oh nick, really?


[WordPress # 456702]: Writing & Editing – looking for a “Find / Replace” function

Dear WordPress support,

Help please!

I’m trying to backtrack through 349 posts and 5,778 comments in order to change my children’s names to pseudonyms. I’ve searched through every support page you’ve got, but I can’t find a tool that will search for a particular word and change it, or even one that will simply find it throughout the text.

My mom says I’m too old to pull an all nighter, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.




Re [WordPress # 456702]: Writing & Editing – looking for a “Find / Replace” function


I’m sorry but there isn’t a search and replace tool available.


Automattic / WordPress.com


Re Re [WordPress # 456702]: Writing & Editing – looking for a “Find / Replace” function

Dear Nick,

First of all, it would have been simply lovely if you could have at the very least used my name. I mean honestly, would it have killed you to have employed just the slightest touch of personalization as you said, Sorry, kid; you’re screwed?

Next time kiss me first, would ya, Nick?




I’m up to September of 2008. I’ve made it through sixty-one posts changing names – one word at a time.

Although it’s a daunting job, I’ve found it almost enjoyable. (Almost.)

I never kept a journal growing up. I tried a few times, but inevitably ended up about six pages in writing, Dear Diary, I know it’s been a long time since I last wrote. It just wasn’t my thing. So I can’t look back on the awkward years in middle school or relive the drama of high school through the eyes of an angst-ridden fourteen year-old. Instead, I have to rely on dusty memories, no doubt softened over time. It’s probably for the best. I’m not sure I really want to remember much of it anyway. Especially that time freshman year that I finally worked up the courage to call my crush of crushes to invite him to the Sadie Hawkins dance and got so nervous that I hung up without warning mid-conversation. Without records, I’m free to write (or rewrite) my history any way that I see fit.

But these past twenty-two months are different. They are documented. There’s no turning away from the reality of what these nearly two years have been – at least through my lens. It’s all out there, for better and worse.

Looking back over the old posts, I see how far my little family has come – and in some cases how very little we’ve moved. I watch my own evolution through the posts – as a mother, as a friend, as an advocate, as a wife. I hear my voice as it emerges – stronger, clearer, more and more my own. I feel the ebb and flow of doubt. I see that it recedes at times, but it’s never really gone. I see patterns repeated.

I see all that I’ve gained on this path – starting with compassion, understanding and connection. I watch my own perspective shimmy and shift with time. I watch the emergence of community and my awe at finding out that I was not alone. I see the gratitude that shines through each and every one of those early posts. I hope I’ll find it in the later ones too. I even see some of what I’ve lost since I started this journey.

So I hope you’ll forgive me if I slip for a while in real-time. I’m living in the past this week. And it turns out it ain’t all bad.

Just don’t tell Nick. I’m still mad at him.

22 thoughts on “oh nick, really?

  1. I never kept a journal either, other than occasionally when I was travelling (unlike my mom, who journalled just about every day of her life). I eventually started baby-book style journals about my girls, but what really kept me going with those was that I could show them to my mom… who passed on in 2005… I think the audience/interactive part of the bloggy enterprise, with all its pitfalls, is a huge component of the attraction of the medium for me. So good to have a record of the journey! Good luck with the ongoing name-alterations.

  2. There might be a point where it is easier to just change your real names. Actually, scrub that- we’re working on pronouns right now and trying to get my girl to use “I” or “me” instead of her name just isn’t working. Can’t imagine a name change going down so well!

    • Lol!

      The pronouns take time. And i’ll tell you, if your little one is into Sesame Street, that damned Elmo is no help. Cute as a button, but he only refers to himself in the third person – er – monster. Grrrr.   

  3. i guess that’s the only way to turn this into a good situation: seeing all of the old posts, all at the same time, you’ll learn a lot about your writing, your experiences. i usually cringe when i look back at old posts…it amazes me how, just by writing regularly, you improve, learn better ways of expressing yourself, to the point that old posts just don’t feel right. they feel like the writing of someone else. which they are, in a way. so it’s odd. growing strange to yourself.

    honestly, now that i think about your task…might have been easier to leave the posts as is and just legally change everyone’s name. voila!

