Insomnia

This last week, Wallace has had three nights where he was awake, keeping me up, for multiple hours. There’s no apparent reason and he won’t just go back to sleep. The first night I handled it well enough because I went to bed at 8pm and then he slept in until 9am.

Last night was not so good. I went to bed at 10:30 and we slept in just a little bit. I’m at that place where I am too tired to drive far and feel like I’m going to get a migraine. It’s a shame he won’t sleep because we were supposed to meet up with friends today and play in this 50 degree sunshine. It’s too far of a drive for me and I’m grumpy.

I’m sure this is developmental and totally normal, but I’m so over it. He just grew an inch after a week of behavioral hell.

Being a stinker after gymnastics.

Our pre-dinner bike ride yesterday.

Posted in Parenting, pictures, Sleep | 1 Comment

47 Months

My baby is almost 4! How did I make it this far as a single mom? Four years ago, I was hanging out at home (my dad’s house) crocheting, waddling around in all weather, watching DVDs from thw library, and going to my weekly checks with the midwife. I was on a countdown to baby and it felt like any day I could wake up to Christmas. Four years ago, I wrote this lovely post:

Back to present day, this 47 month old baby of mine loves trains, is a ball of energy, and loves some hugs and cuddles. He is obsessed with babies and can’t wait for me to have another. He generally sleeps through the night, wheh! He is always telling us stories and trying to make us laugh.

Oh, this kid!

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Awe

This morning, my baby found his toes!

I’m sure he has done this before but it reminded me of all the pictures of little chubby babies with their toes in their mouths. Wallace never did that. I didn’t realize he missed that milestone at the time because I was busy worrying about his weight and his lack of holding his head up, rolling, and sitting.

He was just discharged from OT again, but he still has hypotonia. He has a weak core, arms, and hands and his knees and feet hyperextend. It’s not going to go away, despite the huge gains he made with trace minerals, and he will always have the effects of this. There’s a chance he will have more injuries than other kids and will likely have to work hard to gain any sort of muscle mass or tone. He fatigues easier than other kids, too.

It’s his sheer determination and enthusiasm that has gotten him walking, jumping, and learning hand stands. I’m hoping his love for movement continues to drive him and maybe one day we will have an answer as to what has caused his hypotonia.

Christmas 2014, shortly after learning to walk and before his first pair of orthotics.

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Bam! And Bullets

My mom sent me a text that she forgot her glasses, so I got us ready to get out the door. As I was clearing off the snow and letting the car run, I went quickly around the back of it and instantly landed on my ass/hip. My first reaction after “holy shit!” was to call Wallace to me. Thankfully he didn’t hear me as he was on the opposite side of the car staying on the sidewalk.

Needless to say, I hurt. Bad. The drive to my mom’s school was excruciating but I prevented my mom from getting a migraine and Wallace got to play with the kids and pretend he goes to school. The kids really liked it when we visited last, and any distractions are a bonus. (My mom teaches a mixed age/ability class for kids who are visually impaired. Sometimes it’s hilarious and usually Wallace doesn’t get that they can’t see.)

As we walked out the door to head home, I turned back to ask which door I could use to exit. Then I overheard them talking about me. Lovely.~ After we ate lunch, I made a rice pack for my ass and proceeded to wallow in pain a little, which isn’t much considering Wallace, who proceeded to have worse and worse behavior as the day went on. It doesn’t seem like I need an x ray but I’m thinking I need to see a chiroperctor sooner than later.

Some Bullet Points

  • When talking to Wallace about finding a new haircut, he found this, which is not the direction I was thinking of going.

  • My Amazon sales are amazing but not enough to get on the road yet. It appears we are in a slump for book sales right now so I’m trying to get more product in, reprice regularly, and look into a repricing program. I think I want to do amazon sourcing full time for a week then head to a homebase campground and hang out and ship for a week. We will see.
  • Wallace likes chocolate pudding made with avocado and I can generally get one good serving of vegetables in him a day.
  • I need new pajama pants.
  • I had really solid sleep last night where I woke up only once and then Wallace woke up after 7. I think it is thanks to a guided sleep meditation and Head Ease.
  • In a couple days, Wallace will officially be 47 months! (I’m looking at you, LRC…)

I’m tired and feel mildly whiplashed, so it’s time to eat a second dinner, get my rice pack on my butt, and go to bed.

