When the Rayner family does Ikea

For the last couple of months, Ben and I have been discussing what to do concerning nurseries. Darcy and Clark will at most be about 21 months apart, and she’s still in her crib. Now we have an extra dresser, nightstand, etc. But we need another bed and another bookshelf and possibly a glider. What KIND of bed has been a topic of discussion and research. See, another crib seems like a kind of good idea. It keeps Darcy nice and trapped in her bed (she’s made no effort thus far to scale the sides to freedom). Then again, spending money on another crib seems kind of stupid when we’d likely be transitioning her out of it in the next few months anyway. Decisions, decisions, and of course everyone has an opinion:
“Do NOT transition that baby out of her crib until she’s three. You won’t sleep once she realizes she’s mobile.” “Oh we transitioned our baby at 18 months! It was no big deal.” “Do it before Clark gets here. That way she can get used to her new bed.” “Wait as long as possible. Put her in the big girl bed a couple of months after Clark gets here.”

Blah. Blah. Blah. Not that we aren’t appreciative of other’s opinions, it’s mostly that conflicting opinions are often unhelpful. With no clear-cut answer, we decided that Darcy will move to a big girl bed before baby Clark gets here, and Clark will get the crib. Now…what kind of bed to buy for Darcy? A toddler bed or a twin bed? Ben thinks Darcy is too small for a true “big girl bed,” and I kinda agree. I mean she’s not even 25 pounds at 18 months old. She’s still my baby! So, I looked at toddler beds, and I thought most of them kinda sucked. Until, I was FB stalking a girl I went to college with and somehow ended up on her sister-in-law’s profile and saw that her daughter had the perfect bed. I know, I know, that sounds super weird and creepy, so I took it a step further and I actually messaged sister-in-law and asked her where she got her daughter’s bed. Yes, my old sorority sister’s sister-in-law that I’ve never met. Funny enough, she actually responded and informed me that it was an IKEA bed. I then spent the next 20 minutes finding it on the IKEA website. It was called the Minnen, and it was beautiful. The price was really good–like $80, and it is a pretty, white, iron bed. It’s also a toddler bed, sort of. It’s the width of twin, with an adjustable length. So it can be short like a toddler bed, extended a little longer than toddler-bed length, or a full twin length. “I’ll just order this sucker online!,” I thought. Shipping alone was $100. Um, no, thank you. I will not order this sucker online. So, when we went home the following weekend for my 10-year reunion (holla Magnolia class of ‘07), we took the trip to the new Memphis Ikea. Ay yi yi.

IKEA. Land of Scandinavian inventions and efficient, cheap furnishings. Land of unknown. Land of insane layout. Okay, if you have ever been to an Ikea, then you get it. If you haven’t, allow the following paragraphs to enlighten you and to also prepare you.

I had heard that Ikea was an experience, but I had also semi-prepared. I knew what we were going for: the bed and the mattress required for the funky lengths of the bed. No window shopping here. My research was done, son. So we get up on Saturday morning, and head out sometime around 10:00, getting out to Ikea around 11:00. It’s huge, man. This Ikea building thing is massive with a big ole parking lot, too. It’s not that crowded and we walk in. Immediately Ben is all, “What is this? Where do we start?” You see, when you walk in, there’s kind of a lobby area with a big sign numbered 1-29ish. Under each number it says something like “lighting” or “living room” or “kids furniture.” Bingo. Section 9: Kid’s furniture. Now where did we find section 9? Well, apparently, you can’t just walk to aisle 9. You have to “ENTER THE SHOWROOM” and traverse through sections 1-8 to get to section 9 in a strange labyrinthy-type of manner. Luckily we brought our stroller and Darcy was successfully contained as we whipped around “kitchen,” “living room,” and whatever else occupied sections 1-8. As we approached “kids furniture,” I saw it. The Minnen (cue angel-music). Darcy’s eyes also lit up as we approached. I looked at her to try to see which toy she was looking at. She wasn’t looking a toy or at any of the other 6 beds on display. She too was reaching for and enthralled by the Minnen! “Let her out, Ben. Let’s see what she does.” He unstrapped Darcy, and she immediately crawled into the bed and gave us her cheesiest smile. Silently congratulating myself, I was thinking, “She loves it! Ha! Ha! My job is so easy. Great minds think alike, little one.” She rolled all over the bed, sooo excited.

