Save. Spend. Splurge.

Week of Money: Where I pick up a $1000 gift for my mother and my brain starts to wind down

DAY ONE

??:?? — I wake up with Little Bun and we head out in the living room while I make a tea and he starts on his work.

6:00 a.m. — I hand him a geography quiz on Canada. He fills in a blank map with the provinces, territories and capital cities.

6:20 a.m. — The homeschooling board sent us an email yesterday saying we did not register Little Bun for schooling. Turns out, they wanted it also emailed to them, not just uploaded to the website. So we download our PDF of the registration and email it.

8:25 a.m. — White chocolate has no cocoa in it (no caffeine), which is why it doesn’t make me sick. White chocolate is not technically considered chocolate! Then I get this hilarious message:

9:47 a.m. — Meetings all morning.

10:40 a.m. — In between I do minor things for 10-15 minutes, all my little tasks like buying stocks and so on.

12:08 p.m. — Time for lunch! And then I scroll through memes and this one is definitely funny

12:28 p.m. — Lunch – we have brown rice, rosemary and leftover duck from a dinner. Little Bun sidles up to me and says: HELLO MOMMY! (very brightly) because he knows it will be time to partake and share in the food with me, and he wants to be front and center, taking every other bite. My lunches have now doubled in size because of him.

3:25 p.m. — The Stuffies are painting their home. Please note the makeshift paintbrush in blue, the colour is yellow on it:

7:30 p.m. — After dinner, we watch a movie – Lost in Translation – that my partner has asked me to help him decipher. He understands the English words but doesn’t get the context / cultural meaning behind what is being said. For instance in one scene:

Husband: I am going to a business meeting with a [famous beautiful actress] downstairs.

Wife: Oh fun. I’ll come too.

Husband: Oh you wanna come?

Wife: Yeah.

He thought at first the guy was surprised at her WANTING to come, but I pointed out that (A) he did not ask her to come – “Hey I am going to a business meeting with famous actress, would you like to come?”, and (B) the way he said reluctantly: “Oh you wanna come?”, means he did NOT want her to come (for whatever reasons, flirting, or maybe he thinks she will be mean to the actress who is a bit shallow). He totally missed that nuance because he was taking it naively at face value. Anyway, stuff like that.

And translating lyrics of songs to explain meanings like “Gonna make you notice“, clearly refers to “going to make you notice me“, but as she didn’t sing the “me”, he was lost as to what he was supposed to notice.

9:42 p.m. — Little Bun wails in despair, he misses Mommy Time and this is extremely long and boring for him to hear an analysis on pop culture, relationships, the movie nuances and so on. We had been talking so long, he is extremely grumpy and shows his displeasure by huffing like a rhino and stomping up and down the hallways until I in frustration, call out and ask him what is going on.

Little Bun: YOU WENT TOO LONG WITH YOUR ANALYSIS! YOU SAID WE WOULD DO YOGA TOGETHER AND READ AND PLAY IN THE CLOSET.

Me: Oh! I didn’t realize it was already bedtime! We are so far past it.

Little Bun: *sobbing* YOU SAID WE WOULD PLAY IN THE CLOSET.

Me: *holding him and snuggling* I am so sorry. We will play tomorrow, ALL DAY before nap and after nap okay? Anything you want. I totally lost track of time with Daddy.

Little Bun: *softer sobs* Okay. *sobbing*

Me: I genuinely feel awful. I did promise you and I completely forgot to keep track of time.

Little Bun: WELL I KEPT TRACK OF TIME.

Me: I know you did, but I did not, and we were caught up in this, and I promised you. I did promise and I did not keep it because I lost track of time.

Little Bun: *tears*

Anyway, it ended well. I made him tell me what he thought a perfect day would be tomorrow, and he detailed out what would be fun, not fun, and asked if there was snow we could make a snowman. I tell him it is snowing but it may not be enough or the right kind of packing snow (not powdery stuff), to make a snowman. We fall asleep thinking of tomorrow together.

Spent: $0

DAY TWO

??:?? — We wake up and he tells me: MOMMY THERE IS SNOW (he ran out to check). He tells me he wants to make a snowman, I tell him we need to see as I do not think there is (A) enough snow and (B) the right kind of packing snow (it has to be a bit humid to stick together).

7:15 a.m. — We hang out together, playing Two Dots on the iPad, and I am giving him full attention as I realized it was what he missed yesterday.

7:59 a.m. — Little Bun makes a little crib for the Stuffies to hang out in out of his sweater so he can watch & care for them while he does his work.

