Monthly Archives: June 2009

What to do?

I asked Eduardo to discuss the household chores because I felt they were getting out of whack.  This was really brought home to me this weekend when the kids wanted to go to the pool and Eduardo was frustrated that I couldn’t go because I was cooking in the kitchen.  I got to thinking about what Eduardo does around the house and what I do around the house and really is out of whack in my opinion.

Eduardo does his and the kids laundry.  He does the garbage and vacuums.  He also picks up the kids on whatever nights we get them and takes Piero to swimming lessons.

I do the groceries, my laundry, clean up after everyone and supervise the kids cleaning up their stuff, clean the kitchen, do all the dishes, do the cooking for myself during the week and feed everyone else on the weekends, clean the bathroom and pay the bills.  With respect to the kids, I take Kylie to swimming lessons, get them ready for bed most nights, do all the middle of the night stuff and drop them off at the baby sitters whatever mornings that is necessary.

Now Eduardo didn’t say that it was equal but in trying to discuss what it was that we did, he said that all the cooking that I do does not count towards household chores because it is not necessary for me to cook for him and the kids.  When I told him I did this cooking to give the kids nutritional meals he thought that was worth nothing.  He figured ordering out was a better option.   I don’t think we have the budget to order out 3 meals every weekend and I know I certainly don’t want to eat restaurant food every weekend.   I don’t consider that particularly healthy.

Should I really test out this theory that he is ok with me feeding him and the kids trash for 2 days?  I can throw down soup from a can, pork and beans from a can with cut-up hotdogs and frozen pizza.  I think that is better on the budget than ordering out Chinese food (which is what I am sure he is thinking).  But should I do this?  If I don’t have to cook for Eduardo and kids I can do other things that only I like… like eating raw vegetables… that don’t take up as much time.  Or what I do cook would last for more meals because I am not sharing it.

Thoughts?  Too passive-agressive?  Too getting even?  Or am I reacting in an honest manner to the feedback that I am creating too much work for myself?

Piero can swim!

Piero is now in Level II of swimming.  After just 3 classes of Level I, he managed to make it to Level II.  Eduardo has been helping Piero at the pool with practicing for his classes.  He is able to swim on his back for 30 or 40 feet.  There is a fair bit of flailing involved but he makes steady forward motion.  He is able to swim for shorter distances on his front.  We are very excited about this first step to getting the hated vest off of Piero.  Now that he is taking classes, he absolutely does not want to go in the water with it on.  We have been very firm that he must know how to swim properly before he can go into the pool without his vest when we are not in the pool watching him.

Kylie is also excited about going into the pool without her vest on.  She thinks she is swimming but she really isn’t as I have to hold her to keep her afloat.  The other day I got distracted by Piero saying "Look at me, look at me" so my attention did not stay on Kylie.  She went down the steps and into the pool and dropped like a rock as soon as she let go of the stairs.  Ooops!  Of course, I was just inches from her so grabbed her quickly and nothing bad happened.  The weird thing about it is that she didn’t scream or cry or anything.  She just started reaching for the rail of the stairs.   

The kids are growing up right before our eyes!

Emergency Fund

In case you were wondering,  I am trying to fund an Emergency Fund of one month’s expenses.   We had been focusing on paying down our car debts.  We haven’t accomplished that yet but we are very close on one vehicle.  If all goes well, we expect to have our Jeep paid off on January 3rd 2010.  We then expect to have our Beetle paid off by Spring 2011.  It would be nice it if was sooner but it will depend on how much money I can squeeze out of our budget.

But it has been bothering me that in our zeal to pay off the cars,  we don’t really have any extra money put away for emergencies.   Our bank account is not completely empty every month but nothing is really set aside either.  We had a small stockpile in April but sadly Uncle Sam took it to pay for taxes.  We didn’t manage our tax bill very well last year.  This year will be much better.

The company I work for is feeling the economic pinch just like everything else.  This too has been bothering me as being unemployed without an emergency fund is not somewhere I wish to be.  As a result of the economy, they have temporarily ceased matching our 401k contributions.  This certainly reduces the attractiveness of sticking vast amounts of money into this very non-liquid asset.  Since the attractiveness has worn off of this investment, I have reduced my pay-in to 1% and the amount that my pay cheque is increased is going into a savings account.  I am a little floored by how little my pay cheque has increased due to taxes being taken out.  You really do get a lot more to invest in your 401k before taxes.   Contributing to a 401k really is a great investment strategy but not at the price of your financial fitness being out of whack.  So we have shifted our priorities temporarily and I will be keeping track of our Emergency Fund funding on the blog.  I encourage everyone to think about putting a little bit of money away for emergencies.

