Baby Isaac Preparations
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Baby Wish List (In case you want to buy anything for Isaac whose Registry got bought out after only one shower! Of course, yardsale-Craig was horrified by the Babies R Us prices and only registered for a few items not available at yardsales):

  • Tubby toys

  • Turtle sandbox

  • Large plastic bibs

  • Wooden puzzles and children's board games (we already have Chutes and Ladders & Candyland)

  • Noah's Ark Shape Sorter (we also saw this at Toys R Us)

    Our Baby Naming Story

    We have been planning for our family for years. This included accumulating a collection of children’s literature and selecting names. The girl name was easy: Sarah Morgaine. We’d had that ironed out for years (actually since about three months after we met). Our son, however, went from Solomon to Nigel to Solomon to Balin (that was Craig’s vote so Wendy compromised by bringing home a cat to name Balin) to Sivan (Wendy never quite got Craig on-board with that one)…the list went on. We were just never happy. 

    Finally, around December this past year, Wendy suggested Isaac. The rabbi had told the story of how the original Isaac had gotten his name: when Sarah found out she was pregnant at age 90, she laughed. So her son was named Yitzhak, meaning “he will laugh.” That seemed like a good omen for anyone to have. 

    Craig quickly added Herschl as the middle name. For all you Simpsons fans out there, Krusty the Clown was originally named Herschl Krustowfski, son of Springfield’s Chassidic rabbi (Craig got Simpsons season 3 DVD for Chanukah last year). Another famous Herschl is a character in a children’s book: Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel. This book has attained such fame with young Jews that during a name that holiday Jeopardy session at the religious school, the 5th graders immediately named “Channukah” as the holiday to match the clue “Herzl”. The students argued that not only that they were right but that the teacher had mispronounced the name. The correct answer was of course Israeli Independence Day, Herzl being an instrumental figure in the founding of the modern State of Israel.

    Well, with such a perfect boy’s name, we decided to rethink the girl’s name. After all, every second Jewish girl and every third gentile girl is named Sarah. After about 20 minutes of discussion we settled on Elena Naomi to be called Lena (rhymes with Gina). Ironically, we realized later that we have two friends who are roommates: Lauren Isaac and Lena Davydov. Either way, our baby would be named after someone in their house. But whom?  

    The Baby...Finally

    So you can see, we were all set to find out on March 10 that we finally had a baby to go with our names. We got our first glimpse of baby at 13 weeks. Everything appeared to be in order and Baby even waved at us:


    We were quite relieved to see that Baby had at least one working hand. Considering the environmental mess in Marietta, OH and the environmental mess in Craig's lab, we were a little concerned. But hey, as long as you've got one opposable thumb, how bad can life be? 

    Wendy could tell from the picture that Baby was a boy. Her sister Kim, our neighbor Decky, and Wendy's Mamaw Bill Ankrom also knew it was a boy. Wendy's Mom insisted it was a girl, even taking offense when Wendy referred to Baby by name.

    At 20 weeks, we got our second look at Baby…and Wendy was right (she thinks she always is, so no surprise)…Baby is a boy! We even have a picture to prove it. Note the picture is labeled “boy parts” to avoid any future litigation should Baby turn out to be a girl after all.


    (We hope Isaac will forgive us for this embarrassing prenatal picture.)

    Baby Isaac got a little restless towards the end of the ultrasound. (His Mom did too, since a full bladder is a requirement for an ultrasound. As if this weren’t bad enough, for some reason poking that bladder with the microphone to get a picture of it is an important part of the exam.) He even started kicking the microphone. Wendy pointed out to him that he should just enjoy himself, it was the last time such a pretty lady would be looking at his penis (which he kept hidden for the first 45 minutes—it took two tries to locate) for quite some time. Isaac’s Daddy heartily concurred with this after the very pretty blonde ultrasound technician left the room.

