When Co-Authors Team Up!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer, a mama of two, a Lifestyle Blogger/Social Media Influencer/Brand Ambassador, and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns, the Stigma Fighters Anthology (volume 1), and The HerStories Project: So Glad They Told Me. She is also a proud Community Lead and a regular contributor to the SoFab Food blog, and the Target Made Me Do It blog. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter, son, dog, cat, and 11 chickens in glorious western Massachusetts.


When Co-Authors Team Up! — 124 Comments

  1. I love that Scarlet and Des have such an amazing relationship! I remember how sweet my oldest was with his little sister when she was born. I was very sick at the end of my pregnancy and basically could not function at all, so my mother in law was helping out a lot with him. And he was mad at me…but he loved his little sister. Now she drives him nuts, but I need to pull out those old pics one of these days and show him how sweet he was with her! I am obsessed with seeing a moose too, but I think your chances are better! We really don’t have them here. However every time I see that moose crossing sign in Vermont, I think to myself, maybe today!

    • It’s so true that there could be a lot of arguing down the line. These two are so young! I fought with my sister left and right..until she went to college. I think about that a lot. Maybe we’re really in for it! Other times, as you know, when they’re playing and laughing together, I get SO HAPPY we have more than one.

  2. I love that Des calls Scarlet Dolly. I hope everyone in your family gets to see a moose this year – at least 4 – 1 for each of you. Can I go to shopping at Whole Foods with you when you get that $1,000.00 to spend? Maybe, it we’re lucky, we’ll both come into some extra cash on the same day. Great questions, Rabia!

    • Yes, I’d share my winnings with you because I know you’d put those Whole Foods ingredients to good use. And I know you might send me some of what you’ve made.
      You’re good like that.

  3. I truly don’t think that I could ever let go of music, since it is such an integral part of who I am. I will happily answer your question to #8, since mine are all over the age of 11, with this…When lil miss was about 3 or 4, she made both of her brother’s cry from bashing them up side the head with a metal toy car that was about the size of her hand (so not a matchbox car), and though no blood was drawn both had a small knot from her abuse! Not that it was a regular occurrence, but that day they both ticked her off! LOL! Then there was another day, while wrestling with lil man, her feet flew straight to his mouth and kicked out his two front teeth! Both of the teeth were getting loose and would have been out on their own at some point and thankfully they were both baby teeth! LOL! But I can promise you that at 11, 14, & 20, they all love each other dearly and will always have each others back, no matter what! Hope you have a great weekend, Tamara!

    • Oh my, I’m kinda laughing here! Is that wrong? I had four siblings and there were lots of bumps, bruises, fat lips, missing teeth once…sigh.
      And in that case, they were baby teeth but I did require years of retainers from the damage!
      Can’t wait to pair up with you next, and have a great weekend!

  4. I love that moose picture! I remember you telling me how much you liked moose and that’s such an awesome picture of one. It must be so exciting to see your little boy grow and becoming his own little self, speaking his mind. I live for the day when I see that in my son. I’m enjoying him being a baby, but I’m excited to the toddler and childhood years that are soon to come.

    • I remember being a little scared of my first becoming a toddler/kid, but having a second makes me want him to get to that point. Mainly, because as tough as it was, it’s very rewarding too! I love them talking. That’s my favorite milestone by far. What they think/feel, etc. And my son has a bit of a sense of humor!

  5. Awww, I love the photo of Scarlet and Des with the book. So cute!! Like you, I also prefer to be called Mama than mommy or mom, hehe. My son calls me Mama. It’s so hard to choose between never listen to music again or never take photos again! Ahhh, but you had a really great answer to that – photography puppet! Cool! 😀

    • Thanks! Right? Photography Puppets! It’s like when someone asked my musician/father friend if he had to give up sight or sound, what he’d choose. Well he’s a musician and couldn’t live without sound! But he’s a father and couldn’t live without seeing his daughter’s face. Ah, tough questions.

  6. We used to go to Maine growing up to our friends cabin & see Moose – they even have a boat tour where you can go out in the swamps and spot some. Just an idea.

    Great your kids get along. My son & daughter always got along really well too 🙂

    • I’ve never done the boat tour thing but I have led my own (informal) moose tours up in Moosehead Lake area. We plan to go there this summer. I’ve never gone there and NOT seen moose. I’ve seen them there, in NH, in southern Maine and in Wyoming.

