It’s 1999 all over again

Yeah, so 1999 is when I graduated from being an AOL user to a general internet user. That’s when I realized there was a world beyond that which AOL showed me. I was a sheeple no more. I could come and go as I pleased, search where I pleased, and shop, chat, and email from wherever I wanted. (You know, within reason and in ’99 style).

And I’ve done it again. Branched out in the blogging world to WordPress from Blogger. Quite a difference, I must say. Lots of changes, and some I haven’t quite figured out yet. Bear with me. I’ll get there. Just not this weekend. Momma is tired.

So, here it is. My first WordPress blog post. It’s almost 3 am so please, trust me, future blog posts WILL be better than this little snippet

Cheese & sprinkles! Ta!

(Forgive me – I’ve watched Rio 900 times since last weekend. Unless, of course, cheese & sprinkles actually does become a common catchphrase – in that case then I’m totally serious).

Homework, HTML & Hardware

I am going NUTS trying to work on this blog re-do, re-design, re-everything. There’s a problem with mapping my new blog domain to my new blog platform and when I inquired of technical support their response was that “it’s a bug in our system.” YOU THINK? You can’t map a domain to other nameservers and YOU THINK there’s a bug in your system? Holy hell, people.

And then there’s the whole theme editing and html stuff and what do you mean I have to use HTML to change the font? Or upgrade. And how come the new font only shows up on half the blog post? And a Gravatar? And Favicon? And, so, yeah, that. Going nuts.

And I was on a business trip to my company HQ in San Francisco last week (where I got to spend 2 days in a conference room with no less than 5 stinky sales men at any given time. Lucky, lucky me).

And my oldest son AND my husband started school on Monday. My youngest doesn’t start until Tuesday next week so I have to work from home while the hubby is gone to school some mornings. You know, so my youngest doesn’t burn the house down playing with matches or decide to scale the roof or something.

And my work laptop decided to crap out last week while in San Francisco. Perfect place for it to happen though; my IT guy there worked on it all day. It should be good as new. Should be. Except now I can’t get on my home wi-fi network. Which makes working from home rather difficult.

This too shall pass. This too shall pass.

I will get this damn blog stuff figured out. Even if it means transferring registrars and begging and pleading for help with the html. The work laptop stuff will get figured out too. That’s why we have IT guys. And little one will be in school next week and we’ll get back into the school routine.

It always works out. Everything always works out. It’s just an absolute bitch to get there.

In the meantime, here’s my guy on his first day:

He loved it. He called me at work when he got home to tell me it was great and his first homework assignment was to eat Oreos and then write about it. His teacher obviously knows how to win over her students.

Okay, as I was writing this missive I took a break to go outside and get the mail. Little Bubba decided to come with me and ride his bike. He has a very little bike because for quite some time he’s been too scared to ride without training wheels. Just last week we took the training wheels off and he hopped on and rode like a champ. Like he’s been doing it all his life. But the bike is so small that his knees come up to the handle bars.

So I said, “hey, little dude, try out your brother’s bike and see how you like it.”

At first he didn’t want to try, but he’s a good kid and he likes new things so he agreed to try. Here’s the result:

I have to go buy a new big boy bike now. SMH.


It’s time for new things

I’m a fickle little thing and I’m feeling the need to change things up a bit around here at Hear Me Roar. Here are the likely changes you’ll see happening semi-soon:

1. I’m likely moving over to WordPress. I think so. I’m almost sure. I hate Blogger’s comments section. I want to be able to comment back on specific comments. I also want to section out my blog so I can have multiple sections – which takes us to point two . . .

2. I’m probably going to segment the blog out a little bit and add a section on cooking. This is primarily inspired by my niece, Jenell, who called me yesterday and said, “Aunt Stef, I need you to show me how to cook. Can I have some of your recipes?” She’s young, married just a few years with two little kids and a husband who works a lot. She needs some basic recipes and techniques to work with; the basics and a bit more. I said I would send her recipes and then I thought, OH MY GAWD, I can’t imagine organizing my recipes enough to send to her without doing something MORE with them, you know? Like putting them out there in a blog for other people to use. So, that’s just what I’m going to do.

