Wordless Wednesday

Matt bought Lily a guitar last week. She loves it and travels with it everywhere these days.

We have been enjoying her songs and so do the fairies.

Singing to the fairies

Enjoy your sounds of summer!

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BlogHer newbie

On August 6 – 7,  2010, a HUGE Blogging Conference for women comes to NYC. It’s called BlogHer. This is a conference for parent bloggers where attendees are educated with a plethora of seminars and panel discussions all relating to parenting, and blogging and the business of it all.

I found out about BlogHer a few months back and it was too late to buy tickets…they were completely sold out.

My old High School Marching Band friend Kim, who writes the blog “flutiemcd”,  gave me her ticket because she couldn’t attend and BAM… just like that I have been obsessed  with all things BlogHer. It’s all very exciting really!

Exciting…until the barrage of emails about parties and information started flooding my inbox.

I have stylists contacting me, PR people calling me to confirm “private parties”, I’m being pressured to find a sponsor, I have people sending me products in the hopes I use said products during this 2 DAY conference and even the good folks over at Martha Stewart want me to hang out on a rooftop with them…it’s a good thing!

It’s a bit overwhelming.. really…but oh so fun!

So I reached out to some of my favorite parent bloggers who know what they are doing and I asked them for some advice. These women are so very sweet and generous for sharing this valuable information with me. So in turn…I share this with you.

I asked the question: “What advice do you have for a BlogHer newbie?”


BETH FELDMAN – ROLE MOMMY

Before you get there, select the sessions you’d like to attend at BlogHer and then, when you have down time, work the events you’ve been invited to around that schedule.  The premise of BlogHer is to educate budding writers about all aspects of blogging, ethical practices, emerging technologies and monetization.  Get an education during those days and speak with the panelists afterwards – that’s where you can truly make some valuable connections.

As far as the countless events – use the buddy system.  Don’t go alone or you will feel like a wallflower at a party.  Instead, bring 1 or 2 girlfriends and enjoy yourself.  The goal of the parties is for you to connect with the hosts and brands.  And the goal for many returning bloggers is to see each other since they don’t get the chance to connect in person that often – so don’t feel like you’re being shut out of a clique!  It’s more like a big sorority reunion and you’re now part of the pledge group (at least you don’t have to go through initiation).  If you have made connections with other writers across the country, reach out to them and see if you can meet them in person.  Do party geography and find out if you’re attending the same events.  And if all else fails, meet them at the BlogHer convention…pick a booth, pick a time to meet, and you are golden.


ESTIE  BERKOWITZ- PRIMETIME PARENTING

My 7 tips for surviving blogher

1. Be your brand, don’t look at what everybody else is doing or where they are going, we are not in HS anymore (but at times events like this can sure feel that way)

2. Talk to the brands that touch your niche, reach out and give them your business cards

3. Make a list of some of the bloggers that you really want to meet and that you follow on twitter

4. Be a great listener! Everybody has an interesting story to tell

5. Don’t say negative things about anybody else, even if they just dissed you!

6. Try not to save seats an entire table just for the bloggers that you know. Branch out and leave some empty seats, you will really make a first time BlogHer feel so happy!

7. Just have fun! Smile and if you need a “time out”, it is okay to do that, these events are very busy and loud. After a few minutes away from the scene, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to enjoy your time.

CAROL CAIN – NYCITYMAMA

My biggest advice is to double check you calendar before the event and really take out those events, meetings, or gatherings that you can really go with out.

NYC is HOT in August. Hot and humid. Walking just two long NYC blocks can be extremely tiring and difficult to do when running on low energy or sleep. Map out where everything is happening and be realistic about you ability to attend. Don’t feel bad if you have to cancel or can’t attend a bloggy friend’s event.

Focus on the panels. That is after all what you paid for?  There is a lot of potential to walk away with something new. But sometimes you don’t. And when that happens, where you still have questions or are left confused, use the massive resources around you: your fellow blogger and social media friends. Ask them questions, express your thoughts and ask for clarity.  We often learn more from the informal conversations with our peers and get more from the panels after the fact in this way.

Lastly, when you are tired, rest. Rest, rest, rest. Take advantage of the space BlogHer has provided attendees to relax, gather your thoughts, and just chiil out. Don’t worry that you are missing it all by stepping away for an hour.  Take care of yourself. It’s make you happier and a more plesant person to hang with later on.


