Gee Plus

Because I can’t get enough of social media, I’ve found myself sucked in by Google+ (or G+) if you be wit’it.

I like it. At first I didn’t because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. A help video? They had a help video for new users? PSHAW!

Let’s first hit upon hat I don’t like about it: going through facebook and twitter acceptance all over again. There are several bloggers and even FB friends I have added to my circles that have yet to reciprocate. I can’t squelch the paranoia that makes me think that those people weren’t able to fob me off earlier and weren’t making the same mistake twice.

I know, boo hoo, right?

What I DO like is its flexibility in sharing posts, updates, photos, thoughts, etc. I can post something publicly and share it based on location, finding other local updates; or I can share it easily with just family. Now of course, you can do that on FB as well, but you have to click this, then click that, and then type this and type that, and click again…In addition to being paranoid, I’m also lazy. G+ is the lazy person’s social network.

Of course I will talk it up because I want to add you to my Circles. If you want to try G+ out, but are waiting for a coveted invite (FYI: they are NOT limiting invites…), let me know what email you want me to send it to by either leaving a comment or emailing me directly at thimamasaid (at) gmail (dot) com. I would love to see more of you there!

Little Blogger On The Prairie*

Since I moved from my old blog to this one, I have been cautious about exposing too much of my previous identification. Once burned, twice raped by those in your real life who want to be up in your biz…and all that. Now that I haven’t been around the bitches from where I worked because 1) I don’t work there anymore; and 2) Stalker took a job in The Metro and hauled her whore-ass out of town, I am once again considering welcoming other people from IRL back here, especially those I am friends with on Facebook.

And then I go back to that “once burned” thought and I rein myself in. I guess I’ll wait a little bit longer before I update my old blog with a post that I can now be found here.

Instead, I am comfortable enough to share where I blog from (no, I’m not referring to the laptop I prop on one knee while I sit in my rocking chair situated in the living room), but where geographically, which is Nebraska, US of A. I know. Most of you probably already knew that, but hey, a blogger past her prime can still dream that she can pick up a new reader now and then.

While I have found an incredible sense of camaraderie through the community of blogging, I have to admit that not having a chance to actually get together with a fellow bloggers is one of the detriments to being a blogger in a what is considered a very rural part of the country where people generally still don’t have a clue as to what a blog is! I am pea-green with envy of those of you who mention spontaneous luncheons with another blogger who lives across town. You have no idea how lucky you are.

I’ve tried at different times to find other bloggers in Nebraska. Currently, I know less than a handful who do. So I’m putting out feelers once again for people who maintain a personal blog. I’ve found a syndicated blog, Momaha.com that networks in Omaha (obviously), but only a couple of the contributors have their own blog. I’m not a big follower of community blogs for a variety of reasons, one being rather petty: the truncating of posts. I know, I know. Bloggers, especially pros, don’t want their content stolen and it gives them a more accurate way to collect stats…whatever. I don’t like it.

So I’m collecting a list of Nebraska bloggers. I’m not particular about topics, but prefer to find “personal blogs”, not “Here’s what’s going on in the Capital Building today!” or “Today’s Spring Game for the Huskers was cancelled due to a blizzard!” (which, dudes, we totally had a blizzard today complete with an accumulation of around 8″ and ice and drifts and shit!) (however, I have no idea if the game was cancelled, nor do I care). So if you know of a blogger who lives in Nebraska or you ARE a blogger in Nebraska, shout it out. I’m going to start a new page with the links. Maybe someday this will lead to a CornFab or at the minimum, a spontaneous luncheon with a fellow Nebraskan blogger.

* This is the name of an actual blog. HOWEVER, this person not only has her blog as private, but she’s in Illinois. ILLINOIS! Please. That is so not on the prairie.

Here’s a Hint: It Had Girl In It

If I wrote a password protected posts, would you all still recall the password or do you need a reminder? I wouldn’t be surprised if you did need the reminder since I nearly gave myself a brain-sprain trying to remember what I used here the last time.

And the password isn’t to keep YOU all out; it’s just in this case I don’t want it on the internet as it’s a rather private situation with my son. Let me know if you need to know what it is (thismamasaid (at) gmail (dot) com). I’ll update in a couple of days.

Just reread this and realized how stupid that sounds: “don’t want it on the internet” because – duh! But you get my drift, right?

But if you want to smoke crack, then hey, who am I to pass judgement?

I try to be open both in life and here on my blog. The anonymity of a blog made it easier to talk about dildo-shaped ultrasound wands and foreign masses growing on my butt because you don’t have to see the utter shame in my face. However, in real life, it’s easier to talk to my close friends about politics, religion and certain parenting choices because I chose to hang with friends who are generally of similar personalities.

