Some ‘splainin’ to do

Core strength workouts, starting 'em early! j/k

Core strength workouts, starting ’em early! j/k

Hello everyone!  Just thought I’d say a quick how do you do and that I’m back (kinda sorta).  I’m no longer sequestered at my lunch breaks in a room that doesn’t have any internet access for my maternal duties for little man, and it’s been nice to have some freedom, oh sweet freedom, away from home!

Truth be told, lunch breaks are not my only “me” time – thankfully I have an amazing husband that wakes up at the booty crack of dawn (or 5 a.m. most days when little man wakes) so that I can keep up with my morning running and gym routines, but with work taking up 8+ hours each day and only spending about 2 hours at home with little man before he sleeps (and I, in turn, sleep about a half hour later), it has been super challenging to catch up with my favorite PF bloggers.  I don’t know how those who have little ones do it, but huge props to you for being able to manage!

Anyway, I don’t know if I’ll be writing as much, as I would only mostly talk your ear off about the amazingness (and challenges) of motherhood, especially now that he is so interactive and so unconditionally loving (oh, hi tears..).  But it’s exciting to be able to finally catch up with everyone, though, and I hope everyone is doing well! :)  Super thanks to those that checked up on me on my ‘sabbatical’, especially to the one who gave me loads of information on exclusively pumping.  Your guidance was so incredibly appreciated when I was at my most vulnerable and breaking point as a new mom.

And of course, my meeting got moved up, so off I go… I hope everyone has a great week and I’ll catch up with you soon! :)

I’m a Mommy!


Hi everyone!  I’m a little late in announcing,  but I’m overjoyed to say thathat I am now a mommy! Baby A came one day after his due date, and he’s been the most amazing gift and blessing.  It’s definitely been challenging, mostly with breastfeeding issues so if anyone cares to discuss this has been my obsessive topic of choice lately lol, but so incredibly rewarding and heart melting. I love everything about him, from how he sometimes smirks in his sleep down to his funny but stinky farts, and everyday his hair grows slightly thicker, his face a teeny chubbier, and my love for him so much deeper. Right now he is sleeping on me and I just want this moment to last forever!

I’m so behind on blogs yet again… and sleep, how I miss sleep… but I hope everyone is having an amazing 2015 so far!! I still troll on FB at times during feedings, so I’d love to keep in touch that way! Just message me and again, I hope all is well with you. :) xo

Lessons Learned from 2014 and Happy 2015 to You!

Happy New Year, everyone!!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and an amazing start to 2015!  I know I tend to begin this way, but apologies again for being so MIA.  My last month of work before maternity leave was all sorts of hectic that it was hard to even check on everyone’s blogs at lunch, but know that you were constantly thought of and that I missed you!

20150102_100614Before I begin, though – serious big shout-outs to The 1500’s, who were kind enough to not only hang with B and I during their SD getaway, but also gave us these amazing Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger duckies for our soon-to-be little one (along with a Warren Buffet book on personal finance for kids)!  Coupled with the Star Wars characters we also received from our baby shower, bath time will be the most epic Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting EVER! :)

I’ve officially been on maternity leave for the past two weeks (which fit in well with the holidays, anyway), and while I had hoped our soon-to-be arrival would make an early appearance to maximize the “pre leave” with him, apparently he is telling us “You’re not the boss of me!” as it looks like he might be even later than the expected due date. :) It kind of fits in well as I was two weeks late and B was a few days, so I suppose he’s just keeping with tradition!  Needless to say, we’re anxious to meet him and I’m especially excited to hopefully be able to go to restrooms and turning over in bed soon without having to do a 5-point turn. ;)

I also wanted to reflect a little on 2014 (updates on whether I passed/failed have been updated in my 2014 goals list!), and what I hope to accomplish in 2015 pf-wise.  In 2014, I not only remained debt free, but also managed to accrue a nice sum in my retirement, savings, and investment accounts due to a new job and salary increase, living well below our means, and just becoming more savvy with savings and investing strategies in general.  We’re also thankful and excited about all the wonderful hand-me-downs we received in terms of baby items which saved us quite a pretty penny, and I can’t wait to return that favor to others someday, as well.