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* check out : http://www.blogher.com/blogher-10

* if you are going to BlogHer10 make sure you visit all the above mentioned ladies sites as I am sure they will have great advice and info to share with you!

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Wordless Wednesday

Ginger Tea

PLUS

Lite Beer

makes for one great summer beverage!

Try it out!

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Who Does She Think She Is?

I was asked to be on a panel for the screening of the Documentary, “Who Does She Think She Is?”.

Who Does She Think She Is? is new documentary film directed by Academy Award winning producer, Pamela Tanner Boll. The film follows the struggles and joys of five women trying to lead creative lives as artists while keeping up as parents and partners. For these women, art does not have to be “self-centered,” and care-taking doesn’t have to be “selfless,” and it is in fact the mix that gives them their vitality.

I was on a panel with 5 additional artists all of who are mothers as well.

The 5 women in the film were mostly visual artists and one performance/theatre artist. There wasn’t a dancer represented and I felt that my issues with creating art and being a parent are vastly different from those of  visual artists. No offense visual artists, but hear me out.

Visual artists are typically described as those who work with mediums such as canvas, paints, paper, metal, stone, clay, photography..etc

As a dance performance artist, I work with a company. I am not a solo artist and while the women in the film found time late at night to work on their craft, I cannot do that. It is physically dangerous to have dance rehearsals at midnight and I don’t think I would be able to find any dancer willing to put their body in that sort of harm.

My creative process is very intense, I immerse myself in my projects and it consumes me. In the art world you hear this saying, ” your piece of art is like birthing a baby“. It comes from within you with a lot of love and hard work and preparation. The idea of waking up extra early to create dance just does not fully work. Also, you have to take into consideration the power of the creative mind…it can strike at any time and what do you do when you have the sweetest 5 Year Old needing care and attention and love and dinner? I for one ignore the creative mind and go with the mommy brain. It’s painful.

Today, I had a crappy day, actually I have had a crappy few weeks really, I just can’t find a way to work on my art and be a parent…where is the balance? Who do I think I am?? Do I really think I can manage this?

I started this blog as a creative outlet. When we had Lily, I had to curb my dance career. Yes I did. as much as I would like to think I didn’t…I did. It was really tough for a long time. I cried about losing my life, I weeped about losing my dance, I mourned the loss of my art community and immersed myself in mommy world.

I lost friends over being a parent. Relationships that were near and dear to me were lost because I had a child and this took up my time and I was unable to function as a social butterfly.

I started this blog to find my voice again and to have an outlet that did not necessarily have to deal with using my “passive” voice all the time. I created this blog so I could write about Lily and how amazing she is, I created this blog so I could have this community that gets what I am saying, and I created this blog for survival..really.

So I thank you, Dear Reader for nudging me along with your kind comments. Everytime I get a comment on my posts I feel like its a lifeline.

My little blog has become not so little and I find this being my “jobby” = hobby that’s pretending to be a job. I make no money off of this. It is purely for my sanity.

I have opportunities coming my way all the time and while I made a decision to NOT be a fulltime working parent, I find myself working fulltime on my blog… in addition to making dances of course.

Is it too much for a mom to want to be more than a mom? meaning…want another title?

I have lost ME in this Mom-me.

I find a resistance to this. My mommy friends sometimes think I’m nuts. Maybe I am. Maybe being a mom is not fully satysfying, maybe I need additional stimulation to make me a better mom. I need to be inspired, and while laundry is ultra challenging, (I mean my guest bedroom has a mound of clean laundry on the bed, it’s shameful!), I have this need for intellegence, inspiration, mental stimulation and big words as opposed to,”do you need to go potty”.

Is it too much to want to make your ‘jobby’ your job? While being a parent?

Since starting this blog, I have been published in publications, offered ‘expert’ advice on many outlets, been invited to fab events all through NYC and receive “presents’ in the mail daily! This blog has given me something that my daily life couldnt … drive, inspiration, truth and stimulation.

