A first time mom, loving each moment…

Oven Baked Chicken

Last night I decided to bake a chicken.  The thought was to have baked chicken and veggies for one dinner, then use the leftover chicken for another dinner.  I used a whole chicken.  The largest chicken I could find was like 6 pounds.  I was hoping for a larger one, oh well.  I cut up a few carrots, celery stalks, half an onion and small potatoes and tossed the veggies around the chicken in the baking dish.  Inside the chicken was a quartered lemon and some onion.  On top I sprinkled garlic powder (I was out of fresh garlic), salt and dried thyme.  I topped it off with a spritz of olive oil.

Before Baking

The chicken came out AWE-wait for it…-SOME!  But, I would change one thing next time, the chicken fat soaked veggies.  Unlike with a beef roast, the veggies were a little, shall I say, gaggy (not a word, I know).  I’ll put them in their own little baking dish on the next go round.

Oh so yummy, After Baking

I Already Have a JOB!

Here’s what I’m thinking:  If my husband can sit on the couch on a Sunday for literally 6- 7 hours straight watching TV without any slight sense of responsibility towards keeping the baby asleep or helping in the house then I can be a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) without any digs from my husband about getting a job.  I’m just saying, if everything else in our lives besides making money truly is my responsibility then I have enough on my plate.  Don’t you think?

Let’s think about it this way, the average nanny in North Georgia makes an average of $12-$15 per hour.  Since it’s my (our) house and my (our) baby I’ll cut that in half and stay on the low side, so $6 per hour which is less than minimum wage.   I’ll base this on an average day.

6am- On duty, feeding, changing and entertaining Lilly.  Dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning, doggy care, kitty care, errands…….

10pm -Off duty.  Lilly is FINALLY asleep.

12am -On duty.  Lilly cries, binki fell out.

12:03am -Off duty.

1am -On duty, Lilly cries to nurse.

1:30am -Off duty.  Lilly is asleep.

3am -On duty.  Lilly cries, she is gassy.

3:15am -Off duty.  Lilly is asleep.

5am -On duty.  Lilly cries, she is gassy.  I try the binki but that doesn’t work.  Eventually nursing calms her.

5:30am -Off duty.

6am -On duty, time to get up!

Unless my math is wrong (and it usually is) that is about 17 hours and 18 minutes (never mind the “on-call” time since this schedule fluctuates).  Let’s drop the 18 min and just multiply my wage of $6 an hour by 17 hours.  That’s $102 per day x 7 days per week.  That is $714 per week!  So you see, there is no reason for me to get a job…I ALREADY HAVE ONE!  In fact, since my husband has someone available to do all of this he can go ahead and give me the money.  And don’t say, “But all of this is half yours anyway, half your kid, half your house, half your messes.”  Remember, I cut my wage in half at the beginning for this exact reason.

So now I sit and wait for MY paycheck.  Wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait…..  Yep, you get the idea.  There IS no paycheck for someone like me.  Instead we get grief for NOT making money, NOT contributing.  Really?  I’m not contributing?  Instead of a paycheck I’m told to stay home to save gas, or that I get to decide how much gas I can use when I get a JOB.  So, while my husband chooses to drive our V8 gas guzzling Jeep instead of the parked 4 cylinder Cavalier I’m told that I am the one who needs to save gas.  ??  Am I the only one confused about this?  Is it because I didn’t “earn” the gas or the money to buy it?  What DO I “earn” then?

If it’s not already obvious to you, Randy and I had these issues over the weekend.  While we’ve talked about them and still love each other :-) I am left feeling as though his perception hasn’t changed and that we will continue to go round and round about it as long as I am at home with our kid(s), which BTW he prefers to me working only to make enough money for daycare.

