That La Kid

wishin' an' hopin'!

it’s not that tough.

Ya’ know, if you stumble on something at Goodwill, like, a $10 American Girl doll in like-new condition, or a similar hidden treasure, and you know that I’ll love it, I don’t see any fault with wrapping it up and giving it to me as a gift. Actually, Haley and I were with my cousins when we found American Girls’ Felicity and Kaya. We couldn’t leave them.

It makes sense. I love my AG Samantha. (Actually, she dates back to Pleasant Company.) I’m a collector. A psychology student that I had to go see at AIW (As part of my psychology class, we had to go. I’m crazy, but that’s not why I went, I went for the grade.) gave me a Mickey Mouse beer stein and it’s prominently displayed on a shelf in my living room. I forget where she found it. Maybe she just had it forever, she might have said yard sale. I forget, but I love it. I love that she thought of me. It’s such a rare, unique, and special thing. I’ve never seen another one like it.

But I don’t know, you guys. Don’t just go to Goodwill to find something for the sake of finding anything. If you are there and see Bruce-sized pajamas for, like, $2. That’s cool. You were thinking of me, and I appreciate that. Give it to me the next time we see each other. But don’t wrap it up and present it as a gift for him. You have created work for me. “Happy Birthday, wash these clothes.”

It’s slightly alarming that the need exists for this post.

Maybe there is no need for a post. Do people do this, or is one person just doing it to me? Maybe the need is for a note to the individual… but, okay, you tell me how to broach that subject.

I take a lot of stuff to Goodwill and consignment shops. Do you know why? They have no value to me. They’re not special. They’re the throwaways. It’s not about money, I don’t care what you spend, it’s about value. Like I said, we didn’t bat an eye at buying AG dolls for $10 because they are valuable to us, if nothing else. (But they actually are valuable to everyone else as well.)

Rather than continue harping on why it’s in relatively poor taste to gift someone used articles of clothing, I will instead point out several options for super-cheap or easily made gifts. I get it if you’re broke. I get it. Your life’s not about making money, you’re a do-gooder. You want to make a difference. I get it.

Check ebay. For example, I searched “Disney.” Then arranged the results according to price + shipping, lowest first. I immediately found a Walt Disney 6 cent stamp for $ .99 shipped. Buy a mini-frame. You know, they often use them for place settings at weddings? (I think I actually have TWO of those laying around my house, if you don’t, they’re like $1.) Cut a piece of acid-free paper to fit the frame and mount the stamp to it. Boom. Nice, sweet, thoughful… $2. (Unless you’ve been to a wedding in the past 5 years, then it’s only $ .99!) The same price as a shirt at Goodwill that was somebody’s throwaway. I love it. I’ll sit it on my mantle or desk. Super cute. Crafty. Thoughtful. I appreciate you.

Check Amazon. I have a Kindle. Did you know that? Maybe we should talk. Maybe if you had a conversation with me you’d know that I hate folding clothes but love playing “TripleTown” and “Candy Crush” and “Where’s My Water” and “Monsters, Run.” Are there any other Kindle apps that I might enjoy? You can save 80% on, like, 350 different Kindle books. Buy me a book! Again, I looked for about 30 seconds and found something that I’d enjoy. You can choose the delivery date and everything. (FYI, fiction isn’t my thing, but I love art, history, humor, and religious works.)

Your recipient doesn’t have a Kindle? Do they have a Smartphone? Do they have a computer? It’s 2013. You can’t dance around this technology issue.

I sent my sister a $10 Starbucks gift card on her birthday that I got for free by signing up for a Starbucks account or some crap. $10! That’s at least two tall white-chocolate mochas. I know she’ll like that. It cost me nothing.

Still evasive about the recipient having or not having technology, huh? That’s okay. If you’re reading this, you can find things.

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Make me a cake. Just the fact that you mixed, and baked, and decorated, I mean — that takes me all day. Make me a mix CD. There’s thought in that. Did you know if you draw on a plain ceramic mug with a Sharpe and then bake it you will heat-set it? Yeah. Custom mugs anyone? Cut out a little heart on cardboard, trace that heart onto a map, cut out that map and Modpodge it to the cardboard, put a ribbon on it, boom: sentimental ornament that will recall that trip we took that one time. (“I’ll put that flea in a box…”) Do the same thing with a bunch of Disney characters from a book that you found at, oh, I don’t know, Goodwill? You could make a whole set: Snow White and all seven dwarfs.

