Are you making any New Year's resolutions? Have you actually MET or KEPT or even consistently just TRIED to meet any previous resolutions? Heck, can you even REMEMBER any old resolutions?
I decided several years ago that, for me, resolutions were best made at the time I either thought of them or it was best to begin. Why wait until January 1st to start or stop doing something when you can do it RIGHT NOW? Now, I do understand the concept, and why people make this New Year's resolutions, so please don't think I'm downing that. But that is why I asked the 2nd and 3rd questions above. Chances are you didn't and you can't.
As I reflect on the past year, and think about the coming one, I do see things that I'd like to change. But why should I wait until Friday? (That is January 1st, right?? It's late, and I'm tired.) What's wrong with right now? Or, at the very least (considering it's 10:40 pm), tomorrow?
A fellow blogging mama is hosting a Body after Baby challenge, and it involves goals and plans and such. I'm in the midst of writing a blog post about that, and as I've been thinking about it over the last couple of days, I've come up with some things to include in my game plan. But again, why wait until Friday? Why shouldn't I try and remember to take my vitamins right now?? Why shouldn't I try and exercise now? You get the idea... I think there's a Bible verse about this somewhere, but as I can't remember it right now, I'm not going to try and quote it. I'll get back to you on that one.
So, what are some things you wish you'd done differently or would like to change? When do YOU plan on starting?!?
So, Samantha over at Mama Notes is hosting a Body after Baby challenge/support system to help mamas who want to lose some/all of their post-baby weight. I came across the Body after Baby thing while still pregnant with Elisha, but, obviously, couldn't do much about it. But, she's starting a new long-term challenge starting January first, so I get to join in! (Although, to be honest, I've already stared. See my post about New Year's resolutions...)
This is me before Max. 130lbs.
And... this is me after Jack. The first picture is about 3 wks. postpartum. (Just in case you're not sure who's who, I'm in the blue shirt in the back. Sigh. Although I DO have a picture of my before going to into surgery to have Jack, you don't get to see that one.)
And last Friday: Last known pregnancy weight: 195. Ouch. Weight as of Tuesday morning: 159.
Long term goals: - lose baby weight (aiming for 135-140.) - exercise 4-5 days a week - drink more water! - remember to take my vitamins 5-6 times a week (7 would be ideal, but...) - read my Bible/devotions 6-7 days a week
Why am I joining Body after Baby? - for the support, encouragement, and accountability.s Why do I want to lose weight? - feel better, fit into pre-baby clothes (thus saving money on not buying a new wardrobe!), and working out gives me more energy!
My plan- having never done this, and not knowing how my body will drop the pounds, and such, I think it's best to aim low and if the pounds fall off faster, than YAY!! =) I think I'm going to aim for 1-2 pounds a week and see how it goes.
I think that when babies are born, their mamas should be given an extra hour per day. And that should be per child, so, 2 babies equals two more hours. And so on and so forth. (So yeah, Mrs. Duggar would have almost two full days to our one.) I don't mean just around Christmas, either. Nope, every single day should be made longer. I'd tell you about my long to-do list, but that would just add one more thing to said list, and, frankly, I don't have the time. I really shouldn't be sitting here doing this, but I'm waiting for baby Jack to settle down so I can go wrap some presents and write some notes to go with presents. Cuz I know babywearing is awesome, and all, but it would much nicer if he'd just take a nap here on the couch.
And he's not a good burper, so of COURSE he just spit up. Which in turn ticks him off.... you get the idea.
While I don't mind sitting here and cuddling and comforting my baby, it really doesn't help to maintain my get up and go. And when I CAN get up and go, that's when DD, who is SUPPOSED to be sleeping, wakes up crying. If it's not one thing, it's another.
Last night when I went to bed, I was so tired I couldn't see straight and was dizzy. When I woke up this morning I was still a bit dizzy and having trouble focusing and seeing straight. I don't know why. On top of that, Max has been extremely difficult to put to bed. I know it's probably a phase, and I know it's probably normal, but MAN is it frustrating and exhausting!!
Having kids can be extremely frustrating and tiring, and I think all parents must experience it at one time or another. But in the midst of all of it, we are often reminded that we have so much more to be thankful for than we have to complain about.
Last night, right before Max started cranking up, I heard (read) about a fellow blogging mommy in FL who lost her 2 year old son to a pool accident. It happened RIGHT before I read about. It sure put things into perspective. (Or, at least, it helped.) Because even though I dislike tantrums, and sleep deprived nights drive me batty, it means I still have my babies. I can still hold them and cuddle with them, wipe their noses, read stories, change diapers, etc., etc., etc. I can only imagine a small amount of the pain that this other mommy is experiencing. I can only pray for her, and pray also that God would continue to protect my babies. I can only hug my babies tighter, and remember that they are a precious gift from God. And I can only hope to remember that when I can't see straight, or am completely fed up with them.
Last week I won a giveaway for a Mei Tai style baby carrier from a blog that I follow- My Silly Monkeys. The carrier was from and made by Anna, who has an Etsy shop she started up earlier this year- Clothed in Scarlet.
I was really excited because 1) I won, and who doesn't like winning?!?! (We watched "A Christmas Story" last night, and the dad winning that lamp springs to mind here...) And 2) you can never have enough baby carriers! (Unless, of course, you don't HAVE a baby. Then that'd be weird.) Oh, and 3) I didn't have this particular type of carrier, nor had I ever tried one.
