Not your typical 9-to-5

It’s been a little less than a month of no longer working for eBay. Some days it still feels like this is just a holiday and I’ve got to go back to work in a couple days. Another part of me is starting to feel like this is the new normal.

I get up at 4am every day to teach classes for VIPKID. I open my schedule from 5am through 8am but usually I just have classes that are booked from 5am-7am. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Classes are 25 mins each. The kids are pretty cute for the most part and eager to learn. Of course, I also get kids who clearly don’t want to be there. Or, I don’t know, maybe they had a hard day or are tired, but I don’t enjoy those kids nearly as much.

And really, I hate getting up that early. I felt like by not having a typical 9-5 job I’d have more time with Jesse and the boys, and I do get to be with Leo all day and Ez after school, but I generally go to bed right after we put the boys down, so around 8:30 or so. It doesn’t leave a lot of “us” time with Jesse.

I passed my notary exam and am in the process of getting that all sorted. I just heard back that they officially granted my commission so now I have to go get another paper notarized and then email that to a company to produce my stamp and then I can start notarizing things! I am also going to take a certified agent training course so I can branch out. Technically I don’t need further certification to do mortgage loan closings (in my state, other states are different about the rules) but I’d like to have more of a background before I jump in. I’m hoping I can start to make enough where I don’t need to do the online teaching. I don’t mind teaching the classes themselves, it’s just the early hours are killers to me! Theoretically if I could do 10 signings in one month that would be enough.

I’ve also looked into some things like photo site inspectors where you are literally contracted to just take photos of sites/locations and upload them back to the person who contracted you. Usually it’s for insurance stuff and sometimes it’s more involved but otherwise it could be somewhat lucrative for a little side work. Of course I’m driving around my van which is a gas hog. If I ever started getting full time with the mobile notary stuff I’d probably want to get a more fuel efficient car. I don’t know if that means I’d get a little Nissan Versa and Jesse would get a motorcycle to ride in the fair weather seasons or what. I will also probably need to invest in a better printer, as in a dual-tray laser printer that auto feeds from both a regular size and legal letter size tray.

I legally created my business name of Ultimate Notary Utah LLC and leased a couple domains. I am trying to figure out if it will be easier to just build a little website by hand or use a premade template. I’ve used premade in the past and the whole drag/drop thing is pretty easy but a notary website probably won’t have too much information on it so I may try my hand at designing the whole thing. We’ll see.

I was sick for a week when I had a cold and lost my voice. All in all it was fairly mild aside from losing my voice. Jesse came down with it next and it seems to have hit him fairly hard, poor guy. The kids are holding strong so far.

I’ve been doing a lot of baking lately. My no-knead bread turned out well and the molasses ginger cookies were amazeballs. The lemon bars were awful, simply awful. I don’t know if it’s how I made them (I did use lemon juice from a bottle that had been open for awhile) or the recipe itself. I made great lemon bars a few months ago but couldn’t recall which recipe I used. I made stellar cinnamon rolls, that recipe was a keeper. I made Jesse a lemon blueberry cake with lemon cream cheese frosting that turned out pretty well. It was a little dense and next time I will use fresh blueberries instead of frozen (or at least much fresher frozen berries) because there wasn’t much blueberry flavor. Currently I’m working on a sourdough bread. I’ve been nurturing the sourdough starter for over a week and this morning started the bread process. I’ll probably finish the bread either tonight or tomorrow morning. *fingers crossed*

We’ve been looking at puppies again. I know, I know. Some of them are so frickin’ cute and now would be an appropriate time to get one, what with me being home all day. I keep going back and forth. I am still working with Benny on things like walking nicely on a leash and the basics like sit and down. He knows sit and down but unless I have treats isn’t inclined to perform immediately. I started to use a front-clip harness that Dad and Dani gave us and it’s been working quite well for leash work.

I keep thinking of all these things I’d do differently with a puppy. Mainly leash skills early on as well as a lot of feet work. Trimming Benny’s nails is a nightmare. I’m retroactively working on his feet work. It’s a LONG process and nowhere near the finish line. He is really receptive to canned tuna (as opposed to regular training treats) and I hope that if I work on his feet often enough he will develop good feelings about it because it will remind him of eating tuna.

Ezra has recently discovered he likes canned tuna. He randomly asked for some as a snack the other night and proclaimed it was delicious! I always forget about the canned tuna and chicken we have. I have those pickled red onions that would be superb in a tuna salad. Must try that some time.



A lot can change in one month

I now work from home. Yes, you read that correctly. I no longer work for eBay. It feels totally great and unreal at that same time. I’d worked there for over eight years and even though it’s been three days I still feel like I’m going back to work tomorrow. I suspect it will take some time to get used to it.

That’s not to say I’m no longer working. I work part time for VIPkid where I teach English in the wee morning hours online to Chinese kids about to turn in for the night. It’s kind of brutal in that I have to get up 4am to be showered and ready for my 5am starting classes, but it means that I have the rest of the day to be home with the kiddos.

Leo no longer goes to daycare while we figure out what the finances look like over the course of a month. The tricky thing is, my income is not static. My pay depends on how many classes I book over the course of a month. So some months I might bring in $400, some may be over $1k. I would like to get regular students so I could depend on that income, but so far there haven’t been any repeats, just new kids. I am hoping that I will be able to bring in enough so that Leo can go to daycare at least two days a week. I think the social aspect was really beneficial to him for the few weeks that he went. And honestly it’d be great to have a couple days to myself where I could focus on other things, like writing, making soap, or shopping for things to resell.

I had been thinking awhile now of trying to find other work. I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing but the catalyst really was when Leo was sick for a couple days. I had to stay home with him and in our department there was only enough PTO assigned for 16 hours a week. On both days I was out I wasn’t able to schedule PTO early because one person on the team had scheduled 8 hours and one person had scheduled one hour! So even though there were seven hours available, I needed 8 and because there wasn’t “enough” time available, I had to take an occurrence for those days. At this time in life, Leo seems to get sick pretty often. I need the flexibility to be able to stay home with him (or Ezra) when he needs me.

Monday was my first official day not working at eBay. It was good timing, really, because Ezra had a fever that day and had to stay home from school.

I think I’m also going to look into becoming a notary. When we signed the papers for our house refinance, we were able to have a mobile notary come to us and she made it sound like she brought in a fair amount of income for limited work. Looking into it, it seems like it could also be a good fit for me. Wish me luck!