Showing posts with label baby. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baby. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sale on Cloth Diapers

Cotton Babies has buy 2 get 1 free flip covers (what we use) and a variety of sales on other diapers.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Big Life Update: Fireteam TOR Almost Complete

Wifey and I are expecting another kid. #2 is coming to come see us this winter.

It is bitterly ironic to me that people who have their stuff together and want to have kids so often have huge problems but folks who really don't want to have them do it on accident. I know a couple who had a heck of a time with their first kid and have been trying to have another for about 2 years. On the other hand folks in a dysfunctional situation with the wrong person can have unprotected sex one time and get knocked up. Thankfully we are very awesome lucky in this area so it isn't an issue. (Clearly this is a testimant to my strength and machismo;)

Anyway that is what is going on with us.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

I guess the standard thing to do is to write some post about sacrifice and duty and all of that stuff. I  don't have any desire to do that. My life has enough of that stuff that on the other 360 some odd days of the year. Quite frankly I find the whole thing depressing. I have lost people and don't feel like dwelling on it over a nice sunny long weekend.

We would have gone someplace this weekend but with my lingering illness it didn't seem smart. I am feeling decent and all but things can happen and I don't want to go to the hospital in some random country. It turns out to be for the best I think. It has been a very quiet weekend which is a good thing.

I don't know exactly why but I have been a crazy machine of productivity this weekend. Like the 1950's stay at home mom who had 5 cups of coffee and a handfull of uppers that cleans the whole house, organizes the garage, weeds the garden, makes a beautiful dinner for the family and does 57 projects before hubby comes home. Well except it is not the 50's, I am not a woman or on drugs. Anyway my point is that I have been really productive.

I cleaned the floors and reorganized the kitchen. A bunch of stuff that should have been in storage got moved there and junk got tossed. More cleaning occured in closets and other storage places. This included the kitchen closet which has been a black hole of chaos and unhappiness in our home. Our vehicle got cleaned out, vaccumed and organized.

We went shopping for some odds and ends. I didn't plan to get anything else but went through the usual aisles (outdoor, tools, etc) anyway. Inventory changes sporatically and sometimes sales come up. I saw 3 D cell Mag Lights for $13 and picked up a few.

Over the weekend I found a slightly used (marker and a bit of paint on it but totally functional) generic rubbermaid type tub. These bins are one of those weird things for me. I have it in my head that they are really expensive when they aren't. Well some of them aren't anyway. The one I got costs about $8 new. A half dozen tubs worth $60 would probably fix a lot of problems and maybe even change my life as I know it. It is pretty dumb I guess.

We keep the usual sort of stuff in our vehicle: kid things, a first aid kit, warning triangles, jumper cables, some tools, jackets, socks and boots for me (I habitually wear comfortable/ nonpractical footwear and am not changing), a blanket, etc. Anyway since I got the junk out I wanted to get everything organized. Prior to now everything has been just floating around. I cleaned out the tub and got it ready to use. Since our sweet free tub is kind of big I added some more tools, a bag with some spare batteries, one of the new mag lights and some other things. Anyway now everything is nicely organized and neat which is pretty nice.

No big plans for tomorrow. Another quiet day and probably some stuff with the kid. Going to try and tie up some loose ends around the house before going back to work. If I feel motivated there are a couple closets that it would be nice to get taken care of.

Anyway I am happy with the progress this weekend. Getting things done that have been bothering me is a good feeling. We have also had some pretty nice family time. It has been really nice.

I hope you have a great weekend. Relax and enjoy some time with friends and family. If you are so inclined try to get some productive things done.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Facebook Shaming Your Kids

Some mom decided to facebook shame her kid and it made the news. It seems to be pretty comparable though less dramatic than the dad who shot his daughters laptop with a .45.

Am I the only one who thinks these parents are doing something terribly stupid albeit probably well intentioned?

Somewhere along my meandering life I heard a phrase "praise in public and admonish in private." In my brief experiences leading men and a lifetime of having all manner of relationships I can say this is just really great advice. (I am not saying parenthood and leading soldiers are the same thing but some elements are similar) The one time I have really chastised (vs a normal correction) a soldier in public I regretted it. I realized later that I let my emotions get the better of me.

Now this is not to say I do not believe in correcting children. Quite the opposite in fact. The thing is that whenever possible I believe in doing it in private. If that Dad had done the exact same thing giving the speach and shooting her laptop with is wife and daughter in their yard I would think it was reasonably acceptable.

