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Category — Friday Blog Roundup

525th Friday Blog Roundup

It’s Chanukkah. I’m actually really not a fan of Chanukkah in general. It’s sort of a nothing holiday that has been given inflated importance because it falls on the calendar near Christmas. There’s not a lot you do for it: light the chanukkiah, eat fried foods, maybe play a round of dreidel.  See, not that exciting.

On the other hand, it’s frustrating to have holidays that are very exciting (Purim) or very fun (Succot) or very moving (Yom Kippur) or very holy (Rosh HaShanah) or very important (Pesach) and have people have no clue what most of those holidays are or what they’re about.  You know?  The world has latched onto Chanukkah, and some Jews have gone along with that wave.  But I’m not feeling it.  It’s just not my sort of holiday.  I’m fine with candles, but I’m definitely not a fan of fried foods.  And dreidel I only enjoy when you get a top that gives good spin.

Sometimes I think I do the bare minimum with Chanukkah just because the world around me is shrieking at me to do more with it.  To make it something it’s not.

This holiday brings out my contrary side.

I promise I’ll be back to my usual sunny self by the next holiday, Tu B’shvat.  Just kidding.  I don’t like trees, either.  But I’m totally excited for Purim.

*******

Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.

*******

And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Punch Drunk is back with a post lamenting that the blogosphere has changed.  And yes, it obviously has since everything changes, but on the same week that she posts this, Everyday Stranger returns with her Santa post.  A smart woman writing a smart post, and I love Santa’s point about antidepressants: “The pills only mute things, dearest. Even on mute, you are Someone.”  Two posts that drew me in.

A Half-Baked Life has a post about returning things and perfect gifts, and really, it’s about knowing yourself as much as it is about other people knowing you.  But I love this recounting of the perfect birthday gift, and how it makes her reflect on other gifts she has received over the years and her reactions to those that didn’t feel as if they fit.

The Bickerstaff Blog perfectly explains how she doesn’t spend all day thinking about her loss, but her loss affects her every day.  There are moments she feels sad and moments when she isn’t thinking about Malachi, but that loss paints the surface of her day-to-day life, the choices she makes, who she is at her core.  It’s a wonderful, brief post.

Lastly, Unpregnant Chicken has an amazing post about mourning a child who never was; a dream-child.  What it means to miss someone who was never here.  She explains: “When I miss a friend I can pinpoint the missing that I experience. I can vocalize it. People understand this missing, it’s real, tangible. I miss the coffee dates, the way they made a room light up, the soft hair on his cheeks… This missing is different. Slippery. Evasive. Unknowable.”  Go over and read the whole post.

The roundup to the Roundup: Not really a fan of Chanukkah.  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between December 12th and 19th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

December 19, 2014   3 Comments

524th Friday Blog Roundup

This week was Hour of Code.  I ran it again for every class in the twins’ school.  Kindergarten and first graders worked with a Lego WeDo.  The second and third grades did projects in Scratch.  And the fourth and fifth grades programmed their own interactive fiction games.  They all learned how to write their name in binary (along with learning the point of binary).

I love doing this because it means I get to see every kid in the school and I miss teaching.

One first grader informed me while I was working with his class that I am very popular, and the other kids nodded in agreement.  That made me feel good because when I was in elementary school, I was not-popular.  I wasn’t exactly unpopular, but I certainly wasn’t anything close to popular.  So, you know… I may be 30+ years late, but I’ve arrived.

As someone who works from home all day, being around people and talking for 6.5 hours every day was like a non-runner trying to complete a 5K.  It can be done, but it doesn’t look pretty.  I know I would relearn the ability to be around humans if I worked outside the house, but there would be an adjustment period I would go through to recapture my high noise threshold.

And yet, on the other hand, I felt such a deep sadness today over the idea of not going to school.  I will have to go the whole school day without seeing the twins.  Or bothering their classmates.  (I swung by their lunch table every day this week.)  I volunteer at the school at least once a week, so it’s not like it’s over, over.  But it’s weird to not be there today after being there for so many hours in a row.

