Save. Spend. Splurge.

Week of Money: Where Little Bun feels like the days are endlessly long

DAY ONE

7:41 a.m. — I log in and start blogging. I find it easier to do short bursts of blogging rather than long periods of 3-4 hours at a time.

7:50 a.m. — I log off and start working.

8:01 a.m. — I make an appointment for my third booster shot. They are all Moderna, as we ran out of Pfizer, due to the surge of people suddenly getting their first shots after the weed and wine stores in Québec are enforcing vaccinations to buy anything from them (even online pickups). Whatever works, I guess.

8:50 a.m. — I call and switch my other appointment to about 2 weeks AFTER I get my third booster shot. I am not going to a hospital, but still.. better safe than sorry. I would rather go after I have been boosted, to make sure I am as protected as can be during this surge.

12:50 a.m. — Finally finished meetings.

12:59 p.m. — Lunch time.

1:05 p.m. — Down for his Quiet Time / Nap, while I take a lunch break.

2:51 p.m. — Up from his nap, he runs out of the bedroom squealing with happiness. He knows there is some extra cake today to eat.

3:40 p.m. — I have meetings all day long.

5:30 p.m. — OK … this oes bother me because countries with universal healthcare does not mean it is free.

In Québec you pay $0 – $710 for the cost of the drug plan (it says on my taxes $600)

The actual healthcare plan, is then based on your income, 1% of it for the most part, up to a maximum of $1000 a year.

The employers here also pay 1.65% into the fund based off your salary as part of payroll taxes, meaning all the wages they pay out – they pay 1.65% of that into the healthcare fund.

So personally, out of pocket, based off our drug plan + healthcare plan, the MAXIMUM we would pay would be $142.50/month, for someone earning over $150K, more or less.

And for that person earning $150K, the employer pays $2475/year into the plan.

This high-earner, would then be essentially contributing off their wages, $4185 a year to the health plan, of which $1710 is coming directly from them.

What irks me slightly is people do not see this payment into the fund, and consider it “free”. Nothing is free. Companies don’t manufacture medicines or machines for free and sell them at cost. Hospitals don’t run on magic. Where I think the real money maker is in the U.S., is the insurance companies and that it is an open ‘free’ market to let (as I understood it), companies set whatever price they want for what they are offering for medicine.

As a result, you see bills where they charge $20 at a hospital for tissue box, or $50 for some tweezers they used. This is not unheard of, to have to pay over $100K for a snakebite.

5:30 p.m. — I log off.

5:32 p.m. — Dinner, dishes and laundry as per our nighttime routine. Little Bun is wiping down cutlery. Afterwards, he runs to his father and says: Papa???… and we all know it’s to ask for some cake.

6:07 p.m. — Cake time.

8:54 p.m. — Bedtime routine, and then we go to bed.

Spent: $0

DAY TWO

??:?? — I wake up to Little Bun snuggling me.

6:49 a.m. — I log in to start blogging.

7:23 a.m. — I log off and start working. I have to work early today. Lots of work to do.

8:25 a.m. — I am really loving this jungle wallpaper from Redick’s home. They based the custom wallpaper off a limited edition Louis Vuitton bag print:

It is really cool because it even has tiny little monkeys and flowers at the bottom. It’s really wonderfully done AND I WISH I COULD SEE HOW MUCH IT COSTS SO I CAN LOWER MY EXPECTATIONS IF NEED BE.

I simply love the gold at the top, the colours, the leaves, flowers at the bottom and it’s perfect. I want it for my closet/office, or a similar vibe at least.

9:54 a.m. — Meetings. I forward an email from someone I am working with to my manager to have him deal with her. I am not paid enough to do someone else’s job. He will handle it. He also “ooofed” in my message in reply to the image, and I am sure is now carefully crafting a firm but diplomatic reply on my behalf.

I have learned to not take this stuff personally and to just throw it up higher for them to handle it because it’s below my pay grade.

12:22 p.m. — Lunch time.

1:57 p.m. — Down for his Quiet Time / Nap.

2:51 p.m. — Up from his nap, he bounces out of the bedroom.

3:25 p.m. — He goes on ‘adventures’ in his book with his father. Then runs off with the iPad after his Stuffie stops exploring part of the world.

5:22 p.m. — Dinner, dishes and laundry. There was a lot to clean so the counter is now full of dishes, air drying.

6:25 p.m. — I have dinner and Little Bun sidles up beside me, smiling and batting his eyelashes. I grab a little bowl and spoon my meal into it for him.

5:22 p.m. — We watch a new cooking show together – Next Level Chef with Gordon Ramsay.

8:54 p.m. — Bedtime routine, and then we go to bed.

Spent: $0

DAY THREE

??:?? — I wake up from the strangest dream of my project mixed up with karaoke and real life. Even in my dreams, I cannot get answers.

