After I wrote all those nice things about the Peg Perego high chair, I got emails from other moms -- including my sister-in-law April -- to say that when the baby starts feeding him/herself, the chairs magically develop lots of hidden nooks and crannies, where food gets smeared/wedged/stuck, and stays there, gently rotting, until bad smells happen.

I may have to rethink my endorsement. I will keep you posted.

Meanwhile, on to the reviews!

While Desitin has the comfortingly nostalgic smell of childhood -- Proust had his madeleines, I had the stuff my Mom used to smear on brother Joe's baby bottom -- I much prefer the Burt's Bees all-natural diaper ointment. Smells delicious, works wonders.

We also got a bottle of Mustela baby skin freshener as a gift, and while I doubt I'd spring for this stuff myself, it does smell quite nice.

Like I said, most of La Lu's day-to-day wear comes from Target and Old Navy, but her special-occasional outfits, and her coats and tights, are from Hanna Andersson. I love their stuff. It's well-made, it's pretty, it doesn't look baby-ish, it's not uniformly pink and frilly, and it's not likely to be what every other baby girl on the block is wearing (unless you live in Sweden, in which case all bets are off).

We're loving this coat right now. Also, this outfit.

As far as books, I adore Sandra Boynton, whose Moo, Baa, La la la was the first book I memorized. That, along with Hippos Go Berserk, and But Not the Hippopotamus, are my favorite ones to read or recite to Lucy. Naturally, we also love Philadelphia Chickens, and play it often.

And in terms of books for moms-to-be, of course you're going to read WHAT TO EXPECT and THE GIRLFRIEND'S GUIDE. Don't let me try to stop you. Do, however, let me warn you that I haven't found a pregnancy book yet that's what you'd call size-friendly. Just about every one I picked up starts its so-you're-trying-to-get-pregnant chapter with "First, get to a healthy weight." Which, if it were possible, many plus-size would-be moms would have done already. Like, for our weddings.

My best advice -- and I know I've said this before -- find a doctor who treats you with respect, whether you're big, small, or in between. Check out this website for invaluable info on plus-size women and pregnancy. And read TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR FERTILITY, which will fill you in on everything your mother, your gynecologist, and your high-school health class didn't about pregnancy and how to achieve it.

And for toys, we've gotten some of our favorite finds at T.J. Maxx. Colorful, crinkly shape stacker for five bucks? It's there. Rolly rattly ball? Ditto.

Lots of our stuff comes from Babies R Us -- including the Velcro insects that used to dangle from Lucy's newborn car seat, and the ubiquitous Ultrasaucer (aka Mother's Little Helper) -- but if you hit T.J. Maxx's or Marshalls on a good day, you can get a lot more for your dollar. Both stores are also good sources for flannel receiving blankets, pajamas, onesies, and other items that you'll want to buy in bulk.

Finally, two pieces of news to report.

One is that I hope to have a chapter of Book Three posted sometime before the holidays. My gift to you!

And finally, the inevitable has happened. Lucy has started to crawl.

Of course, she can't quite actually crawl. It's kind of a combination squirm/scoot/flip over to cover ground. And she can only reliably move herself backwards, which is extremely frustrating for her, kind of funny for me. She's like the Zoolander of the baby world.

But I know that it won't last. Soon she'll be crawling forward. Then she'll be walking. And before you know it, the guy on the motorcycle's going to show up.

Jen