Category Archives: Parenthood

Our California Road Trip and 4 must see views

Mr. Roamer made a beautiful desktop background of our recent California road trip. I look at it and remember.

Oh yeah, I still haven’t told you how it went.

So today lets talk travel & family.

If you haven’t heard. We are moving to Michigan in about 1 year. This caused us to rethink our yearly vacations. We decided to cancel our Michigan trip, in favor of checking out California. It’s funny how that works. We’ve lived here for over 5 years and have only seen a few places. Opting instead to fly out of the state during our time off.

This year was different.

Continue reading Our California Road Trip and 4 must see views

My single biggest tip for traveling with small kids

Becoming a new parent is filled with changes in how you live your life. There are things that will become more challenging, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do them anymore.

Traveling is one of those things. You’ll hear or see a lot of advice that  recommends you get your traveling desires out before having kids. After you have kids you can kiss it all good bye. It will be just too inconvenient.

Some of us didn’t get the memo early enough to do that. While others of us actually want our kids to experience travel.

Either way the truth is that traveling with kids does indeed add a different dynamic to the whole process. If someone tells you different nod politely, but be ready. Challenges do exist and the best thing you can do Continue reading My single biggest tip for traveling with small kids

A year off from work, Why? & How?

I have been wanting to take a year off from work for a very long time. As the year gets closer to its end I have a lot to contemplate.

A young mother

The whole idea started after giving birth to my son, he’s 7 now. See I got pregnant while attending university and due to the situation I didn’t even take my full 6 weeks off to recoup. I had deadlines and metrics to meet if I wasn’t going to become another drop out statistic.

There were plenty of breaks thanks to the academic school term and because of how close I live to campus I spent lots of time back home with my baby. But I still felt I was missing a lot.

I remember telling my significant other ” You are going to have to make enough money to support us for a year, because for my next one I am going to take a whole year off. I’m not going to miss anything in that first year”

Well I have 2 babies now and that goal never came to pass. Though by that time, I had put in enough time to qualify for PFL, FMLA, CFRA and all those pro family programs it was still a limited amount of time. 6 weeks. A consolation prize compared to a year. But I took it and even optimized it. ( Another post I’m eager to write).

So I missed it, the goal but I still held out hope.

A year off, are you sure?

I still wanted a year off. But with debt and bills and by the way we have “free” childcare. There wasn’t a lot of support for the idea.

It’s a big mistake older women advised.

“You’ll lose financial security and be dependent on the man. ”

“It’ll kill your career”

“Why would you want to stay home, I couldn’t do that”

It wasn’t so much the career suicide comments that deterred me as much as the money. A lot of that debt was mine not my husband’s and I wanted to pay it off myself. I suffer from pride and stubbornness and wanted to prove “hey I got myself in this mess and I can get myself out”.

But I still wanted to take a year off.

Revised Goal

So I accepted the fact I probably wasn’t going to take the first year off. I asked myself what my goal was really.

Minnie Roamer

Simply I wanted to raise my kids but more specially be the one to imprint onto my daughter in her early years. I wanted to be a key player. Not the alternate. I know there are sentiments against this after all many household are now dual income, farming out the majority of childcare.

But..

There is no argument in my mind that there are certain things you just won’t learn without putting in the time.

” Quality time happens with quantity time”

So with this I decided that I could still take a year off soon, but there was a limited window.

I only had until she turned 4. That would give me a year before she started school and she herself became less available.

So I started a count down, literally on excel.

Minnie Roamer is 2 now and Jr is 7. And it’s looking like next year will finally be the year.

Preparation for a year off

If you are in a dual income household* there are some steps that need to be taken. (* these same steps could also be applied if you are a single parent but you will probably need to make some adjustments)

Taking a year off from work is going to impact a lot on your household from schedules to routines. While those also need to be address the main and first thing is the math needs to make sense.

Financially it needs to work for a year off to happen.

  1. You need to understand your financial situation. As in you need to know how much debt you have and how much you have in savings and other liquid (easily accessible cash) assets. I would recommend having enough savings to cover 6 months* of all your spending.(* if your single you will clearly need to save over a years worth of spending )
  2. You need to know your cash flow. How much money is coming in? How much money is going out? In other words what are you earning and what are you spending.
  3. Identify the Gap. This is where you analyze the earnings with the spending and identify how much excess you have. This is the equivalent of when you hear someone say. I only live off 75% of my take home pay. That means they could function normally losing the extra 25% of income. You want that gap to equal your entire paycheck if possible. This will look different for everyone. For example if you are both equal earners you want the gap to be 50%. But if your spouse bring in 75% of the income then a 25% gap should equal your entire paycheck and you should be good

When your gap is good & savings are met , financially the math makes sense to take a year off. (High five)

But…

What if your saving don’t add up to 6 months and your gap is very small?

