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Cubic Zirconia or Real Diamond

February 4th, 2016 at 10:34 am

I was reading the thread about a woman wanting to sell her diamond ring but not getting anything. Honestly I can say people can't tell the difference.

My grandparents were pretty poor. My grandmother's original wedding/engagement ring was super plain band. In later years she wore these two diamond rings neither of them real! But who would know? I certainly didn't until my mom said "oh those pieces of glass. My grandmother is 88 this year and lives with my aunt.

She's got a few pieces of jewelry. Nothing expensive or valuable. A few gold bracelets, jade pendants/bracelets, gold ring, and these two cubic zirconia rings. I want the cubic zirconia rings. I know they aren't real. And I know they are less valuable than the other stuff, but I would love to have them.

I can recall them since I was knee high playing with them and seeing her wear them everyday. She promised me them years ago, but with the situation we're in, she lives with an aunt of mine I am pretty sure I'll never see the rings again unless she gives them to me now before her death. I hope that she won't pass for another 10 years, but who knows.

It's hard to explain the sentimentality of the ring. It's not expensive but I love them. I think that people who focus on these expensive diamonds lose focus on the point of the ring or sentiment. The value is inconsequential but the charm.

I have a diamond not the most expensive quality and I never wear it (doesn't fit after kids). But it reminds me how much my DH struggled to buy it and where we came from and built together. I just might resize it so my kiddos can see it. Of course I might also be gifted one day with a huge fake diamond that my own grandkids remember me with. Maybe I'll just clean my grandmother's rings.

Do you have fake jewelry you wear? Or only real? Have you ever been faked out by a diamond you thought was real and it wasn't?

The most expensive diamond I've seen has been a friend who told me her 1 carat diamond was flawless and the jeweler who sold her the ring offered her $40k for it back. OMG. I nearly died.

funny thing

January 21st, 2016 at 10:24 pm

Our neighbors that we aren't on best terms with are moving in June. How relaxing now. Now we don't have to avoid them as much. Bonus if we choose to rent longer we won't have to worry about the two kids being in class together next year. I know I said we'd rent but I hated the idea of my kiddo in class again with our neighbor's kid. This way we are set to not ride the bus or see them again after June. Say la vie! Bye bye to trouble.

In case I forgot to mention over the holidays my neighbor accused me of making her life difficult by reporting the incident between our children. She felt I should have come to talk to her about her son hitting my daughter on the bus instead of dealing with the school and transportation department. She was forced to do a ton of paperwork because of my reporting the issue. I don't know the repercussions but she said that "kids will be kids" and I shouldn't have overreacted. I should have come to let her deal with it.

Truth is that I reacted to seeing a kid hit my kid through the window of the bus. I didn't stop to think I should talk to his mom. I just went and talked to my kid and the school. Second I probably would have reported it anyway after talking with her since this was the second incident with her child. She obviously hadn't dealt with her child after the prior incident of drawing on my child's face. And no I did not tell her that, but I just told her I was sorry that she had a lot of trouble with the school and bus. But that I had done what I felt was in my child's best interest. I explained I was just following the rules and I understand that they are children.

Truth is that moving classrooms has been great for my kid. She mentioned when we said they were moving "great that neighbor S is moving. He's mean on the playground and I avoid him as much as possible." Say la vie.

proud mommy moment

January 20th, 2016 at 08:31 pm

Tonight my 5 (soon to be 6...counting down the days till monday) kiddo and I went and volunteered for the first time since moving. Before we moved we would volunteer at the food bank in town and we did an organization that threw birthday parties at shelters for kids. Well tonight we went to another shelter and helped host another birthday party for the kids at the shelter. I usually take my 3 year old but my DH suggested we check this out before committing regularly with my 3 year old.

It was a great party and my kiddo did AWESOME. I think she's matured a lot and really developed into a thoughtful kid. She understood why kids were there and really got into helping and running games and handing out gift bags. In the car we discussed how the children living were without homes and probably without money to have their own party like the one we're throwing for her. It really hit home and she asked if we could donate some of her money to the organization to buy cakes or ice cream (we donated the cake and ice cream this month). She earns money by doing chores and homework and knows she's getting some for her birthday.