  7. I seriously love you more and more with each article you write. And was so smiling from so many of your answers fem the moose tale to what you would do with $1,000 (I know the feeling week of doing for you last always) and especially how you get your kids to smile in the photos you take. And you need to tell me what you think of Me Before You when you do finish it. So, keep me posted on that 🙂

  8. Great answers as always – someday, I swear I have to meet and have coffee with you! (And let our kids play together, of course.) I loved Me Before You — really makes you think, huh? Apparently there are some other books by that author that are nearly as good, so that’s exciting. I love your answer to the 100 years question… I swear, every time I visit my grandparents, I start thinking about all the changes they’ve seen in their lifetimes and I can’t even wrap my head around it. I mean, my grandma is on twitter. Crazyness.

    • Your grandma is on twitter!! Nuts. My grandma is 100, so she’s not! It would be cool, though.
      And it would be way more than cool to someday meet you for coffee! I feel like we’d have so much to talk about. I know that my comments to you, and my replies to your comments, make my fingers hurt with fast typing – so I would imagine that translates well into real life talking.

  9. Hi Tamara,
    Love the photographs, they are stunning.
    I am visiting for the first time and love your blog, wil deffinitely be back again.
    Thank you.
    I hope that you have a fantastic day.
    Love and best wishes.

  10. My husband used to read my blog faithfully, but lately he hasn’t been reading it as much! That’s okay with me. 🙂 I seriously need to get my hands on a copy of Me Before You!

    • Yes, apparently everyone is reading “Me Before You.” I first heard about it on Dana’s blog, I believe.
      My husband can take posts off, I’m sure. I’d find it hard to imagine he’s read every single one, but I might be surprised.

  11. OMG!! Your moose story is similar to my sea turtle obsession. I worked for the NY Zoological Society on an island protecting sea turtle nests one summer in college, and I saw several sea turtles come to shore and lay their eggs. It was magical. I’ve loved them ever since (and had never really thought about them before that). Sometimes an encounter is all it takes!
    Oh, “Me Before You”. That book swooped me up by surprise. I had no idea what it was about when I picked it up, and it just swept me away. Whew. –Lisa

  12. I would go BACK in time too!
    Let’s get you some jeans tomorrow!
    LOVE THIS! Coffee, homemade bread and your writiing….so good together!

  13. I’d love to chat about Me Before You when you are done – that book really got to me. And moose – I will admit I just looked to see if there are any at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and sadly there are not. But you’ll find a way to see one – and I can’t wait to see the photos!

    • You’re so awesome. And I will admit I looked too. I can’t imagine they’d be there easily with the heat, since they’re northern animals. Even up here, it’s really rare to find moose in a zoo. I was told it’s illegal in Maine (unless it’s a rehab/wildlife park) because it’s too hard to predict and create their ideal habitats. However, there is one at the Toronto Zoo and Columbus Zoo in Ohio. And probably any zoo in Alaska. I’m confused!

  14. You know I love you to pieces, Tamara. And I love learning more about you with these Q&A sessions. Great tips for capturing smiling faces on camera. Question: how do you get them to stay still long enough for the shot? My girls are in constant motion, and my pictures are always a blur. Continuous shooting perhaps? And I LOVE that you would spend the $1000 on yourself. Every mama needs to splurge for herself every now and then.

    • Well you can’t really get them to stay still. So you have to change things on your end! Continuous shooting, yes, and a very fast shutter speed! And lots of light to counteract the fast shutter speed!

  15. I love that you shared tips for taking pictures of the kiddos. I just use my Iphone for pictures and it’s so frustrating. I usually end up with blurs. And I agree with you, I would love to go into the past rather than the future. I’d go back and play cards with my grandparents and other relatives at one of their get togethers in Brooklyn.
    Oh and now I have to check out this Me Before You book…everyone seems to be talking about it!

    • iPhones probably require their own set of tips! I totally use mine because it’s there and convenient and sharing is instant, rather than going home and dragging RAW files onto a computer, then converting them, and only then can they be shared!
      That said, I get really frustrated with the camera on my phone. It’s very limiting when I’m used to more. Plenty of light helps!

  16. I love these Friday questions–so much fun! Err…I’m afraid that I swatted at my brother a few times (similar age gap) and we fought like cats and dogs all the way through our childhood. I remember the day I made him drink dish soap. Oh the bubbles!! In good news, I would hazard a guess that if you don’t favour one child over an other (in a way that is entirely obvious to the children) then you’ll have a much more harmonious time of it!!

