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Archive for January, 2009

Look, we’re all tightening our belts these days, even if our actual incomes haven’t been impacted, our savings and investments certainly have!

I’m still suffering over getting a great birth announcement out for my son. He’s 4.5 months now and, thankfully, the powers that be over at Amalah’s Q&A blog say 6 months is the proper time frame before I’m just too late…

It’s gotten to the point where, obviously, I need to include an updated photo of my son along with one when he was a newborn. Okay. No problem… Except, when my daughter was born, we were more flush. We hired a photographer (first kid, what are you going to do?) and got some fantastic baby shots. So good, in fact, that today as I was skimming some of the photo-baby announcements (yes, I’m stooping so much in my standards that I’m probably going to just go this route), I thought “hey, that baby looks like my daughter.” or “hey, that’s exactly the same pose we did of my daughter in HER photo session.”

So… my dirty little thought? Why not save on a photographer and slip in a photo of her as an infant and no one’s the wiser?

I won’t do it, of course. But I smirked all the same and just had to admit my inner cheap bastard to someone. If you’re reading this, I guess that’s you.

Meanwhile, no, we’re not hiring a photographer. I just have to pick through the photos we have and use the best ones.

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During one of my recent forays into finding birth announcements that don’t suck, I came across a faux announcement displaying a toddler. Sure, it was just meant for display purposes, but the my inner sense of schadenfreude popped up and I sneeringly thought to myself (about this completely fake announcement), “Well now, they really ARE late about getting their announcements out!’

Why the judgment? Because yours truly here has a four-month old son and still hasn’t even ordered the announcements, that’s why. And, if I can find someone else who’s waited longer, all the better in my book, even if it is a fake announcement.

As it turns out, this display announcement was actually for an adoption, so it makes sense the kid in the photo wasn’t some spaced out, slightly alien-esque newborn, but a full-fledged, stinky-poop dropping, racing-around-the-playground toddler. And, in the end, when I realized it was for an adoption, I felt A) lame for still being the most delinquent announcement sender ever B) lamer still for having been snarky about finding the toddler announcement C) lamest of all for being so un-hip (may the Jolie be with me!) that I didn’t even think of the notion of adoption announcements when I saw the fake one in the first place!!!

This got me wondering… am I about to send out the latest birth announcements ever, at 5 months? What is the cut-off on announcements being too late?

I decided to ask Amy of Amalah.com at her advice column at Alpha Mom. We’ll see if she picks up my question. I really want to know!

If anyone’s reading this, what do you think?

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I had a long-ranging, contemplative and wending conversation with a good friend last night. At one point, we fell upon the topic of mother-daughter relationships.

Mother-daughter relations can be so clashing as daughters, budding young women, at once need their mothers as protectors, nourishers, embracers… yet they also must be pushed away, at times isolated from, so the girl can define herself as separate, her own person. The ground is so fertile for conflict – mothers want so much to protect their daughters from the same mistakes they made when young, from the dangers that are inherent in being a woman in this world… It’s easy for young daughters to feel smothered, to have to force their identity.

My friend made a fine observation that I’d like to remember – perhaps the best goal of mothering a daughter is to strive to have a relationship like that of a mentor and mentee (ummm… I’m not even sure that’s a word, but… apprentice? pupil?) The nut of it is to try to be the woman you hope your daughter will strive to become… and then lead her there.

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We live in an area that’s temperate all year round, so we don’t need snow outfits most of the time… however, at least once a winter we go somewhere savagely cold for about 4 days… just long enough to warrant a snow outfit of some type.

Also, since having our first child, our holiday season has become… well… a season, equipped with dropping by lots of friends and family houses for events that justify being nicely dressed.

Last year, when my daughter was just starting to toddle, we were lucky enough to have a neighbor hand-us-down a GORGEOUS holiday ensemble of a dress and coat. It was unbelievably exquisite.

This year, we got some great hand-me-down dressed from my sister-in-law, but don’t have a coat. I didn’t notice that (due to the temperate climate) until just now, as we’re planning a trip back east. My son is still so little that he’ll be stuffed in bunting the whole time, but it would be so great to have a nice holiday coat for my daughter to look turned out in.

…Which brings me to this notion of a “buying calendar” for my children.

NOW is the time to buy next year’s fabulous holiday outfit, as well as snow outfit. There are so many sales going on, like this great Hanna Andersson sale, that it’s possible to pick up some very nice clothing at great prices. I can safely estimate that by next winter, my daughter will easily be in 3T clothes, and my son will be cresting the 18-24 size. If I pre-buy now and am off in my estimates, I can always give my finds as Christmas presents to another child.

I’m accustomed to buying clothes for myself – that my size doesn’t change drastically year over year (um…. except for that whole “pregnant” and “just had a baby… 8 months ago” thing). So, I tend to only buy clothes as they’re needed, for myself. Obviously, each year my children will need entire new wardrobes of clothes as they get into new sizes… If I can be savvy enough to buy the year before, just as clothes get out of season, I can cost avoid a ton of money for my family.

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