April 12, 2013

Move Over Barefoot Contessa!

Remember how I said that I was going to start meal planning for the week? Last night was the first night to try out this new routine and it was moderately successful.

I decided to try a new recipe to make this inaugural dinner a little more exciting. So I went to AllRecipes and found a recipe that looked good... and then I totally changed it up and made it my own. In the end it barely resembled the original recipe but was, I'm sure, both tastier and healthier! {I may be biased lol}

Bean and Sausage Stew
1 Large Tomato
1 Can Tomato Paste
2 - 3 Carrots, sliced
1 Celery Stalk, sliced thin
Approx. 6 Italian Sausages (I used Turkey)
1 Can Red Kidney Beans
1 Can Black OR White Beans (the recipe asked for white, I used black but I think white would be good too)
1 medium white onion or 3 - 4 chopped onions, chef's choice! (recipe called for white, I only had green onions so that's what I used and it turned out great)
2 small cloves garlic, diced
1 Tbsp Olive oil
About 1/4 cup water
About 1/4 cup dry red wine
Pepper (to taste)
Salt (Optional - to taste. The recipe called for it but I never add salt unless necessary; ie: if I'd used pork sausages I would've probably added a dash of salt)

Cook sausage in a small frying pan until cooked throughout and browned on the outside. In a large pot, sautee the onions, carrots and celery in olive oil until slightly softened. Add the garlic and sauteee for about another minute.

Mix the water with the tomato paste and add to pot. Cut up the sausage and tomato into small chunks, and add to the pot of sautéing vegetables. Stir in the beans and red wine and season with pepper/salt. Lower heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve and enjoy :)

I made a small pot of rice with mine to mix in because something about this stew just called for rice. But I did have a tiny bit of the stew on it's own, and it's worth eating either way. Lunch today is leftovers and I can't wait to eat them! So why, you might be asking, did I say that this was 'moderately successful'? Because of the prep time for this meal. Granted, I was making a salad and cleaning the kitchen at the same time, but what should've taken me about 10 minutes tops ended up being about triple that. In future I'll probably prep at least the veggies the prior day or else prepare the whole thing for the crockpot the following day.

Tonight's meal: Sour Cream Pork Chops. Yet another recipe that I found online and plan to re-vamp. More on that to come!

Now, a quick question for the internets:
What do you do about a significant other who clearly has spending issues? Mr. Right is in pretty rough financial shape right now, and I'm seeing a side of him that I wasn't expecting; he doesn't think ahead in terms of money and it seems like he has very little self-control when it comes to spending. Last night he spent his last $10 on a pack of smokes and a pop, while he's going to be short of his expenses for the pay-period to the tune of several hundred dollars and is having to beg-borrow-and-steal to meet his financial obligations. I was severely disappointed in him and also very frustrated because... well, what am I supposed to think right now?? I've made arrangements in my budget to cover the expenses that he can no longer afford (like groceries!) until next month when he's expected to recover, and he's going out and spending money he DOESN'T have on something that isn't a necessity!! Do you think I'm being to harsh feeling this way? Or am I right to be feeling serious concerns about this? Thoughts and opinions are welcome!!!

April 10, 2013

Good Housekeeping

I’m a clean freak. A germophobe. A neat-nelly. I’ve been teased – and even accused – of being obsessive and freakish about the cleanliness and tidiness of my home. And I’m OK with that... I’d rather be accused of being too clean than the alternative.

The alternative is someone like Mr. Right’s sister, D, who is an incredibly generous person but has a house worthy of that show “Hoarders”. It’s not just untidy – it’s filthy. Unhealthy and Disgusting. Mr. Right and I have spent the weekend at D’s house several times and each time it’s worse: my allergies go into full-blown killer hives mode, I’m afraid to touch anything in the bathroom, my socks come home almost black with dirt, and I spend pretty much the entire weekend with my skin crawling. I take pride in knowing that when people come and stay at my house, they appreciate the high hygienic standards and general orderliness of their environment without having to fear picking up some obscure disease.

