The Swan Life: February 2017

The Swan Life

Hey internet readers! This is Lucy, back to push JW aside for one post and fill you in on the swan life from my perspective. I never thought I’d have a picture of a tree budding for my February post, but here we are enjoying consistent 70 degree weather! Thanks for sticking with me and allowing me take over at TGS once a month.

From Child to Children

Anyone for a baby update? I’m about 35.5 weeks along and doing great. Literally right around the time for me to post about our March update I’ll be either very pregnant and ready to pop or a mom of two. Will it be two boys or one boy and one girl?! I’m starting to get pretty anxious to find out myself.

I’m super excited to say we officially have a potty trained little boy! It has been a long process, but neither JW nor I really felt pressured or rushed to get it done. Don’t get me wrong, it is amazing to have him out of diapers (wearing them only at nighttime now) before the second kid comes around, we just never set that as a specific goal. We honestly didn’t have any great trick or plan to potty train him. We relied on his daycare teacher a bit and the other kids in his class (half of whom were already wearing underwear). We bought a book about a baby saying bye-bye to his diapers and using the potty… and read it every night. We knew it was ingrained in our son when he started “reading” the pages for us (really he had memorized them). The addition of some fun Thomas and Ninja Turtle undies helped a bit too.

I wish I could classify this transition as a complete savings, but in about a month we’ll just shift that cost from one kid to the other. But hey, it’s better than paying for 2 kids in diapers! We also got a collection of random sized diapers from my brother and his wife back when we visited them for Thanksgiving. They aren’t sure if they’ll have more kids in the future and if they do it won’t be for a while. Thanks to them we acquired a large bag of size 1, 2 and 4 diapers. Any little bit will help… am I right parents?!

Seeing that we’re expecting our second child (and we’ve done this whole parenting thing before) we haven’t spent as much time reading/going to classes/etc as we did the first-go-round. We did, however, take our son to a siblings class at the hospital. It was offered on the weekend, completely FREE and something that would help get him excited and ready to share the house. He was definitely the youngest kid in the class, but he looked so proud to be holding the fake baby doll. At the same time JW and I both agreed our first born will need lots of help holding the new baby.

Visitors

The Swan Life

We enjoyed a couple visitors this past month which was so nice to have people come to us rather than us travel to see them. I guess we have a good excuse this time… JW’s brother and his wife came from Atlanta one weekend. The following weekend JW’s parents visited for a couple days. Having them over did throw us off our normal routine (we did not workout like we’d normally do), but we did stay true to meal planning. Instead of eating out every meal while they were here (which can be easy to do) we ate out one time for each visitor. It’s always fun to experience and show off some great restaurants near us, but we prefer to balance eating out with some fun cooking at home all together. The best experience was the FREE pancakes we got at Tupelo Honey Café. All we had to do was download their app and redeem the coupon. Seriously, it was that easy. In return you got a small 3 stack of blueberry pancakes… perfect for our son. In essence it was a “kids eat FREE” type of situation.

I should also clarify, “staying true to meal planning” does not equate to trying out new dishes. I failed on my monthly goal of trying two new recipes in February. The only one true new recipe was some shredded chicken taquitos. Now I shouldn’t downplay this recipe as if it was a flop. It turned out great and I’m happy to report my (almost) 3 year old was a fan. I’m always on the hunt for meals that can easily be made on the weekend, but stretch into the work week and these did the trick. I cooked them up, not as a weekend meal, but only to be reheated during the week. Worked like a charm. We’ll see what March brings in terms of new recipes.

No Technician For This House

JW saved us big time this past month… and by big time I mean $39.99. We are going to transition our son into his big boy room (and get him the heck out of the crib), but in his big boy room we had the internet router and modem hooked up. I moved the equipment to another room and called our internet provider to get some help because the modem wasn’t getting a signal. Turns out both of our other coaxial outlets weren’t activated so they wouldn’t receive a signal at all. The lady over the phone said our only option was to schedule a technician to come out and activate the other outlets… which would cost us $39.99. What a racket, huh? Well JW didn’t take that for the only option. He looked up how to activate the outlets on YouTube, went outside to the cable box and with a little trial and error, figured it out for FREE! Take that internet provider!

Maternity Clothes On The CheapThe Swan Life

As I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy I feel like my wardrobe has shrunk tremendously. I work at a corporate office and the general work attire is full suit or dress/skirt. Trying to stay on a strict budget while purchasing maternity clothes I stuck with the basics. I looked for tops that could be worn on the weekend and to work during the week. I also limited the number of dress pants and tried to match those to suit jackets I already own. I found great success in Old Navy shopping online. I’m not even sure if all stores carry the maternity line, but shopping online was perfect for me. This past month I was also loaned a bag of maternity clothes from our neighbor who had her baby in January. Going through the clothes it has allowed me to mix things up a bit… you know, to avoid feeling like I’m wearing the same dress week after week. I look forward to paying this forward and lending to my next pregnant friend.

