Saturday, December 29, 2007

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
We had a wonderful day here. We spent the morning at home with Sebastian and my parents, and in the afternoon drove out to Greenlawn to have dinner with the Raabs. We dressed Sebastian up in red, and mom and dad bought him a Santa hat.

Pictures of fig bread, wandering around Rockefeller State Park, and Christmas Day, all here.
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Monday, December 24, 2007

Sebastian in motion!

A video of Sebastian during tummy time, kicking his legs and lifting his head.


Sebastian lifting his head from Brianna Avery on Vimeo.

Happy Holidays!


We spent yesterday in the thick of baking - a chocolate turtle cake and the beloved fig breads. Mom has made fig bread for Christmas every year I can remember. We would wake up on Christmas morning, open our stocking presents, and then have tea, fig bread, and oranges, before turning to the rest of the presents under the tree. I started making the bread 3 or 4 years ago.

Sebastian continues to amaze and delight. He loves to kick his legs and wave his arms around, and he's starting to lift his head up when he's on his tummy. He's now able to go 3 or more hours between eating, which has made life (and sleep) much easier for us. I've posted some new pictures on Picasa.

We went out for Chinese food last night and Sebastian slept through the whole thing- nary a peep out of him - and today we returned for a hike at Rockefeller State Park through which he also slept. We'd last been there 7 weeks ago, when I was very pregnant, to do some leaf-peeping. It was considerably icier this time around but still beautiful. The Stone Barns Center for Agriculture keeps pigs on the property adjacent to the state park, so we took our little piggy to see some other pigs rooting around.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

major accomplishments

Here in the Avery/Raab household, also known as Sebastian's lair, we have some big news to report. Big as in baby weighs 12 pounds already! :) I am delighted that he managed to wait until he was out in the world before packing on the pounds.

Mama finally screwed up her courage and managed to clip baby's fingernails yesterday, after earlier attempts at biting (too many hangnails) and filing (ineffective) failed. No blood to report, and no crying by either party. Phew!

We have started giving Sebastian regular baths. The first one began with a shocked scream from baby, followed by a stream of pee aimed right at Daddy's face, after which he settled down swiftly and seemed to enjoy things. I have a picture, but am not sure of the propriety of posting pictures of poor Sebastian's nakedness in a public blog.

He is rapidly becoming much more aware of things - he can focus on a face or an object for a bit longer and loves to stare out windows and at lights. The Christmas tree, with all its tiny white lights, is a particular favorite. In the last few days he has discovered a passion for sucking. We tried to appease him by offering him his own hand or our pinky fingers, but that didn't last long. Yesterday we made an emergency pacifier run and so far, it's a hit.

Last night, while enjoying some tummy time, he managed to push himself up on his hands and stare around a bit, swiveling his head from side to side. And then he rolled himself all the way over onto his back. Steve and I crowed with glee. (Sebastian looked very surprised.)

And that's about all the important, earth-shattering news I've got on this happy Tuesday morning.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Argh! Eaten by the hippo!


Sebastian getting some tummy time, and being swallowed by the hippo (made by my mom).
There are more pictures of the hippo and Sebastian around the house on our Picasa gallery.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

where do the days go?


Sebastian is 3 weeks and 5 days old! It feels as though the days simultaneously fly by - I never seem to manage to get anything done - and are very slow and sleepy - with hours spent on the couch, feeding the baby.

We're all doing really well. Sebastian weighed 9 lbs 10 oz when we visited the doctor this past Tuesday, which means he's been gaining a pound a week. He's really filled out - both his clothes and his cheeks (he has chins upon chins).

I've posted more pictures.

Monday, November 26, 2007

More pictures















I've posted more pictures, from Sebastian's second week with us. You can see them here. We're doing really well, although my brain feels a little too fried for much blogging.

We had a very quiet Thanksgiving, just the three of us at home. Steve and I had pumpkin ravioli; Sebastian had milk. :)

Today is Steve's first day back at work - he'll be working part time for the next month or two. I will be off until July 1st, so I guess this marks the beginning of the brave new world of stay-at-home momdom. So far, an inauspicious start - it's 2 pm and I haven't managed to get myself lunch, much less do any of the chores that have piled up (oh, the laundry...). And I've been talking out loud to the baby, which makes me feel a bit like a crazy person.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sebastian's first week

It's hard to believe that our baby is already ten days old. This past week and a bit has gone by in a blur of feedings, dirty diapers, bouncing, and interrupted sleep. And of course, hours of staring at a sleeping baby in awe. :) I think we're both starting to get our bearings a little bit and feeling more competent at identifying and responding to cries.

