Archive for the ‘31DBBB’ Category

Well people, sadly, I have officially given up on the 31 Days to  Build a Better Blog challenge. Upon receiving my 13th day task, I have come to the ultimate decision that 31DBBB is more for people who have a blog already established.

For instance, yesterday’s task was to focus on my current readers by e-mailing at least one. Well there’s a dilemma there right now. I’ve only received spam comments (if they weren’t spam comments, I’m sorry for deleting them. Askimet put them in my spam folder and I am automatically suspicious of everything that goes into a spam folder), I’ve had no subscriptions to the newsletter (sign up by clicking the button to the right). While I know that The Boyfriend and Mama T (my Mom) are reading this, I don’t need to reach out to them by e-mail, when I talk to them both in person almost every single day.

I’m not giving up completely on the 31DBBB challenge either. I’m just giving up on it until I have some readers and it looks like this blog is going somewhere other than just for my own fun. Until then I’ll just keep doing the NaBloPoMo thing (which I’m finding incredibly easy, especially now that I’ve gotten rid of the other challenge – I suppose, the real challenge).

So I had an “I feel like such a bad Mom” moment this morning. Today was Kaeidyn’s Sparkle Day at school. On her Sparkle Day, she gets to take in a toy or something else that she feels like showing off, basically show and tell. She gets to pick one boy and one girl to ask a question about what she brought in. Then either we, the parents, or the teacher (if the parent’s don’t go) read Kaeidyn’s Love Note to the class. We, the parents, wrote the Love Note which has reasons why we all treasure Kaeidyn as part of her family. Another plus to Sparkle Day is she gets to be the special class helper, which she loves because she gets to spend extra time standing next to the teacher.

This morning, I wasn’t even thinking about checking the school calendar, and I hadn’t had a chance to hang up the calendar that I just printed off last night, so I forgot completely about Sparkle Day. She went to school without anything to show and tell about, and it only really super sucked because she’s got tons of new things from Christmas that I’m sure she would’ve loved to show off. I didn’t realize until it was already too late. Needless to say, she got home and the first thing she said to me was “Mom, you forgot my Sparkle Day. Next time, can you not forget my Sparkle Day!”, I felt so bad 😦 Luckily, she’s a very forgiving child.

So then we had planned a McDonald’s day with Mama T. About once a month, we try to take all the kids to the McDonald’s Play Place, and let them go nutty. Today was even more difficult than usual, as we had The Boyfriend and Carter with us, so we had to do two trips to get to McDonald’s and two trips to get home.

The best part about the day, for me anyways, was when I asked Mama T if The Boyfriend and I could take the car and grab some stuff from Wal-Mart. Even though we had to take Carter, I felt like it was the most relaxing moment I’ve had in a long time. It was probably only because I was outside of the house and I feel like it’s been an incredibly long time since that last happened.

Tonight, I have to cut the kids hair. I hate it!! I really do suck at cutting the kids hair. I’ve butchered the kids hair, especially Kaeidyn’s so many times, it’s ridiculous. If it wasn’t for the fact that Kaeidyn is in school, and cares about her appearance, I’d just keep butchering it. So I cheat, I don’t actually cut anything more than their bangs. I hate that too though, because Kaeidyn’s hair is all different lengths (and not in the good way), Kenzie’s left side is longer than his right. I was planning on taking them to a professional, but their bangs can’t wait until I can set it all up. I bought new hair cutting sciscors today, so hopefully it’ll go alright enough.

Then I got these little tiny elastics (that will be perfect for Kaeidyn’s fine hair), so after hair cuts (and baths, unfortunately), I’ll be putting little braids all throughout Kaeidyn’s hair. I can’t wait to see what she looks like with a full head of crimpy/wavy hair. One day, I’m gonna do my whole head in braids.

Me and Two Kids

So, Mama T’s been reading my blog, and for the first time (probably since the day of my birth), I truly thought my Mom had some rather intelligent advice. And can you believe that it was advice about my blog?!?!? Her advice (not in these exact words) is that I had to give more praise for the Mom’s all around the world that do this same job as me, and those that struggle just as much, if not more than I do.

