Sunday, October 18, 2009

Going Green. And being frugal.

I'm on a mission. First and foremost (but not at the expense of my or my family's health), I want to save money. I want to be frugal. But, like I said, not at the health of myself or my family. And, I want to be green (kinda goes hand in hand with the health thing, right?). Here are some things (just a few), we've done to save money and try to be green.

1. Buy as many of A's clothes at re-sales. Just Between Friends is a new lifesaver! The important thing to remember is that you can still get some clothes cheaper & new than some of those designer kids clothes at a resale shop. My most recent purchase included a pair of pajamas for 50 cents! Isn't that crazy?

2. Use what I have. I know that sounds crazy, but I have been the queen of buying things just because I wanted them. So, I'd have three different kinds of shampoo. Really? That's not necessary. It saves money for me to only buy what I need. I have so many bottles of lotion, it puts Bath & Body Works to shame.

3. Breastfeed. I had to throw this one in here. I heard someone say they spent $100/month in formula. Not sure if that sounds right, but it's a lot of money. Twelve hundred dollars a year. Plus bottle. Plus nipples. And all those fancy bottles. Liners. Nipples that (don't) look like my nipple. Changing nipple hole sizes (on a side note, I never got that, since my nipples didn't really change after my daughter was born).

4. Extended breastfeeding. I can proudly say I never had to purchase a gallon of whole milk. When I was pregnant (before I committed to extended breastfeeding), I used to fret over the thought of buying all those gallons of whole milk. I would never drink whole milk and my husband certainly wouldn't. Well, I never had to do it!

5. My newest....making my own laundry detergent. It's super cheap & there are no harsh chemicals. What else can I say? I love it!

6. Using cold water when washing dishes.

7. No caller ID or call-waiting. Saved us $9/month.

So, what's your best frugal yet green tip? I'd love to hear them!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Is it time?

Hopefully if you know me in real life, you'll respect me and what I'm about to say.....my job is getting old!

I'm a nurse manager in a large urban tertiary care hospital. I'm the manager of 2 large, high-acuity nursing units. I've been a manager for 3.5 years. For the most part, I love the people I work with. I love thinking that maybe I made the difference in the life of an employee and better, yet, a patient.

Yet, I've never worked more. Never worked harder. Never felt less appreciated. Never felt like I made less of a difference. Never felt like I needed to work more. Never felt like I sacrificed my family so much. Never.

So, I've been thinking. I miss patients. I miss teaching (patients and students). In a way, I miss leaving my work at work. While I was never a nurse who could truly leave work at work, the manager stuff is with me all the time!

Here's the thing....I really believe in the philosophy, mission, and vision of the hospital I work for. They're doing great things. They really try to do what's best for the patient. I couldn't work for another hospital.

What am I to do? Teach? No jobs. Work on the floor? I'm too scared to step down. There is another job I'd like, but it's not open yet. Go back to school? Hmmmm, the eternal student. Yep, that's me.

I'm thinking about it. For real this time.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What to Read...

I have this horrible habit of starting multiple books at once. Last December I started the Twilight series. I was very disciplined in reading those (if you've read them, you know it really doesn't take much discipline to keep ready). I had the pleasure/task of reading them back-to-back. Now that I've read all of them, I have so many books I want to read. Here are some I'm working on or about to start --

The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers -- I'm actually about half-way through this one. A is co-sleeping. She still nurses to sleep. I would love to be able to put her in bed & say night-night. Two reasons for this -- it just sounds luxurious (doesn't it? or is it just me?) and we want baby #2. I realize baby #2 will need me to help him/her sleep. I just want it to be easier for little A to go down (and stay down, I might add). I'd be perfectly happy with a family, but I am married to a wonderful man who is not fond of many children in our bed! I have faith Elizabeth Pantley is going to help us through these times! Next baby, I'll read the No-Cry Sleep Solution for Babies.

Birthing From Within-- This is one of those I started, then started something else. I've heard great things about BFW. An interesting point, Pam England calls all births, even cesareans, births. The women of ICAN have a tendency to disagree. However, I believe (only from Joni Nichols' experiences) that cesareans can be births. My hope is one day they are. Anyway, I digress. I don't want my next to be a cesarean. I'm planning on VBACing with baby #2, and I recognize I need the much of the work that is done in this book.

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth -- Ina May does a phenomenal job of explaining how there are no 2 births that are the same. I've read many of the birth stories in the first half and some of the 2nd half. The second half talks about birth and what is "normal." If you've not heard of Ina May, you really should check out her statistics. She and the other midwives on The Farm, have an INCREDIBLY low intervention rate, including an unbelievably (in current American obstetrics mind, that is) c-section rate. I want to know how...so I'm reading this book when I'm done with The No-Cry Sleep Solution...or after Birthing From Within.

Henci Goer's Thinking Woman's Guide to Birth -- Haven't started this one, but I own it! I've heard great things about it.

Silent Knife -- This book is about c-sections and VBAC. Nancy Wainer Cohen & Lois Estner have written a classic. Again, I started it, a while back, and now I need to finish it!

Pushed -- I must say, I can't believe I have not read my SIGNED copy of Pushed! Jennifer Block is a genious!

There are also some breastfeeding books I'd like to read -- Mothering Your Nursing Toddler is one I own & have started. There is a book about gentle weaning....contemplating reading it!

Well, then there are those fiction books I'd like to read -- The Friday Night Knitting Club, My Sister's Keeper, and the Time Traveler's Wife. Hmmmm, which one first?

I must also say that I get most of my birth books on the ICAN website (www.ican-online.org). Not only do I get a 10% discount for being a member (ask me how), but I'm helping the most excellent cause!

Happy Reading!