It’s back…another #AskAwayFriday and this week I’m swapping with Beth from Structure in an Unstructured Life.
Maybe it’s serendipitous, maybe it’s a sign (to get my act together and get some structure in my life) but Beth is the third blogger I’ve swapped with who is ultra-organized and loves making lists. Beth’s blog is full of creative ideas, information and tools for moms. Her most recent post about Avoiding the Summer Slide, is appropriate even for my (slightly) older kids. Beth is asking me ten questions today and once you read my answers – please visit Beth to check out how she answers my toughest ten.
#AskAwayFriday is hosted by these great bloggers, find out more about them and see who they swapped with by clicking on their links below…
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
Amber from Bold Fit Mom
On to the questions…
Your kids are 13 and 11 year old twins; what are your favorite and least favorite things about these ages?
Favorite for all of them…they are fun to be around. They like to talk and tell me about their days, who has said or done something they found funny or crazy. I learn a lot about them through these conversations and while it’s not always easy hearing what they have to say I appreciate so much that they are at least talking to me.
My least favorite is the “I know!” answer. Instead of, “Okay, mom” which is the appropriate answer. For example, in the morning I might say, “Hey guys, I’m headed to work in a couple minutes. You’ve got laundry to bring up and put away. I wrote a list of the things I’d like done before I get back.” They might as well say it in unison, “I know.” While they watch TV or text or play games on their iDevices (-phone, -pod, -pad, does it make a difference?) Say it in your head with an attitude, like “duh.” Why it bugs me…because they couldn’t possibly know. I don’t leave lists everyday, they don’t have laundry to put away everyday. The appropriate answer is, “Okay, mom.” I find it disrespectful. I’d like it to stop. Can anyone help me with that…because me repeatedly saying, “Don’t say “I know”, just say “okay mom” ” isn’t working.
LOVE your cocktails on your blog! Being the Irish girl I am, I love a good whiskey drink, and don’t like anything too sweet. Tell me what I should order the next time I go out.
I’m not a huge whiskey drinker. I did finesse this cocktail for Father’s Day last year, it’s delicious, but not something you can just order anywhere.
My suggestion for something simple, delicious and can be ordered practically anywhere is Jameson ‘n Ginger with lemon and lime. If you don’t like the idea of drinking a bunch of ginger-ale you could get it short so there is less ginger-ale or just do a splash of ginger and do the rest soda/seltzer.
What’s on your summer reading list?
As of this afternoon, I just finished Lost in Spain, by Scott Oglesby.
It’s pretty hilarious. And uncomfortable at times. This is Scott’s account of living in Spain for three years and sharing all of the crazy. One part, about chicken germs and counting the steps home to not focus on the germs, which was going bring him to his doorstep while ending on a bad number, causing a series of avoidance tactics that were ridiculous in themselves but the internal dialogue accompanying the actions…all of it had me laughing so hard I had to stop reading and catch my breath – more than once. I actually tweeted Scott at about 2AM because I finally finished that part of the book and I figured he needed to know how much I loved it. (Wouldn’t you want someone to tell you if they were laughing that hard at your story?) It reminded me a little bit of Steve Martin’s The Pleasure of My Company. Which I also loved. One of the reviews says, “Scott’s mind is like an amusement park.” And that is the perfect description. Weird coincidence: I was at an amusement park when I finished it today. (I’m not boring, I just have/get motion sickness, my kids bring friends. We’re all good!)
I just started The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen.
I loved The Other Boleyn Girl so I have high hopes for this trilogy, which will take me through the summer.
If you are looking for other ideas check out Dana’s list at KissMyList, there are a few on there I’m going to get to once I’m finished with the Boleyn series.
We’re both sports mamas – what do you think is the most valuable lesson your kids have learned from sports so far?
They’ve learned that life isn’t fair. That’s the main lesson.
