It seems like a long time ago that our first baby Murphy was born. Today, he is now taller than I am! (How did that ever happen? I guess it is inevitable that kids grow.) Almost fifteen years have flown by since his birth.
But, I still remember being tremendously pregnant with him. My office mate Faith threw me a baby shower that I will never forget. My husband and I lived far away from our families, so we appreciated everything that our friends did to make the arrival of our baby boy as smooth as possible.
There are a few gifts that I still remember almost fifteen years after that baby shower. Obviously, they meant a lot to me. Hopefully, the next time that you go to a shower you can pick out something for your friend or relative that is just as meaningful.
Also, you should note the context of our lives at the time. We lived at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park at the time that our son was born. It is about 80 miles north of Flagstaff, AZ where we currently live. My husband worked for the National Park Service and I was the marketing director for a non-profit organization based in the park. So, our situation was a little out of the ordinary.
One of my favorite gifts came from my friend Greer. Greer was one of most fun people I ever worked with. He always had a funny story to tell. Like me he was also transplanted New Yorker, who ended up living for a time in Grand Canyon National Park. He had a wonderful dog named Gus, who he loved more than anyone has ever loved a pet. Greer’s stories were so funny that I frequently would laugh so hard that I would have tears streaming down my face and I would almost fall off the chair.
I am sure that my baby shower was the only one that Greer ever attended in his life. So, I am grateful that he put up with all of the baby shower antics and shenanigans, which were not his style. Greer’s gift was a onesie purchased from the Old Town Shops in Flagstaff, AZ. It was orange and had a little pumpkin on the front. My husband and I thought that it was just adorable and started calling our son pumpkin shortly after he was born. It stuck for quite a while.
A baby bodysuit or onesie is a great shower or baby gift for new parents. They come in a variety of fun brands and designs. Let’s face it. When your bundle of joy is first born they will be experts at messing up their clothes. Having a good supply of baby bodysuits around is a lifesaver for a new parent.
Admittedly, I don’t remember who gave us the infant carrier, but it was a great gift. I took three months of maternity leave after I had my son. I have also gained a lot of weight with my first pregnancy. What can I say? Being pregnant made me hungry. But, I lost it all within a few months with the help of two shower gifts. They were the the infant carrier and the jog stroller. By an infant carrier, I mean the carrier that straps to the front of you and you put the baby in facing you. I believe that we had a Snugli brand carrier. I know that there are many other brands out there.
Since we lived in Grand Canyon National Park, I was blessed with lots of great places to walk. I would put my son in the Snugli and go for 1-2 hour walks around the rim of the canyon. The baby would get in a good nap and I would get in some good exercise. Once he was old enough we switched from the Snugli to the jog stroller, which was another great shower gift that I received from my work colleagues.
Footed pajamas or blanket sleepers are another great option for shower gifts. You can never have enough of these when your little one is just born. You never have to worry about the baby being cold or kicking off their blanket when they go to sleeping in these cozy jammies. Our son just loved footed pjs when he was young. Even when he grew into toddler and big kid sizes they were always his favorites.
The last gift I wanted to mentioned was a play mat called a Gymini. Now, I know that if you don’t have children you will not have any idea what I am talking about. It is a soft mat with two arches over it. Little toys (some with mirrors) hang down from the arches. For some reason, babies go crazy over this thing. It provides hours and hours of baby entertainment. As a bonus, if you have cats, when the baby is safely sleeping in their crib it makes an irresistible place for a cat to take a nap. (Our cats couldn’t stay away. RIP Felix and Classic Oscar. They loved our son’s Gymini.)
The day after our son was born two visitors appeared in my hospital room, but our dear friends Kim and Mike. They came bearing some festive balloons and a huge Curious George stuffed animal that our son still has to this day. (He keeps it hidden in the back of his closet where his friends can’t see it when they come over.)
For those of you looking for a baby or shower gift in the near future, I hope that you will select a one that they will remember for years to come.
Melissa Canepa Murphy
P.S. Greer P. If you ever decide to publish your series of short stories including “Greer and the Buzzer Factory” and “Greer and the Pink Princess Phone”, I am still available for the PR.