8:08 a.m. — My partner is up and we head out to play in the park in the snow. As predicted, it is not enough snow, too powdery and cold / dry / crunchy, and not soft and humid. We make snow angels, we draw with sticks in the snow (he writes out math equations “for other babies to come and learn” – yes, he considers everyone small a baby – and we play Snow Tic Tac Toe, where we draw out the board and use our hands to make the imprints of what we wanted as a move.

11:24 a.m. — Back home, after lunch, we head into the closet as promised and play in there together. He likes to take the stones and to make fun games with them, smashing them together and making stories about how they have to escape, or create a jailbreak of some sort-  all of this is based on apps and books / stories he reads or learns about on YouTube, mashed together into his imagination. He then asks to help me, and I let him paint pieces.

12:55 p.m. — Time for his nap. And I take a break to look at fashion inspo! I am warming up to the idea of a black velvet baseball hat now.

I also love this look, and am eying the belt:

1:25 p.m. — I end up finding and buying a velvet baseball cap, secondhand on Poshmark. $26.49

2:56 p.m. — He runs in on me napping and screams: PEEKABOO! .. I give a mock scream (he loves it when he ‘scares’ me), and he giggles like a maniac and does it again. He does it every time he comes into a room where I am, and screams PEEKABOO!

5:25 p.m. — I watch Fake Famous, a documentary and it is just incredible what you can do to fake a following until you ‘make’ it.

7:30 p.m. — Little Bun watched it on and off with me with some parts – some of it is too boring for him as it is adult stuff, like talking about the ease to become an influencer. It was fascinating to me because I have about 21K followers on IG, but I didn’t know that buying so many fake followers would actually work.

I guess if I wanted to get into the business to be an influencer, you need startup capital of about maybe $20K to pay for fake followers, hire a photography and video crew, rent out locales to take photo shoots in… it would be pretty easy to get there based on what I saw. The problem is that then you lose the whole point (for me) of what this is supposed to be about. Authentic followers, and authentic following so you can interact with people.

They work bloody hard however. I can see it is rough work to be constantly dolled up, waiting around for shoots, taking videos, pictures, posing, pretending, and doing it every 2 days to have fresh content churned out, plus writing, tagging… I knew this already from having done it, but then the whole added part of pictures would finish me I think. It is easy to create pictures or things to post, it is not as easy to be the one in the center of all of it. Plus, it takes a hit to your self-esteem in a way because people are very rude, have no filters or are trolls (as I have experienced).

It seems to me, easier to just get a job unless this is what you really want to do for your life, and you are okay with this kind of fame and attention, and working for peanuts until you can get to a level where they actually start paying you, or you start making money off ads in YouTube and so on. I guess this kind of work for me, is too much of a hassle (not to mention I would greatly dislike the notoriety of being known aka “fame”), and not worth the trouble as I can make money with my brain instead.

8:47 p.m. — We spend the night hanging out, and doing yoga.

Little Bun: Mommy do you feel crunchy?

Me: A little.

Little Bun: LET US DO YOGA!

So he makes the Stuffies add in a new Stuffie Yoga session, called Head Bum Toes. Like a move where you touch your head, your bum, then your toes. It makes him roll in laughter on the bed and he can’t even breathe, he is laughing so hard. He loves Stuffie Yoga.

I play along and pretend that Babiest Stuffie wants him to rate the yoga session as well, and DEMANDS FIVE STARS.

Me: What!? What if I did not want to give 5 stars? Maybe 4?

Babiest Stuffie: THEN I WILL CRY.

Me: Well. That seems like emotional terrorism. What if I do not think it was worth 5 stars?

Babiest Stuffie: *starts to waaaaaaaaaaah*

*Little Bun is laughing so hard at this while I am speaking for myself and for Babiest Stuffie*

Maybe this is sending the wrong message that crying is the answer, but I think he is smart enough to realize that is not the case with us and crying will not get him what he wants all the time. This is just him seeing that Babies Stuffie is emotionally immature and unable to be more than a “baby” with the appropriate baby feelings.

Spent: $26.49

DAY THREE

??:?? — We wake up and my back feels better but I think I slept on it wrong and I twisted it a little. I tell him that, as Little Bun wants another Babiest Stuffie Yoga session (he has been tracking their reviews + stars on a piece of paper too.. LOL)

6:00 a.m. — Isn’t this the truth.

6:09 a.m. — I log in and start working

10:15 a.m. — Little Bun makes poems for me all morning. It is so cute and sweet – I keep them all:

12:08 p.m. — LUNCH!

