Here's my one piece of advice about all that stuff you need, or at least that you think you need, for your impending arrival: Buy none of it new except the car seat.
Instead, take advantage of the next two weekends to outfit your nursery, and your baby-to-be, with much less expensive, in most cases gen-tly-used, gear from Little Rock's two giant kids' consignment sales. Cribs, exersaucers, toys, high chairs, strollers, Boppys and Bumbos, bas-sinets, front carriers and more clothes than a thousand babies could wear in a thousand years — it's all there, and the prices are generally very, very nice.
First up is Rhea Lana's, which started yesterday and continues through Saturday at the former M.M. Cohn space at McCain Mall. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today (Thursday, Sept. 10), then 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Many items are half-price Friday and Satur-day, so if you can fit in a quick trip before work Friday, it's worth it. Most of the merchandise is for babies and young children, but there's also a section for teen formalwear.
Then the next week brings Duck Duck Goose, which runs Sept. 18-20 at the State Fairgrounds Hall of Industry. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day (half-price on the last day). Consignors and volunteers get to shop a day earlier than the general public, though, so if you're interested, check the Web site, www.duckduckgoosesale.com, for details. (Rhea Lana's works the same way — it's too late to get in on it in Little Rock this time around, but check www.rhealana.com for details on the upcoming Conway sale, Sept. 24-27.)
Duck Duck Goose is an enormous sale — not that Rhea Lana's is small by any means, but DDG is seriously monumental, and it's not just for kids' stuff: There will be racks of not only maternity clothes, but clothes for non-pregnant women as well. The selection should be pretty good — DDG is fairly strict on what women's clothing it will accept (nothing with shoulder pads, no out-of-date leg styles, no pleated pants, only certain name brands).
• While we're talking consignment: Elaine's Closet, a women's consignment boutique, has moved from its West Little Rock location to a space on Cantrell Road just west of Mississippi Avenue. The store has a pretty large selection, including plus sizes, a ton of hand-bags, and — thanks, apparently, to a lone wealthy compulsive shopper who's either single or has a very tolerant spouse, two racks full of size 14 extremely high-end designer suits, jackets and dresses, tags still on. Lots of Giorgio Armani, with original prices up to around $3,000. The consignment prices still made my eyes bug out, but there's no denying you'd be getting a serious deal. The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
• Hank's Fiiiiine Furniture is opening what will be the company's largest showroom this Saturday, Sept. 13. Called Hank's & More Fine Furniture, the 80,000-square-foot store at 1000 S. Bowman Road will carry a larger selection, including what a press re-lease said will be the largest Thomasville gallery in the state. Other lines: Henredon, Kincaid, Lexington, Bernhardt and Hooker. It'll have special sections for rugs and home office furniture as well, plus a cafe serving Starbucks coffee. Doors open at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 13.
• Finally, sorry to anyone who showed up at Whole Foods Market on Sept. 3 expecting the grand re-opening festivities promised in my last column. A Gustav-related power outage forced a postponement to Sept. 10, which, unfortunately, was yesterday. There'll be grand-opening specials throughout the next week, though, so stop by anyway.