Monday, April 30, 2012

Good thing we sold that car.

We had someone coming to test drive the Jeep tonight and we decided we needed to run it through a car wash for the first time since we bought it six months ago. Yikes.

As we were leaving I said "Mason has never been through a car wash, he's going to love it!"

Boy was I wrong.

As soon as it started the poor child burst out into terrified wailing. He was putting his hands up to his cheeks and looking around trying to see us. It was like we had abandoned him in that terrifying tunnel from Willy Wonka. He was inconsolable, even after we left. I'm afraid that he may actually have nightmares about it tonight.

Luckily there's no chance for negative associations to emerge, because we ended up selling the car a couple hours later. I think that carwash sealed the deal.

You'd think we'd never seen money before. Austin went around and closed all the blinds and locked the doors, and then him and I rolled in the cash the way that only po' folks would. There was a brief discussion about immediately heading to Vegas, but then we realized we'd have to wake up the baby. Not worth it.

I'm grateful I have a responsible husband who immediately put it all in the safe...or is that cause he doesn't trust me home alone with it tomorrow?

I could get a lot of stuff at goodwill...



Sunday, April 29, 2012

Daily Joy, Day 7

Sometimes dad gets you dressed after naptime and decides that it's now socially acceptable to wear overalls with no shirt.
Somehow Mason pulls it off.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Daily Joy, Day 6

Mason thinks it's soooo funny when we exercise. When Austin lifts weights mason will sit and just laugh and laugh, and then he tries to lift one of the other weights on the floor. And the only time he'll watch the TV for more than about ten seconds is when I am doing an exercise video. He also loves to help us out when we're doing our push up competition each night. He just wants to make sure that it's challenging enough!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Daily Joy, Day 5

The gorgeous weather today was a beautiful start to our three day weekend. I don't know if I've written lately how much I love Austin's work schedule. I love Austin's work schedule. Every Thursday at 4:30 I still get excited when it sinks in that he is done working until Monday.
We spent the day cleaning the house and playing with sweet Mason. Then we went and looked at a couple of trucks that we might trade the Jeep in for.  And then we went out to dinner at Macullen's, a delicious local restaurant on Main St. here. I had the best pizza I've had since New York, a delicious margherita without marinara sauce.
Mason enjoyed chomping on a couple of fries and green beans and a pizza crust. He loves to be out and about, and was turning around in his seat to talk to and smile at everyone. I know that everyone says how important it is to continue going on dates without the baby, but we just really can't imagine not having him with us. Maybe someday we'll feel the need to get away, but for now we just adore spending time together as a little family.



"Oh no, Mama! I forgot to save you some pizza!"

"Gimme those fries, or else..."

"I love crashing date night!!!"

"Perhaps there's someone in this direction that I haven't talked to yet."

Delish.

I think this is what happens when you pay your tithing

A couple of years ago I achieved the impossible and found the perfect pair of jeans. They were made even more perfect because I purchased them with a Nordstrom gift card that I was generously given for Christmas from the doctors at my work. They were Citizens of Humanity Ava style. Perfect wash, perfect fit, perfectly soft and comfortable denim, perfect slightly higher rise, perfect skinniness in the legs. They looked amazing with boots, flats, or heels.

I wore them literally to death. I wore them until I was 24 weeks pregnant, stretching them until they were completely threadbare. When they finally fell apart, I patched and sewed and dyed and tried every other method of denim resuscitation known to man. I finally had to retire them. I haven't had the heart to throw them away and every time I open my bottom dresser drawer I look at them longingly as I pull out another intact yet still inferior pair of jeans to wear instead, and breathe out a sigh of longing. Why don't I just get another pair, you ask? They were $180. A truly unjustifiable cost for jeans, even perfect ones.

And then today, the Saint of Fashion and Retail saw fit to bless me.

As previously posted, I've been obsessed with shopping at Goodwill. I was there again today because it's Austin's day off and I could go sans baby. I had already found several fantastic things and was leaving quite satisfied when I figured I'd take a look at the jeans. I've been needing a new pair of skinny jeans and I look everywhere I go, why not here? In a few minutes I found a super cute pair of Forever 21 jeans for $3.99. They are surprisingly cute and fit perfectly. I was heading to check out when a little voice said "just one more look around". I started perusing the jeans one more time, swiftly pushing aside some rather terrible 1990's versions of Gap, Lee, and Wrangler jeans.
Then suddenly...there they were.

