Tuesday, March 29, 2011

To buy or not to buy, that is the question.

Here's a question for all of you "experienced" parents out there. What items do you recommend buying new, what items would you buy used off of Craigslist or some other venue, what items would you borrow and what items would you skip? Here's my list of what we've purchased new/plan on purchasing new:

  • Crib & mattress (actually I purchased two cribs, but that was not my fault!)

  • Car seat

  • Breast milk pump

  • Stroller
Here's my list of things I've purchased used:

  • Bumbo seat & tray
  • Ergo baby carrier
  • $5 worth of baby clothes (in which Lance promptly told me that I had to stop buying clothes for the baby. My frugal husband is going to take all the fun away)

  • Dresser/changing table

  • The cutest Pottery Barn baby bedding
Here's my list of things a friend offered to let us borrow:

  • Activity mat

  • Exersaucer

  • Bouncy seat
Here is my list of things I'm skipping:

  • Diaper Genie

  • Separate changing table (our nursery is not large)

  • Full size swing

  • Jogging stroller (I hate running and I don't think that it's worth the extra money or storage space to get one that Lance might use)

How do I not let my house get overcome by unneeded baby gear and avoid debt by buying unneeded baby items? Let's hear it folks!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Baby Lusts

I should stop reading baby blogs because all they do is bring out the baby gear lusts in me ....
A Petunia Picklebottom Diaper Bag retailing for a cool $170.

This super pricey baby book

This adorable wall decal if Lance puts his foot down and refuses to put in wainscoting.

Some fun monogramming for the nursery

Basically anything from Pottery Barn Kids, even a nautical rug for this land-locked nursery.

But isn't this vespa print adorable? Especially since there's a more likely chance of mini-vans in our future, rather than vespas?

Basically, I need to stay off of etsy.com and away from Pottery Barn Kids.

Pregnancy update

I've been on a temporary hiatus due to catching my first pregnancy cold (I'm completely blaming my co-worker, he was coughing last week and lo and behold - I now have a cold!), a long weekend of traveling to both of our parents' homes, and sleep deprivation. I'm right in the middle of this cold and am digging deep to find inner strength. I miss having the option of taking cold drugs. It's just me, my neti pot, Vicks Vapor Rub, and an occasional Sudafed (Sudafed is approved for pregnancy - surprising!) I figured that it was about time to post my first pregnancy picture for the world to see. I think that I've hit the point where people are going to stop telling me I look great and will now be asking how much longer I have to go or if I'm having twins. I would like to address that question - it is never, ever, ever, ever appropriate to ask a pregnant woman if she's having twins. It's the equivalent of telling her she looks fat. It is also akin to asking a non-pregnant woman if she is pregnant. Neither are appropriate and will warrant a swift kick in the shins. I don't care if you are 80 years-old. You would still deserve a kick in my opinion.

Here's me and my 29 week pregnancy glory.

Here's Lance too. I used him to originally setup the shot, but we still had to adjust as I failed to account for our 9 inch height difference :)

  • I had my gestational diabetes test yesterday. I don't know the results yet, but I'm not too worried. My body didn't overreact or spaz out about all the extra glucose. I didn't even think that the drink was too horrible either, it tasted like flat Sprite. The worse part was trying to down it in under 5 minutes.
  • The doctor's appointment was rather uneventful - I'm measuring right on track as far as baby growth goes and my blood pressure was normal. They never really tell me if I've gained too much weight, I only get a comment if I've lost weight (which only happened in the first trimester, I seem to be making up for it now). Right now I'm assuming that my weight gain is on track too.
  • Baby Boy K is very active, but that's not surprising as the 7th month is typically one of the most active months for movement. My belly feels like a small lap pool every night around 11 pm or whatever time I get around to going to bed. Sometimes I push back on my belly. Baby doesn't like that :)
  • I've been getting up about once a night to go to the bathroom. Sometimes I tell myself no and try to go back to sleep.
  • Sleep is getting a little more challenging. Between struggling to breathe through sinus congestion and feeling like I'm dying of heat (I think it's partly due to having a cold), rolling over in the middle of the night sometimes feels like an acrobatic feat. And poor Lance, there's not much room in the bed with all the extra pillows. I feel a little bad for the man and then I remember he doesn't have to give birth and hasn't had to deal with hip pain for the last 4 months. And then I don't feel so bad for him. My doctor yesterday told me that I should feel exhausted all the time. Similar to a four-year old, who is going through massive growth and needs 12 hours of sleep each night, is my body. Except as an adult you get a fraction of that amount of sleep.
  • No movement on the nursery front. It's still being staged as a bedroom/office. Maybe next weekend ... I told Lance he couldn't come home with me because he had to stay home and work on the nursery. He pouted for a moment and then realized I had a point. Next weekend is his only weekend off of school. Enter in Mr.DIY.
  • I've dropped my water bottle twice at work in the last week. 16 fluid ounces of water all over the floor. I guess it's true, pregnant women do have the dropsies.
  • I'm still dealing with lower back pain and a partially numb/painful left leg. That's one thing I will not miss about being pregnant.
  • I will miss my pregnancy belly. It's rather fun to rub my belly and feel the rock-hardness of it. Ha, pregnancy is the only time when I'll use the adjectives "rock-hard" to describe the state of my belly!
  • Sadly, I'm getting increasingly out of breath going on my afternoon walks and going up and down the stairs at work. Yoga isn't pretty. It's hard to feel zen-like when you feel like a lumbering elephant.
  • I don't think I've had any unusual food cravings, just really liking my typical cravings - popcorn and Hot Tamales. I've also been craving 7-Up which is a little unusual for me as well as lots of salads and fresh fruit. I read in a pregnancy magazine that something like 31% of women crave fresh fruit during pregnancy.
  • I've had to make sure that I don't carb load in the mornings and that I have some protein, like peanut butter or egg whites or protein powder in my smoothie. I learned the hard way that if I don't get adequate amounts of water and protein in the morning that I will get nauseous and will pass out. (side note: protein powder is a little weird for me. On the jar it says "Made from 100% organic grass-fed beef!" Does anyone else get the willies about the fact that my vanilla protein powder is made from ground up cow?)
  • Childcare is the bane of my existence and one of my top 3 prayer requests. So, if you get a chance, mutter a prayer for us to find someone or some place for this baby.
  • And one last little funny if you've stuck it out this long. I guess I've been making little mmmm... noises when I've been napping. I'm not sure if I'm doing this when I sleep at night too because Lance is out as soon as his head hits the pillow. Lance observed me doing this in the car on Friday night and Lance's mom again observed this on Sunday when I was napping at their house (don't judge the napping). I was telling Lance about this on our way home on Sunday and he proceeded to tell me that cows, when they are super pregnant and getting closer to giving birth, will make the same mmmm... noise. My husband just compared me to a super pregnant cow. Not cool.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


