september 2013 – monthly theme post listing – why we blog

Here are the submissions for this month’s theme: Why We Blog. Each post had a variety of reasons listed for why the author blogged, but the main thread through each of them was for connection. We couldn’t agree more.

The past few months have had us reflecting on why we blog here at PAIL. Ultimately, it was like you, for connection. Each of us is undergoing a major shift in our lives, and the focus of PAIL Bloggers will be shifting along with it. Our ultimate goal has always been to connect folks crossing over to “the other side” for the next leg of the journey. As such, we will be returning to our roots going forward, with the focus being primarily on monthly theme posts and connecting you all with each other. We will continue to welcome bloggers to the blogroll and update you on new arrivals each month. See you in October!

Suggested Writing Prompts

  • Did you start blogging before, during, or after your journey though infertility/loss/adoption? 
  • Why did you start blogging? What has kept you blogging?
  • When you became a parent did you transition your blog or start a new space? What were your reasons for doing so? How do you feel about your decision now?
  • Have you ever felt pressure to blog about certain things and not others? What influences your writing, if anything?
  • What did you hope to achieve by blogging? Do you feel that you have done this?
  • Why is blogging important to you NOW?
  • What value do you see in blogging the “after”? 

Contributing PAIL Bloggers

  1. Sarah at Mommyhood After Fertility Frustration writes “For 3 years, I’ve been spewing my crazy thoughts, feelings and experiences into the universe for sanity and hoping at least one person gets a little something out of my ramblings.” in her post Oops I Did It Again.
  2. Kasey at Powersfullife.com has written a “A three part series about why I blog and how finding the IF community has inspired me to change how I blog (even if I haven’t made the change quite yet).”
  3. S from Misconceptions About Conceptions has written “Why I blog: to maintain my sanity and reassure myself that I’m not alone.
  4. Sara-Lynn from Home Grown Love says “For me, blogging is about connecting, providing hope, and giving my thoughts a space of their own.” in her post What Blogging Means to Me.
  5. Josey from My Cheap Version of Therapy tells us that “Things change over the years, but my goal is that my space will continue to evolve with me and continue to be “my cheap version of therapy.”
  6. Courtney at All the Sun For You discusses “Finding connections through shared experiences and blogging” in her post Real Connections.
  7. SRB from Little Chicken Nuggets reflects on “taking many, many steps forward and one giant step back” in her post I Didn’t Make It Into the Newspaper.
  8. No Baby Ruth says “From keg parties to dinner parties, I blog because it makes me feel less alone” in BYOB.
  9. Elizabeth from Bébé Suisse says “I was headed this way anyway, but this month’s theme really made me think about why I blog … and why I won’t.” in her post Not really alone, revisited: why I blog(ged).
  10. Mrs T (formerly known as miss oh kay) from A Plus Effort shares her thoughts and recycles a past post from her 3rd blogiversary called “Thinking Things.”
  11. Ozifrog (jo) from Maybe baby, J-man and the adventures of Hub-in-boots tells us “Why I’m “out” about IVF, Infertility, parenting in all it’s highs and lows, and creating a new me from the smorgasbord of selves. In short, why I blog.” in her post Write to life.
  12. Emma from Emma in Mommyland is “Figuring out what I want out of blogging and where my blog stands in Blog World.” in her post What Am I Doing Here?
  13. Esperanza from Stumbling Gracefully tells us that “On the eve of my second child’s birth I’m once again rethinking why I blog.”
  14. This Foxy Mama returned to blogging at a new location after a short hiatus and answers the question “Why do i blog?
  15. asterisk mama from Mama Asterisk* is also newly blogging at a new location and contributed her thoughts with “Why I Blog.
  16. Better late than never(!), Wifey at Punch Today In The Face contributed her two cents with PAIL: Why I Blog.

If you are still writing your post, or these posts inspire you, link up in the comments. Additional posts will be added through the end of the week, so check back in to see if any new posts pop up, and feel free to leave some general comments on the topic below.

*****

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september 2013 monthly theme – why we blog

When I started my blog, it was a place to post pictures and hilarious anecdotes about my kid because I had quit Facebook.  I had been secretly reading IF blogs when I was pregnant with him, hoping to find someone mirroring the difficult emotions I was feeling not only being pregnant after experiencing infertility and miscarriages, but also how to cope when you are pregnant and your infertile friend is not. I found a few people that today I call my friends. These people saved my life.

