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

Friday, February 29, 2008

Why I'd be lost without Google...

Today I realized that I would be completely lost without Google. I Google just about EVERYTHING I need to know, or think I need to know. For example, if I need to halve a recipe - I have not a clue on how to convert things. Just Google - how many ounces in _____ and it will calculate it for you. Here are some more reasons why I love Google:

1. Google calculates kitchen conversions
2. Google maps out directions
3. Google locates businesses and their addresses
4. Google has satellite imagery (its just cool)
5. Google finds products for me
6. then rates them
7. then tells me where to buy them
8. Google can offer you a diagnosis for you illnesses (unfortunately it will almost always tell you that its cancer, but none-the-less...)
9. Google finds the absolute most cheapest of whatever item I am looking for
10.Google tells me who's calling when I don't recognize the number
11.Google tells me what's for dinner (http://www.allrecipes.com/ Google found it for me!)
12. Google I think I love you....

Frugal Friday - Cloth Diapering Update

6 months old this week and still cloth diapering!!! HURRAY! I have read this is somewhat of a milestone for people who cloth diaper, because when the solid foods start going IN, the big solid smelly poops start coming OUT. Well, I'm very proud to stay that we're sticking with it anyway! (And yes, they are bigger, rounder, harder, and twice as stinky!)

For anyone who is considering cloth diapering or is comtemplating stopping cloth diapering once the solids start - It is really not that bad!! Honestly, I think it is SO MUCH EASIER now than it was in the beginning! Goose is only pooping about once every other day now, so even though that PARTICULAR poop is a little gross, there are practically 48 hours before and after it of nothing but pee dipes! Plus, now that the poo is more solid - you can dump it in the toilet with ease and so the diaper pail actually smells better now.

A word on cost - for those frugalizers out there - I have spent roughly $250 on cloth diapering supplies. MOST of my supplies are one-size-fits-all brands (such as BumGenius All-in-one, One-size) and Prefold Diapers. I also have 3 one-size diaper covers, and several Dappi Brand Nylon (&vinyl) covers in size S-XL. I can reuse all of these items with another child, so we have one more child and I don't have to replace any items, then our average diapering cost per child is $125!! Very frugal!

Now, I do occasionally use disposables. I get these on the cheap at CVS for emergencies. Sometimes my diapers are still drying when I need a fresh one so I pull out a disposable. Or sometimes, due to the cut of children's clothing, I will use a disposable if I want a certain outfit to look cuter for a picture or special occasion. But we are 95% cloth in our house.

I never thought I'd be a cloth diapering kind of parent, but once I got started, I just loved it! So if you are considering cloth diapering, congratulations! Give it a try, and start small if you are unsure, so as not get overwhelmed. It is such a rewarding experience. Thanks and happy Friday! For more tips head to Frugal Friday!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Something that happened that changed my faith in God

In the Fall of 2003, I said a prayer. I remember looking out of my bedroom window in my apartment in Massachusetts, looking at the stars and asking God to PLEASE make the next the one, "the one". I was so incredibly tired of dating. I was ready to settle down and was just plain sick of dating complete jerks and losers. A few weeks later, October 16th I think it was, I got an email from a "funkywhiteboy" that was a member of Match.com, as was I. I think he said something simple like, "you seem cool, hit me back". And so I did - and spent the next two weeks falling in love with words on a screen and a voice on the phone. We met in person on November 1, 2003 and 3 years later we got married in our backyard on a hot, humid day in July, on the coast of gorgeous North Carolina, surrounded by our family and our closest friends. It was a GREAT day.

I'm not sure what exactly led me to write this post today, but I've just been thinking about how God has answered my prayers and made me believe in him just by how specific he answers them. My prayer for God to let the next guy I dated be "the one" was the first of many prayers that fit that description and that was the major thing that changed how I feel about God.

Last year a series of really miraculous events transpired. Every one of which I prayed about. Basically, I was pregnant and Hubby was unhappy with his job. Amazingly he found a job two hours away that was a perfect fit for him. So we put our house on the market and started making plans. Our house needed to sell by March 17th in order for us to get a lease on a temporary apartment while our new home was being finished two hours away. If we didn't sell the house in time, we would basically not be able to afford a short lease and would have been out of luck!

The sell of our house was completed on March 16th - and we moved into our temprary housing on March 17th. Talk about cutting it close - but I just kept praying and praying...

