Category Archives: work

These days

It’s been a while since my last post so I thought I’d do an update on what we are doing these days.

*We started preschool last week. By pre-school, I mean me take 30 mins – an hour, about 3 days a week to do some intentional play, reading, and crafts. Now that E will be two next week, both boys get to participate. Mostly this has resulted in E throwing fits when I put the colors away because he wants to keep going. 

*Z and I started “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons”. He’s really interested in reading. I’ve modified the lessons a little and told him we will do 10, and then he can decide if he wants to keep going. A lot of research shows it’s most helpful to many kids to not start formal, structured learning until they are 6 or 7. Generally, I agree with this research, which is why “pre-school” is pretty casual in our house and I’m not pushing the reading lessons all that hard (thus the letting him decide if we go past 10). [He won’t start kinder until fall of 2019. We have tons of time.]

*Baby girl is set to arrive in 8 weeks.

*We moved E into a big boy bed on Z’s room. So that is a new challenge.

*This summer has been tight between work slowing down and OB bills, but we have hopefully made it past the most difficult period. Work is picking back up and my OB pre-pay plan has likely been met.

*With the help of some birthday money gifts from family, daddy built the summer birthday boys a sandbox. We’ve been having fun with that. (Sand everywhere! Hose downs before coming back in the house.) 

*As we approach being in our new house for almost a year, we’ve finally gotten around to selling some things. Vases, chairs, shelves, dishes, and such. Stuff we didn’t have time to sell before we moved last year. That’s been both a challenge (taking pictures, writing up descriptions, determining prices, and posting online) and a relief (cleaning up clutter, making space, and having a little extra cash).


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Filed under baby, birthday, kindergarten, pre-school, reading, school, summer, work

“Someday” is Now

I’ve been blogging about my heart history for the last few posts. You can read about when I was born, my open heart surgery at age 2, and how having a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) has affected my growing up years.

I’ve posted in the past about how pregnancy could effect my heart. It turns out, after I was able to carry two wonderful precious babies, my heart has in fact has some negative change.

First – because I can – here are some of my favorite pictures of my boys. I love them to bits!


The day my youngest (E) was born.



Are they not precious?! Both of these photos of the boys are from when we were still in the hospital. (Z on the left, E on the right)



Twins, two years apart. Z on the left – 5 days old. E on the right – 9 days old.



Love, love, love this!


Cankle to Ankle

These two pictures show just how dramatic the swelling in my leg was after my second child. Later, I was told that this is considered “symptomatic heart failure.” Which makes sense I guess, when you only lose .8 pounds after having a 7+ lb baby … something must be amiss.



From September 9th – it took this long for my leg to go back to normal.

All of this to say – yes – pregnancy had an impact on my heart. HOWEVER — and this is important — This is NOT the reason for what I’m about to say. It had an impact of timing, but it’s not the reason.

So on to the news:

“Someday” is Now.

Meaning: I’m getting a heart valve!

We met with the surgeon this week and I am currently scheduled for a Valve Implantation on May 17th. May 25th  (updated to reflect new surgery date)

[It’s not a valve replacement or repair, because I don’t have anything to replace or repair. 🙂 ]

We were able to ask a ton of questions and are feeling confident that this is a good decision and the timing is right. It is considered “non-emergency”.  That’s the entire reason my doctors have kept such a close eye on me all of my life – to figure out exactly when “now” should be. While not an emergency, it is necessary because at this stage, they expect my heart to return to “normal” size since the pumping function has not been compromised (yet).

Mostly, we are wanting everyone to know so that you can be praying.

Prayer requests:

*Peace of mind for both JJ and I (I’m feeling ok about actual surgery – being put out will be better than the c-sections. Recovery – not so much. I’m dreading that and looking forward to late summer when, hopefully, I will begin discover energy I didn’t even know was possible.)

*Clarity and discernment on when and how we explain to Z what’s going on. Thankfully, due to E arriving via c-section, he already knows that Hospitals & Doctors “Help people”

*Work for JJ now, so he will be able to take some time once it’s surgery and recovery time

*A good plane ticket price for my mom as she flying here for the surgery and some of my immediate recovery time

*That Insurance will cover everything. We expect it to – but – you never know.


*Great doctors that are experts in their field

*We finished our emergency fund – a few weeks before we learned this was what our spring contained


I’ll be continuing to do some blog posts regarding my heart and up coming surgery. I’ll answer some frequently asked questions and such. Also, when May 25th arrives – this blog (not facebook or twitter) will be the best place for updates.

Thanks for stopping by. I know I have friends and family all over the US and Canada, the world really. Since I already had an established blog – we thought this would be the best way to let every one know what’s going on.


Filed under baby, cardiology, work

What’s New

So we had a bit of an unexpected additional ‘Debt Snowball’ setback this month.  I was laid off.

It does not change the current process of our baby steps, since we are already on hold and trying to save up money in the “crisis fund” but it does mean the “crisis fund” will grow much slower than expected.

So the next three months, I will be applying for unemployment benefits, and looking for work.  There is a chance that some contract work will come up and I can at least be making a decent income. We’ll just have to wait to see what happens.

