Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thoughts from a cheap mom

I would love to give myself a better title but I have to be honest.  I am cheap.  I am totally okay with it but I don't like paying full price (and rarely will), only get big items when I need them, and rarely buy things for myself (excepts coffee, which is odd because it is really overpriced and I know, but anyhow).

Having a baby later in life (by no means old), means that I have been lucky enough to see some of the methods that my friends and sisters used when registering, buying, and care for their LOs.  Here is my two cents on some of the do and don'ts to buying for baby.

1. Team Green!!!
I know that girls clothes are really cute and a truck onesies would be perfect, if you just knew what to buy, but here is the real deal.  I watched my oldest sister get all the stuff you need for baby (read: diaper genie, changing table pad, bath tub, etc) when she did not know what she as having and then people brought her clothes after her daughter arrived.  I watched my other sister get pink blankets, fancy clothes, and a few baby goods when she knew she was having a girl.
It's not about the surprise, it about the stuff.  I knew that we would either get clothes or I would buy what was needed, but I wanted to try to have the stuff and worry about clothes as we needed too.  Besides, there are plenty of good green and yellow out there.
2. Don't get a fancy bedding set.
This is easier said than not registered for.  The beautiful sets line the walls of every baby store and Pinterest would have thrown me over the edge!  Keep in mind you can't use the quilt for a long time, bumpers have been poo pooed, and you need more than one fitted sheet.  It's a lot of money for something that you don't get a lot of use out of.
Suggestion - pick a cheaper bedding set or put more decor on your registry.
3.Register for ANYTHING you think you will need in the first year.
Most store keep your registry open for that long.  You will get good advise from lots of people (too many to count) and you can keep track of what you want down the road (like bigger toys) as you go along.  You can often times get discounts on the items.  If someone ends up buying something for you that you don't need yet, return it!!  The registry keep track of that!

And you can use it as a wish list for your baby's first birthday!!
4. Don't open something until you need it and keep the packaging.
We were lucky enough to get a bouncy seat and swing.  I personally don't think most babies need/want both and we had a baby that HATED the swing.  She's odd, I know.  Luckily, I was careful with packaging and after two 2 minute swings, back in the box and to the store it went!!
5. Listen to your gut
If you want something on your registry, put it there.  If you don't, don't.  I don't care what is on the checklist from the store or what your SIL used.  If it doesn't feel right to you, you don't need it.  Parenting really engages your gut, stick to it!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Only 1 baby!?!?

One and done.  That's how our little family will be.  I am totally okay with it but I feel like it is a decision that I have to defend regularly so here goes my logic.

** disclaimer **
This is what works for me, my husband, and out little  world.  If you want 17 kids or none, I am totally cool with that.

When J and I got together, we honestly didn't think that we would ever have kids.  We were both on the same page.  It worked for us.  We also said that if we had not had kids by the time we were 35, we would be done.

Then I started to get baby fever.  I told J about it and we decided to go for it.  We didn't have much hope since out of our 4 sisters, one was able to get pregnant on their own.  We decided what medical help (if needed) we were willing to go through and 18 months later, we began trying.  Long story short, we did need medical intervention.  I am one of the lucky ones and only was with my RE for a short time.  This saved my sanity and a lot of money.

I did not glow when I was pregnant.  I was nauseous for 30 weeks, had a good 2 week stretch, then PUPPPS entered.  I ended my pregnancy with high blood pressure.  It was not an awesome experience to say the least.

Once P was here, healthy, and growing.  I knew that I was done.  I couldn't see going through treatment again (if needed), pregnancy was not fun, and I am approaching 35.  We also live comfortably now.  I want to go on vacations someday.  I want to move to the school district where I teach so P can live where she will go to school.  I want to buy fun stuff every once in a while.  Another child would take some of that fun away (albeit, add other fun).  J is on board.  This is our plan.  I like it.

What's your family situation?  Are you complete?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekly update

Hello strangers. I think the stress is over. I have been dealing with some extra issues at work that I am not going to go into here but I think we are back on track. So here comes this week:

- are you thrifty?  Me too. Here are some of my thoughts for new moms.
- is your family finished?  Read about my plans.
- I am hoping for another post but I have 3 nights of basketball, exams, and a new trimester starting in a week - we will see!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

23 month update

Another killer week, but I am staying on track!!  Here goes....

Age: 23 months

Sizes: We are in size 5 diapers. They still love big but the 4s are too small. Her height and weight don't  match the diaper recommendation. 24month/2T clothes all around, but I expect that to change very soon. She has been eating like a horse this week!

Sleeping: she is a rock star here. Naps are sometimes a little shorter than I would like but they are there!

