Monday, June 28, 2010

Proud to be a Theta Mom

Heather at Theta Mom is celebrating her one year "blogoversary." Woohoo! Part of her celebration has been to ask her readers to submit posts telling what makes them Theta Moms. If you haven't been over to Theta Mom you must go there immediately. Heather writes genuinely about what it is to be a mom, what other moms don't tell you before your children are born, and other fun topics. Check out her Mission describing what it is to be a Theta Mom and you'll see you fit right in!

I've been thinking about this post for a few days and during this time some things have changed dramatically in my life as a mom so, it should be interesting to see what I come up with...

My son C, now 18 months, wasn't exactly planned. I always knew I wanted to be a mom and have two kids but, the timing of his conception wasn't quite what we were expecting. I had a tough pregnancy working up until I went into the hospital at 29 weeks. But, I was happy to be welcoming him into the world. When at 29 weeks and 5 days I had to deliver via emergency C-section due to Pre-eclampsia, I wasn't worried about my own health, I was worried about this precious new life that was coming too soon.

I did worry a little about the fact that we didn't have any baby clothes, the nursery wasn't set up, we weren't baby proofed at home. But, more than anything I was worried about being the mom I would need to be to guide this fragile life into the world and get him through his extended stay in the NICU.

The thing about being a mom of a preemie is that no one really talks about it. Mothers don't want to scare new mothers about the ins and outs of what happens in there. I didn't want to tell some of my friends that were expecting because I didn't want them to freak out. But, during C's time and mine in the NICU I found my true calling as a mother. I found that you will do whatever it takes to make sure your child is happy and healthy, whether it is sitting round the clock holding his hand through the window of an isolette or pumping milk every three hours for 6 weeks because you want him to have the best nutrition available even though he can't breast feed.

I spent every day for 47 days with C and no one will tell you how hard that is. No mother ever wants to see her child hurt or suffering whether they are 5 days, 5 years, or 35 years. But, I know that this experience is what shaped me for my role as a mother. At 18 months, C is thriving you wouldn't be able to tell that he was born so early. He looks just like his father and has a laugh that will make you grin.

I am currently pregnant with Baby Girl and this past week at 33 weeks started showing signs of Pre-eclampsia again. I have now been on bed rest for 5 days in the hospital and we are waiting to see how things go but, it's looking like Baby Girl will be coming early as well. This time around I'm not as nervous. I've been through this. I know I can do it and I know that I have what it takes to be the mom I need to be. This time my worries are on my husband and C. I think C has it under control to take care of his dad :-)

Being a Theta Mom, a proud mother, for me is knowing that I have what it takes even if it is a different road than all of the others, knowing that I will do anything for my children, including laying on my side for days on end. It's being willing to share with other mothers the hard parts of being a mom and not putting a sunny face and telling them it's so easy when in fact, it is the hardest job out there. And above everything, loving your role as a mother and embracing it with everything you have.

Happy Blogoversary Theta Mom and thanks to all you other Theta moms out there!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bed Rest Day 3... Things They Don't Tell You

Here it is, day 3 in the hospital. So far, I've been pretty optimistic. I can make it through the next 3 weeks on bed rest either in or out of the I discovered it gets harder to be optimistic as the days drag on.

Thankfully, hubby brought the laptop yesterday which helps pass a few hours at a time. He also came by again today with C for a few hours and that helped a lot. The downside...they came to take my blood pressure while the family was here and it had sky rocketed. It has since gone down slightly which is good.

So, the things your doctor doesn't tell you about when you might have to go on bed rest...

1. Obviously, it sucks

2. Even though your bed goes up and down you are supposed to stay flat. You can only sit up to eat.

3. Because you aren't moving, your bowels won't move... yup, no poop

4. TV gets old after while, even if you don't usually have access to cable.

5. Doing nothing makes you tired but, it's hard to sleep.

6. Every day on bed rest keeps your baby out of the NICU three extra days... a nurse told me this today, I don't know if it's actually true.

As I think of more, I'll add them. So far, it's looking like I'm going to be enjoying and extended stay here at Presby Dallas. We should find out more on Monday. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers!

Friday, June 25, 2010

It's Been a Rough Day

Okay fabulous readers, I'm taking a time-out from deals and house stuff. For the past two days I have been chilling in my very own roof/parking garage view room of the hospital. At 33 weeks, my blood pressure has started to inch up into Pre-eclampsia territory.

The good news... I'm 4 weeks more pregnant this time than with C. Which means if delivery happens early, less time in the NICU. To read more about C's story go here.

The bad news... I'm being monitored until at least Monday, and may be here for 3.5 more weeks until I hit 37 and can deliver or, I can go home Monday for 3.5 weeks of bed rest at home.

The other bad news... The Illinois job fell through, we're not moving, we're taking the house off the market.

It's safe to say, it has been a rough few days for my family. We're holding together and hubby is being a champ staying with C. Uncle J is pretty awesome too, watching C yesterday for 7 hours and changing his first diaper!

