Another reason to love JT (as if I needed one)

On worst-case scenarios, dentists and dishwashers

  • I am drawn to post-apocalyptic fiction like “Things We Didn’t See Coming.” I should stop reading it, though, because it makes me grind my teeth at night. I finished the book last night, and this morning I have a headache.
  • The powers that be at “Sesame Street” obviously want to get me to watch the show instead of using that precious hour for blogging. Case in point: Jason Bateman yesterday, Jude Law today. Well played, “Street” people. Keep it up and you’ll have my full attention for 45 seconds every day.
  • Poppy had a dentist appointment yesterday. When it was over, she said, “Mommy, I wish my dentist appointment wasn’t so quick.” #bestdentistever
  • Rockford did the grocery shopping for the week. As a result, we have nothing but cereal and pretzels for dinner. Still, that’s better than eating tree bark.
  • Two things I enjoy: Pete’s insistence on “the biggest hug” first thing in the morning; the face Poppy makes when she has an itch in an awkward place, such as the bottom of her foot.
  • This reminds me that I need to put my Search for the World’s Best Carrot Cake list in the sidebar. Also, that I have yet to make a delicious carrot cake. Not for lack of trying.
  • Two things I do not enjoy: Headaches that are impervious to Excedrin; unloading the dishwasher, which is what I’m off to do right now.
  • A Type-D take on the Type-A conference

    If you’re thinking you’d like to go to a blogging conference but find the idea a bit overwhelming, I’d suggest considering next year’s Type-A Mom Conference. There were somewhere around 300 people there this year, and while that isn’t exactly cozy, it’s much, much smaller than some of the bigger events. Nice though it is Type-A Mom Conferenceto be firmly ensconced in my normal life again, I had a wonderful weekend.

    The Introspective Stuff

    Firstly, it’s OK to have a life outside my kids sometimes. Rockford was tired by the end of the weekend, but he did a great job keeping Poppy & Pete clothed and fed and even entertained. I knew he would, because he’s a rockstar dad, but this was the first time maybe ever that I’ve done something entirely on my own without feeling guilty about leaving the three of them.

    Second, the internet is full of kind and lovely people. Case in point: I did end up having a wee panic attack. I wasn’t staying at the conference hotel, so I sat down and tried to wait for it to pass before I gave in to the desire to bolt. But then Samantha sat down with me and said, “You’re an introvert, aren’t you?” And she was so breezy and relaxed and easy to talk to that I was soon feeling much better. As if that wasn’t kindness enough, Casey offered me a spot to lay down for a nap. Which, of course, I took, because I am never one to say no to a nap.

    The Blogging Stuff

    “Monetizing” was a major topic of discussion at the conference. I’ve done a bit of freelance writing in the past and I might do it again someday, so I was entirely in agreement with all of the people who said it’s important for bloggers to remember that their words have value. As far as making money off of this site goes, though, the ads on the site bring in enough money to pay the hosting fees. I’m not relying on Butterscotch Sundae to pay any bills other than that, and I don’t foresee that changing. And I’m just fine with that.

    Probably the most contentious issue was Doing Reviews. There are companies that will provide a free product or even pay a blogger to review a product, and a lot of people say there needs to be a line drawn between paid and unpaid reviews. I’ve been compensated for reviews in the past, but I can definitely see where that could leave the appearance of impropriety, as my mother-in-law would say. I’m thinking about changing my personal policy on accepting those, but I’m not sure that I want to say no to them entirely. I’d like to do something like donate any compensation from reviews to a charity. (I’d love to hear your input on what you’d think of that.)

    Another big take-home message for me regarding reviews was: Don’t review things that don’t fit with your blog’s focus. Since the focus here is Whatever’s on the Minds of the Folks of ButterscotchSundaeLand, this doesn’t rule all that much out. I can tell you that there will still be reviews here, but I will be certain to turn down any offers for cigars or stillettos or other things that would be inconsistent with my message. Whatever that means.

    So! The conference was awesome, and I may have even made some new friends. I may also now be a blog conference junkie. Anybody want to pay my way to Blissdom?

