Monday, August 24, 2009

Mom Essentials #2

Essential: Target Diapers
Type: Baby essential
Cost: $13.99 for 96 size 3 diapers
I've been doing the math lately on lots of things it takes to run a home with small children. For example, how much does a load of laundry cost (laundry detergent, fabric softener, electricity for drying one load), and more than ANYthing: the lovely little thing we call DIAPERS!! Here's my math:

Let's say your child wears diapers until they are 2.5 years old. That's 912 days of diapers. Now, let's just say you average 6 diapers a day...more when they're newborns and fewer as they get older. That's 5472 diapers in 2.5 years. Holy moly, that's a lot! (Multiply if you have more than one kid and...yikes!)

Simple breakdown:
If you buy Huggies diapers wholesale (like Costco or Sam's Club), you get 224 size 3 diapers for $49.99. That's approximately 22.3¢ per diaper. That's nearly a quarter a diaper! Over the course of diaper-time(2.5 years), that's a grand spending of $1220.26. Or think of it as $40.67 each month!

Target diapers (newly renamed Up & Up), which I have found to be as leak proof as Huggies, can be bought (size 3) in a large box of 96 diapers for $13.99. At only 14.6¢ per diaper, I will spend only $798.91 by the time Colby is 2.5...with a grand savings of $421.35. Monthly, it's $26.63...a savings of 34%.

Moreover, the boxes lately have featured $2.00 off coupons, reducing my spending by an additional 14%!

BONUS: If you purchase online and buy three or more boxes, you save an additional 20%. Click to visit Target's website.

I also like to think that if we have a total of 4 kids, I will have saved us $1685.40, which is an amazing weekend trip with my husband when our last child gets potty-trained!!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mom Essentials #1

I've decided to start a new series that requires much less intensity and vulnerability than "Confessions of a Real Mom." Over the past several months, I have come to realize that there are things in a mom's arsenal that are "musts" for every mom. Each week, I'll post a new product, website, discipline or "whatever" that I think will help you be a better mom. Some weeks, I might feel more generous and post a couple of essentials. ;-)

Since this is the first of the series, let me define what I believe to be Mom-Essentials.
1. The item must be easily accessible and preferably free.
2. The item can be as much for the child as it is for the mother and vice versa. For example, you might not make your child an appointment for a massage but for you, its effects will ripple through your family!

Welcome to the Essential Aisle!!

Type of Product: Website
Cost: Free (although you can subscribe for just $24.95 for the entire year)

I have been more than disgusted in recent months at the children I've seen in movie theaters showing an R-rated movie. Brad and I saw a movie on Saturday night that was chock-full of violence and oh, the language! Before the movie started, two families walked in with children under the age of 7 and it was all I could do to stay in my seat. It infuriates me that parents would expose their children to the elements that come with an R-rating.

You might not be taking your children to these movies, but even PG and PG-13 movies are laden with sexual innuendoes, "mild" cussing, and violence that Hollywood deems appropriate for certain ages. Even PG rated movies can (and do) contain sexual content! Come on, Moms! We have the responsibility to protect and preserve our children's innocence by NOT exposing them to EVIL. I don't know about you, but I don't have the time to preview an entire movie before showing it to my kids so I've found a website that does it for me.

Screen-It is an online site that rates movies in 15 (yep, that's fifteen) categories, with ratings that include: None, Mild, Moderate, Heavy, and Extreme. It then explains the rating(why), the plot, gives a word to parents, and describes in full detail every time a cuss word is used, every sexual anything, and more. Not only will this give you a complete list of everything your children will see and hear, it will help you determine what movies to see yourself. (Brad and I have often changed our mind about what movie to go see after reading the online review at

Here's a idea of how they rated the newly released "Julie and Julia" which is rated PG-13. All this content is directly from (I haven't seen the movie...)

Alcohol/Drugs: Heavy
Blood/Gore: Mild
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude: Moderate
Frightening/Tense Scenes: Minor
Guns/Weapons: Minor
Imitative Behavior: Mild
Jump Scenes: None
Music(Scary/Tense): None
Music(Inappropriate): None
Profanity: Heavy
Sex/Nudity: Heavy
Smoking: Heavy
Tense Family Scenes: Heavy
Topics to Talk About: Moderate
Violence: Minor

It sometimes makes me laugh when they describe some of the detail under each category. For example, for this movie, one of the "Sex/Nudity" scenes is described as: "Julie and Eric passionately kiss while clothed." It's seemingly mild but the reviewers & raters find it completely necessary to include it to better educate parents!

Please visit this site regularly and commit to protecting your children. Guard your home against the evil that will enter through the movies we play on screens. Their eyes are the windows to our children's souls so let's let the Light shine more brightly than the darkness.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Confession of a Real Mom #2

I had such a sweet morning with one of my besties & felt inspired to write another blog today. Consider it a follow-up from the more-than-recent confession of difficulty in motherhood.

My moments of deep, deep darkness seem to press further behind me as I search, quite desperately at times, for Light. I love following Jesus. I love His leadership and His tender tenacity in making me more like Him and less like myself. Yet, oddly, I become more like Myself as the transformation goes deeper and hits the darker and uglier roots.

My blog-fession (confession) left me surprisingly free as so many moms (and yet-to-be-moms) found encouragement in relating to another Christian mom who has hard times. My heart swells at the future I believe awaits us as our toddlers turn into teenagers and diapers morph into diplomas.

Thank you, Jesus, for these moments of struggle and sin. Thank you that YOU lead me to these places so that Your character is glorified in the horrific comparison to my sinful nature. Keep my heart from ever loving my sin. Keep my mind from justifying my position before you as anything but humble. Keep my kids innocent in their childhood but open-eyed aware of their sin, just like Mommy & Daddy.

My prayer for my children has been Psalm 23 and as I meditate on verse 6, it reminds me that I must deliver God’s promises to my kids:

“Surely God’s goodness and unfailing love will pursue ZoĆ« all the days of her life and she will live in the house of the Lord forever.”

“Surely God’s goodness and unfailing love will pursue Colby all the days of his life and he will live in the house of the Lord forever.”

I’m enjoying motherhood today. And I’m pretty sure I will again tomorrow.

“I look up to the mountains – does my help come from there?

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!

He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.

Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.

The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.

The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.

The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.

The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.”

Psalm 121

Monday, August 3, 2009

Best Potato Salad Ever!

A couple weeks ago, I had a night to myself so I indulged in two of my favorite things: beauty products & potato salad. Yep, that's right: I would rather have a plate of Red Hot & Blue's Potato Salad than a bowl of ice cream or bar of chocolate. Determined to have it more frequently, I learned how to make it at home. Here's my version of the treasured recipe:

"Wanna-Be Potato Salad"

  • 10 red-skinned potatoes
  • 7 hard-boiled eggs, yolks discarded
  • 1/2 cup green onions, diced (more or less to your taste)
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 3/4 teaspoon celery seed (I opted to do a little more)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Cut each potato into 16th's (down the middle and then each half into 8 cubes). Boil potatoes until soft.
2. In a large bowl, combine the mayo, celery seed and salt.
3. Chop the hard-boiled egg whites into large chunks and add to mayo mixture.
4. When potatoes are fully cooked (soft but not mushy), drain and rinse with water. Cubes/pieces should hold their shape.
5. Add potatoes and green onions to mayo mixture.

Can be served warm (like RH&B) or stick it in the fridge for a cold version.