BABY REGISTRY: LIPPOLD CHENEY – ALVAREZ OLVERA
Hello, Family and Friends!
Mauricio and I are beyond thrilled to share with you the news that we will be welcoming a baby around November. We have an incredibly strong relationship and are confident that, together, we will approach parenting in such a way that all three of us grow and evolve in concert. Mau and I are first-time parents, so we know there’s a lot we don’t know yet, but we feel prepared in the most important ways.
One area in which we would definitely benefit from support is the material. Mau works with his mother, Betty, as a curandero (i.e. traditional medicine practitioner), while Emily Alice works part-time for a non-profit literary publisher as well as working with Mau and Betty as she’s able. We generally feel we have “enough” and are very happy, but we know we’ll need more as our family grows. We’re so grateful for the tradition of a baby registry as a way to engage our community!
However, since we’re not the most traditional family and most of my community is abroad – doing a conventional registry won’t work well for us. Shipping to Mexico is both expensive and unreliable (especially when it comes to mailing new items). Additionally, it’s not very common in the culture and community in which we live, in comparison to my communities in the US, to have lots of or specialized baby gear. Given all this – we determined it is likely best to engage our broader, international community in supporting us via financial contributions for our unique registry items rather than asking for you to buy and mail us things.
Since that community consists largely of my/Emi’s (what most people call me here in Mexico) network – I’ve put together this registry in English using my own voice, though Mau and I spent weeks hemming and hawing about its contents together. Below my closing and the photos is the birth registry list, followed by links to contribute. I share a great deal of detail (+ hyperlinks!) in the list to be transparent, as well as to give you a bit of a peek into how we’re living and what we’re up to – i.e. Capricorn-style intimacy (my apologies to Ruby and anyone else who doesn’t indulge in astrology, jaja!).
Enjoy the shot of Bartolo and my belly (+our fridge!) from a month and several inches ago, a picture of us at a recent family outing to Teotihuacan (it was Mau’s 1st time & Emi’s ~5th!), and Mau enjoying a beer on one of the calmer days of our *very eventful* (nooo sabes!) and very long drive in my beloved 22 year old car, Henry the Honda, from the USA to Mexico City.
Lots of love from Emi, Mau, & Bartolo in Tepito <3
P.S. For the curious, Bailum the Eternal Kitten is still thriving at 17 years old, despite a bit of arthritis in his paw when it’s cold outside. He has retired back to his birth state, Indiana, where he enjoys a very cushy life with my mother, Karen. He is present everyday in Mexico with me, as we have either a photograph or Bailum-inspired artwork in every single room. Bartolo’s name was chosen, in part, to honor the spiritual lineage of cat familiars in my life – Bailum and Barney (my childhood kitty!).
BIRTH REGISTRY LIST
- Baby “Stuff” ($1,000+): The list of baby-specific items we’re committed to acquiring –
- stroller/car seat set with a detachable basket recommended by my mother (we live in a walk-up on the 4th floor and plan to leave the bulk of the stroller in the car);
- woven hanging crib so we can move it around to any room of the apartment, instead of needing playpens or swings (we also love this, aesthetically!);
- baby carrier recommended by a friend that fits a kid up to 4 years!;
- milk catchers and manual breast pump with bottles;
- cloth diaper set and supplies; and
- a load of “disposable” items (e.g. wipes, clothes, blankets/cloths).
- Homebirth, Prenatal Consultations, Other Care ($2,500): We plan to welcome the baby at home with the support of midwives from Morada Violeta, a feminist birthing center. Our care with our Parteras (midwives) includes placenta processing and postnatal care, while our prenatal consults – which are separate costs – have begun and are taking place every 1-2 weeks until the baby arrives. We’ve included our birthing budget in our registry because we were forced to spend much of the money we had set aside for that purpose on my Mexican im/migration costs earlier than we had planned. This was an important step to take to ensure my access to government-sponsored emergency medical services, in case they are needed during my pregnancy or the birth.
- Refrigerator ($600+): While this might seem an odd cost for a baby registry – it is absolutely essential for us. Our dorm-style fridge no longer works well for us after moving to a fourth floor apartment. Our home gets very warm in all seasons, so we need to refrigerate almost all of our produce to keep it from spoiling. We have also learned that it is risky to store cooked food at room temperature for just a short time. This has made eating well during pregnancy a bit more challenging. Additionally, our freezer no longer fully freezes things, which will make it impossible to safely freeze breast milk for the baby. We think a fridge similar to this one (but not as fancy…this is just our dream fridge!) would be small enough for our apartment but big enough for the needs of our family.
- Washing Machine ($500): We currently wash our clothes using my in-laws’ washing machine. While this has been great, we anticipate having increased and more urgent laundry needs with a baby in the household. Specifically – we are hoping to use cloth diapers, which really necessitates having a washing machine in the home. Again, we don’t have a lot of space to spare, so we’re looking at small and durable (e.g. can run a few loads back to back) machines like this one. We currently line dry all our clothing and linens, and we would keep doing that for the foreseeable future – though a dryer is definitely on our long term wish list, especially if/when we move to a bigger home one day.
- Anything else? If you have experience being a parent, knitting together a family across political borders, or raising a multilingual child and think we’ve forgotten something, we’d love your insight. We’re learning a lot very fast about more than we could have ever imagined!
<3 After many months of keeping this news largely to ourselves, we are so happy to be sharing it with all of you and inviting you to help us grow our family. Thank you for being in our lives – no matter the time or the distance! <3
In order to avoid transaction fees and keep this process relatively private, we’ve thought to accept contributions via the following methods:
- Paypal (@eamlc): https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/eamlc
- Venmo (@mleals): https://venmo.com/code?user_id=2259154433474560106&created=1658802763
- Cash App: $eamlc
- Bank Transfer: contact me for details!
- If you have a better idea or if those options don’t work for you – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. 🙂
If you are able to share support this way, please make sure you include your name and your email. We will follow-up with everyone who contributes to confirm our receipt of your support and to share our personal thanks. Plus, we’ll send out a few general email updates with photos to all those who contribute – if you can’t contribute, but would still like to be on that list, let me know! <3 And, if you would like to mail us something, I can advise – it can be tricky, but it is theoretically possible!