Friday, January 29, 2010


I just got back from BuyBuyBaby.

I might need a moment.

What to do on a Thursday night when the work is done, the workouts are done, the dinner is eaten, you have no interest in watching Iron Chef Battle Tilapia and it is 7 degrees outside.

You suggest a trip to BuyBuyBaby to see just what we are getting ourselves into.

Chris was game. In fact, he suggested this trip just a few nights ago. I remember thinking how unusual it was but also how lucky I was that my husband was suggesting we go…baby shopping. Later I discover that there was another motive here.

Do you think they will have diaper genies?

Of all things baby that a man might be wondering about, ie., breast pumps, why the diaper genie?

Everyone on Ragbrai kept saying that Trixie’s solar powered iPod player looked like a diaper genie.

This is true.

We walked across the parking lot, the night cold and lit up by the colorful letters shouting not just BUY baby but BUY BUY baby to us. Beckoning to us – consumption, on a grand scale. It’s like going into Bed, Bath and Beyond – which I never suggest unless you have 2 hours and approximately 400 dollars to blow.

BuyBuyBaby, owned by the same company, is just the same. Except imagine all things baby. ALL THINGS. Nothing is left unsold here. To the left, diapers are stacked ceiling high, to the right, clothing jumps off the hangers in pretty pinks and soft blues, in front of me are toys toys toys.

The first thing we do is stop at the book section. Aubrey, our adorable niece, is celebrating her first birthday and I thought we might get her some books. The classics. I grabbed Goodnight Moon off the shelf.

This is a classic, I tell Chris.

I’ve never seen it before.

This doesn’t surprise me. Along those same lines, Chris has never seen most classic children’s movies, television shows, or been in a hammock. Normal kid things. Brenda still recalls the day, just a few years ago, Chris was over their house and noticed a hammock in the tree.

What’s that, he asked.

It's a hammock.

What’s it for, Chris said as if he could not even imagine what a netted sack hanging between two trees could possibly do.

Well, it’s for sleeping, relaxing.

Next thing, Chris gave the hammock a try. And quickly flipped right out the other side.

I realize that I will be not only raising a child but a husband child. Many of our child’s first will be Chris’ firsts too. But I draw the line at changing him and we have already had the discussion that no the breast pump is not a penis pump.

Assume nothing, that’s what I say.

We walked over to the cribs and rocking chairs. There had to be at least 2 dozen rocking chairs lined up and next to them were cribs of every size, shape and color. Where do you even begin? I suppose 50 percent of the work will be cut in half when we find out the gender. But until them let me put in my vote for anything with monkeys or frogs. All of the boy stuff was adorable filled with animals and polka dots. The girl stuff made me want to bark pink flowers and purple butterflies. I started talking to Chris about cribs that turned into beds when I realized he was no longer behind me.

Instead I saw him standing by a crib with a blank look on his face. Actually staring into the crib. For a long pause. And I realized at that moment that he was probably doing one of two things:

1 – Wondering if he could build a similar crib, and the answer is no, our child’s bed will not be a woodworking experiment (he is on a woodworking kick lately, after he painted the entire house, he began searching for a new man project and decided that we would rebuild the living furniture even though it is from Target and we can just buy all new stuff for 80 bucks, I believe he is nesting already).

2 – Thinking to himself…HOLY SHIT. Because at some point, when you are having a baby you have the moment when you realize that you are going to have a little person to care for in less than 6 months.


And that person will require: diapers, special shampoo, special soap, special little nail cutters, nursing pads, changing pads, diaper bag, crib, rocking chair, bouncy chair, vibrating chair, high chair, car seat, stroller, pacifiers, bibs, little socks, little shoes, onesies, and when I informed Chris that baby would also need a special place to take a bath he said….


What do you mean no?

We’ll give them a bath the same place we give Boss a bath.


Let’s move on to the play pens. Oh, wait, my bad – the pack n’ plays. I had a play pen. A portable prison cell if you will. You put the baby inside of the play pen and here’s the deal – they can move but they can’t go anywhere. Now they are called pack n’ plays. And they look much different than the practically metal box that was my play pen.

What are these for?

They are for putting the baby somewhere safe when you are away or doing things. And, in our case, when we want Boss to stay away from the baby.

Maybe we should just buy one and put Boss inside?

That is a very good idea.

We head over to the strollers next. Where to even begin? There have to be four dozen strollers here. Chris immediately picks out Aubrey’s stroller and says that he likes it the best. I agree, it was a good stroller. And it should be. Considering it was $749!

I make a new rule: no stroller in our house will exceed the cost of any one bike in our house.

