Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Recently I have been sensing a barrage of backlash against blogging and social media. I've heard or read several condescending comments and posts regarding the truth of relationships that have been cultivated online that may have only on only rare occasions been extended to be experienced in person. Most of this backlash has focused on these questions:
  1. Without a tangible, physical connection to someone, can you really be friends?
  2. Is it worth pursuing these friendships?
  3. Are people who trust relationships they have created online 'loners' for investing what small amount of personal time they have in the online exploits of creating 'friendships' with people they have never actually met?
  4. Can these 'friendships' be considered 'real'?

I find it really interesting that my first reaction to this backlash is always pretty defensive. I know who I am and I am confident in my place in the on-line world and I have rich and engaging relationships in 'real life' that are not suffering because I have 'another life' online. But I do question why I feel the need to get defensive. I mean, if I were totally confident, I theoretically wouldn't need to be defensive, right?

But I do think that part of my defensive reaction is based on the respect I have now for the isolation of motherhood. Being able to quickly connect with someone online is a very grounding experience when the only interaction you have truly gotten in the course of the day is with a teething, drooling, combative toddler and all your 'real friends' (including your partner) are at work. Motherhood definitely needs to be defended, because the start of it is one of the most tumultuous, isolating, confidence-destroying times of a woman's life and if we don't defend it, it will continue to be beaten down and stereo-typed until we are all walking around apologizing for having children and ruining the days of all the naysayers.

However, I wouldn't necessarily say that only mothers can benefit from communities found within social media and the internet without being labeled as dysfunctional loners who crave social interactions via non-physical relationships. As in all facets of life, there are always going to be exceptions, but there are plenty of people with plenty of backgrounds and life experiences who are able to acquire and maintain healthy relationships both online and in person. We shouldn't have to be on the defense if we are able to trust ourselves in our abilities to cultivate relationships.

The important piece here is trust. Trust (whether it be on-line or in person) in the goodness of relative strangers and, more importantly, in yourself to be able to assess the value of any relationship. Because if you can't trust yourself to do that, perhaps your issue isn't what other people are getting out of online relationships, but rather what you are missing in your own life.

I'm pretty sure I'm preaching to the choir here, but figured I would ask; What's your take on this?

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Never did I ever think that it would be more difficult do decide when to have a second child than it was to decide when to have the first.

Little G is amazing and we love him more than we ever even knew was capable. I remember when we decided we wanted to start our family and how exciting and scary that prospect was. But we didn't know anything then. So all of the excitement and scariness stemmed from what we thought we knew and what we figured we didn't know.

But now we know. Oh God, now we know! Going into the thought process of expanding our family knowing what we are getting ourselves into makes the decision of when to have that second one MUCH harder to figure out.

Aside from the overwhelming knowledge of just how hard those first years of raising a child are...there is the consideration of age difference. If they are two years apart, you can have them both out of diapers more quickly but you also have to deal with a TWO YEAR OLD and a newborn!!!!!!!!! Of course, when that newborn is one, than you have a three year old around to help entertain the one year old.

My sister and I are five years apart. We most likely wouldn't have been great friends anyway considering how polar opposite we are from each other...but we might have been better friends if we had been closer in age.

If they are three years apart, you have a newborn and a three year old who might just be a little easier to handle...but when that newborn is one; you have a four year old...and a one year old and a four year old don't really have all that much to talk about.

Of course, why do we have to be so arbitrary...we could aim for...shock...two and a half years apart.

Pretty much the only thing I am confident of is that having Little G expanded my capacity to love in an astounding and profound way thus I know that any addition to our family would cause my heart to grow even more...and who wouldn't want that?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Catching up - Little G's Birthday Bash!

A couple days after your actual birthday was your official birthday party.

You surprised us BIG TIME that morning by sitting up in your crib all by yourself for the very first time (actually, you had done it a few weeks prior in your sleep when we were at Gram and Aunt K's house in PA...but I missed it, therefore it didn't happen). Of course, sitting up is VERY exciting, which meant that you wanted to practice it over and over and over again instead of taking your morning nap. Which ultimately meant that you finally fell asleep just as your guests were arriving!!

