Highlights from Madelyn’s first baby shower

Gratitude. That’s the one word that keeps coming to mind as I think about the baby shower my mother-in-law threw for me and Troy in Texas last weekend. Everyone showered us with gifts, well wishes, and encouragement.

With each gift we opened, I got excited for Madelyn and thought about how lucky she will be — to be born into a supportive family, to have adorable clothes to wear, to have toys to play with and blankets to snuggle with. To be loved.

Troy and I will be lucky, too, to have Madelyn in our lives. I’ve been soaking up as much knowledge as I can leading up to her arrival. I’ve been reading books about pregnancy, labor, infant care, breastfeeding, and more. I realize, though, that for as much as I read, I still won’t have all the answers. There will be a lot of on-the-job training, a lot of learning by doing.

To help us out, my mother-in-law asked our family and friends at the shower to partner up and write down parenting tips. Part funny, part practical, the tips had me nodding my head in agreement. I know some parents-to-be get annoyed when people give them advice; I like hearing it, though, keeping in mind that I don’t have to heed it all! Here is some of the hand-written advice that family shared with us:

  • “Make noise all the time so Madelyn doesn’t need deep silence to sleep!”
  • “Remember, babies are very resilient. You will survive your caring parenting. Enjoy every moment; it goes so fast!”
  • “Take a little time each day just for yourself.”
  • “Get the baby on a schedule, but don’t force it until at least six weeks. Then chill.”
  • “Move next door to your mother-in-law.”
  • “Go to the park every day; it’s good therapy for you and good activity for kids.”
  • “Make sure you write down the stories or funny things she does. Right away. Before she’s born, write down your experiences during pregnancy.” (I’ve already started doing this!)
  • “Whenever she falls off the changing table, it’s ok!” (Um, we’re planning to avoid this at all costs!)
  • “SLEEP!” Whenever and as often as you can!!!”

Here are some snapshots from the shower. (Thanks to Troy’s Aunt Mary for capturing them!)

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Madelyn’s first (chocolate and caramel) cake!
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Lots of colorful presents.
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Troy’s mother-in-law’s friend, who we’ve never met, knitted Madelyn two blankets and a hat. So thoughtful!
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Naturally, a family friend bought Madelyn a Texas lone star bib.
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Still can’t get over the cuteness of baby girl clothes.
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Troy will have fun reading this Jimmy Fallon book to Madelyn.

We’re thankful for the shower (which is number one of three!) and are looking forward to celebrating with more friends and family in Florida and Massachusetts later this fall.

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Poynter.org. Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at mjtenore@gmail.com.

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