And if that’s not reason enough to inspire cleanliness... cleaning helps me relax. I clean when I’m bored, or when I’m stressing out about something and my Type A mind just. Can’t. Let it. GO. I clean when I am craving a cigarette so badly that I am tempted to light up a butt out of our old can (speaking of... I really need to empty that bad boy!). I clean when I just want a big old chocolate bar or I cannot take a poop (lately I’ve been so freaking constipated I could cry. I’m usually a one-a-day sort of girl without any pooping issues at all, and this is like trying to force what feels like a tennis ball out of my sphincter! Not that anybody cares and Wow I have really sunk to a new low, haven’t I??). My Mom introduced me to the therapeutic benefits of precision cleaning, though I’ll admit that at the time she was teaching me all about good housekeeping it certainly wasn’t restorative.

I do, for the most part, follow a mental cleaning schedule based on the needs of my household in conjunction with my available time – I’m a busy, social person and I'm finding that, since beginning my new job and moving to a bigger, two-story house I've been struggling to keep up. I used to do the majority of my heavy housekeeping on the weekend, but I've decided to change it up and I've come up with a schedule that fits my needs. Here’s what my daily/weekly schedule - which now hangs on my fridge - looks like:

The Spanxsterlish Schedule to Cleaning Perfection

Daily Upkeep:
Make beds
Dishes/After Dinner Clean-up
Everything in its place!
Sweep kitchen floor
1 – 2 loads laundry

  • Clean bathroom (scrub & disinfect exterior and interior of toilet, sink, bathtub, door handles, light switch; polish mirror/faucets, quick mop of floor)
  • Clean out cat litter
  • Dust and clean windows/mirrors
  • Vacuum
  • Quick mop of kitchen floor
  • Clean out cat litter
  • Deep clean kitchen (wipe cupboard doors and handles, sanitize sink and countertops, wipe fridge shelves, purge any items in fridge that have spoiled*, take quick inventory of pantry/fridge and note any items required on grocery list)
  • Dust and clean windows/mirrors
  • Tidy front entrance
  • Strip beds and wash linens as well as any remaining laundry for the week
  • Clean out cat litter
  • Update new weekly Dinner Meal Plan (I'm going to create my first meal plan for the week on Saturday)
  • Run any required errands, including trip to grocery store for weekly meals (I used to shop bi-weekly and I may eventually return to that, but for now I'm going to do a weekly menu to get into the swing of things)
  • Vacuum
  • Hand-wash kitchen/bathroom floors
It's a fairly simple schedule; nothing too time intensive and the minimum required to keep the house spic and span. Every night I do a quick run-through before bed that I call "Everything in its place". It's basically just a quick tidy of any items that have been left sitting around the house instead of in their designated area(s). I will continue doing this, but I think that this schedule allows for more efficient use of my time while cleaning.

Speaking of time management, I stumbled on this awesome app called Cozi - it's an online calendar/meal planner/grocery and to do list that I can access on the computer or on my iPhone. I am in love with this thing!! Mr. Right also has it on his Android, and our apps access shared calendars/planners and we can message each other on Cozi and notify each other of appointments and the like. It's even got a recipe box linked to the meal planner! I love technology that helps me to stay organized and this is definitely one of my favourites. I've been using the free version for about a week, but I love it so much that I'll probably end up spending $25 to upgrade to the Gold version.

How do you stay organized both with your housework and life in general?

April 9, 2013

The Queen of Drama

OK, so I overreacted.

{I'm starting to understand why nobody reads this blog. I kinda suck lately, with all the melodrama and the histrionics!}

Last night Mr. Right told me that he's not in the greatest shape financially and he's pretty well mired in the now, and the stress that comes with money troubles. You see, at the end of January Mr. Right got out of the military, and due to some timing issues (this blog isn't about Mr. Right's finances so I won't go into detail) his overhead is killing him right now. Yes, I was a little irked that he didn't take advantage of his ACCOUNTANT girlfriend to help him recover (since everything is about me after all... yeah that was self-directed sarcasm) and help prevent him from getting himself into this situation.

