Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Why I started... and stopped... cloth diapering

Before Axel was born I posed the idea to Hubs about cloth diapering.
He was not impressed.

But I researched, and researched, and web-surfed, and Googled, and You-Tubed and I was just SO FASCINATED with the modern cloth diapers that exist today. I mean, please… VELCRO? SNAPS?  They might as well be disposable because they work the exact same way. Cute colors and prints? Save the Earth? Weeeeeeee!

A couple months before Axel was born I ordered the trial pack from  When my box of fluff arrived I quickly prepped everything and set it aside for the big arrival.  About 10 days after I brought my baby bundle home from the hospital I was officially a cloth-diapering mama.

Axel - 4 months

For the early days I used Kissaluvs fitted (size 0) with Thirsties covers, and pre-folds with covers.  We used those for maybe a week or two before Axel chunked out enough to use BumGenius pockets.  I tried Fuzzibuns and AIO’s, but found that they didn’t really meet my needs.  We continued to use the prefolds because – duh – you simply can’t kill those. They are a workhorse! 
 Hubs quickly got the hang of the BG’s (not so much the pre-folds), and our nanny LOVED using cloth (she was quite comfortable with the pre-folds and PINS – OMGDONTSTABTHEBABY!)  I built my stash up so that I would only have to wash 2-3 times a week.  We even traveled with cloth a couple times (until we went to the UP and I had to wash in lake/well water – ick.)

When I got pregnant again I knew I would cloth diaper. It was so easy, and cheap. I already had all the pre-folds I would need. I decided to beef up my BG supply because those were my diapers of choice.  When Archer was born I was set!

So I thought.

Archer is built significantly different than Axel was/is. He super quickly grew out of the Kissaluvs diapers (so much for those extras I purchased).  He was skipping the pre-fold sizes I had and by the time he was 3 months old he was already wearing the same sizing option on the BG’s as Axel was at 2 years old!.  But the rise was too low, they didn’t seem comfortable for him and I was reaching for the disposables more than I was my pretty new cloth diapers I had purchased specifically for his arrival.  And then Axel started developing diaper rash ALL the time.  But not a rash so much as a… chafing.  And he didn’t seem comfortable.  So I started reaching for the disposables for him too.  And before I knew it, I would go days without either of them having a cute fluffy butt.

Archer - 6 months
It simply wasn’t working anymore.

So, I stopped.  I told Hubs that I was going to sell our stash and keep the kids in disposables.  And the guilt, ohhhhhhh, the guilt.  The money spent. The landfills. The ozone.  Our carbon footprint!  But through all of this I’ve come to realize that you need to do what’s best for you and your babies.  And right now ‘sposies are it.

I sure do miss the fluffy butt, though.

Friday, July 11, 2014

What I WISH I knew...

I’m writing this at 6:30am.  Archer has just gone down for his first morning nap. Or decided to extend his already rocky nights sleep. I’m not sure. What I DO know is that I’m on my second cup of coffee, I just heard Axel whining in his room and I’m crossing fingers and toes that I can write out my first blog post in MONTHS. Because, yeah… I’m a SAHM now. I thought I’d have oodles of time to blog.

*crickets chirping*

So, in typical list-style, here are ten things that I wish I REALLY understood before taking on this whole stay-at-home mom gig.

  1. You won’t have any extra time to do anything.  It warrants repeating: YOU WILL NOT HAVE ANY EXTRA TIME! What in the world was I thinking?!?! My na├»ve, pregnant self said several months ago, “Being at home will give me a great opportunity to sew, make things for Etsy and start using my long-arm quilter! I can knit, and grow a garden, cure cancer and end world hunger!”  Trust me, none of those things are happening.  These days taking a shower is considered an extra – it doesn’t always happen!
  2. Your house won’t be clean.  I try. Oh dear, do I try. I’m constantly hunched over, picking things off the floor. My dishwasher and washing machine run daily. But there just seems to be a layer of clutter on every flat surface of the house. Factor in three cats and a dog and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. And with an infant desperately trying to crawl, well, ick.
  3. The baby will always choose a dog toy to teeth on instead of the million brightly colored baby toys purchased for just that.  Archer was happily chewing on Lucy’s nasty, crusty, flat, 4-year old stuffed squirrel last night. I didn’t even care. Here kid, want one with a squeaker?
  4. Breast-feeding is hard. There will be another post on that, because seriously. H-A-R-D
  5. You will lose track of days. I find myself saying a lot, “Wait, what day is it?” Especially now that it is summer vacation for AJ.
  6. Your job doesn’t end. Ever. Evvvvveeerrrrrrrrr…  I am on 24-7. There is rarely a time that someone doesn’t need something from me. It’s exhausting. Which leads me to:
  7. You will lose your shit. Seriously. Maybe once a day. Maybe twice. It’s a lot of pressure to keep 2 little ones alive on the daily. Reading books, wiping butts, trying to feed them healthy foods, etc. Doesn't seem like a big deal, but it is. Oh, it is.
  8. You husband is helping, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Poor Hubs, he tries his best but there are some times where I feel like he’s not nearly as invested as I am. And maybe he’s not. He’s got the whole “…put the bacon on the table…” job. That’s a lot to think about.
  9. You will miss feeling useful.  I mean, I guess I feel useful at home, but for me, working outside of the home gave me a sense of purpose that I didn’t know I had until I didn’t have it anymore. I’d like to think that I helped people in the almost 20 years I was employed at the College. When I gave that up to stay at home with my kids, I did it happily. But I still miss it.
  10. You will feel like you will never sleep again.  My sleep is so broken and sporadic that I feel like I can’t wait for the day I can shove a frozen waffle and the TV remote at the kids and go back to sleep for a couple hours.  I know that this is a small, teeny-tiny slice of time in my SAHM life, but man, I miss sleeping uninterrupted.

