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I’m here, I’m well, and I’m shuffling along with the #ZombieMoms

Posted by RadioRedHead on April 5, 2011 in baby, Blogging, Cottage, Family, Internet, Norbert, Wil

So although I am well overdue on a few posts (like oh, ummm Blissdom Canada 2010, my new car!, my new baby!, my new cottage! etc.) I’ve had some recent motivation (a deadline!) to get my act together and write a post. Funny I am doing this on my *gasp!* 36th birthday, but I feel as though it is a gift to myself because I am finally HERE. So needless to say I have MUCH more to share, but today on my birthday, I wanted to write a a little about my recent online experience as one of the many #ZombieMoms. Funny enough is that most of my overdue posts have a common theme. That theme is Social Media and more specifically Twitter.

I attended Blissdom last year to give me some motivation to blog this year and now that things with baby are getting into more of a routine I am really looking forward to that. My new car of course was a result of me responding to a tweet that entered me into a contest, and my new baby came into this world in a way online, since I tweeted & posted on Facebook throughout my labour. Because of Blissdom last year I met more and more amazing women, and have connected with more and more amazing people through the amazingness that is Twitter. I’ve even reconnected with some people I knew from back in the day! (Highschool)

But to get to my point, I love Twitter as it is:
a) Easy
b) Fast
c) Short
d) Always there
e) Did I mention easy? (I’m lazy at heart)
f) Builds Relationships

And F is precisely why I am writing this post. You see, I have been tweeting a lot with other new moms, preggos & parents. It’s been so wonderful to be able to reach out to people in the middle of the night (when the babe was waking a lot), to women who understand and can relate to all the questions I have (even though I’m on kid #2), the questions that come back since my Zombie Mom brain has forgotten, the NEW questions I have, or even just to be able to commiserate with others who are/were in the same boat. These late night/early morning conversations grew to many fellow twitter peeps (or tweeps) & we quickly ran out of characters to tweet or chat with (for those of you not in the know, twitter posts or tweets are limited to 140 characters). Soooooo, we’ve started a hashtag thread (something you can search/follow) called #ZombieMoms – the perfect description for our lovely bunch. In approx. 2 weeks we have had MANY more tweeps responding to, and adding to the #ZombieMoms conversation & I frankly I think it’s just the tip of the iceberg. These women are amazing, funny, insightful & most of all – supportive.

In order to promote and celebrate this amazing group we are tweeting/blogging like crazy tomorrow (April 6) to show the Twitterverse who we are & to demonstrate one of the great realities of Twitter – bringing people together.

Of course (nerd up!) I feel this way about the internet in general, since I have so many great relationships with both IRL (in real life) friends on Facebook, and other friends I have known online for years on BabyCenter. These friends keep me smiling and keep me connected, especially now that I’m livin’ in the country and *mostly* (but certainly not for long) housebound with a newborn. (He’s great by the way, and I’ll be posting more about him in an upcoming post. Oh yeah the car is the shizzle too, just ask my husband since he drives it everyday).

So… (1/2 an hour later Newfoundland,) I give you some of my recent “Mombie” (Mom + Zombie = Mombie) moments:

