Tag Archives: Blogging

The Lone Boob

Recently I wrote something for The Outlier Collective, a blog where a topic is chosen by the administrators and two bloggers write independently on the same subject.  When Eric, of A Clown on Fire, asked me if I’d write about Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy my response was “Let me think about it and make sure I have something to say.”

I did a little reading and wrote 500 words in about ten minutes.  Turns out I had a lot to say.  I read it and reread it and thought “Yep.  That’s what I think.”  She did what she thought was right with the resources she has to reduce her risk.  It’s that simple.

As soon as I got to think about mentioning the fact that breastfeeding contributes to reducing the risk of breast cancer I started to second guess myself.  Me?  Hesitant to talk breastfeeding? I started to wonder if I was becoming a broken record.  Would the mention of breastfeeding cause someone to think “oh, there she goes again, back on her soapbox” and disregard the rest of my message? Maybe.  But is that a good enough reason to keep silent? I don’t think so.

I like to add an image to everything I write.  It’s Blogging 101. The pictures that I include in my posts frequently get as much attention as the post itself. In a world where Instagram and Photoshop make it so easy to beautify ourselves it seems people take notice when you put your un-airbrushed self out there.  Pictures of my stretchmarks, pictures of my journey back to some level of fitness, pictures of my leaky wet spots and yes, pictures of breastfeeding, get a lot of attention.  A lot.

But I hesitated.  Should I include a picture of myself breastfeeding  in the post about Jolie and her mastectomy?  I was searching my pictures for an appropriate image when I opened up PhotoBooth while I was writing and snapped a picture.

Recently a picture that I posted of myself nursing Lucy while I changed Emily’s bicycle tire got a lot of negative feedback on Facebook. While I elected to delete the comments and rise above it one comment in particular got under my skin.  “Some people will do anything to get attention.”  Presumably she was referring to my posting a picture of part of my breast on the internet. But her comment stung because part of me started to feel like maybe I had become a one-trick pony.  My breastfeeding posts get far and way more traffic than any others. I like to think it is because it is the topic about which I am most passionate so they are likely some of the most well written.  But I had to ask myself – am I getting lazy? Is breastfeeding my go-to when I am coming up empty?

The truth is I am nursing roughly 60% of the time that I am writing.  I am nursing 30% of the time that I am eating.   I am nursing 60% of the time that I am talking on the phone.  I am nursing 70% of the time that I read.  Because I am nursing 95% of the time that I am sitting down.  I am nursing a toddler.  And as any woman that has ever nursed a toddler can tell you it is a blessing.  Nearly 100% of the time that I stop to catch my breath I am nursing.  Life moves quickly right now. We are climbing and running and jumping and falling and exploring.  And in the moments that I take pause, the moments where I write blog posts in my mind and dictate semi-unintelligible notes in to my phone, I am nursing.

It’s not an agenda.  It’s just where I am right now.  It’s my life.  Will I be talking about breastfeeding all of the time in a few more years? Probably not.  It will always be important to me but I imagine as my life changes something else will move in to my mental spotlight.

And before someone else can say it – I guess when I am no longer nursing I will have to think of a new reason to take pictures of a single boob and put it on the internet.  The web is saturated with images of pairs of boobs.  It really doesn’t garner much attention.  But a lone boob?  Man, it really gets people riled up.   Is it just a gimmick?  I don’t think so.  But am I going to get all defensive when someone calls me out and tries to make me feel like a jerk?  Nope.

Or I suppose I could think of something else that really irritates people.  And if it has as many benefits to my own health and that of my children I will probably take pictures of that, too.  In the meantime I am just going to keep on keeping on. Doing my thing, raising my kids and being me with a lone boob out.  Because that, friends, is how I roll.

Peace out!

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Poetic License for Bloggers is called Bullshit

Poetic License – the distortion of fact or narrative to tell a story or evoke a feeling. It’s cool.

I mean, poetic license is cool when you are writing a poem. But blogging or a personal narrative? I call bullshit on “poetic license.” I call the stretching and fudging of truth and fact bullshit when you are telling a “true story.” And man… that is just too damn bad.

Sometimes when something happens to me I start to write a blog post in my mind. I ramble on in my own personal little stand-up routine. Occasionally I get to laughing and I realize that the “punch line,” the part that made something really, truly funny… it didn’t actually happen. And I am left with what could have been funny “if only…” But more often than not what makes it funny is if I stretch the truth about how I think or feel on a subject. A spider in my medicine cabinet can get really funny if I couple it with a crippling fear of spiders. But I am not scared of spiders. At all. It is kind of funny to realize that I am standing in my bedroom fresh from the shower and all the blinds are open if my neighbor moonlights as a cabana boy, not so much if it is the seven year old son of my best friend. You get the picture.

