My First Un-Broken Mother’s Day

The other day the mere sight of my daughter brought me to tears. She is so darned cute! It really is amazing how much I love her and how dedicated I am to being the best mother I can be for her. Maybe that’s why all the Mother’s Day ads are also bringing me to tears. Because for the first time in my life, Mother’s Day isn’t breaking my heart.

When I was only 3 months old my mother decided to abandon my father and I. She walked away in the middle of the night with no warning and without giving a reason. She just left. The pain she caused then was only compounded later as she developed a pattern Continue reading

10 Things I Miss About My Pre-Baby Life

When I was pregnant I heard constant warnings of how much my life was about to change. I’m not a party-all-night kind of gal so I figured the changes would be more noticeable for those who are. What I wasn’t prepared for was how much the subtle changes that I would experience would affect me. I could easily write a list of 1,000 reasons that I love my new life, but there are a few things that I miss about my pre-baby life. Here are my top 10.

Watching television or listening to talk radio at a normal volume. Before having a baby, I had no idea how noisy these little things could be! My 8 month old can drown out the sound of the television when it’s turned to almost its highest level, and she always picks the perfect time to squeal so that I’ll miss only the most pivotal moments. So, if I sound like a total idiot when we are discussing current events, remember that I only heard every 4th word of that news report. Continue reading

Why Your Fancy Pants Outfit P*sses Me Off

Fancy PantsI love taking my daughter to the park! She’s finally old enough to enjoy it, which makes her happy and gives me a few much needed moments of tranquil. Plus, since it’s so close to home, it’s a great impromptu outing when I just can’t live another moment in the circus that I call home. Unfortunately, there’s always that one mom who shows up at the park with her kids dressed like miniature Abercrombie models and whose own makeup and outfit look like they were assembled and applied by a team of trained professionals. It never fails, and it really p*sses me off! I am currently a stay at home mom. Let’s face it, I rarely have a reason to wear a bra, let alone high end shoes that perfectly compliment my coordinated makeup and jewelry. But, for a trip to the park I’ll break down, throw on some mascara, yoga pants, a tank top, and a bra. We all know the playground is supposed to basically be a mom’s safe zone where she can go to let her kids run wild while she kicks back on a bench and gets a few precious moments of comfort and peace. That is of course, until Miss Fancy Pants shows up. Suddenly, instead of wallowing in our comfort and ignoring the unidentifiable stains on the “clean” clothes that we threw on, we are faced with feeling fat, frumpy, and about as far from stylish as a person can get. Let’s face it ladies, we don’t dress to impress men, we dress to impress each other and if you insist on looking totally fabulous just to go to the park, you’re really playing dirty. It’s like wearing a white dress to a wedding. What the hell are you thinking? Go home. Put on your frumpy jeans, throw your hair in a ponytail and we’ll welcome you back with open arms. But until then, take your fancy-pants kids and go play at the mall.  

Why Your Baby Won’t Get My Vote

It seems that every month or so there is a new baby beauty pageant taking over Facebook, and I’m being hounded by moms everywhere to vote for their precious tot. My answer? No thanks. I’m not interested. It’s not that I don’t think your babies are adorable. In fact, I like to think that mine is the most adorable of them all. But, I am not interested in parading my daughter’s photo in front of everyone to be judged, nor do I want to judge yours. In my opinion, an online pageant is just the beginning of raising my daughter to believe that her worth comes from superficial sources such as the way she looks. Sure, she’s too young to even realize what’s happening, let alone be affected by it right now. But as her mother I have decided that certain things are just not for us, and beauty pageants are out. It’s not that I’m worried that she’ll become the next Kim Kardashian, posting endless selfies online all day and obsessing over trends and labels. No, it’s the fear that she’ll be one of the unfortunate souls who doesn’t land a reality TV series and instead lives seemingly endless, unhappy days wishing that she had looks, possessions, or a lifestyle that just doesn’t happen for her. And so, in lieu of pageants, I want to encourage my darling daughter to engage in activities that will teach her about friendships, strength, knowledge, self-reliance, and of course self-worth. That encouragement starts with my opting out of your contest. And so, good luck to you, but you won’t get a vote from me.

DIY Baby Food…Healthy and Frugal!

I’ve known since I was pregnant with my little girl that I wanted to make her food myself. The idea that I prefer fresh and homemade for myself but would feed my baby only store-bought, processed foods didn’t make sense to me. And, since my dear husband had already gifted me a super-awesome Ninja Blender I knew I could do it!

