Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Street Cred

Bo.okFa.ce (BF) joined 2 worlds for me. 1 -Bloggers I support/received support from 2- people that I have met in actual locations. (keeping generalization simple)

When I first joined BF, I wasn't aware that these 2 worlds would collide. Then the requests started trickling in. I was in a weird place (just given birth, working out career plans, daycare vs no daycare, OMG I am pregnant again, Wait - I'm a Mom now, WHAT?! ...etc Definitively a Very New Life. I wasn't comfortable blogging nor did I have enough time to write coherent, mediocre blogs or be supportive on others' blogs. So BF it was. I thought it was going to be a new way to keep up. Over time, I found my share of things about BF that made it much less "fun". Blogging Was Fun, Informative, Educational, and Supportive. 99.9% of the time Blogging had given me such a rainbow and butterfly feeling or explanded my knowledge or understanding of something. Quite educational and entertaining. In a postive way. BF has become drab, trite, spiteful, mean, passive aggressive .. None of the things I had received when blogging. I naively thought that I could experience the same camaraderie that I received/gave when in a blogging community. But, There are Different rules and standards. Believe me, There are.

Since I have been blogging much more, I have been wondering if more people involved in my local life have knowledge of (or found) my blog. I am learning how to be comfortable in my life and by doing so, I do not make blogging a secret. I also do not make it a focus of conversation. If asked, or if on topic, I will freely "fess up" to blogging. I usually will share the url if asked. I think it's accountability. I do not mind. I just would like people to treat the knowledge respectfully. That is where it slightly weirds me out. Since I AM a worrier by nature, I Worry that things will get taken out of perspective or used against me.

This is where I beg reader to participate in comments. I am interested in your situation. Do people in your local life know you blog? How did you handle it in the beginning? How did you find out people in your local life found your blog or knew you blogged? I have noticed that many of the blogs I follow now have their own BF page in their Blogger Identity. Is this to increase exposure? Has this transition helped the comments on your blogs?

I enjoy good discussions. Let's Discuss.

Also, If you have not yet, Please go and read Stirrup Queens new posts about Blogging and Social Media.

Monday, July 18, 2011

F, A, M, I, L, Y, Part 4

This weekend we traveled to my sister's in laws town to celebrate my niece's first birthday. It was our first road trip with a potty trained toddler. WOW, the trip should have been named Tour De Potty Stops. Thankfully, there were major malfunctions.

Before we left, I had some doubt over this trip. I was stressing over the drive (My parents and kids in the same car for 5+ hrs), money for traveling expenses and hotel, staying in a hotel room w 2 children, hanging w/ my sister, Etc. My brain is always finding something to worry about. Most of the worrying is usually just worry itself. Nonsense, but hard to control, nonetheless.

We left Friday morning after E got home from work. It was also my birthday. It took a bit longer to get there then my father anticipated due to said potty stops for the 3 yr old tiny bladder. BUT, once we got there, we had a great time. My sister appreciated up being there and made time for us. Her in laws are very warm and inviting. (as always)

My sister gave Me and MT birthday presents. She wrote me the sweetest note. It was just want I needed to read and receive. Then after the party, she came back to the hotel we were staying at and spent some time with us chatting. It was better than expected.

She may have read my blog, I don't really know. She, and a handful of family and friends, know I blog and know about this blog existence. But since my hiatus, I am unsure how many still actually read it. But I feel that this weekend was not as strained as a visit as the past visits have been. I feel like we are taking baby Steps. That's all that matters, Progress. It felt good

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cute Baby Saturday

I found a new app for the droid call Retro Camera ... I am in Love !

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

F, A, M, I, L, Y Part3

My sister and I are 4 yrs apart. This never seemed to work in our favor and I do not know why.

As dynamics would have it, We actually had many friends that were siblings. It seemed that 4 yrs was a popular age spread at the time. We would get invited over to the same house or invite the siblings over to our house. There was the ever so popular 2 yrs difference friends, also. Stuck in the middle of our age gap. Of course, all this was while we were younger. Elementary Age. When everyone could play together regardless of age. I mean, who doesn't love to play dolls, "school" (we'd be teachers), house (we were roommates), make up dance and talk shows complete w commercials All recorded either on cassette tape or Vhs, of course.

