I really don’t know what I was going for with that title. Is it like the old (still new?) TV show: “When Animals Attack”?
When the forces of good team up and…ask questions? Yes, I’ll go with that. I always look forward to Ask Away Friday – what’s not to love? Asking, answering, connecting, learning. And this week, I’m lucky enough to be paired with Rabia of The Liebers.
Rabia, pronounced RAW-bee-uh, and I met through blogging, through mutual friends, and through our book collaboration, “The Mother Of All Meltdowns.” We both have big dreams, and tendencies towards using less cold cuts to save money.
Read the book to see what that means. Read her post to see her answers to my questions!
To see who else is participating or to learn how to join the fun, head over to visit Penny from The Real Housewife of Caroline County and/or Amber from The Bold Fab Mom. #AskAwayFriday is their creation!
Now here are my answers to Rabia’s questions:
1. Why moose? I am a penguin fan (the animal, not the sport’s team) and sometimes I have a hard time explaining why. I’m just wondering where the moose obsession came from?
My sister loves penguins! The answer to your question is “Why not moose?” Just kidding, that’s a terrible answer. I can actually trace the obsession back to a single day, although the obsession with large, elusive animals has plagued me since birth, I’m sure. Before moose, it was whales. Now it’s really both. I was a teenager and we were visiting my grandparents at a summer rental cottage in Vermont. As we pulled into the driveway, my grandmother walked out to meet us and told us that we had missed FOUR moose in their yard by five minutes, tops. I knew nothing about moose, only that they are bigger than horses and rare to see. You could get four in your yard, or you could spend a lifetime keeping your eyes peeled for them, only to turn up empty every time. I’m a dweller and a muller, and I dwelled and mulled over that for days – keeping my eyes peeled for them to come back. I looked into the dark woods every night. Nothing. It would be another ten years until I’d see a moose with Cassidy. And that only made the obsession worse. It’s been nearly four years since I’ve seen one, and 2014 is the year! We promised Scarlet.
2. Your pictures always look so great! Especially the kid pictures. My youngest doesn’t like smiling in pictures. Do you have any secrets to getting kids to smile, or at least look like they are having fun?
The secret is that they ARE always having fun, and that’s when I take the picture. Don’t give up! Patience and timing. Candids are fantastic. Follow them around, play with them, get on their level. Talk to them. Make farting noises if you must – that’s for you, Amber. Helpers are great. Helpers behind you, next to you, in the picture. Toys. I have something called a Shutter Buddy which is a little dinosaur that affixes to my camera, and kids like to look at him. I make do, in every situation, but I will probably always believe that natural light and natural environment are best. Even my posed photos are created to be relaxing.
3. I will admit to reading your whole story about how you met Cassidy. How does he feel about that story? Is he a regular reader of your blog?
I get ridiculously happy when someone admits that they’ve read it. I confess I haven’t read it since I wrote it. I’ve never found the guts to sit and read it all at once. I don’t know if you mean how he feels about “our story” or how he feels about my writing of it, but I know he feels highly grateful for our story. As for what I wrote, he read it as it unfolded and helped me fact check when I couldn’t remember specific details. He does read my blog, regularly, although not always instantly.
4. You say you are a “Mama.” I am a “Mommy.” Who picked your name? (One of my kids actually called me “Mom” once and I had to stop and explain why that was not ok with me! LOL!)
Scarlet calls me “Mom” when she’s role-playing as Doc McStuffins! And her little parrot, Des, will mimic. I guess I chose Mama? Mostly, babies learn to talk by saying, “Mama” and “Dada” and then it generally turns into “Mommy” and “Daddy” and eventually “Mom” and “Dad.” Well I think we’re skipping the middle step. I just like how “Mama” sounds! And Cassidy is still “Dada.” I’m not really a huge fan of “Mommy” although Des somehow picked it up and if he’s asking for something, he’ll say, “Mommy!” with an emphasis on the second syllable and it’s so cute. I know it might stick, but I can’t resist it occasionally.
5. If you had to choose, would you rather: Never listen to music again or never take a picture again?
I’m deeply into this incredible book – “Me Before You.” In it, the main character goes to a symphony and is transformed by the music. It pulls out thoughts and ideas of hers that had long been buried, and makes her dream about a future. So much of what I’m about is music. So even with the thought of losing photography, which is truly my heart, I don’t know if I’d have photography without music. And I would also still have writing. If you ask me tomorrow, I might have a different answer. I might say that I would never, EVER give up the chance to capture these memories as they are right now. Or maybe I’d find a loophole and I’d just stand painfully close to Cassidy and dictate every setting in every photo, and the exact moment he should press the shutter button. Yep. That’s my answer. It would still be my vision, but I’d have a Photography Puppet!
6. If you had $1,000 to spend in one day, what would you do with it?
Well my gut instinct says I’d book a trip to Alaska, but I’d want to go with my family and that would be way more than $1,000. Honestly, I would spend it on myself, because I never do that. I would buy myself clothes and shoes. It’s been years since I had a proper shopping spree, and the kids honestly have more than enough. I don’t. My jeans are worn at the knees and some of my shirts are on their way out. Then I would go to Whole Foods or the co-op and buy all of the foods I always want but can’t afford.
7. I was so excited to see your name in the list of Mother of All Meltdown contributors and it has been great getting to know you better through that collaboration. Is Cassidy afraid to buy you jewelry now?
I was excited to see your name too! Honestly, we’re not really a jewelry couple, although he did buy me a Harry Potter Time Turner necklace once!
8. Your kiddos are so sweet. Tell the truth. Do they always get along? (Mine don’t!)
My first instinct is to say, “yes”, but not in that obnoxious way – just in that realistic way that I know and trust my kids’ behavior, for the most part. Of course as I write this, he is trying to climb on her and she’s saying, “Stop it, Des! I need space.” Scarlet is great with Des – she is helpful, patient and kind. There was one incident when he was a newborn and she threw a toy at his head! I was horrified but he cried for maybe five seconds and was over it. It was never repeated. He calls her “Dolly.” Lately he’s been really getting a voice. He’s walking and talking and throwing out opinions. He’a been swatting at her when she’s in his space or if he’s jealous. I could be hugging her and he might want me to hug me, so he’ll come over and swat her arm. She generally laughs but the paranoid part of me is thinking, “Oh no – is he going to be that d-bag kid on the playground who hits everyone?” I realize I tend to overreact (ya think?) but tell me, oh wise ones with children older than this. Do 18-month-olds swat at their siblings and grow up to be upstanding citizens? Scarlet never had a sibling to swat at, so I don’t know!
9. (I really enjoy asking these last two questions, so everyone gets a go at them) If you could choose to go 100 years into the past or 100 years into the future, which would you choose and what would you do?
I’m a bit afraid of futuristic stuff, to be honest. I’d go into the past and see my grandparents as babies! I’d also love to walk around and see if things really looked the way we think they looked, and sounded the way we think they sounded.
10. Do you have a favorite charity or non-profit that you support?
I was on the Board of Directors for MotherWoman for two years, and I think they do great, great things. We donated wedding money to Norsled and they’re fantastic too. If I had a million dollars to give to charity, I’d give it to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I can’t really grasp my head around what they do. It’s astonishing, really.