So the big news is that we went to the pediatrician yesterday and Sebastian weighed in at 7 lbs, 9 1/2 oz! So he's regained his birth weight and then some - a pound in a week. We've taken to calling him our little porker. His cheeks are definitely getting rounder and chubbier, which is just really cute.

After a few days of (shhhh) co-sleeping, last night we tried swaddling the baby. Thanks to Carl and Chad for the tip! Baby slept for three 3-hour segments, which was just blissful.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Welcome Home, Sebastian!

Sebastian came home on Monday night, and we are having a grand time. Mommy is trying to figure out feeding, and daddy is wrestling with diapers. Baby is mostly tolerant of our errors and mistakes. :)

More pictures from Sebastian's first week home can be seen here.

Both Steve and I had ambitious plans to write down more of what we've been thinking and feeling and experiencing during this first week, but we've found ourselves overtaken by baby care.

Sebastian's birth story

Sebastian Thomas was born on November 11th, 2007, at 6:13 pm. He was born at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. He weighed 7 lbs, was 21 inches long, and had an APGAR of 9. Dr. Aaron delivered. Steve and my mom were both present for the labor and delivery.

Earlier that Sunday, mom, dad, Steve and I had driven up to Harriman State Park. It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and we went for a wonderful walk in the autumnal woods. Dad tried out his new camera, we all dashed around catching falling leaves, and I chased leprechaun Steve with a stick.

We came home for lunch and I started to feel a bit of pressure. I laid down and read for awhile, while Steve watched the Steelers play the Browns. Around 2:30, my water broke, and I got into the shower. I started having contractions, and contrary to my expectations they started getting stronger and more closely spaced very quickly. By 3 pm I was in intense pain and we started getting ready to go to the hospital. My contractions were coming every 3-4 minutes and lasting for a minute.

We left for the hospital at 3:30 or so. Other than a bit of traffic around 79th St., it was smooth sailing (albeit with me screaming bloody murder in the back seat). We arrived at 4:30 and I was hustled into a room. The first examination showed I was 4 cm dilated, but 15 minutes later I was at 8 cm. I requested epidural drugs but the nurse explained I couldn't start them until I had an IV for an hour, and given the speed of events that would be too late. I started pushing, and Sebastian was born at 6:13 pm. Steve cut the umbilical cord and I was able to hold the baby immediately.

Mom and Dad and Mary came to visit that evening. Steve made lots of phone calls and sent out an email. Sadly, Steve couldn't stay overnight, as I was sharing a room, but he came back early the next morning. I requested an early discharge, and since both Sebastian and I were in good shape, we came home that Monday evening.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sebastian Thomas


We are delighted to announce the arrival of our son!! Sebastian was born on Sunday, November 11th at 6:13 pm, at Roosevelt Hospital in New York. He weighed 7 lbs, was 21 inches long and was perfectly healthy.

We have been home since Monday night. Sebastian and I collaborated to arrange the shortest possible time in the hospital and were discharged early.

More pictures from Sebastian's birth day can be seen here.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Adventures of Isabel

Well, the official due date (Nov. 7) has come and gone, and no baby has yet appeared. On the bright side, all of this waiting around has produced four loaves of dad's anadama bread and one gorgeous chocolate cake by mom.

Anyway, in the absence of a baby, I've got another poem. This one is from a book called The Random House Book of Poetry for Children, which was given to us by my colleague Lisa Bianchi. We hadn't previously thought about reading poems aloud, but we have been tremendously taken with this book. The language used in these poems seems more inventive and diverse than that in many children's stories, and many of the poems are less pointedly pedagogical or moralistic. In short, we're hooked. Here's a recent favorite:

Adventures of Isabel

Isabel met an enormous bear,
Isabel, Isabel, didn't care;
The bear was hungry, the bear was ravenous,
The bear's big mouth was cruel and cavernous.
The bear said, Isabel, glad to meet you,
How do, Isabel, now I'll eat you!
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
She washed her hands and she straightened her hair up,
Then Isabel quietly ate the bear up.

Once in a night as black as pitch
Isabel met a wicked old witch.
The witch's face was cross and wrinkled,
The witch's gums with teeth were sprinkled.
Ho ho, Isabel! the old witch crowed,
I'll turn you into an ugly toad!
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel didn't scream or scurry,
She showed no rage and she showed no rancor,
But she turned the witch into milk and drank her.