My Mom, for the better majority of my life, raised me all by herself and she seemed to do a much better job (in alot of areas) than I do most of the time. My Mom was/has been very instrumental in raising  my kids, being there for me through some of the roughest parts in my parenting journey thus far. She suggested, in her advice about my blog, to do a post much like what I’m going to do in a few minutes. I would save it for Mothers’ Day or something, but I have it on my mind right now. Sometimes, my Mom forgets how much I appreciate her, because sometimes, not only do I forget to tell her and show her, but she has two other kids who often forget too.

My Mom taught me ALOT of things throughout my life. All the parts of my parenting that I think are really good, are mostly thanks to my Mom’s nagging. She’s always had high expectations for me, but can you blame her? I clearly have a great amount of potential 😉 So here goes… This one’s for you Mom, Cheers!

Things My Mother Did or Said That Changed My Life… FOREVER!

  1. She gave birth to me!
    Without this, I would’ve never been born 😉 And then you wouldn’t be able to read these particular Rantings.
  2. Divorced my Dad
    No offense to either of my parents, but honestly, this was one of those divorces that made me more happy than sad. The only part I hated about my parents divorce, truly hated, was when my Mom first started dating other people.

    I’m sure Tiny (yes that was his name, Tiny. And he was one of the tallest, bulky men I’ve ever seen. Not really Tiny, but I guess it was cool or something…) was a really nice guy. He tried really hard with us kids, buying me a Toronto sweater when he went there and getting a friend of his to paint a jean jacket with a horse for me. But I didn’t want my Mom to date…

  3. Bought me Jasmine
    In 1995, we lived here in Red Deer, and my parents were seperated. Mom and Dad (at that time, better known as Santa) bought me this beautiful doll. I’ve been obsessed with dolls since I was young, but Jasmine was completely different.

    Her hair was dark, short and super curly. Her lips bright as cherries. Her eyelashes were long, and her eyes closed when she laid down. She was probably about two feet tall. This doll, undoubtably changed my life forever.

    She was ruined almost immediately after I got her. She was one of those dolls you could take for a bath and then leave in the bath and she would drain out. So I took her for a bath. I let her curly hair dry, and didn’t even think about what would happen when I tried to brush it. The next day, her hair was knotted, so we took a dog brush to it. Almost all her hair came out. Then I painted her nails (and did a bad job, I might add), and then I pierced her ears, her eyelashes started falling out.

    At that time in my life, I diagnosed all my dolls with diseases and often saved them from traumatic, life-threatening health issues. I gave Charisma, one of my smaller dolls, a brain transplant after she got a brain tumor. Jasmine, unfortunately, had contracted the worst disease of all.

    Lacrosse (yes, that’s how I spelt it. It was pronounced La-Chrose. I didn’t realize and neither did anyone else, until about 2 years after the diagnoses that my word was actually the word for the sport), was ultimately what ended Jasmine, and I tell myself this 14 years later. Just so everyone knows, I still have Jasmine, in a storage box in Swan Hills. Lacrosse was a devastating disease, causing her to stop breathing upbruptly, “causing” the loss of her hair and eyelashes, and eventually “causing” the loss of her arm. After she lost her arm, she started looking a bit like Chucky, and was more scary than cute, and so the closet became her new home.

    Jasmine and I were best of friends. I would spend every cent I made on her, often taking her on trips to Value Village and buying her a brand new outfit or bathing suit or earrings. She was my number one doll and she changed my life. Thanks to her and her made up disease, she taught me compassion and unconditional love.

  4. Held me and told me it was okay
    This one seems obvious right? Some of the biggest memories I have of my Mom were just of her holding me and telling me it was alright. Again, here in Red Deer, 1995. I was in Grade 2, at the school my daughter now attends, and I had entered the school talent show upon the insistence of my teacher.

    I get up on stage, after weeks of hardcore practice. Mama T loves telling this story. I practiced everywhere, in my sleep, on the toilet, everywhere! So the first microphone, doesn’t work. The second, not turned on. Finally the third works. All the time I had practiced, I had practiced with a tape recording. On stage, I had a live piano accompaniment… That I didn’t recognize.

    I completely butchered Somewhere Over the Rainbow. After singing, and having my skin turn the same color as the many bright floral patterns on my dress, I quickly walked off stage, into my Mom’s arms where I cried for the rest of the talent show. She just kept holding me and telling me it was alright.