But it gets worse. We find a stroller that costs $949. No joke. Chris starts playing with it and discovers it has full suspension. I have reason to believe it also had carbon fiber brake pads. And an aerodynamic hydration system.

I’m at the breast pumps. Actually, we both are. There is something wildly curious about a pump you attach to your breast. I need to see what this is all about.

Check this out.

Leave it to my husband to find the box with the picture of a woman that has two pumps attached to her breasts. You can have both and a little box that tells you how much milk you produced for the small fee of 349 bucks.

Last stop, the diapers. We need to know what the damage might be. 180 diapers for $40.99. I have no idea how long that would last but realized that when you have kids you can either have a fancy coffee habit or have a kid who wears diapers.

Finally, there they are – the diaper genies.

I signal Chris over to the shelf that holds at least 6 different types of diaper genies.

How do they work?

Let me check my maternal instinct which at birth installed the directions for how to use a diaper genie in my head. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THEY WORK! But I think the idea is that you put the diaper in, you twist the top and the poopy smell goes away.

So it’s like a garbage can.

Kind of. Just a lot more money. And that is when I realized a baby is like Ironman. You slap IRONMAN on anything and automatically the price goes up by loads of bucks. And baby is the same way. Even though the brush you use to clean out bottles is the same damn brush they sell at Target for $1.99, for baby you are going to pay $6.99. Ditto for…everything.

We walk out of the store.

Having a kid is an expensive thing, Chris says.

Back at home, I sat down to catch the end of Iron Chef and Chris cleaned up his things around the house.


Ruhroh. Full name means I’m in trouble.

Did you move my paintbrush?

Oh you mean the one that has been sitting in the same place for two weeks but really should have been put away two weeks ago. I didn’t. Ok, I did. I put it in the bucket which also needs to be put away because it is sitting in the utility tub.

Please do not move my things.

True, I shouldn’t move his things. But they were begging to be moved. They had seen enough of the laundry room. Quick, think of a bulletproof defense here....

The utility tub needs to be clean. It’s going to be the baby’s bathtub.

Call it cost cutting. Or something like that.


Molly said...

My parents had the Diaper Genie for my youngest siblings (the 2nd set, adopted after i was off at college). That thing was awesome! So nice to make the smell go away. And then when it's trash time, you have a little diaper sausage pile LOL

You're right on baby shopping being like Ironman - it's amazing how it inflates the price! Did you come home with anything or just window shop?

Morgan said...

Your adventures in pregnancy are fast becoming the first blog post I read in the mornings! Oh men... so simple...

TriGirl Kate O said...

I remember pumping in the middle of the night sometime when Maddy was a baby. Joe rolled over and asked what I was doing and I just looked at him and said, "Moooooo."

Molly is so right, you end up with poopy diaper sausages.

And for the record, the kitchen sink is the best place to bathe the baby. Nice counter height so you don't break your back, and a spray nozzle! Just make sure there isn't raw chicken juice around...

Mary IronMatron said...

Second the kitchen sink for the bathing of infants.
Diaper Genie... unless you want your house to smell of eau de shit for the next three + years, I'd get one. That little contraption is actually worth it, I think....
But YEP! You are so right!
Just like Ironman. Exactly. I'd wait to buy half that shit until after the baby comes and you figure out what you really need.
Oh, and you didn't have sling or Baby Bjorn on that list, did you?
You won't need it right away, but you will need it. Or a boppy. I wouldn't have survived without the boppy--but I know some women who shun them...
One of these days i will stop being a know-it-all, I promise ! I'm pretty sure I'm reaching unbearable.

kat said...

I've been reading for a while, but never commented before...

I have to say, I LOVE all the pregnancy posts, esp because I'm a few weeks ahead of you, and totally see myself in your posts! (This is our first, and yes, sometimes I feel like I'm constantly informing my husband about all things baby).

Thanks for the laughs...and adventures along the way!

MtngirlinCali said...

I'm with Kat....not a frequent poster because I've always been too in awe of your athletic prowess. But now that you are pregnant, it's so fun to read your experiences...which are much more eloquent than the ones I've had.

We have Babies R Us out here in Colorado, and I remember our first trip there was pretty traumatizing. Baby is *super* expensive, but only if you conform. :) My advice is to let your family throw you a big shower and then deal with the must-haves after that. And know that everyone has a favorite baby item, and sometimes they are in direct conflict with another friend's favorite baby item. (ie. Diaper Genie Elite vs. Diaper Dekor......Boppy vs. seems never ending) But I suspect you are strong enough that your head won't explode. :)

Keep up the inspiring posts!

Angela and David Kidd said...

