Ask the Lanfords, Round 1

Actual questions in my inbox. I won’t divulge who asked what – but I hope you enjoy!
And keep the questions coming! Anything you ask, meant for Ask or not, could show up here. Ha!

What is your family’s favorite meal?
That’s a tough one.
I think I would have to go with Steakhouse Chicken. It has a little something for everyone – bacon, mushrooms, cheese & honey mustard.
Oh man, I’m craving some now!

How are you doing? You don’t say much about yourself, and I’m just curious, as I’m sure many other are as well. I hope you’re taking care of yourself, too.
Thanks for asking. Really, I am okay. Honestly, I don’t have any other way to be. I am healthy, mostly. My children are healthy, mostly. So we have time and energy to focus on getting the man of the house well. Mostly.
I struggle with diabetes, and am trying to chronicle the changes it’s brought to my life in My Diabetic Journey posts. It is challenging, to say the least.
I cry. I get mad. I get over it. I am human.
I am not doing anyone any good if I’m not giving my best, so I try really hard to focus on the positive.
And I cannot state how effective laughter is. It’s important. Very, very important.
And this blog helps. Tremendously.

How did you & Chad meet and how long have you been together?
Chad & I met in daycare, actually. My mom & I moved the year I entered 1st grade, and we met that Summer.
We went to elementary, junior high & high school together. We didn’t start dating until the end of my senior year of high school, while he was a freshman at NC State.
We started dating April 13, 1997 – and have been inseparable ever since.
We were married in August 2001 — so that’s almost 8 years!

Do you think you’ll have another baby?
I don’t think it’s a secret that I love babies. I would love to have another baby. However, I don’t think it’s the best time -or the best circumstances- to have another child. I have my hands full with my two little ones, and I am just now able to enjoy a moment or two by myself sometimes. When I hold or see a new baby, it makes my uterus hurt. That baby smell – oh, my!
Now that I know I’m diabetic, I cannot imagine what size baby I would deliver on try #3. Carys was 8lbs7oz, Cailyn was 9lbs12oz. Another one would be way over 10 pounds. Ouchie!!!
Now, if I discovered I was pregnant, I would be thrilled — and scared to death. We didn’t fully investigate the side effects of chemo and radiation on fertility issues and/or birth defects because we felt our family was complete. I would trust God that everything would be as it should be — but I would be a nervous wreck for 9 months.

What’s your favorite thing to do as a family? And what do you like to do just for YOU?
We just hang out really, as a family. You can find the girls & I outside chasing lightening bugs, drawing with chalk in the cul-de-sac, or swinging in the backyard. When Chad feels up to it, he joins us. We like to take walks around the neighborhood, too – but that’s increasingly difficult with two little ones that like to stop every 5 steps or so.
And me? I like to have quiet time. I write. I read (and I’ve been reading the same book forever – magazines are more my style these days. Short articles, no memory required.) And I love to cook. It’s therpeutic for me.
If I have a day to myself, I will hit Starbucks for a Skinny Vanilla Latte and hit a store or two. I love to shop, and am a pretty good deal hound. I like shopping for the girls – their clothes are so cute and much cheaper than adult sizes!

What’s your favorite things to watch on TV? What type of movies do you like?
I am addicted to reality tv. Not all of it, but most.
I am very sad that Scrubs went off this year. That was one of our favorites.
I love Grey’s Anatomy, although I almost didn’t watch a lot of this season because of the whole Izzy/dying of mets to the brain thing.
We watch LOST religiously.
And Prison Break — that’s another one we’ll miss.
Chad likes Fringe and the Beast.
As for movies, we watch just about anything. We are Blockbuster Online members and we always have movies. I have to say we’re partial to scary movies. I just love a good scary movie!

