My Inner Millionaire

Monday, April 19, 2010

We're cheap. Or frugal if you want to be pc about it.

Long before it was cool to be a frugalista I was one.

I don't own a flat screen TV or a Wii, but I contribute to my Roth IRA and my kid's college funds monthly.

Basically, I think my money looks cuter in a saving account than spent on expensive clothes.

I just finished reading a book that makes me feel better about my inexpensive wardrobe and the fact we're a double Toyota family (as opposed to all the BMWs and Lexus' cruising around my neck of the woods).

It's called "Stop Acting Rich and Live Like a Real Millionaire" by Thomas J. Stanley.

The author conducts surveys of millionaires and asks them all kinds of questions, such as what brand of suits they buy, what type of cars they drive and how much did their home cost.

Want to guess what type of car most millionaires drive? Good old reliable uncool Toyota.

Turns out most people who live in million dollar homes aren't actually millionaires. And more importantly aren't likely to become one even if they make good money because they are spending so much maintaining their lifestyles.

If you're looking for encouragement to stick to a budget this is a great read. I'm probably not doing it justice, but it was very interesting and definitely worth the time.

Have a great Wednesday folks!

P.S. I'd like to thank Tales from My Head for:


Wedding Round Up

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Things have been a bit wild here in the Unbitten house.

The baby went through one hell of a growth spurt. Normally she is a happy, easy baby, but this past week was brutal.

I'm nursing her so I spent the week ravenous and deliriously tired (and a little whiny if I'm being honest). At least she's cute.

The crazy week was topped off with a huge serving of insecurity.

We went to a wedding for one of my husband's coworkers last night. I used to work in the same building so the guest list included tons of people I haven't seen since my pre-baby days.

I was ridiculously nervous about the whole thing.

I'm within 10 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight, but stuff isn't exactly where it used to be. I haven't had a haircut since January. I didn't get a chance to buy the killer new outfit like I had planned.

I'm normally pretty okay with my appearance, but this wedding put me in tail spin. (I blame the sleep deprivation.)

Once the wedding actually started, everything was fine.

I didn't look any use for the wear than the rest of guests. I got to eat a fantastic meal and show off my family.

And the kids put on a good show.

My three year old made a complete scene on the dance floor. He busted out moves I've never seen before and even picked up a brides maid or two.

My baby was the best accessory in the room in a silly frilly dress complete with hair bow.

It the end it was fun, but I'm ready for a low key day and a return normalcy this week.


Taxing Thoughts

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I don't mind paying a reasonable amount of taxes.

Obviously, I don't want to give away my money, but I appreciate roads, water treatment systems, public schools, libraries, knowing the department of defense has my back, and all the other wonderful things that go along with being an American citizen.

I understand that these things cost money.

This headline caught my eye - Nearly Half of US Households Escape Fed Income Tax

According to the article, about 47% will pay no federal income taxes for 2009.

I'm sure it makes sense to limit the taxation of the poor. But half the population?

The article also said "The bottom 40 percent, on average, make a profit from the federal income tax, meaning they get more money in tax credits than they would otherwise owe in taxes. For those people, the government sends them a payment."

Making a profit from taxes seems wrong to me. Really wrong.

I'm not sure how we should calculate a fair share when it comes to taxes, but I think it's pretty fair to say we're not there yet.
“Elections should be held on April 16th- the day after we pay our income taxes. That is one of the few things that might discourage politicians from being big spenders.” - Thomas Sowell


Naked With A Chance for Snow

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On my last post, several comments suggested introducing quiet time now that my son stopped napping.

I have tried it, but things haven't gone smoothly.

Exhibit A: I heard my son yelling "wheeeee!" and a big thump over the monitor so I decided I better check out what was going on during "quiet" time.

He was riding his big wheel off his bed.

Exhibit B: After about a 15 minutes of suspiciously quiet time, I decided I better check on him.

He was dancing to his music, completely naked. I could handle this, but he's not potty trained and likes to pee on the floor. Luckily, the worst thing on the floor was pee.

Prior to this, I didn't even know he could take his clothes off by himself. Definitely noted.

Exhibit C: My son happily stayed in his room for an entire half hour. I timed it so that his quiet time coincided with the baby's nap. Basically I was feeling like a rock star and was giving myself all kinds of mental pats on the back.

Then I heard over the monitor "Mommy, it's snowing."

He had emptied an enormous brand new bottle of baby powder all over his room. (And gotten naked for good measure.)

Baby powder was everywhere. He was absolutely covered in it. His hair was entirely white.

He had opened his dresser drawers, sprinkled it in his closet, all over his bed, on every get the picture. It honestly looked like it had snowed.

I'm still not sure how he got the powder because it was up high on a shelf on the wall. Based on the trail of baby powder footprints going up his bookshelf, he must also be perfecting his spider man moves.

So I'm letting go of the dream of quiet time in his room.

The new routine is to for him to play quietly by himself in the living room after lunch so I get a few things done and can keep visual contact on him. So far it's working well and I haven't had any disasters.

At least my wild little man keeps things exciting!

P.S. I want to thank Just Making Our Way for this:


Work in Progress

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I wasn't the mother I want to be this past week.

My son abruptly dropped his nap about two weeks ago.

It's been a rough transition. My normally sweet son traded his halo for an impressive set of horns.

I resorted to the thing I know best - yelling.

My mom is a champion screamer. If yelling was an Olympic sport, my mom would be a contender for gold.

Turns out that I can do a spot on impersonation of her when properly motivated.

This is not a feat I'm proud of. Quite the opposite actually.

So I took a step back, let the house get dirty, ignored the laundry pile, and did a little soul searching.

I pulled out my parenting books and tried some new things. (I've always had good luck with No-Cry Discipline Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.)

And things are getting better. My son still acts like an overtired three year old, but at least I'm not acting like one myself.

It was scary to meet my inner banshee, but I think she is safely caged up again.

And I will continue to do everything in my power to be the mother my kids deserve.


The Other Path

Friday, April 9, 2010

I just got an email from my old college roommate.

She's coming to DC for a few weeks at the end of June and wants to meet up.

It should be fun, but it will also be a touch weird.

You see, she took the other path.

We have similar backgrounds.

We had similar majors (both engineers) and started our careers with similar types of jobs. We got married around the same time and each had our second child late last year.

But here's the thing. When my first was born, I quit full time work. (I work very part time from home now, but since I logged in a whopping 15 hours last month I'm not even sure it counts.)

She went back to work full time when her baby was six weeks old, jumping right back into long working hours, business travel and a long commute.

Her husband's job has a similar time requirements so their kids are in childcare about 12 hours a day.

Our day to day lives couldn't be more different.

Most days, I'm content with my decision, but I am curious about the life I might have had. There are a lot of vaguely inappropriate questions I'd love to ask her.

I figure the conversation will probably be really polite and superficial. But maybe it won't.

I guess I'll see how all this turns out come June.


My Miracles

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Three years ago today I became a parent.

I know it's an overused cliche to say it's amazing how quickly the time goes, but it doesn't make it less true.

It really doesn't seem very long ago that I was handed a tiny blanket wrapped boy in the delivery room.

Now he's a running, yelling, wonderful wild three year old boy.

I don't think I fully appreciated how fast it would all go with my son. I was so caught up in the daily drama that I didn't step back enough and just enjoy him.

With my daughter, I have a much better appreciation for the baby phase. For better or worse, the sleepless nights just don't last very long.

My baby girl is only three months old and she has already changed so much. She flashes huge smiles, giggles and flirts like crazy. Her newest accomplish is rolling over (and she's quite proud of herself).

It's hard to accept that in a short time she'll be running after my son.

I just want to hit the pause button and keep them just the way they are a little longer.

Every single baby is a miracle.

Becoming a parent is an ordinary, every day miracle, but when it happens to you it is extraordinary just the same.

P.S. I wanted to thank The Green-Eyed Momster for this:



Saturday, April 3, 2010

I was recently at a playgroup and the moms started talking about how they want to upgrade to larger homes.

Apparently, they were all in agreement that they NEED larger homes.

Which I thought was pretty ridiculous since they all have pretty large homes and at most three kids. We're talking multiple level homes with at least 4 bedrooms here.

(Of course I bit my tongue, hence the blog name. I'm a bit desperate for adult conversation, even ridiculous conversation and wanted to get invited back to playgroup.)

I live in the smallest house in the neighborhood. And I'll freely admit that the most attractive thing about my house is the fact that we can afford the mortgage.

But even putting aside the money factor, I honestly don't want to own a larger home.

A bigger house just means more space to fill with crap and more stuff to clean.

And we really have enough crap already.

I also think there is something cozy about a snug little house.

The most ironic part of the whole conversation was that the topic jumped immediately from wanting huge houses to complaining about the long hours their husbands worked.

Nobody else seemed to draw any connection between the two.


Princess Power

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My mom recently sent a big box of hand me down books for the kids.

Included in the loot was a Disney Princess pop up book.

In theory, it was intended for my daughter. But she's only 3 months old and didn't exactly protest when my son claimed it. (He'll be three next week.)

He absolutely loves it.

I've read the book about a hundred times in the past two weeks. He's memorized all the princess names and talks about it nonstop.

I don't particularly care if my son wants to read about princess. (Or play with dolls, tea sets or any other traditional girl toys.)

But I was kind of curious how the princess phase was going to play out.

I think I got my answer today.

He just spent 45 minutes flipping through the pages of the pop up book intently kissing each and every princess on the lips.

He only stopped long enough to tell me that Jasmine is the prettiest one.

I'm thinking the princess book is just his preschool equivalent of a Victoria's Secret Catalogue.


Cheap Entertainment

Friday, March 26, 2010

I think I have a frenemy!

There are back handed compliments-
"You house looks nice today. Of course my house takes longer to
clean since it's soooo much bigger."

She pretends to offer advice, but it's utterly unhelpful-
"After your second baby your ass will never return to the same size" or "With a girl your hips will spread way more than with a boy".

(These were both told to me multiple times with a sincere look of concern during my last pregnancy.)

And of course, no frenemy relationship is complete without plain old gossip.

Ten years ago, I would have been pissed.

But life is too short to waste the energy.

As long as I keep her ammunition limited, I think the whole situation is best viewed as entertainment.

Our kids get along really well and at least playgroup won't be boring.

PS-My template died suddenly. I'm trying out this new look. What do you think?


Combat Barbie

My favorite women are always a bit of a contradiction.

My best friend was a cheer leader in high school and has a deep, passionate love affair with fashion. She is also a talented nuclear engineer.

Another favorite lady of mine is a brilliant MIT educated mechanical engineer I used to work with. In her spare time, she earned a black belt and made a name for herself in power lifting.

So I was a bit amused when I saw this headline - 'Combat Barbie' is both beauty & soldier

The reigning Miss England is Lance Cpl. Hodge of the British Army.

Apparently, she's a pretty good solder. She just looks damn good doing it.

I just love a girl who keeps the stereotypes on their toes.


Don't Judge By The Cover

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I've always felt a bit like a sheep in wolves' clothing.

I look very girl next door.


Maybe cute, but not sexy.

People usually assume I'm sweet and maybe a little naive.

I attract over sharing like a magnet. I also get a bewildering amount of unsolicited advice.

My first real boss actually patted me on the head once.

It used to really bother me. (Especially the head patting. That was just awkward.)

But I've come to realize that there is great power in being underestimated.

In the right situation, I'm totally not above abusing it.

After all, I'm not nearly as innocent as I look.


Excuse Me, Your Insecurities Are Showing

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My mother in law recently bought an outfit for my daughter.

It's size 18 months and includes little leggings.

After her last visit, my mother in law voiced her concern that the outfit might not fit my daughter because she had such chubby legs.

Multiple times.

And I freely admit, my daughter has impressive thigh rolls.

She's also three months old.

A perfectly health, normal size three month old.

I think this is my first true taste of the difference between raising a boy and a girl.

I have a son who will be three in a few weeks. Nobody has ever mentioned his fat thighs and his rolls were even more massive at peak baby chubbiness.

Honestly, I'm not sure how to protect her from this stuff. But I will certainly do my best.


Blog 2.0

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Not so very long ago, in a suburb just like this one a woman started a blog.

She was lonely, longing for a little company.

In her desperation to get people to read and comment on her blog she told everybody she knew about it.


Even her mother.

With every post I...hmm...she started worrying about offending people or sending her relatives to an early grave.

The topics became limited. The opinions were stilted.

Blogging just wasn't nearly as fun anymore.

Despite the fact the it grew to over a hundred followers, the bland blog was slowly dying from boredom.

It was time for a new blog.

One my freaking mother will never know about.

One where I can write what I want without over thinking it.

One that I hope will be more fun for everybody involved.

So please, comment and join in on the conversation.


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