Tuesday, June 29, 2010


The other night (when I was up in the middle of the night feeding John) I read an article in a Reader's Digest a friend had passed on to me. The article was called The Cheapest People in America. I know there are many people in America that are cheaper than me; however, apparently I have crossed some kind of threshold when I impress my mother and my grandmother (the queen of all things frugal -- no seriously). At any rate, my curiosity was peaked!

"Tightwads feel guilty spending money. Frugal folk have fun saving." I think I fall into the second camp. I enjoy seeing how much we can save so that we have the funds to pay down debt, have me stay home with our children, purchase books and tools with which to learn new things, enjoy social outings with friends, etc. You will never make enough money to buy everything you want, but if you are careful with your money, you can have what you really want most. Even when we were making very little, we were always able to scrap together enough money to occasionally buy some books!

"The secret about cheap people: They aren't necessarily cheap on all fronts. Some spring for educations or vacations, or they are generous with others if not with themselves." We tend to spring for things that are important to us. Being debt free and having me stay home with our children are two things that have been important to us since we got out of school. Having some discretionary funds for learning and social outings has been important to us as a family since we got married. We both highly value education (and not just book learning), and we both tend to be somewhat introverted, so we try to attend social gatherings that we both find comfortable (like going out to eat with friends).

The last thing that I found particularly noteworthy is how completely immoral some people are! It's one thing if you get a good deal on a purchase, but it is another thing to lie so that you can have something for free! For example, there are apparently lots of people who keep a McDonald's coffee cup in their car so they can get free refills even though it is supposed to be per visit! Some people empty out condiments to take home from restaurants (Now I do save our leftover napkins and condiments, but only the ones we did not end up using that will be thrown away after we leave!) The article also mentioned a man who would come back into the movie theater holding his glasses and saying, "I found them" so that he could get into the movie free!! That's just cheating!

Marriage counselors will tell you that the top 3 biggest problems in marriages are money, extended family, and sex. A psychologist quoted in the article said that "Couples often drive each other crazy when they're Jack Sprattish in terms of spending." David and I both like to save money; however, we tend to have differing ideas on how much to save versus how much to spend. I tend to want to save everything, and David wants to occasionally enjoy some of the money he has made. However, finances has never been a problem area for us. We both see the value of each other's perspective and try to find a happy balance. ...It also helps that I could never tell him not to buy something he wants.....I might give him a list of reasons that it might not be the best choice, but I would be hard pressed to deny him something he wants.....I am weak like that! ;-)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Things I Learned This Week Part 2

A few things I learned this week along with some pictures of my cute kids! :-)

1. Naps make a big difference for everyone! The kids are happier, and I get to rest and get a few things done!! Right now both kids are taking 3 hour naps at about the same time in the afternoon. I am in heaven!

Daddy and John catching a cat nap together!

2. I am going to start using my cast iron and stoneware more for the simple reason: you don't wash it!! Anyway I can buy myself some extra time is well worth it!

Obviously a tummy sleeper!!

3. I am in love with the Gypsy Mama Water Wrap!!! I have been using it when I get in the pool with John because it leaves me with both arms free for Jessica (it is also great in very hot and humid climates for regular everyday use)! By the way, she seems to be remembering more and more of what she learned last year in swimming lessons! Also, John is a huge fan of the swimming pool!!

4. I now carry two sets of keys on me at all times so I can start the car (and consequently the air conditioning) before getting everyone loaded into the car! Also, it is less likely that I will lock myself out of the car, WHICH I might add....I have NOT done since I had kids!

How we found Jessica one night when we went to check on her!!

5. We just met our deductible on our new health insurance (as of April) only to find out that we will have a new health insurance probably by next month due to changes in David's job.....grrrrrrr!!

6. I took the kids for their first ride together in the double stroller, and they were both happy as larks!! When it cools off this fall, I think we will be taking a walk every day!!!!! I highly recommend the Kolcraft Contours Double Stroller!!!

John has been holding his head up like this for a couple weeks now!

7. I really am getting the hang of being a mom with 2 kids!!! I am feeling much more comfortable getting out with two of them by myself!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Things I Learned This Week

David was out of town this week so I had a 2 and a half year old and a 3 week old all by myself. I obviously had no time for blogging!! It feels very good to be blogging again! I really enjoy writing and don't have the opportunity to do much of it in my new career as Stay-at-Home-Mom! At any rate, I survived the week just fine. The worst part was that Jessica screamed herself to sleep the first few nights because she missed Daddy. By the last day though, I had things running like a well oiled machine! Thursday morning I got up at 8:10, got a shower, packed a bag for the day, got both kids up, ready, and out the door, and drove 30 minutes to the next town all by 9:15! I also took the kids swimming that day! I was rather proud of myself! Having been thrown in the "Mom of two kids" deep end of the pool rather quickly with David traveling, I learned several important lessons this week:

1. If you want a homemade breakfast (and potentially lunch/dinner) you need to do the prep work the night before! From now on I will make our smoothies the night before so I can just pour them in the morning!!