    (It is a totally common thing at those sorts of ages, though. I see it all the time. Big kid is annoyed by little kids squalling, so swats, and is then heartbroken the next minute. Never does it again.)

    • hahaha! How long did he spit out bubbles for? Hours? Days?
      His swatting is still so…cute. And she laughs. However, he could be a very big boy one day and she’s a very petite girl. I still think she’ll be keeping him in line. For life!

  17. I’m not a dog person, but I love that sunset photo, mostly because it reminds me of my girls. Sure,the sometimes disagree, get on each other’s nerves, or do mean/dumb/obnoxious things to each other, but for the most part, life’s a romp they share, like these pups are doing.

    I’d never want to go 100 years into the future – I’d be afraid to find out the Rockies had still never won a World Series.

    • I love my dog photo! I didn’t know any of the dogs in the photo but it was taken on a dog beach in San Diego. In December. 70 degrees. Sunset over the ocean. I had just gotten over the most wicked broken heart known to humankind. And those dogs..kinda reminded me of how I felt.

      • If Grace dressed as the conductor in “Conjunction Junction” wasn’t my desktop art, I’d pick that dog picture. I know songs can take you back to the good and the hurt of a time, but I suppose a photo can too, right?

        I hope this means a dog pooped in the dude’s shoe who broke your heart.

  18. I would totally travel back too and see my grandparents, too. They were poor and raised a huge family (9 kids) and lived in a large rock salt mining area at the base of a mountain in Tennessee surrounded by their extended family. The stories they told me were filled with strength, faith and love. My grandma and her children would walk with children up the mountain to attend church and get groceries, then they would ride back down in little wagons. It just all sounds so surreal and foreign to today’s world. When they celebrated, it was truly about relaxing. Well and moonshine. lol.

  19. 1. I read your whole story of falling in love. It’s just another one of the things which made me adore you.

    2. When you have little kids who spend most of their day on the floor and you spend a lot of time with them down there on the floor you wind up with a wardrobe fully of holey knees. I was right there myself.

    3. When he swats, just stop and tell him it’s not nice to hit. I always give kids another option. So, like I told Jessica (my cousin’s daughter) the other day “… doesn’t feel nice. Why don’t you say “I am reading right now so I would like you to not bother me.” In this case, since Des is so little I would tell him “Hitting doesn’t feel nice, instead you should say “Me, please!” Then I would teach him the group hug. 🙂 If he can face plant, he can embrace the group hug. He’s so very clever, that boy.

    4. xoxo

    • Did you read it soon in after you “met me” or was it later down the line?
      My pants..yes. And Des scooted for so long that he needed a whole new series of pants, come Christmas. And he got them and he walks and it’s not spring/summer so they may actually last longer than a week.
      I’ll try the group hug thing later!

      • I read it right away because when I found you I just had to see everything I could. It rarely happens, and when it does it is such a treasure.

        Have you ever read Erin’s blog? swonderland: http://www.swonderland.net/

        She hardly writes right now (I don’t want to say ‘any more’ because I so desperately hope she picks up again) but when she does it’s always soulful. You two are alike in that way.

        • Ooh, I bookmarked it! Maybe I’ll make the jump to Bloglovin, but if you said she doesn’t post often, maybe I won’t. Although that would be like a little treasure when it happens.

  20. These are some great responses Tamara 🙂 Your family is so wonderful and you take great photos! Loving that photo of the moose, weren’t you intimidated by his presence? I’m in a major city so I don’t see creatures like that, I think you’re due for a shopping spree!! You should coordinate with the husband and get that done asap 😉 lol. Happy Friday! -Iva

  21. Gah!! I should have replied first thing this morning when I read this! Chaos has totally reigned for me today and I haven’t gotten to get back over here! I’ll admit I started to be surprised at your answer to the music vs. photography question, but then you left yourself an out. 🙂 I think it would be awesome to go back in time and meet my grandparents when they were young. Oh the conversations I could have!! I guess, technically that would be a few less than a hundred years, but if you’re invented time travel, I’m sure we can get around that! I loved all of your answers and I’m so glad we got to pair up!!

    • My grandmother is 100 on the dot, so if I went back 100 years, she’d be like..two-months-old! And my grandfather would be a toddler – about Des’ age. And maybe I could see how much they look/act alike! Ahhh! Someone invent time travel!
      GREAT questions. Had so much fun with you this week!