I almost missed them, but the tiny C.O.H. label caught my eye. My heart said "no way" but my eyes screamed "YES WAY!!!!!!"  Ava style, dark wash, barely worn and in.my.size.
Surely someone here had to know the value of these, they had to be $40 or $50 at least, which I easily would have paid.  I took a deep breath of hope and flipped the tag over.

$3.99. Three dollars and ninety nine cents. THREE DOLLARS AND NINETY NINE CENTS!!!!

I was laughing out loud and practically giddy skipping to the front. I figured I needed to get out of there with them ASAP before someone stopped me for practically stealing these jeans.
I was trying not to laugh maniacally as the cashier rung up my other now meaningless items that I had found. She picked up the jeans, looked at the tag and paused. I was terrified. I knew it was too good to be true.  Then she looked up at me and said....

"Oh red tags are half off today, these are only $1.99."

I played all casual and said "Oh what a nice surprise!"  But really, my head almost exploded. That is literally 99.9% off.

I hate to say that a piece of clothing could make me this happy, but I have literally been floating on air all day. {while wearing the perfect pair of jeans, of course}

And while my other steals now pale in comparison, I did get some seriously awesome other deals in addition to my two pairs of jeans, including:
a gorgeous scarf
a darling silk skirt
a tweed blazer
a striped button down shirt
a sun hat
a vintage baby girl sweater
My total for the day was $23.
Oh the bliss of being oh so cheap.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Blustery Day

The weather here is so temperamental. It's been 85 degrees during the day, and crazy thunderstorms all night. The thunder was so loud a couple nights ago that it woke Mason up, even with a fan and his sound machine on. The rainy dreariness of last night carried over into today, so we spent most of it inside. Mason decided that he doesn't like to nap when it's raining outside. So we had a busy day of reading every baby book we own, dancing to Pete Yorn, Taylor Swift, Beirut, and Newsies on Pandora, watching about two minutes of Monsters, Inc., and playing in his new stroller.

He gets pretty loopy when he's tired, and was particularly crazy before bed tonight. We were sitting on the floor and he started to fall backward, so I caught him and very dramatically said "caught ya!" He decided he loved this, and continued to fake fall backwards so I would catch him. He would get this silly look on his face and start to say "whooooa" and lean back in slow motion until I caught him. He was dying, he thought it was so funny.

Then in the tub he kept putting his face into the water and gulping up mouthfuls of it like a little fish. I said "Mason yucky don't drink the bath water." He of course continued to do it, but he'd look at me first like "watch what I'm about to do..." And then come up with a big goofy grin on his face. He is quite the wild child.

A wild child who is thankfully asleep for the night.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A penny saved

Today Mason and I had a lovely day together. We slept in until 8, ate breakfast, worked out, and then went thrift shopping. Ironically, the best clothes shopping here is at goodwill. They have so much amazing vintage stuff. Not just clothes, but home decor, luggage, scarves, dishes, jewelry. None of it is picked over and it's all in great condition.
Today we got Mason seven new baby books and I got a dress, skirt, jacket and scarf. And I may have bought a homemade dress and vintage sweater for a possible future baby girl...I couldn't resist. They are sooo darling and were only fifty cents a piece. We only spent $18 total.
Then we came home and ate watermelon for dinner and Austin decided to bake banana bread. Oh and it was a beautiful 76 degrees. What a blissful day.






Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A little kiss

On Sunday I came downstairs after changing out of my church clothes and found Mason at the bottom of the stairs with brown goop all over his face and shirt. I freaked out as I realized it was coming from his mouth. I said to Austin who was sitting right there, "what is coming out of his mouth?!" To which he replied sarcastically "umm...drool." I informed him that it was most certainly not drool. I reached in Mason's mouth and pulled out a blue foil candy wrapper. He had somehow gotten his little hands on a Hershey kiss and devoured the entire thing, wrapper and all. He was quite pleased with his little Sunday afternoon treat.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spooning

The little man is obsessed with the dishwasher, which seems to be true of a lot of babies I know. He has a particular affinity for the spoons. He pulls out each utensil in the basket, and puts back anything except the spoons. When he happens upon a spoon, he pretends to take a bite from it and then throws it on the floor. We have an odd child. And we adore him.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mason's New Tricks