For me, these two worlds rarely collide and intermingle. I do not share my rectal exam story with my IRL friends, nor do I discuss certain parenting preferences on my blog. When my friends share something deeply, DEEPLY personal (she shaves what where and with who wearing WTF??), I’m sorry, but I can’t ever look at her or her guest bathroom ever the same. As for discussing hot topics here, while I know most of you share very compatible views, there may be one or two that do not and despite me being mostly abrasive, I try at least to keep the readers I have even if no new ones are ever to be part of my future again.

Here’s just a handful of topics that I LOVE to talk about with my IRL friends and family that I wouldn’t dare try to cover here in a way that could be considered even remotely diplomatic:

  • Abortion
  • C-sections
  • Home Births
  • Breastfeeding
  • Pacifiers
  • Co-sleeping
  • Sleep Training (CIO)
  • Vaccinations

I would rather keep topics here fairly neutral rather than be oblivious to my on-line friends just for the sake of increasing traffic. Getting and keeping trolls for some bloggers seems to be like a badge of honor. They can keep on with their troll-trolling and incendiary statements. More power to them and all that jazz.

What topics, if any, do you refuse to discuss on your blog, if you have one? Or with your IRL friends?

Twittering My Thumbs

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

I must have felt that there just wasn’t enough social media in my life, what with facebook, a blog, and flickr, so I started a new Twitter account. I had one, but like my other blog, people I knew from my personal life were aware of it so I deleted it. I justified its removal with the argument that I never used it; that the feedback was for shit. But I started to miss the one-line zingers and stalking of other bloggers without them being able to track my IP address.

I would share my new user name with you, but then I’d have to kill you because every blue moon one of my sisters stops here and you know what? I just have to have somewhere more private. Somewhere I can REALLY let loose about one of the in-laws if I want. Or somewhere I can say my husband is a dickbag without having to elaborate WHY exactly he is a dickbag at that particular moment.

So if you want me to follow you on Twitter, let me know. Or more importantly, if you want to follow me, let me know. Maybe then I can even out the following:follower ratio, which right now makes me look like a major looooser.

High Horse

I must not be reading the right blogs because while I’ve read references about bloggers who write about writing too-personal posts, it wasn’t until today that after googling “mommy bloggers too personal” that I actually found a blog specifically written about whether mommy bloggers are getting too personal.

Could I have possibly squeezed in one more “personal” in that sentence?

What annoys me about what I have termed the High Horse Mentality is that it’s coming from big-name bloggers. Big Name bloggers who probably started off anonymous writing under cute pseudonyms who got popular for their writing, then got enough emails to convince them to write a book, which of course required them to write under their real name (because no one is going to pay good money to buy a book with an author’s name like Yo-yo Mama). This always leads to publicly acknowledging that their child’s name is really NOT Doodicus but is indeed Norman, and look! Here’s a picture of Norman naked in the tub/sitting on the potty chair/playing with his Barbies.

And THEN they wonder why they get creepy emails from Lester of the MWLBs.

While I’m on the topic of annoying things bloggers do, here’s a common mistake most bloggers make. In fact, I’ll admit I made it (I makes lots of them…), don’t ever say, “My blog is for ME and I’ll blog what I want!” Wake up. The ONLY blog that is truly written solely for the blog owner is the one set to private. Completely private. Not this private-but-my-family-and-friends-can-read-it, because the pictures and stories that get shared are not for YOU then, now are they?

Blogging has kept me sane over the years, especially during our ART years. I also think blogging is a dying art. I get more feedback on Facebook nowadays then I do here, but I will continue to maintain my blog for a couple of different reasons: 1) there are things I can still say here that I can’t on FB. I am friends with my family, in-laws and classmates there – many times regrettably so; and 2) I find it reassuring that with how things are right now with my son that I am not alone. Who knows what the coming months and years will bring for my daughter.

As for worrying about my kids someday finding my blog? I sincerely hope they do and realize that I wasn’t just “the Mommy”. I am a real person who worried about their future, proudly shared their accomplishments, and really did hate the constant picking up I had to do and that my annoyance wasn’t just for show. If they can’t appreciate that then I guess I could always lie and deny that this blog was about me or them and they need to stop being so damned paranoid.

Ah, the beauty of an anonymous blog.

5 of 30: Won’t You Be My *social network* Neighbor?

Hey! Did you know that if you are signed up on the NaBloPoMo website, you can create your own page? And you can add friends?? Huh, didya, didya?!

