Today an 84 year old Chinese gentleman came in, with a translator. He arrived in the US in 1937, when he was 12, and was issued a document from the Dept of Labor that lists him as the son of a US citizen. This is the only identification he's ever had, and now he's wanting to go back to China for a visit, but neither China nor the US will say if he's a citizen.
It looked to me like the law at the time didn't make the children of Chinese US citizens automatically citizens by birth, that the status had to be applied for through the Dept of Labor, but I couldn't tell from the document he had if that was a document accepting the status or just a listing of what his father reported. In addition, the document he had was water damaged, so you couldn't read the ID number associated with it (and the Dept of Labor had told him they didn't have a way to look it up).
Stumped with what to do next, I suggested they might try contacting organizations in San Francisco that would know more about Chinese immigration policies, documentation and solutions.
A neighbor did so and they are lovely in her bungalow.
Is this nesting instincts, or just my usual "want to spend $$ on things that aren't particularly necessary" instincts?
It is possible that it is a combination of the two, since we just laid out a big bunch of cash on some necessary baby items, and now I'd like some not-baby items.
For ourselves, with some of the Christmas money we received, we're looking at some little plein air painting by James McGrew. He was our guide in Yosemite when we did our 10 day hike around all the High Sierra Camps that we still think of as one of the Best Trips EVER.
baby hygiene stuff
baby medicine cabinet stuff
burp cloths (use cloth diapers, Gerbers are fine)
blankets (variety of sizes and weights; for stroller, car trips, lying on the floor and maybe swaddling)
water proof drop cloths for couch, etc. (if you have a spitty baby; the boys were)
swaddlers (various brands; or just use blankets, flannel and thermal cotton ones are best--my babies all loved being swaddled)
t shirts (at least until umbilical cord falls off)
soft pants (a few pairs)
onesies (they keep babies really warm but can be nightmares in the days of super messy dipes)
one piece sleepers (soft cotton)
soft hats (zutano makes awesome velour ones that stay on!)
sleepsacks (at least 2, and up to 4 once they are out of the swaddle)
sheets (cotton and flannel)
pacifiers (some babies like 'em)
activity mat with toys dangling from arch
rattles/teethers (in a few months)
lovey (in a few months)
pack n play
high chair or booster chair that has a tray
soft tipped spoons
if you plan to nurse (happy to give advice on this at any time)
pump? (i have a hand pump that i can give you)
newborn size nipples
if you don't
formula, bottles, age appropriate nipples
make sure bottles are BPA free
(i can talk to you about formula when the time comes)
I DID NOT NEED
swing (all my kids hated it)
crib bumper (suffocation hazard)
fancy bedding (babies don't use covers, etc.)
A Brief Dissertation on Changing Table/Diaper bag/Medicine Cabinet/Car:
Diaper Bag: I use the Skip Hop; it's utilitarian, not too big, and Ben doesn't mind it. It's lasted to kid #3. I'm guessing you will want a cuter bag.
Strollers: I like MacLaren and for the portable type. I don't have a rec. for a single SUV or jogger. I wouldn't recommend the brand we used for the boys (Valco).
: Britax, Britax, Britax. We used Marathons with the boys, they go up to 65 lbs. Leah is in a Roundabout because it fits into our car. You will probably want an infant seat (the type that clicks in and out); they are convenient, but heavy and some babies hate them (Isaac). If you go this route, get a used snap n go to wheel the infant seat around in. We used the Snugride infant seat. We skipped that with Leah because we couldn't fit it into the car. So she went right into the Roundabout and did fine. And I used the sling a lot on outings.
By the way, keep your kiddo rear facing as long as the weight limit in the car seat allows. It is so much safer for the kiddo. Leah is still rear facing. Also, keep them in a 5 pt harness until they're 18.
Diapers, wipes, diaper ointment, lotion, hand sanitizer all within easy reach. (I have this in a basket next to the changing pad).
