My brain has turned to mush

June 25, 2007 at 9:26 pm | Posted in AdoptThis!, All Consuming | 29 Comments

I’m sorry for the lack of updates…

We’ve been running around frantically trying to get ready for the supposed arrival of a Real Live (and probably crawling) Baby in these parts.

I spent the weekend painting over the world’s Most Hideous Wallpaper in the room formerly known as The Guest Room, much to the delight of Tía D., who frequently occupies said room, and has been trying to get us to paint it for four years now. Pili was out of town, and probably thought I had been running around auditioning for girls gone wild due to my utter inability to concoct some plausible story about what I was doing with myself all weekend long. Witness:

Before Wide view
BEFORE AFTER

Do click through to flickr to appreciate the teal and pink splendor that was our guestroom. I picked out a light yellow for the walls because there are going to be a lot of bright colors in the room – the crib is going to be painted a nice lively red color, and the glider chair is also a big splash of red.

It looks a hundred times better. Tía D., I apologize for all the pastel-dinosaur nightmares you’ve had over the past four years.

Still no solid word on when that arrival will take place. GAL is expecting to hear about our embassy appt on Wednesday or Thursday, which means that a) GB’s firstmom has signed off for the last time, b) his new birth certificate and passport have been issued, and c) all that has been submitted to the U.S. Embassy for a visa (pink slip). If you hear a loud shriek coming from the northeast late weds or early thursday, it means we have an embassy date.

I alternate between wanting to be minimalist mom: changing table, who needs a frickin’ changing table? and coming with up arguments for buying absurdly expensive strollers and other baby accouterments. I’m nervous that my “no showers til we’re out of PGN” attitude means that we’re going to wind up buying all our baby stuff ourself… which gawd, could I be more of a spoiled brat? And could this post be any more boring? And what kind of stroller should we buy?

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  1. Yay! How exciting.

    And since you asked… A changing table ended up being one of our better purchases. Because I’m so tall, we made sure to get one that kept me from straining my back.

    We recently switched from a Combi to a Maclaren stroller. It’s lightweight and folds small. It’s great for all of the walking we do in the city, though the basket is a bit small and awkward at times.

  2. Beautiful paint job there! Care to come down to Florida and do my kitchen? I’ve had the paint in the garage for about 4 months now…
    Regarding the changing table and stroller questions – I put a sloped-sided changing table “cushion” thingy on my vanity counter in my bathroom. There’s a drawer underneath the counter (probably for makeup, etc. LOL) that holds wash cloths, diaper cream, powder, etc. plus the sink is very close for major wash ups. The large mirror is very entertaining during diaper changes, too.
    I have 2 strollers…a very large Bumbleride for long neighborhood walks and a smaller, light weight Combi to keep in the car. I don’t NEED 2, but the Bumbleride became a fixation soon after my referral and I got a great deal on EBay. I know what you mean about buying everything yourself, too. It is tempting, but then the relatives complain that there’s nothing left for them to give!

  3. we spent months with the stroller decision and against all odds did NOT get the bugaboo. we ended up with the combi i-thru stroller that faces us so we can continue to make eye contact as much as possible so as to foster attachment. the thing is pretty rickity but damn it i did NOT get the bugaboo or the rockstar and i’m proud of it.

    and we too waited on the shower (superstitious jew through and through), decided to do a welcome home party, which 7 weeks later still hasn’t happened because the baby is still adjusting- crowds are just too much. we ended up getting the stuff we needed ourselves, and taking our friends up on whatever hand me downs there were around.

    the room looks much better, btw. good job. 🙂
    -samantha

  4. Yeah, the baby buying stuff has had me in a huge quandary, too. Who knew? I agree on the changing table! I hope PINK comes soon!

  5. I researched and test drove a ton of strollers. I wanted the MacLaren but when it came down to it, I liked the Peg Perego Pliko P3 the best and I still love it a year later. The only downfall is the basket underneath is pretty small. But the stroller folds up small and pretty darn light.

  6. A vote against a changing table–we use those changing pads on top of Baby L’s dresser and another downstairs atop a sideboard-like counter built into a wall we have. Once diapers are over (in a few years, granted), remove the pad and voila! a dresser to use until Baby L leaves the house.

    Not sure how big your boy will be, but I’ve been pleased with the Graco Snap and Go–the (infant, up to 20 lbs, or a year) car seat snaps into this stripped down stroller I keep packed in my car trunk. I’ve heard the Bugaboo is actually pretty heavy and tough to pack into a trunk if you’re actually driving most places (i.e., not based in NYC).

    No shower here either, but after Baby L arrived, the gifts kept a’comin’. UPS and Fed Ex stopped at our house every day for awhile. It was super fun. Definitely see what kinds of stuff you get before buying it all yourself. Just get clothes, bottles, a crib/bassinet, and a few toys to start, then see what gifts you get from others. We were swamped with those hooded towel things and hand-me-down clothes, fwiw.

