Category Archives: Working

Getting Un-stuck by Taking Action

A lot of people would (and do) call me crazy for making this action step I’m about to take.  I’m about to take a leap of faith into the unknown and figure things out as we go.  I have plans but I don’t like to make them set in stone.  I have back up (a bit, only, kinda) to help make this transition easier and I have a support group making this all a little easier.

Friday, May 20th, I will be giving my formal resignation letter and my two-week notice to my full time employer.  The scariest thing about the whole plan is that I do need income to supplement my husband’s so we can actually afford to eat but it’s not like my plan is to sit around staying at J all day.  Oh no, not at all.

I want to wake up rested and see that cute little squishy face smiling up at me instead of getting jostled awake by my husband while my daughter is having her early morning nursing at 6am.  Being told over and over I need to shower, stop, get in the shower, Sara WAKE UP.  I won’t miss the way I start my mornings as they are now, that’s for sure.

I can't believe how big she is - I feel like I've missed a lot.I will start my day with a list of to-dos for household, time with J, meals, business and family fun.  I’ll spend my day completing tasks by priority of importance and not just what I can cram in at the end of a busy work day when we pull in the drive at 6:30pm.  All while being more present to one of my favorite (and missed) people in the world; my daughter, J.

I will take action and start living a life for tomorrow instead of just living day to day. 

It’s scary to go into the unknown but when I look back… back to when she was 2 months old and I really made the decision to go back to work I remember why I went back.  It was the worry.  The worry that we needed more, we needed a house, we needed our cars, we needed more “stuff” and we worried about paying our bills, worried about having fun doing what we love and making more time for everything.  Do you know where we are today?  Still worrying… still living day to day and worrying about all that crap.  You know what we haven’t done?  Taken action to pursue what truly will bring balance and happiness to our lives.

Some will call me crazy, some will call me stupid and some will think that I’m brilliant.  I know my daughter will, I know my husband is supporting this decision and I know I have friends and family that have my back.  So, here I go.  I’m taking that step to getting un-stuck.  I firmly proclaim that from this day forth I will live with intention, take action with abandon and use my skills to their fullest potential instead of feeling trapped in a job and resenting it.

What action steps have you taken lately or are you planning on taking?  Are you scared (but, a good scared), like me?

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Filed under Life, Working

Into The Great Wide Open: Sara’s Knits

After many a friends and family insisted helped build my confidence I decided to make the leap and truly launch my Etsy shop Sara’s Knits.  Creating handmade crochet hats, diaper covers, blankets and cocoons has been a hobby of mine that has started to grow into a little business on it’s own just by word of mouth. 

J wearing my very first creation!

I just listed my first item and started up a Facebook page over the weekend for my unofficial official launch.  Let me know what you think!  I’ll have more goodies listed throughout the week as I snap pictures and create the listings.  “Like” Sara’s Knits on Facebook for first views of new items and deals!

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Filed under Introduction, Sara's Knits, Working

April Showers Bring Renewed Senses

I had to take a break.  I have so many projects, hopes, dreams, realities and commitments that something had to give.  I kind of simplified to an extreme to stretch, grow and renew; boy does it feel good.

I still have a million projects but I feel like I can manage more since I’ve reconnected with myself and my family.  I’ve made a major life decision to pursue a change – a pretty drastic one.  I’ll hint that I plan to work for myself, my family and my passions instead of “the man”.  But, more on this to come as it all unfolds.

With the coming of spring I’ve started to chisel away at one of my most important goals for myself this year.  That goal was to simplify our lives.  Physically de-cluttering for 15 minutes a day in one room has changed my life drastically.  As boxes get unpacked (yes, nearly a year after we moved into our home), items get recycled/donated, while others get priced out for a large family yard sale I’m coordinating I can feel the heaviness lifting little by little.

We’ve finally started to jive into a solid family routine so I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that it’s not so much on me anymore.  My husband always did try to be helpful and was/is a wonderful dad and husband BUT we butt heads a lot.  I know I suffered from the elusive “mommy burnout” from time to time here and we’ve been working on creating a more balanced household and life.

So, that’s my short and sweet little update on me.  How are you these days?  Are you simplifying your life in any way and how has it impacted your life?

