Registering to register was a bit of a feat in itself. First, I had steeled myself for the courage to walk into Buy Buy Baby, by myself, with nary a baby bump to be found, and ask about the logistics of registering... Did you have to make an appointment? What happens when you don't have a due date? How do you do this for adoptive parents? I walked into the store and BOOM, promptly ran into a very pregnant teacher I know who is due in August. Kinda wish that hadn't happened. First, because it created an instant contrast to my experience and how different it is, and second because I had to hear comments about "pregnancy brain" and see belly rubbing and all the things that I think just become second nature to very pregnant women, but that I won't experience. I have made peace with the fact that I am not bringing a baby into this world through my body, but it doesn't mean that it doesn't still sting when direct comparisons arise. When I am looking so much at all the wonderful things we gain from adoption and am looking forward to attacking this registering for gear thing with joy, it sucks to immediately be reminded of the loss that brought us to this new adventure. But I digress.
Buy Buy Baby has a spot on their paperwork for the question, "Is this an adoption?" But even so, I had to pick an arbitrary due date, and was supposed to give a date for the supposed shower. Which, at that time, didn't exist yet but I knew something was going to happen. We are having TWO showers, actually, a topic for a separate post, one for school and one for family/friends, but I didn't have dates or anything. Which made filling out the paperwork problematic. Apparently my "due date" is February 15th. I toy with making it earlier, because of completion discounts and the possibility that we could have our baby come home sooner (or later), but for now I feel like the same faker I was when I signed up for Amer.ican Baby magazine four years ago. I found out that when you sign up to register, you get this giant goody bag. It's filled with coupons, and samples, and a completely overwhelming "guide" to all the things you will need as a new parent. There was a lot of breast-feeding paraphernalia (are there other uses for breast pads?), but they did also include a small can of powdered infant formula and a coupon for bottles, so I guess it was not entirely skewed to breastfeeding. It's a nice thing, that bag of new-parent goodies, and I felt like walking all over town swinging that polka-dotted new-baby-store bag, daring people to ask me about it. (But I didn't.)
Anyway, when we arrived for our actual first foray into registering, we had come with a plan. We made our own pared-down list, based on my baby binder articles, Pinterest advice, and the advice of friends. The advice from friends is always tricky because one person will tell you a Boppy is not useful at all and takes up valuable space, and another will tell you that the Boppy is the BEST.THING.EVER!, so I guess we have to make up our minds on some of these things. (Feel free to weigh in on your favorite baby gear in the comments section.)
We also came with the plan that we were only going to attack the major items, the ones that make you feel like you are buying a new car (or maybe a new house), the ones that would most likely reduce me to hyperventilating and rapid heartbeat and a major fight-or-flight response. We gave ourselves two hours on a Saturday evening.
When we got there, the lady at the desk said, "Do you need help printing a registry?"
I said, "No, we actually are here to register for ourselves. We're waiting adoptive parents."
And she squealed, with genuine excitement. She realized that we had already come in to set up, and already gotten our goody bag, so all that was left was to set up the scanner. She handed it to Bryce, and said, "This is for Daddy."
Bryce teared up. He laughed his nervous laugh and said, "You are actually the FIRST person to call me that."
I said, "Except for me, of course!" And then, like an idiot, I added, "But not in a creepy way, har har!" It's a miracle they didn't revoke our home study right there. When I'm nervous I put double entendre on everything, and the last place where sexual innuendo is appropriate is a BABY STORE. But my calling Bryce "Daddy" didn't really count, since usually it's in reference to the cats.
It was a nice moment that I nearly ruined with my blurty mouth, but was salvaged.
We started looking at cribs, even though we are totally going with another, smaller, local business store for the crib, and then moved on to gliders.
Just so you know, gliders are huge. We discovered this after picking out a beautiful upholstered recliner thing that could live again in our living room, that had both rocking and hidden recliner lever features, and had high arm rests to help support a feeding baby. It wasn't until later, as I made a fancy graph-paper diagram of our nursery to illustrate how small it is (91 square feet, people), that I realized that a 36" by 36" glider wasn't going to FIT IN THE DOOR (35"), much less not be completely overwhelming in the nursery.
|See that massive purple thing? |
IT'S THE RECLINER/GLIDER.
