Thursday, August 07, 2008

keeping them safe

A few weeks ago, Charlie rode his bicycle to a local hardware store to pick up a few supplies to repair the drain on our bathtub. I hesitated when he told me that he was riding his bike on this particular errand, because I knew that he would have to cross over a relatively busy intersection and the roads in our area are especially congested since the traffic in our neighborhood has increased 100-fold in the past 10 years.

When he told me his plans that involved a four-mile round-trip bike ride, my entire life with this man flashed before my eyes. I could imagine him getting mowed over like a blade of grass by some punk kid that just got their learner's permit, and there was my beloved husband and father of four children, laying on the side of the road, bleeding, fading from this life and in to the next.

I didn't tell Charlie any of this.

I didn't tell him that I was afraid he was going to be hit and killed by a car when he was attempting to make a left. Because if I had, my husband might think that I was a bit UPTIGHT and PARANOID.

Instead, when I looked out the kitchen window and saw that he was pedaling his bike down the street without a helmet, I threw down the baby I had been nursing, grabbed the helmet that was sitting on the kitchen table, and chased my husband down yelling "HONEY! HONEY! You forgot THIS!!!" and then I added, "Whatever you do, don't go to the light. I need you here, on earth." He laughed before giving me a kiss and saying "I'll be FINE!"

I stood there watching him ride off, until he disappeared from view.

Of course he'll be fine.


That's what our loved ones always say before they join the ranks of angels.

Twenty minutes later, when my mother called, I told her that I was worried about Charlie. I told her that he was out riding his bike on the BUSY roads in our neighborhood and I was worried something was going to happen to him. She said that it was normal to have fear. But when I added that I was waiting for the police to come knock on my door and say that he was hit and I'd need to figure out how to raise four children all by myself, she told me I was a loon.

When Charlie walked in the door a few minutes later and overheard me talking to my mother about his funeral arrangements, he was flabbergasted. "But, I just went for a bike ride and you are burying me already?!"

"No," I replied. "I'm not burying you, I'm planning to have you cremated. But yes, I'm talking about your arrangements and until you run errands in a TANK this is the price you have to pay for being married to me."

Fear. I've got it. I've got lots of it.

I tell myself that it's normal to have a healthy dose of fear because fear is an instinct that can help to keep us safe. It is because of the fear that I have that something will happen to me or my family, I try to be as prepared as possible. But I know that in order to keep my children safe, there is more that I need to do than arm myself with a first aid kit, pepper spray and a reflective security blanket.

The world can be a very scary place.

Two months ago, after having seen a review on Protecting the Gift, I purchased the book and within 24-hours of it arriving on my doorstep, had read it from cover-to-cover.

It was an eye-opener for me to read that 1 in 6 children have some form of sexual involvement before the age of 12 and it was extremely frightening to read that nearly one million school kids, grades 6 to 12, carried a gun to school last year.

One million.

Parents must be more diligent in knowing what is happening in their children's lives. Who are their friends? Who are their teachers? Who are the people that they interface with? What are they doing?

The primary message that I picked up from this book is that in order to protect the gift that is our children, we must be educated on how to protect the gift of intuition and fear. Currently, I'm trying to teach our children how they shouldn't walk up and talk to everyone that they meet. I've told them that like the diver in Finding Nemo, if they don't listen and come to me when I call them, they can be picked up and taken away.

I've told them that they must protect themselves and look out for each other, and if anyone ever treats them poorly or touches them inappropriately - they need to let me or their father know. I'm trying to explain to them in terms that they can understand how not all people in the world are good. This is proving to be a lot more difficult than I expected because children are naturally curious and very trusting and the last thing I want to do is traumatize them with the message I'm attempting to convey.

But my job is to protect my children and I'd prefer that they be a little afraid than have no fear.

I've written before that I really enjoy sharing stories of my family with people that know us and even with those who don't, through this blog. According to my statistics meter, I receive a few thousands visits, every day. On the one hand, I am really flattered to know that so many people visit this website and enjoy reading about our lives. But when I noticed that the most frequent pictures that are viewed from various search engines were pictures of my babies' bare bottoms or photos of them sitting on the potty, I immediately went to those various pages and deleted the images.

When I started receiving e-mails earlier this week from my YouTube account indicating that I had messages on the potty training video I uploaded in January, I was blown away to see that a video I uploaded eight months ago had received over 20,000 visits in two days. After a little research, I found that my slide show had been picked up by two "Classic Rock" radio stations and was featured on the front page of their websites.

Then, yesterday, I received an e-mail from someone that indicated a "woman" from a parenting board that they frequent had stolen pictures of my babies and my triplet birth story from this blog, and after some very slight modifications, posted it as her own. Interestingly, it didn't bother me as much that this person had hijacked my picture and story as much as it troubled me that she might try to prey on people's sympathies for money or who knows what. One hundred years from now, it isn't going to matter if someone took my story and photos, unless they tried to cash them in on a book deal.

The fact is, both of these incidents have brought a lot of attention to my blog - a lot of attention that hasn't been particularly nice or good and I'm not sure what I'm going to do about it. One option that Charlie and I are seriously considering is to make the blog private. My fear is that there are a lot of people out "there" with ulterior motives and I don't want them seeping in to my children's lives via the internet. Suffice to say, there is some serious soul-searching going on right now about what this blog is, why it's here, and what it's future should be.

If only I could stick a helmet on it and arm it with pepper spray, I'd feel a whole lot better.

118 comments:

  1. My husband has started riding his bike to work a couple days a wee - eight miles ONE WAY. I worry each day he does this and at first was a little resentful that he would make me live in fear like that, but I'm getting over it.

    Follow your gut feeling with the private blog. Unfortunately this world is not always a safe place for children.

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  2. How scary! I would hate to see your blog go away, but I can certainly see why you would do so -- there are people in this world who have bad intentions, and you have to protect yourself and your family from them.

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  3. I'm with Maggie....i'd hate to see your blog go away...i love seeing someone who has as crazy a life as me....but totally understand why you would with what you've been subjected to...

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  4. Oh dear! How terrible it is that people have to ruin a good thing.

    I come to your blog because I stumbled upon it my accident one day, and I couldn't help but keep reading! I find your writing style funny and real, and I enjoy reading about your crazy and fun life. As someone who doesn't yet have children, I find myself sticking to memory your parenting tips and tricks.

    I'd miss you and your family if you made your blog private, but safety is important to I also understand that move completely.

    I'm riddled with constant anxiety, so I really relate to this post!

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  5. Hi Jen,

    I've perhaps left one post previously but "check in" with you and your family every day. I enjoy you!

