Guarantee A Raving Thank You Note
Normally, I love getting a thank you in any form – a handwritten note, call, hug, offer to buy me coffee (Dunkin Donuts medium hazelnut with 2% milk + two sugars slightly cooled) – anything really, I’m not fussy.
But there is one unique occasion when a – thank you note isn’t required, or even wanted.
Not only that, on this occasion it will pain me to receive a note requires a friend take time out of their day to write, address, and stick in the mail.
And that’s when there’s a new baby in town.
It’s probably because my memory of that time has never quite faded. As soon as I see a thank you note from a new mom I break into a sweat and experience a flashback of those days. I needed sleep. A shower. A lasagna. A mindreader who specialized in newborns. A stack of freshly cleaned laundry. Heck, I needed it put away, too.
What I didn’t need was the time sucking chore of writing the note, digging up an address, and trying to think of something thoughtful to say before tossing it in the mail. I could have been napping.
For years I quietly accepted thoughtful yet unnecessary notes from my friends and family and bit my lip. What could I do?
But that ended when a friend experienced a troubled delivery and spent weeks with the baby in ICU.
This time was different – I vowed there would be NO THANK YOU NOTE. Her baby was in the hospital and I wasn’t taking up her precious time. Not for a baby monitor – even if it was state of the art. I was going to get ahead of her sense of obligation, and here’s what I came up with:
Enclosed with the gift went the following note with a self addressed, stamped envelope to me:
Dear Cristina (me),
Thank you SO MUCH for the baby monitor – it’s incredible – not only does it have a great image, it swivels, zooms, and it looks beautiful in the baby’s room…all I can say is WOW.
You are truly the McGuyver of gift giving. No one could have sent such a cool yet practical gift.
I’ll spend the rest of my days telling our child what a smart, generous friend / aunt / cousin you are. And I know looks aren’t everything, but you are looking AWESOME these days. And have you dropped a few pounds? How about those bangs you’re rocking? Love them.
(Hey, it’s my note you write whatever you feel comfortable with…)
A, B, and C
What do you think – if you received self written Thank You note (for you or on behalf or your child) would you appreciate it? Let me know!
Awesome Toys for a 1 Year Old
Recently a friend posed the question, “What are some gifts you recommend for a one year old?”. Oh how I love that kind of question. There are so many incredibly fun toys out there that encourage development. But I’ll tell you what we DON’T want to develop, their love of obnoxious sounds with a toy that includes sirens, shrill screams, or loud honks – save that for their teen years.
Here are some of my favorites. The first year is such a year of discovery that I love the idea of toys that focus on developing motor skills and coordination.
Plus, I have a soft spot for classic toys that stand the test of time:
1. Blocks – every child needs a good set of blocks both for starting to see the elements of language. I love any that have pictures and letters and come in various colors.
The best wooden blocks by far are by Uncle Goose. 100% made in the USA (in Michigan, in fact) with innovative designs, several languages (Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, French, etc. and unique art designs).
2. Push / Wheelie Toys – I love any toy that inspires a child to move – either by pushing an animal that is attached to a walking pole or pulling a toy towards them (a company called Moulin Roty makes some fabulous ones) or pull toys like little ducks / squirrels.
Both should make engaging sounds that don’t require power. Further, there is no need for them to light up as this may require batteries which are a pain to manage as a parent.
3. Toys that require manual manipulation / cognitive development – KidO makes a series of brightly colored nicely textured toys for kids that allow them to take on basic stacking and sorting. Great for that innovator that will eventually take apart your toaster in 10 years.
I love all of KidOs products for their innovative European design, colors, and quality.
4. Speaking of cognitive development, another awesome toy is the Wonderworld City Beads Urban Themed Bead Maze – an ideal toy to help understand organization of objects and the cycle of movement. This toy is based on transportation in the city and comes equipped with the maneuvering possibility of train, car, helicopter and plane through both sky and tunnel.
Wonderworld’s stuff is made in Thailand which uses eco friendly manufacturing process, sustainable woods, and vegetable dyes.
In general, you can’t go wrong with toys that are age appropriate and are made using eco friendly development processes (i.e. use safe materials, don’t employ child labor, and adhere to safety standards which is the case in US, Europe, Thailand and other regions). You should also look for interesting designs, and basically, anything that makes you want to touch / play with them.
If you need any recommendations, let me know or just let me know what you think of these items!