Monday, October 6, 2014

A Little on Working From Home

So...

You probably know about my little Etsy shop (link on the right side of my blog page).  I've had it up and going for a couple of years.  It's evolved a bit for sure.  Back before Jacko came along I was working full time while my husband was in grad school.  As a bit of a creative outlet I opened a little Etsy shop.  It had a few bags, zippered pouches...nothing crazy.  I would sell one every couple of months...at the most.  I was NOT invested in it at all.  Eventually I just did nothing with it.  It just....sat.  I mean, who really wants to work 40 hours a week...plus an almost 1.5-2 hour commute round trip on TOP of that...and then come come and do MORE work?  Um.  Nobody.

Then Jack came along and I dropped my work down to part time.  Then eventually I quit altogether to stay home with the little guy...and let the husband bring home the bacon instead.

We kept this up for a while.  Then Jack's birthday came along and I decorated his party with lots of felt items.  They were a hit.  Jason in particular loved them.  :)  Soon after that it seemed like a good idea to try to figure out a way to bring in a little income on my end.  We have Jason's grad school student loan and the university system pay is a little weird...slightly irregular.  It seemed like a good idea to find something that brought in a little income during the long stretches between Jason's pay checks.

I applied to a few work from home jobs.  One looked really promising...but I didn't get it.

Jason kept telling me to post my felt stuff to Etsy.  I kept putting it off.  Finally I did.  And it did well.

So that's where we are at.

And how is it going?!?

Good...?
I mean YES...good, great, I feel very blessed!

I think though that some how there is this glorified idea that all your problems will be solved by finding a job where you can work from home...not putting your babies in daycare or whatever.  You can sit back, do your work while your children play blissfully at your feet...ALL while making money. HAHAHAHA!

But you know?  It's not that fantastic always. (Surprise, surprise)
Sometimes I think that maybe Jack would be better off in daycare then at home with me while I try to work.  He'd definitely get more attention that's for sure!  I try to keep my work to his nap times and after he goes to bed but if I get too many orders stacked up then I'm forced to work during the day.  I make an extra effort to still leave the house and go to the park but yeah...he has to entertain himself at times...which means that a) my house falls victim to his boredom and b) there is usually a fair amount of whining because let's face it...15 month old's don't exactly entertain themselves well...at least MINE doesn't.  :)

I mean, don't get me wrong...I love that I can stay home with him and make some money.  I love that we can save money by not putting him in daycare.  But...it's not always a perfect situation.  Like everything.  I guess I just want to be real and honest about it.  I'm guessing I'm not the only one who thought that there was something altogether magical and beautiful about working from home?

In the end I feel very blessed and if I HAD to choose I would choose this situation over working outside of the home but it's still...work?!?  I will say it's very gratifying work.  It definitely feels special to receive so much praise from people after receiving their orders.  Sometimes I just want to throw in the towel and then I'll get an email that makes it all worth it.

So maybe the moral of all this is...nothing comes easy, but there is a lot of gratification in fighting through the hard stuff.  I feel proud that I'm helping to contribute to my family (mostly because I HAVE to ha!).  I also hope that Jack will one day understand that a little hard work is okay.  Sometimes you just have to put your nose down and grind it out.  And there is so much more joy in it when you do it with a glad heart and without complaining (still working on that one ahem).  And maybe I won't work one day?!?  Maybe I'll keep doing it?  Who knows.

For now though...
I just feel a little blessed that God chose to allow me to serve my family in this way.

NOTE:  If you ever do start a work from home gig I think it's REALLLLLLLY important that you sometimes get away from everything for a few hours and just...relax.  When I worked part time I didn't feel this need quite so much.  There was something about the fact that I was away from home and away from Jack that sorta made me able to cope better.  This probably sounds odd.  I think it was almost a bit of a "break" in it's own way (mostly because I worked very part time and my job wasn't stressful...and ended when I left the office).  The thing with working at home is you are doing TWO jobs at the same time (mothering and working).  Something about the constant, mixing of the two jobs is really exhausting.  I literally was at a breaking point last weekend and I just needed to LEAVE.  I needed to leave the house and do something completely and totally relaxing.  So I did.  I got a pedicure which I have done twice in my life.  But it's what I needed.  I literally sat there and just zoned...and read.  So yeah.  Taking a break is a valuable, necessary thing.  :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mama Confessions

So first off there are about 10 OTHER things I could be doing right now...that are way more productive but instead...I sit here.  Eating chips and salsa.  Typing away.  Meh.