    Ok - so about the blog thing, I don't have an educated opinion to offer; but about your children's safety, I might.

    My daughters are 19 and 21 now but since they were little girls, I've taught them about how "You've Gotta Have a Plan." Oh my gosh how they razz me about it. But it kept them safe and got them thinking.

    I started out when they were young with age appropriate questions; "what would you do if someone you didn't know came into our back yard?" We talked about it, and then "made a plan." As they grew older and became more independent, the situtations I presented represented things that could happen when mom wasn't there (ie: What would you do if you are walking home from school and someone tells you your mom was in an accident and you need to get in the car to go see her?) That was the scenario that created our Family Password. If the person knew our Family Password, that meant mom trusted him/her and it was ok.

    In the teen years, you can imagine my questions as they related to sex, drugs, alcohol, dating... What I felt important was that they had to think about situations ahead of time, and not get caught by surprise.

    "Ya Gotta Have a Plan" worked for us, so I thought it was something you might like to consider for your little ones.

    Becky
    becali9@yahoo.com

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  6. I can totally understand your fear for your dh riding his bike in that kind of traffic! And understand the need to go private! (I've also gone private in the blog world)

    But I would seriously die not being able to hear about you and your crazy life. You make me feel normal!!!

    If you go private...my email address is: julia_roseo@yahoo.com

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  7. Oh my goodness. I am so sorry about all the crap that's going on out there with your blog. It's unbelievable what people will do. Such a shame! Makes me really think if my blog is safe too.

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  8. I so hear ya Jen. My deal with DH is that I can post anywhere I want, but no personal info and no pix of the kids.

    A good DVD that you might check out for your kids is "Safeside" by John Walsh (America's Most Wanted) and Julie Clark (Baby Einstein)...it's good, and they are just about old enough for it. My kids love it.

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  9. Jen,

    Your great sense of humor and writing style just has me hooked to your blog. You are an amazingly talented person. As sad as it would be for all of us who don't know you but have loved your blog to not be able to read it any more, your families safety is without a doubt your top priority. One thing I was thinking, is that you could have a blog not about your family but just parenting advice that would be public. That way you could have your main blog be private and we would still get to here from you every so often. I know it might be a hassle but it was just a thought.

    Thank you for making me laugh and inspiring me so many times,

    Kate from Northern California

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  10. I would be so sad if you didn't blog anymore! Its the first thing I check on the computer in the am and it starts my day out with a smile.
    Having said that I would completely understand if you chose to go private as your families safety is imperative.
    Its sad that the world is such a scary place.
    Sarah

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  11. Oh my word!! Jen, I read regularly and know your story for the IF days. Holy cow....makes me think about all that I have out there in cyberland, too.
    Candy (aka Inca)

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  12. Count me in as one who doesn't want to see you go away. There must be something in the air with all these husband buying bikes -- mine did too. And, I worry about him every time he gets on the thing.

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  13. I don't comment here too often, but I left quite a few on your sleep training posts. I would so miss you if you went private! Although of course I completely understand. I guess I am more naive and trusting, always thinking nothing will ever happen. I am not a worrier by nature. Your experience with the stolen identity proves that things (even minor ones) can happen. I hope you find some peace with the situation, no matter what your decision.

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  14. I can so relate.
    I know of some bloggers whose blog is public, but their pictures are password protected. Perhaps you could go that route?

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  15. Jen-
    Follow your gut--it has "done right" for you for so long, it certainly isn't going to fail you now. Although I've been reading your blog for a long time and would miss your advice and perspective immensely (particularly your ability to make me laugh out loud on a regular basis!), ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is more important than your family, your sense of security, or your peace of mind. Good luck!

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  16. Karen in Buffalo8/7/08, 9:49 PM

    I, too, would miss checking in on you and your family via your blog. But, with the creepiness in the world I would totally understand if you went private.

    I just started a blog and am now questioning to what extent the detail I should go into regarding my kids.

    Keeping safe is priority #1.

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  17. I would so miss the pictures of Henry that do such a picture story..In the one a few back with the ice-cream, I could almost hear the screams from his pictures!

    I hope you can find a way to stay with an open blog, and still feel your family is safe. I personally feel you have a gift with your writing, and the information you share.

    Your openness and honesty in sharing your emotions is a gift to other young mothers going through the same feelings and experiences you share. I know it is a relief to many to know they aren't alone in their feelings.

    My own sister is very uncomfortable with my blog because I mention extended family members by first name and have pictures of some from time to time. I haven't worried about it, but the situation is different, as none that I mention, live with me.

    You will come upon a solution that will bring you to peace.

    Your blog is very special, and I personally feel that it is a ministry.

    Blessings,

    Joan

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  18. I followed the link you gave us on "that board" and I want to thank you for blessing me. I have spent the evening reading through your blogs, and I am amazed at all that you have over come as a family.

    I am a mom to a singleton preemie, born at 33 weeks due to severe pre-eclempsia and reading about your NICU days brought both tears to me eyes and memories flooding back in vivid detail. Memories that I didn't want to remember as well as memories that I cling to dearly. You are right, it IS a roller coaster ride. My "preemie princess" is now 4.5 years old, about to start pre-school, and a beautiful happy well developed little girl. Looking at the pictures of your triplets now, it is heartwarming to see other babies born close to my daughter's gestational age as happy and healthy and loved as she is. Thank you for sharing that with me.

    I'd hate to see your blog go private, but if you do (and you choose to include those like me that don't "know" you) I will say that you are certainly looking out for your children, as much now as you were in those NICU days.

    Way to go mama, for nursing all 3 babies, for getting through the NICU with your sanity intact, and for providing a loving home for 4 children where they can grow safe, and secure.

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  19. Hi Jen,
    I found your blog when my "surprise" baby was just weeks old in January. My trio (GGB) was 18 months old when she was born. I just wanted to tell you how much I've learned through your blog. I've also laughed, cried and nodded in agreement so many times. I am one of those that would hate to see your blog go away but can totally understand. Agree with PP and follow your gut. Your friend in the ATL, Giovanna

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  20. I'd be sad to see your blog go away. I have found everything you post to be really informative and your stories to be amusing.

    Good luck!

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  21. I second "the Safe Side" DVD. It's a goofy video that kids love, but it has a great message. I would certainly miss your posts - but I don't blame you for going private. GL!

    Ali/IL

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  23. I stumbled on your blog when I was reading about triplets (when my cousin Keira gave birth to her three girls). I stayed for the absolutely delightful worldview and spritely writing! If you do go private for safety reasons, I would love an invitation to join. My e-mail is levitn@umkc.edu; my web page is http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/levit.htm. If you go even more private than that, I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for the wonderful stories you shared about yourself and your family. All the best, Nancy

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  24. Not much for me to say that hasn't been said already. If you do make your blog private, I do hope that your loyal readers can somehow be included! If so, my email address is niccofive dot gmail dot com and my blog is niccofive dot blogspot dot com.

