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Monday, February 28, 2011

My New Favorite Thing {I know, I have a lot!}

Consignment Shopping. 

It's the most awesome thing I've discovered since the Nosefrida & dry shampoo.

Since becoming a mom, I've become so incredibly cheap frugal. It's quite sad, really. 

See, the the thing is, I love to shop. Especially for my little lady, but I have a hard time justifying spending $15.00-$20.00 on an outfit when I know she'll wear it a handful of times before outgrowing it.

This is embarrassing to admit, but I don't buy anything for Claire {or myself for that matter} that isn't on sale. $10 for a teeny shirt? Psh, I can wait a while & it will go on sale for $5 & I will feel much better about buying it.

I've never bought anything at Baby Gap or Children's Place. I know, I know. Slap my wrists for committing such a crime, but I just can't get myself to do it...but I digress.

Saturday, I decided I wanted to go consignment shopping. I kept seeing commercials for Kid-to-Kid, a store that buys & sells gently used children's clothes, toys, nursery gear, etc. 

My mom used to take us there all the time when my brother, sister & I were young. We'd sell our old stuff & walk out with "new" stuff. 
And we never knew the difference! 

Hubs, Claire & I walked in on Saturday, and I was instantly addicted. There were racks & racks of adorable {hardly worn} baby girl clothes. I think I had 10 things in my hands within the first 5 minutes of being there! 

I got Claire spring & summer clothes all for under $100.00

Her great-grandma had given us $50.00 to go buy her "something pretty", so we used that & ended up spending $49 out of our own pockets.

The most expensive thing we bought was a {brand new, with tags} Baby Gap teeny yellow bikini for $6.99

Dresses & shirts & jackets OH MY!

Check out the loot!

Who needs the fancy schmancy baby stores, when you can get 50 things for the price of 3?!

Not me!

Needless to say, I'm hooked. And my husband is too. I got his stamp of approval at this shopping place for sure!

What about you all? Where do you like to shop for your little one's?

Also, THANK YOU so much for letting me know I am NOT alone in comparing myself & Claire to other mommas & their babes! So glad to know it's "normal". :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Something I *swore* I would not do when I became a mother.

...And I have totally caught myself doing it, more often than not. Especially now, as Claire is getting older.

Comparing her to other babies. Comparing myself to other moms.
UGH! I hate that I do this! 

"Oh your 6 month old is sitting up, almost crawling, eating solids 3x a day, napping like a pro & is in a convertible car seat?" 

Well mine just mastered rolling over one way.

"Oh, you're breast feeding, part of a playgroup, don't let your kid "fuss it out" , missknowitallaboutmotherhood mom?"

Well I pump & take my kid on walks

I really don't know why I do this to myself? I catch myself second guessing every decision I make about my child based on what other moms do. I am so easily influenced, & I HATE it.

I also hate that I compare Claire to other babies & their milestones. I knew all along through pregnancy {& still do, obvs} that every baby is different & reach will milestones at their own pace. I told myself over & over while I was pregnant, that I WOULD NOT compare Claire to other babies. But, I have let myself do it anyway.

Claire is little, still in 0-3 month clothes, doesn't have rolls & in the 10%tile for weight, but she's healthy. She's still only eating breast milk because of her cleft and we are not starting solids until after surgery, but she is satisfied. She can't sit up on her own yet & only rolls over one way & has zero interest in wanting to crawl, but she's happy. 

And I am a good mom for keeping her best interest at heart. 

"Stop comparing yourself & your child to others'! It does not matter, Lauren!" 

...ya, I'll keep telling myself this. 

Please tell me I'm not the only one that has done this?? Bleh.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The grossest, most incredible invention.

Ladies, I am referring to the snotsuckers of all snotsucksers.

{Megan asked me about this on my post yesterday & I decided this awesome thing needed a post all to itself.}

I introduce you to the yuckiest invention there is in the world of snotsucking: the nosefrida, where you literally suck the snot out of your babe's nose. With your mouth. Yes, you read that right.