Then you need to make a plan to cut your spending. (This should be a post on its own ) Here are some things to consider.

  1. Pay off your debt. Simplistic yes, but this can have a big impact in both how much you need to save and your gap. How? Here’s a table below.Quick analyses of the spending changes and impacts
  2. Reduce any other type of spending. Reducing your spending anywhere else will have the same affect as the above. The less you spend the bigger the gap and the less you need to save to cover you for 6 months.

If you spend $5,000 a month then you need $30,000 saved up to cover 6 months. If you only spend $3,000 then you’ll need $18,000 for 6 months. I’m sure you can guess that getting to $18k will be quicker then $30k.

This was pretty much the scenario for us. After we paid off all the student loans and the car loans our cash flow took a big hike up. As in the gap increased. Then we also realized that what we had saved( without adding anymore) covered more months then it had before.

Family plan

But its not just about the money. Other things should also be discussed.

  1. Agree to have a spouse that keeps working. As in if the job starts to suck, they need to just stick it out or secure another job before quitting. ( At the very least agree to discuss options, I  would want to avoid any disruptions in income)
  2. Make a schedule of things you want to Do. The new schedule is going to be strange and having an idea of why you wanted the time off to begin with will help you not feel antsy about it.
  3. Discuss changes in division of household tasks. But agree to post pone changes and expectations until after 6 weeks pass.
  4. Take 6 weeks to get use to new tempo.  During my maternity leave this is how long it took me to finally find my groove at home. You will feel doubt, again the changes are going to feel weird.
  5. Finally let your mind stop working and decompress.
  6. Schedule to revisit situation, (finances, feeling, expectations) each quarter.

Just in case you are wondering, yes these are all thing we have done. Specifically the financial planning. I have had up to 8 weeks off of work continuously for maternity leave but I’m sure there’s other things that will come up mentally/ emotionally that I currently can’t foresee.

Have you ever thought about taking a year off of work? Maybe it was to be a full time parent maybe something else. How would you go about preparing for it?

The Roamer traveling wallet

 

 

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Weekly Pain & Gain: Kids and Money

Kids can’t live with them can’t live without them.

Seriously this week wasn’t so bad but this weekend. Sheesh. I was an emotional wreck.

Pain

You know as the week progresses I like to make notes about what would be my gain and pain… So that I have some ideas to work with.

My pain this week was going to be all financial. See I messed up and miss calculated my IRA numbers, which negates last weeks gain 🙁 . I really thought I was going to be able to max it out… But I accidentally had one extra space, I was counting contributions for January as well… Hmm.

So anyways that was going to be my pain for the week but then Sunday happen.

We, (I?) Had a big Baby scare.

Minnie Roamer rocked my world Sunday by frightening me. She is 2 and was taking too long on the potty, I was getting impatient and finally just picked her up. Then I saw it and something wasn’t right. So I set her down and told Mr Roamer to watch her. Then I went to check her poopy diaper… The poop didn’t seem to be too hard…

How could this happen….

I rushed back and told Mr. Roamer that I thought something was wrong. So I picked her up and told him to look, no that is not poop hanging from her.

I lost it. I did not keep it together. Oddly Minnie didn’t appear to be in any pain just discomfort, trying to shake the “poop” loose.

We waited a bit to see if things would go back to normal but…. I just wanted to take her in. I’m so glad the  hospital is almost literally right around the corner.

Note to all parents and future parents: as you freak out or remain calm about some child injury or emergency. Take a picture!

By the time we were seen at the emergency room everything was back to normal downstairs.  Diagnosis… They really didn’t give us one .. But it might have been rectal prolapse.

After we realized that everything was okay. We started to joke around… Man there are better things we could have done with those $100 and 30 min.  Another of those times you have to laugh to keep from crying… Though I did plenty of crying earlier.

Seriously though I am so happy we can just head over to a hospital… Even if the doctor says this wasn’t an emergency. I’m glad we don’t have to weigh whether something makes financial sense before we consider getting a professional opinion.