Posted in background, body talk, family, Parenting, pictures, RV living, Single Mother by Choice - SMC | 2 Comments

MicroBlog Monday: Train Party

Wallace is pretty train obsessed and I’m sure living within sight of a busy freight track is part of it. It started when I got him a used Ikea track and train set at the same time that I was babysitting for a family with a train obsessed 3 year old. Though Wallace doesn’t remember any of that, I have been encouraging it and so has the online shopping Gramma.

I think we have finally convinced him of a train themed 4th birthday party! He was insisting on a pink party as last year was orange and I was hoping for something with more substance. The deciding factor was showing him train cakes and how we can make a number 4 with train tracks on it. Something like this:

http://www.blueistyleblog.com/2015/06/TwoEasyTrainCakeOptions.html?m=1

He is liking the idea of a 4 appliqué shirt with Thomas fabric and a whole train conductor’s outfit. I already have birthday presents for him, which are so far a fort building set, a kid’s digital camera, and Fisher Price skates. It pays to shop at thrift stores for my work (see yesterday’s post).

In other news, I can’t believe he’s almost 4…

Posted in Microblog Monday, Milestone, Parenting, pictures, Single Mother by Choice - SMC | 4 Comments

Books, Boxes, and Barcodes

Since my semester ended, I have been throwing myself into my FBA business. I have been focusing on books while also dabbling in CDs and video games. When I started this last winter, I was swamped with school and also trying to mostly sell retail items I found at Walmart and other big stores. Books are my niche though as I grew up at Borders and then worked for them as well. I also hate big box stores and prefer the low upfront cost of used books. I have managed to more than triple the number of items I’ve sold this month from last… Progress!

So what is FBA, or fulfilled by Amazon? The gist of it is that I scan used books at library sales, thrift stores, and garage sales, using a handheld scanner that connects to my phone and a couple different apps. I then determine if it is profitable and likely to sell and assess the condition of the book. I buy them and when I get home the real work begins.

A dolly full of books from my second of three trips to a library book sale.

Next, I have to create a listing by determining a price and condition and writing a description. I really hate shopping for books online only to find a copy-and-paste description of the condition so I put in the extea time and effort of writing a quick description. With my lasy shipment, I sorted them into stacks of like conditions so I could paste it a bunch of times and then write a new one, etc. Once that is done, I use a blow dryer and label peeler to get the stickers off, and a microfiber towel and rubbing alcohol to remove any sticky residue or dirt. This is labor intensive but important as bad reviews and returns do happen. My years of retail and customer service experience have taught me that presentation is important.

There are constantly stacks of books and sometimes super heros need a nap.

Finally, I search for each book’s listing in my database, select them all, create a shipment, print and apply the labels on each book, and pack them up in a box. Packing includes weighing and measuring the box and then printing a shipping label. My last shipment was four boxes, two of which were 50lbs each.

I’m considering buying a foldable dolly and I need some real canvas bags for shopping.

I take the boxes to a UPS drop off and then wait. Once Amazon has received them, I start watching my sales increase. I also have to adjust prices manually, though I will be investing the time and money in a repricing program soon as I have over 200 listings in stock. For a fee, Amazon stores my product, places it in front of the customer, handles the transaction, ships it to them, and takes care of any customer service issue. There is an advantage to FBA over merchant fulfilled as so many people have Prime accounts now and want their purchases right away. I also pay for a scanning app that is superior to the free ones and makes scanning and deciding much faster, which is crucial when Wallace is with me.

I have been creating business goals to get me to the level of income we need to be self sufficient and on the road. Though I’ve already tripled my sales, I now need to quadruple them and keep them there! I am determined to make this happen and am setting myself up to get there.

Have any questions about FBA or third party Amazon sellers? I knew nothing about this and rarely shopped online before I started so I have learned a lot!

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MicroBlog Monday: Goodbye Chocolate

It seems I am finally gluten cross-reacting to chocolate. Even the very clean Enjoy Life chips. I am so sad. I don’t have a whole lot of earthly pleasures I partake in so this was my one treat. I will now have to stop eating chocolate and see if my symptoms subside. I have been almost completely AIP compliant for many months now with the exception of nuts, chocolate, and the occasional regretted candy. Did I mention I am sad? I have been in denial for a couple weeks. I think I will put my chocolate chips in the freezer and hope that someday I can get them out to reintroduce. This diet/protocol isn’t for the faint of heart but it has already dramatically improved my life.

Posted in background, body talk, food, Linked Up, Microblog Monday | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments