Thursday, January 31, 2013


Just wanted you all to know I am here!
Things in babyland are good.
Working on sleeping through the night.
Been thinking on Babywise. I may not go full in. I'm not sure I can maintain that rigorous schedule. I mostly just want her to go to sleep on her own and sleep through the night. So rather than a schedule, we just have a routine. And a semi schedule.

Whenever her first feed of the day is (depending on when she fed during the night, if at all) I know that every 3-4 hours for the rest of the day I'll be feeding then. I'm trying to put her in her crib for naps some, in her swaddle blanket. Before I only used it at night. I'm hoping to get her to nap for 2 hours, as right now she only does an hour. But then sometimes she does 3. It's not very consistent.

I am starting to watch her cues to put her down for a nap before she gets too fussy. About 90 minutes to 2 hours from the time she wakes up seems to work.

Last night I got her to sleep from 10 to 5. She woke up 3 times but I just went in and gave her the pacifier and she settled back down. We'll see how tonight goes.

I think she is starting to develop a "fussy" time of day. I hear this is quite normal. It's from about 5 to 8. It's not horrible, she's just more discontented than usual. It makes car rides during this time potentially miserable, as getting strapped in to the car seat is not her favorite anyway. She just needs more holding and attention during these hours and doesn't smile very much.

She is most smiley when she first wakes up and in the hour before bed.

Friday is her 2 month checkup. I'll update her stats then.
I should have more blog time this coming week as we'll be visiting family- so there'll be lots of eager arms to hold her. But I'm starting to see times that only momma can comfort her. I like that a little. It's a double-edged sword.

I go back to work the 18th. I'm sure there will be tears for me.

I'm starting Weight Watchers. Want to take advantage of burning extra calories through breast feeding and get back to my wedding day weight. That's 20 pounds lighter than now.
I'm hoping the app will make doing it so much easier.

Picture dump...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Step away from the desk...

So last week I sat down at my little work area/desk, which is just a built-in to the right of our fireplace. A small space that managed to cause me a big headache.

At first my goal was just to balance the checkbook and update the budget. Never a very fun thing, but usually not too frustrating or painful.

Until I saw online that the auto parts we purchased so the mechanic could repair John's car, were like, twice or triple what I thought it would be. What I thought was simple rear brakes and a front right strut turned into both front struts and all four brakes. And then struts also have to have mounts and boots. Since John's car is older these are sold separately and are more expensive. A lot more expensive. Like total parts and labor was almost $1000 expensive. Womp womp.

Fortunately we got an unexpected check that very week that covered the repair bill short only $100. But- we had already spent that money in our minds- on new cell phones and house repairs/improvements. So although I am grateful that we only had to take a tiny bit from our "emergency" fund for the car repairs, it was bittersweet.

Then I decided to check with John's health insurance about our application to add me to the policy. To be clear, I'd called them 10 days prior to this when I'd gotten a letter stating our application was incomplete. I let them know the original application was sent in late December but that the first week in January I had sent a completely new application since I couldn't ever confirm with them they'd received the first one. I wanted to make sure they did the underwriting from the new application "Yes, I see the new application" they said. "No, we won't close your file" they said.

I knew it wasn't good when I called to check and heard "May I place you on hold while I investigate this further?". Long story short "it appears that underwriting has not been reviewing the new application, I'm going to have to forward this to a specialist, we try to call you back within 72 hours, but Monday is a holiday". Great. They did put a note in my file at my request that I am NOT happy and am trying to avoid making another whopping COBRA payment for February. That was Friday. No one has called. So that'll be on Thursday's to-do list.

Then I called my current health insurance to make sure they added Sophia for February. Apparently her pediatrician has been having trouble billing. They told me "due to a high call volume we are taking messages at this time and returning phone calls with 48 hours". I did manage to find out what her number would be on the policy if she had been added.

So yeah, at that point I just had to step away from the desk...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How much does a baby cost?

Just out of curiosity, I tried to keep a bit of a total of how much it costs to bring a newborn home. We didn't go "bare minimum" on baby supplies by any means, but we also didn't go crazy over the top expensive with our selections and we didn't ask for every gadget known to man. And we got a lot of items either purchased or given to us that were second hand. But here's roughly what was spent.

Stuff that was given to us that I know the cost of:
Crib $80, comforter, sheets and bumpers $50, glider $80, maternity clothes $523, desk lamp $26, wall art $38, piggy bank $10, monitor $108, sound machine $25, bottle warmer $20, diaper station $17, play gym $25, Baby Bullet $100, breastfeeding supplies $45, nursing cover $10, sunshade $8, diaper bag $50, cart covers (2) $40, crib sheet cover $8, mattress cover $10, Bumbo tray $10, Jenny Jump Up $20, play pen (2) $160, convertible carseat $80, pump bra $33, Boppy cover $10, bouncer $40.

Gift cards and cash $500

So all the items with known cost: $2,926

Then all the things we were given, either new or used, that I didn't estimate or know the cost.

780+ diapers, 3000+ wipes, floor lamp, 4 photo frames, 18 blankets, bath sponge, bath toys, 4 bath towels, lots of bath supplies (lotion, shampoo, wash), 6 pacifiers, 4 teething rings, 6 books, carseat toys, a walker, 80+ disposable nursing pads, 5 tubes diaper rash ointment, hangers, thermometer, outlet covers, Gripe Water, Mylicon, Saline Spray. And of course a LOT of clothing items.

