Thursday, January 16, 2014

#AskAwayFriday with NJ from A Cookie Before Dinner

It's Friday again!! Fridays are a pretty relaxed day around here, and this one will be even more so.  The kids are out of school today and Monday, so my parents have taken Frances and Henry for a fun-filled weekend at Camp Grandma and Grandpa.  I've got Benjamin all to myself this weekend! I'm gonna let him play with his brother's toys and use up all his sister's chapstick!!

This week I am pairing up with NJ from A Cookie Before Dinner for another round of #AskAwayFriday. If you are not familiar, #AskAwayFriday is a great way to meet new bloggers and to get to know other bloggers even better. Each week you pair up and swap 10 questions with your partner, to be answered in a blog post on Friday.

Below you'll find my answers to NJ's questions.  Then you can hop over to her blog and see her answers to mine!

1. What advice would you give to someone going to Disney for the first time?  
I've only been to Disney once and I don't think I planned well for it.  My advice is to take your time.  There's just no way to see everything, especially if you have young kids.  Go and have fun and enjoy the things you do get to do, instead of stressing out about the things you miss.  In some ways I think that was the benefit of not making a huge plan before we went.  I still don't know all the things we missed!
Oh, and bring your own ponchos.  It will rain and you will be tempted to buy $20 raincoats for everyone in your group.
Also, expect this:

2. What is the #1 thing your kids fight about the most?  

Fight?  My kids?  NEVER!! Hahahahaha!! My kids fight about sharing and taking turns. Everybody wants all the things all the time!!  Even when we have two or three of the same thing, they want all of them!   We've practiced saying, "Can I have a turn when you're done?"  but that doesn't always work.

3. Yes! The kids and husband have left for the weekend! You've got 48 hours HOME ALONE. How are you spending your time? 

This question is so close to almost being true that I was going to ask you for he next set of lottery numbers (privately, of course!) My oldest two are gone and Ken will be working most of the day on Saturday, but I've still got Ben with me.  If I had a block of time to myself, I would honestly try to get some work done on the house.  I have so many things that I keep putting off because I'm tired or the kids are in the way or some other dumb reason.  I know that's a really lame answer, but I think that's really what I'd do.  Oh! I'd reward myself with a chick flick and some ice cream after dinner!

4. What has been the hardest part of mothering for you? 

For me, the hardest part of mothering is trying to meet the individual needs of three children when those needs are often in direct conflict with each other.  For example, my kids share a room.  At one point Ben wanted to sleep with all the lights on and the music off.  However Henry wanted to sleep with the music on and the lights off.  They were getting out of bed and turning switches and making each other scream.  I understood why Ben wanted the lights on.  And I understood why Henry wanted them off.  Same with the music. They both had valid points, but they couldn't understand that there just wasn't a way to make both of them happy!  In the end, we went back to what we've always done (lights off with night lights and music on) and everyone seemed OK. I think part of the problem was really Benjamin testing the limits, and I guess he found them!

5. Date time! Where are you and your husband going and what are you doing?  

A what??  OK, I googled "date time" and I think I know what you're talking about!!  If Ken and I had some time to ourselves, we would most likely do dinner and a movie.  We're boring like that.  If the weather were nice, I would mind going hiking or just going for a walk.  Can you tell it's been a while since we had a date?

6. Share a cliff notes version of one of your birth stories! 

Frances and Henry were already born when I started this blog, so Ben is the only one "born" here. But I haven't written any of their birth stories.  It's on my list of things to write at some point.  The cliff notes version of Ben's is this: I went into labor at a staff meeting at my church.  No one but the choir director noticed.  After the meeting was over, I called Ken and we went to the hospital.  We got checked in a got a room where I was hooked up to monitors.  It was really pretty low key.  After we'd been there for maybe an hour or two, I said that I wanted to push.  The nurse called the doctor to come check me and said I wasn't quite ready. I essentially said, "thanks for the info, I'm gonna push now." He didn't really have time to get around from one side of the bed to the other (I was on my side) before I started pushing and Ben was born.  My favorite part was that Ken said, "Uh, Rabia...I have good news and I have bad news." I freaked out a little at that!! "The good news is that we have a baby.  The bad news is we don't have a name!"  We had only picked out a girl's name, so Ben went unnamed for a while before we settled on something!

7. What has been the funnest product you've ever gotten to review? 

It's been fun reviewing toys for the kids, because of how excited they are to get a toy for no reason.  I am currently reviewing a menu planning service and I love it because it's fun and it's making my life easier.  The kids still listen to their Jammy Jams CD (though we've added that album to a larger playlist) every night and I am still using my Woolzies dryer balls. 

8. What advice would you give to a blogger just starting out?  

I wrote last year about things I wish I would have known before I started blogging. The biggest takeaway from that was to do a lot of pre-planning. I don't usually mind that my actual name is so closely associated with my blog, but there have been a few times when I really wanted to vent about something but couldn't because I knew it would hurt someone's feelings.  On the other hand, learning to hold you tongue is not a bad thing.  The other thing I would recommend is finding or forming your own network of blogging friends.  I think the SITS girls are a great resource and a good place to start, but you should find a smaller, closer network that you can become familiar with and really trust.

9. What is your favorite social media outlet and why?  

I know that bloggers in general are really hating facebook right now, but it's still my go to place for interaction. Especially personally.  I don't plan on paying to use facebook as a blogger though, so I am trying to get more connected with Twitter and Pinterest.   Instagram is still confusing for me.  I know a picture is worth a thousand words, but I don't know which specific words you would use to go with that picture unless you tell me.

10. QUICK! The house is catching on fire in 10 minutes. The kids, pets, and your husband are already safely outside. What else are you grabbing? 

A hose??  No, as long as the family and cat are safe, I'm not sure what else I'd grab.

You would not believe the amount of thinking and soul searching this question is causing for me!  There isn't much in my house that couldn't be replaced.  I'd be sad to see it go, but I don't know that it's important enough to risk my life for.  I'd want to make sure we had clothes to get through the next few days and some of my kids' stuffed animals.  I have a wedding album, but most of my pictures are digitally available elsewhere, so I wouldn't worry too much about those. I'd want my iPad and my phone. Most of all, I'd just be thankful we made it out safely.

Lastly, NJ requested a recent picture of me!  I'm usually taking pictures instead of getting in them, so this was a good time to do it.  Plus, I slept through the night the night before, so this is as good as it gets!!


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