What happened to the day of our great grandmothers and their mothers and grandmothers?  There was a time when a woman’s “job” was to be at the house, cleaning and raising the kids.  As far as I know they didn’t get flack for that.  And the man worked for money to provide for his family.  Did he complain about his wife not making money, too?  In fact, most men thought it was a woman’s “place” to be at home.  Now that women have fought so hard to be considered equal in the workplace does that mean we are not equal if we don’t work and choose to raise our families instead?  There is a reason nanny’s make good money.  It’s a hard job.  Raising someone’s children is a big responsibility.  I choose to do it myself like my mother, my dad’s mother and mothers before her.  What’s wrong with that?  And why can’t I be left alone to do it in peace with the respect that I deserve?  If his well raised kid is my well raised kid and his dinner, clean house, well kept animals are all mine (my responsibility), too, then his money is my money.  PERIOD.

I REFUSE to feel guilty about not having an income any longer.

Can I get a “Hell Yeah!”?  :-)

So, today I have a third interview for a position at a local golf course.  I have applied to drive the beverage cart, which is something I’ve wanted to do for some time.  I’ve heard that it’s fun and pretty lucrative.  Up until now I was very excited about the job.  I am only interested in one day a week.  Just something to get me out of the house and put a little change in my pocket.

They took over a week to call me back.  I started to adjust myself to the possibility that I did not get the job and would need to find other ways to make some pocket change.  I started finding reasons why it was best not to get the job, like Lilly will NOT take a bottle and she has grown more and more attached to me, making it difficult on anyone watching her.  In this mindset, I received approval from my Dad for some hourly computer work for his company.  Then the call came, “We’d like you to come in for another interview and to show you around.”  That statement in itself is confusing.  They want to interview me again, but they want to show me what I’ll be doing.  Do I have the job or not?  Anyhoo, now I find myself on the fence.

Mom’s out there, is it wrong that I really just want to spend every moment with my child?  I tell people I’ve waited six years for her, but really I’ve wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom since I can remember.  My own mother stayed home with us and I always appreciated that.  I have an entrepreneurial spirit that drives me (crazy) and I find myself struggling with it.

(Insert break here, diaper change time.)

Well thanks to Lilly I’ve made my decision.  I just spent five minutes with my daughter laughing and giggling while changing her diaper.  I just am not ready to miss these moments.  She was so happy to be there in that moment with me and so was I.  I think she knew I needed that.  :-)  I’ll have to find a way to quiet the need to work and/or start a business.  Maybe I’ll just bury myself in this blog and hope that will work.

Sister Mom’s, have you struggled with this same problem?  What did you end up doing?

Love of my life!

I made this meal last night for mom and dad.  It was sooooo yummy!  My husband, Randy, would never eat this.  I seasoned chicken breasts with Montreal chicken Seasoning, chili powder, thyme and cumin.  Then I chopped a small tomato, an avocado, half a mango and 1/4 of a medium onion and mixed it with some fresh lemon juice, dried oregano and dried cilantro (we didn’t have fresh).  I baked the chicken then topped it with this salsa.  Mom made sweet potato “chips” and some lemony asparagus.  This meal was so refreshing and delicious!  I wish so badly that Randy would eat like this, fresh and healthy.  And the response from my parents’ was, “This is delicious!” scraping the salsa bowl for more, as apposed to the normal, “it’s ok” while he dumps 1/3 of his plate in the trash response I usually get from Randy.  Maybe Lilly will love my cooking like my parents’ do.  :-)

I love cooking for my parents’!  They make me feel good about my food.  Thanks Mom & Dad for being my biggest fans!  :-)

Lilly and I spent Saturday with my friend, Cristina.  We attended a coupon class put on by Qpon Qutie based in the Atlanta area.  It was a great class.  She explained different strategies for saving money (not just clipping coupons).  She taught us how to organize a binder and filing system to make clipping coupons super easy.  And her website features the weekly circular ads from many grocery store chains, daily deals and much more! We learned some great ways to shop online and get cash back.  And did you know that soldier’s family’s overseas can use expired coupons at their commissaries?  So, instead of throwing them away you can mail them to these families.  And Amber, the Qpon Qutie offers to mail them for you for FREE!!  Just send them to her and she handles the rest.