"Product Features
Doctor recommended nasal aspirator from Sweden for babies and toddlers
BPA and Phthalate Free
Made in Sweden
Easy to clean, top-rack safe"

I've heard little about this awesome product, but last Friday & Saturday, Claire was the most congested baby on this planet. She could hardly eat with all the nasty drainage.

I took her to the pedi after work on Friday to make sure she didn't have an ear infection, as she had been tugging on her ear all day according to my mom. No ear infection, but the doctor wanted to have her suctioned out. They stuck a tiny tube in her nose, turned on this loud machine & sucked out the mucous while her & I cried.

Yes, it did wonders. For a few hours. By the end of the night, she was just as congested & by Saturday morning, the poor thing was the worst I've ever seen her & the little bulb syringe wasn't cutting it for this congested baby.

So, I hopped on a few websites, did some research & decided we needed this thing. When I told hubs about it, he practically puked. "You do what to get the snot out their nose?!?!?" And then he read the raving reviews & 5 minutes later, it was ordered & we got it Monday {amazon mom is where it's at, people. Free 2 day shipping}.

{On Sunday night, I actually had a dream nightmare that I used this on Claire & forgot to put the filter in & when I sucked the snot out, it got all in my mouth. So come Monday, I really made sure the filter was in it's place, haha!}

Well, needless to say, this is the best thing I've ever used for Claire's congestion.
Best $15.00 I've ever spent. & no, I am not getting compensated for writing this. I just wanted to pass along my two cents.

This just goes to show how there's not much I wouldn't do to make my baby comfortable. ::pats self on back::

If you're not keen on using your mouth to suck snot out of your baby's nose with your mouth, well, then, I'm sorry I've wasted your time. hehe.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sometimes, I use bullets.

When blogging, that is.

Just because I feel like I have so much to say, I'll just bullet point a few things. 
  • Claire's pre-op appointment for her surgery went well. She's on track with her weight gain {which was the main concern}& is all set for surgery on March 11th. Post on this coming soon.
  • Hubbs outdid himself for V-day. After work on Monday, he came home with a heart-shaped pizza, chardonnay & a giant blanket. We had a picnic in the living room. He also bought Claire an adorable tutu outfit & a cute toy for our dog. I was blown. away. 
  • A few have you have asked about the adorable headband she had on in my last post, I got it here. Stay tuned, mamas with little ones, because I'm doing a giveaway for a chance to win a gift certificate from there!
  • Our money diet is going really well. Staying strong & not eating out {besides Monday, oops} has been easier than I thought! I proved to myself that I'm still a rookie at this couponing thing, but I'm determined to get better! Also? I haven't been to Target in over 2 weeks. This is huge.
  • I'm still going strong with making my own lattes every morning. I got a gift certificate to Starbucks from my mom for Valentine's Day & went there on Tuesday. And? I actually prefer mine!! Maybe it's just because I'm used to my own, I make them stronger & think they are yummier. 
  • I gave into all the hype & bought Claire Sophie the giraffe the other day. She had been gnawing on her hands as a teether because she hates the regular teethers I had for her. The verdict? She loves the silly rubber giraffe! No, I did not spend $22 on it. I refused. I had something to return at BRU & ended up spending $10. yay me. 
  • C is napping less & less. I'm not quite sure why & how I feel about it. When she does nap, it's in her swing or car seat & never longer than 30 minutes. I'm in so much trouble when she out grows her swing.
  • The rec- center behind out house is opening next month. I can't WAIT to join & get some exercise in. This winter weather is killing us!
I think that's about all I got. 

Just had to add this adorb picture of my little Lu.
Look at that gut :) oh & that smile? ::melts::

Happy Thursday! omg, it's already Thursday??!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Oh ya, it's Valentine's Day.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I hope you're all having a great time on this commercialized day of love.

Honestly, since we've been married, we haven't been huge on Valentine's day. Actually, we've never really been that into Valentine's Day at all. I guess we're just not your typical romantic couple.

We'll usually go to dinner somewhere &call it good. No flowers, no candy, just quality time with 
one another. Just fine with me!

