Man, Amazon Really Isn't It

Now I'm looking at places I can sell my textbooks. Amazon really isn't the only player. I don't know where I've been. Hahaha, it feels like I've been living in a cage.

Man, if I go back to the U of M for school this coming year, I think I'm going to try to sell textbooks in other places just to see if I can make a bit more money. It was sort of a main way I paid for undergrad. There were a lot of students that would abandon one or two books before leaving for the summer. I would collect as many as I could, take them home, list them on Amazon and sell textbooks online. The thing is, there are many other places I'm finding.

It really makes me wonder what will happen in the next few years when my kid is born. I wonder what the internet will look like then. This world is going nuts. Just think, 10 years ago the iphone didn't exist. Now you can't live without it. What's the next big invention? Where will the internet go? Will Google exist in 10 years? We really live in an incredible world.

Are textbooks Getting Cheaper?

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I've been looking at going back to school recently just to pass the time while my wife is pregnant. I've been looking at delving into a few subjects that I have not had the time to learn but have always wanted to - primarily language learning and computer programming.

I've been looking at textbooks to see whether or not I can afford them if I go back. I only graduated a few years ago, but the internet has changed hugely since I last bought textbooks. It's not just amazon anymore. For example, if you want to Rent Textbooks, you can do that now. You can rent or buy, if you'd like. Renting is an awesome concept, espcially for hard to find or cheap text books that you don't want to later spend the time selling back on amazon (it is sooo time consuming, take it from me). The thing is used textbooks and textbooks that you can generally rent are way cheaper than I remembered them being.

It's incredible. I'm kind of getting excited.

Raising Kids

I was thinking tonight about how expensive raising kids can be.

When they're young you buy diapers, and all sorts of expensive baby food. You need baby clothes for their growing bodies. And all that really ads up. When I was a kid, my parents saved a lot of money by purchasing re-usable diapers. The thought of re-using diapers is disgusting, but, let's be honest, if it's clean, it might just beat the alternative of spending tons of money to raise a baby.

But it's not just babies either. Kids grow quickly. They are expensive from birth to adulthood. And college will be the worst.

COME ON!

This whole baby thing is getting really scary. I feel like I'm already adding up the costs of four years at a good school. I'll have to buy him all sorts of crap like clothing, supplies and college textbooks. I pray that the internet has figured out a way to supply my soon-to-be child with cheap textbooks and a great college scholarship.

Thinking about this has made me wonder about my career choice recently. I've been wondering about looking into something a bit more stable, and with a higher income than what I do now. I'm thinking of going back to school for engineering. My wife is looking at possibly going into nursing. Since a nursing salary, just starting is out of control.

Just got diagnosed with Sleep Apnea

I used to be tired all the time. I always went to bed at a reasonable time, didn't watch TV or read before bed, avoided late night snacks, but I was still sleepy. Even in college, I would get plenty of sleep, but I would still feel exhausted. I always wondered why I was so tired.

My wife told me that I made weird noises when breathing at night, but I always snored so I thought nothing of it. It bothered her and kept her up at night. I believed that I slept well, but I decided to ask the doctor about it.

The doctor thought that it might be complex sleep apnea. I did not want to have a lot of tests done, but he said that diagnosing sleep apnea is fairly simple. I went in for a sleep study overnight, which was painless and easy. The doctor told me that he found that I stop breathing when I sleep. There are small pauses in my breathing, which I had never noticed because they did not interrupt my sleep.

Now, I sleep on my side and use a CPAP device, which is a facial mask to keep my airway open. I am waking up nicely rested for the first time in years! Tiredness is no longer a problem for me. I do not get drowsy during the day and I feel completely refreshed in the morning.

The treatment has made my wife happy, because she knows I am getting a full night's rest. She is not troubled by my snoring and she is able to sleep well too.

The diagnosis of sleep apnea has come at a perfect time, because we are pregnant and we want to get the best sleep possible. My wife does not have to worry about my sleep or my tiredness anymore. I am glad I was diagnosed with sleep apnea so that I can fix my sleep behavior and breathe normally again.

This pregnancy is exciting for both of us. We are looking forward to welcoming a new baby into the world. We feel thankful that we are both healthy.

I used to be worried that my wife was moody because of sleep deprivation caused by my acute sleep apnea, but I do not have to be concerned about that anymore. Now, she is moody because she is pregnant!

5 Steps to Help Make Math Easy For Kids

I have a good friend named Stacy, who has a diabetic child. She wrote a blog entry that I asked if I could share here. She agreed. So, here we go...


