Save. Spend. Splurge.

Week of Money: Where my First Week back is brutal

DAY ONE

7:30 a.m. — I log in and start working and open an Inbox of 400 emails. Are you kidding me?

8:08 a.m. — My eyes are waffling back and forth all week between being 20/20 and a little blurry, then 20/20 again. I realize that this instability, is giving me a bit of a headache as my brain likes to have stable powers, and slow movements to not get sick, and I hope it eventually stabilizes and stops flipping, even by 0.25. I have been taking Tylenol for the headaches.

9:30 a.m. — In meetings all morning I can feel my will draining. This is ROUGH MAN!…. How can I last until the end? I grit my teeth. I can do it. I take breaks and scroll through Instagram to give my brain a break. This looks very summery and cool.

12:22 p.m. — Lunch time. Little Bun and I are having pasta for lunch, with brussel sprouts.

1:07 p.m. — Down for his Quiet Time / Nap, and I am on calls. Everyone needs a meeting apparently.

2:51 p.m. — Up from his nap, he bounces out of the bedroom and does his work with his father as usual, for schooling.

3:40 p.m. — I remark that my first day back was pretty rough. I am still working through those emails.

6:12 p.m. — Dinner is low key, I am not hungry. When it gets warm, my appetite drops.

8:54 p.m. — Bedtime routine, and then we go to bed. I lay there and just try to let my brain decompress. I think about this:

Spent: $0

DAY TWO

??:?? — I wake up to Little Bun snuggled into my side. For the past few nights he has been asking to snuggle and sleep beside me at night time. I put my arm around him and we snuggle to sleep. He has also been wanting to sleep on top of me again like when he was a baby, and I usually rub his back, and kiss his head until he rolls off and falls asleep.

7:30 a.m. — I log in and start working. I see this on Instagram and realize how true it is. It is so incredibly spot on. Even in many subjects you would think are objective like the study of medicine, philosophy and so on, ALL of these come into play in some manner.

12:22 p.m. — Lunch time. I have brussel sprouts again. I remember back from when I had the allergy first pop up, I couldn’t figure out what it was.

The two meals were completely different. We cooked them with nothing on them, broiled in the oven, and just add them to dishes for veggie boosts. The only thing and seasonings in common between the two meals are the sprouts. Everything else was 100% different.
It was funny because no one else is sick. But they all started getting sympathy hives 🤣
Little Bun: I AM ITCHY NOW!!!
Partner: Me too!!! My arms are itchy
Me: I’m the only one with hives 😒
They got SYMPATHY HIVES!

1:00 p.m. — Down for his Quiet Time / Nap.

2:51 p.m. — Up from his nap, he announces that the Stuffies are on vacation now this week that Mommy is back to work, and they’re sunning themselves in the bedroom.

Please see Exhibit A:

3:40 p.m. — He is working on his math pages and his father is getting frustrated because he is making silly mistakes. He isn’t paying attention, he is distracted.. and his issue is he is a young boy, and has to learn how to focus and practice. I think it’s partly being young, but also being a Gen Z child where everything is fed to you via short videos, blasts of 20-second information… it seems like he can only focus when he is interested in something (like all of us), but there is a hard skill to learn in there, to focus when you DO NOT WANT TO.

Of course, Little Bun is very frustrated he keeps making mistakes, and breaks down when he does. He wants to be a perfectionist, and yet he does nothing to go slower, think, pause, recheck his work, pause again, and redo the math problem again when he is done to make sure it is done right.

So, we head into the bedroom, and talk it out. I give him an example on how Mommy has to do stuff at work she doesn’t want to do, like learn new things. And it is frustrating because I cannot learn them quick enough, or it is too complicated and I have to take more time to go even an inch in knowledge. I tell him I just have to tell myself to be quiet and focus. I take a deep breath, and then I really try. Then I take a break, and I try again and again until I get it and it is clear.

I try different ways, with drawings, process steps, reminders… maybe tricks, and I encourage him to do the same.

The tears finally stop, and he goes back to work on it.

5:12 p.m. — Dinner. His father says if he doesn’t get his math problems correct, two weeks in a row without silly mistakes, because he KNOWS the problems but rushes through them, he doesn’t get the iPad or the computer. Little Bun bursts into tears.

Another tantrum. I back his father because it will help him focus if he takes it more seriously, and then know there are times to play, and times to work. Just like when we get older. These are hard lessons to learn, but you can’t just play all the time and be casual with everything. It is a difficult skill and lesson to learn, and it’s better to start when you’re younger so you have more time to learn and practice.

