You might remember back in June or July I was on a quest to find out how to make breast feeding a successful reality with this baby. If you are wondering, it has been great. Thanks for all the advice. Someday I'll write about all the great ideas and what worked for me. It has definitely saved us lots of money in purchasing formula! However, it is not without hidden costs.
Enter the 3 year old. Those who know Lydia know that she's very independent & head-strong. Stubborn, really. She is also very observant. She knows that when I am feeding the baby, I won't chase her around the house and spoil her fun. Ever the opportunist, there have been many unauthorized snacks, phone calls, and art projects that have taken place while I was nursing Eliza.
In early December, Lydia brought me a package of microwave popcorn and asked if we could have some. I told her that when I finished feeding the baby I would make it for her. She left the room and I didn't think much about it for a few minutes. Then I got that "Get up NOW and check on Lydia" feeling I know so well. She had taken matters into her own mischievous little hands and cooked her popcorn- for who-know how long.
I got to the kitchen just as she opened the microwave and a big puff of steam/smoke blasted her in the face. And, oh, the smell! Looking inside, I saw two pieces of incinerated plastic & the rectangular, brick-like, charred remains of what used to be a package of popcorn. After making sure that she was not permanently blinded or disfigured by the blast of steam, I pushed Lydia aside and threw the popcorn's smoldering remains out the back door into a snow storm.
The smell of burnt popcorn is horrible alone. Add the incinerated plastic and I wasn't sure we weren't getting cancer. I even called poison control to check because it felt like my lungs were shriveling up. The operator said, "Oh, hi Lydia's mom. We haven't spoken for a bit. I thought you might have sold the child to the gypsies finally." For future information, the operator said we wouldn't die from the burnt plastic haze. I opened the windows and doors to try to clear the haze, so it was also snowing in the house. Awesome.
The house smelled horrible to me for days. People assured me it wasn't that bad, so the smell might have lingered in my nose. I did all sorts of things to freshen up the house. The microwave was banished to the back porch for a week. I made cookies. I bought one of every cleaning supply offered at WalMart. I washed every piece of fabric I could and Febreezed the rest. I pulled every dish out of the cupboard above the microwave- every glass, sippy cup, water bottle and giant glass bowl we own plus a few other odds & ends and washed them all. I scrubbed the cupboards inside & out with a strong Pine-Sol mixture & put in new shelf paper. (That job was long overdue...) I boiled TWO pots with water, cinnamon sticks, sliced apples & oranges on the stove for days on end. We even brought in a fragrant live Christmas tree. Nothing seemed to help.
One day we got brave and decided to try the microwave, only to have stinky black smoke come billowing out immediately. It now sits in a corner of the back yard awaiting the spring clean-up dumpster. I should be on Hoarders... I digress.
My wonderful husband got looking on ksl.com- the fount of all good bargains- and found a cute little RED microwave. 35 bucks- the people had barely used it & moved into a new home with a built-in. It still has the plastic cover over the buttons! And did I tell you it is RED? That is my favorite color, if you didn't know. ;) I would love it if all my appliances were red...
Anyway, that is how I came to be the owner of a cute little red microwave via destructive 3 yr old. She has also cost us one replacement motor for a Graco baby swing, quite a few Mr Clean Magic Erasers, and my couch. Oh my poor, sweet, vulnerable couch. That's another story in itself...
So, saved money on formula, used that money for lots of other things...