September 28, 2007

We’re getting closer to the boy’s arrival.

Assuming he doesn’t come this weekend, I hope to get an update on the Maxi-Cosi Mico and a final Big Girl Room update out before Monday.

In the meantime, here are a few random thoughts…

  • I’ve read AJ’s comments over at DaddyTypes for, like, years now. But I had only occasionally visited Thingamababy. Then he referenced my WeeGo Bottle story (as far as I can tell, I scooped everyone on the date and price – yay, me!), and I’ve been visiting daily. I’m really starting to dig his blog.
  • Another blog I am digging lately is ApartmentTherapy’s nursery section.
  • I’m beginning to think I am using this baby as an excuse to buy (or at least drool over) cool new baby gadgets…
  • Never tell about-to-be-first-time-dads that you think those stroller/carseat combos they sell at Babies-r-Us are crap. Odds are, they’ll respond, “oh, that’s the kind we got.” and then you have to back-pedal. Not that I am speaking from experience, mind you.

If I don’t post this weekend, have a good weekend! Looks to be beautiful here.


Big Girl Room: Part IV – Via Toy Box

September 26, 2007

Via Toy BoxI loved these when I first saw them… uhm… on some blog somewhere. Probably on Daddytypes. I knew I had to find an excuse a justifiable reason to have these in our home.

I mentioned them very briefly before, but Via Toy Boxes are very nice quality, configurable storage options for, well, I guess not just for kids necessarily, but they definitely seem targeted to kids.

Basically, you are purchasing each individual box. You get your choice of shape (or door) and color for the front. The rest of the box can we either natural or white. Each side and top and bottom of the box has 4 holes in it for attaching boxes together (with supplied hardware).

This allows you to configure them any way you want. With the space we had, we went 2 wide by 3 tall (click photo for larger version). But, you can do whatever you like (although bases and tops are only available for certain widths).

To help you, Via will send you a kit with cutouts for the boxes, shapes and colors. You can cut these out and plan your configuration. There are also ideas and pre-configured (but not pre-assembled) options on the website.

Now.. how easy are they to put together?

Read the rest of this entry »

Big Girl Room: Part III – More Blik

September 23, 2007

Taking my expertise garnered from my previous Blik wall decal installation, I decided I was ready to tackle the alphabet…


Of course, that meant 26 of these things to put on. And, with an alphabet, it isn’t like you can just leave the decal off if you screw it up. Not that my daughter would know for a white yet.

I decided to go window-to-window, going over the bed and the toy box. There was a little more wall than I wanted to use, so there were some gaps between letters that were bigger than I wanted. But I also wanted to overlap some letters.

The experience with the flowers helped, although I still had the occasional difficulty with getting them to stick to the proper sheet. The advantage of these were that they were smaller than the large flowers.

There were many new difficulties I face with the letters, however… (more after the jump) Read the rest of this entry »

Big Girl Room: Part II – The Flensted Mobile

September 19, 2007

butterfly1My daughter wanted a butterfly mobile. I didn’t want a cheesy mobile. Luckily, there was Flensted.

The mobile is actually a kit. The wiring is all done for you, but the butterflies you assemble yourself. There are 4 pieces to each each butterfly.

The body is made of a spongy kind of material, much like what those little put-it-together-yourself little toy gliders are now made out of.

You poke a hole all the way through where the antenna goes, and push the antenna through, centering it. The antenna is made of plastic, halfway between the width of fishing line and the line for a weed whacker.

Next, you pick two pieces for the wings. This is made of more durable, yet flexible plastic. The nice thing is that you pick your color combinations yourself. They give you more wings than you need for the mobile, so you can make many combinations. My daughter had fun helping me pick out the combinations.

The string for hanging it is way longer than you could possibly need, which is nice. I actually trimmed mine very short to discourage my daughter from standing on her bed and attempting to reach the mobile.

butterfly detailWe placed it over her bed, where the dragon was in her old room, near her feet. I actually used it the first night, telling my daughter, “if you have trouble sleeping, just watch the butterflies, and they will help you fall asleep.”

On the second morning, she told me, “I watched the butterflies last night!”

And they look great in the new room (click on pics for larger versions).

