Posts Tagged ‘evan’

My Week(290) in iPhone Photos

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

I spent a lot of time doing fun me-things this week, like shooting photo sessions and getting my hair done. I even took a nap. It was like a mini-vacation before we go on REAL VACATION. I am very, very excited about real vacation.

Sunday:

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Helping to do some deep cleaning

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Helping to let the dog out

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Helping give loves

Monday:

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He is convinced he is getting away with something

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I LOVE my hair, and my hairdresser

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Evan LOVES our baby friends (even though she is almost 3 and not much of a baby)

Tuesday:

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Looking for the anteater

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That looks safe.

Wednesday:

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Lazy

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I think he is part mountain goat

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Or maybe he is just part SPIDERMAN

Thursday:

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Rocks!!!!

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Trees!!!!

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Peek a boo!

Friday:

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Listening to the fire trucks

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My hair matches my wrap

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Shopping assistant

Saturday:

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Just your regular pirate ship at the bookstore

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My children love these things

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New books = peace

I finally asked the elementary school when, exactly, the children get out for the summer and was pleasantly surprised it’s sooner rather than much, much later. I sent in our membership fee for the lake this week too, so pretty soon all of our life will be #lakelife and I will be a very happy, relaxed pregnant lady who can just float on a big tube and feed the children watermelon and chips.

Until then I’m going to just sit on the couch and feed the children watermelon and chips, but I will feel MUCH guiltier about it.

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I Checked CHET Out

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

This post was sponsored on behalf of Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET). All opinions and photos are my own.

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Want to feel old? Think for a second about how many years it will be until your oldest kid goes to college. In my case, the answer is ELEVEN. ELEVEN YEARS. That is less time than I have been married, less time than it’s been since I graduated from college, and WAY less time than it’s been since I myself was 18 and headed off to college. Along with feeling really old, the thought of sending my kids to college fills me with fear and dread. Do you know what college costs? I don’t. I know the answer is somewhere between “a lot” and “an amount you will never be able to afford by the time it is your turn to pay for it”. The average cost for a 4-year private college in New England is more than $52,000. I have three (and a half) kids. This is the part where I usually throw my hands up and turn on HGTV and think relaxing thoughts about renovating my backyard to include a fire pit and a water feature. These tiny homework-doers can just stay small and live with me forever.

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But denial is not a good way to stop things from happening (see also: birth, child vomit, lactose intolerance) and these kids are getting older and smarter by the day. Making a plan is the only real option, so I finally sat down at my computer with my Important Papers file and looked at the Connecticut Higher Education Trust website.

Here are the quick facts about CHET:

    • The Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) is Connecticut’s 529 college savings plan.
    • CHET works like a Roth Retirement account, your contributions grow tax-free along the way, and are tax-free when you use the money for college.
    • PLUS for CT taxpayers there is a CT state tax deduction on the contributions you make to CHET each year, up to $10K for joint filers and $5K for single filers.
    • Money saved with CHET can be used at accredited colleges or universities in the country as well as some abroad.
    • CHET funds can be used for wide variety of college costs, tuition, room & board, computer, any supplies required by the school, etc.
    • If you don’t use the savings (for example, if your child gets a scholarship) you can roll the money to another child.

And here’s how it actually worked out:

I went to the site and clicked on “Open an Account”. They asked for my social security number and info, then Evan’s social security numbers and info. I entered our banking information so I could make the required opening contribution (it’s only $25) directly, then chose which investments I wanted to put the money in.

This was the part where I normally get stressed and run away, because I am not a financial guru or investment specialist. I am a person who has definitely HEARD the word “index fund” before but can’t quite remember where. There is a ton of information about each option on the website and there are actual humans you can call and talk to if you want, but my eyes and brain quickly start blurring when I feel overwhelmed by the choices. I ended up reading some of the advice, showing the options to E, and then just picking something, because a fear of choosing the wrong option 11 years before he goes to college shouldn’t stop me from investing in Evan’s future. There was an option to set up reoccurring contributions with lots of flexibility, but you don’t HAVE to. It asked me to agree to the risks and terms, asked me to set up a username and password for managing my account, then I was done. Repeating the process for each of my other children took less than 2 minutes, since they were all under my same account and the info was saved.

After I set them all up, I sent my mom an email for each account with an easy link so she can make contributions herself, either online or by mail. You can send them to anyone in your address book on special occasions (birthdays, holidays, etc) or “just because”. I think she was probably ready to just set up the accounts on her own (you can do that! you don’t have to be the parent, so if you have grandkids or nieces or nephews who you think need a 529 absolutely look into it!) but now I am done and she can rest easy.

Right now, CHET is running a contest in honor of 5/29 day (May 29th). One winner will win a $1,529 contribution to their account and two runners up will win $529 contributions. Free money?? YES PLEASE. You can check it out and enter easily here.

ALSO. If you had a baby in the last year (or you happen to be having one soon), CHET has an amazing Baby Scholars program, where they will give you up to $250 for free just for putting money in your kid’s 529. It’s not a complicated, convoluting system either – you put money in, they add money. I am kicking myself SO HARD that I didn’t do that for Lincoln before it was too late.

I feel like that was a LOT of words to talk about something that seems really boring, but it’s one of those things that’s been on my to-do list literally for years and I am so glad I can finally cross it off. Give yourself an A+ in adulting today and check CHET out.

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My Week(289) in iPhone Photos

Monday, May 16th, 2016

I have very few complaints about this week, except for a general lack of sleeping that comes from later kid bedtimes due to late sunsets and pregnancy insomnia. I still feel like I can sleep for 18 hours straight if given the opportunity. I will probably feel like that for the next 2 years.

