Friday, February 25, 2011

Seven Quick Takes

1. I get off work at noon on Thursdays and almost every week after picking up Meg , I come home and nap while she does. It’s amazing and it makes Fridays SO much better. I have so much energy today I’m getting tons of stuff done!

2. Of course, “getting stuff done” is relative when you have a toddler. While I cleaned the living room, Meg DESTROYED her bedroom. You can’t see the floor in there. It really makes me wonder what the point is. The living room isn’t even clean anymore, because when I moved to the kitchen, Meg moved to the living room. I spent all morning cleaning and have nothing to show for it.

3. We usually have leftovers or takeout on Fridays, but this morning I was reading a magazine article about saving money on food and one of the recommendations was to make a big roast, then use the meat in several different recipes over the next few days. I read it and thought a roast sounded really good. 95% of the time I would have just sat there and continued to read, but today I actually got up, pulled a roast out of the freezer and put it in the crockpot with potatoes, carrots, and onions. I had dinner all made by 11 am and I hadn’t been planning to make dinner at all. At least I have something to show for my morning.

4. Meg now refuses to sit in her high chair. She insists on sitting at the kitchen table with us. Our “kitchen table” is actually in the living room, because it doesn’t fit in the kitchen, so it sits on carpet. It’s so hard to sit there and watch her make a huge mess. I thought lunch today would kill me – there were peas and rice all over the living room by the time she was done eating. I actually pulled out the vacuum before she was done because I couldn’t take it anymore. I’m considering buying a new table that fits in the kitchen, just so mealtimes aren’t so stressful.

5. I forgot to take Unisom last night and it wasn’t pretty. I laid in bed awake for hours and woke up feeling quite pukey, which is when I realized I’d forgotten to take it. I’m 22 weeks along, why am I still nauseous??

6. I’ve been married for almost 4 years and still have a hard time falling asleep with someone (like my husband or child) in the same bed. The more pregnant I get, the worse it is. By the time I was 8 months pregnant with Meg, I was begging my husband to sleep in the spare room. This time, I’m already getting to the point where I’d do anything to sleep alone. It doesn’t help that I need noise to fall asleep (like the TV or a white noise machine) and my husband needs complete silence. Somehow the default has become silence and it drives me crazy.

7. Meg has only been asleep for half an hour, but I now hear her screaming. I guess that’s all the naptime I get today…

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Diapers, diapers, diapers

A’Dell’s post about cloth diapering has me on the fence again. I am so interested in cloth diapering - mainly because I hate generating trash – but the biggest thing holding me back is that I love looking for/doing diaper “deals.” Last week I got a box of 176 size 4 Pampers Baby Dry diapers for $2.44 on Amazon. Obviously, a deal like that doesn’t come around every month, but if you stay on top of it (and don’t mind stealing magazines with coupons from the OB and/or Pediatrician’s office) you can do it about every 3-4 months. Plus, since my OB’s office gets like 40 copies each of Baby Talk/American Baby and encourages you to take them, I’ve been able to do that particular deal THREE TIMES this coupon cycle. (I can only do that while pregnant, because the pediatrician’s office is much stingier with the magazines.) With just the coupons from my magazine subscriptions, I generally get a nearly free box of diapers (the biggest box I can find) about 3-4 times a year. (Amazon still gets their money’s worth out of me, though. I buy everything from them refuse to shop anywhere else online.)

Even before the wonderfulness that is Amazon diaper coupons came about, I did regular diaper couponing (at Target, Walgreens, etc) and any time I could get diapers for 10-12 cents each I stocked up. We had such a big stockpile when the first nearly-free Amazon diaper deal came out I used it to buy a combo box of newborn/size 1 Swaddlers (half the diapers are newborn, half are size 1). I wasn’t even pregnant. I just figured we didn’t need any more size 3s and how can you go wrong with 220 diapers for $4? If, God forbid, we were never able to have another child, I could be the generous person who gave a $45 box of diapers to someone as a shower gift.

All of that is to say: I currently have 5 months’ worth of diapers for Meg (including 2 boxes of overnight diapers) and 4 months’ worth for the new baby. If the Amazon deals keep coming a few times a year, I’ll pay next-to-nothing to diaper the new baby.

But, for arguments sake, let’s say the Amazon deals end. If I go back to a stock up price of 12 cents a diaper (although I often got them for 10 cents) and the baby will be using roughly 7 diapers a day when the current stash runs out, that’s 84 cents a day, which is about $25/month. If cloth diapering costs roughly $500 to start, it would take 20 months to break even on just the diapers/wet bags (not including the detergent and water to wash them). Plus, I already have 4 months’ worth of nearly-free disposables and it’s likely I’ll get at least a few more. Money-wise, it just wouldn’t save much to cloth diaper unless we have a third child (which we might).

