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Shameless product placement

This morning, as most mornings, Charlie woke up hungry, smacking his lips and sticking out his tongue expectantly. I hurried downstairs, boy in one arm, and fetched an Avent bottle (sterilized, of course, as we are fastidious people). Back upstairs, I placed the bottle in the warmer. I unwound Charlie's flannel receiving blanket and peeled him out of his Halo sleep sack and his onesie, then lay him on the changing table pad, topped by its soft terrycloth cover, and began to change his diaper.

Last night's onesie went into the hamper. The old diaper went into the Diaper Champ. A fresh and toasty wipe was removed from the wipes warmer and pressed into service. I was able to deploy the new diaper at my leisure thanks to Charlie's stylish new Wee Blocks. (The Butt Paste was considered but deemed unnecessary, as the bottom in question is currently unafflicted.)

A sponge bath, then, since there was no time for a long wash in the infant tub with baby washcloths and a warm hooded towel. Next, a clean onesie. (Alas, he is too small yet for the one that reads, "I was worth the wait," but, oh, he is, he is.) And then the appetizing warm bottle, in tandem with the burp cloth.

Paul fed Charlie while I dutifully pumped, a task made much more endurable with a copious slathering of nipple cream. Then I crept in and applied the little tiny clippers and little tiny emery boards to Charlie's razor-sharp talons while he was distracted by breakfast.

After the mandatory burp, I finished dressing Charlie. I put him in a warm suit, since it's -10° out today. I am proud to report that he has graduated from some of his preemie clothes into newborn size and can now wear several adorable new outfits with signal flair. Booties and a hat completed his dashing ensemble (if a baby who's wearing a bunny suit could be said to be dashing).

Then it was time to bundle Charlie into his newly warm and fuzzy car seat for the drive to see — yes — the lactation consultant. Charlie charmed the pants off the consultant (and the bra off his mother) and performed beautifully. Full marks, kiddo.

Back at home, I eased him down onto the custom fitted sheet of his Pack and Play for his post-lunch nap, covering him with his fleece cloud blanket. Later, if he is very well behaved and doesn't give me any lip when we practice breastfeeding, he will have his first ride in the swing. And then perhaps a stirring reading from that dramatic classic, Goodnight Moon. After that, Paul and I will probably kick back with a movie, courtesy of the Netflix gift subscription — one with swear words, since they seem to comfort Charlie like nothing else. (I imagine he heard them often enough in utero.)

If I haven't mentioned your gift here, it's not for want of appreciation, I assure you. We're still opening boxes and exclaiming over your generosity, enjoying many presents immediately and setting others aside for later. We can't wait to use the baby gym, for example, but he's too little just now. We're looking forward to setting up his crib with the luxe new bedding, though his crib is still being built by my father. Tomorrow we're taking him to the pediatrician and the sling will go with us — I'm eager to use it but want to be sure his neck muscles are equal to the task. And as much as I might like to take Charlie's temperature a hundred times a day with the quick-read digital thermometer, it probably wouldn't be kind to do it until he's actually, you know, awake. The Target cards will most likely be spent on a dresser for Charlie's room, so that I'll have a place to store all his beautiful new belongings, and the PayPal donations will probably go for a series of infant massage, especially beneficial for preemies who need to be reminded that touch can be warm and soothing instead of clinical, pointy and painful. (Either that or hookers and smack or — I haven't decided yet.)

Paul and I are so grateful. Your kindness allowed us to set up housekeeping with Charlie immediately, instead of being faced with the impossible task of shopping once we'd returned home. You relieved us of a tremendous burden, letting us settle in comfortably and spend our time making Charlie welcome. This was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me.

We are just so very grateful.

(Note: A few gifts arrived without any indication of who sent them. If you sent a sling or a bath kit with many potions and unguents in a snappy plastic case, can you please let me know in e-mail? I would like to be able to thank you personally.)


A special shout-out to Abby, who sent a picture of herself with the blanket she made for Project Linus. She kindly gave me permission to post this picture on the condition that it be accompanied by a disclaimer about her hair. I personally think her hair looks fine. Don't you?

If you've made a blanket, too, please consider sending a picture. I promise to embarrass you with it later.


Welcome, Hannah Eilene! You are already fiercely loved by your mother's friends inside the computer, as evidenced by the shower that's been masterminded by the magnificent Shelba, at a site designed by the excellent AndreaH.

Many, many congratulations to Julia and family. May blogland's baby boom continue.