In a drawer: Baby nail clippers, thermometer, alcohol swabs & vaseline (to take temperatures), q-tips, aquaphor (for minor scratches, eczema patches on baby, etc.).
Optional: paper towels to lay down under baby for really messy situations and plastic bags for the same. (We actually don't use a with Leah; wet dipes get put in the kitchen garbage pail, messy dipes get bagged and put in the outside garbage).
Diapers, small pack of wipes (come with a pop top), travel-size hand sanitizer, travel size handi-wipes, empty plastic bags (for yuck dipes), tiny first aid kit (Target), small diaper ointment, chapstick, hand lotion or aquaphor, sunscreen (babies can't wear this until 6 months), small bottle infant tylenol (tip: dose the babies before their vaccinations; it's totally safe and helps)
Change of clothes (or at least a clean onesie or sleeper and keep extra clothes/dipes in the car).
Changing mat OR a small receiving blanket for changes on the go
Water bottle and snacks (for you!); bottle or sippy for baby; snacks for babies over 6 mos.
Teething toys/rattles/board books (later on)
Infant Tylenol (for first 6 months); Infant Motrin (6 months on--get the dye free kind); Pedialyte; Hylands teething tablets for later (homeopathic-tiny pills that melt in their mouths); neosporin (for scratches); 1% hydrocortisone (for rashes)
By EVERY sink in house: gentle hand soap, towels, hand sanitizer, hand lotion or aquaphor. (Your hands will get incredibly dry with all the washing, and with hormonal stuff. If hand lotion is not enough use aquaphor liberally. It really works.)
Tide Free and All Free and Clear are both good for laundry. Shout is good for stains. Keep the Shout wherever it's going to be remembered. I actually keep ours under the bathroom sink, because that's where I rinse out icky baby things.
In the car: extra dipes and wipes and changes of clothes; pop-up container of hand-wipes (for adults and toddlers)
A Brief Dissertation on Baby Hygene Products: I think it's safest to assume that you may have a baby with and/or allergies. I USED to like the California Babies Super Sensitive line of baby wash/shampoo (one product) and lotion. It's free of everything that might irritate a babies' skin (for example, if you have an allergy or sensitive baby, lots of products have nut oils or shea in them--big no-nos). The boys had cradle cap bad. We wound up having to use Neutragena T-Sal shampoo on their heads, plus hydrocortisone 1% ointment on their eyebrows on dr's recommendation later on to clear it up.
HOWEVER, Jake wound up reacting to the Calif. babies products. We now use the Walgreen's version of "All Clear" shampoo. It has nothing to react too, and leaves the kids' hair nice and soft. It's not "no tears" however.
We wash all the kids with Dove Sensitive skin bar soap. I use Aveeno Soothing on Leah's very itchy dry skin liberally after bath. Eventually I will have to find non-reactive products for Miss Leah's curls. Once baby hits 6 months, I like the Coppertone babies sunscreen (in the pink bottle). It smells pefumey and has chemical sunscreens but it works on my kids (see below).
As for diaper ointment, I really like A&D (the old school clear kind in the gold and white tube). It smells distinctive, but goes on easily and makes a good non-drying/non-irritating barrier. I don't like the zinc based ones, because you have to work hard to wipe it off between changes, which I think irritates the skin. Also, Isaac and Leah are both sensitive to zinc (it makes them rash up, and they react to zinc based "natural" sunscreen; so much for nature being better than chemistry). If you wind up with diaper rash, try Boudreaux Butt Paste (available widely) or if it's a really bad case, Triple Paste (but only if there's no sensitivity to zinc).
Aquaphor is awesome for any dry or patches on babies and parents (both Ben and I wound up with severely dry hands from all the hand washing). If babies have eczema, apply the aquaphor on their still wet skin after bath to lock the moisture in.
Hydrocortisone 1% is good to have on hand for random rashes.