  • My new baby (Mr. 2) does NOT like a soother. Loves Me. He is gaining 1/2 pound a WEEK. He’s almost 10 weeks old & weighs close to 14 POUNDS. (He was 8lbs when he was born)
  • He was born in January. This winter is WAY too long. Can’t WAIT for better weather so we can outside more. We live on the Bruce Trail. It’s mocking me.
  • I LOVE my PVR. I LOVE my iPad. I LOVE my cell phone. I LOVE the internet. I LOVE speaker phone. Nerd Up! (See my Yummy Mummy Club post re: technology for those on Maternity leave here: Nerd’s Guide to Maternity Leave Hoping to do a follow-up post in the near future).
  • I was speaking to my husband the other day on the cordless phone while pouring myself a glass of milk. I promptly put down the phone, and walked around talking to the glass of milk. I clued in when I heard him yelling from the other room: “I can’t hear you….. where did you go???!!!!”
  • I’ve had mastitis twice already & all I can say is I feel as though I have conquered nearly dying.
  • My boobs are so big I’ve had to resort to wearing sport-type nursing bras all the time. Don’t know what I will do if I actually had to wear something NICE. Umm, when an H cup is too small, you really, seriously, consider post-breastfeeding surgery options.
  • Mr. 2 is harder than Mr. 1. He cries more. A LOT more.
  • Wil (Mr.1) is in daycare a LOT more than I expected. This way he isn’t watching TV all day. It’s good for both of us. His “home” days are even more special as a result.
  • We tried our 1st bottle tonight and the Mr. 2 HATED it. I’m wondering if I’ll ever be able to go out without him.
  • My husband (Robb) sometimes dreads coming home, as even though I work from home and therefore find more and more “jobs” to do around the house, imagine when I’m NOT working. Let’s just say the list is growing. Oh yeah, did I mention we bought a cottage too? Now I have 2 lists!!!
  • Having a shower more often than every 3 days is HEAVEN. And “doing” my hair? – JOYOUS.
  • I still LOVE the miracle blanket. He’s been sleeping 7-9 hours in a row at night for the last few weeks. YES!!! Now if only I went to bed at a decent time!
  • Mr. 2 has the most adorable smile and dimples ever. Like THE cutest. He’s also starting his baby talk. I’m so in love.
  • Mr. 1 is an AMAZING big brother. He is really proud of his baby brother & is so sweet and affectionate with him. We feel so lucky.

  • As usual I’m long winded, but in honour of the #ZombieMoms mad-tweeting planned for tomorrow, I’ll add to the list with some more of my “Mombie” moments or brainwaves as they come to me. (wait – do Zombies HAVE brains???)

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    “Are you sitting down?”

    Posted by RadioRedHead on November 7, 2010 in baby, Blogging, Internet, Norbert, WTF

    …this is what I heard on the other end of the phone line last Wed. October 27th after the caller asked for me. Needless to say I pretty confused and wary, but continued with the conversation. I continued to speak with Cathy – a pleasant promotions company rep who after I told her that yes, indeed I was sitting down – proceeded to advise me that I was the “selected entrant” in a recently entered contest. An online contest to win a Chevrolet CRUZE. Which in case you have been living in a hole for the last week in a half during an HIGHLY promoted marketing campaign and don’t realize – is a CAR. I WON A CAR. I think what followed from my end was “Holy Sh*t!” a number of times, and although at that moment my mind was racing, it most certainly processed the info even if my responses contained some (typical) flowery lingo.

    Rewinding a few weeks: I had been reading my twitter feed while sitting for almost 3 hours in a doctor’s office getting my blood sugar tested at regular intervals (after drinking a 75g of sugar McDonalds-like orange drink) for Gestational Diabetes. It was the LONG version (being a pre-diabetic I was considered high risk) and I had been enjoying a hyper sugar high tweeting how much I loved the iPad etc. as it was really helping the time go by. I caught a tweet from a blogger I follow, Sharon DeVellis. She was participating in the Chevrolet City Challenge and was sending out tweets about her team’s progress and advising her followers to follow & support the team by heading to the website. So I did (what the hell, right? – I was sitting waiting for HOURS to pass) and by supporting the team I was entered in a contest to win a car. Fast forward to “Holy sh*t!” and there you have it. They drew MY name. I was a person that actually won something. Wow. I was DYING to share, but GM wanted to first, so my next tweet was “Ok all I can say right now is OMG”.

    The strange coincidence of it all is that GM was the major sponsor of the Blissdom Canada conference I was planning to attend the following 2 days. I was even heading to the opening party that night. It is a conference aimed at and for social media enthusiasts, of all things. I asked the lovely Cathy on one of our interactions that day if they realized the winner of the contest was attending the conference (they didn’t). There will be more to come on the conference in my next post, but in any case, not only were they the conference sponsor, but they were providing Chevy Cruze test drives throughout it, chauffeuring us to Blissdom Canada events after hours, and well – promoting the Cruze. MY car. The car I won!

    After meeting and speaking with the lovely Adria, at the party (she is the GM Canada Media Relations rep), it was decided to announce my win during the president of GM’s opening keynote speech at the conference the following day. It was absolutely SURREAL until that moment, and after the token photo op with him and being handed the “key” to my new car, it all sunk in.

    Me, my belly and the president of GM.

