"Deals" via Budget in Google Reader

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Martha Stewart - DIY Costume Ideas

Martha Stewart and I have a on again off again relationship. She bribes with the occasional good ideas and tote bags and I re-subscribe to her magazine only to remember that it is 90% ads and a waste of paper since almost everything can be found online. But enough about my personal issues.

She just posted some AWESOME Halloween costume ideas!

For the new additions: DIY (Do it yourself) Baby Costumes
For your older child who wants to make their own: DIY Kids costumes
For the whole family: DIY Family Costumes
For the sewing impaired: No-Sew ideas  - I LOVE the spider baby/mama web one!
Still need more? Her viewers best ideas

What will my son be?
I found an adorable "bug" costume at a garage sale earlier this summer for $1. It has a hood with big eyes and wings.
Last year he was a pea pod. I found that costume at a mom to mom sale for $3.

What about you?
New moms: What will your new addition be this year?
Experienced moms: What is your favorite costume that your kids have worn over the years?
Pregnant and trying moms: What do you think would be the perfect costume for your little one?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Free - Childrens Christian songs download

Click here to download free Children's christian songs.

Thanks TheThriftyCouple

What to take to the hospital

Baby Lists: What to Do and What to Get to Prepare for Baby 
To make my hospital list, I compiled the lists from many sources online and book sources. I also purchased this book: Baby Lists: What to Do and What to Get to Prepare for Baby. This is a list of pretty much anything anyone has suggested, so you may be able to do without many things on it.

I would suggest finding someone that already gave birth in the hospital you plan to birth in to see what their hospital provided for them.

Many companies will give hospitals samples to use in hopes that you will choose to continue to purchase their products. Because the hospital gets the items for little or no cost, they are often willing to give you extras to take home.

Red items are ones that you can get probably get from the hospital for free and may want to stock up on for a home supply.

For Mom
Body wash/Shampoo - The hospital will probably provide hotel like bottles, but if you really like your soap, you may want to bring it.
Brush - If you have longer hair, you will want this to get the rats nest our of your hair from birthing.
Deoderant - You may or may not need this, depending on how concerned with your hygene you are. I couldn't care less how I looked or smelled after getting birth.
Scrunchies/hair ties - I was very glad that I had something to hold my hair back while giving birth.
Pads/Depends - Some people don't realize this, but even if you have a C-section, you will bleed quite a bit after giving birth and you will need some sort of pad.

I actually really like the hospital pads and "disposable" underware. They were super comfortable and although the pad was bulky, I like it better than anything I found in the stores. I actually think I had a reaction to one of the pads I purchased after my supply ran out.  I would suggest packing your supply away at every nursing shift change and ask for more so you can use them at home. The underware are actually washable.

Due to the reaction I had, I actually ended up using some cloth diaper inserts that I had, so you may even want to consider re-usable pads called "mama cloth". I will talk more about this when we get to the diaper posts.

A friend suggested that I get some depends and they were nice for going out to Dr. Appointments in the days after birth.

Going home clothes
Robe/Clothes for hospital stay - I didn't need one because I was happy with the hospital gowns, but if you are the type of person who likes to be in their own clothes, this may be important to you.
Slippers - I didn't need one, but like going barefoot and never really went that far.
Nursing gown/Nursing Shirt - They have hospital gowns with nursing holes, but again if you like your own clothes you may want to bring these.

