saditycents











{June 1, 2018}   Can you count on yourself?

I don’t feel that accomplished lately. I’ll have a few days of doing great with my fitness and food and then I just fall off. Or worse I see results and I “reward” myself by sabatoging myself. Its a frustrating cycle to say the least but its more than that. I’ve realized I can’t trust myself. I set goals and instantly there is doubt in my head that I can achieve it because time and time again I have moved the finish line, compromised the goal, or just flat out lied to myself. At the time I said it was so that I wouldn’t be too strinhent, that I wouldn’t be too hard on myself but along the way I’ve gotten way too soft. I don’t hold myself accountable and I don’t even know if I know how. Having support is great but you have to be the first block of your supoort system, the most dependable block. Can you count on yourself to help you lose weight?

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Since having a baby I have been well acquainted with the “mommy wars.” Especially, as a professional, there is a lot of pressure to work full-time so as to not “waste” my education. I chose to stay home for the first year of my baby’s life. I was fortunate to have this option and I feel blessed. I know a some women from college, graduate, and professional school who have chosen to stay home. I will be honest, all of them are white. In my baby classes all of the professionally educated women who stay home are white. I am the only black woman I know with my education level who stays home, except for one friend. Its extremely uncommon. Why?

As many of my friends have told me they can’t afford to stay home. Most are married but not always to equally educated men, so there is income but not necessarily enough to maintain their lifestyle (compared to other Socio-Economic combination couples). My friend and I have chosen to take a dip in socio-economic status to stay home. We are certainly not impoverished but we do consider saving our families money part of our contribution to the household income. Both of us could definitely increase our income by working full-time, but would it upgrade our lifestyle? Afterall there is a cost to working…

As my friend and I continued discussing this topic one day, being the nerds we are, we did the math.

In our area there is significant cost added to our monthly expenses as working mom, even as professionals.

Childcare – $1800/mo (one child)

Child care is a major issue in our area and with my profession I would need comprehensive child care to cover unexpected late hours.

Extra gas/oil/car – $740/ mo

This is the monthly cost for a decent used 2nd car with no issues (how likely is that) and the cost of high gas prices and at least 2 hours in traffic a day.

Prepared meals/ restaurants – $ 600

Lets be honest working moms are more likely to pick up food on the go because who wants to cook after 12-14 hours in the work world. Plus right now I cook 1-2 meals 5-6 times a week for my family. That won’t be happening if I work full time.

Groceries -$600

There’s less bulk and unprocessed buying because cooking needs to be quick. Cooking from scratch typically is cheaper but time consuming.

Other costs – $750

These costs are for buying and the upkeep of professional clothes, networking events, incidental coffee dates and meals, professional activities, professional insurance, etc.

Debt repayment

Not to mention as my friend pointed out, we don’t benefit from generational wealth like many of our law school peers so we have student debt, the bill of which is decided by income. Hence an increase in income is an increase in the monthly bill.

We found a nifty calculator online that helps determine if a household has enough income to support a stay at home parent. We used it in reverse. What are the costs we’d incur by going back to work?

The conclusion of our little experiment was interesting. For us, if we were to go back to work and land the average salary in our fields we would essentially spend our incomes paying for the additional costs associated with being working moms. In fact, after the additional expenses we would make anywhere from

(-$1500) to $500 a month!

Many people we know claim they can’t afford not to work. However does anyone ever discuss women who might be staying home because they can’t afford to work? The cost of being a working mom is just too high.

Side note: As an aside being military spouses also adds to that struggle because we aren’t always able to have a straight trajectory in our careers and thus our income outlook isn’t the same as someone with the same education level and time in the corporate world. However, our costs can be greater because we can’t always rely on spousal presence to ease the cost of childcare or incidentals associated with working full-time.

*Keep in mind these are our average numbers based on a very high cost area, heavy traffic, and a profession with high expectations. Your numbers might be different, I encourage you to check out the calculator!



{May 14, 2018}   Resources for Change

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research lately and just a general gathering of information about different lifestyles and fitness. Since the baby I’ve worked out relatively regularly, meaning at least once a week but usually more often 2-3 times a week. I find it helps me feel more prepared for the everyday grooling task of parenting (One thing no one tells you about being a nursing, active, parent is very physically demanding).

Because I ultimately want overall health I am working on nutrition, balance, and goal setting.

