Thursday, April 27, 2006

dear farmboyz

thank you so much for your lovely, encouraging, & supportive comment about my son's naughty mat. thank you also for insulting my occupation. i truly appreciate it. please continue to visit often and leave your valuable comments so that i can spend all of my day deleting them. hugs.......

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

nss right around the corner

it's officially less than one month until i leave for the annual national stationery show in new york. even more, it's only two weeks until my shipment has to go out with everything i will need! it's always such a rush to get everything done and out the door in time.

this will be my fourth time at the show. you'd think by now, i'd have everything planned out and ready to go. every year i tell myself that i'm going to re-use everything from the year before to make my life easier. then, somehow, plans change and i end up doing things way different than i planned. with each year, i learn something new.

this year i'm trying to maximize our set-up time as much as possible. it will probably still take an entire day to set my booth up, but our time and efforts will be used in much smarter ways than before. i probably have close to double the products i had last year which means more time setting them up. so i've tried to find ways to cut the time out of other places.

i'm also trying to save some money this year. instead of getting my foam core walls color matched to a specific pms color, i'm opting for white and bringing in color other ways. hopefully saving somewhere around $400. not a bad savings! i'm also opting to bring my own lights this year. instead of spending something ridiculous like $400 for them to supply and hang crappy lights, (like i've done in the past) i went to home depot and purchased my own for under $30....and i can re-use them every year! so just between those two things, that's a super savings of almost $800!

hopefully with some cooperation from the little dude, and a little help from the big dude, i'll be able to wrap up most of the packing for the show this weekend. there's always last minute stuff to contend with, but if i can get the majority done, i'll be feeling a lot more comfortable. wish me luck!

Monday, April 24, 2006

a visit from our local police dept. (or: our neighbor needs a naughty mat)

on saturday night around dinner time, our doorbell rang. it's pretty unusual for us to have unexpected guests, so the hubby and i gave each other the "who could that be" glance, and i got up to get the door. when i rose from the couch, i could see a squad car parked out in front of our house.

i answered the door, and sure enough, a police woman was on the other side.

rewind to thursday night....the hubby went out to our front porch when he arrived home from work to get the newspaper. he brought along with him a plain white envelope with a printed sticker on the front that read something to the effect of: large brown dog loose in neighborhood.

we opened the letter and found a detailed breakdown of dates, times, and information based around our next door neighbor's experience with another neighbor's dog. it seems that this dog has been loose in the neighborhood and has charged at people, including our mail lady, who has not been able to deliver out mail on several occasions because of it. it seemed like your basic, concerned (and mildly angry) neighbor informing his other neighbors of a potential danger. that is, of course, until you got to the final, completely capitalized, paragraph detailing the angry neighbor's sharp shooting skills that he acquired in some prison training. ummmm....yeah. 20 out of 20 shots within the size of a grapefruit from 100 yard to be exact. ummmm......double yeah.

so we decided to throw the note away (which i now regret) and move on with the agreement that we would keep our distance from said neighbor.

so back to saturday night....i open the door to greet our lovely, local police woman. she asks if we received a letter from a neighbor in the past couple days. we said that we had. she then asked if she could come in and talk to us about it a little further. we happily let her in and she began to ask us questions about the note. you could tell that she was being very vague about her questioning as to not lead us into any answers. things like: "what was your impression of the letter?" and "if the letter was about you, would you have called the police?" and "if you would have called the police, what would have been your reason?" you could tell she pretty much wanted us to say that the letter was threatening and crazy....which we did.

she then asked if we would be willing to provide a written statement about our opinions of the letter. i asked her if our name and address would be associated with the statement and if it was open to the general public to view. she said yes to both. i politely told her that i didn't feel comfortable making a statement that contained our personal information....especially since we live next door. she completely understood and said that some other neighbors felt the same. i felt really bad not providing the information in writing as i think the situation definitely needs some attention, however, at the same time, i don't need to be this guy's next target. she said that she would make a note of it in her statement that certain neighbors didn't feel comfortable in providing written statements. i'm hoping that will be enough.

it's strange how things like this come about. we had briefly met the man in question this past winter when the hubby helped clean snow out of his driveway because his snow blower was broken. he actually came by with a gift certificate for us as a thank you. (it was for an oil change or something like that). he seemed nice enough. it's funny how certain situations change people and/or their actions. i'm hoping he's normally more like the man we met, than the crazy man in the letter.....for the safety of everyone involved.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

introduction to the naughty mat

we have officially implemented the naughty mat at our house. for those not familiar with a naughty mat, it's basically the same as a time out, but there is a small square of carpet involved. when the little dude misbehaves now, we bring out the naughty mat and put it in the middle of the room where he can't reach, or be entertained by anything. he's not allowed to move from the mat until we say he can.

it's amazing that after only one trip to the mat, he figured out that he was not allowed to get off of it. for the first couple days, he would scream bloody-murder the second he was placed upon the mat. however, no matter how upset he was, he would not leave it. pretty impressive how quickly they catch on to these things.

i'm not sure that it's working much. it's really hard to tell what he's getting out of it at this age since he can't tell us. however, something needs to be done. he's purposely disobeying and thinks he's the boss of everything. we're trying to nip this in the bud.

for the first time today, he didn't cry when we put him on it. i'm not sure if this means he doesn't care anymore, or if he's realized that crying isn't going to get him off of it.

anyone else have any great parenting advice for a disobeying child?

this parenting thing is difficult stuff!

