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Baby Stuff I DO Have

Many of you remember my post Baby Must Haves I Do Not Have. It is one of my most popular posts, and I had a lot of fun writing it. I had a request to follow it up with stuff I do actually have, so here it is!


Maternity Clothes – I was pregnant through the winter months, and still working, so my wardrobe had to be work appropriate. Since I didn’t want to spend a fortune, I wore my work clothes (except the pants) during non work hours too. I had two jeans, one work pant, a work appropriate dress (that I actually still wore a lot after I had Calvin and am looking forward to being pregnant in it again!), a couple t-shirts and tanks, and a small pile of knit sweaters.
A couple weeks ago I pulled out one of the pairs of jeans only to discover that it has a hole where you don’t want to have a hole! So I am down to one pair of casual pants and a whole bunch of winter tops. I was able to get a few more springy items a bit ago though, so I am on my way to having a maternity wardrobe fit for the summer. Except for bottoms. I still just have the one pair of jeans.

An extra pillow – It’s actually more like my second pillow that is always on my bed, but never under my head. I just used it between my knees when I could not longer sleep on my front and was forced onto my side.

At the Hospital

Let’s see if I can remember what I brought…

Entertainment – We had the iPad along, but I don’t remember using it at all. We played a few card games after I was induced, before contractions started, but after they started, I didn’t need anything. I didn’t bring any special music or anything like that. After Calvin was born, I just hung out with him and family and friends who stopped by.

Clothes for Me – Before I was discharged, I just wore black stretchy pants and the hospital gown with nothing underneath. It was easiest for breastfeeding, and I wasn’t leaking or anything at that point, so a bra was not necessary  I did have one to go home though. Don’t worry. But it was an ugly one from Walmart. I didn’t want to buy good ones until I knew what size I was going to be. And then of course I had clothes to leave in. The same stretchy pants and a maternity shirt. I brought my own underwear, but the stuff the hospital provided was way more comfortable.

Clothes for Calvin – I only brought one or two outfits for him. While we were at the hospital he just stayed in those little hospital wrap gowns. We also used the disposable diapers provided.

Random things – The top two things I would recommend are your own pillow and a pair of slippers. I loved having my own pillow that didn’t smell like a hospital, and the slippers were great for walking around of course. And then there were little things like lanolin which is your best friend, but the hospital can provide that as well, snacks, and whatever chargers you need for whatever electronics you bring.

Now That Baby is Here

Here is what our home looked like after I was done preparing it for the arrival of a baby.

The Crib – At this point we didn’t know if we were bring a boy or a girl home, so I made a mobile of something I had – pink cherry blossom lanterns. They were replaced by blue tissue papers pom poms from my cousin, but I think they will make an appearance if we have a girl in the future. A “mobile” didn’t serve a practical purpose for us, but it looked cute!
The crib itself didn’t have any fancy sheets sets or anything. I have two fitted sheets. Calvin never wet himself or spat up often enough that we would need more before laundry day came around.
The bins underneath held the extra linens and hangers (that room didn’t have a closet). They currently are in Nanaimo and hold clothes Calvin outgrew before we moved to Edmonton and a few girl items that we didn’t need (like those lanterns), and are hopefully making their way back to us next weekend

New Place (22)The Nursing Corner etc – I didn’t get the glider until well past my due date (but thankfully well before Calvin decided to show up), so I had a little old rocker in its place. side table had a clock on it and held the burp cloths. Suggestion: have a burp cloth in every room.
On the shelf were all of his worldly possessions. Toys in the basket, books, stuffed animals, and a couple blankets.

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A Dresser – Yes, you do need somewhere to store clothes, surprisingly. I think I had arranged the clothes bottoms on the left and tops on the right, getting larger in size as we went down. Something like that. As he grew out of items, I moved them to the bins under the crib.
The blue box on top had the rest of the blankets. I didn’t have any special swaddling blankets, wraps or bags. Calvin wasn’t picky about his sleeping situation.

