Skip to content

July Wrap Up

August 8, 2019

Net Worth and Money News

A small increase in net worth again.

We are at 70% FI, excluding the mortgage and childcare.  We’re at about 50% FI including the mortgage, but without realistic health care assumptions. To calculate that, I just added the mortgage balance to our FI number, rather than adding the mortgage payment (since the mortgage goes away eventually).  We currently have enough home equity to buy a place outright in much of the United States, but a long way to go here.

These are all on the optimistic side, as we are possibly at a market peak and I don’t have a good handle on how to estimate health care.

I don’t know what this all means. The main points are 1) We are in a position that I won’t have to make difficult career choices (e.g. mega commute) to bring in my income, and I can talk myself out of being too anxious when my job feels insecure. With the new project, I have a job guaranteed for about another year – then we’ll see. 2) We have a long way to go, unless we move somewhere else. The immediate action is to continue to make hay while the sun shines.

Spending Bullets (excluding childcare, mortgage, property taxes and car/home/etc. insurance – because I want to):

  • Monthly spend (excluding some major categories as noted above):  $3,923, the highest month of the year so far.
  • Highest single transaction that hasn’t been featured in a previous 2019 month: $1,186.46 for pallets of rock for T’s landscaping project
  • Smallest single transaction:  $1.38 for some printed photos
  • Most annoying expense:  $79.60 for Plated, which I forgot to cancel in time after my free trial. The meals are good, but I just don’t think it is worth it.
  • Expense that brought the most joy or utility: $22.40 for flights for the holidays, bought with a truck load of miles.
  • Donations (for accountability):  $0.  Will need to make up for it in August.  I’m thinking RAICES again, but also, how can I stop these mass shootings???

House Projects

We got another delivery of 4 pallets of rocks.  When I asked T to replace the horrible juniper hedges with something (ANYTHING!), I somehow infected him with a landscaping virus.  He can’t stop fixing our yard.  The rocks are making there way to various places.

Work

My exciting new project is off to a slow start as we wait for things to get ramped up / money to come in.  We did a day trip to southern California to meet with a partner – my second work trip since LO was born. It was only slightly awkward to request a space to pump at the partner office, and to leave the meeting periodically – but it was fine.  I also pumped at the airport before my flight (since I left the house around 5 am). While I missed the morning with LO, I managed to make it home for bedtime (although I immediately became ill). 

My old project is chugging along, and I’m trying to stay on top of it and figure out my place on it.  They’ve been exceptionally accommodating as I navigate new parenthood, but… I feel like I am simply not wow-ing them the way I used to be able to.  So, that needs to change…

T should find out about his tenure decision soon-ish, certainly before December.  We have reason to be optimistic, but we don’t know until we know.

Other life stuff

We went camping!  We only stayed one night for a variety of reasons, but had a really nice time. LO was only just getting mobile, so it was manageable, but a campsite is not really a crawler-friendly place.

My parents visited during the week when T traveled to Paris for work. That was half planned and half serendipitous.  It was SO nice to have extras sets of hands around to help with the baby and the dog and life in general!  Of course, it was nice to spend time with them too. We also hosted some extended family while my parents were here, and it was good to see an aunt, uncle, and cousin I hadn’t seen in years and years.

We selected a lawyer for our estate planning process, and it is in T’s court to contact him.  We are using legal insurance through his employer.  I understand the quality limitations, but it is extremely cost effective and we aren’t doing anything esoteric.  But, it has to be done this year or we’ll be stuck paying for legal insurance for ANOTHER year.

No progress on emergency preparedness here. 

Our household was hit with a stomach virus in series.  LO had it first, then T had it the day I left for my above mentioned work day trip, and then I got violently ill about 30 minutes after I walked in the door.  We’ve all recovered.  The adults were quite sick for about 24 hours, and the baby had a longer duration but more mild illness.

That was July for us!  It really just flew by!

Advertisements

Parenthood: 9 months (8 months too)

July 31, 2019

I’ve decided to refer to baby as LO (for “Little One”) on the blog, so I can stop just referring to her as “she” and “her”.

