Flake

I’ve been a big time, grade A, first class blog flake lately.

Not exactly news for anyone who has been keeping track of my update schedule over here, to be sure.  But I’ve also been a flake in keeping up at my friends’ blogs.  Now THAT is pretty sad.  This knitting obsession of mine has taken over.  Any spare time is spent knitting.  And while I will often compose pithy and humorous blog posts in my mind while I’m knitting my bazillionth pair of baby pants, composing something in your mind isn’t quite the same as putting the knitting needles aside and typing it up on the laptop.  And Google Reader is literally starting to get cobwebs around the corners.  I used to do the bulk of my blog reading while I was nursing Evie, via my iPhone.  But lately I’ve been sucked into some stupid iPhone games and that is generally what I’m doing when I would normally be reading blogs.

What is my excuse?  I don’t have one.

And I feel bad, because I feel like I’ve missed out on some things with some of the bloggers I consider myself closest to.  What does it say that I just found out like two days ago that Brit’s blog was busted?  Something I could have helped her with, I’m sure, but I was a flake.  So I didn’t.

That’s not cool.

Shoot, I spend more time on Facebook, reading up on people’s statuses than I do reading their blogs.

This has to change.  I don’t want to be “that blogger”.  The one who is completely out of the loop and detached from the community.  I know notgoing to BlogHer this year has affected me this way.  Why bother to connect to the community when I’m not going to BlogHer?  What’s the point?  Of COURSE there is a point.  But when you’re a) lazy and b) occupied elsewhere, well… excuses come easy.

There’s no reason why I can’t keep up my blog and read my favorite blogs though I’m not going to BlogHer.  And there’s no reason I can’t do this while I continue knitting.  I just need to get my act together.

I hate being a slave to stats, but the stats don’t lie.  And they show a significant drop in the last six months.  Again… NOT COOL.  I’m letting people down.  I’ve become BORING.  GAH!

So I gotta knock that off.  Anyone have any helpful suggestions?  Wanna come over here and kick me in the pants?  Anyone? (Is anyone still here?)

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Step Back

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that over the last several months, my blog has taken somewhat of a backseat in my life.  This has been about a year in the making, it seems.  Ever since Evie was born, I started cloth diapering and then knitting, well… my mind has been focused elsewhere.

I want to make something clear:  I am not quitting the blog.  I’ll probably always have a blog, at least for as long as it is feasible in my life.  Having this sort of outlet is essential to me, I think.

But at the same time, I’ve definitely taken a step back from the marketing of my blog.  I’ve decided that it’s really not for me.  Making a brand out of this blog or my name or whatever, just doesn’t interest me at this stage in the game.  Besides, I never was very good at it.  I don’t have a head for business matters like that.  And I’m not near aggressive enough to make it successful.

I’ve decided that, for now, I’m just happy with my blog as it is right now and if it makes me $50 a month or $0, that’s fine with me.  Anything above and beyond the pure satisfaction of writing my posts and putting them out there is just icing on the cake.

No pressure.  Pure joy.  That sounds like a nice place to be at, yes?

I shouldn't be allowed to post from my iPhone

You know, this isn’t the first time that I’ve gone back to read something I posted from my iPhone and gone, “WTF??”  Because really.   That post makes it all seem very sturm and drang and BLAH BLAH BLAH, boring and STUPID!  I think my eyes rolled reading my own post so I can only imagine how the two of you out there who are reading this reacted.

For that?  I apologize.

Yes, last week was very had.  Yes, I had a lot of crabbyness.  Yes, I let my feelings get hurt over stupid stuff that isn’t supposed to hurt my feelings.  Yes, there are times I want to high-tail it to the border just so I can have a break.  But holy cow, doesn’t everyone?  I hardly think I’m unique in that respect.  So please know that the pity party thrown in my post last night wasn’t QUITE as dramatic and pitiful as it came across.

I may be a loser, but even I have standards.

I honestly think maybe it’s the teeny screen of the iPhone that you have to type out a blog post on that makes all the stuff I post from there come out all weird and un-evenly toned.  Yep.  That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Thankfully, I don’t think the heat will get the better of me this week (yes, I do think that the heat contributed to 90% of my crabbiness… y’all need to believe me when I say I HATE THE HEAT).  Kile put our window a/c unit in the living room today and I’m currently enjoying some machine-generated coolness and am loving it more than I can express in words.

