I’m a mom, always and forever and foremost, but I’m not *just* a mom

Caroline: When I grow up, I want to be a daddy.
John: Why?
Caroline: Because I want to go to work.

Even writing it now, I feel a stab of pain in my chest and a little bile in my throat.

I am a proud stay-at-home mom. I feel very, very strongly about my decision to stay home. It is, without a doubt, the only way I will raise my kids.

But I am an adamant feminist. I want my daughters to know they have choices. I want my daughters to have it all. Hell, I want to have it all.

And I believe that I do have it all. I had a career. Even now, I put my degree to use and earn a little bit of income. For a short period, I’m at home raising my girls, but I will return to work someday. I hope then that Caroline can see that women, mommies even, have careers.

I think what bothers me most about her comment is that she sees what John does as better… more fun. That makes me worry that I do not seem, to her, at least, to love what I am doing every day. I think of all the times I must seem rushed and frustrated to her. I am going to imprint her words into my brain to remind myself to show her how much I love what I do.

Because I do. And I hope someday she gets to have a career. And be home with her babies. And then continue her career. It is a wonderful life!

Bargain Shopping Updates

As you may have noticed, I’m not hitting the CVS/Walgreens freebies so often lately. First, I’m pretty well stocked from that past year. Second, the deals aren’t so grand lately. Walgreens has even changed its program, so there is not so much free or almost-free stuff to be had. And third, I’ve joined a cooperative buying group of moms here in Austin (and a few others online) that is totally feeding my hunger for a good deal.

Our coop, using volume of numbers and sometimes a resale license of a member, buys at wholesale or special coop pricing from vendors. We’ve coop-ed bras, slings, shoes, fabric, toys…and more. Each month, we do a group buy of products like bath and household stuff, so I’m getting my deals there. Granted, this is natural/organic stuff, so it is pricier (therefore NOT free) but it is much cheaper than I’d get at a retailer.

There are two brands, though, that do not sell to coops that I must have for my girls and am always on the lookout for a good deal on. California Baby body wash/shampoo is the only soap I’ve found that keeps Caroline’s eczema in check. It is all that has touched Elizabeth’s skin and we’ve not had any problems with her yet (knock wood.) And Badger sunscreen is rated safest by the Cosmetics Database. Both are pricey! I’ve found that diapers.com has the best prices on California Baby, though, and just discovered that they price match. Since drugstore.com is running Badger on special right now, I emailed diapers.com about their sale, and they honored the sale price on Badger. Therefore, I was able to order California Baby soaps and some Badger sunscreen at sale prices and get free shipping. Remember, if you use my code, AMAN0432, at diapers.com, you can get $10 off your first purchase (and I get a bonus, too!)

Our Swallow Tail Butterfly

We brought in a tiny caterpillar and fed him dill from the garden. He spun himself a nice little cocoon, and today, he broke free and became a beautiful butterfly. Caroline’s excitement was such a joy to watch! She was the one who discovered the butterfly was out of the cocoon. We have one more chrysalis waiting, probably a few more days.

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Secrets of my Slingess

If you have seen me out and about on multiple occasions, you may ask yourself, “How many slings does this girl have?” My secret: not as many as it would appear. You see, I have discovered the art of buying, selling, and trading. And it is a hobby that leads to obsession.

Visit The Babywearer forums For Sale or Trade section, and you may become hooked, too!

I started with one sling. That black pouch sling, a Hotslings (still my favorite brand!) when Caroline was just a few weeks old. I tried many other types of carriers throughout her carrier-hood, so by the time I was shopping for Elizabeth, I knew just what I wanted. I traded and sold some of my Caroline carriers to create my “perfect” stash for Elizabeth. But then, I didn’t love it so much. So I did some more trading. And I realized that I never had to get bored with a carrier or a print again. As soon as I was bored or saw something else that caught my fancy, I could trade!

At the moment, I have the perfect stash for me. (Interestingly, I have or am in the process of trading all of the above pictured slings but the Mei Tei)
One reversible Babyhawk Mei Tei
One camel Ergo
Two Hotslings (Solstice — a black pattern and Pashmina Pink — obviously pinks)
One WAHM pouch sling in Mocca
(this gives me three pouch slings that cover my wardrobe of colors–brown, black, and pink)

Now, that is the stash today. You never know what you’ll see tomorrow!

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