Wednesday, July 28, 2010

baby steps.

For weeks my husband and I have been subtly encouraging our daughter to take steps without gripping to our finger for support. And today without warning, she took her first few solo steps and the only words I had were "oh my goodness! You're walking!!!!" Would you believe that after months of anticipation I almost missed this monumentous occasion because I was trying to get her to sit still so I could take a picture of her holding these flowers? Ridiculous.
It's funny how I feel like I can relate so much to how Lucy's been acting today. Since her discovery that she can move standing up she's spent all day trying to remember how she got from point A to point B on her own. I've watched her all afternoon as she'll get herself into the standing position and a look of confusion washes over her as she just can't quite figure out what to do next. She looks to me for reassurance and I smile and tell her "you can do it!"
I want my daughter to be brave and to know that even if she falls down or gets a few bumps along the way, she has me cheering her on. I want her to know that life is a journey and that every baby step, bump, bruise, obstacle or person she encounters along that way is just meant to teach her more about the journey we are all on.
Watching my daughter step out in faith is just the encouragement my adult heart needs today.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

trial and error....

This seems to be the reoccurring theme in my life ever since I quit my full-time job to pursue all things domestic.

In theory I actually appreciate recipes, instructions, lessons, and advice.

In real life however....I've come to loathe all of the above.

If I cook (which Mr.B graciously does most of that) it's usually a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants sort of adventure. Sometimes my meal works and sometimes the concoction fails....miserably.

Trial and error.

I have the biggest desire in the world to become a woman who loves to sew and can just look at her sewing machine and magically a perfect design will just pop out of it. However, I just unwrapped the machine and chucked the instructions. They were clearly written for people who were already quite familiar with how to "thread a bobbin." I have plenty of women in my life who have offered to help me in this area (and one of these days I'll be humble enough to ask them--but for now, I feel like it'd really be a punishment for them to "teach" me to sew)


Ah, and life as a to successfully get Lucy to nap like a champ, take milk from a sippy cup, stop using a pacifier, and learn how to walk. From day one Lucy made it quite clear that no amount of sleep training, cry it out, soothing, etc could convince her to take a nap....I have no stinkin' idea why some days she'll fall asleep with not even a whimper and the next day she's screaming her head of while tossing everything out of her crib.


And so I'm learning to accept the fact that this domestic gig, like every other area of my life, is going to be a complete work in progress. Sometimes I'm going to blow it--and sometimes I'm going to pull out a victory. I just have to keep trucking along and not play the "compare your domestic goddess skills to my domestic mess skills".

Afterall, I may not be able to get my daughter to nap consistently, but she does giggle every time she eats a bite of banana. I'm guessing not to many people can claim that as a success story out of their home.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

$174.68....and counting!

My husband and I both work full-time. His work occurs in an office and mine occurs in our home. He brings home a paycheck every two weeks, I work to stretch every last penny out of that paycheck. We share several of the domestic duties--but when it comes down to the dollars...the specific jobs are clear.

He works to make money, I strive to make that money work for us.

About a year and a half ago, I started investing time each day trying to educate myself on ways to stretch our hard-earned dollars. I researched how to shop deals, combine coupons, and start a healthy stockpile of groceries and personal care items. I signed up with survey companies to earn a few bucks here and there and I created an account with Swagbucks where I've earned several $5 amazon giftcards that have paid for leisure books, magazine subscriptions, and parenting books.

I have defended our excessive coupon usage and linen closet stockpile to nearly everyone we know, but at the end of the day, my husband and I agree on something very strongly: couponing has benefited us and saved us HUNDREDS of dollars.....seriously.

So, I set a goal for myself three months ago. It was a pretty simple one--"Earn" $500 in the course of one year. My husband and I agreed that the $500 could come in any form: overage from coupon usage, overage in Extra Care Bucks from CVS, Swagbucks gift cards, profits from Craigslist sales, etc. I'm happy to say that at three months in, I've already almost made it to the halfway point in my goal!

How did I do it?

61.68 from CVS ECB overage. Meaning, if I pay $1.00 out of pocket for a purchase and EARN $8.00 in ECB in that purchase to use towards our next purchase, than I get to count $7.00.


