No Spend October

You read that right!  We’re doing another “no spend” month however this time we as a family will all be together for it!  In order to help prepare for this coming month we’ve stocked up the freezer and pantry a little bit and have some tasks ahead of us.  The tasks are simple: learn how to be a family of 4 (baby is due October 4th).  We will spend cash instead of swiping the debit card to ensure that the allotted budget isn’t manipulated or abused, and we will stick with it.  We absolutely have to get our heads in the game.

Dave Ramsey talks about a facade people who have unhealthy budgets have: nice new vehicles, all the fun vacations, great meals out and excursions, essentially “keeping up with the Jones’.”  Since they’re paying for everything later they cannot actually afford the things they have.  They use loans.  Loans are debt.  Debt is money you do not have therefore you cannot afford the item.  Financially fit families live with what they have, or less, so that they can buy with today or even yesterday’s money.  That’s our goal.  We’re working on becoming debt free while living with one income.  In order to help speed up the debt pay-down process we’re randomly challenging ourselves to “no spend” months.

Here’s what we’re trying to accomplish with No Spend October:

  • Spend as little as possible on groceries
  • No “wants”
  • No trips or visits out of town
  • More time with family in our local surrounding
  • Put more money toward debt than usual
  • Create good solid spending (or lack there of) habits

I’m hoping that since we will be adding another little into our family we will have more motivation to stay home and not spend money. 😉  Stop by to help us stay accountable as I will be posting throughout the month with progress updates.  Maybe once we get the hang of this “no spend month” obstacle we host an accountability group for our friends and family who want to give it a shot as well, as for now it’s just us. *fist bump emoji*

IKEA latt hack

If you’ve been following along you’ve probably noticed that for while now we’ve been slowly working our way from a cluster f of accumulated furniture to rooms we’re happy to enter and proud to see photos of.  One of the things I was adamant about was that we would have a play area worthy of the internet.  Pinterest worthy, if you catch my drift. 😛

We have two white cube shelves, one is a 9 cube 3×3 (shown in this post), and a 4 cube 1×4 which we currently have in use elsewhere in the house.  Since we rotate Elizabeth’s toys we are able to keep the play area tidy and clean without a lot of storage since her toys are in containers tucked away to prevent temptations.  We knew we needed a place where our little girl could do more toddler activities so we purchased the IKEA latt table and chairs set ($25).  I had to do something about the blonde colored wood and simple white mdf on the table top and chair seats so I decided to use some left over gel stain from a recent project and did two coats.  Initially we stained the mdf for the chair seats but it disagreed with me.

alpha-butler-charlie

After that we decided we wanted to add a cushion and some fabric so I knew in an instant we would do black and white stripes.  We used 1″ thick cushion foam and cut it to a 9″ square and secured it to the chair seat using the fabric and hot glue.  With the hot glue and the way the seat is held into the frame of the chair I’m confident the cushion won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

For the table top we decided to use a piece of chalkboard contact paper that we had on hand from another recent project and it turned out visually better than I expected, plus we didn’t have any issues with bubbling, yay!  How did you hack your IKEA latt table and chairs?

ikea

DIY projects this week

We have been knocking out project after project this week and it feels GREAT!  This morning we had about three or four complete renovation projects going on in our garage and as of this hour we have completed one entirely, and have a small little bit of work left to do to finally be finished with another.

It’s tough to be a DIYer with a toddler who is at home full time (rather than many toddlers who are in preschool or daycare), not even to mention being 39 weeks.  EEK!  I have to squeeze in time when Elizabeth is asleep or when her mood and the weather align perfectly for her to wander around the work area while I’m working/keeping her out of the project.  I’m really going to miss how “easy” it was to deal with only one child when this second one is also getting in the way of these projects. 😉

This morning our project to-do list included an old Victorian dresser (we think?), the IKEA Latt table and chairs set, a glider and foot stool combo, and the IKEA bekvam step stool.

00h0h_8wgohqxeli9_1200x900

While three of those same projects are left unfinished, one of them is completely finished, and one is just about at the finish line, it’s so close I’ve even shared it on my facebook although there is still one thing left to do.  The two IKEA projects are still being worked on but I’d say the latt table and chairs set is about half way, and the bekvam step stool is maybe 1/3 of the way to being completed.

I’m really really hoping that I can share with you a second completed project tomorrow!!  Until then, here is my second DIY reupholster/stain/paint glider job:

purple-glider-1

Charlie loves gliders which basically means that she is either in or begging to get into a glider if she’s around one.  This glider was initially a light blonde or ash wood color which I’m not crazy about, and a dark blue almost-corduroy fabric on the cushions.  We purchased it secondhand with the intention to redo it like we did with Elizabeth’s, which you can read about here.

I would love to take on another glider project sometime in the future (next baby, maybe?!)  because I’d like to try some other techniques throughout the process.

Have you been feeling productive lately?

