Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dress you up in my love

Long time, no post, I know. Long enough that my advertising network suspended their ads for me for not posting. Oh well, a girl can't do everything, right?

I'm at 34 weeks now, and my "pregnant buddy" Jenna had her baby a couple of weeks ago, so it's beginning to seem REAL, especially since we met baby E yesterday (so cute!). I'm looking forward to it, but only once we finish some of the remaining house and cleanup projects.

We've gotten rid of a ton of unused house stuff through charity donation or Craigslist, and also acquired a bunch of baby stuff, as you might expect. I've been extremely lucky to have generous friends who have given me clothes, toys, feeding stuff, and a fabulous crib so we didn't have to drop thousands of dollars all at once. (I'm sure that'll come later...)

As per my baby shopping Bible, "Baby Bargains", I've also been scouring Craigslist and the Microsoft internal baby and kid classifieds for good deals on new/used baby stuff, and I'm pretty darn proud of what I've gotten. I don't have the patience to go picking through garage sales, but responding to Internet ads is no big deal since I'm in front of a computer all day.

Yesterday we *finally* found a solid wood secondhand dresser. It's sort of a midcentury modern looking thing and at some point I'll probably paint it, but for now I'll just clean it up and use it for BabyX clothing storage and the top for our downstairs changing station. I could have spent $1500+ on a solid wood, fancypants new dresser, but it's just not that important to me in the grand scheme of things, and surely BabyX isn't going to notice for a while. Plus I'm guessing she'll want to have a say in the furnishing of her room at some point.

TJ painted her room this weekend, in a lovely shade of pale peach called vomitously "Blushing Belle" from the Home Depot Disney color line. It's a really nice warm luminous shade, and I'm hoping it'll look good even during a long cold grey winter here. That's why I didn't pick green, like I would have preferred - I was afraid it would make the room too cool and dark.

Sometime during the week, or next weekend, we'll put up the dog prints and very cute paw print vinyl wall decals I bought from Etsy and 1000Markets.

The other big score from the ads was 4 huge garbage bags of baby clothes in 0-3 mo and 3-6 mo sizes. I knew that I wouldn't want everything, since I'm super-picky about my baby not wearing what I consider annoyingly girly stereotypical stuff. I'm just not finding new baby clothes shopping that fun, except on Etsy, but those items are a bit too expensive for me to outfit BabyX in them entirely. (The regular retail stuff is just way too blah and pastel typically.)

So I kind of liked the "grab bag" idea and the price was right. Of course, there's some buyer beware when you buy used stuff - someone else's "like new" is not quite the same as mine, and of course there are widely differing tastes. But I took a chance.

I was starting to worry that I hadn't bought enough clothes given my friends' stories of diaper blowouts and spit up episodes that necessitated multiple outfits per day. And honestly, if I could go 3-4 days before doing laundry, that would be awesome.

And so I sorted out those bags of clothes last night. Out went the "Drama Queen" and "Daddy's Little Girl" and "Pretty Princess" onesies, along with a lot of the cotton/polyester stuff that just doesn't hold up well through washing. I'm a firm believer in 100% cotton, yo, but I do also have an unhealthy love of fleece living in Seattle - that's the one polyester exception I'll make.

Clearly the woman I bought these from loves pink more than me, so some items went out
just because I didn't think my daughter needed *that* much pink, esp in that shade of Pepto-Bismol I especially hate. I can do pale pink and fuschia no problem, but it's the in-between shades that get to me.

Also tossed in the charity bag: little tiny old-timey flowery prints (like you find on bedsheets), things with excessive lace and frou-frou, itchy synthetic fabrics, elaborate outfits with dresses, bloomers and tights (on a tiny baby?? really??), and icky sickly sweet words like "sweetheart", "cutie", "pretty". I hate the idea of labeling my kid already. What about things that matter like "smart" or "strong" or "ambitious"? I'm only half-kidding.

The funny thing was that all the stuff I loved in those bags seemed to be hardly worn - the blues, yellows, greens and purples. I bet those were gifts :) Those stayed. Now I have a nice collection of onesies, cotton sleepers with feet, fleece sleepers with feet (which look REALLY too warm until I remembered that my baby doesn't get to have a down comforter in her crib at night), a couple of cotton dresses and little romper thingies, and some more baby socks. It was a screamin' deal, and I'm guessing that BabyX might not even get to wear some of these things more than once or twice before she outgrows them. And of course she has the new stuff her grandmas (and great-grandma) bought for her, plus the handful of adorable dog and geeky onesies I bought on Etsy.

So now I feel confident that BabyX will be outfitted well until she weighs about 15 lbs or so (maybe more - who knows how these baby sizes work??) and I can save up doing laundry for at least a couple of days.

