Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Knox Hendrix Goodwin

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Oh goodness, I don't know where to start! 
It has been a heck of a couple of years for this little growing family! The Lord has blessed us beyond belief... first with our sweet, shining baby girl Sofia (not so much of a baby anymore) and now with a precious bouncing baby BOY! Due Christmas Day 2012.
To say we're over the moon just doesn't even cover it! 
We are 99% sure his name will be Knox Hendrix Goodwin, but there is always that 1% and of course the next 5 months, so you never know!

I just can't even explain how lucky we feel to have gotten a girl and a boy as our numbers 1 & 2. It truly feels like a blessing. 

I have been feeling really good lately, I wouldn't say my energy is back to normal, but it has definitely improved. I haven't felt sick in the least and I have been trying to stay active. 

Poor Sofia is fighting off a cold AND getting 4 molars at once, it always happens all at once doesn't it! She's a little champ, but she has definitely been a bit more difficult since she is not feeling well. She is allergic to teething tabs (yep, they are in a lactose base!) so I try to give her baby Motrin ONLY when she really needs it. I hate to give her medicine unless I feel like it is really necessary.

Wes has been working up a storm lately, only getting a chance to be home on Saturdays, so that has been very tough, but we're making it work. 

My pregnant mind is wanting to have all of our ducks in a row and figure out our living situation etc. etc., so I am constantly fighting those urges and trying to just trust in the Lord. I know He has a plan for this little family, I know he has a home in mind for us, I just can't imagine what or how it could be but I know I am not supposed to be able to, I am just supposed to trust. 

Sofia has been taking a dance class this summer called Diaper Darlings. It is the cutest thing I have ever seen. They practice their music appreciation and coordination, they even get to stretch! It's hilariously adorable! I so look forward to next year when she will really be able to participate more on her own. She requires a lot of Mommy's help right now and I'll tell you, I think the class wears me out more than it wears her out. 

So we are feeling very blessed and very in limbo at the same time. Praying for a home, however the Lord provides it and praying for our future. 

Very much looking forward to what will come. 

xoxo, N.


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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cloth V. Disposables: Cost Breakdown

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Image Source: http://countrydrawers.blogspot.com/2012/03/cloth-diapers-vs-disposable-diapers.html

Well, we've posted a bit on cloth diapering lately and I have gotten a lot of requests for cost breakdowns on investing in cloth versus using disposable diapers. 

I am going to give you three cloth options ("packages" if you will) based on level of investment and we will compare each of those to the cost of using disposables. 

Cost Breakdown on Disposables
First, let me begin by saying that I have done quite a bit of research and I have found time and again that the average cost of using disposable diapers is $800 per year. The average child is in diapers for at least 2 years, meaning that the average family spends approximately $1600 on disposable diapers per child or more. This breaks down to about $66 per month. This is based on store brand discount diapers and does not include disposable wipes and luxury items used to help dispose of stinky diapers (think Diaper Genie, Diaper Genie refills, Arm & Hammer bags for your diaper bag etc.).  So let's be conservative and say that the average family spends $2000 on diapering their child in disposable diapers per child. Additionally, the average American family has two (2) children, which means the average American family spends $4000 or more on diapering their child (in disposables) in their lifetime. Phew. 
Final Estimated Expense (Conservative): $4000

Cost Breakdown on Cloth Option 1 - Budget Investment Method
So lets say that you want to cloth diaper and you are on a tight budget, this would be my recommended package option: 

Diapers:
Econobum Prefold Diapers by Cotton Babies
12 prefolds, 3 diaper covers and 1 wet bag for $48.95
(12 diapers is the recommended daily amount, meaning you will need to wash your diapers every day, this kit also includes a simple but effective wet bag for on the go diapering)

Wipes:
Luvable Friends 12 Pack of Baby Washcloths available on Amazon for $5.99, but I would recommend 24, so you would purchase 2 packs at $11.98
The most simple, inexpensive and effective wash solution is simply to use water or to use water with a teensy amount of whatever baby wash you have on hand. 

Diaper Pail:
FuzzyBunz Hanging Diaper Pail for $18.81
A hanging diaper pail reduces your cost because you do not need to buy a pail liner AND a pail.

Wet Bag for On the Go Diapering
Included in your Econobum box, no additional cost.

