Monthly Archives: December 2010

You Suck, Babies R Us

There’s nothing I hate more than bad customer service.  I have worked in a customer-service oriented position before (granted it was high school but I totally respect retail jobs at the mall!) so I feel like I have the right to expect a certain level of service.  I am not a high-maintenance customer by any means.  In fact, I’m usually quite pleasant and don’t ask for much.  What I expect, however, is GOOD customer service… and with a good attitude!

Living in the Baltimore Metropolitan area – I’m pretty much stuck with a small variety of “baby” superstores… most notably, the loathsome Babies R Us.  While I love Target, their baby section is quite small and I feared that only registering there would leave me without a lot of variety (plus it seems most of the stuff has to be purchased online).  So we were stuck.

My experience with Babies R Us has been hit or miss so far.  The closest BRU to us is located in an area where I grew up.  And let’s just say that the store is always packed with potential castmates of “Teen Mom” (but only the trashiest of the bunch). 

I have returned a few items to BRU and that customer service has been fantastic.  The ladies at that customer service desk have always helped me and one even cut me a break when I returned something because I forgot I had a coupon for it at home (technically you can’t get cash back on previous purchases but she was super nice and let me get it anyways).

However, if I need anything else… like help on the floor of the store, I’m usually shit out of luck.  The staff seem to hate life and most of them don’t seem to know shit about the products.  It is bad enough that as soon as you tag something as being baby-related, the price seems to jump up exponentially, but when I have to deal with turds – well, now you’re just asking for too much, BRU.

So anyways, this last week has sent me over the edge in terms of loathing BRU and I thought I’d share what they’ve done to piss me off just because I like to complain.  🙂

The Glider Debacle

We need a glider.  Well – we’re told by EVERYONE that we need a glider.  I noticed that BRU was having a “sale” on gliders that ended on 12/24.  We’re not crazy about most of the gliders we’ve seen at the store because they’re ugly (you know they are!) and they’re ridiculously overpriced.  We both decided that if we were to purchase a glider, we’d get one of the fully upholstered ones (which means they cost SO MUCH MORE). 

There is another baby superstore in Maryland (Buy Buy Baby) that is awesome and their selection rocks.  Jeremy wanted to check them out before we made a purchase a BRU just to make sure there wasn’t something better.  Well there was.  There were quite a few better things but they came with a hefty price tag ($600) that I just couldn’t justify.

So we settled on BRU.  We went on Christmas Eve with the intent of purchasing a chair on sale.  Of course there was nobody in the section to help us so we had to go have someone paged.  We settled on a chair.  The floor model was in a dark brown color but it had different color swatches attached to the chair.  We decided on a “buckwheat” color. 

When we asked the BRU staffer about ordering the chair in buckwheat, she pointed out that it would have been a “special order”.  Special orders take approximately 12 weeks to process.  Are you fucking kidding me?  Are they chopping down the tree to widdle the frame of the chair?  Are they sitting at a loom to make the upholstery fabric?  That is fucking ridiculous.

Then she said that if it was online, we could just order it directly.  Now tell me how that makes sense.  If it is online, doesn’t that mean that the chair IS IN STOCK?   Well it WAS online but instead of going ahead and ordering it for us, she told us to go home and do it.  Fuck you very much, BRU.  Anywho – here’s the chair we ordered:

(and no – we did not pay full price for it!  but let me just say that their “free shipping’ advertisement on their site is a big fucking fat lie.  It means you get $20 off of shipping & handling.  Seriously?!  Fuck you again, BRU)

The Price Jump

We also registered with Amazon because Amazon is awesome.  We didn’t get much from that registry mostly because it entails ordering things online and I think most people shy away from that. 

I am a part of Amazon Mom because you can get some great benefits (like free shipping on baby items!) depending on your activity.  But I also get e-mails about sales.  I received an e-mail about a sale on baby swings so I clicked the link and saw the swing that we registered for at BRU.

At BRU, the swing costs $159.99.  We noticed it on sale at Target for roughly $130.  But I figured we’d go back to BRU and purchase the swing witha 20% off coupon so it would end up being slightly cheaper.

