Lindsay Gill: July 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How I lost 50 Twitter followers overnight

"Linds, you have 19 followers on Twitter."

My younger brother pointed that out to me when I first started blogging.  It was a simple fact, but it resonated with me.  I was explaining to him that I was having a giveaway on my blog, and that I was trying to get more people to enter and was having trouble.  

Later, he calmly asked me..."By the way, is that you on Google+ every day or I am getting spammed?"

Again, a simple question that had me stop in my blogging tracks.  

I learned that "sharing" my google posts with my circles didn't just mean they could see them on google+, but that they would actually get an email each time.  That's annoying! And clearly can be confused with spam!  I learned that you need more than 19 Twitter followers to increase entries in a giveaway.

I quickly learned that if I followed and supported another blog, they would usually return the favor.  How exciting!  All I had to do was "like" every single thing I came across on all social media and voila! my following would grow, as well.

Until last night.  When I opened Twitter and was overwhelmed by the amount of tweets that I was not interested in.  And then wall was filled with blogs I didn't even read and their posts on anything under the sun.  And you guessed it...Twitter, and Instagram.  Who are these people and why am I looking at their children on Instagram?  I had ruined my own experience reading blogs and social media by trying to promote my own blog and social media.

So last night, I started unfollowing.  If you were unfollowed, and I'm sure unfollowspy told ya so, I'm sorry.  It's not personal.  I can't keep up!  I'm learning as I go.  

I literally lost 50 followers overnight from unfollowing them.  You're not gunna follow me?  Fine, then I won't follow you! they said.  How interesting!  An experiment in mass psychology.

On the same note, I've read two articles on this subject.  The gazillion "likes" we're acquiring is not all that helpful when it comes to actually gaining readers and "views."  Facebook now carefully chooses who and when see your post based on the popularity of it with a certain number of viewers.  If those certain viewers have no interest in my material and they don't "like" it or comment on it, it probably won't be shown to my other followers who actually be interested.

How silly this all sounds!  And how personally we take it.  Myself included!  And the advertising companies did this to us, that's the first question they ask when you're thinking of collaborating with a company.  

What's my point?  My point is that I'm learning.  My point is that I don't want to let me blog-readership-growing-tactics-that-aren't-tactics get in the way of enjoying social media and following blogs that really interest me.  Otherwise I'm missing out!  In other words, I am walking a thin line on compromising myself, compromising my likes, my interests, my down time.  And I'd like to stop that immediately.

What is your experience with all of this?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Oh hey, Friday! and my House Hunt Wish List

When I was little, I had a favorite house.  My parents told me that I wanted to paint it purple, and wanted to use colored Christmas lights instead of the white ones my family used to use.  It's actually for sale now, if you're interested!


When I was a bit older, this became my favorite house.  I couldn't imagine a more perfect house.  I still really love this house!


Linking up with Oh hey, Friday, and inspired by a post by Being Mrs. Beer, here is my current house hunting wishlist...

1.  Safety.  Sidewalks would be great, on a side street.  I want a team of inspectors.  All in their big orange Hazmat suits, assuring me that Luke is safe from lead paint, mold, falling roofs, and robbers.  

2.  Medium sized.  I would say small but the ceilings have to be tall enough to accommodate my 6'6'' husband and soon to be tall son.  I like having a smaller house that can be easily kept clean, and frankly, I'm scared of unused dark rooms.

3.  Flat driveway.  This was my criteria when my parents were house hunting when I was a child.  I wanted to ride my bike on a flat driveway.  Though I don't even have a bike, that is still on my wishlist!

4.  A small room for my arts and crafts explosion.  I have always loved small spaces, and would love a room to set up my sewing machine, my paints, my calligraphy nibs, my glitter...  It would be great for JP to have a guitar area, too.  

5.  Location, location, location!  Close to family would be great, in a good school district would be great.  Quiet.  We always seem to live next to a fire station, a family hoarding barking dogs, or a pep band.  It would be great to have a quiet neighborhood.

A wish list is just that.  Something to wish for.  I'm ready to be flexible and open minded.  Except for #1. and #5.  and probably #2, #3, and #4.  

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Being a Temporary Stay at Home Dad: Interview #2 with John Paul

(Read our first interview here.)

Me: John Paul, thanks so much for being here today for your second interview.

John Paul: Thank you for having me.  Actually, can I just finish my breakfast please?

(a few minutes of pause)

Me: I had posted in the past about the original play area you set up for Luke.  How has his play area changed?  What is good about his play are and what should be improved?

