I made curtains for Charlie's room from fabric that I had. The most expensive part of the project was the rod which was $6 from Walmart. I am currently working on making curtains for all of our windows, but all in good time.
One of my favorite ways to save money is by using cloth diapers for Charlie. I don't know if people are just scared to try cloth diapers or since they are mainly sold online that people don't think to use cloth diapers, but I LOVE them!!! I am stating here and now that I will be using cloth diapers on all of my children and will be loving every moment of it! It is so EASY! The brand that we went with is Econobum. Let's do some quick math here. In the first year for a child diapering costs about $500 - $600. If the child potty trains at 2 years and you are done with diapers you spent about $1,000 - $1,200 of disposable diapers. EEK! That is a lot of money for one kid! I want at least 4 kids (if not more). If we used disposable diapers on all of them it would be about $4,000 - $4,800. And that is if they potty trained at 2 years old. For Charlie we started using cloth diapers at 5 months when we moved into our home. So lets say that we spent about $250 on disposable diapers, which I actually don't think it was that much since we used the Parent's Choice brand at Walmart which is half the price of practically any other brand (I think they actually did just as fine as other brands that we got for free from friends). But just to be on the safe side, lets say we spent $250 on Charlie. Plus the cost of the cloth diapers which was $100. It cost about $0.35 a week to wash and dry the cloth diapers. If Charlie potty trains at 2 years old he will have cost $377.30. If on three more kids we don't have to buy the cloth diapers again and so therefore only spend money on laundering and if we ever use disposable by chance lets say about 200 at $0.15 each. We would end up spending a grand total of $576.5 for 4 children. That is what it costs most parents to diaper one child for only a year and I will have diapered 4 kids for two years each!
Oh, one thing I also wanted to add was that with cloth diapers we NEVER have blow outs!!!!!!
One other little way that I am saving money is to rip the wipes into 8ths. For a wet diaper Charlie doesn't need an entire wipe! An 1/8 works fine. For a massive poopy I use a grand total of 1/2 of a wipe. Talk about stretching your dollar. As he grows older and as his poops become more "mature" I may need to use bigger wipe sizes but for now I am saving a bundle. I haven't had to buy more wipes since Charlie was born and I had 6 bags of 56 count wipes. Mind you that I didn't even start dividing wipes until after the first two bags were gone.
You may be wondering, what are Annette and Charles going to do with all the money that they save. Well, we are going to save more money with it by paying off our house early. Now THAT is a major money saver! Over the life of a home loan you can end up paying about 2 to 4 times as much as your home is worth!
I have never had an obsession in my life until now and yes I am trying to not go beyond a healthy obsession of my child. And no, I don't put up every photo of Charlie that I take. I already have over a 100 photos for January (most of Charlie) and I have to show some restraint. When you think that this obsession becomes unhealthy let me know. I don't know if that will help though.
Charlie is so photogenic and loves to stare at the camera and smile. He was just born that way. What am I to do but take millions of photos of him?
For this sitting Charlie decided to give all sorts of good faces that had never yet been captured on camera.
Here is Charlie in his normal cuteness.
Here is Charlie puzzled at why a bright light flashed at him from the pretty black box.
"He he, that was pretty funny, do it again."
"Mommy, why do you keep hiding your face behind the camera? I can't see you."
This was the first time Charlie tried to see me behind the camera.
Here is Charlie laughing his head off at how weird his parents can be just to get him to smile and laugh at the camera. I always wondered when parents made the switch from cool to embarrassing, here it is. I just don't know how making car noises while you drive becomes apart of a parents vocabulary. I have sworn never to do that one, but heck who knows.
"The females love my adorable dimples. What can I say, I am a lady's man."
Because of Charlie's new tooth we have been working extra hard on solids. Thankfully Charlie is good when nursing and knows that he is only supposed to suck, not bite. Actually to think of it he hasn't "bitten" anything for a long time. We let him eat the bread of the pizza and he only sucked on it. He is getting better but has a ways to go. All in good time.
I don't remember why Charlie was stripped down (don't worry it wasn't cold in the house, but we also don't keep our house too warm) but he didn't seem to care since he still had his feet to suck on. Charlie's feet are constantly wet. I feel like we go through more socks than anything else. I guess we can blame this on Charlie's aunt, Angela, who sucked on her toes as a child. The genes have been passed on!
Most places about babies have a good list of what to look for with teething:
- Gum Swelling and Sensitivity
- Irritability and Fussiness
- Biting Behavior
- Refusing Food
- Sleep Problems
That is a nice and easy list. Now lets see if Charlie is teething:
- Drooling: Nope, he used to drool a lot but it has actually subsided.
- Gum Swelling and Sensitivity: Well, he hasn't acted as if he has any.
- Irritability and Fussiness: Nope, he has been just as happy as a clam. Well, that's not totally true, he was a little grumpy yesterday when he nap schedule got messed with.
- Biting Behavior: He has always chewed on his hand and now that he can get his foot to his mouth he has chewed on that recently but besides that he hasn't exhibited abnormal levels of chewing or biting.
- Refusing Food: Definitely not! He has actually been hungrier and wanting more food.
- Sleep Problems: This kid sleeps GREAT!
