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Club MomMe is a social and educational community welcoming women into the journeyhood of motherhood and supporting women as they become MomMe together.


Great Gift Idea: Box of Board Books

Thinking about the perfect gift for a little one’s first birthday party?  We put together a list of the best 25 first birthday presents, and one of the suggestions is a box of board books. 

So what is a box of board books you ask?  Take any sort of decorative box, designed to hold photos or desk items.  If you are creative you can add something to the top of the box.  If you are not you can purchase a personalized sticker on Etsy or print a picture of the baby and paste it on top of the box with the child’s name spelled out.

From there you have a few options.  Chudney Ross, owner of Books and Cookies LA, a children’s enrichment center in Santa Monica, suggests a box of board books based on a theme.  Chudney recommends choosing a couple of books all with the same theme to make a great birthday gift. Add a cookie to make it ever more special!”

Chudney reading to little ones at a Club MomMe event

A few fun suggested book groupings are

Zoo Friends:

  • Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
  • Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
  • 1,2,3 To The Zoo by Eric Carle

A Trip To the Farm:

  • Whose in the Farm Yard by Phyllis Gershator
  • The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
  • Old Macdonald Had a Farm by Jane Cabrera

Cars and Things That Move:

  • Wheelies Board Book by DK Books
  • My Car by Byron Barton
  • This is my Car by Usborne Books

Another fun and creative idea is to pick small stuffed animals or hand puppets that go with the board books in the box.  One great one that comes pre-packed is Five Silly Monkeys by Steve Haskamp, or you could pick a sheep or cow to go with Moo Ba La La La by Sandra Boynton.  For the Zoo Box you could include an Eric Carle caterpillar or any zoo animal.

Another idea is to include interactive books to stimulate the curiosity of a one-year old.  These include lift the flap books like Where Is Baby’s Belly Button by Karen Katz and Gossie by Oliver Dunrea. 


Top Twenty-Five Presents for a One-Year Old

One of the most frequent questions I am asked at the park and I see posted in mom’s groups is what to get a one-year old for their birthday.  Is there some universal gift that all one-year olds will like? 

The answer is no.  Unless we are talking about a water bottle, empty Starbucks cup or box.  Because let’s face it, all babies like those items.  But they are not really first-birthday gift worthy, even though they may like them more than the fancy present we spend so much time selecting and wrapping for this special day.

So here is my list of the Top Twenty-Five Birthday Presents For A One-Year Old:

  1. Plan Toys Hammer Balls (added bonus, this is a green toy company) $20 - $24.99.
  2. Little Tikes PopTunes Guitar $19.99
  3. Green Toys Fire Truck, Dump Truck or Sand Toys $27.99 - $30
  4. Skip Hop Zoo Backpack $17  Super cute
  5. Boon Caterpillar/Owl Stack $15 or Zoli Sumo Snack Stack $15.  Great to take snacks on the go!  Some babies can literally entertain themselves for hours munching on snacks!
  6. Sassy Bathtime Fun Appliques $12.99
  7. Fisher Price Brilliant Basics Rock-a-Stack $7.99 - $9.99
  8. Foam Letter Mat by Edushape $45
  9. Pull and Learn Car Carrier by V-tech $25
  10. Piano by Little Tikes $15
  11. Fisher Price Music Parade Ride on $34.99 - $39.99
  12. Leapfrog My Pal $19 - $25
  13. Growth Charts – Oopsy Daisy $49
  14. Train Set by Melissa & Doug $15
  15. Kushies Linko Toys $34
  16. Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper Push Toy $10-$15  Old school toys are in, and this one is a rare toy that every baby enjoys.  When they are crawling they can move it around and chase it, and when they are walking, well they will play with this for hours!  Everytime we head to the park we see at least one of these.  They are tough and durable, but the top see-through portion will receive scratches relatively quickly.
  17. Sit to Stand Learning Walker by V-tech $35
  18. Rainmaker by Hoehner Kids or Battat or Edushape 8 inch $8 or 16 inch $17 (a bit harder for a 1 year old to hold)
  19. Pediped Shoes $30 - $35
  20. Toolkit by Green Toys $30
  21. Sensory Balls by Edushape $7 - $15
  22. JJ Cole Blanket $29
  23. Cloud B Twilight Constellation Nightlight –Turtle or Ladybug $32 or Nightlight by Babyzoo $20
  24. Box of Board Books – One of my personal favorites is Where is Baby’s Belly Button lift the flap book $6
  25. Pottery Barn Kids Personalized Beach Towel $30+ Turning the big #1 means a marked increase in activity, including time at the pool and beach.  A large personalized towel is a great general

