A Tale of 2 WAHMs

Ramblings of 2 WAHMs - Anita DeFrank and Kara Kelso. Partners in business discuss how we manage successful websites and young children at home.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Latest on the Books

Just when it seemed I had finally got everything in order for my online classes, we hit another roadblock. After picking up my books yesterday, I got right to work on homework, starting on COBOL first since I knew it was going to be the worst. Which, by the way, I did get my third book. Apparently the same class was being offered at the Newton campus with the same book, so they had it in their bookstore all along. Good to know!

After getting one class finished last night, I sat down to read the first chapter in another. Something wasn't matching up with the teacher's syllabus, so I recheck the book title with the one we're suppose to have. Wouldn't you know it - wrong book. Again, no fault of mine since Newton campus ordered the books based on my class registration numbers printed directly from the office. It was actually Ankeny's fault because they switched classes and sent out the wrong books. The one I've got is being used by another Statistics teacher online this semester. Apparently that class got our books, and we got their's.

So now I've got to make another trip to Newton in the morning, and hope they have my book. You'd better believe I'm calling and making them check first. I'm so hopping mad right now it's not even funny. First they sit on the books and don't even send them out until after class has started, then they send the wrong book. I understand accidents happen, but this is a college for crying out loud. Online classes are suppose to eleminate the need for driving to classes for those of us who can't make it to a campus as easy. Also, they are suppose to be setting an example for students in the business world, which so far I've seen a very poor job of. If this was a product they were selling, I'm guessing the customer would have already demanded a refund. Delayed shipping on top of the wrong product - definately an uphappy customer.

A lesson in business - double check and check again to make sure your customers are getting what they ordered in the time frame promised.

Too Many Apples!

I finally made the trip out to my mom's house today for some apples. Everyone has been bugging me to go out and get some, because the tree was so loaded with them. I've been dreading it, because I knew as soon as I did the demand for apple pie would begin.


I really do NOT like to make apple pie. It's not that I don't like to cook or that I don't like the pie...I'm just BURNED OUT on making it. It just takes so long to make, something like 45mins or so, then another hour to cook. If I make two at once it's only and extra 15 mins, so I might do that just to save some time. My mom has already asked if she could have a pie since she gave us the apples. Yeah ok, I *guess*. Grrrr.

Back when my mom owned the restaurant here in town, I use to make several pies a week. It sold and sold well - some even bought entire pies just for themselves! Plus any type of family function I was required to "bring that apple pie!". So yes, I'm VERY sick of making it.

I may see if I can get away with only making two or three this year, and trying out some other apple recipes. Baked apples are sure sounding good at this point.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Balancing Work and School

Today's plans of course included working mostly on Idea Queen and gathering more content for the pages on the list. However, last night I got the call about my school books - they're in! Hurray!

My excitement was cut short when it registered with me that the guy said "Two out of three books are in". Ummm.....wait, what? What happend to the third and what class is it? He rambles off the course number, and like I know what he's talking about. So I ask if it's Statistics, because I KNOW that teacher would understand and I'm really hoping that's the book missing. No such luck - it's Computer Network Literacy. Lovely, that teacher is a PAIN!

So last night I emailed this teacher to let her know, look my book isn't in and they tell me it's backordered. No idea when it will be in, and there's a quiz next Tuesday. (That was one good thing about the one missing book - the other two classes which I do have my books for have homework due on Friday). She tells me to check the Ankeny campus bookstore because one of her students just bought one yesterday. Well that's awfully helpful, but one main problem - Newton campus ordered the books FROM Ankeny and did it for a REASON. Ankeny is 45mins away from here, and I'm not driving 2 hours up there and back for one little book. That's nearly $10 in gas for crying out loud! I ordered it from Newton so I wouldn't have to drive to Ankeny, plus it's already ordered. Pay for the same book twice? I think NOT. Her response - "I'll check Ankeny campus tomorrow". Ummm......alright you do that, although it's not going to do much good because I still won't have the book now will I?


