08/16/14

Baby Stuff II: Things I Need or Want

In  my previous post, I detailed some of my favorite baby things that I have kept.  With such a sizable collection in the attic, there are very few things I need.  Basically, I need diapers.  Everything else is about my preference or desire.  With that in mind, here is my list of things I need or want:

Thirsties Duo Wraps

Thirsties Duo Wraps

1.  Diapers – After the first week or so at home, I hope to commit to cloth diapering our baby.   There is an initial investment, but very real savings in the long run.  I’ve decided to go mostly with Thirsties Duo Wraps coupled with prefolds and fitteds.  To that end, I’ve registered for diapers at www.nickisdiapers.com.  From what I can tell, Nicki’s Diapers is a small business with reasonable prices, a good selection, and what seems to be high customer satisfaction.  The only problem is that the size 2 Thirsties have been out of stock for awhile.  I might end up at Amazon for these after all.

"Playing Church"

“Playing Church”

2.  Receiving blankets – One can never have too many receiving blankets.  The boys’ collection was quite loved and put to various uses in their early years.  So far, I have found about four blankets in the attic that survived the “love” or abuse.  I could use a few more.

3.  Full size fitted sheets – You may have noticed that a crib did not make the “things I’m glad I saved list,” nor did it make my “things I need or want list.”  The fact of the matter is, we did give away our crib, and I’m not at all sorry.  With every child, I seem to get a little less mainstream, and sleeping arrangements are a prime example.  This time around, I am opting for a Montessori floor bed, which is basically a mattress on the floor.  We have a full size mattress in the attic that we can use for this purpose.  One benefit of this sleeping arrangement is that I will have a place to co-sleep safely and take care of nighttime feedings comfortably in the early months.  The other benefit is freedom of movement and even of vision for the baby once he gets older.  (The entire room will be childproofed, and a gate will be up at the door.)  This is all a very long explanation of why I have put full size fitted sheets on my list.  I really like the dark tan flannel shown above in the fitted sheet option, but for extra sets and summertime, I will probably go with some basic, inexpensive sheets like the Cannon 200 Thread Count sheets available at Sears.

4.  Mobiles and plexiglass mirror – In the Montessori link above, you can see a mirror and a mobile next to the baby’s bed.  I would like to do that too.  A mirror is straightforward enough, and I think we can make some suitable mobiles, perhaps as a homeschool art project.  The mobiles are to be fairly simple, starting with black and white designs, progressing to colored shapes, and then finally moving on to simple figures.  The idea is to have the a mobile hanging rather close above the baby’s sleeping area from the very beginning and to rotate through the different mobiles by changing them every few weeks.  This helps the baby develop vision, depth perception, and concentration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Nursing necklace – I had a nursing necklace with Jack, and he loved it.  It was especially useful when paired with my baby sling for going places like church.  It kept Jack occupied and was certainly better than having him fidget or pull on and mouth my good jewelry.  He did eventually wear out the necklace, so I am in the market for a new one.  I really like several of the necklaces from this particular Etsy shop, but I picked out two neutral ones because they should match just about anything I might wear.

from Amazon

from Amazon

6.  I really like the classic silverware.  I have one set from my childhood, but one or two more sets would be handy.

7.  A nightlight – I have a nightlight that can be plugged directly into the wall, but I don’t think that is a good option once the baby becomes mobile.  I would prefer something with a cord that I can tuck behind the dresser.

from Nihamaj

from Nihamaj

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

from Amazon

from Amazon

from Knoppie

from Knoppie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.  Toys – I would like to build up my collection of natural toys.  I found most of these toys on Etsy, and really, the specific shop is not as important as the idea itself.  I would have to do a little more looking to find the best place to actually purchase something.  (There must be crocheted balls that ship from someplace closer than Australia!)  Then, of course, some of the toys could be homemade if a person had sufficient time and talent.  For instance, the red and tan clutching ball is actually just a pattern.  Also, the elephant is terribly cute, but I’m sure some it would be less expensive, though not as cute, to make some cloth toys myself.  Like I said, I was really just looking for ideas when I came up with this collection.

That completes my wish list, I believe.  I feel very blessed to be able to contemplate what color of diaper I would like and whether or not I actually need more toys.  It’s been a fun list to put together, and I’ll keep you posted on how all my ideas work out.

