The Pregonaut

A non-breeder's journey into the unknown

Houston we have a solution: stores closing March 28, 2011

Filed under: Provisions,Space Station — anditron @ 4:56 am

It's not a steal, but it was cheap.

Okay, most of you know I have been a long-time reader and sometime contributor to the Offbeat Empire. A lot of what inspires my thinking and some of my posts comes from what I read there and this post, surprisingly, was definitely one of them.

A couple weeks ago Ariel, the head of the empire, wrote an article on Offbeat Home about one of the most important tools she owns – a shopping basket a neighbor had given her ages ago. She talks about a number of the ways this little basket has been useful throughout the years. Clearly that planted a seed – It doesn’t matter if you have a kid or not, the home gets messy and you have to tidy. It was that point that got me thinking something like this would be great to have. Well this weekend we hit Borders because it’s going out of business (Chicago is losing every store but one). So we popped in after dinner and this is what we found.

$7 – A shopping basket
$20 – An elephant stool (one of those cool rolling step stools)
$60 – Two wooden high-chairs (now we don’t have to tow highchairs between homes for the nanny share)

There isn’t much time left to pick these things up at Borders, but if there’s one closing near you, it might be worth the trip. Maybe you’ll find a shopping basket for tiding up your home or as a beach tote. If you bike, maybe you can find a way to also rig it up on a rack on the back (my plan).

If they still have a highchair and you have a kid or you’re expecting one – you can probably get one of these for less than the $40 they have it listed for. While you can probably find some cheap highchairs, I doubt you’ll find a solid wooden one for less. Be sure to check them out. Double check the straps and make sure the buckles latch. If they’re broken, you might be able to replace them so investigate that and make a lower offer. You also want to make sure it’s solid with no cracks maybe you can fix that, maybe not.

If you aren’t near a closing Borders, or they’ve already sold them all, keep an eye out for any restaurants or even bars that are closing.

So here are my tips

Go check out store closing sales with an open mind and really look at what they have and think about how they might be used to solve your problems.

Read Offbeat Home if you haven’t checked it out yet, it just might inspire you.


Have bot will travel July 22, 2010

Filed under: Provisions — anditron @ 10:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

A dad, a bot and 33 miles of Chicago's skyline. This is how we roll.

You all knew we would not be kept off our bikes for long. As soon at the Bot was born, I was missing my bike (remember how I rode even at 37 weeks) so I urged Bob909 to get looking for our bot’s transport. Okay, I didn’t have to nag, he probably had the windows open before I ever even suggested it.

Much like the BOB Revolution Stroller we got, Bob909 did a pretty thorough search on what kind of bike trailer to buy. And most of what we found said it could only be used with a 1 year old. I quickly saw my ability to bike for the next year dropping out of my horizons like Andy Schleck watched Alberto Contador leave him behind after his chain dropped off his bike during the Tour de France.


Adorable monkeys make me smile May 6, 2010

Filed under: Provisions — anditron @ 12:00 pm

I’m planning on sharing some of my favorite finds with you on occasion starting with this one!

Skelanimals Marcy the Monkey Backpack!

We went to C2E2 here in Chicago a few weekends ago and I found this ridiculously cute monkey while there. I know she’s too young for it at the moment and I swore I wouldn’t buy stuff in advance of when she can use them (aside for some outfits one size up since she grows like an amazon woman), but this is different. This is the most awesome backpack EVAR! I totally regretted not getting it that day. Luckily I found it on Amazon! Now that I’m starting my new job, this shall be mine!

So if you’re looking for a super cute monkey backpack for your little marsupial then head over to and make your monkey giggle with glee.


I’m such a hack May 2, 2010

Filed under: Provisions,Space Station — anditron @ 3:08 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Co-sleeping for you and me

My whole life I’ve had a traditional type bed – mattress, boxspring on the typical frame that comes with it when you buy a mattress set. (The only thing missing in my adult years was a headboard). But during my pregnancy, I was miserable. I couldn’t get in or out of it easily. I couldn’t use it to sit on when getting dressed and to top it off, our poor geriatric kitty could no longer get up on it. I was getting a serious case of the cranky pants sleeping on it. We happened to be at Ikea picking up the furniture for the Bot’s room when we noticed this sweet bed. It was low, like awesomely low with slats instead of boxprings and it had a headboard. (Win!) We decided to buy it and OMG it has been the best bed I’ve ever slept in. My back immediately felt better. I could actually get up without struggling like before. I could sit with minimal difficulty. Our frail kitty can get up on the bed to curl up with me. I swear I love this bed.

Now, saying that, before we had the Bot, I had planned on her sleeping in her crib from the start. Yeah, I should have known better. The first night home we set up the hand-me-down pack-n-play in our bedroom and attempted to let her sleep in that. I think I made it through 2 night feedings before I gave in and put her in our bed. And thus started my complete and utter lack of sleep.

