Monthly Archives: November 2010

Final conclusions

Standard

Well, here it is. The last day of the month and the official (or unofficial?) NaBloPoMo conclusion day. I do have to say I learned a lot about my writing, creativity, dedication and interest in writing. Although I didn’t write every day like we were “supposed to,” the writing or non-writing of this blog had me thinking about why I wrote or didn’t write in the first place. I will say that I’ll continue to do my best to write daily, but I learned that writing daily really didn’t get me more hits or reads of this blog as I had intended.

As a plus, this month I did get myself involved in a couple of blogging groups, which I don’t think I would have done otherwise. I created a Facebook page for my Mama Bird Blog and also a separate Twitter account. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many followers on my new Twitter account in such a short time. Finding others thru those folks also widened my audience and increased ways for me to get out there to learn more about mom bloggers and blogging in general.

I still haven’t figured out how I want to focus this blog. I guess I already have a focus: myself and my daughter. But I have to be honest with myself–my life is not that spectacular that people would keep returning to read about my day. I have read so many blogs over the past month and tried to find myself in them, or even writing them. I just can’t find a particular ongoing passion (as I’m passionate about many things) and tend to write when the passion hits on any particular subject.

What I do know is that I tend to be quite different in my thinking than a lot of moms, or people, I should say. When 99% of the population agrees on something, there’s me on the other end creeping in a corner so I don’t get screamed at or looked at like I’m the anti-Christ. With that being said, I know there needs to be a voice for people like me/us, but in all honesty I have a thin skin. I wish I had  thicker skin, but I do care about what people think of me. I don’t want to be labeled as a particular person because of one particular view. So, I could make a mark, but at what cost?

I haven’t found any blogs like I would like to write, probably because I haven’t found a ton of people that think like me. I’m not trying to be egotistical or elitist in any way, but as I thinking about my life since I was a teenager, I see now why I was left so confused at times. I’ve held my tongue most of my l ife because I want to fit in, but part of me just wants to yell from the rooftops “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING??”

I will give a quick example of a topic I heard on The Talk this afternoon (the new all women talk show started by Sharon Osbourne). The topic was “co-sleeping.” I first found it quite odd that many in the audience had not even heard of this term. I guess if I wasn’t a mom maybe I wouldn’t know, but in my opinion, you’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard about this. Basically, the panel was  on one side of the other. As Julie Chen said: “Who in the audience thinks co-sleeping is WRONG and who thinks it’s RIGHT?” Caps are there for a reason. Right and wrong? I have so many issues here. Although I appreciate Attachment Parenting and co-sleeping, our family doesn’t subscribe to it entirely. But do I think it’s WRONG? NO! Everyone has a right to do what they feel is right in their own home and for their family. For me, it’s just like religion: feel free to do what you want in your free time, but don’t push it on me. That doesn’t mean you can’t talk about it, but I’d rather have an adult conversation about something rather than someone pointing at me saying that I’m corrupting my child because I don’t let her sleep in the bed with us!

I like the fact that they talked about it on the show and even gave some stats, but right and wrong?

My daughter just turned 16 months yesterday and what I’ve learned as a parent over this time is that we ALL do things differently. Why? BECAUSE EACH CHILD IS DIFFERENT! I have two friends that subscribe to total Attachment Parenting and it worked for them, then there’s me and others that don’t and it works fabulous for us. I don’t believe anyone is “right or wrong” in this situation, it’s really what is right for that family. So, if a kid takes longer to sleep by themselves because the co-slept for 2+ years, then that is on the family. Let them deal with it. And, it’s highly possible it won’t be an issue anyway.

And, one last point as this is my blog and this annoyed me.. for someone as intelligent as Julie Chen is, it surprised and embarrassed me to think that one of her reasons for not co-sleeping with her child is that she would roll over onto her baby and smother them. Really? There are so many devices like this one that give you more freedom and peace of mind, that shouldn’t even be an issue. I found her reasoning a cop-out and I felt embarrassed for her. This is TV in the end, and maybe she was saying what she thought other parents would think, but come on. She lost points for me there.