I had a tear in my eye as I write this. I am sure everyone reading this understands how hard it is to be financially responsible. But how much harder it is to be a parent and raise a both a financially responsible child with empathy. To know that I'm trying to raise my kids with and understanding of how privileged and affluent we are. How we have so much more than so many others and that we are so fortunate. Trying to be "frugal" yet sharing what we have with those who have less.

It's a really delicate balancing act. Coming from a less privileged background I really worry about my kids having too much. That they'll just lose appreciation for anything.

Tonight really helped me feel proud. That I think perhaps I'm doing something right. A moment in the torture that is parenting.

Is your career your life?

December 8th, 2015 at 11:49 am

DH is starting to gain traction on his career choice. He's getting started on his bootcamp in Febraury and is excited. He was called for an interview from Linkedin in his old career and he refused. It would have been a promotion doing what he did but he said he mentally turned a corner and that's what he did. Now is his chance to do something different.

As for me I'm still wavering on what I want to do with my life. But the depressing part? My mom. Last night she tells me I need to get a career and accomplish something with my life. That staying at home raising kids not enough. That she's embarrassed to say I stay at home and do "nothing" when people/friends ask. I need to use my degrees and become "someone" and make something of myself. What am I contributing to this world? Being a housewife isn't enough even if I can do it financially.

I don't know what to write. I am not sure I am that person who wants to have an accomplished career. My DH made a comment the other night "our resumes read like type A personalities, but we're not type A people." That statement is probably why we are together. Neither of us could be with people who have similar degrees from the schools we went to. Instead we're pretty content right now sitting at home doing nothing together but raise our children and hang out. I feel embarrassed right now and I know my DH does too (now) that we aren't ambitious enough.

I guess that's part of the hesitation. Do I go back and get a certificate to jump into something similar to my degree and get a full time job? Or is it acceptable to find a part-time job in retail and work just the hours the kids are in school? Perhaps the problem is that both of us want our life to focus on our life and making money/career is secondary. We work to earn money to live so our jobs aren't important. He wants his job to be fulfilling so when he's looking at job he's adamant he won't take one for the money. Rather he's interested in finding something he wants to do. I support this because I've always said we can make any amount of money work and my DH agrees.

But should we have more ambition? I mean if we lived elsewhere we could retire with more than Mr Money Mustache did. We aren't ready to do that. But in 5 years if DH is unhappy and we continue on our previous saving trajectory % and we have enough is it wrong to leave the career and do nothing again?

Do people love their careers? Or their spouses love their careers? Do you work to accomplish or contribute? Do you work to not be bored? Or is it about the money? Did paying off your debts change why you work?

Do kids understand money?

December 4th, 2015 at 03:53 pm

Reading a post about net worth on the forums made me think about time versus money. What my DH and I are doing right now is probably costing us a lot of money. How much? Well at least $45k in salary this year and another $100k next year. Then add in the fact we're going to likely burn through $75k in expenses from not working for 10 months plus tuition for DH's program. And we're out $220k without counting the lost opportunity cost of us not saving some and investing it.

Our kids are 5 and 3. So right now my DH is getting the opportunity to enjoy them in a way many parents can't. I'm fortunate to have enjoyed them immensely until now. He's getting to experience volunteering in class, doing field trips, etc.

I'm not sure our kids understand the sacrifice we are making right now. Or that our lifestyle changed moving cross country. We've actually mentioned to our older DK1 that we no longer have an income. That we are watching our pennies and we can't buy everything under the sun.

But the truth is that we lived very much like we did before. The only change is that we didn't shop as many sales/coupons for groceries. We ate out maybe 2x/week instead of 1x/week. We ate at more expensive places instead of places with deals. But otherwise we never shopped a lot, still give the girls extracurriculars, still go out and do experiences we did before like the zoo/aquarium/etc. We've curbed our weekend roadtrips, if we were working we'd likely have gone on 1-2 weekend trip.

But I honestly don't think our kids think our life is any different. They do understand we have a much nicer, bigger SFH with a garage that is warmer. But that's due to the fact we just moved somewhere cheaper that we could afford a home. Even if we were working we'd still have rented the same place.