Mason does this hilarious little head shake thing lately. Sometimes he does it when we ask a question like he's shaking his head no. But he also does it when we sing or whistle or dance, like he's dancing along. Or sometimes he just does it until he looks kind of dizzy and topples over.


video


He has also learned to do pat-a-cake. We'll sing it without doing the motions and he'll clap his hands. I didn't get it on video, but he'll also do "mark it with a B" pointing his little finger at the palm of his hand. It's so sweet and he looks so delighted with himself when he does it!


video

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Before and After

My favorite parenting/baby/mommy blog to read is Babble.com. Forget, BabyCenter! This is what I read all through my pregnancy. The writers are so honest about what being a parent is like, and I always find advice and insights that are actually useful and always inspiring.
Link
Today I read this list: 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be A Happy Parent.

This comes in the wake of numerous articles and blogs all over the internet about the pressures that we feel as young moms to be absolutely perfect because of what we see of others' lives portrayed on Pinterest and Facebook and Blogs. I loved this because it's realistic. And I know I have felt some guilt or mourning at having to give up each of these things. (except #13).

Go here for the full description of each item.

Here's the list they gave.

1) Personal space.
2) Being alone in the bathroom.
3) Free time.
4) Caring what other people think.
5) Vanity.
6) Ego. (thinking your kids are the best at everything)
7) Staying on schedule.
8) Control over your house.
9) Disposable income.
10) Peace of mind.
11) Defining sanity as you now know it.
12) Sleeping. (Can I get an AMEN?!)
13) Smoking. (Yuck. People should give that up anyway.)
14) Not exercising.
15) Being less careful.

What other things have you given up to be a mama?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

BabyLit

I am utterly obsessed with these books. They are children's books that introduce them to classic literature. How adorable and genius is that?
I am working on increasing our little baby library because Mason is loving all his books so much. These are going to be absolute MUST for our bookshelf. I wish his Birthday wasn't a whole two months away!




Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cut from the Cloth

A few weeks ago we decided to make the switch to cloth diapers. It took about three months of researching and then another month to get my courage up enough to finally do it. Most people are probably going to think we're crazy, as my younger siblings said, "that sounds disgusting". haha! Obviously this was a main concern of mine and Austin's as well. So here is why we decided to go old school.

Earlier Potty-Training
The average age for fully potty training in disposable diapered babies is around 36 months. The average for cloth diapered babies is 18-24 months. This used to be the standard age of potty training when cloth was the norm, it wasn't until the 1980's and 90's that the age for potty training increased so dramatically. So the idea of being able to cut out an entire year of diapering is quite appealing.

Baby's Health
I'll admit that my paranoia about chemicals in our home, food, medicine, etc. is on the extreme end, but I find the chemicals in disposables pretty concerning. Sodium Polyacrylate is the main component that absorbs liquids. That's why a full diaper feels gelatinous, and sometimes you find those gel beads on baby's skin. On the mild end it can cause skin irritation and eczema, on the extreme end it can cause Toxic Shock Syndrome and death. They used to use this chemical in feminine hygiene products until the FDA banned it because of the risk of TSS. Yet it's still used in diapers. And this is against baby's skin 24/7 for 3 years. So many moms avoid medications, certain foods, and even caffeine because it can bother baby during pregnancy or nursing. But we're okay with this constant exposure to a serious chemical?

World Health
They say that the average baby will use about 6,000 diapers by age two. That's not even the entire time they will be in diapers!! And these just sit in landfills, it's not even known if they will ever fully decompose. Plus it's illegal to throw any human waste into the trash. According to the CDC and WHO you technically are supposed to dump poo, even from disposables, into the toilet. But who does that?? There have been reports of feces of vaccinated infants seeping into ground water because of diapers thrown into an improperly sealed off landfill, and the strands from the vaccines causing illnesses like polio, measles, etc. I'm no tree hugger, but it does seem a little bit irresponsible to just shamelessly dump this kind of waste.

