Tuesday, August 24, 2010

being thrifty

I have always prided myself on being a bit of a tightwad.  Having managed my money very well growing up and in my early 20s, I am able to do so much more than many people my age -- without the debt.  Thankfully, Chris also bought into my financial philosophies.  I have also gone through Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace University" and listen to his broadcast when tooling around in the mornings.  His teachings reinforced my practices.

I hate paying full price for things.  My neighbor gets the Sunday paper, but never uses the ads.  Each week, I jack her ads for weekly plundering.  This week, Walgreens was having coupon days, so I decided to stock up and refurbish our household office supplies.  In addition to the ad coupons, they have a 15% military discount on Tuesdays!  Score!

Original Price
My Price
Bubble mailers (3)
1.59 x 3 = 4.77
0.39 x 3 = 1.17
Scotch tape
10 Ballpoint pens
Wooden ruler
70 Index cards
Composition book
50 sheet protectors
Posterboard (3)
0.89 x 3 = 2.67
0.39 x 3 = 1.17
60 Ziplock bags
200 Kleenex
Plastic wrap
Candy corn
2 Pink erasers
Rubber gloves
In-store savings





While many people may begrudge the "annoyance" of waiting for deals, using coupons, and delaying gratification, but I find it to be a sign of maturity and discipline.  In addition, Chris and I are able to do things like paying cash for our basement finish.  Another example: Instead of buying wall art for the nursery,  I researched DIY projects.  Not only did I save a TON of money, but I satisfied nesting urges.

I have several thrifty blogs on my Google Reader and enjoy finding new ways to repurpose, save, and DIY.

Where do you go for your deals?

Friday, August 20, 2010

35 wk update

**Got a new camera.  Once I figure out how to use it, I will post copious belly and nursery pics!**
How far along: 35w

Best of the week: getting an MLB.tv subscription from Eric (only the best thing ever for a 9 months pregnant baseball fan who normally only gets the Rockies games!)
Worst of the week: continued headache
Symptoms: severe headache, gastro "issues", fatigue, leaking, reflux, swelling

All About Amelia
Movement: has a routine: early morning, after every mealtime, at bedtime; hiccups after every mealtime
Position: head down for 10 days now
Last weight: 4lbs, 6 oz (taken 7/29) - should be over 5 lbs according to growth charts
Growth developments: liver producing waste, all parts developed - now just growing
Last heart rate: ranging from 140s-155 bpm (taken 8/19)

Mamacita's Details
Weight: -4 from pre-pregnancy weight (GAINED 2.5 lbs!) (taken 8/11)
Cravings: water, cinnamon, chocolate
Fundal height: 34 cm (taken 8/11)
What I Miss: Chris
Sleep: 6-7 hrs at night with one 1 hr nap.  
Been researching: breastfeeding tips
What I purchased this week: diaper bag, cloth diapers from online swapsBig news this week: egg recall, war "over"*, Brett heading to college

Coming Soon...
What I'm looking forward to: watching the Reds in the pennant race, getting my clothesline set up
Next on the medical horizon: NSTs, regular (to me) urine/bloodwork
Dates: Dr appt: 9/2, Thorough ultrasound: 9/2, Chris home: ~9/18, Due date: 9/24

My blood pressure remains high, but routinely high.  I get regular urine/bloodwork to make sure I have not developed preeclampsia.  I'm finding it's harder to get around these days.  Whereas I used to be able to run 5-6 errands in a row, now I am only able to hit 1-2 stores before I come home to nap.

The headache is still there - 17 days now.  In the last two weeks, a new dr has put me on a tylenol/caffeine/barbiturate pill and percocet.  I only took the percocet for 24 hrs because I did NOT like how I felt on it.  So I've been self-medicating with sleep, sweet tea, and 120 oz of water per day.

I recently switched from the North Clinic back down to the main hospital.  It was fun getting out of the house at first, but the 40 min drive got to be too much.  However, that meant I had to leave my wonderful doctor.  The doctor I've been seeing now is the one who has put me on all these different medications and I am not fond of him.  He never sits down during appts, makes too many jokes, and isn't very thorough.  I was used to my old dr asking about new symptoms, talking about what was coming up, etc.  Yesterday, this dr didn't even weigh or measure me.  Needless to say, I'm switching doctors.  I doubt if he'll notice.