Some of the resources I’m utilizing right now are:

Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live

Bikini Body Mommy on YouTube

21 Day Transformation on Amazon

Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube

I cycle through the workouts as well as one run day a week on a perfect workout week.

What are some great resources for a nutrition rich diet and nursing mom friendly (i.e. won’t mess with my supply) lifestyle?



One thing I am amazed by is how many decisions must be made in preparation for a new life. This list actually comes from my own preparation. I made a running tally (or tried to) of all the decisions, major and mundane that had to be made. These are just the ones I took time to research and really way my options.  Even with all of this I still felt under prepared. The bottom line is you will never be completely ready for a baby.  But if you are a list lover like me this may help you get started when you don’t know where to start. This list is in no particular order, just how they came up in my pregnancy. 

  1. Cloth or disposable diapers
  2. Breast feed or formula
  3. Gender reveal or surprise
  4. Midwife or Doctor
  5. Ultrasounds or No Ultrasounds
  6. Prenatal Vitamins – Deciding on whether to take them at all and whether natural nutrition is a better fit. Also deciding on the brand of vitamins.
  7. Delivery in a hospital, birth center, or home
  8. Decide on what to drink: Alcohol once a week or none at all. Quit caffeine cold turkey or just limit consumption.
  9. Exercise routine – if you are able to exercise. Otherwise setting a date to start again in the second trimester.
  10. Diet changes, if any at all.
  11. All natural remedies for nausea or medication.
  12. When and how you will announce the pregnancy
  13. Baby name – you think it’s easy but it isn’t. We had a boy and girl name picked out and still changed it once the baby was born. 
  14. Continue working or become a stay at home parent
  15. Journal or not to journal – most mom’s want some way to commemorate this life changing event. The decision comes in when you have to decide how you are going to track your changes; pictures, memory book, social media, etc.
  16. Crib, cradle, Co-sleep. Sleeping arrangements: Co-sleeping, allowing the baby to sleep in-room, or starting the baby out in a nursery from the very beginning.
  17. Whether or not to have testing done. There are so many tests now, glucose tests, screening tests, screening tests or amniocentesis to test for Down syndrome as well as other chromosomal abnormalities, genetic disorders, and neural tube defects. Believe it or not, all of these are optional and there are pros and cons to each.
  18. Doula or no doula.
  19. Baby moon, Staycation, or nothing at all.
  20. Baby shower or Diaper pounding
  21. Method for preventing stretch marks
  22. Childbirth class or not
  23. Permissible interventions. Making a baby plan is so essential. Not so much because care providers will read it, but so you can think through all of your options before the big day. That way you and your partner can advocate for your informed choices.
  24. How you will budget for a baby.
  25. How you will prepare your pets.
  26. How you will prepare your older children.
  27. Dental care. Will you continue using floride tooth paste, will you see the dentist, how will you avoid the increase of tooth decay that occurs with pregnancy?
  28. Postpartum recovery plan
  29. Baby registry items
  30. Maternity leave, paternity leave, extended break
  31. Childproof your home or making home improvements
  32. Breastfeeding or formula
  33. Fetal kicks counting  or no. I chose not to until the very end. It just added stress to an already apprehensive mama. As long as baby moved at regular intervals I called it good. 
  34. Additional classes: CPR, breastfeeding, hypnosis, etc. 
  35. Therapy or no: Sometimes you have unresolved issues you want to handle before becoming a parent.
  36. Pediatrician – Who, what, and where. Who are you looking for, what’s their practice philosophy. Where are you willing to travel. 
  37. Vaccinations, partial vaccinations, delayed vaccinations or no vaccinations
  38. Circumcision or no circumcision
  39. Nursery decor
  40. Preparations for the babies future; i.e. Life insurance or no, will or trust, college fund now or later. 

 

Resources:

http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-ultimate-pregnancy-to-do-list-third-trimester_10341209.bc

 

 

 



Ok so the title isn’t exactly proper English but you get the reference right?

This isn’t a long post I just figured I’d share my pregnant decision making process when deciding to go somewhere.  This literally was my thought pattern about five minutes ago. Maybe others can relate?

Responsible Me: Ok, you said you’d get up after your nap. So get up! You have to be there in half hour and you already said you were going. 

Pregnant Me: Yes but I’m pregnant I’m sure they will understand if I don’t show up. 

Responsible Me: Really do you want to be that person who uses the baby as an excuse? Be a person of you word and get up. 

