Musings of an Ex-Blogger

>> Wednesday, July 11, 2018

I just can't relate to Instagram moms. Nobody is forcing me to. But with social media having such a central spot in daily life (again, my own fault in many ways) . . . I find myself musing on "fitting in" often. So, as I approach my 35th birthday, I've decided to just shed the layer of myself that still cares. It's been a process over many years. I have retreated more and more into my real life versus the one I used to mostly lead online, and -- oh -- how the line gets blurred.

Have you ever been in a conversation and said "well, my friend so-and-so's child does this or that". . . only to realize your friend is an online friend who lives across the country, and you've never actually met? I mean, that sounds ridiculous, but it has happened to me. I've been online in one way or another since like 2007. So, there's both good and bad in that. The extra support can be helpful when you're having trouble relating to people around you and can connect with someone on something specific. But then there's the comparison trap. Like, it gets bad with parenting and kids.

For example: My kid isn't taking accelerated math and reading Shakespeare yet, guys. Should I be worried?

I joke. But, yes, even I'm not immune to feeling a bit behind.

Ok. Where does the title of this post come in?

Well, I have taken to considering myself as more of an ex-blogger. (Can you tell? I've written all of, what, twice in the last two months!) The days of my recipes, DIYs, and writing making a splash on bigger sites or Pinterest feeds is way behind me. I used to get tens of thousands of hits a day on my site from a frozen banana bites post. That's hilarious to me. I mean, I made it BIG, friends.

Anyway, I've pecked along for the last several years and have almost entirely come to a stop this year. I have so many drafts in my blogger feed where I've written for half an hour . . . and when it comes time to post, I simply shut my computer and say to myself:

"Who cares!?"

As I've shared before, I don't live somewhere terribly interesting. There aren't gorgeous vistas or ocean views at every street corner. There isn't some lively city just bustling with activity or entertainment. I don't have unlimited time or funds to shop at farmers markets each day and choose fresh ingredients for nightly home-cooked gourmet meals. You get the idea.

Bloggers -- at least the ones people bother reading -- are INTERESTING for better or worse.

I, on the other hand, am an ordinary person.

Like, completely ordinary.

(That's cool with me, for the record.)

Where I live in an everyday sort of place. There are mostly tract homes that were built in the 1960s . . . many of them look alike and many of them, like ours, are modest. Because we have modest jobs and modest living wages. Our downtown area has made tremendous strides in the last 10 years that we've lived here, which is awesome -- it used to be tumbleweeds with interspersed gang violence -- but we don't go out all that much or feel like sharing too many details with strangers online. We cook fun meals on occasion, but I've been too tired lately to take photos or share recipes and -- let's be honest -- too busy feeding my face.

There's many more reasons I could list, but I am an ex-blogger with a neglected blog. And you'd think I'd just shut the darned thing down instead of stringing myself and those readers I have left along. I've threatened to do it many times, but I've resisted.

I mean, it feels good. It feels good to admit that I've taken myself out of the game. I will admit that I used to care what strangers thought about me, my lifestyle, my house, my running PRs, my kids, and my parenting. I really did. Instagram killed blogging for me. It used to be getting up in the wee hours of the morning and checking my blog reader for new updates. And now it's this ever-present photos and stories and constant visual reminders that people are living way more interesting lives than I am. Or that they have the energy to at least stage their lives in such a way that people fawn all over them.

This is turning into a rant. LOL. So, ex-blogging. It feels good and it feels . . . confusing? I still have this inner need to share. Maybe I need more friends? Maybe not. For an introvert, I've got plenty of good friends and am satisfied with my circle, however decentralized it may be. Just this week alone I'm having four mom-dates or play-dates, etc. (That's a lot for me! But I'm not lonely, so that's not why I retreat online, is what I'm saying.)

There is something I've enjoyed all these years about writing and then putting it out there to live on your screen. So, maybe it's habit that is hard giving up? Or maybe I'm lacking inspiration? Or maybe my life really is this ordinary that it's not worth sharing because, like I've thought many times, nobody cares.

