Teaching my Child at a Retail Store

I love all the benefits cities (especially the cute little ones like Boise) have to offer for education. There are great museums, discovery centers, the zoo, the aquarium, etc… Unfortunately, they aren’t cheap! Luckily there are discount days and coupons you can find, which helps a lot. However, there are great alternatives that are free! We love going to Cabelas! It is very close to our house and so much fun for Maddie. They have a large fish tank that Maddie can go and look at the fish and large animal displays where we point out each animal, say its name, talk about the animal (they also have information there you can read about each animals) and imitate the sound that animal makes. Granted when she gets a little older this won’t be as informative as the zoo or aquarium, but for now, she only wants to look at the same thing for 15-20 minutes anyway, so hanging out in the aquarium part of Cabelas for 20 minutes is a much better deal than paying for an hour (the last 30 minutes of which she’s probably ready to go anyway) at the aquarium!
Please be kind to retailers though. Be sure children are being well behaved and never make a mess! Retail employees have to go through enough as it is! We usually buy something small (like a little stuffed whale or I get the cinnamon covered almonds sometimes) to be kind to business.

Another great retail store is Lakeshore Learning. They have free crafts every Saturday for kids and for regular days they have an excellent learn/play area for kids! 🙂

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On not yelling at my 2 year old

I honestly don’t believe everyone is cut out for Motherhood, I know a few mothers (mine being one of them) that I’m like, yep you were born to be a mother! I don’t think I was, but I really wanted to be a mom, and it is a greater blessing than I ever could have imagined. I’ve learned so much from my short time of being a mother and it has truly made me a better person.
That being said, I struggle, A LOT! The most difficult thing for me to learn is patience. I have to make a conscious effort every day to be patient, then I have to reflect every night to see where I could have done better. I have found something that works really well for me to not lose my temper with my 2 year old. I play it out in my head first. I have an active imagination so this is easy for me to do, here’s an example:
Earlier this evening Maddie wanted milk, so I went to the kitchen to get her a glass of milk. As I pulled the cup out of the cupboard she said “No, I want the baby cup!” Which I think is actually a shot glass, but she calls it her baby cup. So I grabbed the “baby cup” instead and filled it up with milk. As I was handing it to her she stomped her foot defiantly and said “no I want the simba cup!” At that point I felt my temperature rise, my heart beat a little faster and my breathing was a little harder and I really wanted to yell. Lucky for me I have very consistent body clues that let me know I’m about to lose my temper, so at this point I completely take myself out of the moment (like my daughter isn’t standing in front of me) and play out what will happen next in my head, oh and I try to do this like I’m an outside person so I can see my face expressions as well, this is how it goes:
Me: (face a little red, eyes with an obvious look of irritation and in a louder, harsh voice): No! You said you wanted the baby cup! Now take the baby cup!”
This will definitely hurt Maddie’s feelings and she will run to the nearest soft object (in this case the couch) and throw herself on it and cry because I hurt her feelings).
Then I will realize how ridiculous it was that I just yelled at my 2 year old for changing her mind about a cup and feel like a horrible mother and spend the next 10 minutes trying to make her feel better and ultimately probably new milk in the simba cup.
A lose-lose situation all around.
Don’t worry I can actually act that whole thing out in my head pretty quickly, so she wasn’t standing in front of me for very long wondering why Mom was zoning out.
Anyway, after acting this out in my head it was very easy for me to kindly and lovingly tell her “this is the baby cup you wanted Maddie, drink your milk.” Then I handed it to her, said I love you, and walked away. No crying, but not giving in either.
I really believe our children will emulate us more than we realize, so it’s very important to me that I use kind words toward my daughter. For the obvious bonding and developmental reasons but also so she sees that as how you should treat others, to use kind words and not yell.

