Tuesday, March 19, 2013

You Asked, I Answered! Everything From Future Babies, To Travel, Working and More!

A few days ago, I posted on the ILYMTC Facebook page that I thought it might be fun to do a quick little "Q&A" post as I get ready to leave for Blissdom in Dallas this week and a few of you out there thought up some really great questions! In just eight questions I touched on everything from my old job as a nurse to a typical day in our life to favorite vacation spot and the dreaded "B" word..."budgets!" And if you read through to the end of this post, you might be in for real a treat!

You asked and I answered...

"Do you miss working as a nurse?" - Sarah from Nurse Loves Farmer

Yes! But not enough to go back, how's that? The truth is, I had an incredible job back when we were living in Pennsylvania at an outpatient chemotherapy clinic. It was the kind of job with the kind of coworkers that you dream of having. I loved that job so much and was so sad to leave. In fact, I'm pretty sure I mourned leaving that job (at six months pregnant when we decided to move to Maryland) for a solid year after doing so. My license is currently inactive and I have roughly two and a half more years before I have to decide what to do- begin putting working hours towards it or let is slide and risk having to re-test years down the road if and when I do decide to return. I think about this decision at least once per week but I just don't know what I'll do. Sometimes I think about becoming a school nurse but it's difficult to find work within just a single school- nowadays you're likely to work as a nurse between two or three schools in a specific district. Who knows... 

"How many kids do you want? Has that number changed after two?" - Katie

I actually wrote about this very topic a few weeks after I had Maclane. I always thought we would be done after two kids as I had never pictured myself having more than that. I never dreamt of having a large family and grew up with a (awesome) little brother so two kids always seemed like the perfect amount. And then we had Maclane and as I started packing away his newborn clothes, I broke down in tears in the middle of the nursery and I just had this feeling that it couldn't be the last time I did that. You can read the post here. 

"Since you guys have traveled, what is your favorite place you've ever been?" - Lori

My favorite destination to which we've traveled is most definitely Turks and Caicos. My husband and I planned a trip there back in 2009 and we both agree it was the most beautiful, relaxing, pristine beach we had ever been to. I would like to think that says a lot considering we've been to Hawaii, Aruba, The Caymans, the Bahamas and Bermuda. We loved it so much that we've even entertained buying property there as part of our "Life Goals." Lofty, indeed, but on the more realistic end of things we're hoping to make it back there once more this year for my 30th birthday. 

"What is your plan when you leave for Blissdom? Will Mac go to his own room? Do you think you'll have more kiddos and if so, will the be as close in age as C and M? - Blair

This question makes me break out into a cold sweat. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous as to how this will all pan out but I have faith in my husband and my parents who will be here with the boys to lend an extra set (or two) of hands! I doubt my husband will sleep with Maclane in our bed while I am gone- but I would venture to say it all depends on how their nights go! I'm sure my husband will start out with putting him in his crib and go from there. I'm hoping Maclane goes easy on them or else it will be a long three and a half days! 

I touched on the subject of having more babies above and as much as I feel pulled to have another there are definitely some days where the promise of sleep and no more diapers is definitely tempting. I always imagined I would be done having babies by age 30 and if we stopped now, I would be living my dream, I guess? But who knows. I do know that I don't want to be pregnant when I turn 30 but I also don't want to be pregnant with my third at 35.  We'll just have to wait and see what the end of this year holds! 

"A day in the life of the M's.. what's your daily schedule like? Do you want to go back to work when the kiddos are older?" - Grace

7:30am: Carter wakes up and stands at his doorway behind the baby gate and starts yelling "Mama? Help me? Mama? You there? Baby? Come here baby! Sheepie! I need Sheepie" at the top of his lungs. I usually let him yell for about 5 minutes before I stumble out of bed and downstairs for a small cup of juice and the iPad. By now he's woken the baby up and so I climb back into bed to nurse the baby while he plays a game or watches a movie for twenty minutes. 

8:00am: I change the boys out of the jammies (most mornings) and we all wander downstairs where I start getting breakfast ready. Usually it's waffles or pancakes for Carter and me along with some fruit that Mac enjoys too. On mornings that my husband didn't leave early for the gym, he's already brewed coffee which I've probably had 2 mugs of by now.

8:30-10:00: Play time. This usually means we're all downstairs in the playroom playing with the train table, reading books, doing puzzles, etc. 

10:30am: I nurse the baby and lay him down for a nap. From 10:30-11:30am the baby naps and Carter and I have an hour of "school" where we do flashcards and work on letters and numbers. His attention span usually gives way after forty minutes but I try to push him for an hour. 

