I'm big into buying things used to save some money. Totally all for it. I seriously wish I would have had listened to people tell me not to spend a lot of money on baby gear when I was pregnant with Olivia. I learned by the time I had Jackson and thank god I had the brains to not buy girly pink everything with Olivia because everything she had, Jackson used. And it was glorious, perfect and smart.
Then Matt declared we were done with babies. Sell all of the stuff, he said. You don't need to keep any of it for any reason, he said.
Fast forward seven years and here we are, on the cusp of Penelope's arrival and we had saved NOTHING. A few people have been like, "Whoa- you've gotten so many gifts, it's like it's your first born!" and truly, it is. Mostly because these people know we had literally nothing. I mean, not even clothes. I sold everything at yard sales because Matt was SURE we were totally done. The only thing we did still have was the crib my mom used at her house when she watched our kids. Yes, it's "older", like ten years old. But you know what? I don't give a damn. No kid ever got a limb stuck in it and quite frankly, I think some parents take things far too seriously. It's going to be just fine. It just is.
So this time around I was all about finding anything for free, or as low cost as possible, and making it work for us. Fortunately, most of our friends are done with babies so we've gotten a lot of really great stuff from them at no cost. The level of gratitude for all of that can't be measured, that's for sure. But not everything has been that way so I have been looking at the Facebook garage sale sites for months and getting things here and there.
One thing I acquired was a pack and play with changing table thing for $20. Now, we are those hard core parents that don't co-sleep and we don't do the bassinet bullshit. The kid has a crib and it's best you learn to use it because I'm not doing this sleep transitioning crap more than once. (Same with potty training. I'm never, ever, ever going to do the potty seat bullshit again either. Did that with Olivia and going from that and then to toilet? WHY? Why are you essentially training twice? Ludicrous, I tell you.) But the pack and play was always super nice when they were way little because they'd cat nap while I'd try pumping, or sometimes I was allowed to pee and I'd stick them in there. Or when they first came home and I couldn't change their diaper on the floor because I had so many stitches keeping my vagina in tact (level four tear, both times, HUZZAH), I used the changing table part. Super handy.
I bought this sucker for $20 and put literally zero thought into cleaning it. So a few weeks ago I found this pin on Pinterest about cleaning a pack and play and I was like, is that a thing? Are people that fanatical? They actually are. And because I love to clean and I've got time, I thought- why not? Why not fill my bathtub up with chemicals and clean this sucker?
Like a totally terrible blogger, I did not take a "before" picture of the pack and play. But I will say that honestly? It didn't smell weird and it looked totally clean. But I figured I had already carried the son of a bitch upstairs to my bathroom with a tub (the downstairs bathroom is a shower stall only), so we're already committed.
After about another 45 minutes, I drained the tub and rinsed everything off with hot water. But then you have to dry the damn thing. The instructions I saw had people drying these outside in the sunshine. I do not have that luxury because at the time, it was still freezing cold and it would just freeze. So Matt said my best bet was to do it in the basement. But that meant carrying this dripping thing down to the basement from the second floor and that's a nightmare. Thankfully, he's such a good sport and used my brilliant idea to use a huge plastic tote to carry it down. So we did that. It took basically a full week to air dry out. The bottom of the pack and play had a weird board in it, so in order for that to not warp, we had it set up on sawhorses in the basement and I'd rotate twice a day so it was drying evenly.