Saturday, May 31, 2008

Save, Save, Save, Money, Money, Money....

Hi Bay-Bee! You're doing great! Mom is feeling fine.

My friend, Timothy Chin and I host a weekly radio show called Bizz Buzz Live. It is America's Most Progressive Business Show, or at least it is going to be. It's at and most of our listeners are listening every week on the Internet. If this were 20 years ago, we couldn't have even imagined doing a show like this! Bay-Bee, it's going to be amazing to see what technology you'll see in your generation.

Besides giving out new, fresh content that is affecting businesses across the country, we also like to save our listeners money. This week, we talked about coupons and getting discounts at online retailers. It was AWESOME! Tim Chin and I did some research to find the best and most verifiable places to go.

One place Tim found was Printable Coupons . This is an online coupon blog that allows you to search for the item you want, find a coupon, and then print it out to use at the store. They had (on a sister site called Mommy Saves Big Pampers diapers, Huggies diapers, Luv diapers, Gerber formula, and more! I'm getting all your stuff at a discount! What great sites!

Another site that does similar things and is worth the trip because the items are different than Printable Coupons is Wow Coupons It's great for retailer coupons. Barnes & Noble, AMC Theaters, etc. all have great discounts out there. Before somebody does ANYTHING, they should check these two sites.

  • Dinner and Movie? Save 20 - 30% by just hitting those two sites.
  • Going to the store? Save 10-20% by checking out these sites.
  • How about a night a home?:
  • Movie Gallery coupon gets you a FREE movie with membership (at WOW Coupons),
  • Large Pizza (SPECIALTY, like SUPREME or VEGGIE-LOVERS EVEN) delivered from Pizza Hut (at WOW Coupons) for $12.99. Don't like Pizza Hut? There are 11 other options with coupons at Printable Coupons!
  • Also, for those who love those Entertainment Discount Books, you can get one for $9.99 out at Your entire family eats and gets entertained for less than $23 AND SAVES ON THE GAS which is now at $4.00 per gallon. I remember in high school and college when you would get $5 in gas and it would fill a quarter of the tank! Now if they just had coupons for gas!

Okay, we're talking discounts. I've got a great one for you. This is one of the coolest sites I've ever seen and in combination, these three sites are the bomb. :) That's lingo for really cool. And I remember the days when I was called a megafox while sporting a rat-tail and break-dancing. Yes, I was that guy. :) Anyway, here's how this works:

Go to Price Grabber at Whatever you are looking for, do a search. I'll do my example for a Garmin Nuvi (Global Positioning System -GPS device). I did the search and Price Grabber checked thousands of sites and found 47 places that sold Garmin's Nuvi. The price range was $299 to $699. Yes, a $400 difference! Before I click GO to the cheapest seller, I am going to go to two other sites: and The Internet was created for these sites!

At Current Codes and Naughty Codes, there are special discount codes for various online vendors. Without these codes, consumers pay thousands too much at different sites. For example, you go to to order a book. It asks you for a discount code. You don't have one, so you order the book and PAY TOO MUCH! With and, you get the code. Who's your daddy now?! That's right. It's me. I knew you'd be proud. :) Here's where it gets cool.

Okay, I found the Nuvi from $299 to $699. Then I went to The first two vendors at did NOT HAVE A DISCOUNT CODE. But the third one did! Here's how the first search looked before

Garmin Nuvi:
Vendor #1 = $311.90 after all taxes
Vendor #2 = $312.98 after all taxes
Vendor #3 = $316.65 after all taxes.

Vendor #1 and Vendor #2 are not on Current Codes, but at Vendor #3, they have TWO DISCOUNT CODES! $10 off purchase over $200 for 1st purchase and FOR GARMIN GPS Systems, there is a special discount of $20 off any over $250. That equates to $30 saved at Vendor #3!

After the Current Codes discount codes are included:
Vendor #3: $286.65 after all taxes, etc.
Vendor #1: $311.90 after all taxes, etc.
Vendor #2: $312.90 after all taxes, etc.

Also, something I brought up to Tim and to the listeners is that eBay has bulk discounts and coupons for sale there, so do an search for anything you might buy in bulk... like diapers. :)

Some might think, what is the big deal of saving $10 or $20? But done several times a month, dozens of times per year, and thousands of times over a lifetime, it's a new car, a first year of college for Bay-Bee, even a vacation of a lifetime. Why should you pay more?

Please comment below if you found this information helpful. I'd love to hear your successes.