I have to be honest, though – despite being debt free all last year and feeling pretty empowered due to it, I did still remain quite anxious and uncertain with myself when it comes to finances.  Though I did give myself allowances for some splurges every now and then, I did still feel insecure at times about “going back” to my spendy ways, regressing in my/our goals, or just not having as much in ‘the reserves’.  I suppose this anxiety is a bit valid with the last component, considering the expenses for this year with daycare and baby expenses, and perhaps buying our ‘forever’ home if we’re lucky enough to find that match we’ve been looking for (especially this one, since 20% down payment is a pretty hefty sum to ‘part’ with).  However, for 2015, I’d like to be more financially confident in my decisions.  I’d like to be able to trust myself in this arena a lot more, so much so that it becomes second nature.  Thankfully, I do have some tools and techniques I can base this off of (i.e., when I maintained my weight loss back in my 20’s and 30’s), but I also know that reading PF blogs and doing ‘self check-ups’ with myself are key in keeping this up.

So with that, I have to be honest in that I’m not sure of when I’ll be able to post again while I’m on maternity leave (though I will at least strive to announce his God-willing healthy and safe arrival!), at least, but I do intend to keep up with all of my PF friends as much as possible!  I hope 2015 brings you lots of health, happiness, and prosperity, and I wish you all the best! :)


Star Wars Baby Shower

Heidi-ho, everyone!  I thought I’d share a quick post about my baby shower that took place this past Sunday!  As some of you know, B and I are big Star Wars nerds, so I had my heart set on a Star Wars themed baby shower.  A lot of the ideas I found online (mostly influenced by this birthday party), and I thought catering from Daphne’s, a Greek place that’s not really sit down but not really fast food, either, would fit the theme the most.  I for sure want to take credit for Chewbaklava, and my best friend thought of C3-Pollo. :)

The food puns are labeled in the pics, but overall it was so much fun!  I bought some Star Wars stuff here and there and my best friend (who graciously offered us her house for the party) went so above and beyond with decorating it!  I couldn’t have done it better, and I am so grateful on what an amazing hostess she was.  Even more amazing, is that my brother and sister-in-law bought the BEST cake I could have ever asked for.  They said that they wanted to take care of it, and while I expected something cute because my sister-in-law has a knack for finding cute stuff, I was blown away by what she selected!

Overall, it was so much fun, though it felt like a mini-wedding since there were over 50 guests and a ton of kids, so it felt like while I got a chance to talk to people, I somewhat felt rushed talking to everyone.  I think for the most part everyone understood, and I was completely blown away by all the love and generosity given to B and I that day.

Here’s some pics from the event!  Can you guess which one I am in the family pic?? lol

Now that the party is over, it’s definitely nesting period time on ‘roids!  Thank you so much for everyone on their advice about term versus variable life insurance – it definitely influenced us to choose term for all the reasons everyone stated, so I am so grateful for this community!  And, shamelessly, I have another question this time around – do you have a favorite “freezable” meal that you’d like to recommend?  I’m going to attempt to make as many frozen meals as possible this month so hopefully we’ll have a good reserve for when Flash arrives, so I’d love to hear them!

I definitely need to catch up on everyone’s blogs, but I hope everyone’s been doing well!  I hope you have a wonderful week. xo

Rambly Update – Let the Nesting Commence!

Hi everyone!  First of all, holy crap crayon!  I’ve missed so many amazing life events, from engagements to pregnancies to anniversaries to milestone birthdays!  Hugest congrats to these very lovely ladies, I am so happy and excited for all of you!! :)

I just wanted to send out a little update that I’m alive and well, and very much rotund these days.  It doesn’t stop me from ‘racing’ B to our doorstep or when we’re about to climb the gym stairs to the second floor (competitive much?  though at least he ‘lets’ me win sometimes (though I think it’s because he is amused by my waddle)), but things are definitely getting a bit harder physically.  I don’t know what’s my favorite, but I’d have to say it’s a tie between having to do dishes with outstretched arms, mouth breathing more often than not, having perpetual crumbs on top of my belly after every meal and snack, and not being able to close windows when there’s a counter in front of it. ;)  Despite all of this, I absolutely cannot wait to meet the little tyke, and am so excited that I can soon begin the single digit weekly countdown until delivery day!

For the most part, we’ve been ‘nesting’, both physically, mentally/emotionally, and financially.  Physically, we’ve resolved that we’re going to keep the crib (that my parents generously bought for us and that we B assembled last night) in the guest room since we will hopefully find our ‘forever’ home in the next year or so.  We’re starting to get baby stuff here and there and, combined with some awesome hand-me-downs, things are starting to get more real!  Flash will be getting bombarded with so much love on all fronts, from parents to our siblings to friends to my coworkers to obviously us – he’s going to be one loved fellow! :)

Mentally/emotionally, we’re also starting to take baby classes, like baby CPR, baby basics, and what to expect during delivery.  Not going to lie, when we did the tour of the hospital and stepped into the labor/delivery room, I had a “oh crap, this baby’s gotta come outta me someday!” moment and freaked the heck out.  I think the class on what to expect will be helpful, but I’ve definitely hounded/interviewed all of my friends and coworkers and asked about their experiences just so I can get an idea of the range of possibilities out there.  Emotionally, I feel the least prepared, what with my concerns on when to come back from maternity leave since I just started my new job, as well as feelings of being a competent mom in general.  I just hope I do this kid right and not let him down!

