Monday, April 13, 2009

Some exciting news...Shannon and I are EXPECTING! (photos mostly from Mar & Apr events)

As most of you already know, Shannon and I are expecting our first child mid-July which we are extremely excited about! We've been busy trying to prepare for the arrival of our little one by going to baby expositions, baby sales and registering (photo on left is not our baby's bedroom, just a cute example!)

Back in January, we started acquiring baby equipment like a car seat and stroller. We found a good deal on a Quinny Speedi stroller on EBay. It was actually brand new and came from a store in Germany. We found a car seat at Baby 2000 since they have a huge variety and happened to have really good discounts during the January sales. There are only large sales in Belgium and most of Europe in January and July, so people stalk up on items in those months. It truly becomes a madhouse in all the stores during those times! I participated by buying lots of baby clothes even though I didn't even know the sex. I ended up buying more girl items than boys which later proved to be the right decision! We found out we're having a girl when I was around 18 weeks. I love all the girly clothes and other baby accessories here for girls, so hopefully I don't get out of control which Shannon thinks has already happened! Shannon is hoping she likes to play with knights and horses as well since he already bought some figurines at a few Christmas Markets!

When my parents came over to visit at the end of February, they brought over several baby outfits, sleepers, hats, blankets, a hooded towel, pacifiers, socks and even some of my sister-in-law's maternity clothes and a taggy blanket and burp clothes that she threw in. I loved everything and feel fortunate that my parents hauled all this stuff over with them! Also I never thought I'd be so happy to wear maternity clothes, but when your belly starts getting bigger and you can't do the rubber band trick any more with your pants, maternity pants with elastic bands are the answer!

We attended a Baby Exposition at Tour and Taxi's Event Center in Brussels held on March 15. We noticed an advertisement for the exposition in our weekly French newspaper that we receive. We had a fun time strolling through all the booths and ended up coming home with a diaper ginny, baby clothes, stuffed animal of a cow and a fancy nursing bra for myself! There were a ton of vendors carrying items such as personalized pacifiers, bottles, clothes, diapers, strollers, cribs, car seats, baby carriers, toys, bouncers, detergents, bras, bedding, furniture, photography, ect...

At the end of March we attended the semi-annual Nearly New Baby Sale put on by the Brussels Childbirth Trust Organization, which I'm a part of. We arrived 30 minutes early since we heard things go fast and there were still 75 people waiting in line ahead of us. Luckily, we managed to get everything we came for and more! We got excellent deals on a crib, Bjorn baby carrier, relax chair similar to a bouncer seat and some baby clothes. We will definitely be making this a regular shopping excursion twice a year since normal priced baby items are quite expensive here.

With urging from friends and family, in April we decided to register at two popular baby stores, Baby 2000 and Prémaman. We did it on 2 different days because I think Shannon would have strangled me if he had to go from store to store on the same day since my indecisiveness really annoys him! On one of the outings, he was lucky enough to find a bratwurst stand close to the store which satisfied him for awhile! In the end we found some great items to register for such as a diaper bag, monitors, high chair, bath tub, playpen, bedding and a ton of other accessories. We decided against registering for clothes because of the stores' policies and how one store requires you to buy the clothes that you put on your list if no one has bought them for you while the other store doesn't allow you to register for clothes until 2-3 weeks before the baby is born to help guarantee they have the correct sizes you want. The stores literally take the clothes off their shelves and hold them back for you, but we didn't want to come in last minute to register for clothes or be forced to buy them; thus, we didn't register for any. We figured if people want to buy us clothes, they're going to pick out cute outfits anyway, so these policies didn't bother us too much! Also I don't think they have baby showers here and therefore, it's more normal to give a gift a few weeks after the baby is born.

Baby Exposition at Tour and Taxi (Event Center in Brussels)
Some cool baby beds that were out of our price range, but were way cute!
Example of some of the cute clothing at the event
There were tons of strollers, car seats, bouncers, clothes, cribs, toys, basically anything baby or pregnancy related
This is Tour and Taxi's building which is used for cultural activities, events and shows in combination with great dining and shopping experiences
Waiting in line for the 'Nearly New Baby Sale' put on by the Brussels Childbirth Trust Organization
The mob once inside the sale. We found lots of great bargains!
Shannon sporting our new baby Bjorn carrier from the baby sale. I think he's going to have fun toting our little girl around!
We registered at a popular baby store in Belgium called Baby 2000. Luckily we already got a car seat during the January sales, but found lots of other great things to register for here.
Baby 2000 has about everything you could imagine
One of Baby 2000's displays - we registered for the mobile, but already picked out bedding at Prémaman, another baby store
Another example...notice the hot air balloon light which Shannon wants me to make since they're so expensive; though I don't think that's going to happen!
We also registered at Prémaman, another popular baby store in Belgium and the rest of Europe. Since we can't paint the baby's room being in an apartment and all, we're going to put some flower stickers on her dresser / changing table and maybe the walls to add some excitement to her room!
Here is a photo of me around 5 1/2 months along. The baby told me she wanted a lemon meringue pie which turned out quite tasty!
Another photo of me holding the cute baby book my Aunt Marilyn sent me called "Ma! There's Nothing to Do Here!" along with a stuffed toy cow we purchased at the Baby Exposition.


Reid said...

you will LOOOOOVE having a little girl. indeed the girlie clothes are addictive!

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