As for when the baby is born in July – most things are up in the air right now how all of that will play out. Thankfully, I do have the option of picking up COBRA – so myself, and eventually the baby should be covered. The cost of labor and delivery has not changed – other than the fact that we now pay for my monthly medical premium.

The other good news it that my husband’s freelance work had picked up quite a bit as compared to the last fall and winter.

Other than that – we had two baby showers in the last two weekends. We are almost set and ready for the baby to come. The only items we really still need are the car seat, diapers & wipes, bedding, and a few items for our “diaper changing” desk.  And the ergo baby carrier – but the carrier is a luxury and not a necessity. 🙂

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Filed under budget, employment, work

While I work

I’ve been working from home for a couple of months now and since most of my work consists of me interacting with the computer – and hardly ever people, I enjoy listening to podcasts while I go through out my work day.

These are all free through iTunes, so that’s probably the best place to find them.

Here are a few that I listen to on a regular basis:

The Relevant Podcast: Put out by the folks who make Relevant Magazine, this podcast touches on issues of Life, God, & Culture. They have interviews and live music sets.  They go over new media releases, odd bits of news and often have some type of silly game. They also go on large tangents that usually have me cracking up.

Stuff You Should Know: This is put out by individuals from “How Stuff  Works” – Topics are wide sweeping and very informative.  I find the hosts to be a nice touch of personable and entertaining. This is an older podcast, so make sure to download all the old issues.

This American Life: An hour-long program with different stories all related to one topic. Sometimes reading, sometimes interviews, sometimes comedy.  (this one is a little hit or miss.  sometimes good, sometimes deletable)

Stuff You Missed in History Class: Also put out by “How Stuff Works” –  Similar to the “Stuff You should know podcast, this particular one focuses on historic events, people and places.  This is also a long running podcast, so don’t forget to go back and download from their archives

The History of Rome:  As of today, 141 issues spanning from “In the Beginning” to Constantius & Constans (sons of Constantine I believe)

The British History Podcast: Just like its sounds – the history of Brittain.  This one is new, so there are only a handful of issues so far, but it’s been interesting. And the podcasts average around 20 minutes.

All Things Considered:  From the BBC, this 20 or so minute podcast explores  religious, spiritual, & moral issues in range of formats, such as documentary, interview, and discussion.

RadioLab: Typically an entertaining “scientific” investigation of one main idea. they pick a topic (such as time, or language) and put together a show with stories, interviews of experts, sounds, and information. It’s hard to explain and probably just needs to be experienced.

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Filed under itunes, radio, work

I started working

Thus, less posts. 🙂

I’m currently doing contract work for a local university, helping transfer their old website to the new one – and plan out better organization of content and what new content they need.

It’s a challenge, but I am really enjoying it. And I get to work from home which is an interesting dynamic.

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First Day

I start a temp/contract job today. Well, technically, we had a conference call and I did a little work yesterday, so I guess yesterday was my first day.

I’m working for a local university, helping them with their new website.

It should be fun, and right up my alley.  Although, the CMS (content management system) will be a nice learning curve.

It’s going to be nice to be able to work from home. Having money come in will be nice as well. 🙂

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Mondays look very different now.

Actually, it starts before that. Sunday evenings are different. I tend to anticipate things.  For example, my Sunday nights used to consist of looking at the clock and calculating how much time left in the weekend I had.

Now, I don’t calculate how many hours until my Monday Morning Workday starts. Yes, I still get up on Monday Morning and get to work, but it’s different. And Yes, I realize this reprieve is (Hopefully!) very short lived. But it is different. And for the moment – a good different.

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Closing Down

I’m closing down my bank account today – finally got everything matched up with my husband’s account. Not quite in time though – still charged a $12 fee yesterday. 😦

I also need to take in the most recent batch of rolled “Pennies for Debra” which is around $10. (Almost covers the bank fee.)

The SpamBots are starting to pick up my email address and link it with job finding. Look SpamBots – I am an Email Specialist, I know what good email looks like and I know what junk email looks like. *Reported & Deleted.

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Filed under pennies for debra, work

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

I have a consultation with a client today. We will be discussing their goals and objectives to best plan how they should implement social media to better engage with their customers.

I’m also planning on drinking Shamrock Shake which will then require me to brush my teeth extra well before my afternoon dentist appointment.

PS don’t forget to finish your bracket. They close at 12 pm EST. Still looking for a group to join? Play on Yahoo with: “Win Troy’s Stuff”

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Filed under shamrock shake, work

Working from Home

This is a new experience for me.

My hubby works from home all the time as a freelance “creative problem solver” (check him out here), but I’m not used to being in my house all day, working, losing track of time, and never seeing people face to face.

So here I sit in our loft (because heat rises and the rest of the house is freezing!) typing, reading, and thinking.

Perks of working from home:
Working in my pajama pants
Making BBQ on the grill for lunch
Having the entire contents of the pantry and fridge at my bidding for an afternoon snack

Thing I miss about office life:
Laughing with coworkers
Collaborating on ideas
Working quickly as a team – almost well oiled machine
Celebrating accomplishments together

Where do you work? And what are the perks of your situation?


Filed under work