June 21, 2006
We've been trying to get the nursery all set up and ready to go. I think we're about done! There are some finishing touches that we're working on, but for the most part… this is it! Here are some pictures, let me know if you see anything that doesn't look right! As you can see, we decided on the green and brown rather than the traditional baby blue. We love it!
May 18, 2006
There comes a time in a man's life when he can no longer drive the two door hatchback he bought when he started college. Whether he's in need of a larger, safer, more reliable car, or whether his wife wont drive the car because it smells like dirty socks (or both), he must one day upgrade.
That time, my friends, has come.
As of last night, I no longer own a hatchback. Impending parenthood has driven us to seek out a more safe, more reliable, more "doory" transportation option.
We found everything we were looking for in this contraption.
Part car, part van, part truck, part metal box. What more could we ask for?
We now own a Honda Element.
April 4, 2006
A couple times a year we like to sit down and review our budget. We do this for obvious reasons… mainly so Julie can show me that I spend too much on fast food and video games!
Anyway, last week we sat down to plan for some upcoming expenses and we figured that now would be a good time to start designing our "baby budget." We want to make sure we are prepared. It wasn't until we started making a spreadsheet and running through mental lists that we realized that we had no idea what to budget for!
For example, take the most basic baby necessity… diapers! We know we need them, but we don't know how many we need! And on top of that, we don't even know how much they cost! How much should we plan on spending on diapers in a month? What kind of diapers do we need? Are diapers really all that necessary? Would it be cheaper to just wrap the kid up in newspaper?
Basically we know nothing… I guess we'll just have to wait until we're in the situation to learn what the baby's needs are going to be. Until then, any advice would be great! Let us know what you wish you would have been more prepared for… and could someone tell us how much diapers cost?
March 9, 2006
The purpose of this post is two-fold. Primarily, I’m trying to drop hints to those who know me about what I might want for my birthday. Secondly, I found some cute baby clothes that I thought I should share.
So anyway! The weather is getting warmer and it’s time to buy some new summer clothes (of course the ones from last year don’t fit anymore). I’m a plain “Levi’s and t-shirt” kind of guy, so it’s pretty easy to find stuff I like. The other day one of my friends was wearing a shirt from American Apparel and I really liked it. So today while I was waiting for class to start I checked out the American Apparel website and I noticed that they have a baby section! I’ve been in the store many times and never noticed that they sell baby clothes (probably because I never cared!). Anyway, check it out, it’s a little pricey but the baby/kids clothes are really cute!
And to my wife/parents/siblings/anyone who loves me… I wear shirt size L!
February 16, 2006
When Mommy Brown and I were first married we combined all of our random stuff and ended up with a house full of everything that we had ever owned individually. Obviously we had to get rid of some stuff. One such thing happened to be an old rocking chair given to her by her parents.
Niether of us really liked the chair, but she had held on to it because she figured she needed a rocking chair for whenever she decided to have kids. At the time, that day seemed oh so far away and I promised that I would buy her a new chair when she became pregnant if we could just get rid of the old one. We got rid of it shortly after that conversation.
Fast forward a couple years and we’re pregnant and of course she has decided to take me up on that promise. So the other night we went looking at chairs.
She wanted a chair that was comfortable enough to fall asleep in. She also wanted something that rocks and reclines.
It just so happens that the local Lay-Z-Boy store is in the process of moving to a new location and they were having a huge sale to get rid of all the stuff in the store before they move. Most of the chairs were between 30-40% off. We ended up getting a nice little chair for 30% off and we really like it. It has a cool modern pattern and it’ll go perfect in our nursery. The picture doesn’t really do the chair justice… but this is it!
The sale continues through this month, but stuff is getting picked over pretty quick. Any Las Vegans in the search for a new chair should check it out.
February 6, 2006
I guess the most valuable resource for parents-to-be on a budget would have to be the massive amounts of used baby stuff that’s boxed up in closets all over the world. Whether it’s hand-me-downs from friends or family members, the local classifieds, or Children’s Orchard… used baby stuff is ALL AROUND. I’ve already started sorting through the classifieds on craigslist.org and you wouldn’t believe how many people are “MOVING TODAY – MUST GET RID OF ALL BABY STUFF IN THE NEXT THREE HOURS…. CALL FOR FREE STUFF.”
So, the question is… Which stuff is better to buy new, and which stuff should you just take used?
I’ve been giving it some thought and here are a few of my conclusions…
Furniture is generally ok to buy used. Especially since new furniture is really expensive. Just make sure that it’s safe. Safety standards on baby goods are updated frequently, so make sure you’re up to date. Also, beware of furniture that has been re-painted (you never know what kind of paint was used). One good thing about buying used furniture is that you can sand it down and paint it yourself… make it all match! Also, you wont be as disappointed when it ends up with beautifully crafted crayon murals all over it.
Clothes are also generally ok. Make sure to wash them well. Since used clothes have been worn and washed many times before, they may not last as long as new clothes… but when your child is growing out of clothes so fast, it probably isn’t an issue. And who wants to spend $50 on an outfit that will only be worn for a few months?
Toys are ok, but need to be thoroughly checked for broken or unsafe pieces.
I wouldn’t gamble with buying a used carseat. You never know what it’s been through. If it’s a hand-me-down from someone you trust, make sure it’s up to date.
Basically, every parent will have their own opinions on what is good enough for their baby. For those of us who don’t mind a few hand-me-downs, e-bay and craigslist are great places to start!
I’ll be sure to inform you of any treasures that I find as I poke around the thrift stores and garage sales!
February 5, 2006
I think we looked at about a hundred cribs before we found the one that we wanted. Actually, the crib that we finally picked out was one of the first ones we looked at, we just didn’t know how much we liked it until we realized how much we didn’t like all the other cribs we were looking at. It seems that all the crib makers got together and decided to make every crib that costs under $500 look exactly the same. Of course, that made the job of finding exactly what we wanted much more complicated. I guess we could have just settled for a crib that we “kind of” liked (like the baby would care?), but we pressed on until we were sure that we had the crib that we wanted. Why was it such a big decision anyway?
There were a few things that we wanted out of the crib. Primarily, we were on a budget. We didn’t have $1000 to blow on the crib (we didn’t even have $500!). Of course, all the cribs that I really liked were the expensive ones… but we just didn’t have that option.
Secondly, design was a big factor. We have a pretty modern sense of style. All the “country home style” sleigh cribs just didn’t appeal to us (that’s all they sell these days btw). We wanted something semi-traditional/semi-modern. Clean lines are nice. Also, since space is always an issue, we didn’t want something that HAS to be pushed up against the wall.
Finally, we wanted something sturdy and safe, for obvious reasons.
So it all boiled down to just a couple options and we’re happy with the choice that we made. We found this crib in the JC Penney catalog. It’s affordable, and we like how it looks.
You can check out the catalog at http://www.jcpenney.com
There were also some nice looking, extremely affordable cribs at IKEA… but they were a bit too “minimalist” for us. Either way, you can check them out at Ikea-usa.com!