2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared an annual report of mommablogsalot.com!

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 22,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 5 Film Festivals

In 2012, there were 237 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1,967 posts. There were 160 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 149 MB. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was May 24th with 183 views. The most popular post that day was Idol Thoughts: My faves from last night’s Idol.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for phillip phillips, simple delicious cookie recipes, easy delicious cookies, and easiest cookie recipe.

My most commented on post in 2012 was Spring Reading Thing 2012: My Goals

These were my most active commenters – extra cookies to these four fabulous ladies!

Clearly 2013 should include more cookies, more Phillip Phillips and more books!

Click here to see the complete report.

a sort of half post, like post 9 & 3/4

I know, I’m being kind of a terrible blogger lately, giving you a whole lot of Currently / daybook posts and wordless wednesdays with little in between. Sorry about that. If you need more Momma in your life (and who doesn’t) you can check out some recent posts at my other bloggy digs, Things Momma Loves. I’d been ignoring it for almost a month and thought I should start, like, writing there and stuff. This week I wrote about Doctor Who, scrambled eggs, cell phone apps and the importance of blogging from the heart. Among other stuff.

So…. yeah. I promise I’ll write some new fun stuff here soon. MM is going back to school in less than a month so you know I’ll be babbling about that incessantly. Also, anyone else weirdly looking forward to fall? Apple cider, pumpkin carving, sweaters? Sounds heavenly. I used to pretend I had a favorite season but I decided recently to just be madly in love with all four of them. The goal being to enjoy whatever season I’m currently in, but you know, I’m still working on that last part…

Announcement: Things Momma Loves.

Clearly I don’t have enough time on my hands.

I decided to start a new blog. I know. Actually I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, thinking about what I want to do when the kids start school and ways in which I’d like to improve myself blogging-wise and writing-wise.

One of the ideas I had was that I wanted to write more book reviews. That at some point I would love to do it professionally in some capacity. For awhile I was reviewing books and products at Mommas Review and I gave it up when it all started to feel like an awful lot of work for no good reason.

So what makes this blog different? For starters, for the time being, my reviews are going to be of the things I’m already doing and loving – the books I’m reading, the tv shows I’m watching (like my Idol Thoughts posts – they’ll be over there now), CD’s I’m buying, movies I’m seeing and more. I’m not going to do a lot of product soliciting for the most part because I do still have a kid at home and my time is limited. Though I’m sure there will be exceptions.

But I think that if I want to take things to a higher level at some point, that I’m going to need a portfolio of sorts – a blog that I can point to and say, “I’m already doing this. I’ve got samples and a following.” Hopefully I’ll have a following. At the very least I’ll have writing samples and a way for people to gauge the kinds of reviews that interest me.

So the blog is called Things Momma Loves – I wanted the title to feel relevant to my Momma empire. I do have an empire, right?

You can go there for reviews of all the types of things I just described – books, tv shows, movies, music, maybe cellphone apps or Facebook games. Any of the things I’m digging and enjoying while the little miss naps or we’re out and about, basically. You can head over and check out some of my old reviews that I copied over and a new review of Adele’s album 21 – a Mothers Day present from the hubby.

Celebrating 4 Years of Bloggy Goodness


Today my blog is no longer a temper tantrum throwing, crumb covered toddler resisting naptime while shouting for MORE ELMO WORLD. Today my blog is a four year old. It’s practically potty trained, learning more and more every day and anxiously awaiting the day it can jump on a yellow school bus with no seat belts and spend it’s time away from home drinking juice boxes and sitting down for story time. It rides tricycles and speaks in complete sentences, most of the time. It’s a preschooler on a mission now, hovering precariously between toddler and child.

(I bet you are asking yourself “Why doesn’t my blog ride a tricycle yet? Should we be potty training our blog by now?” I know, my blog is pretty advanced, don’t be jealous, you’ll get there.)

Happy 4th birthday to mommablogsalot.com. I can still remember those first days when I started this blog when I still asked myself occasionally “What is a blog?” When I thought that maybe someday I’d be as cool as Dooce (I didn’t even know who the Pioneer Woman WAS back then, shocking, I know) and even my first comment. We’ve come a long way since then. In and out of memes, bursting onto the review blogging scene and then eventually sneaking back out. This blog has been a part of some major changes in my life. It followed me through my 2nd pregnancy, consoled me through a brief stint of unemployment, it moved halfway across the country with me and was there for me to vent when we were buying our first house. It was here to celebrate with me when my first born started kindergarten and it suffered through potty training, self hosted servers and holes in the kitchen ceiling. It’s been quite a trooper.

So, dear bloggy, here’s a little card from me to you, celebrating our time together since your birth four years ago…

someecards.com - I'm sorry daylight savings means there is one less hour to celebrate your birthday today

And I got you this video message too.

You’ll have to click the link, I hope you don’t mind:

Click the Link

On monkeys and blueberries and my babies growing up.

