Tuesday, February 23, 2016

We found the one

So this past week my husband and I went on a road trip to look at houses.
We searched in Virginia and Maryland since he will be working near DC we have more options.
We had a list of non-negotiable needs and a wish list of wants which included:

3+ bedrooms (it has 4)
1.5 bathrooms (it has 3 full bathrooms)
Not a corner lot (2nd house from corner)
Not on a main road (2 blocks in 45sec drive to main road)
Gated back yard for dog (1 acre fully fenced in plus built in kennel)
Garage (drive through garage for 2)
Basement (its finished and lovely)
Deck (needs refinishing but has a big one)
Porch (does not have one in front but has a screen covered one in rear leading to deck)
Spacious kitchen & cabinets (nice color, stainless steel appliances and roomy enough)
A fireplace (no but has a wood burning stove)
Walk in pantry (bust: tiny closet)
Tub in the master bathroom (bust: crowded room with a stand up shower)

It has a pool & diving board.

All in all I think we made out great. We're super excited about this new stage in our lives.
We went over our initial budget but we were pre-approved for our loan.
Now we just wait and pray that it passes inspection, that it appraises fairly with the agreed upon prize and that the loan gets approved!
We're pushing for a closing date of March 31st and if all goes well, we'll be packing up and driving out April 1st.
Hubby is due to begin work on April 10th so it gives us a little over a week to get settled in.

The house is in great condition, of course I want to add splashes of color to the rooms and see if I can DIY some magic in to make it personal. We're so used to not being able to many any adjustments with rentals, I can barely sit still as I think of all the possibilities.

All you prayer warriors out there, please lift up our process for approval.
Now to Pinterest ways of meeting the neighbors! Any tips?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cloth Diapering: It isn't for everyone

As we get ready to move here, I've started digging through my "junk closet" and I've found many precious gems that I had left to be forgotten. I stumbled across my Cloth Diaper stash from Just Simply Baby and I started going down through memory lane.

As a teen mom, I didn't know what to expect with my first child. One thing I did do was count how many diapers per day/week/month my baby used and I saved all of my receipts. Total for 2.5yrs of full diapering and 3/4 of a year of pull ups my total investment on disposable diapers was $3,847.92 and it all ended  up in the garbage.

When I found out I was expecting baby #2 I could not figure out how I would find enough money to diaper! and that's when I ran across an add for cloth diapers. I used to think of CD's as something ugly and difficult and potentially dangerous (large pins and all) but when I  clicked through the website I was delighted to see how wrong I was. These diapers were cute, simple to use, eco friendly and would save me a ton! I ordered my first diaper kit for $100 which got me 10 diapers, a changing pad and a wet bag.

I found myself washing these diapers EVERY DAY and it was daunting because I couldn't be too far from home because I'd have to wash and dry them or be out! So then I spent another $250 and got an additional 25 diapers. Now we were talking! With a 35 diaper stash I only had to wash every 3rd day. Silly me though, baby #2 was a girl so I ordered everything pink and cute not thinking ahead... 5months later we were expecting baby #3 and low and behold it was a boy!

No one would be looking at what color his diapers were and baby #2 was a little older now so she didn't use as many diapers as she did in the beginning but now we were back to washing nearly every day. So I did what any reasonable person would do! I invested another $350 for 35 diapers and now we had 70 diapers! as they both grew a little more I found myself only having to wash diapers once weekly but I'd do it twice because it can get a bit stinky!

Soon baby #2 was out of diapers and baby #3 was rocking the cloth. I had a rotation I had worked out where I'd use a number of diapers for a week then change them entirely out for another set, so on and so forth. I even had a stash that was brand new and didn't get used because the other diapers were clean and ready to be used again.

Then when my husband deployed I kinda feel off the wagon. I started only using cloth at home but started purchasing disposables for when we were out. I eventually just quit on cloth. I probably spent about another $400 in disposable diapers until my son potty trained. So in total I spent a whooping $1100 for diapering 2 babies in comparison to what I originally spent on my first.

I must admit that cloth diapering is not for the faint of heart. It can be gross, it can smell really bad, you have to lug around bulky stuff. Once when we visited my mom in California from Virginia I had to use a whole luggage bag specifically just for diapers. Then you totally have to rely on having a washing machine and you need special treatment of your washing rituals because CD's must not come into contact with fabric softener or it's residue.

But if you are dedicated to being eco friendly, or have a child with sensitive skin, or are simply just broke and in need of desperate drastic measures- then this could be for you!

 I researched several companies while looking for a brand I could trust and the reason why I settled with JBS was because they had a wide variety of options with inserts, prints & styles. I found them to be the most cost effective PLUS they were the ONLY company who offered a 30 day return policy! Can you imagine dishing out $350 on cloth diapers only to find out you hate it and be stuck with your purchase or sell at a loss! How disappointing. Everyone else had the disclaimer that due to the nature of the items returns were not accepted. Hog Wash! And that's why we went with JBS. Plus the customer service is amazing, the owner Katie is such a dear. A little hand written note in every package a long with instructional pamphlets and packaged with love.

Wicked cool part? They have an affiliate program! You can earn 10% in store credit or 5% cash of any referral sales! What better way to fulfill your fluff addiction and make the world a better place?

Do you cloth diaper? Have you ever thought about it? Would you be interested in trying them out?

*Disclaimer: I'm part of their affiliate program. Purchases through the links may help contribute to the expenses of running this blog. Thanks.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A glimpse into a day in my shoes

7:30am Alarm went off. Made my bed and came down stairs to make myself a cup of Tazo Passion Fruit tea.
8:15am Alarm went off to take my kiddo and the neighbors to school. Got back, got the kids dressed and we got in the car to take daddy to work.
9:35 I called a friend on the way home to see if she wanted to grab some coffee but she was busy so I went to the gas station and grabbed a cup of joe for myself. I was too impatient to wait for it to cool so I threw it back and my throat is still scalded.
9:55 got home and  got ready for doctors appointment and got kiddo ready for preschool and worked on my journal
12:10 Alarm went off to take kiddo to Preschool. Dropped her of then headed to the Post Exchange to kill time before my appointment and to search for V-day cards
1:30 got to the hospital parking lot and shared a snack with little man before running inside. Walked to the basement to get him into watch care but it was closed so we headed for the clinic.
1:55 got called back to the observation room. Took weight (lost 5lbs since my last visit), Blood pressure (went down) but my depression symptoms aren't improving.
2:25 the doctor finally came in and she felt for my thyroid and said she wants me to get my TC levels checked again (3rd time in 8months) plus an ultrasound.
2:35 checked in to Radiology and made ultrasound appointment.
2:40 checked in to the Lab to get blood work done.
2:48 flew out of there to make it to school in time to pick up the kiddos.
3:30 got home & I had to try on the new lipstick I purchased at the PX earlier + took a selfie.
3:45 Daddy got home
Some time between 4:30 & 5 Daddy and the middle child passed out on the couch while I cleared the notifications from my phone.
5:30 went on Zillow to look for homes in our price range, with our wants/needs plus good school ratings. Seems like an impossible feat.
6:30 Started writing this blog wondering where the past 3 days have gone. I have 3 snail mail letters that need to be responded and mailed out but my energy is through the floor and I have no desire to do anything.
Kicking myself for missing my Friday deadline for posting to my YouTube channel...
My phone is dying, I don't know where my charge is and I don't care to look for it.
Little man is throwing a fit & I feel like I'm failing at life...
I have a terrible migraine, my back & shoulders hurt and I could really use a nap but I'm too stubborn to take one.
It just feels like theres a black hole walking behind me sucking life & joy out of me. HELP!