The stuff is the most overwhelming part of a baby. David did all of the work. He looked at Baby Bargains (my version is likely outdated otherwise you can borrow) and Consumer Reports and did all of our registering. You have to research before you go in the store otherwise you fall for all of the expensive tricks. You can't go wrong with the Bob for your stroller. It has the converter for when they are in the car seat. Seriously, it's all you need.

And if you have a boy and go with a monkey theme you can expect lots of monkey hand-me-downs cause we have a ton of monkey boy stuff.

Ironman at Law said...

There were three things (as a new dad) that I thought were silly and that we didn't need to "waste" money on, but that I was totally wrong about (yes I admit it!).

1 - Diaper Genie. Just trust me on this one! "Big things come in small packages!" Whoever said that had changed a few baby diapers!

2 - Changing table. You are all probably saying "of course!" But be patient with me, ladies. I was the youngest in my family and was never around babies until it was my own. "Why can't we just change him in the crib or on the floor?" Bad idea. Get a changing table (or at least something that allows you to change approximately 800 diapers a day without having to bend over every time).

3 - Video Baby Monitor. This one is very important. It will keep you from feeling like you need to go check on the baby every 10 minutes when it is (hopefully) sleeping. Babies wake up when you walk in their room. They don't wake up (as much) when you just look at a little monitor to make sure they are still there (not sure where they would go, but we tend to lose rationality when we are new parents). Seriously, this one is not as ridiculous as it sounds. The video baby monitor is the best invention since the Diaper Genie!

Jennifer Harrison said...

Ok, here comes my thoughts as a mom of twins...think about your baby shower and multiply it all by 2! Two pack n Plays - 2 cribs, 2 of EVERYTHING.

1.) HATED the diaper genie - useless. we had too many diapers - we would fill it up too soon, so I said 'screw it' and tossed it out w/ the dirty diapers.

2.) LOVED my double jogger...Angela's BOB is super and this is one of the most useful things - I would take them out everyday when they were able to go outside and it saved me.

3.) Changing table - We built one into their nursery and loved it. Definitely very nice to have a place that is centralized that has all the main things: Diapers, ointments, etc.

4.) I used a hospital pump for the twins, so no help there on pumps.

5.) Mobiles - blah.

6.) I LOVED LOVED the bouncy seats - I had the twins in there all the time to feed them and keep one in at a time while I changed/fed the other. THESE were super for a long time for me.

7.) Bottle warmers - useless.

8.) Diaper bag - really the best one you can get - it goes everywhere with you - keep it practical.

Everything else has changed so much since the twins were babies...but when you start talking about eating and sleeping habits, I am IN LIKE FLYNN. I worked so very hard and my kids eat and sleep like champs. Even to this day. HUGE huge for our peace of mind (kids and us!).

Jennifer Harrison said...

This is how the first night home went for us - the twins started in their basinett in our bedroom. Then, after 1 hour of little noises they were in the other side of the room. 45 min later they were outside of the door. 30 min later we shut the door. I share this story ONLY b/c the video monitor (sorry, JMO) is overkill. I only used the monitor if I was in the basement and the kids were upstairs....but then I just checked it every so often. But, then again, I am a mom who lets the kids did not love the monitors or anything like that...just too much for us.

Sarah Giacomarra Schrader said...

With Gracie I didn't need to buy clothes for the first year because of all the shower gifts. Max is 4 now and I have yet to buy him anything but odds and ends. I LOVE hand-me-downs. Whoo hoo!
My advise is to separate the needs from the wants. You really only need things that will keep the baby safe and healthy and keep you sane. For example: You need a diaper genie, you want a rocking chair. You need a crib, you want crib/toddler bed/big boy bed all rolled into one. You need a baby monitor, you want a video baby monitor. You need a dresser and changing table, you want matchy-matchy furniture, etc...
Have fun and don't go broke. You NEED money. :o)

Oh yeah, if you plan to have more than one, those unisex colors can come in real handy, although Max had no problems wearing a stained pink onesie. Surprisingly, he always pee'd out the pink ones faster than the green or yellow. Go figure.

Oh, one more thing, if it is a boy, make sure to point IT down in the diaper or he will pee out all his diapers and clothes. I wish someone would have told me that one!

Kim said...

VERY interesting... I too am clueless and I think its a good thing I am not at that point yet because I am already broke (ok..lets be honest, all my extra money goes to triathlon). I think of all the items the diaper genie is a must.. come on..who wants to smell poop all day. If you're sick..just sick.

jennabul said...

The BOB is the best jogger/stroller ever. As someone who has babysat many children, and used many different kinds of strollers, BOB is still my favorite, hands down. They're expensive, yes, but I have seen perfectly good used ones on EBay and at local cycling stores. Craig's List is great for stuff too.

Kate Parker said...

OMG. The stuff. The Baby Stuff.

