I made a quick comment about this on Facebook the other day, but I wanted to formally announce that my time writing for BabyCenter is over.
Normally this time on a Sunday morning, I am searching news feeds for ideas for my (mostly) weekly article about parenting and raising a child, but the pressure is off. After (exactly) four years, I will no longer be writing for BabyCenter.
I have been running out of steam for the last few months… feeling like I have been repeating myself and covering the same general topics. My (excellent) BabyCenter editors are also looking to go into a specific direction and so we came to a very natural parting of the ways.
The editors (past and present) and writers on BabyCenter were kind, encouraging, and pretty darn wonderful. This experience was a much needed change from some of the previous blogging experiences I had at other sites.
From a writing perspective, I learned restraint. I couldn’t rely on my natural tone and had to change my style to match the audience. At times I found that frustrating, but overall, I am very proud that I didn’t follow my more base instincts.
Besides writing, I learned a great deal about operating a blog, getting better awareness for posts, and more than I ever wanted to know about usage rights for pictures (you can’t put the genie back into the bottle).
My main online project The Source has been growing in popularity this year and this newfound “extra time” on Sunday mornings will be spent improving that project as well as creating content for this blog right here (which I have been neglecting).
Thank you for reading and supporting my articles at BabyCenter, I never imagined I would be writing there for four years. Special thanks to Amy H, Amy G, Betsy, and Dina for the feedback and support you provided over the years.
People who don’t know me personally are probably not going to care about this one – looking for some feedback on sound quality.
My podcasting goals took a leap forward over the weekend. I was annoyed at myself for not producing anything and concluded that I needed to find a means of getting guests to participate remotely (because nobody wants to do it live at my house).
Long story short: I figured out a way to record guest via the phone or Skype/Google Hangouts (with decent quality).
I am not going for goofy content this time around. There is a very specific goal in mind and I am lining up real guests now. More to come.
Here is an equipment test. Forget what I am saying, just let me know if it is too loud or not loud enough. Also let me know if Allison’s call is clear enough that you would actually listen to this call quality in your car.
I haven’t written anything over at Ordered Chaos in years, and I have been struggling with the idea of generating content on a site that I don’t completely control (even though I really like blogger/google). I think I outgrew the site.
I was able to export everything I wrote over to this new site, but I am leaving the name behind. Ordered Chaos sounds very 2002ish (which is when I started the blog). I am (obviously) sticking with Daily Lombardi because it sounds like a newspaper and I like giving off that vibe.
The previous version of Daily Lombardi was essentially a spot to dump out memes to my social media circles, and I will continue to share that kind of content here, but with a personal twist. I will also try to go back to writing actual articles as well (outside of my work on The Source and Babycenter.com)
Thanks for visiting, I hope you like the improvements.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to write a year-end post. My hesitation was not out of any negativity, but more of a feeling like maybe the concept has run its course.
This picture of Earth popped up in my news feed today and I thought about perspective. It is good to change it sometimes and it is good to document where you are at now for a revisit later.
I am not going to give some big ra-ra speech about change or making the best of your situation. That was last year, I hope your situation is better this year, and I hope it is even better next year. But that is on you and lady luck.
I am pretty damn thankful for where I am at in life right now. I enjoy my family and the thought processes that go along with raising children. Wanting them to have all of the good things that make you who you are and none of the bad… and then cringing when you see those bad traits bubble out. Genetics, aren’t they grand?
Not to soap box, but I have said this in real life a few times and have been meaning to document it on a blog somewhere. Even though I am clearly enjoying being a parent, it is not for everyone. Your parents, your religion, your government want you to keep pumping out red blooded whatever-the-hell-you-are and if that is the key to your happiness – awesome, but it isn’t the only way to lead an interesting and fulfilling life.
You have options – explore all of them so you feel good about the decisions you do make.
And that is a hell of a segue to whatever scrap of a message I do have this year. Make informed decisions. At work, at home, and in the infinite daily interactions you have with the masses. Be informed. Stay informed. Educate those around you. Rinse and repeat.
You will make the world a better place, if not for everyone, at least it will be better for me.
I will end this year with this visual… just remember where we are all sitting in the grand scheme of everything:
I hope 2014 brings you whatever you are looking for. Happy New Year!
I just found out today that I won the babycenter.com “Dad Blogger” contest. What does this mean? I get to write a dad-related blog each week which will be published on BabyCenter’s website. I am already thinking up some ideas. Until my first post, here is the content that earned me a victory.
PS: Big thanks to my friends and family. I know they came out in droves to vote and support me. I am very touched.
[Welcome to the Age of Worry]
I recall the moment my wife told me she was with child. She dimmed the lights throughout our home and placed candles on each step leading me to the bathroom and the positive test result.
We embraced each other for what seemed like hours and wept with joy knowing we had created life…
…I am totally lying! I don’t remember how or when my wife told me she was pregnant. Hell, I don’t remember getting her pregnant, but I do remember that the worry started when we found out she was pregnant.
Happy New Year friends! We are in the twilight of 2012, eagerly awaiting the dawn of 2013. This year has been great to me. My wife and I welcomed a son and he has been awesome. No, this blog won’t be all about the Benjamin(s), but his impact on my life will resonate throughout. I will warn you – this years post is less about reflection and more about looking forward, because the past is behind us and we have an obligation to make the right decisions for tomorrow.
