Learning Cloth Diapers

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With my first, the idea of cloth diapers was ‘cute’, meaning not for me but they looked adorable on your baby!

Now with both being toddlers, we are just getting with the program. Our 2.5 yr old is potty training and while still using diapers, we’re hoping sooner than later this phase is over. However, at daycare he’s in disposables and at home he’s in gerber training pants cloth and the plastic gerber over pants. Now this being said, we got these (basically in brand new condition) from my mother who got them from a garage sale for a dime a piece I believe. I think most were in a grab bag and she might have got them cheaper. But nonetheless, this is why we are using them. Basically new, basically free, and for their purpose they work for us. ‘Cute’ training pants like by Grovia are $18-$20 a pop!!! 1) we don’t want to pay that and 2) the kid doesn’t have fashion issues so what we have we will work with.

We have toyed with the idea of sending cloth to daycare and multiple changes of clothes. We aren’t to that point yet but we might try it. We also thought about a pack of Flip Training Pants. Although we’ve had issues with the Flip stay dry inserts in Weehuggers covers. The Flips seem to bunch up with either child and get the inside of the cover wet too.

We’ve also tried the basic Indian prefolds from cottonbabies in the premium and regular sizes. Both are just too awkward lengths. We got a 3 pack of econobum prefolds which work better in the covers but won’t work in the old fashion snappi method. The Weehuggers are cute, but a little thicker in prints than their solids. I also don’t like the bamboo flaps to ‘hold’ the diaper in place since they get wet.

Our little girl just this week has been only wearing cloth at daycare. This has been going well but I do need a few more diapers. We’ve been sending BUmgenius 4.0 and Fuzzibunz pocket diapers to daycare. I have 3 more BG on their way to my house and so far I’m really liking them even though they seem a little bulkier than the Fuzzibunz. The FB with a thiristes duo insert though is super trim (IMO).

I wish we were doing all this sooner. Paying $35-45 a box per kid per month on diapers is crazy. That’s getting name brand (bc generic ones aren’t worth the price unless it’s Targets) and getting discounts. With baby #1, I had couponed and saved over a year of diapers for pennies on the dollar. So it wasn’t a price issue bc I already did all the leg work to basically get most diapers for a couple dollars a bag of diapers. Now since I don’t have that time anymore, we would order on amazon.

I might pick up a pack at Target of diapers as just in case and going out, but I’m trying hard to go all cloth.

The hardest part is understand cloth diapers. Knowing how to wash (we do cold, hot, then rinse) and knowing what you like. It also takes some money to buy up front. Although I would buy a couple prefolds and cover at first and go from there. Yes, we may all love the look of the Applechecks but seriously who can fork out $25-30 for the diaper and another $10 for the insert?

I think if people were exposed to the prefold and good prefolds, that would be eaisest. I need to try GMDS prefolds before I give in the towel. I love the idea but I need shorter prefolds. Otherwise we may start looking for natural fibers but at that price we could get pocket diapers.

If we all could have diapers like BG Freetime (which I would love to try) it would be soooo easy. I love to talk cloth (as we’ve tried a decent amount but love reading about what we might try.) What diapers do you love? What ones are worth the price?

IRA’s opened: CHECK!

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Well we did it. We both got Roth IRA’s opened up today. I have no clue in what it all means, but I just know that we both opened one and picked a portfolio that was already pre-built? I don’t know if that is the correct term, but something is open at least. I will have to figure out our budget and call up the IRA place to make sure we are all good and see if we need minimum investments to evade annual fees.

I need to follow up on the credit reports for this year to make sure they are all clear and good and everything was taken care. I am very proud of us though having done these couple things alone this month.

We are trying to plan a vacation but it’s proving to be a little difficult. We want to drive as with 2 toddlers it would be very burdensome right now to try and fly. So that means we are looking at places like Texas (Austin? Dallas?) or Arkansas (Eureka Springs?). We found the tree houses in Eureka Springs we’ve wanted to go to for a while, but they do not allow children so that is a big bummer. Most hotels or Bed/Breakfast’s look outdated and kinda gross.

Anyone have any great recommendations for the Texas/Arkansas/Missouri area to vacation with toddlers? We were thinking Colorado but that would put us at a 10 hr drive and that’s probably too much to handle drive time for all of us. We were thinking a vacation in April and a hotel or inn that is kid friendly and a nice place.