    Leeann

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  25. One of many cuzzins'8/7/08, 11:43 PM

    Hi Jenny,

    Oh, how I absolutely LOVE that "Poop Goes In The Potty" video. I was thinking maybe it was me who brought your viewing statistics up. I often play that at work when we are having a bad night in the ICU and just need to smile.

    I have often wondered who might be reading your blog and peering into your life. It would be a beautiful world if we could trust all of mankind...but the reality is, alot of people out there are evil and twisted. It would be very sad if you had to restrict your enjoyable and insightful blog. But, the safety of your children comes first. You must protect them and their images.

    And as far as the plagarism....ha! How flattering is that? Hopefully you can track her down and let her know you are aware of her actions.

    This is surely weighing heavily on your mind. Good luck to you and Charlie with figuring out the best way to handle it. In the meantime, know that your readers are thinking of you and understand changes may be forthcoming.

    God bless.
    Regina

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  26. I vote for going private. It's a tough decision, but better safe than sorry. As the kids get older, it will be harder to protect them.

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  27. Hi Jen,
    I too am one of the many that checks on you and your family regularly. I love to hear what you have to say about parenting and all of the crazy situations that you deal with on a regular basis. I used to be a member of the Resolve board and have followed you from there to babysteps and now on your blog. As a fellow sister who has dealt with infertility and overcame fertility to have two children of my own I can totally relate to you. I would definitely miss your blog but I totally understand about wanting to keep your family safe. Hopefully we will still be able to "see" you. If not thanks for all of the laughs, tears and smiles that your writing has provided.
    Cheri

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  28. My husband is a police detective and usually only deals with the scum of the earth. Thank you for the book recommendation. I will be reading it. I am scared to death that the minute I look away, someone is going to do harm to my child. Whether it is teaching him a really naughty word, to touching them inappropriately or even worse.
    It is really horrible that you were exploited like that.

    I try not to post naked or pictures that can send the predators to my blog. My husband has had some dealings with a guy that has a foot fetish. Now we don't even take pictures of our childrens feet without thinking of this sicko.
    Thanks for writing what you did.

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  29. Eeew. That is all kinds of creepy. Ick. Perhaps stamp a big ol' watermark across the pictures so they will be less desirable? I'd also take down that youtube video. Creepy.

    I worry too. My husband bikes around and then came home two nights ago talking about getting a motorized scooter when we sell our car. No way man.

    And I've started talking to my 4-year-old about stranger danger. Funny enough, I also used the Finding Nemo approach.

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  30. I know I've only posted a few times in the past and I personally stumbled upon your blog a few months ago while googling "how to transition for bottle to sippy cup". Your writing and sense of humor just kept me reading and reading and reading. As I've mentioned before I ended up going back to the very beginning and reading through each and every post of your archives to gain more of the background story and still find myself coming back every day because I just love to hear what you have to say and it's helped me a great deal in bringing humor to my own parenting and given me a glimpse at what the future may hold in store raising two little girls only 5 months a part in age.

    So anyways, I too would terribly miss you and your blog if you made it private, but at the same time I completely understand that you MUST do what is necessary for yours & your children's safety (since obviously it's no longer just a concern... it's an actual ISSUE). I just hope maybe there will be a way for you to filter the good people and allow them into the private circle, but even that would be incredibly hard to do with the amount of traffic you have that will no doubt want in.

    I have a blog of my own and have it kept as private as they come so only close friends and family can view. It helps me sleep better at night and I don't have to worry about any real weirdo's (or even birth families in our case since we're foster parents) stumbling upon it. So I wouldn't blame you one bit for taking your own families safety into serious regard and going private.

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  31. Oh Hogwash:) There is more good people in the world than bad. I am against going private. Of ALL (if I could make that ALL bigger I would) the things you have shared with us those sure are fairly minor infractions.(youtube is a whole nother story) Your audience is still growing. We NEED you to continue making us sound normal. Fear not. You traveled all away across the country documenting every step of the way and made it home safe n sound. And those of us who read your every word on a daily basis enjoyed that trip greatly for the comfort of our own homes:) I did a blog presentation in my class last month thinking they would care as much as I did about blogs. Come to find out not so much. You either care or you don't. I care and learn so much from you and other blogs as a mother, wife and thirty something woman. ( avoid/put off an unbelievable amount of housework in the meantime) When you go private it changes. Its not the same. I think if you continue to keep it real, nobody will want those kids of yours wink wink! I am in awe of you each day, I send good healthy thoughts your way all the time. I pray for the best for you personally and for your whole family daily. Nevertheless your gut instinct has a pretty impressive track record AND you could just start with change of names and location to protect the innocent:) Just some food for thought!

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  33. I LOVE Becky's "You gotta have a plan" suggestion. Sounds like a great one to use with my girls. I hope you don't go private, but understand if you do to protect your family. From what I've heard, only 100 lucky people could be invited readers with blogger.

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  34. Oh Jen, your blog is such a wonderful form of entertainment and inspiration. It's my favorite, honest. I read it every day. I would hate it if a few bad apples ruined it for the rest of us.

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  35. You're so inspirational - you often have all 4 children fed, dressed and out of the house before me and my baby even wake up for the day! - I truly enjoy reading every day and you crack me up in almost every post! Face it, you're super mom and I know you motivate so many of us!

    That being said, I (selfishly) hope you do not go private, but the safety of your family is truly the only thing in the world that matters and if there is any doubt in your mind that it is being compromised, then I absolutely agree going private is the only option. :(

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  36. Jen,

    I've been reading you since your days on the RESOLVE bulletin board. I was Pregnancy Girl the Superhero, and I wanted to be just like you.

    You don't know how much you have given to me over the past three years, and so I need to say "Thank you" now, just in case you go private. But, it's time for us to give back to you, and if that is our understanding about your need to go private, then you've got it.

    But, I hope there is another way. Your honesty about life as a Mum is just too precious to take away from the thousands of us who read you.

