A new mom dives into parenthood. Will our heroine survive?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Do It yourself cat litter box....?

Ok, here's my silliest sounding frugal post yet, but YES I did make my own cat litter box and YES it is the jam!

If you have a cat and are broke for whatever reason (my reason is having a child but take your pick!) then this cat box is for you!

All you need is a pair of scissors and a large rubbermade storage container with snapping lid. The container should preferable be one you already have (that makes this a free project) and it should also be opaque in color, this is so you can't see the yucky cat poo inside.

Do you have your materials? Great! Now cut a big hole on the right hand side of the lid. The hole can be square or round or whatever. It doesn't have to be perfect, just as long as its big enough for your cat to get in there. I made ours about 9"x9".

The Box: Leroy

The Cat: Georgie
After you cut the hole, you fill the box up with about 3 or 4 inches of litter (we use fresh step as we've found it smells the least disgusting!) and then snap the lid on. Next, find your cat. He or she is probably hiding under the bed or in the bathtub. Put your cat as gently as possible into the box through the hole. This is so they will know where the litter is now kept and how to access it. Now just sit back, relax, and let your cat do the work!

The beauty of this litter box is not only that its cheap but also because of its functionality. That was the original reason for my doing this. Our old cat box had a swinging door that kept getting stuck. Well...when the door was stuck the cat would just pick a new place to go - as in on the carpet!

So this box not only solved that problem, but also keeps the litter in the box. I mean, some of it still gets all over the place because thats just how it goes with cats, but most of stays in. We have much less of a problem with that now. And the cat loves it because its private.

Anyway, that's my Works for me Wednesday post! Check back here for more frugal tips and mommy stories!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Menu This Week

I am taking Crystal's (Biblicalwomanhood) ecourse on Grocery Savings and am trying to stick to around $30.00 weekly for groceries. I started by planning a menu, then checked off what I already had, then I went to the store to buy what I didn't. Before doing this I checked the local circulars online to see who had the best deals going. The only sale I could find was on potatoes at Food Lion so that is where I went. Here's the menu:

Monday - Spaghetti (already had ingredients)
Tuesday - Chicken Cream Cheese Pockets
Wednesday - Chicken Casserole
Thursday - Chicken Stroganoff
Friday - Pot Roast
Saturday - Chili

For Breakfast I got oatmeal and for Lunches I got bread for sandwiches.

All of the ingredients I needed for all these meals I found at Food Lion for a total of $25.55. YES!

Hopefully we will have lots of leftovers and then we can stretch this $25.55 out into next week. I love being frugal!

CVS and Walgreens Deals

Well I finally jumped back into bargain shopping today. Since Goose was born I just haven't been able to do it, but Sunday I grabbed a paper, clipped some coupons and got geared up for savings!

All of my previous ECBs have expired, which stinks because I had some GOOD ones. So I had to make a new investment in order to get new ECBs. Sundays paper had a $2.00 off coupon for Shick Intuition Razors and 75 cents off 2 Colgate Toothpastes. CVS is currently running specials on both of these items in our region. The deal was $4 ECBs on the razor and $2 ECBs on the toothpaste. Also, lucky me, I earned a $2 ECB reward for purchases I made last quarter. So my total with the coupons was $14.30 and I got $8 ECBs. YeeHa! I don't really need either of these items at the moment, but with Christmas coming up I figure can I use them in the Shoebox drive or put them in an Angel Tree gift. Plus I have $8 ECBs now for next week!

Walgreens had some pretty good coupons this week as well. They had spices for 50 cents each and OF COURSE they were cleaned out! The only good ones they had left were Italian Seasoning and Basil. Also, they have generic brand bar soaps 5 for $1.00, Chapstick 2 for $1.00, Arm and Hammer Deoderant for 99 cents, and Campbell's Tomato Soup for 50 cents. So at Walgreens I got 3 deoderants, 2 cans of soup, 5 bars of soap, 2 chapsticks and 2 spices for $7.50 including tax - Go ME! (The two spices alone would have cost that if I'd purchased them at the grocery store!)

Karma, or, Our First Glimpse Into Goose's Personality

My karmic retribution has arrived in the form of a tiny, adorable, helpless creature. My child is me...Stubborn and determined to do what he is not yet able! Irritated by his inabilities. Curious beyond all curiousness!!

