thoughts on Blogher and being proud

I’m sitting here at the computer with a sleeping Julian on my chest, while two men from South Africa clean out the air ducts in my house. Ava and Grandma left for a few hours to go to the library and buy material to make clothes for her baby “Trajan” and to get away from all of the noise. I figured I’d use this time to catch up on some Group Talks on Maya’s Mom and I came across some posts about Blogher, specifically the upcoming annual Blogher conference which is in July this year in Chicago.

I never gave any thought to attending the conference before, even though I’ve been blogging for over 2 years now, but after reading many women say what a great time they had in the past and how they are planning to return this year, I started wondering if it might be something I’d like to do someday.

My reading on Maya’s Mom lead me to Elizabeth’s blog Table for Five, specifically this post about her experience at Blogher ’06 and some things she took away from the closing session.
She wrote:
“1. Find your voice.
2. Stop apologizing. Be proud of who you are and what you do.
3.Stop hesitating. Move yourself forward.
4. You ARE worthy.”

Those things really hit home for me, especially the part about “Stop apologizing. Be proud of who you are and what you do.” and “Stop hesitating. Move yourself forward.”

There are sometimes things I want to write about, but don’t for fear of offending someone, somewhere. Or if I do write about something controversial, like circumcision, I’m so careful to be as politically-correct as possible, that I feel like I’m walking on eggshells. But then I wonder, why is it my responsibility to protect people? It’s my blog and I should be able to write or not write about whatever I want. If people chose to read it, that is their prerogative, and if it bothers or offends them, they have the option to stop reading it.

I admire the bloggers (and several come to mind) who lay it all out there and say whatever the hell is on their mind, without regard for who it might upset. They are proud of who they are what they do. They don’t apologize for sharing THEIR thoughts on THEIR blog. I respect them for being true to themselves.

While I don’t imagine I will make it to Blogher this year, maybe I will make it a goal to go next year. It sounds like a very empowering and fun conference to attend. Maybe I can talk a few of my friends turned bloggers to go with me. (Hint, hint – you know who you are – Nicole, Heather, Julie, Sonja…) And in the meantime, I’m going to try to be more true to myself in my blogging and speak my mind. I am proud of who I am, so why should I be so afraid to put myself “out there”?

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And now for a “shout out.” Thank you Caroline, for including my blog among the five blogs you recommend. I think it’s awesome that you choose to read my blog even though it’s far removed from the world you are familiar with. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for your open mindedness.

Lists

I’ve always been a list person. I find that I get much more accomplished when I write/type out a list than if I just try to remember the things need to do in my head. I also feel a greater sense of accomplishment when I can cross things off and visibly see the progress I’ve made.

Tonight Jody and I sat down together and made a list of all of the things we need to work on (or hire someone to work on) both in the yard and in the house before we can think about selling it. And we assigned dates to everything to help us accomplish it all. If we stick to the list, we should have the majority of things done by June.

The list consists of about 20 items including things like having pipes fixed for the sprinkler system and dishwasher (which has been out of commission for over a year now), buying a new dishwasher, cleaning out the garage (we’ve rented a dumpster from the city to help with that), fixing our bathroom (the shower area has water damage), putting window seats in the front windows, decluttering the house (I Freecycled two bags of stuff, plus an old infant carseat today – that’s a start) some painting, and more. It’s quite a lot to get done, but I know that just by putting it all in writing, it will help us focus our efforts and work on it.

Hooray for lists and for moving forward with our plans. ๐Ÿ™‚

5 quirks

Penny tagged me to share 5 quirks of mine, so here ya go.

1. I’m a bit OCD at times, or at least used to be. I had this thing where I had to add/subtract the numbers on digital clocks. Like if it was 7:34, I’d say in my head – 3+4=7, 4+3=7, 7-3=4, 7-4=3.

2. The toilet paper has to be on the roll so that it comes over the top, not from underneath.

3. I’ve been boycotting McDonald’s for almost 3 years now, though I still crave their French fries and McGriddle breakfast sandwiches from time to time. (I’m certain there’s crack in the fries. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

4. I love blogging and sharing my thoughts and opinions, but don’t have enough time for it.

5. I used to have a webcam site (not *that* kind of site – there was no nudity) where people could look in on me and Jody (back when we first got together). Told ya I was a “geekgrl.” I’ve been an Internet presence for about 9 years now. Eep!

