Friday, January 27, 2012

Not Back with a Vengeance

Oi, well it's been a LOOONG however-many-months since I last wrote a post.  I realized I would much rather read someone else's very awesome post than try to come up with witty verbage all on my own.  I'm infamous for dumb one-liners, so trying to write an entire post usually comes up with little success.  Hence the various unfinished rough drafts. 

I'm checking back in mainly for my own sanity.  The blanket business has more than taken off and I'm overwhelmed, to say the LEAST.  See, way back in June, during my last post, things were good.  Hubby started his new position in the company and I was making a little bit of extra money with my Etsy shop.  Then, we took a look at our bank statement and realized my husband was set to make about $10 grand less in his new position than his previous one.  Um, wha?  Then my blankets started flying off the sewing machine and now I'm an entrepreneur to make up for the lost income.  Not only do I work my day away as a chemist, but I also slave my nights away as a seamstress. 

I know I shouldn't complain about success, but I never intended for this to take off as an actual business. I am beyond grateful that the blankets are doing well. Just in November and December alone, I made more money in actual profit than I did at my day job.  Now, listen, we don't live extravagantly.  We do have a house and two cars and cable and a flat screen TV.  But I don't go shopping every weekend and we seriously cannot afford (nor do I want to with two kids that can't stay in their seats) to eat out more than once every three weeks.  When the kids want to play or do something fun, we do crafts around the house or go over to see the kids next door.  Alex and I haven't had a date since my birthday in December.  It doesn't feel like we're living beyond our means, but we were constantly struggling with finances before the blankets took off.  And now with our third kid on the way due in July, we have a few more financial things to worry about.  Help me, Jesus.

So, yes, in that regard, I am very pleased that my business has allowed us to not worry about our finances and to save money for a larger house in the near future.  But I would like one day that I don't have to answer 20 e-mails and conversations with people that are interested in a $15 blanket.  One day where I can finally catch up on laundry and not have 8 loads hanging over my head to be put away.  One day where I don't have to schedule my love life around the amount of time I need to finish these last 4 blankets before I go to bed.  It's exhausting, but in order for us to survive, it has to be done. 

My sister has been a huge help the past week.  She's volunteered (if I pay her with home cooked food) to help out with cutting the blankets, trimming, and organizing material.   It's fantastic.  Once we get into a better rhythm, I'll finally be able to go to bed before midnight.   

I'm complaining about the lack of sleep and overbearing laundry, but I'm hoping that with enough saving and motivation, I'll be able to stay at home with the new baby for longer than 8 weeks and just start working part-time. 

And no, I don't have any New Year's resolutions.  I just want to have a healthy baby and not get too many stretch marks.  The stretch marks are definitely pushing it, I know.

Friday, June 24, 2011


I like to do things backwards. I like to start off big and then come back to the small things. It doesn't make the best business sense, but I'm a chemist, not a business person. 

For instance, most women become mothers after they have been wives.  Not me!  Yes, Miss Valedictorian and Full-Ride College Scholarship got knocked up before I got married.  Shocker, right?  It seriously was.  My then boyfriend (we weren't even engaged!) and I were having a few problems. A semi-long distance relationship and a jealousy streak rocked us a bit.  For me to focus on school and maybe live a little, I had planned on breaking up with him the next weekend I was home from UK.  Turns out the reason why I couldn't lose weight and I had to take a nap every day was from the pregnancy hormones.  A positive test the Wednesday before I was going to break the news stopped me from doing so. 

It was so fucking hard to realize this.  As a person that grew up with two parents that bickered constantly and fought every single night whether they were married or not, I had resigned myself to never getting married, let along bring children into the mess.  I was in the middle of my junior year of college and here I was, with a growing belly and no ring on my finger. 

Alex proposed to me the next Friday while we were at the Kentucky Horse Park under the Man of War statue.  It was actually very romantic.  We've been married for three years so obviously it's working so far.  By the way, I did not get married while I was pregnant. I was not going to share my wedding dress with my son.  How embarrassed would he have been?

