Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Way to Keep Track of Alex

Lately Alex has been working on crawling, and despite the fact that he doesn't know how yet, he still seems to be able to get wherever, and we know that once he actually does crawl, he'll get there even faster. So we talked about getting a play pen for Alex to play in when we are doing other things and can't keep a close eye on him. So the first thing I did was check Craig's List, since we don't have a lot of money. That's when I ran into this:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Be Grateful

So today is a day of gratitude--a day where we consider the things we're thankful for. I have lots to be thankful for. Some of them include:
  • my husband
  • my son (and how easy-going he is)
  • the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • family
  • friends
  • food
  • breast pumps (otherwise Alex would have to drink formula)
  • warm place to live
  • music
  • soft bed to sleep in
  • blankets
  • anything that keeps me warm and comfy (blankets, sweatpants, robe, etc.)
  • ovens/stovetops
  • the Internet (so grateful. It's awesome)
  • having money
  • future job (which I will hopefully get soon)
  • positive people
  • for not having hives (which I will hopefully not have soon)
  • elecricity
  • indoor plumbing
  • books
  • living in the US
There are lots more that I'm grateful for, but those are some that I thought of. Hope you all have a good Thanksgiving Day with lots of good food.

My Birthday

So this year's birthday was pretty good, and it's all thanks to my honey, Aaron. First we went out to breakfast at IHOP. With money being tight, the only reason we did this was because I had a two-for-one coupon. Well, when Aaron went out to the car to get something, he talked to a waitress on the way back. I thought it odd, so I asked what that was all about. He said he'd asked her where the bathroom was. Since my husband is so straight foward and honest, and isn't really good at deceiving me (like in the past how he tried to think of an excuse as to why he was leaving and couldn't think of anything, so finally admitted he was going to buy me a present), so I took his word, even though he didn't ever go to the bathroom. Then towards the end of the meal, 5 waitresses came over singing happy birthday and presented me with an ice cream sundae. I was so surprised. I love surprises, so I thought it was great, really thoughtful, and sweet.

So I figured that would be all, but later I got another surprise. We'd agreed not to buy any presents for each other's birthdays, so I knew I wasn't getting anything in the real world, but Aaron and I play Guild Wars and I really wanted a Mad King Thorn mini (you can see what he looks like here). He's pretty rare, but I think he's so cute. Anyway, Aaron had been talking about how he used all his money to buy Trick-or-Treat bags (they drop around Halloween, so once Halloween is over, you can't get more except by buying them from other players). So I figured he didn't have the money to buy me a Mad King Thorn. Then yesterday in the afternoon, he offered to help me learn how to raptor farm, and was like, "You should sell what's in your inventory, so you have plenty of room for what you pick up." I'm like, "Okay." So I open up my inventory and I'm looking to see what I have, and there in my inventory was a Mad King Thorn mini!! Because he's rare, it cost Aaron a lot of in-game gold (260,000 gold). That's a large chunk of change, and it takes a long time to accumulate that much gold. On top of that, Aaron wants a Mad King Thorn mini as well, so I'm sure he would have rather have kept it then give it to me, which makes the sacrifice mean more.

Later in the evening, Aaron made me dinner, and we hung out. I also talked to my sister earlier in the day. No one else in my family called, but I got two emails, and my other sister had called yesterday. Basically that means my brother and dad are in the doghouse for not doing anything to say happy birthday (though my brother did message me on Facebook today to say sorry, so I guess that's something).

So that's basically it. I'm glad I have a great husband who made my day special. Yay!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Teething and Life in General

So Alex is now officially teething. We can see his two top front teeth coming in. It hasn't made him very happy and he's needed extra comfort, which is hard when I'm trying to make dinner and such (yesterday I was carrying him around as I was trying to get dinner on the table and he got heavy fast. I'm pretty sure he's over 20 lbs now, maybe even closer to 22 lbs, but I guess we'll find out next week at his checkup). We try to do our best to keep him supplied with cold teethers, but sometimes even that's not enough. Poor little guy. On the bright side, it hasn't seemed to affect his sleeping. He still takes great naps and sleeps through the night. In fact, lately he's been sleeping till about 6:45 a.m. or 7 a.m. It's been consistent enough that I even changed my alarm clock to 6:30 a.m., so I get to sleep in a little. Yay!

Last Friday Aaron and I moved our furniture all around, so that we can use our computer even when Alex is sleeping. This has been nice because it's allowed us to move the arm chair upstairs. It previously occupied the space next to our dining table blocking two chairs and only leaving one. Since we moved it, we've been able to eat dinner at the table together, with Alex in the highchair. Even though he's not actually eating with us, it's obvious that he likes being near us as we eat.

