Decisions! (and many, many other musings)

After looking at nursery wall art somewhat haphazardly for a month, we’re no closer to having any idea what we should display. Bright side: I have a billion links that got a lukewarm “eh” response from my husband. Does that count as progress?

So in the interests of choosing ease, I’ve made an executive decision: go with what/ who you know.  Why keep searching when I happen to already know a great print artist?

Stinkerpants Designs’ Wish Tree!

I love this idea. From Sara’s description:

A thoughtful and meaningful addition to your nursery or child’s bedroom, this “wish tree” art print can be personalized by you!  The tree is composed of varying sizes of green circles; inside, you can write your wishes for your children.

And because a single piece of awesome art on the walls isn’t enough, I’m going to order these as well.

Stinkerpants Designs’ Laws of the Land

Every family has a list of unspoken rules – why not make them pretty and display them for all to see?  After all, one can’t claim that raiding the cookie jar is off-limits if it’s written right there, now can they?!  Stinkerpants’ Household “Laws of the Land” gives you an opportunity to make sure everyone in the house has a voice.  A fun activity for kids and adults alike!

Stinkerpants Designs: Household Bill of Rights

What good are the rules and regulations (that is, the “Laws of the Land”) without a Bill of Rights to counterbalance? Stinkerpants’ Household Bill of Rights gives you an opportunity to make sure everyone in the house has a voice.  A fun activity for kids and adults alike!

The downside, of course, is that now we have to decide what our Laws of the Land and Household Bill of Rights are, but I love that we give a nod to our parenting plans on the walls of our nursery. Much as I love the subliminal art by Sycamore Press, my husband rightfully notes that a) babies can’t read (and they’re really geared toward babies) and b) babies don’t understand sarcasm.

Fair point, especially when you consider how often I remark to him that not everything in life is the right opportunity to get a wocka wocka from people (cases in point: tattooes, children’s names, grandparent nicknames).

Also noteworthy: the prints are mostly white to balance the dark moody colors in the nursery, the contents are customizable to us and our family, and Sara has a package deal on those last two. Ten bucks is ten bucks!

~~~

Vent:

I have a special kind of judgmental thing for people who plan to furnish their entire nursery/ prepare for their kid via a baby shower. I get that people like to give gifts, but to expect that the generosity of your peeps is anything more than that — generosity — bugs me. We have friends who have not bought a single thing for their baby — due in the same week as ours — because their baby shower will take care of it all. This said to two of the people invited to said baby shower. “Oh, we’re not going to buy anything since we registered for all of it. That’s what baby showers are for.”

Um, no. Baby showers are to celebrate the arrival of your kid. Sure, people have historically given gifts to help the couple prepare for said baby, but to assume someone will buy you a crib (if a grandparent hasn’t already claimed the honor, say) is ridiculous.

I know many of you had baby showers and were well-stocked by caring friends and family. That’s fine! I’m not trashing that! People like to give gifts, myself included.

This is about the expectation that other people will provide for you just because… and not preparing or planning or doing much of anything other than expecting (the gifts, not the babies).

I’ll note that I had the same rant when wedding-planning. Registries are a convenience for the gift-buyers, but they are not required to buy you something off your wish list. Gifts are intended to be expected without strings, and complaining that your great aunt gave you some ridiculous thing that you now have to deal with is just… unbecoming.

/vent

~~~

We’re getting closer to deciding on a name, though I haven’t yet decided if I’ll share it with anyone (in real life or here) until the kiddo arrives. Easy way to avoid opinions you don’t want: don’t give people the opportunity to give them. (Same reason I don’t tell people we’re planning to deliver at the Hippie Birth Center or taking HippieBirthing classes in real life. Why tell you if I don’t care what you think?)

Perhaps now I can start to settle my brain into calling him something other than “the kiddo.” I have a hard time with this when naming pets, too, by the way, so it’s not that I don’t think of him as his own person. I do, I totally do. In fact, I think that’s why I’m having such a hard time thinking of him by name. How can I think of him by name when I don’t know what he looks like since I haven’t met him yet?

Also unknown: my boundaries for photos and/ or blogging about the kiddo. Bright side: my husband is far more firm in his boundaries so I suspect I’ll just borrow his. (Remember when he insisted I not show anyone pictures of the kiddo’s pen*s because, well, it’s a pen*s?)

