I hit 33 weeks this week which means there could be just 7 weeks left (or less...) to maintain my status as Amazon.com and Diapers.com most preferred buyer. Thank goodness both offer free and very quick shipping so we haven't been too stressed about what we're inevitably going to forget. The hospital has free Wifi so there are always those hours of labor for last minute purchases. I wish I was kidding.
If you haven't guessed already, this is a "stuff" post. So unless you're interested in my compulsive list making skills you're likely to be bored to tears by the words that follow. Honest, I promise we don't spend this much time thinking about "stuff" on a normal basis. But with the pop-date drawing nearer with every blink and the constant reminders from loving individuals around us of "have you chosen XYZ yet?" or "what did you decide on for ABC?" we've found some comfort in writing this list and confidently responding "YES WE CAN!" even if it doesn't make so much sense at the time. It's a calming line that one. YES WE CAN!
We're reusing absolutely everything we possibly can from Ashton's earlier months but of course there are those items that either weren't needed for a 13 month old or just didn't exist yet. So here's the not so skinny on our baby gear situation:
Crib and Changing Table: Ashton agreed to share his old room complete with these 2 items with his baby sister: Ooba's Nest Crib and Litto Manhattan Dresser/Changing Table
Glider: Yeah Craigslist! The rocker we used for Ashton was perfect for ages 1-3 years but would not be so great for a newborn so we caved and found a traditional glider + ottoman set slightly used but significantly discounted from a private seller nearby: Dutailier Comfort Plus Multiposition Reclining Glider
Stroller: We're going to reuse Ashton's super-duper-can-multi-task-like-no-other Stokke Xplory which has 2 seat options. One is the actual stroller chair and the other is what they call a "carry cot" but we've renamed "awesome excuse not to have to buy a bassinet for those first first weeks/months when she'll be sleeping next to our bed". And to make the stroller and infant car seat play nice, we've now got the Stokke Xplory Car Seat Adaptor which will enable us to transfer her from car/taxi to stroller base without interruption. Hooray for playing nice, booo for high end strollers charging an arm and a leg for every stinking attachment possible.
Bassinet: See above. Hooray for dual uses! (And I've now forgiven Stokke for charging me over half the price of the car seat for the piece of plastic used to be able to attach the car seat to the stroller.)
Infant car seat: We love Ashton's Britax Diplomat which can be rear and forward facing for 5 - 35 lbs, but decided an infant carry-style car seat would come in handy for Helena's first 6-12 months of car rides. When she grows out of her new Graco SnugRide Infant Car Seat (max 22 lbs) we'll simply move her over to Ashton's Britax, at which point he'll be well into a booster style seat anyhow. Many have asked why we didn't purchase the Graco SnugRide that can accommodate up to 32-35 lb children and here's our answer: It's 2 lbs heavier than the smaller version which may not sound like a lot but when you huck around as much gear as we do every pound counts. Also, once she hits 22 lbs there's no way on God's green Earth I'll be carrying her around in an infant car seat - she can survive the transfer from the Britax to the stroller or be plopped in our Ergo. Which brings me to our next item of gear...
Child Carrier: We're sticking with our Ergo baby carrier (with the infant insert) which we LOVED using with Ash, however wanted to explore sling options for her earliest months. We totally lucked out. Good friends lent us 2 that they had tried to use previously but weren't ideal for them so we now have 2 to try out with Helena. Hooray for hand me downs! I'll let you know once we've chosen one or the other, though I'm pulling for the one that doesn't require a DVD to learn how to use...
The Babysitter Chair: You know what I'm talking about. The thing I'll strap her into while putting puzzles together with Ash, working, cooking, cleaning, or searching online for the worlds most perfect sangria recipe. For this we settled on the BabyBjorn Babysitter Balance. She's going to love it, she told me so.
Breastpump: We chose Medela's The Pump In Style Advanced Shoulder Bag. Yes, I will be returning to work full time after exhausting my 12 weeks of FMLA which means Helena will enjoy her daytime feedings with the lovely caregivers we've selected for her. And yes, we'll encourage participation in nighttime feedings by mommy AND daddy. And yes, mommy and daddy do plan to eventually leave the house together for an evening out sans children one day.
Monitor: We loved our Summer Infant Video Monitor but it stopped working a few months back, and despite our best efforts we've been unable to convince the new battery we bought to make it work. We're going to look into warranty info, etc and hopefully will find a way to expand it's lifespan past the 2 years we've already enjoyed it.
Wine Opener: This item may not always show up on your run of the mill baby gear lists which absolutely dumbfounds me. If ever there's a time to invest in a proper standing wine opener this is certainly it! After much consideration and thorough research we've settled on a Rogar standing wine opener from their Champion Collection. It's the only thing on the list we haven't acquired yet, perhaps we're holding out till Helena arrives just to make sure she approves of the selection. I bet she will.
There's more, I'm sure of it, but these are the biggies. I am in no way endorsing any of these products or recommending their use over the ocean of other products available out there. This is merely my list of selected bits and pieces for my own reference later on when I drop them off as hand me downs, donations, or mark them with "$1 OBO" tags at our community yard sale. Accept for the wine opener, that one's likely a keeper...