Archive | March, 2013

Changing tables – or lack thereof

28 Mar

Given all sorts of modern conviences we have become accustomed to – you would think most public restrooms would cater to our needs. This is not so..

Yesterday I was out shopping when my son looked at me with a sly grin. I narrowed my eyes at him and said – “Did you poop”? He nodded his head yes and giggled. Sweet. Right when I was in a store that I knew from previous experience didn’t have changing tables. So I hurried up and rushed through the checkout line.

I headed next door to the grocery store where surely they would have changing tables. The bathroom was closed for cleaning. So I asked the lady in desperation – is there another bathroom in the store? Oh yes in the back. So I head to the back of the store. If my son had weighed about 15 lbs this wouldn’t be such an issue – but carrying around a wiggly 30 lb toddler is not easy. I reached my destination and the door was locked. Awesome.

I left the store and looked around the parking lot. Bingo. There was a McDonalds. I don’t frequent McDonalds due to personal reasons but they were a beacon of light on the situation. We reached our destination and emerged with clean pants. What a relief.

You would think that most places would have changing tables. This is honestly not the truth. If it had been summer I would have changed him in the car – but there is still snow on the ground here. When in doubt – head to McDonalds. They always have changing tables – and as much as I don’t like them, they have been my saving grace on more than one occasion.

Cloth Diapers

26 Mar

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I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but we use cloth diapers. In an effort to save money and the environment I decided to invest the time & effort.

Oh the looks I received when I told people we were going to cloth diaper were as if I said we were going to give up our child for adoption. Shock and Awe. My mother did it and told me it sucks and I would hate it. Likewise my husbands grandmother said the same thing.

So being the great mother-to-be I was – I meticulously scowered the reviews about different diapers until I couldn’t see straight. I had the option of spending less, but then would the quality be ok? I could make my own –but did I REALLY want to invest the time? I could spend up to $35/per diaper – but was it worth it? Hours and I mean literally HOURS were spent looking at different brands – weighing the pros and cons. I was obsessed. My husband was ready to file for a divorce.

Its funny – the things we become fixated on while preparing for a child. My husband was obsessed with the car seat (I do agree that it is very important to be safe) and I was obsessed with the diapers… Mine was a cost saving strategy – where as my husband spent big. We tend to balance each other in that sense.

I came to the realization that if this was to save money I had to go with a less expensive diaper. So I bought a bunch of BabyGenius diapers off eBay for $1.75 – 3 a piece. Then after he was born and we discovered that he was indeed, quite the heavy wetter – I invested the extra cash for hemp liners. I ended up upgrading to FuzziBunz one-size diapers (but I bought the ‘seconds’ at $8/per), but I have still used my cheap diapers this entire time and have only had to throw out 1 of the 12 I bought – not too bad I would say. So for under $150 I have committed to 90% cloth diapering (I do use the occasional disposable & he wears disposable at night because I’m tired of waking up in a puddle of urine).

Its really not hard. Shake the solids off in toilet and wash in the machine. Done and done. I have a hard enough time buying toilet paper – because you are literally flushing your money down the toilet – that something was bound to tick me off about diapering. Once I started calculating the cost of diapers (the cheapest I’ve found diapers are for .13 cents per diaper) I about had a heart attack.

Thats my story about how we live green & save cash – because cloth diapering is cool! (Plus its cuter!)

Proof that cloth is cuter!

Proof that cloth is cuter!

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Part-Time Me

23 Mar

Three months before I got pregnant I lost my job. It was my first ‘real’ job after college and I had worked there for about a year. It wasn’t a huge heartache as I dreaded going to work every day and my boss was less than desirable to work for. But this posed a problem. In a rough economy I had no means of income. So I did what I do best, and I immediatly landed a retail job at the GAP during the interum.

I am not above any job. I would shovel cow crap for a living if its what I enjoyed. So for a few months I worked retail. It was fun! Not to mention the discount 🙂 Then about 2 weeks before I got pregnant I landed a 5 month contract job with a large company. It was BORING. My manager actually told me to bring magazines because we wouldn’t be doing much most of the time. Then I found out I was pregnant.. and then my boyfriend proposed. So I had a wedding to plan and a baby on the way.

