Monday, February 16, 2009

Crazy Week

We are moving this week, and things are going to be a little crazy in my world, so I probably will not have a chance to post again. I hope to get everything moved into our new apartment, and then put up some pictures of our new place sometime next week.

In the meantime, I also wanted to link to a couple new posts that CBMW is putting up by yours truly. It's overkill if you've already read my post on this blog, but if not, or if you just have time to kill, please click over and read it! This is a post from last Wednesday, and from what I understand, they are going to do parts for the next couple of Wednesdays, like a series. If you have any comments whatsoever, they LOVE feedback, and always pass it on to me, so please click on the feedback link on the CBMW blog. I'd love questions, too, as fuel to research more books!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Free Things!

These past couple days have been abundant with cashing in on some free stuff. What with coupons, gift cards, CVS bucks, charity and just generous people, I've been bringing home things left and right.

First, in the basement of our building, they have something called "The Attic" (great name, huh?) where families of the seminary can take 4 free things a week. I got several little baby clothes there (all pink, but you can't help that -- plus they were free). I also picked up a couple things from our church where they have a mother and child clothing room (it was my first visit, but not my last!). Here is a picture. I especially liked the lit
tle pink chucks -- that she obviously won't be able to wear for quite a while, but oh well. I still have not spent a dime on baby clothes yet -- though I was OVERWHELMINGLY tempted last night when I found a Polly Flinder's dress at T.J. Maxx.

Also pictured are a couple free things I got because of my generous friend Rhonda sharing her coupons with me: hairspray, a razor for Josh and toothpaste. I also have 2 free 2-liters of Diet Dr. Pepper, but we didn't get those yet, because yesterday when I was in line at Kroger, the power went out (what is WITH this city?) and I could not be rung up! Oh well, Josh and I will go redeem them after we drink up all the Diet Coke we currently have. I randomly got a magazine in the mail, too. I think it's from my mother-in-law, and I love Real Simple!!

This is the BEST thing I got yesterday (though I can't technically call it free) -- new ultrasound pictures! Poor Josh missed out (he was in class) as I got to see our little girl in her new bigger size, touching her nose and lip with one finger and wiggling her tongue. AMAZING! The good news is that her heart looks like it's normal from what they can tell, so that's great news!

I told Josh yesterday that working hard to save money with coupons and frugality has been a fun challenge, but I've found it's been really tempting not to think that I am the one responsible for all my hard work. I find it harder not to utterly rely on God to take care of our financial needs, because I'm relying on myself instead. Have you found that to be a challenge, my organized, frugal friends? This is a new challenge for me, because I have tended to be so fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, that if it all works out, I KNOW it is God's doing. Now that I'm trying to be intentional, I see myself as the force behind the windfall. How do YOU fight that mentality?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thinking about Scheduling

I have been reading some books on what to do once the baby is here, and I thought I'd report what I'm thinking about. I'd love to hear from some of you who are experienced moms (or just moms at all, if you don't consider yourself experienced), or big sisters (like me) who have lived with babies in your life.

First, I read My First 300 Babies by Gladys Hendrick, who worked with hundreds of babies and their parents to train them to be on a schedule. I am not sure, but I think this book was written in the 50's or 60's (possibly 70's), just by the dated content -- glass bottles, cloth diapers, length of time women stayed in the hospital after giving birth. I found much of what Mrs. Hendrick suggested to be helpful. Her motto "It's not what the baby does, it's what you do about it . . . because babies are unpredictable," made a lot of sense to me. Her experience seemed to speak for itself, and the families who had her help seemed very pleased with the outcome! However, she was RATHER strict on her scheduling. She starts with a schedule the day you come home from the hospital (I'm imagining that really means when the baby is about a week old, not 2 days old like they are now), and plans for the baby to go 4 hours between feedings right away (3 during the day). That seemed like a lofty goal, and maybe not possible, but her firmness reminded me of a grandmother figure saying "honey, don't freak out. . . your baby can deal with it." Though I don't think I'll actually go with her schedule, I think reading this book will help me to stay calm and let my baby cry a bit when she lays down to sleep, etc. It should also help with planning parts of the day when the baby gets a bit older -- she advocates teaching a child how to play and entertain itself first in the playpen, and then in it's bedroom during part of each day. I think this is helpful especially when you only have one child, and you feel the need to be his/her constant entertainer.

Now I'm reading Babywise by Gary Ezzo. So far, this has been much more flexible, but with structure. In case you aren't familiar, Babywise advocates putting your baby on a 2 1/2 to 3 hour feeding schedule after it's a week old, and carefully monitoring your child's growth. This book deals a lot more with breastfeeding -- every aspect -- which I find helpful. Friends that I know who have done Babywise have told me the same thing: that the baby is more pleasant when he/she is awake, because they wake up hungry, you feed, and then during their alert times, they are happy! It makes sense. I know quite a few families who have done their own version of Babywise (someone told me it's like a recipe -- take out what you don't like, or put in what you do), and seem to have success. I know my mom used a flexible schedule with my sisters, and I recall clearly setting the timer for 20 minutes every time they cried when they were put to bed.

I guess at the end of the day, I'm going to have to do some sort of schedule, even if I weren't convinced of the benefits, because I'm going back to work. Hopefully, things like sleeping through the night, and being able to successfully breastfeed will just be additional benefits that come along with the territory!

What have you done? Weigh in on this topic, please!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Back online with Spelt Salad

Well, I broke one of my New Year's goals, but I don't think it could be considered my fault this time. Our apartment was out of power for 5 days, and then after it came on, there were only a few days in between before the internet went out. It must have come back up sometime today, so now I can write a post!

Today I want to share with you a recipe that might sound good if you are looking forward to warmer days: My Favorite Spelt Salad.

My friend Tara Beth introduced me to this yummy grain last year on my birthday shopping outing to Jungle Jim's, and I've been buying bags of it, and preparing now and then ever since. It's a good source of iron, so GREAT for the pregnant vegetarian!

Cooked spelt (I prepare 1/2 cup or 1 whole cup -- that's the measurement before it's cooked)
One small chopped onion
Several teaspoons of Vinegar (I like balsamic)
Several tablespoons of Olive Oil (pour over onion with the vinegar while spelt is cooking to infuse)
1 pint of halved grape tomatoes (or just chop a regular tomato)
Several tablespoons of toasted pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste -- I like garlic salt, but adding some fresh garlic is good too!

Mix together and chill -- serve cold. Add fresh herbs if you have them (I don't in the winter).

YUM! The texture is chewy and crunchy. With the price of tomatoes falling fast, it's a good fresh way to wait for spring. This could really be a decent lunch, it's got everything you need. Or, if you're me, it's your afternoon snack. :) Hey, it's better than going for a Twix bar or something!

I'll be coming back to you soon with thoughts on scheduling for babies and the books I'm reading now!