  22. I’d go 100 years back instead of forward too. To see my grandparents as children, and to rescue my grandma from some really bad things she experienced or at least to help her get through them. I’m obsessed with certain decades, too. The 1920s (flappers! jazz!) and the 1950/60s (mid-century modern everything!) But there’s bad about every decade … in the 1920s they were headed toward the Great Depression and in the 60s there was all the civil rights turmoil and the horrid KKK …

    • I’d love to see so much of it..and not so much of it! My grandparents experienced the Depression and two world wars. And horrible racism and intolerance. Insanity. Remind me one day to tell you my KKK story. It’s not as bad as it sounds, I swear.

  23. I never got my moose pic. I am going back for camping and hiking this summer and hope to se one then. Hopefully no mountain lions! I am a big penguin fan, but I don’t have them laying around the house. My blog, PinkWhen, is actually named after a “Penguin”, but the once two year old couldn’t say Penguin and could only call it a PinkWhen, so thus my blog name. LOL.

    • I really love penguins too. They’re..amazing. I’ve been told to watch “The March of Penguins” and I’ve also been told to NEVER watch it because I’d sob.
      I was always wondering where your blog name came from! It totally suits you.

  24. Scarlet and Des are so cute together. I just love them. I miss you so much. Life has been hectic but I love when I get five seconds to come see what’s up in your world.
    Oh and your last post … I’m not exactly near a beach but the weather is nice and warm and sunny so you are welcome any time.

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

    • Nice, warm and sunny is enough for me! I can give or take a beach. I’d just like to be able to walk without falling on ice! Or drive without skidding on ice! Fun times!
      Missing you two, but I know you have a ton going on!

  25. You’re going to laugh at me. I haven’t finished reading the “How we met” series. Wherever I’m at, you and Cassidy broke up so I was sad. Even though hellooooooo you’re obviously back together w/ babies and all.

    #10 gave me goosebumps. That’s a wonderful thought being able to see your what your grandparents were like when they were little. I would love to see my maternal grandfather and see if he was funny. He was a hoot as an adult. I think Christopher is most like him, even though I don’t have the ages to compare.

    • You’re in love story limbo!! You gotta get out of that! People who were reading it while I was writing it were pissed at Cassidy. Then he was redeemed. Somehow.
      I’d love to see my grandfather at Des’ age. I bet they’d look alike. Mostly I look at Des and think, “Who do you look like??? No one!”

  26. So that’s where the moose obsession came from! They are pretty intriguing. Luckily for us you are a photographer so we will most likely get photos of the moose when you all see it. The are rather beautiful peering out of those bushes and trees. Siblings! I often wonder what I will be dealing with in the later part of this year! Des and Scarlet are so cute. I hope my babies have a similar relationship 🙂

    • They really do love each other. And it helps when the older has a gentle spirit and Des is so mellow. He’s very self-sufficient for his age. I’m not going to say they don’t fight and won’t fight, but I am so happy to have more than one kid. I used to swear I’d only have one! For all I know, I’ll have three.

  27. I LOVE these AAF posts! (I’m am excited to be doing my first one next week!!) I love your unique moose “obsession” and, as you said, why not?? 🙂 It is sweet that you would go back in time to see your grandparents as kids – I think I would go into the future so I could see my own grandkids!

    • I’m excited you’re doing AAF! We’ll have to pair up one day.
      I didn’t even really think of going into the future to see grandkids! I guess I was afraid of what I’d find, or wouldn’t find. However going into the past isn’t exactly roses and sunshine either. My grandparents lived through several major wars, the Depression, and a lot more..

  28. This was so much fun! Both kids call me “mom” sometimes for no good reason!! The boys are so jealous of each other sometimes but they know I have two arms!! I think I need to try the farting noises. Something–ANYTHING to make those children take a pic for me!

    • The farting noises is a regular theme in the Whispering Writer blog. And it always works on her kids, although they’re older than ours.
      Your kids come out so adorably in photos so you’re doing something right!

  29. Well, now I know that I’ve been pronouncing Rabia’s name in my head wrong for all this time! Glad I know now in case we ever meet in person (hopefully).

    To answer your question about the swatting, that’s all my boys do. Swat, hit, kick, wrestle. At this point I realize it’s how they show their affection for each other. Or something like that. Boys are physical. That’s all I know.

    • I think in my head, I pronounced it like, “Row-bee-a”. I have no idea why. I knew it couldn’t possibly be “Ray-bee-a.” So process of elimination?
      Today Des hit Scarlet at a friend’s house. My friend has two boys. I asked her, “Is that normal”? She said it was and then asked her older son to tell us what he did to his younger brother that week. He didn’t want to tell us. Scarlet even said, “I want to know!” He wouldn’t share. Now I’ll never know!!