Anyways, it arrived in the mail yesterday (along with a TON of other great stuff, which was fun. Except that instead of having fun stuff arrive over several days, thus spreading out the joy, it's a big heap of joy all at once. Oh well.) and I could hardly wait to try it out. It is made out of a big piece of gray corduroy with a beautiful piece of embroidered maroon brocade on one side (the front, although I think if DH tries it out he'll be using it with that facing in... not so manly, you know?). Attached are 4 long strips of the same corduroy. Two are sewn on straight and go around your waist, and two are sewn at an angle, and go over your shoulders. The corduroy was amazingly soft, and had little flowers embroidered on it in purple, maroon, and silver.
First I looked up the website that was listed on the enclosed card, so I could figure out how to use the carrier. Then I had to wait until the timing was right- Jack was awake, but happy and relaxed. That took a while. After several failed attempts I finally got him in and got the carrier all tied up. It was extremely easy to do (with a cooperative baby, that is) and once it was on it was SO comfortable!!
One of the benefits of this style of carrier is that it works for many different "holds" and will work for babies from the newborn stage well through the toddler age. To be honest, I haven't figured out what the weight limit is, but I know it will be able to hold Max if I want it to. It is VERY well sewn, and looks like it will last a long long time. (And it doesn't hurt that it's machine washable!!!)
Back to the "holds" part. Jack's favorite way to sleep and to cuddle is tummy to tummy, so this is perfect! (If the picture is too hard to see, try looking at it from a different angle.) I have the long straps crossed in the back, and wrapped around to the front, and tied around him. The can be tied below him, but it's easier for me to do it like this for now. I have to say this carrier is by FAR the most comfortable I've ever used, and the most stylish, to boot! It is also the only one I own that is truly hands-free. (Okay, so I won't be doing any toe touches, but you get the idea.) I didn't feel any strain in either my shoulders or back, even after over an hour of wearing him! Jack is already 11 lbs. 8 oz. so I was starting to feel it in all the other carriers I have!!
I HIGHLY recommend Anna and her carriers! I cannot say enough good things about this mei tai, and the only downside I've found is that it's hard to put on with a fussy newborn. Other than that, it's amazing! I'll be taking it everywhere we go, and it's definitely my favorite!
So the saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, I don't have the time or energy to write a thousand words, let alone more than that, so I'll just stick to a bunch of pictures, possibly with some captions thrown in for good measure.
Okay, here we have a good ol' family shot. Back row, L-R: my middle brother, Max, me, DH. Front row: Oma, baby Jack, Opa, youngest brother, and sister-in-law. She was asleep from pain meds. Don't hold it against her, at least we're all in the picture!
Oma and Opa playing with Baby Jack and Max. Oh yeah. That is all. Hanging out. And now, I am tired. I wanted to go to bed early tonight, and it fast becoming not early. Sigh.
So, by now you all know that I'm not real great at keeping this thing up. I did better this spring... but now... NOW I have a really good excuse for not being on here much! Actually, I have several. They are, in no particular order: - serious lack of sleep -babies to change - laundry to fold - diapers to stuff - lack of sleep - bills to pay - babies to feed - babies to change - stories to read - no sleep - errands to run - no sleep
etc., etc., etc.
We're alive... barely, it feels like. I can't see straight right at this moment, though, so I'm going to go to bed. And hopefully get some sleep... that is, if both Max and Jack will deign to sleep for a decent amount of time at the SAME time.
I'm back to post about baby "Jack" being born! Yeah, okay, I wasn't gone. Except for 4 days in the hospital, I've been here the whole time. (Can I just say that the hospital was AMAZING!?!? So much better then when I had Max!) Anyway, I've just been slacking on the blog posting front. And this is going to be short because I'm going to bed momentarily. I didn't get a nap today, and my throat hurts.
Jack is not his real name, of course, but he was born on October 23, at 10:29 am. 7 lb. 12 oz. 20 in. long. And he is growing by leaps and bounds!! His sister is adjusting fairly well to his presence, but we shall see!
...the day when Max becomes a big sister. When DH and I become parents to two delightful children instead of just one. Etc. Are we ready? Who knows. Sometimes we feel like we are, sometimes we don't. More like, when Max is having a good day, we feel like we're ready, when she's not, we don't. That kind of thing. We're excited about finally getting to meet him (it's also supposedly a him). And I'm done being pregnant and unable to exercise. Although yes, I do realize I can't come home next week and hop on the treadmill. LOL. We're feeling a smidge more confident this time around due to it being, well, the second time around. Of course, that will probably all go out the window here in a few days, we'll see! =)
My DH made a yummy cake the other day. I don't remember what day... Sunday, maybe? It's a recipe I saw as I was pursuing the new Taste of Home cookbook. It involved a chocolate cake mix, butterscotch ice cream topping, whipped cream, and Butterfingers. Yep, that's it. He did it all by himself, and it. is. good. I was kinda bummed that there weren't leftover Butterfingers for me to eat, but it's probably better that there weren't...
And yes, I forgot to take pictures. I'm sorry, honey. I meant to. =(
So we had a nurse's visit this morning for DD to get a shot. Last week, this same type visit took like, 20 minutes, from walking in to walking out. Today? Ha. Not so much. 50 minutes. 45 of them sitting in the stupid waiting room watching EVERYONE go ahead of us. And not just everyone who was there ahead of us. That's understandable. But noooo it was all of them, PLUS everyone who came in over the next freakin' 40 minutes. We. were. ticked. I did say something to the receptionist, who did go and check/say something to the nurse, but I seriously wish I had complained more. The problem with that is that when things like this happen, I start crying, and DH just gets mad. We need a happy medium, we really do. Anyway, the lesson I learned is that when I go in next week or the week after with DD AND DS I will be calling ahead of time to see if they are running behind (even though I KNOW they weren't today) and making mention of today, as well as the fact that I'll be toting a 17 month old AND a newborn.
