Being a better blogger

The lovely and oh-so-talented MK of MK in Wonderland wrote a post a few weeks ago about losing your blogging voice. I encourage you to read her blog in it’s entirety but to sum-up, she talked about how rocking her new baby boy to sleep USED to be the catalyst for her blog ideas and now that her son isn’t in need of bed time rocking, she feels her voice is lost. I too, feel my voice has been much harder to find than it used to be. Perhaps it decided to go on holiday {hopefully when you read that it sounded like it was being spoken in a dainty british accent} or maybe it’s just hibernating for… summer?… but either way I’d like it to make it’s presence known once more!

I feel like I’ve hit a cranial roadblock of sorts and it’s definitely affected the caliber of my posts.

Perhaps it’s the lack of human interaction that has come with being a SAHM {not that my daughter isn’t human… she’s super human… but our in-depth conversations about life, love, and the pursuit of chocolate are somewhat one-sided at this point} or perhaps it’s my new mommy scatterbrain that can’t find 30 minutes to sit down and concoct a post of value.  Or perhaps I’m totally full of crap and trying desperately to make an excuse for all of the pathetic picture-heavy, 20-word recipe posts peppering my pages. I mean seriously… Recipe Monday? My cooking skills are not good enough to name an entire DAY after my kitchen conquests. Whatever the reason, I’ve been slacking. Big time. Let’s face it, the last 250 words you just read are probably the most thoughtful I’ve written in lord knows how long.

Is it me or is this brain-dump a little “perhaps” heavy?

Anyway. I hereby promise to you, my lovely readers, whether you be bloggers yourselves, friends, family members, total strangers, first time visitors, long time subscribers, or CYBERBOTS attempting to send me stupid gibberish SPAM comments, that I will do my darndest to find that pesky voice of mine, rangle it in, and use it to be a better blogger. Afterall, no one likes it when a blog that was once interesting turns into a pile of poo.

…perhaps

Until next time…

What do you do to help kick that cranial roadblock to the wayside and set your VOICE into overdrive? Is there something you do in day-to-day life that ALWAYS provides you with great ideas? What are some of the more interesting activities you’ve participated in that provided the best blog content?

Five Question Friday

Happy first day of JUNE everyone! Can you believe this much of 2012 is already over? Nuts I tell you, nuts!

It’s been a while since I participated in this link up but I’ve been a little behind on getting my posts ready {lots going on this week/weekend} so why not jump back in now? In case you’re new to Life in these times… this link up comes from Mama M at My Little Life. Every friday she gets followers to help her compile a list of five questions and invited bloggers to JOIN THE PARTY and share their answers. It’s a fun way to get to know a little more about the people behind your favorite blogs. On to the questions!

Five Question Friday button

1. What were you scared of as a kid?

My simplest answer would have to be any creepy crawlies, particularly spiders and snakes. {I still hate spiders but at least have the guts to grab a shoe and kill the little suckers. And I’d say my fear of snakes as somewhat subsided since the hubs and I used to own two of them as pets}.

A more complex answer would be that I was afraid of not being liked. I was a big-time follower when I was young and I’m sad to say that it probably cost me a lot of possible friends. I did what the “cool” kids did just so I wouldn’t get picked on {although sometimes it didn’t matter} and it’s one of my biggest regrets. I learned a lot about myself looking back on my stupid, fear-driven, adolescent behavior but I know it probably hurt a lot of really kind people for which I’m truly sorry.

Didn’t know the first question in June would be so deep did you?


2. Do you sleep well in a hotel?

For the most part. I used to get really irritated by hotel sheets, or the detergent used to clean them {hopefully they were clean.. bleh} so I would toss and turn a lot. I haven’t stayed in a hotel in quite a while but having the hubs with me makes it more like home.


3. If you could meet any celebrity, dead or alive, who and why?

Every time I come across this question I always say Ginger Rogers. She’s actually a distant cousin on my mother’s father’s side and I’d love to pick her brain about her career, personal life, and how she quite literally DANCED through life! I did a project on her in a high school Spanish class and even borrowed one of the show choir gowns to dress up like her. Ever since then I’ve been in awe of her grace and inspired by her story. Plus the fact that we are related is pretty awesome. While I could go on and on listing celebrities I would love to meet I think it’s wise to just stick with my number one and save you pages and pages of names!


