Monday, April 12, 2010

Furry Baby

Tommorrow is my dachshund's 3rd birthday. I can not believe how time passes and things have changed. If your like me I treat my dog as one of the family and like any 'child' you have to get them ready for the new baby arrival.

I have researched this a bit and I can not say what works and what does not.

I want to tell you on how to get that furry baby ready for a human brother or sister.

Now my dogs have been very loved and I handled them a lot when they were puppies which I hope gets them ready for little kids. I have got in my dogs face, pretended to eat his food, pulled, tugged, nipped and just man-handled my dog to the point that those things do not affect him and I hope that helps the new transition. I do think squeaky toys and blankets will be hard to get his mindset to 'his' and 'babies'. If your dog has not been bombarded with such affection, here are some tips:

1. Have your partner give him extra attention and let him get used to them since you may be the one handling the baby more often.

2. Get a baby doll and rub baby oil on it. Get a blanket and swaddle the baby doll and then treat it like a baby. Get him used to the scents and smells of the new arrival.

3. Have your partner or friend come home from the hospital with a blanket or hat the baby has worn. Let the dog get the scent and give him a treat afterwards to show him the baby will bring good things.

4. Keep the baby in the car seat and lower it to the dog. Let him sniff the baby and praise him for good behaviour.

Try to keep the routine you have with the dog now when you have the baby. Ask your partner to help you and find what works best for you and your family. You do not want your dog feeling neglected and off his routine. That will only cause potty accidents and aggression towards the newcomer.

I have a gut feeling my dog will be fine and if your dog just is not taking to the baby and after training is showing aggression then give the dog to a trusting friend, family member, or person who will take good care of him/her and let them know the dog is not child friendly. If you have to a no-kill shelter would be a good option.

Never EVER trust your pet alone with the baby no matter how trusting you are of your pet. Accidents do happen and pets are animals and they can have erratic behaviour. (Dog Drags Baby to Woods)

Internet References:
Your New Pack Member
Introducing your pet to a new baby
Humane Society Reference
One more for good measure

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Money Saving Tips #3

It is that time of the week again where I will give you my money saving tips. This week I will give a money saving tip on an activity you may be interested in doing, but just can not afford to do.

Tip #3

Scenario: Your friends call and want to go out to see a movie and have dinner, but its the off week of your paycheck and your strapped for cash.

Solution: Invite your friends over to your house and offer to make them dinner. Ask them what type of style of food they are in the mood for (IE: Italian, Mexican, Chinese, etc) and then create a budget friendly dinner. You can always find deals at your grocery stores or if your lucky enough to have a discount grocery store like a Save-A-Lot you do not have to spend much money on dinner and its a lot cheaper than spending money at a restaurant.

Next ask them if they have a movie they would like to see and you can go to Redbox for $1 or your local movie store. A lot of movie stores have deals since Redbox is in competition with them. If you do not want to spend that extra buck, then ask if they have a movie they would like to bring over. Another cheaper solution would be a board or multi-player video game.

My friend and I have a couple night once a week and we alternate. One night she cooks and we bring over a drink, dessert, or a movie and vice versa. We have saved so much money that way and to be frank, both of us do not have a lot of money to spend on luxuries like movie theaters and restaurants.

Couple Spin:
If it is just the two of you - you can always rent a movie from Redbox, take a "personal fun spin" on a board game and make the dinner romantic by candle-light.

Family Spin:
You can do this with your family as well. You can have a themed night where you make a certain ethnic food dish, decorate with festive plates and other fun decorations you get at the Dollar Store and teach the kids a little about the culture. You can research online games that would go with your theme. This is something I plan to do with my children and it is inexpensive, reusable (my favorite word), educational and keeps the family bondingI hope you enjoyed my money saving tip and stay tuned for my weekly tips.

Cooking on the Cheap Recipes:

Meals under $10 (includes dessert!)
Variety of Cheap Meals from Disney
Easy Meals for Busy Families

You can find a lot of great recipes by searching in Google, Yahoo, or Bing by typing in 'budget meals' 'cheap recipes' and other keywords like that.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Advantages of Small Town Living

I feel my first blog had a downside to small town life, so I wanted to give the advantages of living in a small town. Last year my husband and I moved from a big city in Florida and went back to the small town in Pennsylvania I grew up in my teenager days. I admit I was happy to come back for the advantages, but I am starting to miss the city life. This blog will not only help you - but myself for why living in a small town and raising a family is great.