 

 

08/12/14

Baby Stuff I: Things I’m Glad I Saved

Only ten weeks to go before Baby’s expected arrival, and we are in preparation mode here.  For the first baby in the family, there is a certain amount of “stuff” that must be acquired.  (Generally, the amount needed is really far less than the amount acquired, but first time parents and well meaning gift givers do not necessarily realize this.)  Now with baby number three, our goal has been to get rid of things that have started to collect over the years.  I say to Thomas, “We  have to make room for another whole person,” and he willingly complies, taking trash to the curb and unloading boxes for the Goodwill collection truck.  In between all this purging, he has also pulled out my collection of baby “stuff.”  (He is quite a wonderful helper.)  Here is a list of the baby things I am glad I saved:

Jack at 6 months

Jack at 6 months

1.  Clothes – not all OshKosh, of course, but very helpful nonetheless.

Thomas at 6 weeks

Thomas at 6 weeks

2. Car seats – We have car seats of all sizes stored in the attic.  That will be a big money-saver.

3.  Stroller – We have a stroller that is compatible with the car seat above.  When the child is bigger, it can be used without the car seat as well.  It even has a handy storage place underneath that can be used for diaper bags, groceries, library books, or violins.  I don’t think we ever fit a cello down there, but it is still very handy for a mom who needs more hands.

Jack at 9 months

Jack at 9 months

4.  Baby sling – We don’t want Baby in the stroller or car seat all the time!  This is a ring sling that I made from a pattern.  All babies are different, of course, but this sling worked very well for Jack and me.

Jack at 1 week

Jack at 1 week

5.  Moses basket- cute and functional.  It can be placed anywhere we may want the baby to sleep.  It came with a liner that was entirely unsuitable.  It was very puffy, and I think it would have posed a suffocation risk.  Fortunately my mother can sew, and she made the liner above.  Thanks, Mom!

6.  Pack ‘N Play – not as cute as the Moses basket but probably more functional since it can be used even with a larger baby.  It too can be placed wherever we may want the baby to sleep.  I also came across an idea that you can take the mat out of the Pack  ‘N Play and use it as a play mat on the floor.  Nice to keep in mind, since this is the first baby we will be bringing home to all hardwood floors.

Baby Jack

Baby Jack

7.  Activity gym – Speaking of play mats, I really like the one we saved from Jack’s baby years.  It has a very simple format, and the high definition colors are appropriate for the young baby’s developing eyesight.  I’m not sure we have all the little hanging toys, but really, we can hang any number of toys from the rings.

Thomas at 1 month

Thomas at 1 month

Working those "tummy time" muscles

Working those “tummy time” muscles

Success!

Success!

8.  Boppy pillow – This is really helpful for positioning an infant to nurse.  Nursing the baby with the Bobby pillow was much easier on my back muscles than using a regular pillow.  It can also be good for Baby’s muscles when used as a prop during “tummy time.”

This is not a comprehensive list.  It’s just a compilation of some of my favorites.  If you are looking for a very bare bones list of newborn needs, you might want to check out Rachel’s post here.  (Some of my favorites didn’t make her list, but she still has a valuable perspective.)   In the meantime, stay tuned for my next post which will be a wish list for our newest arrival.

06/28/14

Musical Seasons

Here in Western New York, we are finally putting the 2013-2014 school year to rest.   To say we have a lot to look forward to in the coming seasons would be a bit of an understatement, but  before we move on, I wanted to share some of the musical highlights from this past year.

Fall

fall

book1recital

In October, Jack gave his Suzuki Cello Book One recital.

Winter

winter

sundayschoolprogram

At Christmastime, the boys provided the pre-service music for the Sunday School Program at Immanuel Lutheran Church.  Then in February, we recorded Jack playing “Long, Long Ago.”  This was his audition piece for the Buffalo Suzuki Strings Lucinda Yang Memorial Scholarship.  He was selected as one of the recipients, and the scholarship will help fund his BSS Summer Workshop experience this summer.

Spring

tulip

eastermusic

The boys brought their instruments back to Immanuel for Easter.  Thomas played his Boccherini “Minuet” for pre-service music, and they both accompanied two hymns.  (I love their rendition of “I Know that My Redeemer Lives.”  It is included at the end of Tom’s recital video.)  At the end of Easter week, Thomas played his Suzuki Violin Book Two recital.