Cost for 2 bottles of contact solution and 2 packages of feminine products=.32 out of pocket. I earned $7 in ECB on this purchase. Meaning, my overage was $6.68

Cost out of pocket for package of diapers, 3 pack bar of soap, 4 bottles of travel hairspray, woman's razor, 2 packages of feminine products, and two bags of M&M's=$2.56. I earned $9 on this purchase--so, $6.44 in overage to use on the next purchase...and so on....

(you can see coupon savings at stores other than CVS, we regularly use coupons for items at Wal-mart, Target, and the grocery stores---the savings will still add up!)

$20 in Swagbucks giftcards. It's seriously the easiest thing ever. Download the homepage and toolbar--and just use it to search online (like you would using Google!) And yes, if you choose to sign-up under that link, I earn matching points as you do.

$93 from items sold on Craigslist Here's the funny part, $25 of that was items I sold that I had gotten free with coupons....or paid 25 cents or less for. The other were from old clothing items I sold.

It works in our home to be creative--to challenge ourselves to think outside of the box---and to use coupons everywhere!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Two questions I ask...

Tonight I was discussing with my husband how I've discovered there are two very important "mom" questions I've found myself asking...

1.) What's in your mouth?

2.) Did you poop?

(quick rewind---my husband asks these exact same questions---apparently it's not just a mom thing?!?)

The first question usually takes a bit of investigating to see what, if anything, is currently being treated as a tasty snack. The second however...well, let's just say if I'm asking the question--I already probably have a fair amount of evidence to support my suspicion.

Am I alone in this?

I feel like my conversations (well, I suppose it's not so much a conversation when the opposite person just smiles and crawls away when you ask a question--but still...) um, so--scratch conversations--I feel like I spend a majority of my day trying to discover what my daughter put into her body, and unfortunately, what might be coming out. (sorry if that's a little too personal for some of you--just trying to keep it real!)

Some recent discoveries that Lucy's tried to ingest include parts of her board book, random cheerios, wood chips, grass, and the wrapper off a bar of soap. Thankfully I watch her like a hawk and wisk things out of her mouth usually as quickly as she gets them in.


I guess I just have to chalk this up as a lil' girl exploring her very big world.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Is this what I signed up for??

As I type this, my precious lil' gal is screaming her little heart out from her fancy-schmancy crib. I'm guessing by now she has thrown both Ellie and Ernie out of her crib (her beloved stuffed elephants) & I'd say odds are several pacifiers are covering the floor of her room as well.

If I were a betting woman (which I happen to be), I'd also dare to say that my list of 10 things to do today is not going to happen.

let me rewind a bit....

I'm Mrs. B--wife to one handsome fella & mommy to one outgoing lil' gal. My husband and I were married within 8 months of our first date---and we found out we were expecting our daughter shortly before our 3-monthiversary of marriage. If you've done the math, you'll quickly recognize that we found out we were pregnant the month before we celebrated one year of being a couple.

Today we have a one year old daughter that is simply a joy (most days) to watch. We'll celebrate our two year anniversary in a month & and we just bought our first home. It's a modest new-to-us home that holds oodles of potential.

now where was I? Oh yes, the "joy" I mentioned a minute ago that is screaming from her crib. My husband and I decided soon after discovering I was pregnant that I would stay home full-time with our family. I loved the idea of staying home, but I'd be lying if I said it's been everything I ever dreamed of.

I suppose I expected that time at home would be me taking Lucy to the library, on playdates, and on stress-free trips to the grocery store. She would nap at the right times and for the appropriate lengths, play happily by my side while I folded laundry, and I would always have dinner ready to go when my husband came home from the office. Instead I've found myself saying "this is NOT what I signed up for!"

and yet, it is. I signed up for the poop on the carpet as much as I signed up for the strolls through the park--whether or not I knew it at the time is irrelevant.

so as I work hard to remind myself of that important fact, I also have to remind myself that I want to relish this time with my daughter. I want to work hard at supporting my family from home, encouraging my husband, and doing whatever it takes to put a smile on lil' Lucy's face--even if that means I have to "fake it until I feel it"----which usually only takes a matter of minutes.

so, now that we've gotten acquainted--and quite candid--it's time for me to go rescue my lil' gal from her self-imposed misery.

Besides, I have a feeling she's going to be working hard to put a smile on my face too. Lucky for her, she doesn't have to try too hard...