Isabel met a hideous giant,
Isabel continued self-reliant.
The giant was hairy, the giant was horrid,
He had one eye in the middle of his forehead.
Good morning, Isabel, the giant said,
I'll grind your bones to make my bread.
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
She nibbled the Zwieback that she always fed off,
And when it was gone, she cut the giant's head off.

Isabel met a troublesome doctor,
He punched and he poked till he really shocked her.
The doctor's talk was of coughs and chills
And the doctor's satchel bulged with pills.
The doctor said unto Isabel,
Swallow this, it will make you well.
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
She took those pills from the pill concocter,
And Isabel calmly cured the doctor.

--Ogden Nash

Monday, November 5, 2007

Steve and I at Rockefeller State Park


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More pics here.


Grampa and Popo

So it's been awhile since I posted, but unfortunately it isn't because the baby has arrived. :( Still waiting. On the bright side, today is the first day of my maternity leave, so I am happily putzing around my apartment, getting some chores done and thinking about a midafternoon nap.

My mom and dad (the Popo and Grampa of the title) arrived last Saturday. We've rented an apartment in Dobbs for them, for two months, so that they have a quiet place to sleep and their own space to hang out in. We moved them in last weekend and so far, with the exception of some troubles with the heat and hot water (damn furnaces keep going out), it's working out really well. Here's mom in the underfurnished living room and one of the bedroom:



They've checked out some of the surrounding towns, attempted the local seniors' version of tai chi and yoga (in a word, laughable), and generally settled in. Mom has been cooking and baking up a storm - apple pie and brownies! yum!

Monday, October 22, 2007

poetry

Britta sent me this lovely poem a few months ago, and it has seemed more and more apt as my due date approaches.

A Tale Begun

The world is never ready
for the birth of a child.

Our ships are not yet back from Winnland.
We still have to get over the S. Gothard pass.
We've got to outwit the watchmen on the desert of Thor,
fight our way through the sewers to Warsaw's center,
gain access to King Harald the Butterpat,
and wait until the downfall of Minister Fouche.
Only in Acapulco
can we begin anew.

We've run out of bandages,
matches, hydraulic presses, arguments, and water.
We haven't got the trucks, we haven't got the Minghs' support.
This skinny horse won't be enough to bribe the sheriff.
No news so far about the Tartars' captives.
We'll need a warmer cave for winter
and someone who can speak Harari.

We don't know whom to trust in Nineveh,
what conditions the Prince-Cardinal will decree,
which names Beria has still got inside his files.
They say Karol the Hammer strikes tomorrow at dawn.
In this situation let's appease Cheops,
report ourselves of our own free will,
change faiths,
pretend to be friends with the Doge
and say that we've got nothing to do with the Kwabe tribe.

Time to light the fires.
Let's send a cable to grandma in Zabierzow.
Let's untie the knots in the yurt's leather straps.

May delivery be easy,
may our child grow and be well.
Let him be happy from time to time
and leap over abysses.
Let his heart have strength to endure
and his mind be awake and reach far.
But not so far

that it sees into the future.
Spare him
that one gift,
0 heavenly powers.

--- Wislawa Szymborska

Thursday, October 18, 2007

new: poll!

My colleagues threw me a surprise baby shower today, and one of my coworkers decided to have everyone cast a vote on whether the baby was a boy or a girl. She decorated a box with cute pictures and people had to put in either a blue or pink piece of paper. Our less cute version appears to the right (you can pick more than one option when you vote).

Oh, and my colleagues were nearly evenly split: 9 to 7.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Halloween pumpkin!


This is the first time I've carved a Halloween pumpkin that wasn't just a funny looking (lopsided) face. Steve found a picture online and drew the outline for me. Isn't it awesome?! My Halloween kitty cat. I'm so tickled by it.
Steve wanted something scarier, so I think we might have to buy another pumpkin next weekend and make him one.
Here's where we found the pic.
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sleeping babies


Steve (my current baby) napping on the couch with Gaoji (spelling?).



Our crib, waiting for our new baby!
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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

food fights

This article on children who are picky eaters appeared in this week's NY Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/10/dining/

Apparently, children will eat anything until they're two, and then nothing. Maybe. If you or your spouse were a picky eater, the odds that your children will also be picky is quite high, as pickiness seems to be a genetic trait. The article details some of the evolutionary reasons that refusing new and strange and bitter foods might have been a survival skill. (The main lesson for those of you with infants is to feed them the maximum diversity of foods until they're old enough to refuse, in the hope that they will return to variety sooner rather than later.)