Today I tore open the top of a PowerGel with my teeth (because working out like such a bad mamajama that you require PowerGels means that you no longer use scissors! The brute force of your own teeth will work just fine, thankyouverymuch.) I squirted the Vanilla tasting snot-like substance in to my mouth, waiting for the promised immediate burst of energy and thought to myself:

PowerGels taste like shit. The horrific taste helps make me certain that it is entering my blood stream and getting shit done! Just like tossing back hard liquor – I wince and think good lord, that was heinous. And that is how I know for sure that it is going to fuck me up.

Only that last part is not true. At all. I might have been the only college undergrad that didn’t hate the taste of booze. Not even Scotch. Sure, I am not wild about the lowest of the low. The bottom-shelf, plastic bottle of rotgut and I are not fast friends – but I can guarantee you that it is not as horrible as a PowerGel.

But the trouble is the blog post that starts “So, I ate a PowerGel today and man, did I wish it was a mini bottle of vodka” isn’t very funny. Although, now that I have typed it out perhaps I am on to something. I can see how a quick shot of vodka midway through the bike portion of the sprint triathlon might actually kick my ass in to high gear. It would at least help me out in the fearlessness department. I have a moderate fear of riding my bike really fast downhill brought on by one too many late-night crash and burns in college. But I suspect once the shot wore off my run would certainly suffer – unless there was more booze and a pizza at the finish line. Again, I think I might be on to something.

I will be 37 in 19 days. 9 days before that I will swim 250 yards, bike 10 miles and then run 2 more. It’s no Ironman. Hell, it isn’t even an Olympic distance triathlon. But it’s further than I have moved my ass in a long, long time. And it is a first for me.

A few years ago at the bottom of a bottle of wine I confessed to Mike that I wanted to get married before I was 35 so we could try and get pregnant before I was an “elderly gravida,” a wickedly offensive term for a woman over 35 who is pregnant. We pulled it off. We got married 7 days before I turned 35 and I am fairly sure that we were pregnant by my birthday. Take a newlywed couple that has been living with their five year old daughter and give them a hotel room and an open bar and they can make a baby pronto. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

36 passed in a blur of breastfeeding and tears and sleeplessness and finding my groove. If 35 was the Year of the Newlywed and 36 was the Year of the New Stay At Home Mom, what I am calling 37? Beats me.

I can tell you this. 37 will not be the Year of the PowerGel because they taste like shit. I have a sneaking suspicion that in retrospect 37 will be phase one of Turn in to a Bad Mofo Before I Turn 40. I will continue to work on a catchier name. I have 384 days before it is over.

Sorry this wasn’t really very funny. Or insightful. Or poignant. Y’all seem to like the funny and the sad. You especially love the embarrassing. So, I offer you this. My pinhead is disguised by my widow’s peak ordinarily. I’m glad swimming caps are not required for all trips to the gym or my effort at picking up gym moms might be fruitless. I mean, would you go on a Mom Date with this girl?

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An Early Valentine

When you are a little kid you give a Valentine to everyone in your class.  You write their name meticulously. You write your name. You go down the list.  One for everyone.

As you get older you might write a little something extra on your nearest and dearest friends but you still give one to everyone in your class.  By the time you are in high school you probably don’t give a Valentine to your friends anymore.  And I think that is too bad.

So, today, the day before Valentine’s Day I want to give a Valentine to you, my readers, and to a friend of mine.
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I went to high school with Karen.  But I didn’t really know her until she started pouring her heart and soul and all of her crazy out all over the Internet.  And now I wish that I could have some of those weird years in high school back so that we could say that we have “been friends” for twenty years.  A long, long time from now perhaps we will forget that we didn’t exactly hang out together much when we were in school.  Or that we have only actually seen one another twice in 19 years.  Look at that picture of us, we look like a couple of old friends. Happy Valentine’s Day, Karen.

And my early valentine to the rest of you? Karen moved her blog over to WordPress.  Give her a visit.  You will pop by to say hello because it is the nice thing to do.  And you will go back again and again because she is funny and kind and she will make you feel like it is okay to be a person.

She writes a blog called Honestly Uncomfortable and Uncomfortably Honest.  While her subject matter is sometimes uncomfortable she makes you anything but. She writes about her family, her battles with mental illness.  Oh, and poop.  She talks a lot about poop and I know y’all love that.  She will make you feel like you have known her for twenty years, too.  I promise.

Happy Early Valentine’s Day.  If we were in elementary school I would write each one of your names on a rectangular valentine with a glitter pen.  And then I would  fold it in half and close it with a sticker.  I sure would.

Breaking up is hard to do

So is dieting.

I think breaking up and dieting are both really shitty ways to spend your time. So, instead of dieting I prefer to just eat healthy most of the time and commit to staying active.

Instead of breaking up I think we should just take a break. You and me. I know I said I would write every day this month. But I have something better to do. With family in town for the weekend I think I need to focus 100% of my energy on how really fantastic my kids are. Not everyone wants to talk about that I have recently noticed and I need to take full advantage.

Please don’t diet while I am gone. You’re probably already missing me. Don’t add insult to injury.