I am going to omit the section of thanks all together this year. It is sort of self-indulgent and always seems to be taken the wrong way. To the friends and family I see, thank you for being a part of my life and I look forward to spending time with you in 2013.
So if I am not going to waste column space on thanks and inside jokes, what will I waste my space on? Life lessons of course!
Seriously, get off of your ass and make something happen. Clean your shelves, vacuum the living room, finish that book, take that lesson, take your kid to the park. Do SOMETHING.
I have listened to too many complaints about “person x doesn’t do anything around the house” or “person y makes a mess and then never cleans up” or “I wish person z would spend more time with the kids”… so do it. No more excuses.
I work crazy amounts of hours at my job, but I am very involved with my son, I cook and clean like a champion, and I am involved in many outside activities and projects. I am not bragging because I don’t think this is unique or special. How do I do it? I determine what can and should be cut out and I make room for the stuff that is important and you are totally capable of doing the same. No more damn excuses…seriously. I am tired of hearing about it.
[Work on Yourself]
A few years ago I had an altercation with someone I knew and the situation quickly escalated out of control. I realized that I am perfectly okay telling people to f**k off and be done with them. In some circles this works but in others you just can’t do it. So I work at that aspect of my personality. Some days are hard and other days I find success. The point is – I have been successful and have been able to change my approach. A nice bonus is that the universe usually repays me for my temperance (not all the time).
If you know there is something you need to improve, identify it, and really think about how that flaw creeps into every aspect of your life, your relationships, your work, etc. Figure out small ways to change it until it becomes a different pattern for you. This is not easy, but I really think it is worth the effort.
[Take Ownership of your Future]
I work at tomorrow. I constantly look at where my family and I are headed and make course corrections. I always evaluate if the goal that was so important three years ago is still valid today.
Everything in your life requires maintenance: your home, your car, your body, your relationships with other people. It is easy to take those last one for granted. Tending to relationships is a tricky balance, you can’t expect too much from someone because the relationship will fail, but having no expectations will doom said relationship to casual acquaintance territory.
Also – burn facebook to the ground. If you are managing your relationships via Zuckerburg’s empire you fail. I am not saying you have to call, but write an email. Do better than a “like”. Also if you are getting mad because you are not satisfied with the level of interaction you are getting with your friends on social media, seek professional help.
Society is at an interesting paradox right now. The technology I am using right now to broadcast this message can be used to menace and terrify people to the point that they never want to turn on a computer again. Plug into any news source and it will probably be served with a health dose of fear: fiscal cliffs, the fall of the American empire, children being attacked at school, arming puppy dogs with machine guns…
The easy thing to do is to tune everything out.
But it doesn’t work, at least not for long. We are social creatures, and while the internet was not a part of our evolutionary design, it is now. Our society is changing how we behave, interact, and think. This is a technology that should unite, not divide. It should be used to streamline services, reduce costs (especially in education), and inform the masses (without spin). There are factions that want people to remain ignorant and fearful because we are easier to control and manipulate when we are stupid and scared.
Fight back. Get involved. Get informed. Participate in creating the future or get the hell out of the way. In 2013, overcome your fears and make your world better.
Note: NSFW! This video has very harsh language, so don’t blast it in the office.
My wife and I had a baby last month. This is our first. I set up a little blog for friends and family so I can flood their twitter and facebook feeds with pictures and videos, but I haven’t really written about it. So here are my observations on fatherhood for the first 30 days.
Before we get to the baby, let me talk about the birth. Gentlemen, make sure you bring entertainment for you and your lady. You will be sitting in a room for several hours (a dozen for me) with nothing going on. When the pushing starts things certainly do get interesting, but until then, you just sit around not doing a damn thing to help (nobody tells you that). As a point of contrast, my father disappeared for the entire birth process for me and my sister, returning with a bag of sandwiches… for the doctor. I have to admit there was a certain genius in this move having been through the experience myself.
Once the baby is born, from their perspective, dear-old-dad is still useless. My wife is breast-feeding, so when my son looks at me with this “where the hell is my lunch” look, I just have to pass him back to his mother. Yes I change diapers and hold him as much as possible, but he likes to be close to his food source (and I don’t blame him). So what is my advice to other fathers for a harmonious house? Step up on cleaning and cooking. If you can’t cook, here are some easy recipes. If you can’t clean…yes you can. Buy a damn mop and get to work clown.
All things considered, my wife and I are very lucky. Our son sleeps well. Before he was born, I had several dudes gleefully telling me to get used to being tired. While I expect a full scale disaster once he starts teething, right now he only gets up once during the night because my wife figured out a feeding schedule that knocks him out food coma style. So far, being on pager was WAY worse than having a newborn.
When he is awake and not irate about a soiled diaper, I play music for him. He likes it. If he is in a mood, he usually snaps right out of it to listen. I try to play as much variety as possible (stuff that I don’t even like). Anything that sounds complicated. He hates being in a swing, but likes to be held up over my head. He also hates being naked… go figure.
A few months ago, one of my best friends asked “you aren’t going to be one of those people who post pictures all day on facebook are you?” I responded with a strong “hell no”. I have not kept that promise on my personal accounts, but I don’t plan on making my kid the subject to daily blogging on this site. While he won’t be a daily fixture, I will discuss fatherhood, the changes in my life, and the things I have learned because that is why I have this blog in the first place.