Clomid and Cabernet: A Guest Post By Katie Hurley 

Katie Hurley is a inspiration in the world of MomMe bloggers. She is an outstanding do-it-all Mom who manages to run two widely successful blogs in addition to raising two adorable kids! Join us as we welcome Katie as our newest guest blogger at Club MomMe and take a moment to check out her blogs: Clomid and Cabernet and Practical Katie. In the very beginning, I didn’t feel so very alone. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t screaming, “I’m infertile!” from every rooftop, but I didn’t feel like an outcast either. Truth be told, I didn’t use the word “infertile” for quite some time. Doctors, books, websites, and family members were fond of reminding me that one miscarriage didn’t mean I was headed toward infertility. It simply meant that I was unlucky. I was in the 25%...even if a miscarriage at 13 weeks isn’t actually all that common.

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What Parents Need to Know About Pesticides from

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Baby Name Trends

Baby names trends are so interesting.  The names that parents choose to bestow on their children reflect much more than the creativity of the two people (and sometimes one person too).  Paying attention to baby names can reveal cultural trends and societal values at a given time.

For instance, about two years ago the names Bella and Jake dominated the top rankings.  These “Twilight” names illustrate just how much influence popular culture has on people’s everyday life’s and how much people today want their kids to be cool and hip.  It is almost as if people pick their children’s names based on what name could become a celebrity or reality star, or better yet, based on a fictional character that has already taken over the walls of teenage girls across the country.

Not that I do not love the name Bella, because as anyone close to me can attest to, I-loved-that-name-since-I-was-in-high-school-in-the-90s-and-stupid-Twilight-came-along-and-now-everywhere-I-turn-there-is-a-Bella-ugh!  And Jake is a great name, just watch Freakonomics and you will see why (a few years ago I would have said “just read,” but everyone knows moms have no time to read.  In fact, I cannot believe you are even reading this right now!)

Today’s baby name trend of last names for first names is one of my personal favorites.  In fact, I unintentionally participated in the trend this past year when I named my son Grayson.  Throughout my pregnancy, my husband and I could not settle on a baby name.  We finally decided to stick with a short list of names that we both liked, and then wait to see what our little boy looked like before picking the winner.  I mean, what if we picked Asher and our son had dark brown hair?

A few weeks before our son was born, another friend who was due after me went into labor early and named her son Parker.  That was one of the names on our short list for a middle name.  My second day of irregular contractions, when my husband and I walked the track around my building so many times I think the door staff were about to award me with a marathon ribbon, my husband decided our son needed to be named Harrison. 

The only problem was that another friend who just so happens to be the other Founding MomMe had her son three days earlier and named him Harrison.  Plus she had his initials monogrammed onto everything including the nursery wall. So she definitely had dibs on that name. 

One of my favorite silly shows, Drop Dead Diva, was back on for the summer, and the super-cute and very intelligent lawyer on the show is named Grayson.  Unintentionally or not, my response to my husband was that we could name our son Grayson instead of Harrison.  We decided to add the name to the no-longer-so-short-list.

When our son was born, he looked nothing like our top three baby names.  The bracelet on his arm bore the name baby Pitzel.  The social worker on our floor stopped by to fill out his paperwork, and we told her to come back the next day.  I swear she shot me my first questioning parent look.

Somehow in that daze that is the first few days in the hospital with a newborn, we settled on the name Grayson for our baby with a full head of dark hair and the most beautiful steely blue-gray eyes I have ever seen. 

And so I unwittingly became a part of the last name for first name baby name trend.  Apparently, so did a lot of my friends!  Along with other names like Bennett, Parker, Lucas, Carter, Hunter, Carson, Blake, and Xavier which are all in the top 100 boy names of 2011 according to

Not only did I play into this trend, but somehow I picked a seemingly lesser known name that ended the year at number 48 on the Babycenter list for 2011.  Okay my blood is now boiling, because as of December 2011 this name was #76, and it somehow etched up 28 slots in the matter of weeks.  At least he will enter school as one of the only Graysons, though he may not leave as the only one.

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