At first I was like, meh, big deal, but you know, there’s really no reason for at least those of you participating not to become friends there to. Plus, I look really pathetic with just three friends.

So today’s post is really just me asking you to be my NaBloPoMo friend.

Puh-wease?

Lucky Moe…


I don’t know why I do this to myself. I know how I react when I see others doing it (pulling my face into a very unflattering grimace, thankyouverymuch), but dammit, sometimes it’s good to practice a little self-discipline even when no one really gives a flying, poopy monkey butt.

I vow to keep them short. Not short and sweet because that would go against my very nature.

So, for my first post of National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) (Naw. Blow Po’ Moe), I’ll tell you about our Halloween weekend where Aitch was Tinker Bell and Doodicus was a Petulant Ass.

In other words, I copped out and bought the first costume that meant the least amount of work with Aitch. I mean, really? Tinker Bell?? She’s a two-year old, blonde, blue-eyed toddler. Wow! What a stretch!

As for the Petulant Ass? Well, he told me earlier in the week that he didn’t want to trick-r-treat and surprisingly, he didn’t change his mind. I asked him if he still wanted to celebrate Christmas. He just shrugged his shoulders. It emphasized the zit I saw on his nose. Yeah. A zit. He’s 8 and 11/12 years old. Holy hell. Fine, it might have been a clogged pore, but the coincidence is uncanny.

The Herd Mentality

I use to check my stats daily until it become an obsession, especially during the glory days when the number of visits was steadily climbing – thanks to multiple miscarriages and failed fertility treatments. Oh, Angst. You are an addictive mistress.

After Aitch came home safely and I started carrying on about how cute she was and how easy things were and generally happy, visitors weren’t as many, but I was already weaning myself away from the stats. It kinda sucks, but heh, I guess that means my life wasn’t dramatic enough which meant I was somehow settling into a new normal.

I do check my wordpress stats when I log in. It’s not as comprehensive, but it clues me in to some of the more common search hits I get, many looking for c-section scar pictures. Why? Who knows. During my review of my stats, I realized with a start that the number of visits to my blog on Friday were the highest since moving to this new blog. Over 10x higher than average at approximately 250. Yes, my blog only gets about 25 hits a day. Go ahead and compare and gloat. A vast majority of them came from Stirrup Queens because my post about the MM was linked under Miscellaneous Support and Celebrations in her Lost and Found.

I think that is amazing how so many came by simply upon the request of one incredibly influential blogger. But…I have to admit that I was a bit befuddled by those numbers in addition to being humbled. Less than a handful of all those people who followed Mel’s link left a comment. Why would 250 people take the time to follow a link, arrive at my blog and then only 2% of those people take those extra seconds to leave a comment?

Is this just virtual rubber necking? Was the news of my melanoma nothing more than a fender bender, bloggystyle, where there are plenty of lookers but only one or two good samaritans willing to actually stop and find out if any help is needed? Maybe it’s because LFCA is usually reserved for reproductive-related news and my MM wasn’t anything that they could relate to? Was it simply because once they read the news, I had bored their brains into stillness and they were too incoherent to comment?

Now honestly, it’s not they didn’t comment because those that did are my friends and the ones I care about, but why in the world would you follow a  link knowing that it’s a link to someone who is needing a little virtual handholding and NOT be willing to follow through? I know for me, if there’s a link to a blog and if I know I just am not strong enough to give, I don’t even click it. That happens a lot to me when it’s a link about a miscarriage. I am no longer able to relive those painful memories…but that’s not possible in this case, right? All 250 visits from Stirrup Queen’s weren’t from people also suffering or recovering from MM, could they be?

So do you follow the links to other blogs when it’s a call for support? Once you follow that link, don’t you feel some kind of obligation to comment? This phenomenon has happened before and I’ve always wanted to ask, but haven’t for fear of sounding as if I’m complaining about being linked to, but damn, don’t you find that curious behavior?

FIVE

This coming week marks my 5th Anniversary in blogging. Yes, there’s actually over four years of this shit at another blog site for those you who are new here (which I seriously doubt). I started with BlogSpot, moved to TypePad, and then finally WordPress. I’ve changed my blog’s name *counting on fingers* FOUR times! In hind site, that’s kinda stupid. Think long and hard when creating a blog, you newbies out there. No one buys into that “Now with a New Look!” bullshit.

In that time, I’ve made a lot of friends via the internet. But I’ve also pissed off a decent share. I know that. I’m not proud of it, either. Really. My problem? It really all comes down to something very simple and basic: Jealousy. I am envious of just about every blogger I read. It doesn’t really matter about what, because I’m that cow on the other side of the fence eyeballing your yard when mine really is just fine, all things considering.

