Monday, March 28, 2016

That time I cried in the Stroller Aisle...


So, I've been doing some reading....
"100 Reasons to Panic About Having a Baby"
Needless to say, it's been a little stressful around our home. I still find lots of moments, when there happens to be a little calm, that I get suddenly super fluttery and excited about baby. I imagine Baby being there, and get explosively happy.  But then I stop and look around and realize... ish is about to get real.

We haven't had a Baby Shower yet, but those will be coming up in the next month. I have finally solidified our registries with everything I think baby needs. I know, Baby needs nothing. Just the two of us and some milk. But with this crazy baby industry, and all these Baby Center reminders about what I must have or get done before baby gets here, it's enough to make me want to curl up into a small little puddle of panic on the floor... (see above.)
I mean, I really appreciate the reminders and information. I am learning so much. But it's also kinda stressing me out. Like, LOOK at this...
The one I'm referring to is, "Time's running out for key birth choices!"
And I worry.... Over the last year, I have purged so much stuff from our house... just to add a ton more stuff  to it!? I am aware of how much room baby stuff can take up. Even though Baby is tiny, Baby's accessories are not. I'm afraid of getting burried under bottles, blankets, and binkies!

In early November some time, I began our registry. And even though I had NO idea what I was doing, I have been heavily addicted ever since. (I blame my sister-in-law.) Around that time she showed me the infamous website and that very day, I signed up for an account. It's almost as dangerous as Pinterest. Over time, our registry morphed around a lot until I recently had to just let it be. But the types of questions that ran through my head were:

"How safe is this for my baby?" "Which one got the highest ratings?" "How reliable is the word organic?" "What mattress might suffocate my baby?" "Who's reviews can I trust the most?" "How do any of these people really know what they're talking about?"

Stress. Decisions. Choices. Ugh.

I will say, the one site I went to and trusted the most was Lucie's List. All the reviews are super thorough with lots of links. She's been my go-to for everything from bottles to beds.

Most of my registry began with online window shopping. I put anything and everything in there, and over the last few months I emptied stuff out, put stuff back, and narrowed it all down. (If you think it's crazy now... you should have seen it around December....) And once Baby is here, I realize that he or she might not even like ANY OF IT. So... maybe this is all for nothing.

Eventually Luis and I decided to actually walk into a store to check stuff out in person. We had a rough idea of what we wanted, but wanted to see for ourselves. Well... lots of this stuff is WAY bigger in person! This Euro Bath for instance. Look how freaking big it is! I had it on my registry. It had great reviews, we knew we wanted something simple... but it's ginormous! We have a small condo, with small bathrooms. This was not going to cut it. SO, off the list it went. 

Then came the strollers. Oh Lord, the STROLLERS! 
Mind you, we walked into the store with a pretty clear vision of what we thought we wanted. We thought we knew the stroller basics, already researched the safety ratings and would look at our top two and decide... easy peazy. Well, the lady at the store asked if we needed any help, and I immediately regreted saying yes.

There are umbrella strollers, and jogging strollers, travel systems, and stroller frames for just the baby carriers.... What kind of handles do you want? What kind of tires do you want? What age is the stroller for? Can they lay all the way back? Does it have a car seat adapter? How much shade does it have? Is it easy to close and open? Can you do it with one hand? Consider the space in the bottom and how sturdy it is if you hang something off the back, is it gonna fall over? 

...I just wanted to see the one with the three wheels and the one in color I liked.... These two weren't even in the same category so it was like comparing apples and bananas!

On the verge of tears, standing in the middle of the  stroller aisle.... We left even more clueless and overwhelmed. And when I say "we" I mean "I." Luis handles this stuff with such ease and certainty that "we'll figure it out" and "it's not a big deal." It's a gift.

He did have fun taking them for test drives and practice folds.

The other thing that has been a little challenging is finding stuff that's Gender Neutral. Yes, we're still keeping it a surprise. It's definitely not as hard as I thought, but it kinda sucks when I see a cute little dress or a tiny little bow tie, and I can't buy it or put it on the registry. (Secret... I've been buying it anyway... Shhhh...) And although I love the colors green and yellow, I don't want everything in those colors. One can only handle so many froggies and duckies. 
After several people told me, "Good Luck with all the green and yellow you're going to get..."
I walk into a Target and was greeted by this. lol. FYI, their options have recently expanded. 
Baby will be coming home in black & white. I have a little black headband or white bow registered for, just in case it's a girl, and a cute little beanie if it's a boy.

