Blogging For me Again

As many of my regular visitors will know I committed myself to the NaBloPoMo during November, and I actually enjoyed the whole experience and kind of enjoyed my daily deadline of having to post every day for 30 days. There were only a couple of occasions when I struggled to find a topic to write about, and although every night was spent writing which meant late nights, I found the whole NaBloPoMo experience a positive and a good one, and I was glad I took part.

NaBloPoMo 2011Then on the 1st December, I stupidly decided to take on the the same challenge for another 31 days because I found that I was missing the buzz of creating a post every night. I had bored fingers and decided to sign up and give it a go.

I had already decided that the content of my posts would not be as good as the ones I had devised during November, because I figured I would not have the time to dedicate to writing some deep and meaningful posts for the following reasons:

  • Christmas was on the way
  • Presents needed to be purchased
  • Cards needed to be designed and written and sent out
  • Christmas food prep need to be done
  • Tots 100 Xmas Party weekend at Butlins

Therefore, I figured that as long as posted every day whether it be a recipe or a review or a linky submissions I was doing ok and not to get bogged own by my post content.

To begin with all was going so well and then the following things happened:

  • Our heating and hot water system packed in , resulting in no heating and then no hot wanter either for a couple of weeks
  • The boys, my OH and I stayed at my mums and then his mums while we waited for our heating and hot water problem to be resolved
  • Due to the above living arrangements, my Christmas cookery prep, Christmas card making and Christmas shopping trips were limited or non existent.
  • As much as I really enjoyed my Butlins Winter Wonderland weekend away with my family and meeting all those lovely bloggers, as a result I caught a tummy bug and Jenson became ill with a really nasty cough
  • Owing to Jenson being so poorly, even when we were back in our own home (with heating and hot water again – yay!) and wanting to be cuddled so much meant I didn’t get much done during the day or night blog wise or Christmas planning wise

However, despite all of this I blogged everyday bar the Monday after Butlins (because I was suffering with a tummy upset), and so fulfilled my NaBloPoMo commitment. Even Christmas Day I posted a Silent Sunday photo, and I was all set to post on Boxing Day too when it suddenly dawned on me – what on earth was I doing? It was Christmas (just!) and I was visiting and being with my family, and here I was spending my time first thing in the morning (very early!) trying to write a post. Trying to pen a post while entertaining and playing with my boys and talking to members of my family, and after having crap sleep and feeling shattered due to Jenson playing up during the night!!!

So there and then I decided to stop my NaBloPoMo commitment and I put away my blogger dashboard and took a couple of days off. Why was I pushing myself to get a post out every day, when it really didn’t matter ? I wasn’t going to get into trouble or get told off by anyone was I ? Or have the blogging police track me down and arrest me!

I posted again last Friday (30th) because I wanted to and not because I felt I had to. And do you now what? It was great only having to write a post when I felt the need to, and not feel pressured about having to do so. I really enjoyed having a few days off aswell, and even now writing this I feel happy knowing that it is up to ME when I blog next.

I did enjoy my writing everyday during November, and I honestly thought December would be manageable. However, as it turns out real life is more important and I don’t want to have to bust a gut to get a post up on my blog, I want to have a more relaxed attitude which I have again now.

Mind you committing to the project 366 is also time consuming – not the actual taking and posting a photo part (or two in my case, as I am show-casing Burton’s daily photos too), as that is relatively easy. However, as with any shared project or link-up you not only commit your blog but you also commit to sharing an experience, and in doing so commit to visiting other blogs and seeing their photos and commenting. Therefore, I am still spending a fair amount of time each evening on blog ‘stuff’.

BUT  I am not complaining as I enjoy seeing what everyone else is up to, and it is nice to view other blogs again and catch up with whats been going on while I took my few a days off.  Infact this was something which I didn’t do as much of as I would have liked during November and December – visiting other blogs that is, because I was so busy blogging and doing real life Christmassy things and dealing with a poorly baby. I just didn’t have the time to do it all! My tweeting time definitely took a nose dive too! (see my Klout score!)