But then I saw that same swing on Amazon for $103.95!!  What the fuck?!  It is one thing for BRU to upcharge by $20-30 but this is a near $60 difference.  AND I actually get free shipping with Amazon as opposed to a falsely advertised free shipping deal. 

So we bought it from Amazon and it’ll be here tomorrow.

Wow – this post was really long.  If you made it this far, thanks for reading!


Filed under Charm City Kim Breeds

Fashion Bump Watch

Phew – I almost dropped the ball on my weekly fashion recap.  I know you guys were on pins and needles for this post (hope you can sense the sarcasm in that sentence).

Monday, December 20, 2010

a photo of what I wore

So I know it looks like Jeremy may have punched me in the mouth and chipped my tooth but sadly – there is a piece of food stuck in my teeth.  Hot stuff, I know.

Top:  Gap Maternity (also owned in gray)

Pants:  Old Navy Maternity.  I originally ordered these in my “pre-pregnancy” size (like you’re supposed to) but holy hell, they were HUGE!  I had to order these bad boys 2 sizes smaller.

Shoes:  Target Merona

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

a photo of what I wore

Top:  Gap Maternity

Necklace:  Banana Republic

Jeans:  Old Navy Maternity

Boots:  Sheikh Shoes

Owl:  Made by Myriam.  Isn’t it fantastic?  I wish I had Myriam’s sewing skills!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

a photo of what I wore

Top:  Old Navy Maternity

Sweater:  H&M  (not maternity and I think that is probably obvious in looking at this photo)

Necklace:  Macy’s

Belt:  Target

Pants:  Old Navy Maternity

Shoes:  Target Merona

Thursday, December 23, 2010

a photo of what I wore

I’m in a great mood in this photo because I finally got my car back from the auto body shop!  Holy fuck – I dropped it off on November 10th.  Fuck you very much Metlife and O’Donnell Honda.

Dress:  Old Navy Maternity (also owned in solid green)

Leggings:  Old Navy Maternity (it was too cold for just tights)

Boots:  Crap – I really don’t remember.  I think I purchased these from Zappos?  Piperlime?  One of those online sites. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

a photo of what I wore

I’m dressed a little schlubby since this day was spent running some last minute errands (like picking out a stupid glider for the nursery!  Can I tell you how much I loathe going to a Babies R Us store these days?  Not to mention some of the poor customer service we receive… like the half-assed service in regards to the gliders.)

Sweater:  DKNY (not maternity!  And if you haven’t figured out – if I pull out something I haven’t worn in awhile, I wear it to death.  Like this sweater…)

Top:  Gap (not maternity!  this is a thermal long-sleeved shirt that I’ve been wearing under some sweaters for an extra layer of warmth)

Jeans:  Old Navy Maternity

Boots:  Sheikh shoes

Monday, December 27, 2010

a photo of what I wore

Sweater:  Urban Outfitters (not maternity although it kind of appears that it would be.  I love this sweater).

Top:  Gap (not maternity!  another long-sleeved thermal shirt.)

Jeans:  Old Navy Maternity

Shoes:  Target

Necklace:  It is difficult to see but Jeremy got me the little owl necklace from Etsy that I wanted for Christmas.  I love it!  It is so delicate and it makes me think of bambino.

Fun / Weird Pregnancy Stuff:  Nothing fun nor weird but holy hell – my abs are so crampy.  My upper ab muscles are SO frickin’ sore.  It feels like I’ve been doing a thousand crunches or something.  I can’t sit for long periods of time in a chair because my abs feel like they need to be stretched.  I can’t stand up still for long periods of time without feeling my blood pressure drop and like I’m going to pass out.  I am not in a fun stage right now.  But holy hell – only 6 more weeks to go!  Ack!!

I started to wash some of the sheets and clothing.  Because I still have this fear that we’re going to be told that we’re having a boy at my 36 week sonogram (I have a lot of girly clothing now!) – I won’t wash any of the girly stuff.  I’ve only washed the gender neutral stuff and the sheets. 

Oh and I already fucked up one of the waterproof crib sheets.  I never realized that “Tumble Dy Low” meant that there is a setting on your dryer that dries your clothing without the use of hot air?  Our dryer doesn’t have such a setting so I typically ignore this type of instruction.  Well fuck me – I melted the plastic on the waterproof crib sheet.  The baby isn’t here and I’m already fucking up!  We went out and bought a new pack of waterproof crib sheets and I air dried those bitches.

