Sunday, February 22, 2009

the contraction master

this is genius.

last post for a while....

Saturday, February 21, 2009

in the beginning

6 years ago...

matthew and the laser cutter

a glimpse of the crib wall. a work in progress. more to come...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

the wait begins

the britax car seat is finally in the car, albeit uninstalled. i called the police department to schedule an safety check, only to be played a message about 'budgetary constraints' and 'no longer offering this service.'

maybe it's the cold, but i'm tired and my brain is slowly curling up in a ball. i need to come up with a paper proposal by tomorrow, but of course i've procrastinated for the past month. there's still a bit of work left to be done for my adviser's book illustrations, yet all i want to do is nap and listen to music. i guess this is what happens when you're 38.5 weeks pregnant. i still need to go into the office next week--yesterday i felt great, today not so much. if it weren't so cold all the time, i would go to the library and try to get some work done. i'm feeling restless today, nervous and tired at the same time.

we now have a short list of about 5 names. i wasn't sharing any for the longest time, but now people are managing to coax names out of me. i had no idea settling on a name would be so difficult. it's almost as bad as finishing this chapter....

oh, and our birth plan consists of two things:
quiet environment (i.e. no chitchatting near me)
do not offer pain medication/interventions

we like to keep things simple.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


i received a puj sling at my first baby shower, but it can't be used until little allen has better head control. so after putting my stroller plans on the back burner, i decided to order an avant linen p-sling during their sample sale. who knows if we'll even love it, but it seems like it would work really well with nursing. i guess we'll find out soon enough.

week 24 v. week 37

my joints are all loosey-goosey nowadays, but boy am i grateful that i can still walk at a pretty fast pace. i have so much left to do in terms of writing that it seems like i'm always rushing around looking for books. i thought i would calmly knit a few booties during these final weeks, but i feel much happier sticking to my regular workload.

baby things accomplished this week:
diaper trash can (just a small one from simple human)
put up wall art over the crib
ordered a mattress from my local foam store (the owner is ancient and very sweet)
bought diapers (we're going to wait and see whether we'd like to sign up for a diaper service)
met with our doula, who showed us laboring positions and helped strategize (really helpful)
bought a nursing top on sale from japanese weekend
ordered a larger fridge for my mom
tried out the microlite stroller and decided to postpone our stroller purchase until we find out what's happening with mountain buggy.

still left to do:
do i really need an infant bunting suit?
install car seat and have it inspected
pack hospital bag with goodies like smart water and rice chips
finish putting away books and other piles of stuff
keep looking for a used poang chair on craigslist

Sunday, February 1, 2009

shower # 2 and a stroller crisis of conscience

yesterday we had a second baby shower and received many lovely gifts including this mobile. architecture students are known to use school equipment for everything and anything, and this is no exception. the card-stock was laser-etched (looks very similar to letterpress) with various 'archi-speak' words including 'reification,' 'foucauldian,' and my favorite, 'affect' and 'effect' paired together. i am assuming this child will spring from my womb discoursing about the nature of the sublime if he takes after matthew.

so i bought a diaper changing clutch from nonchalant mom, which means i can do without overpriced and very unattractive diaper bags. i do, however, still need a functional bag that can be easily wiped down or cleaned. i am thinking this nylon market tote will do the trick.

maybe it's because i have less than 4 weeks left, i'm starting to feel nervous about our slow preparations. i've been researching strollers for months, test driving them at the shop and obsessively checking craigslist for gently used, more affordable options. i'm hoping to carry him as much as possible, but with my bad shoulders and neck, i know that going without a stroller is not an option.

so, matthew and i finally settled on the new mountain buggy swift. in a world where $600 strollers still don't have everything i want and need, the swift is about the best i can get. although heavy (21 lbs), it handles marvelously, has a sturdy hammock seat, can be used from birth, the canopy is large, the 10 inch air-filled tires cut through the slush, and the decently sized storage basket is easy to reach. you'd think that all strollers would be designed to be functional, but the more time i spent with them, the more i realized how many compromises we're expected to make even as we spend huge amounts of money.