As you can see, I am passionate about a few things and there are things I feel comfortable talking about, but some of the major issues that have come up in the media lately (parent or non-parent related) are just tough to talk about, especially with my views. I guess the next time something critical comes up in the media I’ll try to find a story or blog that has my views to see if I could write such a thing. I guess that is my next task.

So there’s my blogging month training program in a nutshell. I learned a lot, thought a lot, got creative, got in action, joined a few groups and feel on my way. I still have a long way to go and I think next year I’ll be looking for a blog/writing mentor, but at least I have some outlets now to find such a person. I feel good about it and it seems like a lot of fun 🙂 Maybe one day you’ll see me on one of these talk shows.. AND saying what I really want to say to the world without being ashamed or embarrassed.

Here’s to blogging in 2011!!!

What do you all think about what I wrote? Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts!

Advertisements

Turkey Trot

Standard
Turkey Trot 2010

Me, Vanessa, John, Claudia and Corey after the race

When I first started my 5K training in May I said I’d run the Turkey Trot this year. Ended up that I ran the Oak Scare 5K thru our Y on October 30, first. I totally forgot about the Turkey Trot until I heard someone talking about it. I rushed onto the Internet to find the local race and I got in.

It seems that every morning I get up to run (which is not often) I usually don’t want to get up. I wasn’t even feeling 100% but I had 3 other people who I convinced to run with me so I couldn’t bag out. On top of that, it was in the low 30s. Have I said I’m not a cold weather person?

I grew up in Texas and it rarely gets below 30 and when it does you don’t leave the house. It’s pretty easy to do that as the next day usually goes back up to 70, but not in MA. I think it was 32 when we left the house. I was layered, but we literally had to go back to the car once we got our numbers to warm up–our hands and other extremities. I’m glad we had time to do that because it would have been a REALLY long race if we hadn’t.

I am happy to report that not only did the race start on time, we started early (the Oak Scare started 15 minutes late as most of us were standing there freezing and our muscles continuing to get cold–not good for runners). This course was “flat and fast” as they said. I never really get when a road is described as “flat.” What the hell are they talking about? There were no major hills on this course, but there were a couple hills. In fact, as soon as we rounded the first corner there was the hill–liars.

The race was in my neighborhood-ish area so I knew a lot of the course. I took advantage of knowing the Washington Street hill as we had that as a downhill. Thank you Boston Volvo (they sponsored the race). I knew exactly where I could pick up my pace and when I needed to hold off. Fairly cool. Ironically it was the exact opposite way we ran for the Oak Scare. But either way, it’s great to know a lot of your town and the roads in it.

I ran with 3 friends and one new one. I’m finding it’s a lot more fun running with people you know, even if you don’t stay together. As I told my group, I definitely would be the last of our group coming in (and I was), but that didn’t matter. In fact, I got a bit of a cheering section as I ran towards the finish line.

I’m happy to report that I took almost a minute off my run time from October and went from a 11:25 to a 11:05 pace. Granted, there was no big hill today, but I’ll take that as a confidence booster 🙂

I like this running thing. If you asked me a year ago if I’d be running 5Ks at the end of this year I would have asked you what you were smokin’. It’s a great feeling and a cool thing knowing that I’m 40 and took on something like this later in life.

Me proud.

Social Media Club

Standard

I didn’t need the brownie-cake thing I ate last night.

Sitting down to talk to people would have given me more confidence and has zero calories. I think I learned my lesson.

I went to a meeting thru the Social Media Club Boston last night to learn more about professional blogging. It was really for people who were in businesses who wanted to tap into the Mom Blogosphere, as it were. I was a bit out of my element, but at least I was ready for it.