This morning, Claire & I decided to get prettied up & surprise daddy at his work & take him to brunch. It was so fun! Hubbs was so surprised &Claire was thrilled to see him.
In an hour, we have Claire's pre-op appointment at Primary Children's for her surgery next month. Not the most fun thing to do on this day, but oh well. We will find out exactly how the surgery is going to go, so I will post on that sometime later this week. 

Hubby has something little planned for tonight, so I'm excited about that! {bow-chicka-wow-wow. kidding!}

I hope you all have a wonderful/love filled rest of your day!

Just a little side note, I delete any cruel & mean comments that are left on my blog posts before even reading them, so you might as well not even waste your time. That's as much breath & time as I'm going to waste on you. & just for good measure, check this post out from an awesome chick that had a come to Jesus moment with her inner e-bully. 


Friday, February 11, 2011

I'm a firm believer,

that everything in life happens for a reason. I have always believed in this analogy. The reason may not be huge or life changing, but there is a reason.

But when that reason is so unclear, it can get frustrating. & scary & you just want to yell "WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?"

Like I stated in my vlog the other day, I have been home with Claire this whole week because I haven't had a babysitter. Thank goodness I work for my dad's company, so he's obviously very understanding of the situation. But, it's been a strain on us financially. But, I have loved & soaked up every minute of being home with that little stinker & made the best of it. I would be lying if I said I didn't get used to being home with her every day. 

It's like a double edged sword, people!

I need money, but I love being home with her, but I need money, BUT I LOVE BEING HOME! Wahhh!

Everyday this week, I've had a lot of time to think. Yes, I haven't been able to work, but it's really been a blessing in disguise. Claire & I have grown so much closer in this one short week. We've created a whole new bond {as if that was possible, right?} together.

I truly believe that with all of these events happening, preventing me from working, that I am supposed to be with her everyday. So... I am looking into jobs that allow me to be with her all of the time. I.e. nannying. Random? yes. But, it was actually my dad who brought up the idea to me. My boss, told me to look into finding a nannying job. How ironic.

So, the other night; I joined I created a profile & applied for a few different positions. But honestly? Who is going to want a nanny for their child who brings their own child with them? I don't know, but it's worth a shot. I mean, it could be beneficial for each child! If I nanny for say, a 6 month old, Claire & said child could be playmates!

Meh, maybe I'm living in a dream world thinking that this is possible, but I've got to find something. Working away from the home one or two days a week, just isn't really benefiting us all that much.

Did I mention that my dad's business is also not doing well. At all? So, I also feel a bit guilty taking money from him that he doesn't really have to work here. I don't really contribute all that much to be honest. As sad as that is to say. It's the truth.

So, while we struggle to find me a job, hubs is working is butt off at his job making it possible for us to stay afloat. He wants me to be a WAHM as much as I do. If we could live off just his income, we would have done it a long time ago!

While I look for a job, I am soaking up all of this precious time with my precious baby.

Because after all, this is happening for a reason.

If anyone has suggestions on jobs that can be done at home, I'm open to them!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My first {pointless} vlog.

Zomg. My first vlog. It's so pointless & boring, but Claire didn't want to let me type out a post & when I have had free time lately, I've found more important things to do around the house.

 No offense :)

Well, hopefully this doesn't bore your face off. 
Also, I hope it works

Sorry about the horrible lighting. 

oh, p.s. this was filmed earlier today & we already got our taxes done. 

babies aren't nearly as big of a deduction as I thought. Damn. Haha.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Want a chance to win something awesome??

My sweet bloggy/e-friend is doing a giveaway on her blog. 

Not too many people have entered yet, so you could be the winner!

Go here & enter!

You're welcome.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Took my "cool mom" status down a couple notches.

Wednesday night, we traded in my money sucker H3, for a 2011 Kia Sportage. As much as I loved Big Red & wanted to be a cool mom that drives an H3, we needed to downsize & save some monies. 

We were at the dealership until 9pm. Way past C's bedtime. & you know what? She was amazing. Didn't fuss once. I think she was just as excited to get a new car as mom & dad were ;)

We got such an amazing deal & I am so excited to be saving money {$100} each month!!