Though in the end it was almost a waste… The doctor didn’t do anything really since the problem wasn’t there anymore. I’d rather try to joke about the unnecessary expense after then to wait.

Still I’d rather do without the emotional rollercoaster to begin with but as a parent… These things are bound to happen …

Which lead me to…

Gain

I am soooo lucky to have Mr. Roamer, I myself was not feeling well Sunday morning which I think contributed to my maybe overly emotional reaction to Minnie.

But before all that happened Mr. Was doing what he could to pamper me and make me comfortable. Then all hell broke loose… Well at least I lost it. But he kept it together. I could see he was also greatly concerned but he stayed level. I love him so much. I’m so happy to have him around.

🙂

And before Sunday we also had a nice day at the beach. There was an event going on so there were booths and as we walked to our usual spot we scored some free snacks.

Beach free snacks… Big waves. (Thumbs up)

Free snacks scored at the beach, and 2 frisbees.
Free snacks scored at the beach, and 2 frisbees.

Actually we scored more then what is pictures above because as we left we also each snagged some more snacks. Yup we are those people taking full advantage of good freebies.

Capsule Update

So another complain is revolving around my capsule.  The weather is hot… Capsule for fall so far is all wrong thanks to the weather. Heats not dropping. I have too many cold weather items and not enough warm weather… Plus I went over board with the color..  I’m feeling like this capsule is going to be a big challenge.

The Roamer traveling wallet

 

 

 

Frugal Back to School shopping

Last week on Tuesday Jr went back to school. Not only that, I also realized I’m getting old he’s getting old. I mean he’s in 2nd grade!

( inhale ,exhale, inhale, exhale)

What happened to the surprise baby. 🙁

After the initial shock I had a thought. And it went like this.

“Oh yeah, wasn’t there a shopping thing I was supposed to do to get ready for today”

I didn’t prepare at all. I didn’t even really think about preparing for it at all. Other then  “oh Jr starts school next week “.

Instead of think about it in regards to money and purchases. I thought about it in regards to time.

How are our schedules going to change? Adjust?

But wait a minute

I want to go back to this money and back to school shopping thing.

We all know that there is an endless barrage to buy. That is no different when it comes to kids and school. Actually my research showed its the 2nd most consumeristic time of the year. The message to buy was rampant. Even so I hardly noticed it myself.

The truth is I didn’t get a list so I wasn’t worried about having to check items off that list. Still, I got curious about this back to school shopping practice so I did  some research.

How much are parents spending on their back to school shopping sprees? And on what?

A standard list of items for back to school shopping even for young 2nd grade students is pretty extensive.

Back to school list

Writing utensils, Art stuff, Paper. But this list didn’t even include clothes.

Checking off all the items on the box + clothes will leave you $630 poorer says NRF’s study.

As an aspiring minimalist I have to say the list  I found looked a bit much. I recall my days in school and a few back to school shopping trips. (I don’t think it was as popular a thing back then.)  You know what else I recall having plenty of left overs at the end of the year.

It’s not over yet

After checking the last items off your list, walking around with a lighter wallet, you are finally ready to say good bye to the school related spending.

Phew!

While it sounds like most parents (American parents?) spend a lot of time thinking about the initial cost of school few discuss all the other costs.

Yup that’s right closing your wallet after picking up the last 3 ringed binder on the list is not the end of your school related spending. Oh no.

Whether you plan to pay for them or abstain its a good idea to at least acknowledge all the other costs.

$5-10 PTA membership. We receive the little envelope the first week of  school.  We pass on this because I don’t have time to participate.

$20- $60 Class pictures. Okay these are kind of nice special since we don’t go take professional pictures as a family every single year ( actually never do this).But the costs can get up there.

Growing up we always got full picture packages. You know how much good it did us?

Zero good, well zero to buy so many. Being the only family to live in the USA, it would have been nice to send them to family outside the country. But we  never did, instead we end up with hundreds of paid pictures that we didn’t need.

Maybe that was just my family but I’m using it as a lesson. We do buy them but only exactly how many we need. Which usually is the smallest package or 1-2 sheets. Usually $20-$27. Though still ridiculously over priced in my opinion much better then the $60 or more you spend if you want everything.

$5-$10 Field trips, ~2 per year. If you really like experiences, don’t forget to account for these later in the year. But the older your kid gets the more expensive. I was in marching band growing up and we had 3 field trips a year at about $45 each.