Nursing shirts can be expensive and in my experience hard to find used. Although they sell them at maternity stores and babies R us, they are pretty expensive. I found most of mine at Meijer and Walmart and I wore them ALL The time, definately worth the money in my option.
Pump - They will have a pump there for you to use if you need one while there, but if you bring your own, the lactation consultant can show you how to use it.
Boppy - I was glad I had my boppy for learning to nurse.
Nursing Pads - They may have these at your hospital as well, but you may not need them depending on how quickly your milk comes in. They also make washable versions of these and you can make your own. I really liked the organic ones because they held their shape much better than the non organic ones after being washing.
Lanolin  - You may want this for nipple pain if nursing. My hospital had small sample packets of them and were a bit stingy, but again something great to stock up on.
Hydrogel Pads  - I was really surprised that the hospital gave these to me for free because they are quite expensive. Again a great thing to try and stock up on during nursing shift changes.
Lip Balm - The hospital may be dry and you may get chapped lips. This may also be true if you are dehydrated from giving birth.
Toothbrush/paste - I would imagine the hospital may provide these if you asked, but I brought my own.
iPod - You may want this if you think you may need to get "into the zone" when birthing.
Hard candy - Most places don't let you eat while in labor, however I put in my birth plan that I wanted to be able to eat and drink what i wanted. I was nautious and wanted to eat so I could throw something besides bile up.
Back massager/Tennis ball - Incase you have back labor (wasnt a problem for me)
TP - The have hospital stuff there, but you may want softer stuff. I had a lot of swelling, so I didnt wipe for about a month. I just jumped in the tub after I used the bathroom.
Towel - Theirs are scratchy, but if that doesnt bother you, you dont need them
Swimsuit top/sports bra - If you want to use the big tub. I really didnt care who saw me naked while in labor, most womens modesty goes to the wind from what I understand.
Tube Sock filled with long grain rice - These are nice to microwave for any pain (I didnt use mine so I am not sure if the had one available or not)
Ear Plugs - essential if you are a light sleeper
Dermoplast/Proctofoam - I dont remember what this was recommended for and did not pack or use them
Tucks Pads - They should have these at the hospital and the tub should last you for the whole recovery, they are good for hermoids if you have them and for any swelling you have after the birth
Birth Ball - They have these too, but if you have a yoga ball you like, you may want to bring it as theirs may not be inflated how you want it to.

For Dad
Change of Clothes
Swim Trunks - If they want to get in the tub with you
Coins - For vending machines

For Baby
Receiving blankets - They have these and theirs work much better than the ones in the stores, but you are not supposed to take them home.
Burp Cloths - They have these also and you are also not supposed to take them home.
Clothes- They provide clothes for them to wear while you are in the hospital, but you will need something for them to go home in (you may want to pack a few sizes since small babies need REALLY tiny  (premie or newborn) things and other larger babies may be almost ready to wear size 0-3. I was shocked how huge some of our outfits were on my son.) Most hospitals also take pictures, so you may want something cute for them. Note: The company that took my sons pictures were a bit agressive in making sure they took the pictures and in calling after to try and get us to order them. They even got kinda nasty when I told them we didn't want any.
Pacifier - They have these too, but you may want to bring your own orthodontic ones because some babies wont take anything other that what they had first. The ones they have in the hospital are really hard to find, I think you need to buy them online.
Car Seat - They will probably  inspect the car seat and they have classes on how to use them.
Plaster foot kit/baby book for foot prints - Our hospital had an ink one they give you at the hosptial.
Nail Clippers - They will not cut nails for you!
Mittens- If you don't want to cut their nails and they are long and scratching themselves. The baby gowns they had at our hospital had little cuffs you could put over their hands too.
Diapers - They have these and our hospital was pretty free with giving them away. They even offered us extras when packing to go home.
Wipes - They have these (another think to stockpile and ask for more). They even gave us the plastic container!

Large empty bag for gifts  - Ikea bags are GREAT for this. (I think they are less than a dollar if you live near ikea)
Birth Plan - See last weeks post
Copy of Paperwork - I was annoyed that I was expected to read and sign all the paper work when I arrived at the hospital in labor, so I requested a copy of everything ahead of time so I had time to actually understand what I was signing.
Camera - A must for capturing those first moments.
Video Camera
Laptop - I worked from my hospital bed hours after giving birth... You get a rush of energy after you have the baby. It is also great for facebooking pictures of your new little one.
Night Light - Our hospital had little lights everywhere that we could turn on for diaper changes and such.
Folder/Filer for paperwork
Watch with second hand - If you want to time contractions, I didnt worry about that.

..... And that is my list! Is there anything I am missing that you used in the hospital? How about those of you with home births, what supplies did you need to get?

Next Week: BABY STUFF!!!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Guest Blog - International Adoption

Two guest blogs in a row? How awesome is that?? 

Doreen Beltz, wife to 1, mom to 5, and family pastor to many at The River Church, Kalamazoo, MI (in that order!) has been kind enough to write up her experience with the international adoption of their two adorable little Chinese girls.
The Beltz Family International Adoption Experience:
Whether starting or expanding your family, the decision to become a parent is one giant step closer to God.  He designed us to "be in family" and glorify Him through our relationships with other family members.  There are something like 28 legally "accepted" definitions of what constitutes a family nowadays...humans are so creative.

