Friday, May 9, 2014

Barton Baby Must-Haves - Our Baby Shower Wish List

Beautiful custom announcement by the talented Kate Burck

The Barton Baby Wish List

But first, allow me to answer some...
 Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it a Girl or a Boy?
Yes, it's one of those. But sorry, we're not telling you which. 
Patience, please! 
There will be a Gender Reveal at the Baby Shower in June.
What will you name it?
Well, probably not. But that's what I'm calling it, today. 
Will it be a Redhead or a Blond(e)?
I'm hoping for red. I think Sean's hoping for blond(e).
We tried bribes at the ultrasound, but hair just doesn't show up... yet.
Are you doing Cloth Diapers?
YES! And no, you can't scare me off with poopy horror stories.
What's the nursery theme?
The nursery walls are a light, "sage" green, and we're using a pale butter yellow as the main accent color. The theme is Peter Rabbit's Garden. This seemed more than fitting, due to our love of nature, the baby's British heritage, and the long-standing fondness both of our families have for Beatrix Potter's creations. (There are COUNTLESS cute Beatrix Potter things on!)
Another common color is Navy Blue -- it matches our antique navy and silver pram!
Why is the baby shower so early?
We're very lucky parents, to have our child born into such a big, loving family! The reasonable reason for a June shower is to celebrate with visiting family and friends at a time that works with their schedules. (But really, we just can't wait all summer!) There will be a second shower much later in the summer for more family and friends.

Any Preferences?
Yes! When possible, we'd prefer that things be made from natural materials, like cotton. Made in America is always a plus, too!

What follows is our baby wish list, as requested by people who are eager to spoil the baby. 

It feels horribly greedy to do this, but I hope it'll make things easier for those who want to celebrate the baby's arrival by contributing to it's health and happiness. Thanks very much, in advance!

Most of these items can be bought at the store of your choice, be it Amazon, Target, Carter's, Baby's R Us, etc. If you'd like to support an independent East Lansing business, please visit Little Green Branches. This fabulous little shop is located on Northwind Drive, and I love it! They carry many of the items listed here.

Also, browsing is fun on!

Boppy Pillow + Covers
Great for nursing mommies and lounging babies.
These tend to get messy, so extra covers are most appreciated!

Swaddle Blankets
Traditional, large square/rectangle blankets. 
Preferably Muslin. 
Lots of brands, widely available! 
Often sold in multi-packs.
Muslin Swaddle Blankets

Baby Bath Stuff
(Washing tub, gentle soap, baby towel, etc)
We're new to the baby-washing business!
It can't be harder than washing the dog... right?
Just an example. A sweet little hooded towel, from

Baby Feeding Stuff
(Glass Bottles! Plastic Dishes! Little Spoons! Bibs!)

Basic Gender-Neutral Clothes
(Socks! Onesies! Leggings!)
We'll need all sizes for our little crumpet.
but I bet you can find these just about anywhere.
Little bunnies and ducks are extra-adorable!

Just an example, from

Swaddle Sacks and Sleepers
The Halo SleepSack may look a bit strange,
but it's a great way for little babies 
to stay snuggly warm this winter.
Just an example: a Halo sleep sack gift set with a western theme!

Cold-Weather Clothes
We'll need cozy clothes for 
our little crumpet's first few winters.
Cabela's baby bunting is on sale.
(Please, no hunter orange! Yuck!)
UGG Bunting, for the fashion-plate baby.

Fitted Crib Sheets
(Widely available, one size fits all.)
Simple patterns and colors are great!
Normal, jersey and sateen fabrics are all fine. 

Cloth Diapers
(Widely Available! Many to choose from!)
We're not picky.
We'll need all sizes cloth diapers.
If you want to delve into the world of cloth diapers
here's a quick intro video about cloth diapers.

The pictured style is our favorite, because the snaps
on the front make this diaper one-size-fits all! for a growing baby!

In general, we prefer snaps over velcro,
and water-proof is always a plus.
Want something specific?
We like these:
Kissaluvs Fitted Diaper Package
Newborn Diaper by Blueberry
Package Deal - 6 BumGenius All-in-One Diapers
EconoBum Newborn Kit (by BumGenius) is GREAT for browsing!
The Lorax diaper by Bumkins

Cloth Wipes
Simple cloth squares made from 
various fabrics (flannel, terry cloth, etc).

Diaper Closures
These stretchy, rubber closures are cheap... and great!
The Snappi brand is widely available.
Find them online here.
Snappi Diaper Closure

Diaper Detergent
Those cloth diapers require a soap that's
a tough cleaner, but gentle on the baby. 
You can find it where cloth diapers are sold. 
(Available thru Little Green Branches, our local baby boutique!)