$20-$60 Spring pictures. The class pictures twin brother is the spring pictures. If your going to buy Ask yourself the same question. How many do I need exactly? We did not purchase these last year.

$????? Team fees, gear, and uniforms. We actually don’t have to worry about this, this year, but I know its a cost many parents place upon themselves. So make sure you account for it.

Also expect to get plenty of solicitations for, PTA garage sales, cookie sales, valentines day grams , mothers day grams, father’s day grams… Well you get my point. There’s a lot more spending to be done if you don’t keep your priorities straight.

Finally Hidden Costs

In my family and maybe yours too I know we will see Increased car usage. I recognized it right away that we would be using the car much more  frequently. Doing 2 round trips every day to school. This is going to cost more in gas usage. I am keeping an eye out to see it reflected in my monthly accounting.

Destroyed clothing. I don’t know what it is but during the summer break Jr did not put any holes in his clothing. However during school last year he was putting holes in his knees non stop and part of the dress code is no ripped clothing. So not only is there clothes shopping at the beginning of the school year  there is potential for it during the year too.

His Dad ended up purchasing him new jeans(multiples) more then once and we even did too. So I am expecting this cost this year as well. Though I am not scared of patching holes in knees for Mr. Roamer and myself. Jr’s tiny leg holes made the whole process much more labor intensive and time consuming. So I am thinking just purchasing replacements. Through thrift stores of course.

After all that bad news.

Tips for saving

  1. Wait to actually get a list from a teacher.

If you Google your child’s grade level there are plenty of lists of must haves available and the lists can be very inclusive.

Instead of doing this wait to get a list of items from the actual teacher. Then question the validity of them all. Every single item on the list. After all they are only suggestions so identify the real and true must haves, then move on to step number 2.

IMG_20150827_144500
We still have lots of pencils and erasers at home.

2.Check at home first. A cluttered house can make it difficult to find items but you should try anyways. Likely you have at least pencils, pens, eraser, glue and crayons already at home.

3. Realize they don’t need it new every year if it works fine still. School is not a fashion show.  Back pack, lunch box? You don’t need a new one every year.

Finally we are going to address the excess driving by increasing my biking.

So far we have spent zero dollars on our back to school shopping. But I know that will change as school term progresses.

Alright all you parents or students. Did you go back to school shopping? How did you save? If you didn’t cause you don’t have any kids what would you do with the extra $630 you might have spent?

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Weekly Pain & Gain: No Siesta for you! And other adventures.

So much good this week, but don’t worry I still have a pain to complain about.

Pain

Minnie Roamer is not resting during her standard nap time. She does once in a while but is now predominantly taking her siesta during our drive to work and to see papa Roamer. So instead of resting at 1 pm at home. She is resting at 3 in the car. This is a real pain because that time was usually used to spend 1 on 1 time with Jr. Roamer while he’s in summer vacation. But during his school time. I could use the time to rest, work on ZTL hw., a blog post, and even read. But that only works if I’m not behind the wheel of a car. She is only 2 and too young to be abstaining from siestas. But driving siestas don’t give me any time to unwind or dedicate time to Jr. My drive in to work is just not ideal timing. 🙁 so much more potential at 1 pm. We are still trying to get her down by 1 but I guess we’ll see how it goes.

Any parent out there I’m sure can give me a darn right! when I say children siestas are a calming oasis of time in a parent’s hectic daily schedule.

So I am crossing my fingers to still have their rejuvenating presence during an opportune time in my day.

Gain

Lots of Gains this week I’m just going to list them out in no particular order and then go into more detail about some.

Some of the fun this week included:

  • Mr. And I attended a wedding and it was great fun. Can you say Dancing!
  • Got my hand on a sowing machine.
  • Items in balcony cleaned out.
  • Mr Roamer and I had a heart to heart. Which is such a valuable experiences.
  • Found 1 roommate for FinCon but we are still looking to split more ways.
  • Went on a beach adventure. For mostly free 🙂
Travel Roamer
On our train adventure

So I know I complain about my job, a lot. To be fair its not just my companies fault really its just not a good fit for me.

So even though I am counting the days until I cut that cord(noose) I do have to acknowledge the good too. Like the fact that over my time there I have been able to build some relationships that have allowed me to do some stuff. Stuff like flex time. I am 2nd shift but I have on multiple occasions been able to simply bring up the need for a different set of hrs and I am told to proceed. No red tape, no hoops. It does provide some slight semblance to freedom. This freedom is what made it possible to attend the wedding mentioned earlier. Because it was schedule during the weekdays. No need to take vacation just shift schedule hrs and bam!

