Friday, January 4, 2013

Great Big Randi's Awesome Mom Post

Some of these items from Florence (my mom) have been waiting a while to get their due attention.  I decided to wait for them all to arrive and put them together into one great big post.

Before these contributions get their showcase, I want to thank my mom for not only getting my humor, but sharing in it.  Not only am I fond of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror themes, I also have two fiction ebooks out in this vein.  She was kind and thoughtful and fun enough to include this aspect of who I am in some of her gifts.  She was even considerate of Don in this manner for one.  I am very, very grateful for that.

So, without further delay...

Pictured Right:
~ (Upper Left) ~ Variety of bibs.
(Lower Left) ~ Little Vampire pacifiers.
(Upper Center) ~ Variety of onesies.
(Center) ~ Show Dad How geeky, amusing take-care-of-mom-&-baby book.
(Upper Right) ~ Silly fun Zombie Snack bib.
(Lower Left) ~ Super soft, plush and warm Chenille Fitted Crib Sheet.

Pictured Below:
Sample pages from the Show Dad How book.

Ollie the Elephant returns to his hosting duties...

Pictured Left:
(Upper Left) ~ Variety pack of hats.
(Lower Left) ~ Multi-pack of basic white shirts (YAYS for easy to pair items)!
(Center) ~ Adorable Elephant footed sleeper.
(Upper Right) ~ Variety pack of thick socks.
(Lower Left) ~ Very pretty pale green with purple flowers footed sleeper with matching hat.

Stylish & Elegant Bedding Extravaganza!

Wow!  I didn't think we'd get these, but Florence (my mom) certainly gave us a very pleasant surprise.

This bedding set is beautiful, feminine and the universally matchable black & white theme will go with ALL of our other bedding supplies. Pink sheets? No problem. Beige? Brown? Green? That works just fine.

Also, the bed skirt / dust ruffle is just long enough to help keep dust off the items in the trundle drawer underneath the crib!

Pictured Right & Below:
The comforter, bed sheet, and skirt.

Pictured Left & Below:
Matching bumpers!

As you can tell, several of the ties are loose in these photos. That's because we are actually storing the bumpers until our wee wriggler is a little older and there is less risk for SIDS from them. These will be perfect!

~     ~     ~

Well, that's seems to be everything for now.  If we forgot something or someone, please forgive us, but most importantly, let us know so we can rectify it.

Hopefully, the next posts will include the actual arrival of our wee wriggler!  Wish us luck!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Grandmum, Red Riding Hood, and a Batch of Goodies

There's a twist to the usual story paradigm in our circumstances.  The goodies in this instance came from grandmum rather than to grandmum ~ Terry & Patrick sent another box of essentials from across the country.

Pictured Left:
(Top Center) ~ Tigger models a pretty handmade hooded towels. It's twin and matching wash cloth are folded on the left.
~ (Upper Left) ~ Variety of handmade burp cloths with padded center strip for extra absorbancy.
~ (Left) ~ Handmade reversible blanket (pink on the other side) with pale blue trim.
(Left) ~ Handmade ruffled skirt (this started life out as Patrick's tee-shirt!).
(Left) ~ Footed pants.
(Lower Left) ~ Pink blanket with beautiful print design.
(Upper Right) ~ Pink & white striped overalls.
(Right) ~ Variety of onesies.
(Right) ~ Purple flowered blanket.
(Lower Right) ~ Cuddly blanket embroidered with "Baby" in the corner.

Pictured Left:
Close up of the handmade ruffled skirt.

Pictured Below:
Close up of the pink blanket print design.

Red Riding Hood Cloak!

Grandmum Terry outdid herself with this gift!  Since my due date was so near the beginning of the heavier winter weather, I didn't bother getting a heavy winter maternity coat.  I figured I'd rather layer up and have my regular heavy jacket over top, even if it couldn't close.  It'd only be for a relatively few days, after all, so why invest in it, especially when it would probably be too large to use otherwise?  Well, Terry came up with a solution that was not only brilliant but also magnificently right up my alley!

~ Loose, non-binding, easily fits over pregnant belly and even over baby being carried in a sling!
~ Warm red fleece exterior.
~ Reversible weatherproof black interior is surprising soft!
~ Curved-up sides for easy mobility of arms, but enough draping to maintain warmth.
~ One-Size-Fits-All means I'll get plenty of use out of it after pregnancy! (Terry knows for sure because she has one herself!)
~ Stylish, easy to pair with my regular wardrobe, and utilitarian. I love it!