Routines & Sleep

During our trip to Colorado (~8 months), T switched LOs schedule from three to two naps each day.  The third nap had been getting near impossible, and the second nap was always short.  Now, her naps are typically around 9 and 2/3.  I’d like to scoot that second nap firmly to 2 pm to enable an easier bedtime, but I’m not really in charge of her daily schedule.  These naps are now consistently 1.5 – 2 hours.  Bedtime is 7:30 – 8, but sometimes slips later if the last nap stretched on to 5.  She wakes up between 6:30 and 7:30 most mornings, with our ideal wake up time of 7.  Her nanny share naps have improved with an additional curtain added for darkness.

Night sleep is mostly unchanged, with one overnight wake up that I’ve put no effort into phasing out.

Childcare

The older child in her current nanny share starting is starting pre-school, so we’ve decided to enroll LO in daycare starting in August.  (The other option was to begin a nanny share with a new family.)

Our motivations are many.  In particular, I’m looking forward to the structure and social aspects. The environment has many age appropriate developmental toys, and I was impressed with the training the teachers have. Two of the four teachers in the room have been with the daycare over 15 years.  I like the licensing and accountability of a center, and the lack of “baby containers”. We can stay with this daycare until LO is ready for kindergarden.  The inevitable germs/sickness is the major downside, but it will happen at some point in her life. I also expect her naps to be worse.

On the parent side:  We’ll save a modest amount of money, but will greatly complicate commutes.  This will mostly impact T due to our work locations, but I’ll share the burden.  We’ll attempt to make it work with the single car, but may be prompted to buy a second.  We’re considering hiring a neighbor for regular mid-day dog walking 3+ days a week.  In the past, I’ve done this every day, but I’ll no longer have a car at work that enables me to zip home quickly.  (While I’ve been pumping, T has covered lunch walks.) We’re considering staggered schedules and skipping the dog’s mid-day walk, but I can’t figure out how to make this tractable. While I’m confident the dog could physically tolerate it, I don’t feel comfortable leaving him home with no walks for 8+ hours. We can’t do a doggy door situation for a variety of reasons.  So… we’ll see.

Eating

Real people food is going slowly. We’re mostly doing purees. I make some purees at home to reduce cost and to give her non-gross meat purees, but we rely on pouches/jars heavily.  I don’t have time to make sufficient variety in homemade purees to forgo buying more.  As LOs appetite increases, we’re trying to introduce more table foods (prepared appropriately for someone with 4 teeth), but self-feeding is slow going.  LO is still nursing three times a day (at wake up, before bed, and once overnight), with 3 bottles during the work day.  She eats 3 “meals” of solids about an hour after her bottle.

Pumping is going okay, but I’m ready to ramp that down and start digging into the hundred of ounces I have in my freezer stash, and also begin formula.  We made it to 9 months without needing formula, but the effort to get enough milk for her is increasing.  Daycare provides formula as part of the price, so adding formula will be less of a financial burden.  I hope to continue nursing in the mornings/evenings, but I may not be able to produce enough to make that work.  Nursing itself is going fine, although daytime nursing on the weekends is hard due to distraction.

Personality / Milestones

She is mobile!  She spent the month army crawling, getting faster and stronger each day.  Just recently, she started getting into a sitting position herself and properly crawling short distances.  There still is a fair amount of face planting, but she’s getting better each day.  She’s not pulling up yet, but I don’t expect it to be long.  It moves really fast.

She’s babbling with consonant sounds! One day she woke up and started saying “dada” all day long.  She doesn’t seem to have any words that she understands the meaning of.  We’re working on waving, high fives, and “so big!” but she hasn’t really figured those out yet. My assessment is she’s a little behind average on communication/social milestones, but nothing outside of a “normal” range – especially considering she was about 3 weeks early.  She’s average to ahead-of-average on gross motor skills.

She weighed in at 16.5 pounds at her 9 month appointment, putting her safely in the 25% range.  She was 0.1% at birth, so I’m happy to see her growing normally!

Toys she’s enjoyed: bright woven rattle, a little drum (also just eating the drumstick), her stacking cups, indestructible book (to eat), a teething cookie, play scarfs over her head, and anything that is not a toy that she can get her hands on (phones, remotes, etc.)

She’s an easygoing and happy baby most of the time. When she is fussy, she’ll calm down for a stroller ride and chill out.  She always wants to be on the floor practicing her crawling. She’s exhibited some signs of separation anxiety, but not too much.

Money

No major purchases this month, and nothing of note to say here!

Co-parenting

We’re still at status quo here.  T went out of town for a week, but my parents came to town to help, and 3-4 adults to one baby seems like lovely ratio.

