Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Baby Fluff Stash

Here's my stash of diapers for Baby Aaron! (I really like typing his name. Aaron! Aaron! Aaron!)
You want to know how I paid for most of these diapers? Swagbucks. Yep. You see my 'swidget' to the right? I've been working pretty hard to accumulate those $5 Amazon gift cards at 450 SB a piece. Though they aren't the only prize you can cash in for, I think they're the most valuable. I'm a member of Amazon Mom Prime so I get free shipping on all 'prime eligible' items, and, guess what. Bumgenius diapers are eligible. A fast way to start earning a lot of Swagbucks is to install their toolbar. It's fast, free, easy and you get 1 SB every day you turn on your browser. Besides the obvious search and win, I'd also recommend doing the daily poll and the "no obligation special offer" (NOSO) on their homepage. Money Saving Mom recently did a series of articles on how to maximize your Swagbucks and there's also Swagbucks for Dummies to explain things further. Last week, I had to order flowers and found a deal through their special offers and gained 645 SB for going through them. Last Friday I checked my credit score through them (over 800, baby!) and gained 945 Sb!

Sorry I didn't get to crop this picture (busy day today) but here are our Babylegs for Baby Aaron. Usually these are about $12 each online (plus shipping), but before you buy, look for them on eBay! I bought all of these from China for about $2 each, including shipping! The only downside to this method is waiting for the crazy slow shipping from China~ they may take a month or longer to arrive. But if you're waiting for your baby at the same time, it's no loss. (FYI, I have to hide these from Adam because he thinks all of the "sockies" are for him.)

Ok, last thing for today. I ran by JoAnns the other day to pick up some soft fabric for a little blanket for our little bundle and this is what I came up with~ minky dots on one side and that adorable flannel pirate print on the other. Since a few of his little outfits have a pirate theme going on, I saw this print and knew it was perfect. I even had a bit left over and added some more softness to some new burp cloths.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mini Babymoon!

(A "babymoon" is a last getaway for mom and dad before their new baby arrives. Honeymoon, babymoon. Get it?)

We went away! For the first time ever, Tim and I escaped together with NO children! (Well, except the unborn one.) Our church has an annual marriage retreat at an old castle here in Southern Colorado and we were really blessed that it worked out for us to attend this year. We also went last year, but we brought along little Adam since he was still nursing. I can't even tell you how wonderful our little getaway was! The food was wonderful, the fellowship was delightful, and the accommodations were beautiful. Oh, and did I mention the material? We studied "What Did You Expect?" by Paul David Tripp. We watched the seminar on dvd and it is absolutely excellent, I recommend it highly! It's a very real look at marriage between two sinners with flawed hearts. I can't say enough about it. Tim and I are thinking of getting the audiobook.

Our room even had a balcony! Tim was out there early Saturday morning reading his Bible before he started the day. I was still snoozing.

Love this window seat.

We were so tired coming in the night before, I didn't have time to take a picture of the beautiful 4 poster before we crashed, but it looked something like this.

The colors of the room's decor was so peaceful and tranquil.

Most rooms had wardrobes~ there were not many closets.

My favorite thing about the bathroom was the big, eastern exposure window.

A better shot of the fireplace.

This is the exterior of the room we stayed in~ the arched window on the left was our window seat.

The weather was gorgeous and the retreat had some free time scheduled in so we could walk and explore as we liked.

And because I haven't posted pictures of the kids lately...

A good friend at church (who happens to be a reading tutor) recommended that we start David with some cursive handwriting to solidify good habits for him. Since he's left handed, sometimes he forgets that in English, letters and words are written and read from left to right. We've seen good success with this approach and now he and Dabney do their cursive handwriting work together.