I wonder if our kids will understand the huge financial risk we took when they were young? Or understand ever the financial repercussions we've done by quitting and moving? I don't know, but I hope they think we did something amazing to change our lives.

But I do know my Dk1 understands those less fortunate. And we are continuing to volunteer at shelters helping to host birthday parties for children who don't have homes. She understand that there are so many others who have so much less. And at this time of year we should be grateful for having so much.

I'm still excited for the season and while there isn't a shelter party we're going to help make goody bags instead this month. I hope that when they look back on holidays they remember these sort of things. I always remember and give my children money for the red salvation army buckets because more than once my grandfather told me he and his family were on the receiving end of the Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets. He always gave me money to put in as does my mom till this day. If not for their generosity I don't know where I'd be.

Black Friday shopping

December 1st, 2015 at 10:50 pm

e made a lot of purchases on black friday. Some planned and some unplanned. Something planned for months but still pricey was a new desktop computer. This is our third desktop computer in 15 years together. So I guess around every 7 year we replace our desktop computer. Previously my DH used to build our computers with parts as he had more time to look for deals. This time he did some online research and determined he'd buy a lenovo desktop which would provide a solid buy for a good price. He's said this since around June and told me he'd be looking for a deal around black friday. After we moved the computer for some reason has been overheating/shutting down and crashing. We knew it's been on it's last legs but he's been nursing it along. We got a lenovo desktop from Best Buy for $399. We also got a 24 inch monitor for DH from newegg. This was our big "planned" spending which makes me blanch over the spending but knowing that we've been planning it for almost 6 months makes it bearable.

DH also bought me a Kindle Fire for $35. We'll see how I like the OS compared to the android devices I normally use. He found an open box $5 case at best buy as well. For the kids we decided on $100 budget each ($50 from us and $50 from Santa) for Christmas. We bought DK1 a Razor scooter for $18 and Beadola for $10, Tricycle for $15 and Hello Kitty bus for $20 for DK2 from Santa. We're giving them PJ $10 each, ornaments $5, shopkins $3 and I'm stuck on other stuff. I wonder is it weird if I give them an electric toothbrush $5 each and lip gloss $5 (tsum tsum) for gifts? I am also thinking some lush bath balm $5 each and maybe air freshener night lights from bath and body works.

I find myself looking at cooler stuff the kids sort of "need" but not stuff I would usually buy like an electric tooth brush and super fancy lip gloss (it's minnie mouse). I also bought playdough but I need the tool set.

My parents are gifting the kids with calico critter doll houses $29 and $39 each. I'm still stuck on trying to figure out cool toys they'll enjoy for the long term. I also bought tonight a board game from Scholastic and a workbook. So I've gotten something they need (PJs), something they read, and something they want? I'm not sure since it keeps changes everytime we got to the store!

Question of manners?

November 27th, 2015 at 08:48 pm

Okay I'm about to admit to something that bothers me that I'm never sure how to handle. I've never actually handled it unless it's been mailed.

It's how I never get a thank you note or acknowledgement of a gift. It's recently happened twice and I'm not sure whether or not the people got the gifts.

First we went to a birthday party at a pool that was a little crazy and I left the gifts in the general area it seemed to be collecting. This was in October and I'm wondering do I ask the friend "did Boy B get the gift?" Is it tacky? Is it rude? Am I hinting I want a thank you note?

Second we went to a housewarming party that same weekend and I brought a gift for their new baby and dessert. I know they ate the dessert and served it but the books in a bag with card I left. Did they get it? Did they open it? How do you ask? Again I don't expect a thank you but I just am a little annoyed there wasn't anything to acknowledge.

So how do other's manage this? Once I sent my nephew a DVD from Amazon for his birthday/Christmas and finally when I had the nerve to ask my SIL she was embarrassed because they sent a thank you note to someone else they thought it from. I have also questioned before my brother for his daughter and gotten "oh yeah we got it." So they just chose to not acknowledge receipt of the gift.

But nowadays I wonder even if thank you notes are passe (I do them and so do my kids always) how do people acknowledge they got your gift?

