When I first started this blog, my main question to myself was 'Will I have enough brain power to actually write something more than once a month?' And the answer was 'no'. Then I thought to myself, 'Will I even enjoy writing about my life and publishing it on the internet?' And the answer was 'no'. My next thought was 'Is it interesting to me when other people write about the boring minutiae of their lives and publish it on the internet?' And the answer was... 'mostly... no'. When I told my husband I'd started a blog, he simply rolled his eyes at me and continued on with what he was doing. So why I finally jumped into blogging thing is beyond my comprehension.

It actually started as a little research project. I was wondering about the possibility of setting up some sort of web community for people I work with and the feasibility of using the blog-o-sphere for that. I think I quickly figured out that the blog-o-sphere was something much bigger and more established than I ever knew and it would not be possible for me to bend it to my will, so I abandoned that thought fairly quickly. But Cootie's mom had been having so much fun with her pregnancy blog and I realized was that it was a way for her to communicate to her friends and family without feeling like she was telling the Same. Story. Over. And. Over. Again. Hmmm... cool.

Since a) nearly all of my family and close friends are too far away for me to see more than once a year (if that) and b) I am the world's worst communicator whether it be by phone, fax, or face-to-face conversation, (If it wasn't for instant messages and email, I would have no relationship at all with a large majority of my extended family.) a blog seemed kind of an easy way to overcome my peculiar set of disabilities.

First off, there's, what's come to be known in our house, my Thing About The Phone. I hate it with a red-hot-fiery hatred. I view it as an adversary and a necessary evil -- so when my house starts to
burn down at three in the morning, I can call 911. And in that regard, it has served me well. But I have never been a person who likes to chit-chat on the phone. The KingofHearts has all the female genes in that department and can rival a teenage girl in talking about nothing on the phone for hours, but when I get on the phone I expect people to say what they want. If you don't want something, why did you call me? If you don't want something and haven't called for a specific reason, I will find myself looking for a way out. I realize this is stupid and that it truly is a way for me to keep in touch and I should be grateful anyone wants to talk to me at all, but I can't shake that feeling that I'm wasting time whenever I'm on the phone and consequently I pace, wash dishes, clean the house, anything to make me feel like I'm getting something done. In our house, when the phone rings, we all immediately yell 'NOT IT!' as quickly possible and the last one to weigh in has to get up and answer it. (Aside: The rules of Not It are simple and unwaivering. If both happen to say it at the same time, you must say it again before the other person does. Sometimes we'll simultaneously say it three or four times before one of us beats the other one by a milisecond. That person must then tromp dejectedly like a dead man walking to the phone and say 'hello'. If you call my house sometime and whoever answers doesn't sound very enthusiastic or friendly, that's usually what has just transpired.) I'll do almost anything to avoid talking on the phone, including ordering pizza delivery on the internet.

Secondly, I am socially challenged. I don't think this comes as a surprise to most folks who know me well (that would actually be about three people). I don't like and am not very good at small talk, which is required in the beginning stages of any friendship. So I seldom cross that hurdle with people. I have lots of acquaintances, but the people whom I call my friends are generally people I have worked with, gone to school with, or lived with.... thereby having a reason to talk to one another and get to know them well enough to skip the all-too tedious step of 'What do you do?', 'What do you like?', 'What's your sign?' that you have to go through in most getting-to-know-you stages. Mostly, I'm pretty happy with the few friends I have. They are good people whom I know I can depend on and they seldom disappoint me, but KoH is always after me because he thinks I need more and my platonic relationship skills, ahem, "need help".

Aside, aside: Back before I started this blog, I was reading
Amalah pretty regularly and knew all the details of her life that she chose to share with thousands every day, without ever having to lift a finger to participate in the friendship... it was the perfect friendship for me. One day, KoH came home from work and I said, "Amy quit her job today."

He looked at me quizzically and said, "Who's Amy?"

Me: "That blogger I read. I told you about her.

*another exaggerated eye roll*

Me: *whining* "Heeey! She my BEST FRIEND!"

These are only a few of the many ways I am a socially stilted. But I digress. The subject of my hermit-like behavior is fodder for another post on another day.

