Wednesday, October 31, 2012

X-traordinarily Strange

I'm linking up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. The letter this week is "X." There aren't that many words that begin with X, so I'm cheating. X is for X-traordinary. I'm probably reusing the word from a former round of Alphabe-Thursday. Sigh.

When I first started blogging, I put so much effort into it! I'd write every weekday and spend hours visiting other blogs to leave comments. Then, I'd hang out in Twitter, networking and building up my followers. Over time, I acquired a nice number of followers. But this meant I was following just as many blogs, and it was getting really difficult to read all of them.

I was working my butt off during this time to build up a blog following. While the number of visits to my blog certainly was increasing over time it stayed relatively low. I had no idea what else I could do to get more people reading.

Then something happened: I got a real job that paid real money. Over time, my work wanted me to increase my hours from part-time to full-time. My blog really suffered. Between working full-time, commuting about 2 hours a day, and still acting like a stay-at-home mom, I had no time to spend on my blog. I still enjoyed writing, so I just tried to make my writing more manageable by blogging once a week.

But visit blogs and hang out in Twitter? I just don't have time to do that anymore. I just post mostly for myself because I find blogging fun. As expected, my stats showed a sharp decrease in visitors. That decline lasted for a few months.

Then something X-traordinary happened. I started getting visitors to my blog. Granted, the numbers are still on the small side, but I'm getting more visitors than when I worked so hard at blogging. All the traffic is from Google searches. I'm sure most people pop on, then pop off. But still, it's cool to see about 1,000 visitors a week when I used to get 1,000 in a month.

Now, whenever I get tempted to throw the towel in, I look at my stats and hang in there. Just for another month.

Ha!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Life Is Weird

I'm linking up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. We're wrapping up another round! The letter this week is "W." W is for weird.

I'm having a hard time writing this post. It's not really writing itself as my posts usually seem to.

One really cool aspect of blogging is meeting other like-minded people who enjoy writing for free (or nearly for free) to share about a cause or a hobby. When I've met most other bloggers, I feel a really cool connection. There's a group of bloggers from the Southern California area that meet occasionally in the real world. Other times, we're sharing our triumphs and frustrations through a Facebook page.  It's a cool group of women!

I've only attended one dinner that I really enjoyed. One of the founders of the group, Sidney Patrick, organized that gathering. She put her heart and soul into that event, and we all had a blast!

Ah, happy times. I will remember that evening fondly. Unfortunately, Sidney died a couple of days ago. Her death was a complete shock to the group. She was about my age--relatively young. We're all trying to grapple with what has happened.

Death is never easy to deal with--particularly when it happens to a young person or when it's sudden. In this case, it happened suddenly to a young person.

I guess I'll never make sense out of it. It is what it is. I've been down this road before and should know that questioning it and dissecting it doesn't provide any answers. It should just make me appreciate what I have in my life today.

Sidney blogged about hoarding at My Mother-in-Law Is Still Between Us. She  had a huge impact on people who had to deal with family members that hoarded. It was a topic she was passionate about because of the devastating impact it could have on families.

Rest in Peace, Sidney. The world is a better place because you were in it, although it will now be an emptier place.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Very Adorable, But a Lot of Work

I'm linking this post up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. The letter this week is "V."

Yes, I'm cheating again. V is for very.

Our daughter has wanted a pet dog for years now. She's gotten dog training books and tons of stuffed doggies. We've held off getting a dog because both she and my husband have allergies to dogs. My husband did some research and bought a dog from a nearby breeder that breeds Havanese puppies. These puppies are hypoallergenic. A friend of ours has a puppy from this breeder and both my husband and daughter do okay around the dog, so my husband thought we'd get one of our own.

The puppy is adorable--but he's a handful! It's like having a baby again. We have to watch him constantly to be sure he's not chewing on anything he's not supposed to like my clothes, hair, furniture, house, and everything else he can reach.

It's also been great fun trying to get him house-broken. He just doesn't get the concept.

My husband is trying to teach me about dog training so that the puppy understands his place in our home. Apparently, if the puppy sees me cleaning up his accidents, he takes on the alpha dog role. I guess the fact that I can pick him up, feed him, brush him, etc. doesn't really show him who is boss around here.

Oh.  Damn.

Anyway, the puppy is VERY cute and keeping me VERY busy!

Here's a pic of the cutie-pie:

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Unfortunately, even though the dog is hypoallergenic, my daughter is still having an allergic reaction to it. She's doing okay on Zyrtec, but I'm worried about the long-term ramifications. We're still not sure we're going to keep him.

He is adorable though. VERY adorable!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Undeniably Like Herding Cats

It's time to link-up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. The letter this week is "U." Yes, I am cheating a bit this week. U is for undeniably.

Yesterday was an extremely frustrating day for me. When it comes to getting out of the house on time in the morning, I'm extremely Type-A. We're talking drill sergeant mentality. My daughter? Not so much.

It doesn't matter how many times I tell her to hurry-up, she's going at a glacial pace, oblivious to the ticking clock on the wall. When I mention that she has no time to play with her new puppy because we're running so late, her response is, "WHAT? Why didn't you tell me?" Um...because I mentioned it at least 4 times? AGHHHHHHH!

When I picked her up from school, it was no better. I had to get home pretty quickly to get an email out for work. But when I came to pick her up, I noticed the envelop she was supposed to give to her teacher was still in her folder, so we had to turn it into the school office. I also noticed she didn't have her lunch box, so we had to track that down. Going from point A to point B on these errands was beyond slow.

At one point, I was walking ahead, trying to set the pace, yelling, "C'mon! Let's move it!" I'd look back and my daughter would be way behind me making no effort to keep up.

I'm sure very few of you saw the Monty Python movie, The Meaning of Life, but there was one hilarious scene where Death comes to a dinner party (everyone died of food poisoning). No one would cooperate with Death. They were too drunk to take him very seriously. At one point, he pleads with them to follow him. As he's prancing across the grounds, expecting everyone to follow suit, it takes him awhile to turn around and realize that everyone else got into their cars to follow him. He was going to order them not to, but simply just shrugged and gave up and let them drive behind him.

Anyway, I felt like him today.

Sometimes you just have to pick your battles.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Top 10 Signs You're a Mom

Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday is covering the letter "T." T is for the top 10 signs you're a mom.

  1. You consider 5 hours of sleep a night to be a lot.
  2. Your dinner consists of whatever the kids didn't eat.
  3. You haven't shaved your legs since 2003.
  4. Coffee is your best friend.
  5. So is wine.
  6. You realize you can't help your child with her homework. She's in second grade.
  7. Going out with girl friends consists of nothing except talking about your kids.
  8. You appreciate anything with an elastic waistband--for both your child and you.
  9. Date night with your husband consists of paying for an expensive sitter so the two of you can go out and talk about your kids.
  10. You feel superior while watching "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" because you haven't fed your six-year old Red Bull. Yet.
What items are on your top 10 list?