*******

Thank you for all the book suggestions!  I’ve checked some out of the library, put others on hold, and put a few on a to-read list for the future.  It also made me think that I should re-read all my Jasper Fforde.  I love his books.

I met Jasper Fforde a few years ago.  I still haven’t read the congratulations book.  That event (I’m sure you can guess what I wanted it to be) hasn’t taken place.  I guess if it doesn’t by 45, I will close that door in my heart and read it.

*******

We are a few days away from the Creme de la Creme list CLOSING.

The 2014 Creme de la Creme list is open for entries until December 15th.  No one will be added after December 15th.  Read the post to see how to be a part of the Creme de la Creme, which is open to every member of the ALI (adoption/loss/infertility) community.

Consider that your weekly reminder.

*******

Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.

*******

And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Infertile Girl in a Fertile World is marking her one year blogoversary, and she reflects on the year she has had, trying to conceive.  She takes a good, long look at herself in the mirror and notices how she has changed. “As I examined my face I concluded that I look the same (more or less), and yet different. More tired. Less youthful and naive. The excitement for life has dulled in my eyes, my mouth doesn’t smile as much as it used to. I’ve built up a wall, and perhaps that’s why I no longer recognize myself.”  Go read the whole post AND wish her a happy blogoversary.

Lavender Luz highlights a new adoption book aimed at adoptive parents.  She wrote the foreword for the book, and if the foreword is a taste of the type of helpful information you’ll find in the body of the book, it seems like a must read.  Like this brilliant point: “Anything that strikes you strongly (and dare I say that could be every single powerful chapter?) is resonating for you, either positively or negatively charged, and indicates there is something there for you to look at—within you and from your own experiences.”  Applicable to life outside of adoption, too, no?  It’s a book about how to listen, how to be open, and how to understand another person’s experience.

A+ Effort has a micropost about slowing life down.  It has the most perfect analogy for when life feels good but busy: “I see the roses, but I can’t smell them from this freight train.”  I love this post.

Lastly, Looking for a Little has a tiny post about the “are you pregnant” question that appears on many a medical intake questionnaire.  With just a few sentences, she captures the sadness of having to check no.

The roundup to the Roundup: This week was Hour of Code.  Thank you for the book recommendations.  Your friendly Creme de la Creme reminder.  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between December 5th and 12th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

December 12, 2014   8 Comments

523rd Friday Blog Roundup

My Queen’s Greatest Hits CD died.  I got this CD before I even had a CD player.  An ex-boyfriend from college gave it to me because he knew I loved Queen.  I pointed out that I had no way to play it.  (This was back in the good old days of the Walkman.)  He told me that one day I would own a CD player (a mind-blowing thought at the time) and have a way to listen to it.  He was right about that, and this CD outlived that relationship by a good 18 years.

I love this CD.  It’s one of those things I stress-listen to.  You know how there are books that you stress-read or foods that you stress-eat?  I stress-listen to Queen.

The first few loops of the disc sounded fine this week.  And then the CD started skipping.  And now it pretty much doesn’t play.  I am so sad about this.  Luckily I had uploaded the disc to iTunes, so I can make a new copy for the car or play it off the phone.  But still.  The original disc is toast.

Goodbye Queen disc.  You’ve served me well and brought me much enjoyment.

*******

We are about 1 week away from the Creme de la Creme list CLOSING.

The 2014 Creme de la Creme list is open for entries until December 15th.  No one will be added after December 15th.  Read the post to see how to be a part of the Creme de la Creme, which is open to every member of the ALI (adoption/loss/infertility) community.

Consider that your weekly reminder.

*******

Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.

*******

And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Two Kids and Counting… Slowly has a post about online infertility communities, separating the outcome of trying from the need to speak with people who understand.  She writes, “I have found over the last two years that it is important to keep in contact with ladies who are still trying or who talk of how tough trying to conceive was when they were, often and without shame.  I don’t ever want to lose the community because I won’t ever forget the struggle no matter how it ends.”  It’s a great post about shared experience.

