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LauraC's Wantbox

LauraC (28)

About me:
Mother of two trying her best to keep her sanity without relying too much on caffeine!

Member since:
Dec. 24, 2010

Location:
Cambridge, MA 02138

LauraC has posted:
13 wants
0 replies
2 comments

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Replies to LauraC's Wants
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Re: "I want a new crib bedding set"
(from mieyun 8 years, 9 months ago)
Congratulations to your sister! It's been a while since I have outfitted a crib, but my sister-in-law has done it a few times in the past 5 years (lucky her :) and this reply is based a lot on her passed-on advice from dinner two nights ago.

It certainly makes it tougher that you don't know if the new baby is a girl or a boy. Like most other things, everyone's favorite web-based mall (that's Amazon for any of you who have more than one favorite :) has quite a selection of baby crib bedding sets.

Personally, I think this safari crib set is super cute and very neutral and suitable for a baby boy or baby girl.

A few pro tips from my S.I.L.:
  • Pay attention to texture: little baby will be in this crib for many hours a day with this bedding touching her/his very soft skin. Look for a high thread count, natural cotton fiber material.

  • Washability is key: babies are messy, make sure the bedding is machine washable with no special instructions. Pick up some Dreft to get that great baby smell!

  • Must fit snuggly: when you get the set, try it on the specific crib it will be used. For babies safety, it must fit snuggly to avoid baby getting tangled in excess fabric or if a too-small sheet comes off the mattress.

  • Get extras: have I mentioned that babies are messy? Make sure that you have at least one spare set on hand, washed and ready to go, for when baby tosses her dinner right before bedtime. It will happen; more than once.

  • Pay attention to what is included: many sets include crib bumpers, a fitted sheet and comforter. Others may throw in crib ruffles and other accessories.

Best of luck to your sister!
Re: "I want a tandem stroller for my two kids"
(from SoopahMom 8 years, 10 months ago)
Joovy Caboose Tandem Stroller Compare To Sit n Stand - LemontreeJoovy Caboose Stand On Tandem Stroller
Hi Laura!

My youngest is still in his own car seat/stroller combo (a Graco Spree) but for my 4-year old and 6-year old I have this tandem stroller from Joovy. It's a little bit different in that that second child (usually the 6-year old, but not always!) has the option to stand on a platform on the back.

They can also buckle in when they are tired, but the freedom to stand and look around is something my kids love. It's like riding on the cart at the grocery store except this stroller is made for it!

What I like most about this stroller is its small size relative to other tandem strollers and better maneuverability. I didn't want a side-by-side because they seem way too unwieldy! We went to Santa's Village up in New Hampshire last year and I watch the side-by-side Mom's struggle with lines and navigating the crowds.

I'm not much of a crowd fan to start with. Add in two cranky kids and a double-wide kid-karter and I would have become SoopahSadMom :)

Lot's of great reviews great reviews for you to pore through online.
Re: "I want a new car seat for my 6-month old son"
(from SoopahMom 8 years, 10 months ago)
Graco Spree Travel System - Barcelona Bluegrass
Hi Laura! Where do those odors come from and how come they are so hard to remove?

I got the Graco Spree car seat and stroller for my youngest and have been very happy with it. I picked it up for $199 plus tax at a local store near me (I see as I write this that I could have avoided sales tax and got it cheaper online!! Stupid me, oh well...). In my experience as a Mom of 3, it's hard to top Graco products.

This infant car seat package comes with the stroller, the Graco "SnugRide" infant car seat and a base for connecting the car seat to the car which stays buckled into the car at all times. I find it very easy to snap the car seat in and out of this "base station". Also, the stroller is very easy to fold up and even has a cup holder for my coffee! I love that! When I was doing my research, the SnugRide was a top choice of many reviewers for safety which was very important to me.

The manual says the stroller is suitable for children up to 40 pounds and the rear-facing car seat for infants up to 22 pounds and 29 inches.
Re: "I want to refinance my home mortgage"
(from wantbox 8 years, 10 months ago)
Calculate how much you will save on your income taxes by deducting your mortgage interest rate payments:

Re: "I want to refinance my home mortgage"
(from wantbox 8 years, 10 months ago)
Determine when points pay off:



Re: "I want to refinance my home mortgage"
(from wantbox 8 years, 10 months ago)
Helps you answer the question, "Should I Pay for Points on my Mortgage"? Use this calculator to determine which mortgage loan is better for you:


Re: "I want to refinance my home mortgage"
(from mitch 8 years, 10 months ago)
I just bought my current house in November of 2009. At the time, I got a 30 year fixed jumbo rate of 4.875%. This past summer, after having the loan for less than a year, I refinanced down to 4.375%.

