1st Day of School – Oh Happy Day!

IMG_3852Well, the kids are at school and I have the house to myself again during the day. I hate to sound like I want to get rid of them, but it sure is nice and quiet.  Bryant, my youngest, walked himself into school this year. It was a sad and happy moment all at the same time. I fully expected him to want to be walked in so when he didn’t I was caught off guard.

 

When you are a mother of 5, the youngest is the one you want to stay little. He is our last. My sweet baby. But he is not a baby anymore and it makes things so clearly seem to fly by. It seems like just yesterday I was potty training him. Now he doesn’t even want to be walked into school. Having an incurable debilitating disease makes you view life a little differently. It is much more apparent than ever how short life truly is. I just hope that he continues to be my buddy a little while longer. IMG_3857

 

I’ve mentioned it before, how my teenagers think I’m not cool and that they know more about life than I. I don’t know if I have mentioned that, although it hurts, I don’t really want to be their buddy. I don’t care if I’m not cool. I don’t care if they hate me some days. I need to instill rules and consequences in their lives. I see so many these days who are more worried about what their kids think of them than they are actually raising them to be good grown-ups one day.  My kids wear name brand clothes, but they are resourceful in getting them. They either own just a few name brand things that they wear over and over again, or they use their birthday, grandparents, Christmas, or whatever other holiday or chore they can in order to attain their clothes. I also use a lot of second-hand shops for some of their items. They know the value of belongings. They don’t always show it, but they know. img_3860.jpg

 

Being the great mother that I am, I never get a group picture of the kids on the first day of school. Today, I didn’t even get a picture of my oldest at all. He has joined the trend of the man bun and he was still working on his hair, of all things, until the very last minute. This is his senior year and he has already signed with the Army for after he graduates. He will then have to say goodbye to his lovely locks. My husband can’t wait. He is not a fan of the bun.

 

Well, school is in so I am going to work today. I am going to work without interruption. That is something I haven’t been able to do since I began this work from home job. Hopefully, I will be more productive and able to get more hours and income.

 

I hope you all are having a nice week. My body still hurts, I am just tired of complaining about it so I won’t this week on my blog.

How To Begin a Work-From-Home Search

workathomeAs many of you know, I have been on a mission to find work from home to support my family and medical bills. I have been at my wit’s end with it and I have searched for what feels like years. In reality, I have only been hard at it for about 3 months. But still, 3 months is 3 months. Because I now have some knowledge of the many different opportunities out there, I felt a need to write about it in hopes to help someone else out.

 

Now I’m not getting rich over here. Not in the least. But, I am making an okay hourly rate doing a job that isn’t very challenging. And the best part –I do it in my pajama’s while watching TV.  After a little time of vigorously looking for reputable work-from-home opportunities, I felt defeated. I had applied for so many, and I would get accepted to some only to find out the pay wasn’t worth the time.  I have come across so many scams that I can’t list them all. Some of these scams seem so legit until all of the sudden it’s so apparent that they’re not, that you feel like a royal idiot.

ratraceFinally, last month I was reading comments on a post that showed up in my newsfeed on Facebook. The original post was, indeed, another scam. I learned very quickly to read the comments on listings such as this before gullibly trusting the pitch. I found a couple of posts that talked about one website they had found to be the best, scam free, work from home portal. That site is www.ratracerebellion.com. You can thank me later. Go ahead and sign up for e-mail notifications with them. They’ll send you daily e-mails on the newest, best listings. Some of these fill up fast so you will want to stay on top of them. I made it a job to find a job.  I was finally getting somewhere when I started to apply for these jobs. I was taking tests left and right and I was finally hired by a company called Appen. Now, this company isn’t the greatest in the world, but it does pay. The testing for the jobs they offer is long and a little confusing.

upworkimage

I worked for them for about two weeks until I found another, better paying job. Here is another little nugget that offers hundreds of work-from-home opportunities. This is the one I am currently using to pay the bills: www.upwork.com

When you sign up with Upwork there will be some tests you can take to help kick-start your profile. Don’t worry, if you don’t make a good score on a test you don’t have to include it in your profile.  You will also want to fill out your work history and write a small bio about yourself. Upload a picture. You don’t HAVE to have a picture, but when you are working for people you will never meet in person, they want to be able to put a face to your name.