Today I'll be playing catch-up on lots of Etsy and 1000Markets orders. I'm agonizing on how/when to close my shops as I don't want to miss out on the Christmas season, plus *not* making stuff for months will drive me absolutely batty. I think I'm going to stop taking custom orders around mid-September, but leave the shop open for the pre-made items until I'm ready to start making tags again, probably in late Oct/early Nov.

And yeah, yeah, yeah, I know having a baby will change everything. If I hear that again, I'm going to poke that person in the eye. Affectionately, of course :) But I don't intend to give up everything I love doing now - I am determined to make it fit.

OK, now have I made up for not posting in ages? Because it might be a while before I post again!


  1. I'm with you on the "pretty princess" girly crap--very often our pretty princess is wearing blue dog-print onesies handed down from her big brother. (We were the same way about him--no "Future Quarterback" or any of that garbage.) And said pretty princess is about 14 pounds now and still not quite three months old...I recently bought some 12-month onesies that fit her great. And to think she's also a month premature. Yep, baby sizes make NO sense. I'd just buy big. It can't hurt. Getting her in and out of the oversized clothes is so much more pleasant anyway.

    My favorite has been shopping at Goodwill. Racks upon racks of cute clothes from every possible line, hardly worn because babies grow out of them so fast, and cheap!

  2. Rachel - yes, Goodwill rocks. Ours is especially good because we live in a fairly well-off part of town. I found a handful of dog-themed sleepers and onesies there too. And a very cute dinosaur one!
    There aren't enough dinosaurs on baby girl clothes. But in general the selection for up-to-6-months wasn't that great or that huge. Maybe someone else got there before me.

    Now you've got me worried that BabyX is going to be way too big for any of this stuff. Oh well, I guess we'll see how it goes.

  3. I customized a bunch of onesies for Henry before he was born, using a bunch of different techniques. By far the easiest was using those chunky foam stamps you get at the craft store, "inking" them with fabric markers, and stamping onto the onesie. Sometimes it didn't come out dark enough so I went over the image with the fabric marker free-hand (but you're really just coloring in at that point). I also liked the look of outlining the images with a thin black line. If you're looking for a crafty way to perk up plain onesies, it's SO easy - no drying, no paint, etc.

  4. Stephanie! Thanks for the cool idea! I didn't even know there was such a thing as fabric markers! I assume they stay on through washing, etc. I might have to try that on some of the plain onesies I have.

  5. About sizing: you just never know. My kids all needed that "Newborn" or "Premie" size for the first weeks (they were swimming in everything else!) and needed 12 month size right around 12 months. There's so much variation out there!

    Have you looked at the sleep sack things? I can't remember who makes them (Halo?), but they're good for that no-down-comforter thing, too, and they go over anything else you might find.

    Amen on the pink/frilly/princess stuff! Why, oh why, must we do that to our kids?? That said, I did rationalize a couple outfits. (It might be pink, but it has a monkey on it!) Still waiting for the pink shirt with the construction equipment she loves so much! Until then, she's got her brothers' hand-me-downs.

    About Goodwill: ours usually has one day where they put everything new out, and sometimes there's huge discounts on that day. That's the day to go, 'cause the selection isn't as good afterward.

    "Change your life"? I hate how everybody always says it in such an ominous tone. I think it's like turning the kaleidoscope. Sure it changes things, but so does even the slightest jiggle.

    Probably more than you want from a complete stranger. (Susie and Ray have been my "other parents" since they moved next door to us, in case you were wondering...) Good luck with the next few months!

  6. My kids live in either hand-me-downs or used clothing store finds. I have rarely bought new clothes bc they burn through sizes so quickly and almost anything can be destroyed easily. Save the money for babysitters! ha ha! Only half joking bc you can always hire someone to watch the baby so you can do your crafty stuff.

  7. Speaking of "it might be pink, but there's a monkey on it," we bought a sleeper covered with cartoon jungle animals--everything is in shades of pink, but you can tell they probably made the print design for boys and were just trying to get their money's worth out of the silkscreen--and then, as if to legitimize that move, it says "Pretty Elephant" on the front. Cracks me right the heck up. At least it's a PRETTY elephant, right?

    Don't worry too much about the sizes. Our giant preemie still did fit into newborn sizes for a few weeks and does wear some 3-month clothes, and our son, who has always been a big/tall kid, nevertheless always fit exactly into the proper clothing size at every stage to the point where his 2T pants and shirts suddenly looked too short right around his third birthday and so on. You just never know!

  8. My sister had a little girl in March, and she, too, is not about the "princess" and other over the top stuff... though she does have an unhealthy obsession with the color pink. Luckily for her, she went with gender neutral colors for her first child (my nephew), so my niece gets a lot of yellows and greens that way. :)

  9. @Rachel - LOL at "Pretty Elephant".

    Dawn - I need someone to make some cute baby onesies in black and dark purple and brown with skulls and stuff :), that aren't $25 each. I found some really cute ones online but can't rationalize spending *that* much.


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