Thursday, March 22, 2012

A New Hobby?

I have discovered the joy of online shopping. Okay, so I'm a bit behind the times. I'm sure most people out there have been enjoying this pastime for years already, but I have always been intimidated by all the processes, not to mention wary of giving out my credit card information over the internet. But lo and behold, apparently there are safe ways of doing this. Then there is the dilemma of the shipping costs, which are no big deal if you live in the good old USA, seeing almost everything that can be bought can be bought there, and they seem to have very low shipping costs. But here in Canada, it is a different story.

But in recent times, I have come across problems that go beyond paying for shipping. My issue? The stuff I really want is simply not available here. What on earth? Okay, so the population of our entire country could fit inside of Los Angeles, CA and its surrounding settlements. So what? Canada is still a bigger country, and we use the same products they do. Or at least, we want to.

Back in February, we decided that with a new baby coming, we were going to have to do some rearranging as far as the kids' bedrooms goes. We do not want a newborn sharing a room with any of them, for many reasons, not the least of which is that we don't want the baby keeping them awake all night. So, we decided Micah would move in with Cody and Jamie, at least for the first year of baby's life, and we'd see what happened after that. Well, that is no easy process. Much has to be done, and I am in that proverbial "nesting" phase that I have heard so much about. I suppose it's real after all.

What needs to be done? Well, first off, we will have to clear all the furniture out of Cody and Jamie's room and move them into Micah's. Then, we will shampoo their carpet. (The thought of this alone nearly brings me to tears of joy.) After that, we are painting. We have decided on a theme for their room that they will all love, and that is not limited to super young boys. The Winnipeg Jets. Yes! It fits. They are all obsessed with hockey, and we do live in Manitoba, so they all love the Jets. Great. We settled that decision in February. Then we began seeking out Winnipeg Jets bedding and room-related things. No problem, right? We live in Manitoba. Surely there is bound to be an abundance of Jets merchandise here. What? There isn't? Okay, there are plenty of shirts and other clothing items, though in a slightly off topic observation here, I will add that they have a poor selection of baby clothing. But bedding? Forget about it. We had to turn to our dear friend, Google.

I did a lot of researching online. Where can we get this bedding? What will it cost? What is the cheapest possible combination of products we can buy? I spent hours pouring over this, but eventually we found what seemed to be the best deal. Was it in Winnipeg, at the Jets' own personal store? Nope. (I'm not even sure they have one, but shouldn't they? The Blue Bombers do...) In fact, not only was it not in Winnipeg, it was not even in Canada. Oh wait, eventually we DID find it in Canada. Way more expensive. Sigh. Well, all that aside, let's just say we eventually did get the bedding ordered, plus a separate order of plain, white bedsheets, plus an eBay order of a couple of large Jets wall decals for decorating, after we paint.

Slowly, these items started to trickle in. That's when the excitement began. Wow! These things were being delivered right to our...well, not to our door. We do live in the boonies. But some came to our post office, and others that required a physical address (so picky) were sent to Mike at work. The white sheets arrived weeks ago, and I must admit, they were a disappointment, but the price was right, so we will live with that for now. Then, early this week our logos arrived. We were just waiting on the bedding. Well, it arrived yesterday in a huge box! (We had to order 3 sets, for 3 boys.) Wow! It was like Christmas in March!

I have found that tracking packages is its own kind of delightful hobby. I hit "refresh" all day long, hoping to see a change in the status...though more often than not I am disappointed. Once my package arrives, I close that tracking page and experience just a tiny bit of a letdown. Luckily, I now have another item in the mail, and apparently it is currently in Los Angeles, California. (I kind of wish I was in Los Angeles...) It is a very cool item. It's called a "snap plier", which is a lighter and less expensive version of a snap press. A sewing thing, if that is not in your lingo. It certainly hasn't been in mine for long either. Here's the scoop on that one.

I told you I was nesting, right? Well, we have had three babies before, so obviously we don't have a ton of stuff to buy to prepare for this one. But being that we are now cloth diaperers, we have to rebuild our stash for this new baby. Some of our other ones have worn out after being used for two different boys for almost three straight years now, which, I suppose, is understandable. But we have a few that are Bum Genius brand that have been unusable for a while, and only because the velcro closures have worn out. So the diaper is perfectly good, but the velcro won't stay fastened, and therefore the diaper falls off. Not good. I intended to ship these to someone who could convert them to snaps for me, but once I found someone, she was, of course, in the States. Suddenly shipping became an issue. So I found this snap plier, and a bunch of snaps to go with it, and found that it was slightly cheaper than sending mine away. I have no risk of losing my diapers, plus in the end I have tons of snaps left over and the means to fix more diapers, if I want. On top of that, I can sell the snap plier and the snaps if I want to, so financially it makes the most sense.

Of course, the project itself may be way above my head, but I will deal with that when it arrives. I think in pregnancy when this bizarre "nesting" urge hits, you are capable of doing much greater feats than under normal circumstances. Kind of like someone who lifts a car off someone else in an accident because of all the adrenaline. I will have to do a post about my "conversions" once the item arrives.

But for now, I have discovered that just the joy of having something new and exciting on its way to my doorstep...ten minutes away at the post office...is enough to keep a slight smile on my face much of the time. I will still have to purchase more diapers online, and baby bedding will be in order when we are ready to decorate a nursery, so I'm not done yet! This could be addictive for sure. I will have to use incredible restraint from now on in order to keep from going crazy and ordering all kinds of things over the internet!

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