2. I used to keep track of our finances by hand, but I have concluded that I now have less time at less than regular intervals and less brain cells with which to think. Therefore, I have started using a free Linux financial planning program.

3. I am really enjoying using my Bumgenius diapers since they fit both of my kids! However, if I really want to cut the electric bill, then I should do a load of wash every morning so I can hang them out on the line during nap time.

4. Any outing with children will not be quick or efficient. It is an adventure, a journey, etc. Be prepared to change your plans in an instant and remember to pack accordingly: be prepared for every contingency while traveling as light as possible!!

5. How calm and pleasant your house is each day is largely up to how you choose to approach each situation. You cannot control most things that will happen during the day. You are just along for the ride, so you might as well as make the most of it and enjoy the ride!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Well, it has been three weeks since John was born. So far...

Eating: He is becoming quite the pro,and my milk seems to have settled out (that is a blessed relief!!!) He is also a great burper (and seems to have a fair amount of gas)!

Diapering: He had been screaming bloody murder anytime we laid him on his back, and although he still doesn't like being on his back, we did figure out some of it was a diaper rash! It appears to be heat related like Jessica's was as a baby. We had him in Huggies Pure and Natural because the cloth diaper covers I bought didn't fit. Thankfully the Bumgenius One Size started fitting once the cord came off!

Sleep: This has been a real challenge until recently when I discovered that although he would only sleep about 2 hours at a time on his back, in a bouncer, in a swing, etc he WILL sleep at least 4.5 hours at a time if he is on his tummy! Yes, I know you aren't supposed to do that, but I can't survive on 2 hours of sleep at a time! I have been very careful to only put him down on a firm surface with only a burp cloth under his head (to absorb spit-up) and a receiving blanket. Also he already has good head control and tries to roll over.

Doctor: We had our second doctor's appointment today, and I took both kids by myself! It went really well! John has everything he is supposed to. The doctor was quite surprised by his size considering how tiny Jessica was! Jessica was always in the 25th percentile for height and weight. John is in the 90th percentile for height and the 75th percentile for weight! We did not discuss his eyes this time, although the doctor did check them. The doctor had previously said because of the shape we would need to watch them because sometimes it can result in blindness if not corrected. I did not inquire about this any further this time, but I plan to ask about it next time. We actually spent the majority of the appointment talking about Jessica. The doctor wants to see her later this summer to discuss speech therapy. I must say I am a little apprehensive because I am afraid she will end up getting referred to a psychologist, and I don't think that is a direction we need to go in at this point. Thankfully I don't think our doctor is thinking in that direction based on our discussion today. We will just have to wait and see what happens later this summer. In the meantime, I ordered 6 dvds (we have 3 already) from Baby Bumblebee to try to help Jessica as much as I can with her vocabulary between now and then. I was quite surprised at how much she has learned from these dvds!! I have read and talked to her since she was a baby and minimized how much tv she watched, but none of this has helped her learn to talk like these dvds have! Many parents with non-verbal kids have said the same thing. Perhaps between now and her next appointment her vocabulary will take off!

Overall our outings this week have gone relatively smoothly (all things considered)! I feel like I am beginning to figure things out! Maybe by July I'll be in a good routine! By this fall I should be a pro!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Highlights from this Weekend!

John loved his first sink bath!

Jessica learned an important maxim in woodworking: "Measure twice cut once!"

Jessica felt David needed more screws so she got one of her plastic nails because it was a Phillips head!

Some of Jessica's new favorite toys include a block of wood with a screw in it and a dovetail!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


During the last week I was waiting for John to arrive, I did something I have been meaning to learn how to do: make socks! I used this free, easy crochet pattern to crochet my daughter this adorable sock!

Not bad for a first attempt!

Now I just need to find time to make its mate!! At some point in the future I would like to try my hand at knitting socks....perhaps the next time I am confined to the couch!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words...

....so a bunch of pictures must be worth thousands of words! We have had a really great last week: a precious newborn baby boy, a fabulous big sister, lots of great friends, a nice visit from family, a birthday cake for me made by my mom, a quiet birthday lunch out with my husband (and son), and our 7th wedding anniversary!

David with both of the kiddos!

A couple pictures of baby John.

The grandparents and Uncle John came down for a visit....more grandparents coming next month!

Nice to see Dad hasn't lost his touch....he can still put a baby to sleep better than anyone I know!

Big John and Little John

Jessica spending some quality time with "PaPa"

At the Gulfarium with "PaPa," Mrs. "PaPa," and Uncle John

Jessica loves fish!!

"Helping" Uncle John tune his guitar.

"Helping" Uncle John play his guitar.

Perhaps we should look into a music class for a fun summer activity?

At the zoo with "PaPa," Mrs. "PaPa," and Uncle John, while Mom, Dad, and baby John went out for a quiet lunch for Mommy's birthday!

Feeding the animals.

Checking out the guinea pigs.

A trip to Whataburger after the zoo!

Jessica "helping" Daddy fix the draws....I think they need to go to Lowe's on a Saturday for the kid projects!

John also "helped" Daddy fix the drawers!

This was not taken today, but this is about what our first day on our own looked like! I couldn't ask for better!!