Next on our list is to get tax information together and get those done. I’m not looking forward b/c it’s a lot of work and no payoff. We usually break even with state and federal taxes which is good, but again a drag.

I have bought a few more cloth diapers (prefolds) to try with our covers we already have. I’m trying to find a good solution that we can send to daycare and quit buying those $35-$45 boxes monthly of disposables. Our 2.5yr old has really been trying hard potty training, although he will still wear disposables at daycare. I’ve thought about the Flip Training Pants, but haven’t decided. I think I’m liking the Econobums prefolds with our Weehugger covers. I also got some Bumgenius pockets that we are loving already as well. I was a Fuzzibum lover, but I really like the suede cloth inside the Bumgenius. The hard part will be figuring out what to send baby girl to school in that her cloth diaper will fit in since some of these aren’t the trimmest options. I believe I may have enough pockets to send to daycare and then I may have enough prefolds for another option as well. I haven’t decided as we are trying our new fluff out this weekend. But I am getting a little more comfortable that I will get something out of the $ I’ve spent on cloth diapers vs nothing out of all the trash disposables we’ve bought.

When you get sick…

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It’s 4am in the morning here and I’ve been up all night and all day yesterday and the night before being sick. The whole 9 yards. It feels awful. It’s funny how you immediately start praying to just get whatever thing out of your body. This is probably TMI, but you really just pray for whatever demon is consuming your stomach and insides to get out regardless. I think I’m past that point and now to the point of praying that my spinal cord is removed so my back wouldn’t be throbbing and have a heating pad sitting upwards on the couch just to be able to bear the pain.

I dislike being sick. It makes you feel weak and out of control. Nothing is enjoyable and all I want is my kids but they move around and don’t understand that mommy hurts EVERYWHERE. My husband has to take over everything from feeding to entertaining to putting them to bed and I feel so useless. Then I want him to take care of me and rub my feet as well. I truly got the pick of the litter with him. Even during regular nights, he’s the one who gets up with the kids to put them back to bed. He knows that I’m the grouch in the middle of the night and I truly need my beauty sleep. We have arguments and disagree on subjects and even dislike each other sometimes but through all that I hope he knows that I will always love him, no matter what craziness and grouchiness mood I may be in and what I say.

When I’m sick of course it always feels like death. Then I get thinking about my life and what I do and have done and the things I really want out of it. I just really want to be more in my kids lives. I really want to work from home some or work part time. You save for retirement to have time off but then it’s too late bc your kids are grown. My little boy already knows his ABC’s and asks why all the time. I’m not a risk taker but I have to eventually take some risks in order to reach my wants. I’ve even thought about setting aside money and messing with stocks and see how good I am there. Not much money, just enough to see what I’m doing and if it looks good. I don’t gamble bc I rather spend $ elsewhere but stocks at least I know a little about the company, read up what’s going on in the world, and can watch it.

I’ve thought about doing more website building and learning that. I understand and know some coding, but I would really need to build up skill and take a class. I enjoy coding and there’s the luxury of self employment and working wherever.

What do we really want and need?

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What do I really want out of life? Right now I have everything I could ever want but I don’t see it all the time bc I get to focused on the ‘list’ I need to do.

I really want more time with my kids. I want to work some from home or just part time to achieve that; however I can’t right now. Full time to get benefits is where I’m at. My kids need to be with other kids and I don’t want to take that from them. But I need to be with them as well. :/ Only getting my few hours after work and weekends feels like nothing as time flies by. I have a 2.5 yr old who I swear was just a baby yesterday. Now I have a dancing, plane and car loving little man who needs his mommy to rub his face to go to sleep nightly. At least I still have that piece of my ‘baby’ boy. My little girl is now walking and doing her best to talk. Time flies by so fast, I forget I had no babies just 2.5 yrs ago.

I know paying off this mortgage is our best move right now, but 5 yrs makes my babies almost middle school aged. It’s so difficult.

We really just want to try a new lifestyle in a new place. Things stopping us: family is here, have to rent out house or sale, have to find jobs, and the hardest is figuring out how to find a cheap COL state like ours here. I’m so scared about daycare and good schools. I’m also afraid that I couldn’t get as good as a job as here. In my mind I’ve always told myself, if I have to work and be away from my kids then I should always try and get as much $ as I can being away from them. :/

It gets very depressing in my mind wanting it all but not being able to get it all. I know I want my kids, but I need them to have a good life that I want for them.