  7. For what its worth, I think you are right about ending up buying all our baby stuff yourselves, and its not being spoiled, that stuff costs a small fortune (its rediculously overpriced). Used stuff is a great option (if you know of anyone whose kid is now a few years old, for example). As for changing tables, thats something you will appreciate more once you have the little one. It sounds easy enough to change the kid on a bed or something, but bending down to that level can wreak havoc on your back, and if you’re carrying the baby around all day anyway, you might want to reconsider whether its a luxury or necessity!

  8. Art, you started my day off with tears. =) This is so happening for you guys. I am crazy happy for all three of you. The room looks great, you did a wonderful job. We will continue to send prayers and positive thoughts your way.
    Viv

  9. fantastic painting job!!!
    It seems so effing REAL now. woo hooo.
    xoxo

  10. You painted over that wonderful wallpaper?! And is that a matching puffy valance I see? I hope that you saved it! Seriously, it looks great! And I can’t wait to see it with the crib and all.

    As for baby consumerism– which I am all about– I use the top of the dresser as a changing table and am very happy to have the space. Finn loves his changing time and almost always coos and smiles as he lays there with his junk in the wind (which Mr. Pithy and I sing a la “Dust in the Wind” while Finn airs out.) Plus, I like having the designated spot for all my stuff, but since we cloth diaper there are more accoutrements and containers. Of course, Guatebaby is older than Finn and may be one of those squirmers that don’t want to stay on the table.

    As for conveyance, I’ve pretty much abandoned our pain-in-the-ass stroller in favor of baby wearing. Guatbaby is of an age for the hip carry. I love hotslings if you’re curious. (I can go on and on about the various merits of different baby carriers. But I won’t.) I am thinking that once Finn gets heavier I’ll have to look at strollers again.

  11. I’m so happy you’re talking about baby stuff – it’s all so real!

    We were quasi-minimalists: we asked everyone to hold off on a shower, but we didn’t turn anything (new or hand-me-downs) down – we just asked a friend to keep it all at her house, and she brought it over while we were off getting Roo. That way we didn’t end up buying it all ourselves, but didn’t have to look at a fully decorated, baby-less room. Some stuff we did get later, so we appreciated it more – like a jumpy seat – I could take a shower! Alone! Without anyone crying!

    We bought a dresser and just put a changing pad on top, so instead of a whole other piece of furniture it serves double duty. Also, I highly recommend the Phil and Ted E3 stroller. It’s definitely not cheap, but it’s hundreds less than the bugaboo, can serve as a jogging stroller as well as the hip-urban-mama stroller, and has an attachment in case you ever (ahem) want to make it a double stroller.

    I have my ear cocked for that shriek.

  12. Yeah…we just brought our little one home from Guatemala 2 weeks ago, and we said “changing table, who needs a changing table!” Then we got her home, and nearly broke our backs with the akwardness.

    If you have a dresser to use, that would be perfect. If you can, look on craigslist and they often appear there for $25-50 (at least here in Boston).

    We live in urban neighborhood with a combination of brick, frost heaved, tree root infested and cobblestone sidewalks. After a few walks with the nice, yet plastic wheeled umbrella stroller, we went and bought a middle price range “jogging” stroller (that won’t see much jogging) with inflated tires and it is so much better – it takes all the bumps. This was a purchase for our comfort. Just have an umbrella stroller for pickup and figure out what suits your needs when you get home – that worked for us.

    We didn’t have a shower, either, so we bought almost everything ourselves. What we have gotten as gifts has been mostly clothes and a few toys. It is an akward thing…we didn’t want a pre-baby shower “in case something went wrong” and because we had no idea how old she’d be when she made it home. We’re having a welcome home party later.

    Good luck – if you want any recently-home info or anything else from a recently home 2-mom and guatemalan baby family, let me know! I’ve read your website for long time, and have maybe posted once(?) so perhaps I’ll stop lurking now!

  13. Also, I meant to say that if GB is crawling already, chances are he won’t sit still for a diaper change anyway, and you’ll get very adept at changing a diaper on a moving target – another argument against buying a separate piece of furniture.

  14. Yeah…we just brought our little one home from Guatemala 2 weeks ago, and we said “changing table, who needs a changing table!” Then we got her home, and nearly broke our backs with the akwardness.

    If you have a dresser to use, that would be perfect. If you can, look on craigslist and they often appear there for $25-50 (at least here in Boston).

    We live in urban neighborhood with a combination of brick, frost heaved, tree root infested and cobblestone sidewalks. After a few walks with the nice, yet plastic wheeled umbrella stroller, we went and bought a middle price range “jogging” stroller (that won’t see much jogging) with inflated tires and it is so much better – it takes all the bumps. This was a purchase for our comfort. Just have an umbrella stroller for pickup and figure out what suits your needs when you get home – that worked for us.

    We didn’t have a shower, either, so we bought almost everything ourselves. What we have gotten as gifts has been mostly clothes and a few toys. It is an akward thing…we didn’t want a pre-baby shower “in case something went wrong” and because we had no idea how old she’d be when she made it home. We’re having a welcome home party later.