That's a significant monthly savings that I can spend on any number of other things instead of interest to a bank! You should definitely look into refinancing your mortgage now, especially since you have an adjustable rate mortgage.

I actually had a rental property for 8 months (the buyers of the house I was selling rented it before buying it from me ... long story). That house also had a 5.00%, 5-1 ARM like yours. The thing is, the 5 year adjustable period came up while they were renting and the bank actually *lowered* my ARM.

Don't let that lure you into keeping your adjustable rate loan, though. Mortgage interest rates will undoubtedly start going up at some point. 20-year and 30-year fixed rates are so low right now that you almost have to lock them in. My refinance actually was with no points and no closing costs as well, so it didn't cost me anything to change.

I found three mortgage lenders online and was able to leverage them off one another to lower my rate a bit and cut out the closing costs. Like most things in life, it pays to shop around! Best of luck to you.
Re: "I want someone to remove the snow from my roof"
(from bigben 8 years, 10 months ago)
You are very smart to be addressing this potentially devastating problem now, before it ends up costing you a lot of money and, God forbid, an injury to someone in your family.

About ten years ago, I had the roof of my garage cave in after an unusually large snowstorm. I hadn't cleared the prior 18+ inches or so of wet, dense snow off, so the combination of the already heavy snow weight with the unnaturally large dumping of snow we got in that storm was too much for my poor old garage roof joists to bear.

Luckily, my cars and family were not in or near the garage when it came down in the middle of the night (I use my garage mostly as a woodworking/workshop.) Boy did it wake me up out of a sound sleep though, and it's not really something you can put behind you and go back to bed. It's shocking to see.

Needless to say, I kicked myself for months/years for not dealing with the issues before it ended up costing me thousands of dollars to repair. Now, 12 inches is my magic number. If I get anywhere close to that amount on at flat or shallowly pitched roof, I shovel.

So, enough about me, if you roof is not too high off the ground you can try to do it yourself with a roof snow rake. However, I wouldn't recommend climbing up on your roof to do it. The risks of being on a icy, slippery roof pushing heavy snow around are pretty high. Plus, you run the risk of damaging your shingles with your tools if you aren't careful. You should probably leave this task to a local snow removal professional. You have better things to do with you time anyhow, right?

Re: "I want someone to fix my gas furnace"
(from mitch 8 years, 10 months ago)
As always, HandyAndy is right on the money. Two years ago in my old house, my 20-year old natural gas furnace did the same thing: click-click-click then off. I had a furnace servicing company come out and the repairman determined that it was the switch on my damper that wasn't working correctly. He ended up just wiggling the connections to it and it worked fine after that.

No parts, just labor. I think it cost me about $100 to $150, which I was happy to pay, since I was worried that I'd need a new furnace installed. While he was messing around with it, he did replace my filter too, which was nice.

When I moved into my current house last year (three gas furnaces servicing three different heating zones) the basement furnace wasn't working. In this case, it was the flame sensor that had gone bad and needed to be replaced. This was another fairly easy and not-too-costly repair, so you are hopefully not in line for a huge repair bill (fingers crossed for you).

Re: "I want someone to fix my gas furnace"
(from HandyAndy 8 years, 10 months ago)
It sounds like your furnace is trying to light up (the click-click-clicking is the electric ignitor trying to light the flame) but can't for some reason.

A new gas furnace hot-surface ignitorA new gas furnace ignitor
A bad gas furnace hot-surface ignitorA bad gas furnace ignitor
It could be that your ignitor is defective, your flame sensor (usually right in front of the burner that is farthest away from the ignitor) is coated in carbon and thus can't detect the flame or the switch which detects if the damper is open is defective.

If the problem is a "dirty" flame sensor, you can try scrubbing it a bit with some steel wool. Turn off power to your furnace first, though, just to be safe.

Your best bet is to find a local furnace repair specialist to come out and take a look. They'll likely be able to diagnose and fix the problem pretty quickly. Ask your friends and family if they've used anyone, or search online for a local furnace repair company.