Thank you, Terry & Patrick!  These essentials are thoughtful, made with care, and even luxurious!  We are very lucky to have your generosity.

~     ~     ~

Next up: Great Big Randi's Mom post!  Don't miss it!

Tech-Tastic Bouncer, Stinkies Quellers, and Silliness by Don

This is going to be one of the most fun posts I've gotten to do.  Ironically, it's one of the most humbling and overwhelming ones as well.   Keep reading to see what I mean.  (tee hee)

Tech-Tastic Bouncer ~ Kyle!

An incredible friend, who once generously permitted us to park our giant moving van in his apartment lot and our wore out bodies on his convertible sofa-bed during the long haul from Central Florida all the way up to New York City, surprised us with his giving nature with this beyond-words-shocking contribution.

Ladies and gentleman... The MamaRoo Bouncer.  It does nearly every rocking / wave / bouncing motion you can imagine.  It swivels on the under-curve bar to accomodate a variety of angles allowing baby to lay flat or sit up for years to come.   It even connects to an iPod so we can play whatever music or other recording that we wish.  I'm thinking we might even record ourselves reading, singing, or playing guitar (Don) to her and then play it back through the iPod when we are working from home or doing chores, etc.  To see just how awesomely high-tech and fabulous this item is, check out the video featured on, which is how we discovered this never-thought-we'd-ever-get-in-a-million-years luxurious baby gear.

Seriously unbelievably fantastic of you, Kyle.  Thank you.

Stinkies Quellers ~ Us!

Pictured Left:
We expect this full size contoured, sturdy, safe, and comfy too be our go-to-changing-station no matter what room in the apartment that this particularly stinky duty arises.

Pictured Right:
Super soft cover on the changing pad.

Pictured Left:
This diaper pail uses regular garbage bags, so hopefully it will prove cost efficient as well as nose-safe.  Exciting, huh?  (tee hee)

Pictured Below:
Stylish & roomy diaper bag that Don found very early on!  Perfect for running around town.

Silliness ~ Don!

Since our own thermometer was on the fritz when we went shopping for one for baby, we ended up getting two of the same model, which was conveniently designed for use in all the traditional temperature taking locations.

However, since we REALLY don't want to mix these two thermometers up, we decided to label them. Don, incidentally, got to the task before I could and this is the result.  I found it too amusing not to share!  Enjoy! (tee hee)

Adorably creative, isn't he?
(tee hee)

~   ~   ~

Well, that's all for this post.  Keep tuned for more. There's a couple more doozies coming up.

As usual, thanks everyone!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Largo Love, A Canadian Whaling, and Mum's the Word!

First, let me (again) apologize for how long some of these have waited to get their due attention. I do not have excuse enough for my delays. Just know that my tardiness of posting these has no bearing on our immense appreciation of them.

That said... On with the show!

Largo Love ~ Lara and Brenda!

Ollie the Elephant is back on modelling duty as he helps to prop up these wonderful contributions from Lara and Brenda, whom I worked with back at the City of Largo, FL.

Pictured Right:
~ Egads, this super thick, fuzzy, extra warm blanket will come in handy! (top center)
~ This Black Diamond Runner (purple, strewn across packaged blanket) may be overdoing it on the safety and convenience side of things. Typically used for rock climbing and stage rigging, it's rated for hundreds of pounds. We intend to use it to hook bags and other items to the stroller. Unlike traditional stroller hooks, this runner will not slide around on the handle; nor should it bend or break at a very inconvenient time (like when we're struggling to get everything up a flight of busy stairs to/from the subway platform).
~ Fantastic white crib sheet that will pair great with the rest of our bedding, no matter their color or design. (left)
~ This compact changing pad will go in the diaper bag for use when running around the city.  Excellent! (bottom center)

Pictured Left:
This close-up picture doesn’t do it justice, but this ultra thick fuzzy blanket is perfect for a NYC winter!  Plus, the baby monkey jungle design is adorable.  Love it!

Your unexpected generosity and thoughtfulness means a great deal to us, Lara and Brenda. Thank you.

A Canadian Whaling ~ Abby!

Abby, a great friend that hails from Canada, sent us this adorable Whale-of-a-Time Bath Spout from our Amazon Baby Registry.  We can’t wait to play with it... I mean, Song can’t wait to play with it.  (winkies)

Thank you, Abby.  You are such a great friend!

Mum's the Word ~ Floriana!