JP: Blank stare. Well the whole house is baby-proofed and he is free to play anyway he wants now.  It's easier for us to not be confined to one area. the long term we're going to get rid of our china cabinet...I don't really feel like that's super safe....that's it.

Me: You've mentioned that you have an "alert scale."  Can you tell me a little bit about that?

JP: Laughs.  I have alert, high alert, and maximum alert in my brain when watching Luke.  Let's say Luke is playing in a unique area that's new to him like with a friend, I don't watch him like a hawk.  If he's climbing on a chair, high alert.  If he's climbing at the park outside, maximum alert.  See on maximum alert, my hand is 2 inches from his hand because a of the playground is really high up!

Me: I posted on "Rockin' the stay at home mom day."  How do you rock the SAHD day?

JP: Okay...We go with the flow.  I like to do at least one field trip.  We hang out and wrestle on the floor.  Then...we read books and watch TV together and go for a walk.  We eat all of our favorite foods.  Then we need a break from each other so he plays with his toys or sits in a cardboard box.  I usually watch a documentary or do something on the computer while he's independently playing.  We check on Gill, the fish, and then we both take a nap....and wait for you to come home.

Me: As you know, our friend, GL, will be a SAHD for part of the summer, and he is nervous about it.  What advice would you offer him?

JP:  Ummm...hmm.

Me: Good question, right?

JP: Right. As you learn more about each other, it gets easier.  You get in a routine.  Just be aware that it will be hard to leave him when your stretch of time is done.  You really get so close.  And it's definitely gets easier.  Because you know little tricks.  Little things that...that's it.

Me:  Do you think there is a difference between my day home with Luke and your day home with Luke?

JP:  (chuckles) I can tell Luke several times per day to do some independent play.  Go play with the box, go play with your toys.  I think you play with him non-stop every day.  He'll tell me when he's done playing by himself.  So for whatever reason, you never got into the routine where you can tell him, "go play."  And I do feel like, I don't want to say he's better for me at times...don't write that down...but he can put on more of show for you sometimes.  Dad can tell him to "cut it out" a little easier than mom can.  Would you agree with that?

Me: Yes.  Any closing remarks?

JP:  This interview is a lot shorter than the last one.

Me:  Really?

JP: Yes.  If I knew this, I wouldn't have delayed this 3 weeks.  Don't you want to know something personal?  For my readers, my fans, for Mike?  This is Wedding Rings to Teething Rings.  Not just teething rings!  What about our readers that wants to know the inside scoop of our love affair....between...each other...The first thing our audience should know if how you improved in the ability to make coffee.  Ground free.

Me: Do you have any questions for me?

JP:  I thought you'd never ask.  What is one thing you've learned after almost one year of blogging?

Me: hmmmm...

JP:  Not so easy, is it?  Being in the hot seat, people grilling you left and right.  Bright lights, Pressure, beads of sweat on your forehead.  Dry mouth, kink in your back. Confusion.  I'll answer my own question.  Well the first thing you've learned is that you enjoy this more than you thought you would.  Reflecting and sharing all of the things you've learned about marriage and motherhood.  This is a great outlet for you.  And the business end of things, you've enjoyed that.  You've learned a lot about your audience while being true to yourself...not just writing garbage.  I think you really enjoy writing and using your time productively.

Me:  How should we end?

JP: I came prepared to end with a poem.

Me: Absolutely not.  Would you be interested in a third interview at some point in your life?

JP:  I was hoping it would be later today.

Me:  Anything you'd like to say to Mike?

JP:  Mike, I'll call you later.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Toddler: 18 months old

As I begin to organize the 3999 (wish I was kidding) photos from the past three months to make Luke's 15-18 month album, I realize how much he's learned and changed during this time.  It really has been three months of huge progress that all started with his ear tubes.

Words:  no, mama, puh-puh (his grandfather), nana, "B," eat, puppy, bue-berry, pasta, muhlk (milk), sigh-sigh (outside), ouch, keys, shoe, socks, mahn (mine), mow (mouth)

Wearing: Starting to figure out that he can take his own diaper off.  All clothes get immediately stained.  Many new-to-us consignment finds from my Instashopping.

Eating: Loves fruit!  Blueberries, peaches, watermelon.  Macaroni and cheese (more than I'd like to admit), yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes, scrambled eggs.  Pretty much anything that Daddy likes.  Love the Zoli Baby Bot Cup!

Sleep: We continue to be very lucky! Bedtime around 6:00pm and waking up around 6:00am.  Give or take.  Nap routine struggles.  Sometimes one nap, sometimes two.  Sometimes 30 minutes and sometimes 3 hours.