Me. Me. Me. “That’s fine,” you say, “for you. Bruce has no desire for a $ .65 octopus necklace!” Learn something. Google “blanket stitch,” and design a t-shirt using a fabric remnant.

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It’s painstakingly custom-made by hand! That’s valuable! I’ll keep that forever!

It is ridiculous how cheaply inexpensively you can put together a present. Go look at Pinterest. People on Pinterest are so much smarter and more thoughtful than I will ever be. Google “Free DIY Printable.”

You don’t have to do this big thing. Just a little token, a little gesture, is sufficient. And let’s face it, a shirt that’s been caressing someone else’s stinky pits or a sleeper that some other baby pooped in is no big thing anyway. I’d like to research the History of a Gift in modern times. Specifically, I want to know how we got to this point. When we were kids, anything was okay. “Look, I drew this for you.” That’s pretty neat, you did that by hand. You put yourself into it. I guess we got older and started making our own disposable income and wanted to do more, which evolved into making money, albeit never enough, and having bills, feeling obligated to buy presents. We can go back to the drawings. What did I do to make you think, “okay, I have to get her a shirt,” or, worse yet, a skirt and a pair of pants. Not a SHIRT and pants, a skirt, a bottom, and pants, another bottom.

What woman buys another woman a pair of pants?!

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Pajamas are the exception. But one doesn’t just gift a pair of pajama bottoms.

It’s so… ugh… I just have run out of words to describe how I feel smiling as I open something that perhaps someone else opened once upon a time. You know how re-gifting is tacky? You’ve heard that, right? This is like re-gifting, except worse. We can assume a re-gift is something new that you don’t like so you don’t use it and instead you gift it to someone else, in the same new gift condition in which it was received. This is kind of like that, except someone else didn’t like/want/need this so much that they gave it away. It was a little bit nicer than trash, so they didn’t want to throw it away completely, but they really can’t have it in their house anymore.

And now it’s in mine.

 

(OMG… side note, I just did this and it took me 20 minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh88cn_rtLo Bruce pulled up the < key. Holy crap.)

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idiot

Hey, if you sell your 6 year old car seat, which is expired and does not conform to safety standards, to two innocent brand-spanking new parents who barely know which end the diaper goes on, YOU SUUUUUUUCK.

Likewise, if you decide you’re not going to pay retail anymore and you’re going to do this baby thing on the cheap and you think, “Wow, what a bargain! Those fools! How dumb of all the other noobs out there to be buying all new stuff!” YOU SUUUUUUUCK!

Yeah. Did you know car seats have expiration dates? Apparently, they do! So, special note to any moms to-be who may be reading this and wondering if they can save money by buying used: just buy a new stroller, for heaven’s sake.

We registered for this: http://www.target.com/p/chicco-cortina-keyfit-travel-system-vega/-/A-13206365#prodSlot=medium_1_24&term=chicco

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I remember seeing it in a store display once when I thought I was pregnant but just had a huge cyst. Love at first sight. It was so pretty. So cool. But you know what, it’s not sold in stores. I didn’t see it in a store after that. It’s expensive. We didn’t get it. So, we got this:

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It’s not bad, and it was $75 on craigslist. What a bargain! I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it. It gets the job done. (I know what you’re thinking, and I couldn’t locate the expiration date on it, but it was manufactured in 2011. So worst case scenario, it shouldn’t expire until 2017. We actually bought it in 2012, so I still think we got a good deal.)

I continued the search for a used Chicco KeyFit in Vega because I love it. Found a Chicco KeyFit that was black and green. Not as cool as the Vega, but still pretty cool. AND it matches the diaper bag that Great Aunt Dee Dee gave us (which I LOVE). So, it looked like a win all around. They asked $100 for the stroller, car seat and two bases.

Everything was going fine. We even test-drove the new (OLD) Chicco stroller at Disney World. I loved it. Downside: it has one cup-holder. My old (newer!) Graco stroller had two. But it’s so pretty and in essence is the travel system that was on our registry. Then, for some reason this morning I woke up with a wild hair up my butt to check out what the dealio is with this whole expiration thing.