Dunkin’ Donuts For The Win

A couple weeks ago I was looking at my Dunkin’ Donuts app. Not sure why exactly since I hadn’t actually bought anything from there for a while. I’m glad I was taking a look though because I noticed under the offers section one that read “UNC Tarheels Win, You Win.” Huh? I wasn’t sure what this meant exactly so I clicked into it. Turns out the day after every single UNC men’s basketball win Dunkin’ Donuts gives away a FREE medium coffee in our area. I told JW and since then we’ve gotten a few free coffees to enjoy thanks to a team we care nothing about. An extra special thanks to UNC for being so good this season too! This also reminded me back to when I was on maternity leave with our son. Every day after the Atlanta Braves won a game Dunkin’ Donuts gave the same FREE medium coffee. We all know there are a ton of baseball games in a season, right? That was the perfect timing and way to get me and our son out of the house for a morning stroll. I hope they do that again this summer since I’ll be on maternity leave again!!

I guess my theme of the month was getting things for FREE. What did you cash in on? Any FREE offers you couldn’t pass up? Are you a morning coffee drinker? Found any great deals from Dunkin’ Donuts in your area?

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28 Comments

  1. Love scoring things for free! I had a few weekends of sick children (which equals hanging around the house), but a few others having free or nearly free day trips. Also, I have to say that I personally hate maternity clothes shopping. I get all my clothes from consignment shops, but the maternity selection was nearly non-existent. So when I was pregnant with my nearly two year old, I had to buy new clothes for the first time in years. And of course in the last few weeks, nothing fits. 😛

    1. Sorry to hear you had some sick kids! I know what you mean though, hanging around the house on the weekend with sick little ones means you don’t spend on going out to eat or activities… maybe a good thing? Hope they’re better! I never ventured out to the consignment stores for maternity wear. I heard the same as you said, they’re hard to find and then to find items that fit. Although I love the consignment store for my son! -Lucy

  2. Great job on the coaxial outlets! Definitely a great save and much more worth it than waiting for a technician to come out and fix it!

    I haven’t done many free things in the past month, but my phone provider, T-Mobile, is offering free Papa John’s on their T-Mobile Tuesday App, so hopefully I’ll be able to get a free pizza before the promotions end.

    1. I know I was so proud of JW when he figured out the outlet! In all honestly not only did we avoid the $39.99 fee, but we would have also found a time where it worked for one of us to be home from work. That is a hassle too! Hey, I love the idea of free pizza! -Lucy

  3. Hey Lucy, so exciting to know you and JW are closing in on the birth day!! Cool idea to have Boy1 dropping the doll, instead of the real baby! Young parenthood is one of the best (and most tiring) times of life – cherish every second of it!

    Good luck w the birth. As handy as JW is getting , he could probably learn “home delivery” via YouTube and save you the delivery costs! I think there’s a blog post in there somewhere….

    1. Now there’s a good idea… That would save a bundle of money on our bundle of joy! I’ll mention this to Lucy… 🙂

      JW

    2. Thank you for the warm wishes! We really do try to cherish the moments and capture the memories. I really hope JW isn’t reading your comment because he probably would try You Tubing “home delivery”… just kidding! 🙂 -Lucy

  4. JW, Just out of curiosity – Why don’t you have Lucy have her own “Author” account for comments and such?

    Apologies if this is too nosey – curiosity kills the cat so they say -.-

  5. Getting so close to baby number 2!!!!! Mrs AE is 37 weeks Monday and she is ready for the baby to meet the world.

    We cash in on free birthday coffees and Old Chicago pizza on my birthday, if you have one near you all you need to do is sign up for the world beer tour and you get A free medium za every year!

    1. In the home stretch! I hope Mrs. AE is doing well! Great tip on Old Chicago, I need to see if we have one around here. Last year I joined DQ’s Blizzard of the Month club just to get a free one on my birthday. Periodically sine then I’ll get coupons for BOGO blizzards. Yum! -Lucy

  6. I have the Dunkin app and have been getting cheap coffee promos on Medium coffee: either .76 or .50 for on the go ordering and depending on when the basketball or hockey teams are playing. I buy discounted DD giftcards and load them into the app to pay for it. I usually make coffee at home but use this for a cheap treat.

