How to say "Please buy off the registry cause I REALLY need it"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I really do not enjoy being the center of attention, and would much prefer to skip any kind of shower at all. Unfortunately, though, some outrageous medical expenses that are not going to go away for a few years have forced us to ask for help buying some things we truly need for this baby. Without help from others we simply wouldn't be able to afford the things that we need. So, I made a registry at MyRegistry.com and only added the things that I really, really, need and can't afford. Not one single cutsie or extravagant item. We're talking carseat, cloth diapers, mama pads and perineal ointment here. I can make a welcome page for the registry with a picture and a message. Now, I know a lot of people have an aversion to bluntly asking for gifts at a shower, but I wouldn't be having the shower if I didn't need this stuff. I've always felt like honesty is the best policy. So I'd really like to be straight with people and say something to the effect of "We can't afford this stuff, but we really, truly need it. Thanks for buying off our registry and lightening our stress load so we can focus on our growing family." Any advice on how I should word this?
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#2 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 11:39 AM
 
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There is no polite way to tell people what gift to buy you.
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#3 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 11:50 AM
 
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I agree with the pp - I don't think there is any polite way to tell people what to buy you. A gift is a gift and they get to choose what they give to you.

Do you maybe have a family member or close friend who you could get to help spread the word? That's the only way I see it working .. like if your Mom or someone could tell a few people how much you need x,y,z off your registry. Otherwise, I think it would come across as pretty rude since no one is obligated to buy you anything, kwim?

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#4 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
There is no polite way to tell people what gift to buy you.
What she said. However, if there is someone close to you (your mom, best friend, etc.) who is attending or throwing the shower, I see nothing wrong with telling *them* (in casual conversation, not making a big deal about it) how much you really need those items, or how much you would really appreciate people buying off your registry.
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#5 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 11:58 AM
 
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I would ask whomever is throwing the shower for you to help get the word out. Maybe they could put a note in the invite or something.

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#6 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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I would ask whomever is throwing the shower for you to help get the word out. Maybe they could put a note in the invite or something.
I know how you feel OP. I hate the dishonesty associated with gift giving. Especially at baby showers. The only thing people seem to want to buy is cute little outfits. So you end up with loads of clothes, and nothing else. And here I thought that giving a gift was for the benefit of the person receiving the gift, not giving it??? Apparently that isn't a very wide spread theory, so I would agree to talk to the person throwing you the shower. I think it would be fine for them to say something about how much you guys need the things that are on the registry. Some people will call in advance (either you or the person throwing the shower) to ask what you need. In that case you can direct them to the registry.

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#7 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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i disagree w/ PPs who say it's not polite. i think if you need to, people could understand that you'd ask them to really consider giving only what you've specified. to me, that is sincerity, not being rude or demanding.

i used myregistry.com too! and i ONLY registered for stuff i NEED.

what i did to help my case, was select the cash gift option, which shows up as the top item on the registry. i wrote a note in the cash gift details, thanking everyone for visiting the registry and supporting our family. i explained that we were only registering for a few things we really need, and that if they could not find anything there they wanted to get, they could contribute a small dollar amount (i think i suggested $10 or $20) towards the larger items to help us make sure we could get those ourselves.

i also agree w/ one PP who said if someone else is planning a shower, ask them to emphasize this for you. or even encourage them to say something like, please select a needed gift from the registry or join in to contribute to some of the larger items X really needs! they could even say they would track monies given and present the BIG item(s) at the shower, highlighting everyone who contributed. (i did a cyber shower for my sister specifically to gather money from close family and friends for one big item)

all VERY positive, thankful language.

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#8 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 12:55 PM
 
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There is no polite way to tell people what gift to buy you.
If this is the case, then it seems that showers and especially registries are inherently rude.

OP, I think that what you said is fine, honest and not rude. You are thanking people for helping you. If you said "if you can't bother to buy off this registry, then you should just stay home," then THAT would be rude.
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#9 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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Honestly........I know some people find this rude (asking specifically for what you need) but I wouldn't bat an eye at it. When I'm buying gifts for people I really prefer to get them something they trully need (especially if they are in the situation of need as opposed to want). I feel it is the best use of money so I would have no problem with someone specifically asking me for something they need for baby. I'd prefer my money go towards that. So.........I'm wondering if pp's suggestion of having your close friends or family spread the word?

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#10 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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Personally, I like registries. I did a shower for a friend a year ago, we didn't have her register, and then I had people asking me constantly what she needed - and it was impossible to keep track of what I told people! She was having the a third baby girl (who was a surprise) - and didn't need clothes, but had gotten rid of a lot of baby-stuff. She ended up with a lot of cute baby frilly dresses.