Wet Bags
A water-proof bag, essential for using cloth diapers.
We'll need at least two of these, and bigger sizes are better.
This one's from Target.

Crib Conversion Rails
We have a beautiful crib, the Highland crib by Davinci!
It can be converted into a toddler bed, or even a full size bed.
To convert it to a full, we'll need the conversion rails ($100).
It's available online through ToysRUs.
The Davinci Highland crib, which we already have. Isn't it lovely?!

Keekaroo Highchair
(Available thru Little Green Branches, our local baby boutique!)
A durable, convertible highchair that'll grow with the baby.
Pictured with the infant insert (that blue thing), which is nice but not a necessity.
Either wood stain is fine. No worries!
Keekaroo Convertible Highchair

Ergo Baby Carrier
(Available thru Little Green Branches, our local baby boutique!)
We love this baby carrier!
It comes in countless patterns -- anything basic will do.
It can be worn on the back, front or side.
Pictured with the infant insert, which is nice but not a necessity.

Outdoor Swing
Something sturdy and safe, please!
Doesn't have to be like the one pictured.
Little Tikes 2-in-1 Snug N Secure Swing

Diaper Bag
Something simple, please.
Preferably a bag that opens wide at the top, duffle-bag style, 
so I can see everything without digging to the bottom.
Or, if you want to "go big"...
Lilly Pulitzer Resort Tote.
Pretty, but maybe not practical. 

Glider / Recliner
The dream nursery chair, a glider that reclines!
Our nursery is small, and ottomans are bulky.
Unfortunately, these are usually overpriced.  
From, the Jackson nursery glider/recliner. 

This list is incomplete, of course.
They're simply suggestions!
There's no way to know everything we'll need.

Our little crumpet would probably prefer toys and books,
rather than boring diapers and chairs, anyway. 

May Update from the "Homestead"

Good news travels quickly in the "real" world, but you virtual friends may not have heard the latest "homestead updates"...

 - Our garden is growing -- and fast!
We've doubled the size of our raised-bed veggie garden. The asparagus we planted is beginning to poke up out of the soil. The new strawberry plants are blooming, promising at least a few little berries in June. Salad greens are popping up all over the place, and there are plenty of peas and radishes putting out new leaves.

 - We have an orchard!
Last month, we put 9 apple trees into the northern slope of our property. Most trees are semi-dwarfs, which will grow to about 15 feet tall. The 2 full-dwarfs (Granny Smith Apple) will reach about 10 feet. Other varieties we planted include Winecrisp, Fugi, and a few tasty Honeycrisps. Yum!
Now, technically, it takes 10 trees to have an orchard. We planted a few standard-sized cherry and apple trees about a 1/4 acre away. Does this count?

 - And there's more...
We've put plenty of blueberries into the ground. Currants and Jerusalem Artichokes, too! As long as the seeds don't wash away, we'll have a plethora of native wild flowers and a goofy assortment of sunflowers edging our garden. The summer harvest will be beautiful. The rabbits are healthy, the chicken coop is nearly done, and we're about to build our last raised bed - and not a moment too soon! The little tomato plants I started from seed are quickly outgrowing their starter pots.

 - And the BIG NEWS:
This September, we're having a baby! The husband and I decided to "go for it" at New Year's, and by mid-January we were officially expecting. I was a bit shocked by how quickly this came about, and THRILLED!

Baby Info: Our wonderful doctor says that baby and mother are doing well -- "perfect," even. So, that's good. We're due in late September (the 29th). Last week we learned the baby's gender. We're keeping that a secret, for now. It's been an incredibly easy pregnancy for me, so much so that I feel like I'm bragging. So, I won't. Choosing a name is a challenge, but we've narrowed it down to two or three. Now, the real deliberation begins...
Huckleberry is still a strong contender.

So these days, when I'm not working at the bookshop or digging in the garden, I'm rearranging the house (again and again, as my husband will tell you). There's much to do, and so little time in which to do it. My art studio is becoming the nursery, and the library is to serve as a temporary studio, until we convert the guest room into a proper workspace.

We also have a long list of house projects to do this summer, before the little one arrives. It includes some minor carpentry in the nursery (a closet/storage overhaul!), painting the exterior of the house, some interior painting, tiling the basement bathroom, repairing the barn's split roof, finishing that chicken coop, and keeping up with the garden. I won't be able to help much with the painting, which is frustrating. I suspect the bulk of these projects will fall on my more-than-capable husband and a few wonderfully supportive friends.