So anyway, with two homework assignments and a quiz due on Friday, I'm seriously thinking I should hop on over to Newton right now and get started early. It's really nagging at me though....I have so much work I should be doing on Idea Queen. It's not like I haven't done ANYTHING on the site today, just not enough for my own personal standards. Although my books are calling me as well, and I DO have a deadline for the homework and quiz.

Isn't it fun balancing work and home?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What To Do Without Books

I'm not happy with the local college to say the least. I mentioned yesterday I had to run and get books, hoping they were in since school started yesterday. Imagin my surprise when they were NOT in. Umm, what? Excuse me? WHY do I not have books? No explination. Great.

So last night I sat sorting through my three online classes, and realised something rather bad - each have homework due on Friday. Here I am without books still because of the fault of the college, and I have homework. Lovely!

The man at the campus bookstore didn't see the problem in this, stating most teachers don't do much of anything the first week. Plus I could always just email them and let them in on my problem. Surely they will understand.

Apparently he doesn't know MY teachers.

One teacher I can see already isn't going to be a problem. The class is statictics, which I don't think I'll have a problem in. I'm a number cruncher by nature, and analysing data is one of my specialties. No problem there.

The other two classes, Computer Network Literacy and COBOL, are taught by the same teacher. The teacher I had over the summer, and had several problems with. I sent her an email yesterday afternoon stating I didn't have my books yet, and what to do should I not be able to get the assignment done in time. Of course, no response back yet. I expect this from her, as she has little to do with her classes aside from the first welcome email stating we are pretty much on our own.

Honestly, I don't know what I'm suppose to do without books. I don't know when they will be in either. About all I can do is sit here and be mad about it, although that doesn't seem very productive either.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Monday HURRAY!

It's Monday again, my favorite day of the week! It's funny how working at home turns your life completely backwards. I use to hate Mondays just like everyone else, but now I see Monday as a fresh start. Almost like the feel of a brand new notebook or folder. So much to do, and can be done. I love being busy and having the chance to "start over" every single week.

So what's on the agenda for today? Well, that I'm not sure of. My online classes start today, and I've got to make a trip over to the next town to pick up books. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, eh? Let's hope they are in. They better be, I ordered them last week. I do look forward to starting, although it should be interesting juggling three college classes along with everything else. Thankfully my son informed me he has no desire to play soccer, so there's one after school activity I don't have to worry about. Basketball and baseball will probably be a different story though.

Aside from getting started on classes, my focus still remains on Idea Queen. Unfortunately, I'm starting to run out of ideas. I'm still working out of my folder of plans, although starting to come up a bit short. I suppose I should be working on some articles, but again I'm beginning to become somewhat stumped. What I really need is for some additional ideas to be submitted, as well as some more incoming links. I'll probably be working on the same thing I have been for the last few weeks - new content, links, and updates.

Before I officially start my day and end this post, let me say hello and welcome to all of those who breezed in from Site Swap. I found this blog while surfing on BlogExplosion the other day, and I think it's a wonderful idea. For those of you coming from somewhere else, the idea is pretty simple. About twice a week two new questions about two blogs are posted. You check out the sites and answer the questions, then submit your own sites/blogs in. Neat way to find some interesting sites while getting a little exposure for your own. Best of all there's someone real behind the site, so no junk. Do be sure to check out their site!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Slacker Mom

I feel like a slacker mom today. I should be working on Idea Queen right now, but about all I can seem to do is read blogs and post comments. I've been scanning the website searching for something to do with it, so that counts as a task, right? I keep seeing the ad which asks if I'm a slacker mom, and today I think the answer is yes.

It could be that I'm so exhasted. While I'm loving the "me" time I've been getting while the kids are in school, I don't think my body has adjusted to getting up this early. I'm a night person, so getting up every day at 6am isn't exactly normal for me. My kids usually sleep in until at least 7 or 8 during the summer, and I'm already missing that. I can't complain though. They aren't hard to wake up, go to bed when they are told to, and love going to school.