Generation Y and the Great Divide

I read a blog post the other day that really made me think about some current social issues, specifically with my generation (probably because I’m self centered and am focusing on myself) which apparently is stereotypical of my generation… the world revolves around us! 😉
Generation Y is the generation with birth dates approximately from the early 80’s to the early 2000’s, so I pretty much fall smack dab in the middle. Anyway, in this person’s blog post, which I apologize I can’t find at the moment, but if this sounds familiar to anyone and you know who I should be giving credit to please let me know! I will keep looking and update this if I find it also.
This author explained, through very impressive imagery, why Generation Y is so depressed. Basically, we grew up thinking all we had to do was go to college (or in some cases just graduate high school) then we would instantly get a high paying job that we loved of course, a beautiful house with a luscious green lawn, a happy marriage with kids, and a dog, and we would just love everything in life! Seriously, we watched way too much Disney growing up!

Unfortunately, that just isn’t how the world works. It’s called a Fairy Tale for a reason.
My generation seems to think they should have the job they want plus they should make just as much money as everyone else in every other job. Well… that’s ridiculous. If you went to school to be a doctor you should have known going in you would rack up x amount of student loans and you would come out making x amount of dollars with an x percentage that there would be a job available in your chosen field when you finished college. If you went to school to be a Teacher you probably won’t make us much money as a doctor, everyone knows this, so why are we mad at doctors for making more than us? I mean, it’s not like this is news to anyone, you chose your field…

My Political Science teacher in college told us about a few years he had spent living abroad and he said their society didn’t care as much about the amount of money the other person made or what profession their friends were in, they were pretty much friends with the kids they were friends with growing up until the day they died. One would be dirt poor and the other wouldn’t be, they made different choices, they didn’t blame the other person for their choices. Why is it that we are making this great divide between the rich and the poor like we are against each other? The have’s blame the have-nots for not working hard and the have-nots blame the haves for not giving more. The blame game is stupid and never solved anything!

If we continue to blame everyone else for our choices (for instance I’ve chosen to largely be a stay at home instead of pursing a career in Management) which means I won’t make a lot money but I decided I’d rather be poor and build a strong relationship with my kids than have a lucrative career. I’m good with that decision because I made it, so I’m not going to hate those that work their butts off to make a lot of money.

In order for our generation to get out of this depression slump there are probably a few things we should consider. First of all, your life is not that bad. Maybe you live in a small run down apartment, or with your parents, and you are living off Ramen Noodles…. you still aren’t homeless or starving so you still have a better life than most of the world. Also, anyone reading this post clearly has access to internet and is literate… still better off than most of the world… you don’t have it that bad. Second, avoid a sense of entitlement like it is the freaking plague! It will make you depressed. As soon you start thinking, “Well Suzie has an easy job making a lot of money and a fancy house, why can’t I have that?” You have fallen into a sense of entitlement and you will never, ever be happy until you get out of it! This isn’t easy to do, I struggle with it on a daily basis, men make more money doing the same job, I wish I had an easier time being pregnant, why can’t I have the energy my mom has… when I start going there I try to pull myself out of it as fast as I can, because it’s only a path to misery! And Finally, stop comparing yourself to other people! You are not them, and thank goodness because if we were all the same life would be boring! Can you imagine if there were 100 Kim Kardashian’s in the world? There would be more reality TV shows than anybody could handle! So stop comparing!
Be happy with your life, even if it’s not what you thought it would be. If there is something you want different that you have the power to change, then change it, if you can’t change it, stop stressing yourself about it, it’s a waste of time, you might as well find the silver lining to everything and enjoy!