What I realized in watching Monica with her blog, was that it forced her to communicate with others but she got to control most of the communication. Control appeals to me. She'd update folks who cared on her pregnancy and express her thoughts on her timetable. I always have tons of funny stories about the Dormouse to tell my relatives and friends but when I get on the phone I have performance anxiety and immediately every important thing I could have said goes right out the window and I'm left with "So what'd you do today? Nothing. What are you doing tomorrow? Good. Good." (See what I mean? The phone is not my Thing.) So from my perspective, Monica's blog
seemed like just the kind of non-threatening communication I could get into. I could write stuff down when I thought of it and not worry about performing it in front of an audience later. With the added bonus of being able to say to people, "If you don't like what I have to say... I invite you to NOT go to my website. It's really in your hands."

But mostly the blog allowed me to write down all the stuff that I wanted to remember. Like the things I desperately wish I'd written down when I was pregnant with the Dormouse. My thoughts, fears, dreams, hopes, experiences all had gotten lost because I thought a million times "I'll write that down tonight" and by the time 'tonight' came around, my hormone-addled brain had forgotten it. All.

A lot of her first year is lost to me as well, because I was just so busy adjusting to my new life and being scared that I wouldn't be able to keep her alive during that time. I never found the time to write many of her 'firsts' down. Oh, I got all the baby book stuff: the day of her first tooth, how much she weighed at her doctors' appointments, but who really gives a rat's testicle about that? What I wish I had written about was the first time she saw rain, how my heart melted the first time she climbed up on my back and whispered "I love you... so much." in my ear, how she went to work with me for more than a year and my officemates loved her and rolled her around the office on their rolling suitcases to amuse her, how she said her first word - 'cracker' - when my colleague was handing one to her while she lay in the bassinet in my office, how she'd sit on the ledge between my air conditioner and the window and watch the traffic on the street below for hours... How much happened that I can't even give you a brief one-liner about now? How I regret that.

Each night when I'd put her to bed, finally with the time to write in a journal (something we Mormons are supposed to be doing anyway), the only thing that seemed important was the not missing my chance to catch a few zz's and how my skin would crawl with the sleep deprivation I was experiencing. So the journal entry would be filed away in the Think About That Tomorrow Scarlet category and by the next day, all would be beyond recollection. So I've made a point here to write down the funny things she says... the events she'll want to know about... how we coped... stuff I want to remember and won't because I know I won't ever write it in a journal. As much as my purpose here is not necessarily to be a 'mommy blogger', those are the things that are important for me to record. Hence, that is what dominates my subject matter. I know as she gets older, I'll need to be more sensitive to how she'll feel about me posting stories on the interweb about her running in the front yard naked, but for now it's a great way for me to commit it to memory and leave something for her when she's grown up.

Even though I know logically it's ridiculous, I feel more accountability with publishing on the internet. I've never been a very good journal writer but I do want to leave some written record for my children to know about the things I've learned in my life and how much I love them. But somehow a journal, which no one will read until after my death, is not a motivating enough factor for me. My motivation is not to get more hits on my site from all over the world (although that is fascinating) or make a lot of money with internet advertising (although, wouldn't it be nice to
pay the mortgage with income from this silly hobby?) and most days I consciously don't care if anyone looks at what I wrote. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I think "If you write it, they will come" and it's just the impetus I need to force myself to post something - anything. The end result is I get to keep that later for The Dormouse to read someday and maybe even give to her kids. I'll bet she'll love it.

I like that the blog forces me to think creatively and to form words into a sentence other than "Stop that!", "Pick up your toys" and "You must wash your hands after going potty - EVERY TIME - it doesn't matter that you washed them yesterday!" I like that I was reminded how much I used to love the process of the writing I did for high school and college assignments. I've never considered myself a writer, but I used to just love doing it (Aside: heh, heh, she said "doing it") and had forgotten that in the years since college.

I didn't think I'd really be able to comply fully when I signed up to participate in NaBloPoMo, but to me it was an interesting experiment to see if I could post something - anything - each day for thirty days. Even though it ended up being pretty much the worst time of year to do it, and I complained about it incessantly, I finished! Oh I know I had a few posts there where I was just phoning it in - you know which ones they are. (Last aside, I swear: interestingly those are the ones that had the most comments left.) But I still did it and I feel like a marathon runner who just finished a race. I'm glad I did it... and I'm glad that race is over.

Now I know how Zoot f
eels - without all the blisters.