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Category — Friday Blog Roundup

503rd Friday Blog Roundup (and the 8th Anniversary!)

So this is it.

The 8th anniversary of the Roundup.

8 years, 403 posts, about 1600 posts highlighted.

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Yes, this is your weekly reminder to back up your blog, social media accounts, and email BUT, it is also an opportunity to point you towards a post that Keiko sent me.

It’s a checklist every blog owner should fill out and keep offline (yes, you need to make a paper copy) in order to have this information at your fingertips should the shit hit the fan with your site.

So an extra little task to throw into your weekly backup (because you are performing a weekly backup, right?)

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.

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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.

Something Out of Nothing has a post about anniversaries on the infertility calendar, in this case, a good one.  One year earlier was the transfer date that yielded her current child.  I absolutely love this line: “Prior to this week, he used to marvel at baby girl’s completeness and muse, ‘A year ago, you didn’t exist.’  He can’t say that anymore.”  But what I really loved was the idea of setting aside Fertilization Day as a day for all future siblings to celebrate with the embryos that came from that batch.  It’s a unique holiday only singletons born from the same embryo batch could celebrate.  A tiny silver lining?

Life as I Know It has an encounter with a stranger that leaves her unsettled.  She writes, “But I knew there were little ears listening–ears that miss nothing, that internalize everything. How I responded was important. Yet again, I was woefully unprepared for dealing with this kind of situation.”  Despite feeling unprepared, she handled the man’s question beautifully.

Bee in the Bonnet has an emotional post about losing fictive kin, her mother’s best friend who was a second mother to her.  How the outside world can’t wrap their brain around relationships; that we constantly ask (and judge) how close two people are based on what we assume about relationships.  And in this post, it is quite clear that the labels we put on relationships such as mother, daughter, aunt, or friend do not convey the amount of love that exists between two people.

Lastly, It Is What It Is (or Is It?) has a post about a breakthrough that came in therapy, connecting all of her current and past behaviours to a single event: feeling trapped.  It’s a fascinating post about how the brain works; how our experiences inform our future actions.  And how we can rewire our brains to think differently once we know what informs our decisions today.

The roundup to the Roundup: It’s the 8th anniversary of the Roundup.  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 July 11th and July 18th) 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.

July 18, 2014   15 Comments

502nd Friday Blog Roundup

By now, you have likely heard about the discovery of the vampire squirrels of Borneo. Granted, it’s local legend, but I totally believe it. I believe it enough to write a series of songs about vampire squirrels and sing them for Truman.  He is in full agreement that we want to live in a world with vampire squirrels.

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Next Roundup marks the 8th anniversary of the Friday Blog Roundup.  As always, I’d like to do something to mark the occasion.  Because it would be difficult for all of us to write an ode to vampire squirrels in time (I get that you need to organize your thoughts), I instead propose that every single person who reads the Roundup weekly takes two seconds of their time this week to find one blog post out there to highlight.  That’s it.  Just find one post.  You do not have to stress if you find two posts that you like or decide between them: just submit two.  Or three.  Or eighteen.  Really, this is about gathering up good or interesting or moving or funny writing.

So bookmark this Roundup, and when you find a post you like this week (meaning, written today or later… up until Thursday morning), leave it in the comment section below.  I will gather them all up, and we’ll have a fat Second Helpings for next week.

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In case you missed this post earlier in the week, Lori is hosting an online book tour for Apart at the Seams, and I would love it if you joined along.  Pretty please?

Lavender Luz is hosting a book tour for my newest book, Apart at the Seams (thank you!).  Sign up goes until August 1st, and the posts will go up September 4th.  See, lots of time to read the book and join along.  All you need to do right now is click over and fill out Lori’s online form to let her know you’re participating.

If you can’t participate, but still want to do something, consider spreading word with a blog post, Goodreads review, Amazon review, or getting an enormous Arianna tattoo across your lower back.

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DON’T SKIP THIS SECTION, SLACKER!

Time for your weekly nag:

This is just your friendly nudge to do your weekly backup.  I know, I know, who has the time to create backups on a weekly basis?  No one.  But you still need to do it and forgo ten minutes of something else, once a week.  Right now, before you do anything else, use this post to roll through a quick backup of your email, documents, images, blog, social media accounts, and mobile devices.  Reading the Roundup on the go and don’t have the ability to do your backup right now?  Email yourself a copy of the Roundup so that the email will serve as a visual reminder to get this task done.  Ten minutes of your time once a week may save you a major loss of time and data down the road.  Don’t have regrets.  So, on your marks, get set, back up!

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.

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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.

