From the category archives:

Week 34


by Esther on Fri, Apr 2nd, 2010

in Challenges,Design,Pregnancy by week,Week 34

Researching baby gear was by far one of the more frustrating experiences of pregnancy preparation.  There is so much information out there, so many reviews to read, and so many people who believe they’ve got it just right who want to offer you every bit of advice they have.  I didn’t know where to start when it came to diapering, sleeping, strolling, or feeding.

Luckily, pregnancy is long.  I’ve dedicated myself to hours of baby homework in a way that I wish I had once poured myself into academic study.  Probably like a lot of parents-to-be, we have become a wealth of information spouting, carefully planned and hopefully prepared moms and pops.  In our minds during a good moment, anyhow…

One of my biggest concerns was the early sleeping arrangements.  We believe in co-sleeping to an extent, but I definitely wanted the baby to have a space of his own in which to snooze.  I wanted something that would easily rock him to sleep, and something that would leave me to my own bed when I needed a break.  I just can’t imagine myself doing the full-on attachment parenting thing, (but that’s another post).  Finding a bassinet was easy if I could have my pick of anything off of any design site.  Unfortunately, the bassinets that I found myself drawn to were on often out dated European design blogs entries.  Beautiful, located thousands of miles away, and massively expensive if they were even in production to begin with.  There was very little for me to fall in love with state side, and certainly nothing in the plastic filled baby superstores where 75% of Americans happen to register for baby goods.

As we don’t really know what kind of baby this Axelrod will be, we don’t want to buy a crib just yet.  We want to let him tell us what he needs as time passes, and possibly figure out how to use the Montessori Sleep Method in our loft.  Also, I have to admit that I’m not a huge crib fan.  This could be a result of our living in a very open space-  I don’t want to see bars anywhere in the loft!  It’ll break up the space and, hey, I gotta have the right energy flow.  I’m sure that most parents out there will poo-poo my musing about design, but I’m also pretty sure that most parents out there don’t live in a loft that they’d ultimately like to sell to another design oriented downtown individual.

Eventually, while reading one of my very favorite pregnancy/baby blogs, I came across a most spectacular idea!  And… I’ll admit!  I ran with that idea, obsessed.  The folks over at Dear Baby got their gorgeous baby girl a sweet vintage pram.  I saw the post about it and just fell in love.  I immediately (and obsessively) started combing antique stores, craigslist, and ebay for a pram of our own.

This wasn’t an easy feat!  A brand new pram costs thousands of dollars.  A well-kept vintage pram could cost you a good grand.  Out here on the west coast, we don’t see to many vintage prams.  They are only manufactured in Europe, and rarely seem to make it to the east coast of the states, much less all the way across the Rockies and the Cascades.  And, of course, we don’t need a pram.  They’re big!  You can only use them for basinet purposes for maybe 8 months, and that’s if your baby is not so bouncy!  They’re no where to be found for a cost-conscious price!  I didn’t care.  We have an open space with a sweet mixture of modern (from my husband) and antique (from me) fixins, and I could totally see the right pram fitting into the shape of things very nicely.

I bid on a pram in Florida and was outbid.  I bid on it again.  I got caught up in a bidding war!  My husband raised his eyebrows when I told him how the war had gotten to $350 and the sellers reserve had STILL not been met (thanks for being patient with that, Milton) I lost the war and was heart-broken.  I found other prams on ebay that were too kitschy for our aesthetic.  I found prams that didn’t match our colors.  I found a pram that my husband declared was “too dirty 70s”, prams that were too victorian, prams that were ugly.  I thought I’d never find the perfect one at the right price in time…

Until!  Suddenly one day I changed my usual ebay search words and came up with a sweet, very well kept, pram that was exactly like the one I had lost in my  exorbitant bidding war!  This pram was located about 20 minutes from my hometown, right down the street from family!  The price?  Well.  It still wasn’t cheap, but it wasn’t ridiculous.  I won the pram for $180 (which was the starting bid) and sent my awesome mom to pick it up!  Unfortunately, the East Coast had been so pummeled with snow that the pram took weeks and weeks to procure.  Then, my parents had the heady duty of figuring out how to ship this huge crazy beast all the way to Seattle.  My dad built 2 boxes and they lovingly wrapped the whole shebang in plastic bubbles, which we received yesterday!  Yay!!!

Behold!  Our mobile bassinet!!

Panda Perambulation!


Dear Axelrod,

by Milton on Wed, Mar 31st, 2010

in Letters to baby,Week 34

Okay, that’s not your real name.  Some friends of ours, I’ll call them Penny and Wilhelm (you’ll like them) told us a little story about how Wilhelm’s parents tricked a few of their family friends into thinking that their future son’s name was going to be Axelrod.  When Wilhelm was born, one of Wilhelm’s uncles threw the new parents a party which sported a big banner that said something along the lines of “Welcome to Earth, Axelrod!” much to Wilhelm’s and Wilhelm’s parents’ surprise and delight.  I liked that story, and thought that it would be fun to give you a blog name as well.  Why not, right?  We’re Milton and Esther here.  Might as well call you Axelrod.