Eating: Things are going better here. She has really gotten into eating most of our meals - yeah!  I am still fighting her a little but getting better. I am curious about whole milk vs switching to 2 % at 2. We will see what I can read about it and ask the pedi. 

Favorites:  this list is never is changing: Minnie, baby, iPad, books. I want to get away from the iPad a little more but we will see!

I cannot believe 2 is next!!  Where does time go?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A new challenge

So one of the things that has been keeping me busy is a little endeavor that I am hoping to get running by the summer. I am getting things together to open an Etsy shop!

Last spring a friend with digital scrap booking experience introduced me to it by helping me design P's first birthday invitation. I was inspired so I bought some software and started playing around. I didn't have a ton of time until I was ready to make our Christmas card and the invite to our cookie exchange.

I have the bug.

Fast forward to last week. Another teacher at work asked about designing a baby shower invitation. I was able to develop a design that she liked in less than an hour. She and i worked out a plan go get the invites ready.

I'm very excited. I need to look at printing options, costs, details, policies, and such.  I'll keep you all updated as this venture continues. Now on to a name for my shop.... Any suggestions?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

1993 Billboard 100

10 years ago this month, Whitney Houston held the number 1 spot for over a month with "I Will Always Love You."  I am not sure why I looked this up today but I think that it is ironic knowing that she just passes away so recently.

I think that Alicia Keys did a great job with the national anthem (until the end - just leave it alone) at our most recent Super Bowl, but nothing will compare to Whitney!!!  IMHO!

I can remember loving dancing around my house with my sisters to her music as a younger kid.  Then as I got older and she made her move to movies, I loved her there too.  "I will always love you" was from the Bodyguard.  Not a great movie by Emmy standards, but it was fun to watch.  I loved her voice.

A little sad to think that she is gone, but I'm glad we have her musical legacy to listen to forever!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Weekly wrap up

I think I am getting back on track (yes, I am knocking on wood as I type this).  It's still busy at work, basketball is still going on, and home s what it is, but I'm am making a point to take it in stride and try to enjoy some stuff.

Here's my plan for the week:
- I'm taking a flashback!!  It's Grammy and Superbowl inspired.
- I'm looking at a new endeavor some time soon....
- P's 23 (OMG) month update is coming too!

I hope everyone is the Northeast are keeping warm - I would love a touch of snow for a day off!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

40 before 40

My 35th birthday is coming up this summer and I want to develop a list of things to do before I reach 40. Some will be big, some small, but all important. I'm starting this list now so it is ready by my birthday. I plan on giving myself 5 years to get as many (hopefully all) of them done by July 2018.

Here's what I have so far (and they are in no specific order):
1. Go to Disney
2. Take a couples only vacation
3. Pay off our debt
4. Go to the zoo
5. Pay for a person behind me at a drive thru
6. Get a couples massage
7. Go to eat by myself
8. Go to a musical
9. Go to a AAA baseball game
10. Spend a day with the tv off
11. Donate blood
12.  Volunteer at a soup kitchen or food pantry
13. Walk a 5k
14. Walk a 10k
15. Crew at a 3 Day
16. Build a snowman
17. Write Valentine's day cards with Payton
18. Have a mommy daughter day - maybe even an overnight trip!
19. Read more
20. Go through the National Board Renewal Process (and hopefully get it)

I'm halfway there, what would you suggest?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Nifty and Thrifty - SUPER clean bathrooms

I have been looking and re looking at these pins about homemade cleaning products and have always been intrigued.  I like the idea of not using so many chemicals.  I like the idea of not creating waste with bottles every time I run out of a cleaner.  I LOVE the idea of spending less on my grocery bills every week.

Enter Blue Dawn!
Apparently, this will clean the world.  Well, maybe not.  But I will tell you, from experience, that when you mix this evenly (1 to 1 ratio) with warm vinegar, you will have  the most clean shower EVER!

I bought a $2 spray bottle at the grocery and filled it part way with vinegar.  Keep track of how much you put in.

I put it (without the top) in the microwave for about 20 seconds.  I squirted in an equal amount of blue dawn.  Put back on the top and give it a good shake.  When it settles you can just shake to remix.

Spray on your bathtub, tiles, or shower door.  Give it a few seconds.  Then rinse well.  I did use a sponge to help rinse so I did a little scrubbing too.  Holy cow does this clean well!  And the most expensive part was the bottle!!  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Weekly update

So I think I'm back to normal. I'm gong to commit to 2 posts a week.  Work is still a killer and basketball is going strong but I'm committed to this too. Here's the plan for this week...

- a clean post!  I have to reveal one of my favorite Pinterest finds EVER!
- my bucket list for 40. I'll explain.

I hope everyone is enjoying the Super Bowl commercials as much as I am.