  • Living Cost is Less

From gas prices to home rentals the cost to live in a small town is significatly less than in a city. Not only are you able to keep your pockets heavier, but you are less stressed than having to pay more for about the same stuff.

  • Personal Touch

What I mean by this is everyone knows everyone - or at least a relative of yours. You can go to the doctor and you have a more personal visit then you would in a city where you are just a patient. You go to the grocery store and the clerk refers you to a great daycare service.

  • Public School Trust

You can trust putting your kids in public school and know that they are safe. You don't have to shell out the extra cash to put them through private schooling just to have the sense of security.

  • Save Gas

Does not take very long to get where you need to go unless you live out in the boonies and its a few miles to that gas station or country side store.

Unfortuantly to every advantage there is a disadvantage, but this blog is about the positives so stay tuned for another day where I will discuss the disadvantages to small town living. Also I will discuss the ups and the downs to big city living.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Money Saving Tips #1 and #2

Whether or not you live in a big city or a small town there are expenses especially when you have a baby or expecting. I am one of the thriftiest people I know when it comes to budgeting. The first money saving tip when expecting a baby is this:

#1 Neutral
Now I know if you have a boy or a girl you want to adorn him/her with the appropriate colors and that is fine. When it comes to the 'big' expenses you may want to think of the big picture which is "Will I get my monies worth?" When it comes to swings, cradles, nursery cribs, strollers and highchairs you want to be able to reuse them. So go neutral in colors.

I bought a stroller and a car seat; granted car seats have expiration's and I will have to buy a new one but I should not have to buy a new stroller because the color is light gray and yellow. It is versatile for any gender and when we are blessed with more children I can reuse it. My baby room theme is also neutral and that is Woodland Creatures. The savings when you are blessed with #2 or #3 will be amazing when you do not have to re-buy the big expenses.

#2 Cloth Diapers
"They are messy", "they smell", "too much fuss" are the comments that come to mind when you think of cloth diapers. These statements are untrue and cloth diapers are not only better for your baby but better for the environment and not to mention the pockets! Did you know that people go through $2-$3000 worth of disposables each 1-2 years? Also lots sit in those icky landfills. I'm going to spend $700 in cloth diapers and it will not only save me money, but I can reuse them for the next child. There is a thrifty tip! (There are brands out there that can start you off to cloth diaper from newborn to potty training for $100)

I am not going to leave you in the dust about these two topics so I'm going to give you some reading on the two above savings! So keep those wallets heavy and your sanity!

Neutral Colors:
Gray, Yellow, Green, Brown, Black, White, Purple, Red, Orange and their variations.

Cloth Diaper Links:

(I am no way affiliated with the companies that I post links or information. They are used for educational purposes)

A Beginning

I have been wanting to start this blog for awhile now but could not think of a good topic to start it off with a bang! I live in a small town in Pennsylvania and it is a lot tougher than most people would believe. I know some of you may say "At least your not in a city" but a small town defiantly has its disadvantages.

Let me begin by giving you some background on myself. I am 17 weeks pregnant (4 months, 1 week)and this is my first child. My husband and I make about $32,000 a year and we have a dachshund that is 3 years old.

We are having a tough time right now finding a larger place to live in and we live in a very small apartment that can barely fit us. The reason we are having problems finding a place to live is because we have a dog. In a city, you would be able to find a place that accepts at least one pet with no issue, but in a small community you can not.

This community is predominantly an older generation town and there are no outlets for children or parents with babies to socialize. This line to me is very important: my goal in my town is to make a group for parents and their children to socialize, get tips and support and clean up this town. I also hope to inspire others to make their small towns a better community for all.

For teenagers there is nothing to do as well which results in underage drinking, drugs, and sex. This is a major dilemma in my town, yet people do not want to see it. My husband works in corrections and sees the drug and violence rising in this town to the point of scary.

My goal in this blog is to show the hardships of living in a small town, but using them to your advantage. I will give money saving tips, pregnancy tips I have learned along the way and other advice.

I love to write and hope to make this more creative then this generic post. I thank you for taking the time to read this blog and hope to get to know all of you soon enough. Until we meet again..