So things are going all right with the job search. There aren't tons of jobs I've found to apply for, but out of the five I have applied for, three have asked for interviews. Unfortunately, no one really wants to hire right now. They're just looking now for someone early next year. So it doesn't look like I'll be able to really get anything before the end of the year, but hopefully things will work out by mid-January. I have a phone interview tomorrow for another technical writing job. Let's hope that if it would be a good job for me that it will work out.

Monday, November 17, 2008


So my sister-in-law clued me in to a Web site called eHow. Basically, it's a site where you can write articles on how to do stuff and get paid. I decided to try it about a month ago and I've already made $4. I know, not much, but from what I can tell, for most people, it increases each month. It takes only an hour or so to write the article, but you will continue to make money on it as long as it's useful. Plus, that's only from writing 14 articles (only 6 articles have made money, and $3 of it was from one article).

I think part of the secret is figuring out which articles will make money. The first article that made any money was an article that had only 20 views with no comments and no ratings, even though I have other articles that have 80 views, 5 ratings, and 5 comments that haven't made any money. From that, I figure that the money comes from when people click on ads that are brought up by your article (which are associated with the content of your article). So I guess the best way to go is to write articles that you think will encourage people to click on ads.

There are some who say they make $20/day with eHow. Sure it's nothing to live on, but $600 extra a month might be a car payment or even rent (or most of rent) or payment on some student loans or whatever. I think it's worth looking into, and if you write more than I have, I'm sure you would make more than me.

Anyway, if you want to check out my profile and what I've written, you can go to And if you're feeling generous, check out some of my articles and click on some ads. Maybe it will help me out.

Also, if you have time, you might want to consider creating your own profile and writing some articles.

UPDATE: It's up to $7.90 now (on 11/25/08), so that's $4 in a week, even though I haven't written any more articles. I'll take $4 more for not doing anything!

Goodbye Job, Hello Unemployment

So last Thursday, I was at home working, as per usual, when I get an email from my manager's boss (who was my manager until 3 months ago) asking if I could come in for a meeting that morning. In that very moment, I had a sinking feeling. I don't know how I knew what was coming, but I was pretty certain, though the whole time I was trying to rationalize why it wasn't what I thought it was. I went and told my husband that I would be going to work because my boss asked me to come in and I found out later that for some reason, he knew what it was going to be about as well, though he was hoping he was wrong too.

So I drove in, and went into my former manager's office. I could tell it was hard for him to tell me what he had to tell me, but the jist of it was that my company was cutting costs and my position was being eliminated. He emphasized that this was not because of performance and he, and my current manager, would have loved to keep me if it were in their power to do so. This made me feel somewhat better. What also helped was they were giving me a severance package which would give me time to find another job and give me health insurance through the end of the year.

Still, despite these positives, I was in shock. I had not expected it and had only heard that day that there might be layoffs (which may be why I had an inkling of what the meeting was about). The rest of the day I felt like I was in a trance and could barely concentrate on anything.

Friday came and I hit the ground running so to speak. I updated my resume and started searching for jobs. I applied for three: two writing jobs and an instructional design job. I heard back from two jobs that day and scheduled two interviews for today, a phone interview and a regular interview. That was pretty exciting to get interviews so quickly.

So today was the phone interview and it went very well. From what I understood from the interview, there are a lot of applicants for this job and the manager is interviewing everyone by phone (he thinks he needs to give every one a chance, I guess). He said at the beginning he was going to narrow it down to the best half dozen applicants and then bring them in for an interview. At the end of the interview, he said that I would definitely be called for another interview. Unfortunately this won't be until December and he's projecting hiring someone in mid-January. When he found out I was laid off, he realized that basically that would mean I would be trying to find something ASAP and asked if I would take something else if I were offered it first.I had to be honest and say that I would if it were best for my family. If I were guaranteed a position, then yeah, I'd wait, but I can't wait just in case (I didn't say that, though). He seemed worried that he might lose me, so I guess that's a good sign. He told me at the end that I should hear from him or his assistant by December 8 and, if I didn't hear, I should call him, so I figure that's a good sign! He said I was a very strong applicant. He also said that I had the coolest resume out of all the applicants. It's exciting to feel wanted.

