so quickly. And to the new grandma - just expect to never get a smile off your face for a while. It is so much fun!


Having no children, I have no tips to offer. I also don't go to the movies so I can't suggest one. That does look like a great book and maybe a trip to the bookstore is in order.


Our 4th grand is due the first of March, a girl - to be named Rosalind. I would love to knit a few more things for her, and this book would provide great motivation.

Holiday movies- ELF and CHRISTMAS STORY

I am always hesitant to give advice, but just love the little one, and each other. And, sleep whenever you can.

Teresa C

There is so much advice and so many little tips that new, or any parents get from so many people. So much of it contradicts so much of the rest of it, it is difficult to know what to do in any situation.

Listen to your heart. When everyone is telling you to put the baby down or let him/her cry, but it is breaking your heart-don't let your heart break. Nature programmed us to respond to the babies and the babies don't know any other way to say "I'm lonely" or "I'm hungry again even if I just ate an hour ago" or "my belly feels funny" or "I just feel so much better in this world when I am close to you and can hear your heart beating and smell your smells and your voice is whispering soothing things to me". And really, to be honest, how can we learn to read their signals if we let them cry it out. Listen to your heart and your baby.

Later, my best advice: discipline. No is okay, even if that toddler or elementary school student is devastated and hates you. Disappointment must be learned and you know what is best, they just can't understand anything outside their wants. Love=discipline.

White Christmas


Get yourself a husky: (I wish I had had one when Andrew was a newborn. He cried CONSTANTLY for three months.)


Again as has been posted, trust your instincts. From your blog everyone seems to be pretty laid back. The baby will let you know what he/she needs.
Favorite movie, It's a Wonderful Life. Yours is just going to get better with a grandchild!


My baby advice: Don't spend so much time behind the camera that you forget to interact for real! And write down all the cute things you want to remember... because you won't.


Sleep when the baby sleeps and remember to breathe and enjoy all the little things.

Michelle B.

When my first child was a newborn, his very nice older pediatrician told me that he never had to treat a baby who had fallen off the floor while getting his/her diaper changed. I've never had a changing table, always used a cloth on the floor. No worries if he rolled over if I was looking for something I needed.

Kathode Ray Tube

Be kind to yourself as a parent -- you are human too. Favorite holiday movie: A Christmas Story.


My advice is long term make sure to make time for each other. And based on Baby Zim's Grandmother I think they may have a sitter available!) This looks like a wonderful book Vicki! Favorite holiday movie...Love Actually.

Maureen Smith

My favorite Christmas movie is The House Without a Christmas Tree!

Ridgely Hoyt-Whitaker

Savor every second, even when you feel "trapped". Everyone will tell you the time flies by, and they are does.

Favorite movie...hands down: "It's A Wonderful Life"!


IF you can, premake several meals that can live in the freezer and be easily heated in either the microwave or oven. It will give you a bit more time for everything else.


I have no children so my advice is somewhat limited. However, for Mom, when people offer to help by bringing a meal, baby-sitting so you can rest, etc. The answer is, "Thank you, that would be lovely."


Hold the baby and love him/her and the rest will solve itself! :)

Oh and if the little stomach is the issue hold him/her with his stomach on your arm and the head in your palm and the legs on both sides of your elbow and walk around this seem to do wonders and ends the crying.


I have no children, so I'm unable to offer any advice to new parents, or any parents. I'm proud of my brother; he's child-less as well, but just married a woman with a nine-year old daughter. He's learning his as he becomes "Daddy" to this wonderful little girl.
My favorite holiday movie is Love Actually, with The Holiday as a close second.


Best advice... Stop and enjoy your children...when they grow up it does not matter that the wash needed tending or the sink was full of dirty dishes.
Fav holiday movie.. Rudoph th Red Nose Reindeer, because it brings me back to age 5, 6, & 7 when my siblings and I sat around the huge box of a TV with milk and cookies as we counted the days until Santa would arrive

Gina in the San Francisco Bay Area

Babies and children are constantly changing. Savor every moment of the good times. During the rough patches, remember that they too will change, for better or worse.


Tip: If you're breastfeeding, feed your baby when they're hungry. Also, you can know your baby's getting enough to eat because they have wet (& poopy) diapers, their eyes are bright & alert and their skin is plump, not saggy (once they're more than a few days old).

Another tip: Take a nap when your baby does. Seriously. Whatever else you think you be doing will wait. And, if you have someone who offers to help you, let them. Let them make you a meal, or clean, or do laundry. Take the first few weeks slow - get to know your baby, and make sure you're eating/drinking/sleeping enough, too.

My favorite holiday movie. Well, I like the cartoon version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I love Dr. Seuss!


Our family favourite Christmas film, and a must-watch every year is A Muppet Family Christmas. We watch it while we're 'safe and warm inside the farmhouse', with snow falling outside.

Debbie H

My favorite holiday movie is A Christmas Story. I love the line "You will shoot your eye out kid". thanks!


Ohhh..this book looks so fantastic! I don't have kids so no advice for first time parents. I should like something classic like 'It's a Wonderful Life' but I love Elf. Will Farrell cracks me up every Christmas with this film.


As hard as it is enjoy these days because they go by way o fast.


You can't spoil a baby!!!
Trust your gut.
My favorite holiday movies are " How the Grinch Stole Christmas",
"It's a Wonderful Life" and "Love, Actually".


I didn't think I needed or wanted any more books in my knitting library, but this one is very tempting. Happy grandmotherhood to you from one who has lots of experience.


White Christmas wins every time! Can't wait to watch it with a fire in the fireplace, cup of tea by my side and gift knitting in my hands :)
New mom tip - nobody told me I could get very depressed (the opposite of my normal frame of mind) after the amazing birth of my beautiful child. Crying all the time is not normal - ask for help!


My favorite holiday movie is Elf. As for a tip, just enjoy it! It's crazy and stressful, but each stage is so quick. Also, make sure to keep up the fluids if Ali is going to nurse. And don't plan to get a lot of other stuff done for the first few months other than taking care of the baby!

Karen Majors

My favorite holiday movie is "It's a Wonderful Life" - watch it every year.
My advice for a new mom or dad is to except the help people offer you - especially if it's to do cooking, laundry or dishes - you should rest instead of doing that yourself for a while.


For the new Mom, definitely lay down when the baby naps. Sleep when you can. Prior to the birth, try to have some nutritious meals ready in the freezer; You won't want to spend much time or have much time in the kitchen.
For movies, our annual family watch is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I also love How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the cartoon narrated by Boris Karloff) and The Nightmare Before Christmas…something about Jack Skellington singing his little heart out and Sally mooning over him :)


My favorite holiday movie is The Christmas Story. What I really like to watch at the holidays tho are the classic TV specials - Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolf, the Grinch, and Frosty.

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