6:26 a.m. — I log in and start blogging. I basically spend time deleting emails asking for guest writing posts, and so on. I am not interested either, in having a company promote me.

6:45 a.m. — I quickly check to see that I did indeed close an account of a company that is now going bankrupt, to make sure my info was all deleted (it was).

7:40 a.m. — I start downloading forms to do my taxes this year. I have all the info, and steps automated plus noted in great detail (I am forgetful), so it never takes me more than a day to do them, another day to check them in detail, but I need absolute quiet and no one around me to bother / annoy me as I go through my statements, spreadsheet and numbers. I split up the tasks over a few days. I first download all the forms and make sure I haven’t missed any, then I spend one day filling all of them in, then another doing the entries in my accounting software, and the last day to review them in detail before submission.

7:50 a.m. — I log off, and log into my work computer.

8:15 a.m. — I am feeling heartened, reading these articles – Covid loses 90% of its ability to infect once it hits the air. I will still be careful, wear a mask, stay inside during this massive surge (I know people who caught it and are still alive, but the experience is horrific with fatigue, full body pain, coughing, sneezing, etc).  It is only in a lab that they tested this, and there are still 10% of particles that can infect, but at least I do not have to stress out so much about the air portion of things. It is more just being near live human hosts.

8:45 a.m. — Meetings. We have a hard one today as I am getting my manager to help me deal with it. It isn’t my job and it shouldn’t be.

12:22 p.m. — Lunch time.

1:57 p.m. — Down for his Quiet Time / Nap.

2:51 p.m. — Up from his nap, he bounces out of the bedroom. After he has his afternoon milk, he tells me how happy he is we got milk again (we had about a week without it).

4:45 p.m. — I log off and try to tidy up my work space. The problem is I have my personal computer, a monitor, a work computer, Little Bun’s computer, my headset, headphones, phone, wires, and all my papers in one small little desk. It gets very messy, very quickly. Unless I have a little drawer or another table completely, I do not have the space at all.

5:45 p.m. — Dinner, dishes and laundry. Little Bun is wiping down cutlery.

6:25 p.m. — I am in the closet trying to arrange sweaters. I got a few secondhand cashmere ones from Everlane, and I like how they feel so far. As I am not going out as often, almost all of my clothing wearing has halted until I can get a booster shot which I have already booked for about a month later. Then it is 2 weeks before I can go out again.

8:54 p.m. — Bedtime routine, and then we go to bed.

Spent: $0

DAY FOUR

??:?? — I wake up to Little Bun snuggling me.

6:20 a.m. — I log in and start blogging. I also start making notes on the side of things I want to buy again such as the Ethique concentrates which for me, are a huge hit. I love being eco-friendly, but I think I do not love rubbing a bar on my scalp or hair, I would rather have a pre-liquefied product to wash my hair and condition it with. They are so easy to make into a liquid as well.

7:50 a.m. — I log off and start working. I have a document to create for next week and lots of meetings. I am unable to do it ahead of time because the other meetings determine what goes into said document, so it’s a bit of a stressful rush.

8:00 a.m. — Meetings start. All morning, every half hour, a new one.

12:22 p.m. — Lunch time. We even had to go into lunch time over time because of all our meetings.

1:50 p.m. — Down for his Quiet Time / Nap. I hear him giggling and playing in the bedroom.

2:51 p.m. — Up from his nap, he runs out of the bedroom and settles into his chair, looking up at me somewhat expectantly. He knows I have to work until at least 4, so he usually plays by himself until then.

4:40 p.m. — I finally log off for the weekend.

5:47 p.m. — Dinner, dishes and laundry. Little Bun is wiping down cutlery.

6:05 p.m. — We head into the bedroom to play in the closet as I puzzle out different things to do with what I have created. I also try to move into other creative spheres but right now I am just 100% focused on beading because it’s quite repetitive and soothing. In the closet, I like to play music and arrange items together of how I think they should go. Definitely will need an artsy creative room of some sort where I can lay everything out and leave it all out to work on, rather than having to constantly shove things aside and put things away.

7:31 p.m. — We read our books together. I have the Stuffies participate in every story, as a way to quiz him on whether he knows what words like “predecessor” means.

We come across an article about the 52hz whale that is the loneliest whale in the world in the book we are reading about the ocean, as other whales cannot communicate at such a high-pitched level (they only go up to 50hz).

Some think that maybe the whale is deaf, and I seize the opportunity to talk about deaf people, their world, and what we have as hearing people.

We watch a video about how a deaf person sounds when they speak, and I explain to him that as she was not born hearing, she doesn’t know how to pronounce the words, use the nose, air, mouth palate, and tongue to create the words as hearing people know them to be.

Her tones are flat because she has never heard them!

