Motivation to blog

Greetings Readers!

Nothing motivates you to write a blog post quite like the receipt of an automatic renewal charge on your credit card to remind you that you are actually paying for your domain name and extra storage space on your blog for posting words, pictures, videos, and songs.

For this reason, and more importantly for my love of writing and creating, today I offer you simple words, a picture, a video, and a song to reward you for the time you spent with me.

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Dear Blog…

Dear Blog,

I miss you!

Granted it’s only been 11 days since my last post, and only six in between the post before that, but I feel as though my relationship with you has waned. Of course, I knew it would after baby #2 (who we can now call Vivian)’s arrival. I posted my last List of Seven on Sunday on December 30, 2012. In those days I was posting at least once and occasionally twice a week. Then in January 2013 I posted only three times, but with a big finish (Vivian’s birth announcement) at the end of the month. In February I posted only once. It’s crazy looking back now – I barely remember February. Wait… what happened? Oh right, I had a newborn. Enough said. My memory is gone from those Early days. At least I have one post to remember it by. The month of March I was in Coudersport and tallied up three posts. So far this month we’ve had company, but I’ve got one post in the books – this lengthy one marks a second. Life is busy and full and I’ve got so much to share, but so little time to sort through the abundance of thoughts and ideas floating around in my head or the many images on my hard drive and camera cards. This is not the first time I’ve lamented over this conundrum and probably not the last.

From here, I’m not sure exactly where to go with you my faithful, trusty blog. It’s not that I hold myself to a certain number of posts per week or month. Really it doesn’t matter to me how often I write, though I do miss the routine of my weekly List of Seven on Sunday, so I guess I do wish I had more time for you, bloggy blog blog. I write and blog because I love to write and blog, but right now two littles by the names of Lance and Vivian are at the forefront of my every waking hour. These days I write when I have time, which isn’t often and very sporadic and always interrupted and never predictable… much like showering or using the toilet of late (kidding, but you get the gist – I’m busy here dearest blog. Capital B-U-S-Y). So I guess that is the reason for this little “hip check” post today as I try to center my focus on a suitable thesis.

This time of year some folks clean out their closets, some folks spring clean their house… For me, today (and over the past three days because that’s how long it’s taken me to finalize this post), I am spring cleaning out my mind. Sorting through thoughts, typing some mind chatter, and basically cleaning out the cobwebs that tend to accumulate in the brain of a writer. I know I need to revamp and update you, my beloved blog, but all in due time. There’s more I want to learn from you, too… widgets, custom headers, layout, design, and networking… so don’t count me out, but be patient as I finagle a way to make it all fit into my new life as a mother of two. Because believe me, I have no shortage of content or ideas to write about. That’s not a problem one bit. In fact, the problem (if there even is one?!) is that I’ve got too much to say and not a lot of discipline or focus. I need to narrow my vision a little, but it’s hard when I’ve started many a posts in my mind that are just begging to emerge… one about running, one about what I love about having a little girl (two words: baby pantyhose), one about Oma & Opa’s daily presence in our home, one about postpartum, and the list goes on… But I’m afraid these posts may never get written. Although I don’t want to pass them by, my children come first and they are occasionally sucking and draining the life out of me exhausting, which leaves little time for much else.

So what are those little buggers up to you may ask?

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Laying on the baby gym together.

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Holding hands…

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Playing outside in bare feet…

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Sporting sun hats… Spring has sprung.

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Lance’s new favorite thing to do with his sister…                   He helps her make a “fish face” of course!

To date, I’ve written so many posts about only Lance and now all of a sudden I have this new little lady to write about, too. I feel the pull to write about them equally, yet I keep telling myself it’s ok to just write about Vivian or include one more picture of her than him or him than her. As I try to master the ropes of “fairness” and equality among two children, I am learning to realize I’m fighting a losing battle. I must write my own rules of “fairness” and forgive myself if one or the other gets more of my attention in one day. I’ve only begun this whole “one-of-me-two-of-them” journey, but there is much to consider… yet another great topic for another day (that may never get written…).

Right now I want to include a few pictures of just Vivian. I am truly getting to know her more and more every day and it’s a beautiful privilege. The way she looks at me, for one. I can already sense she will be a Mommy’s girl… the way she relaxes in my arms… responds to my voice… and those eyes… we already have a connection that only a mother and daughter can share.

She has settled into an incredible nursing and sleeping routine, one I hope to write more about in the months to come. I am blessed with her easy-going nature and relaxed ways. Of course, Jan reminded me last night to give myself some of the credit for her agreeable rhythms, but I will stay say, “she is a gooooood baby.”

