It’s Coming!

I’m feeling the stress of Christmas now.  The weekend we chose to celebrate is quickly becoming full with the kids’ Christmas program and a few other commitments Mr. Sexy and I have. It really feels like I’m trying to squeeze a lot of stuff in at once.  Last night I was plain worried.  But today I have a bit more perspective.  Thursday night and Friday have remained untouched and reserved for our family time.  That was my original desire anyways. So the fact that Saturday and Sunday will be busy is okay. It will all be a part of our Christmas celebration as we will be spending some time with family and friends.

It’s strange celebrating Christmas ahead of everybody else. I’m looking forward to a few days where my world will stop.  I think this is something a lot of people look forward to on Christmas Day and it works because the rest of the country is doing the same thing.  But that isn’t the case for my Christmas Day this year. We still have commitments to uphold. So this is going to be an interesting balancing act. But I’m confident we can do it and I’m excited for a few new traditions we are trying out this year.

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The Cloth Diapering Challenge

Well, once again we ran out of money.  Literally.  We got back from the end of our family vacation time and saw that our bank account was in the red.  This type of situation isn’t new to us.  We have struggled through bad decision after bad decision starting from before we got married.

Lately, things haven’t been so bad.  We have been (mostly) caught up on bills for the past few months.  We also began to budget  – for real.  I say, “for real,” because for a long time we didn’t even have enough money to put a working budget together.  We paid what bills we could and then hoped what was left could sustain us till next pay day.

So now we can budget.  I have more than one envelope, I keep all my receipts and record what we spend each month so I can budget even better next time.

You know what’s amazing?

Every time we use our envelope system, we have leftover cash.  That leftover cash always went into the savings envelope and for the first time we had some savings! Good thing because we needed it soon after.

The envelope system worked well right up until our family vacation.

Simply put: We didn’t budget.  All I knew was what Mr. Sexy told me: We have plenty, let’s do whatever we want.  All he knew was: Bills are paid, everything else is extra, let’s have a really fun time and not stress.

Well, because we didn’t sit down and look through all our bills, we missed a few.

Thus, we ran out of money.

Denai has been in cloth diapers since day one.  It’s been great and I have loved loved loved not stressing about the added expenses of disposables.

However, last week her third round of staph infection flared up and it seemed to be the worst we had seen yet.  I actually knew it was coming back by the smell of her urine, but the last time I took her to the doctor, they turned me away because they didn’t see it yet.  So I decided to wait this time – even though I knew what was inevitable.

In many ways I felt bad about my role as mommy to her.  The first time she got staph, I should have done more research and realized I needed to strip her diapers.  The second time I shouldn’t have given up on my research and stripped them correctly.  Now that this is her third and worst round, I have decided to give cloth a break.

I now know exactly how to strip her diapers for the staph.  But I didn’t want to risk anything so I wanted to get her out of cloth asap.

It was no problem.  Before we even went to the doctor we headed to Walgreen’s to purchase everything we needed for disposies.  Even though we had no money, it was no problem.  We had our flexible spending card!  Perfecto!

And then we found out: all that was covered were the depends for Marie.  Apparently, diapers and wipes and baby butt cream are not covered like we thought.

It is always stressful to run out of money.  It’s even more stressful when one of my kids really needs something but I am unable to provide it.  

I took her to the doctor the next day and asked if they had any diaper samples.  The doctor handed me two diapers: one that fit and another that was obviously too small.  There was no point in those so I just left them there.

While waiting for Denai’s prescription, I did what I always do when the stress gets overwhelming.  I called my husband and gave him an ear full.  That’s never the smartest move and a lot of times those conversations make our situation even worse.

This time, however, Mr. Sexy reassured me that we would be okay and he would find a way to get Denai some diapers.

He did it. 

An hour and a half later, I picked him up from work and we went to the local hospital birthing center.  Mr. Sexy had called to explain our situation and asked if there was any way they could help.  After verifying with our pediatrician that Denai does have staph – again – they immediately sent someone out to buy us some diapers.

We went home with 120 diapers and 16 or so night time diapers.  

So now, Denai’s staph is improving.  She has been in disposies for about three days.

It’s different than cloth.  For one thing, she appears much thinner.  Her cloth diapers tended to give her the
bubble butt look.  Another bonus is that I don’t have to clean poop 3+ times every day.

But you know what stands out the most?

Mr. Sexy and I made another bad money decision.

Yet God still worked through people and provided what we needed.

Not in my timing.  Not in my way.

It was his timing.  His way.  His story.

So now, every time I change Denai’s diaper – even when she screams because her bottom is still sore – I am thankful for the kind people who were willing to allow God to work through them and help us out.

And sometimes, even when we feel unworthy, it’s still okay to ask for help.  

Passing Grades

“So do you have a timeline for the house?” Mr. Sexy called from the kitchen as he rinsed out a mason jar for his morning coffee.

“No, not really,” I replied as I entered the kitchen from the minefield that is every room except for the kitchen.  Even then, you never know when you might step on an old banana slice or a pile of cheerios. Aaahhh, the joys of children.
“Hey, do you want a real coffee mug?” I asked.
“Do we have one?!”  
“Totally.”  I knew right were to go and found Michael’s circus mug that has a cute little elephant inside it.  
Now we both have coffee mugs.  That is a nice thing. 
Getting back to the original conversation, I said, “Yeah, I’m in no hurry to get this place done.”
Mr. Sexy looked at me and smiled a teasing yet in-all-seriousness smile.  “You’re learning so much about not stressing out.” 
“There’s just way too much,” I replied.  
But he’s right.  Life these past few years has been a huge course on stress management.  I (we) failed a few times BUT we didn’t quit.  I would like to think that now I (we) are starting to get passing grades.  
Our house was built in 1902.  Yup.  It’s an oldie.  Much of the house seems to be as original as it gets.  Most of the lights have brass plates with round buttons to turn lights on and off instead of a light switch.  The door frames are narrow and I have already hit Denai’s head more than a few times.  Oops.  One of the coolest new findings is that this house still has the original kitchen cabinets.  The farthest left cabinets used to be a refrigerator or ice box. 
The house is a fixer upper and hasn’t had a decent cleaning in…. actually, I don’t need to know.  I’m not even close to being done with this place.  The cobwebs.  The caked dust on the ceiling fans. The flies that seem to have had their home invaded.  But it’s all good.  I’m not stressed out.  I work when I want, relax when I want, sleep when I want, play when I want.  And let me tell you, play time is fun time out here.  
When I go to the porch with my coffee or lunch or wet laundry, before I know it, an hour has gone by and I have no intentions of going back inside the house.  This place is incredibly peaceful.  We have HUGE oak? trees that look as if they have been here since the house.  They provide incredible shade so when it’s 90 degrees, at my house, under my trees and my porch, it feels more like a breezy 75.  
Aaaahhhh, perfection.  
I don’t have too many pictures of the house yet to post on instagram or to share here.  Doing that takes just a bit more energy than I feel like putting out right now.  (See, I still do what I want – and I love it.)
There is so much about moving that is stressful and it seems so much of that stress isn’t all that controllable.  Or is it?  
What is most stressful for you about moving? How do you or did you deal with it?