Monday, April 17, 2006

hard to believe....

that it was just snowing here a couple weeks ago!

on saturday, we took a walk down to the lake (michigan). it was a little brisk, but still lovely for april. we live only three blocks away, so it's nice and convenient. since we moved to this house in november, the last few weeks have been the first chance we've had to get out and enjoy being so close. saturday was the little dude's first time in the sand. he seemed a little unsure at first, but after 5 minutes he was all about the sand! it's so cute to see your child explore and experience new things. here are a few photos of our little jaunt.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

items of note

there are several items i need to touch on today:

first of all, thank you to everyone and your ever-so-sweet comments on my last post. i truly appreciate have no idea what it means.

an update on the same subject: my dr. called back today with information from her colleague. it turns out that i'm going to start this new medicine! i'm still not getting my hopes up, but the specialist thought that i should start the meds because even if i end up going all the way to ivf again, it will help in that process too. so either way, it doesn't hurt to take it. the only problem is the side effects. i have to be "weaned" onto it. it's actually a drug often used for diabetes patients (i know, weird...i won't go into details) and it often causes major nausea and fun things like diarrhea! yippee! so i start out pill a day. then i work my way up to two pills, twice a day. so we'll see. hopefully it helps.

now, on to more exciting and fun news! one of my easter cards was featured on a new website! check it out! —modish— thanks to jena for the feature!

Monday, April 10, 2006

excitement and then....disappointment

had my dr. appt. today to find out what kind of "treatments" we could do to help assist in our baby making. my dr. suggested some things that my past drs. had never done, so i was pretty excited at the possibilities. she sent in the prescription and everything. i was feeling pretty positive about the whole thing.

then....we talked some more. i started telling her more details of our ivf session that she didn't know. like the fact that we had 22 eggs retrieved and even after an expensive ICSI treatment, only 3 of them ended up fertilizing. not great all. after hearing that, her whole demeanor changed. suddenly she wasn't so sure we should "waste" our time trying the meds she had suggested earlier. i was beyond disappointed. she said she would make a phone call to a colleague of hers to ask her opinion on the situation and then get back to me by the end of the week. i'm not very optimistic.

we really need a miracle right now....we just can't afford another round of ivf....unless, of course, we win the lottery! anyone have a winning ticket they want to get rid of?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

end of the quarter

it's hard to believe that a quarter of this year has already come and gone!

another review of my goals for the year. first my business goals:

1. sales have been better than last year overall. march pretty much sucks as far as sales go. it's typically a slow month and this year wasn't much different. my sales as of the end of the quarter are more than twice what they were last year at this time....i'll take that.

2. i have been designing on a MUCH more regular basis. it's amazing how many new products/designs i now have for the stationery show. i've been very inspired lately. not sure where it's coming from, but i've been jotting ideas down since they seem to be coming faster than i can develop them. that's always a good thing. there's nothing worse than sitting down to design and coming up blank.

3. i think i'm doing a much better job at updating my website. it's not like i have a ton of new information to add, but i've been keeping up really well with adding new retail stores to our "find us" section. i would like to update it again with some images of newly developed products, but i'm going to wait until my reps have them first.

4. my retail site is officially up and running as of last friday! yippee! one MAJOR item off my list! i really need to get the word out some more, but that may have to wait until after the stationery show.

5. i've been REALLY on top of writing my press releases! i've already sent out 3 this year. i distribute them via an online service which rates all releases with a numeric score. 5 being the best. my first two got 4's which i was crazy about! my last one (which was about my retail site) scored a 5! special thanks to erica from paper bride for teaching me how to write a good release!

and now my personal goals:

1. i have not lost ANY weight! grrrrr! i did join the gym and i try to go at least twice a week. i know it's not much, but at this point, it's about all i can handle. i enjoy going when i go, but i just don't feel like i have the time to get there more. i have been trying to scale down on my portion sizes too, but that doesn't seem to be helping. i really just need to find the time to go more. if only there were 48 hours in a day!

2. i've been trying really hard to spend more one on one time with the little dude during the day. sometimes it's hard to change gears when i'm in the middle of a project, but i try to take small chunks of time during the day to interact with him on a more personal level. he loves it when i get down and chase him around the room. he giggles and runs like frankenstein with his arms straight out in front of him for balance. he makes me smile.*

3. the whole trying to have a baby without infertility assistance is not going well. i won't go into details, but i'm going to see my ob/gyn next week where i plan to talk to her about our options and see if we can try some lower level assistance before resorting to the expensive invitro fertilization we went through last time.

4. paying off our debt: we are still working on this and started a cash diet for some of our expenses to help keep within our budget. at this rate we will have one student loan and all of our credit card paid off by the end of the year.

5. i'm not doing well at not swearing.

6. i haven't watched any less t.v., however, i'm trying to do other things while i'm watching. currently i'm working on a collage for our newly redone kitchen. i feel a little better about doing this rather than just laying around on the couch.

ok, i think that covers about everything i addressed in my original goals. (that i've had a chance to work on) overall, i think it's pretty good progress.

*my office assistant helps watch him during the day, so it's not like he's being ignored altogether while i'm working.
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