Things we bought (mostly second hand):

Stroller w/carseat and base $45, Bassinet $20, Big swing $50, Portable swing $20, additional carseat $10
Boppy $3, Bouncer/Vibrating seat $5, Pregnancy pillow $10, Moby wrap $5, Sling $12, Dr. Brown's bottles, drying rack and car warmer $8, Diapers, swaddle blanket and bottle caps $46
Layette (clothes, blankets, towels, bibs etc) at yard sales and thrift stores $50
2 gallons paint $50, Diaper Champ $8, Wooden letters and paint, hanging materials $20
Maternity clothes $185, Co-sleeper nest $2, Crib skirt $30, Umbrella stroller $5, Breast pump $100, SNS system $37.

Total $721

Doctor, hospital, childbirth education and medication costs: $585

So around $1306 for us without insurance costs. And of the cash and gift cards we received about $250 of it went to actual baby needs, rather than just wants.

I won't include my monthly insurance premiums, although they were elevated since I had to pay for COBRA premiums throughout the pregnancy. So I paid about $2500 more than I would have if I was paying just my portion of the insurance and had an employer contribution. And our insurance for December since I had to have family coverage for that month, astronomical. But now she's on daddy's policy.

So total cost for a mid-range selection of baby/maternity items and needs: $4482. And that's without all the clothes, diapers and wipes. And the myriad of things I forgot! And now add in some formula!

When I started keeping this total I thought I'd end up with a pretty low number at the end and prove how thrifty we are. But to be honest, kids are expensive! I can't imagine if we hadn't gotten a lot of stuff second hand. I can't imagine how much you spend if you buy everything new top of the line. And I'd be curious to see how little you could spend if you bought everything possible second hand, including gifts that are given to you being purchased second hand.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

DIY: Baby Headbands

I may have posted before, back when I was still pregnant, about making hair accessories for Sophia.

Well, although she had an extensive collection, probably like 15 headbands, she'll still didn't have all the colors I would like. She had the pastels and pink covered in scads, but not so much the bolder colors.
Also some of the hairbands I had made before out of little girls tights, were too small for her head.
So I decided to give away the duplicate color hairbands and make some new ones.

But I didn't know where to get the supplies. I looked at Target at WalMart with little success. To be honest, their selection was dismal. Then I happened to notice that one bow/headband she had been given said Hobb Lobby in the tag. So I decided to go take a look.

Hobby Lobby is the baby hair styling Mecca. They have two whole end caps devoted to headbands, bows, flowers and sparkly/fluffy doo-dads. And then a whole aisle of "baby wearables". Onesies, shoes, bibs, diaper covers, bows, tutus, iron-ons etc. And they are very reasonable. So I got a couple packs of plain white to change out on the existing headbands that are too small, and I got the supplies to make some new ones. I did buy 4 flowers pre-made. Then I made three more. So ya, a little headband crazy here.

I was also really glad to give business to Hobby Lobby. I support their stance on not wanting to provide abortaficient medications to their employees. But I won't go on that tangent in this post.

I bought all the material for making the bows in the clearance scrap fabric. The skinny headbands are 3/$1.99 and the wide ones are $0.79 each!

Here's what I came up with:

Flower tutorial found here. I made this one with 8 petals.

I really like the way this fabric moves and feels. Tutorial for flower here.

Same flower as above, just with cotton material.

Purchased at Hobby Lobby, headbands 3/$1.99, feather puff $1.99

Purchased at Hobby Lobby. Headband $0.79, flower $2.99

Hobby Lobby, flower $3.99, gift from Grammy.

Purchased on clearance at Hobby Lobby. Flower $1.34

On clearance, same as yellow
I was able to find time for crafting thanks to having my MIL here for like 5 days last week! We took some great photos, but I'll put that in another post.

For now, here are some updated Sophie ones. Forgive the overload. Just can't help myself.

Just stuff we snap with our phones:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Florida Winter Style- Mommy and Me

Hi everyone!

Things are going much better here in mommy land. I think we are finding our groove. Right now I'm reading Baby Wise and trying to get our feeding times a little more scheduled, all in the hopes of that blissful 8 hours of sleep!

I wanted to share our Sunday go-to-church fashion. It was pretty cold here for us (30's-40's is COLD here) and I always enjoy getting to wear my coat and scarf.

This week I modeled my Christmas presents from John, and Sophia wore her "party dress" that her Papa bought for her and picked out all on his own :)

My tangerine wool coat, Old Navy

Tommy Hilfiger boots, picked out by my husband and purchased at Marshall's

Chevron scarf, WalMart

It's so bright out here!

Headband, Target. Dress- picked out by dad at a thrift store, originally from WalMart. Tights, WalMart.

Shoes- free! Hand me down

My little fashion accesory

Our Stylist :)

Then she got into a more casual number :) Channeling Audrey Hepburn

My houndstooth socks mom paid way too much for :)

Such a pretty girl! Bow via WalMart
Sophia's changing pad is on her dresser right in front of the mirror- and she just loves looking into it!

And I leave you with a smile, caught on camera. It's not her first, but it's the first I've been able to photograph!