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Planning for My Self-Employed Maternity “Leave”

I love being self-employed.  I think I will enjoy retirement even more in the future, but if I’m not financially independent, self-employment is the only craved income path for me.  My Pros of Self-Employment I enjoy the flexibility, the control, and the income diversification that comes along with having 150+ clients in pet sitting and a few streams we have for making cash online.  When I worked for the car dealership software company from 2005-2011, they could have fired me at any moment and I would have had my personal main income stream cut off all at once.  Being self-employed has, strangely enough, made me feel more financially stable overall. My Cons of Self-Employment BUT, there are some WHOPPING downsides.  I truly miss the 100% matching up to 6% in my old 401k.  I also miss being able to take a vacation without coming back to a pile of things to do since everyone in my old department could cover each other’s work.  And, I definitely don’t have any paid maternity leave options now (I’m not sure if my old job had them or not because I left WAYYYYY before we ever thought we even wanted to have kids). Planning … Read more

Please Don’t Be Fully Financially Dependent on Someone Else

For anybody new, I’m 20-21 weeks pregnant as of right now.  I’ve been blogging about personal finance, budgeting, and my life in general here since February 2010.  And I just joined a few mommy Facebook groups in the last few weeks to help myself prepare for what is coming and to start building support networks since only a couple of our friends have kids.  Main New Mommy Group Topics Here is what I’ve figured out by just looking around the mommy group posts every day: 1.  Sleep is HUGE.  Sleep training versus just holding them versus whatever is like THE TOPIC, always.  I’m leaning towards a steady routine so they get used to a process, but obviously, there are dozens of ways to handle sleep time and you do whatever works for you, boo boo. 2.  Lack of partner support is sadly also one of the top topics.  Like depressingly prevalent.  For the record, I’m with anybody who says that partners don’t babysit their own kids while a mom takes a break.  It’s called taking care of your kid.  I get that we pregnant women have the breast milk and whatnot.  But that doesn’t mean the entire raising process of … Read more

My Grandpa Passed Away – Goodbye to John

My grandpa, John, just passed away – 2 months after my grandma and 1 month after my aunt.  They battled for months, but my grandpa was seemingly okay just 10 days ago.  I’m glad he didn’t have much time to suffer but saying goodbye hasn’t been easier. My grandpa, John, was a strong, stubborn man who could talk to anyone (even if they rather he didn’t…yeah, so maybe I inherited something…).  He was a geologist (met my grandma in college) and enjoyed travel.  He made it nearly 89 years and defined “I did it my way”.  He was a brother, a husband, a father of eight children, and a grandfather to 10 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren (and my cousins have 2 more on the way). My mom and I lived near my grandparents when I was little and visited often later.  To me, he was Grandpa (except for a few of my young teenage years when I thought “G-pa” sounded cool as hell and he humored me).  He taught me 5 card draw poker before I hit elementary school, seemed to enjoy my sarcasm more than most, and always made me feel wanted. I truly appreciate that I was able to visit both of my grandparents dozens … Read more

Gift Ideas for Hospital and Assisted Living Home Visits

I never know what to do when people are stuck in the hospital and I should go visit, I feel so helpless. These gift ideas for hospital visits make me feel like I'm doing something and are so helpful for the recipients. My grandma is going to love these nice things while she recovers from her surgery.

As I’ve mentioned, my grandma has been in and out of the hospital a few times over the last month. After the first stay, she was released to go home with assistance. But after this last stint about a week and a half ago, she was sent into a skilled nursing facility and my grandpa moved in with her. As a quick health summary, my grandma has two faulty heart valves, congestive heart failure, the ulcer on her foot has been an issue for more than a year, and she has diabetes. Suffice it to say, she’s not at her best. I visit 2-3 times a week, and I will probably be writing about that a bit more. But for today, I want to share the hospital and nursing home care packages that have been received the best by my grandparents and by my husband’s great uncle who had a brain aneurysm a few weeks ago and has made a full recovery now. 🙂 Hospital Care Package Hospitals are depressing and boring for nearly everybody. Here are some quick things you can throw together to make it more bearable for anybody you’re visiting (I get them all from the Dollar … Read more

Feeling Emotional

My maternal grandma is in the hospital.  So is my husband’s great uncle. My Family I’m from a large, emotionally charged family.  I don’t want to tick off any of my family with sharing a ton of history, but a quick summary is that my maternal grandparents had 8 children.  My mom was the fourth.  I am one of the older grand kids (there seemed to be about 3 waves…I was in the first one…number 3 of 10).  I spent a lot of time with my mom’s younger siblings and my grandparents while I was growing up. This whole situation sucks.  But I’ve enjoyed connecting with my extended family again.  And then I feel bad about thinking about the positives while my grandma is struggling.  There is a good chance that she will make it through this infection and the other crap right now.  But she will still be 85+, my grandpa will still be nearly 90, and there will still be struggling. More Family My husband comes from a small, more reserved family. His grandparents on both sides had 2 kids each. My husband is the only grandchild. His great uncle lives next to his paternal grandparents. This past week … Read more

Baby Nephew Update! He’s Already Trying to Talk!!!

My baby nephew just turned 6 weeks old!  I don’t really “do” Facebook, so I’d thought I’d share his cute-progress right here.  🙂 How cool is that?! And here’s a picture of him with me and his uncle BFS.  😉 Overall, my little nephew has just spent his first 6 weeks getting bigger, looking at everything he can, and being adorable.  I’m proud Aunt Crystal!!!

WOOT!!! I’m an Aunt!!!

Heya!!!  My little sister had her baby late Monday night, so I’m out of town hanging around a hospital for fun for the rest of the week.  😉 Since I have my hands full AND my new theme should be loaded up by tomorrow night, you probably won’t see any new posts from me for the rest of the week.  But I will be back by Monday, and BFS will look better than ever.  😀