3. Name change. Yep, I’m changing Hear Me Roar to something else. I have a few ideas. Nothing set in stone yet, but maybe something with “sassy” in the title. Because I’m sassy. (My husband says so). Hear Me Roar is always going to be aligned with the women’s lib movement and, though I’m AM a feminist, I don’t necessarily write about those things. I need a name that will reflect the foodie in me as well. So the name change is about finding a name that’s perfectly me.

Back to the foodie thing. I have to admit it: I am a foodie. I love good food. My husband said the other day that he thinks when we really cook a good meal it’s better than what we can get at most restaurants. Plus it’s made with love just for us and our friends and family.

I love cooking & baking. Love it. If I could quit my job I would go back to school to be a baker and open a bakery/coffee shop thing of some sort. (As if we don’t have enough of those, right?) But, seriously, my husband worked as a barista eons ago and managed a coffee shop – we could do this. The thought just absolutely makes me giggle. And if it was a used book store too? Heaven.

Okay, so that’s a bit of a pipe dream, right? Right. In the meantime I’ll be changing my blog so keep an eye out.

I have a couple things I need to get off my chest

You would think that would be a clever euphemism for reduction of my boobages but, no, I’m not talking about those things. Those are still somewhat valuable (though not nearly as useful as they used to be – but that’s another post for another day).
Last week I found myself upset. It’s to do with this whole blogging thing. So I stepped away from it for a few days to get perspective. It helped, and I’ll tell you why shortly. Bear with me – I need to tell this in order or ya’ll want to strangle me by the end. 
(By the way, the “ya’ll” is Joni’s fault entirely. Or my Okie ancestry. One of the two.)
Okay, so if you’ve been here before you know that I started blogging just a few months ago and I’m kinda haphazard about when I do it and what I post. That’s just me and the way I am. It has to fit into my life; I’m not going to make my life fit around it. 
Early last week I had some time to really start poking around other blogs and see what other mom bloggers were doing. I started following some of them on Twitter and going to their blogs and all that. What you may or may not know is there are amateur mom bloggers (ahem, me) and then there are professional mom bloggers (like the gold standard, The Pioneer Woman). Let me tell you, some of those ladies are hardcore. They get paid for what they do and they compete and, to the crux of the story, they can be extremely catty. I’m not referring to the Pioneer Woman here; I think she has a “rise above it” attitude even though there is a hate site out there about her too.
Apparently there was some issue last week and Twitter was, forgive me, all “atwitter” about it. I kept seeing these cryptic posts about being mean and making fun of someone and how it was hurting the mom blogging community. Then I read this tweet by one of those professional types:

It’s just easy to forget that twitter is like a high school cafeteria. Even if you’re not at the table you hear what people say about you.

And then I was like, oh, yeah, yuck. 
Caveat: I am in no way, no how, ever going to be on par with those professional bloggers. That’s not my intention. Seriously though, who would want that? Who would ever want to feel like they are in high school again? To get criticized and mocked and made to feel worthless. UGH. Also, I KNOW adult woman cattiness. I’ve experienced it. It’s not pretty and it’s hurtful. 
So, quite honestly, I was like yeah, I’m just going to cool it for awhile. Not that I was comparing myself to them because I SO wasn’t; I just didn’t want anything to do with it. It left a bad taste in my mouth if you know what I mean. 
So I hung out with family and friends over the weekend. I went on a date with my husband. I had wine at a friend’s house. I cleaned out a room in my house. I baked cookies. I kissed my kids A LOT. (Oh, I also got iPhone 4 so, you know, I was busy. Plants vs. Zombies, Instagram, etc). It was a nice weekend.
Back to work today and I was asked twice why I hadn’t updated my blog. It’s been like 6 days and apparently I have at least TWO readers who were jonesin’ for an update. And that felt good. And that made me think that yeah, that crap happens over THERE, with those other bloggers who are so successful that people make hate sites about them and have whole password-protected forums just to diss on them – but that’s like another world from over HERE where I am. (Run-on sentence be damned. I never said I was perfect). 
If I ever get to the point where I have haters then I’ll know I’m successful. ‘Til then I’m happy. If one person wants to read what I have to say then I.Am.Happy.
So that brings me to the other item I need to get off my chest:
Both of the people who asked me about my blog today are lurkers. One of them literally IM’d me and said, “Can you post something new on your blog so I can stalk it?” 
Well, thanks for coming out of the closet on that but – DUDE – leave a comment, wouldja? 
OY. I THRIVE on comments. And I answer them. So, just do it. You can even tell me anonymously how awesome I am. I won’t mind. Honest.
In closing, I just want to say that I love all two of you. Just don’t ever make a hate site about me or I’ll kick your ass. 

