Blogs, Social Media, and Me

photo_892_20060124 Image credit: Chance @ Free Range Stock

I recently became aware of how many blogs I follow when the subscription updates come pouring in every morning. I also realize how many of those same bloggers I follow on Pinterest, because I tend to see the same stuff that I saw in my subscription update. I don’t mind that at all, sometimes it’s a nice reminder to visit the blog to go see the new  goodies and/or article of interest. I use social media a lot. If I’m not on my phone, then I’m on the computer using one of my accounts (generally Facebook or Pinterest, though on occasion HootSuite for Twitter and Google + will make it’s way into my day.) at some point during the day. I don’t want to say it’s everything that I do, because it’s not. I have kids, they have needs. My kids will always come before the latest and greatest news that I hear about on social media or that recipe that I just have to pin on Pinterest. Recently, I also created a new board on Pinterest for myself related to blogging. The majority of the boards I have on there are homeschool related, even though my Squeaker won’t be a year old until December. For that matter, the majority of the blogs I frequent are related to homeschooling in some form or another. The others are faith based and while I do know of several autism blogs (as I follow their FB pages), I tend not to frequent those. But, that’s another story for another day.

I guess my point is this: blogging and social media go hand in hand. I can’t deny this fact. I have my own blog synchronized with my Twitter and FB page. But that wasn’t why I created this blog. It wasn’t to gain internet fame, it wasn’t for hits, and it wasn’t to generate some sort of income online. This blog, though infrequently updated as it is, is for me. While yes, I will still diligently use social media to promote my little corner of the internet- it’s not the ultimate purpose. I’m still getting there (the purpose of the blog) and who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll find it. Until then, it will remain a mish-mash of randomosity and mundane every day life- much like myself because at the end of the day; the blog is about me.

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Blogging with Purpose

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I realize that I’ve got a serious case of blog-envy when I see the high-traffic blogs with 1k+ followers on Facebook and/or Pinterest and/or Twitter. And I’m also realistic enough to realize that I probably won’t hit that tier and I’m perfectly okay with that. That’s never been my goal anyway and to delude myself into thinking I can be like that? I’d drive myself nuts. But, what I can do (and what I have learned) is that I should blog with a purpose. At first, I’d wanted to keep this blog just to blog about anything and everything.. a general mish-mash of family life, recipes, venting, every day adventures in parenting… well, I’ll stop there.

Then, I got the bright idea that maybe putting sub-domains for different aspects would be better (ex. Autism, homeschool preschool, etc.) and then I also realized that it would mean logging in and out of multiple wordpress blogs just to update. Something that I could just as easily do on the main blog but sort with categories. I didn’t completely trash that idea because I’m choosing to keep the Autism blog mostly static while I’m still debating whether or not I want to follow through with the homeschool preschool blog… I might (and by might, I more than likely will once I choose a proper subdomain name, layout, etc.).  I have a few other ideas for sub-domain blogging but that’s another post for another day.

However, that leaves me with a general question of what direction to take this blog. Do I remain with my general mish-mash of everyday life or do I try to focus it to just family stuff? Ultimately, I’d want the blog to be a reflection of the domain name- justanothermom. To me, that would imply parenting and being a mom. But, I’m also more than just a mom. Will I blog about everything that goes on? More than likely not. I’d like to avoid being a drama llama because, personally, I can’t stand people like that. The occasional rant/vent is understandable but not on a daily basis. Or, at least, that’s not what this blog will ever be about.

I digress.

As it stands, I feel as though I’m  blogging without a purpose when I should/could be blogging with a purpose.

Now, to figure out what that purpose is.

Graphics by Irene

Graphics by Irene

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Plans for the Fall

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I received my acceptance letter & welcome e-mail from Mercy College today for the Fall semester. Because they’re a New York school, I can get more financial aid and with the cost of college; anything extra will definitely be a big help. So, having this in mind means that I can start making tentative plans for the fall because that’s what I do- I plan. I’m a planning type of person, I like things to be organized… even if I’m not the best at always following through on the plans that I make.

For example, my youngest (Squeaker) just turned six months old yesterday and I’m already planning for when she’s old enough for Tot School. Yes, I realize there’s still quite some time for this but I don’t care… I need to plan. I have downloaded tons of free printables, bookmarked curriculum to purchase (for printing and laminating) and I already have themes planned out. And yes, she’s only six months old and I more than likely won’t be doing any of this stuff with her until she’s at least fourteen months old. But I’ll be ready and prepared to start when she’s ready.

Anyway, I feel like I need to make some updates to the blog… general things like expanding the ‘About Me’ page a bit, possibly adding a few more static pages, and maybe start reconsidering the short navigation menu across the top area. I also have delusions of working on the family website and eventually getting the Autism website more in tact. But, before I do that; I need to plan. Without that plan in place, I lack direction and without direction I’ll never get anything done.