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My Christmas Wish List

With Christmas a mere 2 days away, I thought I’d share with the blogosphere what I asked for this year (in case any of my generous readers want to send me gifts).

I really didn’t ask for much nor did I ask for anything particularly pricey (unlike my husband).  With a baby on the way, the last thing I want to do is haul in my stuff into the house.  Have I mentioned I’m completely freaking out about how much I feel like we have left to do?  Yeesh.

I gave a list to my husband and a list to his family (they requested one!).

Here is what I asked for from Jeremy (keeping in mind that we set a $100 limit on gifts so I know I won’t get all of this… and knowing Jeremy, I probably won’t get many of these things):

  • A new pair of running shoes (Brooks Adrenaline).  I purchased a Groupon that was good for $80 at a particularly running store and I said he could just use that towards the shoes.  I already know that he didn’t buy me these shoes.  Boo!

  • A pair of gray or silver NON-leather flats.  I didn’t have a particular model in mind but my husband is surprisingly good at knowing my style.
  • These earrings

  • This necklace (because I’ve become obsessed with owls since setting up the nursery):
  • A new lunch bag.  My current one is falling apart.
  • This water bottle (because the lining around the lip of my Sigg bottle has started to come apart and it is making it taste weird):

The list I gave to my in-laws had:

  • anything on our baby registry
  • various Etsy artwork to be used in the nursery
  • a ridiculously adorable newborn hat from Etsy
  • a sewing machine that is good for beginners
  • a new front door (this was probably the most extravagant thing I asked for and I only put it on there to break up the baby-related stuff)

I received a complaint from my mother-in-law that I wasn’t really asking for anything for MYSELF but I tried to argue that these are things that I wanted and would essentially end up buying anyways…  but alas, she didn’t like my answer.  My sister-in-law understood but then said, “I have some ideas on what to get you.”  I totally appreciate them wanting to buy me a gift but I pray that it is not a charm bracelet.  I don’t know what it is about motherhood but a lot of women I know that end up with babies, end up with charm bracelets shortly thereafter.  I’m just not a charm bracelet kind of gal.  In fact, I don’t wear bracelets because I don’t like things on my wrists.  Anywho – now I”m starting to sound ridiculously ungrateful and I really am not. 

What’s on YOUR Christmas list?

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Budget Win!

Finally – a post that isn’t a bunch of pictures that scream, “look at me!”.

Here’s a secret about me – I’m terrible with money.  I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t married Jeremy, I’d be in a slew of credit card debt with hardly any money in my savings account.  When I graduated college, I was about $11k in credit card debt without much to show for it (except 20 extra lbs).

I blame my parents.  My parents are notoriously terrible with money as well and never really taught me the importance of savings.  I didn’t realize just how bad they were until my dad had a stroke over 10 years ago and I had to take over paying their bills.  Even so – I continue to see my dad spend money frivously and it irritates me to no end.  But then I realize I kind of do the same thing.

To help manage money – Jeremy and I have money directly deposited into our own separate checking accounts (as well as our joint accounts).  So yes, we give ourselves an “allowance” each month.  This helps me because the amount is small and it isn’t cluttered with bill payments.  Apparently the older I’ve gotten, the less my brain is able to process stuff.

I’m pretty unaware of how much money we actually have at a given time, how much we bring in monthly, how much we spend on bills and how much we waste on junk.  I just stay in a perpetual state of “ohmygod we’re poor”.  I think Jeremy likes to keep things this way.

Normally around Christmas, we don’t pay much attention to budget.  We’re blessed to (1) have decent paying jobs and (2) get decent year-end bonuses.  We’ve always used our bonus to supplement the cost of gifts but this year, our bonuses were earmarked for other things… like Jeremy’s tuition and my maternity leave (since a portion of it will be unpaid).

This sent me into a bit of a panic.  So we set a budget on what we would spend on each person as well as each other.  I made a super dorky spreadsheet to track out spending and I am super stoked that we kept to it!  We even came in a little under.  While I do feel like we’re not giving anything extravagant this year (not that we ever gave super expensive stuff) – I feel better knowing that we didn’t go overboard.