Now, anyone who ate dinner with my family during my childhood probably remembers (and may still be scarred by) the epic battles that occurred at mealtimes. I refused to eat most things, especially if they were green or touching each other. Mom and Dad insisted I try at least one bite of everything (this was later upped to finishing whatever small portion of green things was on my plate). I was pretty stubborn and so were they, and so many meals ended with me sitting at the table by myself, staring down some peas. By some magic transformation, I now eat pretty much everything - I am not only omnivorous but open to new tastes and spices and ingredients. Overripe bananas and tapioca are still out, however, on textural grounds.

Steve was picky both as a child and as a young adult. He didn't like a lot of foods and he wasn't terribly open to trying new things either. He too is fairly adventurous now - he's more of a germaphobe than a finicky eater - although there are still some foods he is squeamish about. Liver is a definite out, as we discovered in Taiwan when I mistakenly ordered it (hey, my Chinese wasn't great, and I saw the character for beef and thought the dish sounded fine!).

My mom and dad read the Times article and promptly descended into finger-pointing. I quote:
"Given the article's suggestion that genes account for 78 per cent of the child's eating habits, we wondered here about the two of us. I called your grammy. She says she doesn't recall any of the four of us being finicky. Then again, when I was a toddler, she and I were alone and she recalls I could eat whatever I pleased. So perhaps I wasn't really tested. Your mom promptly said she was a perfect little child, of course. But then she had to admit her mom used to say she was a bit cranky about what she would eat. So perhaps that's where the genes come from?"

Anyway. I think we're doomed. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

wall decorations

Since we rent our apartment, painting the walls isn't really an option. And since I am artistically challenged, painting or stenciling figures on the walls is similarly out of the question. But our walls are rather bare and our paint (see previous postings on lead paint) is not great, so I've been trying to figure out what fun thing can be done to add some interest and color and cover up the cracks.

I've discovered wall stickers. They seem great - easy to apply, removable, colorful. I'm thinking I might put some up next to the crib and some near the dresser/changing table. Here are a couple of websites with cool designs:

http://www.fermlivingshop.us/stickers/
http://pillowsandthrows.com/
http://www.whatisblik.com/restik.html

Steve and I particularly like the "Jungle" series under Blik's Wee Gallery.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

false advertising

Cousin Luke and I were Google chatting yesterday about the unbearable cuteness that marks all published baby pictures, videos, and blogs. I mean, is Silas always grinning that much? Does Danica make noises other than giggles? He mentioned that he and Cassie had babysat their friend's two daughters, and amid the wailing and crying and screaming wondered where the cuteness was.

Steve and I talked about it over dinner and decided that, in the interests of truth in advertising (and birth control?), we'd have to take some video and post some pics of our baby screaming and generally carrying on while we helplessly paced and rocked and cooed. Wait for it.

Monday, October 8, 2007

childbirth classes and other things

Well, Steve and I have finally emerged from the disaster that was our apartment post-renovation. We have new paint in the kitchen and bathroom, new doors, and unleaded door jambs. However, our landlord appears to have hired someone without the first clue about working with leaded paint, and the place was a dusty, dirty mess. We have cleaned everything we own, as well as the walls and floors of the apartment. Twice. Sometimes three times - Hepa vacuum, soap and water, Hepa vacuum. It took probably four solid days of both of us working. (On a happy note, we bought our first ever vacuum, a Miele Sirius, and it's so cute and light and awesome that we love it.)

phew. We're so glad that it's over and we are finally able to enjoy our home again - particularly the kitchen. Two weeks of eating out was more than enough for us - we had homemade white bean and kale soup yesterday and it was so wholesome and yummy.

We had our childbirth classes this past weekend. We opted for the intensive weekend edition - 6 hours on Saturday and 6 on Sunday. Saturday was really helpful and informative. We really liked our instructor and learned a lot about the process and our options and what to expect. I had done some reading, but the class definitely answered some questions that I had. We also watched 3 birth videos, which I found really tough going - I know that they're supposed to demystify the process and thus empower you, but they had sort of the opposite effect on me. I felt more anxious afterwards - but not in the sense that I needed more information, just that things looked really very painful. (I'm not saying this came as a surprise, but I don't know if I found it helpful to be so reminded of the fact that something painful is in my near future.) And then on Sunday... we skipped class entirely. We didn't really have any more questions, and we didn't feel we needed to practice various breathing techniques or positions, and it was such a beautiful day...

