Sunday, January 18, 2009

The swingin'est baby boy clothes!

If I were a guy, I would wear retro-styled bowling shirts, hipster T-shirts and jeans, and all the tiki stuff I could find. (As a female, however, I don't think the aloha shirts tend to flatter me.)

But, the universe solved my dilemma by giving me an adorable baby boy, who I can dress and will contentedly smile and coo at me no matter what he's wearing! And he's going to be wearing some awesome threads!

Tiki shirt and plaid shorts from Georgie World. Details below.

The one problem with dressing a baby boy, I've noticed, is that there simply aren't as many cute boy clothes to choose from in stores. Or even as many clothes, period. If you visit a baby clothing shop in any mall, I predict the store will be set up to appear to have half girl clothes and half boy clothes. But you may notice that, sneakily, the register and check-out display is on the "boy" side of the store--meaning no clothes can be displayed there. And if there are tables in the center of the store, girl clothes fill them up. So the boys are really getting maybe a third of the store for themselves.

In many ways, this is probably a good thing for my bank account. Girl clothes are irresistably cute. Even the tacky ones are often way more stylish and cute than the boys' offerings.

So I am indebted to Cool Mom Picks for running a Q&A highlighting their past reviews of boys' baby clothing retailers. I literally could not order fast enough from Georgie World!

The backside of some impossibly charming boy shorts.

Tiki shirts! Bowling shirts! Retro cuteness! I love it all. And I ordered big, so hopefully Baby Henry will be able to grow into the clothes and get maximum use out of them.

I'm pretty sure that between visiting Janie and Jack yesterday (which has all-encompassing cute clothing, even if the boys get less retail space than the girls) and Baby Gap, for some retro T's (courtesy of a much-appreciated gift card), Henry will be better-dressed than me for a while. And I am totally fine with that!

JunkFood at BabyGap Beatles T-shirt

Photo from BonittoKid, since it's no longer on the J&J website. But from BonittoKid, I just noticed another older J&J design, a parrot T-shirt! Oh man.

In conclusion:
"Too much of a good thing is wonderful." -- Mae West

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Beetle gets no respect (but that's OK with me)

Brad is officially able to drive again, having passed doctors' exams, the DMV's requirements, and his wife's own ambiguous requirements. This means it was back to me and the Beetle again. (Of course, I could well have driven the Beetle the whole time, anyway, but I wouldn't have enjoyed it, knowing there's a new Prius sitting around.)

Anyway, Henry and I piled into the car today, and I was completely surprised by how HEAVY the Beetle felt. Motor Trend says the curb weight (whatever that means) of the 2003 New Beetle is 2,961 lbs., and that the curb weight of the 2008 Prius is 2,932 lbs.--practically the same. But the Beetle drives like I imagine one of those old cars in film noir movies would, the cars that are always plunging into rivers or racing trains or that sort of thing. I think it's a good thing in a car, personally. (The heft, not the charging-into-rivers part.)

How I might imagine the Beetle: 1946 Packard from Old Car and Truck Pictures

Anyway, I navigated onto the main thoroughfare, feeling like I was driving a boat, and was promptly cut off, and then someone drove about 2 feet behind the Beetle's cute little rear for a while. Well, that's more like it. I'm back in the Beetle again. And I'm happy to be there, even if it doesn't command respect. At least I can be comfortable in the driver's seat!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Trying on your car

So, as some of you know, Brad was in a car accident in our 2007Prius a couple of months ago. The old Prius really took one for the team, as they say, and is no longer with us, but thank God, the universe, the airbags, total luck, and anything else that played a role, Brad came out of the accident perfectly fine. The Prius was a mess, but it did its job, and we had no hesitation to buy another one, exactly the same (only in a slightly different shade of blue). And, it's definitely fun to have a brand-new car!

2008 Prius in Spectra Blue Mica (our color, Toyota's picture. That's not us hopping out of the car at a chic hotel--if it were, we'd be lugging around a lot more stuff! LOL)

Actually, since Brad hasn't been able to drive, he hasn't even gotten to drive the new car (which is no fun for him!).

(Let me take this opportunity to give a public-service announcement about voluntarilly waiting a few minutes after receiving a new vaccine for the first time to make sure your body responds well to it!)

Brad will be able to drive again in a couple of weeks, but so far, I've been the only driver of the new car, and the Beetle's been mostly sitting in the garage. Although I'm a fan of saving gas, and the Prius's four doors certainly make it easier to hoist Henry around, I have to say that I'm looking forward to mostly driving the Beetle again.

The Beetle is a good fit for me--and I don't just mean in looks or "personality." I mean in the way I sit in the car, it is vastly more comfortable for me than the Prius.

I love the Prius. It's a testament to how much I love it that, knowing that the driver's seat is uncomfortable for me, we still got another one! (OK, so it's intended to be Brad's car, so my driving comfort didn't really matter that much. It's just an odd circumstance that I happen to be driving it exclusively right now.)

But that darn seat makes my shoulders and back hurt and my arms tingle if I drive it more than a couple of hours a day. (And, alas, in traffic and if I'm dropping off Brad and picking him up, that could be over 3 hours of driving!) And the crazy thing is that, at least on the 2007 and 2008 models, I cannot figure out how to really adjust the seat or the wheel satisfactorally. The rental car we had for a while had fancy automatic tilt adjustments and everything--it was awesome. The Prius, for all of its futuristic features, has a seat that's stuck in the Stone Age. I really hope they change that in the 2010 model.

Fred's car has more seat adjustments than our Prius offers (by the way, I found this photo at a funny account of driving a Smart Car).

The weird thing about the seat is that it's not something I would ever have noticed on a test drive, because it only bothers me when I've been driving for a long time. The passenger seat, by the way, is totally comfortable. It's something about the position of the seat, pedals, and steering wheel that's all wrong for me.

Anyway, my point in all of this is that whatever our next car might be, however far in the future, I'm going to try and rent the car and drive it for a week before buying it.

Fortunately, Henry doesn't seem to care what car he's riding in--he's happy to look out the window, play with toys, and usually fall asleep! I think that despite the seat issues and the accident, we're having pretty good automotive luck overall (knocking on my Ikea wood desk). Getting from A to B safely, and even happily with a 5-month-old, is good enough for me.