Ask Away Friday With Mama Rabia!

Ask Away Friday is here again! The kids and I are back from our trip to Illinois to visit my family. I was basically offline the entire time I was there and I am so behind now in the online world. The last time I looked, I had 20 comments to reply to and return. For me, that is my favorite part of blogging! I will get to it, promise! This weekend we’re headed to Cape Cod to visit my mother in law. Sigh. Next week, life will be back to “normal” for the first time since before Christmas!

This week, Rabia from The Lieber Family traded 10 questions. I’m pretty sure Rabia and I met on Twitter, either through #SitsSharefest or #FMFParty, but I can’t remember which. Both are weekly twitter parties and I know our circles overlap. I love Rabia because she is funny and kind and she writes from a place of honesty. What more do you need in a blog?

Ask Away Friday is a link up hosted by Penny of The Real Housewife Of Caroline County and Amber of Bold Fab Mom.

Rabia From The Liebers

1.       I love, love, love your “big girl panties” series, mainly because I use that phrase often myself.  Which one of the posts was hardest for you to write?

Big Girl Panties! Writing those have been some of my favorite posts of all time. It has fizzled a little bit, but I want to pick it up again in the new year.

Grief Comes In Waves  was probably the hardest one to write because there was so much emotion that poured out during it. I had to go back to bed because writing those words and letting those feelings come to the surface was exhausting.

You didn’t ask, but my favorite from that series is A Day In The Life. 

2.       I love your kids’ names.  How did you pick them out? Are they family names or something from your classic rock playlists?

Photo by Paul Specht

Photo by Paul Specht

We named Malone after Sam Malone from Cheers. And Malone named Lola because his favorite song is Lola by The Kinks.

3.       You say your husband is an introvert. How does he feel about your blogging and need for interaction?

He’s really proud of me and all that I have accomplished here in this tiny space!

Our marriage works well because I give him the space he needs to recharge after a long day. By the time we’ve put the kids to bed around 7:30 pm, he is talked out. He’s worked all day, come home to dinner time conversation, and played with the kids. He is DONE and needs quiet time to recharge. I usually hop back online to blog while he does his own thing. It is weird, but it works well for us.

We hang out with each other and the kids a lot on the weekends and in the mornings before he goes to work.

4.       Describe a perfect day for you.

I would love 24 hours to do nothing. Literally, nothing. Alone. With no one. I am in a hard season right now where my children really need me both day and night. I would love a day at a hotel with room service, wifi,  a stack of good books, and chocolate. I’ve got a term for this, I call it a sleepcation. That is exactly what I need!

Perfect day #2. I haven’t been yet, but spending a day at a blog conference sounds pretty awesome too!

5.       Do you have a draft folder full of unfinished blog posts?  What’s the oldest post in it and why haven’t you finished it?

Funny you should ask. I was actually just thinking the other day that I wanted to finish it. The 10 Commandments Of Blogging. I’ve gotten as far as #1. Thou Shall not use captcha.

6.       On Monday, I wrote about making mistakes. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made that taught you the best lesson?

When I was in the 5th grade, I was caught forging my mother’s name on a failing math test. After that, I learned how to sign her name better!

I’m not a monster, I swear!

There are VERY FEW things in life that are unfixable. I believe in owning my mistakes. Quick action and an apology usually go REALLY far.

7.       You seem like a pretty laid back mama, but what’s your parenting pet peeve?

My biggest pet parenting pet peeve is when another adult tries to push their parenting agenda on our kids. There is NO NEED to parent my kid if I am right there and in the middle of handling the situation myself. I don’t need you to jump in and “try” help. I know they are trying to be helpful, but really it just makes me stabby. This happens from time to time when we’re with extended family and it drives me insane.

I think the most important thing a parent can do is to remember that their child is still a child and have expectations that are reasonable and developmentally appropriate for their age. Sometimes it is easy to lose sight of the fact that they are still learning EVERYTHING. Everything is new to them and exciting, and it is my job to meet them where they are at and share in their joys with them.

8.       Are you typically a night owl or a morning person and how has having kids changed that?

I am a complete morning person. My alarm goes off around 4:30 am and if I am diligent about getting up, I have about two hours to myself before Malone wakes up. It is the only time of the day that I can count on my house being quiet and typically when I get the biggest bulk of blogging done. I like to wake up, get coffee, have quiet time and read the Bible, reply to comments, and then read/comment on as many blogs as I can.

Before I had kids, I liked to go to bed somewhere between eleven and midnight. After I had Malone, I quickly realized I was going to have to shift my sleeping habits. I am at my best when I am well rested. And my kids deserve the best version of me that I can present on a daily basis, not Crankasourus Rex.

9.       If you could go forward or backward 100 years, which would you choose and why?

Honestly, neither. I really love the time I’m living in now. Knowing what I know now and stepping back in time 100 years, would not work for me unless I could go straight to Downton Abbey, live in a bubble, and be Lady Mary’s BFF.