Previously: Hanging around with Flensted.
Also: Big Girl Room: Part I – Blik, etc
Coming Soon: More Big Girl Room Updates, including more Blik and Via Toy Boxes.

It really was on fire…

September 18, 2007

Today at Big Girl School, my daughter’s class was walking to the park. As they reached the top of a hill, they saw the lights of fire trucks, and realized there was a house on fire along their route to the park.

As they stood there and watched, my daughter said, “the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire!”

Tuesday Quickies (product updates)

September 18, 2007

I’m still loading in pictures of the Big Girl Room. Maybe I will have another update tonight. In the meantime, here’s some quickies, including some updates on product decision…

  • After seeing, and talking to an owner of, the Phil & Ted’s E3 Sport front-to-back stroller, we’ve decided to go with it as our double stroller. It is very adaptable, and the second seat can be removed when not in use. We’ll see how the car seat fits in it. It certainly can’t fit worse than the Snap-n-Go frame we owned for about a week.With the Maxi-cosi Mico, there were two problems with the Snap-n-Go. A lot of car seats snap onto a bar on the stay-in-the-car base. The Mico is the opposite. The bar is on the car seat, and the base latches on to it. This means that little groove that makes car seats easy to fit onto shopping carts and, well, Snap-n-Go frames, is not there.

    The second problem is the “foot” of the car seat is, apparently, wider on the Mico, and doesn’t really fit between the handle bars on the frame. These two things mean you are relying solely on the strap to hold the car seat in the frame. I was not happy with that.

  • We posed the night light question to our daughter, and she chose… the Mobi TykeLight. I think she made this decision solely on the picture on the site of the kid in bed with one. I’ve warned her she cannot sleep with it in bed. We’ll see how well that one was retained.
  • We’re going with glass bottles for the moment. We’re hoping we won’t need to use bottles as much as with our daughter. We hope to get by with a few glass, and, when they finally arrive, maybe a couple of the WeeGo bottles for travelling.
  • Non-product update: My daughter’s forehead is healing slowly, but steadily. It doesn’t look like she’ll wind up with a lightning-bolt shaped scar (my wife nixed the pen knife idea). Hopefully, she’ll end up with no scar, but I told her to tell the boys she got it from playing hockey.

Big Girl Room: Part Ia – first night

September 16, 2007

Tonight is the first night in the Big Girl Room.

I hope my daughter isn’t too excited to sleep.

She was crazy-excited earlier.

Wish us luck.

(More Big Girl Room updates with pictures soon!)

Fore! (head)

September 16, 2007

Not a good weekend for foreheads.


First up – Saturday in the park (definitely not the 4th of July). My daughter is addicted to swings. For some reason, she still wants to “baby swings”. So, we’re swinging away. It is a busy day at the park. More busy than I ever remember seeing it. This means lots of kids running around and lots of parents losing track of their kids.

In this situation, when pushing, I am always prepared to grab my daughter’s swing once a stay kid comes running by. Saturday, I saw this girl, maybe two, two-and-a-half, come running by. I was ready to grab, but she ran wide enough and started playing with the swing next to us.

I continued to be vigilant. I gave my daughter a big push. Right at the top of her arc, just as she was about to head down, the girl made a break for it… right into the path of the swing.

I was helpless.  The little girl was too far for me to reach fast enough, and my daughter was on the other side of the girl, headed straight down. Sure enough – SMACK – right into the girl’s forehead, knocking her down.

She was bawling, and I felt bad. I felt bad, despite their being little I could do, and the fact that I was at least paying attention to not only my kid, but their kid.

To their credit, they didn’t seem to blame me at all. Of course, the little girl immediately wanted to go on my daughter’s swing, and my daughter, who couldn’t care which of the “baby swings” she was on before, now refused to change because, well, someone else wanted that swing.

(Sunday, after the jump) Read the rest of this entry »

Wee Need Bottles

September 15, 2007

Wee Bottles

Into the final month, we are starting to realize all the stuff we still need, and are scambling to get them. One thing we are still working on is deciding on bottles. We used the Avent ones with our daughter (yeah, plastic — we may have to just give up all hope for her), but want a safer, or at least more “green” alternative.