12:28 p.m. — Little Bun has the Stuffies putting the rubber animals up for sale. I am laughing at the prices:

And look, on the back he wrote – OUT OF STOCK – so he could just flip it around!!!! I didn’t even know he would do this, this was a pleasant surprise at how far he thought about creating the signs. It’s kind of cool watching his brain work.

1:20 p.m. — I am in meetings all day until 4. Painful.

4:56 p.m. — I finally log off. Little Bun woke up at 3, and ran in to grab the iPad before scurrying off to collect his ‘daily rewards’. He is so cute, he really does remember to do things and has a schedule he follows.

5:33 p.m. — We are watching that movie again – Lost in Translation – so I can help my partner. It’s like a pet project / hobby to figure out the movie and what it means. He says that he doesn’t think it is a critique of Japanese culture or making fun of them, but a critique against American culture and consumerism. There is a deeper meaning he and I both see, based on what Sofia Coppola created as scenes and with songs interspersed throughout.

8:00 p.m. — Now my partner says: MOSHI MOSHI!.. and Little Bun loves the words, it sends him off into peals of laughter because it sounds like a name of a stuffie he has. Now we cutely say to each other: Moshi moshi!… and it makes Little Bun smile/giggle as it means hello in Japanese, but sounds like his Stuffie name.

9:34 p.m. — Time for bed.

Spent: $0

DAY FOUR

??:?? — Whoa we really slept in. The sun is up.

8:34 a.m. — I wake up recharged. He slept well, I slept well.

8:35 a.m. — I log in and work.

9:10 a.m. — Meetings all day and morning.

11:36 a.m. — After an early lunch, we take a break in the closet to play, and Little Bun begs me to let him wear my clip on earrings. I clip them on his ears, take pictures, and exclaim at how cute he is with them on! He really does look adorable with some of the earrings. Actually, all of them.

He tells me proudly: I am a model! I love modeling!!! I am so cute.

His self-esteem is certainly healthy, and it is helped by us telling him all the time how much we love how hard he works, but also that he is a very cute child. I am trying to not make it the only thing he focuses on, but I think body acceptance and love for yourself is very important.

Me: You look cuter to me, than in the photos with SnapChat filters.

Him: I do?

Me: Yes, your SnapChat filters make you look strange, your face becomes more babylike, with eyelashes and you don’t look like my baby, you do not look as cute.

(The filters are meant to make women look babyish, which is a whole other discussion on the infantilism of women as something attractive and sexually acceptable. Kind of borders on pedophilia, and the whole discussion on that is a post…)

Him: I LOOK SO MUCH BETTER without filters!

Me: You do. We all do.

Him: I am so cute! I am wonderful!

5:40 p.m. —  We redecorate the Stuffies home after I log off work, to take a break. This is the bedroom. We have a bookcase in the. corner, a little big couch to hang out on, and two beds – one for Babiest Stuffie and the other for Biggest Stuffie:

This is the music room. The blue blocks are drumsticks for the drum, there is a piano against the back wall in red and blue, and the orange blocks to the bottom right  is a violin:

And this is the Rainbow Wallpapered room. We packed the blocks around in a cool pattern for the floor and sides, and little stools to sit on, plus a small table for snacks (note the hamburger):

And the attic! Getting ready for Christmas, and the train is the center of the couch fireplace hangout

6:34 p.m. — Dinner.

6:58 p.m. — Laundry, dishes, he runs around doing his tasks – putting away towels, cloths, folding, wiping cutlery, wiping pots.

7:47 p.m. — Time for more closet time. We sit in there, and work on pieces. I have been making a lot of earrings lately, I am on a roll.

He happens to see what happened at Astroworld and a 9-year old boy dying, and he asks me why the boy had to die. He asks me why the crowd did not move back. I explain to him about crowd behaviour, mob behaviour and just that in general, humans are not rational when they are all drunk, screaming, singing, and at a concert. They are not thinking. And this mob behaviour resulted in deaths. He asks why they didn’t stop the concert and move back, and I tell him they couldn’t because there was no space, the boy and others were squished up and likely got trampled at like crowd rushes on days like Black Friday.

I remind him that people do not act rationally, just look at the pandemic. Look at all of the people refusing vaccines, refusing to wear masks and take things seriously, and thinking it is just a fake situation that is causing so many to die unnecessarily.

He starts to tear up and cry because he sees himself in that 9-year old boy, as they are close in age. And he starts to cry. We pause, and I pull him onto my lap and hug him. I ask him if he is sad because he thinks he could have been the boy, and he nods. He tells me that NO ONE had to die, and I agree with him. I ask him who he thinks should be responsible and he says the singers, and the people who crushed the ones who died.

