Thanks ladies. I'm feeling calmer this morning. Still disappointed, but trying to look on the bright side. Overall we had good family time, and Tenley did well, so I'm focusing on that.
Totally random, but she is seeming SO big lately. I put her down in the crib last night, and was floored at how big and long her body looked! Like such a child!
Board books: if they are different than ones she had, can you cycle some of the less-loved ones out of your collection?
Electronic stuff you don't want: take it back to places that don't care about receipts. When family comes over and asks, you can just say you have put such and such up for later. You have small space and can't have all her toys out at once. (If you don't feel like being honest)
Age-inappropriate puzzles. Either sell, donate, or put up for later.
Do either of your siblilngs have kids? I ask, because it's possible that your parents' budget for gifts is like X dollars per kid, and they include you, DH (Do they get him anything?) and Tenley in that budget. Not really X for you, X for brother, X for sister, than a separate budget for grandbaby. I use the word "budget" loosely. It's Christmas. Most people don't really "budget"
All that said, it is frustrating when people don't hear what you want. Thankfully, MIL pummelled into her relatives that we do NOT need more stuff. With kids as close in age as ours, all toys are shared anyway - they got $$ and books. MIL gave us money to go shopping, so we had control over what she bought the kids. DH's grandma (who has the most HORRENDOUS taste in toys) got a baby doll and a couple trucks for the kids, and also $$. I say bad taste, because the toys she has at her house are two plastic, crazy loud, obnoxious guitars. One is branded by the wiggles, the other is generic. And she asked if we want to take them home. HECK NO. They stay here.
My parents got the kids decent stuff. It's plastic. Some of it makes noise. But all of it stays with them, so I don't care as much, LOL. (they'll see it almost every day, but it won't be cluttering up our space, and they get to buy batteries!)
OH - that Violet snuggly thing - Gabe has the boy version and LOVED it. (it got lost in a move) - it's not very annoying, and has a timer. He loved snuggling with it, and it DID make his crib time easier. For the brief time he was in a crib at all (10-19 months, off and on) I don't know if Tenley will love it as much, but you just never know.
Gabe likes Norah's dolls she got for Christmas as much, if not more, than she does. I need to buy another doll stroller. Norah wants to ride in it. LOL.
Thankfully, other than the holiday being rushed, we had little family drama. My sister and her DH came down for Christmas Eve dinner and presents. They didn't get here until about 8 pm, which means we were eating insanely late, Norah was soooo tired, present opening after - I think they were up until nearly 11. Sis and her DH left by 10 Christmas Day, shortly after we left to do Christmas with the ILs. Short visit.
In other news: 30 weeks today! single digit countdown starts next week! woot! I'm gassy and feel huge, but you know, it's all good. In the home stretch, and I know it won't last forever, and I'll have a new nursling at the breast in just a couple months. I can't believe how much I miss it. I think it's partly bc I have so many friends now nursing babies and toddlers, and I want to join in! oh well.
Hope everyone had a merry, merry Christmas and can enjoy the last week of the year.
Board books we have been picking and choosing, and finding the ones we enjoy the most, putting some up for storage and donating the rest. It's just disappointing to know that that's money she could have spent on something else that wouldn't require us to throw out an existing book we already have/enjoy, kwim? It would be different if these were from relatives who didn't know how many books we had, but she does know, so it's kind of like ummmm? Really?
We were talking about the electronics this morning, and I think we're going to do like you said and return them for store credit at toys r us. We'll keep the bilingual doll, but take back the peek a shoe octopus and the snuggly pal. The books and stuffies and puzzles and things are no biggie, we'll keep those and then rehome them in a few months. But I just can't bring myself to open the boxes on the leapfrog stuff knowing I could take it back today and get $35 towards other toys, or open them and then get like $5 in a few months.
My siblings don't have kids yet, so that would in theory make sense for my mom and dad-- except that this pattern of them spending substantially less on me than on my other siblings, has been going on for close to ten years. Some years it's been as bad as my siblings getting like $250 worth of stuff, and me opening $60 worth of stuff that wasn't even on my list and doesn't suit me at all. I've almost gotten used to it. So yeah-- this year was a bonus that at least it was all stuff I wanted!
DH's siblings, two of the three have kids, AND his parents don't do gifts for us either. But with them it was a how much spent issue, just more... lack of attention to what was on our list.
30 weeks is crazy! At first it seemed like your pregnancy was going so slow, and now it seems to have sped up (for me anyways! lol) Wathcing vicariously is hard! haha I'm glad your kids got some good toys, and even better if you can get away with leaving the lesser fantastic stuff at the grandparents space!
