Burst Pipes, The Norovirus and the 2014 Grammys

I know this is a personal finance blog, so we should be talking about money. And frugality and saving and early retirement. That’s great, but top of mind today is this weekend – and well that wasn’t very money focused, but maybe we can find a pearl in there.

The Grammys

First, let’s talk about the Grammys. Did anyone watch all the way through? The entire reason I decided to watch was to see the Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl and Lindsey Buckingham collaboration. That’s right, a super group composed of the drummer from Nirvana, the singer from Nine Inch Nails, the guitarist from QOTSA and the guitarist from Fleetwood Mac. Awesome, right? Except, apparently the Grammys knew that everyone would want to see them so they had them close the show. At like midnight. I couldn’t hold out that long. My wife warned me I’d be mad if I had stayed up and watched like she did. (Why my wife is up at midnight watching TV in another room on a Sunday night is another topic. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.) Continue reading

A Very Boogery Christmas

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year’s!

I have to be honest, this year Christmas was a bit of a bummer. My wife and I were super excited to celebrate our little guy’s first Christmas, but things didn’t pan out like we’d hoped. Our little man came down with his first real cold of his life, overnight Christmas Eve into Christmas morning. The poor little guy hadn’t been sick more than a day in his life before this, so we’d been pretty lucky so far.

We should have suspected when he slept much longer than usual for his naps on the day of Christmas Eve. Now we’ve been up the past three nights letting him sleep upright on our chests since that’s the only way he can sleep. It’s exhausting, but man is he still cute. They don’t tell you about the monotony of being awake from 2:30 am to 7am holding a coughing, runny-nosed baby who snores in all those brochures. The plus is that he looks so darned cute and is so helpless you don’t mind at all. But you do drink a lot more coffee and soda to stay upright.

It’d be awesome to sleep, but he won’t nap unless he’s on our chests either – and we’ve had three family Christmas events to do the last three days, so we haven’t been home during the days. Thankfully there’s only one left and that’s not for a couple days. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

But enough about our sleeplessness, how did everyone’s holidays go? As always we got spoiled rotten, especially our little dude. Our living room looks like Toys R Us exploded inside. We’re going to institute a policy of sweeping half his Christmas and birthday gifts (January) and hiding them in the basement, bringing a new one back up to play with every month or two. There’s just too much stuff for him to play with and use. I honestly think we’ll need to start asking the family to do stuff like savings bonds or gifts to his 529, because I don’t want to over spoil him. My wife and I see that quite a bit in some kids in our circle (that’s as specific as I’m getting!). We’ll also be stealing a nice idea from her cousins of having him round up his existing toys and picking a bunch to donate each year, rather than just tossing it all or trying to grab an extra buck off Craigslist – it’ll be a nice way to teach that we’re very fortunate.

How do you guys handle not spoiling your kids and teaching them to be appreciative and to remember that the season is not just about getting everything on your list?