I intentionally shut out those that are uber-popular because I figure they’ll never notice I’m gone. And even if your blog isn’t what you think of as uber-popular, I’m jealous of how well you write; how funny your stories are; how happy you are in your marriage; how smart and attentive your children are; and how you seem to have time to relax with your family, take gorgeous pictures and post them to your blog because even your web access seems to surpass mine.

But I don’t want to feel like that anymore. It’s made me lose touch with some really great people, and with that I’ve lost out on some wonderful stories. I use to click over to a blog when someone gushed about it. Now? I just do the equivalent of stomping off in the other direction and pretend I don’t care. Again, who am I really hurting here, but me.

So in honor of my 5th Anniversary of blogging, I’m going to try to recover those feelings I had when I first started blogging and there was a world in front of me to explore. When I read a post that I find interesting and I click over from my feed and see 75 other comments, I will still leave my own, even if it’s a repeat of 74 of the other comments. I will try to be a better friend, both IRL and on-line. I’m tired of feeling resentful. If I’ve hurt your feelings and you’re still here, I’m sorry. Really. And if you wonder if I’m referring to YOU…I probably am.

The Graveyard of Dead Blogs

Remember how during the past couple of winters I had snow falling on my blog? It would seem that there needs to be a WP app that would have tumbleweeds occasionally drift and bounce by. It’s obvious that I really don’t know what I’m doing at this space. Let me elaborate: it’s obvious to ME that I don’t know what to do here anymore judging by my stats. Not that I care about that kind of drivel…pshaw.

When did I get to be such an awful blogger (and you can shut your pie-hole if you thought by responding, “You were never anything but!” that I would find that funny)? If what I’m feeling is what so many others who quit were feeling after they had a baby, they were smart to bow out gracefully while I choose to whimper and limp along.

Of course in some ways it’s wonderful that I’m so out of touch with what brought me here in the first place: infertility and miscarriage. But it also means that the community I loved and felt so much a part of has somehow slipped from my reach and there’s really been no niche I’ve felt comfortable in. When things were running at their peak, I never understood the appeal to lurking. But now? Oh, I totally get it. I also have a new appreciation for my son’s repeated lament to move back into the ‘burbs. It would be so much easier for me to transition into this new phase of my life: the one that means no more babies; the one that is bringing me at lightning speed to the half-century mark; the one where I’m trying to find a new career in a market that finds me past-my-prime; and one that I hate the most as far as physical appearances go.

I saw a facebook update by someone who also blogs that said, “I will not write just to have some filler during my off days and weeks, and if you’ve noticed MONTHS. I will write when the muse returns.”

This comes the day after I post something here without substance specifically to be a filler. Is filler necessary to keep myself out there or is it a detriment to you as a reader? Does it scream desperation or does it reassure you that yes, I’m still here – still alive? Is it better to blog of nothing every day or every other day or is it more interesting to see a post come up once a month – if that – that is filled with substance?

And most importantly, where do Blogs go to die?

Loose Ends

Ever since I started this blog, I’ve been wondering how to get my other one neatly sewn up and literally bound. I’ve always intended in getting it sent to Blurb for just such a purpose, but with having several (55) posts still in draft form, an unknown number protected, I knew that not all 1,247 posts would transfer into a text file.

I don’t want to delete the drafts because many of them are on topics that I just think are either too opinionated for general publishing, but when I look through them I still get the punched-in-the-gut feeling I had when I typed the first words.

I also don’t want to publish all my protected posts since I’m still paranoid about ex-coworker (who appears to have stopped dropping in, but yeah – paranoia), and there’s the posts about the crazy relatives, and more importantly, some of my protected posts are about our donor cycle.

Last night I think I finally came up with a solution on how to salvage every 1, 247 posts (not to mention thousands of comments) so that I can finally get them into physical form. Actually I came up with two solutions, but while I’m leaning towards one, I thought I’d throw them out there for you to consider since I may be overlooking something really important; something that may make the whole idea moot.

My first possible solution was to just change the URL so instead of it being “ddtko”, I could change it to “yoyosoldshit” or something similar. That way if ex-coworker decides to pull up my blog, she’ll get an error since the URL will be gone. I can then unprotect and publish everything.

My second idea was to create a new blog (don’t scream in frustration yet) and “transfer” everything from ddtko over and then just rework the new blog by either unprotecting or publishing from there. Plus, I can make that one relatively private so it doesn’t show up in searches.

