Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rest

Last week, if you asked me what I needed the most right now, I would have said rest.  Rest from housework, chasing after a 2 yr old, cooking, people, etc.  Being pregnant, and a wife and mommy, is hard work!  I would've said I'd love nothing more than to curl up in my bed for a few days and just be left alone.  Apparently I must have prayed and asked Jesus to give me this.  And since I have such a loving and giving Father, he blessed me with what I asked for, just not quite how I was hoping.

Monday I was put on full bed rest.  It appears this little guy inside of me is just as anxious as his big brother was to come out and play.  (I was on bed rest from weeks 26-37 with Anthony)  Thankfully, I have not started to dilate yet and I am in week 30, not 26.  That means I am only looking at 7 weeks down, not 11 weeks like I did with Anthony.  This really isn't that comforting though... 7 weeks is still horrible in my opinion!  They have me on a muscle relaxant to help keep me from contracting; I am not a fan of how it makes me feel.

We were able to fly my Mom out on Monday to help care for Anthony.  She'll be here for 8 days, then Tony will be home for a few days, and then his mom will be coming out for a week.  After that, I'm not sure what the plan is. 

I am not prepared for baby's arrival yet.  I was stressed about this before being put on bedrest, so my mind is racing now.  I actually can't even write about it right now... I kind of forget to breathe when I start thinking about it.

Other than not having anything ready for baby yet, the timing is horrible.  I will be spending these days in bed: Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas, our anniversary, and New Year's.  Not to mention all the holiday parties and gatherings we'd been invited to, and my cousin's wedding.  Blah.  I just hope it starts snowing soon, so I can at least enjoy looking out the windows at that all day.

Well, that's my update and rant for today.  Back to doing... nothing!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thanksgiving Turkeys


For the past 3 years now Anthony and I have made these to send out to family to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving.  They are made from tracings of his little hands and feet.  It has been so much fun to see how much he's grown.  Usually I just write "Happy Thanksgiving" and the year on the back, but I found this cute little saying that I'm going to use this year
"This isn’t just a turkey,as anyone can see.
       I made it with my hands and feet, which are a part of me.
       It comes with lots of love, especially to say:
       I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving Day!"
 I think I'm going to start hanging these on ribbon that I can add to every year.  Well, back to the cutting... that's the time consuming part!


Using the envelope system

This month we began using the envelope system.  I know quite a few people who swear by this method, but I have not been sold on the idea.  I like to know where every single penny is going, and I actually really enjoy importing all of our spending into an excell worksheet.  I don't remember where I heard it, but several months ago I heard someone say something along the lines of "would you rather know where every penny is going, or stay out of debt?"  It stuck with me.

We currently host an exchange student from China.  We have participated in the program for a couple years now, and absolutely love it.  It has been so interesting learning about other cultures, and I love having a friend around the house when Tony's on the road.  An additional perk in doing this though is that we get paid, $550 per month, to open up our home.  Since I'm a SAHM, this money has helped us make it through each month and we definitely rely on it to live!  Last month we found out that this will be our students last quarter with us.  She had planned on staying with us until June so it was a complete shock.  And I must say created some panic among us.  Especially with a new baby on the way.  I spent about a week going through our budget, and realized it was time for us to start using the envelope system.  It was pretty much our only option to make sure we stay afloat, along with lots of prayer that nothing major happens!

So here's how it's broken down:

Mortgage, Car Payment, Cell Phone, Electric, W/S/G, Internet, School Loan, Life/Car Insurance, Credit Card, and Tithe are all being payed online.  These things total aproximately $2300.

$125 is going into savings strictly to pay for the baby being born (this one's been going on all year).

And here's where the envelopes come into play:

Groceries220
Gas/Oil60
Baby50
Household items20
Home Improvement40
Eating Out/Fun30
Clothes30
Beauty20
Medical40
Gifts25
Misc.45

I actually found it rather fun over the past 2 weeks seeing how much money I could have left before the next payday, and I was pleasantly surprised.  We'll see how much is left at the end of the month though :)  I'll make sure and post how it goes.

Does anyone else use this system?  Do you have any tips or pointers about it, or general ideas on cutting costs?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cloth Diapers

I have been super busy the past week working on baby's cloth diapers (among many other things of course!).  One of the things I spent some time doing was changing my pattern around so 1) it was no longer an exact replica of someone else's design and 2) to see if there was a way to speed up the process of making each diaper.  I was sucessful in both of these!