No worries, though. We kept them all occupied with yummy caprese salad with tomatoes and basil from mommy's garden...

...and super yummy raspberry-lemonade punch...

...eventually you woke up and joined us for burgers and chicken and hot dogs.

What's got your attention, Little G?

Must be Uncle E testing out your new walker!! Don't worry, we made sure he wouldn't leave with it.

After eating it was time to open presents. Mommy didn't think we should open them because she had heard that no one ever wants to sit around watching a one-year-old not open their presents...but apparently she was wrong because the guest almost threw a coup when they heard her plan to just skip the whole thing.

Thankfully, our friend Marcus was there to help you open some of your gifts:

Aunt M & Uncle E got you this super fun robot puzzle. You conquered it immediately...

...by eating the pieces. That'll show 'em who's boss!

Finally, it was time for cake. Funny story about the cake...mommy was just going to go to the supermarket and get you a cake so you could get messy...but when she saw the ones available she got scared by the crazy bright blue flowers and balloons and all the weird chemicals that must have been in those cakes...so she decided to make a cake but 'not go crazy'. Except that when she got to the cake mix aisle, she got overwhelmed by the amount of indecipherable ingredients on the ready-made cake boxes and decided to make you a cake from scratch...the morning of your party (she's crazy, that one). She'd never decorated a cake before but had some disposable icing bags and tips to try out so she made butter-cream frosting for the first time in her life and colored it with a little food coloring. Then she realised that was probably just as bad as those bright blue balloons on the grocery store cake and almost threw the entire thing out. Thankfully daddy and Miss L talked her out of that. Of course, for the rest of our guests, mommy served up Carvel Ice Cream cake with nary a thought about all the weird, unnatural stuff in that...oh well...adults can handle eating weirdness.

We sang Happy Birthday and let you go at it! But we should have known you wouldn't make a big mess...you're not one to waste food; especially yummy cake!

...eventually, someone decided to cut your cake in half so we could enjoy it as well...I mean, it WAS the Cook's Illustrated Best Recipe for both the cake and the icing...and there was no way you were going to eat the whole thing yourself...

After eating cake you exercised a bit with Miss L by having a scootching race around the kitchen:

Finally, our favorite neighbors came over with a super big present for you...they brought you your very first ride on toy!

You weren't too sure what to make of it at first...

We had to put you on it since you couldn't climb on, and you didn't know where to put your feet!

But you're so smart, you totally figured it out!

Your birthday party was super-fun and it was so nice of everyone to come and help celebrate. I am still amazed every day that in just a year you changed from a newborn to a pseudo-toddler. I guess mommy never had gotten the memo on exactly how much babies grow! We have been having so much fun with you the past couple of months and are truly trying to cherish every moment because we know that you will change even more by your next birthday!

We love you now and always,

Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Catching Up - Little G turns ONE!!

I can't believe it is approaching mid-September and I STILL haven't posted about Little G's birthday. Bear with me as I stroll down memory lane...

...July 8, 2010 - You woke up and we put on your special birthday shirt so you could pose for some today-is-my-birthday-look-at-what-a-big-boy-I-am pictures:

Then, we headed to the car where the best present ever awaited us!!! Since you are a year old now, you can face forward in your car seat. This is a HUGE triumph for mommy as her arms were starting to break while attemping to lift you up and lower you into your seat a-la Lion King presentation pose.

July 8 was BUSY...first we had mommy group at church and then we got some lunch and then we headed to mommy group at the hospital where you were born. You took a nap in the car on the way. It was so fun to finally get to see what you look like when you're sleeping!!

Very cute, indeed!!

After we were done with our activities we headed home and waited for daddy to join us so you could open some presents:

It was a fun day and you got some neat stuff. I can't believe its been another two months since that day! You've changed so much even since then! What an awesome big boy you are.

We love you always,

Mommy and Daddy