There are multiple issues in play. Kids are stupid. My toddler Walker who should probably be named Curious George or Attilla the Hun is a little terror. At some point closer to 2 than fifteen kids become capable of some level of self control and awareness. A 15 year old might make stupid decisions but they typically know those decisions are at least somewhat stupid. The phrase sinking to their level comes to mind.

I really do not think it is impressive to outwit or mock your teenager. Again they are stupid. Being mature and not sinking to their level is part of a parent's job. I think it is important that even if you have to punish them they can see that you are actually on their side. To varying degrees kids will rebel or be little jerks or otherwise test boundaries. These days some or all of this will involve multi media. I believe they should be held accountable for their actions but in the right way.

For the sake of full disclosure I have a child but not a teenager.

Am I completely off base on this?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Homebirthing Story- Guest Post by American Family Now

TOR here: Today I am happy to bring you another guest post from American Family Now. The topic is home birthing. This is very practical today as many folks are hard up for cash and/ or don't have great insurance,. Also it is obviously applicable as a "just in case" sort of thing. As a disclaimer you should consider this article as one persons experiences and for informational purposes only. Do your own research, consult professionals you trust and make your own adult decisions about home birthing, just like everything else in life.

Homebirthing Story

Homebirthing, for me, did not begin as a parenting decision for our family. Unlike families who make their birthing choices after discovering they were pregnant, or families who grew up among homebirthers, my journey began as a teenager when becoming a midwife was my choice of career.

Helping women give birth under their own power, in their own environment, became my passion, and as midwifery was not an option for me at the time, I trained to become a birth doula and opened a business to support women through pregnancy and birth.

It was in this context that I became comfortable with the physiology of pregnancy and birth, and laid the groundwork for my future family.

When my husband and I became pregnant with our first child in 2006, choosing to give birth at home felt like the common sense choice. I was healthy and home felt like the best place for us. Unfortunately, in my ninth month I developed mild gestational hypertension, and so, just to be on the safe side we transferred our care to a midwife in the hospital.

Despite an initial, yet temporary rise in blood pressure upon arrival in labor, the birth went well and we brought home a healthy baby boy. I was very proud of myself for the work I did, but I was at the same time disappointed that it had become such a stressful experience, with everyone getting concerned about possible consequences of high blood pressure, of which I was already quite familiar with as a doula.

In 2008 we were due with our second child, and this time around I chose a new home birth midwife and tried again. This time around I remained healthy, and our baby girl was born at home. It was a faster birth than I had anticipated, making the labor intense, but I felt so much more at peace knowing I was in a familiar place with only people there whom I trusted.

Our third child, a boy, was born at home in 2010. This labor was my easiest yet, in part because I used HypnoBabies, and in part because my body had finally figured out this whole birthing thing. There is nothing like body knowledge to teach you about birth!

We thought we were done after this, but after my carpenter husband was laid off and we moved into a camper, we discovered our fourth child was on the way! And my family, who had grown accustomed to my birthing choices asked, are you going to birth at home? A house is one thing, but a camper?

Turns out that isn’t enough to get me back to the hospital. We confidently hired our midwife and on the second day of spring this year our second daughter was born. She was born in our livingroom, but since it was a record-breaking 80 degree day, I spent a good amount of time outdoors, making this such a peaceful, happy birth.

I know homebirthing is not for everyone, and of those who are low-risk, very few will feel comfortable giving birth outside of the hospital, but for me and a growing number of women around the country, giving birth at home reflects a desire to keep birth as woman’s work, a family event, a part of life that is both natural and not to be feared. It reflects a way of life in which birthing is just a part, and with limited words, that is why my family chose homebirth.
 
Naomi Kilbreth is a Christian, wife to Glen for 7 years, and mother of four children, ages 5, 3, 2, and under 1. She is the author of Inspired Birth: A Fresh on Perspective on Childbirth for Christian Maternity Care Providers. For more information about homebirth, visit Birth a Miracle Services. To follow their family’s story, visit their blog, American Family Now

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

We did some garage saleing. I got a great deal on a hardigg foot locker. Also got a nice barely used BBQ for free and a propane tank to make it work. Looking forward to firing it up and doing some grilling. We have a charcoal one but the turn around time is such that we don't use it much. For gas I can just fire it up and cook dogs or burgers or whatever. I picked up some new boots to replace the aging and not pretty enough to wear every day at work ones I was wearing. Once I have worn them for awhile I will do a review.

