Monday, June 29, 2009

Ask MO!

Oh WHAT FUN! I love all the questions, but in light of two little ones, and a baby who is OBSESSED with getting to my keyboard, I am going to answer these in order of first come/ first answered and just get as far as I can tonight. I intend to answer them all though! Here we go!

Question 1: From Tonia in Morrison, IL
What do Todd and Don do for a living?
Don cleans septic tanks and works as our gardener.
Ha. This is going to be so much fun!
Actualllly, Don works at a chemical plant called Angus Chemical. It is a fairly dangerous job, as there are lots of toxic chemicals to contend with on a daily basis. He works several days on/ several days off. So, there are stretches at a time that he gets to be home. He rides a little bike around the plant that has a basket on it, and I would just give anything if I had a picture of it. Staci has it on her phone, and I will have to try to get it on my blog. F-U-N-N-Y

Todd is a neurosurgeon. He performs brain surgery by day and flies to third world countries on his days off to provide charitable surgeries to those who can't get the help they need.
Ha. Again so much fun!
Todd is actually unemployed. He has been for some time now. I kinda feel sorry for the ol' boy, because he is one of those lost souls who just can not find where his passion is; therefore, can't follow any dream! The last job he had was when we were in business with Johnnye at Louisiana Sauce Factory. One of their specialty items was VooDoo Bayou Salsa. Heard of it? Todd was proud of that job, but we got out when an opportunity arose. He mows yards for a few friends and keeps the grounds at my clinics. Otherwise, he is quite the golfer and makes a chunk a change on the course! I think he should try for a tour. He is THAT good! But..... you know!

And as this seems to be a very popular question....
Question 2: From Patricia
Does Todd have a job or does he just golf in LSU attire?
Refer to answer Number one and YES he does wear a lot of LSU wear!! He also does play a lot of golf. Some may not understand our little arrangement, but if it works, then... you know!

Question 3: From Cori, my nursing photographer friend
What kind of camera do you use and how do you keep it from getting beat up?
Dang. I should know this, but hang on, while I go look! OK. It's a Canon XT. That is kind of an old Canon, but I swear the reason I don't upgrade is the SECOND part of your question! I never put a lens cap on, never put it in a case, and sling that thing all over the place. I tote it with me all the time, and with two babies also hanging off my person, it just slings around and bangs on whatever is nearby. I hate to admit that, but seriously, that is how it is. I looked at the new Canon TI this weekend, and think I would love it. It has video and a big screen in the back for viewing. I think I will need to stick with Canon, because a) I have about 4-5 lenses to add to it, and b) the brand has proven itself to be sturdy! I need to learn to use it better, but REFUSE to read a manual! I try to use Jessi. She reads manuals!

Question 4: From LisaWalker
Do you still have lap band and how much weight have you lost?
Hmmm... first off. YES I still have lap band. and will have it for the rest of my life, I suppose! You don't really take it out. I am about 65 pounds down from the weight I was when I had the procedure. I was 15 pounds heavier than that at my highest! So 80 down total. I had lost 90 total, but had the band loosened last September because it was pretty tight and I was spitting up a lot. Scary, because I felt like I was injuring my esophogus. (TMI?!) When I got it loosened, I gained 22 pounds from September to May! I am not like a normal person who can just kinda linger in a small range of weight. I swing WAY high! So, I tightened it again in May before the beach, and tada... again, everyone is saying "you look so good... " and etc. I am amazed that weight matters that much. It really makes me angry. But that is for another day and another soapbox! (Oh, and of that 22, I am back down about 13... so just a few pounds from my low.)

Question 5: From Connie
When did you start beading?
Connie. I remember my Nannie being sick in the hospital, oh... gosh how may years ago? 7 years ago? Anyway, she was in the hospital a lot. I adored my Nannie. She was absolutely a doll and so, so funny! Staci and I sat with her as she took her last breath. I will never forget that! and so glad I was there! Back to my story. I had just bought a bracelet that was on stretchy material and I thought to myself, "I can make this." I bought a bunch of beads and some stretchy string and headed up to the hospital. That is where I started making jewelry. I later taught myself to add clasps, then to wrap wire, then on and on it grew.

