On Monday, I told you that if you asked a question, I’d answer it. So, here are the questions and my answers. I hope that you feel entertained… if not, then ask your question next time (there I go with that whole shifting responsibility thing. God that’s fun.)
What's your favorite fantasy of your children as adults?
This will sound like a cop out; I try very hard to refrain from imagining what my children will be like as adults because I don’t want to accidentally ascribe dreams to them that may not be their dreams for themselves. So, what I will say is that my fantasy is that they all turn out to be wholly who they are as individuals, and that they take pride in that. I like to imagine that we’ll spend functional (as opposed to dysfunctional) holidays together, and that they’ll think that Mr. Lindstrom and I are cool (instead of embarrassing and obnoxious), but I’m aware that that alone is the very definition of fantasy.
What is the best and worst part of having twins?
The best part: watching their relationship with each other.
The worst part: knowing that I can never fully understand or experience the bond that they have with each other.
I thought about this a lot, and I listed in my head a million wonderful things about having twins: never a dull moment, lots of laughs, getting to know their unique personalities, feeling like a rockstar when I conquer Target with all the kids, etc. And a lot of really difficult things: kissing goodbye to downtime, lots of crying, never having enough arms, feeling like a failure when I just can’t make anyone happy, resolving to allow my home to look like a daycare center. However, the truth is there is the most immense joy in watching them together, and there is a certain jealousy (though I’m not even sure that’s the right word for it) that their bond with each other, in many ways, is as important or perhaps in some ways more important than their bond with me.
How do you always remain so positive?
I would not say that I always remain positive I would say that I tend toward the positive.
My answer to this is relatively simple. I grew up with a father who was so negative that it was toxic. I have never shared that publicly before, but it’s the truth. To say that he saw the glass as half empty would be a gross understatement. I am not even sure he would have even noticed the glass unless it was broken and he was standing barefoot on the sharpest shard.
I have had some very very dark times in my life. Some I have shared, and many that I have kept private (can you believe that? There are things that I actually keep private!) I think that at a young age, I saw the damage of living in such a dangerously negative way. The misery it created for my family that permeated the climate in our home was crippling, and I made a choice to not live that way. I certainly have negative thoughts, emotions, feelings, and actions. I am human. However, I make conscious and deliberate choices daily, sometimes moment to moment to see possibility rather than defeat. I just don’t see anything productive about being negative. It seems like a good way to get nowhere, and I’m going somewhere, baby (I just don’t know where).
Can I have your hair? Because it's so beautiful, and mine is so ... not. :)
First of all, thank you. I am still practicing a resolution from 3 years ago to graciously accept compliments. Yes, Anne. You may. However, remember… the grass is always greener on the other side. Also, once you get it, be ready to spend a lot of time unclogging the drains. I know it’s disgusting, but it’s the darn truth.
What was something that was most helpful for you when grieving the loss of your two girls?
There was, and still is just one thing that is the most helpful for me in grieving the loss of my children, it is my belief in the afterlife. Knowing that there is a place where I can hold them again, and even better, that they are with me right at this very moment. This is a gift from God. My belief is that God does not make bad things happen, God is there for you when bad things do happen. God’s tears were the first to fall. Truly I tell you, there have been days (even recent days) when that has been the only thing that got me out of bed in the morning.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be a lot of things when I grow up. I want to be funny, happy, creative, crafty, spunky, funky, and quirky as all get out. I’d love to be pretty, tall, and thin… but I think that my genes are working against me. I would love to dance again (and do it as well as I used to, but I think that ship has sailed). My dream would be to get paid (lots and lots and lots and lots of money) to write what I want the way I want. I have a silly dream about having a business planning kid’s birthday parties (I have had such a blast planning my own kid’s), and I also have thought about starting a business putting together Ikea furniture, I have a rare and impressive talent for doing it correctly without the directions, and in a fraction of the suggested time. When I was younger, I wanted to be on Saturday Night Live – I don’t really want to do that anymore, but I think it would be really fun to do stand-up, but only if I killed (that’s comic-speak for “make people laugh until they pee their pants.”) I have always sort of secretly wanted to be a Cruise Director (like Julie on the Love Boat), but I think that ship has sailed, too (pun completely intended). If I had the time, money, and energy right this very minute, I’d get certified to teach Pilates.
What television shows do you let your kids watch/watch with your kids? Do you watch those Baby Einstein dvds? Or Sesame Street? Or Yo Gabba Gabba?!
The Twinstroms don’t really do the TV thing. The four year-old is allowed to appreciate some Nick Jr. or Disney Channel right away in the morning, and just before bed. He likes Yo Gabba Gabba, Dora the Explorer, and Diego. I like the Imagination Movers and I tolerate the Backyardigans very well. I am happy to be over the Caillou days and glad that he has transitioned from watching Thomas to solely playing Thomas. I could get raked over the coals for this, and I’m ready to accept the punishment, but I don’t really have a problem with my kids watching TV, and I’d be lying if I told you that there weren’t days that I honestly left the TV on all day because for one reason or another it really was the best I could do on that day. I feel like there are already a million things to feel guilty about, so I try not to feel guilty when I have those days.
Do you keep in touch with Kevyn Burger? I loved the friendship you two shared on-air with all of your listeners and miss Kevyn's voice at 107.1. Just curious if you two have stayed connected.