Unrelated to everything mentioned above, as far as online education and Squeaker go, my mom will be signing over the house to K and I. This is huge and we’re both petrified at the idea of actually being homeowners. Yes, we’re both over the age of 30 and yes, we’re both adults but still. We know that there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done on the house and we’re prepared to do that (again, with plans because K- like myself- also plans). Aside from the work being necessary, we’re also thinking long term for when we sell the house. That won’t take place until Squeaker is older (and ready to enter middle school) because while I’m okay with sending her to a local elementary school… middle school and high school are out of the question. Up until kindergarten, Squeaker will stay home with me… but that’s a different post, for a different day. Once we start making more improvements to the house, I’ll be happy to share pictures. Just to give the blog a little more of a ‘home’ feel to it.

With all of that said, I’m taking my weekend break from blogging. I hope that you all have a lovely weekend!

Be blessed and be a blessing!

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Blog Blah Blah- 6/5/14

I’ll have an entry with a bit more substance, other than answering a meme prompt, sometime tomorrow (and after I’ve waded through the massive amounts of comment spam since my last update).. Anyway, being the slacker blogger that I am, I knew I would need all of the help that I could get to stay on track. If you’re like that and want to have a gentle push in the weekly direction: Divine Secrets of the Blah Blah Bloggerhood just might be for you.

Our prompt this week is “I wish I knew then…

Hmm, if I could write a letter to my past self or to today’s youth (or maybe a text would be more appropriate? Or a tweet!) I’ll pretend that I’m tweeting this from my personal twitter (while completely ignoring the 14o character count because that drives me nuts). But, in short:

Pay attention.

While those words might seem simple, they can apply to so much in life. In school; pay attention to what your teachers are saying and to what other students have to say. You never know who you’ll really be getting the bulk/heart of the lesson from when you pay attention to what’s going on around you and especially in an academic discussion. To loved ones; family and friends won’t be around forever (even if we want them to be) so as  tempting as it might be to say, “I’ll call them later” or “I just need to watch this, hold on please” … you never know when your last moment will be with that person. Even if it’s just a few minutes or a few words, giving your time to someone else is priceless and precious. And who knows how many memorable moments you might create just by paying attention. To nature; taking a minute to soak up nature is soothing for my soul. There’s just something I can’t quite put into words but I feel at peace. Just paying attention to the smallest details (wind in the trees, birds, buzzing of insects so I know when to run) opens my senses and grounds me. I feel more aware of myself and my surroundings by just listening to what nature is trying to tell me. To yourself; your body is trying to tell you something every day if you’d bother to listen. I’m guilty of this.. I ignore those hunger pangs, dry mouth (that means I should be drinking more water), need for sleep (because of course I’m capable of staying up for 36 hours straight!) and I could go on. I also tend to ignore the more spiritual side of me or the side that wants to be challenged by something other than Facebook games. Whether it’s reading a religious book about Celtic Christianity and it’s roots to pre-Christian Europe or researching for an article that I might want to publish on my Hubs; those are things that I enjoy doing that I don’t do nearly enough of.

There are many moments that I won’t get back because I chose to do something else instead of paying attention to what someone or something, whatever the case may be, was trying to tell me. No longer will I do that. I’d rather make more moments and memories than more ‘would have, could have, should have’ opportunities.

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Online Learning- Part Two

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Blog Dare Prompt- 1/20/14- So far, so good

While I haven’t exactly been on the up and up with consistently posting, I’m happy at least with some progress that has been made. The blog got a makeover as did the Facebook page. And speaking of Facebook, the Facebook Friday Hop sponsored by Bloggy Moms has been wonderful. I didn’t participate last week but the past two weeks have helped me tremendously. I would definitely recommend checking this out if you haven’t already.

Moving on.

As it relates to the title of the post, online learning, I’m following up from a prior post (read here) regarding my search for college options in the fall. Before my daughter was born, I was considering options online and in person but ultimately decided online. I was, and still remain, quite impressed with St. Leo University in Florida. However, after looking further- I’m adding a few more possibilities. University of Maryland University College, University of Florida and Penn State University. Obviously, I would be paying for out of state tuition with University of Florida while Maryland and Penn State have set tuition rates.. Penn State also has a flat rate for 12 credits or higher.We’ll see what happens after the application process and how many of my prior credits are accepted. I think I’ll apply to all four, if not three. At this point, I’m leaning more towards University of Florida and Penn State. I was also exploring options for Master’s degree work and/or graduate certificate options.

But that’s another post for another day.

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Following Christ

Adventures in Church Shopping- Part One

If I could take a screenshot of my internet browser right now- you’d see the following tabs: WordPress Dashboard, The Blog Dare, First Lutheran Church of Albany, First United Methodist Church of Delmar, Presbyterian USA, Delmar Presbyterian Church, Albany Episcopalian & The Cathedral of All Saints. Aside from the first two mentioned, what do these tabs have in common?

A seekers journey back on a not so traveled path. I’m following Christ as best I can.. I’m not perfect & would never claim to be, but before I digress- read on.

If you’ve read my about me, you’ll know that I consider myself a Christian and on my personal Facebook page I’ve proudly declared my religion as Christian (but without a church to guide or hinder).  And I’ll explain that now- I believe in Jesus Christ, I read the Bible (I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover once- and hoping to do it again), I pray, I believe in the trinity.. I could go on.

