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Baby Extravaganza

I am notoriously frugal. I rarely spend money unless I can find a deal or an online coupon or, if I'm in a bricks-and-mortar store, a major sale. Yet, my frugal ways don't stop me from indulging in my obsession with baby gear.

My passion for baby stuff started before Lucas was born. After my baby shower, I proceeded to buy every single unpurchased item on my registry, much to my husband's dismay. Chalk it up to first-time parent excitement, right? Well then, as Dave so aptly put it, how do I explain the "mountain of stuff" that continued to accumulate even after Lucas was born and my registry was clear? I had a crib, bassinet and a Pack 'N Play, not to mention a bottle warmer, bottle sterilizer, two different swings, a walker, activity center, two strollers, a BabyBjorn and a Johnny Jump Up.

And that wasn't all. There was also the baby gear that served a greater purpose: to make my life easier on the go! A couple of my favorite purchases were the Purz-n-izer and Patemm Pad, both of which I would argue are invaluable, and would highly recommend to any new mom. On the other hand, there were the five diaper bags I bought, of which I use only one.

Then Justin came along and I was faced with a dilemma: Was there anything else to buy? And the answer was an astonishing, "Yes!" There was a new set of bottles (because the originals were no longer "good enough"), a Breast Friend nursing pillow instead of the Boppy, an extra special motion bed, a diaper warmer and two additional strollers. And I'm still looking for the perfect diaper bag that will accommodate gear for both a baby and a toddler!

Reading through this post, I am embarrassed at the excessiveness of it all yet grateful that I was able to indulge my obsession. I guess the one thing I have going for me is my frugality. Not all of my purchases were brand new. I am a big fan of hand-me-downs and recycling, and can often be found checking out "gently-used baby gear" online, looking for that item I never knew I needed! And I can honestly say that, with the exception of a few diaper bags, nothing goes unused. Well, everything gets used at least once anyway!!! When I see that we no longer have a use for an item, I add it to the gently-used baby booty currently available for sale on the glorious World Wide Web so I can hopefully make back some of my original investment.

Now, please don't confuse my baby gear obsession with indulging Lucas and Justin, thus creating a couple of spoiled brats. Interestingly, I am more disciplined when it comes to toy shopping, though my husband would argue that buying the boys clothes ranks up there with baby gear!

I don't think I'm the only baby gear-obsessed mom out there, so I am opening up the floor to you all: What baby paraphernalia did you have to have? And if you aren't baby gear-obsessed, what are you obsessed with?