Once my contract was up we got married and my new husband lost his job. Lucky him, he didn’t have a swollen belly to compromise his employment search. Unfortunatly the clock was ticking on our life change and he was still on the hunt, so he got a part-time job at a hardware store to get insurance.

About two months before I had my son I landed a part-time job that paid little to nothing, but it was working in a very relaxed environment that I enjoyed. It was a hard job search – one that was painful and I didn’t get jobs I was well qualified for – its illegal but I’m sure there was a little discrimation pointed in my direction. It happens. We made it work, we had no choice. There were no late nights out with friends, but rather movies at home. We didn’t do anything extra but we had fun doing what we did.

Right after my son was born my husband got a good job and we decided it wasn’t worth it to pay daycare for my part-time job. The guys I worked for were more than willing to let me work nights and weekends. So we tried it for a few months. It didn’t work – so I offered the occasional weekend.

Here I am 16 months later, working the occasional weekend to help out the guys who helped me when I had nowhere else to go. It has nothing to do with the money (if it was we’d be in serious trouble!!) its about them looking past what was on the forefront of everyone elses mind – the pregnant belly.

I’m glad we had a rough time. It makes everything more worth while when you have extra. You can really enjoy that cup of gourmet coffee, or an occasional meal out. Its how we come out of our rough patches that makes us who we are. If I had had a great job with benefits, who knows if we would have given that up for me to stay home with my son? Sometimes the hardest things that happen in life – happen so you can enjoy what will come out of them.

Yummi pouches

21 Mar

The new wave of hip mommy life has started with the baby food squeeze pouches. I tried them as a snack option to get my son to eat something other than crackers – and it worked!  He happily sucked down a mix of fruits veggies and grains. Wow! I thought – these things are awesome! But after buying them a few times the price tag got old fast.  At $1-2 a piece those suckers aren’t cheap. So I decided to attempt a reusable pouch.

After some research I found these:
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I thought, perfect! So I placed my order – $16 for 6 (crazy but I figured I’d save money in the long run) and waited patiently for them to arrive. Once they came in the mail – I quickly washed them and set to make a ‘smoothie’ like puree to try them out. It worked ok at home, but when I was out in public things went horribly wrong.

The first time something happened I was at a hobby store. I was feeding the B an apple puree when the Ziploc-like end exploded all over me. Not to worry, I am always armed with wipes – in 30 seconds the mess had dissapeared as if it never happened. But the second time was much much worse.

We have a membership to a local children’s museum that we frequent on a weekly basis. Being the ‘organized’ mother I am, I made a smoothie before we left and placed it in my purse. While walking around the museum watching my son play I decided to check my phone – which was in my purse. My purse has a flap that goes around it that you lock and unlock as needed. So I unlocked my purse and pulled open the flap. When I saw what had happened I closed my purse immediately.

Remember the really bad diapers (well none of them are good) before kids start solids and it goes everywhere? Out the legs, up the back, and you stare in horror at the task before you? That was my reaction when I opened my purse. It was a similar sight as the horrible diaper and had managed to get into every nook and cranny. Oh yeay. The pouch had exploded.

So I gathered up my son and headed to the bathroom to do damage control. While he happily flushed the toilet no less than 10 times, I attempted to clean up what I could of the mess. It was not easy. The smoothie had gotten into my wallet, all over the emergency diapers, and in my tube of lip balm. I was about to throw the pouch away, when I decided I would cool down and maybe want to use them again.

The design of the pouch looks most like the store bought pouches. But save yourself the headache… and either pay for the premade store pouches, or buy a different brand. These are not only hazards to your wardrobe, but they are a b!@#$ to clean.

The dreaded AF

18 Mar

I’m going to go ahead and put a disclaimer on the top of this post. For all the men out there that do not want to read about womenly things you might want to move on right about now…

I have not had the pleasure of being visited by Aunt Flo since my last period before I became pregnant with my son. It has been 24 months since my period. I sincerely wish this was a great thing.

Before I had my son I had horrible horrible periods. My whole body would cramp down to the soles of my feet. I would feel nauseous, light-headed, and generally awful for about 2 days. That was the only good thing for me – they were generally over rather quickly.