My family consists of me, my awesome husband, 1 biological daughter (15), 2 biological sons (12 & 11) and 2 daughters (both 6) adopted from China.  Adoption has ebbed and flowed over time and everyone has an opinion about it.  Personally, I feel it's a beautiful thing.

Both of our international adoption processes were typical.  That is to say that there was nothing predictable, simple or inexpensive about either adventure!  Nonetheless, I have been both spiritually-strengthened and deepened as a mom through these experiences.

If you are considering an international adoption, begin with prayer.  Work with your spouse to be clear that you are "on the same page", as the process creates stress in every area of family life and finances. Work with a reputable adoption agency (we chose Adoption Associates in Jenison, MI) and line up resources of support for you, your spouse and your children.  

We adopted Lydia in 2004 at the age of 14 months and 5-year-old  Margaret Mae in 2009, both from China.  The girls are 10 months apart and polar opposite in temperament.  (Which is actually awesome--they get along like peas and carrots, each with her own "turf"!)  

Both adoptions were considered "special needs", as they both have congenital heart defects, now repaired.  Because of the special needs classification, our time frame was shorter than most--completed in about a year.  Typically, international adoptions vary between 2 and 3 years from start to finish and some require extensive in-country stays or multiple trips.  I spent 10 days in China the first trip and 15 days the second trip, before bringing the girls home.

Each adoption cost us about $23K, more than we anticipated in each case.  Delays, changing regulations and hidden costs add up quickly and really test one's perseverance.  However, costs can be shaved by taking advantage of tax credits, employer contributions (thanks Pfizer) and other opportunities for financial assistance.

Adding to the family (no matter how you do it!) certainly shakes things up and requires sacrifice from all.  But when you are living in line with God's plan for His people and adding to His family in the process, He will guide, encourage and  protect you every step of the way!

If you have questions about international adoption, Doreen can be contacted at dbeltz at theriver dot info.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Guest Blog - Domestic Adoption

I think adoption is such a wonderful way to become a parent. What a lucky child to (in most cases) have birth parents who love them so much and are willing to give them a better life by choosing another wonderful couple who will love and care for them! So, thanks to everyone who is involved in the adoption process!

I am SO happy to introduce my guest blogger Kate Woodhams!

She became the mother of two wonderful boys through domestic adoption and was willing to share the process and her story.

Kate's Story
Adoption has been a wonderful blessing for us. We were going through the motions of fertility treatments when we began to feel like things were spinning out of control and doctor appointments were dictating our lives.

We didn’t know much about adoption at the time, nor knew anyone who could share their adoption story with us. We went into things blind, but had a lot of faith that this what was meant to be. We found a couple of adoption agencies in the area and attended their informational meetings to learn more about what options we had. There are several different ways a couple can go about adopting- through the foster care system, domestic infant or internationa adoption programs. Each has its own unique process along with it’s advantages and disadvantages depending on your lifestyle.

The foster care program typically involves a child who has suffered either abuse or neglect. A family can choose to become foster parents or adopt out of the foster care program. One great advantage to going through this program is the cost of adoption is often very low and in some cases the state will help pay for costs in raising the child until 18 years of age.

The domestic infant program involves waiting families wanting to be chosen by birth families. There is not a waiting list, like many people believe to be true. The length of time that a family waits for an infant relies solely on how quickly paperwork is turned in and how long it takes to be chosen by a birth family. Within this program, an agreement is made between both families about whether they’d like it to be an open, semi-open or closed adoption. Open means there is contact and sometimes visitation between the child and birth family. Semi-open typically means pictures and letters are sent to the birth family to update them on how the child is doing. Closed adoptions offer no communication or visits with the birth family.

The international adoption program varies greatly depending on the country in which the adoption will take place. Each country has it’s own rules and regulations in regards to the family, visits to the country and age of children waiting to be adopted. One great advantage to going through this program is the number of children waiting for families to adopt them. Because the process can take some time, it is rare to bring home a newborn baby, but unlike the domestic infant adoption program you are not waiting for a family to choose you.