So, I've now joined the ranks of the bed resting mommas. I have limited access to the internet but, I'll try to come up with some fun posts on how to survive bed rest!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 is Awesome!

With all of the crazy stuff that is going on around here, I've become a big fan of shopping online. Usually, I'll run out to Target or my local Albertson's with my coupons and pick up the 9,000 diapers I need. But, right now we just have so much to do and my pregnant body doesn't really like loading and unloading a toddler in 100 degree weather.

I had heard of before and was sort of skeptical because I'm one of those people that waits until you're using the last diaper out of your diaper bag before you go to the store. I thought I probably wouldn't get my diapers in my time of need! But, if you order before 6 pm about 2 days before you are about to run out of diapers you will be good to go. The diapers ship quickly and you don't have to worry about leaving the house.

I was so excited when I ordered my diapers because I was a first time customer, I got $10 off of my order as well as the coupons for $3 off Huggies that supplied. I also received free shipping because my order was just over $49. It was awesome! On top of that, I went through (which you should also check out) and I received 1% cash back on my purchase. You can get 1-4% cash back from when you shop One other thing, you can also mail them your manufacturers coupons and they will credit them to you account! How cool is that??

I was so happy with my purchase that I am about to order a few more things for Baby Girl from them during their huge June sale. When you sign up for an account with them you can also get credit for referring other shoppers. Your friends can also save $10 on their first order and they can get $5 towards their second order! And you get credit too! This is definitely something worth checking out. If you're interested in visiting click on the button from my side bar and if you purchase something you can enter my referral code for you $10 off...HAAR6944 is my code, it's also on my button. You can join the referring fun by checking out their Refer-a-Friend Program. Have fun checking out all of their great gear, toys, and fun things for mom!

Disclaimer: I did not receive anything from for this post. I'm just sharing my enthusiasm for a great company!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Getting the House Ready

I've been struggling for post ideas lately with everything that is going on but, I thought this would be a good one. When selling your house, obviously appearance is the most important thing to the potential buyer... is it in good condition? is it clean? is there enough space? There are plenty of ways to stage your house without breaking the bank. Why spend an exorbitant amount of money on a house you're not going to live in?

So, the cheapest and easiest thing for you to do is to clean. Clean every nook and cranny you can. You want your house sparkling. Remember what it looked like when you moved in, before babies, dogs, in-laws?? That's what you want it to look like. Along with cleaning comes de-cluttering. Remove all of those baby pictures from the fridge, the five extra tv trays from the living room, all the extra toys that aren't being played with. This will make your home look more spacious and less cluttered. Hubby and I are planning a garage sale for next weekend to get rid of all of our extra clutter... really, I don't want to move that little statue that we've been holding on to for the last 3 moves again!

After you get the extra clutter out and you've cleaned like you've never cleaned before... you can look at changing your furniture around. Instead of going out and buying new furniture, you can stage your furniture differently. We moved one of our sofas into our back family room and moved a sitting chair into our front living room. This opened up a lot of space up front and gave the back a more homey feeling.

So, the first three tips...Clean, De-clutter, and work with the furniture you already have. This should cost you only the cost of your cleaning products and you may make some money if you have a garage sale. If you don't want to do that, you can call your local charity to come pick up your clutter as well. We have taken a lot of our stuff to Goodwill over the years.

Next time...DIY repairs, what really needs to be done, looking for an agent.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Never Ending To-Do List

Usually, I don't blog so much about my personal life just about fun ways to save money. Lately, though, I haven't been able to blog much because there is just so much going on. Currently I am 31 weeks pregnant with Baby Girl and chasing after 18 month old C who is a handful and a half. My husband is a high school band director and musician which means more hours than a regular teacher (especially since we are in Texas) and gigs on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Now, for most families that would be enough. Not ours...

Recently, I blogged about ways to save money while traveling. We were traveling for a job interview in Illinois for my husband. This wasn't just any job interview it was for the Air Force. The Band of the Mid-West to be exact. Many people don't know that the military has jobs for musicians. There are military bands stationed all over the world and the enlisted men/women don't do anything but play in these bands and get PAID. For someone that would rather play their instrument than do anything else and be able to make a decent living, this job is a dream.

About 5 years ago, right around the time we got married, hubby went through this whole process and it fell through right at the end. This time, hubby has been offered a job, signed the papers, and now is going the process of physicals and tests to make sure he can join up. Then BASIC TRAINING. The Air Force people have been awesome about scheduling basic training around the birth of our daughter. Since she is due at the beginning of August, they are willing to let him delay until the beginning of September. Basic training lasts for 60 days and then we would move to Illinois.

What this all means is...I'm FREAKING OUT. We have so much to do, like sell our house and all the fun things that come with it, find new housing in a state that I've been in twice, find a place for me to stay for 60 days with a toddler and a newborn, pack, have a BABY... the list goes on and on.