I've been thinking lately about how it's funny the way I've sorta "evolved" as a mother.  Before you have kids you think you will do things a certain way.  Then you HAVE the kid...and it all goes out the window.  So here are my confessions.  10 things that are "questionable" that I do as a mother...

10. At least 2...maybe 3 times Jack has played in the backyard and had completely filthy hands.  He comes in, sits in his highchair for dinner, and goes to town eating with his hands.  About 5 minutes into the meal I notice just how gross his hands are but you know...at that point...the damage is done.  So...eat up little buddy.  Dirt never hurt anyone (that I know of and if it ever HAS...just let me remain ignorant please :) )

9.  Pretty sure Jack slept on the same sheet for at least a month once.  I can remember to change our sheets...because I sleep in them.  And usually when I change OUR sheets, he's napping soooo...yeah not going to touch that.  Just can't remember to change his.  One day friends...one day.

8.  On that note.  Back in the day Jack would sometimes leak through his diaper at night.  When this happened I would change his pj's and his diaper and then throw a thick blanket over the peed on sheet so that he could sleep dry again.  Way too tired to mess with changing his sheet in the middle of the night.  Plus, he gets really mad if you set him down on the floor when he's half awake.  Like really mad.  So, our system worked...more or less.  Once though Jason pulled the blanket out of the crib not knowing my system and I proceeded to put Jack into bed TWO nights...on a dry pee pee sheet...before I remembered that the sheet had been peed on.  He had sweet pee scented dreams for two nights.  :-p

7. I let my kid watch TV.  And he loves it.  And I don't feel guilty.  I mean not hours on end but yeah...a half hour here and there.  Bring it.

6.  We have one bottle because Jack breastfed for the first year of his life.  Now he takes his milk before naps and bed in that one bottle.  Sometimes I don't wash it out after every use.  Sometimes I just rinse it, make sure it looks mostly clean and call it good.

5.  Jack eats a decent amount of fruits and vegetables but...he eats processed food too.  Like graham crackers...and gold fish crackers...and other things I can't even think of.  Again.  I feel no guilt.

4.  I don't always seat belt him into the cart.  First the seat belt placement on those carts at the store are really weird.  Second...he's not a jump ship type of kid.  Doesn't move from his spot.  Third, I'm close enough to him that I would imagine I'd see what he's doing before he gets out (I don't ever walk away from the cart leaving him there).  One day I'm sure I won't be able to get away with this buuuut...I do it.

3.  When Jack drops his binky I blow it off and call it good....even in public.  Exception to that rule...downtown SF streets, public restrooms, and Muni (public trans).  Blak.

2.  Sometimes I give into his wants just because he is SO DARN CUTE and how do you say no to that oogy boogy cutey baby weetle wuver face?!?  I also figure now is the time to spoil a kid if I'm going to do it.  He doesn't remember much and it'll be too expensive to indulge with more then one child.  :)

1b.  I start looking forward to Jack's bedtime at oh...4:00pm.  It's funny how you can love someone SO much and simultaneously want to be away from them haha.  Even more so do I love seeing that little bouncy face in the morning...as long as it's after 7am.  :)

1a.  This one deserves two parts.  On the weekends I sometimes fake being deep asleep when Jack wakes up at the butt crack of dawn.  Jason is a much lighter sleeper and will usually wake up and get him...though I know he would LOVE to sleep in.  Sshhhh.  Don't tell.  (Sometimes it IS legit though.  Those nights at least when I stay up way too late doing orders.)

And that's it!  10...well 11 Mama Confessions.  :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

My 15 Month Old

SO I have a few drafts just chillin on my blog list.  I just feel...uninspired?  Not sure what to write about you know?  I was trying to take some pictures of Jack for this post buuuuuut....it just ain't happening so I'm posting it anyways.  :)

Okay, so he's technically a little older then 15 months buuut...close enough.

Thought it was time to do a little update on our little man.
So, it feels like yesterday that I was doing his one year update.  My how time flies.  Do I sound like a broken record or WHAT?!?

