I am washing and re-using zip-lock bags. Daily. I saw that once on TV, a very frugal family, and thought they were crazy. And look at me now.
This week I have had to pump pump pump to make sure that Elsie gets fed while I'm at work, and since we don't use enough dishes to run the dishwasher daily, I've had to spend 30-45 minutes each night cleaning bottles, lids, collars, nipples, caps, valves, membranes, shields, collection containers...you name it, it gets washed. (Call me paranoid, but Elsie's babysitter was washing the items and returning them to me, but they still had a greasy film on them, so I've started just washing everything regardless.) And then I have to pack Elsie's "lunch" in one of my old lunch sacks, making sure I have enough milk for 5 feedings and the bottle tops to go with it. We're still trying to figure out exactly how much she eats--and I think she's going to eat more and more until she starts on solid foods in three months.
I also have to pack all the parts to my pump into a zip-lock bag, and then, with a Kroger sack to disguise the parts in the school refrigerator, put that into my pump bag, and put four empty bottles with lids into the cooler awaiting the ice pack in the morning as the last thing I do before I leave.
Breastfeeding is cheap. Going back to work and continuing to breastfeed isn't. Thankfully, the double electric pump was a gift. I also have a manual pump that I got for $5 back in April (it has come in very handy--no pun intended). I had to buy two dozen 2.5-oz. storage bottles at $18 each, plus two 3-packs of 5-oz. feeding bottles at $16, two extra shield-valve-membane assemblies at $10 each, freezer bags for about $10, a bottle brush, a bottle drying rack. You could argue that I don't really need that many bottles, storage containers, a drying rack, etc., but the truth is that this week I feel like either I spend time with Elsie while she's awake and then stay up late washing everything only to be exhausted in the morning, or I'm spending so much time washing and getting ready for the next day that I don't get ot see Elsie at all. So today I got the extra set of storage and feeding bottles to alleviate that guilt/burden a little.
I will still have to get up in the middle of the night/early morning to feed her and then pump the rest when I wish I could be/need to be asleep. That's not going to end soon. I feel like I will have sooooo much more time when I'm not breastfeeding anymore...next June. I just gotta' keep reminding myself that it's all worth it--for Elsie. Otherwise I might lose my mind.
Anyway, onto another topic completely:
Thanks to everyone for responding to my poll. 14 responses, and the results were really inconclusive with 8 for "tossle" and 6 for "touzel". I did look up the word in all the online dictionaries that I knew the website for (dictionary.com and m-w.com, and that about rounds out the list) and it turns out that Webster is the only one that lists both pronunciations, though sadly, the pronunciation I prefer is the 2nd pronunciation, proving that it is not the most widely used. Ah, well.