August 25, 2013

Renewed Focus

I have been back from vacation for two weeks.  Over vacation I started to think more and more about this blog and how I seemed to have writer's block.  After all it has been close to 4 years since I began this blog and what more could I say about frugal living?  Then it dawned on me this morning that with watching my grandson 4 days a week, I have so much more to contribute, so I will not abandon this blog that I love so much.

I will try to post every other day what I have been doing and give you a glimpse into my daily life which has changed tremendously from 4 years ago.  So let’s begin this new journey together.

Last week was the second week that I watched my grandson Ryan while his mom works at her family business and coaches volleyball and while his dad teaches math at the high school and coaches cross country.  Ryan has lots of aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents including a great-grandma that lives nearby.  I raised my kids living in the Midwest while my parents lived in New York and my in laws moved from the east coast to the west coast.  We were on our own when it came to caring for our sons, but we didn’t think anything of it as it was our normal way of live.

It would be hard to watch Ryan if it wasn’t for his good nature.  He is happy, and good natured.  Ryan has the same temperament that his daddy had when he was a baby.  About the only time he gets fussy is when it is nap time.

The one thing I have learned from watching Ryan is that basic items that you need to have in your home to care for a baby have gone up in cost tremendously.  Also there are more and more “necessities” for baby on the market. One day I went to purchase a pacifier for him to keep at my house.  There were about 50 different kinds of pacifiers to choose from.  When my kids were little I think there were just 2 kinds.  Also there are all sorts of unnecessary things that you really don’t need.  I don’t need a baby monitor or a wipe warmer. 

 I have purchased items as I have needed them.  For example, I purchased a Graco portable crib/play pen.  I bought it new and on sale for one reason.  Many times items are recalled and I knew that this one item was important for me to buy new.  It has 3 levels so that I have been able to raise or lower the bed as Ryan has grown.  This has been a big help for my back. 

I purchased the exact stroller that Ryan has at home.  It fits his car seat and it is a heavy duty jogging stroller.  I looked at a lot of strollers and I found more and more had wheels made of plastic.  Knowing how much a stroller can be used even for more than one child, my mind was made up to research and buy quality.  Again some online shopping paid off when I found a heavy duty jogging stroller on sale for $20 less than offered in a store along with free shipping.

Ryan is almost 6 months old so I added a walker and high chair as the final things I need for him.  I searched at local consignment shops for these items but found that I could get them on sale with free shipping to me for a bit more money.  In fact, the walker was only $5 more new and the high chair was only $30 on a close out clearance sale. 

I give Ryan a bath every now and then as needed.  I refused to pay $25 for a baby bath.  I simply put a folded towel in the bottom of the bath tub and took another towel and rolled it up to for him to rest his head on.  Then I simply lower him on the towel and wash him and let him kick in the water.

As far as items such as baby bath, lotion and powder, I went to the Dollar Tree and bought these items for $1.00 each.  I keep a large bottle of hand sanitizer near where I change Ryan’s diapers.  This was also purchased for $1.00. 

I have purchased a few toys along the way at garage sales.  Anything that is plastic such as rattles and the sort I wash and dip in boiling water to disinfect them. 
My son and his wife provide diapers, formula, cereal and jarred baby food for Ryan.  I supply the baby wipes.  Normally I would have just purchased white cheap wash cloths and used soap and water to clean him, but I came upon a deal at Wal-mart.  I was able to get 400 baby wipes for $6.00.  These are really thick wipes and even with a messy diaper, I only need one wipe.

I really enjoy caring for Ryan.  It is almost like I have been given a do over in my life.  I always wanted to stay home with my kids when they were young, but we just couldn’t afford it.  Now I am home and helping to care for my grandson and I am loving it. 

So, this is the challenge of my new life:  caring for my grandson a few days a week, managing my time and home along with continuing my dedication to frugal living.

Tips for Today: 
1.  The advantage of having a stockpile of pantry and freezer items has become invaluable to me as I don’t want to run out to the grocery store for one item with a 6 month old in tow if I don’t have too.

2.  I had been making my own hair detangler but discovered that a 10 oz. bottle of children’s hair detangler only cost $1.00 at the Dollar Tree.  It works great on my hair hair.  Also my hair is dry so I use conditioner in the shower.  After towel drying my hair I squirt a little conditioner into my palms and rub it on the bottom 3 inches of my hair.  I rub it into my ends and I let my hair air dry.  Air drying my hair helps to keep it from being damaged by the heat of the dryer and the additional conditioner helps to keep my hair moisturized.  


Anonymous said...

I love the new look of your blog! Very classy. Sounds like you've got a full part-time job on your hands with your grandson, but what a wonderful job! It's the most fulfilling and gratifying there is. I'm excited that you will be blogging more frequently. I am always inspired by your posts.

Martha said...

@Anonymous - I'm glad to find my focus again. I thought a lot of my followers would like this background and my "larger print" font. I like reading other blogs but sometimes the small print can get the best of me. I am showing my age. LOL