These past few weeks have been filled with family fun, side hustling, doing home improvements, and saving money. It feels like we’ve crossed many things off of our to-do list. Life feels busy right now, but it’s nothing compared to the daily busyness in store for us when my maternity leave ends. I think it’s common for many woman to set big goals for their time away from work. The question is, how many of us actually accomplish everything?
I was excited about receiving my first email inquiry about advertising rates for this site. My readers must understand that while I enjoy blogging and hope to share helpful information, I have a lot of debt right now. I readily admit that my goals with this blog include making some money from it. I’m hopeful that a limited amount of advertisements or a couple of sponsored posts won’t deter readers from returning. Everything that I post will remain family-friendly and representative of my goals.
I signed up for a new method to make money via this blog called Izea. It looks pretty promising so far. Hopefully, I can find some opportunities to make money writing about useful products or services.
Mr. Smith has been dropping hints about the state of our roof for the past few years. As every summer came to end, he would start stressing about the possibility of leaks during the winter. He can finally relax. Although I would have preferred to hold off for one more year in order to pay off more credit card debt, he was right, we needed a new roof. It is better to pay for a new roof now, instead of paying for repairing water damage AND a new roof later. Of course, we didn’t hire a random contractor and pay an exorbitant amount. Mr. Smith and one of his coworkers did the job themselves. He even scored a huge discount on the supplies due to his connections (he is a construction apprentice). The roof looks great, improves the value of our house, and didn’t cost much money.
Moms know how much is involved in rotating children’s clothing – they grow through sizes so quickly! I was able to organize everything that Trey will need from now until he’s two years old. A good amount of our boy clothing was mixed in with Tornado’s old clothes. Unisex clothing is a great way to save money and a lot of boy clothing works just fine for girls. It feels like quite the accomplishment that I will be able to just grab a box when it’s time for Trey to move up to the next size.
We had so much fun incorporating homemade dinosaur fossils into our lessons last week. We used standard salt dough (1 cup water, 1 cup salt, 2 cups flour) to make some white dinosaur bones. I wanted to make the fossils a darker color, to look more like stone. I substituted one cup of water with some old coffee and added used coffee grounds to the mixture. The dough turned out darker and speckled, but still pretty light. If we do this again, I will add even more coffee grounds and two cups of coffee.
The kids were able to make the bones without much help. We did work together on the fossils by pressing toys into the dough to make an impression of their bodies or dinosaur tracks. There are varying instructions on drying out the dough to make it hard. It didn’t matter whether this project browned from baking, so we set the oven for 350 degrees and let these thick pieces of dough cook for one hour. I left them in the oven while it cooled down and let the fossils dry out for two days.
Finally, the kids were ready to play with the fossils. We took them out to our large sandbox. Goofball and Tornado got right to work burying and digging up their prehistoric finds. We used shovels and little brushes to make it more authentic.
Tornado is finally potty trained. She was doing really well, but regressed with the arrival of the baby. It just clicked all of a sudden and she has been doing amazing! I can’t believe how far she’s come since the beginning of this year. In January, she was still my baby doll, with pacifiers and diapers. Now, she is an impressively well-spoken, independent, and opinionated little girl. With this potty-training success, we will also be able to save money on diapers. Well, it’s actually Amazon credits earned through Swagbucks that we use to buy all of our diapers. I guess we will be able to use that credit towards other things, or cash in our bucks for Walmart gift cards or PayPal.
We have started remodeling Goofball’s room to be shared with his little brother. The baby will stay in a bassinet in our room for a few more months. However, as I mentioned before, we want to have everything prepared before I return to work. We are trying to make it nice for him, but not spend much money. Goofball will be moving up to a loft bed we purchased at a garage sale. Other than that, we won’t need to buy any furniture. Stay tuned for our awesome money-saving flooring project.
Hard work pays off. We’re making a better life for ourselves by using our time and money productively. I’m hopeful that the end of this maternity leave will not be accompanied by too much dread about returning to work. Instead, I should be able to look back on this time with a sense of accomplishment and tons of precious memories of time with my family.