Diaper Washing:
Charlie's Soap (80 loads per bucket), available on Amazon for $12.99, but you will need 16 over the entire diaper life of your children (average purchase is 1 every 3 months for cloth diaper washing only, so for 2 years you will need 8 and the average American family will need 16 for both of their 2 children) bringing your total to $207.84.... BUT, Amazon also sells a Charlie's Soap Power Bucket (1000 loads) for $109.99 which would literally last the entire diaper life of both of your 2 children and more. So your final cost comes to $109.99

Cloth Option 1 Total Investment: $189.73 vs. $4000, for a savings of $3810.27
***Remember that you will reuse all of your cloth diapering supplies for your second child, additional investment is only needed if you overlap your children's diaper wearing years. In that case you would need more diapers and wipes. 

Cost Breakdown on Option 2 - Medium Investment Method
This option is for the middle of the line investment, you have a little more financial mobility, but you still can't splurge on luxury items.

Diapers:
Econobum Prefold Diapers by Cotton Babies
12 prefolds, 3 diaper covers and 1 wet bag for $48.95, but lets make life a little easier and get 2 boxes, (24 diapers is the recommended bi-daily amount, meaning you will need to wash your diapers every 2 days, which is the recommended washing timeline... trust me, don't wait longer than 2 days or you'll just want to throw them in the trash) bringing you to $97.90

Wipes:
Cloth-Eez 2 Sided Wipes (love love love) available at Green Mountain Diapers, 12 for $10.95, but I would recommend 24, so you would purchase 2 packs at $21.90
The most simple, inexpensive and effective wash solution is simply to use water or to use water with a teensy amount of whatever baby wash you have on hand. 

Diaper Pail:
Mistral 8 Gallon Plastic Step Can on Amazon for $29.00
Kissaluv's Pail Liner available for $14.95, but you will want 2, so $29.90
Wet Bag for On the Go Diapering
You have a little more to spend, so you'll probably want to get a nicer wet bag.
Kissa's Antibacterial Wet Bag available on Amazon for $11.99
Diaper Washing:
Charlie's Soap (80 loads per bucket), available on Amazon for $12.99, but you will need 16 over the entire diaper life of your children (average purchase is 1 every 3 months for cloth diaper washing only, so for 2 years you will need 8 and the average American family will need 16 for both of their 2 children) bringing your total to $207.84.... BUT, Amazon also sells a Charlie's Soap Power Bucket (1000 loads) for $109.99 which would literally last the entire diaper life of both of your "2" children and probably a year of clothing loads after that just to get rid of it LOL. So your final cost comes to $109.99

Cloth Option 2 Total Investment: $300.68 vs. $4000, for a savings of $3699.32


Cost Breakdown on Option 3 - Large Investment Method
This option is for those of you who have the financial freedom to buy whatever you may need or want for cloth diapering, especially those extra luxury items that really make things a breeze but maybe aren't necessary.

Diapers:
Bum Genius Freetime AIO Diaper by Cotton Babies
Available in a 24 Pack for $399.95
(24 diapers is the recommended bi-daily amount, meaning you will need to wash your diapers every 2 days, which is the recommended washing timeline... trust me, don't wait longer than 2 days or you'll just want to throw them in the trash) 

Wipes:
Cloth-Eez 2 Sided Wipes (love love love) available on Green Mountain Diapers at 12 for $10.95, but I would recommend 24, so you would purchase 2 packs at $21.90
Prince Lionheart Warmies Cloth Wipe Warmer, $23.99
Prince Lionheart Everfresh Replacement Pillows (2 Pack, must replace every 3-6 month, so you will need approximately 3 replacement packages at $14.99 each), $44.97
You may choose to make more expensive wipe solutions with different essential oils, or perhaps buy a pre-made wipes solution. I am not going to include this cost because it would be based entirely on preference and is by no means necessary.

Diaper Pail:
Mistral 8 Gallon Plastic Step Can on Amazon for only $29.00
Kissaluv's Pail Liner available for $14.95, but you will want 2, so $29.90
Wet Bag for On the Go Diapering
If you have the money, your definitely going to want a Wet/Dry bag. This is a wet bag that also has a compartment for dry items such as cloth wipes, clean diapers etc.
Planetwise Wet/Dry Bag available on Amazon for $21.00
Diaper Washing:
Charlie's Soap (80 loads per bucket), available on Amazon for $12.99, but you will need 16 over the entire diaper life of your children (average purchase is 1 every 3 months for cloth diaper washing only, so for 2 years you will need 8 and the average American family will need 16 for both of their 2 children) bringing your total to $207.84.... BUT, Amazon also sells a Charlie's Soap Power Bucket (1000 loads) for $109.99 which would literally last the entire diaper life of both of your "2" children and probably a year of clothing loads after that just to get rid of it LOL. So your final cost comes to $109.99

Cloth Option 3 Total Investment: $679.80 vs. $4000, for a savings of $3320.20

So, the average American cloth diapering family (2 kids), based on the average time in diapers (2 kids X 2 years each = 4 years in diapers) will save an average of $3600 by cloth diapering instead of using disposables.

