Sunday, December 30, 2007


Wild Man is down for a much needed nap, and I should be using the time to work on my syllabus. I haven't worked much in the past week, primarily because Wild Man has been out of school for the holiday, but mainly because I haven't wanted to. I have to admit that while my dissertation is always in the back of my mind, I have enjoyed this week free from work with my family. We've spent the mornings in our pjs, gone shopping, read books, introduced Wild Man to "Finding Nemo," taken a trip to the nearest big city to visit the Natural History Museum, and cooked lots of good things. All of this family time has led to thoughts of another baby, which has prompted thoughts of timing.

C & I are have recently decided that we will have a second child, and to be honest this was a tough decision for me. Before Wild Man was born, I assumed we'd have 2 children. I grew up with 2 siblings, as did C, and neither one of us could imagine having only 1 child. Once Wild Man was born, however, I was no longer so sure I wanted a second child. Our life is very full, with 2 careers (or almost 2) and a child; I wasn't sure how a second child could fit. On top of that, I had no idea how hard mothering an infant would be, and I simply couldn't imagine mothering an infant while mothering an older child. C, on the other hand, has always known he wanted 2 children. He has been the one starting the discussions about a second child, which is ironic considering I was the one who initiated almost all the discussions about having Wild Man. For a few months, it felt like we changed places. As I've watched Wild Man grow and change, I've come around to the idea of a second child. As much as I can't imagine mothering an infant and the rambunctious Wild Man, I also can't imagine never experiencing the joys of having an infant in the house again. But one nagging question remains (well, actually, quite a few remain, but this is the most nagging): when do we have a second child?

This has question has been so much on my mind that I actually tried to map out the major events in our life the other night. It looked something like this:

  • Spring 2008: C on job market; C gets job offer (at least I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that one).
  • Summer 2008: We move.
  • Fall 2008: C begins new job; Wild Man starts new school; M frantically tries to finish her dissertation; Wild Man turns 2.
  • Spring 2009: M defends her dissertation.
  • May 2009: M graduates.
  • Fall 2009: M goes on job market, hoping to either find a job close to C's current job or to get a partner placement at C's school (assuming, of course, that we like the location of C's job); Wild Man turns 3.
  • Spring 2010: M gets job offer and/or partner placement.
What I've outlined above is the ideal situation; if C doesn't get a job and he continues adjuncting at the local SLAC, life becomes somewhat more complicated as I will feel it necessary to go on the market in the Fall 2008 rather than waiting until I'm finished with the dissertation. So, where do we fit a second child into all of this? I'm not sure. If we wait until the end of my outline--the Spring 2010--Wild Man will be 3 1/2, and C and I will be in our mid-30s. I know that isn't so old, but those ages concern me for several reasons. First, I don't relish the thought of having teenagers when I'm in my 50s--I just don't. Second, there is a 4 year age gap between my brother and me and a 6 year gap between my sister and me. I wasn't particularly close to either of them until I was an adult; in fact, my sister and I hated (I am not exaggerating) each other until I was about 18, and then we tolerated each other until I was about 22, at which time we become closer. I would say we're close now because we've bonded over other family problems, but we really don't have anything in common. If we weren't sisters, we probably wouldn't be friends.

Ideally I'd like to get pregnant with a second child when Wild Man is 2, so that they would be about 3 years apart. My niece and nephew are 3 years apart, and they are really close. That means that I would need to be pregnant in the Spring of 2009, or thereabouts. That also means that I could either be pregnant or have a newborn when I go on the market for the first time. So the ideal spacing makes other things complicated. If we wait until I have a job, we might not have a baby until 2010 or 2011, which means there would be 5 years between Wild Man and Baby 2. I don't know which makes more sense, and what really bothers me is that I don't know which feels right. I feel like we're approaching a second child so much differently than we did Wild Man, and that also bothers me. With Wild Man, we knew we were in a good place in terms of our degrees, in a good location, and ok financially, so we let emotion make the decision. We waited until it felt right for both of us. I want to be able to let emotion make this decision, but I feel like there are too many other factors to consider. I hate uncertainty, and I hate feeling like I'm not in control of my life, which is how I feel right now.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Good Day

