Saturday, January 29, 2011

The World Through a Preschoolers Eyes

Little Man got ahold of my camera and took some amazing pictures I must say.  I love the creativity of them.  To me, they show the world as he sees it.  I hope you all enjoy them too. There are a lot here, he went a little picture crazy.  Gee, I wonder where he gets that from, must be daddy's influence. *wink wink*

he even did a self portrait by holding he camera out
and taking a picture of himself

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I have to laugh or else I may cry

May be TMI for some, invloves POO, don't say I didn't warn you!

A "fun" little sequence of events that just happened in our home:

I hear Little Man cry out "MOOOO-OOOM Smunchkin took off her diaper and now she's pooing"


So I rush back into the play room and sure enough there Smunchkin is, diaper no where to be found and a nice little pile of poop between her legs.  The only comfort I could give myself was at least it was a sold which meant easy(ish) clean up.

I had Tubs in my arms so I set her down on the floor and took Smunchkin to the bathroom to clean her up, then went to the playroom to remove the offending poopy.  When I cam back to the bathroom Smunchkin says "mama, I wanna  potty" a little late for that but I always want to encourage all desire to use the potty so I placed her on the potty where she proceeded to wipe pretend who knows what.

While we are in the bathroom I hear "MOOOO-OOOOM, now Monkey is pooping too"


I make Sunchkin quickly finish up and flush her pretend potty away and rush BACK into the playroom to discover that NO, Monkey is not pooping too, apparently Snuchkin did not stay in 1 spot while she was pooping and mommy missed some.  Thankfully Monkey found it for mommy and she was even "nice" enough to share some with Tubs.  I really need to reevaluate our sharing policy to omit certain things.

Picture Monkey finger painting the carpet with it while Tubs squishes a good handful in her chubby little fist just squealing away like its the best thing ever.

I take Monkey and Tubs into the bathroom and begin to wash Tubs hand in the sink.  So far that's the only place she has the poo so I wanted to get her washed down first before she got it anywhere else.  monkey had it all over her hands, clothes and some in her hair so she was going to need a bath.

Ah sweet Monkey, always thinking ahead for mommy.  While scrubbing Tubs chubby fist, that she is refusing to open and let go of her prize, Monkey disappeared behind the partial wall that separates the main bathroom/sink area from the toilet/shower area.  I knew immediately what she was doing and called out "don't do it, don't you dare do it" but before I could set Tubs safely down on the floor I heard a squeal and splash.


I wish I could say it ends here but alas it did not.  The poo still had a few more "fun" surprises planned for me.

I stripped Monkey down and placed her in the shower to scrub her off.  Once she was clean I wrapped her in a towel and headed to the living room to get her dress.  No sooner did I step into the hallway and SQUISH, right between the toes.

At this point I just started hysterically laughing so hard that I am crying.  I set Monkey's naked tush down in the hall and limp back into the bathroom to wash my foot off.  As I am doing this Little Man comes into the bathroom in tears with his beloved blue Ellie (the elephant) that he has had since he was born.  He hands her to me sobbing and says "mom" sniff hiccup "" sniff sniff, BAWL.  Ellie was covered in poo.

Seriously, why does no one tell you about days like this before you have kids?  Where is my reality show, that would have made for some hilarious air time people.  I am still just hysterically laughing as I relive it.

At least I can laugh about it right.

Poopy, err I mean Christy

P.S. The picture above is not from this incident.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm Crunchy because I am lazy

I wish I could sit here and list all of the selfless and altruistic reasons why I live and parent the way I do but when it comes right down to it, it's just because I am lazy.  Actually, because I am lazy AND cheap, or frugal yeah that's a better word for it, we'll call it that.