Did you catch that newborn part? Yep, DS is scheduled to arrive on Friday. If not before. But hopefully not before. It's nice to have a set end date, and not sitting around waiting. I have my to-do list all ready, and working on checking things off... although that's not going so well since I'm supposed to be "resting" and "keeping my feet up." (Per the various nurses' instructions. Are you for real?) So things are getting done quite as fast as I'd prefer... and we'll see if they even get ALL done before we go in Friday morning.
Soooo I wasn't GOING to write a blog post this evening. I figured I'd write one "later." And then I looked at the date on my last post... September 24.... sigh. Okay, fine, I'll write a quick blog post.
The unseasonably cool summer here in northern Chicagoland (which is where I am, I assume) has already morphed into an unseasonably cold fall. At least in my opinion. As I write this post, at 9:15 P.M., it's already 38 outside. It's been hitting the 20's a lot of nights. We went to a fun apple orchard this past Saturday (doing no apple picking, mind you) and it was cold, BUT- we heard later that it SNOWED after we left. I mean, it was cold while we were there, but I didn't think it was THAT cold. I don't think Max knows what to do with the cold weather... she tolerates it quite well, though, which I'm thankful for! We hit up the Thrift store in town today for some hats and mittens and such. I have an awesome hat and glove set that I got a few years ago, but darn it all I can't find it. We also grabbed some cute mittens for Max, and time will tell if she'll wear 'em or not. They're in the wash as we speak, in case we need them tomorrow. (We're visiting friends an hour down the road, and may be able to go to a park while we're there.)
While at the aforementioned Thrift store, a sweet worker (a WOMAN) asked if I was carrying twins. Sigh. I was nice and said no, just that he was sitting far forward and I'm delivering next week. Double sigh. Makes me want to eat more ice cream.
Both edible and inedible. =) I love edible Fluff. I may have spoken of this affection in the past, but I'm too lazy to go look. We introduced Max to this delightfullness (not a real word) and she is a happy camper. Now some of you may be wondering what inedible fluff is. It's cloth diapers!! I love cloth diapers. I've been trying out a bunch of different brands, and the most recent was BumGenius. I got two in the mail yesterday, washed 'em, and used them today. They are WONDERFUL. I love them. Love love love. And getting "fluff mail" as it's referred to, is SO addicting. So so so so addicting.
I don't have pictures. I meant to take some. I will. Later. =)
Yep. Just peanut butter. In the bottom of a jar. (A plastic jar.) Meant for the dog. Claimed by the Max. Here's what happened: Freckles is given the jar of peanut butter to lick out when it's pretty much empty. It's a nice treat for him and he thoroughly enjoys it. However, tonight Max didn't go right to sleep, so she came downstairs for 11 minutes (yes, we set a timer) to play, and then try bed again. Well... she found it. And HER arm can reach the bottom, whereas Freckles' tongue really can't. So she took it upon herself to clean out the very bottom. Now, she DID share with Freckles, but she also managed to get it all over her face (and hands, duh). And the baby monitor. And the Tupperware round shapes toy thingie. And her Clifford stuffed dog. And the door. And the TV stand. And the DVD remote. And various other surfaces like end tables and Mommy. Oh, and Freckles' head. (I'll wipe that off here in a minute, Grammi Tami.)
I know what you're thinking. "Why didn't you just take the peanut butter jar away from her?" Yeah. That would have produced screaming like unto a near death experience. I'd rather just wipe everything off, thanks. And it kept her and the dog happily occupied for the whole 11 minutes.
So I don't know how YOUR day was, but ours was... um... not calm and did not go as planned. I had PLANNED on taking Max on the Metra to see a friend of mine from college and her two kiddos. But instead, I stayed home with a sick baby. Max did not sleep well last night- almost as bad, if not as bad, as when she was a newborn. We're pretty sure her teeth are REALLY bothering her, considering we'll give her tylenol, and within 1/2 an hour, she's mostly fine. Still moody. Ha ha, very moody. She didn't take a morning nap, cried about tons and tons of things- more than normal. Even threw up this afternoon. And look a lousy afternoon nap.
THANKFULLY, I have lots of good help, so I didn't have to take care of her all by myself. =) Grammi watched and played with her so I could run some errands, and played with her while I was home, too. DH took care of her after she woke up early from her nap this afternoon, and Grandpa Fred and Grammi Tami played with her this evening and took her on a walk. (She loves walks. And airplanes. And dogs. And waving to everyone and everything. Including the aforementioned airplanes.)
Saw my OB yesterday. Everything's good, woo hoo! Picked a date for the C-section, and he got that set up. So we'll see if that ends up being it, or if baby Jack (not his real name) gets impatient and arrives sooner. Time will tell!
Over the past couple of days things keep happening or even just popping in to my head that I'm like "I should blog about that! It's not too boring!" And then I end up with no time to blog. (Granted, a lot of these brainstorming ideas show up at about 10:30 at night...)