I can't say I've totally slacked off. Surfing blogs counts as a task, plus I DID write an article. I'm getting ready to send out a few others, just as soon as I read one more blog on BlogExplosion.....

What is it about other people's lives that's so interesting? Maybe I need to get out more. :P

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

We Survived Day Two

Jillian couldn't understand this morning why she couldn't go back to school like Chase was. How exactly DO you explain to a 3yr old that she only goes to school Tuesdays and Thursdays? Especially when her big brother goes every day and always has (he was late getting into preschool, so was always in the every day class).

I suppose it's not too early to explain how a calendar works and what days of the week are, so that's exacly what I did this morning. Even still, I feel like she's SO ready for school that 2 days a week just isn't enough.

That and she bugged the crap out of me this morning.

Her: "Mommy, whatcha doing?"
Me: Working.
Her: "Mommy I had a cookie for a snack yesterday!"
Me: Yup you told me several times and that's great!
Her: "Mommy look what's on TV!"
Me: I see, go watch it!
Her: "Mommy come watch this show with me!"
Me: Can't honey, working remember?
Her: "Can I color?"
Me: *Gets crayons down*
Her: "Look Grandma's here, yeah!"
Me: "Grandma's here, YEAH!" (Muttering "CRAP I have NOTHING DONE!" *SIGH*)

I love her dearly, and I DO spend time with them, but holy crap is an hour too much to ask for? I don't know, maybe she just REALLY missed me yesterday and didn't want to leave my side today. But she didn't seem upset at all when I left with Grandma to run some candle-related erands.

I shouldn't complain - it's good to know my kid loves me and big brother wasn't home to fight with her. Even still, yesterday was SO nice with both of them gone for a few hours. *grin* That's not a bad thing, is it?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I Remember Now!

As I sit here completely alone, with my Sarah McLachlan CD as the only noise, I remembered something. THIS is what it's like to have no kids! I had completely forgotten how quite it can be, and how much you can actually get done when noone is is fighting, yelling, crying, demanding, or whatever other distraction. I'm half way done with today's work, and it's not even 10am yet. Wow.

I guess it was the CD that triggered my memory, since some of these songs I would sit and listen to while actually playing around on the computer. Yes there was a time when the computer was used for playing, and not for work. Amazing.

After dropping BOTH kids off at school today, while pulling away I didn't know if I wanted to jump for joy or break down in tears. Both my babies in school....when did this happen? And of course, both were not upset to be leaving their mother's side.

Chase I lost almost immediately when he spotted friend from preschool last year without so much as a good bye. Jillian couldn't wait to check out her new room (which was Chase's last year), and actually did say "BYE MOM!" as she took off to meet some new people. After Jillian was settled I went off to find Chase, so I could at least get a goodbye out of him. I got a wave. *sniff sniff* I'm glad they are both so excited and have no issues about going to school, but at the same times it kinda hurts.

I have a feeling this isn't going to get much easier as the years go on. But at least I know have the chance to remember how it's like to not have kids. At least for 3 hours twice a week. *grin*

Monday, August 21, 2006

We Need Content!

As some of you may know from past posts here at our blog, I've been working hard updating and adding to my content site, Idea Queen. I'm happy to report the site is bringing in an average of 200 visitors per day and rising. Although this could be MUCH better, and I'm no where near done yet.

Part of the SEO efforts include unique content. While I've tried my best to add as much unique and original content as possible to each page, some are still lacking. This is where you all come in.

Idea Queen is looking for unique and orignal content. The content must be your own, and must fit on one of the pages listed here:

Credit and a link back will be given to any content you send in, so do be sure to leaving your name and link.