It’s not ALL bad.  Yes, I am mildly depressed.  I’m pretty much used to it by now and I think most of you are used to it too (you know, all two of you).  But like I said, BIG DEAL.  Who cares?  I don’t care.  You don’t care.  NO ONE cares.  Moving on…

It’s Sunday!  And I had a fabulous breakfast at Mimi’s Cafe this morning that may have made my toes curl.  And Evie almost choked on a honeydew melon!  It was good times, all around. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go decide whether or not I need to have something to eat right now.  This is going to require a lot of thought.

Ready to start A picture from the drive-in.  Just cuz I can.

Napping A napping girl.  Cuz she’s cute.

Preference

A blog is a funny thing.  It’s easy to read someone’s blog and because you are getting daily (or nearly daily) updates on this person’s life, you can therefore easily believe that you know more about this person and their life than you actually do.  It’s an easy mistake to make.  After all, you have no idea what details the blogger is leaving out.  A person’s blog is a VERY subjective thing.  There could be five major things that happen to a person that day and they could only mention one.  Or none and instead choose to talk about the weather.  As a reader, you are following what that blogger wants to share and are kept in the dark about what they don’t.

Such is the case with me as well.  Particularly when it comes to my children.

Don’t get me wrong.  I can understand the average reader wondering WHY I don’t talk about my oldest very often.  Does he even exist anymore?  Is she ignoring him in real life as much as she does on her blog?

And that’s the dangerous path right there.  Does love = blog exposure.  Certainly NOT.  You can hardly judge how much value is placed on a person due to how much a person talks about them on their blog.  I think of several bloggers who rarely mention their husbands because the husband has ASKED not to be mentioned.  And then the readers then wonder if she really is married, does she even care about her husband?  Is there DRAMA here that we can wonder about?

I hope you see how silly this line of thinking is.

I didn’t have my blog when Harry was very young.  But walking through our home, 90% of the pictures on the walls include him in his various stages of life.  Harry was the center of our world for MANY years.  And the harder it was for us to have another child, the more we held him to us.  I used to take him to get professional pictures done every month or so for the first two years of life.  I would take him to storytime at the library, MOPS, the park… He made me a mother and that holds a special place in my heart.  But he IS nine years old and in the third grade.   He needs more privacy now.  I don’t want something I write about him today to be the thing that gets him picked on at school tomorrow.  I make a studious effort to recognize and respect this.

I did have the blog when Liam was young.  If you notice the tag cloud in my sidebar, LIAM is the tag with the largest font.  Which means he has been mentioned more than just about anything else (at least since I’ve been doing tags).   Just look back at my archives for 2006-2007.  During his first year of life, my posts were filled with stories and musings and photos, photos, photos.  I love myself a baby, you know.  And I love photographing babies, while they still lay around and LET you photograph them.  I’d say about 10-20% of the photos on our walls have Liam in them.  I haven’t had as many professional pictures taken of him, but I did take a few of the photos I took of him, print them out and hang them up.

The thing is, Liam is 2 1/2.  He’ll be three in a few months.  This is pretty much THE MOST ANNOYING AGE EVER.  For any kid.  He is a challenge and a struggle.  This does not mean we do not love him.  It means he EXHAUSTS me.  I figured out that I spend the majority of my day dealing with him in one way or another.  Kissing his booboos when he falls (he is the clumsiest child alive), disciplining him when he deliberately disobeys me or thwacks Evie on the head for the 15th time that day, trying to get him to eat, changing him, dealing with naps, letting him sit on my lap when he’s feeling needy… He’s a different child than Harry was.  He requires a lot more energy.  And often, when it comes time to write on my blog, I don’t talk about him because I NEED A BREAK.  The mental break of not discussing him helps a lot.  Again, this does NOT mean that we don’t love him.  Quite the opposite.  He charms and delights us on a daily basis.