We chose the domestic infant adoption program for both of our children. With both of our adoptions we met the birth mothers in person after they initially chose us from our profile (a book of letters introducing ourselves and pictures of the life we have to offer a child). The two adoption stories vary, just like any two birth stories would vary in any other circumstance. For our first son, we were invited to be at the hospital during labor and delivery. The hospital treated us very well and gave us a hospital room, just like any other family would be given. The nurses were helpful in showing us the ins and outs of caring for a newborn. Our second son, went to interim care (a short term foster family’s home) for two weeks before coming home to us. In this instance, we were actually chosen to adopt after the birth mother delivered our son. After she met us and was reassured in her decision to choose us, we met our baby and brought him home.

In both of our adoptions, there was a waiting period from the time that we brought our boys home to when the parental rights were terminated. Since we didn’t use the foster care program or the international adoption program, we’re unsure of exactly the process involved for those adoptions. The time in which we had our sons home with us until the parental rights are terminated are no doubt a scary time. If the birth family is to change their minds, they do have the legal right and the baby will be placed with them (this is known as a legal risk placement; meaning we know that we are taking a legal risk). We were informed that the termination of parental rights hearrings were held about 3 months after birth in both instances. Once that court date takes place, there is a huge sigh of relief, the birth family can no longer change their minds, however the adoption process is not quite final.

We were required to have two more home visits through the agency to be sure that everyone has made a smoothe adjustment. Once those home visits are complete and paperwork is turned into the court a petition to finalize the adoption is in place. This took place right around 10 months of age for both of our sons. You can choose to have this done through the mail, or attend a court hearring to finalize the adoption. To us, these days were just as special as their birthday. Court is very informal and we were invited to bring friends, family, cameras, video cameras etc. Afterwards for both sons, a big party was thrown in their honor!

We invite you to explore adoption as a way to build your family. It truly has been the greatest of miracles in our lives and we’d love to share more information with anyone who might desire it.. (email me at budget4baby at gmail dot com if you would like to get in touch with Kate)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Free - Icky Bandz

Go here to get up to 4 free packs of Icky Bands. They seem to be silly bandz that are supposed to remind kids to wash their hands

Thanks MyCityMommy!

Marriage Investment

Hello readers!
My husband and I are going to be taking some time to invest in our marriage, which means that I will not be online as much for a time. Sunday posts however, will still continue to be posted and I have arranged for some guest bloggers to share during the week.

I'll miss you!

Monday, September 20, 2010

JPS - Vista Print Calendar

Here is a just pay shipping deal from Vista Print. A free calendar. Create yours here.

Thanks Spend Less and Save More !!

Free - Leap Frog Tag Book

YAY! Finally some good baby deals again, it was getting pretty quiet out there!

Go here to get a free leap frog tag or tag jr. book!!

Thanks Mojo Savings!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Child Birth Classes

Husband-Coached Childbirth (Fifth Edition): The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth 
There are a lot of ways out there that you can educate yourself on having a baby. What you choose will depend a lot on what type of birth you want to have. Many women are able to have the birth that they wanted without ever cracking a book or taking a class. It all depends on the type of person you are and your expectations.

There are a ton of good books out there about pregnancy and birthing.
 Books that I read :
Other Popular Books
  • BabyCenter - I would not credit this a leader in a sound and researched birth information, but it does have some great information for starting points for your own research.
Hospital Classes:
  • Most hospitals will hold classes on child birth, they may hold many classes that cover specific topics so that you can pick and choose the classes that interest you. 
    • I did end up taking the breastfeeding course offered by our hospital and my husband took the class offered for Dads, but I did not take their birth class.
Private Classes:
Many communities have non-hospital affiliated classes available. 
  • One popular example are the Bradley Method classes. Name sound familiar? Yes, he is the "sweater ornament" person, but his method of "Husband Coached Childbirth" is popular and boasts being quite effective.
  • For those of you local to Kalamazoo, a popular spinoff of the Bradley Method classes are hosted by Birth Kalamazoo. This class teaches elements of the Bradley method, but also incorporates other methods and ideas of natural child birth.
What did I do?
  • I read the books listed above, I borrowed most of them from friends, the library or other (free) resources. 
  • I googled any questions I had about different methods, keeping in mind that not everything on the internet is true.
  • I took the Best of Natural Child birth class from Birth Kalamazoo, taught by Jessica English.
  • I took the Breastfeeding class from our local hospital.
  • Dad took a "Daddy boot camp" class through the hospital as well.

What books did you read?
Did you read "What to expect when you're expecting"? Did you like it?
What websites did/do you use?