May we all have our own special unicorns! 🙂

The Business of Being a Mom

With the new baby coming, (and having to take a lot of time off work because of the horrible sickness that comes with the first trimester) we have had to make a lot of decisions regarding what we are going to do for earning a living while Rich finishes school and what expenses we can cut back on. This has caused us to spend a lot of time discussing our priorities, looking at our budget and expense reports, and making decisions on what we can and cannot afford in the next year. Lucky for me Rich is being reasonable about baby gear and is okay with our son having a hot pink bouncer and buying used items that we don’t already have, so we won’t have a lot of extra expenses for our baby addition, plus if I made it through breastfeeding with Maddie, I’m sure I can make it with this one too.
Through this process of budgeting I’ve realized how similar running a household and running a business can be! No wonder so many stay at home moms have created extremely successful at home businesses.
Our big budgeting decision for this last month has been whether we are going to send Maddie to preschool or not. We did a lot of research on the different preschools and daycares that called themselves preschools, and what we found was we could send Maddie to a reasonably priced preschool that was only a little more educational based than a daycare or we could send her to a good preschool such as the Challenger School that is $200 a month for 7 hours a week. When your food budget is $150 a month, $200 seems like A LOT of money!
Finally, we decided to not send Maddie to preschool and I started researching homeschool preschool. My older brother, younger sister, and I were all homeschooled through elementary school and we loved it. Also, we were ahead of all the other kids when we went to public school, so there is no doubt in my mind that I can give Maddie as good an education as she will get from public school. Luckily we are living in Boise, Idaho which is a very family friendly city and we have found a lot of free educational activities here that will benefit Maddie’s preschool education without breaking the bank.
Today we are at the Public Library, it’s free to get a library card and they have a huge children’s section here! Without a doubt a lot of books at a young age are great for childhood development, and thanks to a free library we can have a large collection with great variety of books at home without having to spend a lot of money on books (even the discount $1 store books start adding up quickly). Also, the Library here has a lot of toddler activity times so Maddie gets great interaction with other kids that she would be missing otherwise if she were to just be home with me all day. They have story time twice a week, coloring time twice a week, and music and movement… all for free. At the moment Maddie is putting together puzzles with another girl about her age while I’m writing this post. Did I mention they also have free WiFi here? Awesome!
Great free preschool tool of the day: the Library!
Also, they have a lot of curriculum and homeschool books you can check out here… hmmm… I might just have to follow in my mother’s footsteps and homeschool in the early years!

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Top 5 Things to Be Aware of When Buying Used Cell Phones

We’ve had quite a few customers come in lately with sad stories of great Craigslist Phone Buys Gone Wrong!! Yes, there are times when it makes A LOT of sense to buy off Craigslist, often people need quick cash or things come up and you can buy some awesome phones at half the price of a brand new phone retail. But it can be an expensive “Oops!” if you aren’t careful.

1.BAD IMEI OR ESN: Each phone has a unique number that is called an ESN, MEID, or MEID, but they are all the same thing, it’s the number your carrier needs to attach that specific phone to you and your account. Verizon and Sprint customers are usually already aware of this because their phones aren’t Sim Card Based. However, recently T-Mobile and AT&T have added a Blacklist, so a person can’t still someone’s phone then just put their Sim Card in it and it’s magically yours like could happen before the IMEI Blacklist was instituted. If you buy a phone that is Blacklisted (without your knowledge) you cannot activate this phone on your account! So you just bought a descent iPod or a really pretty paperweight, but not a phone. To avoid this problem call the carrier and ask them to check an ESN or IMEI for you to see if it is clean (it is often nice to do this before you meet the person for the exchange if they are willing to share the IMEI with you.

2. Water Damage: Unfortunately a phone can sometimes work just fine even though it is water damaged, but it is a ticking time bomb! Also, water damage voids any warranty you may have. If you take the back off a phone and remove the battery Solid Red or Red Blotches on the indicator of both the phone and battery indicate water damage. A phone that is free of water damage will either have small solid white stickers or white with nice clear red lines. Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy to check with the phones that don’t have removable batteries such as the iPhone, Droid Razr, and the new Windows 8X phone.

3. Charge port issues. Generally when you are meeting with someone from Craigslist it’s at a public place (like a parking lot) so this isn’t the easiest thing to check. Consider having a car charger and ask that you can plug the phone in to make sure it charges before you buy it. Just because the phone is charged when you look at it doesn’t mean the charging port works.

4. Phones that are Flashed, Jailbroken, or Rooted: Do some homework on the phone before you commit to buy the phone, find out what carrier it is on and what operating system it is running. You can learn a lot about a phone by going to settings and about phone, here it will tell you what operating system it is running and what carrier it is on. Ask if it has ever been jailbroken or flashed, if not then they won’t mind you doing a factory reset, (which will also clear all of their personal data). We had a customer the other day who had bought a really nice phone but it was rooted, so when he tried to sync it with his computer he “bricked” the phone, meaning it wouldn’t get passed the Samsung Screen… Expensive Paper Weight!

