• Home
  • About


    October 31st, 2008

    Do you miss trick-or-treating? Did going candy-hunting in your teens get you evil looks?

    Well… fear no more — there is a solution to the sad result of aging: having a baby!

    That’s right folks, you heard it here. Just dress up your baby in the cutest costume you can find (or a $20 cheapie from BRU) and take them door to door with a bag for your loot stretched out.

    No infant of your own? This would be a great evening to volunteer to babysit. You get the chocolaty goodies and you don’t have to share (works best for babies not introduced to solids).

    I’d like to tell myself that G is in fact getting his candy… I just have to digest it first… for quality control that is ;p

    G says “Roar!”

    Happy Halloween!

    Foto Friday

    October 31st, 2008

    Brace yourselves… ‘cuz this is a big one!

    (Photos courtesy of Kelly M)

    It’s hard to pick just a few, but as always, his cuteness can always be “Aw!”ed at here.

    A sailor went to sea, sea, sea

    October 29th, 2008

    Yep, I’m sitting here in bed with “A sailor went to sea, sea, sea” stuck in my head. There’s nothing better than getting the most annoying possible nursery jingle to lull you to sleep… or in my case not.

    I’ve been singing to G during the day, or should I say subjecting him to my completely tone-def voice. He smiles at me when I do, so obviously he’s either enjoying me making a fool out of myself through my exaggerated facial expressions, or laughing at how terrible I sound. Either way, the smile gets me, so until he tells me to shut up (I did this to my mom as her voice is apparently no better than mine), I’ll keep going.

    Nursery rhymes are never something I would have guessed I would have a hard time with. Not having English as my first language, or being raised in the US, makes singing along to some of these popular childhood songs pretty hard. I don’t know the lyrics, for one, nor the hand movements. I’m probably one of few people out there doing searches online for phrases like “itsy bitsy spider hand movements” or scouring YouTube for toddlers caught on camera by their parents performing the same.

    Honestly, it’s about as sad as playing baby-shower games with a group of non-American born women. Earlier this summer our neighbor threw a baby-shower for one of her friends. All of the women, host included, except for myself, were Russian, but they really wanted to play American baby-shower games. As such the hostess searched online for popular party activities and printed out “fill in the blank” nursery rhymes that each attendee was to complete. I tell you, there’s nothing better than a room-full of grown women trying to figure out why three men in a tub (of “Rub-a-dub-dub” fame) are taking a bath together.


    I can officially report that I now have the “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “The Wheels on the Bus”, and “A sailor went to sea, sea, sea” under my belt.

    Yes, G this is a proud moment for your mommy!

    2 months old already?

    October 29th, 2008

    G is now two months old. Some notable developments have been:
    – his first (non-gassy) smile
    – more coordinated arm gestures… even swatting and getting at a toy
    – his first laugh (well, it was more like a short laughing grunt)
    – outgrowing his NB sized clothes and finally fitting into his cloth diapers
    – finally enjoying bath-time
    – getting down to a single wakeup in the middle of the night, with a few 8-9 hr stretches here and there

    Things we are happy are over:
    – the constant all-day crying through the 6th week growth spurt

    Things we can’t wait to be over:
    – the 4:30pm ‘till bed-time crying

    I’m still amazed at how quickly these last two months have gone by. I had this flash of fear this morning that I’ll wake tomorrow, in my 50’s attending my son’s college graduation. I say fear, because I feel like the rate of living feels like it has accelerated so much over the last 5 years. I don’t want to miss out on enjoying G growing up. As much as I am thrilled about him outgrowing his tough moments, I love the good parts so much more than I dislike the hard parts.

    So how are we honoring the 2 month milestone? By giving G his first immunizations! I am genuinely nervous about this appointment. It could very well be harder for me than for him. Both S and I are going. We’ll let you know how it works out. Wish us luck!

    My turn?

    October 25th, 2008

    Kittylove is right! I have been neglecting Neko here, so today is about him.

    Last week after I brought home G’s new activity mat, I assembled it and put G in it. He looked so cute staring up at the hanging toys and watching the lights. I couldn’t help but get the camera out.

    Neko observed all this from a safe distance (he still doesn’t care to be close to G). After G expressed his “Ok, I’m done” cry, I pulled him out. In the milliseconds that it took me to adjust G in my arms, I turn around to see this:

    Neko was sitting smack in the middle of the activity center, right where I had G. He was looking up at me, asking “My turn?”

    Yes… I guess it was his turn… so I snapped a few pics of him too.

    Both my kids are too cute.

    PS. I did vacuum the activity mat after Neko was done. That whole kid/pet-dander thing…

    Foto Friday

    October 24th, 2008

    First smiles:

    Playing with Grandma:

    He likes to stick his tongue out… a lot:

    How to cure impatience and procrastination

    October 23rd, 2008

    I’ve found a cure for impatience and procrastination: having a baby.