Friday, March 18, 2011

One of the Smarter Things I've Done

This is the cabinet closest to my dishwasher. I used to have things in there like my crockpot and cast iron skillets, but then one day I had a great idea. I went to the Goodwill down the street and bought plain white 11" plates. They aren't all from the same manufacturer, but they're basically the same design and they stack pretty well. I bought them for $0.35- $0.69 a piece. I added our unbreakable cereal bowls and plastic cups to the plates on the slide drawer.

Now my kids can reach everything they need when they unload the dishwasher! And if one of my Goodwill plates breaks, I won't cry. And not only that, but now they can reach their own cups for getting their own drinks and they can even make breakfast for themselves without any help from me!

I heard a quote once that said something like, "If your kids aren't doing chores, you have not yet accepted your promotion". I agree 100%.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Baby Stash Part 1

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
(You are making soda bread today, right?)

Ok, so I'm having a boy. Yes, boy #4. The good news is that I really don't need a whole lot for this little guy. The bad news is that this tends to downplay how special our new son is to our family. Also, I'm getting to the point where my body is cooperating with him more than it is with me. It is so good for me to remember that at the end of all of the pain and sleepless nights and muscle cramps and heartburn and non-functioning hips there is a beautiful baby at the end of this tunnel. And thankfully, he's only about 6-7 weeks from making his grand debut. I'm getting off subject, I think. Anyway, the best way I know how to be encouraged these days is preparing for our little sweetie. And that means...


Come back next week and I'll show you the (cloth) diapers I have prepped for the little fella!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday, Monday

We had a wonderful weekend here at our little cozy hole. Tim and I got to sleep in on Saturday (very rare) and were able to start our weekend slowly with a nice cup of coffee. I dropped off a few garbage bags of stuff for Goodwill on the way as I headed off to Lowes to get the supplies I needed to finish off my really big laundry shelf.

(As you can see, I still need to sand the first coat of paint and apply the second.)

I also relisted the old washer and dryer on Craigslist and they sold within hours! Praise the Lord! There is nothing like selling things that you don't need and clearing out clutter at the same time. Seriously love it. After the man came to claim the washer and dryer, we made a nice trip to south Denver to The Container Store and a few other places. We really enjoy our trips to Park Meadows. It's far enough to be a treat when we get to go, but close enough to not take up our entire day.

A few months ago, we switched exclusively to rechargeable batteries. We are very much in the thick of "the little years" with our kids and that means toys with batteries, baby swings with batteries, even puzzles with batteries. This little investment cost a bit upfront (though I got a great deal from Amazon.com) but we are already reaping the benefits. To keep all of our rechargeables organized and put away, I bought this battery organizer at The Container Store. I'm not one to spend money on "uni-taskers", but I searched high and low for a battery organizer and this one just takes the cake. Did you notice the battery tester on the top?

And, Voila! My "new" laundry room!

Friday, March 11, 2011

How Babylegs are Supposed to Look

(Ok, I know my finger was over part of the flash for the above picture, but I had to include it~ look at that face!)

So I posted this the other week~ Adam wearing my knee socks. I still have every intention on making those socks into homemade babylegs (by cutting the feet of the socks off and hemming the new end) but I ordered this proper pair from eBay and Adam just loves them. He calls them 'sockies'. Adam's very much an accessory baby. He loves socks and shoes and hats and gloves. Our other babies haven't been crazy about wearing extra clothes so this makes Adam a little bit of extra fun.

Josh was in the room, too and he wanted his picture taken with his big new Jeep.

I think he's pretty adorable, too.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Homemade Window Cleaner

Good morning! (or afternoon. Whatever.)

We're still plugging away over here on school, chores, cooking, nothing too exciting.
This morning I mailed off 6 of my beloved cloth diapers to be converted from hook and loop closures to snaps by this lady. I sent her the very worst looking ones (after 4 years of use) and I'm so excited to see them transformed.

Anyway, I wanted to share a tip today that I've been using for quite a few months now. With 4 kids running around here, I do a lot of cleaning. A lot. Sticky fingers are at epidemic level right now, and something that gets its share of use in our home is window cleaner~ a.k.a. mirror, floor, trim, door, doorknob, cabinet, etc, cleaner. For a long time I used the blue stuff. (Ok, to be accurate, I bought the pink kind. It smelled better.)