I feel sometimes, like a terribly strict or hard mother when I try to start teaching these sort of basic life lessons to Little Bun. It hurts to see him struggle, but I know it is necessary, and we are not being overly strict, as he WILL thank us later. He still has a lot of other things to do and to play with.

I feel drained. I lie down in bed and try to just read a book but end up napping, which makes me even more tired. Between work and this, I do not know how I would cope with more than one child. Especially any under age 5, while working at home.

8:54 p.m. — Bedtime routine, and then we go to bed. During bedtime he asks again to clarify the 2-week ban. I tell him – It is two FULL weeks of PURE 100% math scores before you get back the iPad and computer.

He starts to cry again, and is very upset.

I tell him he knows how to do the problem but I see him rushing to get it done, rather than taking his time. And because of that, it makes SILLY mistakes.

I tell him the story of how a little math conversion, basically made a rocket ship explode.

I repeat to him stories of how I made silly mistakes because I wasn’t paying attention and it caused me extra hours of work. I tell him how if I had just DONE IT RIGHT and SLOWLY the first time, I would not be untangling a 4-hour mess at work.

I try to reinforce to him that this is stuff I wish I had learned when I was younger, that taking time to do something right, is worth a lot more than rushing through it, and trying to fix the mistakes. To think, to plan, to consider, and then execute.

He stops crying, and I tell him that I KNOW he can do it. He whispers back: But I don’t know if I can, 2 weeks of straight 100% math..

I tell him – Well, if you don’t believe it, that will also come true that you won’t succeed. If you do believe it, that will also come true. Whatever you think, is what will happen. So you choose to give up and fail, or succeed, it’s up to you, but I know you have the ability to do it. I saw you crush it the other day and do 100% correct except for ONE question.

Then I hear him whispering to himself fiercely: “JUST STOP. AND THINK. AND DO IT.” … then we fall asleep, exhausted.

Spent: $0

DAY THREE

7:30 a.m. — I log in and start working. So. Many. Emails.

12:22 p.m. — Lunch time. I haven’t even had a break. I wolf down a meal.

12:34 p.m. — Little Bun wanders out….

Little Bun: This page on census taking, it counts as math AND social studies right?

Me: No. It is social studies. It’s ONE page. You need to do another page as well.

Little Bun: Oh.

(Sneaky…..His new name should be SNEAKY BUN.)

1:01 p.m. — Back on a call. And he is down for his Quiet Time / Nap.

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

3:25 p.m. — I ALMOST WASHED THESE AIRPODS IN THE LAUNDRY.

5:12 p.m. — He loves this new series and has been basically reading out loud to me the passages in his current fave series – Junie B Jones.

Me: OK baby… *quietly sneaking away to the bedroom to have mental peace and quier*

Little Bun.. proceeds to FOLLOW ME to the bedroom, closes the door and snuggles beside me to continue reading out loud to me

I mean. On the one hand I’m .. but on the other hand I’m he just wants to always be near me physically. Ever since he was a baby, he’s always preferred to have one paw on me, to make sure I’m there, or he has to be able to see me. It’s cute but .. man. I need space too.
6:25 p.m. — We start a game of Clue.

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

Spent: $0

DAY FOUR

7:30 a.m. — I log in and start working.

9:01 a.m. — I start a quick focaccia because I am really craving a soft, fresh, bread:

 

I eat it with a chili sauce dip and decide it’s better with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I love the Zhong Sauce from Fly by Jing and it is more delicious than their signature sauce. It has sweet notes, black beans.. delicious. I also like their black vinegar, but the Sichuan Chili Crisp was kind of bland.

12:22 p.m. — Lunch time.

12:57 p.m. — Down for his Quiet Time / Nap.

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

3:40 p.m. — He works on his pages, more math problems.

5:25 p.m. — I take a break after work, and just sit there, reading a book and drinking tea.

6:25 p.m. — Then I tell him that we will go do a great science experiment, and we use dry erase markers on tape, then you shine a flashlight through the tape in a dark bathroom and show the picture on the wall, it’s pretty cool!

He starts drawing:

And this is what he comes up with:

We didn’t have a flashlight, so I used my iPhone light.

It worked out great!!!

8:54 p.m. — Bedtime routine, and then we go to bed. Apparently the Stuffies are trying to escape again lol.. to become “Wild Stuffies”.

 

I made up a story about how little children lose Stuffies at the parks or playground, and then with no child, they become “Wild Stuffies”. And I come up with a story about how the Stuffies at home, want to save cookies in a Cookie Fund for the Wild Stuffies.

Little Bun gets so into this game, and we start “baking” cookies for them, setting them aside, trying to remind the Stuffies not to eat the cookies they’re saving aside for if we find ANY Wild Stuffies to feed them and care for them, until we can find the child they should be with.