    The President of GM, my belly and I after announcing my car win. Photo courtesy of http://caseymullins.me

    What an AMAZING way to start the conference, and as Heather Greenwood-Davis (a travel writer/blogger) said to me upon meeting her it was the best “ROI of Twitter” she had ever heard of. I would have to agree. I feel so incredibly lucky and thank my lucky stars that:
    a) I took my GTT test that day (and passed with flying colours!)
    b)I am learning the rewards and benefits of social media
    c) being a nerd rocks! #NerdUp!
    I look forward to the process of building/ordering the car and of course pimping it out to my liking (gotta get all the techy gadgets of course!). Translated = no I don’t have it yet, but I’ll post as soon as I do!

    And you know the next time I hear from my wonderful, loving and supportive husband about how I am “twitter-booking” too much, I have a pretty good response: “Hey Mr., I won a CAR!”

    My new car![/caption]

     
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    Blissdom Canada!

    Posted by RadioRedHead on October 24, 2010 in Blogging, Family, Internet, Music, Norbert, The Hills
    BlissDom Canada

    I can’t believe I have signed up to go, as I will be in the company of some AMAZING female bloggers, brands/businesses, but I am SUPER excited as I hope to get my butt into gear for blogging next year and perhaps to finalize on some new ideas I have milling around in my head. If nothing else, it will be an opportunity for me to connect with many other moms/bloggers who share the same love the of the internet/social media that I have. I find that in my closest circle of friends and family, I don’t have the same support I will need to progress forward into this community, likely because they aren’t a part of it, and just don’t GET it. Maybe that should be a future post topic – trying to EXPLAIN it all and what this social media universe is all about.
    I am happy although to have seen the small amount of influence I have had in this realm with my closest network; whether it be touting the benefits and fun of blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn or even owning a Mac, it seems that SOME people take my advice (at least sometimes). In a lot of cases people have taken the advice and RAN with it, well beyond my daily interaction anyway. Happy to see it happen as I am one that loves the advances in technology and I’m very interested in striking the right life balance needed with all these digital influences. (i.e. can’t remember the last time I read an entire REAL book, so picking that back up is really a focus for me next year, as I used to LOVE reading).

    As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m happy to share, and it’s done informally and intermittently now, so I hope to use my blog to continue to share – whether it be about my daily happenings, or my favorite mom/baby products, technology/gadgets or just music & bands I think that my extended world NEEDS to know about. Just ask my twin sister – she has beared the brunt often of my passionate INSISTENCE that she listen to a song RIGHT now. Usually, she quickly understands why thankfully. Right, Dawn? πŸ˜‰

    Anyway just a quick note to say how excited (and nervous) I am to be going… now just trying to figure out a costume for a 6month pregnant belly. I’m thinking a pregnant nun at this point – hey wouldn’t THAT be a cardinal sin?

    Quick pic from our family hike last weekend – we’ve been having AWESOME weather on the weekends…this hike ran about 2.5 hours after we took an unknown side trail off the Bruce – needless to say I was pretty sore last week, and feeling MUCH more pregnant. I can’t believe I am now in my 3rd trimester!

     
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    It’s Fall Again…

    Posted by RadioRedHead on September 29, 2010 in Blogging, Family, Music, Vacations, Wil

    …. and I love it. I love the colour of the trees all around us that seem to have hit their peak this past weekend. I want to whip out my camera at every turn, and yet those moments where I think of it – I don’t have it with me. Doesn’t that always happen? The cell phone shots just don’t cut it. I have a busy jam-packed weekend ahead but hope to sneak in a hike and will for sure take my camera.

    Happenings of late: We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary on Sept. 16th. I still can’t really believe that much time has passed or that in fact we have been together for 17 years now. Time flies when you’re having fun. We had always discussed going away for our 10th (perhaps back to a lovely honeymoon-like destination) but have decided that trip will wait until I’m not preggo anymore and I can really have some fun. Instead we have “treated” ourselves to some home purchases we have needed for a while – exciting things like a ceiling fan for the family room (we removed the old one when we moved in and I couldn’t find one I liked to replace it), an area rug, and we ordered some furniture to allow some more seating when people are over! Lastly, we bought and put together Wil’s new set of bunkbeds for his room. He is absolutely thrilled with them, and has agreed for now to sleep on the bottom and save the top for naps and for when friends are sleeping over. I’ll take a pic of it soon and post it. It’s quite an enormous addition to his room, but provides some storage and also has a desk at one end, so I think it will be great for many years to come.