Take breastfeeding for example.  Tanya hit the nail right on the head with her blog titled I Am Lazy Therefore I Breastfeed.  You really cannot get more lazy than laying on the couch and pulling down your shirt to feed your baby.  Sure I could take the high road,  sit here and recite all of the facts to you about how breastmilk is the perfect food for baby or list all of the health benefits both mom and baby receive but honestly those are just perks to me.  I am lazy and breastfeeding allows me to do the most minimal work possible to feed my baby.  If I could feed my whole family just as easily I would.  Its like the staples Easy button.  CLICK and baby is fed.

I had never experienced formula with my own children until Monkey was 5 months old.  Before they were all exclusively breastfed.  I had heard all the stories about how formula was easier but told myself I wanted to do what I felt was best for my babies, even if it was the harder path.  Imagine my surprise when I had to switch Monkey over to formula after my supply dried up.  I could not believe the amount of work there was involved with formula.  The measuring the water, making sure it was the right temperature (Monkey refused cold bottles, she was used to warm booby milk on tap and wanted nothing less).  Measuring out the formula, cleaning the bottles and the nipples, remembering to pack everything before leaving the house, having to actually get out of bed every time she awoke at night to make a bottle for her.  What were these moms talking about?  This was so much more work to me.

I am not in any way trying to start a debate on which is better, as I said I have done both.   I do not look down on moms who use formula.  I am just saying, in my own personal experience, formula is much more work that breastfeeding.  I am also very forgetful and I cannot tell you how many times I forgot the bottles and/or formula at home.  Having breastmilk on tap is so much easier on my poor mommy brain.  I am too lazy to even pump.
My frugal side kicks in with this as well, formula and bottles are so expensive.  Breastfeeding is free.  Hmmm, that's a tough choice there.

I absolutely loathed having to get out of bed 2-3 times a night to make her bottles, which brings me to another of my crunchy ways that comes more from a lazy standpoint than anything else.  We co-sleep/bed share because I am lazy.  Why get out of bed, go across the hall to a nursery, pick up the baby, feed them in a chair, sit there until they are done and back to sleep, put them back in the crib, go back to your bed and try to fall back to sleep only to do it all again a few hours later.  With a newborn, you are lucky to get 1-2 hrs of sleep in between each waking so I am all about trying to cut that waking time to a minimum.  Having baby in bed with me means I reach them faster so they are less worked up and awake.  Plus I am able to keep myself in the sleepy state easily so that I can quickly fall back to sleep.  Those 7 months when Monkey was on formula were the hardest and most sleep deprived months of my life.  Easily worse than the first few months with a newborn.  By the time I got everything done for her, even though she was old enough to hold the bottle and feed herself, it would still take me a minimum of 20-30 minutes to fall back to sleep.  Sometimes I would be awake for hours and finally start to drift off just about the time that she awoke again.

I babywear because its just easier on me.  It allows me to get things done while still cuddling and holding my baby.  So maybe that's not a lazy or frugal reason, more a multi-task reason.  I also babywear now out of necessity.  If I go out somewhere with all 4 kids I have to put the 2 older girls in the double stroller and wear Tub Tub.  With my first, second and even third baby babywearing was also done out of laziness because it was just so much easier than pulling out and setting up a bulky stroller.

On the frugal side, I recycle, use natural/homemade cleaners, cloth diaper, and UNpaper towel.  Again, I could say I do all of these to live a greener and simpler lifestyle and to lower my carbon foot print, but as with the breastfeeding benefits, these are just perks.  They could come out with a study tomorrow that says using natural cleaners and cloth diapering has no beneficial effect on the ecosystem and I would still choose to do them because I am cheap, err ummm I mean frugal.

Why is recycling frugal?  Simple, our family, a family of SIX makes an average of 1.5 bags of trash per week, with 3 in diapers (but that's also due to cloth diapering).  So I can buy a box of 20 garbage sacks and they last us about 3 months.   This may seem like pennies but can add up over time. I dream of the day that they start charging for garbage removal services based on the pounds or even number of bags you have.  We all  know that day is coming, many cities already place a limit on the number of bags allowed and charge extra fees if that limit is exceeded   I am sick of paying the same amount for trash removal as the Jon Does down the street who have 6-8 bags of trash a week with a family of 4.  Plus it would just be nice to give others an incentive to recycle as well.