Summer

damesrocket

junekidbiz2

I’m kind of cheating for this season, as mid-June in Buffalo is really still spring.  (Note the jackets and long pants!)  Never-the-less, the boys had two musical performances this month.  First, they played for the Twin Cities Community Outreach 25th Anniversary Dinner.  Then they also brought their instruments to play at the KidBiz Market.  Both times, the boys played before relative strangers, and both times they were well-received.  The guests at the TCCO dinner gave them a standing ovation, and the KidBiz crowd dropped quite a few dollars in the violin case.  I am glad that their musical efforts are being appreciated by the outside world.

We have only a few lessons left this summer.  In addition to lessons, Thomas just joined the BSS Fiddle Club, and he will continue to practice with them through the month of July.  Then Jack will be attending the BSS Summer Workshop for a week in August.  Before we know it, fall will be here, and what an exciting season that will be.  Perhaps the boys can learn some lullabies….

Now, if the “Duke Four Seasons” have whetted your musical appetite, here’s a link to the real deal:

06/28/14

Fourteen Days: 6/6-6/20

thomascrayons

Thomas:

  • Took the lead in getting ready for KidBiz.  (See photo, above.)  On the day of the market, he did a great job playing his violin and talking with customers.
  • Played solo and with Jack for the Twin Cities Community Outreach 25th Anniversary Dinner.  He took charge of the performance, and exuded a lot of confidence, both for this event and for KidBiz.
  • Had a great hockey game with two assists and one shot on goal.
  • Continued to work on electronics projects.  In fact, this seemed to be a higher priority for him than computer time.

jackcrayons

Jack:

  • Partnered with Thomas for a successful day at KidBiz.  He helped with crayon production and selling, and he played his cello.
  • Acquired a new-to-him stuffed animal at KidBiz.  We think it is an Alaskan husky.  He named it Pouncer (because it pounces on people), and dramatic play ensued.
  • Played solo and with Thomas for the TCCO Anniversary Dinner.  It’s not everyday they get to play in front of the mayor of North Tonawanda.
  • Had three hockey games and scored his first goal of the season.
  • Stood in front of the computer listening to the music when Pandora brought up a song played by Yo-Yo Ma.  He also told the librarian, that yes, he would recommend that her nephew learn to play the cello.  (This from a boy who claims that cello is one of his least favorite things.)
  • Decided that “Mr. Aker” would be the good name for a character in a story.  We are encouraging him to pursue his writing ideas.
06/13/14

Nachmu Crayons

KidBiz 2013

KidBiz 2013

KidBiz is back!  The following is a re-post by Thomas:

My brother and I are starting a business called Nachmu Crayons.  Nachmu crayonsNachmu Crayons will be part of the KidBiz program.  KidBiz is a program where kids can sell things such as artwork, crafts, old toys, and stuff like that.  It is sponsored by Buffalo State College.  KidBiz will be on Saturday, June 14, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the corner of Elmwood and Bidwell by the farmers’ market in Buffalo, New York.  Other kids will be selling things there too.

We will be selling recycled crayons shaped to be butterflies, ladybugs, frogs, hearts, and stars.  The prices are 3 for $2 or 75¢ each.  We will not only be selling crayons of different shapes, but we will also bring our musical instruments.  My brother, Jack, will play the cello, and I will play the violin.

a portion of our inventory

a portion of our inventory

We call the business Nachmu Crayons because my dad uses Nachmu (Nock-Moo) as a family nickname.  Nachmu means comfort in Hebrew.  You can read more about that here.

We would like to recycle more crayons!  If you have unwanted crayons, please think of recycling them with us.  Any crayons are fine even if they are broken.  We will melt the crayons and pour them into candy molds to give them their new shape.  We will give you a Nachmu Crayons coupon for your donation.  Future dates for Kidbiz are July 5 and August 2.  We hope to be selling crayons on those dates too!

melting the crayons

melting the crayons

Please send our mom an email if you would like to recycle crayons with us.  Her email address is deborah@nachmu.com.  Write “recycled crayons” in the subject header, and we will get back to you.  Thank you!

06/7/14

Fourteen Days: 5/23-6/5

tombracesoff

Thomas:

  • Got his braces off.
  • Joined the Fiddle Club at BSS.  He said his first rehearsal was fun.
  • Declared that the baby “ought to learn about electronics.”
  • Worked with Dad to move the said electronics down to a table in the basement and spent many hours there.  Now all the lights, beeps, and buzzes are out of the office!