It makes me mad. The sellers told us that the people who looked at the car seat before us didn’t take it because the base was expired. If the previous people knew to check the base, surely they knew to also check the bottom of the seat. (Although, we didn’t. But, I mean, CLEARLY we are idiots because we knew the base was going to expire and bought it anyway. It expires in October, so I figured at that point he’d be a year old and we’d upgrade to a bigger seat.) So, the sellers had to be lying to our faces. Dangit. They seemed so nice. They said it was all a scam by the car seat companies to sell more car seats. And, “oh, back in my day we just rolled around in the back of the station wagon with no seat belts…”

Well, it’s not a scam by car seat manufacturers. It’s a plastic-becomes-dry-and-brittle-after-sitting-in-the-sun-in-you-car-for-6-years legit thing! I’m sure it’s a conservative estimate, but how can I put Bruce in it now that I’ve seen the label that says, “DO NOT USE AFTER 02 FEB 2013?”

expiration date

Other than this, I’ve had such positive experiences on craigslist! I hate that my constant quest for the best quality at the best price has cost me more money. Our family has spent $315 on strollers and car seats! I could have bought a brand new travel system for $300! To top it off, a new one might have lasted through several kids without expiring! Dangit!

I forget that you are not in my head, so as I write and re-read and re-write this, I am wondering what backstory I need to add or clarify. I love the Liteway. Maybe I shouldn’t count it in my tally of money wasted on strollers because that one is a keeper either way.

I also have a new liteway stroller, so maybe I should just buy a convertible car seat, new, like, from a store, and be done with it. Contrary to what Tom thinks, Bruce is getting too big and too heavy to be toted around in the car seat as a carrier. He’s starting to sit up on his own. (Oh yeah, that happened! Brand new this week!) Maybe he can sit up in shopping carts and high chairs from now on, and if he needs pushing, we do it in the Liteway.

So. I’m new at this. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Love to. I’m feeling very overwhelmed. Can I get by with just using the Liteway, which is a very glorified umbrella stroller? I guess it all depends on my lifestyle? My only issue with the Liteway is that it doesn’t have a huge basket underneath for the diaper bag. It has a cup holder for mom, but no tray or cup holder for Bruce. I don’t want to buy a new travel system if we’re on the cusp of not using it as a system anymore. How long did you use your big stroller? Did you have both a regular stroller and an umbrella stroller? Bruce is almost 8 months old. How long to babies ride backwards in car seats? When do we need to get a bigger seat? The car seat, it seems, goes to 22 lbs. I forget what he was at the last check-up. I want to say it was around 17. Okay, yeah I just checked. He was 17 lbs. at his 6 month check-up. So, he’s 5 lbs. away from growing out of the car seat anyway, which I am guesstimating will happen at about the one year mark?

I am thinking we switch back to ol’ reliable, the old newer one. Well, I mean, definitely we do that first because this new OLD one isn’t safe. But, I mean as a long-term plan, do I just go back to what I have or should I just buy a new Chicco car seat and continue to use the prettier Chicco stroller? Or should I buy a convertible seat and use the big Chicco travel system’s stroller and the Liteway depending on the situation? Or do I just sell the new OLD stroller to recoup my loss because I’m mad at it? Or do I sell the used crap for what I paid for it, buy the Chicco KeyFit in Vega, because that’s what I wanted all along, use that car seat for a couple of months, hoping I’ll have another kid in the next 5 years that can use it for real?

Sad thing is I have $100 in giftcards. Plus the $175 I spent on craigslist… Yeah. Absolutely could’ve had exactly what I wanted from day one with about the amount I’ve spent so far. In my defense, though, I had every intention of selling the $75 Graco when we bought the new OLDER $100 Chicco.

I feel bad, because when I bought the shiny new OLDER one, Tom said, “I like the one he has, but if you like this better…” *facepalm*

We were good! Why did I have to — whatever. Doesn’t matter. It’s really just a $100 mistake. $100 Stupid Tax. I keep thinking that it was a $315 minstake, but it wasn’t. If we can get rid of the new OLD stroller for $100, then it’s a $0 mistake. Even if I unload the new OLD stroller for $50 and throw away the car seat, I’ve only paid a $50 stupid tax.

AND it smelled funny! I should have known. The new OLD car seat that we bought always smelled weird. I immediately missed the smell of my old newer one.

Wish Ikea sold car seats.

***UPDATE 6/29/13***
We sold the stroller a week or two ago. The guy said “what can you do to help out a Mexican guy?”
To which Tom replied, “Make me an offer.”
“$80?”
“Sounds good.”
“Aw, man. You see, I should’ve said $50.” It worked out, because before the dude showed up we talked about going as low as $75.