    1. Where or how do you get discounted DD gift cards? This is totally something I’d do and load onto my app as well. Thanks! -Lucy

      1. I’ve been using a site called Cardcash. Sometimes they also offer flash sales for a day with an extra 5% off for example. Sometimes I’ve seen the DD cards up to about 20% off. I emailed you a referal link. You’d get $5 and Id get $5 if you signed up using it. This link might work the same also. I use it a lot for restaurants, movie theaters, etc. It depends on the place, but many times you can get anywhere from 10% to 30% off. Check out places like Chilis, Applebees, Panera. Use the gift cards along with any coupon or promo they offer and it can be a pretty good deal.

        https://cardcash.extole.com/7bd77

  7. Congrats on the upcoming addition, Lucy! And it’ll certainly be helpful to have the eldest potty trained with a newborn, so congrats on that, too!

    I’m not a parent yet, but I always hear that the second child is easier financially and mentally. You guys are going to do splendidly. 🙂

    I’m not sure if this would help, but my favorite consignment shop, Clothes Mentor, sells really stylish maternity clothes. And much of them are professional, too. I know you’re close to your due date, but if you’re looking for cozier clothing at a bargain, it might be worth checking out. I love how much you can get from friends and family for pregnancy! I have a sister and SIL who plan to shower us with hand-me-downs once we have kids, so hopefully we won’t need to buy a damn thing, maternity clothes included. 🙂
    February was a good month! I scored quite a few freebies for my birthday, which was nice.

    1. Thank you so much Mrs. Picky Pincher! I sure hope number two will be easier… I feel like we have a good grasp on this whole parenting thing 🙂 Happy belated birthday to you as well! -Lucy

  8. Free stuff rocks! We get free things when the Texans win, or when the Rockets win, or even when the Astro’s win. Look around hard enough and you can almost keep the free stuff going all year around here. 🙂

    Nice job on the potty training. We jjust got rid of our diaper genie and passed along our similar set of random left over diapers to differnt parents with different aged kids that still needed diapers. Wins all around. There’s nothing like getting rid of the diaper changing stations, and all of that stuff. Don’t worry, it will come sooner than you think, even with a new one not quite here yet.

    We’ve had such a warm summer our grapefruit tree and tangerine trees have already bloomed once, and our garden is now sprouting our “summer” crop. I literally already have 3-4″ tall bean plants, peas, squash, carrots and radishes sprouting; all kinds of stuff. That’s starting them from seeds only about 2 weeks ago.

    1. While getting one out of diapers completely, I’m excited to go back to the teeny tiny diapers with a newborn. Call me crazy, but with how fast kids grow it’s hard to remember the size of a newborn. We’ll remember here soon enough though 🙂 Wow grapefruit and tangerine tress sound amazing! I can’t imagine already starting a “summer”crop with those fresh veggies, luck you guys! We’ve been teetering between summer temps and chilly spring temps. I’m not quite ready for the heat, I’d like to experience spring a bit more before the humidity. -Lucy

  9. Great stuff! Potty training, free diapers, free pancakes, and JW to the rescue! We’ve been to the original Tupelo Honey in Asheville, but not the one here in Charlotte. Gotta check it out! I received a coupon this month for a buy one get one free Blizzard at DQ. I should be due for some free World Market coffee too, soon.

    Good luck with the birth!

    1. We’ve been to the Tupelo Honey in Asheville too! Actually that was before they even opened the location in Charlotte. That place is way cool and always packed. Good timing with the coupon, I hear DQ has mint Oreo blizzards this month… I know way too much about ice cream. -Lucy

  10. Hooray for passing around maternity and baby items! And congratulations on your little one arriving soon! One of my coworkers is expecting any day now (she’s working up until D-Day) and we are all so excited for her.

    When my boys, now towering giants, were little, I loved seeing clothes on them that had been worn by friends, and vice versa. And just a question–are you planning on using cloth or disposable diapers? While they are a bit more fuss, cloth diapers are very economical in the long run…

    1. I never really thought twice about the diaper decision, it has always been disposable for us. Neither JW or I were into the “work” necessary with cloth and I also know daycare doesn’t allow it so I didn’t want to put the work in for a couple weeks just to switch over once I went back to work. I think it’s great for people that do use cloth diapers though, props to you guys!! -Lucy

  11. Dunkin’ Donuts gives free coffee here every time the eagles win. Sadly they sucked this year so not much love. They also did fifty cents a coffee flyers and 76ers on the go orders, so long as one of them played. I took advantage of that once or twice. This month WaWa, it’s a north eastern thing, has free coffee fridays wi their app. I’m all about he free coffee.

    1. I’ve never heard of the DD discount for on the go orders. I’ll have to pay attention to that more often. And free coffee every Friday at WaWa?! Impressive! -Lucy

  12. Best of luck with baby number 2. Lots of work but so worth it.

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