My new role in this family has changed. It’s not an easy job; it’s often exhausting, dirty, thankless and frustrating. But I’m still so happy that I chose it.
July 4, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's Official

I tendered my resignation last night.
Its real up in this mutha.
More later... no, REALLY!

Friday, February 14, 2014

The one where she had the baby...

...and the baby turned 6 weeks already.

Yeah, that happened.

More later - I promise!

Archer Gregory, born 1/2/14.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Saving Money

I'm not exactly sure how this whole "budgeting" thing is going.  I definitely see improvement, but then I see crazy things that get in the way.

For example:  We are tracking (pretty much) every purchase we make for the month of October... kind of for a baseline.  But then we purchased a hunting tent (it *is* hunting season after all), and two combo hunting licenses (we NEEEEEEEEED some venison in the freezer!), and a toddler bed and mattress (because we NEEEEEEED to transition Axel before the new baby comes), and an outfit for the wedding on Saturday, and... and... and...

Doesn't seem like I'm getting ahead at all, does it?

But then awesome things happen with the budget, like: I went to the grocery store today (after looking at some online deals, consulting my meal plan (sorta), and looking at my available coupons, and spent about $15 while saving about $20!  Woooooo!  I was so proud of myself I could hardly stand it!

Also saved money today by choosing not to spend. This morning I wanted a Biggby coffee and donut holes in the worst way.  The WORST.  But no, I drove to work and told myself that I have oatmeal in my cabinet, plus some k-Cups in yummy flavors.  Saved:  $6-7  When I was at the grocery store today I decided that I would pick up some sushi, but I went too early for a good selection to be out.  So, I told myself that I could eat an Easy Mac that I brought in for such non-lunch emergencies, and that I could eat a couple apples from previous brought lunches.  Saved:  approx $10.  On my way back from the grocery store I thought to myself, "Man, I could really go for a McD's fountain coke!"  Then I remembered that I had just brewed myself a k-Cup of ice tea and it was waiting for me at my desk.  Saved:  $1.06

My good choices saved me close to $20 of frivolous spending - TODAY ALONE! 

Guess it's a give and take type thing.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Learning something new...

71 days left until I official begin My Radical Sabbatical!

<insert dramatic music and a stressed look here>

While trying to wrap my head around becoming a one-income family, Hubster and I have decided to take the month of October to really examine our spending habits and see where we can pare down. We can both be accused of shopping stupidly.  You know the type:  You go to the big box/all-purpose store for some milk and bread.  Ooooh, but then you need to pick up a birthday card.  OH! Look at that cute little onesie for the baby!  AH - I need cat food!  Ohhhhhh... my flip-flops just broke last weekend, I should probably pick up some more of those...  AND WHAT ABOUT THE CLEARANCE RACK, eh?

Yeah, and before you know it your "grocery bill" has quadrupled and you just don't understand what happened.  Because it's NOT EVEN GROCERIES!

And that's not even the half of it.  A package of M&M's here, a pop there, a forgotten lunch at home and pretty soon we've spent 30 bucks on crap. Just crap.

So, after some fancy Googling and Facebook group browsing I've found some couponing sites that I'm hoping will change the way I spend my money.  I've never used coupons in my adult life.  I mean, I've used some online things when buying my Keurig k-cups, and I've found some offers when shopping at Old Navy online.  But, I've never clipped a coupon for Stouffer's stuffing, and then physically taken it to the store to purchase said stuffing.  Nope, I just shop for, and buy, what I want.

This has gotta change.  But let me tell you... this is HARD!

Right now I'm using for the basics of learning HOW to clip, and then I've found some great local savings on the Facebook group site A Mitten Full of Savings.  If I can swing a face-to-face couponing class I'll be looking into that as well.  This is requiring a whole new mindset, and it's taking some time and effort.  And meal-planning. Ugh.  Planning in general.

So, the plan for October:

  1. Be honest with money being spent. Track, track, track! Save receipts.
  2. Meal Plan
  3. Grocery shop according to the Meal Plan
  4. No frivolous spending (but if it happens, see #1)
  5. Clip coupons! (My first newspaper will be delivered on Sunday)
  6. Use coupons, price compare, research
I'll report back at the end of the month!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Work in progress

11 days ago my husband and I found out we are having another little boy! THREE BOYS! (Maybe I should reevaluate this whole "I want to stay at home" idea!)

I will spare you the money shot - trust me, it's there!
While I WAS disappointed for about 30 seconds (I really wanted a girl to round us out), I can't even describe how excited I am to add another boy into the mix of our crazy life. Sure, I am SO outnumbered now, but I'm having so much fun with my boys already...

This new life is scary and awesome.  I created this blog to (hopefully) document this crazy new life into becoming a SAHM.  It's not going to be easy, but I know it's going to be worth it!

Posts will be slow because I haven't really BEGUN the journey yet...  but I'll try to set the stage for what's to come!