My sister, on the other hand (who helped me do the shower), is VERY against registries.

So to each his own, right?

I think if you tactfully word that you really need some things, and that's what you've registered for, its fine. Some will be happy to help and follow the registry, others will still buy clothes. The person planning the shower, as was posted already, could definitely help out with organizing a "big present chip-in". Those are always nice!

I've had mixed feelings about registering this time around, but I think I'm going to go for it. We've had out-of-town family ask where I'm registered already! I have access to lots of baby boy hand-me-downs, but we have NO BABY stuff - its been 7 years!

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#11 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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I agree that there really is no polite way. Even with a registry, people are going to buy what they want (you know, cute tiny baby clothes and receiving blankets). I think the best way to go about it is expect nothing for your new baby to be given to you (ie figure out a way to get the things you truly need right away, and plan for the rest down the road), that way, if you do get gifts - be it unnecessary or necessary things - you will feel extremely grateful for having receiving anything.

I hope that doesn't sound mean, but I just don't think I would ever count on anyone else buying the essentials like a carseat and your mama cloth. The exception would be someone like your mom or sister that you are super close to - like I know my mom will ask what we truly need the most, b/c she wants to help out with a big ticket item. Otherwise, just registering for what you want, and hoping for the best is all you can do.

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#12 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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Honestly........I know some people find this rude (asking specifically for what you need) but I wouldn't bat an eye at it. When I'm buying gifts for people I really prefer to get them something they trully need (especially if they are in the situation of need as opposed to want). I feel it is the best use of money so I would have no problem with someone specifically asking me for something they need for baby. I'd prefer my money go towards that. So.........I'm wondering if pp's suggestion of having your close friends or family spread the word?
OMG YES!!! We live away and so therefore cannot make it to most showers/meet and greet parties. Dh and I are always SO very stressed by buying gifts for people. Even when most people are asked point blank..."We really want to buy you something you need, what do you need the most" they feel guilty and say "oh you know whatever". Irks me off everytime! Then I spend countless hours talking with these peoples friends and families and browsing thier registry....(and seriously I just refuse to buy some of the stuff...a $50 baby mobile to match your crib bedding set is great and all but $50 can buy a whole TON of baby stuff, diapers, wipes and if they are using it formula!)
Are you throwing your own shower? or is a friend/family member? I have attended 2 showers now where it is a "cash shower" where usually before hand the person throwing the shower collects a cash "gift" from all attending party goers and then goes out and buys the actual items the person needs (we have a friend who got her bassinett, highchair, jumper, and a couple other things this way. It worked SO well.) The card said something to the extent of explaining that they were doing this to make the shopping load easier on everyone and to help the mama/papa to get what they really really need. The suggestion was on the card that if you had already got a gift do not feel obligated to give the money.
Honesty is the best policy and I think sitting down and talking with the party thrower is going to be your best bet.
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#13 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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There's a difference between having a registry and telling people they should buy off of it.

The only time I consult registries is for weddings, and then only to find out china, crystal or silver patterns.
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#14 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 03:12 PM
 
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There is definitely a difference between holding a shower or having a registry and stating exactly what someone should buy.

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My experience has been that people generally don't buy from baby registries in my region. I registered for my first baby shower and got almost nothing from the registry, but yah, lots of blankets, cute clothes etc.
Having the host spread the word is a great idea, and about the only way to go. If you must, perhaps you could exchange the gifts you receive but do not need for other items that you do need. There is nothing wrong with doing that.

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#15 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 03:29 PM
 
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1) I hope you didn't tell the gender because if you did there's a greater chance of you getting a bunch of clothes and gender cutesy things. I didn't get a lot of clothes because people had a hard time finding gender neutral stuff.

2) A lot of people won't even look at your registry. I could tell who looked at mine and who didn't because of all the "will you be breastfeeding" questions when there was a breastpump, breast pads, cream, etc on it. Also, some people prefer to go to the store than to look online at a registry.

3)People are going to buy what they want to buy. The best way to spread your message would perhaps be through word of mouth. Your mom or your host can sort of spread the word in a low key way. That would come off better and might pull at peoples generosity strings whereas you doing it could be seen as a turn off.

4)There's always the option of returning things. Once again, having an in-store registry helps because if you don't get a receipt you can add it to your registry and mark it as purchased in order to return it for store credit.

5) Freecycle
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#16 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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I agree that there just isn't a polite way. A registry is like a suggestion, and saying "please only buy off the registry" is more of a demand. It's kind of stupid, and I like to get people what they actually need/want rather than what *I* like, but most people just won't accept it, IMO.

