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! 🙂

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I’m a Mommy!

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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

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! 🙂

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! 🙂

Pregnancy Notes: The Good, The Bad, and The Funny

Hey everyone!  I thought I’d share some pregnancy notes now that I’m into my second trimester.  I still love the PF community and have a lot to share, especially the financial implications of having a little one, but all these experiences have been quite new and fun for me, so I’ll table the PF aspect for a future post.  Thanks, as always, for stopping by!

The Good

1) Maternity pants, where have you been all my life?!?  They look like dress pants, but have the forgiveness of sweat pants, and that’s a win-win in my book!  I wouldn’t put it past me to rock these bad boys forever. 😉  It’s also been a muumuu summer (or as the kids these days call them, “maxi dresses”… but so much more fun to call them muumuu).

2) My running has waned because it hasn’t been that much fun to get as many miles in to be honest, but I’ve rediscovered my love for spin class!  I’ve also managed to meet a couple of new mothers there, and that’s been really nice to share experiences with.

3) In the first trimester, all I wanted were naughty, deep fried foods, but I’m glad to report that this trimester, I’m craving healthier foods, especially steamed vegetables and watermelon (holy wow, so much watermelon, I conservatively estimate eating approximately 438 pounds of it).  My appetite is a bit more steady-state, as well, though I do cave in to the occasional cravings of pupusas, saag paneer, tater tots, or pan fried noodles.

4) Obviously I love B very much, but these past few months my love for him has grown on so many levels.  Not only is he patient with my mood swings, but he also talks to Flash (we’ve now nicknamed him this after a joke that we should name him “Flash Gordon” (don’t worry, we won’t!)) and it’s the most endearing thing to watch.  I think he talks to him more than he does to me now, not sure. 

The Bad

1) Hair grows at an increasingly substantial rate – it’s alarming really, and all over my body. Plus I’m starting to get bacne which I’ve never had, and there’s more… fluids… just lots and lots of fluids.  The doctor said it’s normal and probably more frequent during hot summer months, so good thing we’re lined up to visit the desert in September!! (/end sarcasm)

2) I’m still in that weird awkward stage where it looks like I’m just gaining weight (which, well I am…).  I’m hoping the little ‘pop’ will come out so it doesn’t look like a spare tire in my gym clothes soon, though with the beginning aches of back pain, I understand I should also just relish this period while the discomfort has been pretty mild.

3) I still manage to get up fairly early (before 4:30 most days), though I’ve definitely indulged in 8-9 hours of sleep these past few weeks.  I don’t think I’ve slept this much since puberty (where I had my whopping growth spurt up to 5’3 ;)), and while it’s been nice, it sure does cut away at my day’s productivity.

 

The Funny

1) I was running on the treadmill and the guy who uses the treadmill next to me one day said, “Hey, I finally ran more miles than you!”  I snapped with, “You better, I doubt you’re pregnant!!!” and stormed off.  I did think afterward, “Hrm, maybe I should have handled that better…”, but in my defense, I’ve never talked to him before.  He did approach me a couple of weeks later and asked how I was doing, and ever since we’ve been friends.

2) My favorite gym couple asked how I was able to know Flash was a boy so soon, and I told them I was able to take blood tests since I’m AMA (advanced maternal age).  The husband, afterward, asked his wife what it meant, and when she told him, he argued with her that it was impossible, that there’s no way I’m even over 30 let alone 35, and AMA must mean “Asian Mom Association” or something. lol

3) Admittedly, this is still largely such a foreign concept to me.  There is an organism with a beating heart (and an “outie”, so to speak!) growing inside me, and that is a very trippy thing to wrap my head around.  I also picked up a watermelon one day and B said “hey, that’s coming out of you soon!” and it took all of that day’s willpower to not hurl it at him.

4) One day, I put my hand on my belly and thought “oh my gosh, I think I feel the heart beat!”  But then, I checked the pulse on my neck, and thought “oh, wait, it’s just my own…”

5) Last Sunday, I felt some slight thuds in my belly while we were on the couch, and I said to B “I think I feel him… I THINK I FEEL THE FLUTTERS!!!”  Of course, once I said the latter part, it went away, and I haven’t felt them since.  Oh dear, I’m an overbearing mother already! :/

Anyway,  I’d love to hear some updates on your corner of the world!  I’ve noticed some of my favorite bloggers also haven’t posted as frequently, but I’m guessing it’s because the summer days are just too precious to not enjoy.  I just hope everyone is well, staying healthy, and getting their financial responsibility on! 🙂

Transitioning the “Me” Thinking Into “We” Thinking

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the kitchen making dinner when B suddenly entered and said, “There’s a great house that just listed!”  We usually check at house listings from time to time just to watch what the current pricing ranges are, but there was an eagerness in his voice with this one (which for B, is a big deal).  So I followed him back to his computer, and there, indeed, was a great house being listed for a really unusually “low” price.

By all accounts, it had all that he would want in our ‘forever house’ – an ideal layout with the master on the first floor and three bedrooms on the second, a canyon in the back, and a real fixer-upper to get his MacGuyver on.  It had most of the things I wanted, as well – not in a cookie cutter suburbs so we’re not subject to mello-roos or HOA, close to both our workplaces, and on a cul-de-sac.  So after he received my nod of approval, while I thought we were just going back to what we were doing since we originally thought we’d be able to buy a house in couple years, he started crunching numbers.  Aggressively.

