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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Blogiversary Crossroads

It's been 7 years since I started blogging. A 7-year blogiversary today. When I started I had no idea how long I would blog for; not sure if I thought I would even make it to 7 years.

When I started, Kayla wasn't quite 3 years old ... and now I have these 2 sweet kiddos:

I feel fortunate to have made so many connections throughout the years; and met so many great families in person. I think I've made some friendships that will last through the years.

Over the years I've tried to remain true to what my blog was when I started it. A place to share our life with friends and family ... and raise awareness of what life is like raising a child with Down syndrome. I realize that our experience is different from everyone else's experience raising a child with Down syndrome; but hopefully giving a glimpse of our life showed the normalcy of having a child with Down syndrome. Blessings and challenges just like there are raising a typical child.

I've used my blog to advocate for Down syndrome awareness and I hope after 7 years I've done a somewhat decent job of that. I think that whoever is still reading my blog has heard it all by now, so what is there left to say? Most everyone who reads my blog is on FB, with the exception of my mom (hi mom!) so I keep posting for her. So she can see the pictures and read the stories about her grandchildren...because she won't see it on FB!

So lately I've been feeling like I'm at a crossroads. To keep blogging, or not to keep blogging. What direction to take this blog...or keep it like it is. Mulling things over. Wondering where, if anywhere, to go from here.

We're almost to World Down Syndrome Day (March 21st) and last year on my blogiversary I donated a dollar for every comment on that post to Plus15 where my donation was matched 3:1. Your comments helped me out at just over $50. So my donation turned in to $200. In addition to donating 21% of my Discovery Toys sales to Plus15, I'd also like to do the comment challenge again as well.

So for every comment on this post I will donate $1 to Plus15 for World Down Syndrome Day and have my donation matched 3:1.

Please consider leaving a comment, even if you're normally just a lurker :)

 post signature

46 comments:

Stephanie said...

I have enjoyed getting to know you and your family. I like reading about what Kayla is doing because we're several years behind you on this Ds journey. I hope you will keep blogging--your voice and experience is special.

I hope you meet your donation goal too!

Muttering Mama said...

I wouldn't have met you if not for your blog. I am an epic Facebooker, and though I blog about a lot of stuff, I am more "myself" on FB. As such, I tend to not be as open to blindly accepting friend requests from "strangers". Blogs, and Downsyn, are the way in which I've connected with most of my friends I've made through Ds.

Even though we're connected on FB and even had the change to meet in real life, I hope you do continue to blog!

Kristi Campbell said...

I am niether a lurker nor a long-time commenter, although I see you blog's name in the same lists mine are in (came from Kerri @undiagnosed but we are okay with that and have seen you on Ellen's Love that Max). It is entirely possible I was here months ago, when my blog was new. As a mom with a kid who has no diagnosis, but severe speech and language delays and other spectrumy stuff, I can relate to not knowing what to do with your blog anymore. It's something I already question, and I'm only a baby new blogger.
At some point, I decided that my son's delays and special needs don't define me and I managed to find a bunch of other moms in the same boat. Now, I draw stupid looking pictures, make fun of myself, and occasionally talk about what it's like to be the mom to a special needs son.

Selfishly I hope you will keep blogging. Because I just now found you and love the way you write and talk about your family. Your children are amazingly beautiful, by the way. I can see why you named this blueberry eyes. Awesome stuff.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

Hi Michelle, I love reading your blog. But I understand if you are feeling it is time to move on. I love the honesty and openness in your blog and also your humour- (I like how you talk about real world stuff like wishwashy friendships, and the Lucas story about picking teams from the colour of the t-shirts)I love that you shine a light on the abilities and business's of people who have disability (such as the artist who did the portrait of Kayla when she was younger)

Caroline said...

Hi

Long time lurker, first time poster, i'm from the UK and I love reading your blog. Its great discovering how things differ from country to country and also, all about living with a child with Down Syndrome. I work with many students who have DS but i love to hear about family life! You have also made me so much more aware of World Down Syndrome Day, beiung in the UK i can't order one of those snazzy t-shirts without worrying about postage, and it getting here on time, however i have ordered my snazzy socks!

CMSavage6 said...

I've been reading for just over a year. Your blog has helped me because I am already starting to think of strategies for teaching my daughter. She is only 15 months right now but when she gets a little stubborn about doing something I think for a little bit and try new, more exciting ways to teach her the same thing. Your blog helps to remind me there is more than one way of doing things and to just keep an eye on the goals. Thank you.

krlr said...

Nnnoooo! We just met! You can't leave now!
Selfishly yours,
k.

my family said...

