Thursday, March 29, 2012

Crib Buying Experience

Well, it happened. Little one rolled over! She only managed to do this once but since she is getting so tall and has pulled off rolling over once we have to move her from the bassinet to the crib. We were hoping to wait until we moved to buy and build her crib, but how can we be upset when this means she is growing so quickly, reaching her milestones and healthy?

We set out to find a good crib for a good value. Our main concern was safety. However we quickly discovered that most cribs sold in the U.S. are identical in terms of safety. There are laws regulating everything down to how far apart the cribs slats may be, what finishes can be used on the wood and how thick the wood has got to be. Dropsides are pretty much gone since the last round of recalls. Occassionally some clever sales person tried to upsell us to a more expenssive brand or somethign we did not like by telling us that other brands we were considering have had recalls in the past. Well, here's the thing. Any crib manufacturer that has been around for more than a few years has likely had a recall or two. When dropsides were outlawed they were pretty much being made by EVERY crib manufacturer so everyone had a recall. Don't trust what some slaes person tells you. Look at each company and their individual safety record. WHY did things get recalled and how responsible was the company about it? We used that as our major measure for company reliability.

Another thing to consider is that while most cribs convert to toddler beds, the conversion kits are sold separtely. So don't think you are getting a great bargain with a convertible crib. You will still have to pony up more cash later, plus if you want to have more kids it is likely you will just move the toddler to a regular bed and use the crib for the next kiddo.

What do you get for more money? More embelishments like swirly sides or engraved scrolls (I am not a fan of these). Sometimes a bit of thicker wood and more color options. As it happens, color was a big factor for me. I did not want any painted wood - white and blacks. I wanted a nice cherry finish or natural wood. There are also organic cribs out there that use more natural finishes to treat their wood.

Some stores feature full matching rooms - changing tables, dressers and armoires all matching the crib. I was not interested in this. Regular adult furniture is often the better value. You'll get it for cheaper and you can continue to use it later in life when the child has grown up or in a guest room.

We ended up going with a  great floor sample from a smaller store. These stores usually carry higher line/specialty cribs and not national brands since they cannot compete with chains on less expensive brands like Graco. Their floor samples are immaculate. They keep them dusted and polished and paretns are not really allowed to bang them up much when browsing. In large chain stores floor samples can be a disaster - they are so beat up and nicked since no is watching them as parents poke and prod them. Parents in Babies R Us were little picking up and dropping cribs. Now, I can see wanting to feel the wood and give it a good shake. But do you really think your baby or any of your other children are going to physically lift up the crib and drop it?? The store even threw int he conversion kit, although I doubt we'll use it.

We are seriously cramped, but the new crib looks great. We're going to put Little One in it tonight. I hope she likes her new home! Want to see some of the cribs we seriously considered? Simply click onthe images scattered through this post.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Free Cards! Birthday CardsCardstore is at it again. To celebrate Easter, is giving away 50,000 Free Easter Cards today and tomorrow!

Use code: CCE2326
This code is valid for 1 Free Easter Card, including Free Shipping, and is only valid today Monday, March 26th and tomorrow Tuesday, March 27th. This offer is limited to 50,000 Free Cards per day. Valid in the US and Canada only.
Note: Free Shipping only available in the US.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Free Redbox Rental 3/8 Only

Redbox has hit 2 billion rentals! To celebrate they are giving away a free one day rental - today 3/8 only. Simply go to your nearest redbox and proceed as usual, entering the code "THANKS2U". A standard DVD will be free. A blu-ray DVD will be $1.20 Off.

Win $1,000 to Spend on Amazon

Amazon Mom is giving away a $1,000 credit to a fan who likes their facebook page. For more info and to enter the sweepstakes click here.

Another Free Card Deal! is doing it again! They are giving away 25,000 Free Cards daily today through next Wednesday, March 14th!

Use Code: CCE2246  

This code is valid for 1 Free Card, including Free Shipping, and is only valid today Thursday, March 8th through Wednesday, March 14th. This offer is limited to 25,000 Free Cards per daily. Valid in the US and Canada only. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sophi the Giraffe in the Wall Street Journal

There are a lot of expenssive baby toys out there. Living on the upper east side, I've seen just about all of them. Including people who buy $900+ strollers in colors that only work for one gender. Talk about dispoable income...what if the next baby is a boy? Will he really want to ride in a hot pink stroller?

It's fascinating the way baby toys seem to differ in diferent areas. When I visit relatives in Brooklyn the preferred baby stroller of the neighbourhood seems to be the Bugaboo. Kids are decked out in Jacadi clothes and moms love all things labelled "Baby Einstein". Here on the upper east there's a mix of Bugaboos and UppaBaby strollers with the UppaBaby taking the lead and our kids are obsessed with Sophie the Giraffe. The minute I even expressed interest in having a baby I was barraged by people teling me I had to get the baby a Sophie.

So what's all the fuss about? This plastic giraffe comes from Farnce, is made of rubber, has adorable rouged cheeks, squeeks when squeezed and apparently is great to chew. Kids love it. Moms love it. Apparently almost every newborn in France receives one and now celebrities have started giving it to their babies. It's so popular the manufacturer, Vulli, has started to make other versions of Sophie and friends for Sophie. A typical teething toy runs about $5. Sophie will cost you $25. Today she appeard in the Wall Street Journal. To read the article click here.