Also we put together a car kit for kiddo. Clothes, sleeping stuff, some food, a cup, bowl and spoon. I am generally not too worried about that stuff as we stick close to home but A) kiddo manages to get dirty in the most suprising places/ ways and B) a minor annoyance for us is a big deal for him.
I have scaled back lifting to twice a week and am putting more energy into conditioning and endurance. I put on a ruck for the first time in awhile and while I wasn't as fast as I have been it wasn't terrible. Will make sure to keep that as a weekly thing for the foreseeable future. All in all a pretty good week here.

Next week I am going to try and order some stuff. Also if the sun comes out I want to test out the solar charger.
What did you do to prepare this week?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Stuff From The Interwebz

How to live in your car

A very nice minimalist chest rig for an AK. I think they also make a 4 mag model. I will probably pick up one of these when I get around to filling out my whole AK setup.

A gal talks about how to carry a gun and a baby. I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for women who carry handguns that are not a) subcompact/ cracker jack box sized or b) in a diminutive caliber like .32 or .380. She is not a big lady or wearing a "I have a gun vest" or a parka.

Highlight, quote and understatement of the day "if your child can get to the trigger that is bad." My .02 cents on that topic. First put on your gun then grab the kid. Kid doesn't go where the gun is because it wouldn't be comfortable for everybody involved. I carry appendix inside waist band slightly to the right. Kiddo either goes on the left hip if he is just riding or in my chest area if I am doing the comforting screaming baby thing. Since we are talking about kids and guns it is worth rehashing my core belief on this topic. Simply put guns are secured or under the physical control of an adult. In other words lock it up or carry it.

Today I have been intrigued by Iceland's reaction to the whole great recession/ economic collapse thing. 1, 2, 3.

Also I stumbled into a new blog Jerking the Trigger andreceived an email about the Open Garden project.

Hope that stuff gives you something to read and enjoy or at least think about. Have a great weekend.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It Was a Merry Christmas

It was a very nice Christmas Day for the TOR Clan. Pretty traditional really; we opened presents, had some breakfast, relaxed for awhile, watched some movie FIL watches every year (don't remember what) and then had a big dinner. After that we watched Toy Story 3 which little sister in law really enjoyed. It has been a quiet evening. I really enjoyed being able to take about a nice long nap between lunch and dinner.

We had a really good Christmas haul this year. I got a mag light, an energizer LED lantern, a Garmin E Trex series GPS, a Kindle, a silver dollar (I was pleased to hear they got it awhile back when silver was a lot lower), enough cash to buy an external hard drive and a few other things. Wifey got some cash, a Kitchen Aid mixer with some accessories, a kit to make baby food at home and some various other stuff. Walker got a ton of clothes, toys, various other stuff and almost a hundred bucks to go into his college fund.

I noticed that most people spent about as much as they normally do this year. The last couple of years may have been down a bit. I did however also notice that people (us included) seemed to put more thought than normal into the gifts they purchased. Instead of just grabbing something as people can do they seem to be putting some real thought into it.

I am looking forward to getting the GPS up and running. I have an old Magellan somewhere but the user interface is seriously lacking. That was back when them and Garmin were neck and neck. Since then quality has improved a lot and the Etrex is pretty darn easy to use. I am quite eager to check out the Kindle. I think it will be useful instead of hauling a dozen books here or there. It won't replace a good old fashioned book for situations where there is inclimental weather, rough use and such. However for something like a deployment or other situation where I will have decent (using a very low standard of dry, minimal electricity acccess, etc) accomodations this will be a lot easier than  30 pounds of books. Also seeing as we move a lot sooner or later the sheer weight of physical books will start to be an issue. Of course I will continue to purchase prep type books in a physical format but for a new fiction novel or just something I want to read the Kindle may be the way forward.
I hope everybody had a really nice Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stay At Home Mom's, Lifestyle Choices and the American Family.

In a recent discussion I saw stay at home mom refered to by the acronym SAHM. I am unsure where this came from and until proven otherwise I will credit it to Patrice who writes the great blog Rural Revolution. Anyway moving forward. I have been thinking about the whole stay at home mom thing.