    Because I need more decorative robots

    Pete is very fond of robots. He has a totally awesome long-sleeve robot shirt that he’s been waiting to wear all summer long. I finally put him on it today, only to discover that his arms have grown about 3 inches since Spring, thus rendering it a totally awesome three-quarter-sleeve robot shirt. Anyway, I clicked over to the LaRu shop from The Oatmeal and discovered a world of robot goodness on etsy. Here are a few things I loved:


    1. I would wear the Lovebot necklace by LaRu at least every other day. Robots need love, too.
    2. Stewart is an adorable little stitched robot on canvas by Jenn Lawrence. He’d look great in Pete’s room.
    3. Speaking of things that would look great in Pete’s room, he already has a couple of John Golden prints in his room, so Oscar would feel right at home.
    4. I’m pretty sure Boba Fett wasn’t a robot, but he looks all roboty, and Keppit Art has made a sweet Boba Fett hat. And this is my list, so it’s in.

    How to confront your fears in triplicate

    You know those people who say if you’re afraid of gorillas you should go to the zoo and jump in the gorilla pit?* Well, I’m working on something like that this weekend. Three times over, in fact.

    Acrophobia: Getting high on fright since 1978!

    Taken by closing my eyes, holding up the camera and pointing it that-a-way.

    Taken by closing my eyes, holding up the camera and pointing it that-a-way.

    I can’t climb the ladder to the attic. Open staircases give me the willies. Glass elevators aren’t my cup of tea, but at least I can keep my eyes fixed on the inside wall. In other words, I’m afraid of heights. So yesterday I took the rooftop tour of the Biltmore House, which might not be the tallest building in the world but by golly it’s tall enough. The view was beautiful, and I found that I was fine as long as kept my sights on the far vistas and didn’t move around too much. Going back inside, however, was a relief.

    I wouldn’t call my fear of heights cured — although I’m not currently standing on a tall structure, so who knows? — but I managed not to crawl back to the stairway. So that’s good.

    Ophidiophobia: Snakes! They’re menacing!

    It was a really tiny snake.

    Seriously. It was a really tiny snake.

    You know what would be worse than hanging out on a rooftop? Hanging out on a rooftop with a snake. Or running into a snake on the ground just minutes before going up to the roof, which is what I did. It was a tiny snake, and it was probably just drawn to Biltmore’s front door by the opulence, just like the rest of us, but still. It Was a Snake. I didn’t scream or jump up on the nearest jump-upable thing (which was a person, so that was Sound Judgement on my part), so I’m calling it a win on the Nichole v. Snakes front.

    Agoraphobia: But home is so cozy, and I know everyone there!
    This one probably doesn’t technically qualify as a phobia, but I’ve become increasingly uncomfortable around people over the last several years. I’ve always tended toward hermitude, and I think being a stay-at-home mom has definitely not helped matters. So I’m battling my social anxiety this weekend by going to a blogging conference. Yesterday, I felt like I could very easily vomit at any time. This morning wasn’t nearly as nervy. And I am pleased to report that I even talked to people. For example:

  • Kym says she can help me learn to quilt. I say she is optimistic.
  • Mara also writes for a very neat travel advice site.
  • Amy has fantastic glasses and will most definitely make herself a media kit before I make one for myself. She seems very on top of things.
  • Bonnie’s son sounds like the world’s best 14-year-old.
  • Michele wears the same size shoe as I do and has a very cute haircut. Also, I may have accidentally locked her in my car. Thanks, child-safety locks!
  • I’ve read Casey’s blog for years and years. She is just as adorable in real life as she is on the internet.
  • Molly has delightfully curly hair and a ferocious love of Red Vines.
  • Marie is my newest style icon.
  • Cintia has an adorable teeny-tiny baby and a lovely voice.
  • Fadra’s fervor for Twizzlers equals Molly’s Red Vines passion. And she got me started on the Twitter again. Twitter? You ought to be paying that lady. She’s a dynamo.
  • My plans for tomorrow include going to a few sessions and talking to more people (and perhaps picking up more Little Debbies). But pleaseohplease no snakes or heights.

    * does not recommend jumping into a gorilla pit, fear of gorillas or not. Also, is pretty sure there isn’t really a gorillaphobia-centric idiom.