Is she worth it? I'll let you be the judge. We received a Sophie as a gift and so far the Little One seems to enjoy her, but not more than any other toy. Perhaps this is because she is 7 weeks old and not teething yet. So the jury is still out at our house. But Sophie makes a great conversation starter and an even better baby shower gift.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Heading Back To Work

Today is the first day of my "phase in" at work. I honestly had nightmares last night about the nanny canceling on me or some other such thing but she showed up right on time this morning and the baby seemed to like her. We did the morning together and I went to work for the afternoon. It is not easy to leave. But other than my building being annoying about giving us a spare key there was no reason for sticking around. The little one was very happy, playing and having her food, plus my laundry was being folded! Let's hope things continue along this pleasant path and I get to move to my new apartment with a room for the baby sooner rather than later. In the meantime here is a list of questions you might like to ask your childcare provider before hiring them. Remember if you don't get that good feeling from someone, move on! It's not worth worrying over. Don't expect Mary Poppins to fly into your door but don't settle.

Past Experience:
How long have you been working with Kids?
Are you CPR certified? first aid?
Have you worked with newborns/toddlers/preteens?
Where did you last work? Why did this job end?

What types of activities will you do with my child?
What do you do with a crying baby?
What was your worst childcare experience and how did you solve it?
Are you OK with pumped breastmilk/cloth diapering/any other not standard thing you are considering?

Where do you live and how is the commute here?
Do you have children? Who is caring for them?
Are you a U.S. citizen?
Do you speak a language other than English?

Employment Terms:
Can I pay you on the books?
When can you start?
What do you expect to earn per hour or per week?
What is your availability? Are you available for weekends?
Is there any flexibilty in your schedule?
Are you willing to do house keeping?
What tasks do you do other than baby care (laundry of children, cooking for children etc.)?
What holidays do you need to take off? How many personal days do you need?


Q's for the references:
How do you know the applicant?
When did they work for you?
How long have you known them?
Where you happy with their work?
How old were your children when they were cared for by this nanny?
Why did the experience end?
Is there anything you think I should know? Where there any problems?
Was the applicant on time?
How many hours did the applicant work for you a week?
What was good? What was bad?
What are the applicants weaknesses?
How did hte applicant interact with your kids? What kind of activities did they do?
Did the applicant do anything other than childcare?
Was the applicant reliable? Could you reach htem by phone?
Did they often miss work?
Did any emergencies come up? How were they handled?
How was the applicant compared to other nannies you have had?

Do you recommend this applicant? Would you hire them again? Storewide Sale

The semi-annual baby sale at starts today!

Highlights include:
 20% Off J.J. Cole bedding with code WOWJJ20
20% Off Way Basics Storage with code WOWNRY20
$5 Off Case of Huggies Slip-on Diapers with Code WOWSLIP
$5 Off when you spend $30 on Munchkin diapering accessories with code WOWMUNCHKIN
15% Off Prince Lionheart products with code WOWPL15
$5 off when you spend $25 on Gerber NatureSelect and SmartNourish baby food with code WOWGERBER
15% Off Dr. Brown's, Playtex or Sugarbooger feeding products with code WOWFEED15
10% Off all gates with code WOWGATES
30% Off Dapple products with code WOWDAPPLE
20% Off Dr. Seuss Books with code DRSEUSS20
20% Off Halo SleepSacks with code WOWHALO
25% Off Carters Clothing with code WOWCARTERS
Free Bundle me when you buy a JJ Cole Broadway Stroller with code WOWWAY
20% Off nursing bras with code WOWBRAS
and a large clearance section.

10 off $40 at

On the facebook page there is a link to get $10 off $40 of baby and mom items! If you have a shoprunner membership shipping will be free.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Target Baby Clothes and SHoes: Free Shipping and 10% Off

10% Off + Free Shipping on Clearance Baby Shoes and Clothes! Today Only!

The discount will automatically appear when you go to check out. Some great items at killer prices. Plus with free shipping you don't have to worry about meeting a minimum order. I got my little one a nice wardrobe of items for less than $30.

Pampers Deals

For the first time in a long time has printable pampers coupons. Just click here and print them. They are going to go fast! To get more than one copy you will need to use separate computers or separate IPs.

In a week these coupon will combine wonderfully with a CVS extra care bucks deal.

Also Pampers Softcare Baby Fresh Wipes 7x box, 504 Count with the Amazon mom subscribe and save comes out to 2 cents a wipe.

Free Martha Stewart Living Magazine

Rewards Gold has a free subscription to Martha Stewart Living Magazine! Just click here to sign up and follow the directions. I have s free subscription from the last time they ran this deal, so I can verify it really does come. You just have to be patient as it can take up to ten weeks to get started.

Amazing Kitchen Aid Deals!

The 6 quart kitchen aid is currently $259.99 on Amazon. It is available like this in the silver color. There is a $40 rebate, this rebate comes with a magazine subscription to Food and Wine but if you opt out of the magazine you can get an additional $24 bonus. This brings the total price down to $195.99!

For the bonus $24 rebate, as printed on the $40 rebate:
If you do not wish to receive the magazine and would like to request a refund of the subscription, please mail a copy of this rebate submission (the $40 rebate) by 04/24/12 with your name/address filled in below and receipt to:
Time Customer Service Inc.
P.O. Box 62160 Tampa, FL 33662-2160.

The 5 quart Kitchen aid is on sale for $199.99 in the black, white, cinnamon and yellow colors.  There is a $30 rebate with a similar clause for an additional $12 off. This brings the total price down to $157.99

For the bonus $12 rebate, as printed on the $30 rebate:
If you do not wish to receive the magazine and would like to request a refund of the subscription, please mail a copy of this rebate submission (the $30 rebate) by 04/24/12 with your name/address filled in below and receipt to:
Time Customer Service Inc.
P.O. Box 62160 Tampa, FL 33662-2160.

Free $1 Amazon MP3 Credit

Amazon has a free $1 towards an MP3 deal. Simply follow this link then click the "Tweet and get $1" button.

-Tweet by 03/05 at 11:59pm PDT.
-Credit expires 03/05 at 11:59pm PDT.