I'm the one who bought my friend the diaper pail, and she returned the favor when it was my turn. Thank goodness somebody actually got me something useful. NOBODY bought me cloth diapers even though it was one of the cheapest things on the list. Most people just got onesies and receiving blankets, most of which ended up at the Goodwill because I don't really use either of them. And none of them were on my registry.

Good luck! If you can, put out the word through the coordinator and at least mention it to close friends and family who might be receptive. Or talk up a few items that you REALLY need so people can see how excited/serious you are. Maybe that will help.
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#17 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 03:47 PM
 
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I think it's rude to tell people they can only buy xyz. I typically don't buy off of a registry because many of the things I see on them I feel are unnecessary and often too pricey for my budget. I tend to buy the little things that are usually forgotten and make up a nice little basket.

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#18 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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I think the best way is to have whoever is throwing the shower to spread the word that you registered at xyz store for all the critical essentials you need.

Beyond that, there's not much else you can do, because as people have said, people will get you whatever they get you.

My husband's aunts are notorious for going and getting the cheapest/most generic gift that is appropriate for a given shower/occasion, and never look at registries. It's no secret that they're going for the food and gossip, and beyond that they honestly don't care about who or why the shower is being given. (They have even been known to walk in and when none of the food or guests appeals to them, turn around and leave )

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#19 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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my opinion is to not mention you even have a registry. i would say for the shower hostess to include a note with the invitations to say this "in lue of gifts, please consider cash or gift cards for the happy family." then at the shower have a "wishing well" or dedicated spot for people to place cards or cash in. if people ask you directly then just be honest and say that you are saving cash to buy some big ticket items like a carseat and would really appreciate the cash.

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#20 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
There is no polite way to tell people what gift to buy you.
This may be true, BUT, if they are looking at your registry already, I don't see any harm in stating something like what you did in your OP: "These are the items we really, truly need. Thanks for buying off our registry so we can focus on our growing family."

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#21 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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my opinion is to not mention you even have a registry. i would say for the shower hostess to include a note with the invitations to say this "in lue of gifts, please consider cash or gift cards for the happy family." then at the shower have a "wishing well" or dedicated spot for people to place cards or cash in. if people ask you directly then just be honest and say that you are saving cash to buy some big ticket items like a carseat and would really appreciate the cash.
Asking for cash and then a wishing well?!?!

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#22 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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I've learned recently that any registry questions are going to become quick battle grounds of what is polite and what is not.

But- you obviously know your guests better than we do, and therefore I think you know how it would be received to ask what you're asking.

I say that the invite should just say the typical "Mom and dad to be are registered at myregistry.com"

And then in that space on the registry page for notes write pretty much just what you've written. People who don't bother to go to registries aren't even going to see the note- so they can't get upset by it. Others who may or may not typically buy off a registry might go there, see your note, and realize that you really need the stuff you registered for.

"Thanks so much for visiting our registry. Some of you have asked what we need most, so we've thought long and hard about what would be the most beneficial to us, and these are the items we truly need for our new baby."

Nobody has to know if nobody has asked you what you need most

Make sure you've included plenty of cheaper items on your registry, though. Nothing is going to make people buy packs of onesies like only registering for big ticket items!

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#23 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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Hmmm am also planning my shower. Looks like my best bet is to make a registry with lots of onesies and blankets. LOL.

I've never registered for anything in my life, so I was confused when I read that people often didn't buy off the registry. Then why do we have them? It's like a bizarro part of the social construct. You're supposed to make one, so you think it out, but not actually expect people to buy off it. I'd rather just not make the damn thing LOL, but my mom wouldn't have that.
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#24 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 09:03 PM
 
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Hmmm am also planning my shower. Looks like my best bet is to make a registry with lots of onesies and blankets. LOL.

I've never registered for anything in my life, so I was confused when I read that people often didn't buy off the registry. Then why do we have them? It's like a bizarro part of the social construct. You're supposed to make one, so you think it out, but not actually expect people to buy off it. I'd rather just not make the damn thing LOL, but my mom wouldn't have that.
In my experience, people around here don't use them because no one buys from them.
One reason people will use them is because the store will offer an incentive like if the items aren't purchased by others, you can buy them for a small discount yourself after the shower. Or, you get a free gift as incentive to register.

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#25 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 09:24 PM
 
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And then in that space on the registry page for notes write pretty much just what you've written. People who don't bother to go to registries aren't even going to see the note- so they can't get upset by it. Others who may or may not typically buy off a registry might go there, see your note, and realize that you really need the stuff you registered for.