I can see it click in Little Bun’s head, somewhat. I also bring up an example of how when he was smaller (even now), if he doesn’t pronounce the word very carefully, or my brain isn’t attuned to the context, I do not know what he is saying and make him spell out the word for me. He sort of gets it.

It’s nice to have opportunities to branch off into other areas of life, based on what we read, and I think that’s what I love best about reading with him at night.

8:54 p.m. — Bedtime routine of double tucking him in, checking to make sure his Stuffies and a new “baby: (it’s a big soft cuddly pillow to snuggle) is tucked in beside him, and then we go to bed.

Spent: $0

DAY FIVE

??:?? — I wake up, my eyes a bit fuzzy. I needed another hour.

5:49 a.m. — I log in and just sit there, watching videos and blog.

7:50 a.m. — I log off and start working on my work computer and documents.

8:30 a.m. — I pre-peel my candy into a bowl so that I can scarf it down more efficiently when I am stressed:

10:25 a.m. — Little Bun always has questions about words. I finally found a two-in-one thesaurus AND dictionary, and gave it to him to start looking up words on his own.

Sometimes I am in meetings and I am unable to answer/listen/help, and now he does it on his own when he comes across words he doesn’t understand. What is also great, is sometimes the explanation goes over his head, so we spend a few minutes discussing what the words mean, and giving examples he can understand.

Like politics. He asked me what political meant, and I had to launch into a whole spiel about what governing a country means, and what politics refers to, but modified for a 7-year old.

Today, he found a fun quiz for himself about math on the computer, and while I was in a meeting, he quietly looked up this word (it was adorable seeing him concentrating):

Do not ask me what quiz this was. He came up with it on his own, by himself. He likes quizzes, scoring and seeing how he can get 100%. It frustrates him when in a game, it goes so fast or it is too difficult for anyone (even adults!!! I have tried!!) to get 100%. That I think, is really not a fair thing to do to children in apps, particularly perfectionist ones.

I also try really hard to emphasize how hard he is working to obtain said knowledge, rather than praising his natural intelligence. I would rather he be called hard working and curious, than “smart”.

12:22 p.m. — Lunch time.

1:57 p.m. — Down for his Quiet Time / Nap.

2:51 p.m. — Up from his nap, he runs out of the bedroom.

3:40 p.m. — I am watching a new show recommended by someone, created by Mindy Kaling (love her), and it’s pretty funny although the title is awful – Sex Lives of College Girls. I mean there is some sex in there, as to be expected, but it sounds like a racier title than what the show is really about. I guess it’s title bait.

5:12 p.m. — Dinner (it was vegan tonight – avocado, homemade potato samosas, and hummus), dishes and laundry. Little Bun is wiping down cutlery, while I basically cover the entire counter with dishes balanced on top of each other and drying.

6:47 p.m. — I take a break and do some beading. I am really getting better, and compared to my first attempt, I am seeing it takes about 5 projects before you really get the hang of it, and learn how to bead properly. My first attempt was awful.

9:42 p.m. — Bedtime routine, and then we go to bed after we read a few pages of the ocean book. Some of the facts in there are pretty cool like this New Zealand island castaway hut network that was built to help people who were shipwrecked to hunt, fish, stay alive until help came. The ships would come every 6 months to pick up people and replenish the huts with new equipment. It’s such a kind gesture.

Spent: $0

DAY SIX

??:?? — I wake up and my left arm is all numb from being slept on. Little Bun crawls over to me, and I whisper: “My left arm is sleeping!“… He immediately grabs my hand and says “Where, Mommy? Let me massage it..”… and he rubs my arm, my side of my arm, my hands, my fingers, just the way I do it to him when his arm sleeps or his leg sleeps. You really do model what your kids become.

6:22 a.m. — I log in and start blogging.

7:38 a.m. — I log off and start working. Have a full morning of calls, then I block off my afternoon to actually do some work.

8:08 a.m. — I try to see what I can do to get Little Bun to learn more French, and it seems like they have kindergarten, and pre-school pages, then it jumps straight into FRENCH, with French instructions though the work itself is easy, he cannot read the instructions on his own to work independently. What they need is a book in between that teaches basic verb conjugations and words, but we are missing that, so I am going to create my own activity sheets for him.

12:02 p.m. — Lunch time.

1:57 p.m. — Down for his Quiet Time / Nap.

2:51 p.m. — Up from his nap, he runs out of the bedroom and squeals: I AM READY!!!!!… I ask him ready for what? He tells me to have fun and a great afternoon, then he swipes the iPad to go play the new AvoKiddo Pirates game, and runs away.

4:40 p.m. — I log off for the day.

5:40 p.m. — Dinner, dishes and laundry. Little Bun is wiping down cutlery. He tells me all about the game he is playing and what he did. I listen, and wipe dishes down and let them airdry.