Hasta pasta! Mwah!

My blogging inspiration (AKA I’m so jealous I could spit)

A few months ago I was cruising around Facebook being nosy by clicking into friend’s pages, looking at their friends, and so on (c’mon, you all do it), and I ran across a girl I knew of in high school. She’s now married to a guy my best friend dated in high school. (See how that Facebook cruise went?) Anyway, she’s a year older than me and I may have talked to her a couple times at school but likely not a lot. But I knew who she was. She was very pretty, had a gorgeous smile, and always seemed to have happiness inside. When I found myself looking at her Facebook pictures a few months ago, and then her blog, the happiness she had inside 18(ish) years ago was now magnified by infinity (and beyond). 

I started reading her blog. It was funny, witty, and she wrote the things I wanted to say. She is crafty – like I wish I still was – but she does it properly; she learned how to knit and crochet and she freaking makes knit hats and purses from old sweaters and scarves. Anyway, I stalked her blog for a couple weeks. I thought, my goodness, this woman must be so completely happy. She has everything she wants. She is now married to the love of her life (the love just POURS out of their pictures), they had a baby, she has 3 other gorgeous children, she has a supportive family, she’s insanely talented and, as if that isn’t enough, in my blog reading I found out that when she’s not having babies she works as a hospice nurse. 

So, obviously, I had to stop reading her blog. I mean, I had to. The feelings of inadequacy just rolled over me and I nearly sobbed. (I may have actually shed a tear or two). (Side note: why do we women always hold ourselves up to other women to gauge our worth? It is so counter-productive. Why do we always think someone else’s  life is so much better than our little lives?)

Anyway, I went about 6 weeks without reading her blog but every once in a while I would think of it. I would say, hmmm, think I should go read it? And the insecure chick that lives in my brain would say, “Hell no! What are you thinking?” Do you see? The mere thought that her perfect life existed was enough; I didn’t even have to read her words to feel sorry for myself. 

But, at the same time – I started this blog because of her. I thought if I could just be 1/10th as talented as she is that would be a real accomplishment. She’s doing it – she’s doing her passion and I’m not. I had a really hard think. Soul-searching. All I ever wanted to do was be a writer. I don’t think I’ll ever be published but the least I can do is write this itty-bitty blog about my life. And it’s because of her. I’m jealous and grateful all at the same time.

Then an odd thing happened. I went to her blog tonight for the first time in weeks and weeks and in her recent posts she distinctly said her life was not perfect. She admitted fears, real-life concerns about money, feelings of inadequacy because she’s decided to temporarily quit nursing to be a SAHM, and she admitted to feeling a little lost. Part of me wants to reassure her – to tell her the powerful influence she had on me. The other part of me is rejoicing a little. I can’t lie. She’s not perfect. She’s human. I still want to be just like her – but she’s REAL. 

I wanted to send her a message to tell her what she did for me (to me) but I couldn’t figure out how so I’m doing this instead. Joni – I am in AWE of you. You have raised 3 gorgeous children, divorced and found the man you love, and then gave birth at home to a 10 lb baby. You had the balls to do what was so absolutely right for you (and your family) and quit your job. You pursue your life and you absolutely LIVE it. I am inspired by you. 

I’ll close, naturally, with a Jane Austen quote on sisterhood:

But we must stem the tide of malice, and pour into the wounded bosoms of each other, the balm of sisterly consolation.

Edited to add a link to Joni’s blog: