Monday, April 29, 2013

6 Months!

This post is slightly late, but we have been busy!

Time really does fly when you have kids. It is hard to believe that in 4 months I am scheduled to go back to work. I am trying to figure out some options now so I don't have to go back full time. I would love to stay home with Tallet.

Tallet is growing in leaps in bounds. He is into 6-9 and 6-12 month clothes, most of which JUST fit. I am sure he will be in the next size in a month or two.

He is eating solid foods 3 times a day and loves it. We try something new every 3 days, and he doesn't always love it at first. I am making my own baby food. I am trying to do some baby led weaning but  he doesn't get enough food that way and at this point he is used to getting a certain amount of solids, he cries in hunger if he doesn't get it.

I am also back to breastfeeding. The 2 week break combined with a routine of apple cider vinegar, olive oil and baking soda worked to get rid of thrush was the only thing that worked. I literally tried every single other option other than gentian violet. I am so glad the pain is gone, breastfeeding is wonderful now. I am SO SO SO glad I stuck out the pain for 5 months instead of giving up. Bottle feeding/ bottle washing was no fun. I pump every night before I go to bed for extra milk for when I need to leave him with someone.

He has moved to his crib for night. This means he is upstairs, which seems really far away. We do have a fantastic monitor that if I hold it up to my ear I can hear him breathing. It isn't one of those $300 monitors that have video and movement sensors (my friends decided that would make me too paranoid so they bought me this one) .

Anyways, his transition went VERY smoothly. We were using the Ferber method up to this point, and it was working ok. But I really didn't want to let him cry it out for 2 hours his first night in the crib so we (I) read the No Cry Sleep Solution and we are combining the methods. We have a bedtime routine : bath, change, eat, book, and then lullaby music/soother/teddy and getting rocked to sleep. If he wakes up after we put him down for night, he has to cry it out. He never cries more than 1 or 2 minutes at a time. The second night he was in his crib we tried picking him up and rocking him back to sleep when he woke up, but every time I would lay him down he would cry again. When I would pick him up, he was asleep before he hit my chest. Then I would lay him down and he would cry. I did this for an hour before I became so frustrated I just left him in his crib and walked away. Within 5 minutes he was alseep and he slept through the rest of the night. My life lesson from this is : the sleep methods you read about in books are great to give you ideas, but they do not work for every baby. My advice is to read as many books as your heart desires and then do what works best for you and your baby.

We are going to slowly phase out the getting rocked to sleep part of it. As long as we are consistent with the bedtime routine, he will learn that it is time to go to sleep for the night. Actually, I have found that he doesn't fall asleep in my arms completely. He kind of writhes around like he is uncomfortable and then once he hits the mattress he is out like a light. So he is kinda phasing out the rocking to sleep thing himself!

Naptime is a little more of a challenge, he doesn't fall asleep as fast as he does for nighttime. But he has improved napwise in the last week, so I am sure it will continue to get better. We have reduced the number of naps from 4 to 3 so I think that helped.

Enough about sleep, Tallet loves to play. He still enjoys getting books read to him, and will often calm right down if he is grumpy when you start to read to him. He can move around in circles on his mat quite well. He can get up on his hands and knees from time to time, so I am sure crawling isn't too far away. He has started to take steps when hold his hands, and will walk all the way across the room. Up until a week ago he showed no interested in that. He also likes to stand up "by himself" against the couch or coffee table or me. My hands are always there to catch him, but I am surprised how much balance he has gained in the last two weeks doing this!

Tallet's baby dedication was yesterday! It was such a special and meaningful time for us. A lot of family came out to support us. It is so important to us that our family and church commit to helping us to foster Tallet's relationship with God. I want nothing more for him than to live a faith filled life! After church we had family and friends over for lunch. It was such a great time, I just wish I had a bigger house to fit more people!

Well, this post has been long enough for one day! I just wasted a whole naptime typing this when I could have been sewing! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


One of my best friends, Coralee, doesn't think I post often enough anymore. She figures I do nothing all day, so I should be able to post at least once a day! Hahaha. This is for your, Cor!

Yesterday Cor came over and I helped her make a budget like we do. I have been using a budget for a few years, but just over a year ago we switched to a cash only budget. I had been watching the show Till Debt Do Us Part with Gail Vax Oxlade and that is what she does with all the couples on that show.

Now I no money guru. In fact, historically I am terrible with money. I have gotten myself into a lot of trouble with money. Trouble I am STILL paying for today. But this method has really helped me to learn how to handle money. We are now well on our way out of debt, and even have some money in savings. All the bills get paid on time and there is no more scrounging around at the end of the month when the loans come out! In fact, in less than a year the only personal debt we will have is a mortgage (unless we decide to get another vehicle, of course). This is what we do:

I used Excel to make a spreadsheet with two categories: Fixed and Variable.

The fixed expenses are things like mortgage, loans, hydro, telephone, cell phone, tv, car insurance, life insurance, house insurance. I pay all these things online at the beginning of the month, or they come out  automatically, and hydro I write a check out.

Variables are things like food, gas, clothes, gifts, pets, entertainment, miscellaneous, personal money and tithe. I take out cash for all these categories at the beginning of the month and put them into bags. You can use jars if you want. And then that is all the money we have for those things for the entire month. It works for us to take out all the money at once because Eric's only gets paid once a month. But for some people they take it out once a week, or twice a month. Depending on how they get paid.

I guess technically there is a 3rd and 4th category: Savings and Debt Repayment. I have savings set up online to transfer a set amount on the first of every month to two accounts : Personal Savings and Tallet's Savings. This way I don't have to worry about transferring it every month, it is automatically done for me. We also have a set amount for debt repayment every month, I do that online too.

If we want extra things over and above out budget, we use savings for that. Things like car repairs and large purchases like a breast pump.

Something that is a necessity for a cash budget is to take your debit card (and credit cards if you use them) out of your wallet/purse. This is something I didn't do at first, but then I found myself using my debit card when I ran out of money for certain categories. And then that meant I would have to readjust the budget for the next month to make up for the shortage. I budget down to the last dollar, so there is not room in the budget to do that. Just take the cards out of your wallet so there is no temptation to do that. Freeze your cards if you need to. That way if you need to use them for something, you have a while to think about it before you do. We use the debit card strictly for accessing the savings for the extra things.

I do feel stupid when I go to the store and take money of of a baggie to pay. And I am pretty bad at spending most of the food and miscellaneous money at the beginning of the month and then I scrimp the rest of the month. I need to learn to spread it out a bit better.

I highly recommend using this method. I used to budget by using quicken and tracking every purchase on the computer, but I often got backlogged and it was complicated. This method is easy and it works.

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