Other than getting the info, it was also a networking sort of event. I remembered those. I loved them at the time when I worked in College Admissions and other sales type jobs, but I really just wanted to sit there and listen to a bunch of people speak. So much for my 10 on the Extrovert scale. Although I only said a few words to one person (probably wasn’t the best thing to do), I did glean a lot of useful information. I listened as if I were a business.. that my blog was a business and tried to get my head around what I could do differently to get some readership up on here.

I have some ideas, but I have to be careful as to not lose my integrity. I don’t want to sell myself off or not say things because I think it’s not PC. I do have to say I have held my typing tongue many days as I honestly do feel alone in the mom world on many hot topics. I will refrain from listing them here, but just look at the headlines over the past week or so. Generally I have an opinion and it’s NOT what most people would say.

Anyway, I took some time last night and today to create a Facebook account for my blog and also a new Twitter account. I feel like I’m starting over in the social media world, but at least I know what I need to do and can do it quickly. I’m also lucky to have a good friend who started a social media business in TX. I’ve already reached out to him so I can really get a handle on “The Twitter” and get the most bang for my buck.

As I told my husband last night, I have one lofty goal regarding this blog, but I’m willing to take baby steps to see what I need to do tomorrow instead of looking ahead a year or whatever. I got last night that I need to go to more of these talks and seek out other moms in my position (mom bloggers or writers that need to increase their readership). I really just want people to be interested in what I’m doing, but really, who cares what I’m doing if I don’t have a story!?

When I was pregnant I definitely had said story. And even as a new mom, my breastfeeding issues and all that could have people reading, but now? I have a toddler that basically doesn’t give me any trouble. I don’t work, I’m not feeling isolated and I’m not depressed. I have friends, enjoy my life and my husband is good to me. Who wants to read that?

Time to research more of these mom blog talks and conferences to see what I can do. Sure, it would be great to be able to make money off my blogs or be such a great writer/speaker that I’m asked to talk all over the place, but I need A STORY.

Patience.. patience..

One thing I do know is.. I’m skipping the brownie cake stuff next time 🙂 More talk, less calories.

NaBloPoMo?

Standard

Did I mention how hard it is to write every day?

This weekend was crazy. Started out awesome.. great Friday, beautiful weather, etc., etc. Things were going my way. The universe seemed to like me. I was looking ahead to a scheduled, but not so busy weekend. I should have recognized the trap.

I scheduled our Holiday picture photo shoot early this year, like this weekend. I was very proud of myself, calling to get the appointment at the time close to what I wanted at one of the studios close to where we live (versus the 25 minute drive to the mall in the ‘burbs). It was all set. I knew what we were all wearing, told the husband, everything was a go.

Saturday morning comes. We are all tired, but in good spirits. Got dressed as if we’re going to a Christmas ball and head over to the studio. “We have a breakdown,” my husband tells me as I step out of the elevator (we took separate cars due to more of my brilliant planning to get Jackie home for her nap on time). I was perplexed. A breakdown? What could have happened?

“We have you down for tomorrow morning,” the manager says. TOMORROW? WHAT? The Universe had turned its back on me.

Come to find out either someone told me the wrong day or my mind played a trick on me once again and I THOUGHT she said Saturday, but it was indeed Sunday. There was no place to fit us in, no cancellations. Oh, one while we were standing there, but at noon. No can do.

Both mornings of my weekend were basically screwed now. I would miss running one of those days due to this craziness not to mention attempting to sleep in. Plus, we were risking Jackie being in a bad mood the next day. I wish I hadn’t thought it.

We get thru Saturday, have a good date night (but not such a good movie) and do it all over again Sunday morning–same outfits and all.

I was ready for a good shoot; tried to put things in perspective that we were doing this WAY early so we’d have December to relax, or at least not rush.. or at least not have something else to do.

Ended up the photographer that I was promised wasn’t that great. This “manager-type person” supposedly got promoted from the other studio because she was so great. Really? I know it’s early on a Sunday and I know your other manager gave me a $50 credit for the problems yesterday, but can you have some personality for my daughter? How about not making me do all the work to get her to smile. I thought we were paying YOU to do that job. Oh, and how about having props that weren’t damaged so the pictures would look somewhat professional?

