Baby Shower Gifts When You Fear How They’ll Raise Children | baby shower gifts

Gentle Readers,

A small contingent of the family that I actually have a relationship with believes that I should stop being a lesbian and marry a man. I don’t know why this younger relative has decided to be such an ass, but he has. I don’t argue with it. I just avoid him as much as possible. I don’t have time for such ridiculous ideas. I am a lesbian. It’s not up for debate.

However, he also has a baby on the way and I have a family duty to let this little girl know that there are many ways to be a good human.

Thus began my quest to find baby books that would not be overtly LGBT-friendly, but covertly allow her to know that there are many wonderful differences in the world.

It’s a fine line. Nothing can say, “Hey your relative is a lesbian and she’s okay,” outright. I just need to plant the seeds that diversity of thought, ethnic group, and sexuality is okay.  To be extra covert, I bought some books that had no such intent, just some wonderful books that any baby would be delighted to chew on. I’m hoping the parents don’t notice what I’m doing.

The baby shower gifts I chose

Spots and Dots (Art Baby) – A beautiful book that can attract a baby’s eye. I think that there should be more art and beauty in everyone’s life.

More More More –  A book about being loved and cared for by parents. This concept is harder for my family than it should be. I hope that the cycle ends.

Spot Goes to the Farm – Dogs need adventures, too. This family member is least likely to leave a fifty-mile radius from his home. He would be well-served by learning about other ways of life. The world is less scary than he imagines.

Baby Loves Quantum Physics – Introducing hard concepts early even just briefly does wonders for expanding imaginations and belief in what is possible. And I’m a nerd who hopes to contribute to other people becoming nerds. My house growing up was filled with upper level books and I remember reading encyclopedias of science. I loved the concepts and hope she does too. I am no scientist now, but my life is enriched by hard concepts.

Whoever You Are = Accepting our differences and our similarities and loving that. This focuses on ethnic groups and nationalities. It’s a Reading Rainbow book and Levar Burton is hard to argue with.

We’re Different, We’re The Same = Sesame Street is hard to argue with, as well. Another book that focuses on visible differences rather than sexuality and gender identity.

Did I toe the line close enough? No rainbows, no two mommies, no genderqueer puppies. Just the smallest idea that there are more ways to be in the world.  Hopefully the parents won’t shut out this idea, but I must be careful.

How do you think I did in this quest?

Net Worth Week 71

Gentle Readers,
It’s been an exciting, but unprofitable week for my business. I was invited to do an interview and to be a panelist. Both will be excellent publicity. I have not previously done either, and will need to prepare. They are both good skills to have, and I must keep developing.
My agency did not tell me that I was eligible for paid vacation based on the type of work I am doing and my longevity on a single job.  Heading to Texas last week was my first paid vacation ever. My agency still has not let me know how much leave I’ve accrued, but I know that I have a minimum of 2 days remaining.
My invisalign has not yet arrived, but my dentist thinks I’ll get them in two more weeks. That will be another cool $2000 to start and the beginning of a different type of pain.
I finished the personal tutoring this week and will restart group classes next week. I also talked with a friend who does the type of work I am skill-building in. She gave me some tips on how to handle the process and let me know what a passing score is.
I will have to write a check to my business this week. It just won’t be able to cover the big August bills otherwise.
On a happy note, I will get to see my girlfriend again two times in September!

This week’s net worth numbers

8/12/2017 8/18/2017
 Joy 1108 1108
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1005 1005
Life 1632  2722
 IRA  13267  13236
 Brokerage 812  809
 Rewards Card 2 -2784 -3123
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  -47
 Rewards Card -438  -438
SL 1 -105317 -105416
SL 2 -46406 -46451
 Earnest -3584 -3591
 Net Worth -140322 -139803
 Percentage Change -.37% .37%

How are you growing your skills?

Net Worth Week 70 – Love in the South Edition

Gentle Readers,
Quick post from vacation. Keeping myself liquid because my business will most likely need cash from me soon. A big jump in CC was the first payment for invisalign.
Back to eating TexMex!

This week’s net worth numbers

8/4/2017 8/12/2017
 Joy 1108 1108
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1005 1005
Life 1818  1632
 IRA  13486  13267
 Brokerage 836  812
 Rewards Card 2 -2489 -2784
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card 0  -438
SL 1 -105444 -105317
SL 2 -46464 -46406
 Earnest -4042 -3584
 Net Worth -139803 -140322
 Percentage Change .15% -.37%

How are your vacations going?

Net Worth Week 69 – Spinning Round Edition

Gentle Readers,
My tutoring sessions continue to improve my skills greatly. Every day I am more excited about the possibilities on the horizon.
Knowing that I will pay out of pocket for Invisalign the same month that my business has many bills due has been stressful. I think I will have to return the money my business “paid” me back to my operating account. Unless a new client comes in ready to hire me very soon. One current client contacted me yesterday for a tiny bit of work that will help enormously, but not cover everything I have going out this month. I should be able to do everything he needs this weekend.
I am grateful that I have this blog, because it taught me how simple a balance transfer is; it also reminds me that the last time I took this step it was because of dental pain, as well. C’est la vie.  My credit score is good and I have no plans in the next six months to take out a loan of any sort. Knowing that I have significantly higher outlays than projected income in the next two months, my plan is to hold off on paying down my credit card so that I have the funds available for my business, if necessary. Once the first big payment is due for my Invisalign, I’ll put it on my credit card and then initiate a balance transfer. That will buy me many months of no interest for the fee of a 2% balance transfer. This is much cheaper than letting it sit on a credit card with an APR over 10%.  It’s not the greatest situation, but I know better how to use the tools available.
Next week may not have a net worth check in because I will be in Texas visiting my love! I cannot lie, I have been dreaming about TexMex.

This week’s net worth numbers

7/28/2017 8/4/2017
 Joy 1107 1108
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1004 1005
Life 1499  1818
 IRA  13481  13486
 Brokerage 809  836
 Rewards Card 2 -2406 -2489
 CC (largest) -114  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card 0  0
SL 1 -105329 -105444
SL 2 -46411 -46464
 Earnest -4033 -4042
 Net Worth -140010 -139803
 Percentage Change -.46% .15%

How often have you felt the phrase “One step forward and two steps back” in your financial life?

Net Worth Week 68 – This is Gonna Hurt Edition

Gentle Readers,
I’m so glad that the most recent attempt to kill my access to health insurance as a small business owner failed!
The community theatre show was dreadful, but I enjoyed seeing my best friend. Our schedules have not aligned often this summer, and I had missed her.
I had my first chance to test myself in my new skill due a job posting. I did not achieve a high enough score this time, but I have  much better idea about how to move forward. I discussed the test results with my tutor and she is helping me with my plan to re-focus where my skill is lacking. Knowing where you stand is powerful knowledge. I think a few more months of hard focus should have me ready.
I went for my semi-annual cleaning, and happily have no cavities! My dentist has now approved me for invisalign to help fight my TMJ since it seems my teeth have finished shifting after the removal of the final wisdom tooth. It’s going to be an expensive few months. However, I am grateful for this as it should reduce my pain. I’m frankly weirded out by the idea that my smile will be forceably changed. My teeth have always been crooked and I like that about me. I worry that I won’t recognize myself and that I will look less interesting.  But, I must see reason, and know that my teeth are not in the healthiest position currently.
The cost of invisalign would have been easier to handle with a gig in the new skill, but that was not yet to be.

This week’s net worth numbers

7/21/2017 7/28/2017
 Joy 1107 1107
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1004 1004
Life 1480  1499
 IRA  13479  13481
 Brokerage 824  809
 Rewards Card 2 -2045 -2406
 CC (largest) 0  -114
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card 0  0
SL 1 -105213 -105329
SL 2 -46359 -46411
 Earnest -4025 -4033
 Net Worth -139365 -140010
 Percentage Change .45% -.46%

Did you ever have braces?

Net Worth Week 67

Gentle Readers,
This week’s heatwave is worse than last week’s heatwave. The bandelettes  are doing their job. I need to venture out of my home this weekend for a friend’s brunch and a community theatre show. I’m not looking forward to foregoing the AC, but friendship decrees it!
This has definitely been a week of learning. I am very glad I attended that training last Friday even though it meant I did not get a full 40 at my gig. The knowledge and networking was worth it. I met a woman in my field who is interested in starting her own similar business now that she is financially successful and does not have to worry about income. We have a lot to discuss.
I continued with the intensive tutoring. Really big breakthroughs are happening, and I am exhausted. 2ish weeks to go! Then maybe a long nap!
This is my second week under -$140K!!!

This week’s net worth numbers

7/14/2017 7/21/2017
 Joy 1107 1107
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1004 1004
Life 508  1480
 IRA  13304  13479
 Brokerage 817  824
 Rewards Card 2 -1693 -2045
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card 0  0
SL 1 -105098 -105213
SL 2 -46306 -46359
 Earnest -4016 -4025
 Net Worth -139990 -139365
 Percentage Change .69% .45%

How are you handling your heat wave?

Net Worth Week 66 – It’s Hot in Here Edition

Gentle Readers,
My city is experiencing a heat wave, and I may need more bandelettes to continue the good fight against friction.
I’m a bit frustrated with my teeth. I take good care of them, but they cause me enormous bills. I’ve been in constant tooth pain since last summer when my final wisdom tooth came in. It came in such a way to alter the position of my other teeth. That process was painful. Unfortunately, the new position also means that my night-guard which prevents my TMJ from making my pain unbearable is no longer fitted to my teeth as they are. My dentist is aware, but told me that we can’t do anything until 7 + months after my wisdom tooth removal, because my jaw and teeth will still be settling. Then she wants me to do braces and force my teeth into healthier positions to ease some of the pain and tension. For now, I just wait in pain. Wearing the guard causes deep pain in all of my teeth, but not wearing it allows me to grind my teeth causing damage. It’s an expensive and painful position to be in.
I’m really enjoying my tutoring. I am definitely learning a ton, but it is eating in to my sleeping time so I’m extra tired. There will be three more weeks of this, and then I’ll reassess to see if I need to purchase some more. Or if my body can take more, we’ll see what wins out. My progress has definitely kicked up a notch.
Today I’m off work to attend a training for young professionals in my field. I won’t be paid for these hours, but I think I will be much more confident in my business. Definitely worth it.
In more happy news, a potential client contacted my business. He’s been a bit flaky before, but it would be nice to add to my client-base now that I cannot do overtime.
I’m happy to see my debt go down. This is the first time I’ve been under -$140000!

This week’s net worth numbers

7/7/2017 7/14/2017
 Joy 1107 1107
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1004 1004
Life 500  508
 IRA  13085  13304
 Brokerage 700  817
 Rewards Card 2 -2121 -1693
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card 0  0
SL 1 -105242 -105098
SL 2 -46372 -46306
 Earnest -4008 -4016
 Net Worth -140964 -139990
 Percentage Change .02% .69%

How are you handling your heat wave?

Net Worth Week 65

Gentle Readers,
Work finally took away our OT. Slow and steady must win the race now.  My tutoring begins next week and I’m very excited. I’ll probably have less time for interacting with folks because I need to focus really hard on my lessons to make sure they sink in appropriately. A little focus should go a long way, I think. The plan is to devote most of July to this and then potentially find a gig in it. Such a gig would definitely change my money situation quickly.
I should have noted it before, but I am over halfway done on repaying my Earnest Loan! Huzzah!

This week’s net worth numbers

6/30/2017 7/7/2017
 Joy 1107 1107
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 46
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1004 1004
Life 1439  500
 IRA  13134  13085
 Brokerage 704  700
 Rewards Card 2 -2902 -2121
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card 0  0
SL 1 -105090 -105242
SL 2 -46306 -46372
 Earnest -4465 -4008
 Net Worth -140992 -140964
 Percentage Change -.35% .02%

Do you still invest in your skill-building?

Net Worth Week 64 – She’s Here Edition!

Gentle Readers,
My room is not yet perfectly organized. (Hint, it never will be.) But I have reduced the amount of stuff through donations, give-aways, and trash where appropriate.  I got it done just in time for my girlfriend to arrive.
My niece is also visiting, but some tomfoolery has prevented me from seeing her until her last day here.
It is still unclear how long my job will last. We had 2.5 days of sitting waiting for work before we were put back on tasks that don’t need to be done. My resume is as current as possible.
It has been an expensive few weeks. This has corresponded with OT being curtailed due to weekend server upgrades. I thought I’d be done with my credit cards before the end of June. I was mistaken.
Thankfully, one of the expenses is for my tutor who I will be starting with very soon. July is going to be an intensely focused month on skill-building. Hopefully, when August roles around, I will find a job in that skill. There was a posting for a similar gig this week, but it is bad form to leave a gig early and I’m not quite prepared.
 It’s time to head out the door for breakfast. I hope y’all have wonderful Fourth of July Weekends!

This week’s net worth numbers

6/23/2017 6/30/2017
 Joy 1107 1107
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1004 1004
Life 1116  1439
 IRA  13106  13134
 Brokerage 709  704
 Rewards Card 2 -2291 -2902
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card (98) CR  0
SL 1 -105011 -105090
 SL 2 -46266 -46306
 Earnest -4455 -4465
 Net Worth -140500 -140992
 Percentage Change .19% -.35%

Do you have plans for Independence Day?

Net Worth Week 63 – “Stable” Employment Edition

Gentle Readers,
I’ve done a good job working through some of the giveaway piles and they should be gone before my girlfriend arrives. Gave the nicest thing to a friend and will be donating the rest to a nonprofit.
Work is being very sketchy with information. I think my project is ending, but they won’t say. This is par for the temp employment course, but is always frustrating because you are never sure that you should be looking for a new gig until you are out of another. This is why a resume needs to be up to date. As soon as you are told that employment ends in 2 hours (this is what they do to temps), you can email your recruiters the updated resume and let them start working for you.
I get tempted when the balance is this close to raid my bank to pay off the credit card in full, but I don’t know if I have paying work next week and that feels dangerous.
Had the last free class and signed up for the great deal on a tutor. I think really focused work is going to get me ready to charge for this skill.

This week’s net worth numbers

6/16/2017 6/23/2017
 Joy 1107 1107
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1004 1004
Life 476  1116
 IRA  13145  13106
 Brokerage 705  709
 Rewards Card 2 -2136 -2291
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card (98) CR  (98) CR
SL 1 -104890 -105011
 SL 2 -46210 -46266
 Earnest -4446 -4455
 Net Worth -140764 -140500
 Percentage Change .37% .19%

Do you feel that your employment is stable?