We also bought a convertible car seat, brand-spanking-new, for about $90 and I have fallen back in love with the original Graco travel system that we bought. I have a new respect for the thing. The sellers were wonderful people and we got a great deal.

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cha-ching!

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Used puj tub, $20! Traveling lite, priceless.

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fiiiiiiiinally!

Guess who’s baby’s finally got a car seat?!  Woo hoo!

I hate posting twice in one day, but in my defense we are getting awfully close, I didn’t post at all over the weekend, and these are exciting new developments (if you consider shopping for the bare necessities exciting).

Here’s the thing… love this because it goes all the way.

No, we didn’t buy this one.

Look at it.  It’s like a throne for an astronaut.  Love the color.  One purchase lasts from birth to booster seat.  Love it.  But, it’s $185.  I’m also kind of confused about how to use it, because I remember when my cousin Amy would bring her baby, Kyle (“baby,” who just got his drivers license), to Gammy and Papa’s house she’d bring him inside the house in the infant carrier.  I just feel like that’s more convenient for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, restaurants and all that kind of stuff than taking him out of the car seat and carrying him in.  I got a stroller that’s super lightweight and reeks of awesomeness.  It is perfect for Walt Disney World – it folds up pretty tight but it doesn’t have the infant seat component.  It just reclines back enough for a newborn.

At some point, I am going to be rolled out of the hospital and they’re going to need to see a car seat before they’ll let me leave.  Even if I had the dough for the Alpha-Omega… I don’t know if I can pull the trigger on it while I’m still confused about the carrier situation.  I have also registered for a really cool Chicco Travel System, but it all comes back to the same thing – okay, it’s $300 and I HAVE a kick-ass stroller already.  Do I want to spend all that money on this thing when I really just need the carrier?  I love the stroller part, too, but I hate how big and bulky those things are even when they’re folded down.  It would take up the vast majority of the back of the 4Runner.  And while we could probably fit a few duffel bags back there with it, I don’t know whether or not we could fit a few duffel bags, a Pack ‘n’ Play, a baby tub, a diaper bag, and a dog.

Enter craigslist.  We bought a Graco Travel System for $75.  For $75, I don’t mind taking a risk on a travel system that includes a bulky stroller that we never use.  I was really hoping to spend $25-$40 for a used infant car seat/carrier that would carry us through the first few months while we decided what we liked, so I don’t mind dropping $50 on a stroller that it will click into.  That’s fine.  If we hate it, we can sell it on craigslist.  Maybe we’ll enjoy the travel system.  Who knows?

Our “new” stroller and car seat!

Now, Pack ‘n’ Plays… they are so advanced.  It used to just be a cloth/metal/plastic playpen.  Now it’s that, but with different heights, a bassinet, a changing table, side storage and a character mobile.  Forget it.  I don’t want all that.  Once I get all of that put together I’m never going to want to take it back down and go anywhere.  It’s not temporary enough.  I do, however, LOVE the super-pricey Baby Bjorn Travel Crib.

Only $279!

Stream-lined.  Simple.  Portable.  TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-NINE DOLLARS.  And you’re probably going to want a crib sheet for that, and that’ll set you back an additional $43.  Yowza.

Enter craigslist.

I know Dragon Kid needs a place to sleep while we’re in VA.  I know I don’t like Pack ‘n’ Plays.  I know I don’t want to spend $200 on something I don’t like… but $40… I could go $40 on it.

Retail: $189.95
Because I’m so smart: $40. Boom baby!

Look at that.  Little happy can sleep right next to Papa Bear and Mama Bear… assuming he can sleep through the two of us sawing logs all night.  I don’t have to get up to feed him.  Just grab him and pull him into the bed.

All this talk about baby travel has made me really want that Puj tub.  Someone listed one on CL here in Charlotte, and I found a couple in DC.  If I could get my hands on it for $20-$25 I’d be one happy camper.  Cross your fingers for me.

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head down

Hook Hand Thug: Head down.
Flynn Rider: HEAD DOWN!
Hook Hand Thug: Arms In.
Flynn Rider: ARMS IN!
Hook Hand Thug: Knees apart.
Flynn Rider: KNEES APA – Knees Apart?

