Updates and changes to come…

So yes, I do still blog here. :)

At least for now… You see, back when I first created my review blog, I had some very good reasons for starting a second site – many of which no longer exist at this point. I’ve struggled for the past year or so with the job (yes, it’s basically a job at this point) of keeping both sites updated on a regular basis, especially now that I do have actual paying work that needs to take top priority. I’ve gone back and forth about the idea of trying to recombine the sites – somehow. My biggest issue is that while the review blog gets (much) more traffic, this one is my first blog, my ‘baby’ so to speak and I’m rather partial to it. Plus, it’s how I’ve come to be ‘branded’ online – those who know me, know me by ‘Mom of 3 Girls’, not Just a mom’s take on things…

But.

For the first time, it’s now possible to run BlogHer ads on my review site – if I post personal items there too. And the idea of being able to post something personal – or a review – or both – if I wish, fills me with such a feeling of freedom, that I may actually start enjoying to blog again and not have it feel like such a commitment that it’s not been truly fun in a long time. As I’m sure those of you who still read here have probably noticed from the scarcity of posts (and posts of decent quality) here.

So I’m rather excited about the changes – but they won’t be happening immediately. With the holidays coming up, I’m hesitant to add major blog changes to the list of things that I have to do. I’m behind on reviews, we have Hannah’s birthday coming up in less than 2 weeks and I have yet to get invitations out for her party, or anything really bought for her birthday or party. My lack of motivation has extended to many things beyond simply blogging lately – but I’m hoping that will change soon. After months of putting it off, I finally saw my doctor several weeks ago and started back on medication for depression. I knew, with the way I’ve been feeling lately over the summer, that the usual winter ‘blues’ would just be exacerbated horribly this year and I just don’t think I can go it alone anymore. I don’t know if this medication is really helping yet – it’s something new that I haven’t been on before, and while it’s definitely helping with the anxiety that I’ve been living under, what’s replaced that has been a sort of apathy, which definitely isn’t much of an improvement as far as getting things done goes. But I’m aware of and working on that – and I’ll bring it up with my doctor when I see her again next month. Baby steps…

Things are generally fine otherwise – the girls are doing great in school this year, with only a couple of minor concerns (non academically-related) that were things we already knew about and brought up to the girls’ teachers ourselves. Pretty much the usual, as far as Abbie (yes, she’s changed the spelling of her name – again) goes – she’s made wonderful strides in some ways but not in others, so I’ll have to do an update post soon. And Becca’s teacher had noticed the same speech and articulation issues that we’ve seen, so is looking into seeing if additional help is needed there for her. But she’s reading above grade level for kindergarten, does well socially, and is doing great otherwise. Hannah’s teachers had nothing but rave reviews for her – including in math, where she’s working a grade ahead with a 4th grade class. I’m so glad that the girls all seem to have inherited Ron’s aptitude for math – although it’s interesting to see that Abbie also inherited his way of doing math that’s causing her a few issues, such as doing it all in her head and forgetting to show her ‘work’ on paper. Hannah, who is always thorough in whatever she does, fares better grade-wise because she documents all her steps. I’m curious to see how Becca will be once she gets into the higher grades. I’m just glad that they don’t seem to have gotten my nonexistent math genes!

Finances are slowly starting to look a little better too – although it’s still taking quite a while to climb out of the mess we’ve been in for the past few years, and it’ll be months yet before we can start to maybe breathe more easily. I say maybe, because I’m now of the “I’ll believe it when it actually happens” kind of mindset – somehow major issues always seem to come up so I am skeptical at best that we might actually be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel (I hate that I feel this way, but can’t help it right now). But, Ron received a promotion a couple of months ago – he’s now supervising a quality control program in Chicago. And driving back and forth at least once a week – but he doesn’t seem to mind that part, so I’m hopeful that both travel and big cities might eventually start to grow on him. Not only is he now on salary, but he drives a work truck which saves money for us on gas and is letting us consider, for the first time, going down to becoming a one-vehicle family. His 18-year-old van has lasted us 5 years (when we expected maybe 1 or 2 out of it) but it’s falling apart (literally in some cases) and we’re thinking to maybe try and get some money out of it while it still runs.  We haven’t decided for sure yet – with our main vehicle also being an older one, the idea of not having a back-up scares me, but now that the girls all ride the bus to and from school, I could technically get by for a few days without something to drive if I had to.

So, that’s where things sit right now for the most part! I’m working on logistics of expanding my other site to include the posts that I would normally post here – this site isn’t going anywhere, and I’m not going to move the old posts over there. I’m still going to post sporadically until then – with the holidays coming up I’m not fooling myself that I’ll be able to maintain a more regular posting schedule, but keep watching here for updates. I’m working on redesigning the other site to reflect the changes – neither the basic name or the URL will change though. And I’m working on a way for people to subscribe to only the personal posts if you wish, so those of you who don’t want to see the reviews won’t have to. And there won’t be as many reviews in general – I’m looking forward to blending the two and only posting reviews for things I really feel strongly about sharing. With the girls getting older, so many of the products I was seeing just don’t fit our family anymore – and there are plenty of wonderful review blogs out there if you’re looking for products for babies and/or toddlers.

Stay tuned… :)

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