We went to Rockefeller State Park instead. It was a gorgeous autumn day, with the leaves just beginning to change colors and fall onto the paths. We wandered around for over an hour. I was so happy to be out and enjoying the air and the forest - very peaceful and soul-restoring - much more what we needed from the day.

We've now had classes in newborn care, breastfeeding, and childbirth. I won't say we feel ready, but we certainly feel more informed. We were talking yesterday about how interesting it is that these sort of paid classes have, for a certain segment of the population (urban upper middle class?), effectively replaced the more organic and ad-hoc and historically common way of learning what to do from friends and family. It makes perfect sense, but it's still sort of odd.

Anyway, back to work. Happy Columbus Day!

Monday, September 24, 2007

parenting books

We have recently begun to realize that in a few short weeks, we are going to find ourselves at home with a baby, and neither of us has a clue what to do.

Tonight, we are signed up to take a newborn care class, at the same place we're having our childbirth prep class (which is scheduled for October 6th and 7th, a two-day intensive) and a breastfeeding class. But we also went to the library last weekend and took out a few books on babies - Dr. Sears, the What to Expect series, and Armin Brott's New Father book. The first two are encyclopedic and daunting.

Anyone have recommendations?

Friday, September 21, 2007

sonogram

I went to the hospital today for a sonogram, because at my last appointment Dr. Rutenberg noticed that I was measuring a bit small. She wanted to take a closer look at the baby and make sure that s/he was coming along okay. (She also said really not to worry, so I didn't.)

Well, as the technician noted, this baby is not small! S/he already weighs 4 lbs 13 oz. Sheesh!! We've still got 7 weeks to go! We got to see the baby on the screen, but unlike earlier sonograms you could only see parts of the baby at any one time (there's a leg! there's the head! some random internal organs!). There weren't any really good printouts to share. Sorry.

baby names

Who knew it would be so hard to pick a name?
We have been talking about names for months now, and yet still, if baby were to be born tomorrow, he/she would be nameless for a few days while negotiations continued. Are all prospective parents so indecisive, or is it just us?

If you haven't had a baby recently, you probably aren't aware of some of the fun new options for researching names. The Social Security Administration is a wealth of interesting and sortable statistics - you can look up names by state, by decade, and by popularity: www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/

For a cool graph and historical perspective, check out this site: www.babynamewizard.com/namevoyager

In other exciting baby news, I'm having a sonogram today so that they can do a growth check. woo-hoo! I hope to get a print-out that we can post here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

lead paint paranoia, part deux

Some of you are aware that Steve and I have had our own little lead paint drama. We tested our kitchen cupboards in early July and were horrified to discover that they had problematic levels of lead on the surfaces. We know our apartment building is old, but we assumed that the old lead paint was safely buried beneath layers of new paint. For most of the surfaces, that's true. But the doors and cupboards stick and hence there's a good bit of friction, so those particular areas are really not safe. It's fine for now, but when we have a baby crawling around and sticking everything in his/her mouth, it would be dangerous.

We hired an environmental consultant, who made some recommendations. We had a little bit of a letter-writing war with our landlord, who finally sent in his own environmental consultant, who made the same recommendations. More letters followed. (Having a lawyer in the household is a nice little advantage, I find.) And now, two months later, the contractors have finally arrived to fix the problems. The bathroom is being totally repainted and "sealed". All of the internal doors (closets, bed, and bath) are being removed and the door jambs stripped and repainted. And the kitchen cabinet doors are being removed entirely, and the shelves repainted. Work started in the apartment today and will probably continue for 3-4 days. Although it is rather disruptive, we're happy that the work is being done - it will allow us to stay in the apartment for longer without the nagging worry that the paint is poisoning us or baby.

We bought the lead paint testing kit at our local hardware store for $7-8. If you're living in an old place (with a baby) and are seeing substantial friction or peeling paint, you might want to check it out.

food musings

Carl has increased my guilt level about this blog by claiming to check for new posts every day. Since it was a month between postings, I doubt he's telling the truth, but still... I feel compelled to write with slightly more frequency. As there still isn't a baby to show off, I'm left with my own random thoughts. (Carl's daughter Danica has her own website/blog, so his postings are off-the-scale cute.)

