Saturday, March 14, 2009

Things You'd Have Read if Twittered

I don't do Twitter because I figure with facebook, gchat away messages, and the blog, I should really try to allow some thoughts to pass through my head without sharing them with all of mankind. However, it's now Saturday and I haven't written since Tuesday (I actually just had to open up my blog to check that, it seems much longer ago than Tuesday), but I have no overarching theme or long story, so I'm going to resort to a series of mini posts because I really did want to write about some of this stuff when it happened.

(1) On Wednesday I sent JP (and Landon, they generally travel as a pack) to the grocery store to buy a "fancy" version of mac and cheese to go with our BBQ meatballs for dinner. He arrived home, flush with victory and a pink box of "Crazy Bugs" mac and cheese. I asked how this was any fancier than the regular blue box and he said, "It's bug shaped!" That wasn't what I meant, though it was good.

(2) On Thursday someone told me I must have been a dancer because of my posture, head position, and body type (she was very specific and certain about it). She couldn't have been more wrong, I can't dance to save my life and I was petrified of having to do the first dance at our wedding reception, but it made my day.

(3) Above the Law (a legal news/gossip website) is getting too scary to read. I think yesterday was the first day in weeks that no firms laid off a large number of attorneys. My firm still appears to be doing fine, and I'm certainly very busy, but trying to imagine what we'd do if I lost my job was scary enough to sit down with a financial planner and get serious about our emergency fund. We have 3 months worth of living expenses in there now, but I want it to have at least 6 before we get back on track with our retirement savings (and paying extra on my high interest law school loans and starting a 529 college fund for Landon and paying extra on our mortgage and replacing our 11 and 10-year-old cars with 150,000 miles each and furnishing our bedroom with something besides non-matching craigslist finds and SO MANY other things, even something fun like our first vacation in years). The day after meeting with the financial planner I had to have $600 worth of work done on my car. Of course.

(4) Yesterday I walked up 3 flights of stairs and was so out of breath when I got to the partner's office I had to pause for at least a full minute, right there in front of her, as I waited to get it back- had I realized how out of shape I was, I would have recovered in the hallway. This emabarassing anecdote should be enough to get me back into the gym, but I'm sure it won't.

(5) Landon has started to sing. He walks around the house singing "Row, Row, Row" repeatedly, while bobbing his head and waving his arms. If you continue with the rest of the song he will dance for you. It's fantastic- as is, quite frankly, almost everything else he does right now. We spent nearly 30 minutes Thursday evening reading individually, together- Landon had a stack of his favorite books (mostly involving ducks and buses), JP had his economist, and I had a riveting supplemental privilege log. I think Landon's reading material was the most interesting, but it was a lovely, relaxing, and productive time for all three of us.

(6) I made this pasta on Thursday. It was amazing and Landon ate 2.5 bowls of it. I did switch out chicken for shrimp because I hate shrimp despite every effort to like it (same goes for scallops, crawfish, and other non-fish sea faring creatures, I want to like them I just really, really do not).

(7) Last night I had a crazy day at work and got home late to a beautiful dinner made from scratch by Landon and JP. It was so sweet and I was so tired that I almost started to cry over the tilapia.

That's about all you've missed. Landon just got up from his nap and we're about to plant four trees in our backyard. It's 47 degrees outside and Austin ground is hard as rock (literally, it is rock) so this should be super fun. But I suppose after reading #4, I shouldn't snub exercise in whatever form it presents itself.


  1. just you wait. I said no twitter for a long, long time, and now I'm addicted. Then again, I adamantly refuse to join facebook.

  2. Thanks for putting a link to the pasta dish ..... it looks so fabulous I'm making it tonight!!!

  3. This weather is ridiculous! Happy planting... at least it is a springlike activity, if not temperature. Pasta looks yummy.

  4. Here is my suggestion about the 529 fund: Open one anyway, but don't put anything in it. I think I said this before, I have an automatic debit of $15/month go in there so I feel like I'm doing SOMETHING. We can't afford anything substantial right now and frankly it's a low priority until we pay OUR loans off. But tell your family the 529 is open for business and your #1 favorite birthday and Christmas present for the Landon would be a gift to the fund, no matter how small, on top of whatever they want to watch him open.

    My mom, aunts and mother and law loved this, and have already ponied up checks for the fund and promised to contribute for her birthday every year. Yay! Now there's already something in it, just not from us.

    I would NOT pay extra on your mortgage - I would definitely prioritize those nasty private loans. I know them well. And that's all my unsolicited financial advice. Oh, and I DID used to dance, and I wish people would still tell me I carry myself like a dancer! That used to make me happy.

  5. 529's are great to have...I agree with one and let all your friends and family know. However, we have less in Ethan's than what was contributed...due to the market right now, which is kinda depressing. But it's better than nothing.

    Ethan likes "Row your boat" too...but I can't convince him it's NOT "Life is butter tree"

  6. Totally agree about ATL -- I am cutting down to reading it at most once a day and never from work, after a few days about being so freaked out by what I read there that I just couldn't concentrate on work.

    And I think we have the same cars. (Except that our 11-year old car actually has over 200,000 miles. And they can both be flaky about starting.) Buying a car is on our once-we-get-our-reserves-up spending list too.

    K sings, except his "singing" is usually him reciting the lyrics of a song as fast as he can. The funniest part is that for songs that have an intro or a part where people talk to each other, he'll "sing" that part too. My favorite instance of this is from Norah Jones' appearance on Sesame Street, when she sang about how the letter Y never showed up to their playdate ("Don't Know 'Y'") and Elmo sits next to her at the piano and says things like, "Uh huh, uh huh," and "Poor Norah!" I would sing and K would do his best active listening.

  7. My dad was a CFP and we've had vague discussions with him about our financial planning but PJO and I both decided we would rather have a neutral party be our CFP. We were going to wait until I started working to hire one but we may push that up a little bit given the circumstances with my job. I'm so excited, it's like a type-A planner's dream come true! Was it helpful for you all to meet with the planner?

  8. Ha, yeah, they spent Friday laying off support staff instead. Got to love BigLaw!

    I agree about the pasta dish!!!

    Ditto what Andrea said about the 529. We opened one and have lost 1/2 with the economic crash (damn!). I canceled the monthly $50 automatic deposit for now and just send "found" money periodically.

  9. Jen in Seattle3/16/09, 11:59 AM

    I would probably get teary if I came home to a beautiful dinner made from scratch also. How sweet of your boys!! :)

    About 3 springs ago we decided it would be a good idea to dig out a hole in the front yard to put a pond in. After getting about a foot dug up the soft dirt turned into one solid sheet of rock. It was a pain in the neck, and back, and butt, and thighs. But it WAS a killer work out. ;)

    Also, I bet you have fabulous posture from swimming. I also was a swimmer (and a ballet dancer), and many of the girls on my swim team had totally amazing dancer like posture.

  10. Oh my gosh yes on the money-list. We just realized that (oops) we are going to be getting a ridiculously huge tax refund this year and could easily spend five times as much on our emergency fund, home equity loan payment, second car fund, get-rid-of-the-craptacular-mattress fund, shouldn't we have some landscaping? fund... and oh, did we ever want to have any fun or go on vacation or anything? It's nice to hear someone else say it - this must just be what it's like to be starting out.

  11. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I clicked out of curiosity and have spent 20 minutes drooling over her recipes and laughing at her instructions! I can't wait to get home post-doc review and cook!

  12. We've lost 529 money too, but I have pretty serious faith that the market's going to be back up by 2026, so I try not to think about it and instead think that as long as our # of shares keep increasing and Fidelity continues to exist, we will eventually be in great shape :)