crazy stuff,  domesticity,  shopping


this is how we roll

We’re leaving tomorrow and I’m not one bit ready. I have to do laundry still and wash the car. I also have to pack some suitcases and figure out some kind of emergency fun kit for an eight hour road trip with a toddler.

What am I doing instead? (Besides typing this blog of course.) I’m sitting here making a Baby Bug calendar for 2008. Some of you asked how I made my calendar that you saw on my card wall of fame. I use Qoop through Flickr. They are decent quality for what they are.

Just make sure you don’t position your baby’s head on the page so she gets a punch hole right next to her eyeball and it looks like someone shot her in the head. I’m sure that was lots of fun for all my relatives to gaze at for the month of May.

Speaking of gazing, I’m also looking out my front door (that is a sliding glass door so I can look right through it) at a giant box. A giant box that is going to be a shelf (except it will be horizontal not vertical) in Baby Bug’s room to store all her toys. I’m so excited about it. I’d put it together myself right this minute if I could just lift the dumb thing. It seriously weighs 200 pounds. I know IKEA furniture is cheap but this shelf must be made of solid lead or compound wood matter or something. It is HEAVY. Or “Hehbby” as Baby Bug says.

I know I’m not supposed to be shopping at IKEA anymore after the great desk explosion of 2007 but where else am I supposed to get cheap furniture that I can track down in a single afternoon? I have no time for shopping or scouting out garage sales and Craig’s list anymore. I’ve snooped in the trash and there was NOTHING. Finally, I just buckled and bought exactly what I wanted for ONLY $79. You can’t beat that. Let’s just hope it isn’t made of lead or explodes.

I love IKEA and I hate IKEA. I love the simple lines of their furniture but I hate that it falls apart. I love that everything is affordable but I hate that they keep their prices low by cutting other places, like in the customer service department. I love their fun show room that you can walk around and pretend to play house in but I hate that you have to hoof three-thousand miles to get to your box of furniture in their warehouse. I also hate how when you are three thousand miles away down some long dark alley of towering boxes, there isn’t a soul around to help you lift a 200-pound box.

You see that box up there that Baby Bug is surfing on? I bought that all by myself. I mean ALL BY MYSELF. I did not speak to one human being from the time I walked into IKEA until the time I walked out. I didn’t even talk to one person in the parking lot as I teeter-tottered it into my trunk ALL BY MYSELF. Not a peep. Not counting Baby Bug of course. With her I had a running commentary about the whole episode.

I was just waiting for someone to say, “Please don’t let your child ride on top of the box while you wheel it down the aisle.” To which I would reply, “Oh! Please help me! Can you push my cart so I can wrangle my toddler and get this GIANT box to check out? Please! Please! Somebody pleeeeeeeese help me! Anybody!”

perfecting the art of not looking at the camera

But no. Nobody helped me. Nobody even cared that Baby Bug surfed on top of a 200-pound box on top of a wheely cart. We were fine-and-dandy just helping ourselves because we are fancy-free and independent like that. Plfffff. I actually made three trips in and out of IKEA, checking the size the 200-pound box and the size of my 200-pound car to make sure that one could fit inside the other. I wasn’t sure.

I wheeled that thing through self check-out, wrangled Baby Bug before she teeter-tottered off the end of the 200-pound box and wheeled it right out the door with my receipt without speaking to a single soul. It was so un-American. But hey, it only cost $79. I guess I got what I paid for.

And that is what I am thinking about instead of packing my suitcases. I am not putting the bookcase together no matter how badly I want to. I’m leaving it for my Dad who will be staying in our house for a day while we are gone. My mom is house-sitting and my Dad will be home from the road for one night. Of course he wants to spend it putting together a bookshelf! That’s what Dads are for.


  • pinky

    I’ve only been to IKEA about four times, because there isn’t one near me, but I have noticed that it is very easy to not interact with a single employee while you are there, except to pay. I had to ask someone to help me find something the last time I was there, and the guy sighed when I asked him my question. Sorry, bud. He didn’t have to get up or anything – just tell me to go the warehouse. Which I did, only to find that the playgym I wanted was HUGE. I bought it anyway, but boy is it ever HUGE.

  • Tara

    Wow, you go, Mom! Sounds like most of my life. With my husband deployed I put together bookshelves and a toybox for my daughter’s room and yes, the boxes felt like they were about a skazillion pounds. At least I didn’t have to get them in and out of my car, delivered mine. You’re one tough girly! :)

  • Sleepynita

    We have the same shelf in Rito’s room for books and toys, It works well and is holding up pretty good to a climbing obsessed toddler (we had to anchor all his furniture to the wall)! I actually found some 12″ by 12″ baskets to pop into a couple of the shelves to contain a few smaller toys like blocks and toy cars. It works so good!

  • bethany actually

    Weird. This is the second reference to IKEA today, and we just went there yesterday for the first time in ages and ages.

    Do you need ideas for the emergency fun kit, or do you already have ideas and you just need time to get them done?

