I went to a family fair today hosted by a local cafe designed for parents with little ones. It's only about 5 minutes from me, I never knew it was there, but it has all sorts of toys and play room for kids so parents can kind of sit around the play area and chat. Good idea and good to know it's there!
The family fair was basically a bunch of vending tables. When you walk in, you're given a bag with random flyers and such in it along with raffle tickets. Parents of older kids got a tan bag, and expecting mothers and parents of little kids got a.......wait for it........bright barbie pink bag! ARGH!!!
I knew I wasn't going to stick around very long so I had no use for the raffle tickets. I just figured I'd walk around, see what products and services are being advertised, maybe chat with a few people and head out. Since I've never needed kid stuff before, I don't know what's available, especially nearby, so this seemed like a reasonable thing to do.
I chatted with a mother of robust, 1 year old twin boys. Apparently they were born nearly 3 months early, weighed less than 3 lbs each. You sure wouldn't know they were premies to look at them today. Spent 3 months in the NICU. But meeting them, all big and healthy, took away a little bit of nerves about early delivery. While I desperately hope I don't deliver premies, it was nice to have some evidence that they can be healthy and robust only a year later.
There was a booth who's products were all monkeys and monkey stuff. Didn't buy anything today but I think that website will get quite the workout from me in the next few months. And we've bought a few monkey decorations for the kids room already. See?
Oh, and what I can't wait to tell K about when he gets home. Dairy delivery! Remember the days when the milkman came and delivered milk? It's available here, for all dairy products from a local dairy! They even deliver bread! It's all fresh, harvested and pasteurized the day before delivery with no growth hormones or any of that other crap.
The organicness of it isn't so important to me. All things being equal (price, convenience), sure I'll go the organic route, but I don't seek it out. And I have heard about all the growth hormones in our foods causing really early puberty in our kids and stuff. Now if I try to go all natural, all the time, I'll go nuts and any benefit of the natural food will be negated by the craziness of the mommy. But if it's convenient, and comparable in price, sure I'll choose the options to reduce those bad things. My aim is "better" and "improvement" rather than perfect.
We already get organic produce delivery once every 2 weeks. $35 for seasonal, local produce, there's enough for 2 people for those 2 weeks and we've found that it has more flavor and lasts longer in the fridge than anything we could get at the grocery store. In the long run we save a lot of money because less produce is thrown out, and having fruit and veggie snacks brought into the house, we spend less on crappy snacks. So now that I learn that we might be able to get all of our dairy and bread needs delivered as well? That just reeks of pure awesome!
And I'm told that with twins, you will desperately need people to bring you food because you won't have time to prepare anything. So if I'm getting apples from the produce delivery, and cottage cheese and milk from the dairy delivery, it's not exactly a stocked kitchen but at least I'll always have SOMETHING I can grab and stick in my mouth sitting around the house. I will tolerate a pink info bag if that's the price for learning about something so fabulous!
After the fair, I popped over to my brothers place to sift through some hand me downs that my cousin left for my niece and nephew and my upcoming kids.
I should probably introduce my brothers family here since they are likely to be repeat players in this blog. There's my brother S. He's about 7 years older than me, very much into physical fitness, an actor and 3-D animator. His wife G, whom I haven't actually talked to a whole lot until recently. She is quite a bit like my mother, or at least I get the impression that she is. Much brighter and sparklier than me. However, the more I'm getting to know her (which I really should have done years ago, my bad!), the more down to earth she seems to be. My nephew, KC, who's 5 and quite the talker and wiggler and whom I've trained to flinch from tickles at just the sight of my wiggling hand. And my niece V, 1 year old (with the same birthday as KC even though they tried not to do that), and quite the charmer.
For those of you who read about the mama drama, G has been really great in helping me deal with it. And that's how I've gotten to know her better over the last week or so. I called her right after it all started because I was so startled, I needed another mommy's perspective on the whole thing. And she read my blog post about the conclusion of the drama and was very patient listening to me bitch and moan about it for a few hours today. She doesn't know PR so it gave me the opportunity to go to petty places in my bitching which sometimes a person just needs to do. So I'm starting to feel like I'm going to be able to go to her socially as I get going on this parenting thing. That's a great help since losing PR was putting me into a social panic. And she's family, so she's kind of going to be around for a while!
Back to the stuff. My cousin already dropped off a few things here. We got several toys for when the kids start learning to walk. The toys that they can stand and push and help them balance. Those will go in the shed until it's time to break them out. And she dropped off a bag of clothes that I still need to go through and 2 baby bjorn holder thingies of different brands. Yay! I have baby snugglers! We can strap a kid to each parent!
The clothes that were left at my brothers didn't really have much for babies. Most of it was very girly stuff for a 2 or 3 year old. I'm grateful, but we don't have the room to store stuff like that which we can't use for so long, and we don't know if we'll have a girl anyway, and if we do, well, there was a lot of pink. So my brothers family is going to take a few pieces for their little girl and the rest gets donated.
So then G starts going around the house and pulling out the various things that she intends to hand down to my family and the pile just gets bigger, and bigger, and more and more awesome! A full box of clothes that will probably be somewhere in the first 6 months stage, feeding pillows - including one designed for twins, a play mat, and a portable play pen/bassinet thingy. And apparently there's going to be more coming! Like a bathing tub that 2 can fit in for at least a few months, and a swing. It looks like we'll have almost every sleeping option covered (crib, bassinets, co-sleepers) so we can see what works with our kids pretty much immediately without a whole lot of investment and my cousin will be handing down a double stroller a couple of months before we're due. G and S have cats as well and mentioned that the sleeping options will have nets to put over them to make sure the cats will keep off the kids, though G assured me that their cats naturally stayed away from the babies. So that's another thing off my mind.
Here's what we've collected so far -
It's not so much that we're getting stuff, that's swell and all, but the stuff is really making me feel more secure. The idea of providing 2 of everything and of buying special equipment to deal with twins, well, I was getting really nervous adding up those costs without seeing extra income on it's way to cover it. But now it seems like several of these things are going to be given to us. Even the craziness that G had a twin feeding pillow for some reason makes me a little less fatalistic. And she said she tried just about every sling option available so I'm going to be getting just about every option available as hand me downs, and the whole sleeping options products, it's just all very reassuring that I'm going to have the necessities.
At this point, the main things I'm thinking will be major costs are the 2 car seats (any we get as hand me downs will go in the husbands car or grandparents car since the kids won't be in those cars very often), a dresser for all of the clothes that can double as a changing table, possibly a crib (not sure yet if I'll need to buy one or not), and a breast pump. I'll probably rent one from the hospital for the first month though, but that's a decision for another time.
And then of course all of the small things like bottles and swaddlers, and whatever else it is I'm going to learn I need in the upcoming months. A lot of those things are smaller so it's very likely that I will get a significant portion of them via family at a baby shower. And for what I don't get that way, one of the local Moms of Multiples chapters will be having a big sale of used items in March and another chapter has their big sale in April. My kids are due in May. Perfect timing!
I'm officially starting my second trimester now. And every day I'm feeling a little bit more secure about all this. I'm sure my next blog post will recant that statement and discuss all of my freaking out fears, but at the moment, I'm feeling ok.
The only thing I know for sure today is that anything I know today is subject to change tomorrow.