Financially, B and I have, for now, figured out which day care we’re going with, which is a great peace of mind.  We decided on a ‘corporate’ one versus home, admittedly from my own biases (less chance of any TV being there, there’s often a security gate/code, there’s a 4-1 ratio with infants only as opposed to 6-1 of all ages at home, etc.), but the ones near my work are way more costly (average $410/week) versus his work (about $260-$350/week).  Since the daycares and reviews were pretty comparable, we’ve ultimately decided to go with the latter.  This is a bit challenging for me since I’m used to taking care of things (and okay, like having things my way) and have always envisioned of me dropping off/picking up the little tyke, but as Elsa in “Frozen” sings, I just have to “let it go… let it go…” (ha!, my mantra for a lot of things lately) because I know I’ll have to be more reliant on B (plus, he’s my partner and I know will make such a great dad, so I know it’s my mentality that I have to fix).

We’re also getting our finance-related documents in order, from budgets, wills and trusts, and life insurance (also supplemental disability, though I’d obvi have to wait until after I give birth).  I’ve admittedly only figured out now the difference between life insurance policies (i.e., terms versus variable, at least), but am curious – if you have it, what did you end up going with (or is this too personal to ask?  My manners have all but gone out the window lately so I’ll still ask :))?  Both seem to have pro’s and con’s to them, though variable seems a bit more appealing since it feels like at least there’s this little ‘pot of money’ that I’m putting money into versus term that just goes away if not used (at least, we hope that it won’t be used and that we both live a very long life!).  However, I do realize that if term is more reasonably priced, and that we could just save and have said ‘pot of money’, anyway, so there’s that.  His finance planner is creating the different types of scenarios for us, so I suppose we can make a decision then based on some actual figures.  If you have any advice on it, though, I would love to hear it!

Anyway, that’s been going on in my corner of the earth!  I hope you are doing extremely well and keeping healthy, and that even more amazing life experiences and events happen to all of you! :)

Pregnancy Notes Round 2!

Hey everyone!  It seems I say this every time, but sorry I’ve been MIA.  Work has officially kicked me in the bum, and recently I’ve been obsessed with finding our ‘forever’ home.  We don’t have a deadline, really, but we hope to find something amazing within the next year or so.  While we know that there’s no such thing as a perfect house, a great school system, reasonable commute, a comfortable place for our kids and parents/in-laws, and a nice kitchen (though I realize this can be remodeled) all within our price range is being taken into account, so it’s a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack.  Despite being able to ‘choice’ schools in the system for houses closer to work, if it’s not a guarantee on a specific house, I tend to be a little risk averse, so I think a longer commute and great school system is more likely (plus, these areas tend to have great trails, so lifestyle wise it would be great).  I guess we’ll see!

I wanted to do a post about home daycare versus corporate daycare since I received so much great advice (especially from An Exacting Life and Shannon at Financially Blonde, thank you!), so I’ll be sure to write up the post and my experiences with it soon!  In the meantime, let’s do another round of Pregnancy Notes: The Good, The Bad, and The Funny!  Enjoy!

The Good

  1. I feel Flash’s movements grow stronger and stronger every week, and it is such an amazing feeling!  He’s most active when it’s super hectic at work or at night when I’m trying to sleep, but I always welcome it.
  2. Said movements are starting to make my belly twitch and wiggle.  B felt it when he had his arm around me and got so excited, I teared up.  Ditto when my dad and sis-in-law felt it – their reactions were priceless.
  3. I am definitely showing more these days, which is great since it takes the guesswork from others whether I just let myself go or not after I got married.  Here’s a recent pic from this past weekend!
  4. preggo
  5. When I made my FB announcement, a couple of others told me they are preggo, too – I LOVE it, and love that I have some friends to compare notes with. :)
  6. The baby shower is set, and you best believe we are having a Padawan-themed party!  I found this super cute invite on Etsy and our menu will be copied from these ideas, amongst other ones.  My favorite is Boba Fettucini and Jar Jar Links in a Blanket. :)