    Or when I was probably 11 or so, and we lived in Salmon Arm. Every year, the school we attended had this huge barbecue. One of the things that all the kids loved was getting to dunk the principal. If you didn’t dunk him after throwing the ball three times, you got to run up and use your hands to push the button which would release his chair and everyone would laugh hysterically as he fell.

    My turn came up, and I missed with the ball every time. I’m double jointed and my elbows don’t bend the right way. Don’t ask me exactly how, because I can’t explain it. One day, I’ll take a picture and put it up. To this day, I still can’t do push ups properly because of it. Plus I’ve always had incredibly weak arms. So I run up to go push the button so that I can make the crowd laugh hysterically as the principal splashes about in the cold water of the tank. Instead, my arms give as I push with all my strength and the big wooden button comes smashing back in my face.

    I walked with a huge grin all the way back to my Mom, who opened her arms, as I quickened my pace and fell into them. She held me and told me it would be okay, as the pain slowly subsided from my already swelling nose. Suprisingly I didn’t break my nose at all.

  5. Moved to Red Deer
    I never wanted to come here. I never wanted to leave BC. I was born in BC and I lived all the best years of my life in BC. But Alberta had all the jobs, and Mama T needs a job. Without a job, my Mom feels useless. So we moved to Red Deer…

    Moving to Red Deer completely changed everything about my life. First, I met Alfie. Then I landed in a mental institution. Then I had Kaeidyn and went through the post partum depression. Then I landed in another mental institution and then I had Kenzie. I had Keirnan and next came the break up with Alfie. After that came The Boyfriend and Carter. Thankfully my Mom’s been here every step of the way, or I don’t think I would’ve survived Red Deer!!

  6. Held my hand during labour
    With Kaeidyn, my Mom was with me until I got wheeled down for my c-section. With Kenzie and Keirnan both, she was the only one there and held my hand and let me almost break her fingers. She was the first person (other than the doctor) that got to hold both Kenzie and Keirnan and the second with Kaeidyn. My Mom was the best support person during labour ever though. Especially when I was begging for drugs or another c-section. She seemed to know just what to say to piss me off enough to push that baby out of me!!!
  7. Forced me to sing
    It wasn’t forcing in a mean way. It was Mama T’s personal brand of encouragement. She’d keep me up late, just so she could hear me play one of my songs, just one more time. After I started playing guitar and singing at the same time, she’d make me play for all her friends.

    I used to hate it with a passion. Especially being that I don’t appreciate my talents very much. I always think I could do better. My Mom, on the other hand, always appreciated my talent, and she always knew other people would too. After a few years of having her “force” me to play for her friends or our family, I’m finally comfortable enough to record my own stuff and let other people hear it, or in some cases play in front of other people. I got up the courage this summer to play outside alot, not to anyone, but outside where others could hear. That’s pretty exciting for me.

    If Mama T hadn’t encouraged me so much, I probably would’ve given up on the music thing after the talent show fiasco…

  8. Mama T told me that I am the only voice for my children
    This was the most empowering things my Mom ever said to me. Alfie and I had broken up when I was pregnant with Kenzie. It was a very tumultuous time, and Alfie had been threatening to take the kids away. Then he wanted me to let him have visitational rights. So I told him he could, but it would have to be supervised. He didn’t like that idea at all. I often thought about going back on it, even though I didn’t think it was what was best for Kaeidyn.

    Mama T made it very clear to me, that at 1 1/2, Kaeidyn didn’t have the ability to say for herself that it wasn’t what she wanted. Kaeidyn didn’t know what was best for her and what wasn’t. It was my responsibility to be her voice and to protect her at all costs.  That was the biggest, most important parenting advice I ever received. You are 100% accountable for your kids, especially when they’re under the age of understanding!

There’s alot more that I could write here, because my Mom’s been the biggest influence in my life. It’s either a good thing or a bad thing. I’ll go with the former, because I think I’m a pretty good person overall. So what’s the point, what did she teach me?

  1. Tell your kids you love them everyday
  2. Hold your kids and never let them go
  3. Protect the ones you love
  4. Never give up on your dreams
  5. Be the voice for your young children
  6. Treat others with kindness and respect
  7. Be compassionate
  8. Work harder, because you have the potential to do better
  9. Look at a story from every angle so you can make your own decision on what’s the truth and what’s not
  10. My kids are my priority and my responsibility – an obvious one, but one that I’ve needed pointed out to me on more than one occasion (sadly…)

So there you have it, The Ten Teachings of Mama T. You better recognize! Love ya Mom, thanks for being my number one fan. Happy Not Mothers Day to all you other Mom’s out there.

