Monday, April 27, 2009

Nesting- The Beginning

1. At our first Oliebollen warehouse sale, 2. Nesting (sort of...), 3. Peg Perego Pliko P3 stroller, 4. Jude's favorite outfit

This weekend was definitely Operation-It's-All-About-the-Baby. From the moment we woke up on Saturday morning till just before dinner tonight, it was virtually all systems go to prepare in some way or another for the little girl's arrival.

Saturday:
9:00- Wake up remembering that we were supposed to meet Amy at the Oliebollen warehouse sale. Apparently, they only have a few every year and with discounts at 50%-90%, we weren't about to miss it.

9:10- Amy calls to tell us that we should probably get there early because the good stuff disappears really soon. She also said she was holding on to some really cute girls stuff for us just in case. She's so awesome!

9:55- Arrive at warehouse sale after a little mistaken detour to an abandoned Best Western (don't ask...). Amy's gleefully waiting for us and we spend the next hour or so in a whirlwind of whimsical prints, darling designs, and so many outfits in hand that we needed a box to carry everything. In the end, we had to set ourselves a budget and whittle everything down to only what we thought were absolutely irresistible in terms of bargain and design. See our haul here. (Note to self: baby is going to actually need more practical clothes like onesies, bodysuits, and sleepers, especially in the first 3 months. Second note to self: Baby registry.)

11:30- Back home, pretty smug about the deal we scored. We notice that the neighborhood is having a yard sale just outside our house. High on the bargains we just got, we nosy our way around to see if we can find anything else. Lo and behold, we leave with a solid wood playpen and adorable bumper guard (brand new) for under $50. Score twice!

1:30- Meet our friend, Tanya at Babies R' Us and Target to take us on a "guided" tour to set up our registries. I remember the first time Jude and I went to BRU- it was maybe a couple of weeks after we found out we were pregnant. It was all so overwhelming and we walked out barely 10 minutes after walking in. It was sooooo helpful to have Tanya with us to translate product terms into simple English (I now know what a Pack-and-Pay is!) and to tell us which things we really need and which ones are completely worthless (really, a diaper stacker? Why would I want to take out diapers that are already neatly stacked in a package just to restack them in something else?)

Setting up a registry is very new to us and we approached it with a tad of discomfort, almost something akin to shyness. Maybe it's an Asian thing since it's not traditional practice back home where money gifts are more typical. The whole idea of a baby registry is so that your friends know exactly what you need/want and will get it for you. But it also felt odd, like saying to them, "Get us this. And this. And this too." So to make sure it was easy for everyone, we tried to register for things that ranged in terms of price. This way, friends who want to get something on their own won't feel like they need to spend a lot, but friends who want to get a gift together as a group will have some choices too.

Sunday-
1.00- Decide to make space for baby's clothes. After all that shopping yesterday and the gifts we've been receiving from home, our little girl might now officially have more clothes than I did when we first moved here :) Now to figure out where to put them all. We clear up a couple of drawers in our dressers and put away clothes that we'll either give away or store in the basement (off-season clothes and stuff I can't wear anymore like my many Threadless tees... *sniff*). I still don't think there's enough space but we'll probably get one of those large plastic storage drawer things for her daily wear when the time comes.

4:00- Stroller purchase. After much, much, MUCH research (as my friend Teresa says, we can now write books on shopping for strollers and car seats), Jude and I had narrowed our choices of strollers and car seats to a few contenders. A few things that are really important to us are design and safety. And the cost of course. And while we knew for sure we're getting our crib and infant car seat brand new, we didn't mind Craigslisting or eBaying our stroller as long as it's lightly used and manufactured recently. The problem is that the brands and models we want are either rarely listed or listed at prices that aren't that much cheaper compared to their first-hand counterparts. But finally, on Thursday, I saw a listing on Craigslist for a Peg Perego Pliko P3, an Italian-made stroller and one of our first stroller choices, and made an appointment immediately. After literally a 12-email back-and-forth and getting lost in Newport, MI, Jude and I finally got a look at it and put an end to literally weeks, if not months, of researching and online shopping by eventually buying it. It's an older model but at $399.99, the 2009 model is just way out of our budget. And we really do like the Peg Peregos for their high ratings in design and quality. Plus this one was barely used (why anyone would spend $400 on a stroller and hardly use it is beyond me...).

A couple of things that have been absolutely indispensable in this whole process has been 1) Jude's (and my own growing) tenacity in terms of scouring the Internet for the best deals without sacrificing quality. We refuse to pay full price for something if we can get it cheaper elsewhere. The money we save can go to buying something else for the baby. But we're not going to compromise on quality or safety either; which is why we've been relying on 2) Baby Bargains (a.k.a. the Baby Merchandise Bible, as Jude likes to think of it). It gives you the low-down on almost everything you're going to need for your baby and where you might be able to find them at a reasonable price. Based on their product ratings (and an extraordinary amount of time spent reading reviews on the Internet), Jude and I now know which stroller, car seat, and crib we want, and it's just a matter of finding them at a price that we like. Which brings us to 3) the amazing support from our family and friends. Without the invaluable advice and tips in terms of what we need to get, offers of various gifts, promises to adhere to our baby registry so we'll get what we want (and not some frivolous rattle-meets-mp3 player-meets-furry puzzle plaything), or letting us know that they're more than happy to help with some of our bigger purchases, we would not have been able to do all this prep so smoothly. Thank you, thank you, all of you! :)

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