11:00am-12:30am: If I have to run errands, which most of the time I do, I run them now. Food shopping, post office, dry cleaners, etc. 

12:30-1:30pm: Return home, nurse the baby and prep lunch. 

2:15-3:00pm: On Thursdays we have story time at the library. If it's a nice day, we walk to the park. If it's not a nice day and we're stir crazy, occasionally I'll take the boys to the nearby Bounce House and let Carter run off some steam. 

3:00-4:00pm: Mandatory quiet hour. Since Carter no longer naps, this is absolutely necessary so that I don't lose my ever-loving mind. Usually I'll let him sit up in his room with books, puzzles and a few toys but some days he'll ask to watch Dora or Thomas and I'll let him sit downstairs and do this while Mac sits in his Pack N Play and I quickly catch up on some emails.

4:00-5:00pm: I nurse the baby and plop him in his high chair with a snack and let Carter down into the playroom while I prep dinner, clean up the house, vacuum, mop, etc. Typically whatever house chore is absolutely in dire need of being completed that day. 

6:00pm-6:30pm: Carter eats dinner.

6:45pm/7:00pm: My husband gets home from work, we eat a quick dinner together and as soon as we're done, he takes the boys upstairs for bath time. 

7:20pm-7:50pm: The boys are upstairs in the bath, I'm downstairs in the playroom straightening up and checking emails. Occasionally I'll try and write a blog post while the boys are in the bath. 

8:00pm: Carter goes down to bed after a story and some milk, I nurse the baby and my husband puts the baby down to bed. 

8:30-11:00pm: Kid-free adult time. My husband and I usually catch up on the DVR or just sit on the couch and stare at each other. 

11:00pm-12:00am: My husband goes up to bed and I sit down at the computer to write. The baby usually wakes up at midnight for a "snack" so I nurse him and lay him back down in his crib. I head to bed around 12:30am

2:00am or 3:00am: The baby wakes up to eat, I grab him from his crib and bring him back to our bed to nurse him. 

7:00am: The baby wakes to nurse and some mornings I'm able to lay him back to sleep in his crib for another hour. 

7:30am: Carter wakes up for the day with a resounding, "Mama? Help me? Mama? You there? Baby? Come here baby! Sheepie! I need Sheepie..."

And I wonder why I'm so exhausted. 

As for wanting to go back to work once the kids are older? I doubt I will. Growing up my mom always threw herself into our school activities whether she served on the PTA board or as class mom and that's something I really want to do for my boys when they're older. I hope they'll also have tons of extracurricular activities that I'll be shuttling them back and forth from. I'm hoping I won't have any time to work but who knows- I may just very well end up working on the weekends as an RN or as a school nurse in whatever school district they'll belong to! 

"How did you get into blogging, learn the ins and outs of blogging and subsequently have your blog become so successful?" - Jennifer

I started blogging back in December of 2008. It was on a whim and something that my now sister-in-law and her friend had encouraged me to do as they had just started their own blogs. Prior to that I had read a few blogs consistently (we're talking 3 or 4 daily during my lunch breaks at work) but hadn't given much thought to writing my own. I look back on my very first post and laugh. My voice has changed so much since then when I was writing as a semi-newlywed with a husband who traveled for business 5 days out of the week.

People write posts all the time about "How to Become A Successful (Mom) Blogger" and "Ways To Grow Your Blog" and to be honest, I've never read a single one although I'm sure they're super helpful. My biggest piece of advice for blogging is this: 1) Start a blog. 2) Write openly and honestly. 3) Network, network, network and by this, I mean, find similar bloggers in the same season of life as you are and get to know them through their blog. Read and comment, read and comment. For me? That was the most successful way to not only gain followers but to strike up real relationships with other bloggers. 

"On a scale of 1 to a great no-chip manicure (see, people really DO read those), how excited are you to see my face next week? Okay. Fine. Favorite Real Housewife, past or present?" - Heather from Cookies for Breakfast

15? Okay. Well, my favorite housewives have always been the Orange County housewives but we're talking the originals. Like Season One, originals. My favorite housewife for the longest time was Lauri and I did love me so Jo De La Rosa. The new season of the OC Crazies is just around the corner! I can't wait.

