Putting 2 and 2 together…

August 31, 2007

In preparation for the baby coming, we’ve been reading a lot of books about the good and bad of baby brothers/sisters. We want to prepare her, if we can, for the fact that life with a baby might not always be rosy.

A lot of these stories also deal with Mommy and Daddy going to the hospital for a while. Almost universally, Grandma and Grandpa come to stay with the older sibling for a while.

I was never really sure how much of an impact these were making on my daughter. I know they were starting to remind me of all the not-so-rosy moments when there’s a baby around. But I wasn’t sure about her.

Oh, there were occasional glimpses, like when she’d tell us, “If I see my baby brother put something in his mouth, I.. I.. I tell mommy and daddy!”. Or, “Sometimes babies pull your hair.” Or other nuggets of wisdom.

But I think the one that impressed me the most was when I picked her up from daycare yesterday, and I could see her logical thought process, and see she was trying to put two and two together:

Me: Guess who’s coming today?
Daughter: Who?
Me: Nona and Grandad!
Daughter: Yay! … Is my baby brother coming out today?

I don’t have a lot of experience with 3 year olds. Well, I didn’t before I had one. But it impressed me that she associated grandparents coming to visit with a baby being born.

Of course, with Nona and Grandad being many hours away, there’s no guarantee they will be here when it is time. We have some options, but we hate to impose on friends, should the baby come at, say, 2am.

That is why we are meeting with some Post-partum Doulas, who, in addition to helping out new moms in many ways after childbirth, will also provide some child care, if necessary, uhm, in-partum? We prefer not to have to use one, but we want something in place should we need it.


The Mico, She Has Arrived!

August 29, 2007

Our blue Maxi-Cosi Mico arrived today. Looks fantastic. I will say that a few of the non-safety-related plastic parts feel ever-so-slightly, uh… cheap. At least compared to some car seats we’ve had in the past.

Can’t really review too much more yet, seeing as how we don’t yet have a baby to put in it…

Now to haul it to Babies R Us to see if it will fit in one of them stoller frame thingies.

Speaking of Babies R Us, my sources tell me they will be carrying the Mico in September sometime. Of better news to us, they will also stock the extra bases.

I’ll try to post more as I play with it a little bit.


Up and Down

August 29, 2007

Man, what an up and down weekend. Actually, more like down and up.

We missed our first picnic, because my daughter was sick Saturday and Sunday — fever, no appetite, no energy, waking up in the night. Finally, she made an amazing recovery in time for my company picnic on Monday.

Monday morning, she woke up, and it was as if she was never sick.

Me: You slept great last night.  And you seem much better.
Daughter: I got better for the picnic tomorrow!
Me: Oh, I’m afraid we’re not going to the picnic tomorrow… because the picnic is today!

Our company picnic is at a local amusement park. We get the whole place to ourselves, and everything is free – the food, the games, the rides, even the beer.

She had a blast. She’s finally at the age where she can enjoy the rides and the water park. It took an hour or so for her (and the water) to warm up. Our first attempt at the water park didn’t work out because the water was too cold, and my daughter didn’t want to go in. When we went back later in the day, it was much warmer, but my daughter didn’t want to do more than hang her feet in.

Finally, I grabbed her, raised her in the air, then lowered her, quickly, into the water, back up, in the water, back up, in the water, then back on the side of the kiddie pool. “Again!” she cried, and I’d do it again. On the fourth time through, I left her in the water at the end, to see what she would do.

Without flinching, she started walking around in the water and playing.

Of course, that meant daddy followed her around the pool (Ms. Kaz didn’t bring her suit), knee-deep in water and the sun burning down on my neck and back. It was fun.

It was funny to see her go down a kiddie slide in her floatation vest thingy. She loved it, but only wanted to slide once. Probably because, at the bottom, she landed on her back and was floating and couldn’t flip herself over. I helped her, but it was still funny to see. Like the time she stumbled and started to fall sideways, only to have the vest keep her afloat. It took her a good 15 seconds to right herself.

Surpirsingly, despite no nap, and us being there for 8 hours, she fared pretty well. Very few “incidents” and breakdowns. She even sat through the cheesy stage show, apparently staffed by high schoolers looking for work before the high school musical season starts up again (imagine Pinball Wizard sung in the style of a high school musical, and you’ll know what I mean). The theme of that show was high schoolers… singing as if in a musical… hmm… wonder where they got that idea from?

