Friday, August 31, 2012

Baby Number One vs. Baby Number Two

Around this time three years ago I was about eight months pregnant with our daughter Lucy. I was an excited and nervous first time mom and I can guarantee that I had almost every single baby gadget known to man. I had FOUR baby showers and very loving family members who could not resist the urge to buy the first granddaughter everything she could possibly desire. So where did that leave me? Thankful that I had everything that I needed? To some degree, yes. But I was mostly stressed. I felt overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that one tiny baby who wasn't even born yet had accumulated. Our tiny 800 square foot condo was beginning to burst with baby stuff. So I did my very best to control it. I organized.

Exhibit A: We had TWO dressers. Dressers are not cheap people. Luckily I have a very generous mother who bought those for us. But still, this money could have gone to something a bit more useful. Diapers? College savings? Nope we needed two dressers to put all our daughter's stuff in. And let me tell you...those suckers were stuffed! Also, notice the closet? That was full too! Now half of it did have my husband's clothes in it since our closet was full of my stuff (that's a story for another day) but still. It's hard to tell by the picture but that is actually a very large closet. Two dressers and a closet!! Seriously? One would think we would have thought to pare down.  Well of course not.

Exhibit B: I decided to outsmart our stuff. I bought a cute shelving system and bins. Well guess what? Those bins were stuffed too! One of those was actually stuffed with just baby hats. WHY??? Oh and it got worse the older she got. This shelf is actually pretty tame compared to what it looked like a year ago. I was too ashamed to ever take a picture of that. Every single empty cubby was crammed with toys. But for some reason it still didn't click that we needed to do some serious paring down of her possessions.

Exhibit C: Isn't this bedding adorable? Practical? Not so much. I am way too ashamed to tell you how much this little set cost us. I am even more embarrassed to tell you how many hours I spent searching and stressing over the "perfect bedding." It took me a grand total of a two weeks to realize how useless all of this crap was. Baby blanket? You don't put a blanket over a baby under a year old when they sleep. The bumpers? The American Academy of Pediatrics isn't thrilled about the use of these things and they are highly against the use of them. I kept having nightmares of her rolling over and suffocating in them. The sheets? They were so hard to change that I sought out a better option. By the way do yourself a favor and check out The sheets zipper onto a base and you don't have to lift a heavy mattress in the middle of the night. Your welcome. That dust ruffle? The biggest pain in the ass EVER. Almost every single time I had to lift the mattress to change the sheets that stupid thing would fall off. So I had to yell for my husband to help me reposition it...while the baby screamed bloody murder. So if there are any first time mom's out there reading your money and go spend it on somebody to clean your house during those first hectic weeks. All a baby needs in a crib are sheets and mattress protector. Trust me.

Now I am five months pregnant with baby girl number two: Kimber. Things are quite different this time. I haven't stressed once about a purchase. I spent a half hour during Yo Gabba Gabba one day (Does that show make anybody else's eye twitch?) trying to find some better quality cloth diaper pre-folds. But I think that is it. I have hardly bought anything. Sure, I did save almost all of Lucy's clothes and gear. But I recently purged a ton of it and it is at a much more acceptable level. I have also gently threatened the grandparents to control their spending this time around.

The nursery in our new apartment actually has two small closets. This is allowing me to not even use a dresser. These are the clothes for newborn to three months. Honestly this is still a little more than I would prefer to have. But it is still not out of control. I also have some blankets, sheets, and pants on the hanging organizer. Notice the little toddler down there trying to pull everything down as fast she can? She is a BIG help.
This is the other closet. Those bins hold all of Lucy's old clothes that I decided to keep. Pictured here is everything from three months up to two years. I had to edit big time. The amount of clothes that I had saved was just ridiculous. A lot of them were stained and really worn looking.

Remember the shelving system from before? I was able to reduce Lucy's toys and such by so much that she only needs one shelf and I was able to move this one into her sister's room. Two of the bins have toys, one has a couple of hats, socks, and bibs, and the other two are empty. I don't plan to keep it quite this barren. She needs some more books and I am sure as she gets older a few more toys will matriculate in. But I will not let things get as out of control as they did in Lucy's room.

Bottom line: Things are very different this time around and I hope to keep it that way. I will still have to work to make sure Kimber's room does not become overrun with toys, clothes, and baby gear. I will have to resist the urge to go out and purchase every cute baby gadget and baby outfit that Buy Buy Baby has on the shelf. I spent way too much time and money trying to deal with all of Lucy's stuff. Things will be different this time around. They have to be.

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