Thankfully we got a few good shots so we could make our Holiday cards elsewhere, but they basically lost over $100 from us due to all these issues. Look, I take responsibility that I may have, probably, made the mistake about the day, but there’s no excuse for a child photographer to not have a personality and to make our session not-so-fun.

Luckily that was our last session of our membership so we really made out well on the package, along with the credit I received, but this is why I did NOT want to go to this studio. I should have gone with my gut.

The good news? Our holiday cards are ordered and should be here in a week. I wonder if I’ll beat my record of getting our cards out before December 1?

Either way, is that a good excuse on why I didn’t write over the past couple days? It should be 🙂

Roller coaster

Standard

Wow. I was just in the best mood! Finally got outside, sun was shining (now it’s pitch black 1 hour later), and I was about to get a ton of stuff done.. then.. the dreaded text that DH has to stay late and I have a commitment before he’s expected home. I was going to post this for how I’m feeling:

Now it’s this..

HAHA! Have fun!!

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

Standard

Written by who knows but this is great!

“Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they
haven’t thought about it, don’t have it on their schedule, didn’t know it
was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who
passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back.
From then on, I’ve tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn’t
suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does
the word ‘refrigeration’ mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you
watched ‘Jeopardy’ on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said , ‘How about going
to lunch in a half hour?’ She would gas up and stammer, ‘I can’t. I have
clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I
had a late breakfast, It looks like rain’ And my personal favorite: ‘It’s
Monday.’ She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our
headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves
when all the conditions are perfect!

We’ll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve
toilet-trained. We’ll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet.
We’ll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and
the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken,
and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of ‘I’m going to,’ ‘I
plan on,’ and ‘Someday’ when things are settled down a bit.’

When anyone calls my ‘seize the moment’ friend, she is open to adventure
and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her
enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes,
and you’re ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and
skip an elevator for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It’s
just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula
and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and
bought a triple-dip. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I
would have died happy.

Now…go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to…not something
on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one
phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And
why are you waiting?

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the
rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight or
gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on
the fly? When you ask ‘How are you?’ Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores
running through your head? Ever told your child, ‘We’ll do it tomorrow.’
And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good
friendship die? Just call to say ‘Hi’?

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened
gift….Thrown away…. Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the
music before the song is over.”

To those who are reading this, I cherish our connection and appreciate
all you do.

‘Life may not be the party we hoped for… but while we are here we might
as well dance!’

I got nothin’

Standard

I should be napping, but why bother when you really only have a half hour? I’m sure I’ll be dreading it later.

Another weird week–Jax still a bit off from the MMR shot. That thing really got her. Nothing horribly bad, but a few hours of fever and days of sleep. On one level it was good; I got to sleep more. But DH and I were starting to worry. I actually called the doc yesterday, and of course because there’s no fever or major decrease in appetite, it’s time to wait. It’s the line I get 99.9% of the time. I wonder why I keep calling.

Due to all this sleeping, we missed our playgroup yesterday. I considered it today, but we have music class. She loves it. We’ll make the sleep up later today or maybe we are back to normal? What is normal anyway?

These are the times where I consider being a mom “hard.” The not knowing of what to expect at any given moment, but I think I’m getting used to that “place.” There’s really not much you can do anyway, so I might as well roll with the punches than get all anxious and worried. It’s hard sometimes, but I’m definitely in a place I thought I’d never be able to achieve.

Oh well.. sorry for the rambling and semi-boring blog this morning. Trying to get those daily blogs in is tough.. I got nothin’ 🙂

**UPDATE**
We missed music class. Couldn’t wake the girl even after turning the light on, saying her name a million times and even tapping her a bit. I took that as a sign that she’d rather sleep than dance 🙂 Another makeup class is in our future…