How do you clean your house, cook, blog & do all of the other things you do? HOW?
Well, let me put it this way: I do the things I love and the rest work themselves out.
My house will never be 100% perfectly kept. Ever. I clean, I tidy up. But I have two small kiddos that undo it all.
I recently got the upper hand in my Mt. Laundry dilemma, and it’s made a huge difference. I would wake up in the morning & see huge piles of laundry that needed to be done, and the rest of my day was downhill from there.
So, I keep the laundry up. We don’t allow toys in the living room anymore. And my girls have to clean their own room and playroom. I don’t touch that – anymore. If they’re big enough to make the mess, they are big enough to clean it. And if it takes them ALL DAY to clean it, then so be it. (I know, mean mommy!)
As for blogging, I take my time. A post may take me all day to complete. I type some here. I type some there. Sometimes I write a blog a few days in advance.
And cooking – everyone has to eat. I try to keep it simple and quick, while trying new things at least once a week. Sometimes they flop. Sometimes I find a new favorite!

I love your girl’s names. I am having a boy — any names you had on your list and didn’t get a chance to use?
Oh, baby names! How much fun to decide what your little belly bean will be called for the rest of his/her life.

During both pregnancies, I loved the name Caiden for a boy. And Nolan (something about the nickname “Nolie” just tugged at my heart).

Is that your real name???
Believe it or not, yes. Skye is my real name – my middle name to be exact. My first name is Jennifer.
No, my parents were no hippies. I was born during a hurricane (David or Frederic) and my family thought it would be a proper way to bring me into the world; a meteorlogical tribute to my birthday. They chose between Wendy, Stormy, Skye & a few other choice names.

I read your Tweet about going back to school. For what?
I would love to go into nursing. I checked into it shortly before I found out I was pregnant with Carys in 2003 – but I couldn’t make it work. I had to work full-time to pay for classes, and I couldn’t do clinicals while working. So, I got over it.
I’d like to make it work, but I know that I can’t. At least not any time soon.
What I really want to do is make a difference, to help people. I’ve finally figured out that I don’t have to go to school for that, and I’m working on a project that should make a difference in people’s lives. More details on that as it unfolds!

You’ve never really talked about Chad’s prognosis, other than to say it’s “better”. Will you ever share it? Why or why not?
Well, that’s a tough question. We’ve talked to many different specialists about Chad’s future. And no one seems to have a solid answer. We know that it’s the size of the tumor at this point, and not the grade necessarily, that will hurt him the most. So, we’re trying our hardest to shrink that nasty sucker as much as we can.
Previously, we were given about 5 years. We’ve been through 18 months so far.
With the surgery, we’ve been given a bit longer. Maybe up to 10 years. And we remain hopeful that medical advancements will be what we need at that time.

I think that’s all we’ll share for now. If something drastically changes, I’ll let you know.

I am thinking of staying home when my little girl is born in the Fall. Any advice? Am I out of my mind for thinking this?
Yes, you are out of your mind!
I’m kidding. Some.
I always wanted to be a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom), even before Carys was in utero. We decided for me to work full-time and plan to stay home after we had another child, when daycare costs would really make staying home the best financial option for us. In the meantime, we worked toward that goal.
We moved to a smaller home, one we knew we could afford on one income. We saved. We researched adding everyone to Chad’s insurance policy. We did our homework.
I won’t say that it was an easy transition for me. It wasn’t. I made a professional salary and was used to buying what I wanted when I wanted. Budgeting 101 was very, very hard for me. It took a while for me to get the hang of a real budget – something I never really had to worry about.
I would say that you should and your husband should sit down and make a list of every payment you have to make. Deduct your earnings from the monthly pay outs.
If it’s something you really want to do, regardless of your financial situation, there are ways. I have friends that are extremely thrifty and are able to stay home because of it. If there’s a will, there’s a way. And it’s not for everyone. I’ve toyed with the idea of going back to work when the stress of homemaking just becomes too great. Don’t beat yourself up about it if you decide you don’t want to stay home after you give it a try.

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