Spoiling Children

I now understand how parents can want to give their child the world — both figuratively and literally. Every cute outfit, every neat toy I see, I have to dig deep inside to find some restraint so I don’t wind up with a cart full of kid stuff in my cart at the store. Target, I’m talking about you here.

Between Christmas in December and Miss Frugalista’s first birthday in February, we were inundated with toys and clothes. I did think to request summer outfits in a larger size — which our little chunker is quickly growing out of already — and some small beach/pool items for our upcoming trip to North Carolina.

Toys are in abundance here, too. We have lots of little toys that play songs and teach the alphabet and numbers, along with the more traditional wooden blocks and fabric dolls. There are a few larger items, too, such as an outdoor water table and slide (two separate items), a music table, rocking horse, bouncy turtle, and a small Fisher-Price Little People dollhouse. That’s all in addition to the Little People ZooTalkers zoo and about 15 different animals that go with it. (Aside: Do you know how freakin’ hard it was to find most of those animals? They’re never in stores, so I wound up ordering many of them from the Fisher-Price website at $3 a pop.)

She has a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, a Radio Flyer wagon complete with seats, seat belts and canopy, and, not to be outdone, a motorized mini Power Wheels car. Then there’s the stuff at her babysitter’s house.

Since her birthday in February, I haven’t bought her anything “major” besides some extra ZooTalkers animals and her Fisher-Price dollhouse. However, I do have my eye on a little outdoor playhouse for her…

Do you have trouble controlling your spending impulses when it comes to your little ones? Please tell me it’s not just me!

Bathroom Renovation Reveal

It’s finally done! Well, almost.

Our upstairs full bathroom renovation is a success, and the room looks beautiful. We still have a few things to do, like build a linen closet and get matching towels and some sort of art for the walls, but it’s done. The linen closet will be in the 15.5-inch by 30-inch alcove next to the tub. I’ll probably start building the shelving this weekend, and I’ll need to get a door from a kitchen/bath cabinet place. And the window calls for some sort of treatment — blinds or curtains?

We had an interesting time getting the 400-pound cast iron tub up two flights of stairs (to the front door and up to the second floor). And by “we,” I mean Mr. Not-So-Frugal, my father-in-law, brother and neighbor. I was at work when that happened.

It also turned out that we had to bust up the ceiling in the downstairs bathroom, which had decorative ceiling tiles over an old plaster ceiling. After the plumber finished his work under the new tub, the contractor sheetrocked the ceiling for us.

The final tally: $7300. Not too far off my estimate of $7050 in an earlier bathroom renovation blog post. In addition to splurging on the vanity, I also spent more on the sink faucet set and shower tiles.

Here are some before and after photos. I wish I had a better shot of the original bathroom, but since it was in an “L” shape with a walk-in closet nestled in the middle of it (!!), this will have to do.

Who designed this bathroom, a blind man? There IS a shower to the right of the toilet.

In progress

Another in-progress view, before grout

The finished product

It’s an amazing transformation — it became the bathroom I envisioned. Not bad for someone who’s terrible at making decor decisions.