Well. I finally did it...my itty bitty ad paid for a year's hosting at SiteGround, and I've fiddled with my CSS for the theme, and imported all my Blogger posts and comments, soooo...
Change your bookmarks to the New OmegaMom!
Old OmegaMom posts will still be here; I have to figure out how to have them redirect to the new site, bleah. And I have to go and change all my blog aggregators to point to the new site, bleah. Which means my Technorati ranking will go all to hell. Bleah.
But it's way cool! Come and see!
When OmegaMom and soon-to-be-Mr.-OmegaMom were courting long distance, me in the S.F. Bay Area and he in Lubbock, we would rack up huge phone bills talking about everything under the sun. (Somewhere in this blog is the memory of how we got officially engaged at the end of a conversation that started, "Have you ever wondered how they make potato chips??") We're talking 7-hour long phone conversations, folks.
(I remember when my cousin K. was courting J., he ended up with similar huge phone bills. At the time, I couldn't understand it--I was only 18 or thereabouts; it seemed pretty odd that anyone could find that much to talk about with someone. Live and learn.)
One of our topics of conversation was a pair of lists about our future children: first, there was our list of Things We Wanted A Child Of Ours To Learn, and then there was our list of Characteristics We Thought Were Important.
As this was all done way back in the mists of time, circa 1994, my memory is somewhat faded...but, when I think about the general gist of those lists, I realize that we've held pretty steady on our ideas.
I tried to consult Mr. OmegaMom on this, because I thought maybe he might remember more than I did. It wasn't very helpful. He thought I might have written them down--and I might have, but we'd never be able to find them!
Under Things To Learn, we included: how to swim, how to dance, how to ride a bicycle, how to canoe, how to ride horses, a foreign language, how to ice or roller skate, how to cook, how to handle money, how to play a musical instrument.
Pretty basic stuff. The canoe and horses were from OmegaDad, based on his childhood. The cooking was because I could remember a friend (male) who went off to college and didn't know one thing about cooking--he had to call his mom from college to ask her how to cook a steak. I always found baking a relaxation, and OmegaDad's very most favorite hobby is to putter around in the kitchen cooking up a storm. The money handling is because both of us are not very good at it.
We're working on these things, bit by bit. OmegaDotter is, as readers know, enrolled in ballet and ice skating classes. We're teaching her dribs and drabs of Mandarin, but I'd also like her to really know French, Spanish, or German. The canoeing and horseback riding are coming. The horses, of course...honestly, we wanted her to learn, we didn't think we were going to end up with a child who was obsessed with them. And she's got a bicycle and the training wheels are gonna come off this summer if it kills me and the dotter doing it.
As for cooking--well, OmegaDad has bent his iron-clad rule of NO PEOPLE IN MY KITCHEN WHILE I'M COOKING!!! (Dammit!) to allow the dotter into the kitchen with him. She's learning all sorts of basic stuff right now, and helps both of us in various ways in the kitchen. We hope to have her doing some easy dinners by the time she's eight. (I will admit here that I'm somewhat jealous of the dotter in this respect; OmegaDad rarely bends that rule for me!)
The instrument will have to wait; Suzuki instruction intrigues us, but there's only so much time in a week, and part of me feels that children need to get a good grounding in just listening first. Plus there's the question of when one's fine-motor skills are advanced enough to handle it.
Money? Right now, she's busy saving up quarters for various Good Deeds and stuffing them into a plastic bottle, with plans for daddy to build her a playhouse with the proceeds. And we got her to trade her second
Under Characteristics, we included: Integrity, curiosity, kindness, bravery, honesty, self-confidence, joy, a love of learning, a love of science, a love of reading, a love of music.
These are much harder to quantify. How do you ensure that a child is learning these types of things? The only thing you can do is teach by example and hope to goodness it sticks. I fully expect a few years of parental angst when the dotter is in her mid to late teens, but hope that a good grounding in What The Family Thinks Is Right will provide an anchor or touchpoint for those turbulent years.
(Thanks to SBird, whose question was "What traits DO you want her to pick up?" I'm just amazed that I could remember most of them!)
