Since only my older sister is a blogger, this post will feature her loveliness, but I wanted to give a shout-out to my little sister and sister-in-law too. They really are gems of human beings and I’m so lucky to have these gorgeous built-in friends.
I say this all the time, but my older sister Lindsay and I share the same heart. We are often touched and disheartened by the same things. We are disturbed and elated by the same things too. We have happy and healing souls, but of course, pain gets in the way sometimes. Life gets in the way. Tough stuff and money and heartbreak and health. Luckily we’re in this together. There are certain things that I consider Lindsay very knowledgeable about, and vice versa. We thought it would be so much fun to ask each other questions we really wanted to know from each other! So I asked her about health and dreams and fitness, food and yoga, and she asked me about.. well.. lots of things you’ll see below! I’m honored to answer her questions.
#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County and Amber from Bold Fit Mom, as a way to connect with other bloggers with a great Q & A session of 10 questions and 10 answers, between two bloggers! This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know others while allowing others to get to know you and of course there is also the added bonus of making great friends along the way which is one of the best parts of this online world! Ask me if you want to swap!
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
Echo from The Mad Mommy
Don’t forget to read Lindsay’s answers to my questions HERE. And here are my answers to her questions:
1. What were your initial reactions to getting pregnant for both children? Were they alike at all, different, tell me about the first initial moments when you discovered that you were pregnant, and how did you tell Cassidy.
It was very different! Scarlet wasn’t…expected. I mean we know how babies are made and all but my calculations were abysmal, just like when I was in 6th grade and I had a math block. So we’ll leave it at that. It was the day after Obama was elected and something I was expecting didn’t come. I ignored it for over a week until one day when Cassidy and Ruth (his mom) were making dinner and I hated the smell and rudely told them so. (seriously..RUDE) They might have been a little puzzled because I had eaten that same dinner the previous night. Anyway, I was ten days late by this point and hating the smell of garlic. I attributed it all to nerves but had Cassidy buy a digital test at Target “just in case.” I was certain it would be negative. He came with me to take the test, which surprised me at first, but you know.. marriage. It said it could take up to three minutes but easily by 60 seconds, a very bold “PREGNANT” appeared. I started crying. I was scared. For about a week I tossed and turned because I was so scared. Then I got REALLY into the idea eventually. It became magical. Des was planned (hello, June baby) but I tested very early. I ate some seriously salty pickles one day and felt like something was off. This was a whole week before I was due, but I got a positive reading. I told Cassidy when he came home from work that night.
2. What is your favorite aspect about having a daughter? What’s your favorite for having a son? On the other hand, what are your worst fears about having a daughter, and about a son….
Heavy hitting, aren’t you?! I always wanted a daughter. Maybe it’s because I grew up with just a sister for the first five years of my life, but I really wanted a daughter to read with, and brush her hair, and put her in a little red pea coat like I have.
She’s cool and she’s sweet and she’s magical and she’s cuddly and she’s imaginative and artistic and wonderful. Yes, the shallow parts of me love that she’s a pretty little girl and she’s mine. I can’t help it. My biggest fears? I guess it’s about the tough tween and teen years. We all survived adolescence and I was as awkward as they come, but I fear the mean girls. I think I fear them even more because no one is exempt from their reign. I’ve been teased by them and I’ve been them. I so don’t want her to be one. I still have regrets decades later, of mean things I did as a kid. Scarlet, there’s hope for you!
Now Des. I admit I had initially wanted two daughters up until the second I saw that ultrasound! Ok, I confess I saw nothing, but the technician said it was VERY obvious what he was. Cassidy said it best. It was life’s biggest adventure for us. We already knew what it was like to do so much and to experience so much and to have a daughter. A son? Bewildering! I was just thinking the other day how much I adore our time together and how much fun he is. I don’t really know what I fear so much. Of course my kids getting hurt or bullied or heartbroken. Sadly, that stuff is inevitable but we all survived it. And all of that tween and teen stuff with boys – not sure how I’ll handle it! It’s Des, though. Nothing seems quite as scary because it’s him.
3. I have found in learning about becoming a mother, that there is SO much information out there these days. Can you tell me about a time you read something about being a mother that you thought would help, and it DIDN’T? Or in turn, you read something on parenting that you didn’t think would stick, but it probably still has?
Ha! I think pretty much ALL of the “What to Expect” books…don’t really help. I read them voraciously just the same, though. It all blends together in my mind – of the best things I’ve heard. It’s always been from people I know, and it’s always been about trusting myself to make the best decisions for the family. It’s not always easy, or ever easy, but it’s something.
4. Thinking back to newborn days, what was a day in the life of Tamara Bowman with a newborn baby……with Scarlet, and/or with Desmond? Did you have a routine with them?
Dazed and confused! I nursed both kids full-time so even though I didn’t set a schedule, I did have to work my days around them. Newborns…it’s tough. I always had to be prepared with diapers and wipes and a nursing cover and hydration and food for me! If you think you’re going to be thirsty and hungry when pregnant, it’s minor league compared to nursing all day long. With Scarlet it was obviously different because she was mellow and slept a lot. Des was more complicated because I had an active toddler to think about AND Des was less mellow. He actually.. cried. See, newborns can cry but Scarlet never did.