So, as you probably heard from inside Esther’s belly, we threw you a little party this past weekend.  Your grandmother even flew 3,000 miles to attend.  They made you cute onesies with words and images of inspiration, prediction, and sometimes pure randomness which you will be wearing for the first year of your life.  It was awe-inspiring for us as well.  You don’t realize yet just how welcome and loved you are by the world you have yet to enter.  You are going to be surrounded by amazing mentors and friends.  I already found someone to be in charge of your literary adventures.  And another someone to help teach you musical appreciation and sportiness.  Yet another plans to teach you how to be socially deviant.  And the bid’s going to be high for the privilege of giving you your first whiskey.  But we won’t get ahead of ourselves.  You are going to have a lot of time to just soak it in.  Your stroller is all ready.  So is your Ergo and your Moby Wrap.  Not to mention your car seat.  Transportation needs have been met, and you can’t even hold the weight of your own head (outside of the womb) yet.

Of course, I’m still thinking about all the different things I can show you.  But I don’t want to get too ahead of myself… I want to give you a chance to let me know who you are before I decide exactly how I’m going to relate to you.  Because this is a relationship we’re entering into.  The magic of all of this is that you are on the way to becoming your very own person.  I’m your father, and I can already tell that I’m going to be very interested in your thoughts, your personality, your spirit, your ideas, and your actions… but I want to make sure that they come from inside you.  I’m going to try not to project myself into your life.  I will help bring whatever spark is inside you, out.  That’s my goal and my mission.  And in the process, I believe that you’ll be able to bring that spark that’s inside of me out a little bit more as well.  That zero-degrees-removed-from-the-universe force of life.  The part of us that experiences things, feels things, thinks things, and IS things, before they get filtered through our expectations, ideas, and opinions.  We all have it in common, and when we see it in others we can’t help but love them.  And when we hide it from others then we slowly start to die.

That’s my deep thought for the day.

Keep growing, Axelrod!  Keep working on those lungs and that baby fat!  And take your time.  We’ll see you when you’re ready.

{ 1 comment }

Striped and Showered

For weeks now, clients, strangers, and friends have nodded at my belly and asked, “Are you ready?”  My response has always be a quick and dismissive, “Heck no.”

We haven’t been ready anywhere but in our “YAY, BABY!” minds.  As far as the random sundries required for baby care, this place has been a shambles of list making, organization struggles, and baffled wondering.  I work during each of my three days off a week to try and make this house a little bit more ready for hunkering down and figuring out how to care for a newborn.  Sometimes, I freak out.  ”We have to figure out how to care for a newborn!  Then a baby!  Then a toddler!  Holy cow!  What school district is our building in?  What are we going to do with a teenager?!”  My husband is somehow genetically programmed to not freak out.  He mostly laughs at me, which sometimes makes me freak out more.  Eventually, we work together for an hour or two and I back off until the next day, when the cycle starts all over again.

Truth is this: after 34 weeks of labor prep, I feel almost totally ready to take on the struggle of bringing a newborn into this world.  It’s what to do after he gets here that I check and double check our list and wonder what I’m forgetting.  Luckily, a huge and beautiful turning point in my uncertainty came over the weekend when a bunch of our wonderful friends got together to throw us a spectacular shower on Sunday afternoon!  It really helped to make us feel strong with community and WAY more prepared for this baby.  We now have almost everything we need to help our house feel more prepared.  Even Sopor, our precious little pooka, feels more comfortable.  In fact, she’s dozing on the new changing table pad as I type (not so sure of how I’m going to dictate to her that not every cozy space is a cat’s space.  History says: probably not possible!).

I just bought a bunch of storage baskets for the cabinets I bought for family’s living room/baby center cabinets.  Into these will go all the wonderful clothes, blankets (home made, even!), fluffy rattles, nipple creams (yikes), baby carriers, and onesies decorated at our shower’s onesie decorating station!  I am so excited to finally get all this random stuff organized so that I can take a photo of it to show everyone just how we’re going to fit this lil’ family of three into a studio loft.

While I wash, fold, and organize all of these teeny tiny bits of baby love this afternoon, I’m baking my deliciously “healthy” banana/coconut/chocolate chip protein bread for our 5th home birthing class tonight.  I leave you with a photo of a bear that will have to wait to be named until our son can speak to name him himself!  This panda guy was made by our friend April, and is already a prized family possession.  Here he is with April at our shower, being snuggled for a last time by the great lady who put all of his bits and pieces together:

Best bear, ever!

UPDATE:  Our site was down for a while while my husband and our server admins fixed some nasty hacker problems.  In the meantime after writing the above entry, I started to organize, and of course created a big mess.  I keep telling myself that mess comes before order, but really really wish that cycle would break down and sit in order for just a little while, here and there.  Y’know?