Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Parent of the Week: Jenn

You all will love Jenn- I do! Why? I'll give you three reasons: 1. She's a Texan (I don't know if she's actually from here, but she lives here, so that counts) **UPDATE** She is ALL Texan. Read her comment below. I think she's more Texan than Big Tex. 2. She's got such an adventurous spirit and tries fun things you always wanted to but never would/did and 3. She posts the most precious photos of her most precious family on her blog. I could think of eleventy bajillion more reasons why you will love Jenn, but I'll just let you read for yourself...

REMEMBER: If you’d like to be a Parent of the Week, or if you’d like to nominate someone, simply email me at deluna.jamie@gmail.com. It’s that easy!
Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Jennifer... I go by Jenn... call me Jenny and I'll... well I don't know what I'll do but it won't be pretty. I met my husband 20 years ago and we've been married for 16 years of that time. We weren't ready to have kids right away so we waited until we had 10 years of marriage under our belt before we took the plunge. We now have two daughters ages 6 and 3.

In a past life I majored in Anthropology only to find that a liberal arts degree doesn't really guarantee you'll find work. So I worked in several different fields looking for the right job. I worked for a veterinarian, a catering company, a group home for people with disabilities, and a university library just to name a few... Finally I got sick of it all, and my husband and I sold everything and moved to Mexico to teach English. We managed to pay the bills there for about a year and a half. We lived off our savings and a salary of pesos before we had to move back. Once we returned I think that we finally decided that we were grown up enough to have a family. I've been a stay at home mom since my my first daughter was born and even though some days I want to go back to work outside the home I know that this is truly the most rewarding job I can have at the moment.


As far as hobbies go I have many: cooking, knitting, crocheting, just about anything outdoors (except maybe bungee jumping or cliff diving), basket weaving, playing guitar, and song writing. I currently write two blogs... one called worth a fig (where I share recipes and write about foodlore) and worth a knit (where I write about my knitting and other crafts).

Do you dance in the car?
I don't dance in the car because my two left feet would probably get me into a terrible accident.. but I do sing in the car. I sing loudly and I even sing with the windows down.

Tell me about your children.
My older daughter love sports and science. She's a bit of a tomboy who love getting dirty and building things out of stuff she digs out of the recycling bin. Hopefully she'll use her mad scientist skills for good and not for evil. She is constantly inventing things and her creativity amazes me. She is an excellent swimmer and if I didn't know better I would swear that she is part fish.

My younger daughter loves anything princess, but that doesn't mean that she isn't strong and tough. You are likely to see her impeccably dressed in a tutu with a matching handbag digging up worms in the backyard or hunting for snakes with her sister. She likes to dance and read books with her family. She also has an excellent sense of humor. At only 3 years of age she can tell a joke with excellent comedic timing. Her favorite at the moment is “what time is it when an elephant sits on your gate?.... Time to get a new gate!” I still laugh almost every time she tells it.

Both of my kids are loud, silly, and full of spirit. They are a handful, but I wouldn't trade them for the world.

What surprised you most about parenting?
I was surprised by how difficult it was to find a balance between structure and flexibility. At first I wanted to just go about my business as usual. I didn't want to give up my freedom. When my first daughter was born I was very lax about bedtime. After a lot of struggling, however, I began to believe that a set bedtime and a routine leading up to bedtime is really important and I discovered it would ultimately give me more freedom. Sometimes, however, there are going to be meteor showers that are begging to be seen, movies in the park, or family swim nights at the pool that keep them up past bedtime. In all things you just have to find balance.

Another thing that surprised me about parenting was how tricky it was to rediscover my identity. Being a mom sucked (me in). It was hard not to just give in and live life just for the kids... but I'd find myself pulling my hair out It wasn't good for me, my husband, or my kids. Being a mom is a big part of who I am... but it is not all that I am. Luckily I'm blessed with a family that is there to help me find time when I need it. I also have a supportive husband that gives me the night off at least once a week and I do the same for him. 

How have you had to be Avant Garde as a parent?
For me being a parent is a lot like cooking...Sure I started out with a recipe, but I don't follow it anymore. Sometimes I don't have all the ingredients or maybe there is just something really special that I want to throw in. Even my tried and true recipes don't taste the same every time I make them and some of my experimental recipes are less than delicious. But I try to keep it edible and I try to keep it fresh.

I love being a mom even more than I love cooking and despite the frustrations and occasional disasters everything I do with my daughters is done in love and I think that is the main ingredient in all my parenting dishes.

Jenn and past Parents of the Week, feel free to grab the award badge:


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