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Shopping for Baby is Hard

When I was 15 or 16, my best friend and I usually went out shopping after school. We didn’t always buy something. Sometimes, we’d just take three or four laps around the mall before heading home. Sometimes, we’d idly wander the aisles of Target (it was walking distance from the school). Sometimes, we’d even find stuff we wanted to buy. One of the days we were killing time at Target (because, really, what is a middle class suburban teenage existence other than repeatedly killing time until you’re old enough to actually do something useful?), as we wandered through the toy aisle, a stuffed bear caught my eye. 

Just a simple little white bear with extra fluffy fur, it didn’t look like anything remarkable at first. There was a little button on the paw that said “Press”. When you press the button, it lit up in soft, warm colors that progressed through the spectrum. A night-light and a bear, all in one. It wasn’t expensive, either — a totally reasonable $10. I knew for a fact I had to have it. Not for me, you understand. I knew, age 16, that one day I was going to have children, and my child needed to have this bear. 

Ben and I were over at Dad’s house yesterday, and I spotted the bear in my old room. It’s now sitting in Sprout’s room, waiting for a name and some furniture to sit on.

The furniture is coming. We went shopping with my grandma this week and she bought us a beautiful crib. Of course, Ben and I have clearly procrastinated the actual purchase of baby stuff just a little bit too long; the estimate is that the crib should arrive in… ten to twelve weeks. For those who’ve lost count, we’re at 36 weeks, which means the baby should arrive in one to five weeks. Fortunately, we weren’t planning to put her into the crib immediately. And even if we had been, I guess we wouldn’t be now anyways, would we?

The car seat is similarly behind; we placed the order on Amazon yesterday (a generous gift from Ben’s Dad and Stepmom). That at least should arrive next week. Yesterday, we went through and did the “registry completion” shopping bonanza with the lovely coupons those entailed. We wandered around Target for about four hours with the registry gun (why yes, the toothpaste IS a registry item now, thank you for asking), our shopping list, and a handful of coupons. All told, it was over $300, which is way more money than we usually are comfortable spending, but we also completely filled a shopping cart, almost finished outfitting her room, and even found the vacuum I’d been researching on sale (PLUS the 10% registry discount). According to the bottom of the receipt, we saved $76, but that doesn’t take into consideration the comparison shopping we did between stores, the comparison shopping between products, and the general over-analysis of every purchase we made.

I’m very proud of us, honestly. I think we did good.

Privacy and Progress

I really was doing better about regular updates. I’m determined to get back to that, so please bear with me. I’ve been dealing with some big picture issues over the last couple weeks, and I’m hoping to get them coherent enough to write about, but I don’t make any promises.
Little girl is getting bigger, and, if possible, more active. I’m back to wearing the belly bands, which are now helping to support this ever-growing watermelon under my shirt instead of their old purpose, which was holding my normal pants together to stall a few more weeks. We’ve definitely decided on a name for her, which is really exciting, and makes her feel all the more real. But then it brings me to a lot of questions, like privacy, and the permanence of the internet. Sure, Ben and I have the right to use our names online however we please, but given than nothing posted online ever truly disappears, how can we decide for our little girl how much of her life is going to be for public consumption before she’s old enough to decide for herself? What sort of future consequences are there to having her completely searchable from babyhood?

So we’ve jointly decided that whatever her choices are as an adult, it’s not up to us to make that sort of choice for her. That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop blogging about my experiences on this journey. It just means that my writing will be focused on my thoughts and feelings and my side of our joint experiences. Ben and I have jointly decided not only on a name for our little girl, but we’ve even picked her very first online pseudonym. Online, we will just refer to her as The Sprout.

In other news, my attempts at housewifery are going marginally better. I managed to plan out a couple meals, and then Ben and I put together a meal plan for the rest of the week. We’ve actually eaten regular meals, well-planned and mostly home-cooked for nearly a week and a half. We made pizza, stir fry, and meatballs. We’ve had leftovers available for lunch each day.

I’m feeling better about being at home most of the time, although it’s a little harder as the Due Date (due dates? It’s really more of a 5 week range…) looms ever closer. For one, my stomach is now apparently the size of a golf ball, and I’m dealing with a combination of heartburn and nausea, that starts off as a burning at the base of my sternum and crawls up my throat until it sits at the back of my mouth in that familiar, first-trimester nausea that won’t quit. Only where water used to help, now it just makes it worse. And since it’s not behaving like normal heartburn, the normal heartburn remedies don’t really work. For one, the meals that feel best tend to be the spicier ones. Second, what I eat doesn’t seem to matter as much as that I eat. As long as I’m actively putting food in my mouth, and for about 20 minutes after, I’m good. At this rate, I might actually gain the extra weight the midwives want me to.

The most tragic part of the expanding belly, however, is the effect it’s had on the cats. Neither one will curl up too closely against me anymore for fear of getting kicked. Poor Lilit used to sleep tightly against my stomach, but if she does that now, someone else takes an interest in her purring. A violent, punchy interest.

We’re down to only a couple months, which means preparing the house is the main priority now. We need to order the birth kit and get all the supplies gathered up. The guest bed needs to go into storage so we have room for all her things. We’re still sleeping on a full sized bed, with two of us and two cats, so I’ve been scrounging craigslist for a used queen bed frame that’s not too expensive, preferably a platform bed as opposed to those metal ones that require you to purchase a box spring as well. Seems like false economy to me, considering the price of box springs. There’s an absolutely stunning bed I found, but Ben vetoed it because it requires a European-sized queen mattress, and those are nearly impossible to find. Which, really, is a damned shame, because have you seen that bed? Ah, well.

Also, I think lighting just hit the parking lot out front of my house. What is with this weather?