Don’s December show run is with the fabulous Swiss Mask Theater Troup called Mummenschanz; check out their fascinating, amusing, and innovative puppetry and miming.  Don remembers them from way back, when he saw them on the Muppet Show.  He absolutely loves their show, the performers, and looks forward to every chance he gets to work with them.  One of their founding cast members, Floriana, was uber kind enough to present us with a good luck token for our impending bundle of joy.  The troup also gifted us with a set of post cards featuring many of their most incredible characters / costumes.  We plan to frame and hang these to entertain and stimulate Song’s imagination.

Pictured Left:
Chinese Good Luck charm (anklet / bracelet) with carrying purse from China Town.  Even when snug in the tiny purse, the charms make a lovely rattling sound, which will probably be how we mostly use it for the time being since the charms are a choking hazard.  We so appreciate Floriana’s enthusiasm for our daughter’s arrival, especially the efforts to which she went to acquire this and present it to Don. 

Pictured Below:
A small sampling of some of the post cards in the collection.  Aren’t they fantastic? 

Depending on how things proceed with Song’s birth, we may get to see the show from the audience before she comes.  Woot!

Regardless of that, Floriana, we are ever so honored by the efforts you went through for these gifts.  I, in particular, am especially grateful for how you helped to keep Don sane during these last stressful weeks of my pregnancy.  Thank you!

~     ~     ~

Whew, that’s a lot, but still not everything.  Stick around because I’ve got more photos already prepared to post... so long as I don’t go into labor first.

Happy second day of the new year, everyone!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Purchased via Gift Cards, etc.

Today's batch is all about items we purchased thanks to gift cards and such.  In most instances, I used the product images from the website because it was just too difficult to get a clean, well-lit photograph of entire item ourselves.

Thank You, Grandma (Florence)!

Pictured Left:  Ikea dresser for baby wear, supplies, accessories, etc.  While we may not have favored this model (we accidentally grabbed the wrong one off the shelf), at least we are not bothered upset at ourselves about it anymore.  (Product image from website).
Pictured Right:  Ikea shelving unit for supplies, accessories, etc.  We like this furniture series very much.  In fact, we already have the larger size (16 cubbies) for our books and freelance supplies & equipment.  Besides being sturdy, functional, and attractive, this choice also provides the extra bonus of consistency throughout our apartment.  (Product image from website).

Thank You, Tim & Jeanie (again)!

Pictured Left:  Graco UrbanLite Tavel System - Vance.  While we don't own a car and rarely use cabs or car services (uber expensive), state law requires us to have a car seat to bring baby home from the hospital.  Since we will use a cab for that, the car seat will at least be used once.  We hope that circumstances will eventually grant us greater use of the car seat before she grows out of it. The stroller, however, will undoubtedly get a lot of use since everywhere we go involves a lot of walking and hand-carrying.  (Product image from website).

Thank You, Terry& Patrick (again), Kathy & John, and Tricia!

Pictured Right:  Stork Craft - Glider with Ottomon.  Starting early on, many, many people—especially medical staff—kept asking us if we'd gotten a rocker or glider yet.  Apparently, they are "life savers" when it comes to soothing baby back to sleep and easing breastfeeding.  However, before we even experienced that, I'm pretty sure Don got it in his head that I would need this.  Even if we didn't have the help of so many generous contributions, I think Don would have found a way to make this happen.  Thanks to all of you, he was able to do it without too much difficulty.  (Product image from website).

Pictured Left:  ErgoBaby Carrier & Heart2Heart Infant Insert for hands-free carrying while running around the city. (Product images from website).

Pictured Right: Yes, I made Don model this using a plushy Eeyor. Granted, we were testing it out at the time. Doesn't he look thrilled?
(tee hee!)

Pictured Right:  JJ Cole Urban Bundle Me.  This uber cozy, comfy, plush insert works in both the car seat and the the stroller. It should be perfect for keeping baby warm and soothed during outings in the snowy temperatures.  (Product image from website).

Well, I think that's enough for now.  Thank you again, everyone.  Your contributions made these NYC baby essentials possible for us.  We appreciate your generosity so very much.

Now, if I don't go into labor before I get it done, expect another update tomorrow.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Because You Asked for It! (belly pics)

Well, here they are... BELLY PICS!!!

However, because I can't ever seem to do anything simply and because I felt silly doing it and I'm self-conscious about how I look in them and because there aren't a lot of them...

I turned them into an it!  Specifically, I made a silly slideshow video.


Since I can't seem to ever do anything simply, I didn't make it in Final Cut Pro.   Instead, I made it in Photoshop, saving/exporting it as:

1) An animated .gif (right), and
2) A rendered video (below).