      • See, I’ve always pronounced it Ray-bee-a in my head. Oh well.

        My husband says it’s just what boys do. He and his brother were the same way. I don’t get it. I stopped asking and tell them not to bleed or break anything.

    • I just love how I put that shoutout there, and you had already written about farting noises, so anyone coming to your blog from mine would be pleasantly rewarded!

    • Yeah, my son only does it when he wants something! My daughter hears it everywhere and even hears teachers and doctors call me, “Scarlet’s mommy.” And yet, she’s never done it!

  30. I love all these interview ones. They are great. I can relate to so many of your answers. My kids are BFF’s they have sleep overs every weekend and bunked together for 3 weeks in December! I am obsessed with history so definitely would go back not forward. And I don’t know what is cooler…your Moose obsession or the Dr. Who thing. I am obsessed with Vampires 🙂

    • So interesting because we all pronounced it differently in our heads. She needs to do a vlog where we can hear her voice say it!
      Oh yes, Malone and Lola will be friends! And probably total asses to each other too. If I had a dollar for every time I tormented a sibling, or was tormented by one, I would live in a mansion in La Jolla!

  31. This is my second attempt to leave a comment for some reason I got an internal server error. Hopefully I can remember what I typed.

    I enjoyed reading and learning more about you. I especially can relate to the moose story. Out here in Spokane it is not unusual to see a moose in the wild and they often frequent people’s yards. In fact, in the three years that I have lived here I’ve seen two moose, but it might have been the same one. I read somewhere that they tend to stick around within 6 square miles their whole lives. The moose that I saw was in the same general area, so it could have been the same one. They sure are beautiful animals! I’ve also heard that people in Spokane leave food out in their yards for the moose.

    Have a terrific weekend!

    • Glad this comment worked! Sorry about the internal server error. I’ve been having trouble commenting on blogger blogs today, not sure why?
      That sounds so awesome. I didn’t really know much about moose in Washington! I know they’re in the west, but I didn’t know how west. I’ve been to Vancouver and beyond (didn’t see moose) and I’ve been to Oregon and California (any moose there?) but I only saw them ever in the northeast or in Wyoming/Montana.
      I imagine that wildlife officials would say to NOT feed the moose, right? I don’t know if I could resist. Sigh.

    • This comment came when I was refreshing my page after replying to the last comment, so I am jumping in to say that they’re amazing! Have you seen “March of the Penguins”? I’m afraid to see it. I think they’re brilliant and intelligent beings. And awfully cute.

  32. Hi Tamara ! I like reading your Ask Me Friday posts, I get to know more about you. Love your pictures especially the sunset one with the dogs and the pic of Des and Scarlet with the books, they are so lovely :). I and my brother used to fight a lot, we were like opposite poles.

    Now I have to read the book ” Me Before You ” I have heard so much about it on so many blogs. I would love to go back a 100 years and see my grandparents as kids and see how much the world has changed since then.

    • I’m nearly done with the book – I do recommend it, although I don’t know how it ends and it might break my heart. Maybe not!
      Thanks so much for reading!

  33. These were some great questions and answers this week! And I agree with Rabia, your pictures are always amazing. I’ve often wondered where your moose obsession came from. Now I know!

    • Thank you!
      And the moose thing – it probably stems from that experience, but I feel like it was only a trigger of something deeper. Something about gentle giants lurking in the wild. I’d say I like the thrill of the chase, but I actually hate it. I look all day for those suckers sometimes.
      This might sound weird but I really love being obsessed with moose. It’s never faded and I hope it doesn’t. It’s like that pitter patter falling in love feeling.

  34. These were great questions. Like Kristen, I’m happy that you explained your moose obsession!!
    I love that Cassidy reads your blog (Chris reads mine, too).
    I remember when the boys transitioned from Mommy to Mom – it was a little sad but I think I took it better than Chris – he wanted to be daddy forever!!!
    I love that you would take yourself on a shopping spree – I would say a well-deserved one!!!

    • Yes, and I explained it a bit more on her question that I think it probably runs deeper than that story, but that story triggered it. However, it’s been over a decade and the obsession hasn’t waned even a little! It only gets worse as I see them more, and want my kids to see them.
      I think there’s a small shopping spree happening today!

    • Aw, I can really see how it happens, though! All of Scarlet’s friends call their parents “mommy” and “daddy” by now. I’m sure she’s been tempted.