When I first had my son, I never knew what challenges awaited him in this big world. It started with having to overcome diabetes. This was a long and constant process. It took us about 3 years, but now we have it down to a science. He knows exactly what he needs to do and how to maintain his health. Once we got a system in place it was rather easy for him.

Now he is in the third grade and we have hit the second biggest challenge / struggle of his life; math class. This is rather ironic because my husband and I both have Master's degree in different forms of engineering. We have mastered very highly levels of math with relative ease. My son Cameron on the other hand, struggled to grasp the concept of multiplication. I had to help him find a way to tackle this. I thought to myself, what could I do? Then it hit me, we already developed a strategy that he has mastered to maintain his health. Why not help him develop a strategy to learn math concepts and skills? So I developed this 3 step method that changed everything.

Step 1: Introduce the Math Skill in Real Life I will show my son how we use this math skill in real life. I will relate the skill to everyday. For division for example, I would preset this scenario: "You have 25 baseball cards and want to give them equally to your five best friends. How do you do it?" If I said to Cameron, "What is 25 divided by 5?", he would just give me a funny. Using a real world example motivates him to work for it.

Step 2: Work on the Skill Once he has met the skill, it is time for him to take baby steps on his and work on it. I will usually print off 5 sets of math worksheets on a topic. There are many great places to find these available. On the first worksheet, I let him work completely independently with no outside help at all. If he gets stuck, he gets stuck.

We then go over everything together. I bought a piece of white board and eraser able marker; I show him how I would do the problem on this board. It makes it easy for him to see. How we do the second and third sheet depends on his success of the first page. If he did well, I let him work on those by himself. If he struggled, he will do all problems on the white board. The fourth sheet he does totally independently. We review that sheet and save the last math worksheet to be done a day after we complete this process, as a review.

Step 3: Flashcard Wars I have my son in a competition against my husband. I write the problems on flashcards. Whoever answers it first, gets a point. Off course my husband takes his time and makes sure to just stay within a point or two of my son. This is honestly the most effective step for my son. He tries so hard. I started offering prizes for the winner. Nothing big, you have to see how hard an eight year old will work for a cookie.

When we complete these steps, he is ready to go! It has been extremely effective for Cameron. He started the school year with a 2 out of 4 as a math skill grade. His last report card just came and he is now on the 4 out of 4 level. I hope it helps you too!

The Journey To Online Dinner Recipes

I hope I don't suck at being a father, as bad as I suck at cooking. I didn't know when I told my wife that I would take on the cooking responsibility that it would be this difficult. In college, cooking was a breeze and consists of frozen pizzas and junk food. She has to eat healthy, because now she is eating for two and I want both of them to be healthy.

Needless, to say "my life has changed"...but hey. that is a good thing. Along, with my cooking responsibilities was the realization that I should make a grocery list of the things I need. Case in point, I thought I would make a nice supper of roast with rice and green beans. I let the roast cook all day and proudly it was tender and mouthwatering when I removed it from the oven. The green beans were ready and I was hungry. I then go into the cabinet to retrieve the rice and there isn't any. WHAT? I then had to go out to the grocery store and pick up rice...lesson learned. Also, there are some helpful tips that I needed my wife to tell me...us, guys just don't get these things.

Lesson two....drain the grease from the hamburger meat when cooking spaghetti. That spaghetti sure turned out greasy....disaster! And could somebody please tell me what is a pinch of salt? I have over salted the peas, the beans, the corn and just about anything that might need to be salted. The old saying, "a watched pot never boils" may be true but I have a new one "a unwatched pot boils over." Anything that said to bring to a boil...over the top of the pot it goes and all over the stove top.

I'm surprised I haven't burned the whole house down. I have set the smoke alarm off a time or two. I have finally learned these tricks that I my wife obviously thought that I should already known. I am hoping to get better at cooking. Here I am, turning into Minnesota's very own Mr. Mom. Instead of searching the internet for sport scores, you can find me looking for dinner recipes. And you know what, great information about dinner ideas can be found on the internet. I have found some awesome websites that have great dinner recipes with step by step instructions and helpful reviews! Great!

Having a Baby and Finding Baby Names

Since finding out we're pregnant, I have to say we're really excited and are already making plans and working on preparations. On the way home from our doctor's appointment today, we even stopped and picked up our first books of baby names.

Though we don't know yet whether the baby will be a boy or girl, and probably won't find out until he or she is born, we're picking out names for each. My wife likes the idea of picking a name that would be okay for a girl or boy, but I'm not sure about that yet. I feel like it's important to match the baby's name to his or her identity and that we'll know the right name for sure when he or she is born. That's why I like the idea of picking out several names for each sex and deciding after the birth.