Then there was the birth of our son. I really needed the birth to happen in our new town!! (although I know that babies don't really care about that sort of thing!) But the closing date of our new home was scheduled 2 weeks before my due date and our lease was coming up on the apartment, and then the builder tried to move our closing date to the same day as my DUE DATE!! I was a nervous wreck. But I prayed about it.

We moved into our home on August 17th, Goose was born 10 days later. Again, we cut it pretty close, but I just kept trusting in God and saying those prayers! And it all worked out.

There is, of course, much more to this story. But it all started with a prayer. The inside of my husband's wedding ring in engraved with this - "I prayed for you". Because I prayed for him and God delivered! Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Goose Cam

So my computer has a webcam on it. When we got this laptop I had no idea what I'd use it for. Then Sunday my mother-in-law called us from her home a thousand miles away (literally). She seemed sad and wished that she could see her grandchild more. Then it occured to me - DUH! I've got a webcam! I hooked it up and last night and she got to see her grandchild eat dinner and play. We've got Goose Cam in our house! Very neat. I've temporarily installed it on my blog so you can see how it works in case you have a similar situation. The website that broadcasts the feed is totally free. Just go to Ustream.tv. And PS - My house is a disaster right now, we are still in the decorating/moving in/cleaning up process so please don't think we live in constant chaos. (Actually don't all us Super Mommies live in constant chaos!??) Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Oh My God!

My child is taking a SCHEDULED nap! This is truly a miracle, as in a gift from GOD. We have only been on the SleepEasy Program for one night. Is it a fluke? Or has Goose actually learned in one night, that the crib means sleep-time?? Only time will tell, but thank God for this nap!

Sleeping again?

As some of you know, our Goose has been sleeping through the night for a long time now, with episodes of regressions lasting, at most, a week. He would always return back to sleeping through the night with no real problems though.

Well 4 weeks ago TODAY, I jinxed myself. I made the mistake of telling other new mom's with children the same age. I remember in my head thinking, "Don't Brag!". And I didn't. But did I jinx myself just by the sheer act of telling someone? Possibly. Because that was the day everything changed.

Up until that night, we could almost always put GOOSE in his crib at night and he would go to sleep for several hours. But starting 4 weeks ago today, Goose began to scream - a lot. He refused to go to sleep on his own. He wanted to be nursed to sleep. Then he would wake up screaming out like he was in pain. So we finely bit the bullet and put him on Zantac. Which helped tremendously, for about a week. The painful screaming subsided, and he began sleeping again at night, but still would not return to his old way of falling asleep on his own in his crib. Then a week after that he decided he just wouldn't fall asleep at all.

I honestly became so worried for him. I know he can sleep well at night and I know he is happier when he does. But I just cannot figure out what is keeping him up. So yesterday we bought the Book, The Sleep Easy Solution, by Jennifer Waldburger and Jill Spivack. I followed their plan, and Goose fell asleep on his own and stayed asleep for 11 whole hours!! This I found most impressive, because that is the EXACT length of time the authors said children his age should be sleeping at night.

This book is a middle-of-the-road book when it comes to crying it out. She calls it the "Cry-Least" method, instead of the "no-Cry" or "all-cry" method. That's what drew me to the book, because I just cannot and will not leave my baby in his room alone for hours to cry himself to sleep, with no help what-so-ever.

The book does use some crying it out, which I know, I know, I know, is controversial. I have had mixed feelings about it from the get-go. On the one hand, I believe in answering your child every time he cries, but then on the other hand, I think that when babies reach a certain level of ccomprehension, its time to take the lead on their behavior and TEACH them what they need to know. I have read so many reviews on CIO that say how neglectful parents are for letting their children cry. And to a certain degree that is true, but not when it comes to teaching your children something they absolutely NEED to know and they are only crying out in resistance to it. PLUS, as I said before, I chose this book specifically because you DON'T have to leave you child alone to cry for hours.