And then… then I starting to write about my journey on my very public, very NOT anonymous blog. I needed to get some of that agonizing weight off my chest. I needed the people in my life to see it. I needed to be recognized. I needed to come out of the shadows. When the PAIL blogroll was first started, I added the button so quickly you would think my life had depended on it. Which honestly, at the time, it did. Even through all of the difficulty in getting this niche space together, I felt very strongly that this space had VALUE. I still do. I always will.

Each of us here at PAIL has a different interpretation of our mission statement. Mine has always been “Just keep talking.” Just keep talking. Or don’t. Or just listen. Or close up shop and move on in a different way. Every path to resolution is valid, as is every path we take with our blogs. You need to do what you need to do to process, to move forward, to heal from this. When I say “just keep talking” I suppose what I mean is that I think it is a disservice to the community as a whole to not talk about what it feels like, IS like, when the baby comes home.  We need to be able to find people further down the path to follow, to lead us through the tough spots, to hold our hands, to cheer us on, to understand.

I am not one to blog about blogging. To be honest, I usually skip posts about it. Ah, but then I entered Blog Identity Crisis #187346 and started to really, genuinely think about my space and what I want to do with it now that I am (99%) sure that family building is behind me. It’s a tricky place to be in, when you feel resolved in your heart, but you aren’t sure how to let go. But I’ll write more about that on my own blog in my submission for this month’s theme.

Suggested Writing Prompts

  • Did you start blogging before, during, or after your journey though infertility/loss/adoption? 
  • Why did you start blogging? What has kept you blogging?
  • When you became a parent did you transition your blog or start a new space? What were your reasons for doing so? How do you feel about your decision now?
  • Have you ever felt pressure to blog about certain things and not others? What influences your writing, if anything?
  • What did you hope to achieve by blogging? Do you feel that you have done this?
  • Why is blogging important to you NOW?
  • What value do you see in blogging the “after”? 

As always, these questions are just a guide. Please feel free to write anything and everything you would like to on this topic in whichever way suits you best. If you have previously written on this topic, feel free to link away in your post, or submit any previous post on the topic as you see fit. And of course, if you do not have a blog of your own, we are happy to hear your thoughts in the comments and will link to your comment in the full post list for all to read.

Entries for this month’s theme are due Thursday, September 26th at midnight, EST. The full list of links will go live on Friday, September 27th.

Please submit your posts using this form:

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monthly theme, august 2013: “feeding your child” post listing

Suggested Prompts: (or people could write whatever they wanted, obviously!)

  • How did you feed your baby? Breastmilk from the breast? Breastmilk from pumping? Formula? A combination of the three?
  • If you exclusively breastfed your child, how long did you do it? Did you have a “goal” for length of time, or did you just wing it?
  • If you breastfed + supplemented with formula, how long did you nurse in any amount?
  • If you formula fed, how did you choose the formula brand? What are your suggestions for finding the best brand for your child?
  • Did you research breastfeeding prior to your child(ren)’s birth?
  • Did your method of feeding your chlid(ren) differ from what you had hoped/planned to do? How did that make you feel?
  • If you worked outside the home during the first year, how did that affect your decision?
  • What would you tell an expectant mom about the realities of breastfeeding & formula feeding? Is there something you wish you’d have been told?
  • If you’re pregnant, how do you hope/plan to feed your child?
  • Do you feel your “preferred” method to feed your child was affected by how those around you feed their babies?
  • How much (in your estimation) did you spend on feeding your child for his/her first year of life? (pumping supplies / formula cost / lactation consultants / etc)

Contributing Bloggers:

