Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chinese Baby Calendar

So last fall, soon after my best friend from high school told me she was pregnant, she began telling me about this Chinese Baby Calendar and how it really seemed accurate - it was accurate in predicting the gender of her son, and it was accurate for mom with both herself and her brother.

According to the calendar, my friend could expect a baby girl. When she went in to find out during her 5th month, sure enough, the doctor said it was a girl!

She asked me to find out my mom's information and see if it was correct in telling the gender of both me and my sister, and sure enough - it was!

Fascinated, we started trying it with other people we knew that were pregnant and knew what the sex was as well as ones that already had kids and strange enough, it was always correct!

Now I'm not one to believe in silly things like, but the fact it's been correct for everyone we've tried it with... it's a little freaky!

How it works is that it takes the age you were when you conceived and then what month you conceived in and that's how you can predict what gender your child will be.

So for example, if hubby and I conceived this cycle (April) we can expect to be having a boy based off of this, as I'm currently 25 and the conception month would be April.

Here's a link to the simple calendar/chart.

I'm half tempted to have my mother-in-law cross check it with all her kids, as she's had 6, just to see how it accurate is!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Quitting Mary Kay & having an Inventory Blow Out sale

These past few weeks I've been thinking about quitting my Mary Kay business. Well, after talking it over with my husband, we both agreed that perhaps this isn't the best business for me. While I've seen it work wonders in the lives of various women, and I have NOTHING against the company (I love everything it stands for and the principles Mary Kay Ash founded it on) and LOVE the products, I just don't feel, after trying for a little over 6 months, that the whole direct sales business is really for me.

I do plan on continuing to use the products myself though, and fully intend on having a party every so often to get some of the great hostess benefits!

Since I am quitting my Mary Kay business, I do have quite a bit of on hand inventory that I am offering for 50% off the retail price (plus 8.25% sales tax). Below is a list of products I still have and will be selling through Monday on a first come, first serve basis, so if there is anything you see on the list that you want, let me know ASAP and I will set it aside, so long as you can pay me by the end of Monday! I can take credit cards over the internet, so if you're interested contact me and we can go over the total first. For those not in the Northern Illinois region (within an hour or so of Rockford), I can ship to you, however I will be charging an additional $4 to help with shipping costs. All orders of $40 or more (before tax) will receive a free gift!

Please go here to visit the post on my other blog that has all the products I have left and links to their info.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Decisions, decisions

As I've mentioned, my husband's been working part-time at a Verizon kiosk out at the mall, selling cell phones. It's not so much we need the income from this 2nd job of his, it's just that 1) he's paranoid about money and being able to provide and having a "buffer" is important to him and 2) he was getting bored during the daytime hours and wanted to find something to do during the late morning/early afternoon hours to fill his time so he could stop donating plasma twice a week, as it tires him out for the entire rest of the day on the days he goes. We figured he'd find something that was maybe 20hrs a week or so.

Well, his brother got him the hook-up for this job and despite him telling them he only wanted to work 3 or 4 days a week, they put him on for 5. And then, after a good first month, they started talking to him about management, even though he told them in the interview he probably wasn't interested, as they don't offer benefits and he already has a "main" job that pays salary and offers benefits. So they start prepping him to be an assistant manager at this kiosk, having him open when the manager can't and then fill in for the manager on his day off (basically, he became the "unofficial" assistant manager), saying that if their location hit x-amount of lines for the month, they'd give it to him. Well needless to say, they had a slow month the next month and he didn't get it, despite them still having him work as if he were the assistant.

 Well, being that it's a cell phone company, all his money is made on commissions

The first half of this month he literally made $0, as business out at the mall has been that slow. And it's not that he wasn't trying - he had 1/3 of all the lines they had last month. So, frustrated at working over 40 hrs a week and not making anything (last month he made a total of $3/hr!), he quit. Ironically, the day he decided to quit, they start talking about moving him to one of the actual store locations the kiosk is affiliated with. Again though, he was getting tired of working all these hours and not even breaking minimum wage! He also gave his resume to a local temp agency who set him up with an interview today with one of the car rental companies in town, where he would be working mornings at $10/hr - it'd be about 20 hours a week.