Question 6: From Tricia
Tell me about you house. Present one for sale? How far are they from one another?
Ok. We met with a friend of mine tonight who completely helped me recognize that the style of my house was just not me. It was French Country, and now I am changing it to more of a European Cottage. (see above. I saw it this past weekend in Shreveport, and loved it.) Is there such a thing!? It is what I call my BAH. (BIg a** house!) and it really is! It is going to be just right for our family! I have a big art room, and Todd has a great outdoor kitchen area. The girls' rooms each have their own toy areas. We have a screened porch and a media room. and a work out room (hahahahahahaha!) . It is probably 6-7 miles from our present house and about 1/4 mile from Ellie's birthmom! It's all good. We don't have our present one for sale, but after signing the pre construction loan paperwork today, we need to be discussing that ! Hey, mom... you reading? Want your grandbabies to live with you a while?! Huh? Huh?

Question 7: From Christy, mom to Hayley and Angel Chloe
Have you ever thought about being a motivational speaker?
So hilarious that you would ask that. I am reading a book by one of my heroes/ mentors, John C. Maxwell. (Put your Dream to the Test) I came home from the beach "preaching" to my next door neighbor, who has self confidence issues, about SEEING and BELIEVING and STATING your goals very clearly and passionately. I even gave her three objectives to work on in her first week, and she did them ALL! Including apply for a managerial position. Goooooo, you know who! At Shake 4 Jake, I had TWO other people ask me if they could come over once a week for me to motivate and encourage them toward their goals. That was the first time that I thought to myself.... "I would really like doing this!" so, I just have to know. Why did you ask me that?! Do you THINK I could be a motivational speaker?! Love it.

Oh... and about those green shoes?
The shoes are made by Alegria. I don't know how to link you. Actually, I do, but don't feel like stopping this forward momentum to look it up. Just google it. And I would highly recommend a catalog. They have the clog styles like I had, as well as Birkenstock style with two wide straps, and between the toe style. They are unbelievably comfortable! I mean one of those shoes that when you step in it, you just say,"ahhhhh!". Jin doesn't like them, because they kinda rock backwards a little,. The heel is lower than the arch or a "negative heel" as she calls it. So, if you have that issue, now you know!

Question 8: From Chattin with the Chief (Roll Tide) and also from Kathryn (my favorite Grandma and the only blogger I have ever received flowers from on a very bad day!)
Where can I get a Believe custom canvas?
I am going to be putting the pictures of the canvases on my blog soon, and I think I will just ask for orders. The small ones are $35, the medium ones are $60, and the super big ones are $125. I would welcome any kind of customization... i.e. a different background color or a different word or name. Remembering my Dream book from John C. Maxwell, well... my dream is to return to my art roots by age 40. That is coming up. So, having an opportunity to paint more is what I am looking forward to! I guess I am saying, BRING IT ON! In fact, I will post them on FRIDAY. Be watching!

Question 9: From Jeni , mom to Kaitlyn and Kyler! (another very popular topic!)
What about the lapband?
What about it? I can't remember exactly what you wanted to know about it. I will just say this. YES, I would do it again. YES. I would recommend it to other people. and YES. I am thrilled with my results. but NO, I do not get to eat my favorite things. And NO, I did not like paying the mucho denucho it took when my insurance didn't pay, and No. I was not excited when they brought me my first meal after the surgery in a medicine cup!

and... Are you going to adopt another baby? Maybe a boy this time?
That is a good one. I don't know that I can answer that! I seriously go back and forth. When Todd and I recently had an opportunity with a little boy, we declined because our little Gabbi Girl is such a passive little one, and we didn't think she needed to be a middle child with a newborn in the house. Sooo... at that time, Todd decided to change our workout room into a potential third bedroom, so I guess he was thinkin' "maaaaybe"! Am I skirting the issue? The answer is I don't know. I thought I only wanted a boy. Then, one day I woke up recently and could only think of girl names! I had dreamed about three girls! Ellie, gabbi, and ___? Annabelle?! I think I need a break. I am actually giving away a lot of clothes, and even cleaned out my huge pile of baby blankets this weekend. So, if so, maybe with a little lapse in time would be healthy. Why? You know somebody?!

