Monthly Archives: March 2007

Be a Winner: Enter the MamaBlogga RSS Contest

Want to feel like a winner? What better way to feel like a winner than to actually win something? Subscribe to MamaBlogga today for a chance to win a one-year subscription to Parenting magazine. Each issue of Parenting comes with an issue of Sesame Street magazine for your children.

Already receive Parenting? We’ll gladly substitute a one-year subscription to another parenting or children’s magazine subscription or extend your current subscription by one year.

How to Win
It’s really easy: just subscribe to the MamaBlogga feed and receive updates via RSS. (If you don’t already have an RSS reader, I’d recommend Google Reader, a good way to get started, especially if you already have a Google or GMail account.)

Watch for a special message at the end of a post during the third week of April, visible only to our RSS subscribers. Write me an e-mail with the special message within 48 hours and you’ll be entered to win! The winner will be drawn at random from the e-mails I receive.

How to Win BIG
If we get more than 100 new subscribers, we’ll add a parenting book of your choice to your prize! So, once you’ve subscribed, get your friends to subscribe as well to increase your chances of winning big!

About Parenting
I like Parenting magazine. It’s targeted toward mothers of children aged from conception to 12 years old. In addition to useful articles on home organization, discipline, sleep and parenting skills and strategies, it also features recipes, toy reviews, tips, useful advice and (possibly my favorite part) a section on taking time for and caring for yourself. Even before Hayden was born, I was excited to find a new issue of Parenting in my mailbox. With Sesame Street magazine included, you might be able to keep your kids busy while you read!

Miscellany:

  • Odds of winning depend on number of entries received.
  • I reserve the right to change anything in this contest as necessary.
  • Number of subscribers to be determined by FeedBurner.
  • If “big” prize is won, maximum value of parenting book to be determined by Jordan. But I’ll be reasonable.
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Six of one, half a dozen of the other III

First, the news: Hayden got tooth #5 today! Right top lateral incisor. Hurray!

Now, my meme. Since I got to go hear Jane Clayson Johnson speak at BYU yesterday, I was thinking about how nice it is to live close to a university. So, we’ll look at this from both sides.

Six of the Worst Things about Living in/near a College Town
Traffic. With 30,000 students 8 months out of the year (and 12,000 the other four months), you can really tell when school’s in session. I’m not happy in traffic.
Scary drivers. Maybe this is especially bad here, since a lot of local students are from California 😉 .
Late night noise. BYU isn’t exactly a party school (understatement), but I imagine that late night noise is a problem at other places.
Games. No, I’m not anti sports. But as I mentioned before, I’m not happy in traffic and game days = traffic. Major traffic. Especially when playing a rival.
Tempting fruit. I really want a graduate degree. I haven’t exactly decided what in (Creative Writing or American History, I think), but with a well-regarded university so close, it’s always tempting to apply again.
The campus is our world. Although I know there are a lot of things going on in our community, but it seems like most things are happening on campus. This is more prevalent when you’re actually a student, but sometimes I just don’t want to make the 20 minute trek down there just to get something done.

Half a Dozen of the Best Things about Living in/near a College Town
Speakers. It’s a bit controversial here, but the vice president is speaking at BYU’s commencement. Who cares if it’s Dick Cheney—the vice president is speaking at commencement!
Other cultural events. In addition to the on-campus plays, concerts and shows, universities tend to attract the same kinds of activities off campus.
Games. Yeah, I know it’s up there, too, but they’re fun. Ryan and I started hanging out by going to basketball games together.
Classes. Again, it’s up there, but how cool is it to be able to study something whenever you want (and have the time and money)?
Family. It gets my sisters out here, almost 2000 miles away from our home and parents. If I didn’t have them, I’d be pretty much alone. :(
Library. I can’t check things out for free, even though I’m an alumna, but the BYU library is one of the top 3 in the nation. If I need books and other resources on just about any subject imaginable, I know where I can get them.

I suppose this won’t really be a meme until I tag people and other people start doing it, but… I don’t feel like it today. Besides, it’s tough to come up with six arguments on both sides of an issue. I won’t wish this on anyone else (yet).

Blogging resources

Over at Marketing Pilgrim, I did a series on corporate blogging and concluded with a list of resources for corporate bloggers. So, since I’ve done a series here on blogging this week, I’ll conclude with resources for the rest of us.

Complete Feeds
These are blogs where every post or almost every post relates directly to skills and techniques you’ll want to implement.