He's really into anything that could possibly be hot.  He touches it lightly and says "Ha"...in his little baby Jack voice.  Soooo cute.  The car seat, the outside of the oven, our coffee cups, any and all food that we feed him.  Love it.

We are adding more words to the vocab.  I use words loosely because it seems to be the first half...leaving off the end.  We know what he's saying though.  :)

The 15 month disposition is just soooo sweet.  Really he's been such a happy little guy for the last few months.  He's just...easy to be around.  :)  There was a little blip in there where he got 4 molars at the same time.  But other then that, so fun to hang out with day in and day out.

He LOVES being outside.  And being among other people.  There was a phase where I thought he was shy.  No.  Not anymore.  He waves and blows kisses to pretty much every store clerk he can find.  If we've been inside too long he will go get my shoes...well usually Jason's shoes but...shoes so that we can go outside.  He loves to go on walks in his stroller and LOVES to play at the park.  There is a toddler park that we frequent often that's all fenced in and size appropriate.  Sometimes the local preschool comes over and uses it and Jack is basically in heaven.  I used to get bugged when they would come and take over.  Now he's big enough that it's fun to be able to see him have other interactions with little kids.

Dare I say...he's showing perfectionist tendencies.  This makes me laugh because he did NOT get that from me.  He places his sippy just right on his highchair tray.  He lines things up neatly and is so careful with every task.  He likes a clean face, clean hands, and clean bum.  There was a box that he bumped and it had fallen over.  He was trying to push it back up and it was fine...but not exactly how it was originally.  He was so annoyed that it wasn't going back to the original spot.  Funny I tell you.  I have no idea how genetics and this sort of thing works but these tendencies are most definitely from Jason.  :)

Elmo.  Elmo the Musical in particular.  And you know...they are actually a little entertaining to me too.  Really we just love PBS kids.  And it's saved us a few times when I had too much work.  I never thought I'd let him watch TV buuuuut you do what you gotta do.  :)  But he get's genuinely excited and an hour of Sesame Street  or Daniel Tiger here and there certainly won't turn him into a vegetable.

Coloring.  I got Jack a spiral bound notebook and the little guy LOVES to "color".  He has a little trouble if I leave the house without him but I can always ask him if he wants to color...set him all up...and off I go.  "Adios Mama!  I'm coloring!"  :)

We are in this absurdly compliant stage where if we tell him "no" he actually doesn't do it.  Or if we ask him to clean up...he'll GLADLY do it.  Ha!  How long will THIS last?!?  I put a status on Facebook though concerning how often I feel like I tell Jack no.  Sometimes if I call out Jack's name he will reply with a "no no"...even if he's doing nothing wrong.  It's very cute...and sad at the same time. We are trying to think of alternatives...and have been using them.  Of course Jack knows what they still mean and still says, "no no" in reply.  Oh well.  Hopefully him hearing no too often won't kill him.  I've been trying to be encouraging too.  Like do activities where I won't be saying no.  The park and the backyard are good ones.  There isn't much he can get in trouble with in those two places.

GROWING!  The boy is growing like crazy.  I just switched out some clothes.  Actually I feel like his clothes have lasted a decent amount of time but his SHOES.  So I bought a pair of Converse maybe a month ago but ONE shoe is already too small.  And I don't understand why just one!?!  I don't put socks on him and you can see the little footprint inside.  One is fine but with the other his big toe is pushing up against the end.  Gah.  I feel torn too on what shoe to get next.  I want to keep with the soft sole more or less.  His feet are so wide that when I pull his foot out of the Converse his toes are smooshed together.  I just don't want to mess with that little baby foot quite yet.  These decisions you deal with as a mother!  Ha!!!

Aaaaaaand.  I think that's it.  The short list of things he's enjoying...raisins, basically ALL foods (no shrimp though!), his little fire truck, trains, and cars.  He basically has one in each hand at all times.  Remote controls, "helping", hugging, giving kisses, sitting on your lap for stories (he'd do it for daaaaays if we let him), pens and pencils, rocks, turning the dehumidifier off after his nap (we use it as a sound machine too), turning the TV on and off (I can't wait until we move somewhere where we can put it higher!), laptops, tape dispensers, and unrolling TP (ssssh, sometimes I let him indulge a LITTLE when we are in public restrooms!  Ha!  Soooo bad)

And that's it!  Hope everyone had a marvelous weekend!  :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Keeping it Real

Sigh.