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  37. jen, to think that you even HAVE to think this way about your kids' pix on your blog (ie, the extra hits for posts of them in the shower or whatever) just makes me want to cry. it is just awful and depressing and makes me want to hit something.

    selfless me totally gets that you would want to protect your family and your children, and think you should go private if that's what feels appropriate for you.

    selfish me hates to think of you closing your blog! you have no idea how much i have learned from you.

    luckily, selfless me will proabbly be victorious, and selfish me will try really hard to be a bigger person ;)

    i really hope we'll still see you hear, though!

    sending you lots of love from australia,

    susan

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  38. urgh. should be 'here'. nappy brain.

    also, if you go private, i would LOVE to request to be part of the mix, but i also get that you might wonder who i REALLY am. just cos i say i'm a mum from australia doesn't mean i am, i guess you could (fairly) think. i couldbe one ofthose gross single male weirds you're trying to avoid. (I'm NOT of course!)

    anyways, if you devise some awesome, failsafe way of ascertaining who people REALLY are that you don't know except through the innernets, then please let me know, so i can do the test! email me at crooked UNDERSCORE rib AT hotmail DOT com

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  39. Awww I would be so sad to see your blog go private but at the same time as a mother of 4 I would understand. It is all about keeping them safe and that is all that matters. I do have to say I LOVE your way with words and your humor. You have a way of bringing it all to life just like we were there watching it unfold. I wish I could write like that. As for the stranger thing and keeping your kids safe I have a 14boy 11 girl 9boy and 6 girl and one thing I have drilled over and over is to never leave with someone you don't know without a FIGHT. I have put fear in them that your best chance of staying alive is to fight. Most of the time if they can get you to a 2nd site then chances go higher that they will kill you there. Even if they pull a gun on you never leave with them as more times then not they are not going to shoot you right there they want to get you to the 2nd site to have their way with you. Never walk beside a parked/running cars. Walk as far as you can from it. I am happy to say my 11 year girl has followed this advise as I watched her grab her little sister to cross this small park parking lot to get to me and she was avoiding the car with 2 men in it and it was running. We also have a safe word that we use. I still fear that my 6yr would fall for the scam of I lost my doggie and I worry about that daily.

    I had to laugh about your fear of losing your hubby and planning the funeral. My DH has no clue but I have thought about that so many times that it scares me even more that it is going to happen. I am a person who likes to have a plan and then a backup plan and then a backup plan for the backup plan. I have 4 kids so I have to have a plan on how I am going to raise them on my own. He drives 150 miles to and from work in the MD/DC area (yes gas is killing us) and then drives all day for UPS so his chances of being in an accident go up I just know one day I am going to get that call/knock on the door.

    Janice
    MD born transplanted to WV
    poohbear949798@aol.com

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  40. I am so sorry that something has tainted your experience with this blog.
    Do what you gotta do.
    I thoroughly enjoy "keeping up" with you guys - don't know you, don't remember how I came to read you.
    I'll be asking to join your blog readers "by invitation only" for certain.
    ~Mad(elyn) in Alabama
    (I have referred a couple of my young mom friends to this site and your reference to the book.)

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  41. I am so sorry that you even have to think about some weirdo(s) viewing your blog or video. Unbelievable what people will do.
    Signed,
    Another daily viewer from Carolyn's Boards
    Lorraine B

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  42. I just want to say I have followed your story for many years, from Resolve & Babysteps.

    You are a tremendous writer. If you go private we will miss you but I understand to.

    susieg

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  43. I would understand if you made your blog private. I'd be lost because I consider it a survival guide to raising multiples but I'd understand. lol. :)

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  44. I totally understand your worries and fears. A friend of mine recently had a story written about her on CNN that was inspirational and really wonderful.. but her hit count went through the roof and her name was suddenly known to the general public. It took me all of 2 minutes to find her home address knowing only the info that I could gleam from her blog. We're friends in real life and I told her about this.. and my plan to set up a security system at their house and start a neighborhood watch committee.. I'm very careful with the pics that I upload, but it's still unnerving to think about the wackos out there. Just last night I had to call the police because a man tried several times to open my passenger side car doors while i was sitting with my son at the train station waiting for my wife. sometimes i want to live in a bubble.

    i'd totally understand if you went private.. but as someone who has been looking to you for inspiration since our Resolve days.. you would be sincerely missed.

    jen (aka fourjmh)

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  45. I read your blog almost every day, and I thoroughly enjoy the stories and perspective you offer on life. So I would be really sad to see the blog go private or get taken down.

    That being said, I am a mother and I can completely understand wanting to protect the privacy and safety of your family. And I would bet that all of your "good" readers would completely understand as well. Please do what is best for your family! We'll support your decision 100 %, even if it means we won't get anymore stories of the trips in your life! ;o)

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  46. Dear Jenny,

    It's such a shame that you have to consider making your blog private. As one of the old neighborhood gang, I know it makes me feel connected to your family and memorable friendships.

    I know as a sometime blogger and one who posts a lot of photos to Flickr, that you have to be so careful! I recently posted a photo of my young nephew at the beach with some of the older nieces and her college age friends, and I had titled the photo "beach babes". I also noticed it got a number of hits within an hour! I quickly changed the title of the photo when I realized the implications of the wording I had used. I thought the same things as you - who are these creeps trolling the internet and viewing innocent pictures!

    On the other hand, I have had many compliments on photos and they have been used with permission in travel web sites, a children's gaming site and some other fun web sites.

    I contemplated not posting more photos, but decided by making places generic enough and being judicious with my photo titles and tags, that the good outweighed the bad.

    I hope whatever you decide, you still continue your humorous posts
    in a way that is comfortable for you and your family! Your humor would be missed!

    Best,

    Mrs. D's daughter Margaret

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  47. Safety comes first, of course, but I would hate to see your blog go away. I read through bloglines and have been neglecting all my blogs this summer, and just the other night, I thought of you and how I'd missed reading your entries, so I read through your entire trip all at once. You have a great way with words. I haven't commented much, though I have in the past. My (infertility struggle) baby was born two months before your Henry. Personally, my husband and I made the decision that posting pictures was fine but posting pictures of nakedness crossed a line we weren't comfortable with. I guess it's something that everyone has to figure out for themselves. Good luck!

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  48. I also look at your blog daily. I am indfatuated with multiples is how I found you. My daughter is a little older but ican still comiserate because iteach preschool daycare! As a billion other people said I would hate to see you go but could understand

    Cristy

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  49. summerwind038/8/08, 1:18 PM

    Jen, I'm so sad that you feel that way, becaues reading your blog has been such a joy to me and I'd miss it if it was private. All my best, summerwind03

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  50. I'm really sorry mothers have to be so worried about things like this. It's disturbing and frightening. I worry constantly about my boys and their safety.

    However, you're the second person in a few days to recommend that book to me. I've got a very trusting and outgoing child, so I think I need to get myself a copy of that book right away.