And, let’s face it.  Evie is the baby.  Like I said, I love babies and I love to photograph and muse about them until the cows come home.  I’ve often said that thank goodness Evie was a girl because otherwise she might not get any attention at all.  She would have the blog posts, the stories, the musings and the photographs.  Because I love babies.  But as it is she is in TWO photographs on our walls here at home and both of those are either family portraits or taken with her brothers.  She has zero representation by herself.  And I haven’t done a thing with her baby book in MONTHS.  And often I have to leave her to play while I deal with Liam.  And yes, I do generally work more with her than the boys but again with the BABY thing as well as the NURSING thing (she will NOT take any sort of plastic nipple, no matter how hard I’ve tried).  When we go out as a family on the weekend, I generally wrangle Evie while Kile wrangles Liam.  It works easier that way.  Which isn’t to say that if Liam needs me that I completely ignore him.  Just that Kile puts him in his car seat while I put Evie in hers so that we’re not standing out there in the parking lot all day while I do both.  Heh.  Makes more sense that way, don’t you agree?

When anyone suggests, no matter how benignly, that perhaps I have a preference for one child over the others, that hurts me deeply.  I’m sure other mothers who have more than one child can understand what I mean when I say that.  I doubt it is possible to love one child more than the others.  I love all of them and yes, in different ways.  The way I love Liam is entirely different than the way I love Harry or Evie.  This is because of their wildly different personalities.  Sure I feel different, but that doesn’t mean what I feel isn’t love.  And I simply cannot conceive of anyone even HINTING that a preference exists.  It is a cruel thing to say.  CRUEL.  Not just to me but to my children.

I have been wondering what the answer is, if any.  What do I do?  Not talk about ANY of my children, for fear of slighting one or more and thereby inciting the naysayers?  What would that mean to this blog as it is a mommy blog and I generally am here to talk about being a mommy and that sorta requires talking about children?  I’m not sure what to do.  How to evolve this blog while I myself am evolving as a mother.  No more babies, that’s for sure, so who do I talk about?  Do I “schedule” days that I talk about each child?  That sounds perilously close to work.  And if there’s one thing I despise, it’s feeling like blogging is WORK.

Ugh.

So I think the only thing I can do is to just keep on and talk about what strikes me.  Whether it be Liam or Evie or even Harry.  Or none of the above.  It’s all I can do.  But I never want to hear again that maybe I have a preference for any one child above the other.  Ever.

Crisis Averted

Soo…. remember when I woke up to find out that all my blog posts went POOF?

And then remember when I realized I wasn’t emailed any of my database backups after December 15 so I basically lost like three plus months of posts?

And then I took some posts off Google Reader but soon realize it was going to be a GARGANTUAN undertaking to go through and copy and paste them all?  And I remembered that I hate GARGANTUAN undertakings?

Well… that was then.

This is now.

I found my “missing” backups.  They were hiding in a folder on my server (naughty backup files!).   And lookie there, my backup from last night!  So I restored the database to last-night proportions and all was well.  Well… maybe not ALL because the post earlier today where I tore my hair out over my lost posts is gone but I CAN LIVE WITH THAT.

So it’s all back to normal.  We can breathe easily now.  Are you excited?  You should be.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go have a post-stress headache.

Chuck it all

I want to say for the record that I HATE posts like this.  Nothing bugs me more than a blogger who threatens to pack up her toys and go home.  Are they hoping people talk them out of it?  Are they being overly dramatic?  And no one wants to see someone leave, especially when you’ve gotten used to following their life day in and day out.

That said…

It’s no secret that I’ve been a baaaaad blogger lately.  And that’s mostly been due to being busy and wholly unable to properly juggle my activities.  It’s hard to blog and knit at the same time, after all.  I’ve been trying to remember to come here once a day, but it’s been hard.  I figure in my current state, if I’m blogging at least three times a week, I’m in good shape.

But lately I’ve noticed some other things too, things that more of a threat to my blogging happiness than knitting even (shocking, I know).  It’s attitude.  It’s snarkyness.  It’s pettiness.  It’s anger, judgement and DRAMA.  It hasn’t happened all at once, of course.  Little by little.  Bit by bit.  Comment by post by overtone.  And it’s built up in my heart.  And it makes my heart ache.

I don’t get a lot of drama directed at me.  I’m just li’ ol’ me, eeking out my existance on this small corner of the internet.  I’m pretty grateful for that.  But neither am immune from the drama directed at others.  Whether I know them personally or not.   Should it matter if I KNOW someone, to feel bad for them when mean things are directed their way?  No, it should not. And it does not.