I continue to get non-stress tests (NST) every Mon & Thurs and an ultrasound to look at amniotic fluid levels every Thurs.  I am hooked up to a fetal monitor and contraction monitor, as well as blood pressure cuff.  I get a Jeopardy button to push whenever she moves.  They monitor Amelia's heart rate vs her movement vs my heart rate to see if she's being affected by my blood pressure.  So far, so good.  

Other than that, I am in a lull phase.  I hope to be like that until Chris gets home.  Although, the thought of being in this state for another month seems just...*whew*

*Many this week saw the proclamation that the last combat brigade has left Iraq.  This caused many to falsely believe this meant the war in Iraq was over.  This is not true.  The "drawdown" is less than half of the total troops in Iraq and there are still 50,000 there now.  Many brigades have been simply relabeled as non-combat, which is misleading.  Those left are not paper-pushers, weak, or out of harm's way.  This is not a partisan issue, but rather, an Army PR issue.  Please do your research before believing the media.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

cloth diapering (LONG)

due to my super thrifty nature, deciding to cloth diaper (CD) was pretty much a no-brainer.  not only does it save money, it reduces waste, rashes, and saves energy.  we have decided to use disposables until her stump falls off/in case of emergency.

i have done extensive research regarding the various types of cloth diapers, including utilizing the expertise of several other mommy-friends who CD.  it is a very confusing world at first, but i feel confident in my choice.  thankfully, there is a CD store in C.Springs, so i have also been able to use the knowledge of Dani, the owner.  there are tons of types out there to fit every lifestyle.

how many you need (and thusly, how much you spend) depends upon the type of CD you select and how often you plan to launder.  newborns typically go through 10-12 changes per day, so if you plan to wash every 3 days, that's 30-36 diapers.

with some diapers, you just buy the diaper and you're done.  with other ones, you have to purchase several pieces to complete the set.  in addition, there are "one size" ones (which i find to be a crock, but that's me), two size, 4-5 sizes, etc.  (that is the most basic explanation...i could talk all day about it)

i plan to keep a running tally of my expenditures to show the difference, as well as check in on our progress.  i plan to construct (or have my neighbor's husband construct) a simple clothesline in the backyard to take advantage of colorado's year-round sunshine.  that will also save on dryer costs.

we have decided to use thirsties duo wraps (pictured below) aplix with prefolds/snappis.  (we will use snaps for sz 2.)  i also plan to purchase some thirsties fab fitteds for overnight/to see how i like them.  i liked these the best because of their leg gussets, local manufacturer (in CO), velcro guarantee, and price.  we will need 4-6 sz 1 covers, 24-36 prefolds, ~3-6 fitteds, and 2 infant snappis.  we have a registry on BabyCottonBottoms for our needs, but everything there is full price...but new.

due to my aforementioned cheap self, i went in search of internet deals.  i am pleased to report i have found some great prices out there on barely used fluff!

here are the sites i peruse most often to stalk/purchase:
BabyCenter's Cloth Diaper Swap (must have an acct to use) LIKE it.
BabyCottonBottoms (C.Springs diaper store)
DiaperSwappers.com's Forums (esp. the cover forum) LOVE it.
Hyena Cart Spot's Corner (although prices are a bit high)

and my running tally:

Full Price
My Price
Duo Wrap (Lavender)
Duo Wrap (Meadow)
Duo Wrap (Rose)
Duo Wrap (Honeydew) x2


Monday, August 9, 2010

ache of the head

(since i've finished grad school, am not expecting any more visitors, and have nested nearly the entire house,  i expect my blogging to pick up a lot.)

the last 6 days, i have had a severe headache on top of my head.  sometimes when i move my head to the side, it feels like my brain moves.  i haven't really had a headache my entire pregnancy.