5. I think there’s something in our DNA which has gifted us with a high tolerance for pain. I have a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve had natural child birth, twice!!!! Can you tell me the BEST and the WORST part about the actual birth? Help, I’m scared!
Honestly that was the easiest part for me. Maybe I’m weird. The best part is obviously when you have successfully pushed out a human being and that human being is in your arms. The worst part? It varies. For some it’s the transitional part where the pain is high and they feel nauseous or like crapping their delivery table. For others it’s the birth itself with what they call “the ring of fire.” (Google it) For others it’s the contractions. I think for me it was that horrible feeling in my lower body like I had to push, but nurses were telling me it wasn’t time yet, but my body was telling me it was. Generally, your body knows more than nurses know about your body – for what it’s worth. I don’t like being so uncomfortable that way for awhile.
6. As a photographer, do you find it hard to see professional photos of your children? Do you by human nature ever stare at the photo and think you would’ve done it differently for better or for worse? What is your favorite way to photograph your children? Please show us a few of your favorite pictures of my niece and nephew too…. for extra rainbow sprinkle bonus points!
Totally! You might see a cute photo and I only see what’s technically wrong, or what I could have done differently. Most uncool! My favorite way to photograph them is when they’re having oodles of fun – so much fun that they might even look at me, but not care that my camera is there. Or they won’t let it change their demeanor. That’s my favorite. I have so many favorites of them and I don’t want to go overboard.. so I’ll just post a few! Instead of a few hundred or thousand!
7. The food in America today is quite scary, gulp. How do you get around the scares, chemicals, and what’s “right” in feeding your children, but also in letting them be kids!!??
It’s rough! A lot of kids have terrible eating habits, probably partly due to parenting, but they can be picky by nature. I voraciously read so much about our diets because it’s often on the news lately. I’ll read the Food Babe saying aspartame is terrible, and then the Science Babe countering that it’s perfectly safe. This is what I DO know. Aspartame gives Cassidy a headache. Aspartame gives me..well, we won’t talk about that. So you do have to factor in your body and your genetics. Most foods don’t bother our bodies – we’re lucky in that way. Our organs are meant to filter out toxins. They do that well. I believe in everything in moderation. I believe in celebration and rainbow sprinkles. I also believe heavily in local and/or organic produce as much as possible. I love lean proteins too. It’s tough with the kids. I can’t lie. Although Des eats everything.
8. What has been the hardest part of parenting yet, with either child, or in general? What are your favorite parts about being a mom? More then one answer is gladly accepted:)
Easily, the hardest parts are illness/injury/or worse and threat of illness/injury/or worse. My kids have been hospitalized and I never have except when giving birth! It’s dreadful either way, but probably harder because I’m an emetophobe so those winter stomach bug months are HARD, but I don’t act like a phobic when it happens, and it WILL happen. I act rationally. The favorite parts of being a mother? That’s a complex mouthful. I’ll simplify it by saying that it’s the love and joy.
9. What do you miss most about your children as babies? What do you look forward to with having your babies turn into bigger people, and gulp, one day adults? Would you have another baby?????
I was thinking about that today, even though Des is only two. He’s almost three! I love these little contained worlds of snacktime and theme parks and quiet time and books and snuggles and softness. I think about what life will be like when they’re both out of these stages and it’s hard. That would be a reason to have another baby!! It’s not on or off the table, by the way. I’m just pregnancy-phobic and I like being 115 pounds and working three jobs and having fun. I can’t see giving that up right now. What do I look forward to with the kids? Just all the experiences of magic and travel and adult conversations and concepts. Better Legos and headier books and movies. Two fully potty-trained kids will be nice too!
10. Has anything our parents did for us really stuck out as a tradition you carried on with your children in your parenting techniques?
Well, sure. You see it in the little rituals and sayings and rules. Mainly, it’s the belief of magic that encompasses just Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. It’s about belief in ourselves and finding true joy and delight in both big and little things.
Bonus question!!!! If could give me any piece of advice about becoming a mother one day, premotherhood, during, etc, what would it be???
Believe in yourself and trust the process? Pretty much any platitude or meme you have seen that is inspirational? Yeah, that. Those. Stay strong. Don’t care so much about what other people think. I hear about judgement and “mom wars” all the time but I rarely experience it. Maybe people are intimidated by me because I’m scary when I’m hungry or when someone is questioning something I do? Probably that. Either way. You got this. You have so got this.
Also, your kid may talk at seven months, walk at nine months, potty-train at 12 months, and read by age two. Or not. The best truly brag-worthy parts of parenting are that your kids are kind, and happy. Remember. Kindness and happiness.
Bonus question part two: What would be your dream photo shoot to have with your children? Do you have any photos you envision in your head already before they have taken place? How would you like your photography to grow as your children do?
I do envision photos, but it’s more about the moment. My ideal photo shoot with my kids is to have them frolicking somewhat near but also safely away from some good old moose and mountains. Rainbow sprinkled ice cream cones are optional.
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