~     ~     ~

.GIF (right) NOTE 1: The animated .gif allowed me to keep the video dimensions close to the picture dimensions, which Don took vertically rather than horizontally.

.GIF (right) NOTE 2: This version will play through once automatically as soon as it loads on the page.  It will not repeat on its own.  There is no playback button for you to play at your command.

.GIF (right) PLAYBACK DIRECTIONS: To replay it, simply click it. Another page will open on top of this one.  To close the new page, click the X in the upper right hand corner.  If unfinished, the animated .gif will continue to play on this page.

~     ~     ~

VIDEO (below) NOTE 1: The rendered Photoshop video did not retain the dimensions quite like I hoped, but, instead, mimicked what would have happened in Final Cut Pro: restrained it within the confines of the horizontal rectangle shape typical of movies/videos. 

VIDEO (below) NOTE 2: The biggest plus (in my shy opinion) to this option is that the pictures are shrunk to a smaller size in order to fit within the height constraints of the video playback canvas. This is helpful with my self-consciousness.

VIDEO (below) NOTE 3: Unfortunately, I think the resolution and hand-made transitions of the Photoshop video are degraded compared to what they would have been had I made it in Final Cut Pro.  This is worsened when viewed in full-screen mode. Ah, well.  Too late.  I'm not redoing it now. ~_~ooo 

VIDEO (below) PLAYBACK DIRECTIONS: To play at your command.  Simply click the ► button.

So, despite that illustrious introduction... Enjoy!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Rugged Husky Diaper Bag? (And other pretty bits)

This round is all us.  You can tell by how much of it is red, black, white, and silver.   ~_~ooo

Tool Bag Diaper Caddy?!

Pictured Right:
Is that a rugged Husky tool bag... Or a pretty little diaper caddy?  Tee hee.  Believe it or not, getting a tool bag as a diaper caddy was my idea (though the colors may make that obvious to some, lol).

I researched diaper caddies for use around the apartment since we'll likely be changing her wherever is convenient at the moment (bed, table, couch, floor...).  They were expensive, small, floppy, and did not terribly sturdy or long lasting.  But, a tool bag is made to take a beating and keep on going.

A trip to Home Depot proved this to be a splendid choice.  Sizes were good, prices were excellent, designs were versatile, and it may even last long enough to become a tool bag after it's completed its run as a diaper caddy.

As you can see, there are numerous pockets around all four sides for cleaning, soothing, and softening baby skin products as well as other useful items.  Inside the central opening, we can stack plenty of wipes and diapers (more aptly so after we open the diapers, which we have more of than is pictured here, because we can also fit them under the wipes as well).  The open, hard-sided design allows everything to stay in place while being very accessible and easy to carry by the fixed handle...even when having an armful of the wee wriggler at the same time.

I am quite proud of this find.  :D

Pretty Bits!

We hadn't intended to get all these pretty bits, but while on an outing to Target to pick up a couple nursing bras, we got drawn to the baby clothes section.  Surprise, surprise, these were on sale and clearance.  So, we decided to splurge... Just a wee bit.

Pictured Below:
This came as a complete three piece outfit and we fell in love with it right away.  The colors, the snowy winter theme, sparkly silver patterns, a happy message ("mommy's little joy"), and a cozy, adorable red jacket with actual little pockets (it almost matches mommy's red peacoat)!  And in a newborn size!  How could we resist?  Well, we didn't...resist, that is.  ~_~ooo
We think this will be her Going Home from the Hospital outfit.  We hope this doesn't disappoint anyone who has provided such wonderful clothes to us.  We really do love those, but how could we choose between everyone's generosity?  With this outfit, we don't single anyone else out, we celebrate the season, and we get to showcase her in our personal tastes... in our love for her.  So, please, everyone, don't be upset about by our choice, okay?

Pictured Below:
Red-Like-Mommy fleece zipper jacket with black trim.  3 month old size, because, well, we heard that baby's grow fast and it will still be cold out in March.

Pictured Right:
Can you believe it?!  We picked out something that is NOT red or black or gray with rocky guitars and punky skulls! 

Instead, it's an... Owlie sleeper with a hoodie!

We seem to keep gravitating towards bright, contrasty color schemes.  Stimulation for her eyes to match the music Daddy will undoubtedly be using to stimulate her ears.

~   ~   ~

Well, that's all for this post.  As usual, keep watch for more sharing of gifts, gratuities, and more.   Post comments here and Facebook as you see fit!  The more the merrier... 'Tis the season, after all!