 

jackdamesrocket

Jack:

  • Was excited about my ultrasound.  When I arrived home, he met me at the door and said, “Well?”
  • Played catch with Dad out back.  He has a good left-handed throwing arm.  Dad called him “Pepper.”  (He’s pretty good at catching too.)
  • Told me that reading is his fourth favorite thing  - after hockey, Minecraft, and riding his bike.
  • Helped me gather flowers in the Pokey Woods meadow.

 

ultrasound

Baby:

  • Had his first pictures taken at nineteen weeks gestation, and we found out that they were indeed HIS pictures.
  • Did not hold very still for his portrait session.  No wonder I’m already feeling kicks!

 

05/24/14

Fourteen Days: 5/9-5/22

tomplatform Thomas:

  • Cleaned out the backyard pond and got his pump up and running.
  • Voluntarily learned to cut the grass and has been doing a good job.
  • Played well in the first games of the spring hockey league, including two assists.
  • Programmed his Arduino board to play “Lightly Row.”
  • Began reading Getting Started in Electronics with Dad.  Then he and Dad worked on some projects together.
  • Spent a lot of time working on electronics independently.  This involved many lights, beeps, and buzzes.
  • Nailed down the platform for the tree house in the Pokey Woods.

 

jackspringleague

Jack:

  • Voluntarily gave Thomas one of his gluten free cookies.
  • Hummed “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” while illustrating his Easter story.
  • Was a sweetheart on Mother’s Day and gave the baby (and Mom) a hug.
  • Played “Minuet I” by Bach beautifully at the BSS spring recital.
  • Picked up some books on tsunamis at the library.  He started reading I Survived the Japanese Tsunami, 2011, in the car and finished it by the end of the night.
  • Passed his breathing test at the allergist with flying colors.  He also found out that he is officially 48 inches tall.  No more booster / car seats for him!
  • Went through a bit of PS3 Hockey withdrawal.  (Nicer weather means less screen time.)
  • Played well in the first games of the spring hockey league, including one assist.  He is a bit dismayed about the Memorial Day break.  He prayed for patience to wait until his next game on June 4th!

jackeasterillustration 001

 

 

 

 

05/8/14

Seven Days: 5/3-5/8

tomsawing

Thomas:

  • Did more work in the Pokey Woods.
  • Played with Miss Klansee’s orchestra in the last rep class concert of the year.
  • Had a good conversation with Miss Klansee about the different sections of “Gavotte” by Martini.
  • Was his regular helpful self.

jackclearing

Jack:

  • Helped clear sticks in the Pokey Woods.
  • Played “Minuet III” by Bach with all the correct bowings and shifts.  (It’s a tricky piece!)
  • Had two hockey practices in one day and worked hard for both of them.
  • Probably watched too many hockey videos.
  • Had a discussion about natural disasters and was relieved to learn that a tsunami cannot reach western New York.

05/8/14

Seven Days: 4/25-5/1

Now that the malaise of the first trimester is past, I’m trying to get back to my blogging.  One thing I’ve been wanting to add is a weekly review of what my kids have been doing.  I got this idea from Erin at Bluebirdbaby, but I can hardly call my series “Project 52″ since I’m starting at the end of April!

tombirthday

Thomas:

  • Celebrated his eleventh birthday.
  • Received an Arduino board, and started learning how to program it.
  • Started the first piece in Suzuki Violin Book III.
  • Cut down saplings in the Pokey Woods.
  • Impressed us all with his Minecraft hockey arena.

 

jacktree

Jack:

  • Enjoyed spending time with Grandma and Grandpa G.
  • Climbed a tree in the Pokey Woods.
  • Had his first spring hockey practice.
  • Spent most of his free time playing, drawing, or talking about hockey!

 

 

04/21/14

An Announcement

I went to the doctor’s office and heard a little heartbeat today.

bleedingheart2

My blog has been dormant for the past few months, but God has been busy creating.  And so in this season of new life, it seems fitting to tell you all that we are expecting a baby!  We are eagerly anticipating Baby’s arrival in late October.

We are feeling blessed by God and loved by family and friends.  Thanks to those of you who have already lavished us with your support, prayers, and well-wishes!