Thursday, February 28, 2008

more busy, and some somewhat good news

First, the somewhat good news. As a bit of background: earlier this month, hubby received his paperwork to sign up for health insurance. But the company had had a delay in getting the paperwork to the newly-eligible employees, and he only had 36 hours to turn it in before the deadline. We decided not to go w/ the company insurance, and instead look into getting some private insurance. Well, we didn't start the "looking-into" process until after the deadline, and were sad to find out that maternity coverage would be either nonexistent or would be as much as we were paying for COBRA anyway. I had hubby bring home a benefits book b/c we couldn't tell from the enrollment paperwork if maternity was covered under their plan or not. Well, it is, but the next open enrollment isn't until January (effective that same month also). But, at least we knew so we could try to plan.

Then today, hubby calls me and it turns out that he CAN still go ahead and sign up for insurance after all! I still had the other copy of the form at home so we went over it together and signed up. :) Now we just have to wait on our cards, and hopefully Lydia's doctor is covered. I couldn't find the name of the insurance company or a way to check the provider directory in any of the paperwork. It'll all work out though, I'm sure.

My to-do list from a few weeks ago has changed. I've finished some things, and decided not to do others, and added a few different things. I still have my store open over on Hyena Cart, and have also joined a congo, which is a group of stores all under one "roof." Everyone in it is going to have new, in-stock items at once (the first and third Wednesdays). So part of my recent accomplishments have to do with that new congo that I'm a part of now.

Recent accomplishments:
- finished crocheting the play food for the congo's grand opening day
- finished crocheting the FFS (free for shipping) items for the congo's pre-opening sale
- took pictures of the above items and got the listings ready to list

New to-do list for March:
- do some transcription if work is available (2/28 only)
- work on Lydia's skirty as time allows (I've figured out a way to make a pleated crocheted skirt and am going to make a wool diaper cover using that method)
- finish pants for one of the April outfits for sale
- use the pinking shears on the completed outfits
- finish all four pillowcase dresses
- try out the new rolled hem foot on a curved edge (I'm waiting on this in the mail)
- make melon redondo dress
- crochet play food for the 3/19 in-stock date
- re-do state and federal taxes (I've received both refunds, but got one more form in the mail after I sent it off, so I have to send in a revised return for both of these entities)
- crochet the food for the first April in-stock date
- make Lydia's 15 month well-baby appointment

Friday, February 22, 2008

bobbing for.... sippy cups?

The way she's trying to get her sippy cup reminds me of bobbing for apples.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

releasing some woes

Just felt a need to unload a few woes here so I can stop dwelling on them. I know that God will take care of us and He knows what's going to happen in the future (b/c He's already IN the future, like I saw on a local church sign the other day), but it's human nature to worry a little. Or a lot sometimes. Typing it out (in addition to prayer, etc.) sometimes helps me to release it.

Woe 1: Our COBRA will end at the end of this month. Hubby's work only gave him about a day to review the benefits sign-up paperwork, and he decided not to do it and that we could just get private insurance for cheaper. Which we can, but it won't have maternity coverage. That's not going to be a huge deal since we're planning a homebirth for future babies, but on the off chance that we have to go to the hospital, then nothing will be covered. His open enrollment isn't until January, and will be effective that same month, so we have a whole year to wait for that.

Woe 2: I'm getting nervous about hubby's job. It seemed like such a blessing at first, but he keeps telling me that people get let go if they don't make their sales goals for 3 months in a row. And not just if you're still new, either, but anyone. And it doesn't matter if you're doing all that you can to try to sell a car. Hubby makes appointments over the phone w/ people, but then they reschedule and/or don't come in at all. After that, he still makes the appropriate follow up calls to try to reschedule again but usually these leads just fizzle out.

Woe 3: Also related to hubby's work... our income for the next couple of paychecks is looking to be VERY thin. Tomorrow is the last day of a pay period, and so far hubby has sold ONE car. The customers just haven't been coming in at all. I'm hoping that he can squeeze out 2 tomorrow, but if tomorrow is like the days up there have been, then there will be no sales tomorrow either.