Good on ya, mates, you came through quite nicely! Plenty of ideas to tide me over until something in the news piques my interest.
Now to figure out where to start. Where to start, where to start...
Hey, that's what AmFam just did... is this national "ask the blogger a question" week?
Yup, I shamelessly stole the "Ask me some questions! Please! I'm desperate!" directly from AmFam; it worked for her, so it had to work for me a bit, too.
Why do you use blogger and not one of the other blogging tools?
Because I'm lazy and cheap. And because, when all my internet buds leaped on the blogging bandwagon, and I, lemming-like, followed them, they were all on Blogger. So I went there. It was quick, it was easy, it was painless, and I could concentrate on writing.
When I started posting on a regular basis, I soon realized that Blogger was, at best, a flawed tool. But it was still cheap--in other words, free! And there were all these free templates, and I could fiddle with the HTML to customize the templates. When I looked at other freebies, I either didn't like them enough, or I discovered, as at WordPress.com, that they strictly limited any fiddling, they only had six templates, and they didn't allow any other templates. Bah.
Then there was wind of BloggerBeta, and I waited, and waited, and waited to get an invite to switch over so I could take advantage of labeling and a few other things they claimed would be there. Then I got the invite, and tried to switch over.
Let me just say that my blog is too complex (har!) for BloggerBeta. I was stuck in Blogger-to-BloggerBeta limbo for quite a while. Any time I logged in, it prompted me to switch over. I'd try to switch over and would get an error message saying that I had tried previously, and there was an error, and they'd let me know when it was time to switch over. I'd log in again, and there would be that same "switch to Blogger Beta" message. Over and over and over again.
Many people in that same situation have been unable to post at all.
I, however, overcame both some of the limitations of Blogger and got around the limbo by using LiveWriter. It's basic, but it has some nice features: I can blog offline; I can have a WYSIWYG view of my blogging as I write--in other words, it has grabbed my css and layout, and when I write a post, it looks almost exactly what it will look like when I publish and get online (yay!); and it lets me do bold and italic and underlining and
strikethrough and colored fonts and numbered or unnumbered lists and blockquotes and weblinks (SBird, here's how!) with a click of the button; AND it let me post to my limbo-ized blog until I could finally figure out how to get the attention of someone in Blogger support who un-limboized me.
That said, I dearly want to move over to a hosted solution, with my Very Own Domain. I've found a good place, and am planning to move over, using WordPress, with my own personalized template which I am very comfy with.
Why do you post so few pictures?
Well. Hm. Sometimes I do a picture post, usually after the dotter and I have gone somewhere and I've gotten lots of pics. But I have some reservations.
First off, there are Weird Folks on the web. Some of the WFs take little girls' pictures and w@nk off to them, the idea of which just creeps me out. Of course, there's nothing I can do about it, and there may be, for all I know, folks who have already downloaded her pics and are--right now!--"doing it". Ew. I have decided not to post a few pics of her especially because of this issue, some very cute pictures, that I just don't want creeps messing with.
Then there are the WFs who like to take other people's pictures (and posts, and sometimes entire blogs!) and pass them off as their own. WTF? So far, when I search on phrases from my blog, I haven't found them. But I do know of a few cases where someone's entire blog was plaigiarized.
Doing pics is a pain sometimes. You have to download them from the camera. You have to crop them and resize them. You have to upload them to a photo-hosting service (or your website if you're on a hosted site). Then...then...you can put them into your blog.
I waffle on the privacy issue. Somewhere along the line, OmegaDotter will turn into a teenager, and be all bristly and touchy about odd things. She may decide that my blog is okay so long as I disguise stuff...she may think it's okay to post pics of her, she may not...
And then there's the fact that sometimes I'm writing about stuff that I don't have pictures of...like, say, cute little four-celled embryos. I could always "borrow" them, but if I do, I like to give full credit--a link to the giving site, a person's name if I can find it. Sometimes I forget. Eeek!
More later. See how easy it is for me to spew words out if there's a focus? You guys have generously given me days--maybe weeks!--worth of posts. Yay!