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How to handle the holidays with children

>> Thursday, December 20, 2012

Your first holiday as a family with children can be quite a bit different than your childless holidays.  From family gatherings to your typical traditions, your experiences may be very different with an infant or toddler.  Here are some general guidelines that may help you and your family through your first holiday season together.

- You may have to skip things, or spend less time at gatherings.  With a new baby, most times you will suffer the consequences of throwing them off their routine for days after the actual event you attend.  If you're willing to accept that fact, then go right on ahead and do everything like you did the year before.  If you're not, then chances are you'll have to plan your holiday get together's around your baby's schedule.  That may mean skipping later parties or only coming and staying for an hour or skipping the sit-down meal.

- Keep extra sets of clothes in your car or diaper bag.  Chances are either you or your babe are going to end up with some sort of explosion on you, whatever kind that may be, and it always ends up happening when you're already dressed for the event.  Keep an extra set of clothes handy for both you and baby!

- Try Santa pictures with your babe, but be prepared for it to not work.  Most parents who celebrate Christmas look forward to their child's first picture with Santa, but it can go from a fun experience to a meltdown in record time.  Plan ahead to have one parent close to your child and one parent taking extra pictures, because you are going to need to double team this one in case of a scary Santa encounter.

- Make your own new holiday traditions.  Sure, it's easy to focus on how different the holidays will be from now on initially, but there are plenty of new traditions you can develop for your own family.  Have a cranky little one?  Try putting them in their car seat for a drive while you and your significant other or spouse looks at holiday lights.  Calming for the baby, fun for mom & dad.

What are some ways your holidays have changed since having a child?


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>> Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The winner of the Milan Maternity Fall/Winter giveaway chosen by random.org is:

Beth R, please email service@milanmaternity.com by December 22 11:59 pm to claim your prize or another winner will be chosen.



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Stand by holiday gifts

>> Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It seems like every holiday season, there is ALWAYS someone who buys you a gift that you hadn't thought to reciprocate.  As a new parent, this is somewhat more difficult, because it isn't always easy just to run out and pick something up, wrap it, and have a nice card prepared.  Here are a few good standby options of gifts to keep just in case:

1.  Soaps.  Everyone uses soap, right?  This is an easy, although somewhat tried method.

2. Movie passes or gift cards.  Having a night out is a fun time for most everyone I know, and getting to do it on someone else's dime makes it even more enjoyable.  I'd certainly not turn down a free movie night out!

3. A movie rental voucher and some popcorn/snacks in a small basket.  Same idea as above, just at home!  Pajamas not included.  :)

4.  A grocery store or gas card.  Because, after the holiday season, everyone could use some free groceries.

These are some great go-to options for a quick card or gift to give to someone you may have omitted from your holiday gift list.  Best thing about ALL of these gifts?  If you don't need to use one or all of them as a back up gift, they are all really functional things that YOU can use, so they won't go to waste!

What are your standby gifts for the holiday season?


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Another review and DON'T FORGET THE GIVEAWAY!!

>> Monday, December 17, 2012

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for one of the new Fall/Winter Milan Maternity tops!  Click here to find out how to enter!  You have until 11:59 tonight!

Now, when it comes to my wardrobe, there are two colors I have a lot of.  Something that I think everyone should have a lot of.  Because they are easy colors, can go with almost anything, and it's simple to pair it with what you need to.  Those two colors are brown and black.

And that is why when the new Milan Maternity Fall/Winter tops came out, I also had to have the Julietta in French Roast.  Brown is a great go-to color.  And this top is great for pregnancy, that transition period after having a baby, AND nursing!  It's comfortable no matter what stage you're in, and it's cute with the ruffle details and buttons and empire waist.

You pretty much can't go wrong with it!  So make sure you enter the giveaway so you can enter to win a new top of your own!


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Fall/Winter Collection Review and GIVEAWAY!!!

>> Monday, December 10, 2012

Hi, everyone!  It's me, aniC, back for a review and giveaway!

 Now that I have a 5 week old baby, I'm reminded about this phase.  The phase when my regular clothes aren't fitting but I want to be done with most maternity clothes and they don't fit right either.  Not to mention needing clothes that are conducive to having a nursing baby.  So I was excited for the new Milan Maternity tops for fall/winter to came out.  I always love the transitional and nursing tops.

I was immediately drawn to the Rosalie top.  Specifically the Rosalie in Liberty Green.  I absolutely loved the color.  I absolutely loved the ruffle detail.  And I absolutely loved the color of the vintage buttons in contrast of the color.  And not only did I love the Rosalie in Liberty Green, but also in Raisin.  I had to have them both!

When I got them, I wasn't disappointed.  The colors really are great.  The material is soft and the fit is great for a postpartum body.  And of course the the inner tank inside that can be lifted to use for discreet nursing is great.  My only complaint:  They didn't come out until after I had the baby.  I would have loved to have worn them as maternity wear!!