I find the excuses for why people say they can't have mom (or I suppose dad) at home to be just that, excuses. The fundamental issue is that to be able to have mom at home you need to be able to live on what dad makes. Simply take the amount he brings in, subtract some for savings and a cushion then the rest is what you've got to live on. Simple but not easy.

All the excuses boil down to we would rather have stuff than mom at home. Living on less may well mean a smaller, simpler residence like most things in life, it is attainable if you want it bad enough. I can however see that not every woman wants to be a SAHM. They may have goals outside of the home, want the social interaction that comes with working outside of the home. I guess my point is that having momma at home is possible if you are willing to make the sacrifices.

For some reason I am still not clear on I watched a couple hours of 16 and Pregnant today. My first thought was "life is hard; its harder if you're stupid".  John Wayne said that. The whole getting pregnant really young thing is stupid.

Seriously the impact of lifestyle choices like having a kid cannot be overstated. These kids are going to have a seriously rough go of it based upon the stupid choice they made.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Long Day

We traveled back home today. It was a long flight and Walker was suprisingly and remarkably chill, he just slept a lot. Got a bottle of Glennfiddich 15 at the duty free for 30% off which is cool. I am eager to sample it at some point. Other than that it was nice to see some of our old stomping grounds on the ride from the airport. I had some Arby's which I was really looking forward to.

Anyway I just wanted to let you guys know we arrived safely and didn't get stuck in Philidelphia again.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm Baaack!

It was cold, snowy and just plain nasty. Average temperature was around 20f or so. It snowed a lot and there was a biting wind. The foot or so of unpacked snow played hell with walking, let alone running and other more vigerous activities. However it wasn't too bad. We do have pretty good gear which makes a huge difference. Also I had a warm dry place to go in my off hours and generally got decent sleep which helps a lot.

I did write every day (just no net to post) so next time this happens there will be posts which is good. Been thinking and fiddling with slings a lot lately. Decided I need to just throw down the cash for a purpose built two point adjustable sling. Will announce the winner of our awesome contest as soon as I can.

Got home pretty late tonight. Wifey made a nice dinner and I got to spend some time with Walker which was cool.  He smiles and sort of tries to play now which is cool. Makes him a bit more interesting to hang out with. I am looking forward to a calm weekend at home. Anyway I have nothing else huge to say so I will talk to you tomorrow.

Ryan

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

As is appropriate I have spent some time today thinking about what I am thankful for. I have a lot to be thankful about for sure. I am very thankful that Walker is well and we are all able to spend this holiday together as a happy little family. While it has medically been a crazy couple months for us we all appear to be in good health. I am thankful that we aren't struggling to keep a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs. I am thankful that between preps and saving we can feel pretty secure about our overall situation. I am thankful that my sister is here and we are going to do some traveling this weekend.

It occurs to me that most of the things I am thankful for are directly or indirectly the result of my own choices. I/ we could make choices that created animousity and unhappiness in our home. We could choose to be idle or underemployed and struggle for basics like shelter and food. We could spend beyond our means and have constant worries about money. Of course luck is a factor. Right now lots of decent hard working folks are either unemployed or seriously underemployed and really struggling. If they live well within their means and have some savings they are better off but in a long enough under/ unemployment most everybody will start to have serious problems. Folks can make the right choices and have continual health issues.

It has been a pretty good Thanksgiving so far. Went to bed pretty early yesterday and slept till almost 10. Had a pretty relaxing morning just chilling out then Little Sis, Walker and I went to do some local sight seeing. It is pretty good holiday weather. Right around freezing with a bit of snow on the ground. Just enough to cover rooftops, trees and lawns giving the nice scenic winter look but not enough to muck up the roads and make it hard to get around. The food is cooking and we are all sitting around and talking. Shortly it will be coctail and appetizer time which is always fun.

We are having a sort of 'Orphans Thanksgiving' as always. Wifey cooks a bunch of food and we invite everybody who can use a place to go and feed whoever comes. Relatives, neighbors, co workers or whatever. It makes for interesting groups of people but is good times.

Well I am going to go and enjoy a lot of food, some great scotch and family.

Happy Thanksgiving

Saturday, November 20, 2010

AK Stuff

It has been a pretty chill day here. Spent the first part of the day taking care of Walker which was cool. Wifey and I took an idea from Chief Instructor and did a crackers and cheese, appetizers kind of dinner. It was pretty nice and is about the only kind of date that is Walker compatable. Also it has the benefit of costing about as much as a round of drinks at a restaurant.

