Monday, July 25, 2011

Meet Me on Monday Week 13

Gosh! I can't believe this is week 13 already! That means I've been blogging even longer than that which is surprising. Time sure does fly and the faster it flies, the older it makes me feel. Hmmmm....

On to the questions for this week! Feel free to share your answers as well. :)


1.  Do you have a fireplace in your home?
No, I live in the desert and luckily don't need one. I do like sitting by the fire pit outside though, but it's hardly ever cold enough to use it. I like it that way!
This is obviously before we added sod.

2.  Can you drive a stick shift?
Yes, I learned how to drive on one-it was an old Toyota Tercel. My first car was an old 75 Volkswagon Beetle. It was older than me. I loved that car!
This is not the exact car, but it looked just the same.
3.  How many computers are in your home?
I have a desktop and a laptop, plus my husband has hooked up a really old desktop in the garage-I'm not really sure why. We also both basically have computers as phones. Technology is a major part of our lives.
4.  Are your taxes done yet?  Do you do them yourself?
Since MMOM is taking a hiatus for the summer, this is obviously an old question. I do not do my own taxes in our personal life. My hubby does them. My work taxes are done by me so far. I need to submit Junes. I am running out of time. I am quite the procrastinator.

5.  What is your favorite meal of the day?
That is such a hard question! Does dessert count as a meal? If not, I would say breakfast. Well, maybe dinner because you can have breakfast for dinner, but I choose not to have dinner for breakfast. Well, obviously my favorite meal is not lunch! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Holy Suds!

In my neighborhood, the HOA does not allow clotheslines. I live in the Phoenix area though, and I have to take advantage of the sun to dry my diapers and keep them nice, white, and stain free. Plus, I save money on gas (we have a gas dryer.) So for as long as I've cloth diapered, my patio furniture has doubled as drying areas.

Baby J loves to be outside. However, now that she's older, she is destroying everything in her wake and the nicely laid out cloth diapers, inserts, wash cloths and wet bags are victims in her path. 

One of Baby J's favorite things to play with is the Chloe's, our yellow lab, water bowl. She used to just sit by it and splash in it, but now she wants to put things in it and soak up the water. She grabs handfuls of the inserts I have put out to sun and dunks them in the water. Then she goes for more until all the water is sucked up. After that, she just throws them around to pick up all the dirt sitting on the patio. Yes, I watch as this all happens. She's happy, entertained, and soaking wet which in the triple digit temperatures is a relief to me knowing she must feel good in her wet clothes and won't overheat. I also think it's super cute when she tries to put everything back out to dry.

Yesterday she decided to repeat this routine. I wasn't as lenient at first and started taking out the inserts and ringing them out to put them back in the sun. Oh my goodness! Holy suds! My inserts are full of detergent. :( Crap! Now I have to strip. 

I have never really found the perfect washing routine. We have a high-efficiency front loader and although I love it for washing almost everything, I would rather have an old top loader for my cloth diapers. That way I could see the suds and determine an appropriate amount of detergent and rinses to know I was getting my diapers clean and soap free. I use minimal detergent, or so I thought, and rinse at least twice, but I guess I need to use less. Which is always good because then the detergent lasts longer!

We haven't had any real ammonia issues since my last stripping fiasco, except on those nasty nighttime diapers. I always think to myself that having a diaper on for that long is bound to be a bit stinky from the pee, but I must be wrong.

My goal today is to boil all my inserts. I did a boil a few weeks ago on half of them and that made a huge difference in the way they feel. It was way easier than using Dawn to strip and saves a ton of water and energy. Wish me luck! I will be reporting back on this experience soon.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Meet Me on Monday Week 12


1.  What jewelry do you wear 24/7?
I wear my wedding ring 24/7-really my engagement ring. I have 2 wedding bands-one for each side because I like things symmetrical, but I haven't put them back on since having Baby J. I love wearing jewelry, but I'm allergic to certain metals and can't wear anything for long periods of time.

2.  Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?
I twirl it usually, but if it's a big bite, I will cut it.

3.  How many siblings do you have?
I have two brothers and a half sister. I am closest to my older brother, although growing up my younger brother and I were close. We all live in different states and usually keep in touch through Facebook.
My younger brother.
My younger sister.

My older brother.

4.  Were you named after anyone?
No. I'm an original.
I wanted to add a cool pic of my name, but I found this book instead. I will have to find it and read it now.

5.  Coke or Pepsi?
Neither. Water is my choice of beverage. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Caught with my pants down

Yesterday my husband and I took our daughter to her one year doctor's appointment. I really love her doctor and I enjoy learning how she is doing from an outsider's point of view. My husband was updating paperwork as I took Baby J to get weighed and measured. 

Baby J was hesitant to stay on the scale without holding on to me; she's just recently become super clingy in strange places and around people she doesn't know. It took a bit of maneuvering to get her weight, but lying her down to measure her height was easy. Go figure. For those curious: she's in the 80th percentile for height and in the 50th for weight-she doesn't get either of those stats from me.