So last night we sat and talked about how he's feeling and dealing right now, and then I put my skills to good use and helped him create a budget and a plan. [On a related note: I'm always surprised at how many adults I know who don't have the proper technical skills to manage their finances. It should be a required course in high school I think!!] And for now, we've tabled the babies discussion until he's in a better position and so he can focus on getting back on track without additional worries.

As for me, I won't say it's going to be easy to stuff all the BABYNOW!!! feelings down again for a few months, but it's what needs to be done. In the meantime, I'm moving my focus to the household to whip things into shape and set a good standard Before he and I start sharing financial obligations. And because its fun!

The Mi Casa Es Solvent Casa Plan:
  1. Meal Planning: I find myself getting home around 5:30 every evening and standing in front of the freezer staring morosely into it's depths. We often don't eat dinner until 8 pm. It's driving me nuts! So this weekend I'm going to put together a meal planning binder. I'm super excited about this!
  2. I'm a neat-freak. And a germophobe. And lately I have been struggling with finding the time and energy for house work. So this weekend I'm also going to be creating a house work schedule. I cannot wait!

Get ready for many boring updates on recipes and meals and the benefits of cleaning ceramic-top stoves with Vinegar!! My life is so full if excitement haha.

April 8, 2013

Well... Shit

Ever feel like you’ve stepped in dog poop before shoving your foot in your mouth?

Mm-hmmm. True story. See, apparently I jumped the gun in posting yesterday’s post about the epic baby-making plan that was planned Two Months ago (!).

Because Mr. Right is apparently having second thoughts. Fuck My Life. Seriously.

Last night Mr. Right came to bed to find his girlfriend naked and reading The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. He said nothing at first, until I had to share a very interesting fact from the book about how breastfed babies have significantly fewer doctor/hospital visits than formula-fed babies do.

So Far I'm Liking It!
‘Why are you reading that?’

‘I like to be as educated as possible about big life decisions like this!’ Honestly, Mr. Right knows that I’m insane about planning and that I investigate every option and possible issue when I’m getting ready to do something. We’ve had parenting discussions. We’ve talked about my future career options and how we’d like two children. I’ve poured my heart out to him about my age fears (I’ll be 33 in July) and the fact that I’m already high risk (I have Type 1 Diabetes, which is an auto-immune disorder and unfortunately can make for truly horrific pregnancies). We decided Two Months Ago that we would start trying once he’d officially moved in!!!!

Silence. For about 30 seconds he didn’t say a word, and then:

‘I don’t think we’re ready for that yet.’

He couldn’t have hurt me more if he’d pushed his big man-hands into my chest and ripped my heart out. He changed his mind, Just Like That, and there goes my life.

We talked about it, for 4 long hours. He admitted to me that for the past month he’s felt like I’ve changed quite a bit; I’m less affectionate, easily irritated, and distant.

‘Okay, that’s fair... but I quit smoking a month ago!’ I pointed out.

Yes, in anticipation of baby-making I finally quit smoking; it’s been a month today. I used the patch for about 2.5 weeks and then went cold turkey, so I’m understandably irritable and stressed out and tired and and and. And definitely not patient enough to basically have him tell me that he didn’t have the sympathy and understanding for what I’m going through because I QUIT FREAKING SMOKING. I almost lost it... but Mr. Right and I have been working hard at communicating with each other in healthy and effective ways... so I didn’t snap. I simply told him that the past month has been very difficult for me, but it is getting better every day and it helps me a lot to have his understanding of what I’m going through in order to be healthier.

It was clear that he didn’t really understand when he just kept reiterating how he’s not felt loved for the past month, and I told him that if he feels this way than this is something that needs to be fixed before he moves in with me. It was a frustrating part of the conversation; he said that he knows we’ll work it out, so why wouldn’t we move together? I countered that, by his logic, we then shouldn’t have any problem getting on with the baby-making in June like we’d originally planned. After all, we have two months to fix these problems before we move in together; we have Nine plus months after that to deal with any other relationship problems we may have. So we made a plan to work on making this aspect of our relationship better; we have stopped having date night in the past few months and since I moved from the sleepy little town I grew up in to the big, bustling city, we’ve both missed the little things that we used to do back in the old town. Like getting a coffee at Timmy’s and driving two minutes to the river where we’d sit and talk and hold hands for hours at a time. Or walking out the front door of my old house, across the street to the large high school field where he’d toss balls for Mollie and both of us would laugh at her ridiculous antics. The simple little things that brought us so much closer to each other.