Next week: The last post in this series "what to pack" and the first post where we really start looking at ways to save money.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Coupon Giveaway Winner!!

Congratulations to Rebecca K. who won the Coupon giveaway.

I am also throwing in an additional $5 off $25 Toys R us coupon, $1 off Pampers coupon, two $1.50 off Huggies diapers, $.50 off Huggies wipes (64ct), $1.00 off Huggies wipes (184ct) and $1.50 off a bounce dryer bar.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Your Birth Experience

 Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
What type of birth experience you want to have will help you decide where you should have your baby and who should be there to help you.

The hospital is a good place to birth if:
  • You have good insurance or are independently wealthy (my bill was about $20,000)
  • You want the option to have your pain be managed with drugs such as an epidural
  • You like the idea of having the equipment, knowledge and a broad range of skill on hand in case a complication arises.
  • You do not need a doctor or midwife with you most of the time you are in labor. Many times the doctor will arrive just in time to deliver your baby
  • You would prefer a scheduled C-section if your provider will allow it
  • You like the idea of not having to prepare much and trust your provider to do what needs to be done
  • You understand that the hospitals goal for your birthing experience is a healthy baby and a healthy mommy and may be quicker to use interventions if they see something that could possibly interfere with that.
At home, with a midwife is a good place to birth if:
  • You do not want/need pain management
  • You are willing to pay about $1,000-$3,000 out of pocket (insurance rarely covers home birth)
  • You like the idea that many home birth midwifes will come to your home for your pre-natal care
  • You want the comfort of home while you give birth
  • You will be comfortable giving birth at home
  • You have the confidence and belief that women have been giving birth since the beginning of time, your body was made to do this and are not concerned about the possibility of complications for you or your baby
  • You worry about the fact that hospitals need to protect their interests and are quicker to use interventions
  • You are ok with not getting an ultrasound if you choose only home midwife care
  • You can handle your peers, family and medical professionals questioning your choice. 
    • If you are seeing a hospital OB or midwife in addition to your home midwife pre-natal care, some offices will write you a letter after the birth of your child discontinuing their care of you, some will no longer see you if you tell them you are planning a home birth
An unassisted home birth (free birth) could be an option if:
  • You are ok with the fact that most experts, even home birth advocates strongly do not recommend this option
  • You want a home birth, but live in an area where a home birth midwife is not available or illegal
  • You feel educated (on the topic) and confident enough to be both patient and "doctor" during your labor.

Unfortunately, most of us probably agree with a few bullet points from two or more of the categories and there are some other options to help you find a middle ground.

Birth Centers
If you are lucky enough to live close enough to one of these centers, they can be a great middle ground. They have some medical staff who can do basic medical procedures and are equip to easily transfer patients to a hospital if needed. They tend to focus more on natural childbirth and natural pain management. Epidurals are not available at birth centers. Some insurance companies will reimburse you for your stay and the costs are lower than in hospitals. The American Association of Birth Centers can provide you with more information.

Can offer care directly to you. They do not provide medical support, but are there to encourage you and help you through your labor. They can offer new positions to try for pain management and also be there to support your support personnel. Doulas can range in cost anywhere from $0 (a doula in training) to about $1000 dollars. I have not heard of insurance ever paying for a doula. You can find more information on Doulas at DONA International.

In-Tune Professional Care
Finding an OB or midwife that is on board with your birth experience and choosing a hospital that also supports the way you want to labor is a huge factor in getting the birth experience that you want. This can be hard to do because most practices will have many midwifes or OBs on staff that you like, and some that you do not. However, whichever one is on call when your little one decides to make an appearance is who you get. Some OB/Midwife practices will work with you if there is a particular provider that you have a conflict with. I would highly recommend doing so.