AND THEN THAT'S THE HEART OF IT. I actually DO care about normal lives. I've found myself unsubscribing and rolling my eyes at those aspirational bloggers. Even the ones that profess that they're "down" with reality and us common-folk. I've just been clicking unsubscribe like mad in favor of connecting with everyday people, smaller bloggers who write about plain life lessons, and yadda, yadda, yadda.

It has given me some motivation to stop trying so hard to write something that people want to read. And, instead, to focus on sharing what I want to share with other ordinary people I'm not trying to impress or make envious. This is a long way of saying that, yes. I'm an ex-blogger who's trying to get back into the rhythm (ugh, this year's buzzword) of writing again. And I think I'll do what I did not too long ago where I simply share short snippets (microblogging) of whatever the hell I feel like, whenever I feel like it. But hopefully more regularly.

To those of you still reading, thank you.


What's Up?

>> Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Hey, guys! It's been hard to peel myself away from being outdoors now that Stephen is off for the summer. But my own deadlines are looming this week, so I figured I'd take some time to write on the blog to tell you what we've been up to lately.

// Lake George

We went on a very last-minute vacation last week to Lake George, NY. The last time we'd been up in that part of the Adirondacks was in 2009! It was just as beautiful as we remembered, though, and it was fun taking the kids around to places we enjoyed when we were basically still newlyweds.

Here's a few photos:

I've been interested to see that many of you are asking on Instagram if we're going to Cape May this year! I realize we go most every year, but this year we decided to switch it up with the ADK. We are going to Wildwood Crest this summer with my in-laws, though.

23 Weeks Pregnant

I had a doctor appointment last Friday and I'm now in my 23rd week of pregnancy. Everything is going well aside from occasional heart palpitations (I have a test set up to see what's up with those). Still running 4-5 days a week, but I've switched it up due to the heat where I'm running .75 miles and walking .25 miles for four miles total instead of running three straight. It's working out better that way.

I will be sure to do a more formal pregnancy update soon, but I'll be honest and say my two are keeping me plenty busy. It's flying by, which is a new and welcomed experience for me.

House Projects

We're in the middle of extending our backyard fence right now. I love and hate summer because we have lots of time to do work . . . but the money flow is more stagnant than usual. That said, Stephen decided to switch up how he gets paid this year, so we got a nice balloon check at the start of the summer and now feel confident we can frugally do a few projects.

Other items on the list:

  • Moving Eloise's room (painting)
  • Painting the nursery (because we never finished before Eloise came along)
  • Adding a side yard garden

Stock Tank Pool

Our other big project was the stock tank pool. We're absolutely loving it. Again, I'll do a full update on it soon along with some stuff we've learned after installing it and using it for a month or so. In this heat wave, it's been such a blessing to have a small pool of water to soak in! And I love how it looks. I don't think we'll ever do a bigger pool. This one is totally manageable and pretty. Yes, trendy . . . but, hey, I am into trends that make sense.

Here's part I of the stock tank pool story.

What's next?

I have a homemade granola bar recipe I plan to post on either Thursday or Friday. It's vegan, gluten-free and peanut-free. I mean, I eat all those things, but I know some of you have more restricted diets and appreciate these types of recipes. So HOLD ME TO IT! I am hoping to post twice a week during the summer. Again, HOLD ME TO IT! I still love blogging, it's just hard to transition between seasons of work/coaching/etc. during the year.

Hope you're all having a nice summer and staying cool.

And happy 4th of July!


Pregnancy Update: Halfway There!

>> Wednesday, June 6, 2018

I'm nearing week 20 of my pregnancy, and if history repeats itself (which it very well may not), I am more than halfway done! I had both Ada and Eloise at just a couple days past the 38 week point. Last Friday we had our anatomy scan, and everything is looking good with baby girl. The only "issue" is that my placenta is sitting a bit low -- around 2 cm from my cervix. From what my doctor says and what many of you have told me, this should correct itself by birth in most cases. So, I have no restrictions or anything.

