Monday, April 23, 2012

Jelly Beans...

There's something very reassuring and magical about seeing the baby for the first time.  Even if it does look like a wiggly blob of a jelly bean!  This one is thriving and we were very happy to hear the strong, fast heartbeat while watching him/her squirm.  May I introduce to you, "Jelly Bean Freeman".

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Farewell, fare penny!

Well, here's some weirdness... the Feds have just announced their budget and their newest cost-saving measure. The elimination of the penny. Soon. Like this fall!

Basically, the Royal Canadian Mint is going to stop 'minting' pennies. Apparently it costs 1.6 cents to make a penny. And apparently we're hoarders and all these pennies are getting lost in the sock drawers and jars in Canadian households. So they issue more pennies per year than are being used.

So the penny is going the way of the dodo.

And we're supposed to believe that this is going to save billions of dollars for the government and have no impact on us, whatsoever. Apparently, businesses won't even have to replace their cash registers. It's all been well-thought out. Nice and tidy.

Costs will be rounded down or rounded up at the cash register. Prices of individuals items will stay the same. Ending in .97 or .99 or .49 or .29 --- or whatever arbitrary price is associated with the item you want to purchase. Rounding will be done at the end of the transaction, not for each individual item. The cashier will still total up all your costs the exact same way and then apply it overly generous 12% HST (yeah, that's going nowhere yet) and come up with a total that very likely does not end in .05 or .10. Then, the TOTAL of your purchase will be rounded to the nearest nickel. If your purchase ends in .01, .02, .06, or .07, you save some cash. If it ends in .03, .04, .08, or .09, you'll have to put out a bit more.

Here's the kicker, say for example, I go to 7-eleven and buy my family 5 slurpees at $1.49 each. I then pay my 12% tax on them, and my total comes to $8.34. So I get up to the counter and pay with cash... $8.35 --- Alright, that only costs me an extra penny. That's not too bad. But, if I pay with debit, I'll get the slurpees for $8.34.

Hmmm... maybe I'll stop using cash altogether. Because really, we make a lot of purchases... and if I pay a penny or two extra for every purchase I make for a year, I'm looking at a decent chunk of change. Enough to take my family our for slurpees several times a year!

Purchasing with debit... a cashless society. Win win!

I don't know... is it just me or does this sound like another way to gouge the average Canadian family? Do you really think that the businesses are going to happily round down their purchases? It sounds fair, odds are half the purchases will be rounded down and half rounded up. But I'm sceptical. Are these businesses REALLY going to be content to never have tills that balance at the end of the day because they've been shorting themselves, or over-charging the consumers? Or do you think, perhaps, that they'll just increase their prices to numbers that conveniently allow them to always round up?

And once that happens, how long are we going to wait until the tax is increased to 15% to make calculations easier? Cause really, are the Feds going to reduce our taxes to 10% to make for the easiest possible calculations? I think not.

Call me cynical, but I think this is a very bad move for the average Canadian consumer. A very bad move indeed!
RIP Penny
1858 - 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

9 weeks today

Baby is about the size of a grape now. Very tiny. Hard to imagine. So why are my jeans already so dang uncomfortable. If my maternity clothing wasn't buried so deep in the abyss of our disorganized storage room, I'd already be gratefully donning them. But alas, locating them will be a job for this upcoming extra-long Easter weekend.

So far, this pregnancy has been easier than my last one. I've only had one bout of vomiting and it was blissfully brief. Apparently this bambino does not like salad. Which I kind of predicted having been carefully avoiding salad for weeks now. The thought of it makes me want to gag. Probably because once you've seen salad in reverse, it loses it's appeal if you're feeling the least bit green. But this weekend I gave it a shot... and it returned on me. Making April 1st officially "baby's first barf!"

I have pretty much been riding the nausea waves consistently for the past month now. There is very little that appeals to me and the thought of cooking makes me want to curl up on the couch and groan. And yet... everything is staying down! Including those gigantic, gag-inducing prenatal vitamins. Maybe after three pregnancies my body has finally learned to suppress my desire to purge. Not sure if it's an improvement or not. I know it's better for the baby if I keep the nutrients IN my body rather than in the toilet, however I also know the blessed relief of throwing up and suddenly feeling amazingly well.... which isn't happening. Instead, I just feel constantly icky.

But, as this little one seems to be stubbornly hanging on to everything I manage to gag down, I'm going to have to declare this first trimester journey an unmitigated success. At this point in my previous pregnancy I'd already lost 12 pounds and had at least 8 gall bladder attacks. (Why the hell did I want to get pregnant again?)

So, yay me! I've got it down pat!

Bring on the nausea, I can deal with it!