Archive for » April, 2008 «

try not to twist the knife

Have you seen that commercial for the cell phone with Meatloaf?

Hubby & I were watching TV the other night when it came on. I turned to him and asked, “When did Meatloaf get old?”

His response: “About the same time we did.”

Ouch.

In the motherhood

baby and meBefore the Wee One, my best friend used to tell me how much being a mom changes you. I only half believed her because I was already a mom. Sort of. That’s not to say step-moms are not moms. They are. It’s just different.

But then I had my own kid and my heart opened even further. I wish I had known how to open it like this sooner. Don’t misunderstand – I love my step-daughter. She is my kid as far as I’m concerned. But I wish I’d been more patient, more understanding. Because I feel more patient, calmer, and maybe just a tiny bit wiser. And I wish she’d gotten some of the benefit from this.

Even when I’m having a bad day, stressed to the core, I look at that little boy and things get better. I stop, and I smile at him to make sure he doesn’t just see a frowning mama all the time. I want him to remember joy from his childhood. A sense of well-being. Security.

Being a mom has really, truly changed me. I knew I had a capacity for love, but I didn’t know how deep it was. I’ve always felt a bit selfish. But there’s no getting by with that now. My needs are minor compared to someone who depends on me for their very existence. Oh, I still try to fit in taking care of myself when I can, but most of his needs take precedence. They just do. I’m the one that has to learn balance, not him.

My heart feels bigger (as do my hips, but that’s a story for another time). I’m learning not to sweat the small stuff, like the river of poop that landed in my lap today when the kid had a diaper blowout (around his leg – how does that happen?). I am finally able to stop and ask myself “Will this matter tomorrow? Next week?” And the little things rarely will.

Being a mom is wonderful, amazing, and hard as can be. I still frequently feel frazzled, like I’m not getting anything done. Or at least, not enough. J has been incredibly helpful in that regard. And understanding.

So my friend was right. Motherhood has changed me. And I’m pretty sure it’s for the better.

get out (of the house)

Jose's La Jolla I’m trying to get out of the house every day, or at least every other day. That probably doesn’t sound that hard to most people. But right now I work from home. And with an almost-5-month-old (!) to care for, it’s not easy for me to leave. Not without great effort.

Laugh at me if you will, but it’s still an ordeal to get out of the house. Even a walk around the neighborhood requires at least the baby stroller, my wallet, keys, cell phone, a binkie, and a burp cloth. And shades. And water. See how the list keeps growing?

But I am making the effort some days. Other days, for instance when he wakes up at 3 in the morning, I’m just too tired to do more than nap when he naps (and when I don’t have to work – I have a set schedule I must adhere to).

People tell you it’s important to get out of the house. And they’re right. It’s good for me to do more than sit all day long. And it’s good for the baby to see new things and get some fresh air. I think he gets bored when he’s in the bedroom/office all day long. Oh, I play with him, walk him around the apartment. But our place is tiny. There’s lots to look at, but he still needs some variety — even as he needs routine.

Earlier this week I walked down to Starbucks, about a 1/2 mile or so. Don’t give me a hard time – it’s either that or the donut shop. The donut shop is within our block and their coffee is not to my taste. So Starbucks it is! I ran into a couple of moms who were there to have some time without their kids, but were happy to chat and ask me about the baby. It was nice. I didn’t have to chat – just being out and among other people is enough for me. But I don’t mind answering questions about the baby. (What’s his name, how old is he, is this your first one, etc.)

If you’re a new mom, you really need to get out of the house. Don’t isolate yourself. Walk around the neighborhood, to the park, the library, the bookstore, the mall. Do something. Just get out. It will improve your outlook immensely.

And if you can’t leave the house, get online and connect with some other moms. You’re not alone. You can commiserate, complain, or just know that you’re not alone. If you’re not already reading Moxie, and you’re a mom of a small one, I think you should check it out. She has some great posts, especially the ones where other moms chip in about their experiences, and the ones about avoiding PPD.

I’ve been fortunate to feel just fine after the baby, but I know many moms who went through some rough times. So if you’re out there, and you’re desperate for sleep or adult conversation, get some help any which way you can. Insist on it.

I’m not sure how my post turned into that, but I’m leaving it. Someone, somewhere, may just need to hear this, and find some ways to connect, or to get some more info. I hope she does, whoever she is.

baby, i’m amazed by you

Me and the Boobah My son is discovering his hands and it’s a fascinating experience. He gazes at them, turning them around, wiggling his fingers. You can almost see his mind working. “Wow, these are so cool! I didn’t know they’d do that. I wonder if they’ll fit in my mouth?” Everything that gets close to his face gets pushed towards his mouth. He doesn’t hit it every time, but he’s getting there.

His movements are getting better, although they are still a bit jerky. He waves his arms and manages to hit himself in the noggin half the time.

But his new favorite thing is the best part. He loves it. It’s bouncing. When he pushes against me with his feet, I use the momentum to lift him. Over and over. And over. He thinks it’s great and grins like crazy. I must get it on tape for his grandparents. It’s the cutest thing.

Everyone who sees this kid just has to stop and talk to him (you know, when he’s awake). His smile is infectious and they stop to smile back at him. It’s fun to watch because he’ll smile at anyone. And his little personality is starting to shine through.