ikea1

Now Ben asked, “So where is it? The bed? Where do we grab one.” Well, I knew that we picked it up somewhere else, but I wasn’t sure where exactly. I grabbed an Ikea person and asked, and he told us to write down the aisle number and bin number on the display Minnens’s tag. So we did, and then he told us to follow the signs to the warehouse. Yeah. The signs to the warehouse pointed us to walk all the way through the cafeteria and sections 10-29. What. The. Crap. Is there not a quicker route? No, actually. There isn’t.  You go to Ikea, you gon see ALL of Ikea. I knew this was going to be bad because Darcy LOVED this bed. Leaving this bed was going to cause a tantrum as we walked through the remainder of Scandinavia’s ultimate warehouse. I looked at Ben. He looked at me. We nodded in agreement, and he grabbed up the small human. The small human thrashed, screamed, and attempted bites as we took her away from her newly favored playground. Held like a football, Darcy was walked through the crowds in the cafeteria (it was now lunch–of freaking course it was), and through sections 10-25 where she finally calmed down(ish). Everyone was made aware–Darcy was here, betches!  Ben was SO understanding and accepting of Ikea’s ways *snort* and proceeded to complain at every section we breached. “What the hell kind of design is this? Why are we still walking?” Insert eyeroll emoji. Get over it, Ben. We are getting a bed and mattress and duvet and duvet cover for under $200. Shut it, boo.

We get to the warehouse where Darcy wants to run amok and act like the heathen we pretend she isn’t. I leave Ben to deal (don’t worry, karma is a swift hag), and just go to the aisle and bin I’m supposed to, find what we want and flag Ben over to come grab it. He does, we buy it and we go home, tra la la. HA! Not exactly. Because while Ben checks out, I take Darcy to the car to get her in her car seat, settled, and out of the way for loading. We get to the car, and she goes into full savage mode at the sight of the car seat. In her defense, we had driven from Baton Rouge the night before (5 hour trip), and gotten in the car this morning for the drive to Memphis (1 hour trip), and she was hungry. AND basically because of who she is as a person, she just could not deal. So, there I am in the Ikea parking lot, pregnant as hell, sweating to death because it’s Fall in the South, and actively manhandling my surprisingly strong, extraordinarily pissed-off toddler. It was AWESOME (see my earlier karma statement). Finally, I muscled her into her carseat about the time Ben arrives with our stuff. It was then that we discovered that the box for the bed was too large to fit in my car. Like not going to happen in this lifetime. So we had to open the box, get all the pieces of the bed out, WITH the instructions (see, I was on my A-game), and rearrange everything, so that the pieces wouldn’t bang together on the way home. It took about 15-20 minutes in the heat and everyone was in an *incredible* mood by the time we left.

All things considered, I count the trip as a roaring success–I mean my bar of expectations is set pretty low, behavior-wise. We got Darcy a whole new bed set that is really, really pretty and girly for under $200, and we didn’t have to pay shipping. And we had the experience of Ikea which Ben would like to repeat never. Although, he did find this particular gem particularly amusing: cinnamon1

Shall we take a closer look?cinnamon

Like “Good call, Ikea. Without that disclaimer I was totally going to sue you for the misrepresentation of cinnamon roll size. I would like to pay $1 to eat cinnamon roll forevah, please.”

Personally, I found Ikea strange, yet oddly likeable. Not unlike the first time I ate sushi. To all parents who are parenting tyrannical toddlers, I salute you. It really is fun and funny and we’re gonna have awesome stories from it. Plus, Darcy really is a sweetheart. She loves to play and run and just be a crazy person more than anything. Right now we just have fits when the fun has to end. The days are long, but the years are short, and I am so thankful to spend them with my sweet Ben and my precious Darcy. Love to all.