There's several different topics we are needing content for. A few of these topics include:
- Birthday Ideas
- Recipes
- Crafts
- Other ideas for children and parents

More to come for this list of pages in need, so be sure you bookmark that link above for when you need a few links back to your site!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

How To Avoid The Mommy Morning Rush Boogie

LOL! Aurelia sweetie ... I just LOVE that title!

With the upcoming school year right around the corner, Aurelia from Real Life Coaching shares some great Time Management Tips to Avoid the "Mommys Morning Rush Boogie" this year...

How To Avoid the Mommy Morning Rush Boogie

We Missed the Blogathon? OOPS!

Last year you might remember Anita and I participated in the annual Blogathon. Turns out this year we completely missed the boat, and the date has come and gone. I could have sworn it was done in August last year, so maybe that's why we missed it. Or maybe I'm just caught up in my own little world and haven't paid attention to the news around the net.

I suppose it's probably for the best either way you look at it, since I was sick for about 2 weeks. Just so happens I was still sick the day of the Blogathon as well. Total bummer....I'm finally feeling better and it's over. :(

Hopefully next year we'll be on track and will be able to participate again. I really did have a great time last year staying up all night to blog, and was looking forward to doing it again. Please someone give me a big kick in the rear when it's Blogathon time again next year!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Change in Plans

Anita and I talked a bit this morning, and decided since it's the last week of summer we are REALLY taking a vacation. We'll be here and there checking email, but no newsletters this week. Our kids deserve to enjoy their last bit of summer, so we'll be out and about doing fun things this week.

Email us if you need something, but don't expect too fast of a reply since we probably won't be home!

Enjoy the rest of the summer, and we'll see you when school starts! *grin*

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Taking a Vacation


What in the world could I be doing here on a Sunday night? I take weekends off, right?

CORRECT! Although as the title suggests, I'm doing a few things I won't be able to do next week because I'm going on vacation. Well, kinda....

This is the last week of summer for us. School starts next Tuesday, on August 22nd. Honestly I just can't wait. I'm excited not because I'll actually get some quiet time to work every day, but I'm excited for the kids as well. Chase will be starting Kindergarden this year and Jillian her first year of preschool. I'm sad yes, but these are two totally new experiences for them both. Chase will get to experience a full day of school including lunch and recess, while Jillian will be getting together twice a week with other kids to actually do fun things.

Since this is the last week of summer, we've got to pack in the rest of our summer plans. Being sick for nearly 3 weeks put us behind on family things. So this week we'll be doing the following:

Monday - My birthday, and I guess we have nothing real special planned. You might actually catch me online for half the day. I'm on a roll and don't really want to stop now.

Tuesday - Nothing too special planned this day, although I might be sneaking outside if it's a nice enough day. Possibly just spend the day with the family. That evening I'll have to go to a meeting at school.

Wednesday - School supply shopping! Oh joy. No, I haven't done that yet. Please do cut me slack, I just got Chase's list lsat week and Jillian's I won't have until Tuesday.

Thursday - Family day at a local amusement park. Should be a fun day, although I'm crossing my fingers it doesn't rain. Even if it does, oh well. Half of the fun here is the water rides, so I think we'll already be wet. *GRIN* I don't care for the roller coasters, so most of the time you'll see me and the kids on the water rides!

Friday - Family day at the state fair. The IOWA State Fair. Oh yes, this is a huge deal...I guess lol. Most everyone in Iowa goes crazy for the fair, and it's been reported our state fair is the largest in the world. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing, but we're going anyway. I haven't been to the fair JUST for the fair since before Jillian was born, and even then I got talked into going with a friend just so she could do something specific. The last two years I went just to go to concerts (Nickleback one year, Switchfoot last year) without kids. This should be interested to say the least.

Satruday - DAY OFF! After two days running around in public places with the kids I will be EXHASTED. I plan to SLEEP this day.

Sunday - Friend's daughter's birthday party. A very good friend of mine whom I've know since I was about 6 years old is throwing a party for her soon to be 3 yr old daughter. Luckily it will be at her house, so nothing too terribly fancy. The kids will go swimming, and we probably will too. Works for me!

