Jah-justjennifer – an interview with Jennifer Hall
An Interview with Blogger and Mother of Two- Just Jennifer
Tell me about your family and your blog?
My family consists of myself, my husband, our 11 year old daughter and our 5 ½ year old son. I also have a cat named Julius. We live in Washington state.
I began blogging totally casually. It’s been only the past few months that I’ve really put it and myself out there, started writing more, and gaining followers. I absolutely love it! It’s so good for me to have my very own space, where I can express myself and share with others.
I talk about everything in my life–from my marriage and kids, to health problems such as Diabetes and my daughter’s ADD. I myself have a visual impairment and I’ve touched on that. I also blog about my hobbies, as well as things that are weighing on me. I can be both sarcastic and sincere, sometimes in the same post! Mostly, I am really honest. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I can’t be any other way.
What is one thing about your family that not many people know?
Those in my personal life know this, but I don’t think any of my followers do. If asked what religion we are, we would say Anglican Catholic (Episcopal). We were married in the Anglican church and both of our children were baptized Anglican. However, we have not been regular church-goers for several years now because there is not a church we can agree on going to nearby. Also, doesn’t help that my husband works every Sunday.
What was your biggest challenge being a mom?
So far my biggest challenge was when my daughter was diagnosed with ADD and we first tried stimulants. She was six and a half years old and the first two we tried had an awful side effect. When they wore off at the end of the day, my daughter became extremely emotional, even volatile. There were times I had to physically restrain her until she calmed down. It was a very stressful time.
What do you use coupons and special offers for when you shop?
I must admit, I am not a big “couponista”, but I do love when I find a bargain. When I go shopping, I pretty much refuse to buy anything at regular price. Sale, clearance, value packages-those are my kind of things.
What are your top 10 tips for moms?
1. Don’t worry about setting up a fancy nursery before your baby is born.
2. You don’t need special nursing shirts.
3. If you breastfeed, DO also let others bottle-feed, so you can take breaks.
4. Name brand diapers and wipes are worth the money.
5. Encourage your baby/toddler to get attached to something other than you for comfort.
6. Don’t be a “helicopter parent”. Give your child space to explore the world. Just make sure they can do it in basic safety.
7. Remain calm when your child isn’t. Keep a cool head, deal with the situation, and THEN go vent or cry or whatever.
8. Be consistent. Set routines, rules, and consequences and stick to them as best you can.
9. Don’t read parenting books. They’ll only confuse you.
10. Listen to your heart and your gut. Trust that you know your child and know what’s best for them.
What are your favorite brands and where do you buy them?
Nestle Coffee Mate – Wal-Mart or Winco
Secret Deodorant – Wal-Mart or Target
General Mills Cereals – Costco or any grocery store on sale
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese – Costco
Yoplait Regular or Light Yogurt – Wal-Mart or Winco
Barilla Pasta – Wal-Mart or Winco
Quaker Instant Oatmeal – Wal-Mart or Costco
Shoes from Payless Shoe Source
Merona Women’s Clothes at Target
Circo Children’s Clothes at Target
Starbucks Coffee – whole beans for home or specialty drinks at a store
Dryer’s Slow Churned Ice Cream – Wal-Mart or Winco
Are there any other mommy bloggers or sites that you recommend and why?
1. Scary Mommy – She’s not scary, she’s real. She even has a Confessions section on her blog that is completely anonymous and people really lay it all out there.
2. Things I Can’t Say – Because of the name. And because she is honest and real and supportive and personable. She hosts giveaways you actually want to enter and she encourages you to pour your heart out.
3. Band Back Together – A group blog where anyone can safely share and talk about the hard stuff we deal with in life. It’s really awesome.
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