I continued to go to school at UK, but had to quit my job as a resident advisor.  I got an apartment in a trashy part of town for a few months then moved back home.  I commuted to UK (about an hour and a half drive) two days a week.  I took a nap in my car and tried my best to fit in the tiny college desks.  Do you know how excruciating it is to sit for 50 minutes when you have forty extra pounds of water and baby resting on your bladder and hips?  And watching the thin sorority girls that you used to look like, walk past you and not meet your eyes?  The boys that would laugh watching you try to scoot into a desk?  It wasn't exactly the easiest time, but it was my fault that it happened.  I wasn't blaming anyone besides myself. 

The hardest thing about it was being different.  For the first time, I stood out in a crowd. I was the little white girl with a huge belly whose ankles were so bloated, she was embarrassed to sit down for fear her cankles would show.  I had an identity crisis.  People saw the beach ball, not me.  They saw the ring, but didn't see the wedding band.  Everyone was judging, weren't they?  I was a pitiful mess.

Then, Xander came into my life.  I gave birth to a HUGE little boy and he was mine to love and to take care of and fuck everyone that judged, I was a MOTHER! My belly may not be a six pack and flat, but I've got stretch marks, a big fat scar, and a pooch that tells everyone that I gave up my body to bring my vibrant and extremely energetic son into this world. 

I finished school with reasonably good marks and graduated with my chemistry degree.  I did it as best as I could because I wanted to provide for my son.  And for his little sister that we found out about 11 months after Xan was born. 

I don't think being a mother is easy at any point in life.  It was, however, the best thing that has ever happened to me.  It made me reorganize my priorities and work harder for things that needed to happen.  Would I be in the job that I'm in right now, own two cars and a house, and be able to afford to start my own  business on the side?  I know that I wouldn't be in this position.  My son changed my life and I'll be forever grateful to him.

That's why I will wipe his butt until kingdom come. I love you, Xander. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Why Can't My Husband Think Ahead?

Is it really difficult to think about what might happen in the future?  I mean, Harold Camping had the foresight to think that if the rapture didn't happen on May 21st, then how would he go about keeping the money that people had given him?  "Oh, we'll just move this rapture thing back a few months," he thought.  Simple.  If a fucking crazy idiot like Harold can do it, then my intelligent and young husband can do the same.  Well, SHOULD be able.

I'm allowed to rant, so if you seriously do not want to hear this, then you may move on.  You get a 'get out of jail free' card, to use the over-used monopoly expression.

This week has been a truly crazy week.  My online blanket business - - has consistently gotten at least one sale a day for this month (which I think is pretty awesome!), so on top of trying to keep the house relatively clean and the laundry at least washed and dried, I'm trying to do at least three blankets per night.  Now let's throw into the mix my favorite (and only) girly nurse cousin, Lindsay, coming home after being away for 8 months in Washington at a military base, her bachelorette party, and her wedding this Saturday (four hours away!).

Knowing how nuts this week was going to be, I set out a schedule of things that needed to be accomplished by Friday morning when we would leave for the wedding.  Blankets until Wednesday, bachelorette party Thursday and pack after that.  I offered to be the DD for the Bach. party, so I needed to clean out  my van.  Hubby owes me a favor so I ask him to clean it out Wednesday night after the coming-home party.  Note: I sent a text Wednesday and I asked him *straight to his FACE* if he would do it for me that SAME night. 

He didn't do it. 

I bought him a phone Wednesday so that he would stop complaining about it his current one and he had to look up every single YouTube video about how to work his new cell phone (he doesn't have it yet, mind you).  I cleaned out the van on my lunch hour the following day and did not get to eat.  So, yes, I'm a bit beyond pissed at this point.

I send him a text and the convo goes as follows (I don't use proper punctuation when I'm upset):

Me: Thanks for cleaning out the van last night
Him: Really.  I am doing it tonight.
Me: I asked you to do it last night
Him:  We were at your freaking mom's until after nine.  I didn't feel like vacuuming the car in the dark with all of the bugs eating me alive.
M: That is ok.  I did it during my lunch hour and didn't get to eat
H: Well that is your fault. Sorry I didn't do it late last night. I was going to do it today after work.  Thanks for being patient.