Then came middle school - Honestly, the first most awkward phase of my life. I have written about it before. I have a fused vertebrate on the top of my spine in my neck. I have 4 to be exact. It does compromise the length of my neck. It is a blend of scoliosis and Klippel-Feil syndrome. I became hyperaware of it around 10 yrs old. Looking or acting different in middle school was not something that you WANT to do... Unless a group of the cool kids were doing, you tended to just want to blend in.

Luckily, I had elementary school friends that still remained as my friends in middle school. I cannot tell a lie, Middle school was hard for me. I was made fun of daily. (but then again, who wasn't) We had a few situations where my parents had to get involved (embarassingly to admit) Bullying is the word I would use to describe it now. My middle school days are hazy and glossed over. I am glad that I do not have to repeat them. Although, I have an understanding that pre-school is not even excempt from bullying these days

I some how made it through middle school and unto high school. My sister and I not crossing paths. Co-existing but not Co-habitation. We faught. A lot. Like siblings do. (or atleast that is what I thought) We had less friends in common. We spent as little time together as possible and avoided eachother at many costs. I was bitter and jealous .. She was the pretty, brainy, perfect one. I was the strong girl (with a chip on my shoulder) who could handle the world all by myself.

We never recovered from the fighting. I went away to college. Then She went away to college. We rarely kept intouch. She had her friends, I had mine. Just weird. We looked like a normal family. Our parents were still together and married. We had siblings, We did family things. We attended the same family functions that we needed or were asked to .... Nothing spectacular, Just normal. Right?, Right?!

A few yrs after I graduated college, I attempted to start dialogue with my sister. I would call but get nowhere. We would end up having the same ole bickering banter and end up not talking to each other for months again. Rinse, repeat this cycle to current day. A yr ago, I called my sister and poured my heart out to her and apologized for things I knew I did, and things that I did not know upset her. Mainly we had decades of bitterness and resentment towards each other. And we may still do. I begged for us to learn how to be siblings. I requested we keep in touch with each other. We both have children now.I want our children to know each other. We made an agreement to make an effort to get to know each other and keep each other in the loop. A quite honestly, We haven't done that. I do feel there is much less hostility towards each other. And that should be commended. But I feel as if neither of us have actually made the effort that moves towards having an actual healthy relationship. We apologized and we said we are going to find ways to keep each other present and relevant in our lives, but we have yet to DO that part.

This weekend is my nieces first birthday. I have only seen her once (for a few days) live and in person. A few months ago, My sister finally start sending me picture texts of her. This weekend, we are driving and staying in a hotel in her in-laws town to attend her 1st birthday party. I am excited for our kids to get to play together.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

F, A, M, I, L Y part 2

If you haven't read yesterdays post, I suggest you read this first:

A few yrs ago (almost 7) my mothers mental health took a hit and after a roller-coaster of a year, she was dx with Late onset Bi-p,olar Disor.der and a yr after that, they changed the diagnosis to bipo.lar ii. Talk about shocking and pulling a rug out from under my feet. Early childhood, my mother was extremely "us" (my sister and I) oriented. She was kool-aid mom. Loved and encouraged us to make friends, try new things, learn new hobbies, genuine, busy. She Did it ALL. My father was in and out for weeks at a time. She showed us love. I felt Loved. Some where around high school age, I recalled that, although I felt the love and warmth from my mom, I barely ever remember being hugged, dotted on or kissed by her. (nor do I recall my grandmother doing these either)

When my mother's mental health erupted, My sister, father and I had to start questioning my mom's relatives for family medical history. We started digging and found out some very helpful information. We also found out that my grandmother is not capable of dealing with things that are not perfect. She chooses to pretend to be unschooled and dismissive. And I find that approach to life to be insulting and uncalled for. We found out from other family members that my great grandfather (her father) would have been dx with several mental illness IF they actually did that back in the early 1900's based on the things His children (my great aunts and great uncle) have shared w us. They have also shared that they think my grandmother suffers from some darker mental health than she is able to admit to, as well. My grandmother has had a rx for z.oloft for as long as I can remember, but we have always half-joked that she takes it like a tyle.nol or a ba.ndaid. Never ever consistent. I do remember around the death of my grandfather, everyone was helping her remember to take the rx properly for a period of time.

