Nursery on a Budget

Oh, the ways we change from being a first time parent to a second time parent.  When we were pregnant with Little Guy, we went all out.  All of his nursery furniture was from Babies R Us, and his bedding and decor was all matchy-matchy Amy Coe stuff.  
It was adorable. 
It was expensive.  
It was needless.

When we found out we were pregnant with this baby, I vowed not to get ridiculous and spend a fortune on baby stuff, and you know what?  
It was much easier than I ever thought!
I didn't even have a baby shower because I didn't need or want anyone to spend money on baby stuff that we didn't need.

How did I do it?

By utilizing Craigslist and a local SwipSwap facebook group for babies.

  • I found Baby Boy's crib on Craigslist (and it has the attached changing table with drawers and shelves).
  • Instead of a mobile, which can run from $30+, we found this adorable circus tent from IKEA.
  • I made a circle bunting with scrapbook paper from Michaels, and it happens to be one of Baby Boy's favorite things to look at in his room.

Nursery on a budget

  • I was given a TON of baby clothes.  Mostly hand-me-downs from my nephews, and some new outfits from family members.  We've really only bought a few items ourselves.
  • I scored a Moby Wrap from the local swipswap for only $5!  This was probably one of my favorite deals yet.

I bought the changing table for $10. It was a dirty, ugly, pepto-pink, so I cleaned, sanded, and spray painted it this fun orange color, and use it to hold these bins from Babies R Us.

I bought these seriously economical Cloth Diapers ($5-$8 each!!).

We also bought a pack n' play (which, alternating with our bed, is where Baby Boy currently sleeps) for $30, and a Fisher-Price Cradle 'N Swing, My Little Snugabunny, (which is AWESOME!!) for $50.

All together, Baby Boy's gear has cost us less than $350!!  How amazing is that?!

Next time someone tells you babies are expensive, I'll be here to tell you that certainly don't have to be.

Priceless, yes.
Expensive, no.

**Did you have anything for your first baby that you found to be a huge waste?


Pumpkin Pickin'

It just isn't Fall without a trip to the Pumpkin Patch.  Much to our dismay, many of the places in town that usually have pumpkin patches either didn't this year, or were waiting until much closer to Halloween to open. We were thrilled one Sunday, as we were headed home from a walk around downtown St. Augustine, we passed a pumpkin patch!
As soon as we arrived, a family that was leaving offered to take our picture!  How nice was that! 


Why Cloth Diapers are AWESOME!

cloth diapers

Most people fall into 2 categories when they hear the words "Cloth Diapers."

Category 1:  "Awesome!  Better for the environment, and so much more economical!"

Category 2: "Ain't nobody got time for that! Too much laundry, and I don't have a huge lump sum of money to buy my supply with!"

 My sister-in-law cloth diapers our nephew and they love it.  She also loves her Bum Genius diapers, but at around $20 a diaper, I felt a little uneasy about forking out that kind of money for 20 diapers when I wasn't sure cloth diapering would even work out for our little family.  

But then I started reading, and researching, and facebook page stalking.  I discovered that there are cloth diapers out there that are affordable (and they actually work)! 

After reading tons of reviews, I decided to go with Alva Baby diapers.  They are only $5-$8 PER DIAPER!  Pretty awesome when compared with $20 for Bum Genius or Charlie Banana.  The Alva Baby website is a little confusing, and the diapers do come from China, so to avoid a potential duty fee, I went through Super Stash and ordered 20 Alva Baby cloth diapers.  They ended up coming to a little over $100 since I had a promo code to enter.  

I ordered some minkys (because they are so, so soft and have the cutest patterns, some regular AIOs, and some of the new double gussets with the colored snaps.
The diapers came with a sample pack of cloth diaper safe detergent, and small CJ's butter, and a thank you note!  Super sweet!
I prepped them by washing with the sample of cloth diaper detergent they came with, giving them an extra rinse, and hang drying.
alva baby cloth diapers
cloth diapers
I didn't start using them right away, because I felt like they were just going to be too big on our Baby Boy (who was born 7lbs15oz), and I didn't know if I'd have the energy to be doing all that laundry when I was exhausted from breastfeeding.  
We started out with Huggies (which were my favorite with Little Guy), but kept having blow outs.  
My Aunt came over to visit the first weekend and brought us a pack of Luvs, which seemed to be better in the blow out department while he was in newborn size, but Baby Boy is such a big eater, he got to almost 9 pounds before 2 weeks was up, and the newborn size started digging into his thighs and making them red.  

We switched to size 1 in the Luvs and went right back to blow outs.  
I mean, have to change his onesie every time, blow outs.  

I figured that if I was going to be washing 10 onesies a day, I might as well be washing the cloth diapers and saving some money.  So, I snapped down all the diapers to the smallest setting, tried one on him, and snapped it closed all the way to the middle snaps, and you know what?  They fit perfectly!  

And we haven't had one blowout!  Score! 

When I change Baby Boy's diaper, I just unsnap it, lay it flat, slide out the insert and lay it back on the top, fold the diaper in half and put it in our Planet Wise Hanging Wet/Dry Bag - Owl  
Then I just dump the contents and the bag itself into the washing machine in the evening, so that the diapers will be ready to stuff again in the morning.

It's so awesome, I'm really glad we decided to do cloth diapering - and I'm really glad that the Alva Baby diapers were so economical and working perfectly for us.

*Do you use cloth diapers or disposables?


Pregnancy: Week 40

This Week:
Time is  up!  Come on baby!

Feeling:  So over it.  I'm tired of being pregnant and I'm ready to hold my sweet little baby!!

I've been:  A mess.  After my due date came and went, I had a day of contractions lasting hours that were approximate 6 minutes apart, and then.......fizzle......nothing.  It was such a let down! The next day  I was such an emotional wreck - crying over nothing, feeling depressed, tired, and just icky.  I guess my hormones were on a rampage.

I'm writing this at:  40 weeks and 5 days and really hoping that this will be my last pregnancy post.  If you see a week 41 picture, you may want to move to the other side of the road if you have to walk past me.

Cervical Progress:  Completely effaced (the midwife said my cervix was so soft, she could barely get a hold of it), and 5 cm.  She said there is a little inner ring that is still at 3cm though.  FINALLY!  Progress!  So I guess my day of contractions actually did do something.  I guess I'm having prodromal labor (where labor starts and stops over a long period of time, rather than starting and going hardcore for 20 hours or something).  Even though the waiting and not knowing totally stinks, I guess I'll take it that if this little one's head can put some pressure on that inner ring, I'll already be at 5 cm!

Baby's Position:  Head down, lying on his side, but on my left side (which is a great thing).  That means that when labor starts and he does his 90 degree turn, he should turn the right way make getting out the easiest. Phew!  He's also very low according to the midwife.

Really Hoping:  This baby comes before Halloween (which is when I hit week 41), but we'll see.

Ways to Help Bring on Labor:  At this week's appointment, the midwife broke out her arsenal of tricks to tell us things we can start trying to bring on labor.  I've got some homeopathic herbs to begin when I hit week 41.  I've also got evening primrose oil, ginger tea, walking, bouncing on a birthing ball, sex, and nipple stimulation all on my list of things to choose from.  It's funny, but now that I finally have a bag of tricks to choose from, I'm actually kind of nervous to try them!  I'm scared to force anything, but talk to me again when I hit week 41!  
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