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  51. I, like the many others have been following your blog for a year or two now (before you had Henry). I enjoy reading your blog over a cup of coffee and it has become my daily morning routine.
    I can totally understand why you would want to go private to protect your family. I used to blog on a daily basis but in the last 3 years since my first son was born, I decided to go private. My site was not getting as many hits as yours, but through my statistics meter, I noticed other people were also linking my blog to their sites and traffic came from sources other than my subscribers.
    Whatever your decision may be with going private, best of luck to your family. I'll miss your amazing tips and thanks for the many laughs.

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  52. I have been reading your blog for about 8 months but have never commented before!
    I am a single mother to 3 children and can relate to all your stories. You have made me laugh and made me cry with some of your posts.
    You are truly inspirational! And would hate to see you go.
    However I can totally understand your need to protect your family and if going private is a way of doing that then so be it.
    But know that you will be truly missed!

    Helen

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  53. Jen,
    I absolutely love your blog and I would hate to see you go private. Your open and honest posts have helped me and others more than you'll ever know. Maybe you could find out what other popular bloggers do to keep their families safe while continuing to blog publicly. To go private would be such a loss for all the readers who are going through similar situations and find comfort in your humor and comfort in knowing that they are not alone in what they are feeling. Perhaps your God-given talent is how you touch people through your writing? Just something to think about.

    Your "treasure rock" friend in Florida.

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  54. Oh my. Yes, fear is a powerful thing. A reasonable amount can help keep us safe, and too much can limit our enjoyment of life. I am so sorry you are going through this with your site. Your family comes first - but I do hope I will still be able to access the blog. I have triplet toddlers and a 5 yo. daughter, and I so appreciate reading your stories and learning from your adventures. You are much more organized than me, and I get ideas that help. And when you're stressed out due to the challenges of having multiples and offer your insights, I often see my feelings finally put into words. Suddenly I'm not alone.

    That being said, I too blog privately. If you go that route, I'd be honored to trade invites.

    Lauren

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  55. I had to snort with laughter when I read your post because my 16 year old nephew JUST got his driver's license in San Diego. I kept picturing him as the "punk" kid who mowed down Charlie, which isn't funny, but the timing was so appropriate I had to laugh. If it were me, I would go private. Everyone who wants to keep reading can just register with you. And, it's not like you have ads on your blog...if you did you would probably lose all your revenue by going private, but that isn't an issue for you. There are sooo many crazy people out there...today it's someone "stealing" your pregnancy and birth story. Why worry about what it will be tomorrow???

    Kelly (Houston)

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  56. Delurking here to say I stumbled upon your blog long before Henry and have read it every day. I don't have kids (yet), but you've inspired me when it comes to my interactions with my nieces. I would truly miss your blog posts if you go private -- but I understand your concerns about safety. Your blog is one of the higlights of my morning!

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  57. I so relate to how you feel about Charlie, I have those panicky feelings about my hubby. I even nudge him in bed if he's sleeping too soundly, to make sure he's alive. He saw me thru an intense year with breast cancer, and the thought of losing him, freaks me out. In other words, I SO understand.
    It is very disheartening to hear about where your blog has shown up, and what pics are focused on. I've loved following your story, and will really miss you all if you become private. But it is more than understandable as to why.

    Good luck with your decisions, and woohoo for you on the triathalon!
    Annie W. in Albany

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  58. I would be devastated to not read your blog.... but you must do what makes you feel safe.

    I really enjoyed your potty training video--- I shared it with the kids I nanny for and while they loved it, it did not magically potty train them either:)

    Thanks for all that you share with all of us! I've learned sooo much from you:)

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  59. One option before going private, would be to go to Settings and take yourself out of Google by haviing Blogger not list you. If you aren't in the Search Engine, you won't be getting weird random Google People looking for weird stuff like "naked baby butt pooping" or something equally disturbing.

    I would also go back and delete all posts that make reference to your last name so that's off the web too.

    If I think of anything else, I'll let you know.

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  60. My other suggestion is to go to Settings and reduce the number of posts you have showing up per day. Right now you have like a hundred posts showing up on your front page. That keeps all that "material" higher in the search engines. If you only had 7 or 10 days worth of stuff showing up, your older stuff would be archived and not showing up so high in Google.

    I'll be back if I think of anything more. :)

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  61. Oh my gosh, I'm so disappointed. That is just disgusting that people are singling out those pictures and that video. It's so scary ... as a fellow mom and blogger, it makes me question what I put out there for the world to see too!

    I totally understand if you have to go private - I will be devastated. I love reading ... but the safety of your family comes first.

    Such a bummer ... I'm sorry you have to deal with this.

    And don't plan Charlie's funeral - he's not going any where ... you guys are great together!!

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  62. Just wanted to say hello I think I found you from triplets+1 blog cant be sure. I read through some of your archives your are so funny and I enjoyed getting to know your family. I plan on trying to check in every so often.

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  63. I too would miss reading your blog. I always enjoy your advice and your funny stories. Anyway this is my first time to comment. I came upon your blog from Triplets plus one = Four times the fun. My husband and I have one 6 year old who started 1st grade today. We live between Batesville and Grenada, MS. I understand if you go private with your blog but I would love to still be able to follow along with you if you so choose. I don't have a blog. take care, beth

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  64. I really enjoy reading your blog and don't want to see you go, but you have to trust your gut. I personally loved that video of the Poop Goes in the Potty--although to be honest I really watched it more than once to hear the song, not that your kids aren't cute, but I don't need to see kids on the potty. The song was so awesome that I (and my husband) still sing it to my toddler! So maybe it's not so much that so many people are watching the video to see the pic, as well put together as it is. Just a thought.

    My husband is adamently against my posting pics on my blog, which is why you likely won't find any. I've posted maybe 3 before, but it was to show what my baby was doing, and didn't include her face. Also, we use psuedonyms. This is my in-between of private and public blogging.

    I hope you don't go, but I wish you the best if you do. BTW, other bloggers have talked about this, and if you want me to send you links to hear their opinions, you can email me.

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  65. I, too, am one of those people who visit your blog often, sometimes a few times a day looking for a new post. I believe I found your post through a lint on another blog I read, www.indigogirl.typad.com. The reason I bring this up is, she has two blogs, one public and one private. They are the same post (I think), but the private blog has pictures and the public blog has very few photos, most of which don't show her childrens' faces. I think thats a good compromise for your viewers.

    Also, Google allows for you to upload private videos. When you choose this option, the video cannot be found through a google search, and only the people you choose to give the link to can find the video.

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  66. Correction on my last comment, the other blog is:

    www.indigogirl.typepad.com

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  67. I am also a worrier. Always have been even before kids. I was the cautious friend in college. In fact when my friends decided to get tattoos while we were studying abroad, I was specifically invited along to make sure a clean needle was used each time! Yup. I'm that nerdy friend. Anyway worriers are good to have around.