A brisk winter walk. on 365 Project

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but my kids are growing up. I know saying that sounds a little obvious like “No S$%t Sherlock” but seriously. They are growing so fast and lately I feel like they’ve maybe outgrown their little online aliases. I know it doesn’t really matter and that I could just keep calling them MM and BB forever – that a lot of you probably don’t even know what those letters stand for and maybe assumed they were initials or something.

But everytime I type those letters my mind thinks, “They’ve outgrown this.”

MM then MM now

I dubbed MM back when I started my blog, the letters stand for My Monkey because at the time he was a gregarious toddler who was climbing on everything like toddlers often do. He loved Curious George and was always getting into something. It fit.

These days, well I can’t tell you the last time he has watched Curious George and although he’s still curious, he’s far more interested in building and writing and drawing than he is in climbing, though that does still happen, too. Point is, the name doesn’t feel quite accurate anymore and it borders on perhaps childish.

BB then BB now

I gave BB her nickname before she was born. It stands for Baby Blueberry and originated from Bump Reports that I wrote each week during my pregnancy with updates on being pregnant and statistics pulled from babycenter.com. In week 7 of my pregnancy I read that BB was roughly the size of a blueberry (they really liked food analogies) and I got such a kick out of it, that I started calling her Baby Blueberry on the blog and it stuck.

When she was a baby, the name was very fitting. Back when she could barely lift her head off a blanket and she was so small and delicate and sweet. And a baby. Yeah… that baby is now a toddler and she’s moved from lifting her head to spinning around the room like a crazy person. She’s got these ridiculous long limbs and gorgeous flowing blonde hair and she can speak in sentences (her new thing is negotiating with me : “Mommy I want cookie.” “No.” “How About Goldfish?” Except instead of how about it comes out “uppaboutttttt….” and it’s adorable. And the opposite of something babies do. Because she isn’t one.

So sometimes I think I should change the nicknames. But I’ve been using them for so long now, I almost can’t imagine typing anything else. Do I try to find a way to use the same letters and just give them a different meaning? Do I choose a new phrase with different letters? Do I abandon the whole acronym thing and choose just a word instead – or even *gasp* their name?

I read a little thing on Facebook a few weeks ago asking if you had named your child off of your biggest craving during your pregnancy what would their name be? I had to laugh because BB would definitely be Lemon which is actually pretty sweet and pull off-able. But poor MM would be Ice Cream. Or Graham Crackers with Cheddar Cheese. Hmmm….

What do you think? Do you use nicknames for your kids on your blog? Have you ever considered changing them as the kids got older?

Changes in the air.

the last to fall. on 365 Project

Yesterday morning I woke up to discover my blog was gone. All my posts, pictures, thoughts, memories and moments to treasure had disappeared over night and in their place was an ugly, generic page by godaddy.com informing me that the URL was being parked. i.e. Sorry, nothing to see here.

I first assumed that either my domain or hosting had expired and that for reasons unknown to me, I hadn’t been notified to renew – I emailed dear husband and begged him to contact godaddy and figure out what was wrong, then ran out the door for our play date which I was now running late to.

But when Dan called, godaddy basically told us that we didn’t exist and that there was no information indicating that they’d been hosting my blog. WTF? So several phone calls and email digging through later, I finally figured out that my blog was actually being hosted through my father’s godaddy account (very generous of him) and we’d all forgotten. So when the night before my father had taken down some of his old websites, he hadn’t realized that mine was included in that mix. Whoops.

But in the process of all this running around and figuring out, I temporarily redirected my domain to my old wordpress.com account. I fiddled around with the dashboard and themes and thought to myself, “This isn’t so bad.” When I was running the review blog, having my own URL and professional looking self hosted blog had seemed important to me, but now that this is back to just being a personal blog, it seems less so. I’m keeping my handy dandy URL because it’s fairly cheap and I’m not ready to give it up and risk losing it forever, but for now – I’m going back to the wordpress hosted world.

Being hosted by wordpress has a few minor disadvantages, mainly less options in my blog’s appearance unless I’m willing to pay money (which I may someday) but it also has several advantages:

  1. Free hosting – my father was already paying to host his current domains so it didn’t really make a difference to throw mine into the mix, but for Dan and I to pay for the hosting on our own would cost almost 10 times as much as what we’re currently paying with monthly bills instead of annual ones.
  2. Less downtime, I’m betting – because wordpress has their brand to protect, when things go wrong, they’ll probably fix it a lot faster than godaddy will. This is just speculation but I’m betting it will be true.
  3. I can trouble shoot on my own – When things go wrong server side, it’s pretty much up to my husband, my father or the invisible powers that be to figure it out and  fix it. I know very little about all that back end server stuff and truthfully don’t want to know. But I do like being able to fix my problems myself and by going back to a wordpress hosted blog, I should be able to manage the blog entirely by myself now. Hurray!
What this might mean for you: My RSS feed link may have changed, so you may want to check and update it if need be. There’s a chance I’ll have lost some readers in the mix of all this, but I’m hoping they’ll miss me enough to type in my URL and come find me. You know, all five of you.