Monthly Archives: February 2016

Little Tikes Jump ‘n Slide Bouncer

Santa went a little crazy during his visit to our house this year. He filled our entire living room with a bouncy house! Now, as elaborate as this may seem, the bouncer was less than $200 on sale and provides endless hours of children not running through the house like wild maniacs, so all in all … good deal.

It has been a terrific outlet for the boys to get their wiggles out during the rainy season here in Seattle. The blower is a little noisy, but it’s not any more annoying than two kids constantly passing through the kitchen while we’re trying to cook or do dishes. And since eradicating that headache was Santa’s master plan, I’d say he achieved his goal!

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I’m impressed with the quality of the fabric — it feels like it will hold up for a long time. We have good friends who used this same model several times a month with multiple kids, and it lasted them about three years.

It is just like the “real” bouncy houses you can rent, just much smaller. (Although, as I mentioned, it does take up our entire living room.) Santa also delivered a pack of 200 balls for the house, which the blonde child loves, but the brunette detests (he says they get in the way of his jumping), so we have to rotate their use to make everyone happy. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a way to burn through some rainy-day energy!

(Disclosure: This post contains affilitate links. Please be confident that I will never promote a product without giving my true opinion of its worth. I will, however, receive a small amount of compensation if you click through my links.)

Washington State Nanny Payroll Template (Excel)

When I went back to work in December 2014, we hired a full-time nanny (40 hours per week) for our boys. She’s been an absolute God-send, but figuring out how to pay her above board has been a bit of a headache. I was so stressed about messing things up either for us or for her, but it all has worked out well. And hey, now I have a new skill!

Sometimes I feel self conscious when I tell people we have a nanny. It sounds so spoiled and hoity-toity, but it’s actually cheaper to do childcare this way than to put them both in almost any daycare around the greater-Seattle area. (Cue the sound of outside-of-the-home working families barfing cash all over Puget Sound.) That said, I know we are tremendously fortunate. We hit the jackpot with our own personal Mary Poppins. She is incredible and the boys are getting very high-quality care while we’re both at work.


I first looked into using the Breedlove payroll service — I’m sure they do excellent work — but I couldn’t justify spending nearly $2,000 per year on something that I knew I could figure out on my own. Yikes.

I found several payroll templates and guides online, and then created this hybrid from a few different examples. It has worked well for us, and I’ve shared it with several friends over the past year. You’ll need to plug in your own numbers to the formulas (hourly rate, state unemployment tax percentage, etc.), but it’s pretty straightforward. I hope you find it useful!

(Disclaimer: Although I did a lot of research about paying our nanny correctly in Washington state, I am neither an accountant or an attorney. I give no guarantee of the accuracy, completeness, sufficiency and reliability with regard to any information contained herein, including but not limited to text, pictures, data, points of view, suggestions or external web links and disclaim any responsibility from any mistake or omission of the materials and contents and any explicit or implicit guarantee of the accuracy, completeness, sufficiency or reliability of such information, including but not limited to a guarantee related to website quality or the non-infringement of a third party’s rights. So there.)