Starting to get excited

November 22nd, 2015 at 01:57 pm

It's weird this year. I feel like for the first time in my adult life we are getting into the feeling of the holidays. We delayed and are trying to order our holiday cards this weekend. We have it made but the website photobooks American isn't taking the groupon I bought. Ugh. So hopefully tomorrow we can have it ordered and we get it by the end of the 1st week of December. I worked on my holiday card mail merge and we should be good to go within a day to send out the cards. We are not religious but I'm very grateful for everything we have this year. And the opportunity to start our own traditions with the kids is amazing.

Today we bought Christmas lights and the turkey. We are getting started for Thanksgiving because we're hosting my in-laws and brother-in-law. My parents will be here for Christmas and then we'll spend New Years with the in-laws. For the first time we'll be in our home with a tree for the kids. I realized that I'm actually going to have to shop for gifts. Perhaps not expensive but the idea of wrapping and buying presents is very pleasant. We bought the kids a lego advent calendar and a mighty blocks advent calendar to start off the season.

I've planned on a dozen cookies each for the teachers, probably white chocolate cranberry cookies. So I've got 6 dozen cookies to make plus another 3 dozen for the school cookie drive.

As for the menu for thanksgiving I'm making cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, spinach artichoke dip, green beans, sweet potatoes, and potato salad.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Hope everyone travels safe and enjoys their families I can't wait.

riding the bus

November 20th, 2015 at 03:36 pm

So this morning we had and incident with the same boy (S) on the bus. He hit my DK1 on the face and said "i don't want you to sit next to me. Get away." Unfortunately DK1 has been avoiding S but we got to the bus stop late and there wasn't any seats for kindergarteners except up front. Yes I saw this happen through the window.

I drove after the bus and stopped DK1 (she wasn't crying but upset) and she told the bus driver what happened. The bus driver said he would be sure to separate the kids from now on and he would also make sure the seats reserved for kindergarteners would be cleared instead of 1st or 2nd graders trying to crowd the front rows. We also told the school principal about the incident. I followed up with a call to the transportation department and how lovely there are cameras on the bus and it was on video. The transportation department said they would be following up with mom of S and the school said they would as well.

My DH went to school to work on the art board today as well. When he saw the boy S, S began stammering and saying "DK1 deserved it. She's been mean to me." My DH ignored him and instead came home and talked to DK1. DK1 said she's been avoiding him and not been talking to him period. She doesn't like him. I believe her and so does my DH considering this is the same child who lied about drawing on DK1 face and told untruths about DK1.

Thankfully we are switching in 10 days to another classroom. So we only have to endure morning bus ride with this neighbor boy and no more afternoon bus rides. I hate to be so petty but I am so glad my DK1 chose to move to full day kindergarten so she won't have to see this child again. Perhaps if we stay and they stay in the area we will see each other but if not then it's just neighbors passing in the day.

You know this wasn't supposed to happen till they were older. I expected this in 4th or 5th grade but not this young.

Full day kindergarten

November 17th, 2015 at 10:39 am

So we got a call that DK1 whose currently in half day kindergarten got offered a spot in full day kindergarten. The cost is $370/month. A great deal honestly. But the negative is that DK1 would have to switch classrooms. When we moved we were hoping to get into full day kindergarten. Because we thought it was more educational. Yes and no. The curriculum is similar but more time is spent on each subject. 1 hour versus 30 minutes on writing, reading, math, art, social studies, etc. So why the hesitation?

I think because it's December and I worry with all the change she'll be sad. I don't think she's made super close friends yet, but she has made friends. Talking with DK1 she's very interested in going full day because sitting with mom and dad for lunch gets boring. Sitting at home doing homework daily with us (workbooks, piano, math) is tedious. If I had to guess I think she gets more attention and is learning more at home with us than at school. But because of all personalities involved DK1 isn't keen on us teaching her. We do a lot of nature and science teaching as well as workbooks and online coursework. We've done IXL, abc mouse, khan academy, and she takes russian math. Along with piano, swim lessons, gymnastics we know she's getting a nice supplemental education. But I can see how it could be fun to stay at school. But i wonder if she'll be happy having a new classroom?

We have until tomorrow to decide. I am leaning towards full day but perhaps it's too much of a change. Did your kids go to school full or half day kindergarten and why?