Outstanding Posts

Actually, I owe this week’s series on blogging to Michelle. I e-mailed her to get MamaBlogga included in her Google Custom Search Engine for Momblogs and we conversed about blogging. She was glad to talk to a mom blogger who’s a real blogger, too—and I definitely return that compliment.

So this concludes this week’s blogging series: You can stay with Blogger, The Ultimate Guide to Migrating from Blogger to WordPress, Why I miss Blogger and Why I love WordPress.

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Finding fulfillment: Jane Clayson Johnson

Earlier this week, I quoted an article “I Am a Mother.” It was written by Jane Clayson Johnson. If her name sounds familiar, it could be because she spent 15 years on network news, first for ABC News, then as a co-anchor on CBS’s Early Show. She was at the top of her game, and negotiating a lucrative contract, when she decided to leave journalism—for motherhood.

She talks about people’s various reactions in her article and in her book of the same name. Today I got to hear her speak at BYU. She’s now the happy mother of two (and stepmother of three more). I learned so much from listening to her speak; she has an amazing perspective on life and its seasons.

One of my favorite stories that she shared took place not too long ago. She was with her family in Florida (I think), and she said she had on her “new mom outfit,” no make up, diaper bag and kids in tow. Someone she’d worked with several times recognized her and flagged her down.

“So,” he asked once he’d caught up with her. “What are you up to now?” He glanced at her children. “Just a mom?”

It took her only a split second to respond: “Just a mom? No, no—I am a mother,” she declared proudly.

At the end of her excellent talk (you’d think she’d been paid to write and speak for decades! Oh, wait…), there was a little bit of time for questions.

Naturally, I hopped right up, ducked under a few handrails and got to the microphone (luckily my sister was there to hold on to Hayden).

I asked Jane how she found fulfillment as a mother. Here’s what she said (from my notes; my tape recorder wasn’t cooperating!)

It’s difficult in our culture because we place such an emphasis on measuring success—awards, titles, etc. As a mother, you don’t get a pat on the back every day. You can’t measure motherhood on a daily basis—it’s a long-term process.

The world esteems titled professions: lawyers, judges. Society seems to set motherhood below those things. But that success is fleeting; it goes away. And there is always someone waiting in the wings to take your place. Your relationship with your children will last forever. It is more important.

I like how she was unafraid to make firm statements, from “I am a mother” to “It is more important.” And that’s something that I like to be reminded of: my relationship with my children will last forever. It is more important. Success in the workplace is nice—I quite like it—but it’s fleeting, and someone can easily replace you there. There is no substitute for a mother to her children.

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Why I love WordPress

Yes, I may miss Blogger, but I’m glad I made the switch to WordPress. And I’ll tell you why.

  1. Customizable. You can make WordPress do just about anything, it seems, by simply finding and uploading the right plugin. Like today, I wanted a plugin to selectively remove the “nofollow” on commenters’ links (coming soon). I Googled “selectively remove nofollow links wordpress” and found a big list of plugins to do just that in a few different ways.
  2. I feel professional, probably partially because this is the platform I blog with for work.
  3. It’s pretty easy to use, though there is a bit of a learning curve.
  4. I feel cool when I get to fiddle with things in the back end. Half the time I’m working on my site, I’ve got WordPress and my file manager or FTP open, uploading plugins and tweaking files.
  5. It’s a complete content management system. No comments on that one… Sorry.
  6. All sorts of cool built-in features like password protecting posts and trackbacks (couldn’t do that with Blogger!) and lots of stuff.

Of course, WordPress isn’t for everyone. If you want to, you can stay with Blogger. I give you permission.

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Ah, young love

I was going to take a picture of the 3-4″ of snow that fell last night, but it all melted, so instead I’ll be playing catchup on pictures (I’ll tell you which one the title applies to, but I’m sure you’ll be able to guess).

two fisted drinker
Two fisted drinker. His grandma introduced him to root beer, if you’ll recall.

Hayden 13 months 076.jpg
That’s one really weird deformity.

Hayden 13 months 077.jpg
Tie monster!

(Cleaned out Ryan’s closet. This writhing mass now resides on the floor… on my side of the bed. Go figure.)

Hayden 13 months 081.jpg
Hayden’s new home

Hayden 13 months 083.jpg
Helping with chores. I think we had a picture of me mopping when I was about 2, so this runs in the family.

Hayden 13 months 087.jpg
Here it is, young love. Whiskers needs it.

Haydie actually did that all by himself today. He was whining and trying to pick the kitty up, so I had him sit down and placed Whiskers on his lap. Spontaneous hugs. Sweet boy.

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