I love this blog and seeing your kids growing up, you were one of the first blogs I was hooked on. I dont do fb enough so would miss out on alot

Sabrina said...

Please don't stop - I've only been following your blog for a short time, and I enjoy each and every post! Even if I don't leave a comment, I learn from what you've had to say - I appreciate your take on what it's like raising a child with DS because, as you indicated, everyone's experience is different.

So again, I must ask, please don't stop blogging! :)

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and am so happy to have found it! I don't have a child with DS. In fact, I don't have children at all, but because of blogs like yours that show love and hope and a real life, one day I hope to adopt a child with DS.

Anonymous said...

Please keep blogging! :) I am not on Facebook and I always enjoy reading your posts.

Grandma said...

You know I'm on facebook a lot :-) but sometimes I miss posts you make about something going on but it's okay because I know I can always to Big Blueberry Eyes and catch up on everything. When I was 1000 miles away instead of 1 1/2 miles your blog was very precious to me so for selfish reasons I hope you do not stop blogging. Where would we all be without Big Blueberry Eyes??

Mom24 said...

I hope you don't stop blogging, I would miss you. I definitely understand the dilemma though, I'm struggling through a similar dilemma.

ahoy.jenni said...

HI Michelle,
I dont 'do' facebook, for some reason I cant stand it ! so if you were to stop I dont know that I could keep following and I would be very dissappointed. Yes, there are lots of blogs out there about raising a child with Ds but not alot that I can connect with (I have 4 only that I like to follow). I guess its your attitude in general that I connect with, you are proactive, positive and not a religious zealot (!), basically you seem pretty normal to me! You have inspired me and I hope you continue to blog, and as I have said before, you are so great for all the fundraising you do, good on you! (PS I will reply to your email soon, waiting to get a good pic on my beloved darlings to send you :-)) Congratulations anyway on 7 years of blogging!! I have been wanting to start a blog for the past twp years and still have not done it.

Michelle said...

Hi Michelle, I haven't read my blogs in over two years. Interesting that I would stop by today, on a great day! Good luck in your endeavors.

Anonymous said...

Love you guys, and enjoying reading your blog and your facebook. You know, people who google can access your blog, but probably not your facebook, just a thought I had there. Commenting to make you spend the big bucks this year ;)

-Maria

Margaret Bender said...

Hi Michelle - my two cents and your dollar donation...I love watching Kayla and your great way of sharing your successes and challenges. You and Kayla have such a great story to tell about education and what is NOT working as well as what is working. I think stories like yours are so powerful to families with 5 year olds as they enter the educational system and their parents learn what tools, supports and services are needed to help our kids achieve academic, social and emotional growth. You teach us to keep pushing....Keep it up!

Jaimie said...

Thanks for the great blog! It was great to actually meet Kayla when we both still lived in MD!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

I've been reading and loving your blog since the beginning or close to it. I love your voice.

Heather D said...

I'd definitely fall into the category of "lurker" but I just wanted to say that - even though I've never commented before and even though I don't know your family in person - I absolutely love learning about all of you on your blog and you do a great job advocating and spreading awareness about DS. I've spent years working with kids with DS and I look forward to someday soon adopting a child with DS myself. Stories of ordinary families like yours raising extraordinary kids like Kayla (and Lucas) have really encouraged me with that pursuit :) Since there's such a big blogging presence of mamas with babies & toddlers with DS, it's always great to catch up on Kayla so we can learn about raising a pre-teen with Down Syndrome :) Best wishes to y'all and I hope you stick around in the blogosphere so we can see Kayla continue to grow and thrive!!

Anonymous said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog!!Yes, I get to see pic of my grandkids and read about them and read all that you have learned about Down syndrome. Sometimes it is time for a change, a new venue, etc, BUT THIS GRANDMA IS NOT A FB TYPE PERSON. i WILL THROW A TANTRUM!! i DON'T WANT TO FB, SO THERE!:) Your blog brings tears, smiles,joy, sadness,cheers:) info and like others who have commented, on real true to life family every day living, a typical family who happens to have a child with special needs. Love you michelle!! love mom

Anonymous said...

I have been reading for years and never commented, but I would hate to see you go. I love all the pictures and updates! My kids are about the same age as yours also a boy and a girl. I look forward to reading for many years! Thank you for all your time.

ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

I love reading your blog and you've taught me so much about advocating for my child. I hope you'll continue to blog even if the scope of your blog shifts in a different direction. I would miss reading about Kayla and your whole family.

Nicole said...

I've been reading this blog for a couple of years and it's one of my favs. It's also one of the only Ds blogs that I read. I rarely comment though. I know blogging can take a lot of energy for little "reward" (at least it's that way for me at times) but I hope you keep it up, I will miss it if you stopped...

Nicole said...

I've been reading this blog for a couple of years and it's one of my favs. It's also one of the only Ds blogs that I read. I rarely comment though. I know blogging can take a lot of energy for little "reward" (at least it's that way for me at times) but I hope you keep it up, I will miss it if you stopped...

Kaetlyn and Grace said...

Three years ago, I was introduced to the world of DS when I found out my sweet Kaetlyn would be born with DS. I sought out sources of information, joy, inspiration, and yes, sometimes sorrow to help me learn and cope with our newfound diagnosis. Two and 3/4 years later, Kaetlyn is almost 3. I have learned a lot of things from the blogisphere, not the least of which is how a community can come together from the vast reaches of the world. I don't spend as much time reading/posting blogs as I once did, but when I do, yours is ALWAYS one of my "go to" staples. It helps me embrace the future and look forward to SO MUCH with Kaetlyn. Your blog was one of the joyful, yet honest blogs that gave me lots of hope in the early days. And for that, I thank you. I hope you do continue to blog. You've made a difference to and for so many!

Laura said...

Your blog is one of the best! We will be so sad here if you give blogging up!

Jaida said...

Your children are gorgeous, and yours was one of the first blogs I started reading that was written by a parent of a child with Ds. It was a great introduction for me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for supporting the +15 Campaign! My youngest son is 5 (with Ds) and I am an occasional "lurker" on your blog. Thanks for helping to get the word out to other parents of children with Ds to support research to improve cognition in our kiddos . . . THEY deserve it!

Chriss said...

Your blog was one of the first I started to read after my son's birth diagnoses of Ds. In reading thru a lot of your posts, I realized that the life I thought we were going to have was gone, but a better one was in its place. Thank you for helping this mama out when she needed it most! Ryder is now 16 months old and keeps me on my toes - and I love every minute of it!!

Anonymous said...

keep up the great blog! i don't do facebook. :)

Adelle Hopper said...

I found your blog on Twitter, and wondered whether you have anything to share with me on how children with Down Syndrome learn visually and how good storybooks are.

I am Adelle, the Content Editor at ITV Signed Stories in England, we have created a storytelling app which brings children's stories to life with American Sign Language, animation, illustrations, narration, sound effects and music and we've had feedback that it's a great resource for children with Down Syndrome because they are visual learners. http://ow.ly/ewj98

I'd be really interested to hear your experiences, if you have time to email me it's signedstories@itv.com.

I think this is a great blog, and I'll promote it within my networks.

Kind regards
Adelle

Anonymous said...

Great idea to support Plus 15 with comments! Hope lots of people post!

I Just Love You said...

hope this helps get you to your goal!

Stephanie said...

Seriously?? Keep blogging :)

Rachel Douglas said...

Well, if you stop then you might have to adopt a lot of people into your family in order to at least get a card during the holidays of your kids. They are so beautiful! I would miss seeing them grow up.

The Maiden Metallurgist said...

I'm not a lurker, I found you through the Do Somethine Extra blog roll, but thanks for writing :)

Jen said...

Have always loved your blog!

Crittle said...

Your blog was a beacon of light to me in my early, darker days, but I totally understand if you feel the need to move on. You've done a lot and made such an impact. There's no shame in that. I'm on the fence with my own endeavor. I've been thinking a lot about privacy lately.

Down Wit Dat said...

I do love your blog and it was one of the first I found that made sense to me.

Please keep going. If only once in a blue moon. :)

Here's my dollar. Happy World Down Syndrome Day!

Extranjera said...

Asking about my then 5 month old because we were in the hospital and didn't know what was going on with her. I don't think I even ever responded, but I remember it. I think I'd commented on a post much like this from the hospital room...

Wow.

I probably should be more generous with the whole commenting thing, eh? Especially, since I do love reading stuff from you.

Extranjera said...

Where did the top of my comment go?
This should count as two, right?

What I said in the beginning was something like:

I remember you tweeting me on this exact day a year ago asking me about my then 5-month-old kid since we were in the hospital

starrlife said...

Well, I think you know what I think... Just stay at your own pace, enjoy and don't do it for others just yourself. We all go thru the blog burn out, waxing and waning. It doesn't have to be all or nothing! I'd miss you ( although I see you on FB). Xo

Nicole (formerly The Opinionated Parent & Much More Than a Mom) ;-) said...

I gave up blogging when my kids were old enough that I became concerned about their photos being on the internet. Then I deleted my facebook and started a new one with almost nobody on it. ;-) Glad to still be in touch - I have so enjoyed watching Kayla & Lucas grow up from Canada!

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.