That La Kid

wishin' an' hopin'!

today

I’m sure I won’t feel the same way every single day of his life, but for today: I have the sweetest most awesome little boy in the whole wide world. Just wanted you all to know.

On a side note:

We returned to Once Upon A Child today. Remember them? Yeah. Well. I wrote one little email and whole world comes crashing down. They called Tom, because that’s the number they had. The corporate office emailed me. The store manager, Wendy, called me. We tried to call her back. Argh. It just wasn’t working out. We just weren’t getting in touch. My great uncle Hugh passed away, so we had to leave town for his funeral in Florida… It’s just been an intense few days!

We touched base today. Tom called the store this afternoon. Store manager Wendy was there, so we decided to stop by the store on our way to the Summer Shootout at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Maybe there’s something about people named Wendy, but she couldn’t have been sweeter. (I understand that my name is Wendy and I, in fact, wrote one less than sweet and very strongly worded letter, but generally I’m a nice gal, right?) She apologized profusely. I feel so bad. So bad.

Our old box, the one we brought in, was waiting for us with a sealed envelope that had our cash and a note inside. I didn’t open it until we got out to the car.

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The store returned the items that were unacceptable for consignment and that had been donated. They also turned our store credit into cash. They ALSO gave us Baby Bucks that we can spend like cash in the store until 9/1. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t excited about that. Like I said in the beginning, I really wanted to love the place.

THEY ALSO FIRED SOMEBODY OVER THE EMAIL THAT I WROTE.

Yeah. Let’s just take a moment and let that one sink in.

Because I thought the service was bad, someone is looking for a new job.

Bananas.

I feel terrible about that. But I have to assume they know what they’re doing. I have to assume that they wouldn’t just take my word for it.

Judge Judy sometimes asks litigants, “Does she look crazy to you? Mrs. So-and-So looks like a perfectly sane woman to me with fully functioning mental capacity…” What she is implying is that the person doing accusing isn’t crazy. They wouldn’t just fabricate that story for personal gain. No one’s going to key their own car just to get someone else in trouble for it unless they’re crazy.

That was a lot of backstory, but my point is that I’m completely relatively sane! I feel HORRIBLE because someone was let go because of me, but a.) I don’t go around writing letters so that people lose their jobs and b.) it wasn’t because of me, really. It was because of them. Their behavior got them let go, not mine. Right? RIGHT?!

I guess I could have bought my own outfits back with the Baby Bucks. Then it’d be like I was ahead of the game by $12.75. I’m excited about the prospect of new-to-you outfits for Bruce. I really want to love the place.

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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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two things

First of all, relative to what I was saying yesterday, *HEADDESK!*

I feel like they must be trolling, and making that up.

AND WHOA!  145 PEOPLE LIKE IT?!

“Spelt.”  It seems in this person’s world, everything is “spelt” uniquely.  Nikki Davidson and I came up with a term for people like this, “Certified Moron.”

And second, a love story:

Baby Daddy promised me the best chair on God’s green Earth.  That was his contribution to this whole baby thing (well, that and half the genes).  We got a cheap crib, cheap furniture – but I wanted a really great chair for rocking our little fella.  Those wooden gliders with padding don’t do it for me either.  I wanted a real rocking chair.

Tom and I went to Buy Buy Baby and found a cute navy chair for about $600.  The cushion on the back was high.  It felt soft.  I sank into it.  Here’s the chair in some kid named Caden’s room.

It takes 8-16 weeks for delivery.  Wow.  Little Happy could be pretty old by the time that thing finds its way into his room sometime between November 8 and January 3.  So, I went home and began frantically searching for the Little Castle Treasure from an online retailer.  I found some things that were close.  If we’re just getting a navy chair, maybe i can find something I like at a furniture store, a store without the word “baby” in the name.  Fortunately for us, Charlotte is some kind of furniture epicenter.

We started at Good’s.  I discovered that we aren’t shopping for a rocking chair.  We are actually shopping for a rocker recliner or swivel rocker or swivel glider.  Good’s had some good stuff, but good God!  The chairs I liked were upwards of $800 – and same deal with delivery, about 8 weeks – and I’ll bet delivery’s not free.  We weren’t hounded by employees, but someone did approach us after a while.  Tom might have gone to get the guy.  I forget.