Hopefully, before you buy anything, you'll please read Little Maher at --> and go to the discount sites you've seen here.

Bay-Bee, I want you to be financially-minded and frugal (bit not stingy). Hopefully, your mom and I can be a role model for you as we buy diapers, formula, clothes, and more.

Love you Bay-Bee. It's May 31 and within 30 days, I'll know whether you are the boy I'll treasure or the girl I'll cherish or is that the boy I'll cherish or the girl I'll treasure. :)

To Your Success,

Baby-Bee's Papa (Michael)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Family Reunions, Four-leaf clovers, and Chinese Food

We had our Annual Maher Family Reunion this weekend. It's every year on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. We have it at Big Hill Lake near Cherryvale in the southeast corner of Kansas. It was a good time. We saw Paula and her son, Blake and her daughter Lauren. We saw Dan (my dad's brother and your great-uncle) and MaryLou. We saw Linda (dad's sister) and Edith (dad's sister) and Jim (dad's youngest brother) and Neddy (Jim's wife). We saw Jana (Edith's daughter) and Taina (Linda's daughter) and Taina's daughter. Then there was our immediate family, Susan and Courtney, Brian, Mom, Rob and Lisa with Brady and Allyson. Everybody, your uncles and aunts, your cousins, your great-uncles and great-aunts, everybody is looking forward to meeting you next year. You'll learn to grow out of your shyness with the Maher family. :)

Something that was really cool was that while Sheri and Brady were walking they came upon a clover patch. Sheri goes, "Ooh, Brady, wouldn't it be cool to find a four-leaf clover?!" Brady goes, "Yeah!" They went from one patch to another, then lo and behold, Sheri found a four-leaf clover. A real one! I didn't even know they really existed.

Isn't it interesting how we will lose weight, we'll tan, we'll do a bunch of different things to prepare for a class reunion, but we basically show up as we are for family reunions? Isn't it great that family loves us just for who we are and how we are? :)

I'm typing this after your mom made Cashew Chicken. The thing about Chinese food is that it fills you up pretty quickly, you feel a little bloated afterwards, then you are hungry in about 2 hours. You'll get it. I'm guessing there are some Gerber's mini-meals that make you feel the same way.

By the way, Bay-Bee, I'm reading a great book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby (or something like that). It talks about systematizing your day and having standard sleep times (sleeping even before you are sleepy). I'm excited about this book because I live a very systematized life and my life has been fantastic since I have implemented my time blocking and task blocking. So hopefully, you won't have to be 30 years old before you learn this fantastic lesson.

We have a doctor's appointment on June 9 (Monday) but we won't be able to find out if you are a boy or girl yet. I'm excited to find out. It doesn't matter to me... boy or girl. Just want healthy. :) So you sleep now. I'll try to get some work done so I can earn some money and start preparing for your college fund. :)

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Apple of My Eye...

Just a quick note today...

Today's update from

"Hello, Sheri!

Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2-1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam."

I don't know why the e-mail came through with all she's, but we'll know soon! I'm going to remember not to shine a flashlight on your belly. :)

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

David Cook wins American Idol...

Hi Bay-Bee!

I thought of you many times tonight. I watched David Cook win American Idol. I watched last night as he struggled through three songs while his opponent David Archuleta sang three wonderful ballads. Simon and the judges (Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul) blasted Cook and applauded Archuleta. Then America spoke. Last night, 20 million Americans voted for David Cook to send him to the win. But what really struck me was his reaction and the way he shared the win with his brother, Andrew, who is rumored to have brain cancer and his mother. He teared up and was speechless. The overwhelming emotions of victory and accomplishment flooded him... and we, as viewers, could see it. I thought of you as I could imagine myself being much the same way when you arrive. I almost tear up just thinking of that moment.

The other thing that really struck me this evening was David Cook's transparency. He was so real, so genuine... perhaps the most real moment I've seen in a dozen or so "reality" television shows. I was proud to be a neighbor of his. Being from Kansas City (Blue Springs), he had been complimented on his genuine friendliness. But of course, Kansas City is the friendliest city in the world! Nice guys do win. In this case, a nice guy won big. He was competitive and did it in a friendly manner, even pulling David Archuleta onto the front stage with him to finish out the last song. That's what I want for you Bay-Bee. Be a winner and be a good winner. Humility, genuine joy (it's GREAT to show joy), and even while being competitive, be courteous, calm, cool, and collected.