4. It’s a hot summer day. Do you prefer to be pool side or at the beach?

You can never beat the beach… there’s nothing like it! The sand in your toes, the sound of the waves, and that undeniable SMELL of the shore are a few of my all time favorite things. I’m definitely a BEACH BABE!

Although the pool, when it’s not swarming with annoying tweens, is also quite nice. I’m excited to get Keelin in her swimsuit and out into the pool someday soon but even more excited to go to the beach in a few months!


5. What is your favorite summer dish?

When I was a kid I used to go CRAZY for this frozen fruit cocktail my mom would make. Creamy, dreamy, sweet, and  fruity, it was always the perfect summer treat. I haven’t had it in a while but I’m definitely going to make it this summer and you can bet it will be one of Keelin’s favorites in the coming years!

Join in the link up by giving your own answers to today’s five questions. Leave a comment if you do so I can check out your answers!

Until next time…

TWENTY-ONEsie

I absolutely love this fabric and REALLY want to make something out of it. Perhaps a cute little pair of summer shorts that will make all other babies turn green with envy at the beauty and brilliance of my child’s stylish behind. I’ve been feeling the ITCH to start using Keelin’s old onesie fabrics for clothes but I can’t decide if I’m going to need each full yard for her big year project… which has yet to be decided. Perhaps if I keep at least 1/2 of each yard for the 1-year project I’ll still be able to come up with some super cute stuff using the other 1/2. Also I need to learn how to sew. I mean really sew. More than just a straight line to make curtain valances. I need to REALLY sew. You know those moms who can just look at a piece of fabric and magically turn it into an outfit. Yeah, I want to be one of those moms.

Anyway…moving along to Keelin’s stats from this past week. I’ve never really thought of them as “stats” but when I really think about it, that’s what this weekly post is all about. During my pregnancy it was what cravings I was having each week and now it’s what new breakthroughs or habits Keelin has. I’m so glad I’m documenting this week by week so I can look back and really remember her first year. I just hope I can keep it up for future beans. {Not that I’m expecting to add another bean to the mix any time soon} So, like I said, on to the stats!

The biggest event to report is that Keelin rolled over from her back to her tummy! She’s been a pro at flipping herself from her tummy to her back… and will normally do it over and over again during my attempt at tummy time, little stinker… but she was having a tough time getting her arm out from under her enough to roll the other way. Well on Monday I was helping Z with something while Keelin was playing on her activity mat. I had placed her on her back, walked to the other side of the room, and when I turned back around she was propped up on her elbows looking up at me! It was one of those moments where I had to pause and ask myself if I’d actually put her on her tummy in the first place. After realizing that she had indeed flipped over, I freaked out!

“OH MY GOODNESS! KEELIN JUST ROLLED OVER!!!! AAAAHHHHH YAAAAAAY BIG GIRL!”

It was a huge event and she kept doing it all day long. I never caught it on video… she’s a sneaky one… but I’m determined to and will be sure to share! Surely you remember my squealing excitement when I caught her first tummy to back roll on video!

Keelin loves her bumbo and jumper. It’s only been within the last few weeks that she’s been able to sit in them for any lengthy period of time. She looks like a little buddha in her bumbo and will just sit and observe everything. The only time she really gets excited in it is when one of the pups comes up to her at which point she tucks her shoulders up, brings her hands to her mouth, smiles, and giggles.  Her little legs are getting so strong and she’s been pushing up as if she’s going to stand on her own! I swear this girl just may walk before she crawls. I can already hold on to her hands to balance her while she puts all her weight on her legs. I’m SO impressed! Her stronger legs have made the jumper much more fun! She’ll push off of her tiny feet and wave her arms in excitement… which often leads to her jostling her tummy and spitting up all over herself… but it’s worth it! 🙂

A few days ago she got into her biggest giggle fit yet. She was laying on her activity mat and Z was down on the floor with her. When the pups came up to Z he started goofing off with them… flipping them around and blowing in their faces which sends them into a crazy frenzy! They started scooting all around the floor and running in circles and Keelin thought it was hysterical. She was watching and laughing every time they would take off into a spin. I got it on video but it’s on the hubs’ phone so I’ll have to steal it to show you!

A random and silly update is that Keelin has become infatuated with the tags on her toys. Not so much her toys… but their tags. It’s quirky and weird and totally adorable! She’ll shuffle her stuffed animals around in her hands for a few minutes, feeling all the textures and triggering all the jingle, rattle, and crackling noises but it’s not until she gets a hold of the tag that she’s REALLY intrigued. I’m going to have to make some kind of TAG HEAVY ribbon toy for her!