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Up All Night

 

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Blog Prompt- January 5th- I’ve been here all night…

I find this apropos to my current position in life- mom of a 1 month old, breastfeeding on demand & experimenting with aspects of attachment parenting such as co-sleeping and baby wearing. So far, we’re 50/50 on the idea of baby wearing and pretty much wanting to avoid co-sleeping as far as a family bed.

This bed has been my second home since October. I say this openly and without (much) griping. Bedrest, though maddening at times, I think helped with my pregnancy.That’s not to say that I spend all of my time in bed or in the bedroom. But, it’s where I’m situated and my ‘home-base’ of sorts.

And now that she’s here, her bassinet is in our bedroom within arms reach of our bed. Most nights, she spends at least half the night in our bed (either nursing or sleeping) and during the day- she’s near inseparable from my side. That all being said, when she’s up- I’m up even if that means being up all night. Her schedule pretty much dictates mine and I wouldn’t try to change that for anything. She’s a baby, she’s going to let me know when she needs to be fed, changed or wants to be held. Be that during the day or all hours of the night. Some nights are more challenging than others, but at the same time, I’m okay with that. I realize that she could be awake all night or that she could have colic. There could be a number of things that she could have or could be doing but she doesn’t. And if she was doing those things or if she did have colic, well… I’d take that as it comes and keep on keeping on.

The s/o helps when/where he can. I don’t pump and we made the decision to breastfeed exclusively so he can’t help with feeding her, but he helps otherwise and for that I’m greatly appreciative. Still, I admit, there are times I feel a bit envious that he’s sleeping while I’m awake with her. But, I also keep that in perspective. I’m not working, he is. And until I go back to working outside of the home or otherwise, his income is what we survive on.

Having said all of that, while she’s still napping- I’m going to attempt to finish lunch, sort through some mail and clear my inboxes.

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From Past to Present

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January 4th- Yeah, yeah, yeah…

As I sit here and rock my daughter’s bassinet with my foot because I just need a few minutes without an armful of baby, half listening/half watching the Chiefs vs Colts on tv… I’m contemplating today’s prompt. I can’t apply this to any point in my life at this present moment; however… many times in the past I can distinctly hear this phrase being uttered (usually under breath) followed by walking away. Whether this was on my end or the ex, the utterance was most often accented with sarcasm and punctuated with an eye roll. On more than one occasion, a brisk walk out of the house also occurred. I don’t write this to paint him in a bad light because goodness knows; I’m not without faults. At times I do have a short temper & one of my biggest problems is not expressing myself when given the opportunity. Granted, that’s usually with family members/close friends… those individuals that I should feel most comfortable with and yet, I still hold back.

But I digress.

The ex and I had our fair share of problems and I’m sure that several of them could have been solved had we just said what we needed to say instead of walking away in a huff. That’s something that I’m hoping to avoid with the s/o and so far, so good. Of course, I’m not naive enough to think that we won’t fight… I’m sure we will. But if I can just keep perspective and the nagging (somewhat sarcastic) ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’ in the back of my mind… I’ll approach those fights differently.

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Blog Dare- Writing Prompts * Catch Up

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Playing catch-up so I’ll be posting the first three days beneath the cut if you’re so inclined to read on. I would appreciate it :)

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New Life on Earth

I find it hard to believe that Christmas is only five days away, but quite a bit has gone on since this blog was last updated.

Baby A decided that she didn’t want to wait until the 23rd to make her debut- born at home, in approximately 30 minutes, on December 5th. I was watching Thursday Night Football & actually participating in a Twitter Party when contractions came about quickly and strong. S/o had just managed to help me with my shoes when I realized we wouldn’t have time to get to the hospital. He had just called 911 about five minutes before my water broke. We’re fortunate enough to live close to a fire department & they got there before the ambulance did. Not long after the fire department arrived, so did Baby A. Ironically, I had joked with the s/o about wanting to have an epidural free delivery; but I hadn’t anticipated a completely drug free delivery. Ah well, I suppose I’ll always have an interesting story to tell Baby A every year. For being just on the cusp of full-term, she matched me in height at 19 1/2 inches & nearly in weight at 6lb2oz.

In unrelated, but slightly related news, we finally got our tree yesterday. I suppose it’s not too bad though- all the trees are 50% off at this time and for a family on a tight budget; that certainly helps. S/o & I started decorating the tree last night, waiting for T&J to get here later to finish up. Hoping to make cookies this weekend- sugar cookies, peanut butter cup cookies & snickerdoodles. But we’ll see what happens.

Yesterday, aside from scheduling doctor’s appointments for myself & Baby A; I also looked into a few options to supplement the family income. I’ll have to wait until I have a better computer so probably not until next year, after the tax returns arrive. I’m not sure how successful I’ll be with this endeavor but it can’t hurt to try, right? More news on this when I have a better idea in my head.

Right, going to finish checking e-mail, organizing website files & debating over website content.

Until we blog again,

Kori

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