As baby K nears his arrival, Lance and I have been embarking on some major discussions as to how we can cutback on our expenses. With impending childcare costs, diapers, etc. the "cutback" discussions have taken a turn for the serious. More so than Lance telling me to shop less and me telling Lance that he has to stop losing at his monthly church poker game. We're digging deep with talk about canceling (gasp) DirectTV after I'm finished with maternity leave. The major problem with canceling is Lance's love for ESPN and my love for Top Chef. Somewhat frivolous reasons, but in our minds, still important!
I recently read this frugality article and was pleased by the fact that we're doing everything they suggest as to how cut costs. But I guess that's not enough to please Mr. Money Man (aka: Lance). He's a handy mechanic and I'm good with a needle and talented in the kitchen. Together we're a great team with sharing gardening and canning tasks. And we so rarely travel, baggage costs aren't really a big deal.

According to the wise words of Sophia Kinsella, author of the Shopaholic Series there are two money philosophies in the world: make more money or spend less. My personal philosophy has also been make more money. Lance is sort of a combo person - make more money while hounding your wife to spend less. I always think that God has our personal balance sheet figured out, I shouldn't spend too much time stressing over money, God always provides in a pinch. :)I'm open to suggestions here, what are your money-saving techniques? What is your money philosophy?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Book Review: The Dirty Life

I became a voracious reader the summer of my third grade year. I was being ostracized by a group of mean girls at my summer daycare and had nothing to do the entire summer but read. I believe that summer changed my entire academic path. I've never been academically brilliant, but I know how to persevere and utilize my resources. That was the summer that my brain caught fire to the escapist world that fiction provides. I read anything that I could get my hands on. This love of literature has followed me into my adult life. Again, while I would never categorize myself as "gifted" I have excellent reading comprehension skills that can be traced back to my summer of reading . One of the first series that I devoured was the Little House of the Prairie series. I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder's vivid word pictures about a life that was so foreign to me.

One of my favorites from the series was "Farmer Boy."
My parents can attest to the fact that I would read and re-read this book, even into my high school and college days. Truth be told, I enjoyed her descriptions of all the food and the harvest process. I never could read this book without having to stop and get myself a snack. I mourned the fact that my snacks never sounded as good as Amanzo's - no freshly made bread, spread with sunshine yellow butter and served with a tall glass of farm-fresh cream. No, my snacks were more along the lines of microwave popcorn and a Diet Coke. :)
Recently I came across a modern day version of "Farmer Boy" in the non-fiction work of Kristin Kimball's "The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love."
The author regals her transition from being a freelance written in Manhattan to a farm wife in upper New York state. She meets a man on a writing assignment who has abandoned modern farming techniques - chemical fertilizers, tractors, hormones, etc - and has started his own CSA program using conventional farming techniques - compost piles, horses, free-reign farm animals, etc. This man dumps her world upside down as she leaves her old life behind and joins him in his farming adventure.
It reminded me of my childhood favorite with a modern day twist. I highly recommend "The Dirty Life" if you have even a slight interest in farming, food, and love!