Little Bun tells them they don’t need to become Wild Stuffies to get cookies, and they all stop escaping. For now.

Spent: $0

DAY FIVE

7:30 a.m. — I log in and start working.

8:08 a.m. — I really love this look, this coral orange-pink and the turquoise together.

12:22 p.m. — Lunch time. More meetings.

12:55 p.m. — Down for his Quiet Time / Nap.

2:51 p.m. — Up from his nap, he bounces out of the bedroom. He is feeling a bit tired, and looks like he needs a snuggle. I grab him onto my lap snuggle him for a bit while he leans his head against my shoulder.

5:12 p.m. — Dinner, and I decide to make soy milk from the beans I soaked, and then make a tofu out of it. It takes me a few hours….

Curdling is happening!

Now to squeeze it into a tofu block:

Soak it into iced water:

Then… I eat it with soy sauce. It was very light, mild, you don’t taste the beans or the lemon juice, and it is soft a little crumbly, like scrambled eggs that have been overcooked.

6:25 p.m. — I work on trying to clean the desk area, but with so many laptops – work, personal, it gets overwhelming. I wish I had a L-shaped desk, or more storage space for these papers and things. I try recycling or tossing things but some papers are necessary to keep.

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

Spent: $0

DAY SIX

6:48 a.m. — I log in and just sit there, watching videos and blog. IT IS THE WEEKEND

7:50 a.m. — Little Bun with his father, presents to me this incredible Mommy’s Day heart that he spent SO MUCH TIME ON I can see all of the work he did. It’s wonderful.

10:25 a.m. — Then this happens, he is so cute:

This child. $1M a day for Rubik’s cubes…. 🙂

12:22 p.m. — Lunch time.

12:55 p.m. — Down for his Quiet Time / Nap.

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

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

6:25 p.m. — Little Bun randomness… I don’t even know where this came from, I think we were talking about bullying.

Little Bun: If someone made fun of me or anything or who I was I would tell them:

YOU ARE COMMON AND I AM RARE!!

Me: You could substitute the word “Basic” for Common. 🧐

Little Bun: OK

Me: Or not say anything at all and shrug, and say “OK”. Their aim is to hurt you. Don’t let it show or they’ll keep coming back to do it.

At least he has good self confidence. I’m working on him and his responses just in case he gets bullied bc he’s such a sensitive little boy, so sweet, that it may not go over well with meaner kids.

8:54 p.m. — Bedtime routine, and then we go to bed. Little Bun stacks some hedgehogs and gives a sock to Peanut (the babiest hedgehog) as a sleeping bag.

 

Spent: $0

DAY SEVEN

??:?? —

??:?? —

5:48 a.m. — I log in and start blogging. Tomorrow it’s back to work.

7:50 a.m.

8:08 a.m. —

8:08 a.m. —

12:01 p.m. — Lunch time. Little Bun finds it hilarious that his potato chip that his father made for lunch, is a T. He makes me take a photo:

1:05 p.m. — Down for his Quiet Time / Nap.

2:51 p.m. — Up from his nap, he has yoghurt, and then we read to the hedgehogs, a story – The Three Hedgehogs – It isn’t a typical children’s book. It’s a bit awkward in a sense, because it reads more like an adult book masquerading as a children’s book. But Little Bun finds it cute.

5:12 p.m. — We do laundry, and then do dishes. I am watching the series – Unexpected (on teenage parents, mostly the mothers) – and I feel so sad for these young 15-16 year old parents becoming adults so quickly.

Yes it is their fault, but also a lack of sex education, probably the cycle (?) of the mothers or grandmothers who got pregnant early on as well in their lives…. and the struggle to be a teenage parent while your friends are in a different stage of life.

It is so difficult to watch how tough their lives are, but also… what it’s like to be a young teenage parent, being parent of a child under 5… wow. It’s a lot. Financial worries… it’s a lot.

It is also painful to watch these young girls (some of them) struggle with their boyfriends becoming non-existent, or not involved… I have to say that if this ever happened to Little Bun, I would definitely give him an earful to step TF up and be responsible and not like some of these boys who are lacksidasical losers.

But I am working on preventing this as much as possible. Early sex talk, early drilling in about being careful, using protection and understanding what it means to have a child at that age. My parents also have this drilled into us, and every child around them because they refuse to sit by and pretend it doesn’t happen. At least we have this.

I suppose it is absolutely no surprise at all where I stand on abortion rights:

8:54 p.m. — Bedtime routine, and then we go to bed. We always do Wordle and then another word game, or we read books.

Spent: $0

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

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