Sep 282009

In fact, there are lots of fun things about having kids.  See, e.g., experimenting with genetics, warping their little minds, and making them laugh that tinkling giggle.  But today I wish to discuss purchases.  Specifically, “purchases intended for the baby, but … OMGthat’sawesomeIwantitnow!!”

Want it for the baby, that is.

Our baby is ready to move from her bucket to an actual bathtub.  But it turns out that inflatable baby tubs use less water (read: buy us more time to avoid bathtub re-glazing).  Sure, it means another purchase of another bathing item, but … OMG,thisone’saDuck!

Also, babies in the tub could receive spout-based injuries.  Parents should be responsible and purchase a spout protector, and …


Have you ever bought a “children’s product” because YOU wanted to play with it?

Sep 232009

I’m having one of those weeks, and I want very badly to whine.  Seriously.  Badly.  But in the spirit of Marisa’s “bright side” month, I won’t.  Instead, I’ll share a really fantastic idea for cherishing cast-off baby clothes:

Image from Designing Moms, via Ohdeedoh.

It’s a baby’s first shirt from the hospital.  Could you die?  I definitely plan to give this a try with some of our favorite baby clothes.  And what a great reminder that framing works well for anything sentimental.  If it’s too thick for a regular frame, just use a shadowbox!

Have you ever framed anything unusual and/or sentimental?  Do you have any other suggestions for showing off beloved baby items?

Sep 142009

We really wanted to give Vera organic baby formula, but her lactose intolerance didn’t cooperate.  In her first few months, she was gassy.  Really, REALLY gassy — like, “college boy the morning after a beer party” gassy. (Which was hard because of her discomfort, but also pretty funny coming from such a tiny creature!)

And then there’s the spitting up:

We started her on Gentlease, a low-lactose formula, for her gas. But we couldn’t bear to give up the organic (Earth’s Best), so we mixed them half-and-half.  Then, last week, the pediatrician gave us a formula with rice starch (Enfamil A.R.) to combat the constant spit-up.

The trouble: each has its benefits, so we can’t let any of them go.  But we can’t decide how to manage three different formulas, either.  We end up with conversations like this:

“What’s in this bottle?”

“Two-thirds Gentlease and one-third A.R.  I was worried about gas.”

“The mix in the fridge is half A.R…. No, wait! I used up the Gentlease, so it’s one-twelfth Gentlease, one half Earth’s Best, and five-twelfths A.R.”

Today I did half Gentlease and half A.R., while Mr T mixed all three in even thirds….

In other words, if this kid learns nothing else in life, at least she’ll know her fractions!

Sep 112009
I was spoiled by wedding blogging.  Wedding blogging introduced me to a genuinely supportive sisterhood, with wisdom to pass along, emotional journeys to share, pretty items to drool over, and so much more….  Like many newlyweds, I still read Weddingbee just for the community.  So I imagined parenting blogs would be the same — when I got pregnant, I couldn’t wait to dive in and discover all those wonderful blogs and forums!

Cue chirping crickets.

Which is not to say there aren’t a zillion mommy blogs.  But anything with a message board gives the choice of inane (“I just bought a onesie and it’s sooooo cute!”) or judge-y (“I run my child’s life successfully and anyone who doesn’t follow the same plan is an idiot.”).  Too many sites see me as only a marketing target.  And then there’s personal(ity) preferences — for instance, any blog written by the self-described “FABULOUS Mommy of [insert #] WONDERFUL children” always sends me running the other way.

Slowly, after a lot of trial and error, I have discovered a few fabulous women who write with humor and truth about experiences that resonate with my own.  Because many of you are parents, parents-to-be, or “expecting to expect” yourselves, I present my favorite mother blogs:
All & Sundry - This post, in particular, is a perfect description of parenthood.

Bern This - If this story doesn’t win you over, I don’t know what would.

The Big Piece of Cake - A local (always a bonus), and she understands that motherhood is scary

LuLu and Moxley - For the name of her blog alone (“what I would have named my twin girls if I were famous”)

Mommy Wants Vodka - One of those bloggers who says everything so perfectly, I don’t know why I even try.

Petunia Face – Because she’s odd and poetic and she makes me cry almost as often as she makes me laugh.

Wendi Aarons - “It’s funny because it’s true!”

Others of Note

Babygadget – Highlights great finds for kids.

The Bloggess - When I get down about motherhood or struggling with chronic illness, I remind myself that The Bloggess does both and still finds time and energy to be the funniest blogger alive.

Cool Mom Picks - More kids’ finds, and sponsors occasional contests.