A Birth Plan
Having a birth plan is very helpful. It informs and reminds your professional staff of the experience you would like to strive for. It also helps you remember what you wanted to strive for after you have already had 20 hours of labor with more to go. It is suggested that birth plans be one page long or less, but I had a lot of information I wanted on there. I opted to put my "preferred" birth plan on page on and then any "emergency" information on the second sheet, since it would not be needed unless something did indeed go wrong.
Great things to have in the birth plan are:
  • If and when you want drugs for pain management. It can be helpful to specify if you do not want pain drugs offered to you. Many women do not think to ask for them, but are eager to take them when offered.
  • Who you want in your birth room? Some women like to have the whole extended family with them, others just want to be with one or two trusted family members or friends.
  • Emergency plan. If you end up needing a C-section or if there are other complications, who do you want called? Do you want your significant other with you in recovery or with your baby?
  • This one was odd, but I had in my birth plan that I wanted to eat and drink during labor and the midwife indicated that since it was in my plan she would allow me to, whereas otherwise they would not.
  • Do you want to bank cord blood?
  • Do you want to wait to cut the cord to allow the blood to leave the cord?
  • Do you want your baby to have Hep B, Vit K shots or eye drops?
  • Do you want your baby boy to be circumcised?
  • Do you prefer to tear or have an episiotomy?
  • Are you ok with an IV?
  • Do you want to breastfeed right after birth?
  • Can baby have formula or a pacifier?
  • Do you want to see a lactation consultant after birth?
  • I also included a paragraph on me and my personality to help them understand me, as I think I have a pretty strong personality and not everyone knows how to handle it.
A copy of my birth plan can be found here. I have changed personal information to 0000 or 555-555-5555, so if you see that it means something identifiable was there. Everything above the dotted line is the "main" birth plan that I gave copies of all of my nursing staff. Everything below the dotted line was in my chart in case of emergency and they needed more detail.

Informed Hospital Nurses
When you check-in, let the hospital nurse know how you plan to birth. They can assign you someone who is good with moms birthing naturally or someone good with moms who choose an epidural.

An open mind
Not every birth is going to be exactly what the mom wants it to be. It is important that moms understand that things can go wrong. A successful birth does end with a healthy mom and a healthy baby. (Thanks Jessica)

What did I choose?
I chose to have my baby in the hospital. The hospital where were at seemed more in-tune with natural child birth than most hospitals I have heard about. Overall I was happy with this decision. My placenta ended up not delivering at the end and I needed to go in the OR to have it removed. I was glad I was in a hospital for this, but I don't think I would have died if I need to be transferred.

I do wish I had spent the extra $500 for a doula. I feel like I could have labored longer (they used a vacuum to get my son out), but felt that I was given the option of that or a c-section (the hospital reports indicated otherwise however). By then I was exhausted (4 hours into pushing) and didn't have the breath to argue for more time.

Birth Stories from blogs I stalk follow:

Baby Mamas Drama Part 1 Part 2
Exploiting My Baby
Our Little Online Corner
Gabbing with Grace
...and Baby Makes 3 Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

*Tara - 3 home births + one hospital transfer = 4 girls

*I do know quite a few people who have had home births, so although I do not follow their blogs (or they do not have one) I asked a few of them to share their birth stories as well to get a more rounded list of stories for you. I will link more as they get back to me.

Please feel free to link to your birth experiences in the comments section! As always, I am also very open to corrections or additions as long as they are presented kindly.

Next post: Childbirth education. What options are available in your area? Did you/are you planning to take a childbirth education class?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Just Pay Shipping (JPS) - Free Hardcover photo book

Picaboo is offering free hard cover photo books. You just pay shipping.

Details at MojoSavings

Thanks! MojoSavings - Make sure to check out her website re-design!!

Free Sample - Pacifier

FunTastic Media is giving away free Green dot pacifiers that alert you when your baby has a fever!

Visit their website to get their email address and email them to request a sample.

Thanks Triplets Mommy!

Cloth Diaper Demo

Bummis Tots Bots Easy Fit Pocket Diaper, Lime, 8-35 Pounds 
I just got back from a Cloth Diapering Demo/Class hosted by Alyse Lange (post-partum doula) at Planet First in Portage Michigan.

Any of you local mamas in the area who are thinking about cloth diapering and even those who already are should go to one of her Saturday morning classes! This lady has an AMAZING stash... seriously like one of every type of diaper ever made... so you can see what you are are getting before you buy if you are buying online!!

I even won the giveaway!!!!
I got:
A wet bag from B.C. Fleecy
A fitted diaper from dappi
A multi-sensory teether from lifefactory
Rock in Green cloth diaper wash
Charlie's Soap cloth diaper wash
3 wash cloths from smq organics
A mini shoo-foo compressed bamboo washcloth
All natural diaper rash salve by NorthEssence
A mini sample bottle of Lovey's Tushi Wash (this will be great for my diaper bag!)

