Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

A little update

Last week was a busy week for me. I'm still trying to juggle my current ER job and start my new business. I'm really looking forward to October because I only picked up 2 4-hour shifts in the ER to give me more time to focus on the business. So hopefully I get some clients. Having a business is kind of fun in some ways, my company bought me a new super cool cell phone and I also got a new printer/fax machine/scanner. It's kind of stressful in other ways though, for example, the monthly expenses far exceed the monthly income right now, but I am confident that this is only a short term problem.

This weekend I got a bushel of peaches from my cousin-in-law down the road and my sister Natalie was here too, and brought some pears she picked from a tree in her yard. She had the idea to make fruit cocktail... so after a belated birthday celebration for her at Sophia's house of pancakes, Natalie and Francie came over to my house to get to work.

We made 24 jars of fruit cocktail and 21 jars of peach jam.

There were 2 casualties of the day though. I decided to save the peach nectar after we were done with the peaches, so I poured it into a quart jar and was holding it in my hand to tighten the lid when it slipped out of my hand... fell to the floor... burning my arm... chipping my tile floor... spilling a full quart of sticky peach nectar all over the kitchen floor. Let's just say both Natalie and Francie were really glad it was me that did that and not them!
The other casualty of the day is that when we were all done with our 3 batches of peach jam, and were cleaning the kitchen, we found one unopened box of sure-jell. So that means one batch isn't really jam, but just peaches and sugar. So today I get to figure out which 7 jars that is and re-do them. FUN, FUN. I guess that is what happens when you have 3 people trying to make jam. We all assumed someone else put it in.

Anyway, when I was putting the pictures of the peaches on the computer, I noticed that Francie had gotten a hold of my camera since I'd checked it last. I love it when she does this, usually she uses her own camera and then I miss out, but I guess she must have forgotten hers, cause she used mine. Here are a few pictures she took of Tony, who by the way, is so cute these days. He is like my little puppet, he will do or say whatever I do or say first. If you do a stupid dance, he will too, if you laugh really loud or obnoxious he does too, cough, sneeze whatever, he will mimic you. It is really cute. And since I haven't done a blog post just about him, I will tell you a few things about him.
His favorite TV show is Barny, he LOVES LOVES LOVES it! Can't get enough of it, when it comes on he screams BARNY!! and jumps up and down. Don't touch him or talk to him when he is watching it or he will get mad and push you away.
He only eats vegetables in the raw, but will pick up a cucumber, tomato, pepper or any other vegetable and just start eating it like an apple. Until he's done that is, and then he just throws it on the floor and Brewster (the dog) finishes it.
He loves to be outside or at work with his daddy, Todd has to sneak out of the house every morning because Tony gets so mad when he leaves without him. If he even suspects Todd is getting ready to leave he runs to him and grabs onto his leg. He could sit in the truck or tractor all day if you let him. He has lots of toys and tractors in the garage to play with when he's stuck at home with mommy, but they don't even come close to the excitement of going to work with dad.
Okay, it's 8am and I hear Tony awake upstairs so I better wrap this up.

Yes, I know, he needs a hair cut.

Monday, September 7, 2009

County Fair 2009

The last hurrah of summer is the county fair the 3rd week of August. I took Tony last year too, but he was a bit too small to really enjoy it. This year was better for sure, he LOVED the animals, but was a little too short for most of the rides. Hopefully he will grow a few inches this year and next year will be even more fun.

Nothing quenches your thirst on a hot day like a Hush Puppy!
Tony loved the animals, he thinks they all say "boo" It was kind of embarrassing every time he saw a horse or cow he'd yell really loudly "boo".
He thought the goats said 'boo' too.
He was especially fascinated by the chickens, I had to pull him away from them kicking and crying.
This little baby horse was so cute.
Tony thought the rabbits were pretty cute too, until I tried to get him to pet one, then he wanted as far away from it as possible.
This little girl was so cute I just had to take her picture. I wish I had gotten a full body shot, she looked like an orphan, all dirty with mismatched clothes, and holy shoes. She was the proud owner of 3 rabbits all with at least 6 babies each. She appeared to be there by herself, so after she told me they were all her rabbits, I asked her if she took care of them all by herself. She looked at me and said matter-of-factly "I have a mom and dad!"
Standing in line for one of the 2 rides he was big enough to ride.
The other 1 of 2 rides he could go on.
Jack rode with him on this ride. I love this picture because Jack is being so sweet to Tony, look how he has his arm around him.
He loves his cousin Kristen, he was so excited to see her at the fair.
A consolation prize on the way out.

A day in the life of...

My sister Rachael so kindly pointed out that a good majority of my blog posts are updates on the patio. Well that is because people keep asking me to post pictures AND it's super easy to blog about that since there is very little typing involved.

Anyway, here is another blog post that isn't about the patio, but about Bella.

Bella is 5 months old now and growing cuter and a little bit chubbier everyday, she is such an easy baby. I'm so glad she wasn't my first child cause I would have been spoiled for sure.
Here is what her days are like: (so I can look back and remember)

8 am wake up. This is my favorite part of the day, getting her out of bed in the morning, she is always so happy. She is still swaddled up at night (except her arms) and she is just smiling and wiggling when I go in to get her up. It really makes getting out of bed, no matter how tired I am, totally worth it.
Then she eats - still just breastmilk for now, but we plan to start cereal in a couple weeks. I remember with Tony I couldn't wait to start feeding him food, but now that I know how much work it is and how messy it is, I am in no hurry to start. I have given her a taste or two of cereal, and she really seems to like it. I'm hoping for a better eater with Bella than I got with Tony. I also plan to make all her baby food. I always thought that the reason Tony is such a picky eater is because after eating all that bland tasteless food his taste buds were ruined, so when I tried to feed him anything with texture or flavor he rejected it. I call that the Gerber curse.

