When my sister and her husband were getting ready to come home from the hospital with their new baby girl, my mom and I were at their house preparing it for the new family of three. While my mom was busy sprucing up, I filled their house with all the things I thought they might need (and lots of things they didn't know they needed) as well as bright pink post-it notes with personal sentiments and inside jokes. I left notes on flowers, notes on drinks, notes on granola bars, notes on oatmeal, notes in the fridge, notes in the freezer, notes in the pantry, notes on the Spengler Plumber Calendar, and notes in the nursery. Not only was their house freshly cleaned and their fridge and pantry stocked, but everywhere they looked were bright pink notes welcoming them with love.
When I came home with Will a few months later, I was thrilled to see bright blue notes everywhere. Maggie (along with Alex and Piper) went above and beyond just leaving kind words or funny jokes and also wrote helpful tips for me as a new mom on many of my post-it notes. I felt like I was on the easiest, most useful scavenger hunt ever.
Maggie and I both loved our Post-It Note Receptions and knew we wanted to do the same thing for my sister-in-law Jen when she came home with her sweet baby girl this past weekend. Below are some of the helpful items and notes we left for Jen if you want to do the same thing for a new mom-to-be. But really, this is a simple (but also very meaningful) idea that would work for anyone who is going on a home-bound adventure... maybe someone who is studying for the Bar exam or their first finals, recovering from surgery, or coming home from a work trip or deployment... really anyone who you want to show some special love or care.
Ideas for the Bedroom:
TO BUY// Hair accessories, dry shampoo, lotion, nail polish/nail-care kit (Make sure to write on the note that the husband should do a home pedicure!), button up or zip up, loose-fitting lounge ware, favorite snacks
TO DO// Change and wash the bed linens, wash and fold laundry, dust, vacuum
TIPS and REMINDERS// Take care of yourself too; don't make any drastic decisions about your hair for at least three months; you are an amazingly beautiful mama; LOVE.
Ideas for the Nursery:
TO BUY//Reading materials, iTunes gift card, nursing station basket with gel soothies, hair bands, healthy snacks, water, and lip balm
TO DO// Fill-up/turn on the wipes warmer, put a trash bag in the diaper pail and/or trash can
TIPS and REMINDERS// Keep yourself hydrated and fed overnight; keep lights on during the day and off at night; try listening to the Baby Einstein (Children's) Pandora station during the day; download an app like Baby Sprout to help keep track of nursing and diapers.
Ideas for the Kitchen:
TO BUY// Oatmeal and fresh fruit for mom; quick/favorite snacks for papa; lunch meat, cheese, and fresh bread for sandwiches; disposable plates, cups, and utensils (We always write, "Just use these until Piper/Will/Mia/Baby's name is old enough to do dishes."), mini ice cream bars, Cuties (with a note that says, "Why are Cuties so small? Because Piper/Will/Mia/Baby's hands are so small.") any other favorite foods, gift cards to local restaurants that deliver (with the phone number written right on the attached post-it)
TO DO// Clean up and do any dishes they might have left in their rush to the hospital, wipe down counters, clear out any old food/milk in the fridge
TIPS and REMINDERS// Keep taking your multi-vitamin; stay hydrated; dishes really can wait until I can come over to do them.
Ideas for Around the House:
TO BUY// Flowers, a funny calendar, dog/cat toys, nice hand lotion, cleaning wipes, favorite DVDs or a Netflix movie (if you have an account) that they can just return to you or mail after they watch.
TO DO// Vacuum, dust, take out the trash
TIPS and REMINDERS// Call if you need anything; LOVE; don't be afraid to tell people when you want them to come over and when you want them to leave; try to use lotion at least every other time you wash your hands. (Did any other new moms' hands get really dry like mine?)
That's everything! If you have any other helpful ideas, I'd love to hear them.
Also, I eventually really did need/use everything that Maggie, Alex, and Piper left for me, including a framed picture of the most precious person in the world on my night stand after that precious person started sleeping through the night. I remember thinking it was crazy how much I missed him while at the same time hoping he would sleep for even longer.