I got my very first bonus check on Friday. It was fairly small, but still very exciting and unexpected. The old automatic bonuses for first and second years were taken away when the economy crashed- our base salary never changed or froze, but the bonuses are now at the firm's discretion. So if the firm has a good year the whole class gets one (the same one), and if it doesn't we don't get anything. Luckily, 2009 was a good year.
Half of the bonus immediately went to savings and the other half has been dedicated to baby accessory shopping. The fun kind of accessories - we have the basic furniture and toys, but now I get to buy a few of the things I wanted when we had Landon but couldn't afford. Also, while Landon slept in his crib in his own room from the first night we came home from the hospital, our master bedroom is now on a different floor from the nursery, and we need something for the baby to sleep in downstairs.
First up was all the the bedding I picked out the day we discovered baby 2.0 is a girl. I still love it and can't wait for it to arrive.
Second was this 11x14 print from an etsy shop which highlights the inspiration for choosing the bedding. I'm going to frame it and hang it between the doors in the room:
Third were these 8x10 wall cards from the same etsy artist. I love the simple nature theme and think they will look great lined up across the room from the crib. (Since we're not painting the room, I'm big on art for the walls.)
So that's what I purchased immediately on Friday. I'd obsessed over them enough in ten days to equate about three months of hemming and hawing; JP had long since refused to look at any more links I sent him regarding baby decor. Now there are two things I'm still researching. One is a bassinet for our bedroom. I want it to be simple and pretty, but also sturdy and well made so that we can use it for baby #3 or other family member's babies. (Man, my brother and sister are going to be so lucky whenever they have kids- we have everything and will be done by the time they get around to it. We had to buy nearly everything ourselves.) It also has to blend with our bedroom because I just finished decorating that and we are not marring the beauty with some plastic monstrosity. This is my favorite so far:
I like the simplicity of the look, the positive reviews, and the fact that it rocks and the basket comes off the top. I do not like the price- it costs more than 2x what we paid for Landon's crib, though it does include the bedding set. The problem is other ones I look at are even more expensive or cheaper to the point of cheapiness. I still remember the white bassinet both my sister and brother slept in when they were newborns, and my sister and I put our dolls in it for years- I know whatever we buy will get a lot of use.
The second item is a jogging stroller. We used the Graco stroller frame for Landon's infant car seat when he was a baby and it was my single most favorite baby item ever. I have never understood those clunky travel systems. When he got bigger we switched to an inexpensive umbrella stroller which works fine for most things, but there are times when I really wish we something a little more rugged. Plus, there's always hope that I'll take up jogging right? We wouldn't want the stroller to get in the way of such a healthy decision.
I solicited recommendations from those I work with and many suggested the Bob.
Once again I like the look, the extremely positive reviews, but very much dislike the $400 price tag. That's a lot of money for a stroller. That's a lot of money for just about anything. And then I wonder - should we have a stroller that accommodates two children? But we so rarely use our stroller, and when we do, it's on some outing that both JP and I are attending. We could both push something. And Landon likes to walk or ride his Spiderman big wheel, so if it's just an evening walk around the neighborhood, baby girl will be the only one being pushed. Is it worth having a mammoth stroller for the few times we may like it? But if I'm going to spend that much money on something, will I be mad that it doesn't accommodate Landon as well?
I'd been secretly hoping my in-laws might offer some sort of gift for baby 2.0, but they've been so bizarre about this whole pregnancy, basically refusing to ask about me or the baby ever, and changing the subject as soon as we told them she was a girl, that I've decided I don't even want anything from them. If we can buy it ourselves we will; if we can't, we'll do without- we have all the necessities anyway.
In the mean time, I'm thoroughly enjoying getting to research and read baby product reviews, and I love even more to hear people's recommendations, so if you have any thoughts on bassinets, jogging strollers (especially the double v. single debate), and other things maybe you added to your collection for baby #2, please let me know!