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Filed under Life, Working

Cloth Diapers: Hip, Smart, Green, & CHEAP – A Moms Dream!

J Wearing a BumGenius 3.0 Cloth Diaper

If you have a kid in diapers and they’re disposables you, my friend, are a fool.  Anytime you buy a package of disposables you are paying for garbage, literally.  When you change those disposables it’s like throwing money into the garbage daily, hourly, even!

Switching over to cloth diapers can seem intimidating, it can seem fruitless (it’s not!), there’s *gasp* poop involved here, too!  But, you can will do it.  I have faith in you…and your kid can look as cute as mine (look at the cuteness to the right!) while you save not only money, but this wonderful earth we like to call home.

Cloth Diapers are AWESOME because…

  • You can save THOUSANDS (upon THOUSANDS, especially if you use them on more than one kiddo).
  • You can save over TWO TONS of waste from going into a landfill per child.  (Did you know it takes over 500 years for one disposable diaper to decompose!?)
  • Super comfy, super absorbent, and healthy; they don’t have the harmful chemicals found in disposable diapers.
  • Cloth diapers have resale value – you can’t resell garbage!
  • Cloth diapers are way way WAY cuter than ugly paper diapers of terror.
baby_cloth_diaper_prefold_thirsties_cover

J Wearing a Prefold w/ Thirsties Cover

J has been wearing cloth since she was born and for the first few months we went the cheapest route we could and bought this awesome Basic Cloth Diaper Package.  It came with 24 pre-folds, 5 Thirsties covers, a package of wipes, a Snappi, and extra flannel inserts all for $126.50 SHIPPED.  With this package we had about 3 months (5-12lbs) worth of diapers for a grand total of $126.50…that’s like one month’s worth of disposables (if you’re lucky)!

Plus, get this, I sold them.  Yep, I sold my used Thirsties covers for $6 each so I made $30 there.  Then I sold my used prefolds for $15 a dozen so another $30 there and I kept the rest of the wipes, inserts, and the Snappi.  So, from birth to three months my daughter’s total diaper cost was a whopping $66.50.  I’ll say it again, THREE MONTHS OF DIAPERS FOR $66.50!!! If you don’t want to sell them and use them for kid #2, #3, etc. then the savings can be simply astonishing.

But, the diaper options don’t stop there.  There are oodles upon oodles of different cloth diapering systems out there.  Some, like Fuzzibunz are literally worth their weight in gold.

The poop, Sara, THERE’S POOP.

J Sporting BG

I know, it’s a crying shame that babies have bodily functions, right?  I mean, if you use disposables you’ll never ever have to deal with washing poop, right?  WRONG

Have you heard of this crazy phenomenon called “exploding newborn poop“?  That’s when you have your newborn all strapped into their car seat (carrier, crib, your arms…) and their poop literally EXPLODES out the diaper, up their back, through their arm holes of their onsies, up into their hair, etc. etc. etc.  Pretty gross?

Well, brace yourselves because with disposables that’ll happen…often.  With cloth?  I HIGHLY doubt it.  In the 1.25 years my daughter has been in cloth diapers there has only been one time the poop escaped and it was when we all had the flu.

No matter how you slice it there will come a time that you have to deal with your kid’s poop, I’m sorry.  Plus, they have these handy diaper sprayers to get poop off diapers, flushable liners or you can shake the poop off (that’s what I do) and then you wash your diapers.  It’s easy, you can do it, you can save money, you can save your baby’s butt, you can save THE WORLD.

To help you, there is this awesome company Everything Birth that started Diaper Parties to spread the awesomeness that is cloth diapers far and wide.  I became a Diaper Parties consultant to teach others how they can sort through all the systems to find a perfect one for their family/budget and how to care for their diapers.

What is Diaper Parties?

We bring the store/webstore to you, your friends, your family so you can look/feel/smell/investigate cloth diapers and get a personal consultation before you commit to buying anything.  But, it doesn’t stop there…

As a host you can earn FREE PRODUCTS and as a guest you can earn, you guessed it, FREE PRODUCTS.  Plus, we offer a rewards program where you earn 1 point per dollar spent, our commited to cloth guarantee in case you’re unhappy with your purchase, our forum, and the Birth Depot to resell your mom/baby gear!