What did your Mom teach you when you were growing up? How did she change your life? Do you parent your kids like your Mom did with you, or do you do the exact opposite, or do you try to find a healthy balance between the two? Leave a comment, or send me an e-mail (UnpredictableAngel13@hotmail.com) about your Mom and her life teachings.

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What I Learnt:

Using ‘lists’ has always been a popular and effective technique among bloggers wanting to write content that gets spread from one person to the next. Just look at pages like the front page of Digg, TweetMeme and Delicious and you’ll see that many of the ‘hottest’ content on the web at any given time are written in this style.

8 Reasons Why List Posts are Powerful

  1. Lists are scannable
  2. Lists keep post succinct
  3. Lists look neat
  4. Lists can be comprehensive
  5. Lists are persuasive
  6. Lists can add to the ease of writing
  7. Lists go viral
  8. Lists break down the complicated

Problogger Warns:

don’t go over the top with ‘list posts’. They can be incredibly powerful but on many blogs readers can become frustrated with them if that is all you do.

Today’s Task

Today your task is to write a ‘list post’ on your blog.

My Best Of 2009 List

  1. Carter Was Born!
    Carter's Birth
    This year, we welcomed the sixth member of our family (and our fourth child), Carter Drayke. Even though, after having Keirnan, I said I wasn’t getting pregnant again until at least Kaeidyn was in school, back in January, I found out I was expecting again.The Boyfriend and I both knew before the test, but the confirmation seemed like a big slap in the face. The pregnancy was long, and even though in terms of health it was my best pregnancy yet, it was a hard pregnancy. Carter was my least complicated pregnancy, and I lasted until 4 days away from my original due date, which was October 28th (the doctors moved it further back to November 7th or 8th, because I was measuring small – which is the least abnormal thing for me!).

    So October 24th, we welcomed our handsome man, who at 2 months old now, seems like he’s not even a baby anymore. Weighing in at a solid 12 lbs 2.5 oz., he’s holding his head up with ease and already starting to crawl. Definetely one of the best things to happen this year!

  2. Kaeidyn’s Officially a Big Girl!
    Kaeidyn's First Day
    This year was a year of many milestones for my eldest. First, she started school. The day was epic for all of us. The first day, was an orientation that Alfie and I got to go to with her. For her, it was an amazing, exciting day. For me, it could’ve gone better.The day was a drop-in. When we went, we were the youngest parents there. The teacher had hardly acknowledged our existence. Looking back on it now, it was probably just because she was incredibly busy doing something else. At that time, I took it as she was ignoring us.

    The next day was Kaeidyn’s first day completely by herself. We got there, and Kaeidyn ran up to the teacher and started talking to her. Again, it was probably just the teacher was incredibly busy, but she turned away from Kaeidyn and I took it as the teacher ignoring my kid. I walked out of the school bawling my eyes out (even though I said I wouldn’t cry when Kaeidyn started school!).

    Of course, Alfie had to make it worse by telling me all the way home that “It’s okay”, secretly laughing to himself that I was being the irrational, mom-on-the-first-day-of-school cry baby, that I said I wouldn’t be. His own little “I told you so” dance.

    Even though I’ve cried alot over the stuff that’s gone on at school with Kaeidyn, from Christmas Concerts to speech therapy, it’s one of the best things that happened this year for alot of reasons. I love how much I’ve learnt about her since she’s started school and how much she’s learnt. I love watching her get older and wiser and smarter with each passing school day.

    Another really big milestone for Kaeidyn was losing her first tooth. She said one day her bottom front tooth hurt. Nothing seemed out of place. The next day, her tooth was loose. About three weeks later, after a short freak out about “it’ll hurt so bad!”, with the help of a paper towel, we pulled that loose tooth out.

    The next day, she woke up to a loonie under her pillow, a missing tooth and a second loose tooth, which she lost about two weeks later. Now her adult teeth are coming in and she’s incredibly excited. Can’t wait for her to lose her top front teeth!