sure, we could go the maclaren route ($80-300), and no doubt we'll end up with a volo for traveling, but i wanted something that would be comfortable for long excursions but still practical for second-floor living in cambridge. i love the bugaboo bee, but today in the shop i asked a parent to place her 9-month old in it, which confirmed my suspicions about its main design flaw. she's about the size of an average 12-month baby, and from the looks of it, would only fit in the beee for about 4-6 more months because the canopy is low and the seat is very narrow. for $530, plus $100+ in accessories, i said no thank you.

anyway, the problem with mountain buggy is that they just filed for bankruptcy. this new zealand company, which manufactures all of its strollers in NZ, is suffering from an expansion last year. bad timing, you could call it. anyway, if it doesn't find a buyer soon, it'll have to cease production. this means that its global 3-year warranty will be null and void. i've heard how well-made the strollers are, but it seems like a bad move to spend $550 if the warranty is useless. matthew thinks that if the strollers go on sale for $250, we should just get one.

well, so i just spent almost 2 hours at this shop hemming and hawing over the strollers. i've turned into a goldilocks of the most dissatisfied and guilt-ridden sort.

quinny buzz 4? i like the two seat fabrics (memory foam and canvas), but it's incredibly heavy and i would have to purchase a separate bassinet.
uppa baby vista? the price is good for the included bassinet, and the storage basket is one of the biggest i've seen. at over 24 lbs, however, i don't think i could schlep it around town and into the apartment, though.
bugaboo frog? i prefer this to the cameleon, probably because it's a pound or two lighter, although the basket is quite small and difficult to access. however, i'm pretty disappointed in how it handles compared with the swift--not so sharp on turns and tight spaces. plus, the fold is one of the dumbest i've ever seen. taking the seat/bassinet off is the easiest part, actually. once that's off, the chassis isn't exactly locked into place (it stands like a drunken sailor). and yet, you still have to press down on a lever during stage one of the fold. then you have to lift it up and make sure the other metal bar snaps into place. when you lift the handle to unfold it, you have to kick the bar out so that it opens out again. i'm sure this gets easier with time, but that's still 1 step too many for me. the thought of taking the seat off and doing a little song-and-dance in the slush and freezing cold is not exactly appealing.

and what about the micralite toro? this is the dark horse contender (love the green). i would have to spend more for the newborn bassinet, but it's relatively light (19 lbs), easy to fold (although not very compact), and has a seat with positions like the bugaboo's (i.e. flat to extremely upright). the storage basket is apparently difficult to access, you have to remove the canopy along with the bumper bar in order to take the latter off, and the back wheels are so close together that people apparently kick them. oh, and you need to use an allen wrench to adjust the handles. hmmm. for $700, you'd think this wouldn't be an issue. anyway, i need to find a shop that carries them so i can try it out for myself.

when i was a baby, my parents used a cheap umbrella stroller, nothing so nice as the maclaren. i suspect most of us used one of these during the 70s and 80s. i also rode around in a car most of the time in the suburbs. i certainly didn't sleep in a $1000+ crib system, nor did i wear $22 cotton caps.

as much as i'd like for little allen to have well-designed, beautiful things, now is the time to set some limits. if only i could make up my mind about what they are for strollers. maybe i'll just wait 3 months until he's able to ride in the uppababy g-luxe, which may or may not be a more comfortable stroller than the lightweight maclarens. i'm probably over-thinking it, but i hate spending money on something that i'm not 95% satisfied with. it isn't even about how much i spend, just that i hate accumulating stuff that i don't love. with babies comes lots of stuff. my job is to keep it to a minimum. sometimes that means overthinking to the point that i need a nap--or ice cream. i think i'll go with the latter.