Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Though Shall Not Covet

12/08/09: I started writing this post weeks ago when I was still able to leave the house--and then all of those hospital visits started happening. I figured I would finally come back and finish the post...

Scene: Ali standing at the Walgreens Pharmacy, essentially eating the Ralph Lauren Romance perfume of the woman sitting behind her. Said woman's husband, a nondescript man in his late 30s, is sitting next to her in the only 2 chairs in the waiting area.

Ali's internal conversation: "Hello! Pregnant woman here who is on modified bed rest waiting for her prescription would really love a seat. It's the least you could do for poisoning me with your overwhelming perfume."

(Was that too harsh?? I normally don't adopt the role of charity case while pregnant, but today I felt on overwhelming sense of entitlement to the Walgreens chair.)

Ali maintains her composure, looks for some sort of assistive device by the couple to convince her that they needed the seats more than she, and tries to breathe in air of compassion and tolerance...but there is that damn Romance perfume. She finally settles on convincing herself that they probably don't see the almost 30 week lump under her shirt.

Romance lady: "What are you getting your new baby for Christmas?"

Ali: (perplexed that Romance lady not only acknowledges the lump, but also continues with making 2 huge assumptions: I celebrate Christmas, and that I am getting Kilo gifts for Christmas). "Oh, me?? Umm...we really haven't thought about it. Just focused on getting through the next holiday."

Ali's internal conversation: "I was actually thinking of getting a comfy chair, just like the ones you are stealing from a pregnant woman, so I could sit and rest my taxed body. You gonna to ask for more perfume?"

(Now I KNOW that was cheeky, but pure venom seemed to be in my veins that day.)

Okay, so her assumption was right--we do celebrate Christmas, and we are getting Kilo a gift: a prime piece of luxurious real estate in my uterus.

The truth is, I just don't feel compelled to get gifts for the baby. And honestly, last year when Miles was 7 months old, I didn't feel an urge to get him lots of gifts, either. First, Christmas is truly about family for me, which makes this year a little hard in that we will not be surrounded by any extended family or friends. (BUT, we will have the opportunity to start our own family Christmas traditions with the 3.5 of us). Second, even now at 18 months, I feel like Miles doesn't appreciate "stuff" as much as commercial America would like us to think. There is no question that this year he will certainly be excited about getting toys, but he still has no expectation or sense of entitlement--let's hope we can avoid that for as long as possible. What do I really want? A healthy family. Sleep. Okay, and maybe a lifetime supply of dark chocolate wouldn't be bad, either.

And yet, I have found myself coveting lots of "things" over the past couple of weeks--in part due to my Google Reader peppering me with blog posts on the best new eco-friendly holiday gifts. And with the addition of secret coupon codes and promotional offers, I have gotten myself into trouble. I do try to rationalize things by saying, "all of our stuff will play double duty for both Miles and Kilo." My objective is to find balance between getting stuff just to get stuff, and getting toys with value and longevity.

I actually bought Miles a gift already--a big gift.

The educo French Kitchen.

Oompa toys.com shouldn't allow promotional codes giving money off, or I will be compelled to order more and more from them! This kitchen set is eco-friendly, comes with the accoutrements shown above, and when I bought it was under $90 (and I got a discount AND applied coupon codes), and will fit perfectly in our kitchen. This could be a long buying season...

Okay, back to 12/08/09

The transition to full bed rest just made my consumerist behavior more amplified, I am afraid. I humbly admit to being a walking contradiction (or a lounging contradiction). People, Amazon.com and having a prime membership is the devil. Good thing Miles cannot read the blog, or all of his presents would be ruined! I don't think we have ever purchased this much stuff for Miles at one time before--even before he was born. Part of me is riddled with guilt, but another part of me feels good about our choices.

Knuffle Bunny Too We LOVE the original Knuffle Bunny book (especially the part about Trixie going "boneless" as she throws a tantrum). Someone on my mothering.com message board told me there was a sequel, and I jumped on it.

Boon Frog Pod We have wanted to get this for a long time, and finally decided to splurge. Luckily, when we got it, Amazon had it on super clearance (always on the quest to hit up Amazon when an item is on super clearance...that is one thing I have realized, things are always reduced prices, but there will be these pockets of time where items are 50-70% off just for a few days). Miles loves organizing things now, and delights in us giving him tasks like "throw that away...put it in the drawer...close the lid." They tell me that such cooperation slowly changes into defiance. I choose not to believe that right now. I also hear that teenage boys sleep past 9am, but I don't believe that, either.

Sprig Toys Eco Recycling Truck LOVE LOVE sprig toys. We have a few of their other trucks that we got for Miles's 1st birthday, and he loves them. They are made from eco-friendly composite of reclaimed wood and recycled plastic (they even smell like wood), and are incredibly light, so little bodies can fling them around. I just got notice about the new eco recycling truck model and pounced on it (only $10 on clearance) I realize more and more that I am buying "gendered" toys, but I wouldn't hesitate getting any of these trucks for a little girl.

Manhattan Toy Automoblox Mini's 3-Pack We were able to get these when they were on deeper discount, too. I read an interesting article about the company and the toy and thought they would be a fun toy--even if we don't open it for a few months. That's the beauty of Miles's age--we can put toys away for a later date and he will have NO idea! Miles really does love "driving" around any kind of train, car...he even pretends pens are vehicles and "drives" them on my arm. You gotta encourage the imagination, no? Eric loved the styling of these guys, too.

Eric has been dying to get Miles a bike like this since he was born...and so here is the BIG gift #2. Mom got the kitchen, Dad got the bike.

Prince Lionheart Balance Bike Of all of the balance bikes (i.e. those with no pedals), this one was the cheapest, and actually got some pretty good reviews. I imagine we won't play with it a lot until the spring, and by that time, Miles will be more stable on his feet. With this, and then i-Bert bike seat that Eric totes Miles around it, we are set!

Eric's "Amazon" is Ikea. What I mean by that is he cannot go to the store without buying something. It used to be plant pots and picture frames. Now, it is fun things for Miles (and plant pots...). He came home with a little, inexpensive train set, and we are still waiting for their stock of
POÄNG children's arm chair to be replenished

I'll have to give the full report on how Miles responds to the gifts.

In the spirit of recycling (and a lame attempt at making me feel better for buying so many gifts), I had Eric dig up the huge bag full of yarn I got from his mother (after his grandmother passed, they found a HUGE lot of pastel yarn) and started knitting Christmas stockings. My hiatus from knitting is apparent by the first side of stocking #1, but I am convinced in years to come, I'll pull them out of our storage and the wonderful memories of Christmas 2009 will flood back...


  1. I am coveting that rockin' kitchen set!!!! Also loved the internal dialogue from Walgreens.

    Congrats on the return to knitting!!! I can't wait to see the stockings!

    Congrats on making it yet another day with kilo cookin' away :)

  2. Oh my gosh! What were those Romance people thinking?! They weren't. So much for southern hospitality, although sadly, you might well have had the same experience anywhere.
    I love all your gift purchases and the fact that you got good deals on everything. I will have to learn how to ferret deals out myself. You will learn to slow down on purchases once your house fills to the brim with wonderful eco-friendly toys....!