So what was the point in this post? Nothing really, just to share how wonderful it feels to be blogging for me again and not for blogging sake. I think sometimes you need to get some blogging perspective and step back and relaaaaax and breathe and then start again.

Don’t Worry About Blogging: Be Happy & Play Butthead Instead 🙂

Oh and also to thank you for bearing with me during those weeks of hectic posting and maybe for not giving as much blog love out as I would normally.

xx

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NaBloPoMo, NaBloPoMo!

So the end is nigh.

My 30 days of writing a post for my blog every day finishes today.

I have to say that when I started this journey, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep up my personal challenge of writing a post every day on top of the usual ones I do anyway (eg. the Gallery, Silent Sunday etc..) . Yet here I am a month later and I did it!

I was also concerned that people would be fed up of me blogging every day, but 47 posts later (total for the entire month) I am happy to report that I received lots of support, post views and comments. In fact possibly more than I would normally get. So thank you to everyone that stopped by this month and boosted my blogging confidence.

THE EXPERIENCE

I see the whole NaBloPoMo experience as a worthwhile one that I embarked on and a positive one, for me at least.

If I were to break it down then I would say the positives and negatives of blogging everyday are as follows:

POSITIVES
Boosted my blogging confidence
Revitalised my blogging mojo
Helped me to identify which type of posts people like to read and comment on, which is useful for moving my blog forward
I feel it has helped me to find an identity for my blog at last, and I feel comfortable with it and my style of blogging finally!
Gave me a chance to write about things which I may never have had the courage to do otherwise

Found some new blogs / twitter friends

NEGATIVES
Less time on twitter as most nights in between doing my mummy jobs I was writing posts
It was on my mind a lot as I as always thinking of ideas for posts and their content
Ended up having some late nights as a result of it

Not being able to read all the other NaBloPoMo posts – just to many but did my best to read some everyday

All in all the positives outweigh the negatives so I am pleased that is the case.



THOSE 30 POSTS

I am really proud of the 30 posts I have written for NaBloPoMo – a couple were recipes which don’t really count – but those aside, I honestly think I have penned some of the best posts I have ever written for my blog. I certainly had some of my highest viewings for a few of them which makes me really chuffed.

These were the most read (and commented on) posts I wrote over the month:
20 Month Age Gap
Two Little Boys
Finding Out I Was Pregnant
Muddling Through Parenthood In My Own Way

This makes me really happy because these were all written about me :my experiences and feelings and were very personnel to me. Indeed certainly with the last two I really exposed myself and wasn’t sure whether to post them or not. I am so glad I did, not just because they were viewed well but because of the wonderful comments I received on these posts. those comments have shown me that I can write and I can write about subjects which other people relate to and can emphasise with.

THE END

So in true Jenny style, I would like to thank NABloPoMo in my own unique way and say well done to all the other bloggers who took part – we did it!!

NaBloPoMo (sung to New York, New York)
Start spreading the news, 
I’m finishing today.
I took part every day in it – 
NaBloPoMo NaBloPoMo .
These posts of mine
Were written every day 
30 posts – I managed it
NaBloPoMo NaBloPoMo
To write more than a linky,
Quality blog time
I enjoyed writing them 
Most of the time
My bloggers block
Has melted away
I made a brand new start of it
NaBloPoMo 
30 posts I made it through, 
Got back my blogging mojo
Thanks to you 
NaBloPoMo NaBloPoMo
NaBloPoMo NaBloPoMo !
I woke up feeling relieved 
That I achieved this feat
To find I’m here still
Part of the list,
Of others who blogged
For the whole month
My bloggers block
Has melted away
I made a brand new start of it
NaBloPoMo 
30 posts I made it through, 
Got back my blogging mojo
Thanks to you 
NaBloPoMo NaBloPoMo!!