I’m really glad too about being able to go. Weddings are a very special occasion for the couple but I also find its a great time to hold hands with Mr.Roamer and for us to renew our vows. Simply by looking each other in the eyes and nodding along with recognition at the word of love being shared.

I think that experience help set a tempo to have our heart to heart over the weekend and even though that’s personal so I won’t go into too much detail. What I can say is that it’s moments like that, that show me how we are still building our relationship to each other. That is a great thing! I hope that you also are placing high value in building better, stronger and more fruitful relationships.

Metrolink view 2

Finally to wrap the week up we made sure to have an adventure with some free train passes that were about to expire. This is a personal finance blog so I will tell you the adventure wasn’t totally free.  You see we had 2 free passes but we are after all a family of 4 so we did have to pay for 1 more pass (Minnie was still free thankfully).

Then we also paid for some ice cream. We arrived early to Oceanside and headed to the beach from the station. We spent the majority of the day at the beach and dutifully packed snacks and lunch to have at the beach. But we decided that we would pack up early in search of a treat and so we did. We were so caught up in the present that I completely forgot to take pictures on the beach. But let’s be honest that’s actually a good thing.

Though it wasn’t free entertainment I’m still very pleased. Had we not gotten those free train passes I don’t think we would have taken this adventure. I hope the novelty of it is something the kids will remember. 🙂 money well spent in my mind.

Honestly I don’t know how much we spent for the entire day trip but I can tell you the 1 pass was $10. And the train was over an hour and a half long. It was a full day. Total for the day we spent on the 1 pass, 3 ice cream cones and dinner. I’d guess about $40 for the whole day. For all you financial types.

Capsule Update

So I have more pictures this week because I went out more during the week so I couldn’t just stay in my lounge ware until work.

Wedding outfit before I'm all ready and before I realize how hot it is outside. It's in the 90's people!
Wedding outfit before I’m all ready and before I realize how hot it is outside. It’s in the 90’s people!

 

Munching on wedding fruit popsicle. A different look with out the sweater
Munching on wedding fruit popsicle. A different look with out the sweater.

Also you can see what I wore to the wedding! It turn out to be a blazing hot day and so I didn’t get to complete my outfit until late, late in the evening. It’s a purple sweater even though it looks blue here.

I always forget to put shoes on before these pictures
I always forget to put shoes on before these pictures

So like I think I said last week I’m looking forward to hitting the end of the month and changing my rotation along with getting rid of a few more items.  I want to reduce my over 200 clothing items by half and then see if I can take it down even more.

Mr Roamer says these look like pjs. Whaaaaa?! This is my real clothes. I can't deny its comfy. :)
Mr Roamer says these look like pjs. Whaaaaa?! This is my real clothes. I can’t deny its comfy. 🙂

Why? Well I want to travel. The more I think the more I keep coming back to that. And I mean like 1 year non stop. For that I am going to have to learn to function on much less clothing. Just enough to fit in a backpack. So that is my goal with this experiment. To have fun, explore my creativity through my style, and challenge myself to cut, cut and cut out the excess. On my way to that I enjoy reading about people who are on the completely other side of the spectrum. They serve as inspiration and a reality check. I mean if this guy or this girl can live on just 1 outfit for a whole year I can surely cut down to less. Check out one such article here.

1 year 1 outfit

How about you? Did you go on any adventures this weekend? Also if you capsule what is your motivation?

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Weekly Pain & Gain: DIY refrigerator maintenance

Rollercoaster weeks seems to be the thing right now. We accomplished a lot but we also faced some difficult challenges.

Pain

My goals for this blog are to discuss traveling, parenting, and finances all how they relate to me. I realize I haven’t really been touching on parenting too much and that’s because that is my biggest challenge.

This week, actually probably more like over a month, parenting has proved quite challenging. We have good days and then we have terrible days.

But this week was really exposing as some of my poor parenting decision came full circle to bite me in the butt.

I keep thinking I should probably take a break from reading all these finance articles and instead focus on parenting ones. Or at the very least ones that speak about developing more patience.

They say it takes 5 good experience to “erase” one bad one and that is a steep ratio to meet. Unless anything not consider bad is considered good. Either way I think I should probably shift my focus in my reading.

Gain

This week proved to be quite productive. There was also plenty of good stuff going on.