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Big eyes.

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Baby pantyhose – does it get any better than this?!

And as for the hubs?

He had a birthday since I last wrote. We celebrated with Oma & Opa over homemade pizza, then roasted marshmallows and devoured S’mores in our backyard. The entire evening was low-key and special and memorable and simple.

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Prost!

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Roasting marshmellows – April 3, 2013

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Birthday S’mores

Together we are learning to juggle our new family of four dynamic. We were able to sneak away last weekend for a date night while Oma & Opa watched the kids, which was a breath of fresh air.

A two-year-old + a two-month old + two beers later = THIS

A two-year-old + a two-month old + two beers later = THIS

Prior to that I spent an entire day with girlfriends in Greensboro kid-free with four of my wonderful girlfriends. We shopped, we talked, we laughed, we ate good food, drank wine with lunch (and maybe a margarita in the afternoon!), we ate cupcakes, we recharged together… I felt like a new woman after a little Mom-ME time. My kids survived without me, my milk supply is just fine after a day of pumping on and off in the car, and I gained a little perspective and whole lot more comfort in this Mommyhood journey. Good Mama friends will have that effect on a gal…

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Lunch at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen.

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Mom-ME time with Michelle, Erin, Jessica & Emily.

So where do I go from here dear blog?

For one, I can definitely say I’m settling into a new normal. The excitement and new-baby novelty is starting to settle. Our days are becoming easier and more natural. That’s not to say I don’t have my moments. I recently went through the f-bomb stage of my postpartum journey . It’s not that I was angry or anything… just a little “hormotional” as I like to call it… basically a cross between hormonal and emotional… and the f-bomb just really added a nice kick to some of my thoughts during those fun (read: wonderful, yet exhausting) moments. I’d like to describe those moments as feeling “edgy” or “strung out.” I know my feelings are all par for the course, but the f-bomb stage (which of course I made up, too) of postpartum is seriously a hoot. I’m sure there will be more f-bomb moments to come, but in all actuality life is pretty good right now. After all, baby girl is sleeping through the night –  a huge feat and remedy to much of this crazy talk. A sleep deprived Mama is a little (f’in) nutty. A well rested Mama is an entirely different person.

That said, I might start up List of Seven on Sunday again in the weeks or months to come now that I am getting regular sleep. Or rather, “Seven minute Sunday’s” might be more appropriate. Shorter, quick posts – like ones I can write and upload pictures in seven minutes – might be more realistic. It might help me satisfy both the need to write as well as the need to preserve moments with my kids at the same time. Today I’m afraid I’m trying to include too much with a word count broaching on 2000 words, but as I said in the beginning I am spring cleaning my brain. I want to remain “in the moment” with Lance and Vivian as much as I can, but I also need some form of intellectual stimulation and a place to reflect that can coincide with those moments. Enter stage left, dear blog. You’re reliable, free, and always available when I need you.

Now before I wrap this monster post up, a big ode to Oma & Opa for all of their love and support during their visit. They truly play with my children, especially Lance and it’s beautiful to observe. They get down on the floor with him, they engage his imagination in many wonderful directions, they give him endless love and attention… (not to mention, they speak only German to him, thus playing a big role in his language development).

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The babysitting has been a plus, too. I’ve been able to get out a little, which is important for a stay-at-home Mom. Trips to the doctor, dentist, running trail, and tonight the hair salon are all important steps in maintaining a healthy physical and mental well-being (sans the f-bomb). Alongside the babysitting, I must mention Oma & Opa’s day-to-day help with cooking and cleaning. I’m not sure what I’m going to do without them when they leave on Monday, but I am certain I will write that story later…

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Taler taler du musst wandern…

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… von der einen Hand zu andern…

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Made with love :)

Marveling at it all…                                                                     (Mit Liebe gemacht = Made with love)

Vivian Isolde with her namesake, Oma Isolde.

Vivian Isolde with her namesake,       Oma Isolde.

In closing (I seriously need to reign myself in!!), I don’t really pretend to know what I’m doing with you dear blog, other than creative writing, releasing thoughts, relieving stress, archiving moments with my children and family and showcasing my best pictures, but I do know I love thee. So thank you dear blog and dear readers, both dedicated and new. I so appreciate you traveling with me on this dual journey of writing and mothering. I always feel so reorganized after we’ve had these “talks.” In a spring cleaning kind of way! Now… if only I could get paid for one or both of these jobs that I love. Maybe one day I’ll become a career writer (yet another topic…), but until then motherhood is me. Thank you for listening and understanding as I continue to adjust… I can feel a happy flow ahead as life begins to settle in and mesh into a “new normal” on this wild ride.

