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.


Sleeper Update July 19, 2010

Filed under: Ground Control,Space Station — anditron @ 10:00 am

still co-sleeping

I'm still co-sleeping, yeah, yeah, yeah!

I’ve had a few write-ins asking how things were going with the co-sleeper. They especially wondered what we would do once the Bot started rolling over.

Well, first I’ll let you know the bot is rolling… rolling like crazy now, in fact. Every time we put her to bed, she rolls to her side and inevitably rolls to her belly and wakes if we try to put her back on her back. This was terrifying at first. See she was sleeping lengthwise like we do. And it wasn’t a problem until she did start to roll. But that first night she rolled and ended up face down where the two mattresses meet. Fortunately, I wake up every time she moves (and at random intervals in the night to make sure she’s still breathing). So I noticed it as soon as it happened, but it scared me none-the-less. (more…)


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…)


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!


The Turtle Moves August 10, 2009

Filed under: Provisions,Space Station — anditron @ 11:33 am

Paul Kidby DiscworldIt’s boiling here in our little haven and I haven’t been able to get out of the house at all. Ok, honestly, I could have left, but let’s put it this way. It’s 12 Midnight and 81F and I just had to crank up the AC to high because I’m sticking to my couch. Going outside when barely any of my clothes are comfortable was *not* on the top of my things-to-do list. So when I’m stuck inside all day and pregnant, apparently I shop. I’ve been scouring websites, reading reviews and generally looking around here and there for the past few months, but nothing terribly serious. Today I guess was the true kick off to my nesting instinct.

We are ridiculous fans of Terry Pratchett and while Bob909 introduced me to most things which I grew to love, I introduced him to The Discworld and all the great characters therein. I’m currently rereading the series (I just can’t get enough) and we had a discussion early on that we’d love to do a Discworld-themed room for our baby. I have visions of a giant turtle swimming through the sky and a super hairy orangutan sitting by baby’s crib reading a book… like maybe Where’s My Cow. The only reason the look might change depending on boy or girl is really that it might just get a slight nod to one or the other in colors… but no pink either way!

thumbnailBecause we won’t find out for a couple more weeks whether our bot will be a boy or a girl, I promised myself I wouldn’t go buying anything or adding anything to my registry until we knew, but surfing around I came across this little guy and could not resist.

I also ended up finally deciding on a crib. I’m trying to be a thrifty mom-to-be (you have to be when unemployed) and I can’t justify putting anything on my registry I’m not willing to figure out a way to buy myself. So I think I found a nice compromise between cost, aesthetic and such. I opted for the DaVinci Rivington 4 in 1. We went back and forth whether we needed a 4 in 1, if we even need a crib, if we want a more simple standard one. But when I looked at prices and what you get for the money and longevity… well, even if we end up in a place that can’t have a full size bed for our bot, we could sell it at that point and I’ll feel I got our money’s worth.

I did add a few other things, but one gratuitous consumer post at a time. It is probably bad that in the registry you can mark “Nice to Have” vs. “Must Have” and the Sea Turtle is the only item I marked as Must Have So one big thing down and it feels like a billion to go.

Oh well… I can feel the idea of my Discworld Baby room starting to take shape. This gives me glee.


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