6. What would your kids be most surprised to learn about you?
This is the hardest question for me to answer. I am with my kids 24/7 and I live my life pretty much as an open book to them. I don't hide much, and whatever they ask me - I try to answer as simply and truthfully as possible. The girls and I have already had talks about marriage, how babies are made, menstrual cycles, death...
Also - I was a pretty straight laced kid/teen/college co-ed. I never had a fake ID, never did any drugs, always got decent grades. I drank underage, but didn't begin until my senior year in high school. And even in college, I had my fair share of fun, but never anything too crazy. I've never been fired from a job, never been arrested, never cheated on anyone, the first and only person I've ever slept with is Matt.
Okay - all this question is doing is making me realize how uber BORING I am!! I have a tattoo - but my kids have seen it a million times. I seriously can't think of anything. Any of you who know me well - Libby, Jo, my siblings - please offer some suggestions!
7. If you could live someone's life for one day--whose would it be?
Angelina Jolie. I really don't like her. I've always been a member of Team Jen. But I would love to live Angie's life for a day. For starters, I'd get to have my way with Brad. Which is almost enough to seal the deal right there. But I have also always wanted a huge family, more kids than anyone else thinks is reasonable. And I've also always wanted to be pregnant with twins. To top it off, having unlimited monetary resources at my disposal would definitely be a plus. And finally, if you had to live someone else's life for a day...you might as well pick someone who, even on her worst day, is prettier than your average Jane.
8. What is your biggest challenge as a mom and wife?
Easy. One word. BALANCE.
How to do it ALL and do it all WELL, without letting ME get lost in shuffle. I haven't quite figured it out yet, and don't know that I ever will. But what I pray is that the decisions and actions I make each day will all come together, years down the line, and collectively DEFINE me as the person I hope to be: the best wife and mother Matthew, Megan, Molly and Wyatt could've ever known.
9. When are you guys going to come and visit?
I really wish my answer were AUGUST, but I don't think that is in the cards for us this Summer. Hopefully soon. Once Football starts, we are home bound every weekend for the season. Maybe we can share in some snow fun with you this Winter!!
10. What is something you will do differently with Wyatt, this being the third time around?
Many things get done differently all on their own because this is the third time around. Without my even trying. I always say, Wyatt has cried more in 9 months than Megan has her entire 5 years! But I had no other responsibilities when I had Megan. She made a peep - I picked her up. I rocked her to sleep every nap and night time. If she woke in the night, she got to sleep on my chest. I made all homemade, organic baby food for Megan because I had the time!
But also with Megan, it was my first time doing it all...so I was learning as I went and constantly second guessing myself. Did she wake because she's hot, hungry, has a burp, sick??? I never knew. Now, with Wyatt, I know. I know the difference between a tired cry and a hungry cry. I know he should poop everyday. I know he should get about 13 hours of total sleep. I know new foods aren't going to kill him. And best of all, I know that he is resilient. I have learned that babies grow and learn, develop and BE even when their Mommy doesn't obsess over every minute detail. So, this third time around, I don't stress about eating and waking schedules anymore. Instead, each day is a flexible routine. I don't obsess over creating bad sleeping habits. If he falls asleep in the car seat or the swing, it's not the end of the world. On the flip side, I don't obsess over creating good sleeping habits either. When he is tired, he let's me know, and I put him in his crib. If he fusses, so be it. I know he is tired. I know within 10 minutes he'll be asleep. With Megan, I didn't know these things. Whenever I did try to let her fuss - the questions that haunted my New Mommy brain always got the best of me, and I would rush in to try and "solve" the problem. I also had the luxury of being able to spend an hour putting her to sleep. Now that hour is filled with the older kids bedtime routine.
11. What is the square root of 2,154,654,545?...divided by 17.5, minus 7?
Two part answer:
1) My brother is a spaz!
It's called a calculator, Andy. You may have heard of one before.
12. What is your favorite family tradition?
I have to go with Christmas morning at my parents' house. I love how our big family fills their small home. With bodies, with warmth, with laughter, with memories, with presents, with presence. We usually exchange names for gift giving, since our family is so big. And then all come together to open them. After the gift wrap shredding frenzy is over, we feast on Mom's homemade Huevos Rancheros. She only makes them on Christmas morning, only this one day of the year. I think it is her secret weapon for keeping us all coming home for the holidays. But seriously - they are so GOOD! No one can make them like her. I consider myself a good cook, and I can't come close. I have tried, and Matt sheepishly let me know, that while it was a good attempt, I did not succeed. When my sister stays in Chicago for Christmas, she calls home and asks us to describe them to her over the phone! Mom also makes Cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting - my Dad's favorite. (Told you she was a Feeder. Food = Love) Then we all sit around, too stuffed to do much of anything else, and reminisce about past Christmases. Like the year my Dad stayed up all night assembling 8 bikes. One for each of us and our 4 cousins who were visiting. Only to have them all knocked to the floor like dominoes in the wee dawn hours as we kidlets sneaked into the living room to see what Santa had left us. Scrooge possessed my usually jolly Father's persona that morning and sent us all back to bed with a grumpy, tired eyed scolding!