The mental load is seems to be falling on me a bit more. For example, T keeps looking to me to figure out what she should be eating, and I don’t have access to any secret baby food information.  On the other hand, T took care of the copious amounts of daycare paperwork, which was fantastic and a burden that I didn’t have to take on.

On being a woman in engineering (again)

July 24, 2019

I’ve worked in engineering for about 12 years now, excluding the one year I tried out business consulting.  All and all, it has been a positive experience, with my most recent job being the best.

Currently, I work with some of the most forward thinking and liberal-minded people in the world.  Most of my work takes place in very liberal  and diverse geographic areas that attract open-minded personalities.

I have a nice selection of female role models. Several leadership positions on my long-term project are women, with women regularly leading up highly technical efforts as individual contributors.  Many of these women have families and children.  The men who with young children frequently mention family related commitments, from being home with a sick kid to having to leave early for some kid event. The work culture is respectful that people have lives outside of work – kids or something else.

I often observe male colleagues acting as advocates/allies during meetings, proactively affirming points made by teammates (including women), and amplifying and giving credit for repeated ideas. I’ve heard people use phrases like “I want to amplify what ___ said”, which are the types of things you might read in a blog post on how to be an ally. There usually is not an argumentative style when vetting ideas.  Instead,  people are supportive and respectful of each other’s positions, even when presenting conflicting ones. This is notably different than the one of the projects I worked on at my Fortune 50 engineering job, where colleagues would have “friendly” technical arguments in a style I have a hard time matching. (I can do it if I have to, but it makes me frustrated and impatient because it seems more about bravado and personality than technicalities.)

Jerks are not tolerated, at least not for long. I had a run-in with an asshole a couple years back. He’d ignored several polite e-mails, so I followed up when I caught him in person. He basically blew up at me and claimed he’d given me all the information I needed. He was extremely rude, condescending, and utterly unhelpful .  His boss was careful to take me aside, captured the incident for records, and let me know this guy was a serious problem they were actively working to replace him. I wouldn’t have thought to raise this incident to anyone (“dealing with it” is expected), but my lead happened to overhear him and flagged the event. It made me feel safe and supported to know leadership didn’t consider rude behavior to be acceptable. This guy was an indiscriminate jerk to men and women alike, but proactively dealing with assholes contributes to healthy culture overall. How women act within their industry can be the canary in the coal mine.  I don’t think of it as a woman-friendly culture, but rather a human-friendly culture.

My smaller project at work last year was lead up by a young woman, who is a fantastic leader and role model. The two of us together were in charge of the project (with her being the ultimate authority), and we were both in varying stages of pregnancy for the culmination of the project. That wouldn’t have happened 20 years ago.

My latest project is headed by a young enthusiastic white guy, with an older experienced (extremely talented) white guy as the project manager. Still, the team is filled with technical women doing various leadership tasks, and the team culture is the tolerant, positive, and welcoming.

I intend to write separately about my experience being a working parent thus far.  The short version is that my work has been extremely supportive, despite the systemic issues with the lack of support for early parenthood on a broader level in this country.

All of this is to say that my experience as a woman in engineering has been overwhelmingly positive, particularly in my current job. I might have encountered more frustration had I stayed on a more traditional corporate path, or maybe I would have found a good team there. The path I’m on right now pays a bit less, in no small part due to the better culture and better work life balance.  This absolutely is worth it to me, but there is a cost for taking a job with temporal flexibility.

Is your field dominated by men or women, or relatively equally?  How about at leadership levels?  Is your work culture friendly to humans?

June Wrap up

July 9, 2019

Net Worth and Money News

Our net worth is climbing again, and we reached another all time high this month.  Hooray!  We’re still too far from financial independence to have a real metric on how close we are, assuming we plan to stay in our current location.

T is getting summer salary this summer, but it hasn’t hit our bank accounts yet since he submitted his paperwork late. Summer salary is a significant inflow of cash.  I set big chunks aside for known bills (property taxes), fill up the buffer account, and generally use it to cashflow home projects.

Spending Bullets (excluding childcare, mortgage, property taxes and car/home/etc. insurance – because I want to). Since I’m tracking my spending again, I figured I’d share a little too!  I haven’t shared any details on our spending in a long time.