Yesterday my child cried all day. This is not an exaggeration. He had small breaks in between the crying, but really he just cried all day. All day I tried to figure out what he wanted. Two days ago I could have just offered him milk and he would have been sublimely happy - but not yesterday. The "feed me" signals were going haywire and when I tried to feed him he would scream. This went on into the night when we finally figured out he wanted to be up and about LOOKING. He wanted to be held in a facing forward position and he wanted to be carted around the house for the rest of eternity.

Around 10.30pm he got drowsy and we put him in his crib and turned on his mobile. This got him so excited that he was up for another 2 hours! I thought mobiles were supposed to help babies sleep, not get them all riled up!

He would stare up that mobile and smile and then suddenly start kicking and swinging his arms as fast as he could and then he we would stop and cry. This scene just kept getting repeated and getting repeated. He was trying to get up there to play with his mobile! Poor thing! He just kept moving and moving and then not getting anywhere. He was very frustrated. So I picked him up and brought him level with the thing and then he cried even more! This is just like me - to be frustrated with my inability to do something BY MYSELF. Oh boy. Karma.

He is just like me I know it. He is going to want to do everything for himself and then get frustrated when he can't. He is going to fight with his stubborn nature until 20 years from now when he learns how to graciously accept help. As we southerners say - "Bless his little heart!"

Monday, October 29, 2007

Inexpensive Yard Project

Yesterday I undertook a project I had been putting off and I decided Sunday was the day! What was this amazing project you ask? I created a stone stairway!!! (Exciting I know...)

When we first purchased our lot we had two options. We could select a sloped lot or a flat lot. The choice seems clear right? Who wants a hill for a yard?? Only here's the catch. The flat lots are incredibly small and by the time you put a house on it, your back yard is almost nonexistent. Plus, those lots will eventually have houses behind them so the privacy will be nonexistent as well.

The sloped lots however have a wooded view and are larger. So you get pretty scenery and an actuall back yard - even if it is downhill! Our yard is slightly better than our neighbors though because we selected a lot that flattens towards the bottom so that Goose will have a place to play one day. Here's a pic of the pretty view from my kitchen table:

Anyway, getting back to the project, the area coming down from the steps on our deck is very steep. I can't get down the incline safely unless I hold on to the deck posts as I go. So I decided to make some steps!

This is a very cheap solution to the problem: We bought five 2'x2' stones at Lowe's Home Improvements. I think they were $1.50 each. I already had the shovel so the cost of this fix plus tax was approximately $10 or less.

Basically I shovelled and scooped and stomped until I created a dirt staircase! With each dirt step I would create a place to set in the stone so that it would be flush with the dirt, and what will eventually be grass!!

Even if you don't need a stone staircase, you can still use the stones to create walkways through flowers for an inexpensive landscaping project!
Here's the finished product:

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Saturday Spotlight - Supermom with Breastcancer

My friend Lisa is the exact opposite of what you'd think of when you think of anyone who might be sick. She's young and energetic. She's hard working and on the go. She's the devoted wife of a youth pastor and the loving mother of two young boys. But Lisa is sick - she has breast cancer. How does this happen? It truly makes you question your faith. In our human ways we automatically think that this should only happen to a bad person who "deserves" it. Why should a good woman be thrown into the ring with cancer?

Lisa is our Saturday Spotlight this week because she thinks of her cancer in exactly the opposite way. She considers it a blessing in disguise because through her struggle, she might be able to help others going throught the same thing. In fact, when talking with her throughout all of this, she has a way of putting YOU at ease, when you feel like you should be the one to offer comfort. But that is Lisa's way. She is a very optimistic and glass half full kind of person.

Lisa's battle with breast cancer began about 2 months ago when she discovered an abnormality on her areola. After discovering this was a symptom of Padgett's Disease, a rare form of cancer, she immediately went to the doctor. The doctor looked at this abnormality, which was like a blister, and told her it was unlikely it was cancer because of her age and history. There is no breast cancer is Lisa's family and she is only 35 years old. Apparently Padgett's Disease RARELY presents in anyone younger than 65. So the doctor prescribed some topical cream and told her to come back if didn't go away.

