Friends…how many of us have them?

It is highly likely that my younger friends don’t even know that song, and if they do it is through an older sibling or parent. Age, “nothin’ but a number”, but oh so much more. *sigh*

I have wonderful friends. Amazing people who have been in my life for more years than out at this point, and some who have come in more recently, yet I can’t remember what life was like before they got here. Friends who are near and who are far. Some I talk to EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Others I would be embarrassed to admit how much time goes by without so much as a text, yet the moment we pick back up we fall right back in step with each other.

My husband says I use the term “friend” too loosely, and that I should label the people in my life according to their importance (oh, the logic of a Marine!). The truth of it is that in my world, if you are anywhere from an acquaintance to a good friend, you’re a friend. If you exceed good friend, you are family. I am blessed by great people around me, and I try to remember to tell them how much I appreciate them as often as my Introverted-Capri-Quarius self can.

All of this to get to a point that has been rolling around in my head lately. I read a very popular mom-blog, subscribe to her Periscopes and mailing list, and as an aspiring published writer, have been taking a lot of her (in my opinion, very excellent) advice. The main point she has been accentuating lately is “Build a platform, have a target audience”. Well…crap.

My friends are more diverse than the area I live in. They include: Pagan nerds, the financially stable, police officers, kinky poly folk, paycheck-to-paycheck people, undocumented immigrants, Christian crunchy moms, Atheist families, Communist protestors, proud Wal-Mart shoppers…and many that either have multiple labels or choose not to be defined. I don’t even know where to start in terms of building a platform. Target audience? *crickets*

I don’t want to write to see my own thoughts pop up on the page, that is what my journal is for. I want to connect with people. I want this blog to be a place where people feel they can come through the door without knocking, grab a mason jar out of the cabinet, help themselves to something in the fridge, and sit down to chat.

I recognize that opinions are not one size fits all, or even most, and I’m okay with that. I have heard it said so many times that I’m not even sure where the original quote comes from, but it applies wholly here:

“TAKE WHAT YOU NEED, AND LEAVE THE REST”-Unknown (if you know, tell me please! I did try Google without positive results)

Friends, as we cross paths, whether it be momentary or we walk together for a while, I want to learn something from you and I hope to teach a few things along the way.

Putting myself out there

Last night I put my daughter to bed and spent some much deserved tv-veg-out-time. We don’t have cable, and I am fickle when it comes to watching shows, so I tend not to watch much tv. My husband and I watched the entire first season of iZombie on HuluPlus though, and caught up on the new season last night. Feel free to judge, I’m okay with it. I digress…

After a couple hours of tv I went in to bed, only to find our daughter stretched out across the middle/top of our Eastern King. I thought it was incredibly cute, as well as something that I *know* other bed sharing families deal with, so I snapped a picture and posted it to Instagram with the comment “You know you bed share when…”. As I sat there in the dark staring at the picture, something came over me and I deleted it.

Yes, she was close to a pillow. She is 20 mos old, and fully able to navigate the pillows, but other people don’t know that. Her stuffed tiger, that she commandeered from her brother and named Mr. Mow (for Meow), was also near her. She is my second bed shared child. It is a practice I believe in for our family. I understand that many a tragedy has occurred during bed sharing, and I don’t take that lightly. I also don’t let it scare me in to making different choices for my family. I feel good about bed sharing. I respect that it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) work for all families.

That written, when I see a post/picture of a beautiful baby sleeping in a crib I never feel compelled to tell the poster that they should reconsider their sleeping arrangements. I never lecture or provide links or even suggest they consider cosleeping or bed sharing. If I comment, it is on the beauty of infant/toddler/child sleep because let’s be honest…sleep is a beautiful thing for children. Can I get a high five?

The process of reacclimating to social media is going to be interesting for me. I am fully aware of the myriad opinions that exist across the globe and the internet, I’m just not used to dealing with them all the time anymore. I have friends across all boards, and support them happily while feeling supported. While all of that is great, I am also acutely aware that I will experience a lot of different things as I open myself up to the world, and that is hard for me. I am taking this leap though, because I believe it important. I believe myself and my contribution to be important. Not in any kind of self aggrandizing way, simply that I matter. And so do you. We all do.

Getting to know you…getting to know all about you

Every time I hear the phrase “getting to know you” I hear that song in my head. Every. Single. Time. Music rules my brain and I wouldn’t change that if I could.

On to the getting to know me process!

Hi, I’m Erin. **waves**

I am 36 years old, married to my very best friend, and have two amazing biological children and five amazing bonus children. We have a very full life in Northern California. I am pretty crunchy (organic/sustainable/whole food, natural remedies, cloth diapers, baby wearing, recycling, etc.) and very much a book nerd. My husband is a video game/D&D nerd. We make an interesting pair and neither of us can be trusted in a book store.

Our home is almost always full. Most days there are five or more children here, as well as various adults. Despite being very much the introvert, I always seem to have a lot of people (especially children) around me. I love that our house is the house where the kids on the block can be found, even if my son thinks that cleaning is a hobby for me because I do it so much. With so many children around, the mess can feel epic at times.

I have worked with children professionally for 21 years, in various capacities. I started babysitting before I had my first official job, but I don’t include that in my experience. My educational background is in Child Development and Child Psychology. My current work life includes being self employed as a nanny as well as being a personal assistant. I am also about to take on a new role as an office manager/medical administrative assistant for an M.D. I have been a nanny for many families, and also done consulting work with families to help them find out what their child care needs are and how to find/retain a good fit.

As I mentioned earlier, music moves my life. I can’t even tell you one genre of music and I have no favorite artist/band. I could lose a lot of things but if I lost music/the ability to hear music I think I would go clinically insane. I don’t go to as many concerts as I did when I was younger, but I still get to the ones that matter.

What to expect from future posts? Life/lifestyle updates, things that work and don’t work for our family or for me at work, recipes and food pictures, guest posts from blogger friends on various topics, tips/tricks about childcare and being self employed, and pictures of my family…probably a lot of pictures. Especially of my dog.

That is all I’ll write for now, in an effort to keep this from becoming a War and Peace sized post. I’d love to answer questions if you have them. You can post in comments, email me, or follow/interact with me on Instagram @inthemomcave.

Ciao for now!