As I pick Baby J up and carry her back to the private room, something terrible and horrifying happens to me. My shorts fall off. No, I am not kidding. They just fell straight to the floor. I couldn't believe it. First, we are still in the hallway, and the door to the lobby is wide open. My bare buns are hanging out because *TMI alert* I'm wearing a thong which is my usual undergarment. As I realize what has happened, I shimmy to the room (luckily it's the first one so I didn't have to go too far) and put my bare buns to the wall. I tried to pull them up as inconspicuously as possible as I backed into the examination room. It was not easy with Baby J in my arms and while trying not to bend over and expose more of my nakedness. The poor nurse-she was probably just as horrified, but laughed with me during this horribly embarrassing moment. 

Now, you might wonder, "Bridget, why would your pants just fall off?" Well, here comes the cheapo side of me. I have lost a good deal of weight since two summers ago. Last summer I was a very pregnant woman who only wore her husband's basketball shorts which fit on her big belly around the house and just nice cotton undies after baby arrived. I didn't go out much last summer. Even though I lost a ton after Baby J arrived, nothing really fit right, so I was super excited to have clothes that I could put on and not see a muffin top over the edge after getting them zipped. Actually, most of my shorts I'm able to pull up without unzipping at all now. I like it that way. I'm not lazy, but it makes me feel better. 

Anyway, I knew this particular pair was big, but not 'fall off my butt in the middle of the doctor's office' big. I know I need to buy some new shorts, but I need to lose more weight and I don't want to buy a pair I can only wear for a short time. (Not that I'm having any luck losing the weight as my obsession with chocolate and sweet treats has overcome this need.) I am just super cheap. After my husband got a good laugh, he said we should go shopping afterwards. Score! 

Did I buy the shorts I tried on? No. They weren't even on sale.

Not the best picture of me, but here I am two weeks before this event occurred in my baggy shorts.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Meet Me on Monday Week 11

Another week has gone by and it's Monday again! I like Mondays because it's my husband's Friday. He is off on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I didn't like them much when I was teaching though! 

The normal blogger who does MMOM skipped this week and last, so I just borrowed some of her questions that she asked before I began blogging. 

1. Crunchy or soft tacos?
Crunchy beef tacos! Yum!

2. Do you scrapbook?
No. I wish I had the creative touches to do this, but I did not get that gene.
Maybe I should try a digital scrapbook!
3. Do you take any daily medications?
Yes, I have hypothyroidism and have had to take daily meds since docs diagnosed it when I was thirteen. 

4. What is your favorite sound?
Laughing. It means someone is happy:)

5. Where were you born?
Lima, OH but I grew up in the DFW area so I'm really a Texas girl at heart!
This is where I was born, but I haven't been to Ohio since I was four years old.
I love the Dallas skyline!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Traveling on the Trail

Last week I had my favorite aunt (who I grew up with) and favorite cousin (from a different aunt) in town visiting from Oklahoma. My cousin had never seen the Grand Canyon, and as my husband used to live there and knows the best places to show visitors and tourists, we had to go. 

Traveling with a one year old by car is never fun, but let me tell you, a road trip around the state of Arizona was not something on her to-do list. That's for another post though.

Since the Grand Canyon is about thirty degrees cooler than the valley, we didn't have to rush to go on our little hike. We enjoyed a nice breakfast, even though we missed the buffet and I was super disappointed, and then were ready to get going and show Cousin Theresa the big hole in Arizona. On our way through the national park, my husband, Lee, made Theresa turn her head anytime the canyon was close to view. He did this because he has a certain way he always shows newcomers to the Canyon. 

Lee always takes people to Shoshone Point for their first view of the Grand Canyon. It's pretty isolated and definitely not a tourist spot. It's about a mile walk from where you park your car to the edge of the hole through a nicely forested area. The sky is a perfect blue and as you walk along you can smell the freshness of the pine trees in the air. It's so peaceful and a great way to feel closer to nature. 
Me and the fam walking to Shoshone Point
As we approach the view of the canyon, Lee's plan is to blindfold Theresa and guide her to the point so that her first view is up close and personal. He did this to me years ago the first time he brought me here too-except I had to ride piggy back and I swear he was walking backwards...
Theresa has been blindfolded. She's a bit terrified.

Here's Theresa, blindfolded and being guided to the edge by yours truly:)
I don't have a picture of her initial reaction, but the wipe away of tears here might help you picture it. (We did a video recording instead of pics.)
It was Baby J's first visit to the GC too!
After taking pics, it was time to walk back. Theresa was not excited about that at all. She is terrified of heights. You see how she was sitting down and not really even close to the edge-she was holding on to rocks for security. 
Theresa did not like the narrow path way and said if she hadn't been blindfolded, she never would have made it this far. Do you see Lee, Baby J, and me up on the rock?
Due to the road trip, Baby J was running on fumes and really lacked some good sleep. She was cranky, so we thought we'd give her some time to stretch her legs before heading back on the trail. 
How cute are they??