SIIIIIIGGHHHH!  (That was a really awesomely huge cyber sigh...if you couldn't tell.)

Life man.

Life is so good on so many levels.  I mean, I feel like God has been giving me snippets of gratefulness.  Little tidbits that keep me going.  Yesterday as I was walking through the grocery store surrounded by food I thought about how blessed we are to have such resources at our fingertips.  Yesterday's weather was so gloriously PERFECT.   I spent the whole day out and about, pushing my little man in his stroller.  Jack's well baby was easy peasy as always...and there are parents out there who can't say the same thing.  This morning Jack told me he wanted his diaper changed and as I followed him into his room...with his slightly bow-legged baby walk I just felt so thankful for this crazy little guy who makes me so utterly tired...but who makes me Mama.

So, in so many ways it's perspective you know.  I'm big on perspective.

But let's stop sugar coating it eh?
Life.

Life is just hard sometimes.  I mean, I may be more or less healthy, I may have a healthy family, my husband may have a job (kinda haha), I may have a roof over my head but the reality of it all is...life.

Things are too busy around here.  When Jason starts teaching things kinda just...survive.  I don't know if this will always be the case.  Maybe when he's more established in his teaching, school won't be so intrusive.  Or maybe not.  Maybe it's having a little one.  I don't really know what it is.  We just need some time to connect.  I get jaded easily.  Indifference and emotional detachment has been the struggle of.my.life.  It happens so easily for me. 

Then there are things like jobs.  Jobs jobs jobs.  We have applied to so many jobs.  We have had some genuine interest which is better then what I can say about the last time we went through this.  None are local...which is fine.  But one is looking to be out of state and one is looking to be "closer" to family but not really in a place that we imagined raising kids.  These are decisions that eventually need to be made but at this point...I'm just too tired to make.

Tired for so many reasons.  Jack is not sleeping well currently.  He has at least two molars popping through and a cold.  Good combo eh?  Actually, last night he slept through the night for the first time in a couple of weeks.  I attribute this to his shots and him tripping and falling into the laundry hamper cutting his lip (poor baby).  Lots of tears make for a tired baby apparently.

I think I just need some FUN.
You know?!?

I can go go go and do work work work for a really long time and then eventually I start feeling like I'm coming apart at the seams...and the slow process of this isn't pretty.  And the final undoing of myself is just down right ugly.  Even when I do something on my own for an hour or two I still feel...too wound tight.  Like how much of a break do you need to feel like you really start to decompress?  I want to say 2 DAYS!  haha.  The first day to just relax and realize...you're taking a break.  And then the 2nd day to actually have fun. 

Of course I have been barely in the Word lately.  I'm so out of it in the morning and this is my main time to delve into Scripture.  So, my body feels tired and so does my soul.

Phew.

So that's what's really going on lately...and so much more to be 100% honest.

Anyways, we went through a long phase of "ease" in our little family so I'm thankful that though there are valleys...there are mountains too.  This isn't forever.  Time will pass.  Yay for that.

So, thanks for "listening" friends!  :) 
Ya'll the best.

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Friday List :)

1.  Oh my GOSH I need to make Jack's 15 month appt.  Yeah, totally spaced.  He's officially 15 months in two days.  Hopefully they can get him in before next year.  Off to call...  Phew.  Got him in next week.  These appt's are key because I use them to see where he is at weight wise.  We are milking that infant carseat for all it's worth.  :)  He can't use it after 30 lbs!

2. Everything in our house that plugs into a wall has decided to break at the same time.  Or it feels like it.  Both of our laptops are hanging on by a thread (our main one crashes about twice a day).  Would you like to know HOW old they are?  Well, we got them when we were at Cal Poly soooo....at least 10 years old haha.  Nice.  We use things until they are TRULY worn out.  Also, our awesome coffee grinder sorta just shredded itself inside.  So that's dead.  Then our coffee maker made a weird smell and now THAT'S dead.  So, rather then replace it...we are going without.  We grind the coffee at the store and bought two pour overs for $2.50 each.  I would LIKE a Kuerig for Christmas though.  :)

3. Ice water is lovely.  For so long I preferred my water room temp but lately it has been much more appealing to have ice.  Maybe it's because our house is so darn warm.  It's lovely in winter because it's completely cozy...and we don't even have to run the heat.  In the summer...not as nice.  :)  So ice water.  Yum. 