The truth is, parents are people and these people are real and this switch of person to parent is a tough one…for some. It does not happen quickly and it sometimes does not happen without a loss, a mourning of a previous life. It’s ok to mourn your pre-parent life, you should do that for closure and then celebrate, celebrate fully your parent life. I find myself wanting more than what’s in front of me. I find it hard for me to settle with the repitition of parenthood.  Is it too much to want a little more than the daily routine that revolves around your kid?

I think it’s in my creative nature to want to learn about the environement which I am in. Not only to learn… but to contribute. This is my nature and it’s purely a part of who I am. I can’t sit on the sidelines and WATCH it happen, I want to help MAKE it happen, I want to invest in my life and my childs life , which is also…my life.

So is it too much to want more for YOUR parent- life?

The answer that I have come to is

NO. Find a balance and go for it.

What is your answer?

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Fireman’s Parade

Summer is the time of parade’s in our small town. I love parade season, we get to see our neighbours and enjoy being outdoors.

The Fireman’s Parade is our favorite. Mainly because Matt and I are both current members of the Hook and Ladder Company.

We haven’t been active since we have had Lily, but we still hold the experience and our membership close to our heart. I joined to Volunteer Fire Department 7 years ago as a way to give back to our community. The volunteer fireman in our town are a great group of men and women and I wish I had more time to be an active member.

I remember my first fire call, it was at a house on top of this hill and I was part of the external team, I had not yet taken my required classes to be on the internal team. As we pulled up to the house, the family was standing outside with their dog…I ran right up to the family in my gear and the first thing that comes out of my mouth was…”Oh my goodness is that a Great Pyrenees, I have a Newfoundland! ” They had a giant dog as well.


Feels like summer just started!

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The ‘WHY’ Song

Lily writes songs all day. She makes then up and I capture them on video or write them down and we make dances with her melodies or serenade Jonah.

Of all her amazing songs about …well everything, there is one song that always stands out and keeps making a comeback. It’s the WHY song.

The lyrics are beautiful, and very touching and real. The simplicity of her lyrics makes a powerful statement.

Dear reader…the WHY song

Why is this love

Why are you there

Why am I here

Look at this stuff

Why is this love

What could it be

Why is it this

What is this world

Why am I here

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Wordless Wednesday

Lincoln Duncan was my first dog.

He was a Newfoundland. He was a wedding present, he passed away last February and I miss him really terribly.

Lincoln’s birthday was this week, he would have been 9.

Dogs are great you know, they somehow manage to make you a better person!

Lily misses Lincoln too. She made kites and sent them up to heaven so Lincoln could read her messages. She also says, “Jesus give me back my dog, you need to get your own dog”.

*not a very “wordless” wednesday after all.


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Free Time

I have no time for  anything these days, and the nasty heat that we have been blessed with here in the North East doesn’t help motivate me in any way. Summer is a lot of fun in our house and sometimes I forget that because I think of all the things I need to accomplish in my other life, grants the need to be written or proposals that need to be sent or rehearsals that need to be booked. ugh! don’t get me started. Sometimes I need to chill and let it be!

I came across this really sweet little screen saver at RealSimple.

It’s a free download so enjoy!

Click here to get your now!

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Tale about the Tail

I have noticed that sometimes Jonah’s tail wags side to side and other times it goes around in circles.

What does this mean?

Dogs, like humans have many subtleties and complexities in showing their emotions.

The most common tail- emotion recognition is

tail between the legs = submissive or afraid.

Wagging of the tail =happy or excitement.

But my doggie’s tail goes in circles…and he has a huge tail, he’s a giant breed you know!

What does THIS circular wag  mean?

So I did some research and found out the following:

Tail wagging side to side = greeting, happy greeting.
Breaking that down we find:
  • when the tail wags dominantly to the right = the dog is greeting it’s owner/one it loves
  • when tail wags dominantly to the left = greeting another dog, an acquaintance or unfamiliar dominant human/dog

Upright tail with slow paced wagging/movement = alert/on guard/something’s up. (Jonah usually is tracking a squirrel)

Upright or horizontal with no movement = really on guard, something unfamiliar this way comes.

Circles = Pure uncontrolled excitement! The dog’s brain has too many signals of love and excitement flowing and the tail in reaction wags in large uncontrolled circles of pure joy!

Your doggie loves ya!!!

Dogs laugh, but they laugh with their tails.  ~Max Eastman, Enjoyment of Laughter

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