On the other hand, I SO want to try cloth. It just sounds BETTER (and cuter). For all the reasons A’Dell listed (except money). Especially before the baby starts solids, because poop explosions are majorly annoying. But I’d be a maniac about getting my money’s worth out of cloth and I think that’d be hard to do. I wouldn't be using them all the time since if I can get a $2-4 box of disposables I’m going to, so we’d still use disposables at daycare/when out and about. I just can’t go from my current diaper investment of $10 every few months to even a few cloth diapers at $20 each. I’ve read Maureen’s cloth diaper manifesto about 10 times and every time I finish it, I nearly go buy a whole bunch of cloth diapers, but I just can’t pull the trigger.

I do think I’ll buy a few Thirsties covers to use over the disposables when the new baby is in the poop explosion stage (as suggested by Tara in the comments on A’Dell’s post). Also, I have one cloth diaper I bought on e-Bay a while ago, but have never used. I don’t even remember what kind it is. If I remember right it’s a rather girly, but you can bet I’ll at least TRY it on the little boy. Plus, I want some prefolds for burp cloths and I just might end up trying them as diapers under the Thirsties covers…so it’s likely I’ll just trickle into the cloth diaper thing.

P.S. I secretly want a diaper sprayer. I already dump the poop from disposables into the toilet because it cuts WAY down on the diaper pail smell. The difference is amazing, people, TRY IT. Most of the time it rolls off the diaper, but sometimes I have to dunk and swish and I wish I had a sprayer…

P.P.S. If one more cloth diapering post talks about how you’re supposed not supposed to throw poop in the trash even in disposables, I’m going to scream. I know you think nobody actually puts the poop in the toilet with disposables, but I do.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


My one-year blogoversary was the day before we left for our cruise and I decided to just let it go by. I don’t have anything I want to say about it. Today, I went back to read a few of the first posts and its almost funny how much has changed. The first thing I wrote (aside from an introduction post) was about how sad I was I’d missed the first time Meg crawled. A year later, I can honestly say I don’t care at all. Plus, it doesn’t matter because even if I DID see her crawl for the first time I doubt I’d remember it. I can barely remember her crawling ever and she did it for 4 months! I think it will be really fun to look back through this blog at all the times I can’t remember from her life. I suppose that means I should write more often…

P.S.  I hate the word blogoversary.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I’m getting to the point where I wear maternity clothes all the time. I could probably fit into my non-maternity stuff, but it’s not very flattering or comfortable. This weekend, I decided if I wasn’t going to wear non-maternity winter clothes any more this year, it was the perfect opportunity to get rid of a bunch of them. Goodwill only takes in-season clothing and by the time I want to get rid of sweaters each year they won’t accept them. Plus, sweaters are so expensive I feel like I should keep them just because I don’t want to buy new ones. But you know what? The ones I don’t like I NEVER WEAR.

I was originally just trying to get rid of enough to make room for maternity clothes in my closet, but it went so well I started opening boxes of college clothes and throwing them in the Goodwill sacks. I ended up getting rid of all of this:

Honestly, looking at this picture is kind of depressing. That’s a LOT of clothes (you’d be amazed at how much is stuffed into each of the big Kohl’s bags) and they’re all mine. Aside from two sweaters, I haven’t worn any of it in the last year. About half of it I haven’t worn - or even seen - since we moved 2 ½ years ago. WHY did I move all those clothes from our apartment?* Why have I let them take up space in our house for that long? It’s not only clothes, either - why do we live surrounded by STUFF that hardly ever gets looked at? I’m on a rampage and everything must go. I don’t know if its nesting or the spring-like weather, but I’m obsessed with getting rid of stuff. Our one “storage room” (the third bedroom on the main floor) has to be cleaned out so it can be made into Meg’s big girl room and I’m about ready to rent a dumpster and throw the entire contents of the room in there.

*I actually know why, but it still annoys me I could have gotten rid of all this stuff before moving and never even noticed. When we moved, I was almost 3 months pregnant with Meg and thought I would wear the clothes after having the baby. But even after getting back to pre-pregnancy size, the clothes just didn’t fit right anymore. You know how it is…

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A charmed week

I’m starting to wonder if I’m just dreaming we came home from vacation. All of these things NEVER happen in the same week, right?

1. I haven’t worn my winter coat all week. It’s been crazy-warm (50s most days) and today we’re supposed to get to 72 degrees! In FEBRUARY!  Plus, while we were gone, it got below zero every day, so we didn't even miss any good weather.

