Allie helped us prepare for the tax appointment, made at the awkward time of 6p-7p (Allie’s bedtime routine usually starts at 6:45-7p), by deciding to take an extra long nap around noon. She slept for 3.5 hours, past her usual 1pm-ish feeding, thereby fixing the timing of it all by having her subsequent feedings around the time of the appointment. I called the tax guy before we left the house and learned he was running behind, so I fed her at home at 5:15p before we left. That would place her next (bedtime) feeding around 8:15p, way later than she’s used to, but at least she wouldn’t be crying from hunger while we’re there. That was a good move, since after we got there, he turned out to be more like 45 minutes behind. Ouch.

Allie cooperated and was in such a great mood after her great napping day that she charmed the receptionist. The woman literally gave us her phone numbers on our way out and offered to be our nanny. She was only at the tax guy’s job during tax season. Of course, once people heard we were contemplating a nanny charging $600/week net, tons of people, half-seriously, offered to quit their jobs and be our nanny. Yeah, okay, but are you certified in child-infant CPR?

We expected to get, like, ALL our taxes back this year because of our newest little tax deduction. (That was how I introduced her to the receptionist. “Hello, I’m Cindy, and this is our newest tax deduction, Allie.”) The out-of-pocket medical fees were a TAD on the high side. We didn’t get back what we expected, but it was close to 5 figures. Geez we pay a lot of taxes.

Turned out our tax guy does W-2s for a few clients who have hired in-home nurses, so he could do the same for us. He had another guy after us and since he was running so late and we finished in half an hour of the hour we had reserved, he gave our extra half hour to the next guy (making him just 30 mins late for the last guy) and kinda rushed us out, charging only for the half-hour we used. So we aren’t clear to our satisfaction on this, since this came up in the end, but he seemed to say that the taxes and withholdings and stuff we’d be adding to a $600/wk take-home would be something like $90/wk. $80/wk federal taxes, $6/wk state disability insurance, and social security would be $350/year. That’s so far off from the $600-becoming-$880/week total in the example we read online that we were baffled. I told him I knew the example came from a Maryland tax frame. He said, “Well, that’s why. It’s Maryland. They have county taxes, and separate this tax, and that tax…” He actually recited the taxes but he’d lost me already. He said the only state possibly worse or close to Maryland in these things is “Tax-achusettes.” I thought CA was one of the highest tax states. We still noted on our way out that he didn’t address CA tax withholdings and some other stuff, so we’re still not totally clear on total damage for Susanne’s asking price. I’m gonna try to call a domestic payroll service and see if they’ll help if I’m a potential customer.

Allie was such a trooper. She was so tired she actually dozed in her carseat on the way home (usually she can’t sleep in her car). She didn’t cry until the very end, when she was asleep and something her daddy said startled the bejeezus out of her. I rushed through her nighttime routine an hour late at 8:15p, she ate and was put to bed. She’s sleeping in just a tad this morning, although I see on the camera now that she’s awake, sucking on her hands, and laying on her side, kicking around. This is her “private time.” She hasn’t called me, yet, but I’m gonna let her have an extra half-hour or so this morning because she got to bed late.

By the way, today marks the third straight night she slept entirely through — no nighttime feedings between her 7pm-ish bedtime feeding and her 7am-ish morning feeding, when she gets up to start her day. *crossing fingers* It wasn’t “convenient” to plan my day around her needs, but I’ve been following her cues, guided by the sleep book to learn to recognize her needs as her brain develops. I feed her when she’s hungry, change her when she’s wet, and let her sleep when she’s tired. Some people assume I’m setting her routine, but I’m really not. I try very hard to be home at the times when I know she starts giving her drowsy cues (within 1-2 hours of being awake) or hunger cues (between 2.5-3.5 hours), and she decides when she’s going down for the nap (typically 8:45a-ish, 11:45a-ish, 3p-ish, and possibly a 5p-ish), how long she needs to sleep. The result is a baby who smiles at me from the crib whenever I go get her, an attentive and laughing girl during her awake and alert times, and a generally healthy girl based on all technical medical factors.