General Baby Thoughts
It’s official. Our girl has gone from baby to toddler. A little over a month ago, Sally started walking, and nothing’s been the same since. I feel like we have a miniature adult in our home. She walks around with a cell phone in one hand and our car keys in the other. If I open the fridge to grab something out, she stands directly under me and also grabs something out. Yesterday, she toddled into the kitchen carrying a plant from the living room in her hands, with the biggest grin on her face. She was so very proud of herself for carrying around a plant. Put simply, Sally is an extremely busy but irresistible little 14-month-old.
With the start of toddler-hood, I feel like we’ve finally hit our stride as parents. Now I can actually see newborns and think “How cute!” instead of “Those poor, sleep-deprived parents.” We are really enjoying playing (it’s just pretend, right?) mom and dad to Sally.
Financial Baby Thoughts
Okay, the most amazing thing ever happened last month. We didn’t spend any money on baby food. I don’t know when exactly it happened, but Sally now eats whatever we eat, which has really helped our grocery budget. And on nights Johnny and I eat a salad, I steam frozen broccoli florets (in the microwave) for Sally to have with whatever meat we’re eating. Thank goodness for her blessed molars coming in. Our grocery budget loves them.
We continue to spend about $40 on diapers each month, and we also spent $200 on a car seat. Sally got her first legit cold just a week ago, so we bought some generic brand Tylenol for $6. Lastly, the incredible disappearing sippy cup routine is a favorite in our home. We’ve lost four now. FOUR. So we bought three more last month and spent $10. But that’s it for our toddler expenses over the past month. So the grand total comes to $256. It’s a bit more than usual, but her new car seat should fit her until she’s in high school.
And now for some pictures of our girl.
at the zoo on a free admission day… I never want to see that many strollers ever again
For the been-there-done-that crowd, does this sound pretty typical? How do we relate and differ? How long will Sally have a baby mullet?
I’m an ad guy and I want to talk about a new Cadillac ad that’s pretty controversial. Knowing the sharp minds that come to our blog and make Joanna and me feel smarter by osmosis, I wanted to open up a discussion and hear your thoughts. Here’s the ad:
The copywriter in me loves it. Provocative, different, thought-provoking. This wasn’t your typical car ad set on some unrealistic barren desert floor while a rich, baritone voiceover rattles off standard luxury features, APR rates, and the engine’s comparative power to horses (we still haven’t figured out a better way to measure that?). The admakers deserve credit for taking a chance on a script they likely knew would ruffle a few feathers.
The American in me loves it. Lines like, “Got a car up [on the moon] and left the keys in it — do you know why? Because we’re the only ones going back up there, that’s why.” And “You work hard, create your own luck, and you gotta believe that anything is possible.” We’re not a nation of siestas — we’re a nation of “Just do it”ers. And we’ll be darned if we don’t reward ourselves for all that American Dream-ing. Arrogant? A little. Obnoxious? Sure. But it’s an American ad for an American audience.
The personal finance blogger and budgeter in me hates it. This ad captures much of what’s wrong in our country (and world). Here’s why:
- We’re too work focused. When having families and spending time with them becomes an obstacle and something we have to plan around our 9-5′s (or 8-8′s), we’ve got our priorities backwards.
- I’d much rather have a month off in August and keep my Corolla, thank you very much.
- Stuff is overrated. And stuff is why many don’t live within their means. This ad tells me that if I work hard, I deserve nice stuff. Fair enough. Joanna and I like nice stuff! The trouble is that most people watching this ad can’t afford nice stuff, despite the fact that they work their butts off. But as we all know too well, affording and being able to buy something don’t mean the same thing. The Debt Monster loves to help us get stuff we can’t afford.
- I’d like to believe we don’t work hard so that we can afford more stuff. We should work hard so that we can do more stuff. Like taking vacations, spending more time with our families, taking care of our health, etc.
That’s where my head’s at. What’s your take? Love the ad, hate the ad, feeling a sudden itch to drive down to your nearest Cadillac dealer and schedule a test drive? Talk amongst yourselves.
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