Friday, June 19, 2009

Spaghetti squash and a Subaru

Lots of big news and fun updates from the past couple of weeks, which has been a flurry of budgeting, buying, selling, list-making, fixing and organizing. The goal, I believe, is to be "ready" for the baby by the beginning of September, giving us a month or so of just-in-case time before we hit the real home stretch. So let's just say I'm feeling some pressure right now. But the good news is, I really dig shit like this. Diving headfirst into seven projects at once - especially when they have nothing to do with actual work! - is about my favorite thing. So here's what's been going on.

First of all, we realized several months ago to that to change our second bedroom from office/guestroom to nursery, we had to get our act together in two or three other rooms to find places to put all that stuff. We started with Sal's office, getting rid of some junky furniture on Craigslist and buying several large bookcases to organize our 1.8 trillion books. We also made one of Sal's lifelong manly dreams come true, buying him a cool leather chair. (And he totally tested out the baby-holding allowability of this model at Cost Plus, using a squishy long pillow from a nearby patio set. See? Manly!)

We also began the rather terrifying process of figuring out what we want in things like a stroller, car seat, crib. To do this, we took the advice of many and drove all the way up to Lullaby Lane in San Bruno. Everyone who tells you this is the ONLY place to do major baby shopping in the Bay Area is, I'm sure, 100 percent correct. We dealt with three salespeople about three different products and all of them were friendly, spectacularly knowledgeable and low-pressure. But this is not to say that the day was easy, so around noontime, we took a halftime break here:

We didn't make any purchases that day (we'll do that next week) as this was just to test the waters. But as we drove back to San Jose, we began to feel kinda bad about the idea of spending our money in another city. So just to play fair, we also visited San Jose's Babyland, which is famously located next to the Pink Poodle adult theater. Well, nobody talked to us, the selection wasn't nearly as good, and the whole 20 minutes we spent there just felt deflating. So we head back out to the car. And as I'm opening my door, Sal goes, "Want to know another reason we're not buying at Babyland? Because at Lullaby Lane, you don't find THIS in the parking lot."

Don't miss the fine print on that bad boy! Ahem. OK, so moving on, last week we sold my little green VW Beetle to a lovely young college student who answered my Craigslist ad. This was the first time I have ever sold a car privately (probably because it's the first time I was ever not selling a total hunk of crap) and I must say it was overall quite a pleasant experience. I LOVED that car, and I bawled as I turned the keys over. But this young woman was so sweet and barely acted scared of me at all. And a few days ago, she even sent me a photo of her and my car on a road trip to Napa. She wrote that she is in love with the car already and promises to take very good care of it. Adorable.

Then it was time to find the new, baby-friendly car. So on Tuesday night we went to the local Subaru dealership to look for a Forester, which we love because it's a teensy bit tall and a teensy bit wide, but it's not a big honking SUV. (Bonus: It's the 2009 Motor Trend Sport/Utility of the Year!) I saw a color I immediately loved in the exact trim I wanted, we took a test drive, and it was perfect. So we headed into The Scary Room with our salesman, who said the price they could give us was a hefty chunk off the sticker price, plus we qualified for an outstanding finance rate.

At this point, it had been a good 20 minutes since my last meal, and I was starving. So I told the guy we were heading out to get dinner and we'd be back. He paled, then offered to send someone to buy us dinner. Er, no. We're leaving. So he tosses us the keys and insists that we take the car. DAMN, that's a good trick. We drove it over to the nearest Round Table, since in this family, all important decisions and discussions are required to unfold over pizza.

Seriously! We had pizza twice when buying our home (once to discuss what kind of offer to make on our house, once when meeting with our financing guy) and we had pizza after the first time we saw our baby in the ultrasound. These are but three of many, many examples. We also have lots of pizza for non-important reasons, but that's not my point right now. Anyway, what we had to discuss was this: How to bargain with this guy when (a) we knew their offer was actually pretty good, (b) there's nothing more I want or need regarding the car, (c) we have a down payment, so there's no trade-in to haggle about, and (d) oh yeah, we've never done this before and are kind of clueless.

So I decided to be honest. We went back and I told the guy, "Look. The truth is, I love this car. I want this car, and I want to buy it from you. And I know you are offering a fair price. But the thing is, only a moron would walk into a car dealership and pay the very first thing the dealer offered. And I just can't be that person." And he's like, "So, you NEED something." Yes, I need something. So he went to his boss, got me a few somethings, and we shook hands. Could we have done better? Probably, but I feel pretty good about this considering it was our first time out. (Plus, don't tell Phil or whatever his name was, but we would totally have paid that first price.)

I would have posed in that picture with the car, but I didn't want to obstruct the view. HA! Jokes. But I have popped out a little bit. My helpful weekly BabyCenter e-mail tells me that the Appleseed is now the size of a spaghetti squash, hence the title of this blog post that probably should have been explained 18 paragraphs ago. Anyhow. Here's the grainy BlackBerry self-portrait taken of me and my baby at week 22!


Robyn said...

Well, you look awesome. And I have no idea what a spaghetti squash is and therefore no idea how big your baby is.

PRichards said...

Amertz! You look amazing! I am so excited for you guys.