Financial Health
Again, 6,000 diapers by age two. When Mason was smaller, we could find great deals on diapers so they were costing about $0.07 a piece. Now the best we can find is $0.18 a piece, and decent ones are at least $0.20. They estimate that it now costs $1,500 to $2,000 to diaper one baby from birth to potty training. In contrast, our initial cloth diaper investment was around $200. For that price we got:
-50 diapers (12 pre-folds, 21 flats, 17 fitteds)
-6 diaper covers
-3 diaper doublers
-6 fleece liners
-15 cloth wipes
-5 Snappi fasteners
-cloth diaper laundry bag
-a HUGE thing of enzyme free detergent
-a HUGE thing of Dr. Bronner's soap for our homemade wipes solution
-tea tree oil to add to the wash

There is also the extra cost of water and power to wash and dry the diapers. We wash every third day, and because we use flats and prefolds rather than all-in-ones, they dry in about 20 minutes. We saw about a $2 increase in our electric bill during the first month of cloth diapering. And we are getting a clothesline for the summer because moms around here say that their diapers dry in about 15 minutes outside when it's warm because the climate is so dry. And...we don't pay for water right now, so I can't speak for that increase in cost. =)
But it's also something to consider that we will use these same diapers for all of our subsequent children. There are options of cloth diapering (all-in-ones, pocket diapers, gDiapers) that are more expensive in the initial investment, but will still save huge amounts of money over time.

The Down and Dirty
And then there's everyone's most adament question..."Don't you have to touch the poop?!" Let me just ask all the moms who have used disposable diapers, have you ever touched poop?? Has anyone managed to get through raising children and NOT touched poop? And puke? And pee? And snot? It's part of raising babies. I have done my fair share of scrubbing poop out of clothes because he had a massive blowout in his disposables. AND they make these awesome diaper sprayers now that attach to your toilet so you don't even have to really touch the poop. AND refer to the section above discussing the fact that technically EVERYONE should be dumping their baby's poo into the toilet.
People also ask me if it's gross because we wash them in the washer that we obviously wash our clothes in as well. When baby's diaper can't contain the poo, or your child has an accident, do you wash the clothes in a separate washer? If the inevitable throw up all over the bed during the night occurs, do you wash the sheets by hand in the tub or sink? Of course not! The washer is made for washing. I frequently clean my washer anyway by stripping with vinegar and baking soda, so we've just continued that practice. And because the majority of the substance has been flushed down the toilet, there's really nothing left by the time you put the diaper in the washer anyway.

All in all, we are so happy that we made this decision. It really just works for us. Austin was obviously hesitant but has become a cloth diapering professional in no time. He can diaper that baby faster than I can now! We also don't take him to daycare or anything, so it really just effects us. And I think Mason is happier. We couldn't find a single diaper that could keep him dry all night--every morning I would get him up and his pajamas would be soaked through. Now he is sleeping dry and peaceful. And our bank account is very, very happy.

And how cute is that little bum in a cloth diaper??

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

10 Months Old

I made myself a liar and promised pictures in the 9 month post but did not deliver. So here's a quick summary of the past month followed by many, many pictures from the past two!

Our little guy is a crawling maniac and can get from one end of the room to the other in about half a second it seems.
He can stand on his own when properly motivated, and walks holding onto everything. He can pull himself up onto just about anything as well, including our legs constantly.
He loves the sunshine and being outside. Whenever there is sun streaming in through a window onto the floor or the bed he tries to "pick it up" and acts like he is putting it in his mouth to eat. It's so sweet.
He is starting to eat real table food now, and loves to feed himself. The only thing he will even try to drink from a cup is orange juice or grapefruit juice.
He has six little teeth, four on top and two on bottom, and he loves to grind them together. It gives me the chills to hear that awful noise though!!
He absolutely loves to be read to. I thought he liked his books before, but in the last few weeks he has become absolutely obsessed. He will sit for an hour at a time and let me read all his books two or three times over. He gets excited about the same pictures each time, and talks more than any other time when we're reading.
He is just so smart. Every day we just can't believe how smart he is. He is an amazing problem solver, and doesn't let himself get distracted from something that he is working on getting or doing.
He is a joy to be around and all my primary kids adore him. He lets them hold him all through sharing time on Sunday and is just as content as can be.
He plays great with other babies too. We went to La Leche League last week and he was a little hesitant at first to join all the kids on the floor with the toys. But after about two minutes he was hauling across the room and was so excited about all his new friends.
He is 23 pounds now and I think he's about 29" long. I can tell he's really wanting to have his carseat turned to front facing, but we're keeping it rear facing until at least a year and we'll try to go as long as we can after that, but he's just too big!