    Isaac's Bris

    As soon as Isaac is born, we will schedule his bris (circumcision) for a week after he is born. That is, if he is born before sundown on Tuesday, the bris will be the next Tuesday during the day. (If he comes two weeks late, his bris could be right around Thanksgiving.) We will notify our friends and family asap so you can make arrangements to be there if you can. His bris will be done by a Mohel at our home. Although we would love to have all of you join us, we know most of you can't drop everything and drive to Michigan on such short notice especially in the middle of the week. Therefore, we are also planning a celebration when he is a month old to which you are all invited. Wendy's Mom is planning a baby shower and open house in late December in Marietta, OH. So, you will have three chances to celebrate Isaac's arrival with us.

    Isaac's Room (Is this boy going to be spoiled, or what?)

    And here are some pictures of Isaac’s room:


    We found the shelves in a neighbor’s trash a few years ago--remember, we've been getting ready for the baby for a long time. Wendy made Craig stop the car on our way to school and back-up to the trash pile. Craig had to get out of the car and carry the shelves, which were covered in frost, across our condo complex. Grandma and Grandpa Ankrom came up in June to paint the bookcase, and it turned out quite well (for photos). 

    The crib and changing table were great yard sale finds. The armoire was part of a dining room set we bought in the backroom of an antique shop in Marietta for $1500. Last year, we found an identical set in Ypsilanti going for $6800. Wendy made a pad for the wooden rocker she’s had for years. It came from an Amish man named Eli (what else would he be named?) who made rockers out in the middle of nowhere. In fact, the Ankrom family had to get really lost before they happened on Eli’s workshop. 

    The framed pictures are autographed prints from Marsha Heatwole. Don’t expect to get a cheetah picture of your own though, Wendy had to write to the artist and beg her to dig around in the attic to find one last copy of the print.  

    Craig won the Cookie Monster and Big Bird at Dave and Buster's during Wendy's cousin's wedding rehearsal in 2003. Craig amazed everyone by flexing his gaming muscles and walking out with something like 22,000 tickets. After hitting the jackpot 10 times on one machine, it ran out of tickets. We left with 6 quite large stuffed animals. We thought Craig might get banned from D & B, but not yet. 

    The parrot came from a junk shop in Marietta. Linda and Randy were pretty embarrassed to be in the company of people buying a two foot high paper mache  bird. After we got home, we discovered it was signed by the artist. When we sell it someday for $2000 on ebay, we'll get the last laugh.

    ...As Long as Isaac Doesn't Mind Second Hand Everything

    We started yard sale-ing early in the season. Initially, our strategy was to drive around until we found yard sale signs. This netted a few toys and some sleepers, but no great finds. Eventually, though, we got the process well-engineered. Craig searched the classifieds for sales and Wendy mapped out a route. One thing we learned: a lot of sales start on Friday and the best baby stuff goes FAST. In one Friday afternoon, we saved over $1000 on practically new baby stuff. Here is what we got:

    • Crib: $25 ($300 new)

    • Changing Table: $10 (Italian-made, must have run at least $250 new)

    • High Chair: $5 ($70 new)

    • Stationary Walker: $3 ($75 new)

    • Car seat: $0 (don’t worry, we got this from Wendy’s advisor—never been in an accident)

    • Prego Stroller: $10 ($300 new)

    • Bathtub: $1 ($15 new)

    • Johnny Jump-Up: $2 ($50 new)

    • Bouncy Seat: $3 (it even vibrates, must have cost a lot new)

    • Infant car seat and stroller: $8 (also from someone we know—never been in an accident)

    • Clothes: $0.50/item

    • Onesies: $0.25/piece

    • Swing: $5 ($50 new)

    And the most unusual and certainly the most practical item:

    • Hippo tike bike that converts to a push around toy picker-upper $3 (new—$30, we found one the other day at Target). By the way, it actually works!  

    And the one that got bought out from under us by some couple with newborn twins…they already had two infant carriers, we might add:

    • The $5 Baby Bjorn ($90 new). You just can’t snooze at a yard sale. If you think you might like something, you have to grab it and hold on. 

    Wendy’s Baby Projects Log: Click here. We had to give this a separate page because Wendy just won't quit and the web page was getting too big for all you pilgrims out there with dial-up.

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