Pregnant Me: Ok but I have to put on make up… Ugh… And real pants… Yuck!

Responsible Me: This is why you should go, you haven’t left the house in two days. You need to actually get dressed at some point this week.

Pregnant Me: This is true. Once I get there I’ll probably be happy I went. Ok. I’m getting up. 

Responsible Me: Good girl!

Pregnant Me: I’m going to the event. 

Responsible Me: That’s right!

Pregnant Me: But wait I have to find a bra that fits…

Responsible Me: We’re not going…

THE END



{August 26, 2016}   Movie Review: Z for Zachariah

Z For Zachariah

Z For Zachariah 
Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine

PLOT: The last three people on earth are struggling to survive; secrets, suspicions and threats are revealed to show true human nature when you are the last humans on earth.

I haven’t read the book, but this film makes me want to read it. I thought it was curious that they changed the title character’s name to “John.” Perhaps as a means of creating greater mystery in the film. I find the ending both intriguing and infuriating. I like that it was an apocalyptic tell full of mystery. There was no definitive cause for the desolation of the population, there isn’t even a clear good and evil. I like films that make you work as the audience. However, this film made me work and didn’t provide equal payoff. Though not every question needed to be answered, I wish some of the burning mysteries of the plot line had answers that were alluded to in a more concrete way. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it would have been nice to have at least an 80% certainty of what happened or at least some kind of moral undertone or message. Instead, you come in with questions and leave with more questions. With that said, I thought the acting and suspense and silent moments were wonderful. I will say, had I not read other reviews I would have never known that this was supposed to be set in America and I don’t think the director should have tried to set the film in America. The scenery clearly wasn’t American and the actors weren’t either. They were so refined in their mannerism that they should have just stayed true to their European roots. Besides, who says that the only surviving people of the Apocalypse will be American? Still, its worth the watch.



I gave myself a few weeks to just relax, after literally traveling around the world… Ok, I didn’t do it on purpose. Our household goods are scheduled for three separate deliveries. The first two came in four weeks after we moved into our home. Ugh. So now its time to set up house. Yay! Starting with the most important room in the house.. The Kitchen. Nothing makes a house feel like home like home cooking.

Kitchen

  • Place drink ware near the refrigerator — It just makes sense for quickly getting drinks.
  • Place espresso maker near the drink ware and refrigerator — You need both for your espresso or coffee.
  • Plates and bowls go near the dishwasher — Ideally it would be between the sink and the dishwasher.
  • Silverware right above the plates or as close as possible.
  • Pot holders, serving spoons, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil all go near the stove.
  • Cookie sheets, cooling racks and cutting boards in the tall thin rack near the stove.
  • Dish towels and dish cloths near the sink, if possible. My kitchen doesn’t allow for that, so I put them close to the silverware.

 Bathroom

I did the bathroom next because… well its important. I just can’t relax without a good bath or shower. My husband and I are blessed in this house to have our own separate bathrooms, but I still like to know where everything is at. For some reason, my closets, bathrooms, etc. always become the overfill rooms. So I’m the one with all the extras.

In the bathroom I grabbed some baskets and plastic drawers and basically categorized all of the items under my sink as that is the most cluttered spot. I tried to organize based on my daily routine.

  • Teeth and eye products go in the medicine cabinet.
  • Face products (main face wash, eye cream, and facial toner) went into the closest drawer to the sink on the left.
  • My everyday hair products (rubber bands for work outs, hair pins for work) went into the next closest drawer.
  • Under the sink:
    • Feminine products to the side, but close to the front. Just in case of emergencies.
    • Additional hair products (gels, moisturizer, spray) I use those regularly, but not everyday.
    • Hair appliances (flat irons, curling irons, blow dryer) I only use on special occasion so they are in the back in a basket together.
    • On the other side near the front is extra toilet paper, again in case of emergency. Lol
    • Extra body lotions and extra body wash are in the back.
    • I also have very basic cleaning supplies for everyday use ( I keep the heavy duty supplies in the hall closet. Homemade shower spray, paper towels for cleaning, and plastic bags for the trash can.
  • On the back of my toilet I keep wipes and face tissue.

Bedroom

Because we haven’t received our home goods yet I haven’t done much with the master bedroom except make it sleep-able. We were on a air mattress for about a week before I begged my husband to go mattress shopping with me. We needed a new one anyways so it wasn’t exactly a spontaneous purchase, although I was going to wait until the bed frame arrived. I’m glad I made the purchase. Nothing ruins a day more than poor sleep.