This was the first show that really made me think of myself as a father. It really made me think beyond myself to how I would feel as your father. With shows like The Apprentice, House, and Boston Legal (the only other three non-sports shows I watch), I always put myself in the shows mentally trying to figure out the best marketing method, most logical medical solution, or easiest way to re-create the balcony scene. :). With American Idol, I was in the role of David Cook's father imagining you singing your last songs and watching as a father as you (David Cook) won with 20 million votes.

Bay-Bee, you get my vote. You are my American Idol.

To Your Success,

Baby's Papa (Michael)

P.S. I find out in two weeks whether I need to paint your room pink or blue. Either way, I'm happy as long as you're healthy. Take care of your mother. She's been feeling a lot better lately.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Because that's what friends are for...

Hi Bay-Bee!

You are now the size of an apple! You are the apple of my eye. :) Had some great conversations with some friends this week about you.

Courtney Semrau wrote that her and Nick are expecting Semrau #3 on December 28! Congrats to them and I hope that timing works out: could be a Christmas Baby AND a nice little tax deduction for 2008 or a New Years Baby (and not a tax deduction, but a prize-winner in those First Baby of the New Year contests.:) She also mentioned that all that manner-talk (Please, Thank you, Excuse Me) is going to be tested by you the first few months (and probably forever).

Michele Herman wrote a nice e-mail and supported my sentiment on clothes: "And yes! Why buy new clothes when they grow out of them in a month!? I'm the youngest and sometimes I'm pretty sure I was wearing boys clothes, not that I minded, being a tomboy, so, kudos to you! You can spend the savings on braces! ; )" She's funny. :) She grew out of her tomboy-ness to be a quite stunning young lady. Though I bet she can still play catch with a softball and throw a spiral with a football. If we have a girl, I'm betting YOU'll be able to do those as well. Right Bay-bee?

Scott Wesley and I had lunch yesterday. Always good to get together with him. He was adamant that we not find out the sex before the birth for the "surprise effect" of it. I was just as adamant that we find out early for planning purposes. I'll be stunned and surprised and amazed and overwhelmed enough just by the birth of a happy, healthy little human. :) He has three children so he's looking for surprises. :) But here's to his good health as he did break his back 60 days ago in a Baja Motorbike Race. Bad stuff. Broke his L1 (extreme lower back). Ouch. But his back was in good enough shape for him to buy me lunch. :) His wife, Brooke, is a saint for putting up with that guy. Of course, many would say the same about Sheri.

Shawn and Natilya Smeltz are potentially moving. Natilya is pregnant and expecting on July 13. Rumor has it that it will be a boy. This will be their first as well. It's a shame they may be moving out of town. That is one of the problems of my profession. I get a call, "We're moving. Can you help us sell our house?" I don't know who the person is: most of the time they are referred, sometimes they respond to an ad or see a neighbor's house sell quickly. Then, I meet them and it makes me sad that I had not met them before because they are so cool. Shawn and Natilya definitely fit in this category. Shawn and I could definitely share some conversations about people, selling, and standards of performance. He's already very successful with a very bright future ahead of him. The next city's gain is Kansas City's loss.

Sheri is feeling better, Bay-Bee. You wiped her out there for a couple of months. Now she is doing the things she loves to do: mowing the lawn, working on our rentals, helping our team members succeed, scrapbooking, etc.

I also met with Jovi Katana to discuss selling their home. He and his wife, Joan, just had a little baby Christene. Precious little girl. When I met with Jovi, he mentioned different things about his home that need to be improved. As Jovi was talking, I was mentally going through all my friends who do business around the home: he mentioned a possible re-finance so I thought of our mortgage friends, he mentioned some dry wall repair so I thought of Handyman Matters/Karen Pierce and 12 Stones/Kent Warden. He mentioned not being a yard guy so I thought of Solutions Lawn and Landscape/James Schneider. He was referred by Darrin Wolff so I reemphasized to him how great Darrin was and what a leader Darrin was at our BNI - KC Plaza group. The mechanicals and electrical were good (new home) or I would have brought up Scott Carpus of Metro Mechanical and Brian Hatfield of Mr. Electric.

I also met with Marilyn Schoenfeld about putting her home on the market. I went to work for my professional friends again when I was talking with her. What a great lady! Used to be a teacher and has some great stories. We could have talked all day. As she spoke about her home (built in 1960 by her and her husband), I continued to think of my friends in the professional world and added many more referrals to my To Do List.