This week we saved plenty of money by Doing it ourselves. Our DIY was machine maintenance in this case our refrigerator. Over the week I noticed our fridge leaking but this isn’t the first time this has happened. So I knew exactly what it was and just put a bowl to catch the water until we could fix it over the weekend.

Emptying out the freezer.
Emptying out the freezer.

So this weekend we got to it. Last time we fixed it I was more hands on but this time Mr. Roamer did most of the work I just took some pictures and handed him hot bowls of water.

The amazing part and why this is a gain is because the last time we fixed it I will venture was about a year ago. A year ago we had the same problem and we were thinking it’s time to buy a new fridge. But instead we found some youtube  videos that showed us how to tear open the fridge, diagnose the problem, and then fix it. A whole year later we can still pull up that knowledge and do the repair without actually pulling up the video. That is a great gain in knowledge and confidence.  And I just kept thinking cool we now know how to fix a fridge.

Disassembled removing  ice and frost. Clearing out little drainage hole behind that rectangular thing.
Disassembled removing ice and frost. Clearing out little drainage hole behind that rectangular thing.

So we went about our business addressing the drainage issue of the freezer. I didn’t time the process but I think it took less then 2 hours. That’s it and we have a nice functional fridge again.

We also exercised some more do it yourself spirit by managing our own finances specifically our investments. I longed into our IRAs and updated our automatic withdrawals. Increasing them from $250 to $500. Still won’t be maxing it out this year as it is. Since we didn’t think about it or didn’t even make it a goal to do so I’m not to concerned. Mostly I just want to make sure we get as much in there as we can with out detracting from our actual goal of saving 30k for house down payment.

Efficient Living

Capsule update

Before I started the capsule wardrobe I had the problem in my closet of not having enough hangers. I also didn’t really have any more space to put extra hangers but that didn’t stop me from automatically assuming that more hangers would fix my closet organization problems. I need to buy more. But as I have already said I am a terrible shopper so I never went ahead and got more.

Outfit for evening beach picnic. Turn out to be colder then I thought thankfully Mr. Roamer had a scarf.
Outfit for evening beach picnic. Turn out to be colder then I thought thankfully Mr. Roamer had a scarf.

Now that I have gone through some minimalist challenges and started the capsule I am so pleased with the extra space in my closet. It’s eye opening to me how marketing has really made us believe that what we need is more  organizational type products to manage our ever growing amounts of stuff.

Sunday outfit
Sunday outfit

Instead I have found just getting rid of stuff is much more efficient and effective.

This can and should be applied to multiple areas of our lives. Instead of assuming we need more shelves, racks, dividers, binders to keep our homes and stuff in check we should first ask what doesn’t belong? What haven’t I used in a while? What’s no longer functional? Practice using that 5S knowledge to purge the unnecessary and organize what does belong.

How did last week turn out for you? Have you tried any DIY projects around the house?

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Biking with Kids: Our 1st Trip to School

We are on our way to Badassity. Monday we move on to a new challenge. Biking long distances with kids on a time constraint schedule with only one parent! The time part  and the 1 parent here is the new piece.

We spent time preparing for this trip by talking about it for a few weeks before hand and getting some of the logistical information. Like is there even a bike rack at the school?Answer. YES.

Minnie Roamer letting me know she is ready to ride her own bike.
Minnie Roamer letting me know she is ready to ride her own bike.

So we woke up early got ready and set out. We rode the route we usually drive since it has a bike lane in some areas. The only adjustment we made was taking some different streets so we wouldn’t have to take on the lows and the highs of an underpass.

Trip Stats

:) :) :) all smiles
🙂 🙂 🙂 all smiles
  • 4 mile bike ride to school each way.
  • Ride took about 50 min one way.
  • School starts at 7:30 am
  • Left home at 6:50 am
  • Arrived at about 7:37
  • No stopping( except for lights) but did slow down pace
  • Mixed riding:  street and sidewalk

Ride back

As I rode back lots of thoughts ran through my head. I was happy we made it. I was bummed we were late. I was trying to think of ways to facilitate future trips. Which led to a train of thoughts.

  • I should check out other routes.
  • I can try again to see if I can transfer him to the other closer elementary school which also offers the DLI program.
  • We can move closer to the school and shorten the route
  • We really should just be moving closer to work ( over 10 miles away)
  • Ugh if I didn’t care about the DLI program we could move closer to work and enroll him into the closest school too.