  35. Awesome Tamara! I always enjoy reading all your answers to the questions posed. I’m also a big fan of Make a Wish and also St. Jude’s. I had a girlfriend who just went to DisneyLand via Make a Wish just this past Christmas. As for the kids getting along, just you wait. 🙂 Here’s hoping you’re having a more much fun weekend.

    • Oh, I know there are TONS of fights coming up for them.
      Hoping you’re having a more much fun weekend too! It’s crummy rain but going to be 55 today!! We may use this weather as an excuse to see a great movie.

  36. I don’t know what it is about the term Mama, but that is my preferred name to be called as well. I def. don’t do Mom. I need to check out the rest of the AAF posts.

  37. your responses are interesting and fun to read! Congratulations again for being a contributor of a book! That’s an achievement! Wow! If I will see the past of my grandparents, it must all be hardship, i know they had to walk across a river to get to the market because there were no transportation in the past. That’s good to hear that your babies get along, whenever we ask our son if he likes a brother or a sister, he never wants one.

    • Wow, so does that mean you’d rather go 100 years in the future, or would you still go to the past and see? I think going back in the past would be very hard for me, depending on which grandparents I visited. One was in Poland in World War 2 (and Jewish).

  38. I’m scared to jinx this now, but my boys have great relationships with one another so far too. It’s something I’m hoping will develop deeper as well. Loved reading more about you Tamara!

    • I don’t think you can jinx it! I have a friend with two older girls and they get along great, even now. So I do see it’s possible. It wasn’t my experience in my childhood, by any means!

  39. great answers, tamara! i love that scarlet and des have such a wonderful relationship. mommy, mama what a sweet sound…parenting is one of the most creative and affirming experiences that life offers.

    i love that photo of the moose. moose are such adorable creatures. i have never seen a moose in person, but
    i can imagine just how large an animal they are.

    wishing you a great weekend and best wishes for 2014!


    • Wishing you best wishes for 2014 as well!
      Moose are..something special. I’ve probably seen 30-40 in my lifetime, but never any in the last five years. That’s hard! I feel the pull and this year I’m making it happen. I know how to do it, but it requires a bit of time and money and searching.

  40. Great answers! I can’t imagine you without music or photography. They go together. They answer and explain each other.

    I’m starting to understand the moose better. I’m still a huge fan of black leopards though. They are wonderful and graceful and sleek and beautiful. And really big black cats.

    • I’m so happy that you got the music/photography link. Just imagine fitness without music! Dancing. Dreaming. Movies. It’s just too hard for me. Giving up photography would be giving up photography, but giving up music, seems like you’re giving up..everything! Watching a movie. Seeing a concert. etc.

  41. My kid calls me Momma (Mom-ma) and I was told that I was spelling it wrong. It should be Mama. But no, my kid emphasizes the Mom part and thus I am Momma.
    I digress.
    I love that you take the candid shots. Those are the ones that captures who they are at any given moment.
    #5 is a really hard question for you eh? Two passions…
    Moose are gigantic. I’d love to tell you about my friend who is an RCMP officer up in Alberta and how she has to deal with the ones who…ummm…get hit by a car and are still alive…but I won’t.

  42. Oh, those are some great questions and answers.
    I was trying to think about the last time I saw a moose – and I think it has been over ten years for me now. I love them too – and always got excited to see them. They are magestically cute, if that makes sense.

  43. My husband and I like to joke that if we go into Whole Foods we are going to spend at least $80 and we don’t even do our weekly shopping there. It’s easy to spend lots of money in Whole Foods, because they have so many different treats that we always want to try. We usually only go there one every other month.

    • That’s a good plan! It’s always a lot more expensive than I attend it to be. It’s good, though. Worth it. Maybe one day I’ll get a chance to go crazy there.

  44. What a great opportunity to learn more about you! And without knowing you that well, I would have put money on you choosing photography over music, though that is a bit selfish because I love your photos so I think I’d want you to pick photography.

  45. Tamara, these comments are unreal! How are you keeping up with it all my friend! It’s hard to catch kids in the moment. I guess that’s an advantage you have. My mother trained us to say mother and the entire world thinks it is weird. I can’t remember saying anything else, but I’m sure there was a mama or mommy when I was 2 or 3 🙂

  46. a trip to alaska sounds like the perfect way to spend $1000! alaska is definitely on my bucket list. that’s so funny, i never thought about whether my kid would call me mommy, mama, mom, etc. i guess i need to think of that!

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