6:25 p.m. — We are reading a book and he is just rushing through words. I AM CERTAIN he doesn’t fully grasp what “collision” means, so I stop him and try to explain the corrosion (the word he read), meant a slow decay or breaking down of something, but collision was a smash, like two trains hitting each other. He gets really angry at me for interrupting him for having read the wrong word, and starts speed reading out the words.

I immediately stop him and lecture him. I tell him that reading is not just READING. Reading is reading plus understanding WHAT you read. I do not see the point of reading just to say the words. I tell him I can read in Italian and pronounce the words, but I would have ZERO IDEA what most of it means.

He is silent. Then I give him a little hug, and he starts reading again. I find that I have to stop and give him mini lectures during the day otherwise he gets angry but doesn’t realize why I am doing what I am doing.

8:54 p.m. — Bedtime routine, and then we go to bed.

Spent: $0

DAY SEVEN

??:?? — Little Bun snuggles into my nook in the bed. I kiss him and tell him he used to be so tiny in my arms.

6:02 a.m. — I log in and answer emails, do blog admin stuff, then start blogging. I have decided to give myself the weekends off so that it doesn’t feel like a lot, and so far that has been working out for me.

7:50 a.m. — I log off and start working.

8:08 a.m. — Meetings all morning. Endless. The only break I get is at 2, after all the meetings are done.

12:22 p.m. — Lunch time.

1:57 p.m. — Down for his Quiet Time / Nap. And I finally get my break so I take an hour long one.

2:51 p.m. — Up from his nap, he runs out of the bedroom. But he hasn’t done all of his schoolwork, so he goes back to work.

3:40 p.m. — Still not finished his work. He seems to just be plodding along.

5:12 p.m. — Dinner, dishes and laundry. Little Bun is wiping down cutlery.

7:20 p.m. — Finally finished his work, I am checking it, and making comments / analysis and trying to figure out what he was saying / improving how he could have seen the answer differently. This is real progress from when he first started answering these questions. His writing skills need a lot of work as well, I may have to sit with him to show him how neat and tiny he has to make these words.

8:01 p.m. — Little Bun has a fight with his father and bursts out: BUT DADDY MADE ME SO ANGRY.… and his father, upset with the whole situation, confiscates the iPad for a week, which then results in another meltdown. Long story short, I repeat to Little Bun from our earlier situation not even a month ago, about priorities – Food, Shelter, Love, Books, Warm home, Treats… and that iPads are at the very bottom because they are games that are fun, yes, but also not real. They’re virtual. It isn’t real life. What matters is REAL LIFE. He remembers, so I don’t launch into the 45 minute spiel. Instead, we sit there, and talk about other things, like how to calm down.

He tells me: I don’t even know when I am calm! And then sometimes I am calm but then I burst out again.

Me: I understand. I hear you. I am the same way. Sometimes I get sad, but then after I am fine, I get sad again and need a hug from you.

Little Bun: YES.

And with that, I validate his feelings, and we talk about all the other things we will do. I also make him a promise we will do more reading together and look up things on my phone, and I will try not to answer emails or do things while we are together. He looks happy. (I have an issue with multi-tasking.)

The whole thing has to do with how boring online schooling is with his father. The videos / teachers are boring, not as interesting as my English videos, and as a result, he can’t stay still for 27-ish minutes to watch it, but HE HAS TO, as we have no other alternative to structured schooling at home.

I explain to him how important it is for me to pay attention and learn the words, as he cannot only speak with Daddy, and he has to learn how other people pronounce or talk to him so that he becomes fully fluent. You cannot learn a language fully with just one person. I had been hoping to travel and have him in school so he could learn even more, but this pandemic has halted all of that.

He sees how important it is to me, and finally calm, he goes out and does his schooling even though we all agree it is boring, and sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

8:25 p.m. — Now, finally calm (once he starts laughing and smiling it usually means he is fine), he does schooling.

9:56 p.m. — Bedtime routine, and then we go to bed. He tells me in bed that he feels like the days are SO LONG now and getting LONGER. I tell him it is because he is not really doing his Workbook quickly. He looks at me, and I say: “I think I may have a good reason why you feel like the days are longer and you are taking so much time…...” …. and I trail off.

He looks at me sheepishly and says: Yeah.. I get distracted a lot. Today I got distracted a lot.

Me: Well that’s why it took you until 19:00 to finish your pages. And why the day feels so long. Mommy gets this with work sometimes too.

I tell him that I am not going to be policing him to finish his pages. He has to be the one to set his own schedule and if he is late, he is late, and has to do more pages tomorrow to make up for what he did not finish. He is in charge of his own schooling and education, and schedule planning.

He nods in the dark. Then we just drift off to sleep.

Spent: $0

———-

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

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