Little Happy’s head is down… “That boy has assumed the position!”  I don’t know how anyone can tell that by looking at my stomach, but apparently Dr. Wolanski can.  Feeling kind of crampy, but now that I think about it, it’s not as bad as regular period cramps, but it is a sign that my body’s getting ready to get this wagon train a-rollin’.  Everyone says when it’s labor you will definitely know – so I’m not worried about that.  Dr. Wolanski said he’s 95% sure this week will be uneventful and it’s safe to go back to Charlotte, so that’s what we did.  Doc also said that if the worst should happen, you know, if my water does break – we have plenty of time.  Just call him, tell him what’s happening and he’ll tell us what to do.

So, this week will be spent packing and cleaning and packing some more.  I need to buy a car seat, probably from Craigslist for the time-being.  I also need a solid name.

I want a really good name, like Thomas Andrew La or Wendy Michelle Johnson.  I had so many excellent girl names.  Oh boy, what am I going to do.

I think I also need to print and fill out one of those birth plans.  How does that work?  Does anyone in the hospital actually read/honor those?  I spent a lot of time telling Tom my demands last night on the way home.  It’s nice to have that dude in my corner 24/7.  An example is, okay, there will be hundreds of thousands of photos taken of this kid throughout his lifetime… I want Daddy to take the very first one.  I can’t think of other things on the birth plan.  Drugs, yes.  Water birth, no… although I really would like an excuse to get in the Jacuzzi in my MJH birth room.  Keep the placenta, HELLLLLLLL NO.

I get updates from different baby websites in my inbox, today: “Especially for you this week on thebump.com: CRAZY Labor and Delivery Stories!”  Really, thebump.com?  Why the HELL would you think I want to read that right now?

Uncle Haley turned 22 on the 22nd.  Dee Dee came and it was like, “Birthdays all around!”  She brought me a birthday present and Mom a birthday present and Haley a birthday present and Baby a birthday present!  She had some things off the registry including the first thing I registered for (back when I thought we were pregnant in Sept. 2011):

 

It makes me SO happy, and is going to look great in his room next to his orange lamp.  It reminds me how devastated I was when my period came that time, and how elated we were to finally get that positive test a few months later.  She bought a Finding Nemo sleeper that features Bruce and the other sharks, it really makes me want to name him Bruce.  That thing is SO much cuter in person than online!  It’s no longer in stock, and I feel like I want to find it in every size now.

I need to finish the changing table.  It’s almost all sanded… and I need to paint it.  I was always planning dark blue and lime green, even back when I was sure my baby was a girl.  I never bought newborn cloth diapers.  I think I’ll just have to use the disposables while we’re in VA and work out the cloth when we get back home.

I’m slowly, and I mean slowly getting excited about seeing his face.  This surprise has been building for months and months… and is finally about to be revealed.  You know that I’m crazy and have only been cautiously optimistic all this time.  I start thinking about how “all this time” goes back to the Super Bowl.  Tom and I were both in the bathroom and just cried and cried.  Happy crying!  Really, I thought something might be up when Dad, Lindsay, Haley and I went to Daytona for the Rolex 24.

We went over to WDW and took this picture at Animal Kingdom the day before the race.  Look at my face.  I’m thinking, “they don’t even KNOW!”

Yeah. Right now it’s a cartoon lion baby. Give it 9 months.

I’m not sure why Dad’s yawning.

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overwhelmed

There are so many one-liners that I keep thinking up as facebook statuses, but then I’m like, “No, I really need to just write a blog post.”  At the same time, I am totally speechless.  They don’t make big enough words to describe how special I feel.  It’s amazing that so many people can love someone so much when they haven’t met him yet.  He is one fantastically lucky little boy to be entering a family that’s this incredible.

My baby shower was the shower that I have fantasized about since Tom and I started thinking about making babies.

It started on Saturday morning.  Tom and I were up at 6:30 to continue cleaning after having been up until 2 (me) and 3 (Tom) the night before.  At about 10:30, the doorbell rang and we were pretty far from being ready for company.  Tom answered it, I freaked out about still being in my pajamas.  I crossed my fingers and hoped it was a neighbor.  I said, “Is it people?”  Tom looked out the window by the door and said something to the effect of, “Oh, it’s people alright!”  He opened the door and it was Lindsay Kaye and Sarah.  All the way from Florida, a whole day early!  They were hungry, so the first thing that they did after hugging and hugging and hugging and touring the house was run out and try to find something to eat.  They found Five Guys and brought back lunch for everybody.