There both pretty similar in ideas. The benefit to the second is that I can leave the original so that any past links and search results still are valid.

Am I missing something? Are either of these doable? Are there any shortcomings I hadn’t thought of?

*************

ETA: Let’s see if I can clarify: my current URL is https://knockuout.wordpress.com. I can change the URL to anything else for a name (as long as it’s not taken) but that means that anyone who ever clicked on or linked to knockuout.wordpress.com would end up getting nothing if I changed the name.  I’m thinking about creating a duplicate blog to my OLD blog but changing the name so that I can publish everything without losing the original content of my OLD blog.

Ugh. That didn’t help a frickin bit, did it?

I don’t care what Healthcare Reform “costs” the taxpayers. I care what it costs ME.

Due to a comedy of errors (without The Funny), our family is now without health insurance coverage. When I got the official letter, I admit, I nearly had myself a heart-attack, but because I couldn’t afford to have one, I just had a mild freak fit instead. Sparring Partner has been given strict instructions to get and save every receipt related to medical expenses in hopes of getting some of it back after filing taxes NEXT year.

I tried to reason with myself that our monthly out of pocket expenses surely couldn’t be more than what we’d pay for a monthly premium. Sadly, only two weeks into January and we had already shot our wad.

Doodicus’s 60 day supply of ADHD meds was $210. Aitch’s 18 month check up was $140. Then there was the urgent care visit for yet another ear infection for Aitch and the subsequent antibiotics that were filled. Not once, but twice. So, uh, yeah. Not quite the auspicious start I was hoping for in the new year.

After this last round of antibiotics for Aitch’s second ear infection of the year, we are now starting a six week regimen of AB (unknown cost at this time) that the pediatrician hopes will keep future infections away until the fluid can finally be absorbed by her body. If not? Then she’ll be getting tubes. Average charge at the local hospital? $2,700.

I haven’t made an appointment about my earlier concern (protected post). I haven’t a clue what the cost there will be.

Of course, then there’s the mammogram screening I need since the last time I had one was Fall 2007 as required by my RE before I could go through the donor egg transfer as I was then pushing my big fat zero around with a four. That alone will set me back about $450, including the radiologist’s fee.

What I wouldn’t give to be able to bitch once again about $25 office visit copays; $100 emergency physician copays; and $50 pharmacy copays… *sighs wistfully*

I’ve decided that I’m going to keep track of all of our medical expenses here. With the healthcare reform on life support (sadly) and full-time, permanent employment still a pipedream, keeping a runny tally will not only be helpful to me, but maybe someone else may find it beneficial, or at least interesting, to know what the “typical” medical expenses a family of four incur over a year. So I’ve started a new page on this blog.

And to avoid ending this post on what could without argument be the most boring conclusion ever, I’ll share a little story about Aitch:

She’s a bit “particular” when it comes to routines. Loves them. Chaos and change? Hates. At bath time, normally we go and start the tub water to warm it up, call out, “Bath!” and she comes running. While the tub fills, we get her undressed and the clothes go into a little pile by the door to be taken out to the hamper later.

The other night, I told her it was time for her bath while sitting in the living room. She was happy to hear it and started off. I stopped her by telling her to take off her socks. So she sat down and took them off. And the pants and the shirt (with some help – obviously). I asked her to pick up the now discarded clothes and we went into her room and I pointed to the hamper and asked her to put her clothes in there, and she did.

THEN we went into the bathroom. While my back was turned, adjusting the temp of the water, she dashed out of the bathroom. A few seconds later, she came back holding the pants, shirt and both socks in her arms. She deposited them, very deliberately, next to the door, gave them a pat as if to say, “Stay!” and then walked over to me to check out the status of the water in her bath.

She even puts away the box of colors and coloring books, you guys! Oh, yes, she does.

#30 – NaBloWriMo

Not just 30 posts in 30 days, my friends.

36!

Thirty-SIX!!

November, you’ve notoriously made me your bitch in the past – “Who, me? Little ole’November? Why, you certainly wouldn’t hold those two miscarriages and the subsequent D&C’s against me, now would you??” – Oh, yes, I would. And I will ’til I hit the grave, but today, you are MY bitch, November. Suck it. Suck it, but hard.

#18 – If you didn’t just get an email from me…

….about the new password, then you can assume one of three things:

1) You didn’t ask me for it.

2) You asked me, but your email was wonky so you’ll have to email me again.

3) You asked me, but I said “I don’t EVEN think so!”

Except let’s be real here. You and I both know that I’m so desperate for your love and attention that I would give out the password to any Tom, Denise or Harry who asked.