Christmas was a good day for our family. It was quiet and low-key, which is exactly what we had hoped for. We took advantage of the fact that Wild Man still doesn't really know what Christmas means yet, and we had a leisurely morning before we opened presents. I think that next year he will be so excited that we will have to drag him away from the presents! So this year, we had a nice breakfast and played with our cats before opening presents. Wild Man wasn't too sure about ripping off paper. He kept looking at me as if to say, "But Mommy, you've been telling me not to open these boxes all week." He did, however, get a kick out of passing gifts to C and me. Actually, rather than handing them out, as I asked him to do, he kept stacking them all up, until he had a rather large pile in front of him. Then he knocked them all over, laughing uproariously the entire time. It was as if he had an enormous set of wrapped blocks to play with!

Later in the day some friends came over for dinner. Wild Man had lots of fun playing with Supadiscobaby, and C and I enjoyed talking to Supadiscomama and Supadiscoadaddy. All in all it was a really great day.

I hope everyone in the blogging world had an equally happy Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

I need a nap

I think that says it all.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

5 pages written, but where do I put them?

Writing a dissertation has given me a sense of freedom as a writer that I haven't ever experienced before. When I have written papers in the past, I have found that it is very difficult for me to write out of sequence. I generally have to start with the introduction and move through the entire paper linearly. This means that when I'm stuck, I'm stuck as I can't just work on a different section. I have consciously worked against this since I've been writing my dissertation, and it has worked. I have had a lot more success revising and have added entire sections while writing. It has, however, created an unexpected problem.

Last week I had a really great idea to apply some of Gillian Brown's ideas regarding home and Uncle Tom's Cabin to The House of Mirth. I had no idea where this would fit with the rest of the chapter, but I decided to go with it. Almost 5 pages later, I still have no idea where it will go, but I know it enhances my own argument regarding home, space, and ownership. I guess this isn't such a bad problem to have!

I love you

I've been trying to teach Wild Man how to sign for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, my older brother is deaf, so I really want Wild Man to know how to communicate with his uncle. Second, toddlers can learn how to sign before they can learn how to talk, so although Wild Man is talking a lot, he knows several signs for words that he hasn't yet spoken. Signing is a great way to help him learn how to communicate with us. As an added bonus, I get to practice my signing since I generally only sign when I'm with my brother, and C is finally learning to sign.

For the past week or so, I've been teaching Wild Man how to sign "I love you." The sign it self is fairly straightforward, so I know he can do it. He hasn't, however, done it yet, although he has shown a lot of interest in watching me do it. Last night, as C was changing his diaper and getting on his pjs, Wild Man suddenly said "Love yoooo" and did the sign. C was speechless, and my unsentimental husband was a bit choked up. I was standing across the room folding clothes, and I got to witness the entire exchange. Wild Man has said this to both of us, but before he's always been repeating what we say to him. Last night, he said it to his father completely unprompted. It was such a beautiful moment between father and son, and I'm so happy I got to share it with them.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A nice surprise

C's aunt and uncle (well, really his aunt) sent Wild Man a $15 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble for Christmas. This is a surprising and unexpected gift. We do see them whenever we visit Home State, but we're not particularly close. Yetta doesn't really like the aunt, and no one really likes the uncle (he is very old-school Southern, and frankly, I'd prefer not to have to hear his constant racial slurs and misogynist statements, let alone have Wild Man exposed to them). That said, they are always included in family gatherings, and I quite like Aunt Dixie (yes, that is her name). We're both something of outsiders in the family (I'm not from the Home Town, and Dixie is the woman that Earl left his first wife for), so we usually end up in the corner chatting. We don't have much in common beyond our outsider-ness, but that actually gives us a lot to talk about. I am very touched by the gift because it shows that Dixie actually thought of something we'd like for Wild Man to have: books. We will definitely enjoy spending the gift certificate sometime soon.