But that wasn't good enough for Lisa. She said that "the Lord just wouldn't let me let it go", and so she demanded to be tested. The doctor didn't feel it was necessary but did so anyway. When the test results came back, they were positive for Padgett's.

Padgett's Disease is a form of breast cancer that usually presents in woman over the age of 65, and who have ANOTHER underlying form of cancer. So the fact that Lisa had Padgett's meant that she likely had a another cancer as well. Time for more tests - luckily no other cancer was found.

In addition to all this, Lisa was tested for the "Cancer Gene". Apparently there is a gene that makes some woman 80% more likely to have breast cancer and because of her situation's rarity she was likely to have it. If she tested positive for this gene, Lisa would need to undergo surgery for a double mastectomy to avoid cancer in the future. Thank God, this test was also negative.

Two weeks ago Lisa underwent surgery for a single mastectomy and reconstruction. She is currently home for 6 weeks of recovery. I am SO happy to say that all of the cancer was removed during the procedure and she should be fine. Lisa is facing all of this with such courage and optimism. She is truly an amazing person and a fabulous Super Mom!

Her story has inspired me and also taught me a lesson in prevention. I have never once given myself a breast exam. I always thought I was too young to worry about that - but now I know it can happen to ANYONE. Lisa said she hopes to save others through her experience - who knows - maybe she saved me? Maybe someone out there will read this and get checked and maybe that will save their life! Thank you Lisa for being such a wonderful person and for sharing your story!

For more info on Breast Cancer please click this link: http://www.breastcancer.org/

Update - Pantry Stretch Challenge!

Well I made it!!! It's Saturday and we avoided buying major groceries until today. Thursday night we had Sloppy Joes and last night we made spaghetti. The only meal that wasn't up to par was the Sloppy Joe Meal. I had no tomato paste or sauce (or catsup!) so I tried a can of tomato soup. The effect wasn't awful, just not very good either. Anyway it all worked out and we stretched our budget and our food just a few more days. Hurray for us!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Frugal Friday!

I never knew that Habitat for Humanity had a store, but my good friend (the same one who helps me clean!) introduced me to it a while back and the savings there are amazing! The Habitat for Humanity Store is an outlet center for donated items that can't or haven't been used yet in homes. You can find anything from strollers to bathroom sinks and money from purchases goes back into their funds to help build more homes. Great Concept!

Back while I was still pregnant I think my friend must have found me the deal of the century at Habitat. I had been looking at all the usual spots in town for a cute baby bedding set. Most of these sets only came with bumpers, a bedskirt, and a comforter, and the price for just these three items would start around $80 and go right on up uP UP! In addition to the horrendous prices, I just plain didn't like a lot of the prints. They were just "ok". Nothing really spoke to me and said, "Hey YOU - with the cute belly and empty bank account, BUY ME!"

That's where my friend comes in. She called me up from Habitat one Saturday morning and said - "They have the cutest baby set here - and its only 35 dollars!" Well, my friend has excellent taste, so I decided to trust her judgement without having seen the items. Let me tell you - It was THE CUTEST BABY SET I HAVE EVER SEEN!!! Honestly, it was literally what I had been picturing in my mind. And we got so much for our money.

Here's what $35 got us at Habitat:

Froggy Embroidered Bumpers
Froggy Embroidered Comforter
Matching Curtains
2 Matching Sheets
Matching Crib Skirt
Matching Froggy Night Lamp

After we bought the set, I went online to see how much the actual retail price would have been. It was $170 for JUST the Bumpers, Comforter, 1 Sheet and Crib Skirt. WOW.

Here's a pic I found online of the whole set (click to enlarge and see the detail):

Here are pics from our nursery(click to enlarge):

Cute Right? Hard to believe the items were gently used prior to our purchase.
To find a Habitat store near you please visit: http://www.habitat.org/cd/local/
And PS - The cute little froggy mobile you see picture on the crib, was only $10 on Craig's List - again thanks to my bargain finding friend!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Pantry Stretch Challenge

Last night I posted on how I try to stretch out our shopping trips by scouring the pantry and internet to come up with recipes that use ingredients I already have on deck. Our meal last night, despite a couple of substutions, was very good! (If you want to try out, please visit the link in the post.)

