August 5, 2006
Once Upon A Child is the best. kid's store. ever. If you have a kid, know somebody with a kid, teach kids, you have got to check out this store. It's a second hand shop that sells only baby/kid gear. I went there on Friday to look for a few games for my class room. I spent $25 and came back with Monopoly Jr., Scrabble Jr., Guess Who? (remember Guess Who? I loved that game) as well as 6 new toys for Lexi. I had to restrain myself from browsing in the clothing section since she needs nothing in the way of new clothes. Plus, you can put your name on a "wish list" so if someone comes in to sell a certain item that you want, the store will call you before they put it out on the floor for sale.
March 25, 2006
Lexi weighs about 12 lbs. The stuff she owns weighs about 12 tons. I think every room in our house now has baby gear cramed in at least one corner. And honestly, about half the stuff is just gathering dust.
Here's what lying around:
Carseat - need that - obvisouly
Crib - yup, need that too
Bassinet - Used it 4 nights and now it holds dirty laundry
Pack-n-Play - haven't used it yet, but we've only been out of town once.
Swing - She really likes it
Bouncy-Seat - she really liked it until we upgraded to a swing.
Tummy - mat - makes me feel less guilty about laying her on the hardwood floors.
Boppy Pillow - I use it occasionally, but bed pillows work fine too, maybe I'll use it more when Lexi starts sitting up.
Sling - wouldn't give this up for the world. Lexi loves it and so do I.
Wipe Warmer - (see previous post)
Exer-saucer - haven't tried it yet.
Backpack - need it for all her stuff.
Diaper Genie - I'm fine with throwing diapers in a regular garbage can, but I didn't want to find out if the dogs would pull them out again.
And the list doesn't even include all of her clothes, stuffed animals, burp rags, bottles, nuks, hats, books, blankets, baby monitors, and other stuff I can't think of at the moment.
Here's what we don't have lying aroud:
Highchair (but one is coming)
There is a ton of stuff out there that baby companies try and pitch as a "must have" and absolutely essential product to raising a happy baby but in reality the product is pretty much just one more thing to take up space. One of those things is the Wipe Warmer. It's a little heated box to put the wet-wipes in so you don't truamatize your infant in the middle of the night with a freezing cold wet-wipe on his/her little butt. This sounds like a good idea but we found out that the wipes don't actually get very warm and in the time between pulling them out of the warmer and wiping her butt, they cool off to their original temperature. And, the last 20 wipes or so are wasted because they completely dry out before you can use them. Oh well, I guess it's back to room temperature wipes for Lexi. Hopefully, it won't lead her to years of therapy.
March 17, 2006
So we got Lexi a new swing the other day--a neglecto-matic, as some people call them. Ours is a little travel one, not so much because we want to travel with it but because our house is so small we don't have a spare room to devote to the baby swing.
We got a Fisher Price Aquarium Take-Along Swing. It's small, works well, plays non-annoying music and has pretty lights and fishies. Plus a crotch belt!
But the instructions included a few priceless gems:
The maximum weight limit for this product is 25 lbs. If your child weighs less than 25 lbs., but is really active and appears to be able to climb out of the swing, immediately discontinue its use.
Active=OK. Really active=bad. Got it.
February 25, 2006
We've only had our baby for three and a half weeks, and I already find myself calling her anything under the sun. We named her Madeleine Alexis, with Madeleine as the pretty, formal name and Lexi as a nickname (Maddy is not an option).
But in addition to Madeleine and Lexi, I've also found myself calling her Lex, Monkey, Peanut, Goober, Little Girl, Chica, Kiddo, Buckeroo (?!), Fuss Box, the closely related Squawk Box, Freak, Stinky Butt, Squirt, and my personal favorite--Grunty McGruntsalot.
I am so incredibly a dad.
February 21, 2006
So our baby's Social Security card came today. Pretty cool. The government officially recognizes her and will give her money when she gets old. Maybe. If the whole system hasn't crashed by then.
So the Social Security card is something you're supposed to keep for your entire life. Does it make any sense at all that it's just a piece of paper? And you're not allowed to laminate it? How archaic is that? Wouldn't they be a little more durable if we made them out of plastic like credit cards, or at least gave them some kind of protective coating?
February 18, 2006
I'm a practical guy. So when it came to telling the world we just had a baby, I wanted to do it quickly and easily. All people really want with a baby announcement is a cute picture and the basic facts. So we figured let's put it all in one handy package.
We made reprints at Target and then printed the basic facts on a big address label and slapped them on the back of the pictures. Before the baby came we printed address labels, labeled and stamped the envelopes, so once we had the picture it was quick assembly line. People were receiving the announcements within a week of Lexi's birth.
Easy. Cute. That's how I like it.
February 16, 2006
One thing they really don't emphasize when you have a baby is the importance of music. You get a stroller and a crib and a changing pad (or not), but you don't think much about music. Stores like Babies R. Us have typical section with a few expeced Baby Einstien or Raffi CDs or--God forbid--Elmo. But what adult in their right mind wants to listen to that stuff? No thanks.
I've actually found that my baby likes U2. Johnny Cash works pretty well, but U2 really calms her down. I attribute to the U2 concert she attended in utero. If she's just going nuts I can start playing upbeat numbers like "Beautiful Day" or "City of Blinding Lights" and we dance and bounce to the music. When she's getting sleepy we can go with any number of somber tunes like "In a Little While," "One," or "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" and she quiets right down.
I'm not sure if it's the actual music, or if it's the fact that the music makes me dance and bounce and sing, but I do know that no music means crying. So crank up the U2.
February 15, 2006
When we found out we were pregnant there was only one thing I knew we needed. Of all the assorted baby equipment out there I only knew of one item we couldn't live without: a changing pad.
The only diapers I ever changed before my daughter's were for a kid I used to babysit for in high school (yes, it's incredibly unmanly to babysit in high school, but what can I say--the money was too good). The family had a thin changing pad that was vinyl on one side and cloth on the other, almost like a table cloth you'd use for a picnic.
I'd spread out the pad on the floor, plop the kid on the floor and change that diaper. Any spillage would fall on the vinyl pad and when I finished up I could just wipe it off with a wipe. The surface was solid and plasticy, so there weren't any seams or nooks and crannies to make clean-up difficult. Wipe and be done.
Apparently such pads don't exist today. You can get a two-inch thick changing pad for your changing table, and while it does have a vinyl surface, it's also quilted or perforated, making clean up difficult. They also sell pad covers, though they're just cloth. So any spillage means the pad cover goes in the laundry and you still have to clean the pad itself, which is already difficult.
I turned to portable changing pads and found things weren't much better. The portable pad we put in our diaper bag has threaded seams where it folds. I don't want to think about how not easy it will be to clean anything that falls in those cracks. I went out and bought a quilted changing pad, only to find the same threaded seams. The lap pads we were given are cloth and require a spin in the washing machine after any mess.
Is it too much to ask for easy clean-up? I would expect that to be the whole idea, but apparently not.
Thus the one bit of baby equipment that I wanted I've yet to find.