Fun in the Sun

It’s getting hot in Los Angeles, and even though we haven’t ventured out to the local pool for the summer yet, I did buy a small inflatable pool for C to play with on days we can’t get out of the house (new baby and all…). I’m very fair-skinned, and fortunately C is a good cross between me and my very easily to-tan husband. The kid still needs sunscreen however, and usually a lot of it, so when BzzAgent offered a sample of the Coppertone Clearly Sheer sunscreen to me as a BzzAgent, it was perfect timing.

One thing I hate about another brand name’s sunscreen is that even though the protection was excellent, it left a white residue on (including leather car seats, ugh!). The Coppertone went on easily and didn’t leave a huge mess on me (who wasn’t wearing a swimsuit). The samples included both the spray and the lotion. I’m more of an old school lotion fan, the spray (of any brand), just doesn’t really do it for me and seems like not a great value for the ounces in the package.

I was impressed that C was able to play in his pool for over an hour and didn’t burn, and the sunscreen seemed to stay on until I gave him his bath that night. It’s always nice to try a product that works!

Note: I was given samples of Coppertone Clearly Sheer for free, however all opinions are my own

Cloth Diapering Fail

When I got pregnant with A, and I wasn’t going back to work, I thought I should try to cloth diaper. I’ve had a few friends who have, and had success, so why not? I found a great deal on a package of cloth diapers at Target, and thought it would be worth trying. I thought that after she was out of the newborn sizes, we’d start to rotate in the few different kinds I bought to see what worked for us. This weekend we tried the first cloth diaper. On a lazy Saturday afternoon, A was napping on my chest and when my husband picked her up, I noticed my shirt was wet – VERY wet. I realized this 10 lb baby had completely soaked a huge cloth diaper insert and her clothes and my clothes in 2 hours. Besides the “ew” factor, all I could think of was how when she starts solids this fall, it could have been much much worse (and more gross!). I tried on another one of the diapers but realized the tightest fitting setting (for a “one size”), still left a huge gap between her fairly chunky baby legs and the diaper. I could already see the leaks…

I decided it’s just not going to work out. Maybe if I didn’t have a 3 year old AND an infant, I could figure it out, but I just didn’t have the stamina to try multiple types of diapers and then try to pawn them off on eBay – used (again, ew). So up on eBay they go. I figure we have a Volt so I’m saving the universe in other ways (right?). 

She’s Here!

I can’t believe it’s already been almost a month, but little baby A arrived late last month. The last few weeks of this pregnancy were rough, much rougher than with C. I had very painful Braxton Hicks contractions, one series that sent me to the hospital, to only get sent back home. It was frustrating, very frustrating. When I had C, one day I was in labor and then that was it, so the weeks of what seemed like unending fake contractions was beyond tiring.

Finally, one morning I was playing with C in the living room and had a few really strong contractions pretty close together. I took a shower and had 2 in the shower (so about 5 minutes apart), and I had a feeling it was really “go” time. We went to the hospital and they were close enough together (and I was 39 weeks) so they admitted me. Fortunately, once we were ready, I was able to get an epidural without waiting too long and then once she was ready to go – 5 minutes and she was out. We couldn’t believe it.

C has been really great with her, though navigating parenting a 3 year old (and all his 3 year old-ness) and a newborn has it’s challenges. Some days I really feel like “I got this” and other days it’s sort of a mess. I’m sure we’ll figure it out and get into a good groove, especially as A gets older and isn’t basically a poop and eating machine.

Tic Toc

Well, it’s here. The (very) last leg of this pregnancy. As of last week, I’m officially “full-term”, which means that any day now, little miss could make her debut. It’s been a little nerve wracking since there’s a few more logistics this time around (making sure C is taken care of, my husband works farther away from home now than when we had C, etc.). I also had a relatively fast labor with C, and when your doctor warns you “Just come in, don’t WAIT.”, you get a little nervous. 

C has actually been really great considering he doesn’t really understand how things will change (and nor do I, when I think about it). He talks about baby sister every day, and seems excited to meet her. I just hope it’s not too much of a change for him. I’m actually more worried about that than the extra work for me with two kiddos. Especially because I’m an only child, I really have no frame of reference, and seem to only remember horror stories from my friends who “tortured” their sibling – so that should be fun!

Anyway, the countdown is on, and it’s a little crazy for this planner to not be able to plan for exactly when it will happen. I just know that she’ll be here soon!

Rounding the Corner…

As this pregnancy seems to inch to an end, I’m lucky that I’m healthy, and the baby’s healthy. However, I have noticed I feel it so much more than I did with C. I don’t know if it’s that it’s my second, that I’m older, that I’m keeping up with C, or all of the above, but I was still doing a lot and moving a lot more at this point with C than I seem to be able to this time.

Fortunately, C is pretty content with inside (or backyard) activities, like play-doh, learning games on his Kindle, or chalk and bubbles outside since the park or anywhere where I would possibly need to run after him is VERY MUCH out of the question. Also, I want him to get used to inside play as we probably won’t venture out of the house with the little one a lot when she’s new. Right now, I pretty much lie down the minute he goes down for his nap or at night.

Part of me is a little worried that once the baby is here, the adage that 2 kids may as well be 10 is a bit of an exaggeration, but at least I’ll have my body back to myself!

Whoa, This Kid is a Person!

Along with some of the challenges of having a 3 year old, I’ve also noticed C is starting to become a real person. “Uhh, wasn’t he a real person when he was born?”, you say. Well yes of course, but what I mean is how his interaction with the world, with us, preschool and play is starting to look like the things we (adults) do everyday. One example is yesterday afternoon, when we were outside playing. C in the past has asked me to draw pictures with chalk for him, but for the first time, wanted to draw something himself. The below potato-looking thing is a garbage truck. It may not look like one, but as he explained what he was drawing (window, wheels, bucket for garbage), I thought “wow, he’s drawing something that is SOMETHING” (vs. crazy crayon lines, etc.).



C is also starting to show preference for doing things left-handed, which is sort of scary (OMG the tribulations of trying to cut with right-handed scissors), but pretty cool too. 

It’s just fun to see your kiddo start to become their own person, and I have to remember that along with the negotiations that are inherent with most 3 year olds, there’s a lot of awesome development going on. 

Frugal, the Other “F” Word

We are serial budgeters, with two MBA student loans outstanding 6 years ago, we knew to buy a house and have kids, we needed to still live “like college students”, way beyond our college years. With a lot of sacrifice, I was able to pay off all of my student loans in less than 5 years (about as much as a home in many states – ouch!), and my car in about 18 months. We’re now chipping away at the rest of my husband’s student loans, and are almost done!!!

When re-evaluating our expenses, we realized one category that was still budgeted but a little all over the place was groceries. We eat mostly healthily, but with news of the most recent beef recall, thought there was more we could do to reduce our reliance on meat (and we don’t even eat that much beef). After some research online, and without spending 40 hours a week being an “Extreme Couponer” (and ending up with a cart full of processed junk food), there are a few things we can do better. Experimenting with more vegetarian meals is one. Paying really close attention to the weekly grocery circulars is another. We’re lucky that within a few mile radius, we have 3 major grocery chains plus a Trader Joe’s. If I need to make 2 stops to stock up on something at one store, it doesn’t break the bank on gas in the car. 

Mostly, I just want to see how much we can cut. We’re not restricting ourselves if we really want to make something or buy something, but it’s a challenge I’m willing to accept. It’s also a good exercise in frugality, which is a word that scares a lot of people. I don’t think it’s scary, I think it’s fun and something more families should embrace, and will allow us to try new things.