So, since I had a success last night, I've decided to try doing the "Pantry Stretch" each night for the rest of the week! Yikes!

Here's what we're having to night:

Old Fashioned Goulash

The ingredients include: condensed tomato soup, onions, diced tomatoes, cheese, and pasta. All of which I just so happen to have! Actually the Tomato soup I thought I'd never get rid of!! The total apx cost of this meal is $1.50 per serving (4 servings). Awesome! And the best part is, I saved money because I have stretched our pantry stock yet another day. Can I make it the whole week? Tune in to find out! :)

GULP - I'm Getting Organized!

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am not what some would call "naturally"organized. I am the kind of person that gets overwhelmed easily by household chores and thus, they are not usually done in a timely manner.

For example, my husband's and my previous home did not have a dishwasher. I would cook and cook and dirty up all our dishes, and then we'd have a huge pile in the sink. Well, after cooking I'd be too tired (lazy?) to clean up, so I'd say I'd do it tomorrow. Well "tomorrow" would come, I'd see those dirty dishes, feel my tummy rumbling with hunger and feel completely overwhelmed and of course NOT do the dishes! So we'd go out to eat...and spend money...There is no telling how much money it cost us to NOT have a dishwasher back then! Anyway, luckily hubby would rescue me from those awful dishes. I also have a wonderful friend who at the time was my neighbor and she cleaned my house for me on more than one occasion! (Thanks Rosie!)

So, now that I am a parent and now that my age can be rounded up to 30 instead of 20, I've decided its high time - PAST time - for me to get organized and get those chores done! Here's my plan:

Piddily Looking Notebooks

How exciting, you must be thinking, to have a such a great plan of two piddily looking notebooks! Well you are absolutely right, my friends, it IS exciting! I am going to start planning my day each morning, and filling the day with household chores. (gulp). The notebooks are for scheduling and note-taking.

This will hopefully keep me from feeling overwhelmed by allowing me to get things done before they get out of hand. So instead of vacuuming when I can see a thin layer of dog hair on the carpet, I'm going to schedule vacuuming in BEFORE it gets yucky!

Today I have only 5 things on the list because I'm not sure how this whole "scheduling" thing is going to fit into the baby's day. But if it goes well, I'll add more tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tonights Cheap Meal

Occasional I forego meal planning for a week and try to only use what's in my pantry, rather than going out for a huge grocery run. To accomplish this I try to find recipes that utilize the ingredients I have on hand. Once I find a recipe that comes close, I make substitutions for the ingredients I don't have and viola! Dinner is served!

So here's what's for dinner tonight, along with approximate cost:

Easy Hamburger Casserole
(recipe located at: http://southernfood.about.com/od/hamburgcasseroles/r/bl30221o.htm)

1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, browned
1/2 cup chopped onion
salt and pepper
3 large potatoes, sliced
2 Carrots, shredded
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


"Brown ground beef in a skillet with chopped onions; cook until onions are tender. Drain off excess fat; transfer ground beef and onion to casserole dish. Add layer of sliced raw potatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper; shred carrots to cover potatoes. Put soup over carrots. Bake at 350° for 40 to 50 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top and bake for about 5 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted.This easy ground beef and potato casserole serves 4 to 6."

The only ingredients I didn't have were the carrots and I only had one potato so I only used one. I did have 80z's of frozen mixed veggies in the freezer so I used those in place of the carrots.

As for cost:
1lb ground beef: BJ's 90% lean, $2.29/lb
1/2 Onion: apx 30 cents
Salt n Peppa: negligable
Potato: $1.00 per pound, so probably about 60 cents or so...
Mixed veggies: 50 cents?
Cream of Mushroom Soup: 75cents
Cheese was probably about $1.00

So the approximate cost originally was $5.50 for this meal - BUT I stretched our last shopping trip yet another day, PLUS we never eat all of a meal. So this will be both our lunches tomorrow and maybe even the next day. Even if we only stretch it out to lunch tomorrow that's still only $1.38 per serving. Nice!

PS The best deal I have found yet on Cream of Mushroom Soup, which is in a ton of recipes that I use, is at BJ's. I buy it in bulk there for 75 Cents a can.