The pros of this job though, are numerous. I fully support my husband in his decision to take it should everything go through like it is supposed to. I just have these momentary freak outs that kind of throw me for a loop. So, I will continue posting my ways to save money and maybe so often an update on the whole moving to another state, joining the military family, and having a baby all at the same time.

Today on the to-do list... dusting

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Friendly Friday!

It's Friendly Friday again! Here's a great way to find new blogs and bloggy friends! Thanks to Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier, Christi at Frugal Novice and Charla at Healthy Home Blog for hosting Friendly Friday! Each week they will host Friendly Friday where you can link up and meet other fun blogs. They also feature 3 bloggers each week. Head on over to their blogs and play along!

I just checked out one of the Featured bloggers One Savvy Mom! and she is doing some great giveaways! Be sure to stop by and enter.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Great Deal on BabyLegs Leg Warmers...

If you have a little one at home you know that it's a pain to take their pants off, then unsnap the onesie, then change their diaper. You also know that that as they start crawling, their little knees get banged and bruised on the floor. Even as they start walking they get these little scrapes. This is why I love Babylegs leg warmers! They are perfect for infants, toddlers, and even bigger kids. In the winter time they can be worn under pants, in the summer with just a onesie for convenient changing and floor protection.

Right now, Inspired By Finn is have a super awesome sale on Babylegs. They have them on sale starting at $2.95!! These usually run from $8-$12 a pair! I was so excited I got 4 pair. Shipping is only $4.95 and if you "Like" them on Facebook and go to their discussion page you can get a code for an extra 20% off your purchase. I got 4 pair for $14.23 including the shipping!!

I Love Albertson's!

Even though I only do big shops once or twice a month because of meal planning, I still have to run to the store about once a week for milk...and usually I forget something I needed. Having a toddler and being pregnant will do that to you, even with a list!

So, tonight I had to run to the store to get milk and bananas. On the way there, hubby had to stop in Home Depot for a screw and I decided to stay in the car with C. I had brought the Albertson's mailer with me and was looking over it while I was waiting. What did I see?? Another great cereal deal! Right now, you can get 4 boxes of select Kellogg's cereals for $6. The ad is kind of confusing because it says 4 for $10, save $4 which doesn't make a lot of sense at first glance. But, basically when you buy 4 boxes at the 4 for $10 price, there is an instore coupon that takes off $4 at the end of the transaction making them 4 for $6. The only downside to this is that they are limiting you to 4 boxes per transaction. But, the deal just started today so, if you are a cereal hoarder like I am you can go back numerous times!

Some other great deals right now at Albertson's,

Bluebell pints are 10 for $10 (great for pregnant ladies like me!)
Arrid Deodorant and White Rain soaps are 10 for $10
Looney Tunes Baby Wipes 80 ct are 10 for $10
Pillsbury cake mixes are 10 for $10

Remember to check your local Albertson's ad before you go, some regions have different deals!

Traveling on a Budget

Last week, we took a 3 day road trip to Illinois from Dallas for a job interview for the hubby. Just to let you know this is a 10 hour trip with a toddler in the back seat! Anyway, our monthly budget wasn't quite able to handle this trip but, it was something that was really important for hubby if it works out. We were actually able to pull off the trip for a lot less than I thought. Here are some ways that we cut back on expenses.

1. We drove instead of flying...yes 10 hours in the car with a toddler isn't as much fun as you would like it to be but, we were able to bring everything we needed and didn't have to worry about renting a car when we got there

2. We packed three days worth of lunches and snacks and ate at rest areas... usually, hubby and I look at road trips as a great excuse to eat gross fast food and gas station snacks but, this time I took my happy coupon self to the grocery store and made sandwiches, cookies, and packed up some fruit and cheese as well as a massive pack of bottled water that I got on sale for 2.99

3. We stayed at a cheaper hotel... I was pretty spoiled growing up and staying in nice hotels but, this time we stayed at a Quality Inn, which was pretty okay. It was less than $80 a night which was great with me.

4. We made sure that our hotel had a free continental breakfast... This is great, you don't have to worry about getting breakfast some where because it's right in your hotel, and it's free!

5. Our room had a refrigerator and a microwave... so, we could save our sandwiches for the road and any leftovers we had could be reheated if need be.

6. I didn't go out and buy new toys for C, instead I dug through his toys to find ones he hadn't used in a while... He was really excited to see some of his old toys, I did bring a few favorites though.

7. No souvenirs... since this was technically a business trip, we didn't buy and souvenirs.

8. Cruise Control, learn, love it, use it... the last car I had didn't have cruise control. It still got pretty good gas mileage and when I started driving this car I had a hard time getting used to using it. Well, I realized on this trip, cruise control really does help with your gas mileage.

We did end up eating out for both of our dinners but, we had planned that. You have to get out a little bit! What sorts of things do you do to save money when traveling??