  3. This Summer
    Picture of Summer
    This summer was by far my most favourite summer ever. I’m not normally one for the outdoors, preferring to be within the confines of my own home. For some reason, this summer, I never wanted to be in the house!This summer, not only did the kids and I all get tanned, but we did alot of fun stuff as a family. We went:

    • To Gull Lake
      At Gull Lake at Gull Lake Kenzie in a Hole
    • To Kin Canyon/Rotary Park
      At Kin Canyon Walking through Kin Canyon On the stairs Mommy and Kaeidyn Kenzie carrying wood Kaeidyn carrying Wood
    • Camping for a Day

      Kenzie, Keirnan, Riley, Kaeidyn, Kenzie and Hope Building the Tent Big Hill
    • To The Fountain

      Kaeidyn at the Fountain Kenzie at the Fountain Freezing Kaeidyn Valerie Rayne in the Water
    • To The Westerner Parade
      Eating Apples at the Westerner Parade
    • To The Exercise Park
      Exercising
    • To the “Club House”


      The Club House is really what the kids call Grandma’s House but I’m calling the field out behind her house the Club House.
    • To the new Bower Ponds Park

      At Bower Ponds At Bower ponds Bower Ponds
    • Paddle Boating

      On a Boat On a Boat
    • To the Blackfalds Water Park

      Trying to Convince the Boys to Go Play At the Water Park
    • For a nature walk at The Kerrywood Nature Center

      Fish At the Kerrywood Nature Center At The Kerrywood Nature Center Kerrywood Nature Center
    • To Discovery Canyon

      Discovery Canyon Discovery Canyon Discovery Canyon Eating Apples Eating Apples Discovery Canyon

    Needless to say, we can’t wait for this summer!!

  4. Tons of Great Pictures
    The Boyfriend and I got tons of great landscape pictures which we’ve been using as desktop backgrounds. Some of my favourite landscape pictures from this year include:

  5. Great Kids Movies
    This year was a year with many great kids movies. They’re have probably been alot of years with great kids movies. Thankfully, I’ve had a computer all the other years, so I was never forced to watch kids movies. This year, it was a goal of mine to spend more time doing things with the kids. So this year, I watched a few kids movies with the kids and I loved every one of them. Maybe more than the kids did.Kaeidyn and I absolutely loved Tinkerbell and The Lost Treasure. We did the whole family movie night for this one, and while it was hard to keep the boys extremely interested in it, Kaeidyn, The Boyfriend and I were having a hoot and it was a seriously funny movie.

    Bedtime Stories (the kids call it “Raining Gumballs”), is another one of our favourites for this year. The first couple of times, the kids watched it alone or with Alfie. I finally watched it, and seriously, one of the best Adam Sandler movies ever! It’s funny, it’s touching, it was exciting.

    Another one that we all enjoyed this year was Monsters vs. Aliens. My favourite part of the movie is when “The Missing Link” says that it felt warmer, “That would be a very convenient truth”. I laughed hysterically through most of this movie. The best part was, even though the kids didn’t understand any of the references, they laughed through most of the movie too.

    And even though it’s not a kids movie, one of our memorable movie moments was taking Kaeidyn and Kenzie to go see Transformers 2 at the big Galaxy Cinema. That was alot of fun and the movie was spectacular.

  6. The Delicious Food We Ate
    My Delicious Nutritious Shepard’s Pie

    Preheat Oven to 425 degrees farenheit.

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 lb Lean Ground Beef
    • 6-8 Medium Potatoes
    • 1 can of Corn
    • Approx. 1/2 cup of frozen carrots, finely diced
    • Approx. 1/2 cup of frozen cauliflour, finely diced
    • Approx. 1 cup of Original Tomato Sauce
    • Butter
    • Cheez Whiz
    • Milk
    • Seasoning Salt
    • Onion Salt
    • Garlic Powder
    • Salt and Pepper

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Peel potatoes and cut into chunks.
    2. Place in a larger pot, fill with enough water to cover. Turn on high heat and bring to a boil.
    3. Place frozen cauliflour in a medium pot, cover with water and bring to a boil.
    4. Begin browning meat in a medium pot on medium heat, adding salt, pepper, onion salt, garlic powder and seasoning salt to taste.
    5. Once meat is browned, carrots and cook for approx. 5 minutes or untl carrots are soft.
    6. Add tomato sauce to meat/carrot mixture and reduce heat. Simmer until everything else is prepared.
    7. Open can of corn, save the liquid from the can, and cook in a small pot on medium-low heat.
    8. Once the potatoes are soft enough that you can no longer pick them up with a fork, they are ready to be drained. After draining, return to the pot, add half of corn liquid, a small amount of milk, about a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of Cheez Whiz and the boiled cauliflour. Mash to desired consistency.
    9. Add remaining corn liquid to meat and sauce and let simmer
    10. Place a small layer of mashed potatoes into cupcake tins (I used a 12 cupcake one) and cook in the oven for about 7 or 8 minutes.
    11. Remove from oven and add a layer of the corn, then a layer of the meat and lastly another layer of the potatoes. Place in oven and cook for about 15 minutes.
    12. Add some grated cheese to the top of each Shephard’s Pie Cupcake and cook in the oven until the cheese is browned.
    13. Remove from oven. Eat and enjoy your nutritious, delicious Shephard’s Pie. Careful: It’s really hot!

    Tomorrow I’ll put up Cheesy Pork and Potatoes (mmm!),
    a meal good enough for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

    So there you have it, my list post and the best things about 2009!

What I Learnt:

What is an Elevator Pitch?

“An elevator pitch is an overview of an idea for a product, service, or project. The name reflects the fact that an elevator pitch can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride (for example, thirty seconds or 100-150 words).”
Wikipedia

RANTS
This is either going to be really easy or really hard. At least it’s 150 words as opposed to 150 characters – the approximate length of a Twitter update (a tweet?!?). I tend to have a pretty difficult time keeping it under that on one or two day-to-day things, let alone a blog full of information over a span of time consisting of more than 48 hours!!!!

On the other hand, if you think about it in the length of an elevator ride, I think that I talk fast enough that I could relay all the information that I needed to about the blog to get someone to read it. Like I said, it’s going to either be really easy or really hard. If only it really were as simple as “A blog about a 23-year-old, stay-at-home Mom of four”.

QUESTIONS: (Please leave me your comments!!)

  1. Have you ever tried to write an elevator pitch?
  2. Do you Twitter (or whatever they call it)?
  3. What do you think of my simple “about this blog” sentence?
  4. Do you like my Elevator Pitch?

Why it’s smart for a Blogger to use:

  • One of the most important reasons to do this exercise is that to develop an elevator pitch YOU as a blogger have thought through and crystallised in your mind what your blog is about.

If you’re fuzzy on what your blog is about it’s unlikely that anyone else will have much of an idea either.

RANTS
This one is a little bit difficult. I mean, I know my blog is about my life as a 23-year-old, stay-at-home Mom of four. I know my blog covers the boring and yet vast categories of my life. From the four kids and the happenings in their life, to the lack of money, to my hopes and dreams for the future and some of the stuff I like to do creatively. The blog is alot like a website, in the sense that it’s a one-stop-shop for everything that is a part of my life.

It’s a little hard to narrow it down into 150 words, though it would be even harder with the Twitter issue. At least I know what it’s about. Hopefully I can pinpoint it in 150 words for other people to know what it’s about 😉

Quotes Are From

31DBBBProblogger’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge

  • Once you’ve got one it is brilliant for communicating what your blog is about to readers (both the ones you already have and potential ones), other bloggers, potential partners, media/journalists, advertisers and even to friends and family members who might not get what you’re doing.

RANTS
Did anyone else just get totally excited reading this last quote? I’ve always loved when people wanted to read my journals. One of my favourite memories is my Mom and I sitting there reading my journals from when I was 14 when I first moved into my house. We laughed, we cried, we got into an arguement. It was great fun!

So to think that with the internet, there’s a potential audience of millions to laugh, cry and get into an argument with me, I couldn’t be more excited. It excites me to think about having readers. I’m excited and nervous and jittery. Connecting with other bloggers, nervous about that.

Today’s Task

Take some time out today to develop an elevator pitch for your blog. If you’ve already got one take a few minutes to review and refine it.

Questions and Answers Rant:

Q: Does your blog solve a problem or need?