    I am not a patient person by any means, and if it can be done tomorrow, why leave the couch and TV remote control today?
    (As you can tell my reading assignments in school didn’t get very far)

    However, as I was standing over my sink at 5:40am this morning rinsing off my pumping supplies I came to the realization that G is curing me (slowly) of both of my vices. “How?” you may ask. Well, the thing with babies is that you work on their schedule. I’ve heard that it “should” be the other way around, but we haven’t really gotten G to agree. Anyway, when you work with your kid’s schedule you come to the sad conclusion that just because you wanted to do something later doesn’t mean that they’ll want to give you the time to complete that task at that time. So if you want something done, you do it as soon as a window opens up, even if that means right then and there. Hence the 5:40am rinse session.

    The impatience is cured by the continuous crying. Come cry-o’clock (~5-9pm daily at our house) you get a steady state of G vocals, and unless you purchase a quick hit of patience and a shot of Zen you’re not making it through those four hours. I’ve become very good at meditating through G’s cries. I can hear him, don’t get me wrong, but with the exception of the occasional (and sadly unavoidable) shriek, I bear through it patiently waiting the sleep faerie.

    So I don’t know how long these vice vaccines will last for, but I’ll see how long this new, “better” me will last.

    Oh, PS. Just because I procrastinate less doesn’t mean I’m getting more done… it just means that my one or two accomplishments of the day happen sooner rather than later ;p

    Lullabub – A Sleep Deprived Purchase

    October 23rd, 2008

    In our first two weeks of parenthood sleep deprivation hit us. G was having wailing fits throughout the night. We took turns with him in the Moby Wrap while sleeping in the glider. We swaddled. We shushed until we got light headed. After several nights in a row, I was ready to try anything that could help. We live in a gadget home, so you shouldn’t be surprised that we would try a gadget type solution.

    I recalled seeing a product several months before that I laughed at (mostly due to price). It was a Lullabub Crib Rocker; a cool product that has four pedestals to support the legs of the crib and they stay in sync wirelessly. They move the crib to simulate the motion of a mother’s womb, mother’s heartbeat, drive in a car, and boat on water. It was the Drive in Car that I wanted since G fell asleep right away in the car. I had previously laughed at this product because it cost more than our crib! I thought why would you need a crib rocker when you should be rocking your baby yourself. How quickly I realized that rocking a wailing baby can push you to the edge – even with ear plugs.

    A 4 AM one night $179 was a small price to pay for a night of sleep, so I made what will likely be the first of many Sleep Deprived Purchases. I then waited for the product to be shipped from Australia. 5 days later it arrived – pretty darn fast given the distance. I felt like a kid waiting for a gift – rushing out to meet mailman on the sidewalk.

    The packaging was very nice and the installation was a breeze. It took longer to get all the parts out of the box than it did to set it up with the crib. I pulled the casters off the bottom of the crib, slid the Lullabub pedestals under the legs, plugged in the power cord, and turned it on. The movement is so subtle that I had to put my hand on the crib to make sure it was moving.


    • Quick delivery
    • Nice packaging
    • Good quality
    • Easy Setup
    • Easy to Use
    • Raises up the crib so you don’t have to bend over so far
    • Allows for manual rocking of the crib with your hand motion
    • Baby can soothe himself once he figures out his kicking moves the crib (maybe wishful thinking)


    • Motions are very subtle – nothing like a drive in our car or sitting in the womb
    • Only stays on for 30 minutes before you need to start it again
    • Icons on remote aren’t obvious until you’ve used it a bit


    In order for this product to knock it out of the park and deliver on its promise to “calm and relax your crying baby & help soothe unsettled babies” it should make some changes. 30 minutes of calming doesn’t go far for truly unsettled babies or even just crying babies. The times when we’ve had a good experience with G and the Lullabub it’s been after he was already calmed and almost asleep, but he seemed to wake up just after the 30 minute period stopped. I would go back to the nursery to start another cycle.

    Our swing does the job but only AFTER he’s calmed – G stays sleeping peacefully in the swing (set on High) for hours at night. The motion of the car works best when he gets jiggled from the bumps in the road, rough pavement, or the rhythmic bump-bump of the seams on the highway. In his stroller he likes the bumping of a dirt path over the smoothness of a sidewalk. The subtle motions aren’t enough to calm him – he needs more!

    So the Lullabub would work better for G if it had an option for a motion with more jiggles! I suggest the Lullabub folks get together with Dr. Karp and design a Happiest Baby on the Block setting. Dr. Karp certainly supports a more active motion for calming crying babies.