Question 10: From Amy, mom to three tea partyin' kids, Austin, Luke, and Savannah!
Tell us about you as a kid. Cheerleader, et al.
I guess everybody has particular memories of childhood. I remember growing up on Jennifer Lane, riding my mini bike just about every day after school, and being able to ride up to the corner store and buy an Icee and a bag of chips for 50 cents. Pacman was pretty big then too! I was what you would call a pretty well-rounded kid. ( that comes from supportive parents, I think!)  Straight A teacher's pet kinda kid. Can you believe THAT?! I was a dancer and was hugely into sports. Softball was always my favorite! I was a first baseman. A killer one at that! My team won the world series in South Carolina when I was 18. Ball was what I lived for! Oh, and as for boyfriends, I was always a one man woman. Only dated a handful of guys over the course of high school and college. Loved deeply! Still do! In younger years, I loved to trail ride on my motorcycle with the boys in our neighborhood. I was usually better friends with boys than girls. I was captain of my dance team in high school, and went on to dance in college. Staci and I fought like cats and dogs. I was the antagonizer. I continue to hold that role even today! Staci and I slept in the same bed until I left for college. Isn't that pretty accurate, mom? My dad took us hunting, and I actually loved hanging out at the camp, being all dirty and hanging around a fire pit, but I didn't necessarily like to shoot anything. We hung out as a family on the river a lot. Dad used to even take us to the sandbar to campout in a tent. Good times. Thanks for that little walk down memory lane. There's lots more. But Surely you are bored with me by now.

Ok. So that does it for the first 10. Second 10, to be answered tomorrow.


tricia said...

Thank you for answering questions!

Chattin' with the Chief said...

Okay Melanie - we will have to meet at the 'Bama - LSU game! We tailgate directly across from the stadium and will have a huge throwdown with many of our LSU hunters there. You must come and join us!!

Mary said...

I have a question for you...
Would you let your girl's birthmom have a relationship with the girls? Thanks for answering all the questions. Learning a lot.

Tammy Skinner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tammy Skinner said...

Melanie - How in the world do you have time to do all that you do?

Lori said...

Loving finding out more about you and yours. Tell us how and where you and Todd the Bod met.

Ally said...

Love it, such an awesome idea.
Thanks for taking the time to do it!

Kathryn said...

Thank you! You are a sweetie, no matter what that sister of your says. Is that why you left her at the beach AGAIN? Have fun with the new house and getting ready to sell the old one. When are you coming to visit? October would be perfect! Not too hot for the zoo and all the good stuff.

Holley Sisters said...

Those are cute pics of the girls! They are so precious!

Mackenzie =)

Cassie12 said...

MO: I love reading your blog and all your Q&As. I just thought of a few questions to add to your list.

Is your new home going to be a one story or a two story?

Did you, Todd, Don and Staci all graduate from LSU?

I am still thinking about lap band surgery but kind of scared. It was interesting that you had to pay yourself - I thought most insurances would cover if you met BMI. I am a little scared about how it will be going out to dinner (we cruise often) but you seem to be always going out to dinner or parties and do fine. Is that true?
Did Staci also have the surgery?

Ellie is almost same age as my granddaughter, Sofia. It is interesting to see that a lot of the things they do are the same...

Thanks...keep your blog is so much fun and many times gives me a good laugh!!

Susan from Redwood City, CA

Katie said...

Okay, I have a question...I love the way you take pictures and that you're so creative, with jewelry and scrapbooks, etc. I keep thinking that I would love to do both of those things, but I don't know where to start. So, I guess that's my it too late to start because I'm not "born" with it or do you think there's hope for everyone? Thanks girl! Love the blog, the pictures, the commentary, all of it!!

Beth E. said...

Will you still accept questions? If so, here are mine: much sleep do you get? You seem to be able to get so much accomplished. Do you ever kick back and relax, or do you just stay on the go ALL the time?

