Good Morning and a $100 Visa Gift Card

We have many rituals in our house. They are a cog in the machine that is our life. Each is required in order for everything to move smoothly.

If I don't ask Alexis what she is going to dream about when I tuck her in for the night, she will abruptly realize I have erred an hour later. She will march her little butt to wherever in the house I may be hiding to insist that I correct my error.

To continue reading and for a chance at a $100 Visa Gift Card, hop on over here.


As We Cross This Bridge

Lately I feel as if we are standing on a bridge. It's a rickety bridge, poorly made and liable to go crashing down at any moment. Sometimes we move forward on the bridge, sometimes backwards, and sometimes we just hold on for dear life as it sways back and forth in a storm of change. Alexis is working her way across that bridge, dragging us along for the ride. She is finding her way across the bridge between Preschooler and Kid.

Some days she's firmly in the land of preschooler innocence. She trusts everyone and is full of joy, hope, optimism, and curiosity. It's then that I worry. She doesn't understand that sometimes older kids will trick her into doing things just to get her in trouble. She doesn't realize that not all people are good. She fails to see the dark side of humanity. As we cross that frightening bridge, I worry about how she will learn about reality. I hope that she will learn it without feeling the brunt of the pain that disappointment and heartache can bring. And, yet, I know there is nothing that I can do to stop it from happening.

As we cross that bridge, I begin to see the consequences of different parenting styles. While in the Land of Preschooler, it was easy to dismiss complaints with a simple, "Some mommies have different rules than I do." It was easy to pick up Alexis and carry her outside of the reach of bad behavior and other kid obnoxiousness. It was easy to just ignore that not everyone is on the same path as us. Now the explanations are harder, the consequences more painful, and sometimes there really is nothing to be done. Bad ideas are planted, annoying habits are found, and innocence is lost. She becomes less and less the person created in the bubble of our home and more a reflection of her entire universe.

Looking towards the future, I know the Land of Kid will bring great changes. Not only will this space become weighted with the privacy rights of a girl whose life is unique, it will have to adapt entirely to accommodate that unique. And, really, the changes that will happen here are the least of my concerns. It's the changes in the "Real World" that keep me up at night.

Yet, as we cross that bridge, good things infiltrate our lives. Greater independence brings newfound time for the adults. Maturity delivers fewer concerns about safety around the house. And improved communication skills offer up daily laughs. I wouldn't trade our daily conversations for all the money in the world.

As we cross that bridge, I am left to hope that the innocent joy that lives in her eyes stays right where it is, even as she becomes more and more the beautiful person she is soon to be.


Really Just a Delivery Tool for My PodCamp PowerPoint Slides

Another PodCamp Pittsburgh has come and gone.  I am again reminded that the Pittsburgh Social Media crowd could beat any group on earth in a cage fight, turf war, or mud wrestling match. And we'd look good doing it.

Look, not to bemoan the point, but if you are in any way active in social media (and if you're reading this, HELLO! You are!), you really should make it to an event like this one. PodCamps are held all over the United States, as are a number of other conferences centered on social media. And remember, just because a conference is free doesn't mean it won't be good. In fact, in my experience, the opposite is true. Those who organize and present at free conferences are in it purely for the joy of sharing information with others. They are experts. They just happen to be the type of experts who aim to lift up the community, rather than the type of "experts" who are out to make a quick buck.

As for my presentation, thank you so, so, so, so, so much to everyone who sat in on it. There will be video of it available at the PodCamp Pittsburgh site in the next few weeks. When that's ready, I'll be sure to post about it here. In the meantime, the PowerPoint slides are available:



And, in case you're still rolling your eyes at me about whether or not you should make it to a future event, how about taking a look at what other people have said?

This video comes via Pittsburghonvideo.org:

Coming Home to Podcamp from Melissa Carey-Budd on Vimeo.


(I have a crush on the woman in that video. True story.)

Oh, and speaking of people rolling their eyes at me, I could hear Sheep the Moon rolling his eyes at me when I mentioned PodCamp on twitter. Yes, I COULD HEAR IT VIA TWITTER. I think this post means I get to say I TOLD YOU SO.

Not that I would ever gloat or anything. Ahem.

If you don't want to wait a whole year to get involved and you're in or near Pittsburgh, there are ways to get involved now. For one, you can attend a tweetup. There is a site dedicated to listing opportunities. There is also burghmom.com for parents (mostly moms, but there are some dads who show up as well) who are active in social media. The lady who updates that site is a little crazy and slightly unreliable about posting things in a timely manner, but rumor has it she is trying to get better about that. She probably won't succeed, but at least she tries.

More on PodCamp to come . . .