2. Despite the fact she slept with us on the cruise, Margaret has been sleeping in her own room, in her own crib, with no problem. She’s only gotten up in the night once since we got back. (I think she missed the 80 stuffed animals she sleeps with and is happy to be reunited).

3. I have Amazon diaper coupons coming out of my ears. I bought a new $40 box of Pampers baby dry for $10 yesterday. I bet the box lasts us a month! PLUS, the purchase got me an extra month of Amazon Prime.

4. Yesterday, someone had freshly baked, still warm chocolate-chip cookies delivered to the office. Just because. She went around bringing one to everyone’s desk. When’s the last time someone brought a warm cookie to your desk?

5. Today, I arrived to find the party committee had bought Panera bagels and orange juice for everyone. I thought it was supposed to be tomorrow (my day off), but nope! It’s today!

Margaret and I have dentist appointments this afternoon and I can only assume those will go amazingly well, too. Or, at least they’ll be over with. It would sure be a bummer to go through the whole thing then wake up and realize the appointment is still ahead of me…

Either I’m going to wake up from this dream or next week I’ll have one of these days. Although, the week before we left was one of the worst ever, between snowmageddon, everyone being REALLY sick, and stressing about whether or not we’d be able to go on vacation, so maybe I’m off the hook.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sons and daughters

I was talking to a woman today who is due to have a baby a little before me. She has a little boy and I asked if they knew what they were having this time. “It’s another little boy,” she said in such a sad tone. “I so badly wanted to buy a bunch of pink stuff this time around…” It wasn't an ‘I hate boys’ kind of tone or an ‘I don’t want this boy’ kind of thing, just a sadness she’ll probably never have a girl. She’s almost of advanced maternal age and I think they’d decided to just have two kids, so this is it. I know two boys (brothers!!) will be great and she’ll love it (she knows that, too), but I can’t imagine how disappointed I’d be if I knew I wasn't ever going to have a daughter.

The first time around, I didn't think I cared that much what gender our baby was. After all, God willing, we’d have another chance or two to have a daughter. I also wanted my husband to have the son he’d always wanted, so basically we wanted at least one girl and at least one boy, meaning it didn't matter what came first. When we found out Meg was a girl, I was honestly surprised by how relieved I was. I felt this HUGE weight come off my shoulders. I wouldn't have to spend my whole life wondering what it would have been like to have a daughter. There was no pressure on future children to be girls! (Although I’d love to give my little girl a sister.) I expected to be happy either way, but I didn't go into the appointment thinking either the pressure would be off (we have at least one girl) or would build (not a girl this time).

Obviously, for Thomas it was the other way around. He is thrilled to have a girl (as I would have been if we’d had a boy first), but the weight on HIS shoulders got heavier. What if he never had a son? What if he never got to take his little boy to a Cardinals game or coach the little league team? He could do those things with girls, too, but it wouldn't quite be the same. This time, when the ultrasound tech pointed to the screen and said “that’s a little boy part” I could practically see the weight come off HIS shoulders. I nearly cried because he was so excited. I was a teensy bit sad Meg’s closest-in-age sibling isn’t a sister (because mine is and it’s awesome), but I’m really excited to have a boy and a girl.

I can’t believe how lucky we are. Two children that are, so far, perfectly healthy? A daughter AND a son? It’s overwhelming. Although, for the record, I definitely want a third child and I personally hope it’s a girl, because I can’t imagine not having a sister. Thomas will probably want a boy, because I’m sure HE can’t imagine not having a brother. Which means we’ll be really happy either way and that’s a great thing.

This is the post I would have loved to have written as a way of announcing what gender Baby #2 is, but I just didn’t have time in the pre-vacation crunch to do any writing and I couldn’t go on vacation without announcing what the baby is. If I hadn’t put anything (which I almost didn’t, simply because I nearly forgot) I know that, if I was a reader, I’d have wondered if something terribly bad had shown up on the ultrasound. Nobody goes to the “big ultrasound” intending to find out what gender the baby is then doesn't post for a week and a half. Plus, I announced it on Twitter, so the people who follow me there would have known and nobody else would…

Friday, February 4, 2011

It's a...


I don't really have time to say anything else, because we've been scrambling all day to pack for our trip.  We leave in the morning!  Everybody's been sick all week (as in completely incapacitated), so packing is WAY behind schedule and we're all really ready for a vacation.  I'll be back in a week!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Baby Names!

