Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Making a list (or four)

For something so tiny, babies need a lot of stuff. I suppose I could resolve to carry my baby in a sling forever, thus eliminating the need for a stroller and car seat, but I do plan on travelling with Baby, and so the stroller and car seat will remain firmly in place on the ‘Need’ list.

I have four lists. Need. Want. Have. Buy later. 

Under the ‘N’ for ‘Need’ is
Car seat
Cover for car seat (I live in frigid McDamp land) – possibly to be usurped by a blanket.)
Headrest for car seat (checklists tell me these are essential, but don’t they come with car seats anyway?)
Baby Bjorn or Snugli (My heart is set on a Bjorn – used one, loved it – but my budget calls for a Snugli.)
Diaper bag (can’t I just use a regular overnight/carry-all bag?)
Swaddling blankets
Pacifiers (Hate. Hate. Accepting that I will probably learn to live with.)
Onesies and sleepers
Socks and hats
Bottles/brush/containers for milk (I have breastfeeding plans, but I know this whole gig is up to Baby, once s/he gets here)
Bibs (really? For a newborn?)
Nipple cream/ointment
Nursing wrap (again – can’t I just use a blanket?)
Baby shampoo and wash (My own shampoo is unscented organic – will this do?)
Grooming kit (ha! “Groom” a baby? Don’t you groom dogs and horses?)
Ear and rectal thermometers (I am a temperature-taking NINJA (read: a mite obsessed), I will definitely need these)
Baby sunscreen
Teething ring
Nasal bulb (ew ew ew. Do the bulbs fill up with…. Snot?)
Diaper rash cream
1st aid kit
infant meds (ie: baby Tylenol and gripe water)
laundry detergent (okay, I have this already, but here’s a reminder for me to pick some more up next time I’m at the grocery store, because I’m thisclose to being out and I still have to wash the cloth diapers a few hundred times.)
Bassinet sheets
Dresser (for baby clothes and changing table)

W-A-N-T spells Want
Diaper sprayer (cool cool cool!)
Fuzzi Bunx pocket diapers
Happy Heini’s pocket diapers
AMP diapers
Baby Bjorn
Maternity Jacket from Japanese weekend. (Love it. Love it so bad.)

On Layaway (a.k.a. Buy Later)
Crib sheets
High chair
Breast pump
Baby gate
Potty stuff
Step stool (love those things)

Own it – Have it
Baby bathtub (unexpectedly gifted from the new parents in the apartment above my office - they had two)
24 prefold diapers and 6 covers (purchased)
Cradle/bassinet (made by my grandfather for my cousin 30 years ago)
6 onesies in various sizes (gifts/thrift purchases)
2 outfits for 6-mo and up (gifts)
Rubber duck (gift)
1 pair socks (gift)
Mittens for 2-year-old (gift)
Hotslings sling (sized too small)
Two gliders and one rocking chair (scattered between houses)
Crib and mattress (Cousin's hand-me-downs)
Absorbent breast pads (cotton. love 'em. Using them already.)

Hmm, based on the size of the Baby Stuff pile in my spare room, I thought I had more than that. Thank goodness for Alpha Mom’s baby registry  and a dozen other baby checklist sources. I love lists. I like CHECKlists even more.

While we're on the subject, here's a few more for the Need list (but not associated with Baby):

Washer and dryer
9-ft curtain rod
New glasses
New UV lamp for my water filter
A well (not that pond water is bad, just that it's not good, either)
2 new car tires
Railings for my front and back decks (there are currently none. Scaree!)
Magic cleaner that cleans my shower and bathtub every day (Pond water is notorious for staining)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One more advantage I have over my grandmother? A baby shower.

The thought of a baby shower stresses me out to the max, because I dislike being the centre of attention, and I especially dislike accepting gifts that people spent too much money on (and baby stuff is notoriously overpriced), and what if I unwrap a gift a positively loathe? How can I possible fake genuine appreciation? Oh god, the thought of a shower just works me up.

But two things changed.

1. Knowing that we can't possibly afford everything, and really I ought to take all the advice and equipment I can get.

2. Reading about a fabulous baby shower idea, one that made me immediately grab the phone and dial my mother, commandeering her into arranging: a Book baby shower! Where the guests all bring books for the baby! So Baby can have a fully stocked library right from the get-go! Now this is a baby shower I can live with.

So the baby-book shower is in.

Unfortunately I know a regular-type shower is inevitable (probably three of them, considering the location of my, my family and Man's family), and now I'm toying with the idea of registering for gifts.

I was adamant about not registering, until my cousins exalted the registry over Christmas dinner - and how easy it is to buy gifts when someone has a registry. Problem is, I live in BFNW (Butt-F-NoWhere), and the only registries I can take advantage of are online, or two hours away in the Big City.Given my rural roots and the prevalence of dial-up Internet (yes, dial-up) in this neck of the woods, I'm not inclined to pass on a URL with the invites.

On the other hand, I've seen what Walmart tries to pass off as cloth diapers around here.

On the third hand, I hear that Mother-to-be shouldn't actually have anything to do with shower planning, and therefore I can stop stressing abotu ettiquette of registries and invitations and entertaining and start having nightmares about how many clothespins I can hold in one hand instead.

"When are you going to be over your trouble, my dear?"