My mother-in-law officially retires this Friday, and I'm very excited for her. She will get a much deserved break. That said, she told C when they spoke last night that she plans to come visit us about every 6 weeks or so. I don't know if I can handle that. Seriously. There are lots of advantages to having her visit that often.
  • Wild Man would get to see one of his grandparents on a regular basis.
  • She and I might be able to develop a closer relationship.
  • It would be nice to see family often.
  • We would have regular access to a reliable, trustworthy, and free babysitter.
I told C that if this happens we would have to have a serious conversation about guidelines and boundaries she would be expected to follow. Off the top of my head these would include
  • respecting our life choices
  • not questioning our parenting choices/decisions
  • not giving Wild Man a lot of junk food/fast food crap to eat
  • refraining from bad mouthing me to C (yes, she continues to do this even though he has repeatedly asked/told her not to.)
  • not involving us in family drama
That is just what I can think of off the top of my head. Suffice to say, such visits would be welcome, but they would also be really stressful. Maybe she'll just come every 3 months or so. . .

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Stupid, stupid name

I have a doctor's appointment today--my annual check-up. Thus, I've been researching various forms of birth control since I know my doctor is going to want to take me off of the mini-pill now that I'm not breastfeeding so much. In my research, I ran across this article on moms ingesting their placentas to stave off the "baby blues." I don't know what I think about the placenta ingesting, but I do know that I think of the term the "baby blues." I think it is a stupid, stupid name. It trivializes and dismisses what most women experience after giving birth. I do not think that all women experience post-partum depression, but I do think that all women suffer from the drastic changes that occur in their bodies as a result of giving birth. I recently read an article (I can't remember where) that more accurately explained what happens in a woman's body. We are not, in fact, hormonal after giving birth. We are the opposite of hormonal as our bodies literally suffer from a complete lack of hormones. All the hormones we've been accustomed for 9 months suddenly stop to be replaced by newer, but drastically fewer, hormones. This is exacerbated by the lack of sleep that we experience after child birth. I could go on and on about this, but I will only make myself angrier. Suffice to say, to call what a woman experiences after giving birth the "baby blues" is inaccurate, dismissive, and just plain stupid. I know the emotions that I experienced (both good and bad) could not be described by that term. I wish people, particularly doctors, would stop using that term because I believe the term only encourages women to deal with their emotions on their own rather than seeking help. We believe "Oh, I only have the baby blues; things will get better," when in fact many women could be suffering from something much more serious.

200 Posts

I have made it to 200 posts, which seems like something of an accomplishment to me. I've been thinking a lot about why I blog and how this blog has evolved over the year and a half that I've been blogging. I started blogging as a way to motivate myself to get more work done. I wrote in my first post that I wanted to use the blog as a way to brainstorm and journal about my research and my writing. While I have done that on occasion, I quickly noticed that the blog became more of a journal for me (albeit a very different form of a journal, as I am surprisingly aware of that this will be read every time I post). I was 6 months pregnant when I began blogging, and I was in the middle of revising my dissertation proposal. C was finishing his dissertation and preparing to go on the job market for the first time. Needless to say, our life has changed drastically since then.

Since Wild Man's birth, I've blogged most often about my life as a mother, first to an infant and now to a toddler. I have blogged less often about my research and my writing, although that topic has become one that is increasingly on my mind. So, for now at least, I will continue to blog about what ever is on my mind, as I do find the blogging that I do is helpful to me for a variety of reasons.

Here's to another 200 posts. . .

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sleeping on the floor

Wild Man continues to experience some separation anxiety in the middle of the night, but we're dealing with it. No one in our family is sleep deprived, but it is rare that any one sleeps straight through the night without waking up at all. We can't figure the latest problem out, as Wild Man is making progress in other areas with sleep. He takes all of his naps in his crib now, which is a huge accomplishment for him and for us. In fact he is sound asleep in his crib at this very moment. He does, however, routinely wake up at 1:00 hysterically crying. C goes in there (we've decided recently that he will take the middle of the night wake ups, and I'll handle the early morning ones since I can't seem to sleep past 7:00 anyway). He leans over the crib and hugs Wild Man, who almost immediately lies himself back down and pulls at his blanket. C rubs his back for a few minutes, and Wild Man is generally asleep in about 5 minutes. C, however, cannot leave the room. Every time he gets close to the door, Wild Man wakes up and cries. As soon as C steps away from the room, Wild Man calms down and goes back to sleep. Generally C has to stay in there until Wild Man is sound asleep, about 30 minutes. So C has taken to lying down on the floor to wait him out. Now, my husband can sleep anywhere at anytime. I really wish Wild Man had taken after him in the sleep department, but unfortunately, he seems to have taken after his light-sleeping mommy. C inevitably falls asleep on the floor of Wild Man's room, so I've gotten into the habit of trying to stay awake so I can go in and get C. I mean, I really don't want my husband to sleep on the floor all night. Plus, I don't want Wild Man to think he has to have his father sleep on his bedroom floor every night. Last night, however, I was exhausted from grading and writing all week, and I'm battling a cold. As soon as C left our room to help Wild Man back to sleep, I feel back asleep myself. And I didn't wake up until I heard C returning to our bed at 7:00 this morning. Yes, that's right, not only did I sleep for 6 hours straight (I can't remember the last time that happened), but C slept 6 hours straight on the floor of Wild Man's room. When that sunk in, I was torn between laughing and apologizing. I feel bad, but I feel so much better after that great night's sleep!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Talking up a storm

