The Neiman Marcus shoe salon used to be my happy place. Strolling in to the Stanford Shopping center after work or heading downtown with my sisters was always a fun time. I would mostly go and just look because frankly, they rarely had my size 40 (aka a Perfect 10) in stock. Either they didn't carry it or the one pair had already been purchased [sidenote: I often wondered about my size 10 doppelgänger who had the exact same taste in shoes as me and would always beat me to purchasing them first. How old was she? Where did she wear these shoes? Who was on the inside helping her snag them first? I always daydreamed our paths would cross over a pair of Tom Ford open toe booties, like that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry meets the bizarro gang].
But as my bump grew and my wearable wardrobe shrunk and the need to acquire new shoes (other than Nikes and Adidas with orthotic support) dwindled, I found my visits to Neiman Marcus decreasing as well. Luckily, I could still get my perfect pair fix online. My habit of browsing the heels on NeimanMarcus.com, adding them to my shopping cart, typing in the promo code, and watching a little shaved off of the total brought me some joy. I would do this frequently before finally hitting command W to close the window-- practicality getting the best of me.
Give or take, in the last six months I have not purchased a pair of shoes from Neimans (not counting that one pair I exchanged). Like I said the other day, I've crossed over into mommy-hood. Where practicality has a larger role in my decision making. Especially when it comes to footwear selection-- much to my chagrin.
$900 for shoes that I saved up for used to be a real treat. Now that's the deposit for day care. Spending revenue made from the blog used to be a ShopBop spree. Now it's a new breast pump (hahaha. I'm laughing about this!).
So where have I been going instead? Chances are you will find me at my new happy place: Day One Baby on Sacramento Street in Presidio Heights. A common theme in my life, as frequently articulated on this blog, is the role of serendipity.
Several friends mentioned Day One to me before Lillian was born. My friend Brittany used to work there and my friend Megan brought me with her to check it out. I am the first one to admit that I had severe reservations about the whole experience. I really wasn't sure if this was a good fit for me.
Oh my heavens, was I wrong! We brought Lillian home from the hospital on a Monday afternoon. Those next two days were amazing because of Jesse's help, but something in me told me to see a lactation consultant. Deep in me I just knew I had to. I went to bed Wednesday night with the resolution to wake up and go the next day. So I tried contacting several places but their weekly appointments were only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Except for Day One; they had consultations on Thursdays.
Before I called at 10:00am sharp I said to myself, I really want to go today at 2pm. Well, low and behold, when I called to make an appointment they said their only opening was for that same day at 2pm with Caroline. But I said, "no, I'm Caroline!", thinking they had gotten my name mixed up. After a few clarifying statements and a couple of laughs, I hung up the phone and took it as a good sign that we would be meeting with a lactation consultant named Caroline.
I am going to dedicate an entire post to my goddess Caroline at Day One, but I have to say that going to Day One so early on has made our transition so smooth. Breastfeeding has been enjoyable and special from the very beginning because of the support and education I received.
So you're probably asking yourself what the heck is Day One Baby. Well, like I said, it's my new happy place. When I'm there I am smiling ear to ear. When I leave I call Jesse immediately and say how much fun Lillian and I had and all of the things we learned, the new moms and babies we met, and recommendations for products.
Day One Baby is unlike anything else!! It's so unique that your first time in there calls for a tour by an employee, or if I am there, me! I give a full tour along with insider tips, as well as introduce new moms to one another. I feel like the unofficial welcoming committee!
Day One Baby has a retail section in the front so you can purchase their finely curated products. They have everything from bottles to swim diapers to breast pumps to bras to developmental toys to clothes. They also have a community playroom for classes. I've attended a few breastfeeding support group meetings, which are drop in. Lillian and I also took the Mommy and Me series for six weeks on Thursdays. Lillian and I have met some amazing friends who have made our experience even more fun and special!! It is so fun to email and text one another our exciting, silly, and first time mother moments.
I love the community so much that I signed up for two more Mommy and Me Classes, a water safety class, and for my birthday I am taking my mom to the "Taking Care of a Sick Child" Class. Yes, that is what I want to do on my birthday-- a far cry from trying on Manolos at Neimans.
But more than just a space to gather and learn, Day One Baby's influence on my life has had residual effects. I leave there feeling on top of the world and pretty much skip home singing Zippity Do Dah from Disneyland's Splash Mountain.
Day One Baby makes new moms feel like you can do this thing called motherhood. I have seen women crying there one week and then the next week are jamming out to the music class with the biggest grin on their face. Day One Baby is a welcoming place and is a safety net for so many women. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard someone say to another person, "I didn't want to interrupt but I couldn't help but hear you talking about bottles; can I ask you a question?" and then answers are given, friendships are formed, and life is good!
A few weeks ago there was a woman with her newborn and she was almost in tears because she was trying to figure out breastfeeding. As she was changing her baby's diaper, all of sudden her baby had a blowout all over her outfit. Without a spare set of clothes another mom offered her a spare outfit from her diaper bag and a big hug.
The best way to describe the staff is angels from heaven. Caroline, Ariel, Jenna, Farrell, Kathryn, Bonnie and more will just brighten your day. I can go on and on about it but I don't want to take away from how special it is-- just trust me and go check it out. Day One Baby also offers prenatal classes! And they are having an open house soon-- stay tuned and I will share the date and time when I find out. There is also a Palo Alto location, too!!
I am just so grateful that our family found a community at Day One! If you know me, you know that I stop pregnant women and new moms and ask them if they have been to Day One Baby. I am frequently asked if I work there, to which I can only reply, I am the unofficial marketing department!
Make sure you check out Day One Baby or tell your mom friends!
Oh, I forgot to mention! I absolutely love the diffusers in the restrooms so I bought one for our house so when Lillian and I can't make it over to Day One, we have a little bit of it here! #ImObsessed
Day One Baby has so many wonderful features: items to purchase, spacious classroom, mother's lounge to feed your baby, bottle warmers, diaper changing station with scale to weigh your baby, two restrooms, complimentary tea and coffee, complimentary diapers incase of unexpected blowout, back patio access.