  • Monthly spend (excluding some major categories as noted above):  $2389.  We spent WAY more on restaurants this month, mostly due to a work trip where T and LO tagged along  We ate out for each dinner, and only my portion of the meals were expense-able.  (We don’t get per diem, but instead are reimbursed for what we spend up to a maximum.)  We also spent a bit on travel expenses for the same trip, as we naturally have to cover the personal days.
  • Highest single transaction that hasn’t been featured in a previous 2019 month:  $193.30 for one night in a hotel.  This is more than I’d usually pay, but I tacked on an extra day to the work trip and paid the “going rate” for my booking. Since T and LO tagged along, I chose an extended stay with a separate bedroom area and living area, plus a fridge to deal with baby food and milk.  If we didn’t do that, we parents would have to hide in the dark hotel room (with the baby in the pack-n-play) during nap time and bedtime.
  • Smallest single transaction:  $2.01 at the grocery store while we were traveling.  I think this was possibly for baby food (prunes).
  • Most annoying expense:  $25 for a replacement work ID card.  They used to be free….
  • Expense that brought the most joy or utility: $25 for an entrance fee into the national park on our work trip.
  • Donations (for accountability):  $100 for RAICES and $10 for a animal shelter charity for a friends birthday “fundraiser” on Facebook.  (I checked and there were no extra fees for donating via FB.)

House Projects

T did tons of work in the yard, as usual.  He also painted the trim on the nursery window (many more windows to go).  I think we are planning to paint the whole house (DIY) this summer…  That will be a big project, but it needs to happen.

He also scrubbed the outside of all of the gutters, because they were dirty. This…. was not something I considered a high (or even medium) priority project. I have a hard time channeling his project energy into my specific priorities sometimes….  He also cleaned out the garage a bit, and we finally brought our patio furniture up from the garage for the season.  Yay!

We rearranged furniture and discovered we had some water damage on our hardwood floor (almost surely my fault). T repaired it with a $160 trip to Home Depot for the correct tool and a few other supplies. This was very annoying, but at least it turned out to be relatively inexpensive.

I didn’t contribute much to these projects, but I kept the inside of the house together (with his help) and kept the baby alive (with his help).

Work

Finally!  Good news!

I’ve been waiting forever for new projects to start, and a few just kicked off.  Hooray!  I have a role on one of them already secured.  The team is super great and the project will be an interesting challenge.  I’ll finally get to do a role very similar to the role I was initially hired for, with the two people that hired me. A few other great women are in leadership roles, and the team overall is great.  My role is also almost purely technical (albeit a lot of coordination type technical work).  This is a nice change of pace from recent projects, where I did project management combined with technical. I’m still signed up to be backup for the (very experienced) project manager as a training role, but it sounds like he’s able to do the heavy lifting.  We also have great person doing financial/schedule support work. This was lacking on the projects where I served as the project manager, and it makes a huge difference.  Project travel shouldn’t be too extensive, and likely mostly within California. There are some cons… The project is only guaranteed for 1 year, and we already have some technical challenges to work through.  Still, I should learn a lot and will get to work with some great mentors.

There is a second project with another role I’m interested in… but I haven’t talked to the project manager yet (nor has he sought me out). I’ll find out more soon. I can’t take on two new projects without quitting my long-term project. In fact, I may not be able to take on both projects even if I do quit my long-term project. My long-term project is slated to end in about 1.5 years, but I could bow out early with coordination. This is my Colorado based project. My travel there has significantly reduced, but it still is hard to not work with a local team. Still, the whole team there have been really great and accommodating for the past several years. Once I know a bit more, I’ll chat with my boss there to see what their preference is. They may be itching to pull my role in-house anyway, or they may want as much of my time as I can give – I really don’t have a good sense for that.

In any case, things are looking good.

Other life stuff

I missed the 8 month baby update, and at this point, I’ll just combine it with 9. But she is pretty much the cutest and sweetest, and still only very slowly mobile (army crawling).

I had my first post-baby business trip, which I mentioned above. We decided that T and LO would tag along, for a variety of reasons. The LO did pretty well, although she was squirmy on the flight.  T did great at being a Stay-At-Hotel-Dad for the week, and we took a day to drive to a national park. Having her along simplified the milk situation and also made it so I didn’t miss her too much.  This was her third round-trip plane ride.  While we were there, she went with T to the grocery store, which was her first grocery store visit.  Haha. We plan to travel to the midwest around Christmas (just booked tickets with miles) –  but I don’t have any other flights planned with her yet.  