Wild Man is talking up a storm, as my mother would say. Most of the time C & I struggle to understand him, and often he just jabbers away, without really saying anything. He says quite a few words on a regular basis, and here are a few of them.

baberry = blackberry, which is his newest favorite food
Meemee = Mommy
tee = tree
bana = banana
mo = more
peese = please, which he also signs usually unprompted
tan yooo = thank you, which he doesn't say unless prompted
Luwu = Lulu, which is one of the many nicknames for our cat Minnie
Pur = Pearl, our other cat, also known as the cat who plays with Wild Man
soo = shoe
atside = outside

On top of talking so much, he is also beginning to understand a lot more. When we tell him it is time for dinner, he goes to his high chair, for example. It is really amazing to watch him process all of these things and start to figure out the world. As C said the other day when Wild Man began saying "baberry," he is just beautiful.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Turtle Night Light

While we were visiting family over Thanksgiving, C's mom, whom I'm going to start calling Yetta (this is the name she has her grandchildren call her, and in case you were wondering, no we're not Jewish.), gave Wild Man a book; she does this frequently, and she always chooses beautifully illustrated books and often goes out of her way to attend author signings and always writes something to Wild Man in the book. I love books, so I treasure any book she gives him. I do put most of them away until I think he can really appreciate them, but we often take them out and read them to him. We do not, however, let him play with these particular books. When C showed me the book, he immediately showed me that it was signed by the author. I said something like "Oh, how cool. We have to be sure to put this in a place where Wild Man can't get to it." Yetta, who was in the room, said "Just be sure not to exchange it like you did that turtle night light I gave you at your wedding shower." I was so taken aback that I quickly responded "We never exchange books unless they are books we already have, and I don't exchange things unless I tell the person who has given me the gift." It didn't occur to me to respond to the implicit accusation in her statement; I was more concerned with reassuring her that I would never return anything so special. I promptly forgot about the statement until it came back to me yesterday while washing dishes. I suddenly recalled the statement and turned to C and asked "Did your mom really say that?" He burst into laughter at the randomness of my question, but he said she did, in fact, ask that question. He said she had mentioned it to him separately during the visit and he had to ask her what the hell she was talking about.

Here is what the hell she was talking about. In the month before C and I got married some 7 (yes, that's right 7) years ago, Yetta's friends (whom I had never met) threw me a wedding shower. Yetta gave me a very nice gift basket, which included a linen handkerchief embroidered with the date of the wedding and my initials (well, my married initials; she ignored the fact that I was going to hyphenate my last name), some perfume, a pretty slip (yes, it was weird to get lingerie from my future mother-in-law), and some body lotion. She also gave me a turtle night light as a separate gift. It looked something like this, but it was much brighter and much uglier. I had seen the light before on shopping trips with her, so I knew it was inexpensive and that she had bought it at a Wal-Mart. She didn't spend more than $10 on it. I assumed at the time (and still assume) that she thought I'd like it because I have a turtle. Well she was wrong, so I asked her if I could exchange it for something C and I needed more than a night light. She said yes and didn't seem at all upset. And then out of the blue she brings it up over 7 years later in connection to a gift she got for Wild Man. As I said, I didn't respond to the statement at the time because I was more focused on the book, but I really want to call her and say "What was that about?" Has it really bothered her for 7 years, or did she suddenly remember it? Am I really expected to keep a gift that I don't like and won't use to make her happy? Isn't it better that I politely asked her if I could return it for something I thought would be more useful (I have no idea what I exchanged it for--it was 7 years ago!)? Or is this simply another example of my ungratefulness? I have no idea what to think.