Schedule: Daddy's home for the summer!  Home with only daddy for three days, and with mom/dad four days.  Dad's been frequenting the local museums and the boys are really bonding.

Activity: Loves running with head down and hands backwards (I have to get a picture of this.) Started fold in half and put head on the ground.  Starting to climb more.  Learning how to safely dismount furniture.  Loves his new blow up pool!

Social: Loves people.  Waves to everyone everywhere.  Sometimes the center of attention (with grandparents), sometimes the pensive observer (playgroup and school).  Fascinated by faces.  Leans in to study your face.  Loves pointing to parts of the face and naming them.

Learning: Knows the letter "B."  Has done pee-pee on the potty about five times inconsistently.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

5 on Wednesday

Yes, in general, I've been doing the 5 on Friday Link-up.  But we will switch it up this week and do 5 on Wednesday!

1.  My one year blogging anniversary is coming up on August 7th!  To celebrate, I will be hosting a giveaway!  The Rafflecopter links will be $5 each, please email me for more details at weddingringstoteethingrings(at)gmail(dot)com.

2.  I'm part of a Secret Santa through the Northeast Bloggers Network!  I was given a blogger to "get to know" via their blog and social network sites and then send them a gift later this month.  I've been enjoying reading a blog that I wouldn't have found otherwise!  I can't wait to share the experience with you along with the gift and the blog!

3.  We're going to Buffalo for my sister-in-law's baby shower in August.  I've been searching for a new dress for the shower and I found one that I love which is coming in the mail.

4.  Luke will be 18 months old on the 15th!  I'm looking forward to sitting down and making his 15-18 month photo album.  I was going to try to do yearly books now instead of monthly, but had acquired about 1500 pictures in just 3 months.  I will be doing them in 3 month increments now.  I love making the books and feel at peace that the photos will be preserved and not lost in some internet cloud file somewhere in space!  Plus, the grandparents and great-grandparents love going through them.

5.  Luke had his last day of daycare until the Fall.  He is home with his daddy and they are having a great time!  They are frequenting the Children's Museum almost daily (JP gets in free as a teacher!) and going to the park.  They really bonded last summer during DaddyLukey time, and I'm sure they will be even closer at the end of this summer, too!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Photos from Cape Cod 7.7.14

We were able to spend the Fourth at Cape Cod!  Here are some shots from the trip.  It's about a 2.5-3 hour trip for us, and Luke consistently is happy through about two of those hours.  Once he arrives, though, he knows he is in for lots of playing in the sand, ocean, and playground!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Today's Inspiration: You're a better ________ than you know.

photo credit to my mom
I've been thinking a lot about my work as an Orthoptist.  Now that I'm more comfortable and confident with the technical part of my position, I've been interested in being great at what I do.  But what makes someone great at what they do?

Is it being speedy? Being correct all of the time?  Being trustworthy?  I've been putting myself in patients' shoes.  Maybe because I just went through a surgery with my little Luke.  What does a patient want in an appointment?  Here are some quotes from my patients:

1.  I just came here last week, why do you have to check my vision again?

2.  Looks like you're running behind today, huh?

3.  Are you some sort of specialist?  Why didn't you want to be a doctor?  You know, it seems like an appropriate question from one woman to another.

4.  Is it normal to have double vision?

5.  How long have you been doing this, young lady?

Then there is the more serious cases like people being diagnosed with MS and hearing it for the first time.  Needing a prism for double vision due to a newly diagnosed brain tumor.  A man who's eye problems are the first sign of a disease that will take his life.

So what is my purpose?  On an employee level, my job is to get the patient's ready for the doctor efficiently.  Take their eye measurements, take a good history, make the doctor's job easier.  But I've been viewing myself in a different light these days.  In a light that my purpose it to make the visit a little better for the patient.  To prescribe prisms to resolve their double vision.  To explain their conditions to their loved ones a little bit slower.  To answer their questions.

I'm so lucky to love what I do, but this concept is not unique to my profession or field.  Our interactions with others can be so powerful!  My goal is to make each patient feel a bit better.  I won't be giving them chemo or curing anything, but by being patient with them, by listening to them, by explaining to them, I want them to feel better.

I have to thank my teacher, Kyle, for her text that sent me on my new quest.  She said "you're a better Orthoptist than you know."

I'm going to pass that on to you, and fill in the blank however you see fit...

You're a better ______ than you know!

photo credit to my mom