Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The MAD Blog Awards Finalists Carnival - Best Blog Writer and Best Baby Blog categories

MAD Blog Awards 2011I don't know if you've noticed the badge in my sidebar, but I've been nominated as a finalist in The MADs, blog awards that recognise the best in mum and dad blogging. I'm a finalist in the Post of the Year category for this post, and voting is open for the final award winners.

So I'm hosting part of a carnival to showcase the work of the finalists in every category. I have been asked to feature all the finalists in two categories - Best MAD Blog Writer and Best MAD Baby Blog. The finalists themselves have chosen a post that they like, to represent their blog and what it's all about.

Firstly, let's look at the Best MAD Blog Writer category. To me, great writing is vital to a great blog. It's what keeps me coming back to a blog again and again. The power of the right words educate, inform and entertain us - and sometimes, it moves us too. The work of the five finalists manage all this and more, with apparent ease.

The first finalist is More Than Just A Mother. Emily's posts range from the laugh-out-loud funny to the incredibly moving.  The post she has chosen is both beautiful and poignant, reflecting on the parallels between the grief she feels with the frosts that coincide with the anniversary of her son's death. It's a short but incredibly powerful piece.

Next is Metal Mummy, whose blog covers a hugely broad range of subject matters and hosts a weekly movie meme. True to form, Hannah has chosen a recent post about their holiday to Turkey, which has just about everything or, as Hannah sums it up in the title, Houdini,dead fish and big water, reflecting that chaos that can be going on holiday with a two year old!

Moving on now to Sleep is for the Weak. Josie's posts are always a joy to read because they are always so descriptive and beautifully written.  I just love the post that Josie has submitted to the carnival - it's a letter to her son, Kai, on his second birthday, telling him of the pride, amazement and wonder she feels about being his mother and having him in her life. Absolutely beautiful.

Then, there is Doing It All About Aleyna, written by the mother of a 5 year old girl with special needs about the ups and downs of their lives. Her post is called Bridesmaidzilla, which tells of her fears that Aleyna's sudden phase of shouting out rude words randomly, just 10 days before she was due to be bridesmaid at a friend's wedding, would upstage the bride and groom. It's a light-hearted piece, but still her immense pride in her special daughter shines through.

Finally, in this category, is Blog Up North. Garry blogs about his life as a parent and school governor, and a big feature of his blog is the love of his life, music. Here, Garry writes an open letter to Wayne Rooney after he (Rooney) swore into a camera on live television. He avoids the trap of abusing Rooney and instead speaks father to father in a brilliantly written piece.

That's all the finalists in the Best MAD Blog Writer category and I'm sure you'll agree, the competition is pretty tough. Let's move now onto the Best MAD Baby Blog category - for blogs featuring babies under 12 months.

Well, I say featuring - the first finalist in this category is, in fact, a baby blogger. Leon McCarthy is just a few months old - so it's quite an achievement to become a finalist in the Best MAD Baby Blog category with the journal of the first year of his life. Leon sent me a post about his mummy trying real nappies and of being relegated to the dining room with his daddy when mummy has a girl's night at home!

Next up is Edspire. Jennie blogs about her twins Esther and William who were born 3 months premature in July 2010. Her blog started off as a record of their stay in NICU and is now a record of the twins' lives. Esther chose a post that has a lot of meaning to her  - it's a letter to Esther and William that she wrote and read to them every day that they were in NICU. I just love the story of the marriage proposal - so romantic!

And then there's Bloggomy. Louise has children aged 19, 11 and 9 as well as a baby aged 7 months and her blog reflects the diversity of challenges that this presents. Product reviews are a strong feature of Louise's blog so she has chosen to feature a product review in the carnival. This review, for a teething necklace and pendant, features some seriously cute photos of Tala, her 7 month old son road testing the products.

Moving on again, we next have Diary of the Dad. Tom blogs about his life as a new dad to his son Dylan and the bewildering journey that any new parent takes. In his post for the carnival, Tom reports on some of the milestones that Dylan has reached - not all of them welcome, I think.

Finally, in this category, we have Mother's Always Right. Molly, who writes the blog about life as a mother to her baby girl Frog, used to be a journalist. Molly's post for the carnival tells the tale of how she had been diligently teaching Frog to clap - only to have her thunder stolen at Baby Sensory.

That's all the entrants in the Best MAD Baby Blog category - again, a great set of finalists and hard to choose between them. You have until 14th June to vote for your favourite blogs, if you haven't already. If you want to vote, then please visit the MADs website here and fill out the form. You can vote in as many categories as you like, but remember you can only vote once so you need to choose everyone that you're going to vote for in one go. You could be a while...

You can find the main carnival post where you can find the posts covering all the other categories here.

Thanks for reading and I'd like to end by wishing all the finalists I've featured the very best of luck. There can only be one winner in each category so congratulations on getting to this stage from all the hundreds of blogs out there.

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