4. We are starting to purge more and more.  Getting rid of stuff that we just aren't using any more.  Mostly sports stuff.  It is looking like we will be moving from San Francisco in January.  Could be wrong.  Some how we just have a lot of...stuff.  We figure if we start going through it now we can actually sell and make some money off if it rather then having it be a mad dash where we donate everything at the last minute.  :)

5. One of Jack's favorite things is having me put his snack of o's and raisins into his little giraffe bowl instead of in the snack trap.  They end up on the floor of course...but he picks them all up and eats them ;)

6. Speaking of Jack...it's time to change his diaper.  Blak.
Back from THAT endeavor.  He decided to PULL the diaper right when I was about to wipe and got poop everywhere, on his legs, my hand.  Of course it was a total nast goopy diaper.  That child.

7. So, remember how I sung the praises of my little home?  I really loved it/do love it.  Buuuuut....I will confess that now that I've started my little handmade biz it's feeling a WHOLE lot smaller ahem.  I can't keep my sewing machine in our bedroom because I'm up later then Jason.  Soooo....we have a new kitchen table center piece.  :)  Needless to say...a bigger living room where I can tuck my workhorse in a corner would be nice.  And let's not talk about the felt that is everywhere!  Yeah...I'd take a little more space.

8. Jack still takes two good naps a day.  I keep thinking that morning nap will be dropped soon...but he's been holding onto it.  You can have that morning nap for as long as you want little guy.  I don't mind one bit!  :)

And that's it!  Hope everyone has a very lovely weekend! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Couple of Stories...

Sometimes I feel like a major klutz.  I've been known to take corners too fast and run into walls.  I swear I do embarrassing things all the time...so much so that I don't even think much of it.  Basically every time Jason does something klutzy he says, "That's something YOU would do, not ME."  Yeah yeah.

So, here are a couple of stories.

This first one isn't really my being klutzy so much so as forgetful (I seriously just typed forgetable instead of forgetful and stared at it for 2 minutes trying to figure out why that didn't sound/look right.  Um yeah.)

Episode 1: So a while back we got Jack a new stroller to keep down south in SLO.  It's a Graco stroller with a tray.  The tray though doesn't come down between the legs.  So, in order to ensure that your kid doesn't slide out you have to use the seat belt.  Ahem.  So, I had him seat belted...no problem.  Then I pulled him out to look at books.  When I put him back in it totally slipped my mind to seat belt him.  So, I'm downstairs in Barnes and Noble and I'm pushing the little guy out of the store.  As I'm pushing I start feeling resistance.  So I push more of course...makes total sense.  You see, the canopy was down and I couldn't see what was going on.  After MORE pushing I finally thought, "Did something fall out of the stroller and get caught in the wheel?"  I walk to the front and there is my child with his head on the stroller seat, his arms up by his ears, and basically his whole body hanging out the bottom...with his feet being pulled under the stroller...BECAUSE I KEPT ON PUSHING.  The best part was that there was a lady who was staring horrified.  I picked Jack up and he was totally fine.  I think he was more bummed that he didn't manage to actually escape.  When I got home to tell Jason, the whole scene was suddenly hilarious.  The way Jack looked, the lady's expression.  I laughed so hard I cried, literally cried while retelling it.  Good times man.  Good times.