I’m noting this here so I see it next month and can report progress… Our #1 goal for the next couple of weeks is to make headway on our trust/will/estate planning. Honestly, I’m probably going to copy a lot of what Revanche at A Gai Shan Life did, because she is smart, througal, and put in a bunch of effort to figure this out for her family.

We’ll also keep going with emergency preparedness and other tasks I noted here.  And maybe a blog post that isn’t just monthly updates…

2019 Goals and Plans

June 10, 2019

We’re approaching the mid-point of 2019… But a baby is the ultimate excuse for being late, right?

Our priorities are mostly unchanged from my thoughts on the bottom of this post, except we’re going to skip the mega-backdoor ROTH IRA and go directly to maxing out 403bs.  This is primarily because I cannot stand to give up any tax breaks, and secondarily because I feel relatively unconcerned about paying for baby’s college. It is also because I don’t want to deal with figuring out paperwork.  This means our money savings will go like this in 2019:

  • Max 457bs and mandatory pre-tax savings.
  • Max out two Roth IRAs, via backdoor.  We did finally move  the <$2k that T had in a rollover IRA.  That makes this straightforward without worrying about the pro-rata rules.
  • Max out 403bs.
  • Consider a small pre-payment to the mortgage (or mega backdoor Roth IRA)

More on that last bullet. Much like Revanche, killing the mortgage can’t be a priority for us right now.  Once I get that far down the list, there is less than $10k to work with – perhaps less than $5k.  While $5k is something, I’m not thrilled about the paperwork of executing a mega backdoor Roth IRA for it. Pre-paying the mortgage isn’t the optimal choice, but it is still a very good choice. And it is the choice of least resistance. And it feels so good emotionally. That is the plan, unless someone can convince me otherwise.

Other money related goals/tasks:

  • Get our crap together on estate planning, etc.  We are actively working this, but I’m feeling guilty it isn’t done yet…
  • Review life insurance and disability coverage. I’m quite sure we need to sign T up for additional disability insurance through work.
  • Open a 529 for baby, although this is just for gifts to her rather than our primary place where we will save for her education. I expect very modest gifts, on the order of a couple hundred (or less) total per year, if anything at all. Still, I we should have a designated place for it.
  • Review asset allocation across all accounts.
  • Give to charity and political campaigns. As in 2017, my target is a measly $100 each month (and lump sums to catch up for missed months). Considering our blessings, this is a very small amount, but a step in the right direction.  This number might increase, as I expect I’ll want to give more politically, but don’t want to shortchange charity.

Non-money tasks

  • Re-evaluate emergency kit and “go bag”.  I put some effort into this a couple of years ago, so we wouldn’t be totally screwed in the case of a big earthquake.  We are a bit less prepared for a wildfire, especially an evacuation via foot, which is likely the quickest way to safety.  This is applicable to work and home.
  • Prep for 24-48 hour power outages this summer. The utility company notified us it is likely they will preemptively shut off power during times of high fire risk.  I’m glad they are being proactive, but it will be annoying to live with. Among other annoyances, this puts my stash of frozen milk for my baby at risk.  We are setting up the inexpensive chest freezer my dad left in our garage for storage in hopes this will help.
  • Work with manager on a promotion/raise. I’m pretty happy with my position and salary, honestly.  But we talked about this last year (he brought it up) and I brought it up again more recently. We agreed to wait on the outcome of a few things, but I don’t want to let it drop.
  • I’d like to have other work-related goals, but I just don’t know what is going to happen in terms of projects. My near term goal is to make it in this job until at least February of next year in order to vest in some benefits.  But that’s a pretty lame goal, and I hope I can do much much better than “survive”.
  • Consider installing a safe at home, bolted to the closet floor. After our house was burglarized, we installed a simple alarm system. The police said it would really only serve to limit the duration of time a burglar would spend in our home, and allow for them to potentially be caught due to the camera. We don’t really have valuables, aside from our computers, which are often not left home alone. We don’t keep cash at home. So, a safe is… maybe unnecessary? But I want to make a final decision on this item.
  • Get quotes for a roof replacement, and (maybe) execute a new roof. I have cash set aside for this project, but we are waiting on the tenure decision.  Also, we need to consider a whole house attic fan and solar as part of this decision.