How did you find the experience if you took part?
If you didn’t take part, do you think blogging every day is too much?

DAY 30 – THE END
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Pine Sugar Dusting

Some of you will have seen the Waitrose School Of Christmas Magic advert where TV chef Heston Blumenthal has created a pine sugar dusting for that festive favourite (well in my opinion anyway) the mince pie.

As Heston tells us all: .”Just sprinkle it on …… and they’ll smell just like Christmas trees, straight from the forest.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas trees and I love a good walk through a forest and I really LOVE eating mince pies but do I want to eat all those flavours at once, and have a winter wonderland taste bud extravaganza inside my mouth? 

Uhm I don’t think I do.

I do have a real tree for Christmas now and it’s smell is pleasant enough. However,I have to admit that I never buy pine scented toilet cleaner because I find the smell of pine a little over powering. Therefore, the thought of eating something I enjoy that is doused in pine scented sugar dusting seems a little off putting to me.

Besides what about the other smells that could derive from a Forrest? 

All the little critters that live there like squirrels, deer and rabbits for example – are they also part of the Christmas smell? And let’s not forget that if people take their dogs for walks in forests there could be other ‘smells’ associated with our Christmas trees that I certainly wouldn’t want my mince pies to remind me of!! (apologies if that put you off whatever you might be eating whilst reading this!)

Now if Heston had invented a Christmas smell like mulled wine, or cinnamon, cloves, or Christmas pudding then that would be more likely to get my mouth salivating. I know he likes to think ‘outside the box’ and come up with something totally different, which he has succeeded with here, but I am just not sure if a Christmas tree flavour is it for me.

So as much as its a wonderfully creative and festive baking idea, I don’t think I am persuaded to give the pine sugar dusting a go myself – the thought of eating a food I really like which has been topped with something which will remind me mostly of toilet cleaner is not appealing to my taste buds!!

How about you?

If you have tried this magical dust please tell me what you though of it, I am very curious to know if the concept really works.


DAY 29
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Toilet Training The Toddler Way

I think if Burton was telling you his top tips for going from using nappies to using the potty they would go something like this

Wee-ing

When the need to wee occurs cross legs and declare “wee mummy” and hobble over to the potty whilst holding your crotch

Remove pants and trousers and socks – they just get in the way

Sit on potty making sure willy is in – if in doubt push willy down with fingers BUT take care not to get fingers wet with wee

When you have finished, tell mummy and insist on showing her what you have done at least once!

Put pants back on taking care to make sure label is at the back, although sometimes the label is at the side and this gets confusing and results in a “willy is out mummy” situation! Which then results in much laughter from mummy and Burton!

Poo-ing

When the need to poo occurs announce to mummy “poo mummy” and then quickly dash over to the potty and remove all items of clothing again on his bottom half

Sit on potty ensuring willy is in again – just in case it’s a “poo wee mummy” moment!

Once the deposit is in the potty sit back as far as you can to look at what you have just deposited.

Have a good jiggle on potty seat so that there is bound to be ‘leftovers’ on the seat where bottom needed wiping!! Also occurs from moving back to examine what has just been deposited from the in between your legs view!!

Tell mummy that you have done a “poo” or “poo wee mummy” and again makes sure she sees it and in some cases carry the potty over to show her! If other people are around show them too!!

Get up and walk around until mummy catches you and says its time to wipe your bottom and then say “no mummy” and sit back down again!

Whenever mummy asks you if you are finished so she can wipe your bottom keep telling her “no mummy”

Sometimes you may decide to start putting your pants back on before mummy has had chance to check that you have finished and wipe your bottom!

Once bottom has been cleaned run around the living room pant less and away from mummy with a naked bottom being sat on the sofa!! Followed by much laughter from him and not so much by mummy!

These top toddler toilet training tips are brought to you by Burton and mummy!

