Thursday, April 24, 2008


After a year-long battle with cancer involving two surgeries, countless radiation treatments and months of chemo, my dad is cancer free!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The $$$ Diet and the Big Decision

Back in January, I talked about my financial diet. The main components were getting rid of the bottled water and starting to take my lunch to work at least one day a week. I've made a conscious effort to cook more at home and to be a little more thrifty. My 7-year-old daughter called me "cheap" today and just the other day when I said "to save money" when asked why I was doing something, she sighed and said "I'm tired of saving money."

Well, the worst is yet to come.

We're going to let the nanny go. Now, this nanny is not just a nanny, but also our housekeeper and emergency babysitter. She has been with our family for 7 years. She has never called in sick and is the most reliable, steady, and calm person I know. She has been amazing for our kids and family.

But . . .

Last year, we had a lot of frustration over what to do about childcare in the summer. We were in a Catch 22 situation where my husband had to work to pay for the summer school. Yes, he made more than school cost, but the kids spent summer in school. This year, we are creating a situation where my husband can take the summer off and just be with the kids. Perhaps he'll hop in the minivan and travel to family. Or perhaps, it will be filled with lazy days catching rolly pollies in the garden and begging to have lemonade stands. Either way, they'll be with a parent who loves them and given the luxury stolen so often from children these days, boredom. From boredom comes creativity and imagination and perhaps even self awareness.

We can't have this and pay for our nanny to come on Wednesdays to clean our house and watch the kids. It just isn't possible financially. As it is, we'll be reaching into some retirement savings for what we're looking at as a temporary early retirement for my husband. A few years off work while the family needs him.

But I love our nanny and I hate the thought of letting her go during what is looking like a recession. It is only one day a week, but it is likely about 25% of her income. We'll give her two months notice and a bonus, but still.

I wish I had deeper pockets.

The other side is that I'm scared for how messy and dirty the house is going to get. My husband's standards are lower than our nanny's and mine. So, even though he's willing to take on the housework, I'm nervous about what that means. We agreed to discuss the chores and even make a list with frequency. I offered take some of the time on weekend, or perhaps my day off every other Friday, to do the things he doesn't like. We'll see. The next step is the chore outline with timeframes and responsibility.

Wish us luck!

Friday, April 4, 2008


Last night my girlfriend got a group of us together and we had a girls' night out with her grandma, who was visiting from the east coast. The invite read something like, "Come hang out with my grandma, who is 94, still wears high heels and can drink most of us under the table."

Ann, the grandma, lived up to her reputation and is a life loving, open-minded, well dressed woman. She is liberated and without self-consciousness. My friend said that once her husband died, she came out of a shell and started watching sports, yelling at the tv, and cursing. That makes her sound kind of crass, but she was really quite genuine. She passed on some wisdom too.

As she stared at the Pacific Ocean, she commented on how insignificant we all really are compared to the vastness of the ocean and time. Then she commented that life just keeps getting better, even at 94. She also talked about how seeing family is a treat, not a chore.

Of my grandmas, one died before I was born and the other died before I went to kindergarten, so I missed out a little, in my mind. I spent the evening gazing at this woman in complete admiration and a little disbelief.

I hope to be as bold and positive when I'm 94!