I am not much for tagging people myself, but please feel free to do the meme if you’d like. Let me know you did it too so I can see just how quirky you are. ๐Ÿ˜‰

โ€œโ€ฆout like a lion!โ€

I thought my parents were joking when they asked yesterday if we had any snow. Apparently they knew something I didn’t. We woke up to about 4 inches of the white powder this morning and it’s still coming down! What the hell?! I was just getting used to the idea of spring being here. Whomever said “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb” was obviously confused.

By the way, I appreciate all of you who took time to leave your thoughts and comments on my last post. It was definitely good food for thought. My mom reminded me yesterday that motherhood is a full-time job and I agree, but I still want something more. I do think that many moms need balance in their lives to feel happy and fulfilled and the last issue of the AP Journal was full of great information on this subject.

However, Ninotchka pointed out that Julian is still just a baby and that’s a very good point. Perhaps I’m trying to jump back into things too soon. My motivation for getting back into photography now rather than in 6 months is that the weather is (er *was*) getting nice again which is a plus for someone who uses natural (sun) light, rather than studio lights.

Anyway, I have lots to think about as I try to find a way to balance it all so that everyone is happy. Is that possible? Time will tell.

Help with WordPress

Anyone know why I would suddenly stop receiving email notification when I get a comment? I have the box checked to email me whenever someone leaves a comment, but a couple days ago I stopped getting emails even though I’ve received new comments. Ideas? I’ve tried looking it up on the WordPress site, but didn’t get anywhere.

Thanks!

By the way, with the weather being somewhat nice lately (though snow is expected tomorrow – bah!), we’ve gone to the park the past three days. I haven’t been spending much time on the computer, so no new posts of any relevance.

We’re going to go play a friend’s house this afternoon, then pick Jody up from work and maybe go out to dinner. Then tomorrow we’ve got a 3-year-old’s birthday party to attend at a place called “BounceTown.”ร‚ย  Should be a good time for Ava. ๐Ÿ™‚

Weekend wrap-up

It felt like the weekend started early for me since Jody worked from home on Friday. I even managed to sneak out of the house by myself that day for about 45 minutes! What did I do with my precious freetime you ask? Get a haircut? A manicure? Go for a coffee? No, none of these things. My 45 minutes of glorious freetime was spent at the bank filing an “Affadavit of Unauthorized/Improper Debit Card or ATM card activity” because someone used my debit card to buy themself a nice little something from Bed, Bath and Beyond – a $205 nice little something. Grrrr. ๐Ÿ™ I have no idea how the perp got my card number. I thought it could’ve been from the recent Internet purchases I’ve made, but the woman at the bank said it’s much more likely that someone swiped the number when I used the card at a store recently. Bugger! The money will be put back into my account and I’ll be issued a new debit card, and hopefully that will be the end of it, though she advised me to keep an eye on my account for the next few days too. I hope the person who did it gets caught and/or doesn’t get ahold of anyone else’s number, but my guess they will probably keep at it.

Saturday was a cleaning day for me. Changed sheets on the beds, vacuumed the mattresses (I saw an episode of Oprah about cleaning where they recommended it to suck out the dust mites and dust mite excrement – yucky!), vacuumed the upstairs and did laundry. I also listed two office chairs and a computer monitor we don’t use on Freecycle, went to a used bookstore to see if they would buy any of the 22 old computer books of Jody’s that he no longer needs (no, they won’t – so I Freecycled those too), stopped at Vitamin Cottage to pick up some groceries, and made Kentucky Fried (Baked) Tofu, tater tots and salad for dinner. Mmmmm. I hadn’t made that tofu recipe in a while. Jody and I watched an episode of Dead Like Me after Ava went to bed. All in all, it was a very productive day.

On Sunday, I sold our Arm’s Reach co-sleeper for $70. Yay! I decided to sell it since it was not getting any use and just taking up space. Ava slept in it for about 4 months when she was a baby, but, although we set it up again when Julian was born, I haven’t even tried putting him in it. He sleeps with us and that’s been working really well.