I don’t keep in touch with Kevyn. I wish her the very best in her current and future projects, but no, we really aren’t connected at all.
How do you manage real adult conversations when you have kids? I feel like all of my talks end up being about my kids! I listen to you on the radio and admire you :)
This has taken a little practice. It’s important to remember that when I am on the radio, we do a lot of work around exactly what we are going to talk about. It’s not like a normal dinner out with people where you’re sort of left to your own devices to direct conversation. On the radio, we have spent hours deciding what we are going to talk about and how. The conversation is natural, but often the outline is manufactured. I actually have to work very hard NOT to talk about my kids on the radio. I naturally think my children are amazing and mostly perfect, however, I’m aware that to the rest of the world, they are just average kids.
In real life, honestly, I spend so much frickin’ time with these little people and their sounds and smells, that I want nothing more than to talk about anything BUT them when I’m out. Of course, they find their way into conversation probably more than I realize, but when I’m having adult time, I try to put all my focus on having adult time.
What inspires you?
This is fun: music, well-crafted words and sayings, laughter, obviously my kids, my grandparents (they are the most in love couple I’ve ever known, and their wisdom and life experience is astounding), the show Hoarders (I really don’t want to be one), the show the Biggest Loser (I’d like to be one of those), people who live with complete joy, and people who just love the heck out of life.
When are we having a sushi date?
Shannon-san, raishu no kayobi.
To make this private exchange more worthwhile, you will like to know that I was a Japanese minor in college. To make it funny, you will like to know that I had to go to google translate to remember how to say 'next Tuesday.' That's pathetic.
What is the most challenging aspect of being a radio personality?
I would say that the most challenging aspect is the fact that I know that there are people who just don’t like me based on what they hear of me on the radio. I get emails from them regularly, sometimes they even comment right here on this blog. People who actively seek me out to tell me how much they hate me, or how annoying they think I am, or how fat they think I am, etc. Once I had someone tell me that if I didn’t change my appearance, my husband would divorce me. I’ve gotten no fewer than five emails from people who have told me that it is my fault that Brady (my firstborn) died, each of them went on to “educate” me about SIDS and how my parenting methods likely contributed to her death. It doesn’t hurt me or upset me as much on personal level, as it makes me so sad that there are people like that in the world who have the time and energy to be actively hateful. I LOVE my job. I love being able to bring my whole self to work. I don’t need everyone to like me; I just wish that those who don’t would just silently turn their dials for the duration of my shift, instead of listing out my flaws for me.
What advice do you have for a mom who has lost a child on how to celebrate her first birthday since she went to heaven. She would have turned 10. Different circumstances than Brady, the birthday comes in the dead of winter and 2 months after she left us.
My advice for this mom is – do whatever you need to do to get you through the day. It is a difficult day. They certainly get easier over time, but never become easy. That may seem like terrible advice, or no advice at all, but truly, it is the only advice I have. Everyone grieves and celebrates differently, and ultimately, the goal is getting through the day knowing that it will be painful, but that you will emerge from it. (I will say, that many parents like me have said that the anticipation of the date is almost always more painful and difficult than the day itself. I have to agree.)
What was high school like for you? What crowd did you hang with? Who were your enemies? Were you A) class president or B) a super-geek? If A, who did you beat to get there? If B, who did you envy and look up to?
I have fond memories of high school, and I would totally do it all over again, knowing what I know now, and without the homework. That said I don’t have very specific memories of high school or even of college. Honestly, after the trauma of my daughter’s death, I find that my memory of life before her is not very strong. I wouldn’t say that I hung with any crowd in particular. I had a lot of friends who were popular, and a lot of friends who would have been considered “geeks.” I don’t think I had enemies. I don’t think I’ve really ever had enemies. I was the Vice President of my class, and a super-geek all at the same time. I have never really related to the Saved By The Bell brand of stereotypes because I felt like I was equal parts Jessie Spano, Kelly Kapowski, and Violet (she was Screech’s geek girlfriend played by a young Tori Spelling, see, I’m a geek – I didn’t even have to IMDB that). I had a couple of boyfriends (not at the same time), but I never really thought boys really liked me. You know how there’s always the pretty friend and the funny friend? I have always been the funny friend. I had lots of crushes, most of which were unrequited. If I thought that he could read it without feeling awkward or embarrassed, I’d tell you all about my epic high school crush on the guy who is now my boy twin’s godfather. Instead, I will invite him publicly to comment here and confirm what a complete geek I was – this is also a test to see if he really reads my blog like he says he does. I was definitely cuter and thinner then, but I thought I was ugly and fat, so that was a waste of time and energy. Overall, I’d say that I was mostly the same then as I am now, but my prefrontal cortex is now fully developed, I make better choices, and I’ve gained some serious life experiences. I would also like to note that I would have been DANGEROUS in high school with a cell phone, a facebook page, a Twitter account, and a blog. I am terrified to parent that age.
* Funny high school related tidbit, Mr. Lindstrom and I went to high school together, but we did not know each other. We knew of each other (we say “by reputation,” which makes me feel kind of cool that I had a reputation), but we didn’t know each other. We were introduced after college by a mutual friend (who had no intention for us to date, much less get married), and the rest is history. After we were married, however, we realized that we had been in the same Chemistry class. No lie. It’s a good story… isn’t it?