  4. I’m so confused. Are you still going by Jess? (Did I miss that part in the last post? Must’ve, I’ve been up to eyeballs in child-induced heart attacks!)

    Of course, doesn’t take much to confuse me some days. 😉 xo

    • lol! i’m still jess, darlin .. just last name-less jess .. with 2 daughters named katie and brooke (the names we’d strongly considered for both of them all the way through my respective pregancies) and a wonderful husband named luau (whose college nickname seemed just as good as any other)

      gee, i can’t imagine why any of this would be confusing .. ha!

  5. You are hilarious. I am so glad that you are looking at the positives in this situation. It is like REAL moving– horrendous–packing and unpacking boxes, going through old keepsakes–all the work and confusion about where to put things and where things are–but you are emerging on the other side with a richer connection to your past. What a wonderful gift. Keep up the good work. We are all behind you (well, except Nick)…

  6. My DH wonders why I keep my son’s correspondence books. Its my diary of his progress over the years. In all this and all that’s been happening, perhaps this is fate’s way of making you slow down. Taking stock. Reliving all the wonderful progress you and your family have all made. Looking back at those first steps and knowing how far youve traveled. Renewing hope for the future, that things we thought highly unlikely (I try to never use the word impossible cause Ive been proven wrong so many times now, lol) have come to pass. I wish I could help with the find/replace, but perhaps its just meant to be. 🙂

  7. Wow! You’ve made a lot of progress already – September of 2008 – that’s great! Hope you continue to enjoy your journey down memory lane. We spend so much of our time trying to make it through each day one day at a time that sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the details of the present and forget just how far down the road we’ve actually come – until moments like this when we stop and look back at where we started and realize that we’ve come a long way, baby! Lots of things to celebrate! Keep up the good work.

  8. Sometimes when I do a search for old posts of mine that I want to link to in a new post, I come across other posts I had completely forgotten that I’d written. Then I read them and just sit there for a minute, processing. I’m sure you’re doing a lot of that. Deep down, I think that’s one of the reasons I write in the first place – so that I can read it later and either laugh or learn or both. Love you, my friend. Enjoy what you can of the process!

  9. I like looking at old diaries for the same reason. Unfortunately the diary sites I used to use deleted them both. Gah. The latest one still going strong tho.
    Didn’t like the idea of copying to Word and doing find and replace there?
    Good luck

  10. hey, google will find every instance of a word on a specific site for you. You still have to change them. Also, if you are feeling adventurous, I suppose you could export your blog to your PC, run a search and replace on that XML file with any text editor and then reimport the blog.

    • Thank you!!

      There are a couple of stumbling blocks – one is that wordpress has some weird quirks and when I export to word or some other program and then re-input the text to wordpress it makes these random, funky formatting changes. 

      The other thing is that the biggest challenge is getting through the comments. There are almost 6,000 comments, MANY of which use the kids’ names. (not to mention the ones from me which ALL use my full name). They each have to be edited separately, so even if I could use a finder, it would still be really labor intensive anyway.

      So, I really, really appreciate the suggestions, but I’m finding that the old fashioned way might be best in the end.

      Besides, it’s kind of a neat process. I’ve gotten as far now as November ’08 and it’s been quite a journey already. It’s amazing to go back and read some posts that I’d completely forgotten!

      Oh, I also hadn’t taken into account the need to change all the intra-post links -one more argument for doing them manually.

      Someday I’ll sleep 😉

  11. i WAS a journal keeper, but since having a child, i’ve thrown away most! all they are is reminders of all the foolish decisions i made in high school and college – lol!… so glad to hear there is a silver lining to this cloud :). and great name choices, btw – wink, wink.

  12. If you didn’t finish before you left for vacay, this might help, a little. (I wouldn’t be doing the export thing either – but I am not native to the digital world).

    On each page/post (opened in WP) you can use Find under Edit of your browser, and possibly Find/Replace for all. This is still labor intensive and you have to do each name separately and change the names in the titles – oh.my. You are working hard.

    Hope you return from vacation refreshed. So what holiday is a week long in February?

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