The Empress and the Fool, in the wait of her final cycle, writes about how hope makes her behave as if she gained no knowledge from the previous cycles.  The two week wait, that saucy minx, comes with the vague symptoms of early pregnancy and plenty of twinges (or not).  As she points out, what has happened has already happened even if she doesn’t know it yet: “we spend the entire second half of it speculating on an outcome that has already been definitively decided – to implant or not to implant.”  Sending lots of good thoughts for that final test.

Searching for Our Silver Lining has a thought-provoking post on how we bandy about the term “bitter.”  She explains, “There’s the classic labeling for someone who is intent on making everyone around them utterly miserable. But I’ve also learned that someone can accuse someone else of being ‘bitter’ as a way to distract from the self-loathing they may be feeling.”  “Bitter” is to infertility what “bitch” is to women: a word used to diminish another person.  Go over and read the whole post.

Mama Bean Parenting has a gorgeous post (thank you, Ellen!) about rolling the dice when she closes her eyes, never knowing if she’ll be thinking about the present that never was or the past that was.  A long time ago, she had a very different understanding of pregnancy: “Once upon a time, when childbirth was only TV shows and rose-tinted stories, this dream was mine to craft. I could look forward with an open mind and a hopeful heart about the exciting possibilities of My Turn.  Not anymore.”  Go read this very powerful post about her un-children.

Lastly, At Least I Still Have Humour realizes she can never say “guess what” again.  You’ll have to click over to read the situation (and it will be very very familiar… as anyone who has people around them waiting for news can attest), and also to congratulate her on a job well done with the competition.

The roundup to the Roundup: Goodbye Queen CD.  Your friendly Creme de la Creme reminder.  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between November 28th and December 5th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

December 5, 2014   16 Comments

522nd Friday Blog Roundup

I’m spending Black Friday avoiding all commercial spaces.  I’m avoiding stores, the streets near stores, or places where people have once considered placing a store but didn’t.  I don’t like shopping when all is calm.  Retail spaces on Black Friday is how I imagine Hell.

That said, I have a friend who live-Facebooks (like live-Tweeting, but on Facebook) her Black Friday adventures.  And I totally love following along from home.  It’s like the Santa tracker: no one wants to actually be Santa, flying around in the cold, schlepping heavy boxes.  But seeing where Santa is while you relax with your hot chocolate = totally cool.

*******

So I went to the food store on Tuesday, which was a huge mistake.  It was pre-Thankgiving chaos coupled with first-snowstorm-of-the-season chaos.  But I needed ingredients for dinner, so I braved the lot, parked, and went inside.

I was standing in the yogurt aisle, looking for Fage, when a man (who works in the dairy section) came up to me and said, “looking for something?”

“Yes,” I answered.

“The Fage?” the man asked.  He was unpacking boxes, so I thought he was offering to go out of order and jump to the Fages.  But he shook his head.  “There’s no Fage left in the state.  It’s all gone.”

“What do you mean that it’s gone?  I just bought some three days ago,” I told him.

“Nope.  There’s no Fage left in the country.  Go anywhere.  You won’t find it.  They’ve discontinued it.  Won’t return my calls.  Every day I place an order and every day I get a response from the system that there is no Fage to be found.  There is no Fage anywhere in the world.”

I walked away, but not before insisting that Fage didn’t go out of business and being told that nowhere in the entire universe was this brand of Greek yogurt.

To be on the safe side (and to get yogurt), I decided to brave a second store.  Sure enough, the shelves in this store were lined heavily with Fage.  In fact, it was on sale.  4 for $5.  I guess when he says there is no more left in the entire universe, he means that 45,000 square foot universe cordoned off by the outer limits of the parking lot.

*******

We are about 2 weeks away from the Creme de la Creme list CLOSING.

The 2014 Creme de la Creme list is open for entries until December 15th.  No one will be added after December 15th.  Read the post to see how to be a part of the Creme de la Creme, which is open to every member of the ALI (adoption/loss/infertility) community.

Consider that your weekly reminder.

*******

Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.