That's what a great-aunt said to my aunt 26 years ago when she was pregnant with her first baby.


Because pregnancy in her time wasn't something to be celebrated - it was something to bear.

Pregnant women weren't encouraged to lounge on a lotus leaf, chanting about her body as a temple.

Heck, the word pregnant was rarely even uttered. Particularly in my corner of the world, women worked hard throughout their pregnancies, salting fish, baking bread, washing clothes and chasing other kids out of the house. When the time came, the men went down to the wharf and the midwife or the woman's own mother (sometimes both, sometimes they were one in the same) moved in to help with delivery. Once baby was washed, swaddled and fed, the woman had a few days in bed before resuming her usual daily chores.

Trouble is all it was.An interruption to the work that had to be done.

Last month I visited my grandparents, and Mom, Grandma, an aunt and cousin and I all sat around discussing labour and delivery and general baby things. Labour is on my mind a lot, being somewhat (okay, a lot) terrified of needles, but I talk myself through the panic by telling myself women have been doing this - and surviving - for YEARS. I have nothing to worry about. During this family gathering, I voiced this opinion, saying something along the lines of, "not much has changed since you had your kids, Grandma - it's all the same equipment down there."

'Yes,' my grandfather piped up. 'And this reminds me just of the conversations we would have had, sitting around waiting for your father to be born, too."

He was trying to be funny. Because of course women may have discussed childbirth, but certainly not in the company of men, and probably not to the same analytical degree I was attacking it that evening.

I'm struck by the difference between my grandparents' generation and my own. Older women are likely to put their hands on my belly and predict boy or girl. Younger women ask if the can touch - yes - and ask, 'do you know what you're having?'

'A baby,' I invariably reply.

Some are insulted. Others laugh. But really, does it matter what I'm having? It's not like we're rushing out the paint the nursery pink or blue, and we definitely can't take the kid back and trade it in for a different model if we aren't satisfied with out purchase. I feel pretty strongly about this last hold out to the olden days of pregnancy - when the sex of the baby was a surprise till the end.

I'm glad Trouble is no longer a euphemism for Pregnancy. I am happy to stick out my tummy and let strangers rub the bump and be happy about becoming a mother and all. But I'm not ready to lounge on a lotus leaf either. After all, there are some things that are just plain troublesome - the heartburn and the restless legs, to name a few.

In other news, I am positively PANICKED about affording this kid and all its paraphenalia. Heading over to AlphaMom to make a list of Baby Essentials and consider registering at a few places for baby things.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Another list

I keep meaning to get this blog on the go - update my Blogroll, link to wonderful sites and really pimp out my photos.

Except... it's just One More Thing To Do.

And I'd rather spend more time browsing my favourite blogs and sleeping. Not always in that order. Sometimes I sleep BEFORE I do the blogrounds.

Ah, sleep. I am so tired. It's as if I skipped the chronic fatigue of the first trimester, and it's aaaaallllll catching up on me now. I had a five and a half hour nap on Saturday. Five and a half hours isn't a nap - it's almost three REM cycles.

Baby is on the go constantly. I can pretty well guarantee an internal acrobatic routine every morning and evening, and often throughout the day. It's awesome. Today it struck me - I have a whole other PERSON inside me! a Baby! This blows my mind.

I have all my Christmas presents bought and wrapped. It helps that I'm only buying for 4 people this year. The girls at the office exchange dollar-store presents (Max, $1 each). It's fun to open our stockings and unwrap all the silly presents, but it only translates into More Junk To Deal With, and I have more than enough Junk To Deal With as it is.

I was struck over the weekend on the sheer number of places I have to keep clean:

1. My house.
2. Man's apartment. (Albeit not my responsibility, but if we cook I'm going to help with the dishes, and my OCD will probably carry that over to sweeping and changing the sheets.)
3. Man's business. (Again, TOTALLY not my responsibility, but if I see a table that needs wiping, I'm going to grab a rag.)
4. Our House. The house has yet to be renovated so technically it doesn't need to be cleaned yet, as there are walls coming down and paint being striped... but before all that can happen, stuff needs to be cleaned out of the rooms, which pretty well equals the same thing.

Yeah, so my blogroll is still don't done after two months. Bear with me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Not a period

Everyone has a story about a friend of a friend who was eight months along before she found out she was pregnant. Or maybe she went to the bathroom and had a baby instead. Or more commonly, she didn't find out she was pregnant until the fourth or fifth month.

These women are obviously among the lucky half of pregnant women who do not battle morning sickness.

They are also obviously among the lucky few who put on little weight and show nothing.

And yet, how can you not KNOW you are pregnant? The breast tenderness alone! The incessant tiredness! Also: the missing period.

I've heard too many women say, "I got my period all while I was pregnant," or "I got two periods before I found out."

Um. These are not periods. These are implantation bleeding, spotting, placenta previa, or worse. They can be mistaken for a period, but THEY ARE NOT YOUR PERIODS!

Too many women don't understand their own bodies, or have only a rudimentary understanding of what a period is, ie: blood in your undies.

A period is your uterus shedding it's fertile lining because whoops - no egg got fertilized this month. The bleeding throughout pregnancy may be MISTAKEN for a period, BUT IT IS NO PERIOD.