Knowing this car rental deal was a possibility and that the temp agency has his resume, he decided just to throw in the towel. However, his boss at the cell phone place asked to have him call the next day, so he did - turns out he talked to the owner of their area stores and they wanted him to come in today and hear their offer.

So he went to his interview today with the car rental place - turns out the location he'd be at was about 30 miles away, which would be about $15/wk in gas and he didn't feel that much driving was worth it for just 20hrs of work. He went in around 2 for his meeting with the guys at the cell phone place (they told him to come in anytime after noon, as they'd be there all day), however the main guy didn't get there til after 6 so he basically worked all day for a company he technically wasn't still employed with. Basically, he told them why he quit - he already has 1 job that pays well and he hated working twice as much at a job where he wasn't making anything. And the negotiations began. Basically they ended up telling him they'd give him $800/mo plus 50% of commissions for 40hrs a week at this actual store they were planning on moving him to.

I'm kinda mixed on this as this was just supposed to be his daytime part time job to cure him of boredom and give him a little extra spending money. I don't know about some, but from jobs I've worked before, 40+ hours is considered full time, not part time.

 I'm already annoyed as I feel like I barely get to see him - we used to have date nights every Friday evening, getting dinner together and then doing something fun... cept they have him working til 9pm on Fridays and well, aside from the bars and Walmart, not a lot of places are really open past 9/10pm... and it's not like we can really even go out late because they have him opening at 10am on Saturday, so he wants to go to bed at a decent time. And on Sundays... we used to go to church in the morning, then out for lunch with one of our families and then maybe run an errand or whatever in the afternoon, have a light dinner and then watch our shows. Well he works 10am-6pm on Sundays so there goes the majority of the day.

He was talking about with them switching him to this other store having Tuesday and Thursday as his days off, citing that he could get up and donate plasma while I'm at work, and then he'd be home by the time I'm home from work and we could have all night to hang out. Except he has to leave by 10pm to go to his other job, so no, he wouldn't be getting a full day off work... iono, I guess I'd be more comfortable if he had Fridays and Sundays off completely like he does at his main job so it would be like he'd have 2 actual, full days off.

The extra money would be nice, but at the same time, I miss going out and doing things and spending time with my husband in daylight, not to mention when we kids, I'd like for him to be able to spend time with them and be able to go to their functions too. I have one friend who now has 2 kids but her husband works soooo much that she barely gets to see him - I don't want us to be like that.

Ugh, this is so frustrating!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Taking Charge of Your Fertility

http://rgr-static1.tangentlabs.co.uk/images/bau/97800608/9780060881900/0/0/plain/taking-charge-of-your-fertility-the-definitive-guide-to-natural-birth-control-pregnancy-achievement-and-reproductive-health.jpgSo I went to Borders the other night to get this book called "Taking Charge of Your Fertility."

I first heard about this book last summer/fall when I was having some strange symptoms and thought I might have been pregnant - I had some questions about the symptoms and asked about it on a pregnancy forum, only to get nasty responses (never go on a forum that's associated with the wedding site The Knot - all my experiences over there have been negative!), however many women suggested I read TCOYF. Having no clue what the letters TCOYF stood for and too scared to ask for fear of more nasty responses, I just Googled it instead and came across the book I believe they were all talking about.

I have to say, I *strongly* recommend every woman read this book.

A lot of it talks about charting and various ways to chart and it also has a lot of interesting facts and information. After reading it, I feel I understand a lot more about my body and my cycle too.
  • Did you know that women are only fertile just a few days out of each month, yet a man produces on average 700 million sperm a day?! Yet there's at least 11 different forms of contraception for women, including a ton of different types of birth control pills that require to be taken daily, and various contraception forms that involve putting hormones into your body, and yet there's only like 3 options for men?