That’s also the simplest way of saying they learned: even when it isn’t fair you still do your best, prove your value and be true to yourself. You don’t listen to the negative…it’s not about you. The vast majority of the time, even though you are affected, it is not about you.
I’ve written several times about this past year’s sports experiences (lax, hockey and combined sports). In fact, my first blog post ever was about helping your kids maintain their self-worth despite athletic disappointments.
I’ve seen my oldest cry when my youngest was treated unfairly. Yet they both showed up and worked hard and no one would have ever known either of them were hurt or angry or disappointed.
I’ve seen my daughter high five and support a teammate who hates her, is mean to her and says bad things about her. She puts it all aside because it’s better for the team when she does.
These aren’t easy lessons, but I’m watching my kids handle themselves with much more grace and tolerance and understanding than I’m probably capable of. They’re definitely not easy lessons but they are good lessons – we all need to learn them.
What’s your idea of the perfect summer meal?
Shrimp tacos with fresh pineapple salsa; ripe tomatoes w Mozzarella di Bufala, avocado, orange, basil, olive oil and balsamic; roasted corn & jalapeño salsa with tortilla chips and a glass of Sauvignon blanc or a margarita on the rocks
You are forced to ditch everything in your purse but five items – what do you pick?
My wallet, my Arbonne lip balm and hand cream, a pack of gum, and my phone. I thought that would be harder but my bulging purse is apparently full of, well, crap. Paper towels from drying my hands, a bottle opener, lip gloss that is about 5 years old that I never wear. Lipstick that’s even older. I’m not sure anyone in the past 8 years has seen me wear lipstick. I also found two raspberry fig bars, cleaning cloths for my sunglasses, and a mountain of receipts. I’d actually love to keep the cleaning cloths and a fig bar. Also one of the paper towels, you know, just in case.
What are your favorite and least favorite blogging tasks?
Writing and writing. I have lots of ideas but sometimes getting them to make sense on paper the way I imagine them in my head can be tougher than I think.
If you had to choose one cause you are most passionate about, what would it be?
I feel lame answering this because I’m not passionate about a particular cause. I’m not a crusader or a fundraiser. I love people who are…and that’s good because many of my friends are do-ers. They make good things happen. I wish that was me (sometimes.) Until then, I donate monthly to Women for Women International (and have for years) because I have seen real women receive real opportunities to learn life skills that allow them to support their families/children and make their lives better. I think it’s amazing that this organization can do so much with so little. I am in awe of people who can still find hope in a situation that most of us would find hopeless. The letters I’ve received describing circumstances beyond my imagination…they are overwhelming. Donating money is not nothing…but it’s not passion, either.
As an East Coast gal, tell me three things about the East Coast that would make me love it.
- The ocean. There are lots of great beaches. Beautiful beaches all within an hour or two if you need to get there fast. And sometimes you do.
- The skiing. I’ll admit I’ve never been skiing out west but my family and I love going to Vermont to ski. I learned at 39 and if I can do it…anyone can.
- NYC. I love going to the city, period. It’s exciting. As my sister said, “It feels electric.”
I only have two kiddos and have trouble getting a great picture with both of them in it. I wonder if you have accomplished it with three! Share a favorite picture with all three of your kids in it and tell me why it’s your favorite.
This photo is the most recent, it was the last day of school. I was as happy as they are here. Which is why I love it – there is genuine joy on that last day for all of us.
I will say, I find that if my kids are playing or doing something outside, I just grab my camera take photos of them doing whatever they are doing (playing basketball, jumping on the trampoline, etc.) then I ask them to get together “real quick” and I don’t take no for an answer. I try to make it fun and I definitely don’t keep them for a long time.
Thanks to Beth for swapping with me this week. Thanks to you for visiting. Now I’d love to know…what lessons have your kids learned through their activities? How do you get great photographs of your family? Care to tell me which 5 items you’d keep in your purse? Please don’t forget to visit Beth – different questions and answers, also…I think you’ll love her ideas about doing stuff with the kids this summer.