So, I went from this:

The day we got Big Red in 2009
To this:
My Mom Mobile. yes that's me in there. Hubs was being creepy & took a pic without me knowing.
Do you like it??! It's so different from my big tank. 

I can't thank you all enough for your suggestions in my last post. They are so helpful & I am going to use a lot of them. Seriously, I love you guys. 

Have an awesome weekend!!

p.s. I am still working on following all of you that left me a comment, so fear not! I have not forgotten!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Diet That Won't Make Me Skinny.

& it won't make my wallet skinny, either. I'm actually hoping it will make my wallet a little chubby. ;)

We're going on a money diet, folks.

Let's not beat around the bush. Times are tough & the economy sucks. We can't control that. What we can control is how we spend/manage our money that we do have.

If you have been a reader of my blog for a while, you'll remember when we did this last May. Well, that was a big fat FAIL. We were going to try not to eat out & I was going to try to cook more often. Ya, that lasted maybe a week & we were back to our normal spending habits.

This time, we don't have a choice. This isn't a game. We have to cut back on everything we possibly can. Do we want to? No. Of course not. But with me only working two days a week {my mom just got a new job & can now only watch Claire once a week} & having a baby, we have to make cuts on our spending. It sucks, but it's life.

So last week, hubbs & I sat down with his handy dandy Ipad budget app. & literally put in every single bill we pay. How much we spend on diapers, groceries, medical bills, medication, car payment, etc. The amount we spend a month is shocking. I wanted to puke. I actually think I did a little. Just kidding.

After we added up all of our expenses, we went through to see where we could cut back:

*Grocery shopping is a HUGE problem in our house. I suck at making lists. If I make a list, I usually always venture off of it & buy other crap items that I don't need. I suck at meal planning, too. I will walk out of the store after spending $150 but have maybe two dinners to make & I end up running to he store 4-5 times during the month to find things to make for dinner. Oh & I never use coupons.

Ya, I'm the epitome of a bad shopper.

This obviously needs to change. I am going to start meal planning at the beginning of the month & from there, write down allll of the ingredients I need to make those meals. I'm also going to go to Costco & buy all of the meat in bulk & freeze it. Hopefully that will save us $$ in the long run. The last thing in attempt to control our grocery bill, is to only allot a certain amount of money to spend, use cash to pay with so that we don't feel like we have an unlimited amount to spend & CUT COUPONS.

*We are selling my car. I drive a tank H3. I absolutely love it for the nasty Utah winters. BUT I hate that it eats our bank account each month. We don't need that big of a vehicle. Yes, it's super safe for Claire & I, but we can find a more affordable vehicle that's just as safe & much more cost effective/fuel efficient. I'm sad, but if it's going to help us save money, I'm all for it. We are hoping to cut our monthly payment down by at least $100. So, if anyone wants to buy a red '07 h3, let me know. HAHA!

*Only buy Claire things when she needs them. This one sucks. Plain & simple. hmph.

*NO MORE EATING OUT. This is where most of our extra cash has been going lately. Between my daily Starbucks runs {which are no more, thanks to my espresso maker!}, quick fast food runs & weekend sit-down dinners, our wallets were being drained. We have to stop. I'm now making my own morning lattes, hubbs doesn't go out to lunch & I'm cooking more at home. We've decided to allow ourselves to eat out once a month. I think that's fair. This is going to be by far, the most difficult task in our money saving journey. We love food & I don't love to cook. But we can do it!

*Cut our DISH Network package. We are now spending $20.00 less a month. I'm sorry, but we aren't a family that can go without cable all together. We need it for our sanity. Judge if you may, but I need my Teen Mom fix! hehe.

*Cut our Internet bill by $20.00.

*No more shopping. Not that I did much of that for myself, anyway.

So, I think this is a good start. Anywhere we can cut corners, we did. & we are getting our taxes filed next week. That will help so much. We are hoping to pay off all of our hospital bills. That will be a huge weight lifted!

Wish us luck!

What do you & your families do to cut back on unnecessary spending each month? And what are some east, affordable meals for lunches & dinners? Please share! I need inspiration & ideas!