My only frustration is that living in the mountains makes it difficult to really take advantage of the money saving opportunities afforded to big cities.  We don’t get the coupons that Red Plum or Smart Source put in Sunday newspapers.  And excellent money saving services like Groupon and Social Living are wasted on us.  We are way out of their market area.  Yes, I’d love to buy a $20 certificate to Romeo’s Pizza for only $10 (a current deal on Groupon), but Romeo’s Pizza is in Atlanta, so…that would be a waste of my money.  But I want to know why only the big cities get these advantages???  We  country bumpkins need to save money, too!  We want Red Plum and Smart Source coupons!  We want discounts of up to 90% for our local stores and services!  Damn it!  We are people, too!

I want to make my money stretch!

Ok, so now that I got that out I feel better.  :-)  I plan to put to use the info that Amber taught us Saturday.  I want to buy $64.14 worth of groceries for only $9.42, too!

I’d also like to hear from you, leave a comment below.  Would you like big city money saving advantages, too??  What are your frustrations about the cost of shopping in your rural neck of the woods?  If I hear from enough of you I just might do something about it! :-)

Yesterday I caught Lilly reaching for her toys while laying on her play mat.  I wanted to tell someone so I thought I’d tell you!  I’ve been working with her to get her to grab toys I put in front of her.  She will grab her Pooh Bear cuddly when I lay it on her chest but that seemed mostly by accident.  When she has something in her hand like a toy or my hand she will pull it to her mouth and chew on it.  So, I’ve know that she has some concept of “hand to mouth”.  But today she repeatedly saw the toy hanging above her and reached out to grab it.  What a great “mommy” moment!

Click here to watch the video I made.

I recently started putting her to bed at night in her crib.  She is doing very well.  She still wakes up once a night to nurse, but I am weaning her from that.  We’ve gone from an hour to an hour and a half for the feeding and getting her back to sleep to 25 minutes.  Yay!  More sleep for mommy!

We have not done well with tummy time.  At first I didn’t realize I was supposed to give her tummy time every day for building strength.  She hates tummy time so we didn’t do it much.  We are doing tummy time daily now and she does roll herself over.  She still screams about it, though!

I think my favorite milestone is laughing.  She has been laughing lately and that is so adorable and rewarding!  Today I had her giggling and squealing.  I wish I could have recorded it.

Sometimes I have to stop and remember that she is only 3 months old.  She seems older to me.  I’m excited to see more!

UPDATE!  I posted this yesterday and last night she had what I think is another milestone.  We had dinner with friends and I gave Lilly a bottle while we ate.  Lilly does not get bottles often since I breast feed her so in my mind that is why this was so cool.  I put the bottle in front of her and she put both of her little hands up, wrapped them around the bottle and pulled it to her mouth!  What???  She knew what the bottle was and coordinated her hands to grab it and put it in her mouth.  My child is a genius!!!!  :-)

Test Driving

Last Thursday Randy, Lilly and I drove to Toccoa, GA to test drive a car I found on Craigslist.  It’s a 2005 Chrysler Pacifica Touring.  It took me about 6 months to find this car, it has everything we need within our price range.  We really liked it!  It drove great and was very roomy.  We need a safer, larger car now that we have Lilly.  If we fold the 3rd row seating down I have tons of room for the stroller, groceries and the 23 bags I now have to carry around with me.  As you can see below, Lilly looks pretty happy with it.

And this may be a silly mom thing but the back doors open nice and wide so I can get Lilly in and out with ease!

It’s a pretty blue with black leather interior.  AWD and a towing package.  We are currently using our 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee as our “Lilly” car and it is a 4×4 with a towing package.  This car has been very handy on snow days and moving days.  We wanted to be sure that the new car would be as useful.

The bank is processing the paperwork as we speak! I can’t wait to get my new car!  I already talked with Randy and told him to keep his paws off of this car.  Long story but, this is the first car in our almost 10 year relationship that I’ve picked out and I plan on keeping it, he is not allowed to take it over!

Yay!!  Road trip, anyone????  :-)

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