Now we DID have some crying: Goose cried off and on for 23 minutes last night before he fell fast asleep for 11 hours. Then this morning instead of crying for me to come get him, he woke up HAPPY, making cute noises. When I went into his room he grinned from ear to ear and seemed so well-rested. I can't wait for tonight see how he does. I AM SO PROUD OF HIM! I definitely recommend this book to anyone at the end of their rope, with a frustrated child, that does not feel comfortable with the "Ferber" method.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Frugal Friday: Goodbye Cable

This is the third time in my life I've lived without cable, although its the first time I've lived without it for reasons mostly related to money. The first time I had no cable was when I was little. We lived out in the country and cable just didn't exist out there at that time. The second time was when I was traveling the majority of the time with my old company. At that time I could have squeezed it out of the budget, but I was only home on the weekends, and sometimes not even then, so I figured why pay for something I was never going to use? The third time, which is currently, Hubby and I made the decision to forego cable when I was told we would have to pay a $99 dollar connect fee, which they refused to waive. I was pretty angry about this, because I already HAD cable, and if I had moved within my area, I would have been considered a "transfer" and not had to pay it again. So I figured I had lived without cable before, I could do it again.

For entertainment, we use our rabbit ears and Netflix. Our rabbit ears pick of the local channels. The reception is hit or miss. Some days a channel will be crystal clear, other days it will be somewhat off. It is rarely ever so bad that you can't watch though. Of course, Netflix is our real source of entertainment. We LOVE Netflix. We LOVE movies. Netflix allows us to watch as many as we want, as often as we want. Its great and CHEAP.

So if you're looking for a way to cut costs, consider abandoning your cable or satellite. You'll miss it at first, but eventually you'll find other forms of entertainment that are just as good. For more frugal tips, visit Frugal Friday!

Happy Birthday Mama!!

Here is your Virtual Birthday Card:

I won't say how YOUNG she is, but my mom's birthday is today! Ten reasons why I love my mom:

1. Thoughtful
2. Caring
3. Loving
4. Thrifty
5. Hardworking
6. Peacekeeper
7. Smart
8. Strong
9. Faithful
10. Creative

Happy Birthday Mama!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

There's a Goose in my bed!

Perhaps the secret to a baby sleeping through the night is a larger sized bed. Maybe a crib-size is just not large enough for our royal Goose! Here he is, just waking up from a nice snooze in mom's queen size (don't worry he's fixed where he can't roll out!):

After 3 months of sleeping through the night with a few nights of exception here and there, Goose began waking up 1 to 4 times each night with no rhyme or reason. It might be 9pm one night, or 10pm, 12am, 3am, 4.15am the next night. I have been racking my brains for 3 weeks trying to find the problem.

The only correlation I could find was that we began solid foods right around that time. Goose has always been a HUGE spitter. In fact, when the hospital released us after his birth, we were informed that he was "a spitter" by the discharge nurse.

So with the thought that maybe the solid foods were hurting his throat as they came back up, or were causing his tummy to hurt more in his sleep, I decided to count his spit-ups. When we hit 15 before 10 am, I called the doc. By the time we got to the doctors, we were up to 20.

The doctor seemed pretty impressed with the spit-up tally and put Goose on Zantac right away. The first night he slept through the night again!! The second night he woke up 4 times. I was very upset by this since I thought we had finally gotten to the bottom of his night-waking. But then the third night he slept through with the exception of needing a pacifier around 11.30 and then the last two nights - complete sleeping through the night!! I am amazed and I think I LOVE Zantac!

Zantac was a good friend of mine throughout my pregnancy, so I know it works well. I can only imagine how much better Goose feels not having his tummy hurting all day long!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Being in a new place...

...is hard. Recently Goose has realized that he can protest just about anything he doesn't like - especially the car seat. This has made my already less-mobile life into a just about completely homebound existance. Which I find incredibly hard. During the first few months after Goose was born I made monthly trips to visit my friends and he would just sleep the whole way. Now he starts to scream on the way to CVS, so I can't imagine what he'd be like for two hours on an open highway with nothing to look at.

Before we moved I had a great job, worked with amazing women, and lived near to my closest friends. We also had been going to a great church that was changing the way we thought about God and life in general in such a positive way.

Now I spend most of my time at home with my gorgeous baby - which is FUN - don't get me wrong. But I miss my social network and all the things I had come to love about my old town. So recently I have begun trying to connect with my new town. Which is tough. It is SO different from where we just came from. Our old town was on the coast of North Carolina. It was up and coming, a resort destination, a palm trees everywhere kind of place. Our new town has a Walmart...The downer and the reasons for our move, were a housing market that outpaced our income and a job situation that left Hubster wishing for something drastically different. He found his perfect job in a town two hours away, which just so happened to have more than-affordable housing.

