Thursday, June 5, 2014

#AskAwayFriday with Stephanie of Parenting Chaos

It's Friday!  It's the last day of school for my kiddos!  Summer schedule starts next week! I don' know why I'm so excited, honestly. I still work. I still have to get the kids up every morning and get them moving, just to a different place every week. Hopefully, though we'll be able to take it easy a bit and not have to worry about HOMEWORK!!

This week I have the honor of introducing a new friend to #AskAwayFriday. Stephanie blogs over at Parenting Chaos and she's never done this before! She's a super-creative mom with three kiddos and her blog is FULL of great ideas to try out with your kids. She's got some great linkups with educational ideas that I"m sure you'll want to check out.

If you're not familiar with #AskAwayFriday, it's a great way to meet new people and get really nosy! You pair up and swap ten questions with your partner to be answered in a post on Friday. #AskAwayFriday was created by Penny of The Real Housewife of Caroline County, and is now hosted by these #AskAwayFriday hosts…
Tamara from Tamara Like Camera,
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
Amber from Bold Fit Mom
And now for my questions from Stephanie:

1. Your post about 2048 and the swings had me cracking up. What is the hardest parenting judgement that you have passed on you and how did you handle it? 
We go to church every Sunday and sit in the same place every week. In fact, my friend Julie usually gets there ahead of us and saves us a seat. We know the people in front of us and behind us. One week, however, things were a bit off. There was a couple that was getting married during the regular 10:00 Mass. Julie wasn't there that week and we got there a bit later than we should have. We started to head towards our regular seats and I found out those seats were reserved for wedding family.  So we sat along the side. Unfortunately that meant that there was no visual barrier in front of us or, really, on either side.  Ken wasn't with me that week, so I did my best to keep the kids quiet, but I wasn't very successful.  Afterwards a woman came up and told me I should have left because people were trying to enjoy the wedding. I was so shocked and mortified that I really didn't say anything. In retrospect I wish I would have told her to buzz off and cut me some slack.

2. The seven deadly sins of motherhood...which vice is your biggest downfall?

My biggest issue is usually sloth. I tend to be pretty lazy, especially on the weekends.  However, with the sun finally out, I'm getting a little better. Plus, I'm learning that if I work with the kids and get things done right away, there's a better chance that I'll be making progress.

3. I loved your post about things you loved about moms. Any advice you have for new mom's (or parents) out there on how to ease into parenthood? 
The one thing I always try to tell new moms (when they ask) is to trust their instincts.  There isn't really one right way to do most things. As long as your method works for you and no one gets hurt, then you should go for it. Other than that, I try to keep my mouth shut, unless I'm asked.

4. What led you to connecting with Psalm 118:24
"This is the day the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it!"
My mom started it and I picked up on it.  To me, it's all about perspective.  Things may not always be going how I want them to, but I am always right where God has placed me and that is a cause for rejoicing.

5. If you have to pick out a movie what genre do you choose? 
I don't pick movies. I have a pretty solid track records for picking duds. Even when I pick a good movie, I pick the wrong time to watch it. In our house, Ken does all the movie selection. He always manages to pick something that fits my mood exactly!

6. I read you were born in Austin, Tx. What took you from TX to Virginia? 
My dad is a retired reference librarian. When he was looking for a way to leave the Dallas area, Radford VA came up as one of the options. He interviewed there and liked the area, so that's where we ended up. Both of my parents are from relatively small towns, so I think Radford fit better than Dallas did.

7. What's your favorite family vacation? 

We don't have a regular family vacation spot, so it's hard to say. Growing up, my family didn't really do summer trips, so I don't feel like there's a long standing tradition there.  Lately, we've been having family reunions with my dad's side of the family every couple of years and I've really enjoyed the chance to get together with so many of my extended family members. My family is pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. Three of my cousins have two kids each and between theirs and mine we've got nine kids ranging from 11 to 4. It's a tight grouping and they love getting together and playing. Even though they've only seen each other a few times, they are fast friends as soon as we get together. The last reunion was last summer and Benjamin still talks about "Uncle David" (what he calls my cousin).

8. What is one cause you are passionate about? 

I am passionate about education and child care. I work with Second Home, which is a local non-profit seeking to provide safe, affordable care for kids before and after school. I live in a community where there are lots of parents working two or three shift jobs trying to make ends meet. They are in total survival mode and they don't have the resources to help their kids in school. Second Home hires highly qualified teachers to tutor and care for kids before and after-school. I am in awe of the fact that these kids are now passing their state standardized tests and improving their grades regularly.  The parents love it because they know its a safe place for their kids and the kids are learning to love school and to dream big!

9. What are three things you always have on you? Nothing boring like cell phone or car keys... 

Three things I always have on me??  99 % of the time I've got a nice pair of earrings, possibly a necklace and even a bracelet.  I carry an embarrassingly large key ring that has a screwdriver, sanitizer, and antibiotic spray as well as a whistle and a thumb drive. It's actually on a carabiner clip so I can take off the keys I need and keep every thing else together.   I've also been trying to be really good about carrying a water bottle.  I have some that I keep at work and some that are at home, I swap them out when I bring them home to wash, but I almost always have water with me.

10. My husband is sitting here trying to give me absolutely horrid questions to ask...does your husband ever help you blog? If so what does he do? If not why? 
My husband has very little interest in this blog, or other forms of social media in general.  He's a private person and I try to respect that. He occasionally consents to pictures, but it seems only if the kids are in them.  Some of his friends tease him because his facebook wall consists almost entirely of things I have posted there.
He did consent to letting me post this guest post about him over at Coach Daddy's blog.

Bonus: answer a question you sent to me. 
Well, I asked Stephanie a question about the difference between raising boys and raising girls. In my experience, my kids have been pretty in line with gender stereotypes. Frances is usually calm and easy to get along with. She can be bossy at times. Benjamin and Henry are loud and BUSY and into everything. There are things in my house that I never knew could be climbed until the boys came along! 

Stephanie had some great questions, especially for a newbie! Make sure you head over to her blog and give her a warm welcome to the #AskAwayFriday family!

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