Plastic Trash Challenge

I have decided to take up another blogger’s challenge and look at my plastic trash.  Because I very much need to lose weight, I have decided to put my own spin on the challenge.  Can I lose weight simply by avoiding plastic trash in the food I eat?  I am not going to try to starve myself but use sensible food management practices like eating when I am hungry.  I am going to try to work out like I usually do because I believe that exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle and something I always want to be in my life – no matter how much I am not into exercising.

The only thing I guess I am changing is removing plastic encased food from my diet.  This is not likely to be complete removal as I still intend on drinking milk and eating cheese but I intend to stay away from processed/convenience foods, candy and junk food.  My first posting is on the Challenge blog

Do you even notice?

Do you even notice when you lie? 

When you say you are too busy to do something with me, do you think I don’t notice that you just blew an afternoon hanging out with someone else?  Apparently you weren’t that busy, you simply didn’t want to spend time with me.  Just because I don’t call you on it doesn’t mean you got away with it.  Like I always tell my kids,  "Actions have consequences"  Nowhere does it say that the consequences have to immediately follow the actions. 

Balancing Act

A blog was written by a husband and wife team talking about balancing household chores and caring for children.  Many comments were written about how the other spouse is ‘keeping score’.  One blogger wrote this in response:

Unfortunately, the argument that someone who truly loves you shouldn’t
be keeping score goes both ways. Someone who truly loves you should
also be caring about whether you feel loved, appreciated, and treated
fairly.

Would you be keeping score if you felt appreciated?  I think not.   Just imagine how many spouses would not be keeping score if the other spouse just acted like they cared about what the other person was doing to keep things going.

I know I don’t mind going out of my way to do something for someone when I know my actions are going to be appreciated.  But to go out of my way to do something for someone to turn around and have them bitch when I ask them to do something in return?  Exactly how many times do you think I am going to do something willingly for you when you can’t do things willingly for me.  I am not talking about tit-for-tat – you do something for me and I will do something for you.  I am referring to general attitude.  Eventually, your general attitude of "Why the f— are you bothering me?" will grind down my general attitude of "Sure".  Already I see myself not offering to do things that I might have offered to do in the past.  Now, you need to ask me.  And even then,  I don’t jump on it like it would be a pleasure to help you.  I do it because you asked and I am still nice enough.  One day, I suspect that I won’t even be that nice. 

Dear Mr Heimlich,

Thank you for saving Kylie.  I don’t know if I performed your move properly as I had only ever seen pictures of how to do it but a friend told me that if it worked I must have done it properly.

Sincerely,
A grateful parent

At church, the kids picked up a candy.  They were sucking on it while driving home and also as we walked to the house.  Part of the way to the house, Kylie started crying and said something like "me pasa".  I got down to look at her and get her to repeat it but I didn’t understand what she was trying to tell me.   Piero told me what she was trying to say.  She swallowed her candy.  Ok… and the big deal about that was?  For some strange reason I will still looking at her rather than standing up in frustration over the big deal about swallowing her candy prematurely.  She started screaming even louder and pointing at her mouth.  I looked inside and the sun was glinting off a perfectly round candy that was stuck in her throat behind the little dangly thing.   OMG!  I immediately turned to Piero and asked him to run and get Papa.  After a second’s pause in which I said…"Run". he took off to the house.  I leaned Kylie over my knee and started patting her back.  Ok… harder than patting but less than pounding.  I didn’t want to hurt her.   All this accomplished was copious amounts of drooling over the stuff I had dropped next to me.   Ok… NOT WORKING!  Heimlich manuveur? How do you do that exactly?  I had Kylie standing but leaning over and I got behind her.  I put my hands under her chest… I think.  I have no flipping clue at this point where I put them.  I then did a sharp push in.  Was it in and up?  Just in? Just up?  Again… no freaking idea at this point.  Imagine my complete surprise when that single jab resulted in a candy and a bunch of water spilling out onto the ground.   I don’t even know if Kylie was crying through this or not.  I do remember her crying after the candy came out.  This took so little time – although it felt like a freaking eternity – that Piero hadn’t even made it to the front door.   I tried to call him back but it was no use.  He wasn’t listening because he was no intent on doing what I asked him to do.  I finally calmed Kylie down to the point that we could continue walking to the house.  Eduardo came barreling out of the door just after we started walking to the house.

The weirdest thing of all was that Eduardo said absolutely nothing to me about this whole event.  Not a… how are you? How is Kylie? What happened?  Nothing.  When Kylie started crying a bit when she saw him… he said something like "Calm down" and turned away to walk back up the stairs.   I completely don’t understand that.  I tried to talk about it to him a couple of times.  He let me talk about it but didn’t say anything at all in return.   Now, I didn’t expect him to bend over and kiss my feet for my efforts but I guess I expected some kind of comment even if it was just acknowledging how scared I was.

And boy was I scared!  I can’t believe how calm I was under the circumstances.  I hope the calmness wasn’t because of some lack of feeling on my part towards the kids.  I know that I hugged both of them afterwards because I was so happy that they were both there and safe and sound.