Friday, January 28, 2011

Cloth Diapering; The Beginning and Possible End Of

So, cloth diapering is awesome. It's super cute. It saves money. It's environmentally friendly. It helped Lennon's tush when he had some crazy rash. And the best part of all, I had my husband on board with it. Until Lennon pooped in one. Thus, the potential end of cloth diapering. He called me at work to tell me that it was disgusting and he hated it. I asked him what exactly he thought was going to happen to the poop once it was inside the cloth diaper. He had no answer. Poop faeries or some bullshit I suppose because he was not anticipating having to clean poop out of a cloth diaper even though it is a diaper.

He wants to stop using them which I'm not too happy about. We agreed to use them and spent a lot on them with the intention that it would save us money in the long run. About $1000 between now and potty training, actually. I thought he understood the consequence of a baby pooping in a reusable diaper, but apparently I was wrong. I continue to use them while I'm home because I'm committed to this endeavor. And because Lennon doesn't usually poop in the evening.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cutting the Budget in 2011

Our dog has food allergies and we either have to buy him $50 bags of dog food or listen to him flapping his irritated ears day and night. Our kid also has food intolerances and we spend on average $175 a month in formula. Dude. Seriously.

It's time to start trimming some spending in our house. I'm trying oh so hard to be budget conscious in 2011. I'm officially paying off my credit card today (once I get the courage to write out a check for it) and I'm thinking about paying off our NFM account after we file our taxes. We recently cut $30 off our cable bill and in the fall we combined cell phone plans to save another $30 a month. We ended up adding life insurance policies which throws $80 back on. When it's all added up, from September to February we've cut $230 out of our monthly bills. Wow, just enough to cover the formula and dog food! SWEET! So much for trying to get ahead.

I've been taking a real look lately at what I spend my money on and why. I used to spend a lot of money on eating lunches out at work and occasional dinners out with Matt. I've started taking lunch from home and skipping an actual break so I can go home early for baby snuggles. Baby snuggles must be made from crack because I want them at all hours. They're worth skipping lunch for. And because of said baby, Matt and I can no longer eat in public so we cook all meals with the occasional $20 Mangia takeout on the weekends.

There's still one more thing I tend to blow money on… Most of my non-bill spending goes to trying to look cool. I buy a lot of clothes and shoes. Lots. The last twelve months were kind of weird so I'm trying to convince myself that I don't always spend that much money on clothes. I mean, I progressively got bigger and bigger until I got smaller - but not small enough to fit back into my old pants. My options for the last year were to either buy one big giant muumuu and make it work, or buy clothes that fit my crazy ass body. Now that I'm settling back into a weight that resembles my old weight (so what if I have to lay down to zip my pants and then wear spanx to hide the muffin top) I really really want to cut my habit of spending too much on clothes. Because honestly, no matter how much money I spend on clothes that make me look cool, I'm still not cool. I'm 27, let's end this charade. Plus, now all my clothes get barfed on. Who wants to buy something at Anthropologie for $129 and then immediately have it yacked upon. Not me.

Having a baby created this nagging lump in my gut that makes me feel like I'm bankrupting my family's future for meaningless thrills in the present. I want us to have a good future. I want to take nice family vacations. I want to buy a house on an acre so I have outdoor photo space. I want to retire before I'm 75 and slump over dead at my computer one day. I'm not going to get those things unless I learn to start saving for them today.

I've done really well this month so far. I even decided that I don't need a $75 vintage dress for our family photos at the end of the month. Instead, I've decided to buy a new pair of tights to spice up a dress that I already have. $5 instead of $75. Look at me be an adult! Look at me not spend $75 on a one-of-a-kind, never-going-to-see-it-again, only-one-in-existence navy 1960s mini dress! That is some fucking willpower right there.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cry Baby, Cry

That sweet little baby pictured above cries like a friggin maniac when he eats. Little by little we're improving the freak-outs. They used to start the minute he woke up and only stopped when he wore himself out and temporarily fell unconscious. I hesitate to call it "sleep" because "sleep" usually lasts longer than 45 minutes at a time. He's making improvement and now only really cries sometime during a feeding, and not for very long. Here are a few of the changes we've made so far to help lessen the torture of bottle time...

1. Reflux Meds - Our poor little baby has reflux. Most babies outgrow it but I'm afraid ours might be stuck with it for eternity. I remember having heartburn since I was seven. It runs in the family - Grandpa, Dad, me, Lennon. He's on zantac and omeprazole. Aww, just like mommy! The meds lessened the crying and helped him sleep through the night (God bless you, pump inhibitors) but they didn't completely take care of it so we moved on to...

2. MSPI Diagnosis - On top of reflux, our lucky little baby has milk/soy protein intolerance. It's exactly what it sounds like. The proteins in his formula were jacking with his intestines so now he's on a special formula that is mostly corn based. It costs $25.99 for a one pound can and makes Lennon's breath smell like Fritos. It makes his gas smell like something far worse. Far, far worse. But it took our baby from a constant state of misery to smile town so it's worth the money.

3. Gas Drops - I don't know if these really do any good. His belly gurgles a ton and as I mentioned already, his farts can clear a room, so we give him gas drops to help the fella out.

4. Change to a larger flow nipple - This is one of those things that we never would have figured out on our own. The magic of the internet suggested we bump him from a level 1 nipple to a level 2 nipple. This one was HUGE for us. A typical 3 oz bottle feeding went from 90 minutes down to 15. Changing out the stupid nipples saved our sanity. And now Lennon eats like there's no tomorrow. He wants more, more, more all the time.

He still cries. We burp him, feed him in small increments, feed him in large increments, feed him sitting still, feed him bouncing on a giant ball, feed him with the lights out, feed him while white noise playing... And yet he cries. But a lot less, so I guess I'll take it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Few 2011 Goals

I was looking over my list of goals for 2010 and I really didn't do to bad on doing a lot of the things on the list. So, in honor of 2011 ( and not having anything else to do at the moment) here's this year's list:

1. Lose these last 5 baby pounds
2. Get new windows for the house
3. Buy a bracket for my camera
4. Make weekly grocery lists and stick to them
5. Fewer impulse trips to Target
6. Make better use out of my wardrobe instead of buying new things
7. Start selling on etsy again
8. Make Christmas stockings for next year
9. Be better about answering emails in a timely manner
10. Learn to make perogies
11. Stop letting junk pile up around the house

I think thats a good start. I already did good and answered all my emails from over the weekend up until 30 minutes ago. I also hit the Wii Fit tonight and tried to get a little exercise in. That bastard told me I've got a lot more than 5 pounds to lose. Mind your own business, Wii. Maybe I need one more:

12. Run a 1/2 marathon