Best picnic bench view ever!
Baby J is always getting into something.
It was a good thing we stopped. Baby J had to work something out and that would have been horrible if she was stuck in the carrier with that! Of course, I left my wet bag in the car. Why? Because it had other diapers in it and I didn't want to carry any extra dirty diapers. Duh! What was I thinking? Luckily, I had a leftover plastic grocery bag in my diaper bag. I don't think I ever have grocery bags in here, so I felt really fortunate. I could have just wrapped it up and snapped it, (which I've done before in a pinch) but it's always better to be safe than sorry. 

After she was fresh and clean, we put her back in the carrier and headed back. Poor Baby J ran out of fuel and fumes and crashed on the way back. She really needed a rest, so we let her sleep for a little while after we got back. 

I did have sunscreen on Baby J and I kept putting a hat on her, (which wasn't an easy task b/c if you haven't noticed, Lee's a foot taller than me,) but she kept throwing it off. :(

All pooped out-no pun intended!
And just for fun-this was the first time I saw the Grand Canyon-August 2005

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Frugal Finds

I have always been a tight wad, but I find myself watching my bank account even more closely now that I have started to build a business at the same time as planning to buy a new home.

Buying used is a second nature to me, especially now that I have a child. Kids go through things so quickly-toys, shoes, clothes, etc. that it's really not practical (for me at least) to buy everything new. I have always loved Craigslist. We have bought and sold many items, from plants that we dug up and replanted, to motorcycles and Pampered Chef pots and pans. The deals you can find are amazing, and of course endless as people are always looking to get rid of something they no longer use. 
Baby J in her birthday dress-bought at Kid to Kid for $5.50 and I got an additional 25% off of that price! :)
As my daughter's first birthday approached, which also just happened to be my husband's and my fifth anniversary, I contemplated on what to get her. She doesn't need clothes even though it's always fund to buy them. Because her birthday is in the summer and she LOVES to be outside even when it's 115* out, I decided we needed to get her something for the backyard. I love the Little Tikes outdoor furniture so we thought about that and also considered getting a baby pool. We nixed the pool because we will have one in our new home-hopefully sooner than later. 

After checking online and in store for the perfect outdoor play set, and seeing that most are $100 or more, I decided to go to my favorite online garage sale: Craigslist. I found a ton of Little Tikes items available for super cheap! I was so excited and wanted to buy everything just because it was such a great deal, but that kind of takes away from the saving money idea...

Of course, some of the ads were already unavailable and people 'forgot' to take down their ad and other posters just never email back. Fortunately, there were two items I scored. One was a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe car. I never thought about it for the first birthday, but for $15, I just couldn't pass it up. Baby J loves it and, although she can only go backwards because she hasn't mastered driving, she loves sitting in it and honking the horn or just climbing in and out and shutting the door. 
Retails new for $49.99-savings of $34.99+tax:)
I still wanted an item for outdoor play, so I emailed a handful of posters about their slides. One poster had just listed various items that she was going to sell at a garage sale without pictures and it just so happened that one was a Little Tikes slide for $10. Unfortunately she was having technical difficulties loading any pictures, but since she only lived about 15 minutes away (and everything seems to be 15 minutes away from me anyway) my husband decided to go check it out. It was a little faded, but for $10, how perfect for our little June Bug!! 
Baby J is waiting for her best friend at the bottom of the slide.
Good job friend! I need to try that now.
Not only did I save tons of money on these items, I feel great that I am passing on some previously loved toys to my daughter who would never know the difference.

Now I hope to get some cash selling items she no longer uses to other frugal families!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Meet Me on Monday Week 10

This is a week late. I actually wrote it on time, I just was never able to post it. I had family in town that distracted me and of course Baby J can never let me have a quick minute on the computer in peace. :) I have been AWOL from my blog, but now that my house is back and hubby is here on vaca for a few more days, I hope to get my posts written and actually posted! Wish me luck!


1.  What is your favorite food?
I have to pick just one?? I really love semi-sweet chocolate chips. They are my favorite snack.  I also LOVE french fries-they are so hard to resist. Ice cream is at the top of the list, too. 
2.  What color scheme is your bedroom?
Black and silver, but we have a red wall-not really my style to have the red, I would rather have a blue or green accent, but we have blues in other rooms and most greens go better w/ brown in the bedroom. 
This isn't my bedroom, but it's my style.
 3.  Do you carry a donor card?
No, but I am a donor and it says so on my license. I guess I should look into that.
4.  In your opinion, is the glass half empty or half full?
I would say normally half full. I do get in moods sometimes where I can be a pessimist though. 
5.  Vanilla or Chocolate?
I love chocolate, but I have to go with vanilla because you can add so many different flavors to vanilla to make it any other flavor you want. It's more versatile.