Sunday, March 29, 2009

Family Planning Associates Plane Crash

I read this article at the blog of a friend, and thought I should pass it along. I hope this is a wakeup call for Bud Feldcamp. We should pray for his family, and those that died in the crash. 

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Odds & Ends

Just some odds and ends of the past couple weeks. 

We made a fort on a cold, rainy, spring day. We used couch cushions, kitchen chairs, blankets, playsilks, and clothespins. 

And here's what it looked like inside. 

This is for my friend Dani. This is a picture of 18 ounces of natural peanut butter. : ) 

This is what I look at for the first half hour of my day - a toddler with bed head hanging on to my leg while I fix breakfast, brush my teeth, brush my hair...

And this is a picture taken by our friend Ron with his ga-zillion dollar camera. I'm so envious!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Freedom of Conscience

President Obama wants to end the freedom of healthcare workers to act according to their own consciences, requiring them to provide abortions or dispense birth control, even if it conflicts with their own personal beliefs. Does this sound like freedom of choice to you? (Of course it is, as long as you choose what the government tells you to!) 

Frankly, it sounds a bit Orwellian to me. 

Don't like it? There's a petition here. Go sign it! NOW! 

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fluffy and pretty!

It was time to order some new cloth diapers. The last time I had replaced my medium Fuzzi Bunz, Luke was in diapers. That meant that my medium diapers had been in near-constant use since... 2004? With this year's tax return, I ordered a few new FBs from Natural Babies

They came in the mail, and OH! They are so soft and pretty! Since this was my first opportunity to order girly-colored Fuzzi Bunz, I took full advantage. (TBH, I also ordered orange and red, but they didn't look as good with the others in the photos, so just imagine them, okay?) 

Why, why, why do people insist on using crinkly, smelly, chemical-laden paper diapers? These are so lovely to the touch. Would you wear paper underwear? Me either! So why make your child wear a trash bag on her bottom all day? 

I admit, I was a bit intimidated by the choices out there on the internet - so many cloth diapers to choose from. So I ordered one. Just one. It was a red Fuzzi Bunz. And I tried it on Luke, who was a year old at the time. And I was hooked. 

I was so concerned about the extra laundry, and washing poop in my washing machine, and all the horror stories (from middle-aged women) about cloth diapers - none of which are accurate about today's cloth diapers, I can tell you! These aren't your momma's plastic pants! These are pretty, and they smell good, and they're EASY! 

  • I do not keep a pail full of bleach-water in my house
  • I do not dunk dirty diapers in the toilet, and carry them, dripping and nasty to the pail
  • I do not touch poop when changing a diaper or taking them to the washing machine
  • I have not had to buy a million pieces of special paraphernalia 
  • I save money by not throwing away my diapers after every use
  • I save the environment by not discarding my diapers, not using a newly manufactured diaper for every diaper change, not buying more trash bags for my diaper-filled trash cans, not wasting gas transporting diapers from factory to warehouse to store to my home and then to the landfill. Yes, I use water and energy to wash my diapers. But how much water and energy does it take to manufacture and transport single-use diapers? And how much room do they take up in the landfill? YUCK! 
And can we just talk about poop for a minute? If you're a parent, poop happens. It's a fact of life, and you get used to it pretty quickly. Once your baby starts solids, poop takes on a life of its own. It needs to be dumped in the toilet after a diaper change - whether you're using cloth or paper diapers. Yep - go check the instructions on the side of your sposie diaper package. You're supposed to be flushing that poo before your sposie hits the trash! If you're not, well, then you're creating a big problem for our groundwater. (Especially if you also vax your kids. Which is an ENTIRELY different post.) So don't use the poop issue as an excuse for using your chemical-laden, crunchy (and not in a good way) diapers. Stop being a weenie and go to cloth. 

One last thought about cloth: I hear a lot of people whine about the upfront cost of cloth. Look at it this way - buying cloth diapers versus using sposies is a lot like buying a car versus renting one week-to-week. Sure, the upfront cost is off-putting, but which is cheaper in the long run? DUH! 

A thing of beauty...

is a joy at the grocery store! After months of struggling along with my previous coupon organization system, I finally broke down and bought a Mead Five-Star binder, upon the recs of some nice ladies at HCW. I have died and gone to coupon heaven! 

I had resisted buying a binder and accessories for quite a while. My previous accordion file was free, and being the tightwad that I am, I didn't want to spend money on a new system. But I realized last weekend at Meijer that my accordion-file system just wasn't working. Imagine having fistfuls of coupons, sifting through them in the aisle just because you found something on sale and darn it! You knew you had clipped that coupon! Now where is it?! (Now imagine that with a toddler in tow, who is melting down because you won't let her open the Goldfish crackers. Not pretty.) 

Yeah, I was frustrated. So I bought a new binder. I stocked it with two calculators (one for figuring per-unit prices, the other to keep a running total), a pen, paper, paper clips, kid scissors, and plenty of clear sleeves used to store baseball cards. And it zips closed, so if I drop it, I don't have a coupon avalanche! (Right, Hubby?) See? Look! 
In the above photo, you can see the front of my binder. It has a mesh pocket that zips closed. I keep my calculators here, and any coupons that I'm using during the shopping trip that I'm on. 

In this photo (above)  you can see the inside cover of my binder. On the left, there are several accordion folders, in which I keep lists, uncut inserts, and store ads. On the right, you can see a small zippered pouch that holds my scissors, paper clips, and spare note paper. 

And here is the best part- the COUPONS! Oh, they are so organized, and bring a leap of joy to my little thrifty, hyper-organized heart. I purchased some dividers along with the binder, and so I have divided my coupons by my store's layout. Health & beauty comes first, frozen food and bread comes last, with everything else in the middle. I broke out my label maker and labeled all my little tabs, and I am in LOOOOOVE. 

Did I mention that this sucker is HEAVY? Yeppers, it's a bit of a chore to haul her around, but I think it's worth it. I can find everything now, just by flipping pages. Hubby thinks I'm nuts, but that's okay, because I've already saved enough to pay for my new binder. : ) 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chalkboard pantry

Not a great picture, I know, because it's a tight spot. But we painted our pantry door with chalkboard paint, and we LOVE it! I can write our weekly menu on the door, and the kids (Hubby) like to draw all kinds of pictures on it! And now, I have somewhere to write all those great, inspiring quotes I find that I want to remember. (I have to memorize them fast, though, because the kids LOVE to erase the chalkboard.) 

Walgreens, revisited

Today at Walgreens, I bought all this shampoo, conditioner, and hair gel, plus a pack of gum. I paid $3.77. (Of that $3.77, $2.60 was tax. Woot!) 

Just thought you should know!