New Toys, Baby Gear Backpack
Even though Tatiana said that she'd make room in her (already bursting) backpack, I knew exactly what it meant—that I'd be the one making the room in mine. But baby Aidric has been bored out of his mind, and Tatiana's managed to secure some new toys for our little one.
Aw, aren't they cute? Light as a feather, but take up loads of volume—a notion about (back)packing that I've been trying to instill on Tatiana that always seems to fall on deaf ears.
She went into a bank and (even though she's not a Citi Bank customer) walked out with the puppy she'd seen in the window for free. The tiger-looking thing (that looks like Tigger's grandfather) and the monkey/ape fellow each set her back seven lei (for a total of about US$6).
Interlocking Letter Mat
Tatiana tells me that these child-friendly interlocking pieces are made out of EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate), and that she was ready to make Aidric a set herself before we stumbled across these (for about $3). He really seems to enjoy it, but these pieces take up so much space that Tatiana's going to have to end up lashing a bag of them to the outside of her pack.
I've already thrown away the little letter pieces that are a choking hazard.
Baby Gear Backpack
With all the bags of cereal that we came away from our previous location with, I've generally been pushed into getting a bigger bag for Aidric's support gear. While Tatiana carries his garments, I'm carrying all the food, towels, bibs, bottles, spoons, bowl, powdered formula, and miscellaneous preparation tools/utensils that are necessary to support this kid on the road. The weight and space of the items really adds up, and this pack ends up being well over a dozen pounds before it's ready to be hoisted on my front (god I hate front packs).
I bought this thing for 20 lei ($8), and could tell immediately that the craftsmanship was dubious at best (single-stitched on the seams, cheap plastic buckles, etc). But the $10 backpack that Tatiana purchased at a Wal-Mart (on the right of the photo below) is simply falling apart, and needs replacing. (Side note: Wikipedia says that "each week, about 100 million customers, nearly one-third of the U.S. population, visit Wal-Mart's U.S. stores.")