I tell him it isn’t so easy to pin the blame on someone, but the singers are a good start as other concertgoers did go up and beg them to stop the concert and to help the injured folks. He nods, and tears fall down his cheeks. I hold him tight, he rubs his eyes and we share a quiet moment of silence in the closet for those who died unnecessarily.

8:58 p.m. — Time for the bedtime routine. We want time to read books together, and I do not like rushing. We always have a yoga session now with the Stuffies and then it is bedtime to read and relax.

Spent: $0

DAY FIVE

??:?? — Little Bun sits up in bed screaming during the night: “OUVERT! OUVERT!!!”… (“open” in French). I do not know what he wants to open, but I go and grab him, hug him, kiss him, rub his back and lead him back down onto his pillow and tuck him in. We will have a bad night tonight as our sleep is disturbed.

7:58 a.m. — As predicted. We are tired but we “slept in”… and I feel so tired. I log in and work.

8:20 a.m. — The neighbour is walking with heels around upstairs, and Little Bun grumps: I wish we could give TICKETS FOR NOISE POLLUTION. Not concert tickets, you know, but tickets to make them PAY! I soothe him and tell him this will not be forever. I tell him we have to just be calm and suck it up.

12:08 p.m. — Lunch time.

1:15 p.m. — I head out for a bit for a walk. I need a break.

1:48 p.m. — Back home.

1:15 p.m. — As I am on a call, his father goes to throw out a duplicate magazine he had from a subscription and Little Bun starts getting upset and waving his arms. When I hear the commotion I realize his father did not know what he wanted to do (he is missing the words to flow easily into his mouth to explain what he wants), and I explain during a call while on mute, that he set it aside on my things because he wanted to donate / give away the magazine to another kid to read because he already had this one.

Little Bun is extremely thoughtful, kind and wants to give generously, so I encourage him to give what he thinks others would like if he has no use for it any more. We do this with books, even candy we buy for others, I ask him how to portion it out so that everyone gets a fair share.

6:44 p.m. — Little Bun draws a cute little bee for me, and then we do division with fractions:

We are working on taking fractions and then dividing them with whole numbers or with fractions. This is one he worked out on the iPad. I then asked him to simplify the fraction down from 3/15, and he wrote out the factors:

3 = 1 and 3

15 = 1, 3, 5, 15

The common factor being 3, so he divided both, and got 1/5 at the end:

8:12 p.m. — Little Bun came up with a ‘chess board’ game for the blocks and Stuffies to play:

They play against each other with their pieces:

8:55 p.m. — Yoga session with the Stuffies as yogis. I make up fake conversations between them and myself, and here is a sample:

Me: *pretending to Babiest Stuffie* Have you been accredited!?? This does not seem like yoga.

(We are doing funny positions like lifting one leg up and down, and giving them names like Stuffie Kick Pose)

Babiest Stuffie: NOT YET! I AM STILL A BEGINNER!

Me: So why are we taking lessons from you!?

Babiest Stuffie: SO I CAN BECOME ACCREDITED! I need 100 stars from reviews from customers!

Me: This feels like a scam.

Babiest Stuffie: No it’s not. Now put your leg up for Stuffie Kick Pose.

Little Bun throughout this, is laughing so hard, he cannot breathe. This is why I continue doing this charade.

8:55 p.m. — Bedtime. We talk about our day, what went wrong, what went right, and I mention that he saw a > < sign in math on a book and did not know what it was! I asked him if we need to review this, and he clarifies: No No Mommy, I know < and >, it was just I never saw it used in a percentage!

(We were looking at ranges of percentages and he saw >1% and asked me what > meant)

So I launch into an explanation on how people use > and < to talk about ranges in decimals, fractions, percentages, and it is just something to replace the words: “Greater than” or “Less than”, and it is not just with whole numbers. Then we hold hands like little otters and drift off to sleep.

Spent: $0

DAY SIX

6:35 a.m. — After we snuggle, get up, get milk, and do a bathroom run, he breaks my heart by looking at some charms I happened to click on. He saw a “BEST FRIENDS” heart one (it breaks into two pieces, you know what I am talking about), then said very softly: I only have one friend, so never mind. I cannot buy this. I want to burst into tears. I ask him: “Who was your friend?” (out of curiousity, I am secretly hoping it is not Snobby Neighbour’s son because then we will have to meet 6 meters apart so that I do not suffer from Mommy Guilt).

He tells me: This little girl at [insert name] daycare! (like 3 years ago).