5 baby resources I will use with baby #2

Tomorrow I will be 39 weeks pregnant with #2 and since I have spent the last couple weeks (finally) preparing for this baby I thought I would jot down a list of resources or things that I will definitely utilize again.  I tried so many things after Elizabeth was born but these are things that have stuck, or that I have adopted later and stuck with.

The Wonder Weeks

I received this book from a neighbor shortly before Elizabeth was born and it has been such a life saver!  It’s so great to know when to expect to have bad days or weeks.  This book doesn’t just stop there, it also explains why your little one is having  a rough time, what they’re learning, how they are developing, and games or interactions you can work on with them to help them develop to their best potential.  The Wonder Weeks also has an app (the only app I’ve ever purchased) which I also highly recommend to help you have all of the info on hand.  I have enjoyed learning about Elizabeth’s developmental leaps and look forward to going through it again and helping this next little one develop as well!

Baby week by week

Babble has an awesome resource that I have bookmarked to my home screen on my cellphone.  Each week it covers a mental development that your baby will go through around that time, research explanations to back the mental development, and a “brain booster” for you to help your little make the most of their new development!  I LOVE this free resource and it was so fun to play these developmental games with Elizabeth and be able to actually witness her growth as she reached each new stage.

gDiapers

We used gDiapers until Elizabeth was eating food and didn’t have water-soluble poop anymore.  I’d love to get her back into her g’s now that she has “plop-able” poops, however we will be using them on #2 from the start again.  I believe they saved us so much money than if we had used disposables from the start.  We do not use disposable inserts in our g’s, instead we use prefolds folded into thirds as our inserts.

Ergobaby carrier

I noticed while I was pregnant with Elizabeth that you never really saw young babies crying in grocery stores who were being carried, but would frequently see crying babies in infant car seats crying.  Because of that we decided to baby carry.  We have an ergo in each vehicle and carried Elizabeth until she was mobile and enjoyed being in the cart seat.  A couple huge benefit to baby carrying is also that you still have both of your hands to do things with, and you are giving your body a little bit of a work out wearing your growing baby around.

Rockabye Baby CDs

Last Christmas my brother and sister-in-law gifted us our first Rockabye Baby CD and we have been hooked ever since.  Whenever Elizabeth becomes fussy in the car we put the CD on and she calms right down.  It’s fun to listen to the music because the songs are genuinely good songs, they’re just played by different instruments and don’t have vocals.  Best. Baby gift. Ever.

What is something you ended up using for second, third, etc. children?

Breech baby; deliver, csection, ECV…

At my 20 week anatomy scan 19 weeks ago we discovered this baby is breech.  I’ve had it stuck in my mind that she wouldn’t flip on her own the entire time, call it mothers intuition.  I tried everything I knew of throughout the pregnancy including the recommended techniques by spinning babies.  I was facing quite the dilemma.  Weeks went by, people continued to tell me that she’d flip on her own, and before everybody knew it I was 37 weeks, full term, and baby was still standing upright.

At my 37 week appointment I mentioned to the midwife that the baby was breech, which apparently had been left out of all of the paperwork and “nobody knew.”  Not cool, since I had been mentioning it at every appointment to each new midwife I saw only to hear the usual unhelpful response of, “she’ll move on her own.”  This midwife thankfully grabbed a doctor who gave me a list of my options.  He informed me that there were three options total: 1.  Deliver the breech baby vaginally, which he strongly discouraged; 2. Schedule a c-section; or 3.  Schedule an external cephalic version, or ECV, which was what he recommended.  I was aware of the options but appreciated the personal input he had to give simply because I knew it was something normal for him to experience since he was, in fact, an OB.  We scheduled the ECV for 3 days later, about half way through my 37th week of pregnancy for 8 in the morning.

That morning we were to be expected in the Labor and Delivery ward at 6 am, so I woke up at 4:30, showered, got Elizabeth ready, brought her to a friend’s house, then showed up at the hospital.  I opted for a spinal simply because recent studies have proven that the ECV with some form of anesthesia will be more successful than an ECV without, and about 30% more successful at that.  (source)   An additional benefit of opting for the spinal is that if the ECV goes wrong and an emergency c-section is necessary, general anesthesia isn’t needed, and no time is wasted.

For the “no time is wasted” reason, the doctors fully prepped me for a c-section, it really was quite unsettling.  They had me in the Labor and Delivery OR and went as far as to use iodine on my stomach, which for some reason really did surprise me.  However, the ECV lasted literally less than 2 minutes and was successful.  The doctor was very good to say the least.

I had my 38 week check up 5 days later where they confirmed baby has stayed head down, yay!  Now we just wait until labor begins when they’ll confirm one last time that the baby is head down, but I am SO happy this baby is finally in the right position.

Keep us in your thoughts and please will this baby to stay head down and come when she’s ready, healthy and happy! ❤