Damn, the whole registering and deciphering what the heck we really needed and didn't was a pain in my clueless pregnant butt.

One way overpriced (we were naive and had to have the top of the line, convertible) crib that, 5 years and two kids later, has remained un-converted and truthfully, kind of ugly. A do-over? Target or Ikea.

I am with Angela. Baby Bargains was my bible.

Ange said...

I loved my diaper genie but as Jen does fill fast. good for the really really stinky ones but throw the others away. really not needed until baby is a bit bigger and therefore stinkier. you have to figure out what works for you but keep it simple and practical. I like your analogy to Ironman...stuff everywhere.
oh MUST Have a baby jogger! I moved to a double jogger eventually and it saved me.

Alicia Parr said...

I recall our first trip to BabiesRUs. Overwhelming.

Regarding things that keep down the expense: Craigs List. Yard sales. Baby Shower. Consignment stores like Kid2Kid. Grandparents. Family members w/ slightly older children that provide hand me downs.

BTW, I had a dream last night that I was expecting a girl baby and decided to name her Erica Vivien. Not sure why. I have a cousin named Erica and one of my late grandmothers was named Vivien. So those are my votes for your baby name if she's a girl.

Deborah said...

diaper genie waste of time ... you can save easily 30seconds-1 min per diaper change just by tossing into garbage with a lid. Let's face facts. Races are won by less than 30 seconds. My sister just had a baby a week ago.. another struggle is the clothes... zippers don't work with infants. Time had mercifullly erased the challenges of dressing the wiggly, crying baby...I had forgotten about that stage completely.

Christina said...

This product has been a HUGE HIT for marathon runners-thought I'd share!

I'd love to get your thoughts!

Mer! said...

Ohhh Liz, I wish I had blogged about all this--but I was so overwhelmed!! We felt the SAME way. We had better luck at USA Baby or as my husband always says "USAAAAA BABYYY!" (with a dramatic voice) =0.

I agree w/Jen H-bottle warmer uncessary.

My biggest piece of advice--buy what you think you absolutely need (diapers, clothes etc)...wait on other stuff. For example: We didn't buy a jogging stroller until i was ready to jog. HOWEVER, we were the ones buying the Bugaboo Cameleon (yes, we bought this....but we're having more than one and some of those plastic strollers are crap)---the Bugaboo is rock solid and honestly--the only true "splurge" we made!

We bought a regular dresser and put a changing pad on top of you don't end up with a useless changing table that you can't really use later??

I bought a "Diaper Dekor" don't have to twist or anything, just drop the diaper in....

With babies, it was like I was becoming a cafeteria Catholic all over again "taking what I want and leaving the rest" (I have since lapsed on both religion and taking advice) =0

Kellye Mills said...

Awesome! Don't you just love all the motherly advise?? But... it can be helpful! My thoughts...

HATE the diaper genie. Had 2, because of 2 babies, and though they start off all nice, eventually they start to smell, and there is no getting rid of it unitl it itself goes in the trash. My plans this time around... no diaper genie. Trash can in garage!

Strollers... I've had singles and doubles. Skip the $900 ones, which cost that much simply because there are people willing to buy them. Get a decent "regular" stroller for the mall. Graco, combi, whatever, and then get a jogger. I had a double that I actually found at a consignment store that someone barely even fully unwrapped. So that's my plan this time around, but if I can't find anything like that, I'll go with the Bob. I like those and the official baby joggers.

A couple of other thoughts... you don't have to buy "baby" specific stuff. The $1.99 bottle brush at target will work just as well. :)

And one other thing I remembered in my recent trip to babies r us. Those traditional burp cloths are horrible! The spit-up just runs right off into your lap. Skip those and get the cloth diapers for spit rags instead. They're awesome for that!

I'm so glad to hear everything is off to such a great start!

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

gack - I cried the first time i went to babies R us. I was horrified! There was no way I could see needing all that stuff - it really scared me.

it is true that you don't need all that stuff, and even if you do use it, you won't need it beyond the first year. Even the pack n play is phased out so early. Just remember: you can always do what my parents did, make a bed for me in a drawer.

I second the changing pad on the dresser, that worked great for us.

IMO: the one thing you really really need is a comfy rocking chair. Trouble is, until you're breastfeeding, it'll be hard to figure out the best dimensions for this.

cheapest baby bath ever is taking baby with you into the bathtub or shower - easy peasy, no expense.

ya see? mothers are just full of advice, even with the best intentions...

BreeWee said...

I LOVE this post so so so much! Fun times, some of the best, keep enjoying them and laughing and PLEASE post fotos, Ive never seen a pregnant elf! ha ha... it would be great to watch you and Chris as a TV reality show going through this....