Since they picked Five Guys, we had to show them this:

After we ate, they helped us clean up and put a whooooole bunch of boxes in the attic.  Since I want to live here forever and never move again, there’s nothing in the attic that we have to ever get to unless we are moving out.  I have a crapload of Disney collectibles that each came in a box with styrofoam and whatnot, so we put all of those in the attic and that’s it.  Tom doesn’t like going up there, so he’s putting all the holiday decorations in the garage.  Anyway – in 3 minutes, Lindsay, Sarah and Tom took care of a job that Tom and I have put off for 3 weeks.

Kayce showed up sometime in the early afternoon.  Kayce – drove all the way from Northern VA, stopping in Cville, just to go shopping at Ikea with me and watch me open a bunch of presents.  I mean, basically that’s the only reason everyone was there.  Amazing.  AMAZING.  Amazing that all these people would come all this way for that.

Later in the afternoon, Trudy, Sunny and Haley showed up WITH MOM!  Mom!  …or, well, Grandma – I guess… who tried to tell me all week that she was going to the UVA game and coming after that surprised me and showed up with the Herolds + Hay Nick.  First Lindsay and Sarah, then Mom.. that’s TWO awesome surprises.

We went to Ikea.  Tom was versus me.  He’s always versus me.  I sat a bunch of stuff by the door to go to Goodwill on Friday night and asked him to load it up and take it.  Wouldn’t you know it, not only was the truck (that we needed to fill with baby furniture) full of stuff, but it was also out of gas – which we had ALSO talked about waaaay before everyone was walking out the door to go to Ikea.  Try Thursday night.  Between Thursday night and Saturday evening he didn’t have a second to put gas in the truck – get outta here.

I didn’t want to be held up any more from getting the gang to the meatballs.  I told Tom to drop the stuff off at Goodwill, go to South Carolina to get gas, and then meet us at Ikea… instead of napping, which was our original plan for him.

Trudy drove Grandma, Kayce and me.  Lindsay drove Sarah, Haley and Sunny.  Tom came by himself after doing his chores, ate with us and then napped in the parking lot.  We needed the truck… and on the way home it would only seat two anyway, so we needed to take that many cars.

IKEA was, well… it was IKEA, which is always awesome.  We had dinner, then went shopping.  Oh!  I just remembered one of my would-be facebook statuses.  We had a shopping list that totaled over $800 and through savvy shopping, endless generosity from my Mom and sisters and aunts and cousins, and pure dumb luck – we walked out of there spending $175 out of pocket.  I was flabbergasted.  So flabbergasted in fact that I just used the word “flabbergasted.”

I was adamant about making Tom come in and pay with his debit card so we could get 1%, or what I thought would be $8, in cash back… but after all that we made less than $2.  Ha.  AND there was no coupon on the bottom of the receipt… so who knows if they even do that anymore.

I told Tom on the way home from Ikea that I felt like all the molecules that make me up were buzzing.  I felt electric.  There was so much happiness in me that my cells were unable to contain it all.

When we got home, Aunt Lindsay and Aunt Haley put Little Happy’s crib together.  Tom took Grandma and the Great Aunts to WalMart and Krispy Kreme.

It was a late night.  Everybody was exhausted.  We had a huge slumber party.

It was awesome.  Can you believe all this people went through all this for me?!  Well, for one lucky little boy, anyway.

The next morning was a frenzy of activity.  Dad and Lindsay went to the grocery store.  Then Dad and Debbie went to the grocery store.  Then Dad said he needed some wires to hang up the chandelier and had to go to Lowe’s, and before I knew he was gone, he was back and the chandelier was hung.  Our menu was based on the invitations.  We had Mexican dip, Chinese wontons, Hawaiian pineapple, American (although not Native American) mac n’ cheese, Italian caprese skewers, and ham and cheese croissants from France.  Each dish had a little small world kid on a toothpick stuck in it.  I wish I had taken pictures.  It was so cute.  I found a tube of toy buildings from around the world at Michael’s, so the Pyramids, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Parthenon, Empire State Building, Taj Mahal, and Eiffel Tower were scattered around the food as well.  The cake also matched the invitations PERFECTLY.

I made a pennant banner out of card stock and hung it over the fireplace.  It was a quick and dirty project, but in hindsight I like it so much that I think I’m going to hang it in the baby’s room.  I wrote “baby” in a different language on each flag.  It looked so good.