Why the internet is stoopid

And airing out a diaper rash is a bad idea found on the internet

Stop reading now if you aren’t into reading about potty stuff. Just stop and wait for a post that details the other parts of my life. If you’re game to read on…

Darcy came back from the beach with a pretty horrific diaper rash. To be fair, she arrived at the beach with the start of one, but it only got worse with sand, wet bathing suits, and the heat. I was trying everything; A&D ointment, Desitin, a concoction of an anti-fungal, Desitin, and Aquaphor. Nope. This rash wasn’t budging and poor baby D was uncomfortably tugging at all of her diapers. Now, if you ever even Google anything about diaper rashes, “they” tell you that you should simply “let it air out.” This basically means letting your un-housebroken toddler run around naked and hope for the best. After exhausting all of my ointments, powders, and creams I decided to give it a try.

Ben was out of town for a wedding (how convenient for him), and I had the Darce-bird all to myself for all of Saturday. The day started off innocently enough. We went to return some maternity clothes at Old Navy, we went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. We went to eat lunch at a cute little Italian café where Darcy refused the food and stared directly at an older couple for the entirety of the lunch date. Not awkward at all, Darcy. We went to Trader Joes for groceries—insert heart emoji—I freaking love that store. Then, we went home, fed Darcy a lunch she deemed worthy (Easymac-whatever, Darcy) changed a poopy diaper (this is important), and put the Darcy to bed. When she woke up, I had decided it would be naked time. This rash was out of hand, and she had already pooped, so the un-diapered Darcy show was a safer option now.

About an hour and a half later, she woke up laughing and with a heavy, heavy diaper. Perfect! She’d peed recently. It should be safe. I took off her diaper and brought her to the living room. I turned around to put up the baby gate to the back hallway, and when I turned back around, she was gleefully splashing in a puddle of her own urine. Awesome. I grabbed her and took her to the bathroom to clean her up, pulled out the Clorox wipes and thought, “Well, we’re probably ok now.”  Within 15 minutes she peed the floor again. What in tarnation? How often does someone pee? I mean I’m pregnant, so I totally get a bye on the every 15-minute thing, but seriously? So, I cleaned her up again and we moved to our outside porch. Safer this way. Hotter this way, too. Kind of a pick your poison thing, and I was over wiping up pee.

Darcy is such an adorable exhibitionist. She was toddling around like the emperor who lost his clothes. I definitely sent a booty picture to her daddy. She walked over to the ottoman of one of our outside chairs, looked at me and giggled, squatted and shot out three poop balls in a span of about 5 seconds. Now, I am a nurse. I have seen patients’ chests’ cracked open at bedside, I have been inside OR rooms, I have cleaned up all kinds of poop, but I have never seen poop balls fly out of a tiny booty at that velocity in my life. It took me a minute to get my wits about me. In that minute Darcy straightened up and firmly planted one of her chubby feet right in IT.

*Mental scream*

I finally snap into action and grab her, booty facing out, foot firmly held at a distance, and carry her football style into the bathroom for a quick scrub up. Inwardly I was thinking, “How do people DO this?! It’s only been like 45-” looks at clock-“30 minutes?!” After a very quick scrub up, I grab paper towels and head back out to the porch to clean IT up. But it’s gone. The poop balls have disappeared. No. Oh God, please no. NO! I hear Libby smacking her lips from somewhere behind me, and my suspicions are immediately confirmed. Libby ate the freaking poop. What fresh hell is this? I’m not even sure which small creature is more disgusting. The pee-puddle-splasher/poop-ball-shooter, or the poop-ball-eater. At this point, I was done. If Desitin could not fix this rash, then Darcy could just keep it forever. Sorry, not sorry. Diaper back on baby. This diaper stayed dry until bedtime, by the way. Imagine that *eyeroll*

The moral of the story is that the people on the world wide web are idiots. Do not follow the crunchy, holistic, craptastic (see what I did there?) advice “they” spout on internet forums. They are idiots, and obviously have investments in the Clorox wipe business. Darcy’s butt is perfect now, and basically all I did was change diaper brands, and slather it with every cream known to man, including the dangerous and awful Talc-containing power. OoOoOo-arrest me now. May your parenting endeavors leave you with great stories and funny memories. And may you have dog-breath freshening treats on hand. Until next time, love to all.