How do you keep your spending in check?


Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles

Fashion Bump Watch

I don’t know if anyone is following Kt‘s blog – but I have to admit that I feel kind of silly posting these pictures when a good friend is going through such a stressful and scary situation with their loved ones.  While Kt’s husband and daughter have successfully undergone the liver transplant (Kt’s husband donated a portion of his liver to their daughter) – Luca has hit some complications.  Please send your prayers and positive thoughts.

Now onto to the frivolity of my life…

Monday, December 13, 2010

a photo of what I wore

This really isn’t an inspired outfit or anything.  And don’t mind the weird dust particles that seem to be all over the camera lens.

Top: Old Navy Maternity (also owned in tan and purple)

Pants:  Old Navy Maternity

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

a photo of what I wore

Top: Old Navy Maternity (I got this for like $10 on sale… I like it a lot but it is definitely not intended for cold weather wear.  I layered this over a long-sleeved black t-shirt for some warmth!)

Pants:  Old Navy Maternity (skinny pants!  And I learned my lesson the first time I wore these… I paired them with the belly band so I’d have some extra support.  For skinny pants, these sure are HUGE in the waist).

Shoes:  Target – Merona

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

a photo of what I wore

Another uninspired outfit.

Top:  H&M Maternity

Pants: Old Navy Maternity

Shoes:  Target – Merona

Thursday, December 16, 2010

a photo of what I wore

This was not the best choice of outfit for a snowy day!  I should have worn boots.  My feet were FREEZING.

Dress:  Old Navy Maternity (also owned in a gray floral print)

Sweater: DKNY (not maternity but oh so cozy)

Tights:  Old Navy

Shoes:  Target – Merona

Friday, December 17, 2010

a photo of what I wore

Top:  Gap (NOT maternity!  I really needed to break out of the monotony of my maternity clothes since I refuse to buy any more.)

Pants:  Old Navy Maternity (oops – I wore the same skinny pants twice in one week!)

Shoes:  Target – Merona.

Fun / Weird Pregnancy Stuff:  Holy crap – time is flying by!  I’ve been in this crazed state of mind where I think we need to organize and do all of this stuff before the baby gets here.  I have this strange feeling that she’s going to come early.  I haven’t had any Braxton Hicks contractions or anything but I’ve had some dreams and LOTS of people keep making comments that have instilled some fear in me.   I want everything done before the 1st of January!  I don’t think this is exactly “nesting” so much as it is fucking crazy.


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I Feel Like I’m Taking Crazy Pills (Daycares are crazy expensive)

It feels a bit silly to be visiting daycares when I don’t actually have an infant to put into one but I have recently found that you need to lock this shit down early!  We’ve visited and called 5 daycares (a mix of in-home and centers) and most of them are booked already for May 2011!  What the hell?  Do women secure this once they see a positive pregnancy test or something?

While I realize the care of your child should be priceless… I can’t get over how much some of these centers are charging in the city.  It is truly mind-bottling (what movie, guys?).

The first sort of center we visited is located right in our neighborhood.  It is run out of a rowhome but the entire house is devoted to being a daycare center.  The woman who runs it is an old Greek woman and she reminds me of some of my Korean relatives.  They provide diapers and she cooks lunches from scratch!  While the place is a little older and somewhat run-down, we LOVE this place.  They follow some sort of curriculum and the kids are obviously well loved and taken care of here.  They’re charging $250/week.  And they are just a hop, skip and a jump away from us! 

Unfortunately – they don’t have any openings in the Spring of 2011.  She said they’ve put in the paperwork to open up a second facility (still in the neighborhood but in a new building that was constructed).  Fingers crossed that somehow this place works out for us because IT IS PERFECT.

We then checked out a place a little further down the street.  I knew from the get go that this was a more yuppie establishment.  They’re located in an office building and have significantly more space than the first place we visited.  But we were shocked to learned that they charge $367/week and that doesn’t include ANYTHING!  We have to bring our own diapers, wipes, LUNCHES, and the other typical things like clothes and sheets.  I couldn’t believe they didn’t even provide lunch!  AND – we’re still responsible for paying that amount even if they unexpectedly close down one day (snow day).  Their waiting list is also long but we know that if we don’t get on it – we risk not having ANY care setup. 

