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Archive for the 'Dad Projects' Category

Infant car seat installation… success!

Success! Finally! Yeah, me!

Here’s a video from Edmunds that I found most helpful:

We used a seat protector for each car (the Elite DuoMat by Kiddopatamus purchased from Amazon.com for about $30) and a single pool noodle (purchased at a local pool supply store for $3), which I cut to size with a knife. Both worked well and were great investments.

Here are some photos of our cars tricked out with Emerson’s seat:

Installed in the Jaguar XJ8 Van Dan Plas

Checking the seat's angle -- correct!

Installed in the Porsche Cayenne

This one doesn’t get a car seat: :-)

My (other) baby... :-)

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Week 37

Yesterday was a big day for a couple of reasons:

First, we went to the OB’s office for L’s week 37 check-up. It was actually fortuitous timing because she began having the first signs of contractions the prior night! She described these as “relatively minor menstrual cramps” (something she hasn’t felt in many months) and the doctor confirmed this was a natural and expected step forward.

I think the realization that her happy and blissfully uneventful pregnancy is coming to an end really hit her yesterday. She’s (understandably) nervous about going through labor and deliver. She wants to “do a good job” (which, while I’m not sure what exactly that means, is very much in keeping with her personality).

Second, L started her maternity leave officially yesterday. She’ll now be off from work—with full pay and benefits—through at least May 1. She actually has about another six weeks of fully paid leave that she could take, but she’s going to keep her powder dry in case she needs that time at a later date for Emerson. This is a huge, if albeit temporary, transition for her.

Car seat update

In other news, we’re finalizing the last bit of preparation for the arrival of Emerson. I looked into getting the car seat checked, but I found out that local fire and police don’t assist in our area. The closest location is nearly twenty miles away! Good grief. I’m going to wait for the arrival of the seat protectors / bucket inserts and then take another run at it myself. Using the LATCH system and tightening isn’t the problem… it’s mostly just overcoming the design “limitations” with our cars.

I kind of “get” the seat design on the XJ8 VDP. I mean what percentage of Jag’s demographics for that model are new parents? It clearly is more the vehicle of those in or headed for God’s waiting (rather than delivery) room. However, I think they could/should have done better with the Cayenne… after all, isn’t that presumably why people would buy a Porsche SUV rather than a sports car? :-)

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Car seat woes…

One of the pre-Emerson tasks that I had left to do was install the car seat this weekend.

Wow! What a pain in the ass!

Worse, I still don’t have the seat installed properly in either our SUV or sedan!

In both cars, the infant seat has too much side-to-side play on the leather seats no matter how much I tighten the straps. This seems to be a “known problem” with leather seats… Google tells me to use either 1) non-skid shelving liners (seriously? can this be safe? or good for the seating?) or 2) to purchase a skid proof “seat saver” (which I did last night — x2 plus rapid shipping — from Amazon.com). Hopefully, this will resolve side-to-side problem.

I’m also hoping that the seat savers will reduce the angle on our bucket seats. Otherwise, we won’t be able to use the LATCH system on those seats and will need to place the car seat in the rear-middle seat (which isn’t bucketed, but lacks LATCH support). If so, that shouldn’t be a big deal because the seats (thankfully) support the correct kind of belt locking mechanism to support a child restraint. Why are the bucket seats a problem? Even at the highest setting, the car seat still isn’t at an appropriate angle for correct installation. A “rolled up towel” isn’t the answer (despite what some web sites say), because the material can be too easily compressed under force. However, I suspect a wedge of very high-density foam might work as an alternative.

It’s no wonder 5 out of 6 car seats are installed improperly!

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A gift to complete the nursery…

Back in October, I bought L an antique Stickley Brothers rocking chair, circa 1910. I purchased the chair at a gallery in St. Paul, MN while traveling on business. It arrived in Florida in early December, and I managed to hide the chair until its unveiling in the nursery on Christmas morning. I really wanted this to be a touching surprise, which I think it turned out to be (yes, L cried).

Stickley Borthers Rocker (#610, Circa 1910)

I don’t like much the gliders available at stores, such as Babies ‘r Us. They’re not very appealing visually and don’t seem to be especially well made. I think of those gliders as “throw away” furniture that we simply wouldn’t keep once it lived out its all-to-brief usefulness (or simply fell apart).

In contrast, I think the antique rocker gives the nursery real character. And, it’s kind of cool for Emerson to use a rocking chair that’s almost a century older than her. Indeed, the chair is old enough that her great-grandfather could have been rocked in at as a baby!

We hope that the chair will stay in the family and be used by future generations.

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T-minus 66 Days (And Counting)

Well, it’s been a little while since my last update. As I seem to suck at keeping up this blogging thing, I thought I’d share a few recent “news” highlights.

Nursery Progress

I’ve finally finished the “construction work” in the nursery. It’s now painted and ready to fill with decorations / furniture (of which we’ve started… I just lack photos). Anyway, here are a few photos:

Adding the pink

Installing the chair railing

Completed project

4D Ultrasound – Take Two

Last week, we did another 4D ultrasound at 29 weeks. We did the $100 “peek-a-boo” session. It was fun to “see” the baby again and reassuring to know that everything looks great. But, in all honesty the “wow factor” was kind of gone, because we’d already seen 3D images and (advice to those behind us) 29 weeks is a little late to get great pictures.

A little late? Huh?

Yes, a little late. You see, by this time, the baby is so large that there’s relatively little room free space in the womb. As a result, it’s difficult to get a full shot of anything without other structures/anatomy in the way. So, my advice would be to do a 4D ultrasound earlier even though the baby won’t be quite as baked yet.

Minor Crisis Averted

One morning this week, L freaked because her hands had starting swelling to the point that her wedding ring no longer fit without marked discomfort. She concluded that she simply couldn’t wear it to work. She was really upset. (Strange? Perhaps. But, she’s invested in these things.)

Anyway, she sent me a frantic text message later in the afternoon, confirming her worst fears. Apparently, some moron at work asked her “if something was wrong with Paul” based on the missing ring. Really? Who notices these things, on a pregnant woman nonetheless, and on the first day that the ring was “missing”? Get a life!

Fortunately, being the Greatest (and most modest) Husband in the History of the World, I’d already gone out that morning to a jewelry store and purchased her a “temporary” wedding ring (which is reasonably nice and just enough “non-wedding-bandy” that she can wear it decoratively on a larger finger on her other hand later).

Major bonus points, baby. Major points.

And it’s a reminder of my “Golden Rule of Pregnancy for Men”:

What the pregnant lady wants, the pregnant lady gets.

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