Ms. Kaz and I rolled our eyes many times during this show (“I’m a preppy!”, “I know! That’s why I like you!” ugh), but every time I looked over at my daughter, she was sitting up, staring at the show, and clapping after the songs.

Just like at the Garfield and Friends show (same high school kids, and a giant Garfield costume, singing songs about magic). Between shows like this, and the comic strip, I don’t know how Jim Davis sleeps at night, accepting money for these things.


Conversations With…: Time for a haircut

August 26, 2007

You know it is time for a haircut when you have the following conversation:

Daughter: Are we going to the haircut store today?
Me: No, not today.
Daughter: Are you getting your haircut today, daddy?
Me: Nope. But I need one. Look at how long my hair is getting!
Daughter: Wow! That’s long…
Me: I know.
Daughter: … like a lady’s!
Me: Yeah. Thanks.


Organic To Be

August 24, 2007

Hey, all – another quick post.

I just discovered the OrganicToBe website here at WordPress. What drew my attention is that they have two contributors who focus on organic foods for kids and babies. Lisa Barnes has a series of posts with a lot of intriguing recipes.  Barbara Storper answers questions and provides some useful information for parents.

I like to support sites which help parents help their kids and the world they are going to inherit (as well as fellow WordPress’ers), so check them out.


The stroller flip-flop

August 24, 2007

I read today that John McCain said Hillary Clinton “flip-flops on Iraq”. Okay, it appears he didn’t actually use that term, as far as I can tell. But he did use the argument. Doesn’t he know that accusations of doing a Flip-Flop are so 2000 ??

That being said, I have been doing some flip-flopping (flipping-flopping?) of my own on the whole double-stroller thing. Here are the facts:

  • We need a new infant car seat for the baby.
  • We would like a stroller that the car seat can fit into.
  • We believe we need a double stroller.

Or do we? That’s what I got to thinking last night. Double-strollers are decently pricey. Maybe not 2x a single stroller, but more than a single stroller. We really like that Phil & Ted’s E3 Twin side-by-side. We then need something we can put our Mico (yeah, we ordered one the other day) in. Preferably a single stroller.

Ms. Kaz leans toward one of those frame jobbies, since they are less expensive.

I lean toward a Zapp, because, well, they are cool.

Here are the arguments I’ve come up with recently:

  • Knowing our daughter, she will sit in the double 3 or4 times, then never want to sit in it again.
  • Even if she does, she’ll only be able to ride in it, perhaps, another year, due to weight limitations.
  • 4 or so months of that year will be winter, so use will be limited.
  • 3 days a week, she’ll be at daycare anyhow.
  • 2 days a week, I will be home, and thus able to push another, separate stroller.
  • Not buying a double will free up some money to buy a nicer stroller that the carseat can fit in, such as a Quinny Zapp (or maybe a Bugaboo Bee – I haven’t found any additional confirmation the Mico fits in one of these).
  • The Zapp folds up nice and compact, and is easy to take on long trips.
  • Once the baby can sit in a stroller, or at the very latest, outgrows the carseat, the frame-type stroller is useless.
  • Did I mention the Quinny strollers as cool?

Our current plan of attack is to not attack. We’re gonna wait a bit and see what our needs are. Ms. Kaz also mentioned that, at least for a while, she could push our daughter and carry The Boy in a sling, as well.

Anyone see any holes in my logic..?


Hospital Tour and Painting (a.k.a. My Weekend)

August 21, 2007

We’re getting closer. At least, our daughter is.

She’s spent the last 3 days bouncing off the walls with excitement due to all the Getting Ready For Baby changes.

This weekend, I spent several hours both days painting her Big Girl Room. Man, I hate painting. I will say that I did a fairly good job this time with taping and with edging along the ceiling.

Don’t buy those edger things with the rollers. I tried that. First time, 8 inches before the compartment housing one of the wheels filled with paint and the wheel tracked some paint along the ceiling. I thought I was careful. I tried to be, because I had read the warnings in the reviews. I let it dry and tried in the afternoon. This time, it only last 6 inches.

