Shopping and Gift Giving - Needs, Suggestions, Themes

Wondering what to give the Wonder Twins? We've been abundantly blessed by friends and family who have already been stocking the nursery (and secondary storage throughout the house), since we're new at this, we'll certainly overlook something. It also helps  that Adam and Sara are the first grandkids for both sides of our family and Marilynn, Sue, and George, have all been waiting a long time to activate their grandparenting privileges.

We have registered at and Babies 'R Us (use JoLynn's name in the search box). But, in case you don't see something that trips your trigger at those sites, or everything's already accounted for, keep these other facts and fun thoughts in mind:

  1. DIAPERS The twins currently get a diaper change before every feeding in the NICU and they eat every 3 hours. 2 kids x 8 feedings = 16 diapers per day, at least. So, our diaper inventory will need to be replenished often. Thankfully, we have a current Sam's Club membership and a utility trailer to haul the pallet size diaper load. At this point, they're wearing Pampers Swaddlers in the NICU and our research indicates that's probably a good design to start with.
  2. THEMES The kids haven't really expressed any interest in a particular sports team, school, or other vocational or recreational activity, so as their parents, we will be guiding their decorating and theme choices for a couple of years. To that end, here are some themes we are encouraging and decorating with....
    • Jungle animal babies - most of the nursery has the commonly found baby lion, baby giraffe, baby tiger, etc., characters on blankets, sheets, window dressing.
    • Bradley University Braves - Shannon and JoLynn's alma mater, the red and white BU Braves is a familiar school/sports look around the house.
    • Indianapolis Colts - Not the Bears, Packers, Vikings, or Rams - Indianapolis is the NFL team we follow with any interest. It's also the first pro football team in many years to have a Bradley University athlete playing for them when Marcus Pollard joined a few years ago. He has since moved on, but we like the team, their reputation, and the Christian example Coach Dungy and many players bring to the sport.
    • University of Iowa Hawkeyes - Having grown up just 30 miles from the U of I and with grandparents still in Iowa, Hawkeye Black and Gold is also an acceptable and unavoidable combination.
    • Bible characters and stories - also includes Veggie Tales or any representation of Bible events suitable for munchkins
    • Construction and heavy machinery - Long before matriculating and then settling in Caterpillar country, Shannon played with the tools and machines used for building and moving dirt. But, due to the strong CAT influence, John Deere products are discouraged. Bobcat is okay.
  3. GIFTS OF TIME - Anyone who has had more than one child in diapers at the same time knows how hard it is to get time away as a couple, so since our entertainment budget is likely to be constrained for a while, we would welcome offers to either babysit while we get a date night, or perhaps you just want to bring dinner and visit with us and the wonder twins. Once the kids get home we'll know better how much we'll be willing or able to leave them with babysitters, but we certainly like eating out.
  4. GIFTS OF EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT - We know how important it is to be reading to little ones and building a library for them to read themselves (a ways down the road, of course), so we welcome books - new or used, to read to them. Please refrain from videos. Compelling research results have caused the American Pediatric Association to recommend that to avoid skulls full of mush, developmental issues, and attention problems, children should not be put in front of screens (TV, DVD, or computer) before the age of two. We agree with that recommendation, so the kids won't be viewing Baby Einstein or Sesame Street for a while. Music is welcomed!
  5. THEMES TO AVOID - We're only putting this line in to perturb certain relatives and friends who have their own judgement issues. CUBS, Fighting Illini, and Chicago Bears items will not be worn or displayed. Just as avoiding TV or videos in early development is intended to improve their growth, we also want to help their self-respect and dignity by not encumbering them with symbols of such organizations. <wink>