*******

And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

A Little Pregnant has a post about the aftermath of infertility and taking her child back to the IVF clinic.  She writes: “It’s not like you forget it, the grind of infertility, once you’ve had children and distance. The best way I can describe it is that it’s no longer who I am, but it’s still who I have been. (It will never be who I was. I wonder if that’s true for anyone.)”  But it’s the tattoo that got me.

Charlotte in Our Hearts has a beautiful post talking about observing that commonly used crumpled paper analogy and realizing how it related to her crumpled heart.  She writes: “We taught my second graders that words crumple hearts, and I realized that death crumpled mine. It’s a hard pill to swallow knowing that I carry a crumpled heart, but I am slowly learning to accept it.”  Go over and read the whole post.

Lastly, Kveller has a moving post about a couple gaining a child and losing their faith.  It leaves them feeling unmoored.  What was the point to all of this?  The most sobering line was “For our one daughter, we’ve had to say goodbye to 10 other babies.”  It’s a really moving post, applicable beyond Judaism or Christianity (or choose your religion).  How do we find meaning in the meaningless when someone (a child) is going to one day want an answer?

The roundup to the Roundup: Uh… happy Black Friday?  There actually is Fage.  Your friendly Creme de la Creme reminder.  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between November 21st and 28th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

November 28, 2014   8 Comments

521st Friday Blog Roundup

Happy IComLeavWe!

So I kept checking the IComLeavWe form daily, but I never saw anyone to add. Which was odd, but I thought maybe people were caught up in Thanksgiving plans.  But then I started to get emails from people wondering why they weren’t being added, and I kept saying, “well, because you never added yourself to the list.”  Finally, I got enough emails that I tried the form myself and realized that my entry wasn’t showing up, either.

I Googled around and saw a piece of advice to scroll down on Google forms if you’re not seeing entries.  Sure enough, there were dozens of entries about 200 spaces down on the list.  I would have never seen them if I hadn’t scrolled down.

So thank you to everyone who wrote!

*******

I am so cold.  I’m sitting in the living room wearing my Ravenclaw robes.  Not because they help me think but because I am so cold.  Did I mention that I’m cold?  And that we had the windows replaced so there is no draft?  And I’m hugging a hot water bottle, which is giving me terrible posture while I type?  And that the heat is up as high as Josh will let me take it before he starts rolling his eyes and talking about my wimpiness.

Maybe I am a wimp.  I wear jeans all summer.  And sometimes long sleeves, too.  I am perpetually cold, even in summer.

And then we have a frigid November and my body whispers, “I’m giving up, okay?”

This is just the start, people.  Just the start.  5 more months of coooooooooold.

*******

We are under one month away from the Creme de la Creme list CLOSING.

The 2014 Creme de la Creme list is open for entries until December 15th.  No one will be added after December 15th.  Read the post to see how to be a part of the Creme de la Creme, which is open to every member of the ALI (adoption/loss/infertility) community.

Consider that your weekly reminder.

*******

Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.

*******

And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

No Baby Ruth writes about how things are different this time around with her second child.  She reaches the same milestone — 9 months outside the body — and she looks down at the words she wrote years ago when she had reached this point with her first child.  While she honours that she felt that way at the time, she can’t believe that was what she thought when she was in that moment.  It’s a wonderful post about reflecting and how things are not always as we fear.

Infertile Girl in a Fertile World has a post about not being able to cry and wonders if she’s saving her tears for something else.  You’ll have to click over and read the whole tiny post to find out what that is…

Lastly, River Run Dry has a two-part post about teaching her child what to do in case of an emergency at his school.  While his school is leading them in drills, she worries that he doesn’t get how far he needs to take hiding.  Sure enough, she writes, “So I ask him, neutrally, what he’d do if a stranger came into his classroom during lockdown – not a teacher, not a fireman, not a police officer.  I think, he says, I’d whisper to him.  He has no idea what could happen.”  Is it a difficult read?  Yes.  But it’s an important read about talking to your kids about what to do if the worst thing happened.

The roundup to the Roundup: Happy IComLeavWe.  It is so cold!  Your friendly Creme de la Creme reminder.  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between November 14th and 21st) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

November 21, 2014   14 Comments

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