  1. Cathy @ ANDMom: “Feed Your Child” – When it comes to feeding children, eating + growing = win.  The rest is details.
  2. Heather @ One Step at a Time: “Breastfeeding Your Child (Pail Monthly Theme)” – Breastfeeding is tough at first, just like having a new baby. But if you stick it out you will reap the rewards.
  3. ElizabethA New Version of Me: “Feeding My Babies” – My perspective on infant feeding after breastfeeding, bottle feeding and tube feeding.
  4. JoseyMy Cheap Version of Therapy: “selfishly feeding my child(ren)” – A selfish take on what breastfeeding meant (and continues to mean) to me – both positive and negative.
  5. MichelleA Well Adjusted Pessimist: “feeding my child” – For me, breastfeeding is so much more than feeding my child.
  6. Kacey @ Recipe for a baby:How do you feed your child…” – Learning to breastfeed, the second time around.
  7. My New NormalFinding My New Normal: “Breastfeeding Woes” – Coming to terms with the fact that breastfeeding wasn’t working and trying not to feel like a total failure.
  8. D @ My Life is About the Journey: The highs and lows of breastfeeding (and what they don’t tell you)” – Breastfeeding hasn’t always been an easy road for me.  In this post I have highlighted some of the bumps and bruises that I’ve received so far during my 4 month journey.
  9. Ms. Future PharmDMom PharmD: “Feeding babies” – The saga of nursing for a total of 19 months plus a bit about how solids have or have not been successful.
  10. MeganMy New Journey with Being a Mom After Infertility and Battling my Weight: “Feeding a Baby-Working Mama Style” – When things once again didn’t go as planned and how I adjusted.
  11. christine @ believing in june: “feeding my kiddos” – How I came to peace with combo feeding my little ones.
  12. missohkay @ the misadventures of missohkay: “It’s just food” – Food. It’s not what’s for dinner.
  13. BMarCloudy with a Chance of Infertility: “Bittersweet” – The end of my breastfeeding journey with a link to my early days on the breastfeeding roller coaster 🙂
  14. DelennSlaying, Blogging, Whatever…:PAIL Bloggers – Monthly Theme – Feeding your child” – My experience of breastfeeding and formula feeding.  What the classes don’t tell you.
  15. ElizabethBébé Suisse: “Breastfeeding as a mixed metaphor: feeding my child” – Mixing metaphors and overcoming a few bumps in creating a beautiful breastfeeding relationship.
  16. Amanda @ Reading Each Page: “Thank Goodness for Formula” – Feeding my son didn’t work out how I had planned, but thanks to science he is a happy and healthy baby.
  17. RelaxedNoMoreRelaxed No More: “To Mush Or Not To Mush” – When my little one was 6 months old, he was more ready for solids than I was. These are my contemplations on starting solids and which way to go with them – the traditional puree road or BLW.
  18. EsperanzaStumbling Gracefully: “Breastfeeding Take Two” – Trying to resolve my ambivalent feelings about breastfeeding as I embark on a second attempt.
  19. LisaLoving Our Life Together: “Monthly Theme: How to Feed a Baby
  20. ozifrogmaybe baby, J-man & the adventures of hub-in-boots: “Feeding the jman” – Ozifrog writes about her “boob man,” breastfeeding, and all the things she wish she knew about feeding jman.
  21. Stephanie @ Blawnde’s Blawg: “PAIL’s Monthly Theme Post – Feeding Your Child” – feeding my children, from one extreme to the other

If you are still writing your post, or these posts inspire you, link up in the comments. Additional posts will be added through the end of the week, so check back in to see if any new posts pop up, and feel free to leave some general comments on the topic below.

*****

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monthly theme, august 2013: feeding your child

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week (Aug 1-7) and National Breastfeeding Awareness Month (in the United States), we thought we would use the idea of “Feeding Your Child” for the August Monthly Theme.

Back in March of 2012, the very first Monthly Theme for PAIL was “Breastfeeding,” back when PAIL was a brand new idea and hosted on a personal website. Here is a list of the participating entries from that month’s theme. I’m sure that much has changed for people in the past 18 months though, so we are excited to see what people have to say about things now!

We realize that not everyone can breastfeed, and beyond that, not everyone chooses to breastfeed, but everyone does feed their child, and we’d love to hear about your experience!