All these thoughts cause me to not peek back at the trailer as often as normal. When I finally did look back at Minnie Roamer I nearly had

A small heart attack

Minnie Roamer had Houdini escaped her straps. She was sitting in the foot nook in the trailer looking out the cover. The top cover is held in place by Velcro so pretty much she was not safe. Hence small heart attack. I was shocked and scared by the sight. I stopped and took her out. Looked at the straps and was confused to find them still buckled.

Minnie Roamer now Minnie Houdini
Minnie Roamer now Minnie Houdini

I understand Minnie Roamer’s motivation, I mean she had been stuck in there for over an hour. Still I don’t understand how she got out. Specially with her helmet on. So now a shorter trip is important for multiple reasons and I also need to worry about Minnie’s safety during these adventures.

After some free movements on the sidewalk I strapped her in, gave her a talking too and proceeded with the trip. She endured the rest of her captivity much better, but still managed to wriggle her arms free. This could pose a problem.

Goals

Monday will be our biking day. This allows me to get to sleep early to be able to handle waking up early. As we get better I might test out doing it an additional day. I’m probably going to be the one holding us back on that since all other weekdays I am pretty exhausted from getting to bed around 1 am.

As of today my son has said biking to school is his favorite thing and that “its so fun”.

Guess what?

Writing this post actually prompted me to do some research. What I found out was that because I wanted to use the bike lane I knew existed I was adding over half a mile to my route. Now I will reassess our route so that we can arrive to school earlier. Next Monday we will try the suggested route and see if it makes sense for the bike trailer.

You might not believe this but there is some poor planning where sidewalks are reduce to a persons shoulder length. Much too small for a bike trailer.

I try to ride on the street and I am trying to get my son comfortable with the idea but it’s not always feasible. So like I said earlier we do mixed riding. Street and sidewalk for us.Roamer boy bike

Well this was fun, and doing it, even though we did get to school late, just reinforces how we don’t really need to drive there. It was a new challenge and we took the first step and got it done. Now we just need to tweak it and optimize.

It’s a win win win. We save up on money and wear and tear on the cars, we get to exercise, we all have fun.( well maybe except for Minnie Roamer)

Now its your turn

Do you ride with your kids long distances? What is the best placing with only one parent and a trailer in tow? Behind you? In front? next to you? Seriously tell me everything! I want to hear from you.

Raw and unfiltered: I want more

It’s the year of more says Ramit

Do you want more?

 

I do want more. More me time, more free time, more travel, more calm, more balance.

But I don’t want more jewelry, more clothes, more bills, more clutter, more dinners out , more Jones’ or fake friends.

 

I do want more snuggling, more sleeping, more kids time, more roaming, more wandering, more adventure.

I don’t want more nail polish, or more make up, more stress, more demanding people.

 

I could use more money, more freedom, more passive income.

I don’t need more stereotypes, more restrictions, I don’t need more problems or why it won’t work.

 

I do want more solutions, more innovation, more education , more reading.

I don’t want more late nights at work , more pointless ladders to climb.

 

I do want to have time for more giving , more service, more creating, more tumbleweed cottages. More investing.

 

Yes, Ramit I do want more , its just not the usual more .

 What’s up with More

This year I finally started reading Ramit and this year its his year of MORE campaign. At first it rubbed me the wrong way. But the truth is I do want more.

Its just different.

I do want to earn more money, so that I can turn around and save more and buy more of my time and life back. More of my freedom.

Life has gotten crazy. More money for more time for more freedom sound like the ticket right now. Because I’d much rather be home kissing and snuggling my husband then working 2nd shift.

The Little Roamers enjoying a tent in the living room. Something I now miss out on.
The Little Roamers enjoying a tent in the living room. Something I now miss out on.

 More of this vs. More of that

I am making sacrifices right now to build my more, but in turn I am getting less. Less time with mi esposo ( that means my husband), less sleep.

I think someone said it but I can’t remember who, every thing is a trade off. That when you prioritize something you are taking something else off the table. There is just not enough time to do everything.

What do you want more of? What are you taking off the table to get it?  Sometimes what you take off is not a sacrifice. For me that’s make up or nail polish. The products, the chemicals, the effort…. I ain’t got time for that. Other times it is a sacrifice. Working for the dollars but losing time with the kids or the husband.

Leave a comment below and I ask you again. What do you want MORE of? What are you trading for it? Is it no biggie or is it a sacrifice?