The Sniglar

See, our bed is just a queen and in no world is a queen-sized bed big enough for 3 cats, 2 adults and 1 newborn baby. We looked at co-sleepers and couldn’t find anything that worked because our bed was now too low to the ground. We attempted to use these foam rails but they ended up just taking up more room. We needed a co-sleeper badly and finally decided if we can’t find one, build one. But hey, if you can find an Ikea product to hack into one… even better! And that’s just what I did.

Want to know how I hacked the Sniglar Baby Changing Table into a Co-Sleeper… then (more…)


Monkey See April 1, 2010

Filed under: Little Bot,Provisions — anditron @ 4:06 am

Lorelei's smileI spend the majority of my days trying to create ways to make our little Bot smile. The more of these I find, the more ammo I have to battle her pee wails when they hit critical mass. So far I’ve got a mix of songs, stuffed animals, strange noises and dancing movements in my arsenal. Any combination of these can bring about that gorgeous crooked smile that I’ve already fallen in love with and each new one we discover together makes my heart leap for joy a little more.

Here are a few of my favorites… (more…)


Me and A Big Blue Ball February 11, 2010

Filed under: Provisions — anditron @ 6:44 pm

Back a couple years ago I injured myself and had to go through physical therapy. Basically I was carrying too much weight on my back while riding and it caused a disc to slip. When that happened I ended up buying one of those exercise balls but in truth I barely used it. Now, it’s the one thing that I could never live without.

See, we got a glider which we use for feedings and such, and it’s great for just relaxing with our daughter, but when our girl gets worked up into a crying fit she doesn’t want to glide she wants to bounce. The best way to calm her down is this ball. Whatever the problem, starting out on the big blue ball calms her down while giving us the time we need to get our minds together and fix the problem.

If there’s one thing I wish all those sites that tell you what you need in your nursery would include in their lists, it’s this ball. I don’t know how any new parent functions without it, but I’m never giving it up!


Snug as a Bug in a Rug December 10, 2009

Filed under: Provisions,Space Station — anditron @ 6:12 am

Baby's Sheets!Well, the sheets are done and I am simply ecstatic with how they turned out. I’ll be honest. Not my *best* sewing project ever, but I made it work and did elastic stuff for the first time ever, so hooray for trying new things. It was a fun project, a good challenge (even if it is simply sheets). I learned from it and feel confident that I could make some more for the room easily rather than buying them. Which means I’m going to and we’ll be set until she’s out of her toddler bed.

I put smaller kitties on the extra fabric which I planned on making into a mobile but they are simply too small to turn inside out after sewing. The only way to do it would be hand sew it all and that’s just not going to happen. So I’ve come up with some Plan B projects that I will use the smaller kitties in. First I’m going to make a new cover for the baby swing as well as a replacement cover for the infant seat we got. They were both used before. And the infant seat I know went through 3 or 4 babies already. It could use a freshening up, that’s for sure. So I bought the fabric today and plan on making replacements for both on which I’ll applique the little kitties and voila, they’ll go beautifully with the room. I also picked up a fabric I really like that I was thinking of trying to make a dress out of for her, but maybe instead I’ll use it to cover up the Lekmar storage bins that will keep her toys and such. I think it’s a really sweet fabric that would look beautiful in the room and compliment the blue nicely.

You’re not seeing the whole room yet because it’s not done! eep. I’m waiting on quotes back from a company for the wall decals. Blik quoted me 200 which is way more than I will pay. I can paint them no problem, I just figured them being removable would be easier for when we move out. But their removable isn’t even reuseable. So say we moved and our little girl liked them and wanted them again, we’d have to re-buy them all. I’m not cool with that when I’ve got a can of paint and can easily make the stencils for them. So once I hear back from these local guys I’ll either be picking them up in a week and applying them or I’ll be painting on Sunday… A Lot. I have a feeling I’m going to be painting a lot.

I also realized that ages ago I bought patterns for diaper carriers. I mean like 2 years ago at some closeout sale thing. Huh, paid maybe a buck for the pattern and it has this cool Bandoleer style diaper bag option. Bob909 saw it and immediately went “Want!” So now I have to find a good fabric for it and hopefully can make something cool for daddy to use when he’s out with his little bot. Wondering as well how I can make it a fun techy gadget for him too. Like maybe an LED counter so he can keep track of how many nappies he’s changed.

I love how crafty I’m getting thanks to having a little girl. I’m not sure I’d be as much with a boy. Oh who’m I fooling, of COURSE I would.

Less than 5 weeks to go though, I better get cracking if I’m going to get these projects all done before she gets here!


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