"From a fellow Mama who loves to shop for her kiddos, do you guys try to stick to a set budget for the kid's clothes each month or season?" - Jen

I have a monthly budget that I try my hardest to stick to for the boys and most months I do pretty well. I think what some people don't realize is that obviously I don't mind investing in Carter's clothing because it wears well, lasts long and Maclane, at only 23 months younger, will be able to wear it a year later. If any additional income comes my way whether through photography or freelancing, it usually goes to them as well. Do I absolutely blow the budget out of the water some months? Yes, especially when it's a new season and Carter needs clothes being the oldest. It's then that something else has to give- takeout, additional help around the house, Starbucks three times a week... 

Thanks so much to those of you who asked questions! Anything else you'd like to know? Feel free to leave a question in the comments section and I'll try and answer them while I'm away this week! 

Are you still here? Fantastic. Help me celebrate Brandi's blog and her recent 500th follower by entering this awesome "Spring Makeover" giveaway. Just check out the awesome prizes! It's a shame I can't enter- perhaps you'd want to share with me? Good luck and Congratulations, Brandi! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Love this post! Turks and Caicos is on the tippy top of my list of places i am dying to go to!!!

    All those are such fun prizes I would love the Sephora GC that store is my weakness!

  2. Great post! I would love the PayPal Cash!

  3. I would love the PayPal cash to spend on an Etsy or Ebay find. :)

  4. All of them, but mostly the gift card of my choice! :)

  5. never been to Turks & Caicos but i LOVE the nail polish ;)

  6. i forgot to mention...the gift card of choice or the sephora one!

  7. Sephora gift card without a doubt! I need some spring nail polish and a new fragrance!

  8. Okay, I don't even know where to start with my love of this post. Please come to California so that we can be best friends. Also, your nurse background is well needed as a boy mom. The stories my husband tells me of him and his brothers, oh my goodness!

    I would love some paypal cash --- I mean who wouldnt!

  9. Fun prizes! I would love the Sephora or PayPal cash!

  10. The paypal cash...I have a serious Ebay problem these days!

  11. Ohhh...Sephora!

    I love reading about people's days. I have kids almost the same ages as yours and our day is TOTALLY different!

  12. I love this post!

    And, I'm most excited for Sephora. I just can't talk myself into buying the Naked palette, but if I had a gift card? That baby would be in my cart so fast!

  13. I loved this post. PayPal cash for the win!

  14. Great post! I'd say the gift card of my choice.

  15. My mom was a school nurse for a few years after she retired from working L&D most of my life. She LOVED it! She had two jobs, one at a private school a few days a week and when we moved she took a job for a school district. Her main office was at the junior high but she shuttled back and forth between a few elementary schools. With cuts in budgets school districts are always looking for nurses who want to work part time too. It might be a happy medium. I guess this is me say doing rule it out cause you think multiple schools would be hard. She thought it was great.

  16. I loved reading your daily schedule, I find those fascinating, to see how other moms manage their time.

    Oh and I would love the gift card to a place of my choice.

  17. The sephora!! I need some new shampoo & conditioner!

  18. I'd love the Sephora giftcard - I never splurge on make-up, so it would be a nice change!

  19. Love the Q&A! I am still waiting for my chance to stay home with the babes (2 little girls- 8 months & 2.5) 23 months apart just like your boys. Coming close to 30 and want another, but I'm thinking I want a bigger gap this time. Then my 2.5 year old has a tantrum and I ask myself if i REALLY want another. ha!

  20. I love this post! After reading the list of tropical vacations that you listed, I am super jealous and I've added them all to my list of places I must get to ASAP.

  21. I love this post! I wanted to write in a question, but I figured I was too late- so here goes.

    What would your idea last meal be?
    Have you ever been to New Orleans? If so, what did you love/hate about it?

    If not, do you ever want to visit New Orleans?

    What's your favorite color?

    What children's tv show do you hate the most?

    If you had a full day to yourself, no kids, what would you do all day?

    Least favorite chore?

  22. Loved the Q & A! I would love the Sephora gift card! I've got a running list of things I want/need from there. :)

  23. I've never shopped at Sephora but would live to try it!

  24. That is so true about school nurses having more than one building anymore. I'm in a big district and we still have traveling nurses. If you only wanted something part-time that would probably work out too.

  25. I would LOVE to get some nice make-up! So Sephora for me!

  26. I wanna go to Turks and Caicos!!!!! Also, I wish I was going to Blissdom so I could hug your pretty neck!

  27. Sephora! Nothing beats new makeup!

  28. All sound fab. But I think I'd love the sephora one... mama needs new makeup! :)

  29. Jessica said it best. :) Paypal!

  30. Jessica said it best. :) Paypal!


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