It has been almost 7 yrs and my grandmother still claims that she doesn't understand my mother's mental health. She tries to explains my mom as having frayed nerves and a bit down. We have explained to her over and over again that it is a whole lot more than that but when she wants to discuss it, All she hears is, she is tired, nerved and sad. No matter what approach we attempt, this is all she will accept. I have been short tempered and apathetic towards her less than helpful and accommodating attitude.

Then an A-Ha lightbulb came on. This description is how my grandmother copes with her own demons. This is how SHE feels. She does not even have the complex words to describe her own experience. She is not either being honest or capable with being honest with herself.

The problem with my grandmother's tactics are complete opposite to mine.I have this natural ability to be raw. Honest. Yes, to a fault. I have a hard time ignoring the proverbial elephants in a room. I see no point in it. I am not confrontational, I am just tired of trite,fake, people who are hurting are in need of help and getting overlooked. No one is perfect. Looks are deceiving. The grass is not greener. Some times life sucks and the rose colored glasses need a break and you need to be honest and deal with the matter at hand in order to get things right again instead of adding another vice or picking up more crippling coping skill to the mix.

I write all of this to admit that now my biggest fear in life is that somewhere along the way, I wake up one morning to find out that I was swallowed up by Late on set Bi-polar or Bi-Polar ii and stop being able enjoy the life I had before I went to sleep the night before. There, I said it..and typed it.

F, A, M, I, L, Y

Recently, Reading a few blogs that are participating in the Summer Camp and a few other blogs on family and friendship have had my brain stirring. Well, truth be told, these thoughts were already swirling around my head but these blogs sparked more dribbles of thoughts/concerns that I have had ever since I have created my own family and trying to establish our own family values and traditions.

If I had to categorize my family, we seem pretty average. Nothing more, nothing less. My mother,when I was growing up, was extremely accommodating, available, and very gentle but not a push over. She was a elementary teacher by trade but chose stayed at home after I was born.

My father, a commercial shrimper until I was 14 yrs old, was the fun but disciplinary unit. He would be gone for weeks at a time. He would come in for a few days and then load up the boats and go back out. It was a family business, therefore He would be out with his cousins/uncles and my mom and I would hang out with my dad side of the family (cousins, aunts, etc) or we would travel to the towns that they were going to unload their boats in.

When I turned 5, my mother wanted to pick a location to settle into. We had a house in North Carolina. When we would come to FL, we stayed at my Aunt and Uncles house. My dad's family seemed to be shrimping more in FL. I am unsure how the decision was made but after my 5th birthday in July, I started kindergarten at a school a block from my aunt/uncle's house in FL. Eventually, They ended up selling the house in NC and buying a house in FL and giving me a baby sister . (actually the same house my family is sharing w my parents now)

After we officially moved here, my mother got us involved in a very youth oriented active church. My sister and I both attended youth events there from elementary school age all the way through high school. During those HS years for me, I found it challenging to attend but was mandated on many occasions to attend by my parents.

Since my parents moved to us FL, my mother's side of the family never seemed to make time for us Unless We would travel to see them. Her mother was very upset/bitter by the move and still continues to be bitter over it 30 yrs later. My mom has 1 younger brother (5yr younger) that is very involved in his work and making his company.

So, somehow 600 miles has put a wedge huge canyon in our relationships. I can honestly count on 1 hand how many times my maternal grandmother/father, uncle and aunt have come to visit us in Fl over the past 30 yrs of living in this town. But I can verify w/ photographic proof that my mother (and/or) father took us every summer and Christmas until we graduated high school to spend time visiting our family. We did spend Easters, minor holidays and thanksgivings with them up until I entered high school and other things interfered with traveling. But Summer and Christmas was mandatory. Non negotiable - and no way we could get them to come visit us in Fl instead. As I got older, I recognized how 1 sided this had become and expressed my opinion to many. Feelings got hurt and some visits were strained and tense. In my college days, there were a mix of rebellious, different priorities, jobs, homework and a lose of interest pleasing one sided relationships. I did not go as often as we did as when we were younger and were mandated (by my grandmother guilting my mom for all her life into anything) to go.