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The Changing Station – I have read in multiple places that you must have a changing station in every room. I think that is ridiculous. Can’t you walk with your baby 20 feet to the nursery?
Anyway, At my changing station I had diapers (disposables as first, but we switched to cloth after the first few weeks), cloth wipes, and a spray bottle with water.
I think I have used diaper cream on Calvin once so I never had that around at hand. No other creams or concoctions either. What can I say? I like a simple life.
For a pail I have just a garbage can with a foot operated lid. Inside is a giant laundry bag that gets thrown in the wash with the diapers. It does a really good job at keeping the smell in. I just wish I knew where the bag came from so I could get another! I don’t know if it would do the same job at keeping the smell at bay with disposables and a regular garbage bag though.

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Here are a couple shots of inside the drawers of the change table. I took them today, but they still have pretty much the same stuff as they used to.

Burp cloths (that used to be in the side table), wash cloths for bath time, the “newborn size” diaper inserts that came with my diapers. I use them now for extra night time stuffing.

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Random lotions and potions I don’t use, other organic type diaper inserts I haven’t used, but will come up with a different purpose for them probably, purple diapers I got in a lot of Bum Genius off of Used Victoria that are awaiting a little girl’s bum to cover, and a little toiletry kit containing a toothbrush, nasal aspirator, comb, brush, nail clippers, etc.

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Then we have a few towels, other bath type sponges and scrubby things I’ve never used, one extra change pad cover, one extra fitted crib sheet, a sling carrier made by a friend and this change pad.

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Bassinet – A friend of mine kindly lent me hers so Calvin could sleep in our room for the first little while. I did make him nap in his crib though, so he would be used to it when he ended up there for nights.
The bears have a little bit of a story. Last winter Tim’s parents brought him a box of his old things, and inside was this blue bear. As soon as I saw it, I ran to wherever I was keeping mine, and pulled out the matching pink one! Mine saw a little more love, but I think it’s very cute that we had matching childhood teddy bears.
The blanket I crocheted. It’s the only thing I’ve made for Calvin. I think I should pull the hook out again and try something more complicated.

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The only other things we had around the house were a swing chair in the living room, and a manual pump with a few glass bottles in the kitchen.

Oh, and a stroller (nothing fancy, just a Safety First) and a bucket car seat of course!

What Has Accumulated Over the Past Year

So 12 months have passed, and a fair amount of stuff has been collected. This is what Calvin’s room looks like now.

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His closet is where most of the stuff has collected. There are clothes he has grown out of, a box with random paper memorabilia in it, the Bumbo, random inserts from car seats and things, a bath ramp, the pack and play, shoes he has yet to grow into, and a few toys that are currently out of circulation. And of course his hung up clothes that do fit him.

baby stuff (5)His toys and books and things have moved to these drawers since the white shelf didn’t fit in this little room.

baby stuff (4)There are a few items in the bathroom for him too. Just a couple little toys, shampoo that is mostly used as my shaving cream, a toothbrush, toothpaste and Tylenol for when necessary.

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These are his things by the front door: a couple shoes, hats, and mittens.

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And let’s see what’s in my diapers bag…a diaper, cloth wipes, a wet bag, the squirt bottle from the hospital to wet the wipes, a set of clothing that I am sure is 2 sized too small since I haven’t had to change him anywhere in a very long time, a couple toys, a Tupperware sippy cup, a Ziploc with a few arrowroot crackers, and my personal stuff like wallet and hand lotion.

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We can’t forget about the eating implements! I don’t have too much. A bunch of bibs (I’m not sure why, but I rarely use them), cloths to wipe his face after eating, a Boon Spoon I used once and didn’t like, a mesh eater that I actually never used again after this post, a set of four Tupperware sippy cups (I actually bought those as a part of my Tupperware wedding shower), an eating set from IKEA (yes, that is the only spoon we have), my manual pump with an extra bottle it came with, a small handful of glass bottles (most from Value Village) and a container with extra lids and nipples and things. I rarely bottle fed Calvin, so I really only used two of them maybe.

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And finally, all the toys that are in our living room. This is pretty tidy.

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If this looks a little wonky to you, it’s because it’s a panoramic. A perfect way to get a shot of a full room.

And that is all our stuff! It looks like a lot to me, but I know that it is far less that what a lot of other families have.



Baby Must-Haves I Do Not Have

I have 8 friends and family members who are due to have a baby this summer. While a handful of them will be second time moms, the majority are first time moms and this post is for them. When I was pregnant with Calvin, it was the slow season at the hotel, so I had an enormous amount of time to fill, and how did I do it? Why, I read mommy blogs of course! Most of the time I laughed at them and thought “Why do they think they need that?” I made it an informal goal of mine to get away with as little as possible.

