02 June 2006

The Birthday

On August 6, 2002 I went visiting teaching in the morning. I took Frugalboy and Frugalgirl 1 to my neighbor's house. When I picked them up and came home, Frugaldad was home. Which, for 11 am, was unusual. Turns out he had been laid off. If you've never been in that situation it's quite unnerving. We were confident he could find another job, but how quickly? Thankfully, we weren't in a dire financial situation. We hadn't been the best about saving money, but we had enough to pay off our current credit card bill (like we do every month anyway) and we were about 6 months ahead on the payments for our truck. Unemployment payments covered our mortgage. Our freezer and our pantry were full.

We have some friends who live in California with their own business, and for the first time ever, they happened to be in town the next week and we had them to dinner. Conversation turned to business and the guys started talking shop, and decided they had a pretty solid idea. Since the kids weren't in school yet, and Frugaldad didn't have to go to work, we decided to take a trip out there for a week or so and explore the options.

We drove to Sacramento in one day, and the kids whined the entire time. I think that neither one of them slept longer than 15 minutes the whole day. I had the worst migraine that night! My period was due that day, and I get menstrual migraines, so I popped some Aleve, and figured I was late due to stress. My friend joked to me that night that she was just waiting for me to tell her I was pregnant again, since Frugalgirl was already over 2 years old, and there are only 20 months between her and Frugalboy. It was past due for me to have another one! I told her that NO, we weren't trying, and I wasn't ready for another one yet. Looking back now, I think I had undiagnosed PPD after she was born and I wasn't ready for that again. Besides, who tries to get pregnant when they don't have a job or health insurance? Birth control was my friend, and we were very careful.

But careful as we were, even the best birth control isn't foolproof. Especially not when the Lord says it's time for another.

The entire week we were in California and my period didn't start, I started wondering if I could be pregnant. The area was really rural so I couldn't just run to the corner store and buy a pregnancy test, so I just waited. We got home on a Saturday night and I waited until Monday or maybe even Tuesday to go buy a test.

And it was positive.

But I wasn't too worried. Frugaldad had been interviewing. I knew that I still had a few weeks before I needed to get into the doctor, and I'd never been high-risk or had a miscarriage. He ended up with a job offer a few weeks later, which he took, and I got into the doctor before my first trimester was over.

Even though he had a job locally, we still wanted to go into business with our friends in California, but it was complicated, since we'd have to move out there. Real estate in their area was outrageous, and with the pregnancy, I'd need health insurance right away, and we had to sell our house here....there were so many things.

We eventually did put our house on the market when I was about 6 months along, but things were slow. We kept it on the market for a long time. Frugalgirl 2 was born on May 22, 2003. Developments in the business eventually made us glad that we hadn't moved out there. But our house was still up for sale. Frugaldad's brother let us know that a house down the street from them was about to go on the market. The owner had passed away and the widow was moving out. The day it went on the market, we got an offer on our house, and we moved here to The Frugal Farm.

Heavenly Father sent that sweet baby just at the right time, so that we didn't rush into a business decision. And we were able to move here, where there's lots of space to roam, and provide our kids with opportunities to work and learn.

A few things I will always remember about Frugalgirl 2's babyhood. She was always a fussy nurser. In the middle of the summer, if it was too hot, she'd go hours without eating. It was so frustrating! Then one day in the middle of winter, when she was almost 8 months old, she went on strike. She wouldn't nurse at all. And she wouldn't take a bottle, either. I pumped with my Avent Isis pump as much as I could, and supplemented a little with formula, and fed her with the only sippy cups she'd drink from. After a couple weeks, my supply was nearly gone, and she was so fussy from the formula. I decided to buy a double electric pump and pump regularly. So until her first birthday, I pumped 3 or 4 times a day and had enough to give her breast milk for all but one feeding. She ate solids well, which helped. Pumping all your baby's milk gives you an appreciation for the convenience of breastfeeding (plus it's practically free--I was spending $40 a month on formula, and only 25% of her milk was formula).

Once she started walking, she became the child who fell. I can't even count how many bloody noses and lips she had.

But she was my best potty trainer. When she was 22 months old we were done with diapers. I attribute it both to the fact that I had switched to cloth diapers when she was born, and I started early.

She says the funniest things, and we love her. Frugaldad loves it when she climbs into our bed in the night and sleeps back to back with him. He calls her his "sleeping buddy." Just this morning after she put down her milk cup, she said "Thank you, Mommy, for making delicious food."

She decided she wanted a Barbie cake, but I didn't have time to drive all the way into town and find one of those cake-pick Barbie things, so I hit the local discount store and I got a little doll instead. And here is how the cake turned out.

I'm afraid I'm one of those moms. Some day I will pull all of the pictures off the old hard drive and devote an entire blog entry to cakes.

Happy Birthday, Frugalgirl!


QueenMeadow said...

Happy Birthday frugal girl!

What a cute cake! You are so creative! I probably would've tried to draw a pic on it instead, lol.

Anonymous said...

Awww! I love frugalgirl 2! She is amazing and I just relived so much with you! That was a long 3 yrs! You are such a dedicated mom! When I first started reading, I didn't look at the dates well, got interrupted and kept thinking that dh came home today laid off. Whew! I love to look back and see how events brought about certain choices that were not necessarily would be how we would have chosen it, or thought it should be, only to look back later and see that it was the best thing for us! I have SO many of those! Life is an amazing adventure!