OH MY FUCKING GOD.  If it was legal to kill my husband, I would so fucking do it at this point. I was livid.  Livid!  I wanted to go Kung Fu Panda on his testicles and shove a pineapple up his ass.  Then throw him into a pit of hyenas after cutting his wrists with razor blades.  Have you ever felt that kind of anger and hatred towards someone that you're supposed to love?  No? Just me.  Ok then.

Apparently, he had forgotten that I was DD.  If I had just reminded him (a third time), he would have done it. 

And then, to top it all off, we didn't get home from the bachelorette party until after midnight.  I still have to pack the kids' clothes and steam my dress for the wedding.  Guess who's asleep on the couch with the TV still on and NONE OF HIS CLOTHES PACKED?  Could it be my husband?  Could it be that he didn't think ahead to the weekend where he would need clothes and shoes and toiletries and all of that good stuff when we would be 400 miles from our house?  I had to work at 7 in the morning and wouldn't have time to pack or do anything because I was leaving straight from work to go to the wedding city.  It had to be done that night.

He called me irrational for being upset because I didn't tell him to do it.  I didn't tell him to pack his clothes for the weekend that we would be away.

If I'm in prison for the next few lifetimes, you'll understand why.

Men, I know you hate when women nag at you to do things.  That's why I made a vow to never do that to my husband.  I did not want to be the nagging wife.  Yet, if I don't, he'll never get anything done or accomplish anything that doesn't involve his motorcycle, mowing the lawn, or organizing his workshop.  How do I approach him to do the things that need to get done?  I've had this conversation/argument with him before.  I've asked him nicely to do things and it works for a few days but continually slopes back to where he does nothing.  I'm tired.  I can't do it.  I have to make a list of things for him to do and I don't want to.  Why can't he just KNOW what needs to be done? 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hello, Mom

My mother has found my blog.  It's all over for me, people. 

I came into the house yesterday after work and she came up the stairs, half-laughing and half-crying.  I wasn't sure what to think and then this tumbles out of her mouth..."I found your blog."

Well, shit.

I'm happy to know that I have at least one reader, though. 

Mom, thank you for everything that you've done for me since I was born, including nursing me, teaching me to sew, and driving me to swimming, academic team, winterguard, softball, marching band, jazz band, pep band, and everything else I was involved in.  You're my homey-g-dog and I love you.  Hopefully that makes up for everything stupid I said about you.  Forgive me and I'll buy you an Emerson's cake.  M'kay?  Okay!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Am I the only person in the world that thinks that midnight blue and black just don't go together? 

Like this god-forsaken, shapeless dress...

And these shoes.

I'll be wearing this to my cousin's wedding.  I guess it's true about the bride wanting her bridesmaids to be uglier than her.  She is going to ROCK that show. 

Her bridesmaids will look like old maids.  My 19-year old sister that has a bangin' bod' will look like a square.  I'm changing into my halter dress and hot pink wedge heels as soon as we hit the reception.

Now that's what I want to wear!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Going Crazy

I'm having a hard time being the jack of all trades and master of none.  It's starting to wear on me.

Obviously, working full-time and raising two young kids is no easy feat.  Waking up at 6 a.m., getting ready for work, working nine hours, picking up the kids, making dinner, getting them ready for bed and trying to get some housework done is beyond exhausting.  My oldest, Xander, is even starting to use the word 'Exhausted'.  I suppose I say this too much to him, because, yes, his nearly 3-year-old energy (on top of everything else) is exhausting. 

And it's almost his birthday, so I have to clean my house (that's going to take a week), make his birthday presents, and figure out some fun games to play.  Oh, and the dinosaur cake!  That's going to be awesome!  Last year, I made cow and pig cupcakes and a huge farm complete with barn and silo.  This year will be stegosaurus and T-Rex.  I have to figure out some dinosaur cupcakes.  Any ideas?

