in the past week & a half, i have been victimized by three different enormous spiders in the bathroom. the most recent horror was in the sink, desperately scrabbling up the basin to freedom, but being pulled back down by its own girth. jared captured all three & released them into the freedom of the garden. & this is why i’m not outdoorsy. too many monstrous beasts.
the spider situation was making me really sad. i’m nearly 33 years old; i shouldn’t be afraid of my own bathroom. i don’t necessarily think that the spiders were colonizing the bathroom because of its relative cleanliness level, but i did get obsessed with giving it a thorough scrubbing & hopefully scaring any other horrible monsters out of their hidey-holes. but i was also scared to start cleaning because we had inadvertently provided quite a few hidey-holes. for some reason, we had an old shower curtain stuffed behind the bathtub (did we think we were going to repurpose it someday?), & any number of spiders could have been lurking in its folds. so i kept jared on standby while i pulled everything out of the bathroom. no spiders emerged.
i wiped down all the baseboards & woodwork, cleaned & polished all the ceramic & metal, & mopped. then i cleaned everything else that had been in the bathroom–plungers, plastic storage boxes, plastic shelving crates, the toothbrush holder…the bathroom is now sparkling clean & hopefully 100% spider-free.
this week i also shipped out the last of my doll collection, which i sold to raise money for baby expenses (prenatal care, hospital stay, baby gear). i was able to put away a few thousand dollars once it was all said & done! i also completely emptied the hallway closet of anything that isn’t for the baby (we already have a box of baby clothes from a friend who works for carter’s, a handful of board books we bought at the children’s book sale at the library, & some breast milk storage bottles from my ob-gyn, plus the fabric i bought for the baby quilt chepina & i are making). i re-organized my own closet to make room for extra linens & old journals, & emptied one of my dresser drawers to make room for baby clothes or cloth diapers. & i cleaned out the fridge & washed all the shelves & drawers with hot soapy water. basically, i am hardcore nesting. unfortunately, the baby isn’t due for another six months, by which point everything will be filthy & messy again.
i also decided to tackle the epic baby gear question head on. jared & i had experimented by going to baby stores & window-shopping, but that did very little to teach us what we really need for our baby. mostly we just became completely overwhelmed & started hyperventilating. i asked around to some of my parent friends, & quite a few of them had helpful tips, but none of them gave me what i really wanted, which was a detailed list of the bare necessities & the cheapest places to get each item at the highest quality. i consulted some online baby registries, but they were totally confusing & seemed to be padded with all kinds of useless shit. one registry included a baby comforter & specified that comforters are dangerous for babies & that it is only to be purchased to match the other nursery linens. points for honesty, i guess?
finally i printed out two copies of the baby registry at the bump. i kept one copy for myself & gave the other to jared. then we each independently went through the list & crossed out anything that seemed pointless & annotated as needed. this is our final list:
3 short-sleeved onesies*
3 long-sleeved onesies*
2 pairs of leggings*
3 footie pajamas*
1 romper for looking cute*
8 pairs of socks
3 sleep sacks (young baby only, pre-rolling)
1 winter cap
1 sun hat
(items marked with * should be purchased in multiple sizes)
(items marked with ** should be purchased after baby is born)
4 large receiving blankets
3 swaddling blankets
quilt (making it myself)
cute animal mobile*
basket for toys/diapers/clothes
(items marked with * are things i would want even if i wasn’t pregnant)
(items marked with ** can wait until after baby is born, see if it likes being bounced)
10 one-size snap pocket diapers
10 one-size velcro pocket diapers
a dozen newborn-size prefolds
a dozen small-size prefolds
5 size one thirsties fab fitteds
5 size two thirsties fab fitteds
5 diaper covers
5 glass bottles*
assorted nipple sizes*
8 large bibs
high chair attachment
dedicated ice cube tray for freezing breast milk
nipple pads & cream
(items marked with * are for dad feedings)
FIRST AID KIT
aloe vera plant
baby nail clippers
(items marked with * can be purchased after baby is born, see if they’re necessary/useful)
convertible car seat
umbrella stroller (older baby only)
carefully chosen stuffed animal
gnawable board books
that’s it. i didn’t include anything that we already have or can fashion from items around the house or other items on the list. we eliminated a LOT of items from the suggested registry. a baby doesn’t need a bathtub. give it a sponge bath in the sink when it’s tiny & get in the bathtub with it when it’s a little bigger. my sister used to take her baby into the shower with her so they could both get clean at the same time. baby towels are adorable (especially the ones with animal face hoods), but a baby can be wrapped in a regular towel just as easily. you can substitute baby socks for no-scratch mitts & they actually stay on better. if you’re already using a perfume-free gentle laundry detergent on your own laundry, you can use it for baby laundry too. cribs & all their accoutrements are like the #1 go-to must-have baby item (i bought my sister one when she got pregnant, not even considering that not everyone uses them), but if you plan to sleep with baby, what’s the point? if you live in a 700-square foot house, you don’t need a monitor. a baby doesn’t need its own CD player. a baby hairbrush? babies barely even have any hair.
i could go on. i did some research & put together a registry with specific items we want. (i guess i’m going to put that online next week after my next sonogram.) a few people have said they want to buy us something, if we give them some guidance about what we could use. so that will help a lot, & we can fill in the rest as the due date approaches. i am still overwhelmed by all this baby stuff. i went to the store yesterday to stock baby’s first aid kit & got completely overwhelmed. i wound up ditching my basket & hiding out in the pet toys aisle for a while. i mean, an ear thermometer costs $20 to $40, & none of them have good reviews. why not just re-purpose one of my numerous fertility awareness digital thermometers (i kept “losing” them & replacing them) as a rectal thermometer? more accurate, & it’s not like babies remember that stuff.
oh, ps–i had another baby dream. this is the third dream i’ve had in which the baby is a girl. (i have had zero in which the baby is a boy.) this dream was super-specific. she was a girl & we named her ramona. she was born on january 17 via cesarean. let’s see how much of this comes true! (hopefully all of it except the cesarean.)