But remember that nook upstairs that is my office? I think the glider will fit in there, if we get a smaller one. It's right across from the baby room and right outside our room, and has a nice big window, so that should work. Our first registry item wasn't a total bust, even though we have to take it off and it gave us both a minor heart attack realizing how tiny our nursery space is and how much rearranging/finagling we have to do to fit all this baby gear in our home...
Next was Pack N Play, and we registered for a slightly fancier one that had a vibrating "snuggle seat" instead of the infant cradle thingamajig that flips to be the changing table on the other models. The snuggle thing is actually a bouncy seat that comes out of the Pack N Play, so it's two pieces of gear in one. It has electronic noises and stuff, but they are actually not so annoying. The soothing nature sounds made us have to pee, so that may be a feature we regret.
Then, we met this gem of a lady. She helped us with the Pack N Play features, and then high chair stuff, and then stroller/car seats craziness. For a high chair, we went with a space saver booster seat thingamabob from Fisher Price. The one they had in stock that didn't have electronics (WHY IS EVERYTHING ELECTRONIC?) or extra doodads was the "exclusive" design to Buy Buy Baby. It's a sleepy elephant on the back with gray and aqua. Well, not that this matters at all, but gray and aqua match our new kitchen, and they are fairly gender neutral, and I like elephants. This elephant looks downright depressed, but most of the time it will be covered up with precious food-splattered baby, so I can forgive that unfortunate design. AND we don't have to have a separate high chair taking up space in our 1600 square foot house. We are fortunate to have this square footage, I know we are, but man it feels tight when looking at all this stuff.
The car seat/stroller was the last thing, thank goodness, because it was completely overwhelming. I let Bryce take over almost completely, as he is all engineery and that is a major strength when comparing safety features. I did all my tests for the stroller that a wise friend suggested -- one handed maneuverability being the most important. We chose the City Mini GT by BabyJogger, because it was light, folded with one flick of the wrist (that was some David Blaine magic!), had bigger tires but not ginormous tires, could go over multiple surfaces, and the tires were filled with foam, not air, and covered in all-terrain rubber. So we liked it A LOT. It meant we had to get the carseat separately and get an adapter, but the stroller will last a long time and it's rugged yet not huge, so it will save us having a second stroller until we want a cheapie umbrella stroller for travel. Although this thing was pretty slick, how quickly it collapsed into a flat object. The carseats were a blur, because of all the safety features and whatnot, but I think we went with Chicco for both the infant car seat and the convertible car seat we need for later. Originally we registered for all three types of convertible car seat so that we could later make a decision after researching, and we had hit maximum fatigue (and hunger for the Indian food we were planning on afterwards).
So, that done and with a LOT of further registering to do, we had our celebratory Indian food meal and I posted this picture up on Facebook, essentially announcing that we are waiting parents and the preparation time has begun:
|Could those smiles be any bigger?|
What I didn't think about... that people might start looking at our registry immediately. Which is unfortunate, because right now our registry looks COMPLETELY OBNOXIOUS. Only large-ticket items for the most part. We go tomorrow to get a bunch of other stuff done... all the feeding/carrying/clothing/first aid/bathing/bedding/toy type stuff. We went Tuesday to the crib store to pick out that important item... we just have to order it. We also chose the dresser that coordinates, and the Moonlight Slumber waterproof dual-sided mattress. Which was, I think, cheaper than the one in the megastore. We opted for chemical-free versus organic. All the choices regarding all of this are dizzying, and you can't help but wonder if you're making the right calls or messing up your baby already. I'm sure that's normal.
I am frantically trying to figure out how we're going to make the nursery work in such a small space. I have SO MUCH OWL STUFF, so we decided on woodland critters for the nursery, because then I can incorporate the owls. And it's gender neutral. More on that as it keeps developing! These are exciting times, overwhelming times, but in a way comforting, because although our situation is due-date-less, I can imagine how we're feeling about the state of our house and the nursery and WHERE THE HELL ARE WE GOING TO PUT ALL THIS STUFF panicking is pretty typical of any new parent. We're on our way, for sure.