I’ve been asking my mommy-friends on Facebook for info on their favorite carriers. I have a Chicco front carrier that is actually pretty comfortable but it is such a hassle getting her IN and OUT of it, I really feel like I need 10 hands to pull it off.  That means I’m 8 short and even when the hubs is there to help me we look like total morons. SO I was poking around for another carrier when I was reminded of the BRILLIANCE and versatility of the Moby Wrap! I suppose I had it in my head that the moby was meant for teeny tiny’s but after giving it a try with Keelin I fell back in love with it! It was so easy to get her into it… and with only TWO HANDS! It is also beyond comfortable and she seemed to like it too…

Please ignore my face and focus on her YODA ears which I absolutely adore! 🙂 Needless to say, I won’t be purchasing any new slings or carriers as long as my moby holds out!

Keelin is such a happy baby and every week when I sit down to write her update post I’m reminded of how lucky I am to have such a sweet, smiley, chatty bean!

That’s about it on the update front.

Until next time…

I know it’s none of my business but…

Rule #1 in the guidebook on how to avoid being a total deuchebag… if what you have to say needs to be prefaced with, “I know it’s none of my business but…” then you should probably just keep your mouth shut. Otherwise it is guaranteed that you WILL turn into a deuchebag. A big, stinky, hippy, deuchebag. Okay, you probably won’t turn into a hippy, but my recent deuchebag encounter was one.

I mentioned on facebook that Z and I were given a little unsolicited parenting advice a few nights ago. It’s a story worth sharing… so here we are.

Friday night Z and I were out to dinner celebrating a friend’s birthday. After driving around the block a few times looking for parking we finally found a spot. It was Keelin’s normally scheduled time to eat so after parking I hopped in the backseat to feed her. For some reason she was too distracted to eat so I decided we should go ahead and join the rest of our party and I could slip out and feed her if she started getting fussy. Her schedule has been changing a bit within the last few weeks so I wasn’t too worried about feeding her a little later than normal. The restaurant we were at had a great outdoor seating area complete with snappy background music and fans to keep us cool! It wasn’t the type of restaurant where you sit quietly with the sounds of slight murmurs, cool jazz, and clinking forks accompanying your meal. It was on the louder side, relaxed, and fun. As if by clockwork, the SECOND we sat down at our table Keelin started crying. NOW she was ready to eat. She has such impeccable timing! So, I quickly looked at the menu, gave my order to the hubs, and slipped out to feed the bean.

Before getting back to the table I headed into the restroom to change Keelin’s diaper. It was there… in the restaurant restroom… that the waterworks truly started flowing. As soon as I put her down on the changing table she started wailing. Between cries and cloth diaper snaps I heard the woman in the stall next to us let out a lengthy, “Awwwwww” at the adorable and/or heartbreaking sound coming from my tiny girl. She calmed down during the trip from the restroom back to the table but only lasted a few more moments after I sat down before she was fussy again. It was one of those moment where you REALLY REALLY wish your infant could talk so she could tell you what is upsetting her and you could make it all better.  However, being the cool and collected mom that I am {at least on the outside}, I was happy to pass her off to some of the other folks at our table who wanted to hold her… tears and all. She would go in and out of crying but it was clear she was not having it. Since I knew she wasn’t hungry and she had already given me a nice BIG burp I could rule out hunger and gas. So, I decided that it was a mix of being in a new place, seeing a lot of new faces, having a stuffy nose, and NOT wanting to take a nap. Combine all of those things and you have a cocktail of screams and tears, my friends. The thing was, even with the crying, she wasn’t all that loud. Had we been inside I’m sure her volume would have carried over the other tables but because of all the noise outside, it really wasn’t that disruptive.

At one point the birthday boy’s mother had hold of her and had managed to get her settled for a few minutes. I look up from my glass of water and see that a very ‘hippy’ looking woman from another table, holding her 3 or 4 year old daughter, had come up to Keelin and was asking questions to our friend’s mom. I couldn’t hear what she was saying, but it looked like the average inquisition. How old is she? What’s her name? Etc. Nothing out of the ordinary, and she went back to her table.