Max has started loving books. Not just sitting and turning the pages (which she's been doing for a while), but having the story read to her, and interacting with it. Namely the Spot books by Eric Hill and little touch and count books. She loves the flaps in the Spot books, and loves how we make the noises of whatever is behind the flap. Sometimes she likes it so much she just sits there and plays with the flap so we keep making the noise. In fact, she's even started bringing us books to read to her! We're so excited that she loves books so much. Here's a great picture of Grandpa Fred reading a book to her and Freckles. Baby Jack is growing and being super active! I'm about 32 weeks now... or he is, depending on how you look at it. I thought Max was really active, but Jack is definitely trying to show up his sister. Sigh. Last night, for example, I'm sitting there, sorting clothes, and he just starts pushing out with a shoulder, elbow, or knee (I'm not sure which) so hard it really really hurt!! Which made me wonder, again, about those women who don't know they're pregnant until they're in labor. How in the world?!?! I can see writing off some movement as gas, but the serious movement?!?
- nap times are never long enough? - bed time can't come soon enough? - you can spend all day doing laundry and still have a basket or so there when you get in bed? - ditto on diapers. - 15 month olds like undoing everything you've just done? (Folded laundry, picked up toys, swept, etc.) - why do toddlers love something (foodwise) one day, and hate the next?
That's all I've got of those. The rest are too darn depressing to contemplate.
On a happier note, it was sunny yesterday! Cold, but sunny. But, it's August! you say. Yes, yes it is. Can I tell you what the predicted low for last night was going to be? Now, I'm not saying it hit that low, but it was predicted to be 38. Yep. Let's just say Max hasn't worn pants, long sleeves, and socks as much in her entire life as she has in the last 2 weeks.
And, I've been teaching Max to coupon! She gets all jealous when she sees me whip out the scissors and start cutting stuff up. So we gave her her own coupon envelope. Which she played with a whole day.
So appropo. (That IS a word, thank you very much. Google says it isn't. It is.) Anyway, yes, looking a gift horse in the mouth. Ever done it? Probably not literally, as how many of us have horses to give away? But have you ever gotten something and been like... yeah... it could/would be better if... My current gift horse would be a giveaway I found out this afternoon that I won. It's one that ran for like, two days, and the winners would be drawn and, supposedly, announced Friday afternoon. Well, I got an e-mail today that I had won. Oh, you want to know what it is? It is a much-coveted $50 off a purchase of $100 or more at Old Navy. Good stuff, right? Two catches: in-store only, and only good from 8/7 through 8/13. Soooo while I feel bad complaining, it WOULD have been nice to have this sucker over the weekend, when we had, you know, more free time to go shopping. We'll still use it, don't get me wrong! I just wish they had been a bit more on top of things, you know? That's looking a gift horse in the mouth.
Max is apparently teething some more. Pain meds help, but she's still a cranky little bundle of energy. She still goes and goes and goes, but gets more upset than normal when corrected, moved, or generally doesn't IMMEDIATELY get her own way. Naps today were... depressing. For me, mostly, but the lack thereof definitely don't help her little bad attitude.
Okay. One spoke. And it was a question. But a good question, one that deserves an answer. It was something along the lines of wanting to know where I found those deals I talked about in my previous post. So here are some links. I am not promising anything, vouching for anything, or... anything else. Just things I've run across and signed up for, or noted to keep in the back of my mind. Sometimes they're too far back there and I forget about them... for instance, the Coupons by Dede website offers whole inserts as well as clipped for purchase. So had I remembered this little tidbit on Monday when I found out about the whole Target couponing combining thing, I would have purchased a Kellogg's insert or two and saved a couple more dollars. Oh well. Next time.
So without further ado, here are few blogs, websites, etc. that I either subscribe to or keep bookmarked.
Yep, 10 boxes. Okay, I know what you're thinking. "She's pregnant. Got a craving for Pop Tarts. Went nuts at Target this morning." Close. You got the last part right, anyway! Every Sunday or Saturday, or sometimes even Monday, I get the e-mail feeds from some blogs I subscribe to and they lay out the sales from various stores and combine them with coupons available and show you how to get the most bang for your buck. This week was my first time using coupons and combining them with sales. Okay, so the first time, Tuesday, I saved $5 using coupons, and one of those items (out of two) was on sale. Not the point. Back to the Pop Tarts. Target had/has Pop Tarts on sale this week, there were/are printable Target coupons for 75 cents off a box of 8, plus coupons in the Kellogg's insert. AND if you buy any combination of 10 Kellogg's items listed in that insert you can mail in the receipt, UPCs and the form and get a $10 rebate. Oh yeah.
So today Ryan, Max and I went to Target and bought 10 boxes of Pop Tarts. They were on sale for $1.69, Target printable coupon for 75 cents off 1, two $1/2 from the Kellogg's insert, as well a coupon we had from an old box. Soooo 94 cents each, minus $3 more. (Although to be perfectly honest I'm not sure both the Kellogg's coupons got scanned.) So, theoretically we spent$6.40 for 10 boxes of Pop Tarts. Although maybe it was $7.40. And I'm mailing everything in on Monday, so HOPEFULLY I'll get $10 back. I'm excited. And now we have a ton of yummy Pop Tarts.
Ahhh Giveaways. I won another fun one the other day. My Mom's View had a giveaway for some clips from Lemme Klip-Itz and I won! I'm so excited about getting some cute hair clips for Max!
