catching up

June 21, 2008

Wow, it has been a month since my last update. I am a bad blogger. A lot has changed since I last updated. Where to begin?

Dan has accepted a tenure track job at a small college in western Tennessee. We will be moving there in January. He was supposed to start in the Fall but Dan asked if it would be possible to come in the Spring/Winter because of the baby. Surprisingly,they said yes to the plan. We are a bit disappointed that we are going to miss football season in our new town, but it was going to be a huge pain to try and switch doctors and insurance and move during my last trimester. The big compromise we are making is MONEY. I will not be employed in the Fall and Dan will be working 40 at a hourly job on campus. We thought he might have a shot at teaching a class, but it looks like that is not going to work out. So we will have to make due with his wage.

Due to this reduction in our income, we can no longer afford to stay at our current apartment, especially since the greedy money hogs who run the place want to charge us an extra $100 a month to switch to a month to month lease. The place isn’t even worth what we pay for it now. So for the last three weeks we have been looking for something more affordable. We are trying to stay upbeat despite the fact that our best and cheapest lead was a tiny house inhabited by a hoarder. I had heard of people like this but see it up close was frightening. Our second best lead is in process and we should know by Monday or Tuesday if we are getting the place. Downsizing to a one bedroom is going to be tight. It does help that we are pretty serious about clearing out some of the old stuff we no longer need or want before we move (especially after seeing the above mentioned house). Still, it seems like even our essentials take up quite a bit of space. I’m blocking it out right now and we will just deal with the storage nightmare later.

Surprisingly, the storage issues we are having are not being caused by the new addition to our family. With the exception of a crib and swing, baby Mady is not causing too many space issues for us. We decided early on to keep the baby accumulation to a minimum. Everyone always says, “baby’s come with so much stuff.” That is somewhat true but I am also inclined to think that parents buy way too much stuff for their babies. I did a lot of research and looked at lot of lists and advice on line that helped me to keep the baby wishlist to a minimum. Currently, we have all the essentials, including a nearly complete 0-3 mo. baby wardrobe and it all fits in a single (but admittedly large) tupperware bin.

We still have a few large items to get (stroller/carseat, highchair (booster), baby mobile) and we still need diapers and wipes, but overall we are good to go with ll of the little stuff. And we ended up saving quite a bit of money because of our pared down list. When I priced my original wishlist, which was based on the registry suggestions from Babies R US, the cost was approaching $2000; and that was without the cost of a crib!! My first thought was no f*ing way! My second thought was, “There has to be a way to cut this down.” So I called and consulted everyone I knew with babies and I combed the internet for advice and came up with a much smaller list. I have to admit that I did get a few very helpful donations of some very expensive items. Still, when I totalled up my second list it was less than $1000. This is still a lot of money and I it could probably be reduced by half again if I went to yard sales and consignment shops and hunted down some more donations. Unfortunately all of these things would take quite a bit of time, time that I do not really have at the moment. So, I opted for new.

My mom and sister came to visit last weekend and I picked up most of the necessities during that visit. When we got to Babies R US, I asked the clerks working a the regitry booth to print up my list. When the printer stopped after one page, they looked at me curiously and said, Do you need us to go over our booklet with you?” This can probably be translated as, “Maybe you need us to help you cram you registry full of useless items. Afterall, you don’t want people to think you don’t love your baby.” What got me was the look on their faces. It was mixture of pity and disappointment. As if the absence of every BRU approved baby “essential” meant that I was ill-prepared for motherhood. If ell for that trap with the wedding registry and I was not going to let it happen again. I politely refused both their first and second offer to help beef up my list and started down the aisles. I started off strong in the baby bottle aisle and did not really break until I got to the clothes. Oh those sweet baby clothes. There, among all of the onesies and sleepers, I must admit I lost my resolve. I had not planned to buy any baby clothes but I could not resist. Even when I realized two of the items were not on sale as I had thought, I still went ahead and got them because they were just too cute.

After our shopping spree we came back to the apartment to find that Dan had contacted his boss who brought over the crib he donated to us. I was so excited I squealed. I did not have a description of the crib so I had been dreading it would be some giant engraved monstrosity. But it was exactly what I wanted, a simple white crib. It will look great in the baby room when we set it up in Tennessee. Since we are moving to one bedroom, baby Mady will not have her own room or the firs few months, this is not really a big deal since we were planning on keeping her in our room for the first little bit anyway.

The fact that Mady will not have her own room when she is born has not deterred me from envisioning it and trying to pull together something cute that will last through the baby and toddler years. I posted my initial ideas here, but that was before I knew I was having a baby girl. After buying this artwork for the room, I started to pull together some inspiration pictures I found online. Nothing was really exciting me, until yesterday when I found the cutest little girls room on flickr. At least I think it was on flickr, I did a screenshot so fast and started working on the inspiration board so quickly that I lost track of where the original picture came from. But the end result looks something like this:

Others may disagree but to me this is perfect, colorful but calm and oh so ADORABLE. Of course the pic is missing a crib, a rocking chair and the actual furniture we own but I idea of this room is what I am excited about. We have some furniture that we are going to paint and I think the purple, yellow, blue combo is bright and cheery. The curtain on the bed is going to be reinterpreted as a dust ruffle for the crib and maybe some curtains. The throw pillow (or some DIY interpretation of it) will sit on the freshly painted rocking chair (being donated by my mom), the baby mobile is being ordered from Amazon, the artwork is already on site waiting to be hung, and the blankets and afghan in this picture are my DIY baby projects for the next few months. I am really excited about this baby room and I think it will be really fun to make the projects. My only regret is that I have to wait until I get to Tennessee to see how it all turns out. But I’m sure that move will come soon enough.