Jul 16, 2011

Shake That Money Maker

As I said in my first post ever, I wear many hats, it's been this way since I started school as a wee child. Right now my main hat is being a stay at home mom and wife, followed by part time blogger. Of course there are the familial hats that don't change, but as in the rest of my lifetime, wearing just a couple of hats isn't enough. I like to have an entire rack of hats to rotate throughout the week. Now that Porter is a little older he is slightly more independent, and let's be honest, my brain needs a little more stimulation than singing nursery rhymes and wiping up peach particulate matter from tiny nostrils and eyebrows.

I will say for the moment that there are a few really exciting opportunities on the horizon that would allow me to be diversify my collection of head attire. Since, however, they are all very preliminary I don't want to jinx anything by exploring them in this post. What I do what to discuss is the direction of this blog. It's not changing. I'm simply letting you, my devoted readers, in on an experiment that I'd like to try.

As I said in that first blog post, we are living on one income. That is money that my incredibly hard working husband earns at his day job in which he just got a promotion. Hurray! I will say that it has been easier than we had imagined to live on one income, and that is quite a relief to the both of us. With all that said, let me tell you a little story.

As a child, my dad had the opportunity to start a business, Heart Hugger. It was great for me because he got to work from home. Even though he worked his butt off for many hours for many years, he was always around. I remember, distinctly, parking my banana seat bike in the garage after school and getting to say hi to him in his office as I went inside. If I had a question or needed anything, he and my mom were always around. This lead to a couple of revelations for me. First, I felt really secure in home having both parents available. Second, I saw how much work it takes to make a buck. Third, if you have a goal, a plan, and you stick with it the payoff can be immeasurable in a plethora of ways.

Watching my dad's business start as an idea and grow into the success that it is today created a strong work ethic and a level of persistence that has proven quite successful for me as an adult. In junior high I had a regular babysitting job for my dance teacher, and anyone else who would hire me. When I was 14, on summer vacation, I could have done anything I wanted. Gone to camps, taken classes, pursued hobbies. Did I chose to pursue any of these avenues? No. Much to the chagrin of my parents, I chose to get a job baking cookies in the Capitola Village.

Having worked so hard themselves they wanted it to be very clear that I had the rest of my adult life to work, and that I didn't have to get a summer job. I was compelled to work, and why? I wanted financial freedom. My parents still gave me the world and supported all my interests, but there is nothing quite like have your own spending money lining your pockets. Saving money eluded me until I met my husband, but every summer through high school and much of college I had a job. Talk about hats! Here are the hats that have earned me money ever since that fated summer: babysitting, cookie baker/lotion pourer, ice cream wench,  shoe sales, camp leader, camp director, tele-fundraiser, Jamba Juice smoothie maker, admin assistant at a charter school, Fur Trader, doula, debt collector, attempted Mary Kay lady,  daycare-er, teacher, which leads me to my current job, mom. That's a total of 16 different money making hats and gained life experiences.

Now I'd like to add another job to that long list, and that is as a blogger. As you may see on your screen, there are advertisements. I chose to use Google's AdSense to monetize my site. Check out their website for information on how anyone can make some extra money using AdSense. Another way that I've decided to monetize my site is by becoming part of the Amazon Associates Program. You may recall that I occasionally include products in my posts that I really like and use. I often have a link to those specific products. Well, Amazon has made it easy for me and you to check out those products. The really neat part about that is, if you follow a link from my blog to the Amazon site and then decide to purchase ANY product, I will make a commission. For example, I really love the Deuter hiking backpack, I've mentioned it in a few other posts. If you wanted to check it out or buy it you just click on this link Deuter Kid Comfort II (Titan/Anthracite). Or if you plan on buying anything else on Amazon, you could go through any link on my blog and when you purchase something, they'll pay me a commission. It's pretty basic, but that is how I intend on making a little extra on the side through my blog. Now isn't that a nifty hat to add to the collection?

It may seem that the blatant promotion of my money making would put readers off, but I'm hoping that you trust me enough to keep reading. Here is my promise to you. I promise not to change the content or format of my blog posts. If I do mention a product, it's because I really like it and want to share the wonders of it with you.