  

After Good’s, we went to Thomasville.  We did a lap around the store.  Didn’t see anything that swiveled or glided or rocked AND we didn’t see a single employee.  It was just us, so we were in and out in about 3 minutes.  Moving on!

The next stop on the road of furniture stores was La-Z-Boy.  I don’t really want a La-Z-Boy.  They are generally unattractive, but isn’t what’s her name… ugh… dated Michael jackson way back… shoot… BROOKE SHIELDS!  Isn’t Brooke Shields on their commercials talking about how stylish they are?  Okay.  We can take a look.  We were approached right away – no me gusta.  I like to just have the freedom to look around.

“Can I help you find anything?”

“Gliders, or rockers?”   The lady looked right at my stomach, “Oh, OHHH!  Yes!  Let me show you what we have!”

The sales pitch actually wasn’t bad at all.  It was nice to have a tour guide because each rocker/glider/swiveler is in a different model living room in the store.  We learned the difference between glide and rock – and learned that I’m a rocker girl, myself.  We learned any glider or rocker can be made into a swiveler, and because it’s La-Z-Boy, they ALL recline.  We looked at some very pretty designy chairs, but as it turned out the softest and most comfy was another plain navy blue chair like the Buy Buy Baby chair.  It was $649.98 (the tag said, “was $850” but you and I both know no one has ever paid that), and it was huge – significantly bigger than the BBB chair.  We told her we needed to sleep on it before we made a decision and we also needed to measure.  She mentioned “the chair sale” started tomorrow (which is now today) but couldn’t elaborate.  It’s two great chairs for one great price – but no idea what the price would be.  She also dropped a hint about a “private sale” in passing.  Later in the conversation, Tom asked about that and she said she was allowed to give out 3 passes to her personal customers, but she had someone drop out.  You either get 10%, 15% or 20% off based on how much you spend, and while she has existing customers that she could invite, we have a whooooole house to furnish, so she was thinking that’d be a solid investment on her part.

The sales lady challenged us to compare La-Z-Boy’s stand-by-their-product ethic to other stores.  I told her we were pretty much done shopping, that I loved the chair.  But then when we left, we saw that Rooms To Go was right next door.  My parents bought at Rooms To Go when we lived in Florida.  (Actually, saw Mom’s current couch and super stylish giant round chair thing when we walked in.)  The rooms at Rooms To Go are awfully pretty.

An employee approached us right away.  “Can I help you find anything?”

I expected her to have the same insight as the La-Z-Boy lady.  “Rockers?”  Cue hand on my giant stomach.

“Oh,” she said, “Like for a baby’s room?  We don’t have those we only have the rocker-recliners like in a living room set.  Maybe try Target or Babies ‘R’ Us down the street.”  I was so irritated at being dismissed that I didn’t press the issue.  If I had tried, it would have been too late.  She was walking away, back to the cluster of employees just chillin’ in some model living room, but Tom and I had an awkward look around anyway.  Didn’t see much that we liked as far as rockers, actually we didn’t see anything.  Geez, if only an employee had been on hand to show us the rocker-recliners…  Their loss.  As we did our lap I said, “Wow. She basically just sold the La-Z-Boy chair.”  Look, maybe that wooden job with the pad is okay for YOU and your baby, or maybe that’s the only thing that will fit in YOUR nursery, but I’m in the market for serious comfort.

We have a rule in our little family, if it’s over $100, we have to sleep on the decision.  (Thank you, Pastor Lon Solomon.)  Take yourself out of the showroom.  Get away from the salesman.  Relax.  Take a step back and try to avoid Toad’s Motorcar Fever.

This is me in the store sitting in my Recliner-Swivel-Rocker.