Mom Giveaways & Jamie’s Precious Peas – Because Jenna asked about giveaway sites!

Nesting – Stylish blog from Cookie Magazine.

Reality Roadkill - Yes, it’s a reality show blog.  But it’s written by many of the mom bloggers listed above.  And I believe funny people writing about reality TV always deserve recognition.

Zero to Forty – This one’s for the pregnant ladies: a week-by-week guide that’s equal parts good humor and good advice.

But my discovery process is nowhere near over!  Just today, Mrs Life Accounts clued me in to a new favorite. And that blog linked to a long list at, which led me to a handful more…..

So, what about you?  Does anyone else share my trouble finding great “mom sites”?  Any suggestions from your own Internet forays?


Aug 062009

I know a few of you are “expecting to expect”.*  And of course babies can happen whether expected or not.  So if you’re in the US,** and especially if you purchase your own health insurance,*** this article is absolutely worth a read: Health Insurance Woes: My $22,000 Bill for Having a Baby.****

* Forget who came up with that wonderful phrase — Jenna? Shortie? Anyone?

** ‘Cause some of you have national health insurance, sigh.

*** Employer-provided insurance usually has much better maternity coverage than single policies.  (Though it still wouldn’t hurt to double-check.)  I’m insured by the same company mentioned in the article, but through the federal government.  And our total bill came out around $500, almost entirely because Vera’s newborn jaundice and heart murmur fell outside the superb “maternity” coverage.

**** And then stop back!  I’d be curious to know your thoughts!

May 162009

As you may recall, we were a bit … casual … about outfitting Wallaby before she was born. Case in point: her changing pad is a big ol’ double layer of bubble wrap.  Say what you will, but it pads well, it’s easy to put through Level Three Decontamination when necessary, and it was free.

But it does raise this question in my mind: Do you think that, in later years, Wallaby will find herself inexplicably but inescapably fond of bubble wrap?? (I’m guessing “yes.”)
Feb 052009

Mr T and I realize that, sooner or later, we will have to call our daughter something other than “Wallaby.” But we’re having a terrible time actually choosing a name.


(Wallabies are cute!! Image source)

It’s just so much pressure.  What about all those studies that seem to equate name with life outcome? Why, according to this website, your baby’s name “is the single most important influence on your child’s personality and destiny.”  How can we tackle that alone — perhaps we should just throw in the towel and hire a baby name consultant??

Here’s What We’re Sure Of:

Mr T has one main criterion for naming a girl:  The name must sound terrible when used to introduce a stripper.  If she decides to go that route, she’ll just have to come up with a stage name.

I have a few others:  (1) Nothing that will draw comments from every third person she meets.  So, nothing too creative, and no names of famous people.  (Though Auntie Dubbs swears “Vera Wang” is OK!)

(2) Nothing that will require constant correction of spelling or pronunciation.

(3) No “prank call” names: When your last name is “Wang,” you just can’t use names like “Anita” or “Ivana.”  Even my beloved grandmother’s name, “Frieda,” sounds wrong.  (Shortie knowswhat I’m talking about….)

(Indexed, via the Freakonomics Blog)

But then there are so many grey areas.  Would you use….

- The name of a friend’s child?  Or even just someone in social proximity?  (There’s only one other baby in our building, and she has a name we considered at one point.  But wouldn’t it be weird to use it?)

- The name of a friend or acquaintance?  Assuming you’re not “naming the child after” the person….

- The name of a friend’s DOG?  We hang out at a dog park all the time, what about the names of dogs we see regularly at the park?

- A name that calls to mind a particular famous person?  (“Keira” is a lovely name, but aren’t you basically naming your child after Keira Knightley?)

- A popular name?  We’d like to avoid anything in the Top 10 (no one wants to be the 3rd “Jennifer” in class), but what about, say, 11-25?  And different states have different Top 10s, so do you follow the local or the national trend?

- What about a name that’s especially popular in your culture or cultural subgroup?  (I thought we were doing well, but had a few shocks from 10 Ways to Avoid Hipster Baby Names….)

Bonus Question: Did you pick a “someday baby name” in your youth?  If so, do you think you’ll use it?

Interested in baby names?  I recommend these sites:

NameVoyager (oddly mesmerizing graphs of a name’s popularity over decades)

Nameberry (name descriptions can be a bit flippant, but the lists are fun)

Baby’s Named a Bad, Bad Thing (“A Primer on Parent Cruelty”)

The Renamer (choose a name based on personality traits)

And P.S. …. Feel free to suggest any fantastic girl names for little Wallaby!!