Good luck!
Re: "I want a glider rocker"
(from wantbox 8 years, 10 months ago)
Ok, I've got my research hat on for you.

Seems like the glider rocker brand that gets the most chatter is the Stork Craft brand of glider chairs.

Prices for these glider rockers range from $130 to $200. And that includes both the rocker and ottoman -- hard to find a better value for sure.

All reviewers talk about the great price. On the cons, people wrote of uncomfortable cushions and poor fit to body size. It's probably best if you can try sitting in one but if you don't think you're outside the average size-wise, it seems like it should be okay.
Re: "I want a glider rocker"
(from Susie 8 years, 10 months ago)
Hi LauraC -

When I had my daughter, I got a Dutailier rocker and ottoman from a local baby store and *loved* it. It's been passed down to my best friend and my sister-in-law and they both had great experiences with it.

I see that Amazon has at least one rocker available.

You can also check out their website here: Dutailier.

My chief complaint was that I don't love the way the gliding rocker looked. The cushion designs available at the time were just not that interesting. My sister in law was smart though and ended up reupholstering them -- it looked much better.
Re: "I want a diaper changing table for a newborn baby"
(from mitch 8 years, 11 months ago)
My sister got this baby dresser for her baby. She wanted something that didn't look too kiddish and that might last a little longer.

It does come flat packed, and I had to help her set it up, but it wasn't that bad (I've had a lot of IKEA experience!)
Re: "I want a baby dresser for my sister's upcoming first kid"
(from meggers 8 years, 11 months ago)
Kids' Dressers: Kids Modern White Poplar Dresser With Shelves
Hi Laura, I got this dresser online from Land of Nod for my youngest daughter. I attached a changing pad to the top and used it as a changing table as well.

I loved that it had the side shelves built-in and I didn't have to buy a separate bookcase for her. I just tucked all of her board books in the sides, which was great! Which reminds me, I haven't read "Goodnight Moon" or "Hippos Go Berserk" in a while :)
Re: "I want a diaper changing table for a newborn baby"
(from mieyun 8 years, 11 months ago)
It's hard for me to recommend any specific diaper changing table since I don't know what design style your sister has.

So, the best I can do is to suggest checking out this link to see
a wide variety of diaper changing tables..

You can also check out places with retail stores for some firsthand assessing. Pottery Barn kids and Land of Nod are two places that come to mind as a place to check out for higher quality, more costly diaper changing tables.

One last idea is to convert the top of a child's dresser into a changing table by buying a contoured changing pad and putting it on top of the dresser. That simple move -- at about $15 or $20 -- is a heckuvalot less expensive than getting a standalone changing table.
Re: "I want a toddler bed for my 3-year old "
(from mieyun 8 years, 11 months ago)
Hi there.

I guess I'll answer your question by asking if you really, really need a toddler bed? The reason why I ask is that you may soon find that you need to get a normal sized bed in just a few years. You can save yourself some $$ potentially by avoiding the toddler bed stage of life.

I, too, thought I needed a toddler bed when my girl was little, but then I ended up buying a normal twin bed with bed rails. Bed rail anchors slip between the mattress and box spring so the bed rail can rest flush against the side of the bed and serve as a rail to help prevent your child from rolling out of bed.

Getting a pair of bed rails is your best choice (price $20).

Good luck!
Re: "I want a video baby monitor"
(from mieyun 8 years, 11 months ago)
I'm feeling a bit dated when I think about how an audio monitor is all I had to check on my daughter when she was little.

I know I sure would have loved to have a video baby monitor to check on her. That way, I wouldn't have to creep quietly to her bedroom door and open it ever so slightly to see why she wasn't making any sounds. And then wake her. Doh!

Online Moms indicate the three best models to check out are:

1. Philips Avent Digital Video Baby Monitor

2. Summer Infant Day and Night Handheld Color Video Monitor with 1.8-inch screen

3. Levana BABYVIEW20 Interference-Free Digital Wireless Video Baby Monitor with Night Light Lullaby Camera

Features to look for include:
  • night-vision technology

  • good reception

  • good video and sound quality (warning: they all seem to be subpar)

  • long-lasting batteries

  • a design that you like

And when you're done with monitoring your children, you can check on the toys to see what they do when no humans are around. ;)
Re: "I want a jogging stroller"
(from Kelly 8 years, 11 months ago)
If shelling out $300 for a baby stroller is not what you have in mind as a good use of your dollars, consider the Schwinn jogger instead.