Suggested Prompts:

  • How did you feed your baby? Breastmilk from the breast? Breastmilk from pumping? Formula? A combination of the three?
  • If you exclusively breastfed your child, how long did you do it? Did you have a “goal” for length of time, or did you just wing it?
  • If you breastfed + supplemented with formula, how long did you nurse in any amount?
  • If you formula fed, how did you choose the formula brand? What are your suggestions for finding the best brand for your child?
  • Did you research breastfeeding prior to your child(ren)’s birth?
  • Did your method of feeding your chlid(ren) differ from what you had hoped/planned to do? How did that make you feel?
  • If you worked outside the home during the first year, how did that affect your decision?
  • What would you tell an expectant mom about the realities of breastfeeding & formula feeding? Is there something you wish you’d have been told?
  • If you’re pregnant, how do you hope/plan to feed your child?
  • Do you feel your “preferred” method to feed your child was affected by how those around you feed their babies?
  • How much (in your estimation) did you spend on feeding your child for his/her first year of life? (pumping supplies / formula cost / lactation consultants / etc)

As always, if you don’t have a blog we welcome your comments on the topic below and we’ll link your comment in the post listing.

Also, if you’ve written a post on this topic in the past, feel free to submit that post instead of having to write a new one (unless you want to).

Entries for this month’s theme are due next Wednesday, August 21 at midnight, EST. The full list of links will go live on Thursday, August 22nd.

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monthly theme, June 2013: “looking back” post listing

The PAIL Monthly Theme listing is up!

Thank you all for your submissions! Below are the posts for the June 2013 Monthly Theme topic, “Looking Back.” We asked you to take a look where you were this time last year, two years ago, or more. What has changed in your life? How have you changed as a person? Read on and see what these PAIL Bloggers had to say!

Contributing Bloggers:

  1. Kalyn @ The Kasun Family, “Looking Back“– A quick look back on the past 5 Junes and how much has changed!
  2. Delenn @ Slaying, Blogging, Whatever…, “Looking Back“– Going back through posts before, during and after my infertility. About life in general and specific.
  3. Amanda @ My Life in a Nutshell, “Looking Back“– June is a month of reflection– looking back at what IF and loss has stolen and the perspective it has given me.
  4. Emma @ Emma in Mommyland, “Looking Back“– A look back at June 2010 – June 2013.
  5. Jess @ It’s Just a Box of Rain, “How Has Life Changed?“– So much has changed the past few Junes, from doubt and pain to hope and mommy hood… but there are still a few curves ahead and I find myself wondering what future Junes have in store.
  6. J o s e y @ My Cheap Version of Therapy, “Looking Back“– No wonder the ALI journey is hard to understand from the outside. Looking back over a quick snapshot of my journey the past four years, it seems so “easy”– but I know it was anything but when we were in the middle of it!
  7. Slese1014 @ Mommyhood After Fertility Frustration, “Looking Back…“– A trip down memory lane from engagement to pregnancy number 2 filled with ups and downs and all arounds…
  8. Esperanza @ Stumbling Gracefully, “Looking Back“– A look back at the mountains and valleys that have marked the landscape of our family-building experience.
  9. Cablearms, “Landslide“– An excerpt: “… There comes a point in one’s life when everything seems to fit… to fall into place. Around this time last year, life seemed to be filled with confusion, instability and haze. This year, I feel more alive than I’ve ever been, more loved than I’ve ever felt, more needed than I could ever be, and more present in my life. I am here in the now– happy, healthy, whole.”
  10. Megan @ My New Journey with Being a Mom After Infertility and Battling My Weight, “Another Spin Around the Sun“– The next step in our journey, becoming parents after IF, dealing with PCOS and my continuous battle with my weight.”
  11. Amanda @ Reading Each Page, “What a Difference a Year Makes“– My journey toward a baby had just begun in June 2011, it was at the height of difficulty in June of 2012, and in June of 2013. From hopeful to depressed to unbelievably lucky, all in the course of 3 Junes. What a difference a year makes.
  12. UncommonNonsense1, “Looking Back“– A look at four Junes, and how much my life has changed.
  13. Kacey @ Recipe for a Baby, “Looking back…“– From marriage to completing our family– the last six years.
  14. Sharon @ Conception Misconceptions, “PAIL Monthly Theme Post“– A reflection on what I was doing around this time the past six years.

If you are still writing your post, or these posts inspire you, link up in the comments. Additional posts will be added through the end of the week, so check back in to see if any new posts pop up, and feel free to leave some general comments on the topic below.

*****

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