I spent a good chunk of the evening floating around Warrior Talk forum. That has gotten me thinking about some interesting AK ideas. I suppose it is like anything else where you can spend as much as you want.

On the bright side my most recent purchase has pretty much finished me up on mags and ammo. The great thing about AK's is that ammo and mags are, at least relatively speaking, quite affordable. The bad thing is that supplies are almost entirely produced in former Communist Bloc countries and thus can go away at the stroke of a pen and a change of import regulations. Recently good availability has returned and prices have gone down to reasonable levels. This is a great time to get squared away (however you define that) as quickly as your finances permit.

So I've got a bone stock AK (of course a sling and a cleaning kit) with a decent stash of 30 round mags and ammo. That is a pretty solid start and not at all a bad finishing point. I have been pondering a folding stock lately, one of those aftermarket side folding ones. Since they have a fairly short barrel and no weird buffer in the butt an AK folder is really compact. That would make for an easy to discretely transport package. Some parts are on my list; maybe for next year.

The idea of an AK with a folding stock, a tac light is kind of appealing to me. I think it would be a strait up CQB machine and a pretty darn good defensive rifle. I could do it for around $300. I probably just spent too much time reading about all kinds of AK configurations and accessories.

Maybe some day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

We had a pretty darn good preparedness week. First we went and got a bunch of extra formula for Walker which was really good. We already had a stash but now it is a pretty solid stash. Next I put a small Gerber folding knife onto my keychain. I just about always carry a knife anyway but knowing that if I am out of the house I have at least one knife won't hurt. Next time I go to the clothing and sales I will get a small led light to go on there also.

After a lot of consideration I decided that instead of getting body armor at this point I am going to take care of a couple things that have been on the list for a long time and a couple recent additions to the list that we can just really use. I ordered a Bianchi 100 Professional IWB holster for my Glock 19. I really wanted a good holster for it to carry while I am home on leave. I have holsters (full sized Glock size) that fit the 19 but not perfectly. The difference between a real good fit and an OK fit is readily apparant in concealed carry.

When it comes to ancillary equipment for my AK I have been way off of my own desired levels (for a rifle like this 3k roounds and 20 mags) for a long time. For awhile it wasn't really even on the radar and after that it has been towards the bottom of the list. It has been on the list for awhile now and the ammo was even on this years New Years Resolutions or at least the first round of them. I should also be able to get a full case of 9mm JHP ammo by years end.  So I went ahead and ordered a case of 7.62x39 JHP Wolf ammo and 10 Eastern European surplus mags to round things out. I will go home and toss that stuff into an ammo can and aside from picking up a couple boxes now and then to go shooting not need to think about it.

Also I went out and ordered a brand new ECWS 3 Piece Sleep System. Now both Wifey and I have one. We have a couple other sleeping bags floating around but these things are a really good piece of kit.

I feel relieved to have the AK setup finally meet my own rather ambitious standards. Especially given that AK stuff is almost universally imported it gives me a lot of peace of mind to know I have a comfortable amount of ammo and plenty of mags put away. Before I had enough mags and some ammo for me to use but not much of a margin for field loss or helping a friend. Now I have that margin. Having another serious sleeping bag coming into the inventory is sure a good feeling.

I am going to let our Awesome Ammo Giveaway Contest go for a few more days as technological issues and life have put it, despite my best intentions, a bit onto the back burner. Seriously it amazes me how many people will gripe and complain about how expensive ammo is and how they can't afford it but won't put forth a little bit of effort to get a solid chance at willing a half case of the stuff for free. If you don't own any of the calibers you could stand to win (9/40/45) then enter anyway and sell or trade the stuff and buy something you want.

Also if you want extra special reader points (redeamable for all kinds of great prizes and trips) then please mention this blog to a friend, family member, gun buddy or like minded individual. Send them a link to your favorite post or just the blog itself or tell them our name and let them look us up on google.