Why are we as people so MEAN to one another?  Why do we say things that we know will hurt feelings?  Why do we judge others choices when those choices have absolutely NOTHING to do with us?  I don’t understand this way of thinking.  I don’t get it at all.  How does snarking at Dooce or any of the other “big name” bloggers improve me and my life?  How does it improve others?  IT DOESN’T.  But people do it all the same and it just DON’T GET IT.  Do people think that if you are a big name that you don’t feel hurt when people snark on you?  Or worse: that if you are a big name, you ASK to have people snark on you?  If you disagree or dislike a person or blog or whatever, then doesn’t it make more sense to turn your attention elsewhere?  Read a blog that you DO like.

I’m so tired of this.  This goes on and on and on… and I hear stories that make me ache.  I see things firsthand that make me scratch my head.  And finally it gets to be too much.  And before you know it, I’m writing a post like this where I wonder aloud if maybe it is time to pack things in.  That maybe the world of blogging has changed so much, TOO much, and that there is no place anymore for someone who wishes to perpetuate kindness to others in the community.

I’m not the sort that takes breaks.  For one thing, they don’t work for me.  If I take a break, then that means I’m that much more likely to just not ever return from a break.  I’m a slacker, remember?  And the laws of inertia are strong with me.  A body at rest tends to stay at rest.  A blogger on break tends to stay on break.  So I know that’s not the answer for me.  Either I blog or I don’t.

I still don’t know.  I’d like to think that there’s more good then bad out there.  I haven’t seen a lot of evidence of that lately.  I don’t know what to think.  I would hate to lose my blog.  I would hate to lose the lovely people who come out to read even when I’ve posted nothing but drivel for the better part of a month.  But I hate to surround myself with negativity too. Maybe the answer is to delete my Google Reader.  I’d hate to lose some of my most favorite blogs, but I have to admit, I think this would definitely help.

Time will tell.

I can mark this off the list now

So remember my list from last week of things I wanted to get done?  I’ve been slogging through, diligently.  Some things, like dying the yarn, I haven’t gotten to yet.  Not so much with the organizing existing yarn and needles either.  But I have done all the laundry, knit my little tuckus off, mostly set up the Hyena Cart shop (I plan to open it tomorrow, God willing) and, now, I have opened the craft blog.

Aren’t you all proud of me?

I’m sure there is still work to be done, kinks to iron out, plugins to install.  But for the most part, I’m pretty proud of the craft blog.  I hesitate to call it a knitting blog since I’m sure to stick other things on there besides knitting from time to time.

In the meantime, if you are interested in seeing what I’m doing, knitting-wise, please keep an eye on slackermama is a craftymama.  I am sure I will astound you all with my amazing knitting prowess.

Are you going to BlogHer? Cuz I'm not.

I’m trying (very hard) not to feel too bad about going to BlogHer this year.  I’ve known for a while that going this year was pretty much out of the question.  Short of a completely free trip (RIGHT), there was no way I could feasibly go.  And it’s not just the money thing.  We’re going on that big cruise/Disney World/extravaganza just weeks after BlogHer is scheduled and that’s an awful lot of traveling.  So yeah, if a fully comped deal had landed in my lap, I could make it work.  Since the last time I checked such things do not exist, I am not making it work.  I’m not going.

I made no secret that last year’s BlogHer was a little… less.  It was very, very, VERY hard to go with the family.  Even with Harry staying with my parents, having to deal with Evie made it VERY hard.  And while the day care set up was awesome (SERIOUSLY, if you are thinking of going with a child, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT.  The people there were awesome and Liam had a great time), it had limitations.  Mostly in that at 5-5:30 or so, day care was over and it’s hard to go to night clubs with two year olds.  I think I was in bed by 8 that night, my heart sick with stress and frustration.  The next problem was parking.  And check out.  Sure, we could have solved that by paying for an extra day of parking and an extra night at the hotel.  But we are notorious cheapskates.  We had to be back in San Jose on Saturday to celebrate my dad’s birthday and why pay for another hotel night when we wouldn’t stay there?  And the parking was outrageously expensive and paying a whole day for just a few more hours just didn’t jive with my practical side.  So by checking out by noon, we lost a place for me to go and nurse Evie and rest and have downtime (the nursing room provided was small, filled with uncomfortable chairs and cold as heck), and we lost a place to put all our stuff.  Kile had suggested moving the van to a place down the street where he could pay to park it for a few hours and we could keep our stuff in there.  But, heart-sick again, I gave up.  The Gods had deemed the whole thing a loss.  So we left at lunch.

