IngaParticipant1 day, 1 hour ago
No, we use the same backpack, lunchbox, etc. for several years. It seems really expensive and wasteful to keep replacing them if they don’t need it! As a kid, I got a new one every few years or so, but not every school year. Ethan is on his third year with his current “Skip Hop” froggy backpack and lunch bag. They both still look brand new. Next year, he’ll probably get a new big boy back pack and lunch bag since he’ll be 6 and in kindergarten. We’ll save the little kid stuff for his sister to use if it’s still in good condition. We have another backpack that has gone everywhere with Ethan since he got his epi-pens as a baby. It served as a medical bag and diaper bag. It’s a Pottery Barn one that has held up very well considering the constant use for almost 5 years and the fact that it’s always being tossed around or squished into the bottom of strollers and such. However, now that the fabric has been fading due to years of sun exposure, we might invest in another high quality pack that can serve both to carry Ethan’s meds and Claire’s baby stuff. I also have the same plastic lunch boxes (laptop lunch boxes) that I was using years ago. The oldest one is 10 (I used them to bring my lunch to work everyday) and we still use them regularly to bring Ethan’s meals if we’ll be out of the house. Since they are in great condition I see no need to buy more!
IngaParticipant3 days, 21 hours ago
I need to start doing this again, too. One book I read a few years ago had a lot of interesting ideas for planning and saving money. It was called Cut Your Grocery Bills in Half with America’s Cheapest Family by Steve and Annette Economides. I’m not really in to a lot of the things they do, but one of her big things is meal planning, so I think they have a whole section of the book just about that. She goes through brainstorming, calendars, etc.
IngaParticipant5 days, 12 hours ago
Ethan is still in his convertible car seat. It goes up to at least 50lbs and is safer than a booster so we’re going to keep him in it as long as possible. He’s also not big enough for a booster yet. I’m not sure what the height requirement is, but he doesn’t meet the weight requirement of 40lbs (he’s been stuck at 35 for awhile). We’ll probably switch to a convertible booster w/ 5 point harness and back when his little sister outgrows her infant seat and needs his current seat (if it hasn’t expired), but he’d be at least 6 by then.
IngaParticipant5 days, 18 hours ago
TwoSapphires, it is a post about being grateful after all If you would have asked me a year ago what I really really wanted, having another child and my husband getting a new job would have been at the very top of the list! I didn’t realize so many other things would change in the process, but we’ve obviously had some good luck with those two wishes this year.
IngaParticipant5 days, 20 hours ago
Embra, the college definitely adds some culture to the town. I had also been thinking it would probably be pretty easy to find a mother’s helper in my apartment complex, if I wanted one. My main concern is the noise! I’m hoping my upstairs neighbors will be fairly well-behaved.
Gaamy, I think we’ll be fine with the smaller space. Our current place is a 2 bedroom 1350sf house, so we aren’t talking about a huge space change. I like to keep things simple anyway. The big change is that we won’t have a basement, garage and yard, plus we’re going from a small number of larger rooms to a larger number of very small rooms. My husband will be thrilled not having to mow the lawn for a year, though, and we’ll both be happy that we won’t be the ones responsible for upkeep of the building. Our old 1930s house is a lot of work and money to take care of. The apartment is also super close to Ethan’s school and Alex’s work and I could walk to the grocery store if I wanted. Bonus!
IngaParticipant5 days, 20 hours ago
I think the current price of babysitters is insane, especially since most aren’t paying any taxes on that income (unlike min wage workers), but it sounds like you have found some good sitters for a reasonable rate. It’s one thing to hire a professional nanny who I’d expect to be an adult with a lot of training/expertise and who had chosen this as a career to support themselves, but I don’t expect to pay a teen who’s just going to be playing with my child or watching TV nearly as much. When I was looking for sitters for Ethan a year or two ago, I found most of them actually wanted more than I would earn at my job that I needed a babysitter for! I did find a teenager who would take $10 for an hour and a half, but most people wanted double that.
I babysat pretty much every weekend plus summers starting at age 12. This was 20-25 years ago, but my rate was $2 an hour for one child and $1 an hour per child for more than one. Some people would give me more and I would take less for families that had me babysit frequently. Even with those rates, I could earn $70 in a weekend which was a ton for someone who didn’t need to pay for things like rent, food or utilities. When I worked at an actual daycare center at age 19, the pay was $5 an hour and I was in charge of 4 toddlers plus cleaning the room.