IRA and other acronyms

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I’ve been researching IRA’s and where to even start. I have no clue. I’m new to all of this and the info I find isn’t current 2012 info. We don’t have a ‘local’ guy and I rather go with a company that will stay around. I just know we need to start one each for retirement/kids college. We got to find a place first.

We need a Roth IRA even though I don’t plan to make more in retirement than now. We have $1000 to start each fund and we can contribute at least $75 monthly. I believe we want mutual fund base, basically something that can sit and draw. We are completely new to this and I just know of terms and not how it all works (besides for my 401k at work which is very small). We need to make this happen. This is my January 2012 goal.

I saw some things about the Vanguard STAR…but looks like a high expense overhead? Also I saw something about a Barclay Bonds and those looked to be doing well? See how lost I am…

Do you have any advice?
Do you know of a current IRA laydown by another fellow PF blogger?

Cleaning time

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With today being a MLK day and I have the day off work, I’ve been working hard to get my kitchen cleaned up some. You know you go day in and day out always saying “I need to clean up that right there” or “I need to get those out of the cabinets”. Well I’m trying to do that, like a good, through cleaning. All the while I’m trying to ‘potty train’ a 2.5 yr old, which is not easy. He’s sitting the in bathroom right now singing to his letters video on the iPad. I’m just anxiously awaiting for him to ‘accidently’ pee again while watching and praising him. He’s will sit in there for hours, albeit if the iPad is in there. We’ve been trying all weekend and I really hope he’s understanding a little of what we are doing (or what he is doing).

My goal for today is to pay some bills and pull those credit reports! I need to finish cleaning up some of the kitchen, doing some laundry, feeding two little ones (and myself for once today), and tackle them. This is usually what happens on my days off and holidays. I spent all the time in the world just cleaning and cleaning.

I was reading another blog last night over minimalism. When I start thinking about it, it is really hard to be a minimalism, a family with kids, and frugal. Here’s why: when stuff is on sale (or super cheap with a coupon sometimes), you want to stock up on it. Or you want to stock up on things you absolutely cannot handle as a family when it’s out aka toilet paper. I always want extra toilet paper. Nothing worse than being out at the wrong time. Also you want to get rid of everything! If you are type borderline A like me and want things to be clean otherwise you can’t fully relax, you want it all just gone. However, then you want more ‘efficient’ or ‘effective’ products. Like right now I have about 4 old hospital canisters I use to take my water to work. Well I’m like ‘those take up a lot of space and always washing those.’ Then I think ‘well I would really like to buy a new fancy Sigg or insert name of fancy water bottle here’, with the expectation that I (or my husband) would wash/clean it nightly for the next day. That means I’m paying for more stuff, which is ridiculous. Also while cleaning the kitchen I thought I keep all the extra 15 little medicine things you get with medicine bottles and use those for craft time for paint or something. No, I didn’t need to do that. I did throw them away b/c we always get more. It’s the little things that you are seriously wasting time thinking about. I’m all for reuse/recycle/reinvent, but man when will I stop spending all my time thinking about these small, unnecessary, ridiculous items and get on with my life. I’m constantly always in the stage of ‘purging’, yet I keep buying.

My husband and I talked about finances the other night. I’m more of the bookkeeper around here though. Another goal I have for myself for the next month (I want to say year, but I need to take it month by month) is to quit buying kids clothes. I need to look through the next size I have stowed away from them and make sure they have all the basics and make a list of what they do not have (aka like little guy needs a coat for next year) and when I go shopping, I can view the clearance/sales section and see if I find something off the list, but nothing more. Now for this to work, I really just need to stay away from the store (aka Target and Children’s Place). I just ended up spending $100 a few weeks ago on getting the next couple sizes up jeans, and a coat for little girl for next year, and lots of cute shirts. I got really good deals (like $2 shirts and $5 jeans (hard to find cheaper jeans, sizes usually aren’t there)).

Back to wanting to sell everything, I did manage to sell our jumperoo that little girl outgrew. Most of the bigger items of ‘baby’ things I’ve sold on craigslist, but I still have about 7-8 BIG tubs of clothes. From brand new with tags to worn once, we really overbought clothes and like crazy. I really need to sell all that but it takes a lot of time and I just don’t have that right now to devout. Usually there is a local community sale I did well last year at and I’ll attend this year…but I know I’m sitting on a lot of money right there and space.