He wants to wait until September. I told him that I’m not okay with that – I’ll be 33 in July, and the longer we wait the more this becomes like a game of baby Russian Roulette. More importantly, the older I get, the higher the chances are that I will have a pregnancy that is not healthy for either myself or any potential children. He ignored that and then went on to detail Every Other Reason he could possibly think of as to why we aren’t ready to have kids (we need to live together and commit to each other first; we should pay bills together for a while; get our savings accounts built back up and some more debt paid off before trying; be more affectionate with each other first; he’d like us to be common-law first; blah blah blah). I listened, and countered with every logical argument that I could: We’ve lived together for SEVEN months. He and L~ stay at my house exclusively, and I committed to him 100% when we were past the honeymoon phase and came out of it still in love with each other. We already decided that we’re not sharing finances in terms of bank accounts or vehicle titles or who owns my house (that will always be me – we both agreed a long time ago that what we come into the relationship with is our own), so his paying half the bills every month can only have positive outcomes for both of us (unless he’s planning on defaulting, which he assured me he’s not). Pregnancy does not mean that our savings accounts and debt will suddenly not ever be paid again!

What I heard under the smoke screen of all that scares me a little. I know that men typically don’t view children the same as women do; to women, future children are almost tangible, while men don’t view them as anything remotely real until they’re actually sitting in the delivery room holding the little bundle of joy. But I wasn’t hearing that when Mr. Right and I talked last night... what it sounded like he was saying to me is that he’s getting cold feet and possibly changing his mind about having more children. I know that his life will still be complete even if he never has another child – he’s got his boy. Mine, however, will not, and now I find myself in the dubious position of worrying about his desire to Ever have children with me. Let’s say I say, OK honey, we’ll put this aside for now and not discuss it again until September. Then September rolls around and I find myself facing more excuses, more reasons that we aren’t ready to have children. Meanwhile I’m Five Months closer to 35 and Five Months further away to something that I need as much as air.

Right now I don’t know what to do. Do I let him have this time, do I compromise and tell him that a mid-way point between both our dates that I’m OK with is the beginning of July so let’s just work on us for now, and revisit the topic of babies then? Or am I staring in the face of something that I’m just not seeing... something that I might regret horribly a few months from now when he admits that he just doesn’t want children... after we’ve moved in together. Because as awful as it sounds, as much as I love him, if Mr. Right doesn't truly want to have children with me then he and I are not right for each other. It would be harder than any decision I've ever made in my life, but I will make that call.

Please just tell me honestly: am I overreacting? Am I just succumbing to the side of myself that has to worry obsessively about EVERYthing and truly rushing into something that he just needs a little more time to get ready for??? Or is this a big old red flag that I need to pay attention to??

Gawd. Where is Dear Abby when I need her?

Edited to Add: There's a very small possibility that I might be preggers right now. We didn't use contraception during the tail-end of my period last month - I have a 32 day cycle so the chances of my ovulating then is next to nil. Except I've been exhibiting some very early pregnancy symptoms for the past week that are scaring me a little bit after his revelation last night. And it's too early for a test. I'm a basket-case right now, seriously.

April 7, 2013

Two Months...54 Days...What Feels Like a Lifetime

Well it's been a while, hasn't it?

I'd like to say I've been MIA from blogging because I was off traveling the world and seeing the Eiffel Tower and being romanced in Italy by Mr. Right, but... well, the past few months...

Hmm. I get a little stuck at trying to describe the latter portion of 2012 and 2013 so far. So much has happened, it’s difficult to find one word that can easily describe the changes my life has undergone over the past 4 months. I suppose it’s easiest to start at the beginning...