I did the wall-ceiling edge by hand. I don’t have a lot of patience, but I managed. The best advice I got here was to get a really good brush. That definitely helped.

We used the Sherwin-Williams non-VOC and low-odor paint. I really wanted to use this to eliminate the VOCs in that room. The problem is (and I am glad the kid at the Sherwin-Williams store told me) is that whatever they eliminate to get rid of the VOCs affects the paint in a way that you need two coats. Even if the wall you are painting is white.

The second coat was a bit easier because (a) all the tape was still in place, and (b) I didn’t really have to get all the way to the edge of the ceiling this time.

My daughter would come in during this process several times and say, “wow!” or “that’s really cool!” I made it worth it. And she doesn’t even know about the Blik wall decals yet…

Last night, we went to the hospital for their Sibling Tour. She could hardly sit still through a lot of it. But it was good for her to see the hospital, and the bed mommy will be on, etc. I think she was really in awe when we got to see the babies. Even I had forgotten just how small they are.

It was hard to keep her still. Especially at the end, when we had the pre-registration paperwork to fill out. She was just all excited.

We went for pizza afterwards. That got me all excited.


Not just a Wee bit green

August 17, 2007

Wee Generation

As I agonize over whether to buy the Maxi-Cosi Mico car seat without seeing one in person first, I find myself drifting back to the BabyStyle website over and over. Today, I noticed a link talking about a new website, Wee Generation, which is a collaboration between green products producer, 7th Generation, BabyStyle, and Healthy Child Healthy World (formerly CHEC), an organization which helps promote a healthy environment for our children.

This site was created to help educate parents on how they can become “Greener”, for their children’s sake, as well as, apparently, to one day move merchandise make green products available to parents. They are starting with “the first diaper bag to be Cradle-to-Cradle certified, and they are looking for input on design. If you add you input, you will be eligible to win one when they are produced.

They are also giving away organic baby tees, and a green nursery make-over.

Eventually, there’ll be more tips and a blog for info on Green Parenting (note to Wee Generation: my email address is over there to the right if you need writers).

It looks like it could be something very fun and exciting, so check it out.

(I also didn’t realize BabyStyle had a Green Shop here.)


Prince, in need of rescuing

August 16, 2007

princess tMy daughter is smack-dab in the middle of her Princess obsession.

It doesn’t help that my brother- and sister-in-law bought her a princess costume (not Disney, don’t worry) for her birthday. When she gets home, I doubt it is ever more than 10 minutes before she wants to put her Star Dress on. Oh, and the “glass slippers” (really just cheap plastic – i.e. slippery on our hardwood floors – shoes she got as a present).

This doesn’t bother me. Much. She looks adorable in the outfit.

It doesn’t even bother me (much) that she likes to act out some of her Princess Stories (in this case, almost exclusively Disney).

What tends to be exhausting is that I am rarely ever Daddy anymore. I am The Prince. Or Prince Eric. Or Aladdin. Or Prince Whomever. Oh, sometimes I get to be Beast (“I’m beauty, and you’re the beast!”).

A month or so ago, I asked her if she wanted to be a princess when she grew up. She told me, “I am a princess!”

It even happens out in public. The other day, we were outside and some teenage girls walked by. They said, as they all tend to, “Hi! I like your dress!” When I was introduced as Prince Eric, they were suddenly, like, “ooooookaaaaaay.”

At the pizza place this week (Modern Apizza in New Haven – yummy), she was Snow White and I was Sneezy (Finally, not a prince!). That was all well and good until the waitress came over and my daughter pointed and said, “YOU’RE DOPEY!”

“Heh heh,” I said, “we’re, uh, pretending to be Snow White, heh heh.” When the waitress came back, my daughter made up for it by declaring her Cinderella instead.

Can’t we pretend to be frogs, like we used to? Or maybe something new, like Astronauts, or, or, people who sleep a lot? Daddy would like that.

I’m not worried. My daughter comes from a long line of strong women. She has a lot of positive role models in her life. She’ll do fine. I’m not sure about me. I may not survive.

Yeah, I know – when she’s older, I’ll miss playing the part of the prince. Hopefully, though, I’ll always be a prince to her.

(You can buy your own “Princess, not in need of rescue” t-shirt here for, yowza, $39-42.)