The B-word that stole my necklace

So this particular instance occurred in my very own neighborhood about a year ago. This woman, who shall remain nameless, has recently vacated her home and moved to a new location. If you meet a woman meeting the description to follow, then be forewarned that she is a necklace-stealing harpy. For the record, I am not mocking anyone with a disability or physical impairment. I am simply relaying one of the stranger encounters in my life. Anywhooo–

For my birthday last year, my mom asked me what I wanted. I honestly have such a hard time with telling people what to give me. It’s rare that I have something I feel like I need or want. Last year though, I thought immediately, “I’d like a simple Kendra Scott necklace.” I knew they were around $50 and were something I could wear daily. I told my mom and she said to pick it out, and let her know which one so she could order it. I picked the rose-quartz colored stone with a gold chain. Simple. My mom filled out the order form and happy birthday to me!

2 weeks later, I remembered I hadn’t received my necklace. I checked my email (my mom used my email, so I would get updates), and it said the package had been delivered 5 days prior. I investigated further and saw that my mom accidentally reversed the last 2 numbers when inputting my address. That address didn’t even exist. I called the postal service and sat an obnoxious amount of time on hold pressing different numbers to be directed to a new robot, ad nauseum. Finally, I spoke with someone who said the necklace had been delivered to a different address since the address my mom put in didn’t exist. The following conversation followed:

  • Me: “Hmm. So you saw the phone number listed, couldn’t find the address, and just delivered the package to a random house with some of the same numbers listed on the address label without ever calling to verify?”
  • Postal worker person: “Uh…yeah…I think that’s what happened. You can file a claim if you want. Or, like knock on their door.”

“Or, like knock on their door.” Okay, then. So, I decided that since I was dealing with these amaze-balls employees who really cared when I filed my claim, that I was never going to see that necklace unless I went rogue. Like knocking on the door and getting that Kendra Scott back. Unfortunately said individual WAS NEVER HOME! Seriously. Every morning on my morning run (I was training for a ½ marathon at the time), I would stop at the address (containing some of the numbers in a different order of the delivery address) and knock. And knock. This continued for like two weeks. The postal service would not budge my “pending” status of my claim. I had been left with no options, and now I was on a mission. Then one morning, I struck gold! I thought. More like striking pyrite…

A white Altima was in the driveway! SOMEONE was there. I pushed the running stroller up to the door and knocked. And waited. I rang the doorbell and immediately heard the startled yapping of a small dog. “Yesss! She can’t ignore that!” But nothing happened. I rang the doorbell again, setting off a renewed barrage of incessant, little-dog yapping. “Shut the F@#$ UP!,” I heard from within. “Uhh…okay. Think positively, Beka,” I told myself.

Nothing could prepare me. The door swung open and this woman filled the doorway. She was wearing a white, see-through, floral-printed muumuu that was dangerously close to releasing her boobs. This was not helped by the leaping, now snarling, ugly little dog in her arms. “What”—dog lunges at me—“do”—dog lunges and boob almost exposed—“you need?!,” she halfway growled. At this point I decided I didn’t want to know what was going to happen to the boob situation and focused on her face. Mistake. She had one eye. Like empty socket on the left, squinty eye on the right. I cannot make this up, and now I don’t know where to look. “Um, my necklace was delivered here almost a month ago by mistake,” I said, completely transfixed by her empty eye-socket. “I ain’t got no necklace. I been outta town, and my son picked up my mail, but no necklace.” “It was delivered here,” I said, standing my ground in this ridiculous scenario. “Was it…uh…worth much?” she questioned, fixing her eye on me. “It’s a birthday present from my mom, and I’d like to get it.” “Well, I’ll let you know if I see it,” she said backing into her doorway with her rabid, still growling dog. “Do you need my number? Or my address? I live right down the street,” I said quickly, realizing my chances to get my present were about the same as her eye re-growing. “I know where you live,” she said. And then she shut the door in my face.

I went back 2 or 3 more times, but she either ignored me (I could hear her yelling and cussing at her dog), or answered and said she, “ain’t seen no necklace.” It was really special.

Whatever.

Thank you U.S. Postal service for that delightful encounter. Thank you for delivering the necklace to an address of your choice. Thank you lady for being dishonest and for the general frightening experience of meeting you and your tiny, growling minion.

My mom just laughed and bought me another necklace.