Mid-December was marked by one of the most shocking events in my life: I was laid off. A mere two weeks before Christmas my prior employers handed me a paycheque for 2 weeks of severance and walked me out the door for no reason other than that my new boss and one of the owners did not like me. I was a remnant of the previous Controller; he and I had rocked the boat by questioning several of their financial procedures, and after they pushed him out I was promised that there would be no negative effect to my position. Four months later they made liars of that statement and sent me on my way, without even allowing me to say my goodbyes to the department that I managed. It was an unjust dismissal and for about two weeks I debated taking action against it, even going so far as to talk to my lawyer about the situation and my options. In the end, I decided that the emotional and financial stress and the potential of a fight that could drag on for months (or even years!) was not worth it, and I let it go. It hurt, on a level that I find completely indescribable; I was a star performer and had worked my ass off improving many areas of the company, only to be humiliated and treated with a disregard that belittled every one of my accomplishments and the many hours of service I invested in a company I believed in. It still stings.

I was employed by the next business day, and I like to think that what happened happened for a very good reason, because my new job is a significant move upward in both title, responsibility and salary. I signed a disclaimer with my new place of employment, so I can’t say much... but what I can say is that I’m exceedingly happy with this new opportunity and the learning experiences, exposure and challenge that it’s giving me. I have the option of working overtime, rather than it just being expected, and for once I’m finding a balance between work and home. It’s wonderful and satisfying on every level that I appreciate about a job.

Unfortunately the effects of being laid off were felt – I didn’t start my new job until January, and I’d been working to recover from the unexpectedly high closing costs of my house purchase, a new furnace installation, and a few other unforeseen expenses. I had to stretch two weeks of severance into four over the Christmas holidays, and in spite of my accounting background and natural tendency to scrooge out, it still hit me in the pocketbook. I’m not poor and I’m not struggling, but I’m one of those people who needs an emergency fund that’s equivalent to two months salary. As a result, I’ve put myself on a strict budget which I’ve vowed to follow to the last cent, with the goal of building my savings back up to pre-house-purchase balance plus.

It will be easier come May 31st, when Mr. Right will officially move in. Two months from now and I will be making a commitment that I’ve never made to any man before – sharing finances and all of the things that I’ve avoided previously. A little part of me wishes I’d been a little less fierce about my independence; I am so set in my ways from having lived on my own for so long, that I’m finding it hard to adjust to having someone around All The Time. Mr. Right and I have a lot in common, but there are a few significant personality differences that create a challenge, particularly in our living together. He is as Type B as they come; his easygoing nature tends to nicely work against my uber-Type A personality... except when we clash. It’s most noticeable in our financial management and housekeeping skills, oddly enough; I’m a ‘deal with it nownowNOW’ and he’s more: ‘It’s nothing to panic about, worry about it later’. I tend to hyper-stress and over-react about things, but I Get Them Done fast and properly, whereas he is calm and collected but tends to procrastinate and defer to others. He's a spender, I'm freaking Scrooge incarnate! He's also wasteful in ways that make me cringe. Add to the mix my red-headed temper and his dislike of confrontation, and there’s a melting-pot of potential communication issues that we continue to work through. What’s important is that we ARE working through them. And there’s a lot of value in knowing that we are identifying and solving the challenges of living together, since he’s been staying with me permanently for over 6 months now. Mr. Right has taken care of business and though we still have our challenges (mostly involving ex-nonwife and trying to stepcouple together - a future post, for sure) and we are still in love and planning for the future.

Which brings me to the end result (hopefully!) and our near-future goal: a baby. (SQUEEEE!)
After a lot of discussion and planning and thought, Mr. Right and I have decided that, in June, we’ll be throwing out the condoms. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how overwhelmingly exciting this is for me – in a mere 2 months, we might be pregnant. 2 months from now. 54 days. I could be a Mommy-To-Be by my 33rd birthday. Though it’s extremely difficult to wait (even if it’s only 54 days!), the rational side of me knows that this time can be used to better position and prepare us for pregnancy and eventually a new baby.

