In a final dose, here are the answers to the rest of your questions from last week.

Kim – Are you going to have a big family or is this it? Or is it too soon to say? :-) Where would you travel to if you could go anywhere?

We are pretty sure we’re done at two kids, but are not making that decision “final” at this point.

Travel: Being that I’m 8 weeks into newbornhood, I’d take anywhere that’s quiet with a comfy bed right now.

But..I would LOVE to go to Greece and Cyprus.  I went to Cyprus for six weeks as a teenager and had an amazing time, but only got to spend one night in Greece on the way back from Cyprus.  My family is from Greece, and they’re both very romantic places, so I’d LOVE to go with my hubby!!

(I am now drifting off to dreamy-vacation-not-waking-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-to-feed-a-baby land…)

Jessica – How’d you get into blogging? And how did it become a career?

I first became familiar with blogging when Ali was a year old through other Mommy friends of mine that blogged.  I considered trying it, then thought that no one would be interested in my life.  Then I realized that I was interested in reading about their lives, so maybe someone would be interested in mine, as well.  Nearly immediately after I started, I was completely hooked.  I loved the social outlet that it gave me, the relationships available through it, and the affirmation that I got via writing my thoughts.

Blogging is definitely not a career for me.  I make tiny bits of money here and there, Ali gets fun things in the mail for review/giveaways periodically, and I have gotten to go on a couple of trips due to blogging, but certainly not nearly enough to justify all of the time I put into it.  Plus, I’m very cautious about what I will promote and advertise on my blog, and how much of my blog’s space I will devote to that sort of thing – I’m not willing to sacrifice the purpose and integrity of my blog to make money.  I blog because I love it, and anything else that comes from it is just icing on the cake.

Blair – Is it weird to know so many people read about your daily life and have never met you?

Not too weird.  I think of my blog readers in four groups: 1. People I don’t know in real life but that I am friends with because they interact with me on my blog, 2. People I don’t know and that don’t interact, 3. People I know in real life that interact on my blog, and 4. People in real life that don’t interact.  I think the weirdest group for me are the people that I know in real life that don’t interact.  Anytime one of these people tell me that they read my blog, I immediately start thinking, “Okay, so what all does that mean that they know about me?  And what have I written that might have offended them?”

— Because that’s how I roll.  Paranoid.

(Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE for people to read my blog – I just like to know that they’re reading, which somehow makes me less paranoid about all the things I’m potentially saying wrong.)

Amanda – if you had to give one piece of marriage advice to a brand new wife, what would it be?

I put a lot of thought into this, and I think my one piece of advice would be this:  Always make it your priority and goal to constantly seek out ways to please and spoil each other.  Be “that” couple that argues over who gets to pick where to eat dinner – “You pick!”, “No, you pick!”.  If you’re both always doing everything you can to make the other person happy, then you’ll rarely find yourself fighting.

Oh – and one more piece (one piece is SO confining!!) – don’t allow yourself to store up bitternesses in your heart toward your husband or keep “score” of who owes who.  Let it go, forgive, and move on.  Remember that you’re not perfect either, and focus on the wonderful things about your husband instead.

Val – At what age or maturity level will you have Ali (and her tummy) go to church services with you? It’s one of my great fears of having kids. My church has childcare and activities for the kids during services, but I worry that they won’t learn how to behave during services if they are used to having fun with the other kids during services.

I’ve been concerned about that too.  But also, I see a positive side to Children’s Church.  Up until I was in Junior High, we went to a VERY small church with no Children’s church, so I sat in ‘big church’ from the time I was out of the nursery.  However, I learned to “be bored” during sermons from being a small child in Church and not understanding most of it.  Even though our Pastor now is extremely interesting and easy to listen to, I have to actively work at paying attention (and usually take notes to help in that) because of that subconscious perspective.  I’m hoping that maybe Ali won’t have that same bored preconceived notion of church since she’s not starting out in “big church” when she’s WAY too young to comprehend it.

But to answer you question specifically, I’m not sure.  Probably somewhere in the tween years.

blueviolet – I need to know which conferences you’re headed to this year so I know where I can see ya again!

I don’t know if I’ll make it to any this year … I’m not brave enough to come to a conference with baby in tow, and my other option is much worse: a breast-pump in tow!!   Yikes.