I love this post about shedding things by The Empress and the Fool.  It’s a bit like a snake sloughing off its outer layer to make way for the newer, shinier skin.  I love this line: “I’m also in a really strange place with friends, shedding relationships like a molting bird, some of it circumstantial, some of it by choice.”  It’s about making space in your life for new things, even as you mournfully bob in the memory of all that has sailed away.

A Woman My Age has a post on house envy, but it’s really coveting whatever you don’t have.  It throws into sharp relief the reality that every single decision brings with it benefits and drawbacks.  Having kids, taking a job, buying a house: every life decision can be examined through a positive or negative lens.  And knowing that, well… you can see the positivity in every choice.

Will Carry On is pregnant after adoption and loss, and she writes about feeling like a fraud.  I love this point: “‘I’m one of you!’ I want to shout. ‘Do you know what I’ve been through?!? I deserve this.’ It’s like I want, and need, to defend myself…to total strangers.”  But mostly, I really love the end of the post: the questions she has about being pregnant after so much loss, and having a new association with pregnancy instead of equating it with pain.  It’s a really moving post.

Lastly, Stumbling Gracefully has a post about comparative parenting, wondering if she is a good mother when she observes other mothers.  She explains, “I know comparison is the thief of joy, and I honestly believe that to be true, but I don’t feel like this is that kind of comparison. I’m not looking at what my cousins have and wishing I had it. This isn’t about envy or jealousy of a feeling that something is unfair. This is about watching other women who are damn good mothers and not ever seeing them falter and wondering if the fact that I do falther makes me a bad mom, or less-than in some way.”  Go over and read the whole post and comment section.  It’s a very interesting thought on whether we’re as good as we think we are when we don’t have a measuring stick to tell us otherwise.

The roundup to the Roundup: Vampire squirrels!  Help fatten up the Second Helpings section to celebrate the 8th anniversary of the Roundup.  Sign up for the Apart at the Seams book tour. 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 July 4th and July 11th) 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.

July 11, 2014   16 Comments

501st Friday Blog Roundup

I am not a fan of applying sunscreen.  I’m a fan of sunscreen protecting our skin, but the application process sucks.  If I could hire someone to follow us around and rub in our sunscreen, I probably would.  I don’t like touching sunscreen, and you’re supposed to rub in even the spray sunscreens.  But the bigger issue is that my hands are so large and the twins’ faces are so tiny.  It’s hard to rub that sunscreen in when your thumb is the size of their entire cheek.

I use it because the alternative is so much worse than the annoyance of having white goop on my hands that won’t wash off.  I use it even though our skin is such that we’ve never gotten a sunburn.  I use it, but I don’t like it.  So I’m going to complain about it.

I am such a fan of long sleeves, long pants, and no sunscreen.  I am also unfortunately a fan of the beach.  They don’t always go hand-in-hand.

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Happy 4th of July if you live in America!

Or if you’re American but don’t live in America.

Or if you’re visiting America today.

I love watching fireworks, though I’m not a fan of big crowds or being too close to fireworks.  But we’ve found this hill where we can sit and watch them go off without needing to be around more than a handful of people.  It’s cozy.  It’s pretty.  And the sound doesn’t line up with the fireworks making it feel like a bad lip-sync.  I love it.

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DON’T SKIP THIS SECTION, SLACKER!

Time for your weekly nag:

This is just your friendly nudge to do your weekly backup.  I know, I know, who has the time to create backups on a weekly basis?  No one.  But you still need to do it and forgo ten minutes of something else, once a week.  Right now, before you do anything else, use this post to roll through a quick backup of your email, documents, images, blog, social media accounts, and mobile devices.  Reading the Roundup on the go and don’t have the ability to do your backup right now?  Email yourself a copy of the Roundup so that the email will serve as a visual reminder to get this task done.  Ten minutes of your time once a week may save you a major loss of time and data down the road.  Don’t have regrets.  So, on your marks, get set, back up!

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.

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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.

Persnickety Chickadee asks whether the family building journey will be worth it in the end.  She asks: “Am I over idealising the idea of children? Or at this point child?”  It’s an impossible question to answer because everyone will process it differently.  The reality of children for the most part fits my pre-thoughts on children.  For other people, the reality of children doesn’t fit their pre-thoughts on children.  And others claim to know how the reality of children is without experiencing children based on things they’ve observed or read.  And others came in with no expectations and therefore have no point of reference for what they thought before they had children.  And all of this adds up to the point that no one can help you decide or know what is best for you.  Which means anything people tell you about whether you’ll be happy or sad having children (or happy or sad having more children) is simply assvice that usually speaks more to their mindset than yours.  As I said in her comment section: “it really is a ‘your mileage may vary’ situation.  What is true for one person isn’t true for another.  I don’t see children as a hassle, but that is ME.  Other people see children as hampering their personal needs/wants.  And both are completely valid viewpoints.”

Constant in the Darkness has started the adoption process again, and it feels different this time around.  There are a lot of people’s feelings to consider beyond the usual three that come whenever you add to your family and already have one child.  She writes, “So once again, we’re wide open to what life is ready to throw at us.  It’s kind of scary.  It’s kind of exciting.  I’m trying not to think about it too much, really.”  Great post about how it is different the second time around.

A Woman of My Age has a post about watching her child ride a bicycle for the first time.  It’s a post about needing breathing space AND not wanting your child to grow up too quickly at the same time.  I think it will resonate with a lot of people.

Lastly, Muddy Boots and Diamonds has a post about Climb Out of the Darkness, an awareness campaign for perinatal mood disorders.  I love the symbolism of an upward climb paired with coming forward to talk about something difficult.  A beautiful post.

The roundup to the Roundup: I’m not a fan of sunscreen application.  Happy 4th of July!  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 June 27th and July 4th) 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.

July 4, 2014   19 Comments

500th Friday Blog Roundup

This is the 500th Roundup.

Sort of.

The 500th Roundup coincides this week with my 8th blogoversary, though we’re still a few weeks out from the 8th anniversary of the Roundup.  I started it a few weeks after I started my blog.  Part of me didn’t want to write the Roundup for a few weeks so the 500th Roundup could fall on the Roundup’s 8th anniversary.  But that seemed like a waste of Fridays.

The 500th Roundup is actually the 400th Roundup since the numbering got botched along the way, but still… 400 times?  400 times I’ve sat down to write this post.  400 times I’ve highlighted a few posts I’ve read that week.  I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve missed writing the Roundup.  That’s a damn good run.

So happy milestone, little Roundup.

And thank you, everyone, for reading the Roundup.  For some of you, about 400 times.

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I had to get blood drawn this week, so I decided to take the twins with me so they could see that blood draws aren’t scary.  And by “not scary,” I meant that I planned to lie to them and tell them that needles don’t bother me.  Sorry, kids, if you’re reading this.

So after pattering on for the entire car ride about how this is only going to take 45 seconds and the fact that I can’t drink coffee until after it’s over is more painful than the blood draw itself, we get into the lab and I get a phlebotomist who is not interested in having this blood draw be a positive experience for the kids to witness.  I tell her which vein is the easiest to use, but she opts for another one.  I ask her for the butterfly needle, and she pulls out the more intimidating-looking standard one.  So the kids are getting a little squicked out.  (Thank you, Knottedfingers, for the best word!)

And then she can’t get the blood out.

She’s wiggling the needle, trying to coax out blood, and I am grinning wildly at the twins, saying, “see, doesn’t hurt a bit.”  And then I start to feel clammy, as if I am going to pass out.  And the Wolvog nervous points out that this is taking a lot longer than 45 seconds.  He’s been counting for a bit, and really, we’re getting closer to two minutes and there still isn’t any blood.

And then, right as I am about to set my forehead on the table and confess that I am a huge liar, the blood starts flowing.  The clammy feeling passes and the phlebotomist finishes up.  We leave and walk through the parking lot toward the cup of coffee I stored in the car.

Here is the reality: I’ve convinced myself that needles hurt a lot more than things like a trip to the dentist or a Pap smear or a dozen other appointments where I don’t get worked up beforehand.  But that sharp instrument the dentist uses to poke the gums?  That actually hurts more than a needle.  And a speculum is uncomfortable and in for a lot longer than a needle.  I’m not being a total liar when I tell the kids that it won’t hurt at all when they get blood drawn this fall for the first time.

Right?

Sometimes I can’t believe that I used to get blood drawn in the morning and give myself an injection in the evening.  That I dealt with needles all the time.  Maybe I’m just out of practice.

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Time for your weekly nag:

This is just your friendly nudge to do your weekly backup.  I know, I know, who has the time to create backups on a weekly basis?  No one.  But you still need to do it and forgo ten minutes of something else, once a week.  Right now, before you do anything else, use this post to roll through a quick backup of your email, documents, images, blog, social media accounts, and mobile devices.  Reading the Roundup on the go and don’t have the ability to do your backup right now?  Email yourself a copy of the Roundup so that the email will serve as a visual reminder to get this task done.  Ten minutes of your time once a week may save you a major loss of time and data down the road.  Don’t have regrets.  So, on your marks, get set, back up!

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.

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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:

  • None.  No one found a post last week that moved them or made them think or cracked them up? (Yes, this is a guilt trip, but it is a milestone Roundup.)

Okay, now my choices this week.

If You Don’t Stand for Something has a moving post marking the 5th year of trying to build her family.  She writes, “5 years.  It should get easier. Or more tolerable. Or you hope that you just become desensitized to it all.  Anything to help cope with it.  But instead, after five years, I still come home crying and breaking down.”  It’s a raw post that lays bare the reality of infertility.

A+ Effort muses about how far they are from adding a second child to their family, reflecting on how her own relationship to her sister informed the dream she had for her family’s formation.  There’s a lot that resonated with me from the post, and again, it should be one of those required reading posts for anyone who doles out the solution of “why don’t you just adopt!” as the answer to infertility.  I love the mindfulness with which she moves forward in building her family, and while she may think she needs to buck up, I think she has a legitimate reason to vent.

A Little Bit More wonders how others perceive her childlessness and tries to see herself through their eyes, especially after a woman jokes around with her about how terrible children can be.  She explains, “She was talking like she wanted me to commiserate with her, but I just kept trying to change the subject. When I left, all I could think about was is that what she thinks of me?”  But moreover, she opens up a conversation with her post on how not having kids doesn’t equal not wanting kids.  Or hating kids.

Lastly, My Lady of the Lantern has an aching post about the child she is carrying and the child she lost, and how death keeps people eternally one age as the rest of us change.  It is a post filled with wishes.

The roundup to the Roundup: It’s a milestone Roundup — 500 (er… 400).  I don’t really love needles.  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 June 20th and June 27th) 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.

June 27, 2014   24 Comments

499th Friday Blog Roundup

Taking a break from over-analyzing the Internet to write the Roundup.

Actually, I’m not going to apologize for over-analyzing the Internet.  It’s important that we ask ourselves these questions as we go along, even when we can’t do anything about the way the Internet operates.  I think it’s important to take a step back, especially when the Internet looks so happy and shiny and helpful, and check our gut to see if we’re operating within our comfort zone.

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So remember that speed reading software I wrote about a few months ago?  It’s the free app of the week on the iTunes store.  Or there is an app that is exactly like that software.  I can’t tell if it’s made by the same people.  But it operates in the exact same way.

I’ve been using it to read articles that I kinda sorta want to read.  Like I feel like I should read them, but I’m sort of dragging my heels about it.  I don’t use it for blog posts that I actually want to savour.  Or think about.  Or sit with for a bit.

I like that it tells you how much time it will take to finish the article before you begin so you know that it will only take you X seconds or minutes to read.

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Time for your weekly nag:

This is just your friendly nudge to do your weekly backup.  I know, I know, who has the time to create backups on a weekly basis?  No one.  But you still need to do it and forgo ten minutes of something else, once a week.  Right now, before you do anything else, use this post to roll through a quick backup of your email, documents, images, blog, social media accounts, and mobile devices.  Reading the Roundup on the go and don’t have the ability to do your backup right now?  Email yourself a copy of the Roundup so that the email will serve as a visual reminder to get this task done.  Ten minutes of your time once a week may save you a major loss of time and data down the road.  Don’t have regrets.  So, on your marks, get set, back up!

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.

My Scar Smiles at Me has a post about traveling home — home being both a literal place and the people we meet in life.  I especially love the moment when the little girl returns the stuffed animal she had been minding for four years.  And the sweetness of this thought: “I am deeply part of this family and many other families’ lives. Their children think of me a special aunt and as a friend and as someone they can count on. Their parents have me down as their emergency contact number. I fill in as a babysitter and confidant. I am part of the team…. who knows if I ever get to give it a go myself… but today I am feeling blessed that I know I have showered loved on children and it has come back to me 10 fold.”  Isn’t that gorgeous?  I had chills down my arms when I read it.

The Empress and the Fool has a post about trying to make decisions when you don’t have clear-cut answers to guide your decision-making process.  It’s about coming to terms with the things we can’t know since the need to know why is such a huge part of her personality.  The post is really about how infertility sometimes keeps us from being ourselves.  It keeps the maternal personalities from mothering, the extroverts from socializing, and the why-askers from knowing.

A bout of insomnia has Serenity wondering what she inherited from her grandfather.  And I love the ending so much, especially what she learned from her grandfather that she is passing along to her son: “I give it to Lucky because I remember how good it felt to have that kind of love and affection, how safe I felt with my Grandpa C. I do it because I always want Lucky to feel loved and safe with me. Because as he grows, that’s going to be what he remembers.”  What we inherit aren’t always physical traits or personality characteristics.

Lastly, Waiting for Little Feet has a post about reclaiming her blog space.  Posts like this pop up often, and it suddenly occurred to me just how young the blogosphere is.  That we haven’t been navigating changes in life status for very long online.  No wonder there are few guidelines to get you through.

The roundup to the Roundup: I think it’s important to ask these questions about our online usage and comportment.  Speed reading app is free this week.  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 June 13th and June 20th) 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.

June 20, 2014   3 Comments

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