I think I know when I started blogging. I had just come back from a road trip to Niagara Falls, where we had been caught in a crazy, freak hailstorm. I had welts on my shoulders from golfball-sized hailstones. I knew I had a good story on my hands, and I knew that if I told it enough times it would get watered down to, well, something along the lines of the two sentences above. So I sat down and took my time writing out the whole thing, deliberately and elaborately, and emailed it to everyone I thought might care. I received an amazing response, both on the "Wow, what an experience!" side of things as well as on the "Hey, that was well-written!" side of things. It was a thrill. I love to tell stories, but I loved being able to take my time, polish my story, and share it multiple times with the click of a button even more. It's an extrovert-perfectionist's dream!
When I sent that email ten years ago, I don't know if blogs even existed. So my original "blogging" was really more "mass emailing". But it was a start.
A couple years after that, Jeremy proposed to me, and I discovered a new use for the internet. I made a wedding website, primarily for the purpose of information sharing (directions to the church, etc.) as well as to share pictures after the fact. Then I didn't even need to email people, they could just go find stuff for themselves! I did a bit of writing for the wedding site, but it still wasn't much like blogging. As months passed after the wedding, having a "wedding" website no longer seemed appropriate. But I had grown accustomed to having A website. So I started a personal website, and I started to spend more time writing things for the site. Mostly non-fiction narratives, but I occasionally branched out and wrote more introspective-type things, and once I even wrote a choose-your-own-adventure story.
In 2003, I found my way onto an online journal site. Once again, I found this to be the ideal tool for someone who is lazy. I never needed to keep track of what I was doing and when - if I wrote about it, I could always go back and look through my archives and say, "No, I haven't been back to Canada since April," or, "Actually, it was raining during that parade." But there was something about the community site that discouraged my best writing. I stopped using capitals, which didn't change the content of my writing, but made it look less polished, and, I think, made me more lazy about the quality. That's when perfectionism won out over laziness, and I started this blog in 2006.
Enter baby Valerie, and a whole new era of blogging for me. I guess this is officially now a "Mommy Blog", but I don't know that the blog itself will change in many ways other than content. It's still my means of being lazy, I just happen to want to tell everybody about a baby now instead of about a road trip. (Coming in October: story about a road trip WITH a baby!) I never made a wedding scrapbook, and I doubt if I will fill more than a few pages in a baby scrapbook. This is my baby scrapbook. And its text is searchable!
And while I'm thinking of this blog as baby book, here are a few things I've been wanting to put in Valerie's baby book:
When she's nursing, she makes cute little squeaky noises. And she's starting to use her hands deliberately, using one hand to stroke my side while she's eating, and the other hand to push away when she's done. She gets the hiccups almost every time I change her diaper. She still doesn't generally sleep for more than about an hour and a half or so at a time, and she tends to cluster feed (she'll eat every 20 minutes for an hour or two, then sleep). When she's in a good mood, she will lie happily on her back and stare at nothing at all for 20 minutes or more. But some days, like yesterday when she wasn't feeling well, she won't let me put her down at all. She loves to listen to music, especially rocky/happy music like the Barenaked Ladies. Sometimes, when she wakes me up to nurse, I really don't feel like it, but when the milk lets down, it's like my body sighs with relief, and all of the tension melts away. Until she gets gassy and starts squirming off my nipple, twisting it in every direction. Dang, that hurts.
She went on a bit of a growth spurt this weekend - sleeping for unprecedented three-hour stretches, and eating (if possible) even more often than usual. But yesterday, she squawked and screeched all day, and didn't let me put her down for even a bathroom break. (I think she might have picked up a bit of a stomach bug somewhere, since her poops were less seedy than usual.) She's doing better today, though, and I actually managed to get us out to a La Leche League meeting, go grocery shopping, and do the dishes. That's like a week's worth of productive for me right now!