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My guess is that the gift stores in baby hospitals aren't fully feeling pains of the recession. Balloons and flowers seem to be popping up all over my neighborhood as the storks keep dropping off bundles of joy. Passing through the decorated doors and helium inflated pacifiers is parenthood's equivalent of the newlywed tradition of the groom carrying the bride over the threshold.

When we brought home our first baby, there was very little hoopla. I asked my mom to take a picture of my new and improved family outside of our house. Had I not made the request, I am pretty sure we would have no evidence of her "coming home." With my son, however, we were greeted with balloons, flowers and a mini paparazzi on our front steps. I don't know what the difference was the second time around, but I'm thinking I should have another baby just to see what kind of "welcome home" is in store for number three!

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