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The Stay at Home Dad

The tables have turned. Six months have come and gone. While my career as mommy is certainly not over, I am now the one trotting off to work each day, lunch, coffee and breast pump in hand, reluctantly pulling myself away from the cooing early morning baby wiggling around with his toys on the floor. I feed him. I dress him. I turn on the NPR. I make sure there are bottles a-plenty. I discuss his days menu and activities. But, then I gotta leave. For 9 long hours.

I’ve heard some moms who were really happy to go back to work. For the adult conversation. Because it got boring at home. These were not problems I experienced. Yeah sure, I spent my days talking to creatures who don’t talk back (dogs and babies), or maybe the six months wasn’t long enough for me to get fully sick of it. But, in general, I thrive on a schedule of my own creation. My gym trips, coffee dates, and errand running were enough to keep me feeling connected with the world at large. I suffered not one iota.

Now it’s Daddy’s turn. Read more

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2013, In The Bag. Bring it, 2014.

Every year of my adult life, I’ve taken this week off. This wormhole of space between Christmas and New Years, in which nothing really gets accomplished in Corporate America anyway. So, why bother? I’ve always used it to spend an excessive amount of time in my PJs, to putter, to read books all day, or binge watch a little TV. Heck, I’ve even been known to make a once a year foray into computer gaming. Sure, there’s some reflection happening. A recharging of batteries. And yeah, I also pay attention to some neglected tasks on the home front. In general though, sloth is the sin du jour. UN-productivity, the name of the game.

Not this year. This year is different in so many ways. Read more

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I’ve Been Avoiding You

And for good reason. Well, not good. Tragic. Unfortunate. Devastating. Reason. The worst kind of reason. But, I have to get it out there. Off my chest. Into the open. Make it all finally officially, official, so we can have our good cry and move on, right? As if. Thus far, it’s a strategy not actually working for me.

We lost our pug. Read more

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Dog Training: Essential Equipment

I have a lot of dog paraphernalia. Which makes sense. I have a lot of dogs. And have for years. Over the course of those years, I’ve amassed quite the collection of leashes, collars, beds (of course), bowls, jackets, toys, chews, and uncategorizable detritus. Alas, now my dogs are older. A lot older in some cases. We aren’t doing the training, the walking, the dog parking, even the playing that we once did. Yet, I still have this closet (yes, an entire closet) full of well, crap. Useful crap, up until recently. Now, it is crap in need of some downsizing. That causes me to reevaluate these items. If I had to do it all over again (which I suppose I will eventually), knowing what I know now, 13+ years into this dog journey, what would I hold on to? I’m not talking about the items integrated into my home. Not the beds (love those!), not the feeding stands, not the Crypton Throvers (worth their weight in gold). No. What would I need to be out and about and functional with my dog. To train them. To travel with them. To accomplish that A-1 goal of having a dog who doesn’t embarrass me in public. Couldn’t we all use a little help there? Read more

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On Being Mommy

Once upon a time, long before I had a baby, before pregnant, I would say even before I was having baby thoughts, (although clearly I was having baby thoughts), I bought a domain name. Mommyunlikely.com. Don’t bother. There’s nothing there. I hold onto it, because I love it. Not that I’ve done a damn thing with it pre-mommy or post. My future as a mommy blogger remains tenuous. But hey, mommy, currently blogging. The shoe could be more comfortable than I think.

It’s the unlikely, really. I never thought I would have children. I curse too much. I don’t share well. I don’t even cook! (much.) I’ve never been particularly drawn to children. Nor they me. Not one to ooh and ahh. Limited fawning. I’m loud. I’ve never considered myself particularly maternal or warm. Not a natural motherhood fit. Not by all our societal Mommy-dearest, greeting cards, boo-boo kissing, cookie baking, apron wearing, Suzy-Q homemaking standards. Although, I do love me a good apron. Read more

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No Income!?!

Three months into my leave. (How did that happen!?) Short term disability exhausted. Vacation time spent. I am officially without an incoming paycheck. In fact, I have been for a couple weeks. For the first time ever in my adult life, there is no check in the mail with my name on it. No anticipated direct deposit. What an odd feeling. It really shouldn’t ‘feel’ any way. But it does have connotations. A little vertigo perhaps, due to a missing safety net.