Now, wouldn't you love to win the Rosalie, or one of the other awesome new fall/winter tops?!?  You can!

Here's how to enter (remember to leave a separate comment for each thing you do)

1) Go to the Milan Maternity website and tell us which new item you would like if you win.

2) Share this giveaway with one of the "share buttons" at the bottom of this post. It's super easy to share on Facebook, twitter, your blog, or e-mail! (One entry for each way shared, and for each day shared, leave a separate comment for each)

3)Follow Milan Maternity on Facebook , follow this blog, follow Milan Maternity on Twitter , post one of our buttons on your blog and leave the link (leave a separate comment for each )

4)Pin your favorite top on Pinterest with "I want to win this in the Milan Maternity giveaway.  You can enter, too: http://milanmaternity.blogspot.com/2012/12/fallwinter-collection-review-and.html"   Leave a link showing your pin.

Good luck!  Giveaway ends Monday December 17, 11:59 pm.


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Child-proofing your holiday decorations

Imagine your holiday home for a moment.

A fire crackling in the fireplace, a tree trimmed with sparkling lights and bright ornaments, wrapped gifts sitting underneath the tree, and a glass of egg nog in your hands.

Then open your eyes, and remember that you have a toddler.  And that whole scenario is one big pit of danger.  But, it doesn't have to be one scary toddler death trap after another, and here's how:

- Learn where to scale back.  Don't put packages or presents near or under the tree until Christmas Eve or Christmas morning.  Otherwise, you risk your toddler not only damaging the gifts or the packaging, but also moving them around the room to use as stools to get up on other furniture.  Keep candles out of reach or completely away for a few years until your little one gets a bit bigger.

- Baby gates are your friend.  While it may not look beautiful, putting a play yard around your tree will help to keep your child away from your tree for a few Christmas seasons when fun and new shiny things go into their little hands and mouths.  Not to mention if the tree is off limits completely, your little one can't climb on it or pull it down.

- If you do opt for decorations, try safer alternatives.  Plastic ornaments and ribbons are excellent alternatives to traditional ornaments and decorations.  Adding larger bells onto your tree or around your home on your decor can alert you to when your child is getting into something, if your eyes are not always able to be on them.  Stuffed holiday toys like reindeer and elves can provide a safer look of the holidays in your home.

- Keep child-safe rooms.  If you want your holiday decor to remain somewhat similar to before having children, make sure that you have designated play rooms where your child can't get into your decor.

What are you doing to keep your holidays child-safe?


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How to pack your hospital bag

>> Tuesday, December 4, 2012

As your pregnancy nears toward the third trimester, a lot of mothers begin to think about packing their hospital bag.  While this is an extremely personal task to complete, there are several guidelines that help to cut down on some of the confusion or constant questioning in packing your bag.

1.  Check with your hospital's guidelines before you begin to pack.  Depending on your hospital, there may be some restrictions as to what items you may bring with you.  While it seems like a silly thought, it's better to be safe than sorry if they have restrictions!

2. Plan well!  Many women tend to be over-packers.  Give yourself an estimate of 3-5 days and think about the bare minimal things you will need for those days.  2-3 pairs of pajamas, an outfit for you to go home in, an outfit for baby to go home in, the car seat, toiletries, etc.  Begin with only the basics, and make sure you're not over packing those!

3. Talk to other mothers who've delivered at the same hospital.  Many/most hospitals provide you with items like underwear, feminine hygiene items, diapers for baby, etc.  Speaking with another mother who has recently delivered at the same hospital can help you know what items won't be necessary to pack.

4. Pack questionable items in a second bag that stays in the car.  Some items, while may be helpful, are not necessary.  We packed a breastfeeding pillow, but ended up leaving it in the car.  I brought a straightener and blow dryer for my hair, and didn't use either.  For my second birth, those items will be packed, but stay in a separate bag left in the car to save space in the hospital room.

5. Know yourself.  If you always wear at least a little makeup, bring a small makeup bag with the essentials. Unless you have visitors 24/7- you'll have time, even if you don't have energy.  If you aren't a TV watcher, but stay connected to the Internet, then make sure you bring your laptop or some movies.  But if at home your TV and smart phone are enough, chances are they will be enough to occupy your free time at the hospital as well.  No need to bring your laptop, a personal DVD player, your smart phone, and 10 DVDs.  There is a very small likelihood you'll use ALL of that.

6. Plan ahead on someone who can pick something up for you.  If you have a person with access to your home in advance, you'll likely pack lighter and not stress so much over packing your hospital bag.  Most times, a family member or good friend can always make a quick run to pick up something you've forgotten or didn't realize you'd need!

What are some items you plan to pack in your hospital bag?


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