    This past weekend we were in Ottawa for Robb’s niece’s wedding. It was at the National Gallery and was beautiful. Since the wedding was on Friday and it was a long drive, we decided to make a weekend out of it and stayed to take Wil to the children’s museum at the museum of civilization. He LOVED it and was completely pooped by the time we left and passed out in the car RAW. He really enjoyed seeing all of his young 2nd cousins at the wedding (and at the museum) and hasn’t stopped talking about when we would see everyone next.

    Our last day in Ottawa was spent hooking up with a local photographer (@EastScene) I hooked up with through Twitter – HERE are some of his pics. You might notice some familiar faces on pic # 268! He also runs the music blog EastScene and takes some kick-ass band photos! I was trying to maximize the time we all had together and I had seen some of his shots from another twitter user that I follow (@ErinBlaskie) so reached out and thought maybe he could help us out with some much-needed family shots. We all met in Gatineau Park at the Mackenzie King Estates and spent about 2.5 hours hanging out and chasing Wil around. The pics I have seen so far turned out great so I can’t thank him enough! Here is one of my faves at the moment, which Brennan (our photographer) pointed out was Wil’s version of the Leonardo DiCaprio Internet Meme. So true and too funny! As you can see he had his trusty “doggy” with him for this pic – one toy he has recently liked to take with him on special occasions, so we had to include it in his pics!

    Wil meme

    Wil doing the Leo Strut!

    So I’m being short and sweet today (for me anyway), but frankly QUITE stressed and busy with work these days but hope to at least use the blog as an outlet here and there, and start sharing some of my pics again! I have MANY! Also still working on my plans for next year’s blogging adventures and still very much looking forward to the conference next month. I can’t wait to meet all the amazing people whose blogs I love, and whose twitter streams sometimes get me through my day! I do plan to update and feature blogs/people I follow so that the rest of my readers can benefit too. Stay tuned!

    TTFN and thanks for reading – comments are always appreciated.

     
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    Former Blogger, long suspected dead – Returns!

    Posted by RadioRedHead on September 13, 2010 in baby, Blogging, Family, Internet, Norbert, Random Thoughts, Wil

    My name is Dana and it’s been 300 Days or 42 Weeks and 6 Days since I’ve last blogged. Insane. Crazy. WTF. I am sure any readers I did have in the past have long since given up, and I’m lucky to get 10 hits a week these days. But I suppose that is good considering there has been nothing new since LAST November.

    Your question is why? It is not a simple answer. There are many reasons… One being my distraction with other things in life and one of those are my other interests online. I am loving the social media world and exploring it any chance I get (which isn’t often enough in my opinion). Really starting to get into Twitter, and have found it to be a great resource and a great place to interact with others around the world. My struggle with it is that most significant twitter users share their blog URL online too, and I guess I haven’t been ready to take that leap (not that any savvy internet user couldn’t find it if they tried). At the moment, (or at least in the past) my blog followers have been friends and family just simply keeping up with what is going on in my life, and now that many are on Facebook, I feel as though I have nothing new to share. Which of course it not true. Facebook and twitter allow for quick and mindless updates – right up my alley. I am by no means a writer (unless you consider system documentation, business/system requirements writing). Haha. There are SO many talented writers on the web these days and SO many amazing blogs that I find when I have time to geek out online I am checking out blog posts of others, catching up on Facebook, checking my twitter feed, or trying to follow news that interests me. I have been online regularly now for over 15 years, which blows me away but also makes me think I may have missed the boat in some ways as far as really maximizing what I know and what I knew and using it to my advantage, and even to perhaps?!? incorporating it into something more full-time? As it has rapidly become one of my main interests, other things have fallen to the wayside (which I suppose is typical) but I have certainly enjoyed exploring and more often that not SHARING over the years with my own personal network the benefits of the internet, social media, new computers, digital cameras, blogs, websites, music to check out – you name it. I DO enjoy being that go-to person, but trying to keep up with everything has been daunting to say the least. I have never been the most organized people (with procrastination being my middle name), and if I was a kid today I would likely have been diagnosed with ADHD. This I think, has led to my diligence as a blogger to be intermittent at best, and since Mr. Wil was born, more of a place to document his progress in photos (at least up until age 2!), rather than anything really significant to SAY.