We captured one of Julian’s first laughs on video which you can see in the post below. ๐Ÿ™‚

I also did some more grocery shopping, this time at Safeway, and listed more things on Freecycle (old computer books, kitchen utensils we don’t use, some old laundry detergent I found in the garage). I made a new (to me) recipe for dinner – “No-Chicken Sour Cream Enchilada Casserole” made with Quorn (yummy – thanks for including it in the CC cookbook, Julie!). The recipe makes enough so you have one casserole for dinner and one to put in the freezer. Nice!

Carrie (my sis) picked up Ava in the evening to take her to a Super Bowl party at some friends’ house. They have a couple kids around Ava’s age who Ava has played with before. She had a blast with them and entertained everyone at the party with her “silly dance.” (We’ll have to get that on video next.) Anyway, it gave me and Jody a little peace and quiet at home, which was nice.

That about covers it. We’re finally supposed to be getting some warmer temps around here this week. Hopefully most of the snow that we’ve had around since ooooh December(!) will finally melt! ๐Ÿ™‚

dead like me and freecycling

dead like me

No, I’m not talking about how tired I am (though there are many days I feel like the walking dead). ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m actually referring to the TV show, “Dead Like Me.” Jody and I started renting episodes from Netflix about a month ago and have been enjoying it ever since. It’s our little thing to do together a few evenings a week after the kids have gone to bed.

DLM, which focuses on the afterlives of a handful of grim reapers – namely a girl named “George” – is quite entertaining. I didn’t think I’d like it at first since it is, after all, about death, but it’s a dark comedy and there’s so much more to it than just the death aspect.

You can read about the show here.

I thought I was going to go watch another episode tonight, but it’s too late and I need sleep soon.

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I got in one of those “MUST de-clutter the house NOW” moods today and listed four things on freecycle. All four things have been spoken for and three have already been picked up. I love it when I can get the stuff out of the house ASAP, without throwing it in the trash. Of course there is still a ton of stuff floating around that I need to sell and/or give away – it’s overwhelming to think about really – but if I can do little bits here and there, it will all add up eventually.

Taking the plunge

I’ve taken the plunge and switched to WordPress! Haven’t had a chance to update my sidebar or play around too much yet, but will eventually. Please update your links to include my new url: http://crunchydomesticgoddess.wordpress.com/

Thanks to those of you who recommended I switch over. It was very easy to transfer everything once I found the import option. ๐Ÿ™‚

Edited at 10:15 p.m. to add: I’ve been working on my sidebar (blogroll and links) tonight. I got started on making categories and categorized some of my old posts and will continue to do so as time allows (ha, ha!), but I don’t know that I’ll ever get all 400 old posts categorized.

Another winter storm headed our way

We may be getting another 5 to 8 inches (or more) of snow this week on top of what we already have from the last big storm. Eep! Our street still hasn’t been plowed and, because of the storm causing delays, our trash hasn’t been picked up in two weeks now. I just hope this next storm isn’t as big as they think and we can escape with only a couple inches of the white stuff.

And as for the whereabouts of the Christmas cards I ordered back on 12/18 that were supposed to be delivered on 12/21 but weren’t because of the blizzard…well, according to UPS.com, they were out on a truck scheduled for delivery today but I haven’t seen them yet. (insert whine here) I just want to get the darn things in the mail before New Year’s!

As for my thoughts regarding all of this snow –
We had our white Christmas, now I’m ready for it all to melt so I can take the kids out for walks to the park and stuff. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I guess I’ve been spoiled by our mild, relatively snow-free winters in the past. Call me jaded, but I’m having a bit of cabin-fever here. :oP

Happy Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice today!

Winter Solstice also known as Yule, Christmas, and Saturnalia, occurs in mid December. It celebrates the birth of the new Solar year and the beginning of Winter.
The Winter Solstice is unique among days of the year รขโ‚ฌโ€ the time of the longest night and the shortest day.

More on celebrating winter solstice here.

By the way, we ended up with just about 2 feet of snow after the great blizzard of ’06. Jody and I took Ava out to play in it for a bit today. Ava enjoyed throwing herself into snow piles, but wasn’t too keen on riding on the sled except when Jody pulled both Ava and me together on it. It was a workout for daddy but fun for us. ๐Ÿ™‚