I'm putting this out there for everyone to read, and I'm sure I will be judged by a few too. That's fine, I'm ready for that. Really there is nothing worse than being a Mary Kay rep trying to get random strangers to give you their numbers in a Walmart. Now that is the meaning of judgement and rejection. Those hardened Mary Kay ladies that have made real success through that company have put themselves in a lot more uncomfortable situations than I am with this post. So, most of all please just keep reading my blog. If you see a link you like, click it. If you're not into it then just ignore them altogether and keep checking back for meaningful posts and tender pictures of my life and family. Thanks again for your loyalty and readership.

"Hey look! I've got a blue block."

"Peek a boo!"

"Mmmm block gooooood."
"You wanna try a little nibble?"

Jul 13, 2011

6 Months

In the name of all things tender! I thought it would be cute if I taught Porter how to give kisses, and cute it is. What I hadn't intended was the amount of slobber that would end up on my nose or in my mouth, hmm. We were able to catch a couple of kisses on film, and it's pretty cute if I do say so myself.

According to just about everyone, when a baby is 6 months old they should be introduced to solid foods. I thought Porter would start with sweet potatoes, but when I tried that he gave such an adverse reaction that I thought I should start with something a little more tame. Otherwise I feared that I may be nursing him forever. That was a serious moment of panic in my mind, but when I gave him some rice cereal with breast milk things went a lot smoother, phew. I'd say it was a success.

He's also teething, which leads to some basic gnawing on anything he can get his gums on.

That's my tender boy!

Jul 9, 2011

Lavender Festival

I'm still in the process of writing about our big trip to California. In the meantime, here is a quick post about our lovely summer Saturday here in Idaho. Porter and I started the day by taking a walk to the store for Saturday morning bagels and coffee. Then it was off to the Lavender Festival, hosted by The Lavender Merchant, in Kuna with our friends Danny and Sarah, followed by a tasty lunch at El Gallo Giro, the best Mexican food in Idaho.

When we got home it was pretty hot outside. Luckily I filled up the small pool yesterday so it was the perfect temperature for Porter and I to take a dip. The best part was his hysterical laughter when I sprayed him with squirt toys. The funniest was when I shot him square in the face by accident, he thought it was awesome...phew! Now I'm chillin' in front of our Ultra Cool Evaporative Cooler, aka swamp cooler, and munching on watermelon. Life is pretty sweet!

Our friend Amy, working The Lavender Merchant booth at the festival. Her mom is the actual lavender gardener and merchant. It was great to go and support a local gardener and business person.

U-pick lavender $5 a bunch

This lavender plant was HUGE, I'd say about 4-5 feet in diameter.

Rows and rows of lavender.

You can see the festival going on behind us and the lavender fields. It could have been very hot out in Kuna, but we were lucky and got lovely weather.

Picking lavender!

There were many fabulous vendors and lavender oriented goodies. I, however, only managed to get pictures of the food. Here is the delightful mint iced tea and lavender lemonade. I believe the lemonade made the trip worth it for Luke.

Tender mini pastries

Lavender cupcakes

Hand made jams and jellies of assorted flavors, including lavender.

It was a grand time had by all, and the big tree that provided shade made for perfect lounging with friends.

Jul 8, 2011

Tiny Jumper

I've been putting Porter in this jumper every month to see if he would like it. I usually get immediate crying and general hatred of this jumping contraption...until today. The weight limit for this jumper is 25 pounds and Porter's at 20. He seems to have figured it out just in time. 
Heads up: turn your volume down when you watch it because I was way too close to the microphone and baby boy is channeling his inner howler monkey. 

Jul 6, 2011

Make Contact

It seems like forever since I have posted! We have been on our great California adventure tour and I have much to share with you all. First things first though. Sadly, I forgot my camera on this monumental trip. Luckily, everyone else had one available and I distinctly remember many photos being snapped. If you have any pictures of our encounters, please please please pick the cream of the crop and email them to doulamegan@gmail.com so that I can not only have them for posterity but might also include some of them in a post.

I would also like to say to everyone that met Porter- thank you for being so wonderful to my baby and for all your kind words about how fabulous he is. I agree! He really had an amazing trip and loves each and every person and pet that we came across, especially Rumpus the dog. I have never seen anyone, other than me, make Porter laugh in such a happy and carefree way. For that, I love Rumpus too! Thanks again Hamkaufs.