Woe 4: My business is just squeaking along. I have tentative plans for a bazaar at the end of April, but I'm working on lining up help for that and getting an inventory started. As for regular sales, my mother-in-law has been my only sale this month. She is going to take them up to her work, though, and try to market me there, so maybe I'll be able to get some sales that way. And I am going to be in an Easter basket collaboration with a few other work at home moms, and then in a "conglomoration" of stores in April (trying to sell something that I've never made for sale before... should be interesting). And my samples box is going on sale tomorrow, so they should bring me some business too. So this woe isn't as woeful as it could be.

Woe 5: Lydia's still taking her own sweet time with development. She still has a whopping zero words. She doesn't even have any "nonsense" words that she uses over and over again to mean the same thing. She will finally stand on her own for longer than 3 seconds, but I can't put her in that position and she still prefers to be down closer to the ground. She will walk along with us, but only if she has a death grip on us with BOTH her hands (i.e. she won't walk by holding onto just one hand). BUT she is VERY happy most of the time and healthy and just a joy to be around. So this woe doesn't really "count" either.

As for those first few woes, though, I really want to release them from my constant thoughts. I know everything will be OK... I just don't know HOW.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

busy busy busy

Wow, I am busy. I have a big list of craft items with deadlines coming up before I really want them to, and that's of course apart from my regular household obligations.

Since I'm still in the first year of my store, a lot of what I'm doing is marketing-related. I need to get my name out there and get some word of mouth referrals started. But meanwhile I also have a few non-store crafts, the first of which is a set of Valentine's washcloths. At church, there is a whole pew of widows, and some of us are getting together to make them some Valentine's gift bags. I'm making a dozen washcloths. They are my first attempt at tunisian crochet, and I'm making a heart design right into the stitch pattern. I am finished with the tunisian part on all 12 of them, and now will just have to border them. I should be able to finish these by tomorrow night and give them back to the girl who's assembling the baskets.

Then next on the list is a green scrubby w/ a rainbow border for my mom. I made her a Scrubcloth over the holidays, and she wanted a scrubby by itself as well. I made her a purple one already but during a recent phone conversation, she said that she wanted two. So this green one will be her second one. I haven't mailed the first one yet b/c I'm also still waiting on something to send to my dad. There's no real "due" date on this one, but it'll just take half an hour so I'm going to squeeze it in as time allows.

After that, I am going to make some Easter-themed play food. The site that my store is hosted at has a TON of stores, and several vendors are getting together to make a couple of gender-neutral, one-size-fits-all Easter baskets to auction off. I'm very excited about this project. The due date is March 1, when I will need to send the items off to the person who will assemble the basket.

Also for Easter, for my own store, I want to stock several little beaded headbands. I may just skip that whole project, though, depending on if time allows. But the due date on that one, if I do it, is also March 1.

Last month, I made 60 miniature Scrubcloths to be sent out in a box of samples. Several vendors get together and send their samples to a central person who assembles them into boxes filled w/ random samples, and these sample boxes get purchased. The boxes that I'll be a part of will go on sale the middle of this month. I'm going to try to participate in this box again in April, so a due date to get 60 more samples done is March 15 or so, so I have enough time to mail them off. This is another one for as-time-allows.

I've also been planning on March to be when I introduce tie-dyed diapers into my store, so I need to snatch two days in a row to do the dyeing (one for dyeing and one for washing the excess dye away). I have March 15 as a due date on this one also.

Then in April, I am going to be part of a "conglomerate" ("congo" for short) that has a rotating membership. Each week of April I'll be stocking one or two girly clothing items. The due date on making these items is April 1.

Finally, at the end of April, I may be able to participate in a bazaar at the Regional Sweet Adeline's competition. I've been to this bazaar before, but as a shopper. I'm still working out whether I want to participate and exactly HOW I want to participate (like just taking samples to the bazaar and having people order them, or making up an inventory, or a partial inventory and letting people buy those and then ordering other items, etc.)

Phew, what a LIST! It would seem that I have enough time to do all this, but I'm also still in a "peak" transcription month, so that eats up a lot of time that I could be crocheting or crafting. But, since it's all written down with each of their individual deadlines, I should be able to get it all done. :)