Monday, February 17, 2014

Pregnant and Getting Ready for a Hospital Run

 ((I wrote this the day before I went into labor. Good news is that everyone is home and adjusting well to our baby boy.))

Getting the House Ready

Most people love this part.

-Crib
-Baby Swing
-Some paint and decorate the baby room
-Wash the new bottles- found out in the hospital that they no longer suggest that you sterilize anything.
-Get a changing area ready or have everything accessible.
-Put things in order by size.
-Do some deep cleaning 


Packing for the Hospital I've done this five times now.

So get out the trusty overnight bag. And here is what to put in it.

-Medical Cards -If not your purse.
-Shampoo, Conditioner (travel sized)- hospitals may supply these but just in case.
-Deodorant (travel sized)
-Toothbrush
-Toothpaste (travel sized)
- About 3 outfits that are comfortable and you don't mind being seen in.
- Comfortable underwears
-Razer. I can see "me"  now. OMG!
-Comb/Brush
-Camera- Extra batteries
-Cell Phone- Cell phone cord

Packing for Baby

-Baby's going home outfit
-Baby Blankets
-Car Seat, They wont let you take baby home without one.
- Baby Hat 
- Baby Snowsuit or other warm gear. If it's cold like it is now.

 What I don't pack and why.

Keep in mind everything that the hospital opens will be sent home with you because they can't pass it to anyone else. So..

-Pads, you will need them, the hospital will provide enough for you until your at home at least.
-Diapers, again the hospital will give you a package.
-Baby Wipes, they provide something to use.
-If you are not breast feeding, Formula, will be given to you and you will probably have enough to at least get you home if not a visit to a family member on the way home.
-Diaper Bag- most hospitals will give you an introductory bag from a formula company with all kinds of goodies.
-Baby Book- Another thing that some hospitals hand out. Besides filling out the baby book may take second place to actually cuddling your brand new baby.
-Baby Rash Ointment or Cream- another thing you may be given.
-Burp rags- they will have some to use while there, might pack one for the way home.
-Bottles- only pack if you are going to stop somewhere on your way home. The hospital usually supplies you with the ready made disposable bottles.


If your really nice.
-Pack extra clothes for the hubby or significant other
-Deodorant
-Toothbrush 
-Change for the candy or pop machines

Getting the other kids ready to run out the door. 

- Have the kids laundry done and put away.
-Make sure their homework is done right away when they get off the bus.
-Make sure that all their school bags and winter clothing are easy to locate.
-Have someone ready to watch the kids at a moments notice.
-For little ones make sure you have their diaper bag ready with overnight clothes,formula,diapers and wipes
-School aged children have everything set out that they will need to run out the door and that is it. - I figure that if it comes to it they can be late for school, while the person taking them for the time being, brings them home. Then they can get them dressed and ready for school. Then pack what they will need for overnight. (Trust me having every ones overnight bag ready and sitting by the door will only cause more confusion and chaos. Besides can you imagine having to load all those bags? I counted and it would be 9 or more bags.)
 -Try to have as little as possible planned during the 30 days surrounding your due date. It's harder for school aged children. So far I know that the week after there are teacher conferences. Some things can't be helped.

Dont forget the Pets-We only have a cat so it's basically making sure that someone comes to give her food and water until we are back. But just in case you have a different kind of pet.

-Make sure there is someone to take care of them. (Stop in to give them food or what ever they need, once to three times a day as needed)
-Make sure there is plenty of food, in an easy to find place.
-Make sure the environment is safe and clean. (In our case make sure that we keep the litter box as clean as we can, so she doesn't go on litter box strike while we are away. I'd hate to ask someone else to clean it.)

Empty House Care

-If your sitter isn't with your kids in the house. Don't tell anyone that it's empty.
-Have someone check on it while you are away.


Good luck mothers and fathers to be.





Saturday, February 1, 2014

Favorite Blogging Notes



Well you have started writing. You have figured out what your blog is about for the most part. You have figured out how the basic controls on blogger work. What next? You have a ton of options where to start? I started with image.

Image

Image is everything. My blog has had many different images, it basically has changed with my ideas of what it should be. I do however keep going back to a certain site for my background images Shabby Blogs. Along with having a wide variety of backgrounds available they also provide easy to follow tutorials. You can easily find hundreds such sites if you do a search on Google that would be more to your taste.

Getting Followers

Now this one has been very frustrating for me. I'm not a people person so it's been a sort of nightmare. But I don't know that it has to be done or what is the point of Blogging.

Get On Social Networks

Get your blog name on as many social network sites as you can. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Bloglovin, Pinterest, Instagram

Get Your Articles Posted

Go to sites that post articles, Base Articles, Ezine Articles and get them to post your articles and a link to your blog.

Offer Emailed Updates

There is Mailmonkey and Feedburner that can be set up on your blog. Letting you send out emails to those that sign up.

Do Drawings or Offer Freebies

Everyone likes the word free. They also like to get things. So here are some options you can use to your advantage.