So, on my registry I left a message for people saying PLEASE SHARE YOUR WISDOM WITH US!  I am WAY open to suggestions and advice and hand-me-downs. I want to know what worked best for you! It may or may not be right for us, but it's great to hear what's worked or not worked for other people. 

So, all that being said, I feel like we have a better grip on this whole "Baby Stuff" situation.
And in the end, it's all just stuff. 

"Baby, we might make some mistakes along the way... no, I know we will. But know that we're always trying to do what's best and also trying to figure it out as we go. I've already read up on how to make sure you're the "Happiest Baby on the Block" and I know that with us in our arms, you will be. At least... we'll be the happiest parents, for sure."
---excerpt from letter to our baby

Saturday, March 5, 2016

When It Rains, It ...Floods


Back in 2011

            Wisdom is an ally you earn with age and nothing is sweeter than learning from your mistakes. About 5 years ago we had a flood, The Great Flood of 2011. Not from external forces but from an upstairs air conditioning pipe. It completely destroyed our ceiling, couch, dinning table, bookshelf, dry wall, our savings and our sanity. With no homeowners insurance we paid the price. However upset and disappointed we were, we got through it. We ended up with new floors, a new paint job and smaller more appropriate furniture for the space we have. I also was sure to add homeowners insurance to our monthly bills.
            Just after Valentines Day, that insurance was put to use. This time it was a slab leak. The vinyl flooring in the kitchen had filled with water. It felt as if you were walking in mud and the water would squirt up through the cracks. Having gone through this before, we knew that this would pass and we didn't need to waste time feeling sorry for ourselves.  Wisdom had taught us a difficult lesson that life happens, so we were flexible and just went with the flow.
            In times like this its great to know you have friends who know how to stay positive and supportive around you. Everyone has said, "At least it's happening now, before the baby gets here." And it's true. We have a healthy baby growing, who will be here in a few short months, and the new flooring will be ready for them to play on. And this time, we don't’ have to pay for it. 


        I'm having a bit of a hard time trying to focus and breathe lately. I know that things are going to get done. I know that it's a good thing this all happened now, and not when baby is here. But I do feel a tiny overwhelmed sometimes thinking about all we have left to do.
With the downstairs now being our priority, we've had to put the nursery on hold.  I'm here wondering...
Where are we going to put the baby?? 
I have been staring at paint chips and floor samples for about a month, slowly getting rid of even more stuff we had stored in that room. It's basically become a garage of sorts. So we've dumped and donated a ton of stuff in the last few months.
I've also sorted out all the baby clothes I have already and the portion of the closet that will belong to baby is totally organized now with the few items we've been given so far.

This is going to be for toys eventually, but right now I have all the clothes in here, organized by age.
I still have to wash them and hang them up. You're supposed to wash them first, right?

Poh is so ready for Baby. This pouf is the only thing he is going to be allowed touch.

Please don't eat all the stuff....
With all of these hurdles 2016 has placed before us, I'm always brought back to gratitude and hope. I'm reminded of how much loved ones come together in tough times and how even just our road to have a baby has involved so many people.  It doesn't just take a village to raise a baby. It takes a village to get through life. So, with that spirit in mind, this was a small thing I posted today, on the one year anniversary of my cousin's passing and also the day we first met Tina. 

It's been a year.
Every time I think of Key, I think of Strength, Beauty, Joy, Inspiration, Hope, and Peace.
On this same day a year ago we also met the person who is currently carrying and caring for our little one. She has become like family and her sacrifce is immesurable. She is also a woman of Strength, Beauty, and Joy, who has given us a sense of Hope, Inspiration, and Peace.

I pray that our little one will embody these same elements of life and have Key's spirit. 

With death, there is life.
With struggle, there is strength.
With hurt, there is healing.
With despair, there is hope. 

This day has taught me that.

"Good news, Baby. You're going to have a completely re-modeled house to come home to this summer! Though it wasn't necessarily part of the plan, it's a blessing in disguise. We're trying hard to get it ready in time for your arrival. However, we know that once you're here, none of this stuff is going to matter. All that will matter is that you're finally here with us." 

---excerpt from a letter to our baby