Sort of a big savings.... just saying. 
I think there are probably a million ways to run these numbers, but even a $500 savings would be worth it to me, plus there are a million other reasons on why to cloth diaper from comfort to eco-friendliness. 

If you are just starting to figure things out and are still unsure about what you want to do, read my post on cloth diapering in general.

Happy Diapering! 

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Advice to My Pre-Mommy Self

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My friend Kelly once told me if she could give me any advice on being a new mommy it would be to not listen to anyone's advice. This is so true and so fitting to start off this post. The thing is... this is my advice based on my personal experiences as a mommy, some of it will apply and some if it wont, so if you get one little gem out of this post then I will feel content with my effort.  

I've often thought of compiling a list of advice for myself as a new mommy. Meaning, if I could go back in time, this is what I would tell my pre-mommy self. The truth is, we never stop learning, growing, changing and with that we are gaining new information and new advice based on our new experiences.... but if I could stop time right now, this would be my top advice to myself when I was a brand new mommy. 

1.  Don't have any expectations about how things are going to go. Go with the flow and be prepared to evolve your philosophies as you go because you will whether you want to or not. What once appalled you will suddenly seem fitting and then you will kick yourself for judging, so stay open and accepting at all times.

2. Remember that you aren't about to have a baby doll, you are about to have a human being. This means that sweet little babe of yours is going to have opinions, likes & dislikes and isn't going to care how you intend to do things. Try everything you wanted to do, but don't be frustrated or angry if you have to switch up your game in the middle of it all.

3. Poop can come in all the colors of the rainbow and don't get me started on textures. If its not black and there isn't blood or mucus in it, don't worry.

4. Trust your instincts. Do the research, but trust your instincts. They have been right 99.9% of the time.

5. Don't buy brand new toys or clothes. The baby will either grow out of them overnight, loose interest or destroy them at first use, most things can be sterilized beyond belief (so don't worry about germs on used toys) and reused or re-purposed. There is a 99% chance the baby will prefer your set of Rubbermaid plastic storage containers and lids to any toy you can buy at the store. They don't know the difference between a colander & wooden spoon vs. an expensive colorful drum set so don't waste your money. If you want to splurge, I'd urge you to wait until they are older and can really appreciate a special toy.

6. Don't compare yourself to other moms and don't compare your baby to other babies. Your baby is not behind if she doesn't crawl or walk at the same time as little Charlie and you are not a bad mom for putting her in a swing to give you some time to get your chores done.

7. Sometimes your sweet angel of a child, the apple of your eye, the beat to your heart, will embarrass you beyond belief. In these instances you should laugh.

8. You don't have to do everything from scratch, you are not a bad mom if you buy certain things or do things to make being a mom easier on yourself.

9. There will be times when your baby will not stop screaming crying and you cannot figure out what to do and you will get the sudden feeling that you are loosing it. In these moments it is okay to leave your screaming baby in the crib and walk outside to get some fresh air and take some deep breathes. Gather your thoughts, get back on top of the situation and give it another go.

10. Your baby is perfectly fine with a trusted family member while you and your husband go on a date or you have a moms night off. You don't need to check your phone a million times and you don't need to feel like a horrible person for enjoying yourself. It is your time off, let it be your time off.

11. Everything passes and changes, the good with the bad, so enjoy every moment like it is the last.

12. Put your husband before the baby because your relationship with your husband directly affects the baby. A strong, loving relationship between mom and dad will make the baby feel confident and loved.

13. Have a tribe, lean on them, love on them, depend on them. They will hold you up when you can't hold yourself up and there will be many times when this happens from up-all-night 6AM coffee calls to 102 fevers.

14. There will always be curve balls and you will never stop growing and changing, but you will always get through it and be stronger and more capable for it.

15. Don't buy a car, don't spend your money on stupid purses, just buy lots of stock in Apple.... oh wait, SORRY, that was meant for my 15 year old self. Ooops, wrong list.






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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Revisiting Eh and the Clarity That Follows

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I've been terribly absent from this blog for about 2 weeks now. 
I had a pregnancy week. 
I feel like when you are pregnant there are many times you can go on with life pretending everything is normal and forgetting that you are pregnant and then there are those times when the pregnancy wins and you have no choice but to throw your arms up and surrender. The hormones always win in the end anyways.