To learn more about Diaper Parties head over there or if you have other cloth diaper questions send me a shout out – I’m a guru.  sara {at} diaperparties {dot} com

If you love cloth diapers and you want to become a consultant I can’t say better things about this family that is Everything Birth.

It is my goal to make this world a better place – one cloth diaper at a time.  Will you be making a difference by switching to cloth?  If you already cloth diaper, what’s your favorite brand/product?

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Filed under Cloth Diapers, Natural Parenting, Working

The Beginning of the End: HUTH

I think my half crabby balance post yesterday was stemmed from a milestone that my daughter and I have recently reached and it’s hit me like a pile of bricks. 

Yesterday, I retired my pump.  I hung up the horns and I’m officially partially weaning her.  Right now, as I typed that it became all the more real and upsetting.

I’m sure you’re wondering why I would do this if it was upsetting to me and part of me wonders that very thing.  But, the truth is, I don’t have enough time and balance in my life to continue pumping anymore.  I feel guilt and relief all at the same time about this as I sure many moms before me have.

Why did I really do it? 

I can’t keep up with everything at work and still make the time to pump.  Sure, I’m protected by law for a year but guess what?  It’s been one full year to the day (today) that I’ve been back to work plus being a salary employee means I have oodles of work on my desk that needs to get done, period.

Is there another reason?

I need to get rid of the pressure to get milk for the next day.  There is a constant fear that lingers in a pumping mother that cannot be silenced.  Every single time my daughter has a drop of my precious milk I need to express… the pressure to keep up my supply stressed me out so much some days I couldn’t eat and then I couldn’t pump because I hadn’t eaten.  It’s a vicious cycle.

The Last Time

I nurse my daughter on my lunch hour.  I’m lucky enough that my sister-in-law who watches J during the day lives within 10 minutes of my office.  Now instead of crunching 2 twenty minute pumping sessions and a half hour lunch into my day to go nurse her for ten minutes, while hoping that she doesn’t want to nurse longer, I take a one hour lunch.  I can grab something to eat or prepare what I’ve brought in, drive to see her, play with her, talk with her, then leave to get back to work without being rushed.

How did I wean from the pump?

Well, in the beginning I had to pump 6+ times a day.  Yeah, that’s right.  I had to pump on my way to work, 3 times at work, once on my way home and another time in the middle of the night.  I did this for months just so my daughter could continue to be exclusively breastfed.  As my daughter got older her bottles spread out a little more through the day, then her need for milk when she was away from me decreased so I’d gradually work out a pumping session.  Midnight pumping first, then on my way home, then on my way in, then my middle of the day, then my morning and finally I just stopped.

Luckily, I never had an oversupply so skipping a session or two was never really a big deal for me.  When I wanted to drop a session I’d just pump for 5 minutes for a day or two during that session then the next day I’d drop it.  I’d let me body adjust for 2-3 weeks and then onto the next one.  For the longest time I was down to a morning session and an afternoon session until I finally found a good substitution for milk during the day.

J is lactose intolerant.  I cut dairy out of my diet when her reflux was at its peak and I wasn’t surprised when she threw up after we gave her an ounce of whole milk.  We tried rice milk a couple days in a row one week but she balked at it.  A couple weeks later we tried almond milk but she would have nothing to do with it.  The stress of having to pump and not having something to give her during the day was intense.  I felt like I couldn’t keep up with life and I was drowning.

Then, in a last ditch effort we gave her soy milk.  She loves it.  She loves it so much I was actually hurt that it only took 1 cup of soy milk to sway her.  She does still come to me for “mmmm” (nursing) right away on my lunch hour so I can’t be too heartbroken but part of me really is.  She doesn’t need part of me all day anymore and it’s a weird feeling.

Part of me is happy to see my little independent toddler yet part of me wishes I could have my little newborn baby.  So, this is the beginning of weaning and it stings a little.  But, at least I still have the nighttime snuggles and we’re not giving up nursing anytime soon 🙂

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Filed under Breastfeeding, Working