Oh JJ! I so feel for you, especially the part about how other ppl seem to act like we are depriving our kids by not getting them the flashy stuff. A lot of it I've let go (and not saying you should, just offering perspective) b/c by NOT allowing the kids to play or see flashy stuff, they actually started to want it. The few toys we have (that were gifts) that aren't open ended and use batteries, etc, often get tossed aside after a short while. OR they end up LOVING them when I thought it was the dumbest thing ever. And don't get me started on the Princess thing. I wasn't going to even let Nora know princesses exist but I'm too much into Disney myself, and she LOVES those princesses! I also just had to spin it so it was more acceptable to my values. If you ask her what a princess is she'll say they are fair and kind.
I'm of the belief that once a gift is given it's yours to do whatever with. Walmart takes returns w/o receipts, just saying.
My MIL got me wine pants. She knows me so well! AND I got a TON of wine and a giftcard for a liquor store AND a Limoncello gift set! Oh and this cool thing! A Corkcicle!
No I totally get it. And I mean we did get plastic toys, and things that make some noise-- she LOVES her Little People house and farm, and that's something I wasn't excited about, but I knew she'd enjoy. And the leapfrog picnic basket is a hit too. It's just that I'm ok with one or two of those items, not, thenm being the bulk of the gifts and now overrunning the other toys too, kwim?
Sounds like you did great with gifts! And I love the pants!! They're perfect!!
Princesses . . . ugh. I am cool with the idea that princesses exist - they do - But not so much the disney version. My kids haven't even seen a disney princess movie. (not purposefully avoiding it, but since my first was a boy . . . it just hasn't seemed necessary) Norah has a couple outfits that say "snow princess" or just "princess" on it, and that's ok. Not ideal, but I mean, who wouldn't want to fantasize about being a princess? Nothing wrong with pretend play - the disney princesses . . . I loved them as a kid, but I really don't like how it's become an obsession for so many moms/daughters that I know. EVERYTHING is princess. I'm sure there must be other intrests, but all you see on clothes and toys, and everything is princess-themed that is just out of hand. IMHO.
Carrie: glad you got things you wanted! and some surprises! My mom got me this retro kitchen stool that I've mentioned that I wanted. My Grandma had one, and it was always my "helper" stool, and my seat at her table (it's a red vinyl seat/step stool)
I don't have a problem with princesses per se. I love dressup, I'm totally a stereotypical girly girl that way. But I'm with you Kat, I like it in moderation, not when it becomes the be all and end all-- which is what my nieces are like, so I think they just assume Tenley should go the same way. I don't mind her loving princesses, but not when it means she won't play with anything else. I don't see that happening with Nora it doesn't seem like-- she still has varied interests.
Maybe it's b/c I really love WDW and am really into Disney stuff myself, but I LOVE the dresses. The other stuff not so much -- like you're saying I try to avoid all the gratuitous princess marketing, b/c they plaster them on EVERYTHING. But I love the dress up dresses, and I don't mind a few coloring books to give her some thing to play with with characters she knows and likes. In moderation it's actually really fun to see her imagination take off with it. And honestly she got the bow and arrow from Brave and she hasn't put it down all day. If she's into archery now, cool, you know? It intro'd her to something I never would have though of! (and, cuteness factor, she calls it a "shoot and arrow"!)
Yes, this! Everything in moderation.
I love your bump! It looks so much bigger than last time! Do you like that, or is it weird? Or maybe it's just the picture?! Anyways, I love it. I miss my bump.
So... Tenley was up alllll night long last night. Totally jinxed myself. I think the good sleep has been because she's fnially started walking so she's kind of resting in between developmental milestones. But she's also teething pretty hardcore right now, so it makes sense that she's going to have good nights and bad nights.
Other good things-- DH and I opted out of his family's gift excahgne this year in favor of spending the money on ourselves-- $80-100 each. I haven't gotten anything for him yet because he wanted to wait and see what he was getting from others. He bought me the Lug bag I've been wanting for months. And then I've got about $35-40 left to spend too. I can't decide what else to get. A lot of the stuff on my list is house related, so I probably will just pick it up next time we go grocery shopping lol. But I also wanted some new nail polish, and a few tank tops. Little things like that.
Back to work today after 4 days off. Will be weeeiirdd! I'm so tired after last night, even though I managed to catch up on my sleep over the past few days.
Hope everyone has some good down time for the rest of the week now!