November 22, 2017

My kid and notes from Year 2.8

My kid in Year 2.8 JuggerBaby legitimately and of zir own volition apologized this month for the first time. It might have been for elbowing me in the throat.

We learned from daycare that at age 2, it’s not good to pressure kids to apologize because that mainly teaches them to say the words but not necessarily mean it when the more important lesson is for them to use their empathy and care if they hurt someone. It was a little bit of a struggle but we banished “say sorry!” from our stock phrases and just demonstrated the appropriate use of apologies in our everyday interactions.

JB has offered a couple of offhand apologies, since. Big steps!

Speaking of daycare

We’re really struggling here.

Ze has at least one of our tempers, or both, and most definitely my lack of tolerance for kids encroaching on my territory, or getting in my face. A kid taking things away from zir, or yelling NO in zir face usually gets a physical reaction. That’s one big problem. (more…)

November 20, 2017

2017 Money Move: Vanguard and cleaning up my holdings

Mimicking my favorite tax blogger Kay Bell’s “Moves to make” posts, I’m making some moves before the end of the year to maximize our tax efficiency, minimize our expenses, and ensure we’re saving / investing as much as we can for retirement.

Step One – examining Vanguard accounts!

My Rollover IRA has held my retirement contributions since 2007, and my personal rate of return over that time has been 10.4%, but the fund selections are really outdated.

Over the past decade, as my contributions grew, I’ve shifted from holding Investor Shares to Admiral Shares which have a much lower expense ratio but that was only true for two of my five funds:


Swagbucks: Pre-Black Friday cashback

Y’all know I plan ahead and use shopping lists to head off impulse buying, and I’ve been keeping a keen eye out for great deals to combine with cash back.

Swagbucks is offering big cash back when you shop through their portal online at some of your favorite retailers right now. Make sure to check them first before you order online.

Bonus: If you sign up through me you get a 300 SB ($3) bonus when you earn your first 300 SB before December 1st.

Here’s a handy tutorial if you’d like to join Swagbucks and earn. I track my earnings here.

November 16, 2017

Just a little (link) love: settling turmoil edition

Does Disney pay its fair share to the City of Anaheim?

A Japanese company called Family Romance hires out actors to play all kinds of roles and I had to wonder if this was real?? For the most part it seems harmless but some examples are horrifying. He’s playing a fake parent to a girl who has no idea he’s not her actual father. I’m reeling from revelations about my actual father and am imagining how incensed I would be to have been deceived at this level growing up. And I don’t understand renting an infant to present a grandchild to your parent. Isn’t the jig going to be up when you walk in still fully pregnant?? The fourth trimester doesn’t leave you THAT bloated.

Working mothers and their daughters talk:  Ting added a bit of humor: “One of her main ambitions in life is to get paid more than my dad. It’s kind of mean, but what she was saying is that she wants to be respected as much as everyone else.” (that’s me!)

Doesn’t anyone feel like a cartoon villain when they talk like this?: “You’re all going to lose your heads over this!”

What’s your splurge? Donna asks. I haven’t splurged exactly, we’ve just been buying necessities. Oh, food. I bought Brie last month and it’s heavenly. We had to buy a bed and mattress for our guest room – we already have about 14 days of guests planned for the next three months. Possibly more.

November 15, 2017

A Black Friday / Cyber Monday shopping list

I’m not normally a big fan of BF. I’ve not been out in the early hours of the morning since I last humored my woollyheaded friends who really really wanted to go to Best Buy and the mall over ten years back – I went along to keep the boys company and hang out.

These days I only shop online but I hear tell that this year, online sales will outpace sales at physical brick and mortar locations so with some good luck, the sales get better accordingly. I’m sharing my list here

  • iPhone charging cable, preferably 6 ft. My Amazon Basics cord has been abused terribly and is about to snap in two. Can’t decide if this is due to user error or poor materials but I’m willing to take the blame.
  • iPhone for PiC with as much memory as can be crammed into a hand computer. His hand me down phone is dying a slow and painful death. Mostly painful for me, the Home IT person on call.
  • 8 TB external hard drive. I missed that Amazon sale during FinCon where it was running about $130 but I also didn’t have a chance to do some research on which one is compatible with both PCs and Macs since we use both.
  • Fireproof safe.
  • Portable generator. I’ve got my eye on one that’s about $1000, I suspect they won’t be having a sale on them but it’s worth checking just in case. If no sale, we’ll keep on waiting because I’m working on cash flow recovery.
  • Husky Universal SAE and Metric Mechanics Tool Set, 60-Piece set
  • (Only a want) Purely if there’s another $25 sale or the like: a new Kindle. Mine has been dead for over a year now.
  • Edit to add: blank address labels! I print our own address labels to spare my hands and save on costs. Maybe Staples?

:: Are you watching the sales for anything particular? Have you seen any great deals on any of this stuff? 

November 13, 2017

How and why I’m cutting off my father

Reeling from discoveries: redefining my filial responsibilitiesI thought I was rocked back on my heels before.

I had a painful and necessary conversation with a friend last weekend. It was about feelings, which I mostly hate, money, which I love, and family, which I am 100% conflicted about. The conversation itself was tough but what followed was far worse than anything anticipated.

I supported my parents more than half my life because I genuinely believed my parents loved me and I wanted to help them. Turns out, Mom loved me, but Dad? He skated on the strength of her love and sacrifice which was so strong he could mimic both just from the reflected glow.

My theory is that, for Dad, love only mattered so long as my path mirrored his. When I was a dependent child, and when I was an adult covering his expenses, my interests were aligned with his. Mostly. He was never willing to put aside his own pride, and sense of self entitlement, for my sake, though. He may love me but much less than his perceived needs.

In hindsight, it feels like I should have seen the signs earlier. (more…)

November 9, 2017

Just a little (link) love: I am a pizza edition

Do you think there’s still stigma around sharing pregnancy news in the first trimester?

The number of ways our society finds to demean, punish, and oppress poor people is disgusting. Separating parents from their children, accusing them of abandonment, and then barring them from seeing said children?? Disgusting. 

There’s a NAME for why we’re so bad at time management when we make commitments! I’m actually getting good at dealing with this but I know others who aren’t.

It’ll sound weird to say this but I’m happy to discover these PF bloggers living with chronic pain – Kiwi and Keweenaw reached smart conclusions about this life lightyears before I did.

Maggie’s FinCon-on-Twitter recap cracked me up. Especially because she included one of my more stressful moments 🙂

I am a pizza! (with extra cheese)

JB has been singing this for months but we didn’t know what the song was until recently. And now I gift it to you. It’s pretty cute.

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