Then after breakfast we play and hang out with Tony.
10 am is nap time, and I can usually get her to sleep for 2-3 hours.
1pm up and eating again. Then she gets a bath and dressed for the day.
1-4 we hang out, and play some more.
4-6 nap time again.
6 -8 eat, play and hang out some more.
8:30 she is down for the night.

See what I mean by easy? Although add an almost 2 year old into the mix and things aren't quite so easy anymore, but we manage. Most days are good, but I wont lie, going to work every now and again is a nice little break. Although, I only feel that way for about an hour or two, and then I am ready to go back home and be with my babies.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of her from the summer.
Look at these legs, are they not the fatest little legs you've ever seen? I love them though, they are so cute.

This was taken the week of the fair that was soo cold in August. One of the few times she has worn shoes.
All dressed up for Sabbath School in the dress that her Auntie Nay Nay made for her.
Tony never really liked this toy, but Bella sure seems to.

Bella in her crib in the morning.

Two weekends ago Todd and I had Bella dedicated to Jesus and Rachael and Derrick's daughter Kristen was baptized. We decided to to a little program together since our parents live in NY. Rachael was on the ball and blogged all about it quite a while ago, but most of the pictures are on my camera. So I will just post the slide show and then refer you to her blog to read about it: Thoroughly Exhausting but Exciting Weekend.

Friday, September 4, 2009

My New Job

I've always wanted to have my own business. A long time ago back when my sisters and I worked as aides in a nursing home we used to talk about opening a group home someday. Not just any group home, but a totally awesome one that every old person would love to live in, with a 'feels like home' atmosphere. Well, that never really amounted to anything more than an idea, but over the years I've had a few other ideas, that again amounted to nothing. Well recently I decided to act on one of my ideas. I had a job assignment that involved going into a patients home and doing private duty nursing. I was assigned the job through my agency in Kalamazoo which is 65 miles away.
So it was on my second day of driving out to Kalamazoo to the patients house that I started thinking that I could do this kind of thing myself right where I live without an agency. I called my friend Michelle at 6am and woke her up, cause I decided that she would be the perfect person to go into business with. Yes I could probably do it by myself, but I didn't want to, I think my chances of success with a partner are way better than on my own. She was also super excited about the idea and quickly got over the fact that I woke her up at 6am.
We did some checking into it, and there are quite a few companies in the area who offer companion care, or aides, but not really any that offered RN's for skilled care. Okay there was one, but they wanted $100 per hour and as much notice as possible so they could 'find a nurse', not very reassuring and who's gonna pay that?
We have done most of the behind the scenes prep work and we expect to have our business license in hand in a couple days, our lawyer filed the paperwork with the state already and we are just waiting to hear back. As soon as we do we can get our business cards printed and start looking for work. We can't print the business cards until we hear back from the state because they rejected our first business proposal name. Apparently 'Private Nursing Services' could mislead people into thinking we are practicing medicine. I don't exactly agree with that, but I don't make the rules, I just have to follow them. So our new proposed name is 'At Home Private Nursing'. It's not really all that different from the first name, but our lawyer seems to think it will be accepted.
So far we are funding the business ourselves, the start up cost is less than what we lost in the stock market last year, so I think it's worth the risk. We have talked to a couple banks about getting a small loan or line of credit in case our business grows fast and we need to hire other nurses. (Michelle and I can work for free in the beginning if we have to until we build up some money, but I don't think that would go over very well when we hire employees) Apparently though the banks want a business plan before they will give any loans out. The business plan that I have in my head is not what they are talking about either, they want an official business plan which is a book with all kinds of info in it, you have to do market research for your services and the need for it, get info on your competition, revenue and expense proposals, worst and best case scenarios, etc etc. I guess that's where that bachelors degree in nursing would come in handy. At least for now we can get started without a loan, and work on our business plan in the mean time.
Anyway, we are very excited about it. We are not sure which direction it will take us. Our focus will be providing 4 to 24 hours of care in home for patients who need skilled nursing care, who would otherwise need to be in a facility of some kind. We are thinking respite care and newly discharged patients from the hospital will be where we start looking for clients. We have some other possibilities we are looking into as well, but I don't want to tell about it until it's more official.

Oh and this is just another one of my excuses for my lack of blogging lately. Starting up a business is rather time consuming. I really hope it pays off.


Okay, here I go on a blog roll, I have been slacking terribly on blogging this summer. I blame it on the fact that I have been without a computer for a good part of the summer, which means I can't put pictures from my camera onto my computer and then onto the blog. Okay, that is just one of the many excuses I have. But get ready, cause over the coarse of the weekend I plan to get caught up. I think I will do a lot of little mini posts, that way if I get distracted I can just do a few rather than put the whole thing on hold and then end up with nothing.

So here goes #1 Patio Pictures

This is my back splash with shelves

kitchen area, the grill and cooktop go here

the bar

First fire
New steps down to the deck

a closer look at the steps
the new landing
The new front steps

First Post: - check