Sunday:

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After church coffee hour has the best snacks (if you are 5)

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Looking at this picture makes me want to bake another cake

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Mother’s Day bubble bath

Monday:

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Who care’s about hearing the baby when there are cars to look at?

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Kissing Brutus goodnight before naps

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My tree has a child infestation

Tuesday:

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Merida wears cloth diapers

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Linc loves selfies

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**PRAISE HANDS**

Wednesday:

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Wise choices

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He refused to eat those fries because they are shaped like faces

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One billion photos were taken

Thursday:

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That’s a lighthouse you can almost see, because this is New England

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Throwing rocks with friends is the best

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He LOVED the sprinkler

Friday:

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It turns out bouncing is more fun with friends

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Seriously, Mom, can’t we get AIOs? I’m so tired of stuffing diapers.

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Your weekly twinsie photo update. They’re getting so big!

Saturday:

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Fun fact: bounce houses are really slippery when they get rained on

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Hello Long Island!!

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FINALLY planting time

Today’s weather feels like March, not May. It’s actually probably a good thing, since the warm, beachy weather was making it REALLY hard for me to keep doing boring stuff like sending the kids to school or enforcing healthy meal choices or going to piano lessons. I have a serious case of End Of The Year Mom and I’m not even sorry. Since it’s too cold for the beach today maybe I’ll actually get some laundry done instead. Maybe.

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Name Suggestions Here Please

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

So, we’re having another boy, which means we need another boy name. This is terrible news, because we have NO boy name ideas.

These are our current boys: Evan Richard (III) and Lincoln Scott. Evan Richard is named after his father & grandfather. Lincoln was MY grandfather’s name and my uncle’s name and Scott was my father’s brother. Scott is also my soon-to-be brother-in-law’s name, although we didn’t choose it specifically for that reason. It’s just one of the ways our family manages to have plenty of people but very few names.

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I have two lists at the moment. The Family Name list and the Names I Found That I Would Consider list. The family name list I’ve been keeping sort of hoping something grows on me, but they are mostly nos. There are a lot of good names we like that I feel I can’t/shouldn’t use because other people close to us have used them, but most of those aren’t full-stop-NO-WAY nos.

There are also a lot of good names we like that I feel I can’t/shouldn’t use because other people close to us have used them, but most of those aren’t full-stop-NO-WAY nos. The definite nos are: Ethan, Carter, Zane, Zachary, Alexander, and whatever my sister-in-law uses when she has her baby in July.

(Sidebar: what’s your feeling on off limit names? If we have a local friend we see at least monthly who has a child named Bob but Bob is 7 years old, that’s still OK, right? But if we have a local friend who has a child named Fred, we see Fred on a weekly basis, and Fred is only 1, that’s probably too close, yes? HOW CLOSE makes a name unusable, is the question.)

Family Names (mostly from my very Scandanavian family, in case that’s not incredibly clear):
William (my father)
Charles (father/brother/uncle’s middle name)
Andrew (brother/brother-in-law’s name)
Newell (E’s grandfather)
Lawrence
Paul
Olaf
Halvar
Oskar
Johan
Lars
Carl
Joel
Eric
Ruben
Rickard
Mathias
Gunnar
Anton
Martin
Gideon
Thayer
Ralph
Burton
Elias
Mason
Jason
Jacob
Arthur
Nathan

Names I Found That I Would Consider (my feelings on these change almost daily):
Asher
Griffin
Hudson
Beckett
Caspian
Sullivan
Phineas
Dash
Noah
Henry
Oliver
Wesley
Max

Oh wait, I forgot a list. This is the Things The Children Want To Name The Baby List:
Rocket
Kristof
Olaf
Baby
Kylo Ren
Ben Kenobi

So basically my family uses obscure, terrible names and my personal list all falls into the “dog or child?” category. I am still hoping I will stumble across something that makes me feel very strongly, but I’m sort of afraid that’s never going to happen and we’ll just settle. That’s ok though, right? You would think after named three children this would be EASIER instead of harder.

All name discussions, vetos, opinions and suggestions are welcome. PLEASE HELP US.

p.s. Caroline’s middle name is Noelle, if that helps. So the sibling set will be Evan, Caroline, Lincoln and ________. Caroline is named after my sister and my mother-in-law (Carolyn/Carol) as well as maybe a tiiiiiny bit after Caroline Ingalls and Princess Caroline and Caroline Kennedy. But it’s mostly family-based. So something at least family INSPIRED for this baby would be nice.

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Thursday, May 12th, 2016

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We actually found out we were having a boy a looooooooooong time ago. I had some extra genetic testing done around 12 weeks because my first tests were “borderline”. That testing includes the option to find out if it’s a boy or a girl. As much as I loved being surprised when Linc was born (I also REALLY loved not having to have the following conversations with a million people: Are you happy it’s a boy? Do you have a name? Oh, don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll have a girl next time. Well you can always try again…) I felt strongly that I wanted to find out this time. Partly because I was expecting it to be a girl and I didn’t want to go through my whole pregnancy convinced I was right and have to deal with my feelings when I was already dealing with birth hormones, and partly because if it WAS a boy I could get rid of a TON of girl clothes. Also, I already have 3 kids and I’m pretty busy on a regular basis. I am definitely not spending a ton of time sitting quietly and deeply connecting to the new life I’m growing. Knowing it’s a boy and thinking of him as a HIM has definitely helped me feel more in touch with this baby.

Also, we have NO BOY NAMES, so it’s good we have so much time to think about it. All suggestions welcome.

Please note: Evan is not actually sad it is a boy. After the video, he started laughing and said “I was just kidding. As long as Caroline doesn’t get to be the boss of me.”

More photos from our reveal (plus some fun in the orchard):

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p.s. Don’t you love my orchard? It’s FULL of treasures.

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