We played a lot of fun games that I’ve never played at a shower before.  Haley and I had each bought a bunch of prizes.  It’s funny, because I picked some of my favorite things, fancy soaps, and Haley picked her favorite things, wild animals on stickers, magnets and notepads. There was a worksheet with a list of features (eyes, hair, smile, toes, etc.) and you had to check off whether you thought that I wanted the baby to get each feature from Tom or from me.  We put paper plate on top of our heads and had to draw a baby without looking.  Everyone tried to guess how big around I was and cut a piece of yarn that length.  My cousin Erika came within about ONE INCH!

Speaking of Erika!  She and my Great Aunt Jean left Rockville, MD at 5:30 AM to surprise me at the shower.  I was totally blown away!  Flabbergasted again!  I still can’t believe Erika was there.  Amazing.  Surprise number 3!  And Jean!  Surprise number 4!

I really want to go into detail about all the incredible stuff that I got, but don’t want to bore you.  It was really just… I don’t know.  I already used “amazing” and “incredible.”  Did I use “awesome?”  It was awesome.  It was epic.  I cannot understand how people love me so much, I just don’t have the brain power to comprehend it.  I’ve been unpacking Lil’ Happy’s gifts this morning and it just moves me to tears.  I don’t think it’s pregnancy hormones, I think it’s just being so full of joy that it leaks out of my face.

The things that stand out most in my mind are the handmade things.  I wanted to buy a stool at Ikea for his room.  Ikea was out of the yellow ones.  But that’s okay, because Great Aunt Trudy MADE him a stool with Mickey and the gang on it.  Anyone can wrap up some onesies and socks and blankets and things, but his Great Aunt Debbie made a platter of onesie cupcakes.  It was so adorable that I didn’t want to take it apart.  I still don’t.  Great Great Aunt Sara Beth made him a blankey and a hat.  I am so excited about those that they’re going to the hospital with us.  They smell like her house.  Love, love, love it.  Kayce and Erika are BOTH in the process of stitching something up.  Kayce’s sneaky.  She surprised me.  I didn’t know she did all that.  Erika said, “Yeah, she does… and she knits all the time.  She’s very crafty.”

OMG, I still can’t believe Erika and Kayce were here for the shower.  Totally awesome.

Grandma, Grandpa and Lil’ Happy’s Aunts kept giving us presents filled with more presents.  You know?  Not just a bathtub, but a bathtub stuffed with shampoo, towels, lotion, etc.  We didn’t just get a diaper bag with a giraffe on it, it was stuffed with diapers, bottles, bibs, diaper cream, etc.  I LOOOOVE those types of presents.

I really wanted to decorate onesies at the party, but we didn’t get around to it.  It worked out alright, though.  Lindsay, Sarah, Tom and I decorated a few after everyone left.  I had such a good time doing that.  It was fun with out intimate little group.  I think the one that Tom made is probably my favorite, but he doesn’t want you to see it until you see it on the baby.  Sarah’s are hysterical.  Lindsay’s are PERFECT for MY kid.  Mine were kind of anti-climactic compared to everyone else’s.

Looks like this post has gotten long enough.  I’m going to go reopen some more presents for a while.

Kirk out.

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room to grow

I don’t usually like to overwhelm you with two posts in one day, and odds are I won’t be able to think of anything to write about tomorrow because I talked your ear (eyes) off today.

I worked on the nursery before we left for Charlottesville on Friday and just can’t wait to show you how it’s going, although a smart Wendy would wait for the big TA-DA in a week or so when it’s done.

It was a big help for me psychologically to get something going.  I feel less depressed.  I’ve been complaining this whole time, “geez, if only I had a dresser!”  But now, I’m all, “Well, there’s nothing wrong with his outfits hanging up in the closet…”  So we have an adorable, practically empty, dresser.

BUT I STILL LIKE HAVING IT!

I can’t wait to pick up the matching one and the toy box.  And the crib.  And, hey, I need to finish sanding and repainting the changing table that we bought waaaay the heck back in February.