So we're here in Illinois staying with Ryan's parents, and the WEATHER. You totally could not tell it was July during July. And today? I think the high was 71. Maybe. I'm not complaining, though!! Pregnant, in the summer, and it's cool weather? Yes, thank you! Although Max has never worn pants as often as she has in the past 4 weeks.
I wanted to talk about the FlyLady, but I'm tired of typing. So I'll talk about her later. =)
So yard sale-ing today rocked. And so did my FIL. I found a cappuccino maker at a yard sale right down the street- Max, DH and I walked down and checked out a couple. Yay! I found two DVDs for the Maxster at another place (which had proclaimed itself on Craigslist to be this wonderful 14 family/houses deal... and it was a let down)- a baby Einstein DVD and a Max and Ruby DVD. (Get it? Max and Ruby??) She loves the baby Einstein DVD already. I found a great booster seat at yet another place. It has an adjustable seat and back, which is really cool, and all the straps needed to keep Miss Max in her place. It didn't have the straps to attach it to the chair, but I rigged something up and it works marvelously. So so so happy. =)
And I had blogged yesterday... the day before...? about how I wanted a clothes drying rack, as well. So FIL reads my blog (cuz he's cool) and remembered that DH had a drying rack stashed in the garage. So he dug it out and it made me very happy. I wasn't happy about having to dry my pocket diapers in the dryer every time.
Of course, I did diapers this afternoon, loaded up the rack, put it outside, and NOT EVEN 15 minutes later the clouds roll in and the sun disappears. A bit later, it rained. So, moral of the story- if you need rain, let me know. I'll bring my dirty diapers over, wash them, and put them outside to dry. Rain will arrive almost instantly.
So I'm at the in-laws house in a suburb of Chicago. And the yard sales here start on Thursday. And run through Saturday. Yep. Three days of yard sales. Why doesn't EVERYWHERE do this?!?! So far we've only gone one day, last Saturday. Oh, wait. I did run out the day before real quick and found a great infant car seat. You know, for that baby that's coming at the end of October. Have I mentioned it's a boy? It is. Anyway, so Saturday Dh, SIL, Max, and I went yard sale-ing and hit up a rummage sale, too. That rummage sale made everything else look like we were shopping at Nordstrom's. Right after we got there they had a "fill a bag for a buck" deal. And we're thinking, that's pretty good. You get a grocery bag and fill it and pay a buck. Oh noooooo... it was a GARBAGE bag. SIL filled it with books. I got some books, some sippy cups, and some clothing for both Max and the baby. Good times.
Considering they start tomorrow, I'm going to look around a bit in the morning and hopefully find what I'm wanting. Which is a sassy seat OR a booster seat with all the straps, a clothes drying rack, and a cheap cappucino maker. Doesn't take much to make me happy. It really doesn't.
Country Donuts. Oh, how I love thee. Not only do they have AMAZING donuts, but DH Just told me that they're open 24 hours a day. 24 hour availability of glorious Boston Cremes.... 24 hour access to glazed...
I got busy doing other things just now and forgot what else I was going to say... oh well!
But is it really procrastination if you've been busy doing other stuff? Not just goofing off??? I didn't think so.
I just realized I didn't mention this in my last post. The one I wrote 17 stinking days ago. Yeah. That one. Bad me.
Ryan, Max, and I were supposed to be moving to South Korea to teach on August 1st. Tickets had been purchased. Bags were being packed. Stuff was being bought. Paperwork was being completed. We were excited. And then.... and then. And then the South Korean government decided, in their infinite wisdom (please read that with sarcasm, mkay?) decided that because the school we were going to didn't own their property, they didn't the six new teachers they had hired. They could make do with the ones they already had. And, oh yeah, they had one year to either purchase their property or a different one to move to. So visas were denied. Flat out. No ways around it. Trust me, we looked. The school looked. We prayed. The school prayed. Everyone we know prayed. Nothing. Soooo.... tickets have been cancelled, for a small fee. (Although hey, $300 OOP is better than over $2,000!!) We are in limbo. Jobless. Not homeless, thankfully, as both sets of parents have offered us rooms until we find something... somewhere...
So for the last two weeks or so we've been looking for a job for Ryan. In case anyone was wondering, he teaches High School Social Studies. He'd prefer a job at a Christian school, but as those options are slimming down, being that it's the END of JULY, we're broadening our horizons. So, you know, if you know of anything... anywhere.... let me know. =)
In other news, Victoria is walking better and better. She is FINALLY doing her own versions of the signs for please and all done. She is sleeping better. She loves loves loves my in-law's dog, Freckles. They're bestest buds.
I suppose I should go find my camera so I can add pictures...
Duh. Just thought I'd point it out. In case you were stuck in June. As for me, I am painfully aware of time marching on. My baby is walking AMAZINGLY well. She was just taking a few uncertain steps when we left our little tiny 3rd world country on June 15th, and now she is doing far more walking than crawling, can walk backwards, can stand up without first lifting her booty in the air, can carry things in both hands, and the list goes on. She's so big. And we found out yesterday that our new baby is going to be a boy!
I suppose I should do the right thing and load some pictures here... but my head hurts. So I won't right now. Maybe later. As in... sometime in the future at a yet to be determined time. Might be complicated by the fact that I have to do more packing next week. I'm making myself not do any until Monday. I did send three footlockers with my little brother who was driving north, so I'll have less... that's always good, right?
Yes, yes, I've been slacking off here. I apologizing. Life was (is?) hectic. We packed up and left our teeny, tiny, 3rd world country in South America, traveled to Miami, then North Carolina, and are currently on vacation at a popular beach in South Carolina. And tomorrow we go back to North Carolina. See why I haven't been around??