Fear not! I saved for this! Money set aside that can seamlessly slide into the place of those missing checks. Whew! Except…Well, except I hate spending savings. Or anything remotely resembling savings. Anything residing in a savings like account. Under certain circumstances, I will just have to. It will be unavoidable. Those circumstances have not yet arrived. (Read: The Husband is gainfully employed. Cross your fingers, toes, eyes, double appendages, and knock on all things wood it remains that way.) In the meantime, I vow to protect those savings, erm “that money”. I will strive to add to it. To not take it for granted. To respect it for what it represents: hard work, time, and a finite resource.

Without being employed, how does one do that? Read more

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Frugal Should Not’s

I do the things you aren’t supposed to do. Not as a card carrying member of Team Frugal. Not if I ever wish to become Financially Independent. Not as a devout follower of Amy Dacyczyn. Cardinal Sins. Poor life choices. I’m screwed. With my 2012 car depreciating in my driveway, as I kick back and stream the last season of Girls via one of my many iPaidTooMuch Apple devices. Skipping, dancing, and latte drinking my way down the road to (financial) ruin. Or so they’d have you believe.

Who? The ‘they’. Internal or external Them. Collective wisdom. Bloggers (oops), commentators, talking heads, conventional advice. If you make THIS choice, you need not apply to our club. It’s a comfy clubhouse. Furnished with second hand furniture, featuring low-cost beverages (tap water), and a 24 hour beans and rice buffet. Read more

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Gratitude for a Canine Lifetime

We’ve embarked on a new dog chapter. With the addition of our progeny, my relationship with my dogs has changed. It has. I denied it would happen. I rally against it. But, its true. The addition of kids changes how you feel about dogs.

In our case, it doesn’t involve a trip to the shelter, emails to a rescue, or very sad craigslist ads. Fear not! My band of senior misfits are still and forever firmly ensconced into the landscape of my life. I’m distracted these days. By diapers and feeding and crying and snuggling. As much as I am still in awe of this new life in my lap (Who gave me a baby anyway!?), I am equally enthralled with my dogs. How far we’ve all come together. To get here. Read more

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Enough Already

I feel like I’ve written about this enough. Enough of the enough even. But, not specifically and not in awhile. Mostly because I haven’t written about much in a while. Furthermore, it still haunts me. This concept. Saturation. Satiation. When to call it good, or just when to call it. When enough is enough? How do you have the presence of mind to identify it? Without roaring right past into the land of excess? It’s a slippery slope. For me. It can’t be just me though. (Can I get an Amen?) Spending begets more spending, begets more and more and and and … Well, I’m great at hindsight. But, I tend to let my snowball gather great momentum before I deign to interrupt its path.

Currently? No such luxury. In the now, with one shaky income (The Husband’s), a little bit of paid maternity leave (and I do mean a little), and some of my much coveted savings (I am loath to spend), I need to become acquainted, face to face, first name basis, best-friend style, with Enough. I need him to call before he visits. I’d like to see him coming a mile away. Read more

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A Line Drying Revolution

Sometimes I’m a slow learner. I dismiss certain frugal doing as ‘too difficult’, ‘inconvenient’, or ‘not for me’. Someday I will learn, that short of separating my two-ply into single, well that’s just dumb. Clotheslines are one of those things. Specifically the outdoor variety. I’ve got a couple indoor models in use in my basement. As a resident of rainy, overcast, damp Seattle, we are lucky to be able to use those all year round. But frankly, they kinda suck. Limited and inefficient. They save our shirts from a trip through the money guzzling heat box (what I’ve taken to calling our dryer). For anything of substance though, towels, jeans, sheets, pet bedding it takes too long, and there is simply not enough real estate to put the accursed appliance completely out of commission.

Oh, for summer time! Or spring. Or even a breezy dry fall day. Any day without precipitation really. I’ll take it. So begins my love affair with outdoor drying. Clothesline! How I love thee! Read more

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