At around $200, it offers good value for the money. I found it very good for every day use. With a large, 12-inch swiveling front wheel and really large 16-inch back wheels, it did a great job cushioning my kids from a bumpy ride on the mean streets of Concord :o)
Re: "I want a jogging stroller"
(from mieyun 8 years, 11 months ago)
If you're a serious runner, the BOB brand of jogging strollers really seems to be the top brand to consider. Unfortunately, you will pay top dollar as well -- expect to pay between $250 and $350 for one. High price for sure, but from the glowing customer reviews it looks like the cost is well worth it.

The BOB Revolution Stroller the BOB Sport Utility Stroller and the BOB Ironman Sport Utility Stroller get most of the shout outs by active moms and dads.

What's the difference?

The Revolution Stroller has a front wheel that swivels for maneuverability in crowds or tight spaces, but which can also be locked for more efficient running.

The Sport Utility Stroller features knobby wheels for better grip and easier travel on bumpy trails and sidewalks.

The Ironman Stroller is for serious athletes. The front wheel is fixed for greater stability and the wheels are more like those on a high end road bike, versus the mountain bike type wheels on the Sport Utility Stroller.
Re: "I want a breast pump for my 6-month old"
(from wantbox 8 years, 11 months ago)
After reading hundreds of breast pump reviews, there were three models that moms really spent most of their energy talking about:
  • Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump

  • Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump

  • Philips AVENT ISIS iQ Duo Twin Electric Breast Pump


Summaries of reviews are below. Good luck!

Medela Pump in Style Advanced Notes
Pros:
  • Easy to set up

  • Breast shields available in various sizes

  • Replacement parts readily available

  • Is the gold standard most talked about
Cons:
  • Hard plastic breast shields less comfortable

  • Keeping condensation out of hoses can be challenging

  • Some complaints that the suction was too strong

Ameda Purely Yours
Pros:
  • Less expensive than the Medela

  • Can totally customize speed and suction

  • High level of hygiene - milk does not back up into tubes
Cons:
  • Replacement parts not widely available locally

  • High pitched beeping sound with each cycle change that can be annoying

Philips AVENT ISIS iQ Duo Twin Electric Breast Pump
Pros:
  • Suction and speed are completely customizable

  • Hygienic system that minimizes milk contamination

  • Compatible with its Avent bottle systems

  • Massage cushions more gentle to nipples

  • Closed system
Cons:
  • More parts to set up

  • Replacement parts hard to find locally

  • Customization requires hand pump to start rhythm

  • Apparently, more parts to clean

One useful comparison of the three models can be found here.

And finally, some last notes:
  • All will be loud.

  • Consider a hands-free breastpump bra to make pumping easier.

  • All have parts that need cleaning.

  • If you have issues, try contacting the manufacturer directly. Most seem to have great customer service.

  • If you want a truly portable, battery-operated model, consider the Medela Freestyle Breast Pump. Not many others seem to do great with batteries.

  • You will feel a bit like a cow, but if you need fast breast pumping, double electric is the way to go.

Wants from people LauraC follows

LauraC has posted 13 Wants

"I want to refinance my home mortgage" posted on Feb. 10, 2011, 12:12 a.m. [5 replies]

"I want someone to remove the snow from my roof" posted on Feb. 2, 2011, 6:08 p.m. [2 replies]

"I want someone to fix my gas furnace" posted on Feb. 2, 2011, 4:57 p.m. [3 replies]

"I want a baby dresser for my sister's upcoming first kid" posted on Dec. 24, 2010, 4:57 a.m. [2 replies]

"I want a breast pump for my 6-month old" posted on Dec. 24, 2010, 4:49 a.m. [4 replies]

See all

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LauraC has posted 2 Comments

"Thank you (and your sister-in-law) so much for your tips! I love the safari set too, that's the one I'm going to recommend they get." submitted on the reply "What to look for in a baby crib bedding set" on March 14, 2011, 1:11 a.m.

"Pay close attention to seam placement! We had one seam which ended up at the bottom of our basement stairs that started fraying within months. Unfortunately I didn't do my homework when selecting a carpet installer and paid the price :(" submitted on the reply "Questions to ask a carpet install company" on March 11, 2011, 4:17 p.m.

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