I am, however, seriously tempted to buy her a turtle night light for Christmas and see what she does with it . . .

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Dissertation Frustration Continued

In recent weeks, I've made considerable headway on my Wharton chapter. I have about 30 pages written, and at the sentence level, it is well written, if I can say that without sounding pretentious. I have even managed to clarify my argument and figure out how this particular chapter fits into the rest of my dissertation (which, of course, has yet to be written). I met with my advisor on Monday to ask some professional sorts of questions, and I gave her the first section of the chapter. I didn't want her to read all of what I had for several reasons. I wanted her to read this section to make sure my argument, which I finally felt like I had clearly articulated, made sense. I didn't expect to hear from her for a few weeks, so I made plans to continue working. Yesterday I checked my box at school and discovered that she had found time to read this section and had made extensive comments. I opened the packet with excitement only to want to throw it across the room. She made several good suggestions, which I've spent the better part of today adding, but she also questioned my reading of Homi Bhabha, although she didn't question my use of him. She instructed me not to worry about this, but to continue writing, telling me we'd deal with it when we got back to the chapter as a part of the larger dissertation.

Yesterday was not a good day for lots of reasons, and this particular lengthy comment made it worse. To be honest, I didn't read the comments in much detail because I was upset. I have worked hard to get to a point where I'm writing everyday and where I'm not feeling disillusioned with myself and my project. To make things worse, I spent the better part of yesterday in a series of department meetings. In one meeting, in which this year's search committee gave a presentation on the candidates they plan to interview at MLA, a senior faculty member made a comment that I didn't understand during the question and answer part of the meeting. I raised my hand and asked for clarification, and he responded to me in a very snippy way. I wondered if I perhaps should not have asked that question. A few moments later another faculty member, who had had her hand up at the same time I had my hand up, was called on, and she said "I wanted to ask the question that M already asked." She spoke to me afterward and told me my questions was completely valid and not to worry about the cranky Senior faculty member.

The point of that lengthy digression was to say that I didn't have much time to devote to the comments, and thus, I felt a vague sense of unease and panic regarding my dissertation all day yesterday. C and I had a long talk about it last night, and he encouraged me not to get discouraged and to follow my advisor's advice. He reasoned it couldn't be a huge issue if she told me not to fix it now but to move on. He said, "Don't lose your momentum, M. You're making progress. Keep it up." So this morning I sat down and carefully read my advisor's comments and she didn't call my reading of Bhabha into question as she suggested it needed to be more nuanced. It seems I didn't address one point that would strengthen my own argument. So after spending yesterday in a total panic, I realized that my dissertation doesn't suck but that I needs some fine tuning. I managed to move on and get through another complicated section today about domesticity and money. With any luck, I will still be able to finish this chapter by the beginning of next semester and start on the next one. I anticipate, however, that dissertation frustration will be a recurring topic in the blog.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sleep, Blissful Sleep

Sleep has continued to be an issue with Wild Man. For some reason he doesn't seem to want to be alone. He will sleep soundly from about 7:30 until 2 or so, and then he wakes up in a complete panic. He goes back to sleep fairly easily, but as soon as either C or I leave his room (I have stopped nursing him in the middle of the night unless he is sick) he wakes up and cries. Sunday night I sat on the floor of his bedroom floor for 45 minutes before he was sound asleep. Needless to say I was tired yesterday.

Last night, however, Wild Man slept from 7:45 until 7:20 this morning. I went to bed around 9:30, full anticipating that I would be woken up at some point. I woke up at 3 and thought, "That's odd; he hasn't woken up yet." I then promptly went back to sleep until almost 7, and then I was in a bit of a panic. I mean, seriously, this is way unusual behavior for my kid. Convinced something had happened to him, I tiptoed into his room and saw his sleeping soundly, on his tummy with his butt up in air tightly clutching a blanket my mom made for him. Since I was awake, I decided to take advantage of the quiet and have some "me time." I made a pot of coffee, fed the cats, and finished reading a book. By the time I was done with my coffee, I heard Wild Man talking to himself on the monitor. I walked into his room, and he was still lying on his tummy. He saw me and said "Hi, Mama!" It doesn't get much better than that does it? Immediately after he insisted on greeting C with a "Hi, hi, hi, hi Dada!"