So here is my list of baby items that our family (somehow) lives without. Hopefully it is a nice break from whatever else all you expecting ladies are reading.

(disclaimer: I realize that everybody is different, so while some of these things are items I do not need, I fully realize that your baby and family work differently and may need them)


A specially shaped pillow – You know, they look like question marks or wonky noodles and run you about $70. I simply used a single pillow I already had and stuffed it between my knees. Tim never complained about losing bed space, and I was as comfy as a pregnant lady can be.

All those books – The only book I read during pregnancy was a comedic one that my brother gave to Tim, from a dad’s perspective. Some people like to be informed about everything, and I do too, but I prefer relying on the experiences of friends and family, and then if I still have a question, I go to sites like Baby Center or What To Expect. Rarely have I learned something useful from them though. When you have a baby, you will be surprised at how much you know how to do simply by instinct.

At the Hospital

A fresh pedicure – I am not a “must be pampered” kind of girl. I have had a real pedicure twice in my life, many moons ago, not even for my wedding. One of my labour nurses actually asked me why I didn’t have one. I thought it was funny, if not a little rude. Yes, maybe I would have liked it if I shaved my legs, but whatever. Those nurses and doctors see a lot worse than hairy legs and naked toe nails. Save your money, you will survive.

A special hospital gown – now this is probably one of the most ridiculous things you can buy. Many women purchase their own special, pretty hospital gown for labour. Why?! The hospital provides one! Who are you trying to look pretty for?

enough outfits – the best thing to remember is that the hospital provides everything you need postpartum. That includes clothing for your baby. No need to pack several suitcases. Tim and I went in with my diaper bag and a backpack.

your own underwear and hygienic items – I found the underwear the hospital provided to be the most comfortable. They are super thin and stretchy so it doesn’t dig in to any uncomfortable or swollen areas. Also, the pads they provide work just fine. Yes, they are a little bulky, but they are free!

Mom and Baby happy as can be in hosptial-provided duds.

Mom and Baby happy as can be in hosptial-provided duds.

Now That Baby is Here

the best of everything – many moms spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on the best car seats, the best strollers, the best furniture…Don’t go overboard just because you want the best for your baby. Your budget is also important, so if you can’t afford the highest end car seat, just remind yourself that they wouldn’t sell a less expensive car seat if it wasn’t safe.

nursing pillow – I just used a regular pillow from on my couch, or if I was in bed, I used Tim’s pillow. You already have it, it is used for other purposes, and it matches your decor!

nursing cover – a blanket does the same trick. You can tuck the corner between your shoulder and couch/chair or under your bra strap to secure it. If you are still worried about people seeing, it’s their problem that they are looking.

sound machines, mobiles and other distractions – maybe we were blessed with a baby who fell asleep easily, but maybe he fell asleep easily because he never had these things to learn to rely on. I don’t know which is the case, but I do know that we didn’t need these things.

the space stealers – I don’t believe it is necessary to have a play gym, an exersaucer, a swinging/vibrating chair, and all those other brightly coloured, noisy, space hoggers. I had just a swinging chair. It was gifted to me, and I feel like I would have gotten by even if I didn’t have that. Other than that, Calvin was happy on the floor with a few toys to swat at.

special crib sheet sets – the crib does not need a skirt or a fancy blanket and matching curtains.

wipe warmer – pure luxury.

Sophie the Giraffe – okay, this is one item that I do, in fact have, and I like that I have it, however my baby is not attached to it. I think this is a classic case of good marketing. It is a great toy that is fun to hold and squeaks very easily, making a baby happy, but it’s the parent who always gives it to the child and says “it’s his favourite!”, in turn making the child dependent on it. Calvin doesn’t have a favourite anything, except he prefers remote controls to real toys.

coffee every morning or die!! – now this one is very individual. I like a good coffee now and again, but I do not require it to be awake in the morning. Starbucks to me is a treat, not a necessity (well not Starbucks because I don’t like their coffee, but you get the point). I also do not require 8 hours of sleep at night to function during the day, so maybe in that way, I was born to be a mom.

yoga pants – yes, there may be a day here or there where I do not change out of my pj’s if I don’t leave the house, but I do not own sweats and a t-shirt covered in spit up, Lulus of any kind, or whatever you picture in your mind when you think “mom uniform”. Does it really require less effort to put on a pair of stretchy pants than it does to put on a pair of jeans?