I am excited to try these out and tell everyone what I think during my "Diaper" series that I have planned for after the first of the year!!

Preparing for Childbirth Series

 The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth (Sears Parenting Library)
For a newly pregnant family, actually having the baby can seem like something to worry about later, AFTER all of the cute toys and clothes have been purchased. However, there is a lot involved with preparing for how you will bring your child into the world. If you didn't know that there were many options out there yet, your mom, aunts, cousins, neighbors, the person behind you at the super market and your co-worker's fifth cousin's sister's friend will all be telling you how it should be done shortly.

What does this have to do with saving money? These first few post are not going to be typical for this blog as far as pure cash savings, however not choosing the right option for you can be costly and not knowing what costs are involved in different options and which of those costs that you will be responsible for can have a big impact. Also, if you have a certain birth experience that you want to strive for, this may be a good place to splurge.

This series of posts will consist of the following posts:
  1. What type of childbirth experience do you want to have?
  2. Childbirth Education options.
  3. What do you take to the hospital?
Moms who have had babies, where did you birth?
Would you like to share your birth story? -If so, get it ready for tomorrows comment section or email it to me!

And don't forget the coupon giveaway ends tomorrow. I have had some questions about how to enter. Go to the original giveaway post here. And leave a comment letting me know that you qualify (by living in the continental US, "liking" me on facebook and "following" me on blogger). If you look to the top right of my page, there are buttons to "like" and "follow" me. That's all! :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ad Space Giveaway - Ends 9/19

For Rent with Frame Yard Sign
I am giving away two prime ad spaces on my blog for at least one month (it may stay longer if I don't have anything to replace it with). One will be located on the top right corner ad and another just below that.

To qualify you must:
  • Be a WAHM (Work at home mom) business, company or blogger
  • Have your own 250 x 250 ad available for me to use
  • Do one or more of the following:
    • Sell products for kids or babies
    • Blog about kids and babies or the desire for them
    • Blog about products for kids and babies
    • Blog about budgets or saving money
Note: It is up to my discretion if your site or company contains inappropriate materials or is not consistent with the mission of my blog (I am not too picky, I just want to make sure it is not an adult site or someone who blogs about spending lavishly). If you are unsure if your store or blog fits, email the link to me at: budget4baby at gmail dot com

You can enter in the following ways:
  • Post a message on your facebook page or blog asking your friends to like budget4baby on facebook (have them leave one comment saying you sent them)
  • Post a message on your facebook page or blog asking your friends to follow budget4baby on blogger (have them leave one comment saying you sent them)
  • Like budget4baby on facebook (leave one comment saying you sent you)
  • Follow budget4baby on blogger (leave one comment saying you sent you)
Other details:
  • The winner for the top ad will be chosen by the most referrals (facebook likes and blogger follows will be added together for the total).
  • The winner of the second ad will be chosen by random.org.
  • Only comments posted before 11:59pm EST on September 19th, 2010 will be counted.

Free Subscription to BabyTalk

I have never read this magazine, but you can get it free here.

What are your opinions on this magazine?

Thanks TripletsMommy

Free Sample - UnderJams

Pampers UnderJams Night Wear For Boys, Size S/M 27-Count (Pack of 3)
Go here to get a free sample of UnderJams training pants.

Thanks MojoSavings!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Free light up clippers for expecting Moms!

 Are you expecting or know someone who is? Fill out this form for a free pair of Graco Light up Clippers

Thanks Hip2Save!

Free PagePlus software download from Amazon

PagePlus Essentials [Download]

Another Free software download from Amazon PagePlus Essentials [Download]. It is software that will allow you to create cards, stationary, posters, newsletters and more!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

NEW Amazon Mom Program

This looks like a really neat program for amazon shoppers!

• FREE Two-Day Shipping with Amazon Prime: When you join Amazon Mom, you will receive FREE Two-Day Shipping with Amazon Prime for the first 3 months of your membership. For each $25 you spend within a single order in the Baby store, they’ll grant you an additional month of Amazon Prime shipping benefits. You can earn up to one year from the date you joined Amazon Mom!

• 30% off select diapers and wipes: As an Amazon Mom, you receive an additional 15% discount on top of the standard 15% discount on select diapers and wipes when you sign up for Subscribe & Save delivery.

• Exclusive e-mail discounts and offers
More details over at hip2save!

Thanks hip2save!

