The Price of Children

The Price of Children

I saw this today and thought I’d share.

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140.00 for a middle-income family. Talk about price shock! That doesn’t even touch college tuition. But $160,140.00 isn’t so bad if you break it down.

It translates into:

* $8,896.66 a year,

* $741.38 a month,

* $171.08 a week.

* A mere $24.24 a day!

* Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is; don’t have children if you want to be ‘rich.’ Actually, it is just the opposite. What do you get for your $160,140.00?

* Naming rights. First, middle, and last!

* Glimpses of God every day.

* Giggles under the covers every night.

* More love than your heart can hold.

* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.

* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.

* A hand to hold usually covered with jelly or chocolate.

* A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites.

* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140.00, you never have to grow up. You get to:

* finger-paint,

* carve pumpkins,

* play hide-and-seek,

* catch lightning bugs,

* never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to:

* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,

* watch Saturday morning cartoons,

* go to Disney movies, and

* wish on stars.

You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother’s Day, and cards with backward letters for Father’s Day.

For a mere $24.24 a day, there is no greater bang for your buck.

You get to be a hero just for:

* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,

* taking the training wheels off a bike,

* removing a splinter,

* filling a wading pool,

* coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and

* coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat in history to witness the:

* First step,

* First word,

* First bra and/or jock strap,

* First date,

* First time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you’re lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match. In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.

That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!!

Love and enjoy your children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren! It’s the best investment you’ll ever make!

And think, that list is incomplete.  It doesn’t even begin to cover all the benefits and rewards that coming along with having/raising children!

Hanging of the Greens

This year we’re continuing with some family traditions we started last year, and adding some new ones.

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This is a new tradition for us this year.  We’re grateful for all that we have, and all that we’re able to give Hannah Rose.  We believe that one of the least important things about Christmas time is the getting of presents.  Sure, that’s lots of fun–don’t get me wrong.  But there’s so much more to the holiday season than that, or there could be if you open yourself up to it.  I believe whole-heartedly that in giving is as good as getting, if not better.  Of course, some of my friends wish I weren’t this way–but hey, my mom said I came hard-wired to give.  Generosity is a good thing.  It’s something we want Hannah Rose to learn, but more than learn–we want her to grow to enjoy being generous.

This year, she’s very much into Barbies.  Makes sense to my head.  I was her age when I started playing with Barbies, and I was a tom-boy!  So, we let her pick out a Barbie to give to Toys for Tots (Sponsored by the US Marine Corp!), so that another little girl can have something special for Christmas and hopefully a happier Christmas for it.  She picked out Christmas Morning Barbie.  Here she is with the Barbie, and then dropping it off in the collection.

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Hanging of the Greens–Troy Museum & Historic Village

This is our second year attending the Hanging of the Greens, and it was just as much fun this year as it was last year!  Hannah Rose made a craft project.  She wrote a letter to Santa, and mailed it at the historic post office.  We listened to a hand bell choir.  We watched as the blacksmiths made iron icicles for Christmas ornaments.  While waiting for Santa to arrive on his sleigh, Hannah Rose and Chris had a blast playing in the snow.  Afterwards, we headed inside for some Hot Cider.  Yummm!!

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The Wicked Witch Is Dead!!!

Yay!!!  June’s over!!!!  I survived another one!!!  And onto July celebrations.  We have Hannah Rose for a good chunk of this month, so we’ll be rather busy.  But it’s a good busy!

Today, we’re going over to Chris’s parents for a 4th of July BBQ and some fireworks.  When we told Hannah Rose last night that we were having fireworks today–she literally started jumping up and down in excitement.  Funny that!

We’re bringing the dessert–decided to make cupcakes sans dairy or eggs.  Thought I’d get a jump on things by doing them last night, but they got burnt on the bottoms, so I had to throw the whole batch out.  I’m using Ener G to substitute for the eggs…and that works fine, but the cupcakes don’t rise as much as normal.  I just took out my “replacement” cupcakes from the oven, and they look much better.  (I doubled the baking powder and baking soda and so they rose a bit more than they did last night.)

Tomorrow we’re headed out to The Henry Ford Greenfield Village’s Salute to America.  It should be lots of fun.  We’ll get to listen to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and at the end of the night watch an inspiring fireworks display!

This month is also Chris’s mom’s birthday–followed by my sister Brandy’s birthday.  Brandy’s is literally the day after Kay’s!

The weather’s supposed to be great for today and tomorrow which is a relief–especially considering all the thunderstorms that have been taking place.  We had another Wednesday night.  Which just happened to be the night Chris and I decided to go out and do a bunch of grocery shopping!!  We’re almost home and Chris says, “The topper to this night would be for our power to be out.”  The center by our house had power, so we thought we’d be ok.  Nope.  No power and a car full of perishables!  John and Kay to the rescue!!!!  They let us borrow some fridge and freezer space to save our newly bought perishables.  We were fortunate, power was only out for about six hours.

With that friends and family–I’m out for now.  Hope you all have a great 4th of July, or rather by the time you’re reading this that you HAD a great 4th of July!!!

Oliver!