I believe that concludes the list for now. If you were offended by anything I said, please remember that this is what works for me and my family. I like being different than other people, so it’s very much okay that you are not the same as me! You may also have to know my personality quite well to really understand everything I say, but maybe what I say helps you understand my personality.

Over all, I didn’t want to spend uber amounts of money just because everybody said I needed to have this and required that. So I didn’t. Between gifts and gift cards, the only things we spent money on was my diaper bag, cloth diapers, a dresser and a few clothes. Budget is a very important tool in our family, and I encourage all new parents to really think about what you can afford and what you can live without.

I hope this has been helpful for you, or at least made you laugh and wonder what kind of crazy person I am.

And just a little photo of Calvin to round off the post. He loves to explore and found my potatoes. Yum!

And just a little photo of Calvin to round off the post. He loves to explore and found my potatoes. Yum!

Are there items you have for your children that you have learned you don’t actually need? Did you encounter a situation where you needed something you didn’t have?

I recently wrote about what baby items I do have. Check it out!

New Specs

Just recently my work (where I no longer work, but I receiving the benefits for until Tim starts getting his) added optical to their plans. Hallelujah! I have been sporting the same glasses and lenses for 7 years. I take good care of my stuff, but you are bound to have to use a t-shirt at some point to clean them during that time, guaranteeing some fine scratches.

I thought I would use this opportunity to go down memory lane with regards to my vision correction devices.

I got my first prescription in grade 3, and here I am in grade 4 with my very first pair:

Nothing like a frame touching your cheeks.

A couple years later I downsized. This is my grade 6 school photo:

I wore overalls until grade 10. Didn’t you?

This one is from grade 9 when nose pads were out and plastic frames were in:

This also happens to be my favourite school photo.

The year after I graduated highschool, I convinced my mom to get me one last pair, before I had to start paying for it on my own. These are the ones that served me for the past 7 years:

My favourite part of them was that they had green on the inside of the arms, like a colourful little secret.

And just this afternoon, these ones landed on my front step:

Back to plastic frames with no nose pads.

Apparently my prescription changed an itsy bitsy amount, and got a little better. Even though it was just a tiny change, looking through these new lenses makes it seem like I am seeing in HD. Colours are crisper and lines are sharper. It’s amazing what a few little scratches on lenses and a little bit of a wrong prescription can change the view.

And can I say how easy shopping at Clearly Contacts is? I took advantage of their “Get Your First Pair Free” sale. It ends tomorrow, so you can still get in on the deal! I did have to pay for the lenses though, since my prescription requires special things done, but the benefits will cover it! Hooray!

Baby Gadgets

I am not a huge gadget person. I like things streamlined and to have as little amount of stuff as possible so if it’s a tool that’s used for only one specific thing, I tend not to have it (unless it’s a waffle iron, because nothing else can do that!). However, I was gifted a few little items at my baby showers, two in particular had to do with feeding.

The first one was the Boon Spoon. I tried it once, and probably won’t again. It is a really neat idea, but you have to keep the spoon vertical the whole time, otherwise the food wouldn’t be close enough to the end to squirt out, and also, if Calvin decided to spit out a bunch of food, but I already had more on the spoon waiting, it was hard to scrape it all off his chin. I would not recommend this product.

The other I was reminded that I had when my Oma mentioned that when her children were little, she would wrap food in cheese cloth then tie it in a knot and they could suck on it. If I had cheese cloth on hand, I would probably do that, but I already had the modern day tool…the net feeder thing! I don’t know the brand or whatnot, but I’m sure there are many companies who make this sort of thing. It keeps Calvin busy for a good while, and he can feed himself that way! It does get a little messy when he decides to hit everything around him with it, but he is a baby eating; he is supposed to get messy! The net does get a little hard to clean if he has pulpy food in it, like oranges and even bananas, but I just throw it in the dishwasher, and if there is still food stuck in the seams, at least I know it’s clean!


I had to add this one too, because I love his facial expression!

Are you a gadgets person? What do you like? If you aren’t, what few ones do you have that you enjoy?