I have some awesome stuff in store for next week so stay tuned. Got one in my head about staple cooking. Another one about chest rigs and gear. Maybe one about knives too. Probably something or another about money or home finances. Best of all you just might hear from Wifey.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Quote of the Day with a Bonus Question

"Own 30 luxury cars. Drive a Bentley. Get the whole Ferrari, not just the horn. But do it when you’re really ready, meaning when you can actually pay for them. With money. Real money. "

"So today, ask someone who knows you well and cares enough to be honest what your blind spots are. Maybe it’s a gun collection that’s bigger than your budget. Maybe it’s a fleet of shoes you don’t really wear, but couldn’t really live without. It could be any number of things that would be perfect for you, if you were financially ready for them. But if you’re not ready for them right now, what might be a fun purchase next year is actually a blind spot today. "
-Jon Acuff


One part I really like about this quote is "it could be any number of things that would be perfect for you, if you were financially ready for them. But if you’re not ready for them right now, what might be a fun purchase next year is actually a blind spot today." It isn't saying in some kind of judgemental way that you can't have and by implication do not deserve the things you want. Just that right now you can't afford it and should wait until you can.


Guess I will start with the sharing. For a long time my blind spot was my gun collection. I was in gun nut, then survivalist mode but hadn't drank the Dave Ramsey coolaid yet. I was definitely gun poor (large gun collection and little to no savings) for a really long time. I ultimately got out of this one not because I trimmed down the gun collection (though I did a bit of that for other reasons) but because I drastically increased my income. In hindsight when I was younger and had pretty a meager income I should have just purchased and stuck with a good basic setup (pistol, shotgun, defensive rifle, .22). Then just maybe purchased a extra couple extras like a scoped rifle and or more concealable pistol then held fast until my income grew. Instead of having several more guns and all their ancillary equipment I should have saved up at least Baby Step 1 and maybe even started on an emergency fund.

Nowadays I am not sure we have a blind spot or at least not a massive one. We live a pretty frugal life that is safely below our modest income. The only thing I which comes to mind is that we spend a lot of money on travel. Probably over the course of the year more money than we realize. Between occasional trips home and traveling Europe it adds up. We pay cash so it isn't a real issue, just a question of if that money would be better suited elsewhere. It is quite unlikely that we will change our travel habits but questioning expenses is a healthy exercise.

What is your blind spot?

Please remember that we are running an awesome contest. Write a post on your site/blog/forum elsewhere online about how you use ammo cans. Here is a shell you can use if you want.

" Lucky Gunner partnered with TSLRF to put together a contest. The goal is to come up with the most creative way to use ammo cans. I use ammo cans to _____________________. The prize is a half case of free ammo! See the full details here."

If you paste that shell into your blog or website or favorite forum then add in what you use ammo cans for and you will be good it go. You do not need to use the above shell. I just wrote the shell out to make it as easy as possible for you to enter. For a qualifying post you just need to be sure you link to ammo cans and TSLRF in your post!

b. Copy the link to your post and add it to the comments section on this post. You can also email a link to your entry to me. This enters you into the contest.

c. The contest will run until 14 November. After the contest has closed, I'll do another post w/all the qualifying entries. Our readers will get to vote on which post was the best (either entertaining or most informative) via a survey. Folks who enter can tell their readers/ friends and family about the survey and they can vote in favor of your entry - so be sure and spread the word!

d. Based on the poll results, the winner gets their choice of 500 rounds of ammo from Lucky Gunner. See full details here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Just In Time, Formula and Your Food Supplies

The whole concept of Just In Time inventory is an interesting thing. Basically how it works is that there is no (or very minimal) inventory in storage. Lets look at it from the perspective of a small store. The store doesn't have a "back room" with inventory in it. What is on the shelves is it. Lets say they have two of those big boxes of butter finger candy bars. When the first one is finished they order another from the little card (usually a bar code) on the box. Maybe they reorder cases of Dr. Pepper when they are down to two.

The reason businesses do this is that it makes economic sense for them. The combination of UPC codes, computer tracking and cheap regular deliveries make it the way to go. Instead of a big grocery store paying for a bunch of storage space they just get regular deliveries by trucks. Less worry about inventory (when applicable) going bad and no money tied up in inventory that is just sitting idle.

However JIT has a whole lot of weak points. The supply chains are long and complex. Truly a logistical feat and nightmare. While a combination of programmed reordering and inventory forecasting works pretty well it doesn't have much room for adjustment. A sudden jump in demand throws off the whole system for some time because it isn't just the last point in the supply chain (the store where you buy stuff) that practices some degree of JIT. Nobody has whole warehouses of food or batteries or bullets to respond to an unanticipated demand.