That also means that I’m having to be patient... which as you probably now know given my personality, is REALLY not easy for me. When I make up my mind to do something, I do it NOW. Add to the mix my post-30 time bomb hormones on top of the fact that I’ve been waiting for this for 14 years and my worries about potential fertility issues with each passing year... le sigh. I do not do waiting well. One of the things I did when I started the process for being a SMC was to plan ahead and educate myself as much as possible. On EVERYthing, from the process itself to financial planning to maternity options etcetera etcetera. I started buying cloth diapers and stockpiling various necessities, and I created a detailed budget and researched infant development and car seats and homemade baby food. All of this made me feel empowered, and also helped to provide me with a goal to work towards while I waited for the day that I would start trying to conceive. Ultimately, what it gave me was patience.

I’ll even admit that I’ve become a little obsessed with planning. When I become preoccupied thinking about the next two months, I focus instead on the preparation that most people think about during pregnancy… like the nursery. I’ve picked some colours that I like; a soft, subtle yellow with accents of mint green and maybe a few grey or red items to pop. Gender neutral, since I don’t want to know whether it’s a girl or boy beforehand. When I bought the house, I mentally designated the back spare bedroom as the future nursery,
Wouldn't this be an awesome nursery?

due to its south-facing window and the wonderful light that shines in, even in the winter. Right now this is the guest room, and the most use it sees is when L~ stays with us on weekends. So I’ve started doing some organizing and moving items from the future nursery to the office/library, which will eventually also host a sleeping area for L~-slash-guest bed. I’ve been trying to brainstorm ideas as to how to fit all of my books (I have 3 large shelves in the office/library right now, with 4 more boxes of books waiting to be unpacked in the closet and two shelves on the main floor with the rest of the books) in the 3rd bedroom with my computer desk and something for L~ and guests to sleep on. My second and third bedrooms are not huge; they’re not tiny, but they’re the typical, townhouse-sized spare rooms better suited as children’s bedrooms. Do you know how hard it is to find decorating/organizational ideas for a situation like this?? Until we have our second child, I want to be able to utilize the available space as much as possible since realty is at a premium in my house; L~ is only with us for a total of about 25% of the year, so I can’t justify having a room dedicated for his exclusive use and thereby not being used for 75% of the time! But how do I fit all of the furniture required to combine an office, a library and a sleeping area in this one room? Since I have quite a bit of time to work this out, I’m not too worried, though I’d like to have a workable solution sooner rather than later. I’m debating buying one of those chair beds from Ikea – they’re a single sleeper, but unlike a futon or daybed they fold up into a compact chair with a much smaller footprint. My only concern with that option is the idea that this isn’t really a bed per se… and Mr. Right might object to this arrangement, given that he maintains that he’d like L~ to have his own room. We’ve discussed this in the past, and I’ve pointed out that my <1100 square foot home just isn’t big enough for any area not to be completely usable 100% of the time; he’s agreed and has no issue so long as L~ has a space of his own for the most part. But Mr. Right may feel that a chair bed isn’t an appropriate sleeping arrangement for his son, so that will be a consideration when the time comes as well.

But enough of that; back to my extensive baby plans. I’ve looked at cribs and have a better idea of what sort I prefer (either white or dark wood and convertible to a toddler bed), and I have a rattan rocking chair – one of my favourite pieces of furniture – that would be practical, functional and comfortable in a nursery! Mint green drapes over the window, maybe a few decals on the walls. I have never liked the traditional change tables, and I’d rather not have a dresser in there. I plan to use this gorgeous buffet table that I own, which has cupboards with shelves inside and is solidly built, and have Mr. Right build a frame for a change table on top and then use a basket system inside to store diapers/clothing/etc. The closet is huge, and I plan to put an organizer in there in place of a dresser; I’d like one of the ones with drawers and shelves, so that it’s multi-functional. I want Lots of wall shelves and TONS of pictures on the walls. When I was younger I was quite the artist – I might even frame some of my own art and put it in the baby’s room! And since I’m handy with a camera as well… lots of pictures. Framed pics of Mommy and Daddy and baby, Mollie and baby, L~ and baby. Possibly with some lovely quotes or poems photoshopped in. Fortunately I have a very good photo printer so I can do all this for super cheap! Though money isn’t really a concern, I have seen financially solvent friends have relationship issues after having children, in part because they just spent too much on baby. And when it comes down to it, I’m a dyed-in-the-wool tightwad.