Well, as far as sleeping on it, it is the most comfortable.  I mean, not that we slept on it… although we could.  But as far as making a list of pros and cons:

  • It’s more expensive.
  • It’s bigger.  (For better or worse.)
  • It not only rocks and swivels, but also reclines.  I keep forgetting that part.
  • La-Z-Boy is THE relaxing chair.  They are basically the gold standard of recliners, and I think we can trust the integrity of a rocker from La-Z-Boy more than some baby furniture company.
  • It was supremely comfortable.  I said I wanted THE BEST chair and this is THE BEST.  My favorite, if that counts for anything, and the one I found most comfortable – which was what Tom said he was going to buy in the first place.
  • Lots of warranties, although IMHO warranties are complete bullsh*t.

Tom came home for lunch today and we went back to the La-Z-Boy store.  The chair sale actually brought the price down to $629.98.  The private sale took off another 10%.  Adding a swivel costs $150, and there is delivery and fabric protection… the only thing I think we really could have gone without is the fabric protection, but whatever… baby’s going to throw up who knows what on the chair, so we might as well go for it.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet my new La-Z-Boy.

It’s actually darker blue in person.  More navy blue… but anyway.  We are the proud owners of a La-Z-Boy to be delivered on SEPTEMBER 20.  It’s nice the chair will be delivered before baby boy.

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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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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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wahoowah

I’m not a huge fan of Lord Hardwicke’s.  It’s not my favorite place.  The burgers are like charcoal bricks.  You have to pay extra for fries, they give you chips.  I forget why, but I told Tom to remind me never to get the Club again.  I was very offended once when we walked in 15 minutes before they closed and they wouldn’t serve us.  That just grinds my gears, ask my dad about the fried chicken people on Friday nights when he was trying to pick my mom up after work for dates in high school.  You just don’t do that.  You’re not closed.  I never wanted to go back after that.  You don’t want my money tonight?  Fine.  I won’t give it to you ever again.

My family loves it.  So, we keep going back.  Their pizza is pretty good.  I have to be careful with this gestational diabetes thing.  I ordered a taco salad.  No jalapenos, but since the menu said “ask your server for sour cream or salsa,” I did ask for sour cream.  “What kind of dressing?”  Dressing?  Really?  It’s a taco salad.  “Um, yes, I’d like a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette…”  What?  I thought sour cream or salsa was the dressing on a taco salad.  I mean, I guess if you’re Lindsay, and eat ranch on anything and everything, well, yeah… I guess you could go with ranch.  I just don’t see ranch and sour cream.  In lieu of ground beef, they put chili on it.  It was different.  Not bad, just different.

I guess I just do not understand the things that they do.

I had a good weekend, though.  We went to Maryland to see Tom’s mom before she leaves for Texas and she went shopping with us at Buy Buy Baby.  I found the small world swaddling blankets that I LOVE live and in person!  I was able to hold them, and eventually buy them – which I thought I’d have to do online.  I am irritated that I didn’t have a 20% off coupon (they’re a branch of Bed, Bath and Beyond) but so, sooo happy to get those things.  Overpriced, but I love them.  We also saw a red dragon humidifier that I LOVE and it IS available at Target ($10 less!), so I put him on the registry.

I need to do serious research on breast pumps and strollers.  I like the pattern on the stroller that we picked, but it’s huge and bulky.  It comes with the infant carrier, you know, a travel system… and I feel like those are mandatory.  I’m open to suggestion on that.  As far as breast pumps, I’d say more than, “open” to advice – I desperately need help.  “…I’m supposed to attach this contraption to those and do what now?!”  I’m not all that into nursing, but I do like saving money.  My plan was to pump and bottle it.  I’m sure for a while there I’ll just be pumping it straight into the kid.  No sense washing bottles or getting out of bed and going down to the kitchen to get a bottle… too much hassle. BUT at some point, I’ll be pumping regularly?  I hope?  They say the handhelds are more for occasional use.  I guess I’ll need to pump at Disney World in December so Lil’ Happy can stay in the hotel with Grandma some times.  Right?  Help.

Lindsay finished helping (i.e. creating in their entirety) with the shower invites.  They look amazing!

Did you know UVA is playing Penn State the day before my shower?  Crap.  Kind of rains on my weekend getaway parade.

I forgot about football.  When we got married, I was diligent about picking a weekend that wasn’t a game weekend.  There was only one such weekend in the fall, and one of my bridesmaids was already scheduled to be a bridesmaid in another wedding the same weekend.  We tied the knot in December after all.