And if you are quietly rejoicing because you have come to the conclusion (as I have) that my plan to Keep, Trash and Donate all month long and regale you with tales from the inside of my closets and drawers is painfully dull perhaps even more boring than last Decembers Christmas countdown of ornaments?? Well, just keep that to yourself. I am a sensitive girl.

If you are bored in my absence may I suggest you play Pantyhose Face? or Frozen Pizza Box TV Face? Dieting and breaking up are both really difficult. Entertaining yourself shouldn’t be. And if you still need amusement? Go visit my friend, Le Clown at Clown on Fire. He thinks I am smart and funny. He has other good qualities but so far those are my favorites.

See you in a few days!

New things are #scary

And even worse when you are all alone.

I’m tweeting, y’all.  #IhavenoideawhatthefuckIamdoing

It was three months ago that my Twitter naivete was actually blog fodder.  I will even cop to being a little bit proud of myself when I said “I don’t tweet.”  But times are rolling on and I felt like it was time to get with ‘em.  So, follow me.  Or whatever the hell you do.  And I will follow you.  And you can tweet back at me #thatwasashittytweet and I’ll be all #whatthefuckever.

So.  That’s what’s up.  It’s Monday.

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The Square Root of 49 is a PRIZE!!

Gee whiz!!  You spill your guts on the internet and you get a prize, guys!!  My birth story and my postpartum post had a zillion more page views than my ordinary posts (although perhaps it was the pictures that did it, I am fairly certain there is a stray nipple in there somewhere!) and I thought that was prize enough.  While I certainly do not write with the intent of generating traffic it is a pleasant surprise when something that I questioned posting at all is a hit.

Last week I received the 7×7 link award from The Waiting.  She is an Emily, but a pregnant one!!  She is also in the Cackalackey so we have that in common as well.  I enjoy her pregnancy related tales, but suspect I’d have enjoyed her tales prior to this shared  experience as well.    Go.  Read her.  She is smart and funny.  That’s Win Win.

The rules are simple – list seven of my own my favorite posts and then nominate seven other bloggers for the award .

My favorite seven posts

Security - This is an all time favorite because it is the beginning of what has become a valued friendship with my friend Karen.  And the first time I realized that barfing my feelings on the internet really makes me feel better about my Universe.

When I Grow Up  - another post that was prompted by a question from an old friend.  The answer to the question of why I didn’t grow up to be an actress.

A Test of Patience - Sometimes I need to remember that I have come a long, long way.  And I have been patient.  Occasionally it would serve me to be a little less so.

How Symmetrical is Your Face - I miss This Book Will Change Your Life.  I need to get back on the horse.

Express Your Views – Alternately titled “I Told The Internet About my Abortion” - a tough one to write.  But impossible not to.

The Post Where I Coined One of my All Time F avorite PhrasesAnd in what I declare a moment of genius told her that “our hearts are like earthworms. We have endless regenerative powers.”  Hillary is a tough cookie.  And when I didn’t hear from her I assumed that she was toughing it out.  Her earthworm heart mending itself in time to be torn in two for perhaps the gazillionth time, but all in all, no worse for the wear.

And a couple bonus entries to make you laugh….

Magic 8 Ball of Crazy – Pregnant and Bat Shit Crazy -

How My Monday Was Like a Primus Song – Why  I love the DMV

Have You Met My Wife – another reason I love MQD

And now 7 blogs I enjoy!!

Toulouse & Tonic: -  Read her.  Comment.  Be engaging and witty.    This delightful gal is on bedrest and needs you to entertain her.

Xanax or Running Shoes - Jeanna has an amazing gift for  telling a story.  She is engaging and funny even in trying times.

Squatch Makes Three - A DADDDY to be blog!  He is clever and a fine representation of a real dad to be.

I’ll Sleep When They’re Grown - She is newly pregnant again and a good time.  Another good sense of humor.  Are you detecting a trend?

Great Big Question Mark - Kim.  Kim is a real life person.  She was an internet person and made the leap.  Kim held my hand through some of my darkest days and it was her sarcasm, her kindness, her smarts… that more than once saved my ass.  Kim is smart.  And the only really short person I have ever truly loved.

Real Life Homes - Karen had a genius of an idea.  Send her pictures of your real life home so we can all stop feeling like rotten homemakers when we look through catalogues.  I ruined the curve when I sent her pics of my pregnancy induced nesting home.  

The Adventures of the Family Pants - Collen and I have never met but we will.  She is a delight, she makes me cry and laugh and makes me want to squeeze her kids and make up songs and pay and wear a lot of glitter.  She is good people.

And a bonus nominee because I can’t say enough how you should really read Karen’s blog.  She is a hundred times smarter than me.  And her kids are way cute.  And even her husband has won me over.  Uncomfortably Honest & Honestly Uncomfortable.  

 

Muchas gracias, my blog friends.  I promise I will get my shit together and get back to more regular posting.  I am trying to give the Facebook page a little love, bonus pictures and the like in the meantime.  So, come on,  Like me!  Heh.