Just Pay Shipping - Vista Prints

Well, I think I am almost done with my Christmas shopping already!

Here is a just pay shipping deal on address labels. It looks like you can get other things for just paying shipping too.

Thanks hip2save

Just Pay Shipping (JPS) - Personalized Address book or Planner

Here is another deal for a free notebook, address book or planner, however when I selected a planner or address book, it took me to a note book page without an option to change it to an addressbook or planner. Did anyone else have any luck? Details here.

Thanks hip2save!

$4.99 Personalized Playing cards

First, I want to say sorry to my family who will probably no longer be surprised for Christmas and birthdays because of this blog, but it is for the greater good, right??

I just ordered a deck of these cards and I am so excited to get them! I got to pick out a different picture for EACH card!!!! Thats 55 pictures including the jokers and back of the cards that I got to choose and crop.

Thanks STLMommy

Free Personalized Note Pad

Free personalized note pad for sharing the deal on facebook! It looks like you can sign up now for the coupon code and redeem it later.
Details can be found at tripletsmommy.com

Thanks TripletsMommy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Free 6 issues of Parenting Magazine

Another one from Mojo Savings. I swear I do subscribe to many other deal blogs, they just seem to be hitting it out of the park lately...

You can get 6 free issues of Parenting Magazine from similac. Here is how.

Thanks again Mojosavings

$1 Jeans at Target!

Mojosavings just posted a Jeans deal at target here.

Thanks Mojosavings

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Infertility Testing and Treatment

 Hannah's Hope: Seeking God's Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage, and Adoption Loss
Most women do not have problems getting pregnant. However, for those few of us who do, infertility can be very expensive.

Most insurance companies do not offer any infertility testing or treatment. You may want to consult with your insurance company to see what is covered and what is not as many of the tests can be quite expensive.

Clomid is often one of the first things medical professionals will try to treat infertility. If your insurance does not cover these drugs, shop around before shelling out the money at your favorite pharmacy. In my experience Walgreens wanted $79 per dose, where Walmart only charged $9.

Adoption can be just as expensive as infertility treatment and also comes without a guarantee that a baby will result in the process. A cheaper alternative can be to adopt through the foster care system. The state (at least in Michigan) will pay you for care of the infant/child until they are adopted and they will also pay for the adoption proceedings if the child is a ward of the state.

My Story
My husband and waited a bit to try to conceive to get to know each other and also until we had some money saved for a rainy day. By the time we were both ready to start trying, I was REALLY ready. We were already charting(natural family planning) to prevent pregnancy before we were trying, so we had that first step out of the way. Ten months of testing, tears, two rounds of clomid and about $2000 out of pocket later, we got a positive pregnancy test.

Does anyone have an infertility or adoption story they would be willing to share?

Next week: The first of four posts on "Preparing for Childbirth" (I promise we will get to the fun stuff (buying baby things) soon, I just want to get the important stuff out of the way first) :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Giveaway addition

I have another coupon to add to the giveaway:
A $5 off $25 purchase card from Toys R Us. :) Enter at the previous post

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Giveaway - Enfagrow Coupons & $5 off $25 Toys R Us Coupon

Enfagrow PREMIUM, Unflavored Powder, 24-Ounce Can
I know it is not much, but I have two $3 Enfagrow coupons to give away if anyone is interested. To qualify you must:
  1. Be a resident of the continental United States (sorry, I have had bad experiences shipping elsewhere)
  2. Follow me on facebook (click the like button on the right or search Budget4Baby from your facebook account)
  3. Follow my blog (click the follow button on the right). Click here for a tutorial.
Since I don't have a lot of followers yet, IF I get more that 0 or 1 people who enter (comment on this blog post), then I will use random.org to select a winner. I will draw on Sunday the 12th.

Edit: I am also including a $5 off $25 purchase toys R us coupon!

Free Pampers Sample

Pampers Cruisers Dry Max Diapers, Size 3, 160-Count
You can get a free sample of Pampers Dry Max by going here. The sam club membership number is not required.

-Thanks again Mojosavings

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Free Magazine Cover from Rite Aid

Need a good way to share the news that your expecting? Need a gift for grandma and grandpa?

Get your baby/family/ultrasound picture printed on a magazine cover free tomorrow and Friday only!

Head over to MojoSavings for details on how!

-Thanks MojoSavings