IngaParticipant1 week, 1 day ago
I love reading about people who are grateful for all these wonderful things we so often take for granted. It was also a good reminder for me right now. Moving from our beautiful old house in a great quiet neighborhood to a less than perfect apartment where there will be lots of college students (and getting rid of a lot of stuff in the process) hasn’t been the most happy process for me. However, my husband LOVES his new job up there and it will be so awesome for us all to be together again in time to welcome our newest family member. Despite all the challenges of moving, we’ll still have amazing things like safe shelter w/ both heat and AC, clean water, electricity, medical care, food and a good school to send my son to.
IngaParticipant1 week, 4 days ago
I’m all about the cheese pizza. I don’t need extra cheese or anything, just a good crust, some nice tasty tomato sauce and cheese. My favorite is deep dish, but other crusts can be good too. The only crusts I really don’t like are dry and/or crispy.
When I lived in Little Rock, I went to this local restaurant that made a sun-dried tomato and caramelized onion pizza in their own brick oven. That was pretty fantastic.
IngaParticipant1 week, 6 days ago
Ethan’s preschool is just 8:30-11:30am, but the elementary schools are 8:40-3:33 (where we’re moving from) or 8-2:15 (where we are moving to). Apparently, they range a lot!
Our public library and science center both have lego clubs, so I second that suggestion. The only problem is they tend to be mostly boys, at least from what I’ve observed, so that may not help with trying to meet more girls. The grocery stores around here also have teaching kitchens where they offer classes for kids (and others). Since she likes cooking, she might enjoy something like that. Maybe she’d also be into Brownies/Girl Scouts? They tend to not be overly girly or athletic, but obviously it’s a good opportunity for bonding with other girls. You mentioned she likes to dress up. Would she be into something like a kids’ acting/drama class?
No, he’s fine with corn, but a lot of microwave brands either use or are potentially contaminated with dairy, which he is allergic to.
Ethan’s new school starts Aug 18th, but that’s the day the moving truck is scheduled to pick up the stuff from our old house, so we won’t be there in time. He’s going to start a week late, on the 25th, but considering it’s preschool I don’t think it will be a big deal. The school also starts 30 minutes earlier than his old school, so I guess I have to start thinking about getting him on an earlier schedule soon. We’ve been so off with everything going on, it’ll be a lot of extra adjusting. My goal this week will be to get him in bed before 9:30 and move bedtime a little earlier every week. Unfortunately, that also means no more sleeping in until 9am for me!
Good to know that works. We haven’t used microwave popcorn in years due to Ethan’s allergies, but I haven’t tried to brown bag method. I go old school with a little oil plus plain unpopped kernels in a pot on the stove.
I think that sounds like enough, too. I usually aim for 10 pairs of pants so I have enough to get through the week plus a few extra for spills, mud, paint, etc.
For some reason, it keeps taking out the link for the website in my post. If interested, you can see them at http://www.laptoplunches.com .
Even before I became a mom, I was using Laptop Lunchboxes to bring my lunch to work. After Ethan came along, I started using them for his food for daycare or anytime we knew we’d be out for a meal (since we have to bring his food due to food allergies). I love them in every way except that when you put them in the insulated everything shifts sideways. Other than that, they are awesome. My oldest one is almost 10 years old and still holding up well.
IngaParticipant2 weeks, 3 days ago
That sounds very reasonable. I remember going crazy with the school supply shopping when I was a kid and it was way more than that way back when. I don’t think Ethan will need any school supplies this year, other than some fall/winter clothes, but we are paying a boatload for tuition. I hope your boys enjoy Kindergarten!
IngaParticipant2 weeks, 3 days ago
You might want to look at Hanna Andersson for better quality leggings. I don’t order a lot of things from them due to the prices, but a couple years ago I got Ethan sweatpants and a sweatshirt that were fantastic. He wore the pants for two years without them ever wearing out, getting out of shape or fading. The sweatshirt has been worn daily in the spring and fall for 2 years and still looks new. He’ll be wearing it again this fall if it’s not too small by then. I’d also had some sweatpants from them for adults years ago and they lasted me many years without ever wearing out or fading.
IngaParticipant2 weeks, 6 days ago
We now have a school set up and a moving date, so two more things checked off the list!
IngaParticipant2 weeks, 6 days ago
TwoSapphires, I ended up getting in with the one doctor that was recommended to me. There are also two other highly rated female doctors in the clinic that I’ll keep in the back of my brain just in case. Thank you and thank your sister-in-law for me too! The nurse I was speaking to on the phone asked about what ped. we chose and she actually uses the same doctor for her kids and loves her, so that’s a good sign. Getting those two doctors marked off my list is a relief! Now we’re down to the last of the house stuff, the actual moving and finding a school for Ethan.