So that's the rest of our summer! Next Monday will be an evening of meetings for both kids, and the next day is the first day of school for BOTH. I'm excited, I really am! The schedules will take some getting use to, but we'll manage. It won't be much different from last year - just one extra pick up two days a week. Both will go to school at the same time, but Jillian will only be going half days.

I'm sure you'll see me here and there this week, and newsletters will go out as usual (one the many perks of having a wonderful partner!), but for the most part, I'm on vacation!

Have a great week!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Moms - Why must we torture ourselves?

Last weekend my baby (yes, my little baby girl) turned 10! Or as my mother-in-law so nicely put it ... she's over half way till she's gone. (Oh geez, thanks for the reminder, lol)

We were out of town for a family reunion so we didn't really "officially" have a party for her. I told her that on Saturday we can have a little party at my mother-in-laws so we can all go swimming. What a surprise she's going to get tonight when my mom "takes her out to dinner" and we're all there waiting for her with gifts in tow. And she'll be even more surprised when she finds out that all her little friends there are coming home with us for a sleepover! (Which is why I ask the question of torture! LOL)

I've been promising her a sleepover for oh so very long now ... bad mommy just never got around to planning it. So, I'm sure she'll be absolutely thrilled! I ordered bunnies from Stuff A Friend for her and her friends to put together when we get home.

But the worst part of all of this ... Last night I went to Walmart to pick up some party favors, goodie bags etc. She had mentioned before that she'd like a "puppy theme". Of course, don't you know that they didn't have anything with puppies on them. So, I'm browsing around figuring I can find something that she'd be just as happy about. JUST LAST YEAR - I was still buying her Barbie and the Princess items. Waaahh! What happened?!? I wouldn't DARE get away with that now! I settled on a "That's So Raven" theme. I'm sure she'll love it but dang ... she's my baby!! I told her to stop growing. But she continues to defy her mother :(

That's okay ... getting through this is tough enough. In less than 3 short weeks ... my other baby starts Kindergarten! Ugh, what's a mom to do?!?!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Original Content a MUST!

Today I stumbled on a new service for gathering articles written by others. Here in the business world, articles available for reprint is not hard to come by. This "service" was a tad different, offering only a limited amount of "subscribers" to gain access to the articles. Alright, still not original content but a little better.

While I'm not against the idea of being able to share your words on other sites, I believe it's gotten a bit out of hand. Do I submit articles? Of course! Do I use reprint articles on my site? Absolutely! Only in extreme moderation.

I think half the internet world has forgotten how to write their own content in their own words. You'd think with the growing popularity of blogs this would have changed, but it hasn't seemed to. At least not on websites. Seems we've saved all our personal words for blogs while using mass submitted articles for websites. How backwards is that?

While yes, I do use articles on occation, I fail to see the purpose in creating a website where you use nothing but content which can be found in other places. What's worse, I see reprint articles used on sites and original content used only to make a buck. Is what you have to say really worth THAT much? Or is it just easier to throw up a website full of reprint content just for the purpose of having an Adsense site?

I'll admit right now, I do have what's called an Adsense site. It's not fully built on the purpose of gaining income from Adsense, but at the momement that is it's main source of income. Although there's one big difference between my content site and all the other billions of adsense sites you see out there - mine has ORIGINAL content. Sure I may use some other content here and there, but it's fully wrapped around my own unique content. Something that seems to be hard to come by anymore.

What happend to the days when you built a website only when you had something interesting to share, rather than just trying to make a few dollars on fluff? Scan the search engines and you'll see what I'm talking about. Sure we've all got to make money, but the way some are doing it just turn my stomach. Paying someone to get articles several others are using as well couldn't make me feel more sick!

I'll get off my soap box now, and back to writing my OWN content for my 100+ page site.