That’s roughly the 2019 plan for money and other adulting tasks.

May Wrap Up

June 6, 2019

Net Worth and Money

Our net worth fell with the market this month, but we bought more shares of our index funds… So we’re still moving in a good direction!

I’m considering a small mortgage pre-payment this year.  I should discuss my reasoning for this more, as mortgage prepayment has to be a low priority right now.

Spending Bullets (excluding childcare, mortgage, property taxes and home insurance – because I want to). Since I’m tracking my spending again, I figured I’d share a little too!  I haven’t shared any details on our spending in a long time.

  • Monthly spend (excluding some major categories as noted above):  $2004.  Lowest so far in 2019!  Our current projected monthly spend (excluding categories above) is about $3k/month.  This includes spikes for insurance payments, gifts, travel, house maintenance, etc.
  • Highest single transaction that hasn’t been featured in a previous 2019 month:  $119.76 at the grocery store.  I no longer remember why that trip was so expensive. This bullet should get more interesting after groceries and Costco are used up.
  • Smallest single transaction:  $5.21 for a used Pout Pout Fish book.
  • Most annoying expense:  $65.26 for internet to the cable company because the promo I had ran out.  I got a new not-as-good promo for another year, so this will drop a bit next month. I hate how expensive internet is.
  • Most annoying expense runner up: $12 for a new garlic press, which had rave Amazon reviews but broke in less than 2 weeks. We got a refund. Our old (pampered chef) garlic press failed after years of heavy use and I’m not sure what to replace it with. And I’m annoyed that Amazon can no longer be trusted.
  • Expense that brought the most joy or utility: Baby’s playmat, which was an expensive $69.91, but has brought a lot of utility. I didn’t find anything in good condition second hand, and honestly, was a little squicked out by getting this used.  (This is coming from a person who has bought a lot of items used that other people would want new)
  • Donations (for accountability):  Local parks foundation membership for $60 (but this saves us money overall since we don’t have to pay to parking fees with a membership).  Another $100 split between a few abortion rights places (h/t Grumpy Rumbling’s link love for leads on places)

House Projects

We continued with yard work in the never ending clean-up of the jungle yard.  BUT actually, the yard is so good!  Well, I suppose “good’ is an overstatement, but it is very cleared, with some hedges hacked down, trees trimmed back, and ivy pulled out. All the credit to T on that, although I did pull some weeds one day as my contribution.

T also made some makeshift darkening curtains for the room baby sleeps in at nanny share, reusing the IKEA “black out” curtains I temporarily had in our bedroom when the baby slept in there.  (Note: these curtains are definitely not true blackout, but they did what I needed.)

Other than that, just keeping up on the regular indoor chores has been enough, and we haven’t done anything significant.

Work

What to say here?

We are still in a limbo on the new projects. I’m struggling along on my primary project. I’m still figuring out how to juggle work and parent life, but hope I’m getting better.

I got a new office, and it is much better!  Still private, but a proper office rather than a space in a larger room.  A window.  A white board.  Yay!  I put up some temporary blinds on the windowed office door, and now can easily pump in my office. Honestly this the only reason I have been able to continue pumping this long.

Other life stuff

I’ll skip baby talk, since the single thing I’ve managed to do on this blog is monthly parenthood updates.

We haven’t planned any vacations this year yet.  T is going to Paris for work without me and baby. I’m thinking of sitting on that travel money and vacation time for this year.  We haven’t decided if we’ll have another kid, but the only paid maternity leave I get is via sick and vacation leave. So, I plan to be quite protective of it until we’ve made a firm decision.

We’ve been a bit better about meal planning, and tried some new things. Budget Bytes is my current go-to site for finding recipes.  These oven fajitas were an easy hit.  This was good, but could have used a protein like this version.  This also was good.  I made this cilantro lime chicken for cinco de mayo.  We made this pasta and doubled it, and froze half.  We tried Plated via a free box, and it was pretty good – but meal boxes are expensive to do regularly. They also aren’t always that quick/simple, so I order 4 person versions to make leftovers.  We also did a Good Eggs box via a promo.  These meal kits were a little quicker, with slightly more of the prep done for you.  They were also really good…  but even MORE expensive.  I was hoping to find a good alternative to the defunct Munchery, but haven’t found anything equivalent.