I was worried that being almost 35 and being on baby number 3 (pregnancy number 6!) would mean this pregnancy would kick my butt. Not so. I know I should be knocking on lots of wood . . . but this has been my easiest pregnancy by far. I don't have any complaints. I mean, the morning sickness was awful -- but that's been the case each time. I am so thankful that we don't have any weird medical stuff we're watching, like recurrent strep B UTIs or bleeding, etc.

I feel great. I'm still running, and I have no pelvic pain or bladder pressure. I haven't had Braxton Hicks or irritable uterus issues yet, which usually start very early (17 weeks or earlier) for me. I have energy. I can keep up with my crazy toddler during the day. I am sleeping well at night. I have my appetite back and have been eating a mix of foods. I'll admit that I had to feed myself mostly sugar when I was sick because it was the only thing keeping me from vomiting. It's been hard shifting back to healthier foods, but I am doing a good job at balance. At least I think!

While running does still feel great, I can tell that my SI joint is getting a bit finicky. It always does this around now. It's an old running injury from my marathoning days, and I think the hormones make the joint unstable. It doesn't hurt yet . . . but I have moved from tracking mileage to tracking steps each day. I still tend to get four or five 3-milers in each week. But as the weather heats up, etc. -- I am just aiming to get 10,000 steps a day, no matter how they come. I have been averaging around 12,000 -- awesome! (I use this activity tracker by Garmin -- it's great for runners.)

I mentioned on Instagram that I am frustrated because we've had our name picked out for a while . . . and now it's popped up as a character in a really popular television show. Sigh. I mostly don't care, but it's not a great association. I don't see us changing the name, though. And while I did mention a while back that we have the middle name set, I'm now wavering on that choice. We still have plenty of time. We're just the type that's always been pretty set on our decisions with names once we make them. And if you're curious, it starts with the letter E.

Ada is really excited for the baby. She keeps telling me she can feel the kicks, but I know they're still too faint. This first photo is from my pregnancy with Eloise. Ada wanted to recreate the shot last night. She's such a sweetheart.

Eloise still has no idea what's going on. When I say "kiss the baby!" she does bend down and kiss my belly. It's cute. We have been reading this book about breastfeeding for kids, and she gets a kick out of mama milk. So, sometimes when I say "where's the baby?" She points to my boobs. There's part of me that wants to take her to a big sister class, but then I realize that she is really young. It's not going to be the same type of transition that we had with Ada. There will be a day when the baby is still in my belly . . . and then a day when she's out. And Eloise's world will get rocked. Any tips on transitioning to a younger sibling with kids who don't totally get it yet? It's something I haven't dealt with before. And I don't expect it to be perfectly smooth.

(As an aside: We really love the Dr. Sears Baby on the Way and What Baby Needs books to prepare Ada for a new little one. She asks to read these books almost every night. They are written with alternative birthing/doctor/parenting options in mind, too. I highly recommend these books!)

I don't know how much weight I have gained with this pregnancy. My home scale and the doctor scale are totally different, and I didn't catch my initial weight at my doctor. They did say I lost 3 pounds from my 14 to 18 week appointment. I attribute that to eating better and being more active after ditching the morning sickness. I'd say I have gained 5-7 pounds total.

Other stuff: I do still have weird dry heaving and vomiting spells. And I do occasionally had wicked heartburn. The only other unpleasant thing is heart palpitations. They are normal, but I hate when my heart skips a beat and then races to catch up. It happens mostly when I am laying back in a reclined position.

In other news, I am starting to get excited for summer. Stephen will be home for 10 weeks, which is great. It does frustrate me that we cannot time our pregnancies perfectly. I feel like Eloise's birth -- while certainly not in our control -- fell at the perfect time. It was warm and sunny. I had tons of help and support in the summer. When this baby is born, the long cold and dark season will just be beginning. Stephen will be deep in cross country season and away most evenings and Saturdays. I worry I will feel overwhelmed and totally tapped out. I am trying to prepare and get a support system in place.

We'll see what happens, I guess!

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