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Have a wonderful Friday dear blogosphere. Have a wonderful weekend dear readers.

xo,

The Banter Lady

Editor’s note: Please feel free to comment or offer insight or ask any questions on any or all of this. I welcome your thoughts! What direction would you like to see the blog go?

Livin’ in a bloggy blog world

Well it is unanimous… based on the poll I took last week, 100% of the readers think I should keep that Banter rollin’ as is… writing about a culmination of topics including Mommyhood, exercise, Luke-the-pug, feature stories, etc. I can live with this. I actually like having an array of categories to write about. Indeed, variety is the spice of life.

Taking this little poll got me thinking about blogs in general. In case you have not noticed, blogs are EVERYWHERE and continually popping up all over the Internet. Blogs about food, photography, writing, life, books, do-it-yourself (DIY) ideas, gardening, musings, travel, children, exercise, and much more are all the rage. For example, today alone Freshly Pressed boasted “The best of 470,723 bloggers,920,259 new posts, 1,145,437comments, & 177,014,071 words posted today on WordPress.com,” and counting! That is a bundle… a boatload… a bunch (pick your noun) of blogging.

The word “blog” is even in the dictionary! The dictionary (2012) definition of the word blog (n.) is “a Web site containing the writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other Web sites.”

If you do a google search of the word “blog” the first five hits are:

1. Blogger: Create your free Blog

2. Blog – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

3. WordPress.com — Get a Free Blog Here

4. Official Google Blog

5. Blog.com — What’s your story?

This just goes to show you that anyone can create a blog and anyone can learn how to create a blog. The information is out there, but the trick is deciding on what you want to blog about, how you want to frame or brand your blog, and then finding those sites out there in the Internet-sphere that will help you achieve your goals. The next trick is getting followers and email subscribers (aka an audience) who will read your blog. In an era of information overload, starting a blog can be somewhat overwhelming if you do not have the right resources. These are areas I am still working out in my own blog.

I began my blogging journey in July 2011 for the shear fact that I love to write, and I wanted to find a hobby I could engage in (alongside my stay-at-home-Mommy duties) that would challenge me to write regularly and learn something new. I also wanted to be able to share stories about my little my Lance that my family from afar (mostly Pennsylvania and Germany) could enjoy and feel more connected to their grandson, nephew, cousin, etc. Who knew that in a matter of months my vocabulary would include words like dashboard, widget, themes, domains, and akismet? WordPress, the content management system (CMS) I use to host my posts, has allowed me to showcase some of my best writing to an audience of family and friends.

In addition to maintaining my own site, I subscribe (either via email or RSS feed) to about a dozen blogs. I also peruse blogs at random when I have time. I do not read them everyday, but I check to see what is new about once/week. Reading other blogs keeps me informed about what others are blogging about, gives me ideas, and generally entertains me.

I have learned that some people make money, some archive special moments with regard to children, that there are many Mama blogs out there, food blogs, photography blogs, and creative blogs. You name it… there is a blog about it. Even though I am yet to officially drink the Pintrest kool-aid (meaning I do not have an account) I am familiar enough to know that many of the ideas pinned link back to a blog where the original ideas were published. This in turn creates traffic on the blog. It’s a savvy little business, and one I am learning more and more about… one post at a time. As a wanna-be writer I am still researching and trying to find my niche and get a little piece of the pie (aka earn some side $).

At this point, I am by no means a blog expert, but I do think I could teach others how to start and maintain a basic blog. That in itself is an accomplishment and pushes me to keep learning more. Just over the last week and a half I have been experimenting hard-core with my blog… showcasing a guest post, a poll, and a reblog post (in case you are wondering what the DIY alphabet nursery frame was all about… I saw it on another blog and thought it repost worthy, and since I could not “pin” it (remember, haven’t drank the kool-aid yet), I reposted it as a means to remember and share.

The list ways get creative with a blog is endless, and as much fun as I am having with all of these new options, it is time to get back to the regular Banter. Thank you for allowing me to indulge in this experimental and reflective phase of my blogging journey. You can expect more ideas and improvements to come.

But ok, ok… alright, alright… enough about all this bloggy blog blog talk. My next post will most likely be about Lance since it has been almost three weeks since you have seen or heard anything from him. He is practically a grown-up… walking this way… and that way… Well, not really a grown-up… but he does have some new tricks and words (like balllllll and carrrrrr) he would like to discuss.

Until next time… livin’ in a bloggy blog world,

The Banter Lady