I dug through the boxes of secondhand clothes we’ve purchased or been lent for something he can wear home from the hospital birth center. Backup plan: buy something from Walmart. Part of me is sheepish about not making a bigger deal out of the outfit he’ll wear home! The other part of me is kinda proud of myself for not making a bigger deal out of it than I feel.

~~~

Crowd-sourcing questions:

Do I need a bottle sterilizer? Really? There’s a greater-than-average chance my kid will be licked in the face by a dog that licks his own parts, after all, so the idea of sterilizing his bottles seems… excessive. Sort of like someone who bites his nails being squeamish about germs.

Is there not an online company that lets you create nice birth announcements to be sent via email?  Really? I can hack an evite-ish site, but c’mon. Surely there’s a market out there, especially if you let me design it ahead of time and have someone else pop in last minute details and hit Send. Really?

3D/ 4D ultrasounds: awesome or creepy? (And what’s the 4th D? Texture?) We’re thinking we’ll get to meet him soon enough (message to baby: not too soon! take your time!) and so will skip another ultrasound unless we need one for medical reasons.

Maternity photos: yay or nay? We’re thinking this might be my last pregnancy (more on that later, but don’t worry, not a medical thing) and though I don’t particularly enjoy the way I look, I wonder if I’ll regret not having photographic evidence?  If so, we’ll have to go pro. Our wedding photographer no longer has a business but will do a maternity shoot for us because we’re special (and have referred a ton of business to her over the years) but she’s $200. (Yes, I know this is very inexpensive for digital proofs, but this is me and I’m cheap, remember?)  She also won’t do newborn shoots (it’s not her thing) so if we want post-arrival photos we’ll have to find someone else.

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18 thoughts on “Decisions! (and many, many other musings)

  1. No printed announcements, just email? Am I the only one who keeps those? I put them on my fridge and then I file them because inevitably I forget the kid’s name and age and need to know it (because I’m visiting, or sending a gift or something). So I hope printed announcements don’t die out…

    • @FM, If it’s a family or close friend who just had a kid, I TOTALLY put them on my fridge. Maybe some cheapo birth announcements from Shutterfly or Snapfish? You can usually get cheap coupon codes that make these almost free.

      • @jessicamaylords, I mean in addition to! I’ll do the printed things later, but with such a big family, I’d love to send out an email with a pic (also, to work peeps) that’s nice, not just text.

  2. I am in no way qualified to answer questions about babies, but I can recommend a website to send out an email birth announcement! Try Paperless Post – they have two sections called “Baby Stationery” and “Birth Announcements”. http://www.paperlesspost.com/cards#/cards/baby/baby_stationery
    I used them to send baby shower invites for a friend. I designed them, she logged in and added the email addresses of the invitees, then when they were ready, I sent them off. The first 25 sent are free and then there’s a fee, but I don’t know how much off the top of my head. Anyway, they had some nice designs when I used them last year and they were semi-customizable, so perhaps that would be an option for you.
    Also, I love that Wish Tree from Stinkerpants and I think you’ve made some excellent executive decisions. 🙂

    • @Megan, Wow, you get the big win here… Paperless Post is awesome! (And how big a nerd am I that it makes me think of Harry Potter and things being delivered by owl?)

  3. I totally get what you’re saying about baby registries. That said though, we’re waiting to see what people do buy for the baby shower before finishing up the things we feel we need. That does not, however, include the crib or any furniture or decor for the nursery. I agree that unless a grandparent or someone really wants to buy those things and lets you know, it is your responsibility. Everything else ultimately is also your responsibility, but I think it’s silly to think that people don’t want to buy you anything. Lots of friends and family just want to do something because they’re excited. We budgeted to be able to pay for everything we wanted, but will see what we end up needing to buy in the end in terms of baby things and gear.

    • @Tiffany, Right, I’m with you on this, I swear. But to have a baby shower two weeks before you’re due and assume everyone will buy you everything you registered for? That’s… unbecoming.

      • @Marisa, I was going to say basically what Tiffany said, but our shower will be 2 MONTHS before the kid’s due, so then we’ll know what we still need when we have a little time.

        2 weeks is crazy. What if the baby is born at 37 weeks? Happens all the time…

  4. Aw, thanks so much for the feature!! I’m totally flattered that you chose to include my artwork in your nursery. 🙂

    Regarding your questions –
    1) I am going to confess that I do not sterilize bottles. Granted, we don’t use them very often, but I don’t. 😐

    2) I totally love paper announcements, but they are a bit of a PITA to send, so I get you on that – better an e-announcement than no announcement at all! I second paperless post.

    3) Creepy, but kind of awesome? We did it because I was paranoid we weren’t actually having a girl (I had a weird dream) and I wanted to make sure. We won’t do it for any future babies.

    4) I personally say nay on the maternity photos. I’m not really sure why people do this. I’d save $$ for an awesome newborn photographer, or even 6 month photos when baby actually does stuff. We did a newborn session and will also have 1 year photos taken.

    THANKS AGAIN!!