I haven’t been into running in a few years, but I think I’m going to make a goal to walk home from work once a week. Due to our carpooling and need to get stuff done in the evenings, it really doesn’t make sense for me to do this, which is why I usually don’t.  But it is a super enjoyable walk, and a perfect way to get some “me” time.

Parenthood: 7 Months

May 27, 2019

I feel like my baby has changed and developed a lot in the last month! She needs some blog initials or a blog name, so I don’t have to keep calling her “baby”.  Maybe for next month.

Routines & Sleep

She’s down to a solid 3 naps a day, which have FINALLY lengthened (from consistently 40 minutes) to 1.5-2 hours on the regular.  She’s still going to bed in her crib around 7/7:30, and usually sleeping through until 4 or 5 am, then again until about 7 am.  Sometimes that is disrupted by teething or illness or no reason at all. The crib seems to be working well for her, and she’s having fewer super early mornings.  We’re trying to widen her wake times between naps so she can eventually get down to 2 naps, but we aren’t there yet.  She’s still having nap issues at nanny share, waking up mid-nap. This is weird, because she doesn’t do that at home. The room may be too bright, so we’re working on a solution for that.

Childcare

Nothing new to report here – it is still going great! We’re still leaning towards daycare starting in August for a variety of reasons, but I feel so fortunate that we’ve been able to give her this time sharing a caretaker with just one other (older) child.  I’m not looking forward to that transition, but it is likely the best decision in the long run.

Eating

We’ve been progressing with the real foods (well, purees), but she still seems to be a bit weirded out by anything with too much texture.  She’s a fan of fruits over vegetables, but we’ll keep feeding each veggie until she accepts them. We’ve introduced most allergens, and I’m starting to think about how to introduce regular food. We’ve also had limited success with introducing water from a regular cup or a straw cup, but it is fun to try.

Breastfeeding and pumping is going okay. I am feeling pretty over the pumping, but haven’t come up with a good reason to quit yet.  If/when work gets more crazy, I’ll probably need to phase out pumping and supplement with formula. I plan to nurse as long as it continues to work out, but I’m not sure how my supply will respond as I phase out pumping during the work day.

Personality / Milestones

So many this month!  She has two teeth!  She can sit unsupported!  She is rolling a lot and trying to crawl, but definitely hasn’t figured it out yet.  She can get around a little bit by scooting and rotating, but she hasn’t figured out how to use that ability to get where she wants.  She does tend to scoot around her crib and squish herself up against the “head” of the crib.  It’s so silly.

She’s generally a pretty happy and easy baby.  When teething, sick, or tired she cries more easily, and I can’t blame her.  It’s her main way of communicating!  She is getting fairly easy to bring places, and we’ve had some success with stroller naps on-the-go once she gets tired enough.

Money

I’ve started buying and making food for the baby.  I realize they can just eat mushed up versions of what we eat (or even not mushed if prepared appropriately), but I find baby food to be convenient for now, and it is a quite temporary phase. I talked myself out of buying a food mill because the cheap ones have poor reviews and the nice stainless steel ones are more than I should spend for an item I have made it this far in life without.

We bought a play mat for her to practice her crawling (~$70), and already had baby gates ($70) set up to separate her from the dog.

We sold the baby swing for $45. I think I paid $35 for it. We also sold the bassinet for about what I paid, $125 (but I threw in some extra bedding that I had bought new). We may have a second kid in the future, but these items are too large to store.  We can rebuy second-hand if needed.

I occasionally shop for baby clothes on Swap.com because it is cheaper, and there are so many used baby clothes in the world and I don’t want to add to it.  Still, I got a few specific things (socks, coat, sweater, warm hat) new on sale because I couldn’t  find what I wanted used online.  (Note from my shopping list that it still has been COLD here despite it being almost June.)  We still have hand-me-down clothes and gifts in her current size, but we seemed to have few bottoms and long sleeve items.

Co-parenting

This is still going pretty well.  In terms of time spent on hands-on parenting tasks, I feel like we are relatively even in responsibility –  aside from the nursing/pumping.  (Which is a big “aside”, but  currently does most dog stuff to try to make up for that.)

In terms of mental energy and decision making, I am definitely the one doing most of the planning ahead / emotional labor / invisible work. This is an extension of our regular life. It isn’t a problem, per se, but it is something we are both need keep in mind, and make sure it does not become a problem.