Since we are doing extended breastfeeding I have been one of the ‘lucky’ ones who has not had to deal with this for quite some time. Yes, during pregnancy you don’t expect it, and then for the first year after my son was born I welcomed it.

Now its getting old. I read somewhere (on one of my many Google rants – something I don’t recommend for anyone) that breastfeeding puts your body in a ‘premenopausal’ state. So that’s how they are classifying what is happening to my body right now? Since we reached the 12 month mark I’m fairly certain my body is trying to return its fertility but is mainly just in crazy mode. I frequently have hot flashes at random times during the day, nausea, my back cramps and I go through bouts of crazy physco PMS like moods. One minute I’m happy and the next I’m ready to throw things and check into a mental institution.

My mother nursed my brothers and I until we were one, so she has no advise to speak of when it comes to this. It seems as all of the forums chalk it up to fluctuating hormones and there is pretty much nothing that isn’t normal when it comes to that explanation. I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry. There are things you can take that are natural to regulate hormone levels, but they have not been evaluated for nursing mothers so its a take at your own risk – or rather at the risk of your infant – which is not an option.

So I will continue to spout crazy nonsense until I am once again blessed with the monthly cycle that at least comes with a ‘crazy woman ahead’ disclaimer.

Why being a stay at home mother is hard

14 Mar

Isn’t that the truth?

I have developed a new found respect for stay-at-home mothers over the past 16 months. Its not just a full-time job – its a 24 hour marathon – 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Being a mother is a selfless job to start with, pair that with little to no adult interaction and its no wonder some of us are a little nutty. Think about how isolated we feel if we can’t leave the house for a day? Have you thought about how you might feel if you were under house arrest for weeks? That is what being a stay-at-home mother can feel like at times.

Sure, its great to be able to raise our own children and be there for every laugh, cry, and tantrum – but some days its hard to pull our selves together enough to think about our well-being. There is a reason why they have isolation rooms as punishment in some prisons – your thoughts can be paralyzing.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I just wonder how some women look so fresh, and so cool all the time when they stay home with their children. Do they know something that I don’t know? Maybe they are just having a good day. I would say I have mostly good days, but there are a few that sneak in that do not help out at all.

Not to mention the cleaning. I’m not sure if I’m alone with this (I’m assuming I’m not) but we think since we are home, our house should be clean. Ha! Ha! and again.. Ha! I can’t keep up with it anymore than I could before I had a child. I do however feel worse about it since my husband works all day and comes home to a tornado whirlwind that has become our house lately. If I keep up with the laundry or manage to make a nutritious meal I count myself successful – and we just won’t mention all my other chores.

I love my new job. But once my baby is grown, and I head back to work, I will NEVER, EVER, underestimate the difficulty level of another mothers job as a stay-at-home mom.

Sugar is my vise

13 Mar

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When I’ve had a particularly stressful night with the B – I tend to want to stuff my face with the sweet stuff. Since my son was born I’ve been trying to be better about what I eat – in order to lead by example – but sometimes I just want my sugar. I could probably go as far as to eat it by the spoonfuls out of the jar but that might seem slightly barbaric.

They do say lack of sleep makes you crave junk food – and I completely believe it.

One of the things I do to help with not eating sugar is to make ‘fake’ cookies and cakes. These don’t contain sugar, but may contain a trace of agave nectar or a few chocolate chips. Recently my son has taken it upon himself to let me know that he is no longer fooled by my games. If the ‘cookie’ I give him has a chocolate chip in it, he will promptly eat the chocolate chip and throw the rest of the cookie on the floor in disgust. It is extremely rare that I allow him to have a ‘real’ cookie – but he knows the difference, oh yes, he knows.

So needless to say last night was stressful, and today I wanted nothing more than to scoop mass amounts of sugar onto my cereal. Instead, I made ‘real’ cookies. They were enjoyed by all for their delicious buttery, sugary goodness. Each cookie was oozing with chocolate chips, and every bit as delicious as I had hoped. My son also was allowed to partake in this delicious activity. He tried to stuff the whole cookie in his mouth at once… I wonder where he gets that?

Now my craving has been satisfied and tomorrow I will wake up wanting even more, but sadly I will have to resist. Oh sugar, must you make a mockery out of me?