I am so amazed every day by this kid.

My favorite time of the day is the early morning, after he eats. We lie in bed, snuggling. Sometimes he naps, other times he’s quite chatty. I can’t put into works how lovely it is to lie there, sniffing his head, touching his face, looking into those beautiful eyes. It’s a balm to my soul like no other.

I think I’ll keep him. No, I’m sure of it.

mother nature is a skeevy hoor

We went from chilly days where I need a sweater and sometimes boots and jumped straight to shorts weather. What happened to spring, mother nature? What happened to those beautiful, just-right days where you can run around in capris and short sleeves until evening? Instead, I’m mopping my brow on the walk down to the coffee shop and back.

I want my money back, mother nature.

Here’s hoping some of those beautiful southern California spring days find their way back to our neck of the woods. I’ll feel cheated out of April and May without them.

Category: babbling, miscellany  Tags: , , ,  Comments off

this is wrong

And I can’t stop laughing.

Found over at Scalzi’s.

Category: miscellany  Tags: , , ,  Comments off

blogging is fun again

Between the new site design, new version of WordPress, and finally getting my domain name pointing correctly after way too long, I believe that blogging is finally fun for me again. Yippee!

I’m really just a big dork and new toys are always great fun for me. Oh, look! Something shiny!

Yeah, it’s kinda bad. But at least this new toy is FREE!

Category: meta, techie talk  Tags: , ,  Comments off

Reading: SEO Bible by Jerri L. Ledford

I’m about 1/4 of the way into the SEO Bible by Jerri L. Ledford. I’ve been meaning to read up on Search Engine Optimization. While I know some of the basics, there’s a lot I could learn and do better. And I think Ledford’s book will get me there.

She starts out by explaining SEO, what it means, why it’s important, and why you should be using it. The first two chapters are dedicated to understanding SEO, including the basics of what search engines are and how they work. Ledford also recommends creating an SEO plan before you build your site (if you can). She also makes it clear that certain techniques are more likely to get you banned from search engines and should be avoided.

Ledford’s writing is easy to understand. She doesn’t talk down to the reader or use too much jargon that makes the book difficult to grasp. She explains each concept thoroughly before moving on to the next topic without droning on & on.

I’m currently in Chapter 3. I’m moving through it slowly so I can absorb the information – and there’s a lot! The main book is almost 300 pages, and close to 100 more comprise the appendices and glossary.

So far I’m finding a wealth of information with clearly explained topics and instructions. I feel confident that as I progress through the book I’ll be able to implement Ledford’s recommendations. When I get further along, I’ll revisit my thoughts on the book. And as I incorporate her advice, I’ll let you know how it goes.

don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky – stormy weather

I lived in the Midwest until I was twenty. I have many fond memories of that time. My family, the people, the gorgeous, green landscape. I lived in the Ozark hills (yeah, that makes me a hillbilly). If you’ve never seen it, no description of mine can do it justice. Rolling hills, acres of trees, and every shade of green you can possibly imagine.

It’s serene. Peaceful. My heart longs for the sights and sounds there. It’s comfortable. It’s home.

But I can’t say that I miss this time of year. It’s tornado weather back there. Thunderstorms. The limbo between hot and cold weather, where two fronts collide and wreak havoc on everyone around. One of my biggest fears was always a nighttime tornado. One that strikes without warning while you’re fast asleep in your bed, aware of nothing.

I would peek out my window and wait for the lightning just so I could see the sky and make sure there were no ominous funnels headed our way. (Um, I was a bit of a worrisome child if you must know.) I was terrified that the lightning would strike us, but more terrified of a huge gust of wind that could take away everything I knew and loved. It was indiscriminate. Uncontrollable. And I was scared of anything I couldn’t control.

I’m better now. Maybe it’s the number of years I’ve been away. Maybe I’ve learned to live with things I can’t control. But I still feel my heartbeat pick up, my breathing get a little faster and shallower, my palms start to moisten. Tornadoes are nothing to mess with. And they don’t care who you are or where you live. Your neighbor’s house could be missed by inches while yours is obliterated. It’s unfathomable.

So that is one thing I don’t miss about living in the Midwest. But I certainly will hold all of my friends and family in those areas in my thoughts today. It looks like stormy weather is brewing. Be safe, y’all.

WordPress 2.5

I just installed the newest version of WordPress – 2.5. At first, I was a little confused and didn’t know where to find things. But now I’m digging it. It’s a cleaner design and actually easier to use.

I still need to figure out where everything is, but in the long run the simplicity will be a plus. Too many links tends to overwhelm me. So yes, call me crazy, but I think I may like this dashboard better than EE. Maybe it’s because EE is more CM than I need. But I work in all kinds of CMs in my job, so it’s not like it’s intimidating. More like, frustrating to try and find what I need.

I’m a techie, yes, but not when it comes to the more complicated server stuff. I’m just not used to it and it takes me a long time to research something. And there’s lots of trial and error. Right now, I just don’t have time for all of that trial & error. Nor do I have the money to pay someone a few hundred dollars to do it for me, even if it is a business expense. Other priorities right now. Someday, I would love to just pay someone to take care of everything in the background and allow me to just write. Right now, that’s just a line on the wish list (take a number!).

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