    I'm so sorry to hear that some creeps have found their way to your blog. Your writing and wit is so fabulous. Checking your blog is the first thing I do during nap time each day! It's too bad there are icky people out there that ruin it for everyone. I wouldn't blame you for wanting to make it password protected.

    Jennifer
    Triplet Mom in MN

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  68. There was a woman who stole a NICU birth story on mothering.com in early 2007. Same thing - took the story, pics, all of it. Mothering banned her and was looking into legal action for copyright infringement. Maybe it was the same person? I can tell you more if you like. I am over where you started, at Ca*****s boards.

    Nandre

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  69. I really enjoy your blog and would miss reading it if you go private. However, I'm a mum of three (soon to be four) and I only blog about my life and kids quite generally out of these very same fears, so completely understand the need to do what you feel is right for your family.

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  70. ACK -- if you go private, please invite me.

    I agree that some people are just strange and intuition is a GOOD THING.

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  71. Oh Wow. It may be my naitivity but it baffles me to think that there are people out there who would cause harm to others - especially children. I know it happens and it sickens me. Your babies are beautiful, your stories are great.

    Although I have enjoyed watching the kids and reading about them. Family comes first always. Protect them and yourselves for peace of mind. And glue the helmet to Charlie's head! (Didn't he see what can happen?? Exhibit A...Joe?)

    Much Love and Hugs to all. Marg.

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  72. I don't come out very often but I wanted to say that if you decide to go private, I will miss the daily antics of your family. I very seldom comment but read every day.

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  73. I too feel the need to comment, so you can at least put a name to the numbers that come by your blog!

    Don't know if I have ever commented, but I love to read about the antics of your kids. I'll just be echoing previous commenters, but, what the heck, I'll say it anyways - you have a way with words that keeps me coming back. Also, I have to say that your gut-level honesty has been inspirational to me, someone who very rarely admits to struggles or failure!

    Selfishly, I'm hoping that you and your husband come to a solution that allows you to breathe easier when it comes to the safety of your kids, but also allows me to continue to read :)

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  74. Well, now I'm depressed :(

    Please invite me to keep reading, your blog is one of the few things keeping me sane.

    However, I would feel terrible to think some creep could continue ooogling your kids if you kept your blog going for me...so do what you have to do.

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  75. Wow Jen!
    What a global Fan Club you have...it's awesome!

    XOXO Anne Marie

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  76. I just wanted to say that although this is my first comment, I love reading your blog - it cracks me up! It makes me feel sane, and as I have a 2 year old and 4 month old twins, I always can look at your blog and say that I have it easy. But anyway, as I'm sure others have said, if you're getting a lot of crazies doing weird things with your precious children's pictures etc., going private is your best bet. Anyways, if you do remove it, I just wanted to say I really have enjoyed it so far! - Jessica

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  77. I would miss reading about your family, but I would totally understand. I'm a librarian at a public library, and I see with my own eyes some of the things people look at online, and these are the people who do it in public. Imagine the people at home...scary. Even if they can't actually access your children, you don't even want people having those thoughts about them.

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  78. I totally understand you wanting to make a private blog, its sad how our world is. I also have crazy fears, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one, my mother thinks I'm a nut and I don't even let my husband know. I have really enjoyed following your blog since the stroller giveaway, another frined that also adopted from guatemalal was trying to get some votes for one of the candidates. Out of the blogs I read I really enjoy yours because so far you are the only one that seems really honest about life and even though we work our butts off to have children ( 5 IVF's, 1 daughter adopted from Guatemala) they still are stressful and frusterating at times, expecially the potty training!!!!

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  79. I followed a blog at one point that had people "apply" to have access to their blog. You had to give personal information and why you wanted to continue to follow their blog. Maybe you could do something like that. Sounds like it could be time-consuming though . . .

    Would love to have a chance to continue following your family's antics!

    Pam
    (psm260@bellsouth.net)

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  80. You couldn't have posted this at a better time. I was just emailed tonight that someone has used my pictures for the same thing. I have spent the last hour trying to get the mods on babyhold.com to remove the pictures of my girls.

    I am also considering the movement of my blog to private, but I am not sure how to do it with the program I use (not blogger.)

    I will definately miss your blog and if you don't mind please email me with any ideas on how to decide who to admit. I have tons of people who read but I don't know them, and it scares me to admit just anyone.

    guinnf@bellsouth.net

    Kimberly and the GA Guinn Triplets
    www.guinnfamilyhome.com

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  81. I enjoy your blog because it makes me laugh. There are few things in this world that make me truly smile and laugh, and this is one of them. I don't have children of my own, although I do have godsons, neices and nephews. I understand the urge for safety and protection, but at the same time, I understand the need to 'just get it all out there,' a place to vent, a place to sing praises, a place to be free. Whatever you decide is best for you, is best for you! I would hate to see this blog locked away, but I do understand.

    Maren in Minneapolis

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  82. OK I hope you've read these comments, because now I'm so paranoid that I came out of lurkdom and put my blog out there for the world, and my students to see, that I can't stand it and have to delete my comment that came with my name and blog link. Geez! How will I ever make it into the finals of the "Make it to Jenna's Private Blog" if I have to hide?? Ha. In case you haven't read what I said, I'll paste it into this comment without my contact information. Hopefully if you choose to reformat who can access your blog, and how, I'll get a chance to give you all my details privately. Now you've got me all paranoid!!

    My comment said:
    Oh my. What a sad surprise to find here at my favorite blog. I check you first, before anyone else. The only reason I always comment anonymously is because I am a single female teacher and the idea that I could be traced on the internet, even through my comments, scares me. I worry at night, living alone, that the Boogie Man will get me! So I totally understand your reasoning. I have wondered about your blog in the past - you are so good to provide pictures, and we know your kids names. It's fortunate you haven't had any problems, and it's unfortunate we live in this crazy society.

    Should we be allowed to "request" to be invited to your private blog, I would be honored to be allowed to continue reading your blog. That being said, I understand since you know nothing about me, that isn't likely. Your blog reminds me of my happy memories of living in San Diego, and it has been a blessing to me in more ways than you can know.

    Maybe you can start over, with new pictures of stranger kids, and give them names like Larry, Moe, and Curly??

    God bless. I will truly, truly miss your wonderful stories and life. You give me hope for my future family.