Nonetheless, we've had a lot of fun sitting on the couch and pouring through the books of baby names. We bought two books so that we could look through them at the same time, taking turns calling out names. Sometimes, I don't know how we'll ever decide when there's so many names to choose from! Luckily, we tend to agree on many of the names that we like. We really like modern sounding names that are slightly out of the ordinary. I've been fascinated reading about the origins of the names, as well. It's really interesting to think about how much meaning goes into a name and how that can potentially shape a child. Ideally, we'll strike a balance by finding a name that is both unique and classic. It will be a name that people recognize but that also isn't used too frequently.

Of course, we've also had people suggesting baby names to us since the moment we first started telling people that we're pregnant. I appreciate the help, but none of their suggestions have really stuck yet. All of the names have been too common or too bizarre, with nothing landing quite in the middle. Fortunately, we've got about eight more months to decide on the perfect name for a little girl or boy. Hopefully we won't need all eight months, though. I have the feeling that when we come across the perfect name, we'll know right away. (maybe I'll just give him my name)

Moms And Their Blogs

There is nothing new moms love to talk about more than their pregnancy and the resulting child. It doesn't matter if there is a blizzard, a Presidential Election, or an alien invasion. I have to admit, father-to-be, I do enjoy updating my buddies how I'm going to teach my boy to throw a knuckleball out of his crib, but I know where to draw the line. While she's been pregnant, my wife has been sending links to blogs on this moms website via email.

At first, the postings she sent were informative. Things like how to baby-proof the house and what to expect the first few nights home after the delivery. Then, I had to go browsing around for myself. What other good tidbits were these veteran mothers leaving on the internet for me? Striving to become the world's first perfect parent, I went searching.

I had made a big mistake. This moms website didn't hold anything back; I was way out of my league. The blogs covered the entire spectrum from conception to high school graduation. Some threads had hundreds of posts. I was trying to find information I could use, but I should have waited for my wife to send me a link. Let me warn you: a dad has no business being on a moms website.

The moms on this blog site shared everything. All topics from diaper rash remedies to stretch marks were covered. There were words and phrases I didn't even want to know what they meant, and I still don't. After I looked at the blog titled, "Kegel Exercises To Get You Through Labor Easily" I had to leave the site. I thought it was going to be about breathing exercises! I was so embarrassed after reading the first three lines. After hastily clicking the "X" button on the web browser, and asking my wife never to send me a link to those blogs ever again, I went to the den to watch baseball.

Women love to talk. This is especially true when it comes to personal business like illness, children and pregnancy. They'll ask, "Has this ever happened to you?" and go into detail. Men can walk away in real life, but these moms websites are unavoidable. Maybe I'll start a dads website. None of the gruesome labor and delivery details; just tips on teaching motor skills required for sports and "armpit farts".

Fertility Difficulties

Now that I'm a couple years out of college and married, my wife and I decided to have a kid. Below is a modified entry from my journal from a few months ago. Figured it was a good way to start off this little blogging project (it's out of date though, since we just found out yesterday that she's pregnant with a boy!!!). My wife and I have really been wanting to get pregnant. We have spent many nights discussing what we are going to do, and what steps we should take to try to get pregnant. It's frustrating when all your friends around you are getting pregnant, most of them unexpectedly, and we're trying really hard and nothing's working.

The problem we have is that we really want to have control over when we will be getting pregnant. Without some kind of tool, we knew that we could get pregnant anytime, or maybe it wouldn't happen at all. We also really do not want to go to a fertility specialist, even though we have been trying to get pregnant for a while now. We are hoping that we can figure this out on our own, using basic tools that we have found online.

Because of this, my wife and I sat down at our computer one evening to find out all we could about her body, her cycle and how ovulation works. We thought that learning about this would help us figure out the best time to get pregnant. At this point we came across something called an ovulation calendar online. This calendar let us create our own personal calendar for my wife that keeps track of when she ovulates, thus letting us know the best time to conceive. It seems like a much more personal method of tracking ovulation than the other methods we've come across.

Here's how the calendar works, because it's actually pretty cool. All you really need to do is input the first day of your last period, how long your cycle was, and sometimes the amount of days in your luteal phase. The calendar ends up somehow figuring out your basal body temp, which fairly accurately predicts when you ovulate every month. So, we thought this was a better approach than the old method of just going with when a woman "typically" ovulates. Getting pregnant for us is very, very important. It seems like it should be more accurate than guessing, so we are very hopeful!

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