    Something about that just doesn't seem fair!

  • Another interesting factoid is that when your mother was in the womb, not only did her little body already contain all the eggs it was going to produce - which included the egg that formed you - but that you already had all the eggs inside you that you're ever going to produce!

    Talk about trippy!
But back to the charting - this book explains it really easily and once you chart for a few months and get to know YOUR cycle, it's so easy to do!

http://www.tcoyf.com/chartgallery/ovusoft/4824.pngOne of the simplest charting methods is to take your temperature at the same time every morning (so long as you've gotten at least 3 full hours of sleep) and chart it. During the first half of your cycle and up until your fertile days and ovulation day your temp will be somewhat low, but about a day after ovulation - the beginning of your luteal phase - you'll notice your temperature shoot up about .5-1.0 degree and stay in that range until Aunt Flo comes to visit, then it will drop back down. The luteal phase will always last roughly 14 days, give or take a day, so it's said that if you get 18 days or more of higher temperatures or if your temp goes up higher and stays there, you are most likely pregnant.

If you continue charting into your pregnancy you can also tell when a miscarriage occurred, as your temperature will suddenly drop back down.

You can also chart by getting family with your cervical mucus - something that I would think would be common knowledge, but when you start noticing CM on your underwear, you know ovulation is coming soon, as the CM on ovulation will be kind of like an eggwhite. If you're trying to get pregnant, these are the days to have sex. If you're not trying to get pregnant, avoid having sex for this 7-10 days when you are most fertile (or if you're taking your temperature, wait until your temperature goes up).

They say you can do just one of the 2 charting methods, or you can do both.

It's really neat, however it seems to only really work if you have regular cycles each month.

They say that a lot of couples who seem to think they're infertile unfortunately spend lots of money on different tests and procedures to figure out what's wrong, when the reality is not every woman has 28 day cycles and that not every woman ovulates on day 14. True, it may be the average, but that doesn't mean everyone. There's been a bunch of couples who thought they were infertile, only to read the book, began charting and they've found the reason they couldn't conceive was because they weren't having sex on the days the woman was fertile, as they were going off the day 14 myth and her cycle happened to be either longer or shorter than the average. Many of these couples conceived shortly after they began charting the woman's cycles.

http://www.tcoyf.com/app_themes/tcoyf2/images/software.gifThe book also comes with software that can help you chart, as well as the book's website which has the charting program on it as well, telling you which days you should be most fertile, with an expected ovulation date and predicted menses (Aunt Flo) and all you do is enter in your daily temperature and/or cervical mucus type and it does the rest of the work for you.

I was a bit hesitant to try this, as I don't always get up at the same time every day, but I figured I'd give it a try and once I started, it's become routine. I set an alarm on my phone to go off at 9:20 every morning (as on days I work, that's usually the earliest I get up), keep the digital thermometer and plastic liners on the nightstand, take my temperature when the alarm goes off, write it down, and either get up for the day or go back to sleep. Then later on in the day I'll go online and put it in my chart.

It's pretty easy and simple to do, and pretty neat if you ask me! I might just keep charting after I have a kid instead of going back on the pill!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The First

Where to begin...

Ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be a mommy someday. I would play house with my dollies and even take care of a few special ones that would often go most places with me.

The entire I was growing up, mom didn't work an actual job. She was a stay at home mom - a homemaker. She took care of me while taking care of the house, the laundry, the bills, the groceries, various errands that had to be done and other "womanly-tasks" while my dad was away on business providing for us most weekdays. Deep down, I always wanted to grow up and did what she did - be a stay at home mom.

I was in 3rd grade when my sister was born and I would often help my mom out when it came to taking care of her. As I got into Jr. High I started babysitting not just my sister but various other kids in on our street and several families at church. When I was in high school my cousin was born, and again, I helped out a lot when it came taking care of her too - to this day I still babysit her from time to time. I don't mind it - I like working with kids.