    Good luck – if you want any recently-home info or anything else from a recently home 2-mom and guatemalan baby family, let me know! I’ve read your website for long time, and have maybe posted once(?) so perhaps I’ll stop lurking now!

    PS – CONGRATS on getting out of PGN. We are so excited for you!

  15. I’m SO EXCITED for both of you.

    In terms of baby proofing don’t be surprised if you miss things. When we adopted our son, at 21 months old, we had ‘prepared’ the house for him. Now we’d already had 2 girls, so we thought we knew what to do.

    Within about 4 hours, he’d managed to find all the things we overlooked, and some new ones besides. Thankfully without hurting himself in the process.

    I do hope the remaining time passes quickly.

  16. Forget the stroller all together and get a ring sling or a mei tai ( thebabywearer.com ) and help foster that attachment to your beautiful boy!!! I know that I would chuck our stroller in a heartbeat – I rarely find its worth taking it out. My daughter is little though, only 4 months. When she’s older, she can ride on my back in the MT. I love having her close and it makes her so secure.

    You must be flippppping! I am so excited for you.

  17. I would definately go with the babywearing. My sis did babywearing for the Manly Nephew and was able to forgo the stroller till he hit about 25, 30lbs. Which she wanted because in PR it’s a lot of driving and she didn’t want to be constantly taking a stroller and/or a car seat in and out. Now with baby kahuna she either wears one and strolls the other or uses a double stroller (not the side by side one)

  18. Best “baby” purchase ever for us was a Baby Jogger stroller. Great for runs and/or walks around the neighborhood, the park – really anywhere. They are so easy to push.

  19. We got everyting for Malka about a week before she came home. And stored it ALL in the guest bathroom. And set it up ALL the night before we brought her home – INSANE. But worth it. The spending frenzy we enjoyed wasn’t too terrible ($$), and we got to pick out and drool over things we’d been wanting to for SO long.

    We put up a registery for stuff we needed, but not right away – sheets, etc. Because MAN, will you need sheets and diapers.

    And I’d avoid the Stokke – it’s cute and all, but not great for the Chub babies.

  20. Another one here who loves her change table. I’m still using it 4 years later (will that daughter of mine ever potty train?).

  21. I didn’t get a changing table. I got a slightly-higher-than-waist-high chest of drawers (from the Salvation Army because I’m broke) and put a changing pad on top of it. Boo has a small room and I needed to save space. There are shelves in the wall for diapers and crib sheets and the like.

    Strollers have been the bane of my existence. I looked at so many, but finally got a Combi City Stroller for Boo and I love it. It folds up and has a carrying strap, which is great. The basket underneath is big, too, which is nice. I’m thinking about getting it in a double version soon.

  22. http://tinyurl.com/277wyp
    We love the Graco MetroLite. It’s cheap, light, has a good basket, handles well. Most of all, it won’t get you weird looks in your New Home City. 🙂

    I’ll be listening for the scream!

  23. I’ll be mush brain with you! We are waiting until the last possible moment too. I didn’t want a baby shower before K. came home, and now I think I am regretting that. So, we’ll see what happens. We have a mei tei and a moby wrap, but we’re still going to get a Maclaren as well. And we have a changing table that was given to me by my BFF, so I’m good with that.

    Good luck with the rest of the preparations! Keep me updated on your PINK. I would love it if we can meet!

  24. I’m so happy for you! Your son will be home SOON!

  25. If you’ve got a two-story house, you might want to get a changing table for the level that doesn’t include his bedroom (or another dresser, or something like that). Saves you climbing stairs everytime you need to change him.

    Many dedicated changing tables are weight-limited, so a dresser is a better long-term choice.

  26. Changing tables-
    argument for: Firecracker’s mom and dad have a waist high dresser (as others have mentioned) with a removable changing table top. It works great for right now but easily grows up with her once she’s potty trained.
    argument against: Over the weekend I spent several days with cousin Ouiser and her baby Sumo. They are in the process of moving so we spent the weekend sans changing table and I loved it! Ouisie has a slick little travel changing pad (that she just bought at Tarjay I believe) that has a spot for wipes and a few diapers. Anytimme Sumo needed a change we just plopped him down wherever was convenient.
    Are you guys doing disposables or cloth? I can’t for the life of me remember if you’ve discussed that already!
    PS Package on its way tomorrow. Since baby Sophia is out of PGN too I figured I should include something for her 🙂

  27. Not necessarily related to the post, but I wanted to send you a wah-hoo! about your excellent news. I’ve been so busy working on the IVP that I’ve let myself get out of the loop. I’m so excited for you.

    Oh, and I bet you’ll be kicking yourself about painting that wallpaper. Teal and pink are the new black. Hee hee

  28. We started out with a Graco that you could use the infant car seat with. Too big. Then we used a upscale (to us anyway) Chicco Umbrella stroller that Katie just outgrew weightwise and switched to a Maclaren Volo (that goes up to 55 pounds). I wish we would have started with that one! It’s lightweight, has a fairly large basket and is very easy to push and turn even with a 4.5 year old in it! We are so excited for GB to come home and the room looks great!

  29. Hey bro.
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