Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Little Monkey

Today G dressed up as a monkey.  I had a costume that my dad gave me when G was born.  It was size 0-6 months so I thought I would put it on him for Mom's Group.  We had a halloween party, with chicken and cheese quesadillas, apple cider, and white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies plus a baby photo session.  Back to the costume, it fit him or at least kind of fit him but I couldn't take it off him.  His little monkey tail bottom, fat paws, outie belly button, and the banana smooshed on his head.  Did I mention the monkey ears?  See for yourself...


 I wish I could show you all the babes but for today it will just be Gdubs.  This is not his "real" halloween costume that one will be revealed very soon. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween is a Comin'!

Here are a few shots of the Halloween costumes in process.

We are all dressing up this year.  We do it every year because our friends throw an awesome Halloween party.  Last year our costume looked like this.  Can you guess what we are going as this year?  I'm going to be in purple, Brent in blue and white and G in green.  Of course, I am super excited we have a little man to add to the ensemble.  By the way, my mom-in-law pretty much taught me how to sew on her last visit.  We worked on my costume for hours...we had a blast!  Learning to sew was a goal I have had for so many years.  

I took a Home Ec class in high school in which I sewed one wrap skirt with help from Mrs. Johnson.  I was so proud of that skirt.  It was peach colored with flowers and cool clear buttons with coordinating color specks of raffeta inside the buttons.  
Nerdy, I know but I liked it.  
Wish I had a pic of that skirt to show you.

So here is to accomplishing a goal and hopefully getting some super rad halloween costumes out of it.  More pics once we are all dressed up and ready to party!  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Holiday Greetings from the Past

I REALLY love receiving holiday cards.  If you are one of the phenomenal families that send us one, thank you!  I mean, really thank you.  After the holidays I cut out all the lovely faces and display them on the fridge year round.  I say phenomenal because you really have to have everything together to get a holiday card out before Christmas.  For me, making Halloween costumes, party planning for Grant's birthday, and Thanksgiving celebrations all limit my time.  Plus shooting a current family photo in time seems impossible.  To take the pressure off of myself, we now send Valentine's Day cards.  
2011 V-day Card
I designed this one myself - Red Curtain Designs

2010 First V-day Card
The pics were from a photo booth at a work Christmas party.  
The card design is from Shutterfly.

Skip 2009 since we sent a V-day card in Feb of 2010

2008 Christmas Card (the ONE and ONLY)
Created at Costco

2007 No card.  :(  First year of marriage.  We were working out our traditions and budget.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Craigslist and Strollers

Need a stroller?  Don't have the cash to buy a new one?  Look no further craigslist is here!  When my son was a newborn I "wore" him a lot in the Ergo carrier which I highly recommend.  There came a time when I needed a stroller.  Like when he would be asleep in the car seat and I needed to go into a store, restaurant, ect.   When I transfered him into the carrier he would usually wake up.  I needed to transport him in the car seat while keeping him asleep.

I did some research and knew that a frame stroller was what I wanted, a stroller frame that the car seat could snap to.  Also, remember we live in a 1 bedroom apartment with no extra storage outside the apartment.  The strollers home would actually be the trunk of our car.  I search and searched on craigslist, after about 2 months I found just what I wanted the Graco SnugRider Infant Car Seat Stroller Frame.  It currently retails for $69, I got it for $15 on craigslist.  Used, of course, but in great condition.

We used the Graco SnugRider Infant Car Seat Stroller Frame until G was 10 months old.  Then he grew out of his infant car seat.  Ours only went to 23 lbs.  (Note to expecting parents:  Buy an infant car seat that goes up to at least 30 pounds.  It will save you money in the long run.)  I could write a whole other post on car seats.

Once G could sit up we also used an umbrella stroller for quick errands and for walks.  They retail about $20.  I like having this option which is super light weight and when stored takes up very little space.  The issue with this stroller is that it does not lean back.  Which makes it a little harder when your baby needs to take a nap while you are out.  The handles are also a bit short for taller people, like my husband.  

After we bought a new convertible car seat we could no longer use the stroller frame with the car seat attached.  Convertible car seats stay in the vehicle and are not easily removed.  The umbrella stroller would work for quick outings but not for day trips or jogging.  So I set out to find a durable running stroller.  I searched craigslist for months and finally found a used BOB Sports Utility Jogging stroller for $150.  The retail for this type of stroller is $379.  It is in excellent condition.  It has a fixed front wheel which is awesome for running but not super easy at the grocery store.  I got the stroller of my dreams for less than 1/2 the price.

Sure I like new stuff but why pay full price for something that I will use for several years and then not need anymore?  I vote for used strollers.  We have been very happy and never regretted a used stroller purchase.  So within the first year of our sons life we have owned and used 3 different strollers, 1 new and 2 used.  I know it may seem extreme, but we have gotten good wear out of each of them.  I would love to hear about your stroller experiences.  How many did you use within your child's first year?  Have you found the perfect birth to big kid stroller?  What was the total cost of all your strollers?  I'm not even going to go into multiple kid strollers...Yicks!!!        

Note on buying used baby products:  If you are a parent you know full well about how infants love to spray poop everywhere.  This is something that concerned me when buying other people's used baby products.  The thought of that grosses me out, but the truth is that things wash.  If you are about to buy something and you notice huge poop stains then just don't buy it.  Easy as that!

Friday, October 7, 2011

What is a Mom's Group?

Several people have asked me what a Mom's Group is so I thought I would write a post about it.  I started a so called "Mom's Group" when G was 3 months old.  My friend Lynne was my inspiration.  She had an amazing group that was growing rapidly and some of the moms already had 2 kids.  Since first time moms face different questions and struggles than second time moms I wanted to start a new group of first timers.  Women to share life with and encourage along the way.

It started out very informal.  I knew or had met several other first time moms and knew some pregnant ones that would soon deliver.  So I took a chance and invited them over for coffee and bagels one winter afternoon.  Of course, they could bring their babies and their questions about motherhood.  I would not be the "know-it-all" mom, just another first timer looking for advice, help and friends.  It was awesome.  We shared our birth stories, experiences with newborns, parenting issues, and so much more.

Since that day, we have met weekly at my apartment, the park, one of their homes, etc.  It has become a tad bit more structured but mostly is still very laid back.  I try to always make it cost-free.  The only expense is the snacks in which we take turns providing.  We have one topic of discussion per week.  We talk about everything from when to start solid food to how our lives were pre baby.  We celebrate milestones that our babies reach.  We give support to each other through babysitting and prayer.

It has been a wonderful way to push away the tendency to judge other mothers or to feel as if you are being judged.  We are all on the same team.  Even though we do not hold the same parenting philosophies we respect each others views.  We learn from one other, our children play, honestly it has become one of the highlights of my week.  These women and their babies are very dear to me.  G totally enjoys the time, too.  It breaks the isolation sometimes stay-at-home moms face.  If you are a mom, I REALLY encourage you to start your own group or join one.

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