Monday, December 03, 2007

When is M going to stop breastfeeding?

So I promised some info on the recent Thanksgiving trip, and this is the statement I want to start with. C (and my older sister) heard this statement several times during our trip to Home State, and I, the one who breastfeeds, didn't hear it once. My friend Sarah pointed out that I likely didn't hear it because those asking it realize that the question would irritate me, and she is correct. Following her advice, I'm trying to see the people who put this question to C as aware of my feelings, but admittedly, I'm having a hard time with that. First, why do so many people care? I mean Wild Man is only 13 months old--is it so offensive to our family to see me breastfeed my 13 month old that they have to ask C this question not once, but several times. I'd also like to think that if this question were phrased in the right way that I might not get angry. My dad, for example, asked my sister: "How long do most women breastfeed?" which is very different than the above question. If he had asked me this question, I would have been happy to have a conversation about what Wild Man's pediatrician recommends and what the American Association of Pediatrics suggests. But he didn't ask me this question. My mom, in her ever so tactful way, did ask me a related question: "Do you mean you don't give him a bottle at all any more? I'd think that would be an easier way to get him to sleep than letting him nurse . . ." I ignored her because, really, what else was I supposed to do?

But all the questions have got me thinking about when we will wean, and I can't come to any decisions. I have a lengthy (about 8 days) research trip coming up this summer, so I know I will have to wean by then. But beyond that, I don't want to think about it. Furthermore, I'm not under any illusions either--I want to keep nursing my son. I think he would be fine without it, but I wouldn't.

But the bottom line is why do so many people care about my breasts?

I've been tagged!

Kate, at a k8, a cat, a mission, has tagged me with the 7 random facts meme. It's a good thing too since I've been a bit of a blogging slacker lately. Here goes . . .

1. My first name is mispronounced--thanks to my mother. She insists that one vowel should be pronounced as another vowel. While it makes for a prettier name, I'm constantly correcting people and then explaining why I pronounce my name as I do. In fact, I often misspell my name just so I don't have to tell people how to pronounce it!

2. I am dyslexic when it comes to right and left. I know the difference between the two (I swear!), but I constantly say right when I mean left. Surprisingly I have a great sense of direction, but I'm not always the best person to give directions.

3. I once shoved a button up my nose. I was 3, and my older sister thought it would be funny to give me a tiny button to play with. I promptly shoved it up my nose. In fact, I remember the sensation of putting the button up my nose. I got it so far up there that my mom had to take me to the emergency room to get it out. As I recall, my sister got a spanking as a result. Perhaps that explains something about our relationship.

4. My sister tried to trade me for a bike to the little girl down the street. My mom tells this fabulous story as often as she can. My sister, who was 6 at the time, came home from school and promptly went to get the infant M out of her crib (I was maybe 4 months old). My mom caught her as she was walking out the door with me and, reasonably, demanded an explanation. My sister calmly explained that her friend down the street had offered to trade her brand new two-wheeler for me, as she didn't have a little sibling. My sister said, "I already have a little brother, and I need a new bike." Luckily, my mom saved me. I don't know if she ever got that new bike. . .

5. I have always known sign language. My older brother is deaf, and I learned to sign as I learned to talk. I can't imagine not knowing how to sign.

6. I long to live in a big city. I never have mind you, but I have visited many. I am aware of the disadvantages, but I am a city girl at heart.

7. I collect Paddington Bears. I have about 10 (which isn't so many, now that I think about it!). I love them, and every time I travel to the U.K. or I know someone who does, I either buy another one for myself or ask my friend to get one for me.

Now I will tag: Lilian, Amy Reads at Arrogant Self-Reliance, Harrogate and Solon over at The Rhetorical Situation (I miss you guys!!! Why aren't you blogging?), and Jennie over at My Handful .

1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.

3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.

4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.