08 February 2009

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Mabel's Labels, makers of the ab-fab Mama Card, is having a contest. They're giving away a trip to BlogHer 09 in Chicago and the amazing opportunity to be their correspondent for the event.

This was my entry.

The finalists have been chosen, and they're fab! Check them out here.

In April of 2007, I gave birth to the most amazing person I have ever met. He was small and sweet and he drove me out of my ever-loving mind.

When they tell you that having children changes everything, it is the understatement of the century. What they should do is sit you down in a chair, slap you across the face, and yell it at you until you get it. Really get it.

Monkey was a pretty mild baby, by all accounts. He was giggly and had personality to spare. He also had jaundice, mixed up days and nights, a major latching issue, a witching hour that happened every day around 6pm, and he spit up regularly until he was over a year old.

For no reason at all.

As a well versed modern mommy, I was already a member of an “Expecting Club” on a well known women’s site. If, of course, by member you mean lurking and not posting because the boobnazis I met on that particular board would not take kindly to my surrender to formula.

Nevermind the fact that I exclusively pumped for almost 4 months, and only fed him half formula mixed with half expressed milk for another 2. I was weak. WEAK, I TELL YOU! And not worthy of posting my weak mommy thoughts lest I poison the rest of the village

So lurk I did, until one day I came across an article containing a new word in a old blog post. A wonderful word. A word that told me I was not alone.


It said it all. Actually, she said it all.

She was a mom, but not just any mom. She pulled no punches and told it like it was. She was funny, she was real, she spoke my native tongue.


Intrigued, I dug deeper.

What I found was a secret world of moms who were not afraid of speaking their minds. They were not about impressing the crowd at the PTA. They were in it for survival.

With a side of snark where appropriate, of course.

The summer of 2008 was a life changing time. Fueled by a handfull of well-rounded blogrolls I began blog hopping. I lurked for quite a while. Then, slowly at first, I tested the waters. I started my own blog and joined NaBloPoMo. I wrote anonymously, still wary of the potential reaction I would garner. Then I got my first comment.

In the beginning, I felt like I was shouting into the Grand Canyon and not even getting the satisfaction of my own echo. My first comment changed that forever. I had spoken and someone spoke back.

If you have never blogged, a word of caution: comments are a gateway drug. They lead you deep into a world of carnivals and giveaways and conferences with hundreds of strangers who can quote your writing to you, but could not pick you out of a police lineup.

For several months, I blogged on the DL. Only Hubby knew. Then Little Sister, followed rapidly by then newly pregnant BFF. Wonder of wonders, I had readers! I even had a small handful of regular commenters, and while I enjoyed blogging for blogging’s sake, I knew there was so much more out there.

A crafty girl to my core, I wanted to try my hand at Etsy. I also knew several women that I wanted to share this amazing secret with. Plus, not having to stop myself mid-sentence at family parties to avoid giving myself away would do wonders for my nerves. When BlogHer announced the reach out tour was coming to Boston, I knew it was time.

I began the transition from an anonymous blog to one I could actually tell people about. I worked for weeks on a name and created my own logos. I started learning a new craft that I would use to launch the shop. I migrated my blogroll to the new email address and disabled all links between the two. Finally, I shut down the blog that had been my home for so long.

Goodbye anonymity, hello every member of my extended family with internet access.

As I clock in at 10 straight months of blogging, I am amazed at all that I have personally experienced. I have “met” so many wonderful people out here among the pixels. I started a business. I have learned to use words like widget and html and analytics without Hubby checking me for delirium. I have stepped way out of my own comfort zone. Sure I was hyperventilating at certain points, but I did it anyway.

What I have witnessed has also been nothing short of amazing. I have watched strangers become friends. I have seen hundreds of people reach out to a family in need. I witnessed the awesome power of a grass roots movement to save a cottage industry.

I have seen the power of one person finding their voice, and the astonishing results when someone listens.

And though Monkey is almost two years old now, and the whole spit-up thing has resolved itself, he remains a constant source of blogging material.

Over the last year blogging has come to mean more to me than I would ever thought possible. It has been a haven and, I will freely admit, at times a curse. Oh2122 has become my creative outlet and soapbox to the world. Each day brings new voices and new experiences. I am learning more about myself and this incredible world with every word I type and every post I read.

And I sincerely thank you from the very bottom of my sarcastic little heart for sharing it with me.


  1. Wonderful post :-) Onward and upward from here!

  2. Very nicely said! I second that emotion:-)

  3. Great post! And now I'm off to check out your Etsy store =)
    Thanks for stopping by my blog last week during my special SITS day!

  4. Except for the whole giving birth thing, I feel like you just wrote my story here too! Nicely done.

  5. How perfect!!

    We love Mabel's Labels. :)

  6. It's so neat to read people's blogging stories. They're all similar in some respects, which endears it to me. There's a commonality that we all share even though we have different experiences. Thanks for sharing with BPOTW!

  7. Well said. Totally agree. Good luck with the contest.


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