Anyway… if it’s not one thing, it’s another.  There’s no game the weekend of the 15th or 22nd, but Lindsay has something else to do on the 15th.  Haley’s birthday is the 22nd – not to mention I’ll be at 38 weeks, and from what I understand, at that point it could be any minute.  So – the nursery needs to already be ready already.

I worry I waited too long!  Everything I read said guests would be miffed if I had it too early – but now I’m worried it’s not going to come together here at the last minute.  Aiiiiiya!

AND… it doesn’t help that we thought we were pregnant countless times and it turned out to be my imagination AND I look about as big now as I did when I had Mr. Nasty.  Like, I think if you saw me on the street you’d say to yourself, “Hmm… is she pregnant, or fat?”  The size of the Happy bump is comparable to the size of the Nasty lump. In some ways, I’m still not convinced that we actually are pregnant.

Although I never had to pee this much with the cyst.

P.S.  Strawberry shortcake and a handful of VA peanuts for breakfast, and my blood sugar was in good shape.  106 and it needs to be under 120.  Not whole wheat, but it’s nice to know I can eat it and survive.

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really! i wanna know!

Can someone please tell me why the cribs at Land of Nod are worth ten times as much as the cribs at Ikea?

Here’s the thing: when I was getting married, and debating about where to register, Target seemed to fit the bill.  We picked out a china pattern at Bed, Bath & Beyond.  I also found some really luxurious towels at Kohl’s that I fell in love with.  Basically, if you asked me where we were registered, I’d have answered “Target.”  We never got the china. I’m not sure whether I registered for it or not.  I picked some functional, replaceable, everyday stuff from Ikea that I really loved.  (Side note, it’s the same stuff as Barb’s house on “Big Love,” but we picked ours first.)

Anyway, anyway, anyway… when it was all said and done, I was like, “why am I so dumb?”  I thought about Lindsay and Trudy taking lunch breaks from Compass instead of what I really like.  I really like Crate and Barrel!  I REALLY like it!  Crate and Barrel, and Ikea.  I should have registered at Crate and Barrel!  Why was I stupid?!

Fast forward to Little Happy here.  Not gonna make the same mistake twice… that’s for sure.  I love Crate and Barrel, so by golly that’s where we’ll register.  They kiddie branch of Crate and Barrel is called Land of Nod.  All the stuff is really mod and designy and just awesome.

What’s that?  Huh?  They don’t sell car seats at Land of Nod?  Oh.  Come again?  (That’s what she said…)  They also don’t sell strollers?  Shoot.  Excuse me?  Their cribs are TEN TIMES the price of a crib from Ikea?!  W… T… F… So, the bedding and designs and stuff are neat, but I already have a crib quilt.  So, what are we looking at?  High chair?  Crib?  Dresser?  Storage?

Explain this to me:

Look, I’ll pay more money for a better item.  Is it solid wood?  I bet it’s solid wood – is that it?  Actually, cribs have to be solid nowadays, don’t they?

Okay, fine, alright, swell… I’ll give you that they’re better.  Are they TEN TIMES better?  Because, they cost like they’re TEN TIMES better.  They’re better looking.  Two or three times better looking than Ikea cribs, but are they ten times better looking?  I’m not so sure about that.

Notice in my opening sentence I said, “why are they worth more?”  I’m not saying they’re not… I’m just saying that I don’t see it.

So.  Anyway.  We registered at Target.  Everything that I loved at Land of Nod (the Puj tub, the Skip Hop Tubby bath toy organizer, the grass drying rack, the Skip Hop Hare comb and brush set… you name it) was all also available at Target, often for way less.  (The Skip Hop Moby Bath Spout Cover is actually $ .09 more at Target.)  Plus, Target happens to have a plethora of strollers, car seats, and Pack n’ Plays.

Since I can get a crib from Ikea for 1/2 to 1/10 of the price of a crib from Target or Land of Nod, I don’t know how not to go with Ikea.  The little booger’s going to destroy it anyway… gnawing on the railings and stuff.  I might as well not invest a crap-ton of dough in the thing.

EXPLAIN YOURSELF, LAND OF NOD.

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