Drawings are something that you need to look into things that you can give away that will draw in more of your kind of audience. Such as a Auto blogger wouldn't want to raffle off baby blankets. The Auto blogger would get a new audience but more than likely not one that would stick. To get a drawing to do what it should go to Rafflecopter. It will set up the drawing so that getting into the drawing means following the blog, liking a page or making a tweet for the blog. It's pretty ingenious.

Offering freebies would be your cheapest and least time consuming option. Freebies can be anything. It can be anything that you can post or email that you can give them right away. Many offer blog templates, widgets, designs, patterns or even downloadable stories or books. On one such freebie offer I came across something that would make your freebies do double time. It's a Pay With a Tweet. That to get the free item the person had to post to twitter or post on Facebook and leave it for a certain amount of time before they got the free item emailed to them. I'd say you'd need something special to do this for and not to have it too often. But it's an idea.

Automatic Posts

 Now to get your blog seen. At least by the people you know. I happen to have all my friends and family on Facebook so that is where I started my search. What I found was Networked Blogs. This has an app that will automatically post updates from your blog to your Facebook profile and/or page and Twitter feeds .It takes images that are in your post and put a blurb under it for you. I have it posting for me to my Facebook page Just As I Am -Dee that you can see for yourself. They do have more that they can do but for those options you pay a monthly fee. The basic package I have is free and works for what I want.Networked Blogs also lets you follow other blogs that are also in their system. So you can be seen and followed by other bloggers also.

Pitching

Don't forget to do what other business do to promote. It might cost a little but may be worth it. Have business cards and flyers made out to pass around. Get the word out. Talk about it. Be upbeat and encourage people to take a look. Find advertizing that is in the range your willing to pay. Go to flea markets or other kinds of shows. Set up a table, have pictures, ideas that you post, have your handouts ready, have of what you sell on hand, or do a showing of what you do. People like to see people doing things first hand. Include people is even better. What would it hurt? Could be fun. I will tell you know practice how you are going to set up your table to attract interest before you go for it.

Gathering of the Bloggers

I have seen that most accomplished bloggers tell you to make friends with other bloggers. That way you can be featured on each others blogs and things. I have yet to do this but I can see where it would be very good advise to team up with others.

Money Making

Do you want to make money with your blog? Here are some options. 

 You can get affiliated.

This is where you can do Adsense through Google or any other business that offers it. You just hope people click on the ads or links you provide in your blog to that site. You can usually find which companies offer affiliate programs when you go on their site scroll to the very bottom of the page and if they have one they will have an affiliate link in small print for you to click on.You've probably noticed that I have Adsense and Amazon. I have these but try to keep them from being too in your face. After all you weren't brought to my blog to have products shoved down your throat.  

You can sell ad space.

In which you should research other blogs similar to yours to see what they are selling their space for. This option I have been considering but believe that to do this I should get larger following before attempting it. I don't want to take money from anyone for advertising unless I know for a fact that their ad will be seen. 

Product Reviews
 
Some blogs review products for companies and get paid for it. You can look up sites such as business2bloggers, that will give you the chance to get into this. Keep in mind that they have to choose your blog so you need to have a following usually. I don't happen to have that kind of blog so I don't sign up for those.

Donations

Yes, it's not uncommon for blogs to have a spot on their page for followers to donate money to the blogger. You can set these up through PayPal accounts.

Sell Your Own Products or Services

As you can tell I'm going this route. Products- free advertising, customers get a feel for the people selling the product as well. Many times if it's a hand crafted item it gathers more interest if people can see some of the stages of how their item is made.  Services-It does seem to be a popular way of earning money for digital designers, editors, photographers and writers. You can usually see what they can do and decide if they are the right person for the job.

Extra Notes

Burned Out
 
It will happen. You will get burned out. It could be from trying to come up with something to say. It could be from finding the right template, background or other problems adding on things. It happens. Or maybe your fighting your internet connections. These things happen. What to do?

Remember it's just a blog. Walk away, take a mini vacation. Or even an extended vacation. If you aren't happy, then stop. Come back later and review what you have. Because it is a blog you can start over or adjust. They even have options to move all your old posts to another blog. Don't fret. If you get your will to blog back, there is a way to fix the problem.

Need New Ideas But They Aren't Coming

It's time to take a look around at things to give you new eyes. Check out the news, the shops you like or other blogs. Let these be the ones that get usually get your motor going for your subject. While your looking let your mind wonder. Relax it will come to you.

Find guest bloggers. Look for bloggers that have blogs similar to yours and see if they will guest blog for you. It doesn't hurt to ask. It could be an exciting turn around for you.

Try reposting old content in a new way or extend on it. I have a nasty habit of thinking of more things to put on old posts then going back and adding it. Have to remember that not many are going to see the revisions if you don't have a way to let them know that it's been revised. So make it into a series.

Remember

Take lots of photos. Take lots of notes. Put in mentions if you got your stuff from other sources. Give more than you receive. Be human. Make mistakes. Love your followers. Care about their needs. Be honest. Get personal sometimes. Step out of your comfort zone. Enjoy Yourself.


If you come up with anything else that I may be able to help with just let me know. If you happen to be a blogger be sure to tell us what you use that works well for you.


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