The Bad

  1. I didn’t really take into account that I’d not only gain weight in my belly, but hips and thighs, as well.  I’ve been doing fine all summer with muumuu maxi’s, but I’ll definitely need to size up my maternity pants come Fall since I’m getting camel toe with my current ones.
  2. Initially they told me that a healthy pregnancy is about a 25-35 weight gain.  At first, I thought, “okay, I’ll shoot for 25 since I’m pretty short.”  Well, I’m about two-thirds there and now weighing in at 22 pounds heavier, sooo… 35 limit it is! ;)
  3. I unfortunately am getting bleeding gums, which is really gross when I wear my retainer (I think I’ve been grinding my teeth, too, at night).
  4. Unfortunately, I didn’t pass my 1 hour glucose test so I have to take the 3 hour test.  Apparently, it’s common amongst my friends and probably people are age, but I just hope I don’t have gestational diabetes.  Please send well wishes that I pass!
  5. Sometimes, Flash is breeched, so while I love his movements, when he treats my bladder like a trampoline that tends to not be my favorite! ;)

The Funny

  1. I’m apparently well acclimated at work now, because a coworker said “Look, you practically have to stick your belly out to show that you’re pregnant.”  Three weeks later, she was like, “Wow, you are GI-NORM!!” lol
  2. The weird dreams continue, sometimes about outlandish results at work and most recently a lot of naughty dreams.  I told B about a naughty dream one day and his response was, “Is that why you were giggling?” wth?! lol
  3. I was at the doc’s one day and he had me lay down and lift up my maxi skirt while he put a blanket on top so he can check for Flash’s heartbeat on my belly.  I was laying down already and said I couldn’t lift it up, thinking that he had slid the bed part of it so that my skirt was caught.  Apparently I had a user-error moment since he responded with, “um, you need to lift your heels, it’s on the skirt.”
  4. Apparently I snore now, and one night I snored so loudly that I woke myself up.  I wondered whether I had imagined it, but my nostrils were pretty sore.

I hope everyone is been doing well, and thank you Alicia and Mackenzie for motivating me to get out of my shell.  Miss you all! :)

Savings Rates, Baby Kickbacks, and Brief Preggo Stuff

Hello everyone!  Sorry I’ve been out of sight, but please know you have not been out of mind!  Since there never seems to be enough time these days with me moving slower, sleeping more, and being engrossed in “The Goldfinch” (so beautifully written!) lately, when I do get my blog time in, I’d much rather catch up with your lives!  :)

I’m grateful to report I got to see Flash this past week at my ultrasound – little man has got some long legs (definitely from B’s side!) and he looked like he was smiling at us with his little sweetheart chin.  I’m not really keen on posting the pics, but if anyone wants to see, just let me know.  I can’t stop looking at them and it makes my heart so happy.  I’m also starting to feel his movements grow stronger every day – they feel like gas bubbles after you drink soda, and whenever I move (or have foods with Tapatio or Sriracha on them), little man gets a little busy, especially at night.  I hope he becomes an early bird eventually like us! ;)

Another favorite of mine lately (and by favorite, I mean not favorite at all), have been the combo-packs of preggo symptoms, from weird dreams to being hot all the time to dizziness to leg cramps.  My favorite so far was dreaming about Scarlett Johannson’s lips (in my defense, I think I saw the “Lucy” poster just before I went to bed), but they were super-sized and I was jumping on them like a fluffy bed… only to be awoken by a gnarly Charlie horse on my left calf as I’m lying in sheets drenched in my own sweat.  Awesome. 

Finance-wise, I’m happy to report that I was updating my finance spreadsheets (still an Excel gal), and so far, my savings rate has averaged at 63% so far this year!  I say my rate as we’re still transitioning into combined finances due to some other stuff going on (I’d say halfway there), but I was pretty stoked about that rate.  Granted, I’m counting all my pre-taxed accounts and wedding gift funds, but I’m counting the latter since last year I was paying off debt as well as accruing wedding costs expenses.  

I know this will drop down next year as we face the sticker shock of day care (going rate is +$400/week for infant care, yikes), but if I could keep up with this rate through the end of the year (or even increase it), I would be all sorts of stoked.  Thankfully, being the last of a group of 10 or so friends with similar body types and who have given birth to sons, I’ve received a plethora of hand-me-down maternity clothes, infant clothes, bassinet, swings, and all sorts of other great stuff.  I’m loving all this free baby kickbacks, and also incredibly grateful that my insurance is covering all of my hospital bills through birth.

Anyway, that’s mostly what’s been going on in my corner of the world.  I’d love to know, though, for those that have put their little ones through day care, did you ever have to decide between home day cares versus company day cares?  The cost differences are substantial, but I wonder, too, about the differences with development/learning, safety, nutrition, etc.  Any advice is greatly appreciated! :)