Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Millionaire Manual Step 5 - Invest in Yourself

In a previous blog post, I talked about the Millionaire Manual and committed to getting a few more steps completed. Step 5 is about investing in yourself through educational books, seminars, and courses. The section has two questions and a space to write action items. Here goes:

What investment in yourself are you planning this year?

I've really thought about this long and hard and I really don't want to start over in my career. I've identified that I like doing work that involves organizational development and business operations and process improvement. I need to identify the areas within my company that do that kind of work and strive to get there. I may go back to college for a Masters after I've had a few years of doing this kind of specialized work. For right now, I think the best way to invest in myself and advance my career is to start working on earning a process improvement or organizational development certification such as Six Sigma.

Does your employer have a tuition reimbursement plan?

Yes, but it is severely limiting. They only pay for attending certain local colleges, none of which I have any interest in attending. This is not an option for me at the moment.

Action Items:

  • Narrow down my interest in organizational development into more specific areas.
  • Research quality but afforable six sigma or organizational development certifications.
  • Start the process of earning the certifications
  • Sign up for a non-fiction writing course.

My target completion date for these tasks is the end of the year.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Potty Training Update - Week 2 to Week 6

The second week arrived and we again went back to the morning and evening "potty time" ritual. As soon as he wakes up in the morning, I give him a few minutes to get somewhat awake and then I remove his diaper and sit him on the potty. Since, I'm usually pressed for time, I'm usually in the shower or putting on my makeup while he sits on the potty in the mornings. This week, I decided to start going to the potty with him. While he's sitting on his potty, I'm sitting on the toilet. Some mornings, I even resorted to holding it so that we could do it together. Of course, he thinks the sound of me peeing is pretty funny. But, by midweek, he is peeing in the potty in the morning too. So, we've made some big steps so far. The first big step was that he actually started enjoying sitting on the potty and stopped resisting it. The second big step is that he started peeing in the potty every day at both potty times.  The second weekend proved to be a bit more challenging. But, we only had two accidents all weekend. The no diaper thing puts a cramp on when we have to go out but until he starts telling us when he has to go, that's the way it's going to be.

He is fascinated with flushing the toilet and we've been using that as his reward. When he uses the potty, he gets to put it in the toilet with my help and flush it. Somewhere in the third weekend, the light bulb came on in his head and I couldn't keep him off the potty. He was getting on it even when he didn't have to pee. I had to reinforce that there was no flush without him making a deposit into the potty first. He even started asking his daycare teacher to go potty. We're in week 5 or 6 now. I've lost count. The novelty of the potty has worn off for him but he still goes without resisting and he still loves to flush the toilet afterward.

He's still not good at telling us when he has to go but we starting using his training pants this weekend anyway. He had one accident on Saturday. Still, I think he's slowly understanding that the training pants are not diapers. With our guidance and patient, persistent reinforcement, he is doing really well with peeing in the potty. Poop is another story all together. He seems to be a lot more shy with that. We've realized that he's more likely to poop in the potty if we leave the bathroom or close our eyes. It's a work in progress but I'm confident we'll get there.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Free Motts for Tots juice coupons from Vocalpoint!

Vocalpoint is offering information and coupons on Mott's for Tots juices. The last day to sign up for this special offer is Friday 7/8/11. So, hurry before they're gone!

Mott's for Tots juice has:

•40% less sugar than 100% apple juice

•Delicious taste!

•No artificial sweeteners

•100% vitamin C

•Conveniently pre-diluted with purified water

•Available in 64 oz. multi-serve bottles or 6.75 oz. 8-pack juice boxes

The Writer Magazine - Worth Every Expensive Penny

I subscribed to The Writer magazine last summer when I decided to become more serious about my writing aspirations. When the first issue arrived, I wondered if I'd made a mistake. The magazine is not an easy read. It's not like the magazines that I thumb through at the doctor's office. Nice pictures but nothing really worth reading. Each issue is filled with informative articles that are helpful to a novice writer like me and, I'm sure, more experienced writers too.

I don't have a few hours each month to devote to going through each issue. As such, I am perpetually behind. The February through July issues are still waiting to be read. This past Sunday, I sat down with a cup of coffee and started on the February issue. Almost two hours later, I was only on page 16. On page 8, I found an inspiring article about Zora Neale Hurston that included the following quote from one of her essays.

"I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not belong to the sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal and whose feelings are all hurt about it. Even in the helter-skelter skirmish of life, I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less. No, I do not weep at the world - I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife."

I need to remember that the next time I'm having a down day. Life is a fight, a struggle. I wish it weren't but it is. On page 10, I find a humorous take on Jeff Foxworthy's "You Might Be a Redneck" comedy bit. This one is called, "You Might Be A Writer If..." On page 14, Scott La Counte chronicles how his blog became a book deal. I'm not just reading, I'm taking notes along the way. The front of the magazine is soon filled with my hand-written notes as inspiration strikes me while I read. Numerous pages are dogeared so that I can easily find the most memorable and useful pieces.

I hestitated and thought about whether I should get this subscription for a long time. Compared to other magazines, it is not cheap. I bit the bullet and signed up for the 2-year subscription since it offers a bit more savings than one year. It's one of the few magazines that I do not regret subscribing to. For the inspiration alone, I think it's worth every expensive penny.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Potty Training Update - Week 1

Our mornings are already hectic. I can’t tell you when was the last time I made it to work on time. Luckily, I have a boss who is a mother and she understands. Nevertheless, I decided to set aside some time in the morning and right before bath time in the evening for “potty time”. During the first week, 90% of the time, he peed in the potty during his evening potty time. We didn’t have much success in the morning because I honestly didn’t have the time to sit there and entertain him. It was more for practice than anything else. Over the weekend, I decided to use another of Dr. Lekovic's suggestions. Remove the diaper completely and let him run around the house bare-bottomed. I decided to do this because we've tried training pants and he just treated them like diapers. He is not the kind of child that is bothered by a wet diaper or training pant. So, the training pants were not effective. We had many accidents the first weekend and a few showdowns when it was clear that he was holding his pee and poop to avoid using the potty. We were gently insistent that he had to go in the potty. There were some tears which I responded to by hugging and comforting him because I don't want him to think of the potty as a punishment. I ended the first week looking forward to Monday again because I was tired of the constant vigilance that not wearing a diaper or training pant requires.  

Friday, July 01, 2011

Really. It's not that serious.

Since I've been couponing, I am often surprised at the lengths people will go through to use a coupon and to get a deal. There are some things I'm just not willing to do. Arguing with a cashier or manager about whether they should accept a  coupon or price match an ad is one of them. If they won't take it, I just get my coupons and leave. There will be another sale and another store will be happy to take them. Couponing is not worth this much headache.

Extreme Couponer Temporarily Banned From Walmart

Extreme couponer April Cuevas says an altercation with a Walmart employee regarding coupon policies led to her temporary banishment from the company's more than 4,000 stores.