But back to my little success story… most people buy a set of stuff that’s beautifully coordinated and create nurseries that look like catalog pages.  (I’m talking about you Kinsey Parham! …not that you’ll read this.)  I’ve always had trouble with this.  Let’s say I pick out that adorable Baby Simba jungle motif that’s out right now.  Well, then where do Mickey and Goofy go?  Most toys are brilliant primary colors, and I want them to look like they have a home in Mr. Happy’s room.  I’ve tried really hard not to be all matchy-matchy, but to keep it coordinated.  Let’s see how things are going…

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free shipping

Diaper Junction has free shipping right now with a very small minimum purchase!  You know… just in case… you wanted to get… something…

Shipping Schedule

In stock orders are shipped within 24-48 hours of receipt. Orders received after 10:00 am EST on Friday will begin processing for shipment on the next business day. (Usually on Monday unless it is a holiday) If your order should be back ordered, you will be notified by email. We will provide you with the anticipated date of shipment as well as substitution options for a quicker delivery.

 

 

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asian time

Tom has a tendency to run his life on something his best friend Nathan calls “Asian time.”  Basically, it means if he has to be someplace at 7 o’clock, he leaves the house at 7 o’clock.  I’m not sure if this actually has anything to do with being Asian.

I, on the other hand, cannot stand being late.  I think I was traumatized in my youth by choruses of, “well, look who finally decided to grace us with their presence” when we’d have to run from one family’s Christmas to the other.  I don’t know why – but we were always late to everything.  Fifteen minutes late to church, like clockwork – every week.  You’d think that we would have just started waking up 15 minutes earlier.  Nope.

I don’t like close calls!

I’m nervous the shower will fall into Asian time.  (Sounds so racist, we really should come up with another name for it.)

We have 2 weeks until the baby shower.  There is one weekend in between.  In those two weeks:

  • We need to buy bedroom furniture for the grandparents’ bedroom downstairs.
  • We need to have that room painted or paint it ourselves.
  • We need to unpack.
  • The Target registry is almost entirely online-only items.  So, do I wait until the shower to see what we get?  Shipping takes a while, so we’ll have to order what we don’t get and pray it gets delivered before our boy does.
  • I’ve got to buy some newborn size diapers.  (Cloth or otherwise.)
  • If I get newborn cloth diapers, I have to wash and dry them about 10 times BEFORE we put them on Jr.’s butt to increase the absorbency to full capacity.
  • My dad needs to hang my Mickey Mouse chandelier and move the light switch in the Bonus Room.  And we need to patch and paint the spot where the switch is now.
  • Tom’s Uncle Larry is coming to stay with us during the Democratic National Convention, the week leading up to the shower.
  • Pick out, figure out how to pay for, and purchase the most awesome rocking chair I can find.  (Special gift from my Baby-Daddy.)
  • Pack for a month in Charlottesville.

So, I.  AM.  PANICKED.

…to say the least.  I reckon I should go unpack instead of writing a whiny blog.

The planner in me is like, you can’t just do this on Asian time.  But… there is a little half-Asian boy inside me that is doing EVERYTHING on at least half-Asian time.

We are really doing this.  In about a month, I WILL HAVE A FREAKING BABY.

Hooooooooly cow.

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baby shower invitations

Lindsay and I, well, mostly Lindsay finished the baby shower invitations over the weekend.  They look outstanding.

Neat, huh?  My only regret is that it doesn’t say, “it’s a small world” on the invitation anywhere.  I think people get it, though.

The basis for this idea is this invitation that I designed for my cousin’s wedding.  But how much better is this – using the double doors AS DOORS and opening the exterior of the it’s a small world attraction to the symbolic inside of the ride.  It’s like being there… in invitation form.  I wish I could make it play the song.

So… here’s the play by play.  I drew all the little kids, drew the exterior of the attraction, and drew the clock face.  Tom scanned all of my pencil drawings and since my computer DIED on my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day… I told Lindsay all of my ideas and she colored everything in.


I sketched them, Tom scanned them, and Lindsay colored them in.

Original Sketch – This is my original drawing of the ride exterior.

Lindsay emailed me printable .pdf files that I could print from my lesser laptop.  I bought photo paper and printed the invite interior.  On a second sheet, I printed 2 sets of doors.  The dimensions of the door invitations are the same as an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet folded in half, so the inside is borderless… the one thing I don’t hate about my evil printer is that it does print borderless when you can get it to print.  Instead of folding it in half, you fold the left and right quarters in.  Anyway, it makes measuring and designing pretty easy.

Here are the door pieces that I printed, cut, and glued to the outside of the invitation doors.

Putting it all together.

Shutting the doors.

AND VOILA!

Piles of finished product.

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