Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Keep kids and babies busy on an airplane

StarKids Air Play Tray Table Cover
A few recent flights with screaming kids on them made my imagination run wild thinking about how I'd stay sane if I were the parents of those kids. Some things you can't control, but when it comes to kids that go crazy simply because they're bored, there are some good options out there.

Movies are an old standby, and I imagine we'll get a portable DVD player or an iPad soon after the baby comes. Now there are at least two companies making airplane seat tray cover toy kits, StarKids and Content & Calm.
Content & Calm TrayKit

The StarKids Air Play Tray Table Cover is better for younger kids, while the Content & Calm TrayKit is geared more for toddlers and older.

Via Springwise

Painting the nursery

When we moved into our house, we really didn't like the green in the bedroom or the office (which will eventually become the nursery). The guest bedroom also needed a new look. So, as we started thinking about new color schemes, we quickly realized we weren't redecorating the office, we should be thinking of it as decorating the nursery.

We initially chose a mint green and a yellow from the Benjamin Moore Pottery Barn Fall 2010 collection of colors. We're not sure either color is doing it for us on our test wall, so I think we're headed back to the drawing board.

This prompted us to think about what colors babies like. There's a lot of opinion all over the web, with a lot of people saying that the biggest thing to do is pick a color scheme that is calming and relaxing to us. We will do that, but some research suggests that babies prefer certain hues, too -- mostly blues and purples.

In this research, the size of the white dot indicates the length of time the 3-month-old babies in the experiment looked at a given color.  Looks like the greens and yellows we picked initially are just about the worst choice!

Our friends in LA are having a baby girl but still chose a light blue for their nursery.  We might do the same, possibly with a darker blue as an accent wall.  (And, of course, some wall decals and art to spice things up.)

Surprisingly good art for babies - and stuffed animals to match!

We've got a decent amount of art and design running in our family's blood, so we were also surprised to realize that you can find interesting art that's whimsical and fun for kids but also doesn't look generic. Our friends in LA had gotten this reproduction giraffe painting from the Land of Nod.  We liked it and tracked down the artist, Jennifer Mercede, to her Etsy page.  She's got even more imaginative creations there that you can add to your little one's room.

At the same time, we happened to bring a giraffe stuffed animal that they absolutely loved.  It's a jellycat, which is pretty much the softest stuffed animal you can imagine.  The giraffe is really cool and unique, if I do say so myself.

Nursery wall decal decorations

We visited some friends in LA this weekend and slept on their pull-out couch in what will become their nursery in about a month. They had painted the walls a nice, light blue and were in the process of putting up wall decals. We helped them finish putting up the blossoms blowing in the wind, and thought the final result looked pretty good.

We had thought about getting some ourselves, but didn't know where to go. Turns out, the answer is Etsy.  Check them out for lots of great options.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Zulily: Gilt for moms and babies

By now most of you have probably heard of the daily deal phenomenon Gilt Groupe (and if you haven't, you should check them out for screaming deals on high end fashion and luxury travel). On the scene as of 6 months ago: Zulily, the private sale site for maternity, babies, and kids.

Like Gilt, Zulily has about 5 new sale events everyday with prices discounted 50-70%! That's about 150 new styles of products to choose from each day from both big name brands and up-and-coming boutique labels. Make sure to visit the site right when the sales launch to get your pick of the litter. Great for yourself or for the next baby shower you're attending!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More vitamin D for pregnant women (and everyone else)

Living in Seattle, we've probably all heard about the risks associated with a vitamin D deficiency, but a couple lines from this New York Times article, "What do you lack? Probably Vitamin D," caught my eye:
The rising incidence of Type 1 diabetes may be due, in part, to the current practice of protecting the young from sun exposure. When newborn infants in Finland were given 2,000 international units a day, Type 1 diabetes fell by 88 percent, Dr. Holick said.
The current recommended intake of vitamin D, established by the Institute of Medicine, is 200 I.U. a day from birth to age 50 (including pregnant women); 400 for adults aged 50 to 70; and 600 for those older than 70. While a revision upward of these amounts is in the works, most experts expect it will err on the low side. Dr. Holick, among others, recommends a daily supplement of 1,000 to 2,000 units for all sun-deprived individuals, pregnant and lactating women, and adults older than 50. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that breast-fed infants receive a daily supplement of 400 units until they are weaned and consuming a quart or more each day of fortified milk or formula. 
Count us as converts!  We've been taking supplements, but probably not quite enough and not quite as consistently as we should.  (You can take too much, however: "Symptoms of vitamin D toxicity include nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness and weight loss, as well as dangerous amounts of calcium that can result in kidney stones, confusion and abnormal heart rhythms.")  The experts recommend 1,000-2,000 units per day to avoid issues.

And one more thing I didn't know: "Given appropriate sun exposure in summer, it is possible to meet the body’s yearlong need for vitamin D."  Here's to spending a lot of this last adventure summer without kids outside!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Baby dreams

Not to get ahead of ourselves, but this is incredibly cute: while her daughter Mila sleeps, Adele Enersen imagines what she might be dreaming and makes it real.

Our baby will definitely be dreaming of becoming a rock star:

And of hanging ten:

Via kottke