This past weekend we took Hannah Rose to see the Broadway Musical, Oliver! Of course, it wasn’t on Broadway…it was a bit off off off off Broadway. Give or take an off or several.

It was put on by the Motor City Youth Theatre and Grantland Street Players in Livonia. (You can check out their website here )

We really enjoyed the show.  It had been far too long since I had been to the theatre–any sort, really.  Hannah Rose seemed to enjoy it–she said her favourite parts were when “the man’s foot got stepped on.”  She also liked it when Oliver pulled out a very long stream of hankies from Fagin’s pocket, and then fell on his bum.  She was incredibly well behaved during the show.

The director did a great job with the cast.  Working with kids is not always easy–but when it’s done well, it’s a pleasure for everyone!  As far as the cast went–the young girl who played Dodger stood out by leaps and bounds.

Even Chris–who hates musicals and isn’t that much of a live theatre fan (yet! ~wink, wink~) enjoyed the production.  Which, if you know him, is saying more than A LOT!

The theatre space was small and intimate.  The cast was almost as large as the audience!  It looked like the building had at one time been perhaps a small church.  I liked the set, and the costumes were great.  I was a little surprised to see actors doing double duty as stage-hands, but I know that’s not unheard of.

The story–it’s a great story, as long as you’re not reading Charles Dickens’ version thereof.  I was going to say I can’t think of any adaptation of a Charles Dickens’ novel that I haven’t enjoyed–but then I remembered that Great Expectations movie we were forced to watch back in high school.  I didn’t care much for that.  With that exception, I think his stories are great.  I just hate the way he tells them.  I know there are a lot of Charles Dickens fans out there–and I may get yelled at for saying so, but I don’t think he was a good writer.  OK, OK, to say I don’t think he was a good writer is putting it mildly to say the least.  And it’s probably a little silly how passionately I dislike the man’s writing.  But there you have it folks–my honest opinion:  Charles Dickens’ stories are great, the way he tells them not so great!

Driving after the theatre, Hannah Rose yawns loudly and declares, “I’m not tired.”  Chris laughed so hard at that, she did it several more times before arriving home.  She likes laughing and making other people laugh every bit as much as he does!

Mother’s Day

I survived the weekend and the day.  Actually, it went better than I had anticipated it would.

Hannah Rose called to wish me a Happy Mother’s day–which made me feel better than great.  While on the phone she asked if Xaxu was Irish.  I told her he was Siamese; to which she replied “Irish-Siamese?” 

Chris and I spent the day at his parent’s house.  That was good all around.  We got her a bird feeder from Wild Birds Unlimited over in Ann Arbor.  There are a number of birds that come round visiting their backyard, and since she enjoys watching them so–we thought we’d give the birds some incentive to come round more often and stay so she could get even more enjoyment out of them!  Because we had beautiful Irish weather yesterday (it was raining all day long)–Chris wasn’t able to set the feeder up.  But it’s an easy set-up.  I think I could even do it!  Chris’s mom wasn’t up for going out–but it wouldn’t have been right to have her make her own dinner for Mother’s Day so we ordered take-out from Franco’s Cafe, and Chris went and got it.

Spending the day there focusing on his mom helped me to not feel my losses so keenly.  I miss my mom so much, it’s crazy.  I really wish she could have met my new family–I know she’d love Chris and Hannah Rose.  How could she not???  ~smiles~ 

We named her Bhrianna

My heart is heavy today.  Today is the day my daughter was to be born.  Ok, Ok–I know most babies aren’t born on their due date.  Heaven knows, I wasn’t!  But I’ll never know now if she should would have been born late or early. 

I’ve been watching this date on the calendar; its presence looming and growing.  I’ve wondered how it was I’d get through the day.  Don’t misunderstand me–I’m getting through the day.  Just as I’ve gotten through every single day since I lost her.  Just as I will get through every day after this one. 

I miss her so.  I never got to hold her in my arms, never even got to see her sweet little face–and I couldn’t grieve at losing her anymore than I do.  Isn’t that odd–I never really knew her, knew the person she’d be and the loss of her is no less than those I’ve known and loved all my life.

I’m not negating all the wonderful things that are in my life now.  I just have to stop for a minute.  Remember my sweet little baby.  Not let the significance of the day go by as if it mattered not a thing.  It matters.  She matters, she always has and always will.

She was always wanted.  From the first.  A surprise, yes.  But more than wanted.  Wanted still.

I miss you sweet baby mine.  I miss you my Bhrianna. 

Party Central

Hannah Rose’s birthday party on the 29th was a great success!  She had a lot of fun.  We did it up Tinkerbell style!  Before her party she went over to Chris’s parents house so that Chris and I could decorate and surprise her!  She was surprised and happy; especially with all the balloons!  This little girl has a love affair with balloons.  Ok, perhaps I exaggerate for effect.  But only a little.  She did mention prior to her party that she wanted to blow up balloons for her party. 

It was an afternoon party, so we had some snacks.  I made some party punch–which was quite yummy if I may say so myself.  Chris’s mom liked it too, so I must be in the right! 

Here you can see the present table, heavily laden with gifts!  (The trunk you see under it is a trunk filled to the brim with dress up items!)