I have been scammed once on Upwork. I got an invitation from a company who wanted to hire me and they wanted to talk to me on Google Hangouts about the job. The pay started to sound too good to be true and my guard went up. Then the so-called employer told me that they wold be sending me a computer and a check to have the software installed on the computer. They said I was to take the check to the bank and deposit it and send them a picture of my deposit slip once I had. DING! DING! DING! DING! This round was over for me! The next day I received a check by FedEx for $4,500.00. The guy who I had spoken with about this job the day before was now calling me repeatedly. I told him that I would deposit the check once I received the laptop from them. That only made sense to me. I also told him that I would not, under any circumstances, send a copy of my deposit slip to him or anyone else. That check is still collecting dust somewhere. So the takeaway from this for me was to make sure that whoever you are dealing with on Upwork has verified payment and has actually already paid some other people within the Upwork community.

 

To get work through Upwork you have to send the employers proposals. Some jobs are for a flat rate fee and some are for hourly work. You will see how much they have budgeted for the jobs. Keep in mind that Upwork makes a percentage of what you make and it will be deducted out of your pay once the work is completed. This may scare a lot of people off, but I look at it this way… I would rather give my banking information to one company with a more reputable name than to hundreds of different companies any day. The fee’s that they take are as follows:

  • 20% for the first $500 you bill a client across all contracts with them
  • 10% for total billings with a client between $500.01 and $10,000
  • 5% for total billings with a client that exceed $10,000

This sounds like an awful lot, I know. But if you factor this into your proposals you defeat the problem before it ever becomes a problem.  Also, you can renegotiate pay while working for a client. There is a plethora of help to be found from the Upwork community as well.

If you are beginning your journey to find work-from-home jobs, I hope my approach will help you find your way. A lot of really great jobs require you to have worked from home before. This seems to be the best way to get that experience added to your resume’ that I have found.

I have also been using a lot of different reputable sites to do survey’s and coupon type apps. Again, here you will find a lot of sites are scams. I won’t delve too much into this in this article because that may get lengthy, but I will leave the ones I use to make the most here. Please use these links I have listed because with the majority of these companies, you make money from referrals. Also, the people you refer get a nice starting bonus.

Swagbucks 

Pinecone Research

Ibotta

PointClub

iPoll

Vindale Research

Inbox Dollars

Shopkick

Panel App

Yaarlo

I will update this list because there are more. Happy money maker hunting!

 

It Runs in the Family

I was lucky enough to witness a miracle last week. What miracle is that you ask? LIFE!

My sister finally had her baby. Welcome the newest addition to the family, Mason. Isn’t all 9 pounds 1 ounce of him adorable? Just look at those cheeks!IMG_3549

If you follow my blog you have already read my delivery story in “A Labor of Love and Pain“.  That story is about my first experience with childbirth and this one is about my sisters’ second experience. I was present for both, however, she didn’t really need me for her first. I would venture to say that she didn’t think she would need me for this one either.

I have some memory problems with this disease so the specific weight of her first born isn’t tucked away in my mind. I do good to remember these with my own children. But one thing I do remember is that his head was the largest noggin’ that hospital had measured in 7 years. I don’t know if he still holds that record at that hospital but suffice it to say, he had a BIG head! When she got done delivering him she looked me dead in the eyes and said, “THAT’S how you have a baby!” I wanted to knock her teeth down her throat. I mean, does anyone really think I hadn’t rather taken the easier route? I forgave her quickly because I knew she was under the influence of a lot of pain medications.

I wouldn’t wish my experience in my first delivery on my worst enemy. That would be pure evil. Unfortunately, as the day unfolded, it was seemingly being reenacted by my little sister.

I arrived at the hospital around 11 am. She had started the process of being induced around 5 am that morning. She was still only 3cm dilated. We had a long way to go. She had already been given her epidural but was still in a great deal of pain. Similar to my experience, her’s wasn’t working for her right side. If you recall, mine didn’t work for my bottom half, below the belt. They gave her additional doses several times and things seemed to be getting better -until they weren’t.