We recently had a good reminder of this when it comes to formula for kiddo. The AAFES (don't even get me started on them) folks use JIT.  Here is US Army Europe there are very long supply lines that definitely have hickups even during normal business operations. There are periodically shelves bare of a particular item for some time. Not much of an issue for us as we stock up. However we are just getting into the whole formula feeding thing.

We had a good supply of one kind laid in as we got a great deal on it. However after some consideration we decided to try putting kiddo onto a more affordable brand. (Like a lot of things the stuff is the same minus labels, marketing and markup. To the point where it is sometimes made in the same factories.) It was working well so we decided to keep him on it. The stores here recently ran out of this type as well as the other two brands they stock. We had a bunch of the other kind but don't want to be switching things around on him all the time unless it is necessary. Today we were at another installation and picked up 6 more cans of the stuff we are using now. That gives kiddo about a month's worth of the stuff we use (not including our emergency stash) which should be plenty for those occasional times when we can't get it on the shelves.

This was particularly significant to me because when it comes to kiddo he eats just the one thing. We can get one percent milk instead of fat free (or whatever) or this kind of burger instead of the other kind but kiddo doesn't do that. I guess this was just a good additional reminder not to rely on JIT (even aside from various disaster scenarios) because something like a snowstorm in Nebraska can screw up food getting to stores in your neck of the woods. Yet another reason to have a decently stocked pantry.

Please remember that we are running an awesome contest. Write a post on your site/blog/forum elsewhere online about how you use ammo cans. Here is a shell you can use if you want.


" Lucky Gunner partnered with TSLRF to put together a contest. The goal is to come up with the most creative way to use ammo cans. I use ammo cans to _____________________. The prize is a half case of free ammo! See the full details here."

If you paste that shell into your blog or website or favorite forum then add in what you use ammo cans for and you will be good it go. You do not need to use the above shell. I just wrote the shell out to make it as easy as possible for you to enter. For a qualifying post you just need to be sure you link to ammo cans and TSLRF in your post!

b. Copy the link to your post and add it to the comments section on this post. You can also email a link to your entry to me. This enters you into the contest.

c. The contest will run until 14 November. After the contest has closed, I'll do another post w/all the qualifying entries. Our readers will get to vote on which post was the best (either entertaining or most informative) via a survey. Folks who enter can tell their readers/ friends and family about the survey and they can vote in favor of your entry - so be sure and spread the word!

d. Based on the poll results, the winner gets their choice of 500 rounds of ammo from Lucky Gunner. See full details here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Breast Feeding, Formula and Diapers

We planned to have Wifey breast feed Walker and to do cloth diapers. Long story made short breast feeding didn't work. She saw a dozen nurses, a half dozen doctors and a couple of lactation consultants. We still aren't sure what the issue was but he wasn't getting fed and just kept losing weight. It was necessary to switch to formula so kiddo actually got some food. It was devastating to Wifey and pretty rough on me too as we really believe in breast feeding. It was hard enough on her that I didn't mention it on here for some time and only then after discussing if she was OK with me posting it. However at the end of the day the kid has got to get fed. He is a lot happier now that he isn't like starving and stuff.

As punishment for his failure kiddo will not recieve a Breast Man onesie. I think this was the first big lesson that sometimes things will happen beyond our control when it comes to kiddo. The saying "If you want to hear God laugh tell him your plans" comes to mind. Probably a lesson that was coming anyway.

His legs just got big enough to fill out cloth diapers which we are excited about as it means no more disposables. The breast feeding failure, while beyond our controll, definitely redoubled our motivation to make cloth diapers work. It is too early to say for sure but it doesn't seem like much of a hassle. She has those ones with the outer thing and a liner and just keeps a spare ready to go so changing is the same. I am sure we will talk more about this later.

Anyway I've got to get to work. Talk to you all later,
Ryan

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Talk with Grandma, Living Within Your Means, Single Income Households and CHOICE

I had an interesting talk with my Grandmother the other day. It was really good to catch up with her. She really likes that we choose to live conservatively and make good money choices as well as having Wifey at home with Walker. Between her being older and also generally pretty conservative that isn't a big surprise. She commented that society today doesn't seem conducive to having women stay at home with kids. It was a rare, maybe even unheard of event but I disagreed with her. Here is why.

The thing is that society isn't set up one way or another. There are numerous different lifestyles that are within the range of possibility. Society doesn't force you to do anything so for heavens sake have some ownership for your choices. It is totally true that certain lifestyles are considered normal, especially in given social groups. The pressure to have this kind of residence or drive certain type/ age of cars or whatever is huge. However I simply cannot absolve people of their individual responsibility for their decisions.

The thing is that the fundamentals of having the Mrs. (or I guess the dad) stay at home with the kids haven't changed any. To have momma stay at home you have got to live at or under poppa's earnings. Maybe people are used to having bigger houses and two brand new fancy cars in the driveway plus umpteen dozen flat screen TV's and fancy electronic gadgets but all that stuff aside the fundamentals are the same. This is, short of dieting and weight control one of the best examples of something that is simple but not easy. I explained how to have a parent at home with the kids in one sentence. "To have momma stay at home you have got to live at or under poppa's earnings." It is however not so easy to do.

I do believe that for most families it is possible to have momma stay at home. It probably will not work well if poppa earns minimum wage and works part time. It will also probably not work if you have a high debt load (home mortgage, car payments, credit cards, etc) that simply cannot be serviced by poppa's income. However assuming poppa makes at least a bit above minimum wage (or you are really frugal) and you folks don't have a whole bunch of debt it is probably reasonable to become a single income family.

We put our money and lifestyle where my mouth is. We choose to live on my pretty average income so Wifey can stay home with Walker. It means living in a modest residence and driving older (or potentially fewer) cars and generally having a more modest lifestyle. We just can't do what those with two paycheck's can do in any area. There just isn't a way around that. We bring in substantially less income than them. However to us the benefits vastly outweigh the drawbacks.

The thing I believe that I see which others do not is that A) We have choices. We can choose to pay cash for vehicles we can afford or we can get loans. We can pay cash or we can use credit. We can live in a residence we can afford or one we really can't. Folks fail to see these choices and box themselves into a pretty unpleasant corner without even realizing they are doing it. B) The choices we make in terms of lifestyle and particularly debt will affect our options in terms of having momma stay home or whatever else we might want to do. Folks so often say "there is no way anyone can afford to live on one income" which could be more accurately restated as "we choose not to live on one income.

Please note. I am not criticizing families who choose to have both parents work. There are many reasons they might do so. This is definitely one of those situations where it isn't so much the right choice but the right choice for you and your unique situation. If your wife really loves her job or you two want to benefit from having a higher income then go for it. I am not trying to force via cult of personality our lifestyle choices on anybody. All I am trying to do is empower you to be able to clearly and intentionally make your own choices.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Huge Announcements

Walker is out of the hospital. He is back to being pretty content and minus a bit of diaper rash perfectly healthy. We are really happy to have him home and well. Just being back home does a lot for our spirits and his temperament. Thanks for all the prayers and such.

I am also pleased to announce that we are partnering with our loyal advertiser Lucky Gunner on an awesome contest. It has been brewing for awhile and finally everything is right. All the details will come out tomorrow but here is a teaser, FREE AMMO! I am not talking about a little bit of ammo either.

Have a great weekend,
Ryan

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Unfortunate News

I got a call from Wifey a few days back that they were at the hospital. Walker had a fever and was just really uncomfortable. She took him to the emergency room and they have been there since. They don't really know what is going on except that he is pretty sick and had a fever, low respirations/ oxygen levels, dehydration and was just plain upset. They have pretty much been throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks with lots of fluids, Tylenol, oxygen and just about every antibiotic known to man.

Work was able to get me back home yesterday afternoon. I was able to take Wifey some stuff (clothes, toiletries, books, etc) and see them both. Walker seems to be doing at least a bit better now. Wifey was re leaved that I could help a bit and just be around. Walker was still pissed off.

Until Walker is released from the hospital I am going to be working as much as I absolutely have to and spending as much time as possible with Wifey and Walker at the hospital. In whatever time remains I am going to attempt to sleep. Needless to say in the current reshuffling of my priorities the blog is not very high. Odds are that I will still post because it fits well into the down time between PT and work. However my various other normal blog related functions (reading, email responses, etc) are postponed indefinitely.

I am hoping for some progress and a full recovery. Prayers, positive thoughts, chants, pagan rituals, alters or whatever you believe in would be appreciated.
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