Cloth diapering is an obvious frugal venture.  Three kids still in diapers, even with only changing every 4 hours in the day (and we all know that's a low estimate) plus 1 diaper at night that's still a total of 12 diapers a day we would need.  You can do the math on that one, its a lot of money I can tell you that much. 

UNPaper Toweling is something I have been doing for years now, way before the cloth diapers, before we had kids even.  Its something my grandma always did and I did not even know it had a name until recently.  If you are not sure what UNpaper toweling is, its exactly what it sounds like.  Its using reusable/washable towels in place of paper towels.  I have different "levels" of towels in our home, this covers wash cloths too.  Tier 1 towels are for drying off after showering.  Tier 2 towels are used for washing and drying dishes as well as to wash little faces and hands after particularly messy meals such as spaghetti.  Tier 3 towels are used for misc household cleaning and most spills.  Tier 4 towels are the bottom of the the tower, they are used for the particularly yucky jobs such as cleaning pee or poo off floors or scrubbing out vomit.  The towels get passed down through the tiers as they go.  Once they are at the bottom they stay there.  If you are asking yourself why Tier 4 towels are necessary you are obviously not a parent.
We also use Tier 2 for eating purposes.  I do have a few cloth napkins but find they are really more for decorative looks than anything else and do not do a particularly good job of wiping up things or cleaning off messy fingers.
The cheap gerber cloth diapers you can find at places like Walmart and Target make GREAT UNpaper Towels for cleaning purposes.

Even with the natural cleaners its more about saving money for me.  Sure, I love using natural products in my home and not having to worry about what sort of chemicals I may be exposing my kids to but secretly I love it because its cheap.  I know what many of you are thinking, natural cleaners are pricey, not really.  Not if you know what you are looking for and comparison shop.  Many of the natural cleaners cost less than the chemical versions, you just have to know what you are looking for.  Plus I rarely buy any actual premade (store bought, commercial, whatever you want to call it) cleaners.  Most of the cleaning around my house are done with white vinegar and baking soda.  You can't get more frugal than white vinegar and baking soda when it comes to cost.  Plus, both do a superior job to almost all other cleaners out there.  Recently I had to do the dishes using these 2 items mixed together in hot water.  It was hard to wrap my brain around the fact that there as no suds in the water, I kept thinking the dishes were not clean because of it and my germaphobe instincts kicked into over drive.   Then I realized they were actually doing a better job of cleaning the dishes as they got rid of a few things that I thought were permanently discolored.  You know those items we all have in the kitchen that are plastic and came into contact with a tomato based sauce and now have a bit of an orangish hue.  Soak them in some vinegar and baking soda and watch them disappear. 
For a whole list of wonderful things you can do around your house with just baking soda check out Job Description : Mommy's blog entitled Baking Sodas Many Mommy Uses

This summer I plan to install a clothes line.  Or should I say I plan to have the hubby install a clothes line.  This is definitely not for lazy reasons as I am sure taking the time to hang clothes out to dry will be a tad more work.  This one stems purely form my frugal side.  Its a "2 bird with 1 stone" frugal venture.  It will save us money not running the dryer in the summer which costs electricity not just to run but also to cool the house back down from the heat it creates.  It also is proven to extend the life of your clothes meaning more wear out of them.  Plus the sun is awesome for naturally bleaching out stains, I learned this with cloth diapers.

The last example I will give is cooking from scratch, or as close to scratch as possible.  Yes its good for you and I love to be able to know and control whats in the food I am feeding my family.   You  pay for convenience.  The less work involved in the "cooking" or preparing process the more expensive the food is going to be.  I won't even go into the facts about how most convenience and processed foods should really be called "food like substances" as they are far from real foods.  I will save that for another blog because in the end, its about making my food dollars stretch.  I am not going to pay $7 for a bag of frozen breaded chicken when I can get twice as much for the same price buying and breading the chicken myself.