Leslie – I am curious about your (what appears to be) great time management skills? How do you do it? As I am completely jealous. I mean, you care for a newborn, have school for Ali, and still manage to blog regularly. I am so jealous, as I am barely able to care for my newborn as Ella goes to preschool daily.

1. I let certain things slide (and panic about them regularly). My house doesn’t stay perfectly clean or neat all the time.  My office would probably horrify you, because it certainly horrifies me.  Oh – and my car.  It’s an embarrassment of a mess, thanks to a lot of help from Ali.

2. (This one is a guilty admission…) Since I’ve been working two accounting jobs during naptimes throughout my stay-at-home Mom career, My husband has gifted me with a housecleaning service that comes every three weeks to do deep cleaning for me.  But now that I’m only working one job as of Noah’s birth, I feel a bit more guilty than I used to feel about the housecleaning expense.

3. I cook one big meal a week on Monday night, and we eat it Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights.  We eat out or “scrounge” the other nights.  I’m able to get away with this meal plan because I’ve been blessed with a husband that is not only okay with leftovers, but actually LOVES “experimenting” with them in freakish ways (he’s plans on guest posting some of his odder creations at some point).

4. Ali still naps.  And naps well.  I mean REALLY well – like 3+ hours.  That’s when I do all of my work, blogging, blog reading, and anything else I need to get done on the computer.

5. I live in a constant state of panic over my ever-growing-never-shrinking to-do list.

Phew – I have now answered every question asked of me!  But feel free to ask any follow-up questions in the comments – I’ll answer them there!  This has been a fun experiment – hopefully it was interesting for you as well.  If it was, I’ll have to do it again sometime!

31 thoughts on “Answers, Part Three: Everything Else.

  1. Cute post, and I did learn alot about you. I am glad I learned about your blog when Lindsay had Eli, because I was hooked after reading it and I feel lucky to have met you once in person and hope to see you again the next time I am up that way.

    Your blog often times brings smiles to my day when I need it so I count it as a blessing. I am envious that you are brave enough to put your insecurities out there and can usually make light of them with humor.

    1. Thanks so much! I’m so exctied to be married, but so many people speak so negatively about it. So I’ve been trying to speak with people who seem genuinely happy with thier marriages. I’ll do my best to apply your advice. Thanks!

  2. Great marriage advice! And go the cleaning service! I think you’re 100% justified in getting support on bits that you can outsource so you can do the crucial bits like raise two kids and work and the fun bits like blog! I don’t think you should let yourself be made guilty by the mass of conflicting expectations coming on you from all over – your family has made decisions and they seem to be working well, so enjoy! :)

    (Note to self – listen to own advice… :) )

  3. My husband also loves experimenting with leftovers in freakish ways that usually involve eggs. The grossest one (to me) was green bean casserole, eggs and cheese, which he heated in a skillet. But it’s beneficial for me to not have to cook so often!

  4. Okay is it weird that I have the same groups of people and the same thing happens to me??? When someone tells me “they read it on my blog” but I never interact with them and they don’t comment, it I work up a hundred scenarios…

    1. Yup. I don’t know why I’m always paranoid about offending someone I DIDN’T know read, but somehow I don’t worry too much about offending all of the people that I DO know read it. Bizarre.

  5. It’s been fun to see all the questions and answers; thanks for putting this together. My follow-up question: given such a great nap, when does Ali wake up/go to bed?

    1. She really just loves her sleep. She goes to bed anytime between 7:30 and 9:00 depending on the night and whether it’s a weekend or not, and she wakes up anytime between 7:30 and 9:30, depending on what time she went to bed the night before.

      1. You are blessed! At nearly 3, our son appears to draw the line at 12 hours of sleep, no matter the distribution. I opt to wake him up just so I can have naptime to find my sanity.

  6. I still can’t get over the fact that Ali naps! And for 3+ hours? WOW. Can I ask you when she goes down for the night?

    DO NOT feel guilty about someone coming to help out every three weeks with the cleaning… even though you’ve let go of one accounting job, I think a newborn definitely takes up any extra time that might have gained you.