"Thanks so much for visiting our registry. Some of you have asked what we need most, so we've thought long and hard about what would be the most beneficial to us, and these are the items we truly need for our new baby."

Nobody has to know if nobody has asked you what you need most

Make sure you've included plenty of cheaper items on your registry, though. Nothing is going to make people buy packs of onesies like only registering for big ticket items!
Well worded Rhi.

And OP, do what you can to encourage people to look at the registry, but accept that many people will not. Remember that places like Walmart often take return items without a receipt, as long as they carry the item. There's also craigslist, if you receive items that you just can't use, but can not return for store credit. Once a gift is given, it is yours to decide what to do with just as if you had bought it, so don't feel obligated to keep the things you are given that will just clutter your life/home. Be sincerely thankful to the giver, but if the item itself is not useful, don't feel guilty exchanging it for what you Do need.

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#26 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Thanks for all the feedback! My MIL has agreed to host for me and it sounds like we'll probably do a BBQ in the park near my house. It's going to be really casual and I think I'll run the PP's suggestion of having a cash shower by my MIL. I think she'll probably be on board. I know that idea would be out of the question for some, but honestly I think it would work for us. I mean, what is the purpose of a shower if it isn't to get the things that you need? I'm not at all trying to be rude here. Seriously. What other point is there to a shower? What's more, we truly, truly can't afford the things that we NEED. I buy used or accept hand-me-downs whenever possible, but some things need to be new and I just can't afford them and we won't be able to afford them for several years so trying to budget for them down the road is out of the question. I need help. Plus, if we do a cash shower then no one brings gifts. There's no big scene around opening them (which I really dislike) and we get the things that we actually need. Sounds like a winner to me! Now all I have to do is figure out what the heck we're going to do at a shower where I don't spend the entire time opening gifts! Sounds a lot more like a blessingway to me, which is what I wanted anyway.
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#27 of 86 Old 03-05-2010, 11:14 PM
 
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I really wanted people to buy cloth diapers off my registry but knew most wouldn't unless we somehow hinted at it. My sister, who sent out invites for my shower, wrote a cute little poem:

If unsure what to get for mother,
Help keep baby's bottom covered.
To make cloth work, this girl needs tons
Of eco-friendly FuzziBunz.

People actually loved it and I got more cloth diapers than I registered for! I think if you do something like this and keep it light, people will get the hint but not feel too pressured.

Good luck!
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#28 of 86 Old 03-06-2010, 12:11 AM
 
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Here's what I did... instead of telling them what to buy for me, I told them what NOT to buy for me. That seemed more polite and acceptable to me. So I registered for all the things I needed, then on the shower invitation where I listed the registry, I put a statement that said, "Please NO baby clothes or toys -- we've already got more than enough of these items. Thank you!"

But it didn't matter -- people will give you whatever they want to give you. Probably half the people who attended ignored the registry and bought baby clothes or toys, because they are cute and fun to buy. My guess is maybe one or two people were swayed by that request from buying baby clothes/toys and instead bought something from the registry, but that's it. I was pretty disappointed because we didn't have money to buy some of the things we really needed. But we ended up buying used items from Craigslist and it all worked out.

It has definitely made me more sensitive to only buying items off registries for baby showers and weddings! In the past I tended to buy one small thing from the registry and one cute little outfit or something fun I picked out myself. Not anymore! It's registry all the way now.

P.S. My sister organized my shower and did a raffle where if you brought baby diapers to the shower, you were entered to win a gift basket. Most people brought a gift plus some diapers, so that was very helpful.

Happily married mother of DD1 (10/87), DD2 (7/08), and DD3 (8/10)
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#29 of 86 Old 03-06-2010, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ooooh! I could raffle off a gift basket for everyone who bought a cloth diaper. That's a great idea! Thanks!
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#30 of 86 Old 03-06-2010, 07:35 AM
 
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The real reason people buy onesies and blankets is because they can't afford to buy the items on your registry - or they dont want to spend the money on your registry. People would much prefer to buy you a cute outfit as a gesture, than some bottle nipples and baby wipes. Just take this into account and don't buy any clothes or blankets yourself.

Either way, I think its rude and greedy to have the attitude of 'this is what I "need" - please buy it for me". The people who matter in your life won't need a baby registry, you'll be able to tell them straight out what you need and they'll spend the money. If your not close enough to talk to a person - then really you only deserve a onesie!

I didn't have an official baby shower for this very reason - I think the idea of a first time mom dictating what she needs and then expecting everyone to pick off a specified list greedy. People still gave us many, many gifts and I had more than what a little baby needs in the end.

Mel - Loving mama and wife to the A team
From little things, big things grow
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