Something that always bothered me, though, is having this little collection of curious, very smart, explorer babies and the idea that they could find my cleaning stash and get into big trouble.

Last year, I did a bit of Google research and found that I could make my own non-toxic homemade cleaner with ingredients that I had laying around the house and the potion wouldn't kill my kids if they got brave enough to take a swig. (Yeah, but not that my kids would ever do that.)

Without further ado, here's the recipe:

1 c. rubbing alcohol
1 c. water
1 Tbsp vinegar

Yep, it's that easy. I bought an empty spray bottle for $0.99 from the Walmart cleaning aisle and filled it with 2 batches. You could just as easily reuse an empty spray bottle. I like to put the recipe on the side so I don't have to look it up again when it's time to refill.

Did I mention that it costs about $0.15 per bottle?

I keep the bottle close to my stash of microfiber towels so I only have one stop on the way to the mess.

I love this method of cleaning. It's easy, natural and has virtually no waste. The contribution of alcohol to the cleaner means there are no streaks left on glass and even if there were, the microfiber would take care of that. When you're done, pop that towel into the washer and you're ready to go for the next time. Which, in my case, means tomorrow.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

*Breaking News!*

Tooth #3 bit the dust early this afternoon!

(Her gums are still a little red and swollen, but that new tooth emerging is so happy to have room to move in!)

Friday, March 04, 2011


Hello world. We've been sick. Our days this week have looked exactly like the above picture with me sprawled out on the other couch. And this week has really knocked me for a loop. You can definitely tell that my immune system is compromised. Thankfully, yesterday I had an ob appointment (30 weeks, baby!) and I was diagnosed with a sinus infection. I can barely breathe and when I can breathe, I cough. :(
Anyway, I am now plugging away on my new prescription and seriously loving Tylenol cold for nighttime. Our baby is doing great meanwhile. Dr. Skiles put the doppler up to my tummy to catch his heartbeat and within a half second, he kicked the doppler really hard. Another strong little Giedd on the way. Also, I have to make an appointment within the next week to pre-register at the hospital. Isn't that crazy? Where did this pregnancy go? And, I'll be seeing the doctor in another 2 weeks, then for the weekly appointments! Wow!

The highlight of my week came yesterday though when our new washer and dryer (and 15.5" pedestals!) were delivered and installed.

I cleared out the old machines (we're selling them on Craigslist) , deep cleaned the floor and touched up the paint. I had big plans for the new machines! I bought 2 - 10' inlet hoses and an extra large discharge hose because...

See what I did there? Since the doors open out I didn't want them facing the other wall the way the old machines did.

Did I mention that my husband also bought me the pedestals too?! I love them! They raise the machines to the perfect height and they hold all of my laundry things~ my iron, detergent, starch, dryer sheets and so much more!

So, dear blog readers, I need your help. How would you advise me to maximize the remaining space in my laundry area? Personally, I'm thinking I should add 1 very large shelf the width and depth of the new machines for more storage. Dad, feel free to weigh in! (I would mount a frame of 1x2's around the perimeter where I want the shelf, maybe 2" above the washer and dryer, and then screw down the big piece of particle board.) Whaddya think?

P.S. Nancy! It was so good to hear from you! I'm sorry I never got back to you! Yep, it's boy #4 in a row for us! (You can pray for me~ and I'm not being funny. These boys are wonderful but they wear me our very quickly.) I can't wait for Baby Aaron to arrive and for me to reclaim my body! I would like to feel like myself again. I can chase kids a lot better without a child stretching and kicking from within me.
How are you coming along? Did you peek at your ultrasound? Are your other kids excited? When is your due date? My technical date is 5/13, but I'm placing my bets on the first weekend in May.

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