    We’re keeping the Lullabub, and I expect it will prove more beneficial when G gets past this crying, fussy phase.

    Should you buy one? It depends on what motions soothe your baby and how much you like gadgets. Now if they only made one for our King-sized bed! Or if they made a similar product that was intended as a base for your carseat — then you could put the crying baby in the car seat, put the car seat in, and watch your baby fall asleep to the motion of a car (but a car driving on a road with bumps, not floating across the ground).

    Gumdrops are great

    October 22nd, 2008

    Post by S

    My new favorite baby accessory is the Gumdrop! That’s the Gumdrop Pacifier.

    The hospital gave us a Soothie pacifier – it was the first pacifier G tried and he sucked on it. But I HATED it. It was heavy and fell out of his mouth often. It covered up most of his face. There wasn’t any easy way to attach a regular pacifier leash and the Soothie leash was even worse than the pacifier. I eventually took off the leash attachment and just tied the string through the hole in the pacifier.

    It’s almost as if it was designed by someone that never watched a baby use it.

    Late one night after picking up the Soothie off the floor one too many times I did a web search for “Better Soothie Pacifier” and found the Gumdrop Pacifier. The Gumdrop nipple is the exact same as the Soothie but the outside is drastically improved. I read the reviews and at 3 am ordered 6 with Express Shipping.

    I LOVE the Gumdrop!

    G loves it too. It doesn’t fall out as easily. It takes a regular paci-leash. And he looks better in photos with it too.

    If your baby likes the Soothie – Give the Gumdrop a try! They will even send you a free one if you send them your Soothie – Trade in Your Soothie.

    I ordered ours from Amazon (from Gumdrop Pacifiers’ Amazon store).

    Cloth Diapering Update

    October 21st, 2008

    Post by S

    This post was supposed to be written back in August right after we prepped our batch of cloth diapers. The weekend I supposed to write the post was the weekend that G was born.

    I wanted to attempt cloth diapers, so A left the diaper research and plans to me. The idea of landfill waste due to disposable diapers makes me cringe and as we bring G into this world it’s even more important that we attempt to leave the world a better place for the next generation.

    When I first saw this shirt, I couldn’t get it out of mind. It pretty much summed up the main driver for cloth diapering.

    Our plan was to give the cloth diapers a try and see if it would work for us. The plan was to:

    • Start with disposables until the meconium passed but use eco-friendly disposables. Tushies were the ones I selected.
    • Switch to Kissaluvs Size 0 (KL0) until he’s about 12 lbs and use some infant prefolds if we ran out of KL0s between washings.
    • Go to Bum Genius 3.0s from 12 lbs to potty training.

    I didn’t want to use prefolds exclusively (which is what diaper services use), and the thought of the added eco-impact of a diaper service coming from San Jose didn’t sit well with me either. But we did buy prefolds to use as backups and burp clothes since they are so cheap ($1.50 – $2.50 each).

    Before G was born I placed our order with with Jillian’s Drawers for the KL0s and some prefolds (as backups). I prepped them so we would be ready to start using them we G came home. Here’s a pic of our first stash of diaper goodies.

    The plan changed when G was born. He was too small for the Tushies (the smallest size is a Size 1) or the Kissaluvs, so we stuck with the eco-awful Pampers Swaddlers they issued us in the hospital. I was worried that 4 weeks of Swaddlers disposables would spoil us and that we wouldn’t give the cloth diapers a fair chance.

    We started using the Kissaluvs two weeks ago. So how’s it going?

    We had more leaks the first week (about 1/day). But realized it was because if any part of the KL0 wasn’t covered by the waterproof cover (we’re using ProWraps) then once the diaper was wet it just wicked the wetness to G’s clothes. Our leaks have been minimized, but if someone can recommend a better cover I’m all ears.

    We decided to continue with disposables at night because the KL0s can’t hold the pee from even a 4-5 hour sleep session and there isn’t room for a doubler. Life is all about trade offs and in this case we chose SLEEP.

    We need to change his diaper more often with cloth since he really tells us when he’s wet now. It’s getting easier to tell the diaper cry from the other cries.

    We’re using about 6-8 KL0s per day and 2 disposables per night. We’re washing a load of diapers every other day. For now, we’re sticking with it. Let’s hope we make it to the Bum Genius stage in a couple of months.

    I’m hoping it will be easy to stick with this plan since our day care provider supports cloth diapering and our good friends A&B are also doing cloth diapers — so we have a support group!

    If you are considering cloth diapers, check out the Trial Program from Jillian’s Drawers where you can try a variety of cloth diapers for only $10!

    And for more info on cloth diapering, check out the Tutorial at Jillian’s Drawers and let them debunk a few myths.