First Night Away From Mom

I was looking forward to this day, though I admit I was hoping for a bit more separation anxiety on his part (because I was anxious and he was just like whatever mom). What I was looking forward to was Gooses's first night in his own room since arriving home from the hospital. And, despite my anxieties, it was a wonderful night for all.

We were going to wait until he was 10 weeks old to move him into his crib, but when 11 pm rolled around last night and he was still being fussy and my huband and I were about to keel over for want of sleep, we decided to just put him in his own room and let him be fussy all he wanted! As it turned out, his fuss completely diminished after we placed him in his crib and swaddled him. He didn't immediately fall asleep, but he seemed happy so we decided to go to bed.

But, wait a minute honey! What if he suffocates in the bumper pads? Well, I don't know dear husband do you think thats really possible, the bumpers seem really secure...Why don't we check it out online to be sure? Hmmm "The American Foundation of This and That" recomends against bumper pads. Help me get them off. But what if he bumps his head and gets hurt?? No, the "website of whatever and then some" says thats next to impossible. What if we can't hear him when he cries? Lets EACH put a monitor beside our bed on high volume just to be safe.

Its a wonder we ever fell asleep with so many dangerous situations just waiting to pounce on our son as soon we pulled up the sheets and closed our eyes! But sleep we did - and let me tell you - it was FABULOUS. It was uninterrupted. There were hours of it.

How much Goose slept I will never know. He was still making baby sounds at us through the monitor when I finally drifted off. What I do know, is that he did not wake me up for anything during the night and didn't wake me for breakfast until 7am!! After he ate breakfast, he decided to take a nap, so I put him back in his crib and here I am enjoying my 10 cent cup of coffee and indulging in a little me time. Ironically last night was also Goose's 2 month birthday. What a great night for a new milestone!

Taken by Dad at 5.52am
Still Sleeping!

For more tips on crib safety please visit: http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/5030.html

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Drought Gets Worse

This Mornings Headlines:

Southeast suffers worst drought in century
WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Communities in the Southeastern United States were urged to adopt conservation measures in the wake of the worst drought in more than a century.
Although rain was due Friday across parts of the region, it wasn't expected to put a dent in the 16-month drought and the driest September in 113 years, USA Today reported Friday.

Georgia declares state of emergency
Sun Oct 21, 2007 11:11pm BST
ATLANTA (Reuters) - Georgia has declared a state of emergency over its worst drought in decades and appealed to President George W. Bush for federal aid.

No Backup Water Plan in Place for Drought-Stricken Atlanta
Friday, October 19, 2007 - Associated Press
ATLANTA — With the South in the grip of an epic drought and its largest city holding less than a 90-day supply of water, officials are scrambling to deal with the worst-case scenario: What if Atlanta's faucets really do go dry?

Please read my next post to see how you can help!!

Saving Water for the Environment and your Pocketbook

It was recently reported on the news that if we continue our current drought conditions, our area water supply will be depleted (as in NO water) by January. In the South, a typical summer day includes sunny skies, muggy air, and afternoon thundershowers. Well this year, I can literally count the times its rained on my fingers. In fact, its been so dry that when we finally did get a thunderstorm back in July, lightning hit an apartment building in our neighborhood and it caught on fire! The building was totalled.

So, you can imagine my anger when, despite these awful conditions AND legally binding water restrictions, I see people hosing down their driveways, washing their cars, and watering their lawns DAILY. This is such a frivolous misuse of our precious resources and when January comes and we can no longer drink from the tap, bathe, or flush our toilets, perhaps these same people will feel some remorse.

In our home we are very conscious of our water consumption. It actually began as a money-saving endeavor but has spilled over into environmental protection since our drought began. Our water bill last month was $20 and I'm trying to lower it even more. Here's how we are not only cutting costs, but attempting to grant our frivolous neighbors one or two more days of water use:

1) No Grass. Sounds weird I know, but actually we live in a brand new development and our grass has not yet been "installed". Last week we received a letter from the builder informing us that it would be our responsibilty to keep our grass alive after installation by watering it every day, despite the drought conditions, and that we should get a watering permit from the town. To this we said "Nay!" and called the builder to postpone the sodding of our yard until drought conditions improve.

2) No Car Washing/Driveway Cleaning. It breaks my heart to see all that precious water draining down the sidewalk into the gutter just so someone's car will look a little more shiny. For this we are also waiting until drought conditions improve and then only occasionally to save on our water bill.

