Tuesday, July 28, 2009
So much depends upon -- the orange wheelbarrow!
One last splash of orange, if you don't mind (and yes, the pun was deliberate -- sorry!). Here's our improvisational response to the lack of a baby pool here -- we simply cleaned out the wheelbarrow, filled it with water, and let that water warm in the sun all day. Nola quite enjoyed it, and her mom didn't need to reach down so far to support her.
For other grandmothers out there and temporary hosts of little ones, we also found the interlocking floor pads that can be bought at Toys'rUs in packs of 4 squares (about 2'x2' each) very useful. Easy to store, light to transport, they transformed our tile floor and our outdoor concrete patio into safer surfaces for crawling and sitting, and I plan to pick up several more packs before Nola is back here in August.
We also found the Danish-designed HandiSitt chair very useful -- I'd managed to snag one at a kids' consignment store in Vancouver a few weeks ago, and, again, I appreciate the way it stores easily and is quite portable. (I do admit, though, that for full-time use, I'd prefer a traditional high chair -- the tray in front works better to keep a little one from jiggling 'round and from grabbing things off nearby tables).
For sleeping, we bought the BabyBjorn Travel crib, an engineering marvel compared to those old heavy playpens we used to lug around (altho' there's nothing like those big playpens for being able to plunk a baby safely down in when you're working in the garden, imho). This travel crib is more expensive than other options, but at 5 kg. (11 lbs), folding up into its own suitcase-sized travel case, we can easily move it from our Vanc'r apartment to our island home, and the youngsters can take it with them when they travel. That way, Nola will be used to it as a second crib and might adjust more easily to sleeping in new places.
As for a stroller, while Nola has a gorgeous MacLaren that cost as much as my first car (and I'm not kidding, but I bought my first car decades ago!), that's a heavy piece of equipment to get over here. The more portable strollers don't usually have wheels that can handle our rock-studded dirt roads on the island, so what to do, what to do. . . .Well, I put out a plea on our island listserv for a stroller with skookum ( Chinook -- term for "strong, big") wheels to buy, borrow, or rent, and I got three offers within a few days -- all for free loans. Perfect solution!
Food was easy -- Nola's still nursing which cut down on the groceries to be hauled over, and except for the baby cereal, she otherwise ate simple versions of our food, pureed in the blender, and frozen in ice cube trays -- now that took me back! She especially enjoyed Nana's special recipe -- green beans, carrots, new potatoes just barely covered with water and boiled 'til tender, with a few small pieces of chicken tossed in near the end for poaching. All pureed together with none of the vitamin-rich cooking water wasted. I will probably invest in a baby spoon and perhaps a plastic cup before Nola's next visit, just to save B from remembering to pack those. I've been debating a plastic bowl as well, but instead, I think I'll probably haul B's Royal Doulton porringer out of storage -- plastic might be safe (in terms of breakage, that is, although research is finally showing us that the continued off-gassing isn't great for any of us!), but it's not aesthetically pleasant to eat from, and that porringer bowl survived many, many childhood meals.