We checked out a place today that we also knew would be super yuppie.  It is brand new (in fact, the place is still being constructed).  But it was nearly the same deal as the 2nd place we visited.  They don’t provide anything and yet the fee is nearly $1700/month. 

Holy cannoli.  We just reached out to 2 in-home daycares recommended by some parents on the parenting listserv I subscribe to in my area.  One came highly recommended and was also a perfect location.  Unfortunately – they won’t have any infant openings in the Spring.  The other place that we will be visiting next week has an opening in June (so I’d have to figure out child care for a few weeks since I’m supposed to return to work the 2nd week of May).

OY!  This is really stressing me out.  I’ve realized the real money is in owning and running a daycare center in a city chock full of yuppies!  I mean, the 3rd daycare center we visited was an open house and some of the parents didn’t even bat an eye at the fee and how nothing was really provided for that amount of money.

Sorry for the bitchfest – I just can’t get over these costs.  I always knew it was pricey but I wasn’t expecting to be paying a second mortgage!

On another note – please send some positive thoughts to my pal Kt.  If you follow her blog at all, you know that her daughter (4 months old) has a rare Urea Cycle Disorder.  Today she is undergoing a liver transplant… and the donor is Kt’s husband / Luca’s father!  I can’t imagine having the 2 people that pretty much make up my world in that type of situation and I commend her for the strength that she’s shown through this whole thing.  Both baby and dad are in surgery now.


Filed under Charm City Kim Breeds

Fashion Bump Watch

Whoops – I haven’t blogged in almost a week!  Sorry, folks… I’ve just been feeling very social networking blah lately.  My tweets have been light too.  But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t snapping pictures!  This has become a habit now and I wonder if I’ll end up doing this post-pregnancy just because.  Although I imagine that the first few weeks post-pregnancy will just consist of me wearing spit-covered sweats.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Top: Gap Maternity (also owned in Black)

Pants:  Old Navy Maternity

Flats: Target Merona

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Top:  Gap Maternity (also owned in Gray)

Sweater:  Urban Outfitters (not maternity!)

Pants:  Old Navy Maternity

Shoes:  Target Merona

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I didn’t go to work this day.  My sciatica and lower back muscle were KILLING ME so I spent the morning resting at home but then needed to get up and move around a bit so I got dressed and ran a quick errand so I didn’t feel like a complete waste of space.  Like my winter hat?

T-shirt:  Target Maternity (I think it is a Liz Lange t-shirt?)

Sweater:  Urban Outfitters (not maternity)

Jeans:  Old Navy Maternity

Shoes:  Toms

Hat:  Urban Outfitters

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Top:  White button down shirt from NY & Company… obviously not maternity and I couldn’t button it all the way but you can’t tell that with the sweater over it. 

Sweater:  H&M Maternity

Pants:  Old Navy Maternity

Shoes:  Target Merona

Necklace: Banana Republic

Friday, December 10, 2010

I actually did forget to take an outfit picture on Friday but I did snap this photo for our Holiday card!  I cropped Jeremy out since this isn’t a “Fashion Husbands of Pregnant Women Watch” post.

Top:  Gap Maternity

Pants:  Old Navy Maternity

Necklace:  Forever 21

Dog: Emily

Fun / Weird Pregnancy Stuff:  So this is neither fun nor weird but my sciatica is KILLING ME.  I was in pretty bad shape earlier this week between the sciatica and my lower back muscle pain.  I’ve been going to a chiropractor and I can’t determine if this is helping or hurting me.  My lower back muscle pain has somewhat ceased and the sciatica is not constant but oy, it sucks.

And the baby was moving a ton this weekend.  She was moving so much that you could SEE the movement in my belly.  It was like she was trying to bust out of there.  At one point I pushed down on a spot where she kicked and she totally kicked my hand!  It was hilarious.  My mom yells at me for poking at my belly… she thinks I’m aggravating my dear baby.  Sometimes I just want her to play.  🙂


Filed under Charm City Kim Breeds