I tend to not like to talk about these things, especially this publicly, but, well, this is pregnancy and this blog chronicles a large part of my life, as public as it may be. 
So here it is - 
I road the pregnancy crazy train last week.

 Almost three weeks ago, I hit my second trimester and I felt great, I didn't feel sick, I suddenly had energy and I was rarin' at the gate. That was probably the most productive week and a half I've had since conception (and my extreme productivity was the reason I was absent at that time). I suddenly wanted to clean again and clean I did, I reorganized and scrubbed and revisited our finances, putting together an entire home organization binder (which I LOVE, will touch on that in another post) and I made list after list, crossing off item after item. I felt very much so back to my normal self. Phew!

And then week number 2 hit and it hit hard. With nausea and headaches, complete exhaustion, depression, obsession, lack of patience, emotional breakdowns, hot flashes and well, all the signs of crazy.... or pregnancy, your pick.  In my previous pregnancy, this is what I came to call a hormone flush. I use this term to describe when one gets a fresh batch of hormones in (sounds like I'm stocking produce right?) because with those new hormones comes the week of hell and then suddenly you wake up one day feeling amazing again and its all over in about a weeks time. This happens randomly throughout your entire pregnancy and you never know when it is going to happen.

So I'm finally feeling better. I'm finally wanting to clean again (sort of) and having a little more energy (sort of, we're on our way there) and well getting back to emotional equilibrium. 
I'm saying good bye to the crazy train. 

So here I am, hangin' it all out to dry. 
Pregnancy is a wild and crazy thing, an ever changing thing and probably the least reliable thing on this Earth. It evokes emotions you didn't know existed, physical trials that often don't seem possible and breaks rules you thought were concrete. It teaches you not to judge, not to care, not to expect. It reminds you of your humanity and your lack of control and well, to just trust the Lord and go with the flow. It humbles you mentally and physically and reminds you of your place and of God's control and presence on this beautiful Earth.

And all the things you don't learn in pregnancy, come crashing down like the weight of the world on your shoulders once the baby is born and in your arms. Love like you never understood. Fear like you never understood. Sadness like you never understood. Often times people talk about the love you feel, love like you will never experience until you raise a child, but little do they speak of the overwhelming fear you feel. You see the world so vividly and you see every danger, every possible harm and once again you are humbled before the Lord because all you can do is put that sweet life in His hands and trust. 

Okay, so, yah, hormones make you philosophical as well. 






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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Reverse House-Elf Syndrome

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My daughter has Reverse House-Elf Syndrome. 
It seems to be painless and from what I can tell, actually induces a sense of euphoria in it's victims. It is much more difficult for the parent than the child. 

I first noticed it coming on about a month or so ago. 
Now it is in full force. 

I vacuum, only to put the vacuum away and find that in those 5 seconds, the living room is now mysteriously covered in popcorn.

I begin to load the dishwasher, to look over and find in the blink of an eye all of the silverware has been removed from the utensil basket and strewn across the living room in a pattern that at times oddly resembles crop circles.

I pick up dirty clothes, put them in the hamper and walk away only to return and find that the clothes have left the hamper and are now back on the floor, only now they are in multiple rooms instead of one.

I do an entire load of laundry to find a very questionable shriveled old avocado in the bottom of the washer as I am putting the wash into the dryer... not to mention a Q-Tip, a little car and a small cardboard book.... I'm really not sure how the washer was even open long enough to "collect" said items, but as previously noted, children with Reverse House-Elf Syndrome tend to move at light-speed.

The strangest part of this mysterious syndrome is that is causes the victim to move items from the kitchen into the bathroom, from the bathroom into the bedroom and from the bedroom into the living room and this strange need to move items seems to overpower all other basic human needs.

I've also noticed that it causes it's victim to want to "un-do" things that they witness being "done." For instance, if you fluff and place your pillows on your couch just so, a person with Reverse House-Elf Syndrome will have a compulsive need (after witnessing your hard work) to come behind you and remove those pillows onto the ground and de-fluff them in a series of very creative ways. 

It seems that there is really no cure for this syndrome. The best thing you can do is stay patient and stay on top of said culprit, reinforcing the rules until the syndrome eventually (hopefully) goes away. I find that laughter is the best medicine in this case, because it really is quite funny... especially when you search and search and search for your daughters shoes (which have mysteriously disappeared sight unseen -- like many other items in the house), without any luck, to find later that she had actually put them in her shelf where they go with the rest of her shoes and that was the one place you didn't think necessary to look. 




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