So here we are. To try and connect I've joined a local Moms Club, but most of the outings are geared towards parents of older kids, so there is not all that much I can join in on. Plus, we have not come even CLOSE to finding a church that is even remotely inspiring. Nothing like our old church. But I'm still optimistic that we will find something. I think once we do, I will start volunteering and hopefully that will add some zest to things! And hopefully soon Goose will allow me the little road trips that help me stay connected to the friends I love. :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Goose meets Uncle D!

Having met my husband in Boston, it's only natural that many of our relatives live up North. Yesterday an unexpected opportunity to see my brother-in-law came about. He was traveling through our state on business and just happened to be within 20 minutes of our home! So I spent the day getting the house ready and food shopping. He could only stay a little over an hour as he was traveling with a huge truck full of sound equipment and he and his boss needed to get back on the road and find a hotel for the night.

It was a fun visit! I was so proud to show off our new house and, of course, our new baby Goose! He will be on the road all day today getting back to his family wayyyyy up North, but I'm so glad we were able to see him.

Uncle D 'n' Me

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Tiny Talk Tuesday!

Just wanted to share a new blog that I really like. Mary at Not Before 7 hosts "Tiny Talk Tuesday" which is truly a fun read. If you have little ones, or just get a kick out of the funny things they say, then check it out. Click for today's Tiny Talk Tuesday antics.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Living in the South

There are several reasons why I love my southern state. Actually there are too many to count - but here's one I experienced this morning while typing my previous post: Birds chirping to the sunrise in early February. It was very mild yesterday, mid-60's I'd say, and now this morning to hear these birds reminds me that my favorite season is on the way! Spring is right around the corner!

I can sew! Kind of...

I have been an HGTV fan for years. LOVE it. Unfortunately I didn't think I could do very much home decorating now that our budget is so tight. But that was before a sewing machine came into my life and I realized that most of the things you buy are actually made by someone -so why shouldn't I cut out the middle man and make it myself!?

I am still learning and these curtains are not done yet - they are different lenghts despite my incredibly precise measureing skills (insert frustrated sigh and sobs of despair) BUT they look pretty good I think and they fram up our glass doors very nicely. They are also great for keeping the air conditioning INSIDE the house and preventing the sun from heating us so much during the summer.

I also got inspired by this website, where I found these tutorials, and somehow managed to make this:

Cool huh? Why all the yellow and green you ask? Hubby and I have always liked yellow kitchens so we painted the kitchen yellow, and then we found this dishtowel at Wal-Mart and loved how the yellow looked with the green. So there you go! PS If you are wondering where I get my creativity from, trust me it does not come from THIS lady's noggin - it comes from this one. Visit my mom's blog and check out her new Etsy shop with lots of cute purses! Here's a picture of the one she made for me (that I LOVE) and here's how she made it.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Frugal Friday - Making it yourself

One frugal way of living I've discovered recently is that I can actually make the things I need - I don't necessarily need to buy them all. This was an oddly profound moment for me. My mom at Homemaking Dreams, loves to sew and quilt and is always making gorgeous handbags and household items. For example she recently made me some cloth napkins, which I use a lot, in fact I've stopped purchasing paper towels all-together. So my mom is partially responsible for my new found realization. The other culprit is my new/very, very old sewing machine. My Grandmother died in a car accident 8 years this month, and for 8 years her old Kenmore sewing machine has been resting in its cabinet in her home - until my Aunt came across and thought I might be interested - YES I WAS! In fact I had a very surreal moment when I pulled it into the house and plugged it in. I simultaneously realized I did not know hot to thread a sewing maching, AND that the machine was STILL threaded from the last time my Grandma had used it. So I examined how she did it and learned. It brought tears to my eyes to be able to learn something special from her 8 years after her passing. So there's my backstory - here's the frugal part:

I've been using online tutorials to actually MAKE things with my sewing machine! This past Saturday I made a bathmat (pictured below). Who knew you could MAKE a bathmat?? They are fairly expensive at the store and it never occured to me that I could design one myself and for only about 5 dollars!

In addition to my bathmat, I am sewing curtains for my kitchen. Most full length curtain panels that I've seen cost anywhere from $20 and up, EACH. Yesterday I found Clearance fabric that matches our kitchen perfectly - and for only $15 total I'm making custom curtain panels (3 of them!).

For Crafty ideas and to see take part of the GRAND OPENING of the Homemaking Dreams Etsy Shop visit HomeMaking Dreams. For more Frugal Friday tips visit Biblical Womanhood.