I know it all sounds like a poorly written, dead end ramble but to me it made me realize things about my mother and her/our family unit. My mom has turned into her mother and allowing the same things that hindered my relationship w my grandmother growing up to affect our relationship and her relationship w my children. The expectations my mother has for my children are the same as my grandmother's expectations for my sister and I. They want them around BUT they do not want to be bothered by them. They want them to sit quietly on the floor and read or play anything quietly and orderly. Never getting messy or creating a mess. Do as they tell them to do and use their imagination and creativity....Quietly, orderly, structurally, politely and respectfully. Well they go about their daily tasks and interactions. I am unsure of WHY this is -But it is. And it causes the most friction in our relationships.

*apparently I have so much to say about this that I already am drafting 2 or 3 more blogs on this topic. who knew this would be part 1 ...too be continued

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

All around the Limbo World

Gonna do the Limbo Rock. Are you singing it yet, because this song and Won't you be my neighbor" are on repeat in my head these days

More bullets Because I still cannot make a coherent thought
  • I wanted to do Calliope's Summer Camp .. I have missed 5 days, I may jump in soon
  • I am STILL living under the roof of my parents and Nerves are getting pinched (everyone's)
  • We are not saving as much dinero as I expected. (Car A/C went out, Repairing Credit, 3rd Bday, storage rental, upgrade cell phones/plans, eating out due to trying to give everyone space, having to travel to my nieces first bday and get a hotel)
  • Hoping Time is on Our Side when it comes to having clarifications show up on our Credit Report
  • Have I mentioned 4 Adults, 2 Toddlers Under 1900 sq ft and a Mutant Mosquito Infestation that is limited our outside time
  • MY 17 yr old SIL - that was a FIASCO! She kept saying that My MIL told her that not all babies grow the same way and that maybe eventually there would be a heartbeat if they just gave it time. Again, a very touchy subject and lots of lies, nastiness and crap came out of a terrible situation. My poor SIL was bleeding and still would not give up the hope. I mean Hope that like should be rewarded and my MIL should be punched in the face for such delusional BS she fed my SIL.... We also found out that my 17 yr old SIL intentional tried to get pregnant w her 24yr old Live in Boyfriend ( they live with my MIL and MIL's 39 yr old BF - she prides herself for being a Cougar) Oh I could dedicate a whole Blog to My Inlaws
I have many blogs in my head but right now the loudest post is about social media. Let's see if I can articulate this:

I am just going to spit it out and work from there - IMHO, Of all the social media networks, BaceFook has seemed to have the most impact on the majority. As bloggers we already knew that some people misrepresent themselves on the internet but it wasn't the norm. We all knew that there were people following our blogs but there was still a lot of anonymity.

Bacefook came along and suddenly, everyone and their great-grandmother had a BF account and started making connections. Bringing to light that the internet can be "personal". We, as bloggers, also knew well before BF came along, that the internet can be personal and bring people together for a good cause and support system. But the average was made more aware.

My point to all of this is that BF upped a game that a vast majority did not know was being played. Nor, IHMO, did they know that there are understood rules to play/participate. So, there were plenty of people running around playing/participating a game they know none of the rules to. I am sure you can come up with some of the rules I am referring to. People became exposed to blogging..or the Underground as I call it.

All of this rambling to declare that I find an enormous amounts of Fouls being committed on the internet all revolving around a certain Social Media network. It gave a huge population a little taste and a lot of information that makes them dangerous.

I should state that I adore social media. I love blogging, tweeting, I enjoy supporting and learning - but I do not love being made fun of, back stabbed or judged because of others perspectives, ideas or thrill of voyeurism. For me, BF has made me more confident in the decisions I make and the fun I participate in and with whom I invite into my world. What about you?