My heart shatters anyway into a million pieces. I remember her, and she felt the same way about him being her only friend. ARGH. I wish he could go to school. Maybe next year. I am starting to despair. I hope he will find friends and I will cherish and treat them just like my own children if he finds ones he really clicks with.

6:46 a.m. — Heartbroken, I am on a call, swallowing my guilt and stress.

9:45 a.m. — He works on rainbow blocking as a break from the pages, then creates a race track out of it for the Stuffies:

12:08 p.m. — Lunch. We have some heavy cheesy pasta, which makes him so happy but honestly, I feel gross. And greasy.

5:28 p.m. — I log off, and while I was working on calls, Little Bun worked on a huge art piece which he calls A Thousand Hearts. He is REALLY into hearts and rainbows, and I secretly buy heart-shaped things to please him, to use in necklaces and so on.

6:09 p.m. — Dinner over, I do dishes, laundry, fold and put everything away.

7:48 p.m. — Then I beg him to let me read my book, which I settle into.

8:15 p.m. — “Mommy, ONE MORE CHAPTER okay?“… he pleads. And I tell him I will finish this chapter and then we will play UNO with Daddy. We play 6 rounds, and he is happy as a clam.

9:15 p.m. — Bedtime. Our faucet is leaking so now I am cleaning up water spills every half hour it seems. The less we use the faucet the better but still… We are waiting for the parts to arrive.

Spent: $0

DAY SEVEN

5:10 a.m. — NAILED IT. This is so me.

5:34 a.m. — I log in to update documents. They sure love Powerpoint presentations.

6:17 a.m. — First call of the day. They all start early in different time zones, and they try to accommodate the Canadian one, but it is really rough when you are ready to go to sleep and we are just starting. So I don’t mind starting early if it means they can log off earlier as a result.

8:08 a.m. — Calls. Little Bun is watching history videos now on Settlers in Canada. I make a mental reminder to talk to him about the other side of history not shown, about the Indigenous and showing all the aspects of it, as I acknowledge that without the colonialism, all the events in history would have led up to likely me not ever meeting his father and him never being born. I still don’t allow it to excuse what was done, but he has to understand that not every side is so black and white, and things would have happened maybe for the better or for the worse for us individually too, which is why we need to consider all sides of the story, no matter how painful. He especially gets sad when children are involved, so while we have talked about the Residential School Massacre and Genocide, I need him to understand how recent it was, and why it came about.

I do not want him to cry, but I also need him to be able to stand up to let’s say, history teachers, or people spouting misinformation so he has facts he can back his statements with. I would love it if he came back and announced that he got into an argument with a history teacher!!!! Honestly. I am not for conflicts, but I strongly back and encourage having your own voice to speak for the lost. I mean, whenever I hear things like: “The settlers came and taught democracy to the Indigenous to teach them how to govern and manage their affairs“, I want to scream because that is the OPPOSITE of what happened. They were already self-governing before the settlers arrived, and their governance (and today’s modern setup) is based on Indigenous peoples own governance and democracy.

Anyway.

12:05 p.m. — Lunch. We have rice and he gobbles up all the rosemary. He loves strong flavours like I do! <3

1:05 p.m. — I am on calls until 5.

4:57 p.m. — We are about log off and someone says: WAIT I HAVE A QUESTION. Oh I want to scream.

4:59 p.m. — FINALLY. DONE.

5:40 p.m. — I order some gifts for my mother. She wanted a canner, so I bought the one she wanted – All American Canner – the racks, the extra jar lid things, and the whole shebang. Plus, I added some nougat in there (her favourite). $1168.10

6:30 p.m. — After dinner time, I eye a few more scarves. I put them in my wishlist to think about.

6:50 p.m. — Books, watching more videos on history (he is starting to enjoy it), and I am looking up world maps for him to fill in so he can learn where the countries are and continents, as he memorized Canada and its capitals in 3 days, so now I will periodically give him a Canada map to retest him over and over again.

8:14 p.m. — I am reading in bed as he digs into his What is the point of Science book, reading on his own. Then he flips to his new chess book and tries to explain to me the different strategies as my eyes glaze over as what the Rook should do when trapped on a square. I have zero mental capacity for Chess.

9:03 p.m. — Bedtime. He is very excited to play in the snow tomorrow. I tell him I hope we can play more Tic Tac Toe! .. My partner will look for a toboggan so we can go down the hills. Or We can just pull him along for a fun ride too, while we walk.

Spent: $1168.10

———-

Want more? Read all of my previous Week of Money Diaries.

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