We have been, this summer, much more fully embracing the ideal of locally grown food. We have been enthusiastic farmer's market shoppers for the last 5-6 years, even when it meant taking the subway to Union Square and lugging home bags on the R train. (My favorite such experience was when I bought a Christmas tree. The Canadian dude who sold it to me fashioned backpack straps out of twine, and I stuck our little tree on my back and rode the subway with it. Sadly, no pictures were taken.) But we had always supplemented with grocery store produce. This summer, however, we have relied entirely on the Hastings-on-Hudson farmer's market for all our fruits and vegetables, as well as some meat, cheese, eggs, and pasta. (Bananas are the main exception - bananas help pregnant ladies ward off leg cramps, and farmers have yet to grow them in the Northeast!)

I think our increased interest in trying to eat locally stems from a couple of sources. One is the general zeitgeist - locavorism seems to be the eco-chic trend of the day - another is our own increased sense of identification and love for the Hudson River region, and lastly we have been reading a number of foodie books. We both read Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma and I also read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Marion Nestle's What to Eat, and Smith and MacKinnon's Plenty. I also like the Oregon-based website culinate.com. All of these books have made us much more aware of how far food travels, the environmental costs of such a system, and the increased possibilities of local eating.

It has been different, but not in the way that I expected. I do occasionally miss some foods, but my dominant impression has instead been the joy of seeing new things arrive, the amazing quality of the food that we've eaten, and the sense of cornucopian plenty that attends each brief season. When sugar snap peas were here, they were amazing. Ditto for cherries. August was dominated by corn, tomatoes, and peaches - we ate scads of them every week. The peaches and blueberries are now gone, but the new crop of apples is arriving. It's been fun to indulge in something - gorging on it - knowing that in a week or month it'll be gone for the season.

Of course, it must be confessed that we are not yet so devoted that we intend to boycott the grocery store once winter hits. Our farmer's market closes in late November and does not reappear until June, and I'm sure we will return to our old habits for those six months. But this summer has been lovely and yummy...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A new belly pic, at 32 weeks. Only two months to go!
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Sunday, August 19, 2007

a baby registry

So the next order of business, on strict orders from both my mom and Steve's mom, is to make a baby registry. I'm embarrassed to admit that we have made only one visit to a baby store so far (lasting an hour, at most). We have, however, started building baby's book collection, to which we would welcome contributions and suggestions. (I listed the books we've already bought on the right-hand side of the page.)

I've started registries at buybuybaby , babiesrus , and babystyle, with both the basics and some fun stuff.

I registered for a bare minimum of clothes - I'm sure everyone can figure out what a baby needs, and it's more fun if we're surprised by your cute picks. In general, onesies, hats, long-sleeved bodysuits with and without feet, nightgowns and sleepsacks, sweaters. You won't know the sex of the baby until s/he appears, but we prefer a variety of colors anyway.

As for toys, dolls, books, etc., think 19th century. We like wood and cloth instead of plastic and vinyl. We'd rather get one nice toy than five cheaper ones. Books are always welcome. Please, a minimum of things that are based on a television, movie, or Disney character, as we prefer to leave some room for the imagination. And for our sanity and happiness, nothing that requires batteries, makes noise, or blinks lights.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

lead lead lead....

Is it just that I'm newly aware of lead paint issues, or is it that it's a hot new topic for the media, or is it really true that there have been a lot of stories about lead paint contamination and toy recalls lately?

There was Thomas the Tank Engine: nytimes.com
followed by toy jewelry: nytimes.com
then Mattel: nytimes.com/2007/08/15/business/worldbusiness
and now baby bibs: nytimes.com/2007/08/15/business/

I try not to be an overly paranoid person, and obviously I don't go in for China-bashing, but these stories do make me nervous about buying mass-market toys (and apparently other things) for the baby.

belly pic

Me, this morning. Lotta belly.
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Friday, August 17, 2007

Hello!

Steve and I have decided to start a baby blog so that we can share our thoughts and musings (fear and anxiety?) about this wonderful (crazy?) adventure and, more importantly to many of you, post pictures of our soon-to-be baby.

Neither of us has ever blogged before, but since I am always at my computer at work and then I'll be home for about eight months after baby is born in early November, I hope to write somewhat regularly. Unsurprisingly, I've also developed a fresh new interest in all things baby-related, so I'll occasionally post links to articles I'm reading about babies, toys, child care, education, etc. Feel free to comment on any of our postings; we'd love to hear from you.

Initial report: things are off to a good start. So far the pregnancy has been easy - I've felt great, have continued to exercise, and have had no strange pickle and ice cream cravings (although I have had perfectly normal ice cream cravings). I'm at the very beginning of the third trimester and am getting a real kick out of feeling the baby's movements. I have a wonderful doctor here in the city, and plan to have the baby at Roosevelt Hospital, on 59th and 10th.