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  83. I have been reading your blog for a long time. I loved your writing from Resolve days (when you gave the recipe for Charlie's pizza). I can understand the feeling. I too am worried everyday that something will happen to my family. I hope you will find a way to keep them safe. I would love to be included among the people who could read your blog if you decide to go private.
    Suna

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  84. hi jen~
    oh, i'd hate to see your blog go away, i look at it almost every day. it sometimes gives me the strength to go on with everyday issues. i have 2 year old triplets & you write about the hardships, but also the wonderful stuff- the stuff to remember when we are having a tough day!
    but keeping you & your family safe is the #1 priority. i so hate that there are such sickos & crazys out there!
    i would hate to see you go private, but i would totallly understand.... & probably follow in your footstetps w/ my blog.
    thank you for all your wonderful posts!
    kristi
    (mom to 2 yr old bgg trips)

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  85. Hi Jen!

    I enjoy reading your blog each week. Its funny & crazy, but never leaves you feeling like life is impossible. Its reassuring to read your blog and know there is someone out there with a crazier life than me and is not just surviving, but thriving. While I'll miss it, I understand if you go private. I support any decision you make.

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  86. Jen like the majority of other readers I would hate to see you leave. I enjoy reading your blog. You keep it so real. I love your writing style and have been looking forward to reading about the trips first day of school. I love how you keep it real with your marriage and the ideas you give (I have a book to buy). I also am in awe of all that you accomplish. You keep me encouraged to continue with my exercising. As a family we did the bike trail yesterday, thought it was going to be 11 miles but it ended up being 17 miles. It was a beautiful ride, and I got lots of pedaling in. My tailbone is so sore today. Our daughter rode it also and our son ran it. We are all proud that we made it. Hubby and I plan on going back and camping out and doing it again in about a month. So you see you are such an inspiration and you have such a beautiful family. How I wish there wasn't such weirdness in this world. If there is any way you can make your blog private and feel safer maybe you could try that first, but I don't know how you would decide who to let on. But overall you must do what you and Charlie feel you must do to feel safe, best of luck to you and your family.
    Kathy

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  87. I don't think it ever gets better. One day all 3 of your kids will be driving away in CARS and the news will have numerous stories about teenage drivers and the thousands that die....Plus you don't know exactly where they are all the time. They can tell you where they are going but are they telling the truth? Did you always tell your parents the truth?
    I hope you don't have to leave the public bloggy world. Is there anyway to turn off the right click feature so no one can steal your pictures?

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  88. Just two things of many I would like to say:

    Your motherly instinct is very strong and usually right...if you feel uncomfortable, you need to go private.

    And...

    I will miss reading you every day if you do!! Of the many blogs I read, yours is the one I read excerpts from to my husband so we can both share a smile and looks of understanding over your excellent writing!

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  89. Hi Jen,

    You and your family sure are popular. It is no wonder, your stories and insights are wonderful. You will be sorely missed by your many fans. However, the safety of your family is your first concern.

    Perhaps you will seriously consider publishing your stories. Who knows, perhaps a sit/com show...

    Anyway, I sure would like to be included in your private blog. No only do I enjoy your family pix, it is also a great means of keeping up with the family.

    Keep save and in touch,
    Your cuzzin'
    Peg

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  90. Jen, I'm not a personal friend of yours, but I feel like if we knew each other in real life, we would be. You say much of what I think and sometimes what I need to hear, but try not to think. Ha.

    Like you, I have a healthy dose of fear. So along your lines of thought, I have already switched my blog to a more private-ish blog. While it's not private, I changed the blog address, I no longer address my dh or child, or myself by real names. After working so hard to get a husband and child, my biggest fear is losing them.

    While I realize I'm only one of hundreds of strangers that would love to be a reader of your private blog, I realize it probably just wouldn't happen since you don't know me from Eve. I would hate to not be able come visit you everyday, but if you were to go private, I would completely understand. Trust those motherly instincts. It's how God speaks to us on what's best for these kiddos He loans us. ;-)

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  91. Oh wow, that is scary. I do enjoy reading your blog. But even more, I want you to protect your little family. So, whatever you do, I know you'll make the best decision for your family.

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  92. I totally understand how scared you are about strangers reading my blog. I too went private for the same reason. All of a sudden my gfs and I had a ton of hits on our kiddos pictures yikes....

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  93. I too can understand your fears, I m deleting the one baby on the potty pic that I ever posted. Beyond that, I have always been very careful about not putting any naked pics up of the babies and writing anything too identifying about how to find our family, jobs. It's a good reminder that when O starts preschool, I will not list where it is. It's a shame, really.

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  94. I`m a mum of a 5 year old, a four year old and 2 year old bgb triplets. I have a very infrequently updated blog that is mostly pictures for relatives to see. Even I`ve wondered if I should set it to password protected, just in case (another worrier) so I can totally understand where you`re coming from on that. I would really miss your blog though. I check most nights when the kids are asleep (like now) and I`m winding down from the day, so many times you have made me laugh after a hard day, I hope you can continue in some form, maybe (sadly) minus the beautiful pictures?

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  95. Hi,
    I don't comment a lot but I do read your blog at least weekly. It's strange, I'm a 20-something student girl on a whole another continent, but I still love reading your stories about life! :) I'd love to be able to read your blog in the future, but totally understand if you want to make it private. Maybe you could have a system where people can apply to read your blog? All the best to you and your family,
    Johanna

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  96. I'm so sorry....we had people stealing pictures of our oldest daughter, and I discovered it while I was pregnant. Talk about hormones. I immediately set out to protect the pictures, and you'll be happy to know there ARE ways to do that.

    One thing you might want to consider is seriously reducing the size of your pics on the 'net. Currently you're uploading full size pics, and the pervs out there go for that size. The small pics they'll ignore.

    There's many other things, and I'd be happy to send them to you, if you're interested. Please email me, or come by and drop a comment with your email and I'll send you everything in my arsenal.

    I'm happy to tell you that while pictures of my kids show up in obscure foreign searches, not a single one has been downloaded in almost a year now. And I'd be happy to help you protect yours too.

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  97. I also stumbled across your blog one day and cannot stop reading, you always give such helpful advice. We are also from california (Chico) I have a 7 year old and a almost 2 year old., and understand the need to keep them safe. Go with your gut!
    Angela

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  98. Dear Jen,
    everybody here have said it all.
    We would all miss you.
    Weird things happened to Got-triplets (now chasing babies) and also the guinn triplets decided to go private (but i guess you now all about it)
    I totally understand, but blogging is good for you too... so don't give up. Just go private and let people ask to be allowed to read it.

    i really hope you'll decide to continue, i love your way of writing, your sense of humour and all of your family.

    I now can't wait for my kids to be old enough to have a long road trip in the US!!!

    good luck, and let us know whatever you decide

    michela

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  99. I'd be so bummed if you stopped blogging. I happened upon your blog a couple of months before you discovered you were pregnant with Henry and stayed for the writing.