The contractions were hurting her so badly that she developed the chatters. They were so familiar and all I could do was hurt for her because I knew all too well what she was going through. It really isn’t any fun at all to see your little sister going through so much pain. Sure, my sister and I haven’t always gotten along. There have been times (as noted earlier in this post) I wanted to wring her neck. There have been times that I just really couldn’t stand her. But she is MY little sister. It is okay for ME to feel that way, but not anything or anyone else. They’ll have me to deal with if it comes right down to it. (scary isn’t it)

My sister and I are two very different people. She tends to take things and blow them out of proportion. Everything is on a much more grand level for her. And that’s okay. Everyone is different. But because I knew these traits existed with her, I knew it was important not to lead on to her that things weren’t going fine with all that unfolded during this day.

Her doctor came in and checked her again around 3:00 pm. She was still only 5cm, but the doctor said she was now considered to be in active labor. She said she believed she would have the baby around 10:00 pm. Not long after that is when the extremely painful contractions began. The baby’s heart rate kept dropping a good bit after every contraction. The nurse was now staying in the room to monitor this.

Things were getting increasingly scary.

The doctor had been coming in and checking her progress every two hours. For reasons still unknown to me, she came in and checked her again about 45 minutes after she told her it would be 10 pm before time. I am assuming the baby’s heart rate issue was coming into play here. To everyone’s surprise, she was ready to start pushing! In hindsight, I now believe this was God’s way of making sure baby Mason was delivered into this world alive.

And so it began:

The doctor made an announcement that they needed extra nurses on standby to prepare for a shoulder dystocia delivery.  I was thinking to myself, “a shoulder dis-what”.  I could sense concern in her eyes and her urgency on the matter. My sister started pushing… and pushing… and pushing… I reminded her that not all deliveries required just 15 minutes of pushing like my mother had insinuated to me all of those years ago. I tried to make light of the situation and encourage some laughter.

She was in extreme levels of pain. I’m not exactly sure what makes those epidurals work so well for one pregnancy and nearly not at all for others. Does this problem just run in the family? Who knows?  In all, she pushed a little less than 45 minutes. Still 3 hours shy of my experience, but still longer than anyone would want for a delivery where the epidural wasn’t doing its job. Between contractions, the doctor was making “serious” eyes at me. I had no idea what she was trying to tell me, but I knew it wasn’t good. I knew she needed someone in the room to know that things could turn out bad. Things may be wrong, stuff could be about to take place that isn’t desirable for any involved. I think my sister also saw the doctor making these expressive looks at me because she kept looking at me and asking “what’s wrong?”

I have never been a good liar. I learned at an early age not to lie because my face always gives it away that I’m being untruthful. I can’t lie unless I have to. You may recall my writing about my acquired poker face. Here I am, using it again on yet another family member. I kept telling her that everything was okay. Just push, I would say. Just. Keep. Pushing.IMG_3550

Finally, Mason made his grand entry into this world. He was huge. He was huge, but he wasn’t crying. Immediately, I noticed his head was bleeding. I assumed it was associated with the force used trying to pry him out of his mother’s womb. You see, he was stuck. And the doctor had already anticipated this. I would later learn from Google and the real life experience happening before me what shoulder dystocia was. You can Google for yourself and see, but the most apparent thing to me was that it was SCARY for all involved.

His color wasn’t right. His head was almost blue along with his arms and feet. He wasn’t breathing right either. My sister kept asking me if he was okay. Me and my poker face kept telling her that he was. Then they sent the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) in to assess him and see if he needed to be moved there.  I looked around the room and told my sister that I sure hoped no one else was ready to deliver because it looked to me like the entire staff was in our room. I lost count of them all. Again, she was asking me over and over what was wrong with Mason. I kept lying and telling her they were just being extra cautious because he was such a big baby. Another 45 minutes later, they were still in the room. Still, this large baby hadn’t even been weighed yet. There were too many other more important things going on. IMG_3534 (1)

He had bruises on his arms, bruises on his head, bruises on his side, but still, he pulled through. He was okay. He didn’t even have to go to the NICU, praise the Lord again!

I returned home and when I got here I got a text from my sister telling me the weight and length of the healthy baby boy that is now known to everyone as Mason. My new nephew. Welcome to the world Mason!! I hope the world is easier on you than you were on your mother’s body. (kidding) You may have come into this world a bruised up baby, but you have left your mark on the hearts of many already.