Going forward 100 years wouldn’t work either. I think I would be too depressed if I knew certain social justice issues didn’t move forward the way I hope they do. And don’t even get me started on the technology. My grandmother is is 80 years old. In her lifetime she seen her favorite soap opera that started on radio  move to television and now to online, that is a lot of technology to wrap your head around in a lifetime. I can’t imagine what technology will be like in 100 years. And honestly, I don’t want to know.

10.   Do you have a favorite charity or non-profit that you support?  Tell us about it.

The kids and I go to the parents center several times a week. It is a drop in co-operative playgroup run by a parent volunteer board, a director, and an assistant director. It is a donation based group that operates on a shoestring budget.

Family Center

There are three very large rooms for the kids to play in that have a ton of cool toys. In the gross motor room there are mats to climb and jump on in the center of the room and 30 or more bikes/riding toys that can be ridden around the perimeter of the room. There is also a creative arts room with easels and paint, play kitchens, a train table, a puppet theater, a doll house, cars, trucks, blocks, a table with play dough, a dress up corner with tons of costumes, and a rice table . In the third room there are baby toys, a glider, books, puzzles, and baby dolls. They serve a snack for the kids and have tea and coffee for the grown ups.  Once a week host a free music class.

In other words. This place is a lifesaver.

It is open four days a week and we try to go at least twice. We’ve made a ton of friends because a lot of the families come on a regular basis. It is really cool because it isn’t just for moms. There is a whole tribe of stay at home dads, nannies, and grandparents that come too!

I serve on the board and give my time and talents in other ways as often as I can. We just had a pretty big online fundraiser and I did a lot of the social media for it.

Rabia had some great questions, didn’t she? Head on over to her blog to read her answers to my questions too! 


  1. 1

    Lisa @ The Golden spoons says

    Loved reading your answers!
    Lisa @ The Golden spoons recently posted..Kissing Lists, Answering Questions, and Finishing Sentences!My Profile

  2. 3

    The Dose of Reality says

    Squee!! I love Rabia! How fun! I can’t wait to see your questions for her, too!!

    I was taking a sip of coffee when I read your answer to #5…Bwahahahahaha. I despise CAPTCHA with every fiber of my being. As far as I’m concerned that can be commandments 1-10 and you are now done with that post. Bwahahahahaha!

    I’m with you. I can’t even *begin* to imagine what technology will be in 100 years and I don’t think I want to. GAH!! –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..Pinterest Nightmare #719: Tell Your Cat You’re PregnantMy Profile

    • 4

      Rabia @TheLiebers says

      Lisa, you are too sweet! :)
      Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted..#AskAwayFriday with NJ from A Cookie Before DinnerMy Profile

    • 6

      NJ says

      Ha! I hope you spit out your coffee and I made you laugh! Making people snort is my FAVORITE! And I loathe captcha! For real, straight up!

      100 years of technology scares me. I can barely keep up as it is!

  3. 7

    Jodi Flaherty says

    Thou shall not use Captcha! Hilarious! I want to read that post when it’s done! Have a great day NJ, stay warm!
    Jodi Flaherty recently posted..#AskAwayFriday Week 24 with the Lovely Lanaya from Raising Regan!My Profile

  4. 9

    Rabia @TheLiebers says

    NJ, I love your answers! I had a feeling Lola was named after the Kinks song, but Malone’s name has a good story too! I was afraid to let my kids name their siblings because every time I asked they came up with way-off-the-wall ideas! I love your perfect day idea. I could totally go for an entire day of nothing!! In fact, I think sleepcation needs to be an actual word right now!!
    Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted..#AskAwayFriday with NJ from A Cookie Before DinnerMy Profile

    • 10

      NJ says

      Malone has declared the next child’s name to be something wacky (not that we’re having another one anytime soon) but Lola was a hit. And it has grown on me!

      I think I need to trademark the word Sleepcation.

  5. 11

    Sonya says

    I would love to have a sleepcation right about now too! I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to night wean my 22 month old. Most nights around 4am I give in and give her milk. A drop-in playgroup sounds like a great idea. I wish we had one where I live.
    Sonya recently posted..Ask Away Friday with Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life LaughterMy Profile

    • 12

      NJ says

      Ah Sonya! Weaning Malone at night was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do! We ended up crying it out with him right before his second birthday because I was a zombie mess!

      • 13

        Sonya says

        Hey NJ, it didn’t seem this hard with my son, but he is 5 now so I may have just forgotten how hard night weaning is. With my daughter I’m just too tired, I give in because I want her to go back to sleep. However, I’m going to have a pull out my big girl panties and stop her from nursing at night.
        Sonya recently posted..Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, & Jo-Ann CouponsMy Profile

  6. 14

    Sarah says

    I used to get up super early when my kids were all really young but now we just roll with it (hence the vox you sent waking me up :) ). A sleepcation is probably a must for every young mother. What a great idea!!
    Sarah recently posted..#AskAwayFriday Link Up with Amber from The Bold Fab MomMy Profile

    • 15

      NJ says

      I have to wake up before my kids, otherwise I am so so cranky all day! If I don’t get up before them, there is literally not a single second of the day that I can count on belonging to me 100%!