So, according to this Charlie should not be teething. But of course Charlie seems to be an odd child so naturally he would get teeth without teething. And of course he is the child that hates solid food. Naturally we are going to now be pushing solid food even harder.
While I get ready in the morning I let Charlie sit in the sink. He is confined and has lots of fun watching Mommy and playing with toys.
"Charlie, I can't believe that you ate all that chocolate!" Just kidding. Charlie has never had sugar or anything close to it. Heck, he screams, cries, and shakes his head whenever we try to give him any food at all! We were fairly successful with a cracker once though.
I think that Charlie looks so dang cute!
So, lately Charlie has been loving his feet! He sees them as toys that are always connected to him!
Charlie is always trying to eat them. It is pretty cute.
A while back I did a little review of books that I had been reading and thought that I would do another review of things that I am enjoying. Here they are in no particular order, well, I guess the order I thought of them :)
My sister introduced me to this blog http://betterafter.blogspot.com/ and I am thoroughly enjoying it! It a bunch of before and after shots of people's work of remodeling, refinishing, reupholstering, and redoing things in their home. I love getting great ideas that I hope to some day use. We were at DI the other day and found a used table and so that will be my first refinishing project. My dream is to find a glass cupboard and redo it. We will see how the table goes first though, maybe I will never want to refinish anything ever again :)
I found this website http://milkshare.birthingforlife.com/ that connects mothers who have extra breast milk to give to mothers who are unable to produce breast milk. I love this idea and if I ever have to pump I would love to donate my extra milk to someone through this website.
Recently I have been watching the profile movies at http://mormon.org/ that are about LDS church members. I love how our church has so many great people. It seems like they all have a great life and then they talk about this huge trial in their life of loosing a family member or giving up something to be better. I just love it!
At this site http://powerofmoms.com/ there are great short essays that moms write that give advice or encouragement about motherhood. It is great to know that there are other moms going through the same thing. Or to see how they are handling certain situations in their lives. I love that all the moms on the website seem to have great values and are religious.
This site http://www.momtastic.com/ has lots of things for moms. I haven't looked through it a ton but have liked what I have seen so far.
My mom a while back gave a lot of her books away to her kids. One of the ones that we got was Between Husband & Wife by Stephen E. Lamb, M.D. and Douglas E. Brinley, Ph.D. The authors are LDS and is written from an LDS perspective. I read through it the other day and thought that it gave some good information on sex and some good general marital advice.
This is a great book On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam that my sister Colleen introduced me to. It has saved our sleep! It helps parents know about a baby's sleep needs and how it changes over time and such.
Charles' family watches Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen "when the snow flies" and since I wasn't going to be around to watch it with them I thought that I would read the book instead. I LOVED the book! The second that I finished I wanted to start it over again (I NEVER reread books). I think that it might become an annual read.
A while back I made a Chicken Pot Pie for dinner. The next day I was reheating the left overs in the oven and when I took it out I spilt it all onto the floor. I wasn't going to waste it so I ate it right off of the floor. Charles thought it was hilarious and so he took a picture :)
We have this candelabra with red and white candles. I put it in front of the fireplace. Not a good idea. We turned on the fire while playing scrabble and it melted the top candle. The wax looked way cool though.
Some one door bell ditched us Yahtzee, cookies, and this onesie for Charlie. Thank you!
When I was a child growing up in SoCal I didn't know that each season was about 3 months long. I thought that Winter was only 1 month, December. Spring was from January to May, 5 months. Summer from June to September, 4 months, and Fall from October to November, 2 months. California really messed up what seasons really were.
Well, right now in Utah I am not sure what season it is. Its not hot so it must not be Summer, there are no leaves to fall so it is not Fall. There is no snow and so not Winter. It must be spring then, right? There is a cool brisk air but not freezing. Is Utah turning into SoCal? Hmmm...
So we were so determined to send out Christmas cards to everyone this year but it just didn't happen. We took the photo, wrote the note, and had a nice long list of people to send them too. But it just didn't happen. Oh well, we decided that this is the next best thing to that then.
Our little family has grown this year by 50%! Yea, Charlie was born! We loved living in American Fork but it is a welcome change to now be living in Grantsville (Tooele County) where we had a home built. We are all loving it.
Charles is the best husband ever and has done so much for our family. He got an awesome job in Tooele working for Detroit Diesel remanufacturing engines and is loving it. He has been busily working on his MBA and is now a year and a half done with only half a year left! Charles is a fabulous daddy and loves squishing Charlie’s cheeks :)
Annette finished college!!! Hallelujah! I have been looking forward to this day ever since my older sister finished and I realized that there was an end to formal education. I will miss it, but in the mean time I am kept busy with Charlie and putting our house together.
Charlie is the cutest baby ever! He was born on the 30th of June. By a week old he had two heart surgeries and later had a third. He has done more in his life than I have! Despite all that, he has always looked and acted like a very healthy baby. He now only has minor heart defects and if they don’t get worse he will be great. He went with me to college and had a blast. He loved all of the attention and socializing. Now that we are in Grantsville we kicked Charlie out of our bedroom and consequently he sleeps through the night. Well, at least we do :)