Then there are the things I’d like to splurge on, like a bassinet for beside the bed for the first few months – my sister bought a lovely one off of kijiji for a whopping $40! I plan to try some co-sleeping (I’ve done tons of research on the pros and cons of this, but since I have no personal experience yet I’ll stop there) and I also want to breastfeed, so I think that this will be a must. Is a breast pump a must too? So far the research I’ve done on breast pumps makes it look like a split decision; half say it’s required, half say it’s a waste of money. Majority rules that the best is an automatic pump, not a manual one, which is a pretty significant expense, especially for a good quality pump. Since I think it’s very important for Mr. Right to have the opportunity to bond with baby over feedings, I have a Medela breastpump in the budget – a double, which retails at about $350 but I’ve heard is totally worth it. Mr. Right likes the portable infant car seats, so we’ll have to buy one for the truck and I’ll make him carry it everywhere we go… I, personally, do not enjoy those things and would much rather be a baby-wearing mama. That’s next on my list to research, along with convertible car seats for my car, so that it can grow with the baby from infant to toddler. Since I walk a lot, a good stroller will also be a must. And as much as I would love a Bugaboo, I just can’t justify spending over $800 on a seat with wheels! (I covet the Bugaboo Chameleon and would cross my fingers that it may someday end up as a shower gift!) A swing is in the budget (possibly used, since these are outgrown SO fast!) as well as a high chair (something light, compact and fold-able since my dining room doesn’t have a lot of extra space).

The cloth diaper stash needs to be worked on as well. Right now I have a dozen newborn prefolds, two Bummis SuperBrite diaper covers, and a MotherEase newborn fitted cloth diaper paired with a ridiculously cute newborn MEAF cover. I plan to buy a few AIO's and pocket's to try. I also want a few of the Fuzzibunz One Size Elite, which are adjustable from NB to potty training, and best of all actually has replaceable parts! 6 of these would be nice, but at least 4 to start. Happily Mr. Right isn’t against cloth diapering (I’ve read on diapering boards that a lot of men are), but I’d like to have a decent stash of pockets/fitteds to make the process easier on him (I’ve used pre-folds with babies during my time as a nanny) and grandparents/aunts/uncles that may be involved in diaper changes. Since I use cloth menstrual pads, I’m not worried about travel or laundering and am already experienced on stain removal/washing and drying techniques/etc. I have a wet bag that I purchased for my pads, but then I switched to a soaking pot so I’ll probably use the bag for diaper changes on outings. Cloth bum wipes are a must too, and I may make some with extra fleece that I bought when I was making my own menstrual pads. Lots of stuff to keep me busy!

Two months. January and February flew by, but somehow when I let my thoughts linger on it, the time between now and June seems sooooooooo long. I’ll be 33 in July… I was supposed to start trying to conceive when I turned 32, and now here I am, already some 8 months past that goal date. Having to wait for almost 3 more months before we can even start trying. I’m terrified that I may be infertile; I’ve got endometriosis and Type 1 Diabetes and an extra 30 pounds on my frame (which I’m determined to and working on losing!). But I won’t know that until we start trying, and the thought of the next two months possibly being the straw that breaks the camel’s back… the threshold of time that pushes me over into infertility… I’m being paranoid. I know that. I can’t help it. I think about it, and I have to tell myself to just let it go, I can’t control everything.

So until June I’ll keep imagining my future, my life complete with beautiful babies with their father’s blue eyes and my curly red hair. Hopefully they get his height and my hair line; my brain and his physical aptitude; my dancing feet and his ability to deliver perfect one-liners. 

Some day... soon...