Welcome to Penny Pinching Mom

Throughout this blog, you will find meal plans, date night ideas, daily routines, preschool activities, natural cleaning products, crafting and so much more. Essentially, I want to share how I make "everyday tasks" into something to look forward to - except for mopping floors, you're on your own for that one!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Come on Winter! {Weekend Reading}

I find it ironic that I am flying away, on Tuesday, to somewhere warm and sunny yet I am sitting here hoping the snow will still be here when I get back!  I will admit, I am not a fan of being cold, but I just love snow!  I love to ski, toboggan, build snow forts and snow people.  I don't know if you have noticed, but there isn't that much snow here.  About once a week, there is a little tease but them it melts away.

Yesterday, we went curling - a whole day of curling actually.  It was great.  Always a fun time with friends and family.  Now that I am ready to warm up I thought I would share some wintry blogs for your Sunday evening.

Root Vegetable Mulligatawny soup recipe :: Whole Living Daily
Stories, rhymes and poems :: Perfect Parties
How to beat winter weight gain :: Eating Well

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Project 365

A few years ago, I came across a project where you would take a photo of yourself every day for one year.  I just loved the idea of this and the amount of creativity that could come from it.  I mean take a look at Shawn Van Daele!  Go check him out.  It's OK, I will wait................ Your back? Isn't he a crazy talented photographer with amazing photoshop skills!  Now, I wasn't expecting myself to be at that level but I thought I could manage to click a shutter button once a day. 

Well, the problem was:
I'm a perfectionist!  I can't just take a snapshot of my self and be satisfied with it!

Then I come across the idea of taking a photo of anything everyday for a year.  This sounds WAY more do-able!
Then I realized:
1. My camera is huge and not exactly something I want to throw into my diaper bag every day.

2. We are lucky enough to have a 2nd camera that I feel more secure about bringing everywhere with me but the quality is poor, the battery life is short and it just plain frustrates me!

Well, now..... I have a fancy smancy smart phone!

 And it has a pretty descent camera on it.  Today I realized, this is perfect!  I am starting my own Project 365!  I am just not sure the best way to get said photos off my phone onto the blog...  But, I will figure it out eventually!

I will leave you with my 1st photo:
Download 2012-01-18 12.48.13.jpg (1944.2 KB)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Goodbye Sucky!

Binky, Nungy, Suce, Soother, Pacifier... apparently, there are LOTS of names for that little devil!
And as I try to write this post, Red is whining that I won't give it to him!

Before I was in the trenches, I read that the developmental need to suck is well gone by the age of 6 months.  In my mind that meant no soother after 6 months. Big Spender and I both didn't like to see a child running around or trying to talk with a soother in his mouth and we agreed it would be better to get rid of it sooner than later.

There is a small chance I was wrong...

Ginger never was really into the soother. We would wait until we tried other things to help her calm down and then offer the soother.  She would clamp he lips tight!  The only time she ever wanted it is if she was already calm.  Around  6.5 months we just stopped offering it to her and she seemed fine with that.
Ginger - Toes are WAY more tasty!
Red, on the other hand LOVES his suce.  From the moment he was born I said, "he is either going to be a thumb sucker or crazy for a soother".  I don't really remember him sucking his fingers at all but once we had a good latch (for breastfeeding) established he was delighted we introduced him to a soother.  I would try to only offer it when he was fussing (which was all the time!) but I soon attached that sucker (haha) to his shirt and we were all happier!

Isn't it funny how siblings can be so different?

Now Red is 16 months old.  The suce usually hangs out in his crib and he has it for sleeping.  But lately he has been extra fussy.  I think there is a good chance he is teething - but I am tired of making excuses to keep the thing!  A few months ago he created a sign for soother where he makes an O shape with his mouth and taps his index finger to his lips.  Super cute when he is 9 months old... but hard to say no to because he is trying to hard to communicate without whining/screaming.

So now I am finding ways to get rid of the soother.  Ways that will minimize the amount of stress this will cause for Red and the family. So far I have:

- Snipping the tip off.
- Attaching it to a toy and then eventually he will just have the toy.
- Poke holes into it so there is less resistance - therefor less interest.
- Attaching it to a helium balloon and have a "release party"!
- Put it in a build-a-bear.
- Create a story about the "Soother Fairy".
- Give it to a baby in the family and explain that it's time to "pass it on" to a baby now.

The last four are really only good if the child is old enough to understand what is going on.  I really hope his soother is gone well before then!  He has become quite dependant on it.  It took us a long time to get him to self-soothe to sleep so I would like him to learn how to, eventually, do that all the time.  This is also why I am afraid to say goodbye sucky, for good.  It is only now I would call him a good sleeper - a 2-2.5 hour nap everyday and sleeping about 11 hours most nights.  What is going to happen when the soother is gone?  How long will the chaos last?  I can't handle this!?  Phew -  As I often say to Ginger: "Deep breathe in... and blooooooooow".  Ok we can do this! ........... Once I return from my week away at the end of the month ;)

Have you ever had to do this transition?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Baby Cloth and Mama Cloth

Baby Cloth
There are plenty of blogs out there to explain what cloth diapering is all about, what the benefits are, how it works, what the best kinds are but I wanted to share why we choose to use cloth.  Of course, when I say we, I me Red and I.  At the end of most days, my husband would probably rather disposables :)

Let's start at the beginning.  I was pregnant with Ginger - I have NO clue how the cloth diaper bug got in my ear... honestly I try to remember and I just have no idea!  Somehow I ended up online doing research.  This lead to finding a store somewhere near Hamilton that sold them.  I found plenty of online stores but I wanted to touch these crazy diapers.  I wanted to meet someone who actually used them! 

