Christmas Book Countdown!

Have you heard of the Christmas Book Countdown?

I might be more excited about starting this tradition then any of the others. Most likely I saw it on Pinterest. Initially I read thru this woman’s idea of a Christmas book countdown and thought it required too much work or money or time to get the tradition started.

The idea kept coming back to me though so I gave it a little more thought.

First off, we have a grand total of 1 Christmas book in our house. So that meant getting 23 from the local library? Not going to happen. Checking that many out would be hard enough, let alone dealing with the logistics of due dates, etc. Finally I read somewhere that someone picked up some second hand Christmas books at a thrift store. Bingo!

I knew there were a few books I wanted to buy new. Elf on the Shelf for example, I knew I wanted that one.

Since my mother plans to gift two Christmas books to the twins every year, I knew that getting cheapo books was exactly what I wanted to do. Then, over the years, the cheapo books could be replaced by the nice ones from grandma.

So off I went today to my favorite local thrift store. I scoured the Christmas section that they had put together but didn’t see any books. Book section, nothing. Finally, hidden in a corner I found the toddler/young kid book section. Practically all of them were Christmas books! I just started pulling books off the shelves! I should have counted but I didn’t.

Got home and counted them up, 19 books!! I almost wish I had gotten 24 but with the few books I did get from the library, I have more than enough.

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I am so excited that I’ve completed the hardest part of this tradition…aquiring the books. Now is the semi-fun part, wrapping them! Since there are still a few days until I start, I’m wrapping about 5 a day. I wrapped 6 today which gives me at least until December 6th to wrap more. I do hope to have them all wrapped before the 1st though.

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Millionaire Next Door thoughts

I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile so when I came across it at the library this week, I decided to check it out.

I’m only on the first chapter thus far but I’ve already been struck by some interesting thoughts.

First, there is a formula they give you to calculate what your net worth should be based on your current income and age. 
“Multiply your age times your realized pretax annual household income from all sources except inheritances. Divide by ten. This, less any inherited wealth, is what your net worth should be.” – The Millionaire Next Door
Based upon this formula you can get an idea of if you are doing well for your situation or if you are simply squandering all your income. I discovered my husband and I are thankfully in the PAW category (prodigious accumulator of wealth) as opposed to the alternative UAW (under accumulator of wealth). Of course you can also be a AAW (average accumulator of wealth). 
They discuss NBA players as an example who make $5 million a year but are only worth about $1 million because of the lavish lifestyle they feel they need to have. Under this example, they should be worth approximately $15 million. At just $1 million net worth they are seriously UAW’s. 
Basically, just one chapter in and I’m realizing I am not nearly frugal enough! You don’t get rich by having an enormous income. You get rich by being FRUGAL FRUGAL FRUGAL!

Parenting Ramble

The funny thing about having twins…and only having twins, is that you learn everything like every normal mom does, but once your child has passed that particular stage, you have no need for that information anymore.

Basically, it never gets easier.

For example, with the first child you might struggle with “baby wearing” where you figure out how best you want to carry your baby around. Are you a Baby Bjorn person or perhaps an Ergo mom? It may take you awhile to figure this out with the first kid, but by the time the second baby arrives, you know EXACTLY what you want and there is no learning curve.

With twins, once you figure it out, you twins will almost certainly be too old to carry around in a front pack. Then you stop carrying them and perhaps even get rid of the carrier. It’s a frustrating revelation to discover this.  Then you are on to the next stage which is again, entirely new to you.

It never gets easier.

We decided long ago, perhaps even during my pregnancy that this was going to be it for us. My pregnancy was so awful, even from the very beginning, that I questioned whether or not I could do this again. So it was actually sort of a relief to discover I was having twins. I realized I may not need to be pregnant ever again. After the first year with the twins we decided we were more than content with a family of four.

My point is this…I have knowledge, and no use for it. Maybe you out there can benefit from my trials and tribulations.

There are a couple of things that have been on my mind that I wanted to talk about.

PUTTING MARRIAGE FIRST

I’ve seen this topic become pretty controversial but I have a very simple take on it. I see my marriage as the foundation of our family unit. My parents’ marriage fell apart when I was a teenager and it destroyed me. I feel like if my parents (equally together) put their marriage first, things might have turned out differently for me.  My kids get everything they need and then some. So its not like I’m neglecting them AT ALL. I just make sure that I have plenty of time with my husband to enjoy being married. We found a babysitter that the kids love and have a date night every other Friday. It is fantastic and I highly recommend it.

We’ve taken two weekend trips thus far without the kids and I hope to do another in the next 6 months. Not only is it great for our relationship but its great for my relationship with the kids. I come back refreshed and enjoy being around them SO much more.

I’m not saying I have a perfect marriage, far from it. Nor am I the perfect mom. But every relationship needs work, needs attention. Setting aside a few hours every month is the least I can do for my marriage. If we can’t do that, what is the point in taking vows in the first place?

BABY NURSE/DOULA

Oh how I wish we had a baby nurse and/or doula after the twins were born. Not entirely sure what the difference is but I wish we had help in the beginning. Whether you have one kid or two, having a kid is HARD WORK. Why punish yourself and try to do it alone. Hundreds and thousands of years ago women never had to do this alone. Now we are expected to take our baby home on day 2 and simply figure it out. Stressful to say the least. If you can, GET HELP.  It’s worth it and you will never regret it.

BREAST MILK/FORMULA

Another controversial topic. Here’s what I say. Breastfeed if you can and if it works for you. If it’s not your cup of tea, your kid will turn out just fine on formula. My kids did. I hate all the statistics and theories that formula will somehow make your child sick, or fat, or stupid. Also, please put yourself first. I wasn’t able to breastfeed mostly because I ended up in a free fall with post partum depression and thought awful things about my babies. I didn’t want to be around them. I was no good to them in that state. Almost immediately upon stopping breastfeeding, my mood improved. Formula allowed me to love my children and isn’t that the most important thing anyway?

Sometimes I want to have another kid simply because it would be so much easier now that I have figured all this stuff out. Then I realize I have incredibly high odds of having twins again and that scares me straight.