Baby Food Storage Ad.pngAs a side note, making your own baby food really isn’t a very difficult process, but it could be if you don’t have a good quality blender. I am as frugal as they come, but there are times in life when we just have to spend a little more money to have a good quality product. Blenders are one of those products that are worth spending a little more on. I LOVE my Ninja Blender! From pureeing baby food, to smoothie making, to food processing it does it all and does it well! I have a friend who swears by her Brevel, and I’m sure it’s great as well, but I’ll stick with what I know for now.

Before you get started on your baby food project, do your research on foods that are safe for your baby at his/her current age and get an idea of what consistency your food should be. My daughter is 7 months old and still mostly enjoys purees, but at times can tolerate some lumpiness so I make her food accordingly.

My guess is that if you’re reading this, you already have a list of reasons why you want to make your own baby food. Maybe you’re concerned about additives or processing, maybe you want all organic ingredients, or maybe you want to save a little money. Well, if you’re on the fence, let me just push you onto the side of savings. I’ve broken down today’s cost for you in this cute little chart…

Baby Food Cost Comparison

Here I’m going to show you how to make Butternut Squash puree, Apple puree, Apple Baby Bullet Ad.pngBanana puree, and Apple Blueberry puree. I tend to make a nice big batch of Continue reading

An Awesome Guide to Cloth Diapering with Prefolds and Covers

DSC01751When my husband and I decided to cloth diaper our daughter we wanted to do it in the most cost-effective way possible. See my previous article on How I Saved $1,000’s on Diapers, here. For us that was to go with prefolds and covers. In addition to being cost friendly, we also found them to be easy to use, simple to launder, and super adorable. But that knowledge didn’t come easy. I combed through dozens of forums and blogs trying to find accurate information on their use and it literally took months of research to figure out the how’s and why’s of using this diaper system. So, after 7 months of trial and error I have decided to offer to the world my ultimate guide on using prefolds and covers.

THE COST OF PREFOLDS AND COVERS…

There are a few simple reasons why using prefolds and covers is actually more cost-effective than using all-in-ones (AOI’s) or pocket diapers.

1. The diapers themselves are less expensive. It’s common to find a good quality prefold for around $10 or $12 where the same diaper in an AOI style may cost you twice that Continue reading

How I Saved $1,000’s on Diapers!

diapers

Diapers. Seemingly the root of all evil. Parents spend thousands of dollars each year to buy disposable papery things that simply catch poop and then hang out in a landfill for a couple of hundred years. Oh, boy. I personally cannot think of a better way to spend my hard-earned money. Right. But, it seems like there is no way around it. I mean, we have to keep our babies tushies clean and dry, and so we spend away just hoping that whatever brand we’ve chosen actually does the trick. I mean, what parent hasn’t experienced the dreaded “blowout” on the ONE day that they forgot to pack an extra outfit?

Before I had even conceived my daughter, I was already looking for ways to save on her care and I knew that diapers were one of the largest expenses in the early years. I was frustrated at finding that the less expensive diapers had poor reviews and even though there were coupons and shipping clubs, it seemed that in the end we were going to spend thousands of dollars diapering this child from birth to potty training. Until I discovered cloth.

Rumparooz ad   Prefold Ad.png   Wetbag.png   Bidet Ad.png

The world of cloth diapering is vast and is growing in popularity every day. Brick-and-mortar cloth diaper stores are still rare, so online forums and groups are the best places to find information. Options are plenty with seemingly endless brands, from one-size-fits-all to sized, and options such as all-in-ones, pockets, prefolds and flats. And to spite the conflicting and often confusing information online, cleaning and caring for cloth is actually quite simple.

My husband and I wanted something easy and cost-effective. We decided to go with prefolds and covers which are easy to assemble, go on and off much like a disposable diaper, and were the most cost effective option we could find. We loved the different patterns and colors available in the covers and the trimness of the diapers (that can be quite important with cloth). Before our daughter was even born we had stocked up on everything we would need for her entire diapering journey. She is now 7 months old and we have not spent a single dollar on diapers (except the occasional pack of Pampers to use on long trips away from home). And for the record, those dreaded blowouts that I mentioned don’t happen with cloth. Seriously! But, more on that later.

How much did we spend? Here’s the breakdown…

Cloth Diaper Cost Breakdown

$405 might sound like a lot of money (it does to me), but it is far from what you might spend on disposables in even the first year of your baby’s life. Babycenter.com estimates that disposable diapers cost about $72 monthly bringing your first year cost to $864, more Continue reading