3) Shorter Showers/Baths. As a new parent I find it hard to shower anyway (haha) but when I do (which I assure you is everyday!) I try to keep it short. When I choose to take a bath, I don't fill the tub up luxuriously, I just fill it enough.

4) Ice to water plants. This may sound silly, but if we have a drink with ice in it, say from a fast food restaurant for example, we don't just chuck it in the garbage, we pour the ice around a plant. I know this probably doesn't really help that much - but it makes me feel good!

5) Toilet Flushing. Gross - I know, I know! But it literally saves gallons of water per day to just not flush the toilet unless you need to - and you'll know when its time!!

6) Laundry. This one is hard for us because we are cloth diapering and the diapers just simply HAVE to be washed, but if you can, cut back on your laundry. Don't wash clothes you've only worn for a few minutes or that you haven't gotten dirty.

7) Rain Barrel. This one is also hard for us, since we don't seem to get rain anymore but we are going to do this anyway. You can install a rain barrel under your gutter pipes and use the collected rain to water lawns or plants, or even flush toilets.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cheap Coffee

Aaahhh. Since Goose is still sleeping, that means I get to indulge in one of my many guilty (yet cheap!) pleasures. Coffee....Yum.

My Morning Coffee

Let me preface this by saying I am a recovering Dunkin' Donuts/Starbucks addict. Oh how I love the sweet, caffeine goodness of a Medium Iced French Vanilla with Cream and Sugar on a hot summer day. Or a Chai Tea Latte on those first cool days of Fall. mmmmmmmmm. Well since we've been down to one income I've had to forgo these wonderful, tasty, delicious treats. One good thing about it was that during my pregnancy I just could not drink coffee. I was very sick for 8 out of the 9 months and coffee just turned my stomach. So in a sense it wasn't too hard to give up, but now my old cravings have returned and it gets really difficult to drive by both "The Dunks" and Starbucks on my way to the grocery store (or anywhere for that matter!).

So I have discovered a very cheap and kinda tasty alternative - coffee at home. Not nearly as exciting, but it usually satisfies the urge. Now, I think prices are different around the country, but lets just say that a medium flavored coffee is about $3 dollars at Dunkin Donuts. Well MY coffee is only 10 cents a cup. Even if you only "indulge" once per week (that's $156 per year) at a coffee establishment, my coffee, drank every single day, will only cost you approximately $36.50 - for the whole year.

Here's how I do it: I buy my coffee supplies in bulk at BJ's Wholesale. (But I'm sure pricing is similar at Sam's Club, Costco, Etc). I purchase 360 cups worth of coffee in a single container for $10 (including tax). I purchase a 120 count package of Coffeemate Vanilla Flavor creamers at $8 (including tax) and an 800 count package of Equal Packs for the same price. So when you add it all up it comes to 7 cents per cup of coffee!!! Now most people will need to buy more creamer and coffee over the course of the year, so I rounded up to 10 cents for the approximate price. Cool huh?

Of course, it doesn't taste quite (ok NEARLY) as good as Starbucks, but it's very inexpensive and gets your caffeine fix in for the day.

Have a great Sunday!!

Small Miracles

Is this just a fluke little man, or are you really still sleeping at 6AM?!?!?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Frugal and the "Re"-Gift

Has anyone ever "re-gifted" an item? You know, you receive something for a gift you either don't like or already have and so you RE-gift it to someone else? I have never actually done this, but have often thought it made a lot of frugal sense. I mean, no one would ever know you had not actually purchased the gift yourself, and then you save the money you would have spent on a brand new gift and everyone wins...right? Well...

Back in April these friends of ours brought a sweet baby boy into the world. They had not been given a baby shower that I knew of, so I went out immediately to do some shopping! I looked around the children's clothing department to pick an outfit that would be the cutest, most adorable outfit in the store, and when I found that PERFECT outfit, I bought TWO! Yes, one for my baby boy (still in the oven at that point) and one for our friend's baby boy. When I got home later that evening, I tenderly packed one of the outfits away for our baby, and wrapped up the other one for their baby. I then mailed it and haven't thought of it since - until last Wednesday.