    • @Sara, Anytime, man, your stuff is awesome. I’m thinking about getting a few letter prints too. Decisions, decisions!

      I’m thinking I’ll do e-announcements first, then real paper ones later once we have pictures and such. My family is so huge that if I don’t have a plan, someone will try to pass around a really bad cell phone picture and end up calling to ask how to send that to a big list of people. Oy.

      I’ve had a weird dream that we ARE having a girl and I’m panicking because we haven’t talked about never calling her out little princess or allowing her to wear a bikini until she actually has boobs! Hmm, maybe another u/s to prove he’s a boy would help. 🙂

  5. Is your husband at all photographically inclined? You could always do an at-home photo shoot yourselves and if you don’t like how they turn out, go pro. I didn’t do maternity photos and I wish I had.

    3D/4D ultrasounds are creepy. I didn’t want one, but at our 20-week scan the tech flipped it on without asking if we wanted it, so we have a few. I think all babies look like Voldemort in those pictures, my daughter included. (She looks decidedly not like Voldemort out-of-utero, thank God.)

    And on the registry thing … I hear you. I mean, we didn’t buy a lot till after my shower because we wanted to leave the registry full of as many options as possible for those who wanted to use it, but we did take care of the furniture beforehand (well, our parents did, as Christmas gifts). I certainly wouldn’t have waited on the essentials though if the shower wasn’t till only two weeks before she was born!

  6. The 4th D in 4D ultrasounds is movement. our hospital did them for us all the time (we didn’t need to make any special appts or pay or anything) and seeing the Bean flop around was awesome.

    I vote nay on the maternity pics too – we saved our $$ for awesome newborn shots and I’m happy I did that.

    I got a steam sterilizer for our bottles for $15. You put in water and bottles and throw it in the microwave. We’re still sterilizing bottles (even now at 7 months) even though the dog does lick the baby’s face. I don’t have a rationale for this. My doctor did want us to sterilize bottles that breast milk went in, and even though I’m not pumping any more, it’s just a habit.

  7. Ok you know that I have never walked this path, but you also know that I’m going to give my opinion anyway 🙂

    I love the art prints – I’ve looked at them before and love them. So go you on that.

    On the name thing – I don’t know, I wouldn’t want to get opinions on baby names either if they were negative but part of me thinks it would be fun for my family/loved ones to be able to call baby by baby’s name. Whatever you want to do.

    Showers – um yes. Thank you. I have friends like this and it blows my mind. I’ll happily buy a burt’s bees set for you and baby, or sleepers and diapers, or whatever you need/want. But a crib, carseat, stroller or other large purchase? Sorry, it’s probably not going to be a gift coming from me.

    If it were me, I think I would rather have newborn photos than maternity photos, and would rather have birth photos than newborn photos. I always think I wouldn’t want to do something with first baby that I wouldn’t do with later babies, and maternity/newborn photos seem to be something that I see done with first babies more than later babies. Whereas, you only have your first birth once.

    My two cents. 🙂

  8. In response to not sharing the kiddo’s name, we’re in the same boat. Every time we threw out a name we liked to get some opinions, we found out we’d rather NOT get their opinion. So we now have a list of name choices that we tell people are top contenders, and none of them are the name we’ve actually chosen!! I feel sneaky and its oh so fun. We figure once he arrives, people could care less what is name is.

  9. On the sterilizer, I still got one after a good friend of mine said something along the lines of, “oh, you’ll never use that thing, there’s no reason to sterilize bottles.” I will say though that while sterilizing isn’t necessary and she may not use hers at all, I have already used ours to clean every bottle, nipple, cap, pacifier, pump part, etc. we have simply because it’s finished in 8 minutes! I can tell ya right now that without it, bottles and such would for sure pile up in our sink or dirty dishwasher and I’d so much rather run the sterilizer a few times a day than end up hand washing everything cause I’m lazy like that.

  10. We also have a dog who licks, and don’t sterilize. Our germ-related concerns are more about (carpet) cleaning chemicals and pesticides/herbicides. I don’t relate to people who tell me how germ-phobic they were for the first kid, and then loosened up with each subsequent kid. Also, our kid’s never had more than 2 or 3 minor colds in her 9 1/2 months of life, so it seems to be working for us.

    As I understand it, the 4th dimension is time. We had a bit of a 3D ultrasound because our kiddo kept covering her face with her hands, arms or legs, and they thought the 3D might give a better view. I do think they’re kind of creepy, and would worry about possible dangers of excessive ultrasounds on the fetus. Pregnancy brought out the super-hippie in my husband & I.

    I had a pregnancy journal with space for weekly belly photos. In real life, I have one or two shots of me visibly pregnant a couple of weeks before Cora was born. I do regret not having more, but am happy I at least have that. I was a fairly glowy, smiling pregnant lady. We had baby pictures done at 6 1/2 weeks, and have one or two of those hanging in our hall. I LOVE them! I can see all the time how tiny she used to be (seriously mind-blowing), and that makes me weepy. Which evidently I like? I will evidently always vote on the side of taking photos and documenting life 🙂

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