And now would be the time where I would make lots of promises about how I'll be around more often, and will be better about posting pictures and bits of randomness... however I can't promise that. =( My parents don't have wireless internet, so it's hard to get on-line. And even if they did, our computer is going to the computer doctors at Best Buy tomorrow afternoon, so it will be out for a few days. Sad times. But it is sick, so hopefully they'll make it all better.
How many of you knew that I cloth diapered? (Henceforth to be referred to as CD, CDing, etc.) Well, I do. Except at night. But even that will be coming to an end soon. There's a lot of buzz right now surrounding cloth diapers, disposable diapers, which is easiest, which is cheaper, which is more environmentally friendly... etc. Gotta have something to argue about, right?
I chose to CD because for us, it's cheaper. Right now I'm just using your basic prefolds, liners, Snappis, and covers. Nothing fancy, heck, the prefolds are Gerber! At the time when I was buying the diaper covers, I felt like I was spending a lot of money. I really wasn't. Really. Diapers are cheap where I live. $10 for a pack of 40. (Okay, at least I think that's cheap...) We use disposable at night, so it normally takes us about a month to go through a pack, factoring in the occasional middle of the night leak. But if we were using solely these disposables, we'd go through approx. a pack a week. That adds up. All our ultilities are being paid for us this year, so all we have/had to pay for were the diapers (again, Gerber- $13 for 12, we bought 4 dozen, but are really only using 3, so 4x13=$52), covers ($100, I think...), Snappis ($4), liners ($30), and detergent (I don't know how it works out for the detergent). I'm not a math whiz, and I don't have my calculator open over here, but it looks to me like we spent less than $200 for start up, and are now just paying detergent costs. $200 would have bought us 20 weeks' worth of diapers. Max is now a year old, so you do the math. We saved a lot.
Yesterday I spent almost $300 on pocket diapers, inserts, and one PlanetWise wetbag. I will probably have to buy a few more in late June or early July before we head over to Korea, so I'm figuring on about $400 for diapers for soon to be two children. These should last us until Max is potty trained, and possibly even the new baby. I have no idea how much disposables cost in Korea. But I will be shocked if it worked out to be cheaper. Shocked.
Beyond the whole cost issue, there's the landfill thing... it takes possibly hundreds of years for a disposable to decompose. Now, you could use gDiapers, which are biodegradeable, but they're really expensive. Otherwise, all those diapers just sit. And sit. And sit. I read somewhere this morning that by the age of 2, a child has been changed approx. 13,000 times. That is a lot. of. diapers.
And the chemicals. I looked into that a bit, but really don't remember much besides the fact that I was grossed out by what was touching and leeching into my baby's bottom.
Anyway... I also hopping onto Etsy last night and typed in AIO cloth diapers. And, WOW! I found some AMAZING deals from sellers with stellar feedback!!
I think I've rambled long enough... and considering nobody is paying me to even type this post, no PR, no nothing... I'll leave you with the websites I use(d) for buying cloth diaper stuff. =)
As I picking up a paper clip off the freezer earlier, it struck me that I really like paper clips. I don't know why. Maybe because they're so versatile... (what, you don't believe me!?!? Trust me. They are.) or maybe because they do their job so well. I don't know. But it did give me the idea to write a list of random things I like. Hopefully it will make you laugh, or, at the very least, smile. And sometime later I will come back and post about Max's first birthday.
Random things I like: -paper clips - post-it notes - rain - clean sheets - empty kitchen sink - checking things off my to-do list - adding things I've already done to my to-do list just so I can check them off - winning giveaways (ha ha, maybe that's not so random after all...) - captioning pictures
Okay, that's all I can think of right this second. What are some of yours?
Various things were running through my head on Wednesday, so I decided to do this post today. (I actually started it yesterday, but "Things I'm Thankful for Wednesday" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.)
So here are some things I'm thankful for, in no particular order:
~ my husband ~ my daughter ~ the good health of the above mentioned people (you see, Baby Kayleigh passed away on Monday, so I'm reminded of how fragile life is, and that I really can't take anything for granted.) ~ electricity ~ water ~ washer AND dryer ~ air conditioners in all the rooms of our house ~ good parking places (yep, I pray for a good one when I remember! Worked today!) ~ a working computer ~ decent internet
That's all I can think of right now. My brain is being taken over by my to-do list today. (Ha ha, To-Do List Thursday.) Guess I should go get started...
I joined yet another social networking site. I guess it makes 3- Facebook, Blogspot, and now.... Twitter. Why did I join Twitter? Honestly, again, it's more for the extra giveaway entries than anything else... and before anyone CYNICALLY asks, YES, yes I've won stuff. 5 stuffs to be exact. 2 books on Finanaces (counts as one win): huge set of waterproof, washable name labels for the Maxster; Skip Hop Duo diaper bag (never heard of it? check it out on Amazon!); a Rubbermaid container set; and, just this evening, a children's book called "The Quiet Bunny."
My house is still fairly clean. Thankyouverymuch. There is a pile of dishes in the sink, BUT I discovered bright and early this morning that the Rottie that we're taking care of this year dug through my water line from the street! I'm SO mad at him right now. Good thing he doesn't belong to me. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr...... so we're conserving water.
I remembered something I wanted to mention last time I posted. It's a "note to self/PSA"- tuna tastes a heck of a lot stronger when heated up. That is all.