5. Correct Carrier or Compatible Prepaid: Phones are carrier specific, obviously if you have Verizon you need to buy a Verizon phone. Go to the settings and about phone to find out. Prepaid phone plans are starting to become very popular and save you a lot of money. Check the list of compatible phones with your prepaid before committing to buy a phone. T-mobile phones work great on Simple Mobile, but Verizon phones are not compatible, so don’t buy the newest and greatest Galaxy S3 on Verizon and try to hook it up with Simple Mobile or Straight Talk, because they are incompatible carriers and phones.

Obviously, always use caution when buying off Craigslist and meet in a public place.

If you feel overwhelmed after reading this blog I would suggest finding a local reputable used cell phone store. They will take care of everything for you. 🙂

http://www.gaduru.com/locations for the Boise and Twin area.

A Mother on a Mission

Owning your own business and being able to work from home is the dream right? You will own your job, you can set your schedule, you will be able to spend time with your family, you won’t have to miss your child’s soccer game because your boss wants you to stay at work. Sounds amazing!
Well I’m half way there, I’m working on two different businesses, I can do quite a bit of work from home, a lot of it I do at night after Maddie goes to sleep, which is great. I need one little thing to complete this picture… A BACK YARD! Preferably with my own house.

Right now when Maddie plays outside it takes her about 30 seconds to get to the parking lot. I can’t get very much work done in 30 seconds, so I have to choose between letting Maddie play outside, and getting any work done. Neither of which are very good options. So what can I do to get a house with a backyard?

I did a little online research and discovered there are a lot of other women like me, who are mothers and running their own business. They work hard to support their families, some are single mothers providing the only source of income for their household, some are like me and supporting their family while their husband is in school, or maybe between jobs, and a lot have just discovered that daycare is generally so expensive that you will work just to pay for daycare! That doesn’t make very much sense! We don’t want to pay someone else to play with our kids while we have it work, we want to play with our own kids!

Imagine how much Mothers could do if they were willing to seek out other female business owners and help each other. If you are going to buy makeup, why not buy it from a fellow mother who is a direct seller of make up. You are going to buy a phone anyway right? Why not buy it from another Mother who is working hard to provide for her family. I know that I am going to be more committed to helping other women and mothers in business, so more of us can have the opportunity to own our own business and to be able to raise our own kids instead of having to pay someone else to raise my kids.

Any mothers that are out there running their own business let me know.
I’m ready to do anything I can to help my family get to a better place, and hopefully in the process help a lot of other mothers do the same for their family.

I have two steps to getting a house:
1. Cut unnecessary costs: so we are selling our car, and I’m learning how to ride a motorocycle. Videos to come!! We’ll still have a company car, so don’t worry Maddie will still be safe 🙂

2. Business success!!! I have two businesses going on first one is gaduru: we buy and sell used cell phones, do cell phone repair, accessorize, and have an awesome bacterial resistant screen protector called gaduru glass. http://www.gaduru.com
Second one is reselling services through an online store such as Home Phone, Internet, and Cell Phone: katebaucom.acndirect.com

Support Women in Business!

By next year, hopefully I’ll be posting these in my fully fenced in, kid proof back yard 🙂

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Introducing the Baucom Family

Hello friend’s and family!
Well this is my second attempt at a blog (first one was a crash and burn, and it’s a pain to log into. Plus I’m not very good at providing updates. However, I have realized that Blog’s are the new facebook! And this is how I keep track of all my friends (you know when it is 2 in the morning and you can’t sleep… perfect time to read everyone’s blog and helps to not miss them so much).

Rich promised he would help me, so hopefully it won’t be like one random post anymore like I was doing before. So get ready for some exciting… ish updates!

Plus every now and then I want to be able to post my opinions about things without posting them on facebook. Because sometimes, it’s just necessary.

I have considered creating a cooking blog a few times, so I’m sure there will be a lot of blogs about cooking mixed up in here.

Anyway, hope you all enjoy!

-Kate Baucom

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