  • SouthernBelle

    I keep hearing about IKEA and all of the neat things that they have. We don’t have one near me either. I don’t even know where the nearest one is. Are they in the south?

    Good luck getting it put together.

  • Spandrel Studios

    Curiously, each time I’ve been to an IKEA – and I mean *each* and *every* time – I walk by at least 3 couples having heated arguments. It’s just a bastion of ill-will and misunderstanding. Maybe people are more likely to be on their best behavior with a customer service or salesperson lurking about.

    Although, we’ve had excellence luck with their shelves, so congratulations on your purchase!

  • Carrie

    I don’t understand if they specifically train their American employees to have the Swedish attitude or what. It really gives it an authentic feel. . .which isn’t always good.

  • BeachMama

    That is the same shelf I want us to get for out new basement when it is finished. My girlfriend has the same one to house all her kids toys and it looks fantastic. In a few months when all the construction is done, I too will be wheeling one of those out. I bought Apple’s bed, hoofed it off the shelves out to the truck and loaded all by myself… I was nine months pregnant and J chatted my ear off the whole time. I went to bed early that night.

  • bluejaye

    Have Toby use ‘L’ brackets and hook it to the wall.
    I remember the day Becky pulled all the drawers of her dresser out and climbed them. We heard the crash as everything fell towards her.
    I still don’t know how she got out of the way. It scared the hell out of her. She’s 12 and we just un-hooded them. The tv cabinet is still attached to the wall.

    Have a safe drive. I’ll be here if you need an out. We can discuss business. Yea, business, that’s it.

  • Mrs. Wilson

    I had to giggle at your love and hate of IKEA. I have the same love and hate of it. As we speak, I’m typing on my computer desk that I got there. Love it. But yes, the customer service there sucks, but the breakfast is great! Have a great trip!

  • Michelle in Cincinnati

    They have food at IKEA? There is a new one going in about 10 mins. from our house, and it’s like “Revolution IKEA” over there! The whole building is that IKEA blue and yellow, and it is simply GYNORMOUS! I’ll wait until spring to stop by, after the newness wears off…have a great time on your trip SAJ!

    Hula bula,

  • Michelle in Cincinnati

    You’re going to Hawaii, right? Thought I read that at some point….that’s why I closed with Hula bula :o)

  • Uncle George

    Yep, Ikea is devoid of personalized service and hence the cheap prices. Yes, they have food, a nice neat cafeteria on the top floor…Swedish meatballs, unlike the furniture, are top quality and come highly reccomended! Jo, have a safe and fun trip up north!

  • Katherine

    That’s the emptiest Ikea car park I’ve ever seen. A couple of years ago I bought a Klippan sofa from Ikea and went up to the customer service desk to ask for it, thinking there would be some system for large items of furniture. No, I had to wheel the thing through the tills and to the home delivery desk myself, along with another trolley of bits of smaller furniture. I generally prefer not to be bothered by sales assistant (in that typically British way!) but there is a limit!

    Have a lovely christmas up north!

  • emmy

    yep…love em and hate em too.
    I can agree with everything you say. I got a desk from them that smelled so horribly bad when I tried to put it together (FOUR times I tried!) that I had to hold back my breakfast, lunch and dinners. Finally hauled it back and gave it up. They told me it “probably got wet”….there was also the great incident when one of the workers pushed me into the pile of cafeteria trays in the line and I fell into the ktichen area…needless to say, no apology…but I still drool over every catalog!!!

  • Anonymous

    IKEA is meant to be completely self-serve. Sadly, you are correct…that’s the only way to keep things cheap.

  • OMSH

    Hmmmm…Anonymous is so…freakishly “Anonymous”

    Why oh why do people post ANONYMOUSLY?

    ANYWAY, BB makes a brilliant surfer and YOU are amazing. I would have huffed and puffed and blown the walls down until I found someone who could AT LEAST help me get it in my car.

    I do not believe for a second that IKEA is meant to be completely self-serve. NO RETAIL STORE can be completely self-serve.

    Stink on Pete Anonymous!

  • eticket

    I TOLD you I’d do it for you. Offer still stands.


    P.S. Costco and IKEA are my church, if church = inspiration and contentment

  • Island Mummy

    I love Ikea! It is meant to be self-serve, but we have always found the staff to be very helpful when you do ask for assistance.
    Sadly, I live on Vancouver Island and we do not have an Ikea, but many people take a special bus over every other Saturday to shop there.

    Personally, I am physically incapable of getting out of there with just the thing I went for, though!

    SAJ – my Baby Bug flashcards arrived today! Just in time to sneak into a stocking tomorrow! They are gorgeous and I highly recommend them to anyone who hasn’t got them yet!

  • Jennifer

    I found your blog a couple of months ago and I enjoy your writing.
    When I saw the picture of your daughter on the box I thought “it’s that shelf!” Then I followed your link and sure enough, I have the really large one that takes up the whole wall. Like you, I struggled with it myself to get it onto the cart and then into my car…then out of my car at home! No help. We are super-women!

    You may want to secure it to the wall to be earthquake safe.

    Merry Christmas!