at first, i tried to self-medicate with sleep, water, caffeine, rest, etc.  on thurs, i went into L&D to get it checked out.  they told me to take 9 tylenol per day and up my water intake to 120oz (yes, i am a pee machine, now).  i did that all wknd, but the headache persisted.

i went back today and got all hooked up again.  still having a few contractions, but everything checked out ok.  they put me on a pill called either esgic or fioricet.  it's a combo of tylenol, caffeine, and a barbiturate called butalbital.  so far, it has not helped at all.  the pharmacist said i would either be manic with the caffeine or loopy with the sedative.  my body went with loopy, as i zoned out all night and had heavy legs (no using the bailer for me).

one frustrating thing is that one of the nurses said "oh you're probably just dehydrated."  dude - fish could swim in my pee, it's so clear.  i've been drinking 120oz a day since thurs and wasn't slacking before that.  it's frustrating when you know something is wrong and medical professionals just laugh it off as a simple solution.  another thing...after lying in the same position for 2 hours, my BP went down. so another nurse said "oh you don't have BP problems.  look how low it is."  no kidding...

they ordered another 24 hr urine test tomorrow to check for protein and i have my 34 wk appt on weds.  dear lordy please let this headache stop.  i'm starting to feel like a true pregnant now: slow, achy, and tired.

anyone out there have other suggestions?  (team med?)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

33 wk update

How far along: 33w, 1d

Best of the week: mom/brett here, getting to know a new neighbor
Worst of the week: mom/bert leaving
Symptoms: severe headache, abdominal "issues", fatigue, leaking, reflux, no sleep at night

All About Amelia
Movement: active late at night and early in the morning
Position: still able to move, but much less so.  mainly head down.
Last weight: 4lbs, 6 oz (taken 7/29)
Growth developments: skeleton hardening
Last heart rate: 140ish bpm (taken 8/5)

Mamacita's Details
Weight: -6.5 from pre-pregnancy weight (STILL no change!) (taken 7/29)
Cravings: water, cinnamon
Fundal height: 32 cm (taken 7/29)
What I Miss: a full night's sleep
Sleep: 4-5 hrs at night with one 1 hr nap.  
Been researching: getting into a newborn routine
Big news this week: Kagan sworn in, oil spill stopped

Coming Soon...
What I'm looking forward to: naps
Next on the medical horizon: 34 wk appt on Weds
Dates: Dr appt: 8/11, Chris home: ~9/18, Due date: 9/24

My first non-stress test (NST) last Friday resulted in good news.  My scores were good enough that I didn't have to go at all this week.  I still might have to start them, based upon my next dr report.  Amelia got the hiccups during it, but looked very good.  During the ultrasound, she was holding her feet.

After mom and Brett left on Thurs afternoon, I was headed to breastfeeding class at the hospital, but decided to stop into Labor & Delivery to get my headache and abdominal issues checked out.  I haven't had a headache the entire time and had had this one for 48 hrs (Tylenol was no help).

They hooked me up to a monitor, did a pee test, etc. and I laid there forever.  During the nurses' shift change, the new nurse asked me how long I had been having contractions.  I said "I'm not having contractions."  She informed me that I was and to look at this line on the monitor.  They were averaging 3 mins.  After promptly freaking out, she sent the doctor in.  (I simply cannot have this baby yet!)  He explained that they didn't think they were contractions leading to labor and a baby, but they were going to monitor for awhile to make sure.

I told him that if I told Chris the "C" word, he would jump in the ocean and swim here from Iraq.  He assured me I would not have the baby that night.  After 3.5 total hours of monitoring, they decided to send me home because the contractions were irregular enough that they weren't worried about them (10 mins apart, then 1 min apart, then 7 mins apart).  They could continue for the next 6 wks (and I hope they do!).  

As for my headaches, he told me to take 3 Tylenol 3x per day and up fluids.  So far, in 2 days, this has not helped anything.  I can't wait to go to the dr on Weds.  I had been feeling period-like cramping for awhile, but always thought it was gas or the baby moving around in an annoying way. So now, I am staying put at home as much as possible and drinking water til my bladder falls out.  

Sigh.  I just want my husband here!