    I love your meal plan. :)

  7. You’re a go-getter, girl! Enjoy your fun family. Your office and car just have “character.” I don’t know any moms that would rather mop a floor than spend time with their family. You’ve got the balance down pat!

  8. When you stop to think about it, isn’t it amazing that we tend to worry about outsourcing “frivolous expenses” like grocery shopping (delivery), meal services or cleaning ladies, but don’t bat an eyelash over the idea of outsourcing looking after our kids (daycare / school etc)? Nor does anyone worry what others will think if we get someone to come and help with basic household maintenance tasks. No stigma here for hiring snowplowing services to clear the driveway, but cleaning services are a “luxury”.

    Humbug I say.

    It’s a myth that you can do it all – if your family has chosen to get someone else to help with the cleaning, so what? In my opinion, whether you contribute financially is completely irrelevant to whether you “deserve” help cleaning.

    1. This is the best point I’ve heard yet!! I’m just using my “Mother’s Day Out” budget to get a cleaning service instead, right? “I’ll keep the kid, you clean the house.” You have just eradicated all of my guilt!

  9. I have been reading your blog for almost three years now but, I don’t really comment like I used to….I think b/c I read it on my touch and it makes it difficult to comment!

  10. I read here regularly too, but I don’t often comment because a) I’m afraid that I’ll have too many mistakes in my English, b) because I don’t know if you’ll be interested in what I have to say and c) you probably won’t be able to read my blog anyway! ;-) But you don’t know me personally (not AT ALL, since I’m way over here in Germany) so I’m luckily not the kind of person that you must be worried about.

    Anyway, just thought I’d say Hello and that I love your blog! I often sit on the sofa and giggle and show my boyfriend your pics or read some of your stories aloud! :)

  11. Hahaha! I read your blog all the time. I rarely comment, but not b/c I’m offended. I don’t think I’ve ever been offended by something you wrote :) I love to read your blog. You are very entertaining.

  12. I love these answers. One quick question…how hard is it getting used to baby number 2?

    And I feel like I know you, even though we’ve never met. Considering that we only live an hour apart, this just seems inexcusable to me! :)

  13. You are SO lucky that your husband likes leftovers! Mine HATES leftovers and I have learned to make things so that nothing is leftover at the end. The ONLY exception to this is chicken enchiladas. For some reason he will eat those as leftovers. Anything else, forget it. I am learning to make multiple meals at a time and then freeze or fridge it for the following days.

    You are also SO lucky that Ali takes that much of a nap still! I’m afraid that K is getting ready to drop her nap. Yesterday I found out (at the end of naptime) that she had been playing quietly the whole 2 hours. I was in the basement and didn’t hear her. Lately she has been taking a solid two hour nap BUT then she isn’t ready for bed at 8:30. She’ll sit up in her bed playing till like 9:30 or 10! And then of course, she is tired the next day. Ugh. I am SOOO not ready for her to give up her nap. It is the only thing that keeps me sane. Haha:)

  14. I am definitely a stalker. Your blog keeps me up to date with everything going on in your life that I am missing (: Vacation here, free and kid friendly, usually pretty weather and lots of loving on the kids. Also very clean now, although I will have to wash the ducks since Ali has discovered them. I love your answering the questions even though I know you so well because I always learn something I should know (marriage advice). You make me a better person.

  15. I hear you about the people who read your blog but don’t interact. Allllll the time, people (my age and super older) come up to me at church comment about something I blogged about, ” I liked your tutorial on ___.” I’m thinking, “Hmm, why haven’t you EVER commented on my blog, then.” and also, “Now, I need to watch what I say.”

    Also, I make 2 meals on Sunday afternoons that we cycle throughout the week also. Makes me happy.

  16. I am on your husband’s team with the leftovers. However, my husband won’t eat them. But, he’s the chef at our house so he can do what he wants.

  17. Hey Rachel,
    I’m in the weird group that reads your blog but never lets you know it (well, hardly ever). I think it’s because I’m such an internal processor that I finally find something to say after leaving your blog. That, and I re-read and edit so much before posting anything that sometimes I get distracted (one reason I had to quit blogging myself). So, here’s my confession: I will most likely go on reading silently, but I do enjoy your blog! And I would love to go out for coffee with you whenever we get down to AL for a visit!

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