Discount Tip: When shopping for a mattress everyone knows to comparison shop, but do you know how to use it in your negotiations? That’s the real key to great deals on large purchases. Click here for a short story.

 

 

 

 

http://organized31.com/2012/06/moving-into-new-home-how-to-set-up-your.html



Death By Fire AND Sea

Remember that time our car was burned up in the middle of the sea?! 

Yep, that happened. On its way from Belgium to Korea our car, which we immaculately detailed before leaving, was destroyed by fire while on a boat. Everyone asks if we got insurance money for it. Yes, we did. But when the military insures, you get a flat rate they apply to a range of models. It doesn’t matter how nice you kept your car, it doesn’t matter how much it will be to replace it with a similar make and model. Nope you, get your flat rate… So we have one car now.

Read the rest of this entry »



{August 12, 2016}   Movie Review: A Beautiful Belly

I know I haven’t done movie reviews in a long time on this site, but I’m doing this thing where the many blogs and social media sites I’ve shared my opinion on are now all converging on Sadity Cents. It’s just to hard to keep my life segmented like I did before.

Anyway, I probably will only review a few movies, but I plan on reviewing movies that are outside of mainstream. There are enough people discussing the latest block buster. Rather, I want to use this forum to highlight independent films and documentaries that I enjoyed. Things you may not have heard of, just to bring awareness. I will warn you the genre will probably be mostly in the relm of “Christian movies, I don’t find corny.” Because they are so hard to find. But I promise to keep them short and sweet… (mostly) 🙂

A Beautiful Belly

 

Chris Worley

A Beautiful Belly

PLOT: After an unplanned pregnancy and a hasty marriage, an aspiring children’s entertainer and his bar-tending wife are forced to confront difficult choices about their future.

I thought it was realistic. It didn’t have all of the Hollywood stereotypes. There was a dad who actually enjoyed being a dad. Moms who worked non-traditional jobs. Christians who didn’t spin out a Mary Poppins scene. Nor was their Christianity shoved down your throat, or made a mockery of, or relegated to Sunday only. Rather it was integrated into their everyday life without discussion or fanfare. It showed a realistic theme that when things happen fast, adjusting can be hard, and when you neglect your spouse they will seek comfort other places. Neither is right, but sometimes its life. Life isn’t as black and white as Hollywood makes it. Still the film showed that just because you are tempted doesn’t mean you have to give in. I liked the redemptive quality of resisting your initial emotions and doing what is right and honorable.

 



Just some old military spouse pictures I found and an article that I thought held some wisdom.



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5 Things Military Spouses Could Learn from Their ‘Old School’ Sisters

Being a military spouse is not a new thing.

From the camp followers of the Revolutionary War who followed the troops from location to location, military spouses have remained a fixture of our armed forces. And since we’ve been around for hundreds of years, we’ve learned a thing or two.

A lot that was learned has been regaled to the history books simply due to changing times. There are some things, however, that remain the same, and we can continue to learn from the examples of the military spouses who have gone before us.

Here are five things we modern military wives should make sure to safeguard and pass on to those who come into our military family each and every day.

1. Patience

It was called the U.S. mail, and it was the only mode of communication. I know many of you can’t fathom a life free of cell phones, Skype, email, Face Time, etc., but believe it or not, there WAS a time where our Old School Sisters relied on paper, ink and stamps exclusively. Sometimes it took months for letters to be exchanged and every word of those were read and re-read again, cherished and tucked away for future generations to read.

We of the instant gratification generation demand daily communication and get annoyed and upset when that doesn’t happen. We are spoiled and impatient. A little patience goes a long way for the heart, mind and spirit- our Old School Sisters had it, and we should learn to cultivate it.

2. Appreciation

Hearken back to the day where there were no FRGs (I know some of you are looking for a time machine to jump into after hearing that!), no Child Development Centers, no MWR facilities or activities- basically you had a house and that was it. And let’s not forget being notified by telegram of the death of a service member instead of in-person by a Casualty Notification team.

There are so many people who have grand expectations of what the military should be providing to them- gimme, gimme, gimme is the name of the game.The bottom line is you aren’t owed anything for marrying a service member. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Not even a stipend (best Miss Vicki column EVER!).