One of the things that I did was make all of the elastic removable by snaps.  I haven't used cloth diapers before, so I have no idea how long the elastic is good for before it starts to loose it's stretchiness.  Since we want to have 3 or 4 kids, I'm pretty sure that by the time baby #4 rolls around, it will have worn out.  I HATE ripping out seams, and you want to avoid holes in the PUL to keep it waterproof anyways, so I thought this would make life a lot easier for me down the road.  It also saves me time in having to sew in the elastic.  Snaps take only seconds to apply :)

I also made the elastic in the waistband adjustable.  Anthony is really small for his age, so he needs it pretty tight, but with baby #2 measuring into the 93rd% right now, there's a good chance he'll be a little bit  rounder than Anthony by the time he's 2.  This also makes it so I can add in more snaps if needed to get the fit perfect.

To help in speeding up the sewing process, I am using one piece of fabric for the inner layer and cutting a pocket, instead of sewing two pieces together to make one.  The suedecloth doesn't pill or unravel, so it is working out well to do this.  I am just sewing around the opening to reinforce it.



I am still working on perfecting the soaker inserts.  Since Anthony is potty trained, he's only wearing these when he's sleeping.  He pees a TON during the night though!  It has been an interesting process figuring out exactly how many layers of fabric he needs to wake up dry in the morning.  Last night was successful... he had either 7 or 8 layers of the microfiber.  I know there are lots of other materials out there I can try for the soakers; wool, bamboo, hemp, etc., but I really don't want to waste my money on more fabric that may or may not work.  However, I did just get some bamboo fleece that I am going to try using with the microfiber.  Anyone made there own inserts before?  I've also read that it takes 5 washings for the diaper to reach it's maximum absorbency.  We've had no problems during naps though, which is great!

SO there you go... that's how the cloth diapering is going :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A lesson learned...

Yesterday was a LONG day... Anthony went to bed at 9:30 the night before and got up at 6am.  He ate a handful of cereal for breakfast, refused to eat lunch, and then we battled it out for a nap for over 3 hours before he finally gave in.  When he woke up, he cried for 20 mins because he wanted one of Mommy's vitamins.  Anthony is not a crier.  He never has been, so I had no idea how to respond.  Of course I didn't know why he was crying until he finally calmed down.  But then what was I suppose to do... he obviously still couldn't have one of my vitamins.  (What a wierd thing to be upset about!!!)  He ate only some pork for dinner, and then I put on a movie for him until Tony got home from Seattle.  Then we battled it out, again, until he finally went to sleep sometime after 9:30.

Then I couldn't sleep.  As I lay in bed, frustrated at my sweet little boy, I spent some time reflecting back over my day.  What went wrong?  I wanted to blame everything on Anthony, but as I prayed for some insight, I realized I had been pretty selfish with my time.  I spent my day on the computer, sewing, cleaning, and cooking.  And a good portion telling Anthony I would do "a" with him as soon as I finished "b".  I know specifically he asked to play cars, letters, baseball,  and guitars.  And did I do any of them?  Nope.  I went to bed feeling pretty horrible. 

So today, I'm going to try and change my attitude.  Instead of feeling like my day is being sabotaged by a little boy just wanting to play with his mommy, I'm going to see it just as that.  My guess is that I'll be surprised how much time will be left for me to accomplish what I need and want to do.

Does this challenge anyone else?  Anyone have any insight?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Newborn Sleeper

Yesterday morning I came across a new blog: This Mama Makes Stuff.  She has a tutorial for turning a T-shirt into a newborn nightgown, and I fell in love :)  I had set aside one of Tony's old t-shirts when working on his quilt... a cute baseball shirt from when he was little with Collazo across the back.  I decided the front of his shirt would be perfect for this project, so I got to work!  I wish I had a before picture... all of our cameras in the house happened to be dead at the same time.  (What are the chances of that!?!?)  Here's my after though:



I love it!  I think I will have to start watching for shirts at the thrift store so I can make some more.  These would be a fun addition to the baby blankets I usually make for shower gifts.

The back of the shirt I'm saving for another project for Anthony.  Thinking it will make a great Christmas gift for him.  You'll have to wait for that one though!