I have an insane list of requirements for baby names. So long, in fact, that almost no name actually FITS all the criteria and I end up falling in love with some name that breaks half the rules. It’s quite convenient when shooting down names Thomas likes, though. The name he’s proposing always breaks at least ONE of the criteria, so I have a “legitimate” reason to veto. Plus, he doesn’t argue, because he agrees with almost all, if not all, of the rules (and came up with several of them).

Anyway, here’s the list. As you can see, Meg’s name breaks several of the rules.

1. Can’t start with M, as our last name does. This is one of my more important rules and I spent MONTHS agonizing over M’s name. I love it and desperately wanted to use it, but didn’t know if I could deal with the double M’s. It has turned out to not be a problem at all. Doesn’t bother me. But this is now called THE UNBREAKABLE RULE as I do not want people thinking I deliberately choose M names so my children will all be little MM’s. NO WAY. It’s proving to be a problem again, because both Thomas and I like the name Matthew, but neither of us are in love with it enough to break the rule.

2. Can’t have a nickname that ends in ‘ie’ (or y). This is more of a guideline than a rule. Its more Thomas’ rule than mine, since being called Tommy makes him SO ANGRY you can’t believe it. Actually, I can, because if you call me Jessie, I swear, I’ll punch you. Strangers almost never do that, though, while they sometimes do say Tommy, which is why Thomas is more passionate about it than I am. It was his most important rule last time, but it has been waaaaay downgraded, since last time we ended up choosing Meg’s name with the intention of calling her Maggie all the time (we don’t – it didn’t stick). We felt Maggie was more ‘grown up’ than Tommy or Jessie. Do you know any adult that actually goes by Tommy or Jessie all the time? (Assuming it isn’t a GUY named Jesse, which is way different.)

For this rule, it’s also important to clarify we’re usually talking about the most common nickname a name has. As an example, someone named Matthew could be called Matty, but he’s much more likely to be called Matt, so the name passes the test.

3. Must be a short-ish name, because our last name is long-ish. Our last name is 9 letters, which isn’t terribly long, but if you pair it with a really long first name, can be too much. Again, Meg’s (real) name doesn’t pass this rule.

4. Can't have been one of the top 10 baby names in recent years.  Preferably not top 20. This is Thomas’ rule. Jessica was the number one girl’s name the year I was born and I don’t care AT ALL. At one point in elementary school there were 3 Jessica’s in my class of 80 students and it didn’t bother me. If you have to call me Jessica N all the time (Jessica M, now that I’m married), that’s fine with me.

I am ever-so-mad, because our second girl name, which we’ve had picked out since before Meg was born, is climbing the top 100 list rapidly. I want people to stop using MY baby name.

5. Must be a commonly accepted name FOR A PERSON. We are not naming our child “Seven” or “Soda,” no matter how much my husband loves George Costanza (from Seinfeld). Also out: Apple, Rain, Sunday, etc. (Although I do think Sunday is a cute name.) (And yes, I know the inspiration for Sunday Kidman-Urban’s name was an actual historical person, not the day of the week, but I still can’t do it.) (No, that doesn’t mean I think other people shouldn’t do it. It’s just not for me.) Interestingly enough, I do like names that are also cities/locations, like Brooklyn, London, Sydney, etc. (Not Paris, though.)

6. Must be very easy to pronounce. Our last name is ridiculously hard to pronounce. No one EVER gets it right and most of the time they don’t even try. Can you imagine if every time you met someone new, they struggled with your first name AND your last name?

7. Must be easy to spell and must use the most common (or at least a commonly accepted) spelling. For instance, if we were to name our child Aiden (which we’re not), we would spell it Aiden, not Ayden or Aydin or Aedin. This is partly my own preference, partly to do with our last name. Not only can people not pronounce it, they can’t spell it and I think it would stink to constantly be correcting the way both your first AND last names are spelled. We have to give the kid ONE name that’s easy to spell and pronounce.

Note: I’m not saying if we chose the name Caroline, we’d have to pick whichever is currently the more popular of Caroline or Carolyn – both are commonly accepted spellings, so either is fine. Karolinn, not so much.

8. Can’t be the name of a (uniquely named) character in a very popular TV show/movie/book. I love the name Addison. LOVE. But, not only is it trendy right now, it’s too Grey’s Anatomy/Private Practice. Also out: Hermione.

And, of course, you’ve got your obvious rules: can’t rhyme with our last name, initials can’t spell something bad, no obvious playground-taunting nicknames, can’t be the name of someone Thomas or I don’t like, etc.

I’m sure there are more rules I’m forgetting right now, but that’s at least most of them. It’s a wonder we came up with two girl names and no surprise we can’t come up with even one boy name. If this baby is a boy, we’re in big trouble.