today, the lady sparkler and I started spending the $340,552 it’s going to take to raise baby sparklet until she graduates college.

I feel strangely proud.

we’ve been futzing around for *months* on the three “big” purchases — the crib, the stroller and the car seat — going baaaack, and forth, and baaaaack, and forth. but today, after nearly two months of researching, six weeks of trips to the suburbs, and three weeks of dithering, we finally pulled the trigger. on something. eventually.

and the winners are …

bonavita_peyton_07116_2bonavita peyton classic crib — a lot of decisions about baby sparklet have terrorized us, but none quite like this one. we’re in a small, small space in the city, so wanted to avoid all of the giii-normous “lifestyle” cribs on the showroom floors.

unfortunately, all anybody sells are giii-normous “lifestyle” cribs.

occasionally, you would see a couple of normal looking cribs in a store. in the back corner. under a sign that says “you hate your baby if you get one of these.”

living in the city, the tween edition of baby sparklet is going to need a loft bed, or is going to have about 2 square feet of floor on which to play. getting a lifestyle crib that converts into a twin bed is of no use to us.

eventually, we found a crib we liked (bonavita peyton) that had a version (classic, not lifestyle) that was just a crib. not a burr grinder. or a lifeboat. just a crib. it seemed very sturdy in the one showroom (out of six) which featured the model that did *not* convert into a dishwasher.

the issue that sealed the peyton classic for us was that it was made from good, hard wood … where most of the competition had soft finishes, and were seriously scuffed up from people window shopping. (really, if a crib can’t survive life in a showroom, what’s it going to look like after a couple of years of teething?!?)

41LiILMKDBL._SL500_AA280_city mini stroller — got a super recommendation from a friend on this one (mightybabyboig) as the stroller they wished they had bought back at the very beginning. it’s light, folds up ridiculously small (important for the bus) and has one of the narrower wheelbases (important for navigating the drunks passed out on District sidewalks).

another crib, the uppababy vista, went deep into our decision making process when it got a strong plug from the baby bargains book (the guardian of my sanity for the last two months) as the best stroller for “hip urban dwellers.” the vista *was* pretty freakin’ cool as a full strollerpalooza system (included with bassinet, raincover, blender, etc.) but was much wider (2″+) than the mini and no where near as compact folded (might need to be strapped to the roof on a city bus).

so, i’m not sure how the city mini didn’t get the top pick for my demographic (maybe its just a definition thing — i’m pretty sure we aren’t hip) but i guess it’s a little much asking one little book to make EVERY decision for me.

of course, none of the stroller models we looked at had either (a) air bags or (b) a star wars missile defense shield, so I’m sure we are recklessly sacrificing baby sparklet’s safety every time we think we even think about leaving the house.

ECPA20090817_0033graco snugride infant car seat — ah, yes. the Honda civic of car seats. the snugride was at the top of every ranking, and the only thing we really did was shop for the color.

the lady sparkler hinted that having a car seat that matched the stroller would be a good thing, because apparently the two can plug together into some sort of voltron-like super-combo-robot-stroller.

speaking of … i wonder if they sell flaming sword attachments? if they did, i’m thinking it would capture the “early-pubescent teen daddy” market that seems to be blooming lately. just a thought.

on the more boring side, the snugride we got appears to have side impact protection … which is great, because I am pretty sure our car (which cost 200x more) does not.

i take this fact as yet another sign that I hate my unborn child, as we haven’t dropped everything and bought a tan Volvo station wagon … yet.

but, then again, tan wouldn’t match.