That is why I was excited to read about these Wee Go bottles by Babylife (thanks, Babble!).

These glass bottles are bisphenol A-free. The bottles, rings, nipples, and sleeves also contain no phthalate, PVC or polycarbonates. They are dishwasher and boiling safe, and are also recyclable!

The plastic special non-plastic covering makes them less prone to breaking due to impact, and are also designed to help baby’s grip. Plus, they look pretty sharp.

The bad news is that they are not yet available. I spoke to them (via email), and they told me they are looking at a shipping date of October 19th at various retailers. They also hope to open up an on-line store soon.

Generally, these bottles run a little high in price (the Born Free BPA-free plastic and glass bottles are about $9-11 each). These bottles are no exception – the retail price will be $18 each. So… they aren’t for everyone.

UPDATE: The new “available” date is October 31st. Just in time for Halloween…

UPDATE #2: We went with the Green To Grow bottles, which are BPA-free, lightweight plastic. And nice looking, too. And a bit cheaper. Read about ’em here and here.

Big Girl Room: Part I – Blik, etc.

September 14, 2007

We’re finally nearing completion of my daughter’s new Big Girl Room.

blik1a Today, I’d like to highligh a little project which actually turned out as nice as I’d hoped. A lot of projects turn out good, or okay, but never like you envisioned them. This project did come out much as I envisioned it.

The picture here actually shows off three pieces of my daughter’s Big Girl Room. The Blik wall decals are actually the highlight, however, I’d also like to point out how nice the purple paint turned out (Sherwin-Williams low-VOC paint; color = kismet), and the new IKEA chest of drawers.

I really like the way the white trim and furniture contrasts with the darker purple. I did discover later, however, one minor issue with the purple paint, which I will point out when featuring another part of the room.

But the wall decals are what gives this part of the room its Wow Factor (at least, that’s what my daughter said when she saw this part of the project completed).

By the way, you can click on and of the photos for a larger, more detailed version (which were taken with my new Nikon D50 digital SLR with Sigma 28-70mm lens – a NewBaby Gift from my father-in-law).

(more details and pictures after the jump) Read the rest of this entry »


September 10, 2007

Danger!I am not an overprotective parent… Okay, who am I kidding – we hover and worry over our daughter all the time. I think that is part of the reason for having another — we believe it will help us get over being helicopter parents.

Well, one thing I am pretty sure I would not have let my daughter do is go pick coal on the railroad tracks. And now, thanks to this poster (thanks boingboing), my fears are justified.

Fortunately, we are doing well enough that I don’t need to send my daughter to go pick coal off the tracks.

On a more serious note, Whit had a close call of his own with his child (involving neither trains, nor coal). Fortunately, everything worked out okay. Except he’s gonna live a much shorter life.

The Peanut Battle: Part V (Nuts to Nuts)

September 10, 2007

When my daughter turned 3, one of the things we had to do was schedule a follow-up with the allergist.

We weren’t happy with the last one, so we tried a different one this time. This allergist was recommended by our neighbors who have a son who is allergic, not only to peanuts, but dairy, and a host of other foods.

The initial tests were negative. However, this just lead them to do a second test. This second test consists on just spreading a little peanut butter on my daughter. This test came back with not so good results. She still has her peanut allergy.

The one thing that has changed is that this allergist insists we be more careful about peanut exposure. We now have to read labels a lot more carefully and watch her much more closely if she is exposed to something which is exposed to peanuts.

I gotta tell you – reading labels is tough. We were at Trader Joe’s, and my daughter was being very good and asked nicely about some cookies that she saw another child buying. Well, those cookies were made in a plant which also processes peanuts. I checked every single container of cookies in Trader Joe’s. Same thing.

It is tough continuing to look at all the containers when, after each one, my daughter asks me, “That one has nuts, daddy?” and I have to sigh and tell her she cannot get those cookies.

There’s still a chance she will grow out of the allergy. I really hope so. While she seems to like Soy Nut Butter (*shudder*), I can only imagine what her taste buds would think if she had Peanut Butter.

On the plus side, last night, as a family, we made chocolate chip cookies from scratch.

I think she forgot about the Trader Joe’s cookies as soon as she took that first lick from the bowl.