A Brief Dissertation on Diapers: We used disposables. This is an area where you get what you pay for. The more expensive versions are more comfy for babies and work better. We used Pampers with the boys and Leah when she was small. Swaddlers until size 2-3, then Cruisers. I'm now using Huggies for Leah. Huggies overnights rock. Also, used (and still use) Pampers Sensitive wipes; they're thick, not too wet, and don't have any icky scent.
By the way, diapers can't really be too big as long as they are snug around the leg holes. They CAN be too small. If you start getting lots of leaks, it might be time to size up (no matter what the package says about weights).
Around here, is the cheapest for diapers. Especially if you clip coupons and save the coupons that are often included in the larger boxes of diapers. Costco (around here) only carries Huggies (which I didn't like with the boys).
A Brief Dissertation on Baby Wearing: Ergo rocks. Though I haven't figured out how to get Leah on my back, so I still do the front carry with her (which she barely tolerates now). I don't think the infant insert is worth it though. We only used it a couple of times. Instead, use a sling when they're tiny. The kangaroo cozy is good, though it's fleece and that won't work for your due date. However, I can also recommend the which worked for baby and I until about 4 months; it's a tighter fitting one, so it might work for you, too, and it comes in lots of fun patterns. Many moms love the Moby wrap. That might work well for you since it's entirely adjustable. If you can try these on ahead of time, you have plenty of time to seek them out used. Or, ask for the Ergo for a present (that's what I did).
Need background? See yesterday's Opinion piece by Hillary Clinton and Cecile Richards in the NYT.
LAST month, the Bush administration launched the latest salvo in its eight-year campaign to undermine women’s rights and women’s health by placing ideology ahead of science: a proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services that would govern family planning. It would require that any health care entity that receives federal financing — whether it’s a physician in private practice, a hospital or a state government — certify in writing that none of its employees are required to assist in any way with medical services they find objectionable.
The regulation, and instructions for comments (due by Sept 25th) are here. You can submit comments electronically!
I have some use-it-or-lose-it vacation that we're trying to figure out how to use up. Any thoughts on the Outer Banks in April? We could rent a place that will have us and the dog for a week and maybe get some flight time on the Kitty Hawk sand dunes.
The puppy daycare is out of my way, over in Adams Morgan, but she was fostered there and they're willing to have her even though she's still so young. Her report card said she had a good time, but was shy and that she slept a lot of the afternoon. She certainly slept well last night.
Last night I kicked both DH and pup out of the kitchen so I could work on getting some things organized. It made for a much better morning today. Tonight we're going over to the old place to grab more of the leftover, forgotten things. Also, a trip to the grocery store is necessary because we cannot live without our morning bananas.
- "And Tango Makes Three" by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, for homosexuality, anti-family, and unsuited to age group;
- "Gossip Girls" series by Cecily Von Ziegesar for homosexuality, sexual content, drugs, unsuited to age group, and offensive language;
- "Alice" series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor for sexual content and offensive language;
- "The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things" by Carolyn Mackler for sexual content, anti-family, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
- "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison for sexual content, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
- "Scary Stories" series by Alvin Schwartz for occult/Satanism, unsuited to age group, violence, and insensitivity;
- "Athletic Shorts" by Chris Crutcher for homosexuality and offensive language.
- "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky for homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, and unsuited to age group
- "Beloved" by Toni Morrison for offensive language, sexual content, and unsuited to age group;
- "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier for sexual content, offensive language, and violence.
I was thinking about this last night as I worked on the Reference Desk and one of our regular patrons, who is homeless, was having trouble keeping his pants up. He was trying to fix them, becoming aggravated and, every few minutes, letting out a loud curse or two. I kept reminding him that I couldn't allow outbursts like that in the library because it disturbed the other patrons, but I could hardly keep from laughing, and I didn't want to kick him out because he was actually trying to keep his pants on -- as opposed to the patrons we get every once in a while who seemed determined to take theirs off.