I was a little shocked and confused by this, since there was no way that I had enough for my part of the down payment (we agreed that if I at least contributed 25-30% of a 20% down payment, then it would be proportionate to our earnings).  However, he was crunching the numbers to see if he could come up with the down payment, what our monthly payments would be, etc., and his whole activity pretty much freaked me out.  Now that I’ve had a couple of weeks to process it, these are the primary reasons where I discovered we were not truly aligned in our thinking, both in terms of finances and our views about buying our ‘forever’ place (sorry you’ll have to click, I haz no skillz):

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In the end, it all ended up being kiboshed since he stopped by the house the next day, and discovered that not only where there a ton of interested buyers, but there were already offers in cash and way above the asking price.  The latter is an extremely frustrating part all on its own as there’s a lot of investor buyers, but that’s for another ranty post.

Ever since this situation, I’ve noticed smaller situations where I’ve noticed that my ‘me’ thinking gets in the way, like he’ll offer to pay for my car repairs since he considers it “our” car/problem, but I resist and dig into my “savings” since I consider it “my” car/problem.  And I admit, even though it would be in my favor to combine finances, the implementation has been delayed on my part.  I’m guessing it’s because I’ve been on my own for so long, that this change is a lot more challenging than I thought.  He says that while he understands and it’s because I’m pretty independent, others say I’m that to a fault since I have no problem giving/sharing my stuff, but I often have trouble accepting/asking/taking/sharing other’s stuff.

I know over time, this will probably become easier, and I just have to figure out incremental steps in merging our finances, both in terms of logistics and mindset.  I do admit I was slightly disappointed that the house didn’t work out after my initial freak out mode, so if there’s a great house and the timing is right, I’m more open to me perhaps not contributing the ideal amount I would like to.  Or maybe I’m all talk since that situation is currently not staring me in my face, and I would still freak a little. 😉

Did this happen to anyone else when you were in the transition of combining finances?

Being Kinder Than Necessary (and Happy New Year!)

Hello party people – I hope for those that celebrate, that Christmas and/or Boxing Day was a great one for you!  During my few days off, I started the little details of the wedding, hung out with friends, and got my read on.  I finally finished Serena which I really liked (and can’t wait to see the movie in early 2014), and Sharp Objects which was an intriguing read but the end was as head scratching as Gone Girl (though yes, I’m seeing the movie).  I also started reading Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls since I’m a big fan of David Sedaris (and his live readings are awesome), The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year Old Boy with Autism, as well as The Millionaire Next Door, all of which I have no problem counting with my 24 book quota for 2014 despite beginning in 2013. 😉  They’ve been great reads so far, and there’s been a few a-ha moments with the latter which I’ll probably write about once I finish.

I also took advantage of all this free time to book all my annual physicals, got a much needed dental procedure completed, returned/bought presents with others (like their shopping wingwoman – I convinced a couple of them to forgo purchases, go PF Me ;)), and got my driver’s license renewal at the DMV.  At the DMV, despite having an appointment at 8 in the morning, as soon as they opened, the systems were down and didn’t start working until around 9.  It was a bit frustrating to say the least, but what was more frustrating was how the customers would treat the DMV employees.  One brash guy came up to the counter demanding what was going on, and as the DMV employee was explaining it to him, halfway through he waved his hand as if to demand that person to stop and grumpily said he was waiting in a section to sit down.

Another time, a young woman came up to the counter and when the DMV employee let her know that the system was down, she stated, “Well, let me explain to you my situation…” and proceeded to explain her dilemma.  Afterward, the employee said, “I understand, but the system is still down,” and the girl then proceeded to walk away and (kind of tantrum-like in my perspective) stated, “well when it’s back up, do I have to wait in line after all these people?!”  WTPoo?!

Finally, when the DMV employee was handing out Post-Its with numbers so that the crowd wouldn’t bum-rush the counter since the system was going to be up and running soon, as she handed me my number, the lady next to me stated “I think I was here before her,” meaning me.  The lady seemed contentious, and though I was slightly peeved at her saying this because I was obviously before her, I decided to play it cool because 1) it wasn’t a big deal since maybe she’s late for work and I have the day off, 2) she had a cane and neck brace so maybe she was ahead of me like in the parking lot but I just happened to walk faster?, 3) maybe she’s on meds from her neck brace and just not thinking straight, and 4)  it was literally the difference between having #2 and #3.

So, I just smiled politely, gave her the #2 post-it, and said, “Here you go.”  The lady looked like she felt embarrassed, and though that was kind of a motive, I mostly did it because I try to live by the “be kinder than necessary” quote.  For her, I can see that she’s fighting some physical battle, so perhaps this tiny bit of action helped her.

And, I know that the probability of the irate customers reading this is slim to none, but it is my hope that there’s moments when it dawns on them that it pays more to be kinder than not, and that, most importantly – that the employees are people.  I’m 100% confident that they didn’t go into the office in the middle of the night, checked out the appointment roster, and said “Oh, F this guy, I’m shutting the system down so he’ll have to wait and suffer, muhahahaha.”  So whether it’s the DMV, mall employees, waiters/waitresses, or any service-oriented employees – be kind, people.  Some jobs are already pretty suck-ass as it is, so have some compassion and patience, and realize that some things are beyond their control.  As it is yours, so relax!  And be happy!  Life is good. 🙂

Anyway, I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Happy New Year!  I’ll most likely sleep by 9 to do a long run on the 1st since that’s my version of greeting the new year, so enjoy the midnight festivities for me. 🙂