      Things might change next year. Malone will be in kindergarten and hopefully Lola will be taking a huge morning nap and a huge afternoon nap!

  7. 16

    Dana says

    Welcome home, NJ – or maybe you are already gone again? It’s nice to travel, but I’m sure it will be nice to settle back in at home too. Fun to learn more about you – Malone is named after Sam Malone? I love that! Glad you didn’t name him Norm :)
    Dana recently posted..Spooning with LisaMy Profile

    • 17

      NJ says

      We are home and gone again Dana! As I write this, we’re on Cape Cod!

      I can’t wait to be settled back into normalcy!

      Yes, Malone is named after Sam Malone. Norm wasn’t on our radar. Johan (Hans) was a close second!

  8. 18

    Kim says

    I love the way you named your kids – especially the reason behind Malone’s name!!
    That sleepication sounds awesome – I want one on a beach – I can spend the day on the beach with my books and the night in a plush hotel on the water!!! and I need a pool boy to bring cocktails!!
    Kim recently posted..Friday Happy HourMy Profile

    • 19

      NJ says

      Thanks Kim! There is a bit of a bigger story there, but I have told it on the blog before! I think what I really need to do is blog their name stories! Mike and I met in Boston and wanted a name that was meaningful to us!

      I would like a sleepcation in Bora Bora. Want to come with me?

  9. 20

    Tiffany says

    SLEEPCATION! May I please borrow that term? I think I am in desperate need of one but never knew what to call it and now I do! a full day of nothing…sounds amazing! Great swap as always…had fun reading all your answers!
    Tiffany recently posted..#AskAwayFriday W/Sonya From Saving With Sonya K.My Profile

  10. 22

    Gracielle says

    NJ and Rabia! 2 of my faves :) “Thou shall not use captcha” LOL I loved that! A sleepcation sounds like MY perfect day. I’m towards the end of 2.5 weeks of being a single mom. When my hubs comes back, I will DEMAND a sleepcation. 4:30 is way too early for me…I’m a night owl and usually stay up until 1 or 2 am.
    Gracielle recently posted..{Ask Away Friday} Questions with Herchel from @ScruggbugMy Profile

    • 23

      NJ says

      2:00 am? Really? That is insane!

      I don’t know if I would be able to go for 2.5 weeks as a single mom. I barely made it a week before I was ready to be DONE with it. I think you should totally go for a sleepcation for a few days!

  11. 24

    Beth at Structure in an Unstructured Life says

    A sleepcation sounds amazing!! Every once in awhile I daydream about renting a little apartment with a few girlfriends, and we would all use it to have somewhere quiet to go and nap! :)
    I may drive you crazy as a parent because one of my pet peeves is when parents don’t parent their kids! Although you did say in your answer it bugs you when you are already handling it and people step in. It drives me crazy when kids are very openly being bullies or engaging in unsafe behavior and the parents do nothing. I’ve stopped socializing with some friends because their kids are always mean to mine and the parents do nothing. Then look at me like I’m crazy when I tell their kid to please not talk like that or to please use nicer words when talking to others.
    Great answers!
    Beth at Structure in an Unstructured Life recently posted..Ask Away Friday with Michelle!My Profile

    • 25

      NJ says

      I have thought about opening a napping house where parents could reserve a room to come and nap for a few hours while their children played with childcare workers. The logistics and insurance make it too tough to make it a reality.

      I might be one of the parents who drive you crazy at a playground. I don’t hover over Malone at all, but watch from a distance. I’ve swooped in a few times, but for the most part if he can figure out how to climb something, I let him go for it!

  12. 26

    Stacey Gannett (This Momma's Ramblings) says

    I would love to have a day all to myself…no kids, no hubby, no chores…a day for just me! And a blog conference is a dream! My hubby is not at all welcome of me posting much about him. It is funny though that I am the introvert in our house! :) Have a great rest of the weekend, NJ!

    • 27

      NJ says

      I had a weekend this summer before Lola was born and it was AMAZING! I got so much rest and was super lazy. Maybe I’ll get one this summer too, when Lola is a little bigger and on a more reliable schedule!

  13. 28

    Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families says

    I love the play group, that is awesome that you can go and play without paying a fortune. I wish we had something like this in our area, my son stays home with me all day and he could use some interaction. He does go to the church nursery on Wed and Sunday so he gets a bit of socialization that way.
    Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families recently posted..#ASKAWAYFriday With Sarah at The Small Town Iowa FamilyMy Profile

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