What "No Candy" Halloween really means

Forgive me for being a week late on this one...but better late than never. Last Saturday, Halloween (as I was in my pirate costume, my daughter in her parrot costume), my husband says to me as casually as if he's telling me his favorite color is green, that the neighbor two doors down has a sign on their door: NO CANDY. I was getting Olivia's dinner ready. She would have to wait, I dropped everything. 

Apparently he didn't realize what "NO CANDY" meant.  Apparently he didn't realize that "NO CANDY" didn't just mean no candy.  But being a former news producer, I did! It was what was required of sex offenders on Halloween. I logged onto the sex offender registry so fast and put in my address. As I'm doing so my husband is doubting there's any concern, pointing out two kids live at the house. I start typing even faster. About a minute later my fears were put to rest. Thank God. They're scrooges not giving out candy, but they're not child molesters.

It did, however, get me curious about if there are any registered sex offenders in my immediate area. I did find one who's registered address is less than a mile from my house. I stared at his picture long enough to burn it on my brain forever. I wanted to make sure if I ever saw that man anywhere....in the grocery store, walking down the street, at the park, I would know...and he would know that I knew! 

Know your neighbors...check the National Sex Offender Registry


Is that two little pink lines I see???

Gotcha didn't I? No, Olivia isn't going to have a little brother or sister anytime soon...but a conversation with a friend of me got me thinking. I was lucky when my husband and I went to "work"...we got pregnant right away. Four pregnancy tests later I realized something: to hell with the two little pink lines; God bless the digital "pregnant." I had somehow forgotten about that "aha" moment until today when I talked to one of my best girlfriends.

She lives 3,000 miles away and between her busy job, my busy life and the three time zones in between, it seems like every time we talk more time has passed since the time between the last conversation. So yesterday I sent her a quick email just to say I was thinking of her. At the very end I nudged: did she have any news for me yet??? I found a cryptic email in my inbox this morning saying that perhaps after yesterday, she may. That peaked my interest and I knew instantly what she had to tell me.

Once I finally got to talk to her...she made me wait WAYYYY too long..she confirmed the news. She told me she'd taken 5 pregnancy tests b/c those damn pink lines were playing tricks on her eyes. Were there a pair or was she just seeing something? Did she hold the stick in her pee stream for 7 seconds instead of 5...could that produce two lines? But five tests later the answer was clear! YAY!
In the middle of our conversation, as I watched my own 14 month old play "kitchen" next to me, I realized something. I was more excited for my girlfriend than I was when I first saw my own two pink lines. Of course I was over the moon when all those prego tests (including the last which I took in the bathroom stall of my former employer at midnight...) confirmed I had a bun in the oven. (Quick side story...thank God my girlfriend lives on the west coast, she was the only person I could call at that hour of the night to share my news. I hate to admit it, but I told her before anyone besides my partner in crime. She later admitted her husband told her she NEEDED to call me ASAP to share their two-line news! But I digress...)

I started thinking about my excitement for her later in the day and I realized why. I know now, what I wish I had known then and what I know she doesn't yet realize. The love she will feel for her child is so great and so wonderful it will change her life forever. She still doesn't realize, as I didn't, that you could love a person so much and so completely. I can't wait for her to hold that little baby and just feel what those two little pink lines really mean! Don't you just love that overpowering feeling of love you get when your toddler is giggling out of control or calling "dada" on a play cell phone or just sitting there concentrating with pure innocence in her eyes. Ah...new mamahood is wonderful and I can't wait until my friend experiences it!


Hey, savings account, remember me???

Write for Examiner and Be Known

"We're baaaaaack!" You have no idea how excited I am to report that that's exactly what I said to my savings account the other day. Yes, we've missed each other for the last 11 months. It's been that long...basically since I stopped working to become a SAHM...that my husband and I have actually been able to put money into the savings. Last month though, my online writing earnings (which totaled $604 and change) provided us with a surplus...and therefore "We're back!" The best part is, it isn't a small surplus it's several hundred dollars...$300 to be exact!

Let me explain how it all works out b/c this is possible for all stay-at-home moms to achieve. By looking at my monthly earnings you'll see it takes time (and all I have is nap time)...but a year isn't much, if you think about it. While I never thought I'd be where I am, less than year after leaving the workforce,  I'm so happy I've put the dedication in to give my family several online revenue streams.

The only two websites I write for are Examiner.com and eHow.com, each a little different, but each a great gig in its own right.

The last eHow article I wrote was on 9/3/09, the last one before that was on 7/31/09.  In other words: I've been on hiatis from eHow for awhile. However, I've continued to earn, and increase my monthly income, each month as you can see from screen grabs of my eHow earnings reports.  And this, my friends is the beauty of passive residual income!

So why I haven't I written for eHow lately if I continue to see such dramatic monthly earning increases? Well, I heard about this great little start-up writing site called Examiner.com. Perhaps you've heard of it. Perhaps you even write for it. I have to admit, when I first started on Examiner I wasn't too impressed with the earnings. The site pays what usually equals out to a little less than a penny a page view.   Doesn't sound like much, does it? Well, that's where a penny/page view can be deceiving.
 I have two "spots" on Examiner.  My original spot was as the Baltimore SAHMs Examiner. I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed in the payoff considering the time and effort I put into writing daily articles.  Since the site only lets you see earnings for the current and previous months, I'll just have to tell you that in July (my first month) I earned $33.95. In August, I did slightly better earning $44.24. And in September Examiner deposted $299.67 into my PayPal account.
So what happened in October? A few things:
  • Started second spot as the Celebrity Kids Examiner (earning $160.00 from September 16-30)
  • Two Examiner referrals at $50 each
So in actuality I made $199.67 for my writing efforts. (Clearly, the majority was from my new gig.) But look what happened in October with strictly writing and NO referrals. (Since I have two spots, I have two earnings reports.)

If you do the math you'll see that in just my third full month on Examiner I made almost $500! Combined with my monthly earnings from eHow, in October my grand total is just about $825!!!! And you know what that means..."Hey savings, we'll be back again, real soon!"

When I started this little thing I now call freelance writing my goal was to pay off one bill. I was so excited when I was able to do that with an ehow deposit of $26.75. Granted, it was a small bill. Now my goal is to pay the entire monthly credit card bill (which ranges between $1000-$1300 in a typical month) with just my freelance writing earnings. I hope to do it by March 2010.

I'll keep you posted!

PS. If you're wondering why I haven't been making as many blog posts as of late...now you know!

Related Links:
Earn Passive Residual Income on eHow.com (by a SAHM making $1300 a month...it's how I cracked the code)
Make real money writing for Examiner.com (part of my Make Money Monday series)

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