Care to share any of yours?

DAY 28

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Smiley Faces & I Don’t Like It Phase

So we have a new phase in toddler-hood! It’s the “I don’t like it” at meal times phase! Burton puts a mouthful of food into his mouth, screws up his face, spits it out into his hand and says “I don’t like it”!! 


My response? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarghhhhhhhh!!!
marmite on bread with cheese is his
new food favourite!


Except that last bit is only screamed inside my head as I don’t want to make the situation worse or make it look like it is annoying me!

The thing is, where on earth has he learnt to say this sentence? His Daddy and I certainly haven’t taught it to him and the only other people we see on a regular basis are his grandparents and his cousin Ben who, at a few months older, LOVES his food – I mean LOVES all food so I can not possibly imagine he has learnt it from him. **

So far he has told me he doesn’t like chili con carne, cottage pie and turkey bolognese – three foods I know he usually likes. Oh and peas is another food that he is removing from his mouth and trying to give back to me! He has always eaten peas – its the only vegetable I have never had to disguise. 

So in a last bid attempt to get him to eat his food after the “I don’t like that” has been said, I resort to the ‘smiley face’ game which has been a meal saver these last few weeks. Let me explain. 


Back in August  I posted a piece about Burton being faddy about his eating and after reading the lovely comments I received I deduced it was me of his many phases. Meal times were starting to become very fraught especially the ones where daddy sat with us as he was taking Burton not eating his meals a little too far, I felt personally. I didn’t want it becoming an issue. As far as I was concerned, and still am, if Burton refuses to eat something I know he likes usually, unless he is ill, then he is told that there is nothing else so he either needs to eat it or that’s it. If it is something he has never eaten before, or he is unwell, then just one mouthful to try his meal is all I am asking him to do and would warrant having something he does instead.

Anyway, having discussed this with Burton’s (paternal) grandma she suggested I distract Burton’s attention away from what was on his plate while eating and she came up with the ‘smiley face’ game. Very simply, for every mouthful of his meal that Burton eat I draw a smiley face –  and not just any smiley face but mine or daddy’s or Jenson’s or grandma’s etc… And then shove a spoonful in his mouth! This has actually worked and he was even eating foods that he wouldn’t normally! Yay – a miracle! Well not quite but it worked! We don’t have to play this game every meal time because most days he will eat his food but if he starts to play up I just get a piece of paper out and a crayon and off we go again.

that was ‘mummy’

Now in playing this game at regular intervals over the past couple of months Burton has wanted to draw smiley faces himself. Now back in February for the Colourful Me meme which as doing the rounds on twitter I had to ask Burton to draw me and this is what he drew – well he was only 18 months back then!! 



However, a couple of weeks ago he started drawing smiley faces on a drawing app that I have on my iPad and he drew these

Burton’s grampy (complete with beard!)     and Jenson
Now he draws faces all the time whenever he gets the chance and I think they are coming along very nicely

my little artiste at work 😉

Anyway, after that little art attack, back to my post!

So basically, for the last couple of months his eating has been great again and he has been eating his meals by himself again using his cutlery and not his hands (!) and not complaining and only very occasionally grumbling about what is on his plate. That was until the “I don’t like this”  reared it’s screwed up face last weekend!! I am hoping this is also a phase and although the good old smiley face game is still working, just about during this new meal time palava, I am wondering if it has had its day as it is getting harder to distract him from what I am placing into his mouth!

Oh well hopefully meals will return to some kind of ‘normality’ and no doubt a new reason not to eat them will crop up. Still on the plus side, at least Burton’s smiley face drawings have come on in leaps and bounds – always good to spot a positive for every negative!

What measures have you resorted to to get your child to eat their meals? Have you had the “I don’t like it” phase too?

** I have since discovered that cousin Ben did teach Burton the “I don’t like it” phrase -after spending time with him yesterday! 

DAY 25

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