Well, I don’t quite have the inspiration yet for my Serious post, so I figured that this would be a good time to do my Supermom post for January. Of course, this means that I’ll need to come up with 3 more blog posts in 4 days…but who doesn’t like a good challenge every once in a while? I’ll go ahead and warn you that, if you are not a homemaker of any kind, you might find this entry quite boring!
So here are the things that I’ve done this month that make me feel like wearing a cape with a huge “M” on my chest. (Or maybe my big round belly!) And I’ll do this in bullets, since that seems to be the only way I can function as of late!
~ Continuing my journey into the world of cloth. I’ve been cloth diapering since last August, so that is not new news. But as I go, I discover ways that I can save a little money by using cloth for things I typically wouldn’t. I mean, I’m washing every other day, anyway, why not toss some other things in with the load? So, I cut up some more T-shirts (I was already using T-shirt scraps for my cloth wipes), and now I have a basket of very versatile rags in my kitchen! They can be used for napkins, wipes, and cleaning rags!
I keep a bottle of my wipe solution in the kitchen for mild cleaning jobs and to create wipes to clean up my kids after they eat. Although some people find it questionable whether cloth diapering saves any money (if you look at the initial cost of the diapers and then your electricity/water bill going up…I still think it saves money, but I’m just saying…) I see using cloth wipes in the kitchen as complete financial gain! I no longer have to buy napkins, paper towels, or Clorox wipes (I do, as you can see, keep environmental friendly cleaner on hand,) and, as I’ve already mentioned, I was already doing the laundry, anyway! I have a cute little trash bucket with a lid from the Dollar Tree that I keep on the counter to collect dirty wipes, and then I just dump them in with the diapers when I wash them! (And, in case you’re worried, I can TOTALLY tell the difference between the wipes I use on Izzy’s bottom and the wipes I use in the kitchen…they come from different T-shirts and are different colors and sizes! AND my parents just donated some of their old cloth napkins to the cause, so if you come over to my house to eat, I won’t have to give you a T-shirt scrap to wipe your face on!)
A second thing I have done in the “World of Cloth” is transition to using reusable shopping bags. Now, since reusable shopping bags do have an initial cost (unless you’re super crafty and make them yourself out of curtains or something), I cannot say that using reusable bags is a money save-er, per say, but it is definitely better for the environment! The bags hold A LOT more than plastic shopping bags, and are also VERY handy to have hanging around for moms. I mean…you see some nice pine cones at the park that would be perfect for crafting…you pick them up and toss them in your reusable bag! Dirty clothes bag for an overnight trip? Grab a reusable bag! You’re a bridesmaid and need something that gives you easy access to hairspray, bobby pins, make-up, and other miscellaneous supplies? Yep, reusable bag! Have a bunch of small wrapped Christmas gifts to transport to your in-laws? Reusable bag! (And yes, these are all real examples from my own life.) And they are actually cheap! I had not bought them before because I thought they were super expensive (like, $1 each,) but Wal-Mart has them in abundance for $.50 each. (I promise that Wal-Mart does not pay me to blog about them…it’s just the only store we can usually afford!)
Here are my bags after my BIG monthly grocery trip. This is a month’s worth of food for us (minus the 8 more gallons of milk we have to buy throughout the month,) and only 4 plastic bags had to be used! (I later found a couple more reusable bags in my garage that probably would have eliminated any need for plastic, but oh, well.) And all of my bags were either free or $.50 each. (Well, the pink one was $1 at Publix, but what can I say, it’s pink!)
My biggest challenge with the reusable bags? Remember to actually take them into the store with me. Yeah, that can be a problem sometimes.
~ Cooking. Everyone knows how happy it makes me to get my Betty Crocker on. Some things I’ve made this month for the first time ever?
~ Fettuccini Alfredo. Typically we only eat this in restaurants, but I decided to try it at home. I had NO IDEA how heavy/fattening this stuff is!!! But, according to my friend Tiffany’s baby, it’s pretty good!
~ White bread!!! I got some new, large loaf pans for Christmas and made my first homemade bread! (I’ve been making yeast rolls for some time now, but didn’t have what I needed to make bread in loaf form.) I LOVE bread (especially fresh yeast bread with Brummel and Brown on it!) so this was a big deal for me!
OK, so that’s the only new stuff I made this month…well that and those cookies I told you about the other day…but I am 8 months pregnant…
~ Organizing. With a lot of help from SUPERDAD!
Our house is often a disaster of discarded toys. It was getting to the point where I was going crazy, especially when I saw all the new toys the kids got for Christmas and realized we didn’t have anywhere to put them; even if we got rid of a lot of toys, the only thing we had to put toys in were plastic bins and baskets, and now that our kids are growing into toys that have multiple parts (as opposed to teething rings and stuffed animals!), that organization system was just not cutting it any more! It’s still a work in progress, but now we have…
Drawers for different kinds of little toys. I would have LOVED to get some kind of book shelf system with cubbies and baskets for the little toys, but we just can’t afford that! But at least, with this, since the toys are sort of categorized, the kids won’t pull every toy out of the box when they’re trying to find something that’s on the bottom! I had planned to put pictures on the drawers that indicate what kind of toys go in each one, but I haven’t gotten around to it, and so far Ava’s done good at keeping things separate! We also have…
Shelving (a unit that we already had and were able to clean off) for the bigger toys. Before, all of the big toys that didn’t fit in the box were kind of piled in a corner (when the room was clean.) Now, they are on the shelves so the kids can easily find them and return them to their proper place. When we move to our new house, I would like to have a shelving unit in each child’s room to serve this purpose, but this will work nicely for now!
Another major problem I’ve been having is with Ava and her shoes. The child is like me…she cannot. find. her. shoes. – even if her life depends on it AND they are in the middle of the floor! It had gotten to the point that I felt like we were having knock-down-drag-outs over…shoes! Plus, her floor would be covered with shoes…and all of the matches would be missing, I kid you not! Finally, after a heated altercation between me and her that resulted in her screaming in her room for an hour while Josh was on a conference call in his home office and I was running errands (she would have been with me had she found her shoes), SUPERDAD stepped in and built…
…a shoe organizer in her night stand! Her night stand had this huge open space that, for a preschool bedroom, was virtually not usable, so Josh converted it to this! Now, every shoe has its place, and Ava has strict rules that, if the shoes are not on her feet, they are in the cubbies…or else! (Fortunately, we have not had problems yet, so I haven’t had to figure out what “or else” means!) What, it’s so amazing, you would like to see it again?
So that is my first Supermom post of the year! Hopefully, February’s Supermom post will involve childbirth…b/c if it doesn’t, that will mean that baby is LATE and I will not be a happy camper!