But we'll have to see what happens with my other applications. I applied for two more jobs today, so 5 jobs so far, and I'm looking into other avenues as well. As part of my severance package, I get to have the help of a career transition service to help me find a new job. Additionally, I'm going to look into what LDS Employment Resource Services cand do to help and sign up with my previous temp agency to see if I can get some temp work. They're actually the ones who got me the job with Altiris in the first place when I was just out of college, so I figure they're a good resource and, if they remember me, they probably like me. I mean I worked as a temp for 18 months straight before Altiris hired me, so I was a good asset for them in the past.

I'm also going to look into government assistance in the meantime, such as WIC, Medicaid, Workforce services, unemployment, and possibly CHIP (though it's very possible I will have another job by the time my insurance runs out, or at least soon after). I just need to find out what all is out there to help me.

In the meantime, Aaron is looking into switching majors. He's been going for computer science, but it's going slowly because all he has left are major classes (except one general ed. requirement that is left), and it's hard to take four computer science classes at once. Ultimately, he just really wants to teach, so although he really wants to teach college, he's considering switching to elementary ed. and teaching school instead (and maybe going back for his master's and doctorate degrees later). This would allow him to finish quicker because he would more likely be able to go full time. He's still not sure yet, but he's planning to go and talk to a counselor in the Elementary Ed. department to find out what the requirements are and how easy it would be. He also wants to find out if there is a way to get your teaching certificate after his bachelor's degree in computer science is complete. This might be an alternative because even though it would take him awhile to finish, he wouldn't have to wait till getting his doctorate to be able to teach. And if he was ever able to go back for his master's he would more easily do that (I'm not sure how easy it would be to get into a computer science master's degree program when you graduated with an El. Ed. major). But we're still not sure because it would depend on how long that would take. Basically, he realizes that I don't want to work for the rest of my life and if he were able to teach then I would hopefully be able to quit working outside the home and just concentrate on getting freelance work to bring in extra income. That would be cool for him to start working sooner, but mostly I just want him to have a job that he's happy at, so I can be a happy stay-at-home mom.

Alex is doing great and is just a happy baby. I posted some new pictures here: New pictures are on the third page. We just love him lots and are so grateful for him. He's a real cutie.

Well, please pray for me to get a job. I need all the help I can get!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Alex and Sleeping

So after two months of feeding Alex at midnight, Aaron (understandably) was a little sick of it and wanted to wean Alex from his nightly feedings. I was basically waiting for Aaron to say he didn't want to do it anymore before we tried because how can you tell when a baby is ready to make it through the night without a feeding? We tried at the beginning of September and he wailed at 2 a.m. for hours because he was so hungry. I didn't want that to happen, so I waited as long as Aaron was fine with it. I don't blame him for wanting to wean him, though, and he said that Alex was getting more restless during the feeds (maybe like he wasn't too happy and being woken). As we started, I prayed that it would work and Alex would be fine without eating. I'd been keeping track of how much he ate at night hoping he would start to taper off naturally and basically wean himself, but that didn't happen.

So we started the process of weaning. I wanted to go slow, so we planned to reduce the amount he ate by .5 oz each night, but the first two nights, Alex didn't even finish the amount in there, so I lowered it even more. Once we got to 2 oz, I went right to 1 oz and then nothing (seemed stupid to wake Alex up for a half an ounce). The night we gave him 1 oz, I was crossing my fingers. I figured if he could make it with just 1 oz, he could make it with nothing. That night he slept fine and I woke up in the morning and realized that he had gotten through the night without crying.

This gave me confidence that he would make it through the next night without anything just fine as well, but I was still a little worried. Well, that night, not only did Alex make it through the night fine, but he slept till 7 a.m.! Then this morning he slept till 6:50 a.m. I guess waking him up during the night to eat disturbed his sleep, or something. If this becomes a habit, I may just change my alarm clock to 6:30 a.m., rather than 6 a.m. I'm not getting up if he's not. So that was pretty exciting.

In addition to weaning Alex from the nightly feeds, Alex has been indicating that he no longer needs his late afternoon nap, which was only 15-30 minutes anyway. So for the last couple of days, I've been keeping him up a little more between waking up and his nap and between each nap so the naps are later. He's still adjusting, but seems to be doing fine. This is great because it gives me time in the late afternoon to go out with Alex and do stuff, where before he was only ever up for about 2.5 hours at a time, and once you feed him and change his diaper and such, that doesn't leave much time to go out.

So overall, it's pretty exciting. I'm glad my boy is such a good sleeper. That Sleepeasy Solution really worked for us. I'm glad I found that book.