I enjoy living a simpler life though, I am not into material things and I really dislike giving my money away all the time.  I enjoy all of the benefits that come along with the choices that I make but when it gets down to the nitty gritty I must admit I am crunchy because I am lazy-AND FRUGAL!

one lazy frugal Crunchy Mama,

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dear Dishes, I Hate You!

Dear Dishes,
I hate you!
No Love,

we are a household of SIX! This is dishes form
breakfast and lunch only!
Ok, so I know "hate" is a very strong word.  Its actually a "no no" word in our house so shhhhhh, please don't tell Little Man I said it. 

Maybe I should say I detest, strongly dislike, disdain, despise, LOATH the dishes instead.  No, hate seems to pretty much sum it all up for me. I HATE dishes with a passion. 

I am not sure why I have such a strong dislike for them.  Its not like they are particularly hard to do.  I can think of plenty of other chores that are much harder than dishes. 

Maybe its my inner germaphobe that's screaming out.  I just can't stand to put my hands in the water.  Its icky, it sends shutters down my spine and if some teeny tiny piece of food manages to make it in there and brushes up against my hand I want to vomit.  I never feel like they are really "clean" and spend way too much time scrubbing and rescrubbing each individual dish.

If you couldn't tell already, I have to do the dishes by hand.  Our home did not come "fully equipped" and a dishwasher was just  not standard on this model unfortunately.  I think this may be part of my dislike for them.  They annoyed me before but I never really felt such disgust until we moved and I had to start doing them by hand. 

Growing up we always had to do dishes by hand and I promised myself that when I lived on my own I would have a dishwasher.  I was able to keep that promise too with every place we lived in until now.  We have always lived in apartments/duplexes and now we have a home in the country with a small amount of land.  It was a trade off I was willing to make, at the time.  Now I am starting to question that haha.

I told myself that at least doing dishes by hand was greener and better for the environment and our pocket book due to less water usage.  That was stolen from me quickly after whining on Facebook to friends and discovering that dishwashers, especially the new more energy efficient models, are actually greener.  That was the only "perk" that made it even remotely worthwhile.

I told myself it would only be a few months, that we would save up and get one even if it meant getting a used one on Craigslist.  I forgot we are in a recession and people are trying to make a living off selling things in CL and want almost what they paid, sometimes more.  Thanks, I will pass on your 6 yr old USED dishwasher that you want $250 for when I can get a NEW one with a warranty for $300.

I told Santa I wanted a dishwasher for Christmas, unfortunately Santa told me he was too broke.  So I am stuck doing them by hand still. 

I personally think a dishwasher would make a beautiful Valentine's Day gift, what about you?  What says romance more than a machine that will wash the dishes for me!?!?  YEAH BABY!

I literally have dreams about just scraping dishes off and loading them on it.  I was a bad girl and would complain about having to do that when I had a dishwasher, shame on me!  I thought it was annoying to load and unload that thing, so foolish and spoiled I was.

Its even starting to effect my love of cooking.  Who wants to cook when it just means dirty dishes to wash.  HO-HUM.  I know, suck it up and be a grown up already.

Can I just say being a grown up really SUCKS sometimes! (shhhh, thats a "no no" word in our home too!).

SO, who wants to start the "Let's buy Christy a dishwasher" fund.  Anyone, anyone................anyone at all..............all I hear are crickets chirping does that mean there are no takers? ah shucks!  It was worth a shot.

With love for everyone EXCEPT my dishes,

P.S. For those of you who are lucky enough to own a dishwasher but prefer to do them by hand, shame on you, send the dishwasher on over my way so it can have the proper love, respect and attention that it deserves.  Poor little dishwasher, sitting in your kitchen all alone being shunned.  Never getting to feel the water coursing through its lines and feel the true joy of banishing all the icky germs and dirt from your dishes.  Its ok little dishwasher, I love you!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...