Oh, and just in case anyone cares (and I'm totally okay if no one does) my Twitter ID is newwife777
All weekend long I've had random thoughts bouncing around in my head that I keep meaning to post. Now I can't remember any of them. Pregnancy/mommy brain. Gotta love it. My most recent thought was just now when I eating one of my hoarded Fruit Rollups (the red one) and as I was opening the package, I noticed that there was a note on the flap "PEEL FRUIT FROM CELLOPHANE BACKING BEFORE EATING." I kid you not. Caps and all. Now you KNOW some idiot tried to eat their Fruit Rollup WITHOUT peeling it from the cellophane backing. Actually, my almost 1- year old DD would probably do that. But not intentionally. That kid eats anything and everything. Including green beans. Did I mention that in my last post? Sorry if I did. Yeah, she loves green beans. Ryan hates them with a passion. He's not entirely sure that she belongs to him anymore.
Once, a long time ago, I jotted down my thoughts that I wanted to blog about so I wouldn't forget them. I should try that again.
Oh, I SHOULD mention that Ryan and I finally hammered out a decent looking budget. We're both horrible with budgets. Like, really bad. But some friends of ours are really really good at them, so last week while I was having coffee with E (and Max), I asked her about it, and she showed me how they did it. I was super impressed and super motivated. I tried to aim a little higher than I thought we might actually need in some areas, because I'd rather pare down than have to up things. That always irritates me.
No, it's not Talk Like a Pirate Day. That was last year sometime. I missed it. Back to the post. TWICE now I've written out really good posts (do I write any other kind?) and both times they've gone all nutso on me! The last one had a picture of a can of green beans and everything! I'm too tired to explain why right now. I COULD go take a nap. But Max's sleeping times have been so erratic that I never know how long she's going to sleep. Few things are more frustrating than laying down for a nap yourself and JUST falling asleep when the baby wakes up and decides she's well rested. GRRRRRRR...... I'd rather not even try at all, thankyouverymuch.
Okay, yet another post about a great giveaway I found! You may be getting tired of these. Tough bananas. Busy Mom is giving away $100 worth of Tyson Any'tizers coupons/vouchers! I looked at the different Any'tizers, and YUM! The one that caught my eye and made my mouth water was the Stuffed Chicken Cordon Bleu Minis. mmmmmmmm I could go for some of those right now. I'm not a big wings fan, so those don't do anything for me. =(
So, I know I said I'd come back and just edit that other post about the AIO showdown week over at Your Mama Reviews. But when they revealed today's diaper, and it's source, I decided it needed it's own entry. To be perfectly honest, this isn't so much about that one individual diaper as it is where they got it from, and the sites that this lady runs. Nicki has several sites, and they all look AMAZING. The first is Nicki's Diapers, and it has seemingly everything you need to cloth diaper. (I say seemingly because I haven't had time to explore the whole site. I'll tell you why in a minute.) Her prices look the same, if not lower, compared to everywhere else. I'm excited. But wait, there's more! Nicki also has a Cloth Diaper Clearance website! It has 'seconds' and old models of diapers, along with a few other things. I'm all about this sort of stuff!! Next, she has a site dedicated to swimming and babies, and everything you might possibly need for that!!! I think it's great to have all these items together in one place, instead of having to search through on-line sites of other stores. Happiness. And last, but NOT least, she's got a new(ish?) website called UnderMyCrib, and it's an auction site solely for baby items!!! Cloth diapers and their accessories take up a large portion of that, but there are other categories, as well. It's not very... full? shall we say. It looks like it's just starting to take off, but, the prices for things that I saw were good enough to prompt me to register, and I will be buying from there. Possibly even today. And that whole registration thing and drooling over all the sites is what made it so I haven't had time to fully explore each site individually. Overall, I'm extremely excited!
So, I had typed up a nice blog entry about the Virtual Summer Block Party that the Mom Buzz is hosting, and then Blogger went all nuts on me and lost the post. Grrrrrrrrrr.... So I will try this again. Anyway, the Mom Buzz is throwing a huge Virtual Summer Block Party!! They have tons of amazing stuff lined up to giveaway, including 3 hugs prize packs, and then numerous individual prizes! Everything looks GREAT!!!
So the website (blog??) Your Mama Reviews is having an AIO (All In One) Showdown week. What are AIOs, you may ask. Well, they're a cloth diaper, a cover, and a fastener all in one. (Get it?) They may have doublers, for more absorption capabilities, or inserts, to make changing quick and easy. Back to the Showdown. Thus far this week, these lovely ladies have reviewed: Dream-eze AIOs, Swaddlebees AIOs, Bumkins AIOs, DryBees AIOs, and FuzziBunz Perfect Size diapers. The latter is technically a pocket diaper, not an AIO. But it's all good. They're reviewing, and then giving away, a total of 6 different brands of cloth AIOs. So one more to come tomorrow. Why am I all of a sudden blogging about this? Well, to be perfectly honest, it's to give me more chances of winning some of these babies. You get an extra entry into each giveaway if you blog about their AIO Showdown. So here I am. Because I really, really, really would love a good stash of AIOs. But I can't afford a ton of them, esp. on our lovely salary. (Dude, you know what I just realized? I should of told people I wanted these bad boys instead of piles and piles and piles of cute clothes!!! I'm not complaining about the cute clothes, don't get me wrong. But a couple of AIOs thrown in would have been just ducky.) But, I didn't. So here I am, attempting to win them. We shall see. I will come back tomorrow and edit to add the last diaper these ladies review.