I finally found Snuggle Bugz, in Burlington.  They only sold one kind of diaper at the time - Velcro Bum Genius.  They had blue, green, yellow, pink and white.  To be honest, I remember looking at the guy who was selling them and thinking "Your nuts! There is no way the inside of the diaper is going to stay clean.  They will just sit there for 3 days, in a pail, and they will be clean?! No way!"  Well I guess he was a good sales man because whenever someone asked me, "What can I buy the baby?" I would send them to Snuggle Bugz.  If they seemed hesitant to drive all the way to Burlington, I said any money to pay for the diapers myself would also be wonderful!

Big Spender wasn't convinced.  I wasn't the most... tidy person.  I would leave dirty laundry on the floor until I had nothing left to wear and then would do laundry in a couple of days!  I convinced him that I really would wash them and we started out with 15 green, blue and yellow ones (no pink please!).

I loved it from the very start!  I NEVER had to run to the store when she was wearing the last diaper.  I NEVER had to wipe the crystal gunk off her tiny newborn bum.  I NEVER had to smell another wet disposable diaper (I am telling you - 'sposies smell way more than cloth).  I Never had to worry if she was going to outgrow the size 2 pack of diaper before the pack was empty.  I Never looked back!

My favourite lately:
Flats with a Snappi
Thirsties Duo Wrap with snaps

Thirsties Duo Diaper

Kissaluvs Fitted

Kissa's Wool Cover
Why baby cloth?
1. Far less waste - mostly when garbage day comes around.
2. If it feels soft in my hands, I know it must be more comfy on baby's butt!
3. Far less chemical and plastic.
4. Faster potty training. Ginger was day trained just after her 2nd birthday and night trained just after
     2.5 years.
5. It's just plain cheaper! To be honest, I am surprised this was number five on my list :)
6. Re-usable for multiple children.

NOTE: Dear squeamish reader, this next bit is about "feminine hygiene". That's your only warning. ;)

Mama cloth
I am fairly new to the "mama cloth" world.  I have heard about the Diva Cup about 3 years ago but we were planning on getting pregnant fairly quickly after Ginger so I waited until after Red was born to look into it more.  Around this time, I also heard about Re-diaper hosting a "pad party".  A few women got together and sewed some cloth pads to give to girls in developing countries.  I thought "I can so make some of those!"  Well, a few months went buy and surprise surprise - I hadn't made any!  I finally sucked it up and bought some from Tree Hugger Mama Cloth.  I just love them!   The Tree Hugger's pads I purchased are one layer of minky fleece and one layer of regular fleece (I think there must be something absorbent in the core, too).

Minkee Topped Pantyliners
Tree Hugger Mama Cloth

 I have seen Luna Pads but I haven't tried them yet. I would like to get a couple of Luna Pads to do a comparison but I think I would still choose Tree Hugger.

Mini Pad & Liner

I rinse them out in the bathroom sink and toss them in with my dirty load of towels.  They come out perfectly clean.  Something I learned with cloth diapers is that man-made fibers don't stain as much as natural fibers.  I only have three pads right now but they only act as  "back up" because I have the Diva Cup.  I haven't purchased disposable pads/tampons since September!

Why mama cloth?
1. No need to spend money, on pads, every month.
2. So much more comfy than disposables! They may be a tiny bit thicker but I would often get minor  irritations from the plastic of disposable pads so I think cloth is so nice.  Cloth also breathes better than the plastic backed ones.
3. No embarrassing noises in a public restroom when you need to change your pad - you know the
noise, right?
4. No chemicals against my skin.
5. Not a plastic wrapper, backing or packaging anywhere in sight!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What's is Eating Your Kid?

A friend told me about a book called What's is Eating Your Kid?.  She has a young one and wondered if some of her tantrums could be related to a food intolerance.  I started to think about Ginger.  We have been trying to "eat clean" food lately so artificial preservatives and refined sugars are getting the boot! Now I notice, when she has "those" foods, she is more prone to a tantrum. 

Then I read the overview and started to think about her small size, her picky eating habits, her ear infections (which seem to have stopped but were out of control until she was 3).  I can't wait to start this book.  Even if it doesn't apply to my child, I think it will be a good read -  I just hope I can finish it before I have to return it to the library!

What’s Eating Your Child? is about the connections between common ailments such as chronic ear infections, reflux, tummy aches, picky eating, poor growth, mood and behavior problems and your child’s diet. Most people agree that a good diet is important but few know how to decipher the effect food has on their health. What’s Eating Your Child? will help parents, medical professionals, teachers and caretakers identify possible dietary links and address the problem.
There are many informative nutrition books around but I noticed that many of them were boring. I was determined to write a book that was not only useful but also entertaining. The most fascinating part about being a nutrition detective is the real life situations I deal with daily. For that reason, the book revolves around true stories of families struggling with common health problems. I share their stories, how we figured out the solution, if their solution would help your child and how to apply it.

I wonder if the book will mention anything about what vitamins or minereals
will help hair growth - because Lord knows, she needs it!
She wanted her bangs to be shorter... *sigh