    If you go private will you let us know so we can get the password from you?

    Naive person that I am I never even thought about people doing bad things with pictures of the kids!

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  100. Just wanting to drop a note to say hi! I'm a trip mom with two olders. I found you a while back and I visit often. Wether you go private or stay public. I just want to say keep it real! I have enjoyed your stories. So many hit close to home. I wish I had your nack for telling them. Thanks for allowing me to get to know you and you family. Stay safe! :)

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  101. I have enjoyed your blog from the time I stumbled on it through someone else's blogroll. You are hilarious, and I would hate to see you go private. I would understand it, but I would hate it.

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  102. I'd hate to see you leave. I've been a reader since the beginning and would miss you.

    I do not mean what I'm about to say as criticism. I love the photos on your blog.

    However, have you thought of being a bit less photo-heavy? Putting them on a flicker page with a link to the thumbnails, or something of that sort?

    This might deter creeps since access is less easy, but honestly, I've gone from reading your page daily and eagerly to only once a week or so because there are so many photos it loads extremely slowly, and I do have a high-speed connection. It literally takes over my whole system while trying to load.

    I'm not criticizing anything that's ever been posted (the photos are adorable), but they do make it harder to pop in and read.

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  103. I've been folling you since the Resolve days so I would hate you see you go private. Perhaps just being careful about the pictures that are posted would be enough. I agree that you blog does take a long time to load because of the number of pictures but having multiples myself, I enjoy seeing mutiples.

    Protecting the Gift is a great book. Hope you decide to stick around. I have learned some great tips from you and enjoyed more than one belly laugh reading your stories!

    Maura

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  104. I'm a nursing student and I actually stumbled upon your blog while trying to do some research while studying for a test in my OB class.. (I think I was searching something related to HELLP syndrome and somehow you came up..) I've been following your blog ever since and would be bummed if I could no longer read it!

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  105. I love the suggestions being made for how to bone up the safety on your blog. I'd never thought of some of them, but they are brilliant! I'll third about the blog taking a while to load. Not a bad thing, just something maybe you weren't aware of.

    I like the idea of fewer pictures, pictures you can't steal, pictures that are smaller, and maybe starting over without the kids real names. Maybe you could have a contest on pseudonyms for the kids!

    I know that if you were to go private, and allow people to "apply" to get in, I'd give you as much info as you'd want (within reason! No SSN!) to make sure you feel comfortable. But I probably wouldn't feel that way if I were you.

    We love you, Jen!

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  106. I found you through another blogger. I saw the link to your blog and thought it was about traveling. Instead I saw the self portrait with your reflection you took of you really pregnant with Henry while holding one (or was it two? Or was it all of them? My memory is fuzzy.) of the kids. I saw how much energy you had with triplets and being at the end of a pregnancy and thought, "This woman is my hero!"

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  107. I completly understand ALL of your fears. My husband rides a dirt bike, oh lord, and wants to get our childeren into it, OH LORD!! I have had the stranger and good touch bad touch talks with my girls probably a bit too much, and have actually practiced what they would do if a bad guy, or girl, tryed to kiddnap them, they beat the crap out of us! heheheh. In regards to going private with your blog, you have to do what makes you feel best. I enjoy reading your blog, and I think you have a super awesome family...but if you are no longer comfortable, then you need to follow your gut.

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  108. I just found your blog and your children and you crack me up, I would hate to see your blog disappear, but I would understand why you would.

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  109. I, also, would be lost without your blog! I read every.single.day! I have three little kids myself (ages 4, 6, and 9) and can relate to almost everything you are going through. You and I could probably be best friends if we didn't live many, many states apart. LOL! I have only commented once or twice before (probably on potty-training) but am a faithful reader. Do what is best for your family but selfishly I hope you can find a safer way to keep your amazing blog going. You make me laugh every day. Good luck.
    Melissa

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  110. I've started this blogging thing in the last couple of months - I have a baby on the way, and I have loved reading the blogs of people who have small children, because it's a great insight into the future. I think it would be a great shame if blogs like yours all wnet private, but I completely understand why you are thinking about it.

    It just saddens me that it might be needed...

    The Broken Man

    http://theblogofabrokenman.blogspot.com/

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  111. Your blog is like a very good book that you want never to end. I look forward to my new chapter every day and right now I am missing your amazing writing. You have a talent. I will truly miss it if you go private, but totally understand.
    SC
    Fairfield, CT

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  112. I somehow stumbled across your blog, as well, from a link on another blog. I've never posted a comment, but I love reading about your fun family and how you handle everything in your life. I hope to start a family soon and your blog provides great information and inspriration. It would be too bad if you had to make it private.

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  113. What the hell is wrong with people?! Something similar happened to a blogger I read (she's a friend of a friend) just a few weeks ago. Someone was stealing her pics and her life story and making it their own. It was especially bad because she had recently lost one of her twins (they were born very early). They had taken her writing, changed a couple of words here or there and pretended like it was their life. Creepy!

    Anyway, I absolutely love your writing. I would hate to see you go but I would understand. I was telling a girlfriend of mine just the other day that I like reading you so much because you totally have your sh*t together but you don't think that you do.

    I hate to sound like a broken record but if you go private, I'd love an invite too.

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  114. I am having withdrawal symptoms are you alright out there?

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  115. Jen,

    I would be so bummed to say goodbye to your blog. However, as a mama you have to do what is best for you and your family. If blogging is going to be something that fills you with fear, than ultimately it isn't good for you, and that isn't good for your family either. I, too, have struggled with whether or not to start blogging. One the major downsides has been the possibility of weirdo's getting a window on my life and my girls. On the other hand, there has to come a point when we release our fears and simply trust - maybe not that everything is going to be fine, because how realistic is that? I think we have to accept that things happen, that we can only do the best we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones, and that no matter what happens, God will give us the strength to get through it. Whatever you decide for the future of your blog, I appreciate the "time" I've gotten to share in your family and the encouragement you have given me as a mom, a wife and a woman.

    Cheers,
    Sarah L

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  116. PS - I also think all the time about what I would do without my husband. In fact, when we drive around town, I'll sometimes check out neighborhoods or condos that might be good to move to if something happened to him! Yikes!

    Cheers,
    Sarah L

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  117. I keep coming back to see if you put up a new entry, and you haven't!! It's a taste of what's to come, I'm afraid. I don't know if you've abandoned this blog already, or are still thinking. I had no idea that the loss of a blog would be so sad (in a non-psycho way, of course). We really miss you.

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  118. I hope you are going to say good-bye, if this long silence means you are not going to post anymore. I check everyday and no news. Sigh!

    Joan, already missing the adventures of your life

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