A: Yes and No. If you’re need is to sit around listen to me rant about my life, then yes it solves a need. If you have a problem with the fact that you simply don’t have enough people already ranting at you, then yes my blog solves a problem. Otherwise, no…

Q: Define your audience

  • Who is your blog for?
  • Who are you attempting to attract?
  • Are you trying to target a specific demographic?

A: My blog is mostly for me. I created it so that I would have a venue to do what it is that I’m best at, and that’s rant. And by ranting, I don’t mean bickering and nagging and getting all up in your grill. I just mean that I tend to carry on, I tend to rant. In writing this, I’m hoping to attract anyone who feels like listening to me.

I don’t really have a target demographic. I want teenagers who are having sex to read this, teenagers who have never considered having kids reading this. I want Moms and Dads of all ages, shapes and sizes reading about the struggles and the triumphs of parenting. I want Grandparents and felines and single people and all people, to read my blog.

My Elevator Pitch

It’s a work-in-progress. Comments are more than welcome!

Problogger suggests making a short version and a long version of your elevator pitch.

Short Version:

The Rantings of a Tortured Mind – The trials and tribulations of a 23-year-old, stay-at-home Mom of four.

RANTS
While I managed to do it with only 21 words!!! And I’d like to let everyone know that I was able to write it as a Twitter update (a tweet?!?), with 33 characters to spare. Woo hoo!!

I feel like I’m leaving myself open to alot of stereotyping and negativity from the short version of my elevator pitch. And I can’t decide for the life of me if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I also feel like it hardly describes what The Rantings are about. If anything, it’s almost a misrepresentation of what The Rantings are. Or maybe it’s not, I can’t decide. Maybe this will help us:

Long Version:

The Rantings of a Tortured Mind is a blog/website that is maintained and written by me, Valerie Rayne, a 23-year-old, stay-at-home Mom of four whose passions are her kids, her music and her sexuality. The Rantings cover many aspects of my life, from my 5-year-old, 3-year-old, 2-year-old and 2-month-old to songs and stories that I have written to my wants and desires for my life (which will hopefully make me feel accountable to start putting my life into order – the way I want it!).

RANTS
I guess in a way it gets my point across, but are you still left a little confused? Does it make you want to read the blog more or less? Any comments or suggestions are appreciated.

Even though, in seven minutes, it will be January 1st, it’s “Not The 1st Yet”. And even when the clock strikes twelve and it is officially the 1st, I will be in denial and it won’t become the 1st until tomorrow morning, after I wake up. Why is this relevant, you ask. Why does it matter?

I’ve come across two different online 31-day blogging challenges. One of My Goals for 2010 (a sort of New Years’ Resolution, if you will) is to participate in both of these challenges at the same time beginning January 1st, 2010 (even though it is technically now today, I’m not starting until tomorrow ;))

The first challenge I happened upon was

NaBloPoMo
NaBloPoMo
(National Blog Posting Month)

NaBloPoMo is for “People who want to set the habit of blogging by doing it everyday for a month, including weekends, can come here for moral support, inspiration, and the camaraderie that only marathon blogging can provide.”

Not only is NaBloPoMo a great reason to blog everyday (it makes me want to be accountable to my goal, great motivation!), but it’s also great for finding a variety of blogs and letting other people discover your blog.

Tomorrow is my official start day, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to make the 31-day stretch. It’s been a couple of years since I wrote something everyday. Wish me luck!!

Then I happened across Probloggers

31DBBB
31-Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge

As some of you may know, though alot of you may not, I’m coming back from a few years hiatus on blogging. It seems brand new to me. You can do alot more in the blogging world now, than you could back when I had The Old Rantings. I figured this would be a wonderful opportunity to learn.

Another reason I decided to go for this particular challenge is because I have some goals when it comes to blogging, such as how many readers I’d like to have and how many people I’d like subscribing to the mailing list (learn more). I’m betting that I’ll learn a whole heck of alot.

I’ve already begun receiving my daily tasks, and have a basic idea of how the next week or so will go in terms of “absolute daily posts”. So hopefully I’ll learn lots, and post everyday.

Has anyone else participated in either of these challenges? What other challenges do you know of like this? Leave me a comment, or send me an e-mail and let me know.

Look forward to tomorrow for my first 31DBBB/NaBloPoMo post! It’s all about Writing an Elevator Pitch.