All right, my friends, I am so psyched that you brought the questions! (Does anyone even say psyched anymore? Probably just me.)
I am going to savor your questions and milk them for as many posts as I can. These babies are going to take me far, I can feel it. I also have a couple memes to finish (hey Amy! hey Domestic Accident!), so it's quite possible that I might be able to glide through a week (or more!) without one original post. I'm all about bringing you the best of The Bare Minimum of Blogging.
Before I start answering, I wanted to let you know that I have decided not to change my avatar. I just really like the original, and maybe I am in a rut, but I am happy there, so I think I'll stay. I knew that my indecision was keeping you awake at night, and I just wanted to put your minds at rest. You're welcome.
Now, let's dig in to the mailbag! Many of you sent me multi-part questions, so I think I will go through them buffet style. A little of this, a little of that, make a second (and third!) trip, until I've made my way to the end.
Barb asked: What was your college major? What jobs did you have before the kids?
Well, Barb, given the style and content of this blog, it may surprise you to learn that I was an English major. And I graduated Magna Cum Laude (and a tenth of a point shy of Summa, baby). Graduating Magna Cum Laude has never gotten me much (just like the stupid SAT's), but I earned it the hard way. By not partying and still turning in my papers at the last possible minute.
In truth, I loved college, and sometimes I miss it dearly. I loved walking around campus, living with my friends, and having the time and opportunity to immerse myself in my work. I loved siting in class and dissecting the subplot of a novel. I even loved those papers that I handed in at the last minute, because back in those days I sure could string a pretty sentence together. Quite unlike the stream-of-consciousness blather you find here. But I am in a different phase of my life right now, and I know that I don't have the time to devote to papers and in depth character analysis. I've been reading the same page for three days in the biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine on my nightstand. Luckily, my short term memory is shot, so it always seems new to me.
To tell the truth, I didn't have many jobs before I had the kids. In fact, I have not had a "real" job yet, in the way that the world defines that term. I went from being a college student to a military wife to a mom. I've worked lots of different jobs, like at a canoe and river tubing place, an ice cream parlor, a grocery store, a college theater box office. Rob and I got married less than a month after I graduated from college, and we moved to Florida the day after the wedding. I worked as a nanny while I was in Florida, and then I got pregnant with Francie. I always knew that I wanted to stay home with my kids, and that's where I've been. If I ever try to get a job after the kids are more grown, my resume is going to have a twenty year blank spot. Crap.
T asked: For each of your children tell us one personality trait or quirk that they inherited from you.
Francie: Her nice bossiness. Rob said not to call it bossiness because that sounds pejorative, but that's what it is. She's like a cruise director: she doesn't always boss in a mean way, but she is your typical Type A oldest child and she assumes that you'll want to follow her plan of action. She has an over-developed sense of responsibility, thanks mostly to me, so she feels like she needs to run the show with the younger ones. She takes it pretty hard when they assert their independence, but she gets over it.
Fiver: His fastidiousness. We joke about him being a little OCD with his belongings and his environment, but he's really no different than his mother. Rob has lost count of the number of times I have said, "I just want it the way I want it" in response to his questions about my system in the house. I am not annoying to live with at all.
Sally: Her baby love. All of my kids love babies, but Sally takes the cake. She is always content to push her baby around the house in the stroller, as she very carefully mimics everything I do for Bun. The older two never gave a flying fig about babies or baby dolls when they were her age. She points out babies everywhere we go, and she is enamored of her little brother. For now, anyway.
Bun: He's still small, so it's hard to tell, but I know he likes his food and sleeping in his own bed. That's got me written all over it.
Whew! That's only three questions, and it's already my bed time. Thank goodness there's always another post waiting in the wings. I'm having a great time so far - keep the questions coming if you like.