    As usual, I am babbling but all this is to say that I have not given up on this blog – I’ve been here since 2004, and my goal for next year is to really FOCUS on what I want to bring to it, and also what I want to do ONLINE on a regular basis. As I alluded to earlier, I am fascinated with the emerging world of social media, and have been amazed by the power of an online community for social change, networking & technology in general as it constantly evolves. See here for one amazing example I was proud to participate in. I absolutely LOVE the community of moms who regularly blog about their daily struggles/advice + tidbits and feel like I could have something to contribute to this sphere. I really decided to register for Canada’s first Blissdom Conference in October which I am super excited about. I think it might help me to hone in on how best I could continue doing something I love on a regular basis and how to incorporate my knowledge and areas of interest into either my personal blog here, or perhaps a new venture of some kind (I have some ideas).

    In any case, I am REALLY interested in knowing how to balance the personal info that people share online with the world with the ability to tell a story, share an experience or what I prefer, a laugh. I am still hesitant to give out my personal blog address to my twitter followers, all 363 of them (and growing), as I feel that removes at least some of the anonymity I have with that world, which you do not have with Facebook since your followers are your friends and real-life acquaintances. I hope to learn how to better engage with any audience I do have, and how to grow it into what I want. How do you start? Well you have to have a set goal & intention for your blog, and your audience and I hope to get that nailed down first. Also really need to focus on how to balance working at home/being a Stay-at-Home-Mom for a year, and how to plan my time online better now and in the future.

    This blog’s intention was to share my thoughts and happenings, and although intermittent I feel that it was what I was doing. In future, I would like my ACTUAL online presence to be reflected here, and be able to share what is going on with me and my family at the same time. So ALL this being said, more to come, and I hope you’ll stick with me with wherever my endeavors take me. I would really welcome your feedback and suggestions – if you know me well, it would probably help me! πŸ˜‰

    So back to a typical RadioRedHead post, one of my motivations for getting down to business is to maximize my upcoming year off starting in January. You heard me right – for those of you that don’t actually know, I am expecting baby boy #2, due January 20th, 2011. It certainly took LESS time this round, but certainly DID take time (about 8 months), and some help from our trusty fertility specialist. Luckily nothing crazy or expensive was required, and although we tried many natural approaches, we only achieved success by using a fertility medication again and this time around it worked on the 2nd cycle! I am also once again feeling wonderful, not ill at all, and like last time, losing weight. Pregnancy seems to REALLY agree with me! Mr. Wil (now 3!) is SUPER excited about having a baby brother (we decided to find out the gender this time around) and as we did last time, baby in utero has a nickname: this time provided by Daddy. He was trying to remember Shaggy’s real name from Scooby Doo (which happens to be Norville) but couldn’t remember what is was and said it was Norbert. So there you have it, Mr. Wil calls his unborn baby brother “Norbert!” already and talks and sings to my belly every day and even says he loves him. It is really sweet – I have been saying as of late that if baby #2 is anything like Wil, we are the luckiest parents around – he is raeally quite funny these days and absolutely adorable. (I will have to post some recent videos of him). I am now in my 22nd week and time has REALLY flown by. We have to get the baby’s room ready (whatever THAT will look like) and REALLY focus on a name. The only one we like so far is pretty unusual, but I’m OK with that. I was totally set for a girl’s name only, but we have some more time to nail it down.

    I just wanted to update all of you with what is going on, and to let you know I am still HERE. Seriously. I am online every day – just see my Facebook account or my twitter profile.
    More to come soon,

    ~Dana (a.k.a. RadioRedHead)
    Some obligatory recent pics to tide some of you over for now…

    Cheese!

    This is Wil feeling Norbert while at a ride at Santa's Village

    P.S. Please leave me your thoughts/comments/suggestions & ideas – I REALLY love getting feedback and seeing that this post has taken so long to finally come, it would really help to motivate me further. You can do that above by clicking on the bubble icon.

    P.S.S. Please provide your baby guesses re: date & weight etc. at my baby game here: So You Think You Know Baby 2

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