Even now, writing that out, I still feel so incredibly sad about how it all ended up.  No ones fault, to be sure (except maybe my own).  But still so sad.  It was just hard to manage with kids.

If I had gone this year, it would probably be by myself, sans children.  Which is awfully optimistic of myself because even though Evie is closing in on her first birthday, she shows no sign of wanting to wean and still rejects virtually every other method of liquid intake available.  So even if I took Evie with me and put her in day care, I’d need to go feed her or whatever.  Which, yeah, I could make it work.

But the point is: I’m not.  I’m not going.  It feels weird to admit that since I have gone for three years now.  I’m going to miss some fabulous ladies this year.  So you’ll have to forgive me if I avoid all discussions about BlogHer.  If I roll my eyes at mentions of roommates, parties, sessions and swag.  If I stick my fingers in my ears and go “LALALALAICAN’THEARYOULALALA”.  It’s nothing personal and it’s just me being a little bitter.  (Save me some swag, please?  I’ll be your best friend!)

I could use a couple more hours in the day, kthxbai

See that?  I missed another day of posting. (insert image of me slapping my forehead in the classic “d’oh” manner)  And it’s not that I don’t have things to talk about, it’s just that there is SO. MUCH. TO. DO.  I literally feel as though I’m being pulled in five different directions and I’m fairly sure that I’m dropping at least one ball (if not all five).  The biggest ball I’ve dropped?  This blog.  Whoops.  My bad.

I think if I had a couple more hours in the day, that would help immensely.  And while I would be tempted to take those extra hours for sleep (because surely I could use more sleep too!), I would at least put one of those hours towards blogging.  And a couple towards knitting because, if you can believe it, I’m actually kinda falling behind on the knitting.  I have a TON of knitting I need to do.  I’m almost done with another pair of pants and have no less than five more project lined up behind it.  OY.  Not to mention any knitting I might like to do for myself (er… Evie, I mean).  RIGHT.  Like that’s going to happen.

I don’t even want to discuss what my Google Reader looks like these days.

I WILL get it together, I promise.  And I will return to posting every day.

Just as soon as I get those extra hours.  Oh, and at least one hour to do exactly NOTHING because I can’t even remember what that feels like anymore.

I'm still alive, I promise

Wow.  What is WRONG with me?  My blog is starting to think I don’t like it anymore.  And OF COURSE I like my blog.  I LOVE my blog.  No, it’s me.  I’m just… weird.  I hope to get back into the blogging swing, but I’ve been rather uninspired lately.  And I’ve been more inspired by other endeavors.  Such as knitting.  And the last day or two I’ve tried a little yarn dying.  Oh yes.  I’m ALL KINDS of crafty around here.  I’m getting my knitting biz more and more off the ground (I posted a thread over at Diaper Swappers, offering up my needles) and have had all sorts of inquiries.  My attention has been fractured by completely awesome MacBook (*purr*) and my new camera.

I realize I forgot to tell you more about my new camera.  I got this one (from Sam’s Club, remember?).  Sure, it’s no DSLR.  But I think it’s a good step towards one.  It has a full manual mode (as well as shutter and aperture priority modes) with some manual focus options as well.  It’s really full featured for what it is and how much it cost.  And at 9 megapixels and 10x optical zoom, I’LL TAKE IT.  I’m very in love with it.  So in love with it that I’m going to share some more pictures with you.  This will turn into a photoblog before you know it. (That or a craft blog. *snort*)

IMG_0079 I plan to eat her for dessert, in case you’re wondering

IMG_0081 He’s just too cool to have his picture taken, you know.

Blue B&W Oooh.  Eyeball (you can see the reflection of the camera and my hands… freaky!).

IMG_0106 Some yarn I dyed with Kool-Aid.  Turned out kinda meh but it’ll be a nice soaker.

IMG_0108
Evie, modeling a new diaper.  Also:  Looking adorable.

IMG_0115 (don’t look at her dirty socks, please)

IMG_0119

IMG_0122Tippie Toes (and yes, I placed her there, she does not pull up)

IMG_0125 More dyed yarn.  I like this a LOT better.