Episode 2:  We went to a free day at a museum in San Francisco.  It has lots of art and is in general a rather swanky, nice museum.  It is also crazy about food only being eaten in the cafe.  Not even in the lobby where there is no art.  Not even to give a couple of bites of banana to a toddler.  Yeah...I tried.  Anyways, I was worrying about whether it was a good idea to bring Jack.  Turns out I should have worried about myself.  We were in this dead quiet room and there was a tour going on.  I reached under the stroller to grab something...no clue what.  I had to pick up Jack's snack trap for some reason to get to what I needed and apparently the lid wasn't on all the way.  It was of course completely full.  Cheerios went EVERYWHERE.  You would think that Cheerios wouldn't be loud when they fall on the floor.  You are wrong.  They are VERY loud.  Jason looked horrified.  He's such a museum guy...and totally gets embarrassed way easier then me.  So, I bashfully picked them all up and put them back in the trap and then 3 hours later proceeded to forget that they had fallen on the floor and handed them to Jack.  He ate 2 or 3 before I remembered.  Meh.  Just keeping that immune system strong.  :)  Oh, and then after the Cheerio incident I went to the cafe to feed Jack.  When I was walking out I pulled open the huge all-glass door wide enough so that I could get through with the stroller in one fell swoop.  Welp, pulled it way too hard apparently and it SLAMMED open.  I was certain I shattered the thing.  I didn't.  Just got a whole lot of stares.  Yikes.  I knew I didn't like museums.  ;)

And that's just a couple of things recently.  I'm sure there is way more.
I'm hoping I'm not the only one who does these types of things...right???  :)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Oh hey there!

Oh man.

I am alive.  Barely.

So much is going on/has happened.
Some good, some down right poopy, some just crazy.

But we are here.

I guess let's start with the poopy.  I didn't talk about the first miscarriage we had because...I didn't want to.  I was a little raw and in shock...and it wasn't something I was willing to share.  I remember thinking that I could not possibly emotionally survive another one.  Then we had Jack and I felt like there was lots of healing and just...I was ok.  God was there through it.  We survived.  Then a couple of weeks ago on my birthday we got what I thought was a perfect birthday present...a positive pregnancy test!  So exciting! 

A week went by though and it became evident that we wouldn't be seeing this little one on this side of heaven.  Deep in my heart I had a "feeling" that something was going to happen.  Even now I sit here and just...don't know what to feel.  I am very sad and yet...a little confused by the fact that it didn't rock me as hard as our first one.  Maybe it's because it was earlier this time, maybe because I had a strange feeling, maybe because it's hard to be sad with a happy crazy baby running around at your feet.  Maybe I just know that God is good.  I mean...really really is good.  I try to keep the perspective that life is full of good and bad...and yet somehow it is possible to receive good and benefit from BOTH good and bad things.  So...I hug my sweet little boy and thank God for him.  Life is so fragile.  Each baby is a miracle.  It's hard to not "go there" and think, sheesh, 2 out of 3...those aren't very good odds.  Was Jack just a one time miracle?  Will we get to have more babies?  I know, I know.  Not rational.  But it's hard to keep your thoughts in check.  Soooo...that's the latest, and not so greatest.  For some reason I felt the need to share this time.  Not exactly sure why but there it is.

Completely different subject.  A couple of weeks ago we got a job offer that we REALLY wanted to take but it literally involved us picking up and moving in less then 2 weeks to Los Angeles.  We were so tempted and yet...it just wasn't doable.  We really love the position and apparently there is a chance another position will open in January.  So be praying that this is the case because that would be perfect timing!  :)

Etsy.  This could be a whole blog post on it's own.  I am basically overwhelmed with orders.  Not a bad thing at all.  :)  Just takes some really good time management, some late nights, and a few more Elmo movies then I'm accustomed to showing to Jack (he definitely isn't complaining).  And can I just say...I feel so blessed.  So VERY blessed.  I actually applied to a part time work from home job right before I posted all the felt stuff.  We really needed a little extra income for student loans and etc.  I really thought I was going to get to the job and then...nope.  Jason had been bugging me to try to post my felt stuff for a while.  I was sorta like, "I tired Etsy...it was ok.  Kinda done with it."  After I got the rejection from the job Jason said, "Ok, you can apply to more jobs if you want but you have to promise me you will post your felt stuff.  I have a good feeling about it."  So, I did it.  And it's been two months...and I guess you can say, "the rest is history".  Last month I brought in as much as I would have made at that part time job.  God is SO good.  Will it last?  I don't know.  But I will keep working away and hopefully coming up with new ideas annnnnd...we will see what happens!  :)

Phew.  Well, that was a whole lot packed into one blog post...I will try to not ditch this little space for too long at a time. 
It's a HUGE mushroom!  Jason decided to confess his affection for me on it.  ;)

Thanks for reading friends!  Hope you enjoyed some of our vacation photos!!!
 
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