What Do You Need for Baby No. 2?

When I was pregnant with our first child, we needed everything — crib, bottles, car seat, burp clothes, high chair, you name it. We received clothing and a number of beautiful gifts.

Now that Baby No. 2 is on her way (another girl!), I’ve had to take stock of what we have, make sure it’s clean and in good working order, and decide what we’ll need to buy new.

Turns out, we don’t need much of anything.

We can reuse our infant car seat, because it’s only a few years old and has never been in an accident. I still have bottles, so I’m only replacing the nipples. Clothes in all sizes, check. Bathtub and baby towels, check.¬†Swing, check. High chair, check. Burp cloths and swaddling blankets, check. I have a pack of newborn diapers, a case of baby wipes, and leftover size 1 and size 2 diapers to get us started.

A good friend is giving me a mini crib, which we’ll use in our bedroom until we’re sure the baby is old enough to share a room with our 3-year-old daughter. We have a three-bedroom house, but only two of the bedrooms are upstairs (ours and Emily’s), and I’m not putting a young child or a baby in the third bedroom downstairs. Since we’ll have two girls and a very large bedroom upstairs, it’s a no-brainer that these two girls will share a room until they can either no longer stand it or we’re comfortable having one bunk in the downstairs bedroom.

We’re so very excited to meet our newest addition — but the poor thing still needs a name!

Little Bites: Yes, I’m Still Here

When I had our daughter — who is now 28 months old! — I knew this blog would become less and less of a priority. In addition to fewer blog posts, I’ve also been drifting away from personal finance-related topics. Sure, finances are a major consideration when you’re raising a family, and a lot of what goes on in our lives nowadays relates to money. But I’ve chosen to spent most of my free moments with Emily, who is an incredibly spirited toddler who keeps us on our toes and challenges us to whip out our best parenting skills, especially when she’s in public.

Refinancing the Mortgage = More Money Toward Debt Repayment

Our mortgage refinancing was completed in February, and our first payment came due April 1 — it felt great to pay $360 less than we had been on the old mortgage. Those extra funds have been going toward paying off our credit card debt, and we’ll be making the last payments on that in the next two weeks. It’s exciting, since we haven’t have zero balances on our credit cards since before Emily was born, back in early 2011.

Two-year-olds and Tantrums

In the parenting vein, holy terrible twos. Along with the language burst came explosions in the way of tantrums. Emily’s learned to express herself AND toss her little body on the floor like a wet noodle if we dare to tell her she can’t do something. There’s no holding back Miss Independent! Except, we have to hold her back, because she doesn’t know any better. So we’re working on teaching her limits. “No, you can’t play on the Nook again!”

Our First Post-Baby Weekend Away

Mr. Not-So-Frugal and I booked a weekend getaway for just the two of us — sans toddler. We’re not venturing too far, only an hour away, but it will be nice to spend time together as a couple without the parenting duties. I’m sure I’ll be a worrywart while we’re gone, but it will also be nice to partake in some cocktails at an oceanfront bar. It’s just a motel, but we’re paying for proximity to the ocean. So it’ll be worth is (as long as the weather cooperates!).

Baby Frugalista, The Babysitter & Work

Well, we’ve survived almost 3 weeks of me being back at work full time. I also survived nearly 4 months without a paycheck, solely relying on our tax refund to make up for the lack of income on my end. Somehow, we made it with $300 to spare — budgeting for the win!

Not only was I okay financially, but emotionally, too. Having someone we know and trust babysit Baby Frugalista has made all the difference. Mr. Not-So-Frugal and I know she’s in good hands. Don’t get me wrong — I’m sad to leave her every day, but I haven’t had any crying jags about it. And the baby has acclimated wonderfully to the new situation. I leave her smiling, and when Mr. NSF picks her up, she’s STILL smiling. That’s reassuring! At least until the dreaded separation anxiety kicks in on the baby’s end…

The most wonderful sight arrived in my mailbox last Thursday: A paystub! I need to redo our budget to include my usual income and, now, the cost of the babysitter. Luckily, it doesn’t cost as much to have the baby with the sitter as it would to put her in daycare. But we do have some credit card bills to pay off, which I hope to have done by March 2012, if not before. Luckily, I was able to transfer a good portion of the $3,000 we owe to a credit card with a 0% offer — there was a 2% transaction fee, but that was “only” a month’s worth of interest at the usual rate. So it was well worth it.