I'm a dot-connector in the network of life. I'm helping Jovi while also helping these top professionals. I'm helping Marilyn while also helping my Stellar Sellers. It's a win-win-win. You see, Bay-Bee, you get what you give in this life. The more you give, the more you will receive. And it's absolutely not about the receiving, it's about the giving. Give and give and give. No keeping score, no manipulation, and no friendly blackmail. Just give without conscience, without reason, continue to produce and practice these random and not-so-random acts of kindness. It will come back. Perhaps not directly, perhaps not in business, perhaps not for a long time, but it will and all the while, you are helping your friends and you are helping build your base of friends. The way I see it is that I am building my funeral attendee list. :)

Someday I will die. It's okay Bay-Bee, it will be a long time from now, but someday, inevitably, it will happen. And at that funeral, some of the greatest people in the world will stand up and say that they knew me. They will talk about the things I did for them and the help I provided them. You will stand and speak. And all will be well. The tears will stop flowing as more and more of these great people stand and deliver. People will realize that it is not a passing, but an honoring. It is not the end of a period, but more of a comma in life, a moment to stop and reflect on what has come before. Remember, Bay-Bee: You live as long as there is somebody to remember you.

Because that's what friends do and that's what friends are for...

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Visitor Posts

Comments: I have now updated all settings so that anybody can post. Just click on Comment and say what you feel. :) Show the blog to your kids and have them post.

Subscribing: At the very bottom of the blog is a place to Subscribe. As an active blogger and busy person, I highly suggest that you do this so that you can get updates as they come rather than having check the site often.

To YOUR Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

Happy Mother's Day...

Hi Bay-bee!

Well Mother's Day Weekend ended yesterday. It certainly brings a whole new perspective this year with Sheri being a soon-to-be mother. We spent the Sunday cleaning my mom's basement. After 5 kids and 30 years, that was a heck of an undertaking.

Today, we had our second doctor's visit with Dr. Piquard. She put up the ultrasound to hear your heartbeat again. You are 160 beats per minute. (You were at 167 bpm at the first appointment). It still gives me chills to hear your heart beat. Too cool.

Sunday would have also been your grandpa's (my dad's) 70th birthday! May 11. He didn't make it to hear your heartbeat, but I know that with every heartbeat, he is there. You will hear a lot about him and he lives on as I honor him. You live as long as there is someone there to remember you. You will see that making an impact with other people is what truly makes life worth living. But for now, it's about staying healthy buster. Keep that heart beating as fast or slow as you need it and thanks for letting up on mom. She is feeling a lot better now.

Today, it's about a few other etiquette items. We discussed "Please" and "Thank you". Let's chat about "Excuse me." What you will find about this phrase is that it has many uses. Such as:

You say this before you get up from the dinner table. At which you will be wearing a shirt, shoes, no hat, and both feet under the table (I struggled with that one as a kid... meals were like temporary pit stops between ball-playing times. :).

You accidentally burp loud enough for the neighbors to hear you. You say, "Excuse me."

Your mom (or dad) is on the phone. You say, "Excuse me." Mom or dad will cover the phone and let you know how much time before we'll be able to attend to your needs. You will wait patiently. We will be very proud of you for doing this. Then, we will hang up the phone probably faster than we normally would have because we want to help you. But you must please let us get off the phone before attending to your needs. Thank you.

You accidentally burp up some of that delicious baby food onto your Uncle Rob's shoe. You would say, "Excuse me."

Isn't this a cool phrase? It allows you to show manners after a bodily function (malfunction?) and also allows you to get attention in the finest form.

Example using all three phrases: "Mom, please let me help you clear the table. Thank you for that excellent meal. Excuse me (as you get up)."

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

P.S. And to all those mothers out there, a most sincere and understanding Happy Mother's Day! :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Day I Found Out...

Hi Bay-Bee! :)

The Unofficial Day:

I remember the day your mom showed me the EPT results. I didn't know whether to cry, laugh, scream for joy, or let out a big yell. It came out a muffled, "all right honey" and a long hug. We were having a baby. You see, you are special. You are our baby. :) I grabbed Sheri and set up Parenting Magazine and the baby books we have and set them just so on the bed. Then I put the EPT stick on the magazine, like a beautiful still art photo. One problem. The results of the EPT are in some LCD digital thing and everytime we took a photo the glare would block out the results! We took about 10 shots trying no lights, lights, different angles, the whole nine yards. Eventually, we just gave up and were rolling with laughter. There was no way to get this picture. So I told Sheri we'll Google Image it and so we did. Here it is. The bottom one is what we were trying to take a picture of. Obviously this person is a better photographer than either your dad or your mom. :)

The Official Results:

On March 26, 2008, I went to St. Louis with Tim Chin, Jimmy Ezell, and Dr. Jim Filberth for Red Carpet Day for our online travel business. We had some great conversations. On our way back on Thursday, March 27, we were doing some scripting and some chatting about growing our businesses. I borrowed Tim Chin's phone (because I struggle to hear on mine) to call a potential partner for this business. So Tim Chin had my phone. While I was on the phone, Tim Chin said, "What's official?" I said, "What?" He said, "Sheri texted you and said, 'It's official.'" I hung up and said, "Hey give me that."