That was the day we got a package in the mail from these same friends. When I saw the package, ever-so-sweetly addressed to our new son, I ripped open the wrapping to see what cute new outfits or baby gadgets it might contain. Well, what was in there was cute all right! It was the exact outfit I had sent to them 6 months ago in April!!!!

Now, I will admit this hurt my feelings slightly. My optimistic side said maybe they had recieved two and sent me the spare. My pessimistic side said maybe I have poor taste and they just plain didn't like it. Either way, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had recieved a RE-gift. After the initial shock wore off, I found the obvious humor in the situation. I mean, it really is funny! And, luckily I have a cousin whom is also preggers with a little boy, so I figure I'll give it to her and it won't be wasted. The question is this: Is it a re-gift if you re-gift an item that was re-gifted to you if you were the one who bought it in the first place?

The moral of the story? YES, Re-gifting is a very frugal way to give presents. But just make sure you don't re-gift it to its OWN giver! That's all I'm saying! :)
I've Been ReGifted My Own Gift!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My Kid 1.0 Automatically Upgraded!

Has someone replaced my child with a bigger, more interactive version?? The Kid 1.0 version was so cute and cuddly, but this new Kid 2.0 is incredible!! The 1.0 version mostly cried, pooped and took intermitten naps, but the 2.0 does all that and more! PLUS: Kid 2.0 is almost twice as pudgy, making cuddle time even more snuggly!

Yes thats right everyone, my child has reached a milestone. Almost overnight, he has become a roly-poly smile machine!! Its awesome! I don't know when it happened, but yesterday I just realized that "Goose" (his other nickname!) has become substantially larger. He was nearly 7 lbs at birth, but on his gangly 22 inch frame, it made for one skinny baby. Well, our two month checkup isn't until next week, but I just know this kid has nearly doubled his weight. And he's stronger too. When I put him on my shoulder, he holds himself there and snuggles himself to sleep. What a wonderful feeling.

And then the best Kid 2.0 update - the SMILES! Goose has been smiling for a while, but never for a discernable reason (other than the usual prelude to a poop). Well, last night hubby and I were giving Goose his nightly bath when suddenly he shot pee straight up into the air! I screamed and tried to cover him up but it made both hubby and myself squeal with laughter. Then the most amazing thing happened - Goose looked up at us and smiled too!! It was his first interactive, social smile and it was beautiful - pee and all...!

Kid 1.0

Kid 2.0

Thanks to everyone who commented on my first post yesterday! I have really been enjoying reading my mama's blog and I guess I just finally caught the blogging bug! :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Evenings with New Baby, by: New Mom

My beautiful son is 7 weeks old. He has changed my life, definitely for the better, but I just never knew how hard it really is to be a parent. The most difficult thing, and most people have agreed with me on this, is the lack of sleep. I just never knew! You really just never know until you have a kid!

My evenings 2 months ago consisted of the following:

2 hours of tv, 1 hour hot bath, 30 minutes reading in bed, 8-10 hours of blessed sleep. I look at this list now and realize what a luxurious life I once had!

Now my evenings go like this:

Feed baby, bathe baby, feed baby, rock baby, feed baby, put baby down, lie down in bed, worry that baby isn't breathing, check breathing, lie back down, say prayer that baby won't stop breathing, sleep for 4-5 hours, wake up and praise God that baby is still breathing, change baby, feed baby, put baby back down, say another prayer that baby won't stop breathing, sleep for 2-3 more hours and then start day...WHEWWW!

And just when you think they have their schedule down - they change it! Night before last, my son, who usually falls asleep between 10 and 10.30 for the night, did not fall asleep until midnight. I was so tired with just this two hour change. And of course he wasn't happy about either! He cried the whole extra two hours he was awake. Yikes. (Does anyone out there have any tips on soothing baby in situations like that? Is that what is known as colic?)

All-in-all though, I think little "d" is doing pretty well in terms of night sleeping. I've heard so many horror stories from other super moms whose little darlings only slept for 2 hour increments at a time for months! My little guy usually goes at least 4.

And I really do miss my evenings of luxury, but now "d" is starting to smile up at me when he sees me hovering over him, and that small ounce of recognition is full of enough love to get me through. (That, and my husband draws a hot bath for me when I look a little too stressed!!) hehe. ;)