I think you should set up some sort of phone service with some recorded motivational messages. People could choose which message they need to hear...

If you need to kick some butt, press 1...

If you need to quite feeling sorry for yourself, press 2...

If you want your kids to stop walking all over you, press 3...etc.

You could make BIG BUCKS, girlfriend! Whaddaya think? If you end up doing this, just remember who gave you the idea. I'll take 40%, m'kay? LOL

MLP said...

Oh Mo! I love you!!!

I have so enjoyed reading these questions and answers. You are intriguing!!! Keep the answers coming.

If I find out I'm having a girl, I'll take any Ellie/Gabbi hand me downs! HA HA!!!

You get the official title:

Denise said...

WOW! Did I ever enjoy reading that blog and learning more about you. You are very articulate in expressing yourself (I envy that), and as a result it seems like I have known you for such a long time. :)
Love your honesty, your frankness and definitely your humour! I'm going to have to copy a thing or two from you. And I guess this means that, yes!!, I BELIEVE you would make an awesome motivational speaker. You are such a multi-talented woman, very talented in the arts, full of positive energy, and uber inspirational. And I would love to possess just a quarter of your energy!!
I've had the enormous pleasure of having met you in person as well as your AMAZING family, and I count my lucky stars (and dear Jake) for making that happen.
Keep going, Mo!!
Hugs, Denise, xoxo

Laurie said...

I love to hear about your life. I really think you are an awesome lady and mom.
I have a question about adoption I really want one more but of course getting old so thought about adopting. Is it really that expensive and where to you start we live in a small hick town in Nebraska so there is nothing here to adopt from. You were pretty lucky I guess to have people come to you. So i understand if you do not know the answers If Elli drives you too crazy just send her our way for awhile, till your ready for her again hahaha

Zhohn said...

Hey Mo! I still read EVERY blog entry although I NEVER sign in anymore! I'M SORRY! I am so glad you continue to share your family with us! I love your girls.

I had a dream about you the other night! Crazy, I know! Remember when you rented a van and you shared that with us? My dream was I ran into you somewhere and the only thing I could think of to ask you was if you bought a van yet! Out of all things why would I ask that? And when I did meet you (too long ago, I wish I could always hang with you guys), I had more important things to talk about, like sweet Jake!

So my question is, Have you given anymore thought to buying a van?

Catherine said...

Love reading about your life with the kiddies. I remember you mentioning that you and Staci were beauty pagent gals. Any pictures from those days? Will Ellie, Maddy and Gabby do that circuit? How did you and your sister enjoy that experience overall?

nita womack said...

ok=i am once again coming out of the blogstalker closet! i just want to tell you how much i enjoy your blog (following since our meeting superbowl sunday when officially becam a mojoy/todd/babygirls addict)after you so generously invited me and mrs hodge to your home for some crash jewel-making lessons! i am SO hooked on you and your very large circle-and i have a question--- do you realize the impact/influence u have on so many lives which you are probably unaware?? babygirl u are such an inspiration and i agree w/ some of the last few blogs YOU R AMOTIVATOR!!! you make me smile 1st thing every day and ellie/gab bring so many warm memories. let us know if you are going to give classes of any kind- i would love 2 B there if only to audit/observe/sit in the back and soak up the knowledege. thank u 4 all u do-from 1 of ur oldest (age) and biggest (size) fans

Patricia said...

I want to make sure you didn't take my question about Todd and golfing as an insult!! I think it is SUPER that you have the arrangement that you do! Actually, my husband and I are in the same type of situation and I am ALL FOR whatever works for your family! I have to agree with the other bloggers, you need to be a motivational speaker!! I set up conferences for 200 employees, usually in fun places like Sandestin, and we would love to have you!! We are Mississippi Stae Bulldogs fans and we would love to meet you at the LSU game!! Sept. 26th!! Be there!! We have a huge tailgate party and you and all of the West Monroe gang are invited!!

Cori said...

Thanks for answering my question!! I actually have one more related one. How do you store all the pictures you take? On an external hard drive? Do you edit your pictures? I would love some good photos to practice editing if would want me to.