Sheri wrote, "I had the doctor's appointment today. It's official. We're pregnant." I almost cried again. I told the crew in the car even though it was a little early to do so. I think Tim Chin would have had it around town in 10 days any way. :) I was swelling with pride. How cool is that?! I'm going to have a baby.

I remember very little from the last two hours of the drive as I thought about being a father. Your father.

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Day After the Big Announcement...

Bay-Bee, you would be so happy today. Your parents are so very happy. Dozens of well-wishers have expressed their thoughts and prayers for your health and happiness. With a support system like that you are very lucky (and so are your parents). We're lucky to have friends like Tammy, Mike, Ilsa, Brenda, Karen, Dan, Kelly, Greg, James, Dee, Katrina, Amy, John, Orly, Kristy, Sheryl, Linda, Jolene, and more. We also have a few subscribers who signed up below to get e-mail/RSS updates when I write you another note. Then, they don't have to check it all the time to see what updates are made. How cool is that?

Today's lesson is about Please and Thank you. Your grandfather, who is no longer with us, was a very wise man. His name was Pat. He had these little sayings and lessons that I always thought were nerdy, quirky, stupid, or kind of off the wall, but as I have gotten older, I have seen the wisdom in his words. I remember him telling me, "Please use the words Please and Thank You as often as you can. Thank you." What great advice! There is more to that suggestion than just words. It is putting yourself into a mannered servant's role. Bay-Bee, there is humility there. Here are some examples for you to practice:

Mom, will you please pass the baby food? Thank you.

Dad, will you please change me now? Aw, thank you.

Aunt Jolene, would you please let me pick out my own shoes now? Thank you. :)

Great-Aunt Linda, please hug me. Aw, thank you.

Reader, will you please subscribe below so that you don't have to remind yourself to check Thank you so much.

When in doubt, use Please and Thank you. Without these words, you can come across a way that you don't want to... demanding, insincere, unappreciative, or pompous. We both know that you don't want to come across as any of those. You are appreciative, generous, and humble even in your greatness. So, Bay-Bee, I repeat what my wise father said to his son, "Please use Please and Thank you. Thank you." I love you Bay-Bee. Please don't ever forget that. Thank you.

To Your Success,

Papa (Michael)

Conceived on a Carnival Cruise!...Happy Valentines Day!

Well, hi. You are a mere 14 weeks old, but you've caused a ruckus in your mom and my lives already. :) We are nervous, excited, hopeful, smiling like idiots, we are so glad you are coming on November 12. We tried for a while before you, a miracle baby were conceived on a cruise. Thank you Carnival! :) Perhaps that is TMI (too much information) for you, but I want you to know everything. I want to provide such a warm, receptive environment for you. I want you to feel unconditional love. You have already become a major part of my life and I am looking, so looking forward to November that you have no idea. You will become the focus for my life. In good times and bad, in high times and sad, I'll still be your dad. :) And I am not naive to think that we won't have the bad with the good and sad with the high. I love Bay-Bee. :)

Why Bay-Bee? Oh, we can't really talk names yet, we don't know if you are a boy or a girl! We have to wait another few weeks. Many of our friends are asking whether we want a boy or a girl. I answer healthy. I just want you to be healthy. Please God I'm praying for healthy. So as far as names we'll wait for a few weeks. Your first name was Peanut. We went with this because in the first ultrasound you looked like a peanut. Your mom and me are creative that way. :) Now you are Limey (sounds like Jaime) because yes, you guessed it, you are shaped like a lime. Which is interesting because lemons are more common and the same size, but they don't think parents want to hear their baby looks like a lemon. So you are Limey. Next Monday, May 12, 2008, you will be Apple. As in the apple of my eye... and you'll be shaped like an apple. You're growing rapidly.

I'm looking forward to chatting with you on our own little blog.

To Your Success,

Papa (Michael)