To add to everything, my business is actually doing pretty well.  At the end of January, I started  my own on-line business SewChem on Etsy.  It's awesome and I get to do everything that I love, but holy Jesus.  I have a hard time keeping up with the orders, messages, and custom requests that my customers want.  I made a nearly impossible deadline for each blanket, three to seven days, especially if I have more than two orders. 

My husband also believes that I'm not selling my blankets for enough.  The hours and care that I put into each item is considerably more than what I sell it for. The materials aren't inferior, the skills aren't inferior, it's just what I think people will agree with and buy from me.  I agree with him, but everytime I try and change the prices, I give myself sticker shock.  My mind reels when I come up with these numbers and I say to myself, "There is no way I would buy this blanket for this price! If I wouldn't, who else would?"

In all reality, someone else would.  It's just finding those people and marketing to them.  But, if I market to them, I feel like I'm leaving out the people that just want something really nice for a reasonable price.  People like me. 

I take three hours out of my day to size, embroider, hem, and sew the perfect blanket.  And I sell it like I'm some Asian sweat-shop child (although my new hair cut makes me look like a 12-year-old and it's not exactly cool in my sewing studio).  I did analyze my motivations behind my prices and it wasn't that difficult to figure out, although I'll never tell my husband - I think I sell for what I do because I want to keep sewing.  I don't want to have to stop and clean my house constantly, like before.  I want to have a hobby that is all mine and know that I can contribute to the baby shower which happens frequently in my large Catholic family. 

So, the prices are staying where they are.  I like what I'm doing even if it only brings in enough money to pay for the electricity to run my four sewing machines.  (I know, I know.  But I use each one!)

It's difficult finding a balance between an affordable price and the RIGHT price.  Just like it's difficult balancing work, kids, husband, and sleep. 

Whoa!  Sleep?  What is that?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Today Is a Random Day

I have a few things going on that I need to get out of my head.  That's why I have a blog.  Not so much to get the readers (though if you do read any of this, which doesn't seem likely, then Thank You!), but to put down some mildly cohesive thoughts so that I can visualize them and really see what I mean.  It's fun to analyze in hindsight. 

The biggest thing jumping on my brain is a job offer to one of my previous companies (let's call it company S).  Note: I haven't worked in many companies (three to be exact) because of college and babies and I'm not quite old enough to have changed careers...yet.  I've only been in my current position for eleven months (at company M).  The job that I had before was with a temp agency because no company was hiring chemists during the slump of the economy.  I worked at company S for eight months, with a five-week break to birth, nurse, and bond with my daughter.  They continually e-mailed and called, making sure I was coming back. It's safe to say they liked me. 

When I was offered my position at Company M, my boss at company S quit and wanted me to interview for her position.  Then the temp agency called and said they had a lab manager opening for full-time hire.  Bah!  I was pulled in three different directions at once.  Ultimately, I decided to go to company M because it was exactly what I wanted to do and would be making a lot more than my then current position at company S.  It was a secure job and doing exactly what my degree was meant for. 

Now, I'm again at those cross-roads.  Company S has another job opening for A LOT more than what I make now and it's the same distance from home and the same work hours as my current job.  The director of research called me and asked for my resume and when I was available for an interview.  (See, still safe to say they liked me.)

Sounds like a no-brainer, but it's not. I wouldn't be blogging about it if it was.  The work that they do is not anything like what I'm doing now.  They only instrument I would ever touch is an instrument that measures elasticity.  No ICP, moisture, SEM, PSA, GC, FTIR...nothing.  I'd be at a computer typing in formulas and making new formulas.  Possibility of a lot of travel as well. 

What to do (if I do get offered the new position)?  Do I negotiate my salary at my current job?  Do I go ahead and take the new job offer and if I don't like it, quit after a couple of years and go on to bigger and better things?  My current company is very sensitive to the economy.  The previous company (or new company?) flourished during the recession. 

I wish I could do both.

On another note, I have a craft show in a month and my son's birthday in a month.  His party is the day before my craft show which could turn into a disaster.  But, hey, I did it to myself. No one else to blame but this gal here!  Der. 

This weekend, hubby and I are going away.  We're booting it out of town sans kids.  It's going to be AWESOME.  He isn't letting me take my serger.  Butt face.