Free Re-branding Software

Here's a nice free tool that might come in handy ;-) This would be a great idea for those of you that have affiliates. Direct Sales Reps can use it to have people give away free reports that are re-branded with others info. For example: "This report has been brought to you by MommysHelperOnline.com. Websites that are able to rebrand material are much more likely to pass it on ;-)


- Anita :)

PDF Power Brand, Knowledgeable Marketing Experts, Offers Free Re-branding Software

PDF Power Brand officially announced today that they are providing customers with their spectacular re-branding software 100% free.

Murcia, Spain (PRWEB) August 2, 2006 -- PDF Power Brand officially announced today that they are providing customers with their spectacular re-branding software 100% free. Leading the way in the marketing world, they now offer marketers the tool they need to succeed.

“Mari (Peckham) and I are very excited about arming our customers with the most powerful secrets on the internet,” says Dan Blackburn, co-owner and developer of PDF Power Brand, “People have been writing us and asking why we are offering this software free. I simply tell them, we wanted to help others reach their full potential as marketers.”

PDF-Power-Brand (http://www.pdf-power-brand.com), a revolutionary software product, allows users and their customers to benefit in many different ways. Users can allow their customers to brand their own PDF reports, for a fee or free of charge. This re-branding software, enables marketers to offer their clients more with their services and products. PDF-Power-Brand also enables marketers to market themselves more effectively to more people all across the internet.

“PDF Power Brand (http://www.pdf-power-brand.com) works in many different ways,” says Blackburn. “We personally implemented PDF Power Brand in our own products and services to find that our sales increased by the thousands monthly. Not only will our product enable marketers to increase their sales, but it will also help in building a reputation and a larger mailing list at the same time.”

PDF Power Brand (http://www.pdf-power-brand.com) is free to use for any customer. Upgrade options are also available. A gold version is available to those who want to maximize their earning potential. With PDF Power Brand Gold, users have full control of advertising spaces with any distributed copies of their product, both those that they distribute personally and their customers that do the same. Gold also allows the user to change their advertisements, turn off the link back to PDF Power Brand and increase commissions earned on the product.

# # #

Press Contact: Daniel Blackburn
Company Name:
Email: email protected from spam bots
Phone: 1-630-687-1378
Website: http://www.pdf-power-brand.com)

More Information: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/8/prweb418798.htm

Monday, August 07, 2006

Friend or Foe?

Over the weekend I witnessed some serious drama on a wahm group. This weekend in general was just wild, but it had me wide awake last night thinking about certain things.

I realised how much of an impact our first impressions have on others. When we first meet someone, there isn't much time before they decide if we could be a friend, or if we are someone to be avoided. It makes me wonder if under different circumstances if those we see as trouble or a problem could have possibly been friends - and vise versa.

If I met a friend on their bad day, would they still be my friend? I've seen them on bad days since and we are still friends.....so why does that first impression have such an impact? Hersy seems to be the same as first impressions. If you hear someone say "avoid them", you usually do. Although what if the person passing along the information is the only one who had a bad experience, while other's haven't?

Think of it this way - how many times have you gotten along with someone, only to later decide they didn't make the best of friends? Proof positive first impressions aren't always right. Also think about this - one person can't possibly get along with everyone. There's reason to believe a group of people are not going to like a specific person, while that person could have tons of friends.

I guess it just amazes me how much stock we put into what others say about certain people. It's one thing to share experiences, but who's to decide one person is "no good"?

On the business side of this, I realise as much as I guestion why we put so much stock in first impressions it makes no difference what I think. Acting on our first feelings is human nature. This is why it's so important to at least give your customers the best first impression as possible.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Healthy School Lunch Ideas

The kids will be heading back to school soon, so be sure to start this year out the right way with healthy school lunch ideas. There's been a growing concern about the nutritional value of what's being served in the school. For this reason, I've put together a list of ideas of what you can put in your child's school lunch.

See Healthy School Lunch Ideas by Idea Queen