Daniel Tiger made me a better parent


Despite my earlier (pre-baby) insistence that screen time would be non-existent in my household, we’ve watched plenty of the ol’ tube. We don’t have cable or television service, but we do have YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime hooked up to our Roku.

This at least realizes my childhood fantasy that I could have all my favorite show seasons on VHS and show them to my kid per my own schedule without them seeing any of the shows I deemed “stupid” (e.g. ‘The Magic School Bus’ instead of ‘Ren and Stimpy’) or be troubled by pesky commercials. We’re truly living in the golden age. Also, wasn’t I an odd 4th grader? Continue reading


Baby Love (Month 11): Diwali and Turkey

Haiku Summary:
Travel bunny hop
East to West Coast
Yay for Thanksgiving

11MonthsI’m 11 months old!

After a relatively calm October, we had to prep for a long flight first to Florida to visit baby D’s great grandma (my grandpa passed away in June, and this was the first Thanksgiving alone), then back across the country to Oregon to celebrate Thanksgiving with the rest of the family.

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Baby Love (Month 9): Travel!

Haiku Summary:
Flying far away
Four hours cross the ocean
Lovely Hawaii


I’m 9 months old!

The ninth month was a great deal of fun. Baby D was predictable and compliant–the perfect time for a belated babymoon and to celebrate our second wedding anniversary. The flight to Hawaii was a solid 4-hours, and was PACKED with kids. I was feeling like everyone felt like Hawaii was a good idea, and we were placed every other row because only one lap infant was allowed per row (due to some availability of life saving resources). It was a good flight, if you didn’t stand up you couldn’t hear the cacophony of crying babes.

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My Top Five Gadgets (Months 0-3)

Top Gadgets

Every baby is a little different, some like this, some like that, some hate the world. The biggest question we asked in the 0-3 month range was, “what stops the crying?” seriously.


We bought *a lot* of items trying to answer this question. Not really in desperation, per se, but definitely in confusion at what would work. Let’s just say we had five different places for our son to sleep.

However, it became apparent that of all the gadgets we bought–several were of high importance for those first 3 months. Let me know! What were yours?

If I had to do it all over, here are the ones we would buy again: Continue reading


Diaper Doodie: Diapers for 0-7 months

Number of Diapers for the first 7 months

For my niece’s baby shower, I did the auntie equivalent of buying socks for Christmas–I bought 6 months worth of diapers. For my own wee one, I bought 7 months worth of diapers, and as we have opened up our final baggie a mere 2 weeks after 7 months, I’ll say I have a fairly reliable system down. Continue reading


The Labor & Delivery Bill


I don’t understand why medical costs need to be so murky, everything has a code associated with it. How on earth does one plan for a “$3,296 to $37,227” variation?

Our local NPR station is doing a series called “Price Check,” that is striving to make healthcare costs transparent in California. I always held an interested ear during my commute while pregnant, hoping beyond hope they would do a segment on childbirth costs before I gave birth. They didn’t, but I resolved to hold onto all my billing statements so when they inevitably did this segment–they would find at least the benefit of my Labor and Delivery information (here is the article).

What I did do pre-birth was call the billing center, and they put me off for an entire 4 weeks until giving me a rough figure with “this might not be accurate” thrown in every fifth word. SO many things would make *my* birth totally unique. The doctors were billed separately, my child was billed separately, room & board didn’t include ibuprofen which would also be billed separately. So much for preparation.

My final step was to “prepare for the worst.” Since I DO have insurance, who covers 100% of my prenatal (pre-birth) exams, and 80% of maternity I felt like I could be reasonably assured of my final bill. My insurance has an out-of-pocket max including the deductible of 4,200$…assuming I don’t have a child I need to add on for the date of service (birth) which would put me on a family plan (my husband uses his own insurance)…hmm, well, in THAT case, it’s an out-of-pocket max of 8,400$ for me and my babe. So even if my total bill was the maximum 37k, that would still be below this out-of-pocket max. Yay?

Time to hold on for reality. Birth!

My labor story was not particular unique, from a billing standpoint anyhow. I had a normal vaginal birth, and I used no medicines–in fact, I almost gave birth in the Hyatt because the midwife on staff refused to admit me on the grounds that no one gives birth in under 24 hours for their first child. I arrived with twenty minutes to spare, 5.5 hours after my first contraction.

Billing doesn’t care about these details, so here’s the dirt: Continue reading