I just love this shot of her.  She’s wearing the party hat I made just for her.  (Which has has since further decorated and personalized. ~smiles~)

This is the new Princess bicycle she got from her mom for her birthday.  She looks so big sitting on it!!!

Here she’s unwrapping more presents.  She stopped to take some time to draw a “map” on the chalk roll we got her.  (I bought it from a talented friend who makes them and if you’re interested in buying one, let me know and I can put both parties in touch with each other!)

Here she stopped to read the book I wrote for her, I am Beautiful Because.  She had to look at all the pictures of herself in it.  Who can resist being the star of their own book?

Some have said it looked like Christmas–and yeah, it kinda did!

Here is her Tinkerbell birthday cake.  Chocolate of course.  The original cake I was making decided to not come out of the pan all the way so I had to resort to plan B.  Which turned out better than I had expected.  Hannah Rose enjoyed all the tinkerbell on her cake–and the pink roses.

Here she is with Daddy.  I had made a mental note to myself prior to the party to get pics of her with everyone there….do you think I remembered?  Yeah…no. 

Blowing out the candles–such birthday fun!

Next year I do believe we’ll be having more than just a family party.  She’s of the age now where she’s wanting other kids to join her at her party.  Sadly, not everyone could make it to the party.  Lots of illness going around, but Hannah Rose did get to see everyone eventually I think excepting perhaps her uncle on her mom’s side. 

Good times.

Party Prep–UPDATED

Party prep is in full swing in spite of how I’m feeling.  (Not well.  Had to discontinue my antibiotics–side-effects, of course!)  Trying to avoid having to go in to see the doctor this weekend.  Crossing my fingers.

 Cake is in the oven and due to come out soon.  While it’s cooling I’ll make the icing, and then decorate it–which is going to take me more than a few minutes.  hahaha.

The house is pretty much in order.  I have to hide the wrapped presents.  There’s more on my to-do list, but I won’t bore you with all the pretty details.

Chris’s parents got Hannah Rose a new dresser and bedside table that match her wonderful bed!  (They are wonderfully generous–his parents!!!)  The pieces are gorgeous!  We’ve got those in place, and I put bows on them since Hannah Rose will see them tonight when she comes home with Daddy.  Charging the camera battery now so I’ll be ready to take lots of pictures tonight and tomorrow. 

 Back to the grindstone I go!!!  Just thought I’d drop in and say a quick hi! to y’all!!!  Happy Friday, by the way!

UPDATE:  Was going to do a Tinkerbell “head” cake–which would have taken me hours to decorate.  Did a practice one last month and it was all good.  Not all good today.  Tinkerbell’s face decided to stick inside the pan.  No idea why–maybe because this was important to me and it wasn’t practice.  Who knows?!?  So having to plan B the cake.  I’m still going to make sure she has a wonderful cake for her party, but at this rate, it’s not going to be home-made.  So, I’m off to search for a chocolate cake, cause she specifically said she wanted a chocolate cake.  Wish me luck.  I really need it today!!

 UPDATE 2:  I have a cake.  Chocolate at that.  Perhaps the day is going better now.  ~sighs~  OK–back to work.

More of the Same

OK–so I’m not really sick again.  At least that’s how I’m looking at it.  Apparently my infection has persisted even though I took all of my antibiotics as prescribed.  Had to go back into the doctor today.  He has me starting some new antibiotics.  Hopefully that will clear things up and I’ll be good as new.  Or better than new.  I’d just settle for better at this point.  lol 

Should things get worse (and now that I’m back on antibiotics they shouldn’t!)–it’s back to the ER for some more fun.  However, after my last experience there I’m seriously thinking of switching to Beaumont.  I was less than impressed with St. Joe’s.  The one in Ann Arbor is better than the one out here, in my estimation.  I will have to think on it, though.  One thing St. Joe’s has going for it is that it’s just around the corner from me.  Not sure where the Beaumont hospital is though.  My endocrinologist is through Beaumont, and I like him and the medical center there is really nice and up to date.  (And they were able to get blood out of me on the first try there, unlike at St. Joe’s). 

So, that’s that.  Had to forgo a field trip with Hannah Rose today.  (Which totally bums me out!)  Sounds like she had some fun, though.  Back to work now–have a lot of stuff still to do in preparation for Saturday’s big party. 

Happy Easter!

We had lots of fun this Easter.  Saturday night we coloured Easter Eggs.  We went to our church’s Easter Service on Saturday afternoon with Chris’s dad.  Sunday Chris’s parents came over for Easter Dinner.  There was no wanting of Easter goodies in our home this year.  (Chris’s parents got Hannah Rose one of those HUGE baskets!)  Even Chris’s parents got some Easter Candy from See’s.  (Chris and I special ordered some See’s candies–they are no See’s Stores here in MI.  I hadn’t had See’s candies in years!)

Hannah Rose got to wear her special Easter Dress.  She picked it out herself from the Children’s Place.  In fact, she saw the dress across the store and made a beeline for it!  She wasn’t interested in looking or even considering other dresses.  This was the dress for her!

We had a good Easter, and we hope you all did too!!

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