Mico, Mico, Mico-o-o, Mico…

August 14, 2007

Mico!Holy moly. The Maxi-Cosi Cabrio is due out in the US anyday now (either tomorrow or end of the month – I can’t really figure out which) as the Maxi-Cosi Mico. $150 a pop ain’t bad for the raves these things get from people in Europe, and those who import them.

This changes our whole debate. Anyone have an opinion on these things? I’m trying to find a local place that will have these in stock so I can check ‘em out in person.

Only problem seems to be that these don’t fit any stroller adapters or those stroller shell things. They seem to only fit the Quinny Buzz and Zapp. I guess I’ll either have to convince Ms. Kaz we don’t need that ability or convince her to get a Buzz or Zapp.

You know which angle I’ll be working…

(Thanks to GeekLady for the head’s up — even if she thinks they are ugly)


Of strollers and car seats…

August 14, 2007

Besides doing some work on my daughter’s New Room*, Ms. Kaz and I spent a good chunk of the weekend trying to figure out what kind of stroller (a little bit of time) and car seat (a lot of time) to get for when the new guy comes.

We were pretty sure we were going with the Phil and Ted’s double stroller, front-and-back. Then Ms. Kaz saw the side-by-side Phil and Ted’s. This is when we decided we wanted that one. Of course, the one place that has them on the showroom floor near us had hours which did not fit into our nap schedule. We still want to see one in person, but this is the far-and-away favorite right now.

Then came the discussion on strollers…

I really wanted to check out the Maxi-cosi carseats now that they are over here in the US, and I’ve only heard good things about them. We finally tracked down a Target that had them. They seemed really nice. But we were sure we wanted one with a base which stays in the car, and the seat snaps in. That way, we can buy a base for each car. The Maxi-cosi didn’t have that.

That narrowed our choices down to the BabyTrend seats, or the Graco Snugride.

I like the BabyTrend a lot more. We had this seat with our daughter (and then gave it away), and liked it a lot. But the Graco gets great safety ratings, and seems to fit onto every car seat adapter for strollers. “And we could buy one of those frame strollers you place the carseat on!” Ms. Kaz added.

After some back-and-forth, Ms. Kaz added, “Well, if one of the sides of the stroller will lay flat, we don’t really need a car seat adapter.”

This statement just made the decision more difficult.

Anyhow, we’re torn between the Graco and the BabyTrend (we’ll get the Maxi-cosi when the boy outgrows this one), and we’ve decided to put the decision off do a little more research.

Any opinions..?

* I managed to fix the door latch on the closet in that room. The house is 80+ years old, and sometimes the door latch and uh, the place it latches, don’t line up. I bought a chisel and some wood putty and relocated, patched and painted this weekend.


End of Week Summary

August 10, 2007

Hey, all – not only have things been busy, but I haven’t been feeling the creative juices flowing lately. I’ve got a couple ideas for some posts, but I’ve been finding them hard to write the way I want to. Maybe a weekend will help…

Anyhow, here’s some random thoughts going through my head right now:

  • Why is it that characters in childrens’ books seem to be able to exhale helium? Whenever we read about a character in my daughter’s books blowing up baloons, they all seem to float up in the air.
  • I’ve been getting a lot of hits from people looking for info on glass baby bottles. It has to be something with the whole Bisphenol-A in plastics. Well, Born Free makes Bisphenol-A-free plastic bottles, as well as glass bottles. They sell ‘em at Whole Foods and Toys-R-Us. While we haven’t decided anything yet (and we have a whole butt-load of Avent bottles in the attic), I think we may go with these when the boy is born. They also have a new vent system in them which supposedly reduces colic symptoms.
  • My daughter went to the zoo the other day with her Big Girl School. When asking her about it (again) this morning, she told me the following: “There was a big blue egg there. Maybe Timmy was borned in there and he hatched from there. Or maybe the wolves peed in the egg.”
  • We had some wasps building a nest in our daughter’s outdoor playscape-thingy. We called the exterminator (“bee guy”) and he took care of things. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing a lot about “the bee guy” the next few days. And remember — the bee guy took the bees away in his truck to a nicer home in the country, GOT IT??

Ok, carry on. Have a good weekend. With any luck, I’ll be doing some painting this weekend. Hopefully, there will not be a lot of swearing.


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