Over the course of the years, I kept changing what I wanted to be when I grew up, however the first thing I declared I wanted to be was a kindergarten teacher. While my dream job changed many times over the years, deep down, I would still love to get a teaching certificate and work with kids. In junior high and high school I used to help out one Sunday a month in the different nursery departments at our church (usually with whatever age group my sister fell into). Sure, some of the kids were a bit hard to handle, but I didn't mind it. I also volunteered a few weeks in the summer and helped out with our church's summer day camp program, which runs for a total of 6 weeks in the summer. I've always enjoyed working with kids and being able to teach them things.

So basically, I've always wanted to have kids of my own someday.

My husband and I had a plan - we would get married, then within a year or so he would be getting promoted to full-time at UPS, as he was finishing up his outside requirements for the position that fall, then we would get a house and start a family.

Well... God's plan for us isn't always the same as the plan we make for ourselves.
  • We got married, yes, but the recession hit, and it affected his job. No, he didn't lose his job, but they cut back a lot and there honestly has not been any open full-time positions available! I also got my hours at my job cut in half too, which in turn meant my pay was getting cut in half, so that affected us too as we had to dip into savings.
  • We had about given up on our hopes of starting the house hunt when my parents learned about the first-time homebuyers tax credit and offered to loan us money for a down payment, so we looked up some houses online, got in contact with a realtor we knew from church and took a look. Unfortunately though, we got held up on the pre-approval process for the loan, as we learned my husband's credit was not so good and we needed to clear a few things up. We cleared as much as we could up and went back in soon after the new year, however his score was still not up to the 620 the bank needed it to be, so we've been working on clearing up his credit this spring and plan on going back to the bank in July.

When we first moved into our apartment here we weren't expecting to still be here 2 years later!

I've had baby fever for awhile now - so many people I knew from high school and graduated with have either just had babies or are having them soon. My best friend from high school just had her 2nd child a few months ago, and we recently learned that my husband's older brother and his wife are expecting their 2nd in October, as is my husband's 2nd cousin and his wife are expecting their first and they're a lot younger than us and just got married last summer.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm happy for everyone I know, it's just I've had that yearning for awhile now like my biological clock is ticking and every time I hear someone else we know is pregnant, I get a bit jealous inside. Why not us?

Granted, I'm only 25, but I would like to have at least 2 kids by the time I'm 30. Not to mention it'd be nice for our kids to be close in age to our friend's and relative's kids so that when we're together they have someone to play with. I'll admit, even though I've been on the pill, there were a few times where I had pregnant-like symptoms and thought I might be, only to get a visit from Aunt Flo a little late, and was a bit sad and disappointed.

Even though I've been feeling like this for awhile now, I stopped bringing it up around my husband because I knew he felt we weren't ready yet, as he's a bit anal about budgeting and finances and we weren't where we wanted to be yet with our plan. He knew jealous I got though every time we'd hear someone else was pregnant.

Which was why I was a bit relieved the day I got a text message from him while he was working the cell phone kiosk out at the mall right before Easter, saying that all the little kids running around out there were making him want one.

We didn't really continue the conversation until yesturday, when he started texting me again on the job, saying that some parent had this leash/harness bear backpack thing their kid was wearing and how when we have kids we MUST get one of those. He then proceeded say that he felt like his biological clock was kicking it. It was pretty cute to hear him finally talk about wanting a kid.

We spoke later at home that night, as I'm just finishing up my last pill pack today and was curious if he wanted to me pick up the next one or not. We decided not to, thinking that it might take a few months to get my cycle back to normal (I had been on the pills for the last 14 months straight) and that even if I did get pregnant our first cycle trying, I wouldn't be due until soon after the new year and by then we should have a house and be settled in.

So here goes our journey, as we try to conceive our first kid!