So, instead of whining and demanding more from an already financially distressed DoD furloughing civilians and cutting precious training time for service members, be grateful for what you have. Appreciate the benefits afforded to you that our Old School Sisters didn’t enjoy-like the ability to have the GI Bill transferred to you.

They appreciated the simple fact that their spouses came home from war alive, which is much more important than worrying about the commissary being closed an extra day due to furlough. If you don’t believe me, ask a Gold Star Wife. She’ll set you straight.

3. Dignity

Our Old School sisters didn’t wear pajamas to the PX, to the commissary or out in public anywhere. Just because Wal-Mart shoppers do it doesn’t give the practice a seal of approval.

Take pride in your appearance. At least upgrade to something resembling actual clothing to be worn outside the house i.e., yoga pants, running pants, etc.You don’t have to get all white gloves and pill box hat like our Old School ladies, just look like you actually give a darn.

Which leads us to our “things not to wear at any military event” portion of dignity. We’ve all seen THAT photo on the Internet, where the spouse is flashing it all at a ball. Don’t be that girl who goes viral. There are ways to be sexy without baring 89 percent of your flesh.

A ball isn’t a night club — it’s a formal military event which has ceremonial aspects to it. Don’t walk in looking like you’re looking for the nearest pole to swing on. Look like you’re going to the White House. Or the Oscars. NOT the MTV Video awards.

Old School Wives wore suits or dresses, hats, white gloves, and the dreaded stockings (not pantyhose — stockings) every day at some point. Be happy those standards have lessened, but let’s not take the lax dress requirements of modern times to the extreme.

Wear real “outside” clothes, dress appropriately for the occasion (essentially, look at Roxy’s ensembles in the first season of “Army Wives” and do the polar opposite) and wear clothes that don’t flash your business and you’ll be okay.

4. Respect for and Pride in Your Servicemember

This one gets people all kinds of riled up. I know spouses who think it’s their job to talk about how crappy the military is, how much they hate it, how much they are against the wars, etc. That’s fine and dandy. But do you really need to share that constantly with your fellow military spouses and, especially, your servicemember?

Back in the day, the Old School Wives rocked the Blue Service Star flags in the windows and planted victory gardens. They also despised war, but understood their servicemembers didn’t all get together and elect to go kill people and risk dying themselves of their own volition. They were ordered to go. By the government. Not the military — the government. So hating on the military for what the people in power decide for them to do is silly and futile.

A great example is one of the most fabulous Old School Wives I’ve ever known. She was a total hippie freak in the 70s. I am talking the quintessential love-child-flower-carryin’-Joan-Baez-singin’-long-hair-lovin’-bra-burnin’ lady in bell bottoms. She was also married to an Army major in Vietnam. Not a draftee, but a career officer.

While he was gone on all three tours, she protested at every turn. She carried signs, she sang, she sat-in. What she never did, however, was direct or associate any of her protests to her spouse or the military. She protested to and about the decision makers calling the shots, not the people following their lawful orders. She understood the two were separate.

Her husband understood her need to voice her opinion and appreciated that she chose to direct it at the right people and not involve him or the military. And that’s probably also why they had three Vietnam-era babies back-to-back and were married until they died.

So, get mad and use your voice.  Just do it in the right way and to the right people.

5. Manners

This is the most simple, and the most abused by modern military spouses. If you get an invitation, respond. Respond “yes” or “no.” How hard is that? Apparently, extremely, since most people I know at some point either complain that people didn’t RSVP, or confess they themselves didn’t RSVP.

Tie this one with point two: appreciate that unlike the Old School Wives, our invites are no longer by hand and for sleep-inducing teas. We don’t have to wear gloves. Or heels. No, our modern invites are usually by email and involve cocktails and a fuzzy dice game (Bunco, anyone?).

So, even if you don’t want to win prizes and enjoy a refreshing adult beverage, have the decency to decline the invite (though I will never understand why anyone would do that…). Good Old School manners never go out of style, unless you won’t hand over the fuzzy dice when I ding the bell and scream “BUNCO!.” Then, I make no promises about being polite or minding my manners.

“Ansley” is an Army spouse and resides in Alexandria, Virginia

5 Things Military Spouses Could Learn From Their ‘Old School’ Sisters

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https://i2.wp.com/cecomhistorian.armylive.dodlive.mil/files/2011/05/06-army-wife-1975-03-06-Vol-26-No-40-Monmouth-Message.jpg

http://cecomhistorian.armylive.dodlive.mil/page/89/

 

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