I had the lunch of champions today. Yup, a PB&J sandwich. (Or, as my youngest brother used to call it, PB&JJ. Why? I don't know. In fact, he may well still call it that. I haven't seen him in almost two years. So I'll have to get back to you on that.) Anyway, we bought grape jelly yesterday, along with some more fabulously smushy white bread. (Remember how I said I'm all about cheap, but not necessarily healthy? Yep. White is smushy, and that's what DH and I wanted.) Now, my favorite kind of jelly is that Smucker's Strawberry Preservatives stuff. The stuff with big ol' globs of real, live, yummy strawberries in it. My Opa introduced me to this gooey goodness. At least, that's my earliest memory of it. (If he didn't, and someone else who may or may not read this blog did, I apologize.) However, they didn't have that at Choi's. In fact, their jelly selection was rather disappointing yesterday. But we settled on grape.
You know what else is good? Fluff. Yep. Good stuff. I did not take that picture, I found it and copied it, but I do love the paper plate on the basket. Y'all remember those?? Do people still do that?!!? Anyway, yes, fluff..... how I love thee. I had some late last year. It was a happy time. Until the container was empty.
Right this moment, however, my daughter and I are enjoying candy necklaces that Ryan brought home from the mall. I gave Max her own, to see what she would do. And it's a good thing I did, because her's is all gross and slobbery now. And mine isn't. She's just lying on the couch next to me, sucking away. Occasionally she'll stop and wave it around in the air. Then it's back to sucking and gnawing. Boy, is she going to be mad when we take it away in a little while.
I got this idea from another blog. This one, in fact. Although I will say that earlier today I was thinking about just writing up a random list of stuff for the day. Because I can. So here are a few random things from me, right this second.
1) I promised myself I'd take a shower at 10 and go to bed. It's 10:19, and I'm typing this. 2) I am addicted to giveaways in blog land. 3) I haven't won anything from aforementioned giveaways, but I did just start last week. 4) Surprisingly, my house is relatively neat and clean. Ryan did help pick up toys and books, though, so I can't take all the credit. 5) Well, I COULD take all the credit, but considering he went out and got me what I REALLY REALLY wanted for dinner, I won't. 6) Max had a great day. She destroyed the house by "playing," but she was happy. So who cares. 7) She loves to clap now. It's so stinkin cute. And if we say "clap, clap, clap" she'll keep going. 8) She likes to "dance" to music. This dancing is, at this point, just waving her arms and sometimes shaking her head. But the kid can't walk yet, so give her a break. 9) Until recently, said dancing would only happen to theme songs on TV. I haven't told my mom that yet. She dislikes TV. But now Max will dance to music she hears other places. 10) My eyes hurt. It's been a busy day. 11) I'm hungry. I wish I had some leftovers from dinner. I would eat them right now.
Sorry I haven't done a "real" post in a while. Been busy with getting ready for baby shower for a friend, taking care of Max, taking care of the house, entering more cool giveaways, and, of course, taking care of Max. I already said that? Darn right.
Mommies with Cents is hosting another amazing giveaway!! It's for a TON of cool looking Crayola items. Can you imagine the fun Max would have with some of this stuff?? Check it out! Crayola Giveaway
And yet another cool shoe giveaway! For Max, not me... but do you know how expensive baby and children's shoes are!?!? It's outrageous! It would so great to win a pair of SeeKaiRun shoes, let me tell you that! Shoes Giveaway!
Yep, 2nd Easter is a holiday down here. Not bad, huh? We have 2nd Christmas, too. It rocks. Not the point. The point is that today was a holiday, along with last Friday and yesterday. Saturday we went swimming, which was lots of fun. We have this blow up thing with a seat in it, and Max loved sitting in it and kicking around. She had a great time. It even worked to put her in the baby pool and she could sort of walk around on her own. Well, she could move, but not really control where she was going. But she liked it.
Easter Sunday was nice- we were all able to go to church, and we had a bunch of friends over for a delicious lunch afterwards. Lots of fun, lots of fun. And ham. Lots and lots of ham. I love ham. And would you believe that I did not take a picture of it?!?! I just realized that. My first time baking a ham, and it was delicious. And I didn't take any pictures. Sigh.
This morning we went to an Easter brunch, complete with games and an egg hunt. Hung out with more friends, ate more yummy food.
We went to the zoo with some friends yesterday, and had an absolute blast! It was a lot cooler than the first time, and we got to enjoy the animals more. Max had a great time, and she loved petting a goat. (Sheep? I'm not sure...) I actually remembered to take more pictures this time. =) We watched the otter for a long time, too, but he was too busy battling a rock to notice. Oh, and we got to see the really cool monkey exhibit where they have their own island with trees, a hut, and rope swings to play on. They were all over the place, and a couple of them even came down to the waters' edge to look at the kids I was with.
Let's see.... I've been working on a baby shower for a friend of mine down here, and that's been a lot of fun. Planning games, food, making invitations, etc. I found so many fun games, it was tempting to extend the time of the shower just to fit more in. =) But I won't.
Meals have been haphazard still. Last night I made a dish that involved cream of chicken soup, vegetables, a box of Stovetop Stuffing, chicken, and cheese. I used too many vegetables. But it was still really, really, really good. And next time I think I will add some bread and seasonings to the stuffing mix to stretch that, since I love stuffing so very, very much.