I love the way you…

Dear Dahlia,

I love the way you…

  • Ribbit like a frog every time we pass a Geico billboard
  • Give hugs and kisses
  • Shrug
  • Run across the apartment, yelling “Blueberry!” in Dahlia language whenever I open the freezer
  • Like trucks and trains
  • Read books to yourself
  • Dance
  • Adore your Da-Da
  • Are comfortable spending time alone with other people
  • Bring me pieces of “yucky” (lint, paper, etc.) that you find so we can throw them out together
  • Eat my chapstick
  • Roll around on the floor, squealing and screaming with one of your large stuffed animals
  • Carefully hand me any food that does not belong on your tray, since you are not planning on eating it!
  • Imitate us when we blow on your food to cool it
  • Put your books or stuffed animals “night-night” by gently stroking or patting them
  • Make that adorable sign for squirrel
  • Sleep through the night
  • Are so brave at the playground
  • Tell me when you have finished going potty in your diaper
  • Say “boom!” when you fall
  • Call any child under 15 yrs. old a “bebe”
  • Are eager to help me
  • Model for me a much needed, refreshingly innocent view of the world

I love all of these things, and more, but most of all, I just love YOU!

Your Mama

Yum!!

Just joined an organic food co-op called Purple Dragon. I picked up my first food share last night in Maplewood, and then drove the long, dark, windy road through Irvington to get home. Not such a nice neighborhood, for those of you who don’t know. When I got home and had a chance to happily paw through the loot, this is what we had gotten:

  • a bag of fresh blueberries (Dahlia was VERY happy about this one)
  • a bunch of carrots
  • 3 fresh red onions, greens and all
  • some green kale
  • a bunch of dark green lettuce
  • 4 ears of corn
  • peaches!
  • a small cantaloupe that promises to be sweet
  • a bunch of fresh flowering herbs that I have yet to identify. Possibly oregano? marjoram?

***UPDATE***

The mystery herb has been identified as Thai Basil!

  • abag of green beans
  • 3 tomatoes
  • some small yellow and green squash
  • one funky looking cucumber
  • a bunch of bananas

So now I really have to get cookin’!

SuperDad!

Just wanted to send a shout out to my husband who watched Dahlia for the past 5 days. It is incredibly comforting to know that I can leave Ken with the baby and watch him turn into Mr. Mom without a complaint, and seemingly without effort. 

When I got home last night, the house was picked up, the dishes were done, the dog was taken care of, and the baby was peacefully asleep. Incredible. 

Dahlia said she enjoyed her time with Da-Da immensely. She even asked me when I was going away again.

Paying Off Credit Cards

We’ve been working aggressively to pay off our cards over the last year or so. Running the numbers on our situation has led to some surprising insights about the potential of a debt-free existence.

Let’s say you’re carrying the American average of $10,000 debt on your credit cards, but, rather than pay the insane 29% interest on most consumer cards, you were smart about it and moved the money to a 0% card. And let’s say you’re paying that money off at $400/month. That leaves you 25 months to pay the sucker off. Should you try to pay it off sooner?

Well, let’s take a look a what life would be like without the $400/mo payment. 400 times 12 months equals $4,800/year — not an insubstantial chunk of money. And, you’re paying taxes on that money for the privledge of sending it to the credit card companies every month. Assuming that’s around 30%, you have to earn $6,854 per year just to give it away to Uncle Sam and the bank.

Let’s say you make $65K per year: paying off the card completely would be like giving yourself a 10.5% raise! But let’s take that a step further: what if you paid off the card and invested half the monthly payment into a retirement account like a 401(k). You get to pocket $200 every month ($2,400 a year), but because a 401(k) is a pre-tax investment, you’re investing $285/mo in your future.

Knowing that many companies match retirement contributions — some match a dollar for every dollar you contribute — that means you could be saving as much as $570 a month, or $6,840 a year!

Now you’ve given yourself a 14% raise ($2,400 pocket money + $6,840 in savings), all by just paying off your credit cards as quickly as possible. And, note, that’s assuming that you’re not paying any interest on that debt — that adds a whole new level of urgency to paying off your cards ASAP.

A “friend of mine”:http://sapridyne.com calls the difference between his expendable income and his credit card debt his “shovel to hole ratio” — in other words, his ability to dig himself out of debt. Paying off your cards and saving the money for the future takes this analogy to a new level. Once you’ve got the hole filled, now you can start stacking bricks on it and really build something.

It’s a wonder more people aren’t doing this.