After Keelin started back up again I took her to try to calm her down. Again, she was breaking in and out of crying with my friend Leah {the birthday boy’s wife} stood from the table, took her from me and insisted that I sit so I could eat. She’s such a sweetheart. I happily agreed and carried on finishing my meal, which was delicious by the way. At this point there were very few breaks between Keelin’s cries and Z got up to go make funny daddy faces at her to see if a familiar smile would help calm her down. {I realize now that the image in your head probably makes you think of jumping beans how we were all getting up and down to try making her happy… and you’re probably right} Right as Z walked over to Keelin and Leah, the same hippy lady, still carrying her daughter, was stretching her neck into the situation. Because I was sitting at the table I couldn’t really hear what was being said but I could tell by the looks on Leah and Z’s faces that they were not interested in hearing what this lady had to say. She stayed near them for a minute or two and then walked back to her table. I had a hunch that she had just given parenting advice so I watched her as she went back to her seat where she proceeded to talk about Keelin to her family members, looking back at her with THAT LOOK. I’m sure you all know THAT LOOK. THAT LOOK that people give you when they think they are above you or when they think you’re wrong and they are right. Yeah. THAT LOOK.

I whipped my head around to Z, who had since gotten Keelin fastened back into her car seat. Swinging calms her down so when we’re not at home to utilize the standing swing we have, daddy becomes the swing. I leaned over and LOUDLY blurted, “I’m sorry, am I not being a good enough parent to my child?” I admit I was hoping the hippy mom would hear me.  It was then that Leah informed me of what the hippy mom had said to them. It went a little something like this…

Hippy Mom: Um, I know it’s none of my business {GAH! Breaking rule #1} but, I have TWO children, and I think that baby might be hungry.
Leah:  Actually her mother just fed her, so I don’t think she’s hungry.
Hippy Mom:  Well, with babies, sometimes even after you feed them they are still hungry. She is crying because she is still hungry so she needs to be fed again.
Leah: She’s fine, thank you. 

SERIOUSLY LADY???

Thank goodness I was out of earshot when the actual conversation happened because if I were I would have probably responded with something along the lines of:

You’re RIGHT, it IS none of your business. I see that you have two children, because I’ve been watching them throw rocks and climb up the walls since we sat down. Maybe they are hungry too. Because, you know with kids, when they act like complete idiots it might mean that they are hungry. So how about you go back to your own table, get your own kids under control, and stop trying to parent mine. Thank you *obnoxious grin*.

First of all, it was far too loud on that patio for her to have been all that disturbed by Keelin’s cries. Our table was much closer than theres and everyone else was carrying on with their conversations just fine.
Secondly, mom to mom, if you’re going to stick your nose where it don’t belongs PLEASE don’t also dish out advice that calls me out as not knowing anything about my own daughter.
Thirdly, take a look at your own kids’ behavior before questioning someone else’s. Especially when your kids are 4 and 6 years old and not 4 months. My child cannot tell me why she’s crying, where yours are old enough that when they are told to do or not do something, they SHOULD listen. Is there a reason you weren’t keeping your daughter from throwing rocks in the air while waiters are walking around carrying trays of food? Is there a reason  you weren’t telling your son NOT to jump and climb on the raised hedge walls, right behind another party’s table?  Or how about the reason you were letting your son pull on your daughter’s legs while she was riding you piggy-back? You must be an EXPERT so I really want to learn your wise ways oh hippy mom! Your kid’s screams were louder than anything Keelin was dishing out, and yet you didn’t have a problem with it!

After learning about my little “lesson” in parenting, you can bet she got my most evil of evil eyes. AND STILL, after Keelin had settled down thanks to Daddy-Swings-A-Lot, she would still look over, point, and talk about her. Seriously lady? I know my daughter is beautiful and hard not to stare at but should you really be putting that much energy into telling me how to raise my child when you’ve got 2 hyperactive future hippies running a muck? Priorities people… priorities. I basically stared her down until they left the restaurant. It was fun.

A lesson to all parents. Unless you see a mom or dad really struggling with their child with a look of desperation in their eyes as they seek assistance, please resist the urge to voice your opinion and just focus on your own kids. I know you may think having one or more babies means you’re expert on everyone else’s kid… but you’d be wrong.

Sheesh! So that was my rant, and now it’s over, and I feel so much better!

Until next time…
Tell me about your most unfortunately unforgettable experience with unsolicited parenting advice!