I am super excited to once again participate in The Ultimate Blog Party hosted by Janice and Susan from 5 Minutes for Mom. This year is the 8th year that they have held this event. Being a part of The Ultimate Blog Party is a great way to network and connect with other bloggers. I have been blogging since September of 2007 and this year will be the fifth year that I will join in.
For this year I am going to answer some frequently asked questions about myself, my family and my blogs.
I have also included a short video and a linky. If you are unable to leave me a comment, or you just want me to visit your blog please link up to either your blog's home page or your Ultimate Blog Party post. I promise I will visit you as soon as I can!
What you may not know about Cascia Talbert and The Talbert Zoo
Where are you from?
I grew up in a small town near Madison, WI. I lived in Wisconsin until I was 29. That year, 2008, my husband and I fell victim to the housing bust and our home foreclosed. I was only working part time and he got laid off, so we were unable to make our mortgage payments. At the time we already had three children and we needed a place to live. We were fortunate that my husband's grandmother's home in Sacramento, California was vacant, so we packed up everything in Wisconsin and moved to California. We lived there for two very long years.
Where do you live now?
Today I live with my husband and five children in a small college town just outside of Spokane, Washington. Chris (my husband) works in sales and Spokane is part of his territory. Unfortunately, all of my family (except my sister who is in Los Angeles) live in Wisconsin or Illinois and Chris' family lives in Sacramento. We have lived here for three years.
What do you like about living in Spokane?
I love looking out my bedroom window and seeing the mountains on a clear day. The people here are very friendly and down to earth and everyone values sports and an active lifestyle. The schools here are excellent and there is a ton of activities out here for families. Spokane is a great place to raise your children. The population is just right, not too large, and not too small. Traffic is reasonable. Even during rush hour it only takes about 15-20 minutes to get to down town Spokane from where we live.
|The view from my bedroom window.|
The only thing I do not like about Spokane is the climate. Most days the wind blows at least 10-15 miles per hour and the winters are long. Winter usually begins right around Halloween and ends sometime in April. Spring is short lasting from April through May. By June we have temperatures reaching 70 degrees, but it is still windy. July and August are the only warm months in the year. We are lucky if the temperatures get above 90 degrees during those months. Rarely does it hit 100. In September and October the winds pick up, the temperature drops and the trees are bare before Halloween. This is the beginning of my yearly hibernation.
How many children do you have? Tell me a little about them.
I have five children. My oldest is seventeen, the next oldest is eight, followed by my three boys ages six, four and three. Four of my children have special needs. My seventeen-year-old and six-year-old both have high functioning autism (formally Asperger's). My eight-year-old has trichotillomania which is a disorder that causes her to pull out her hair, eye lashes and eye brows. My four-year-old has learning disabilities. All of my kids are happy and healthy and bring me joy every single day.
Tell me about The Talbert Zoo
I started The Talbert Zoo back in 2011 shortly after Little Bear was born. You can read my first post HERE . I used to write about my family on The Healthy Moms Magazine but decided I needed a separate blog for my family posts. I thought that this blog would be a great place for me to vent and share stories about my children while they are still little. The first couple of years were pretty rocky and I struggled to find the free time to write here. But today I have established a rhythm with both blogs and am able to write here five days a week.
I mostly vent when I am stressed or write humorous stories about the little things my kids say and do. I also participate regularly in Wordless Wednesday and host my own Blog Hop every Friday titled Friday Funny.
Why do you compare your kids to zoo animals?
Shortly after we moved to Spokane my husband and I joked about how our home is like a zoo. It is always chaotic here. The kids run around and don't always listen to us. Our home is a mess because it is hard for me to clean up all their messes and still find the time to take care of myself, blog, and run around to their various extra curricular activities. So, we started calling our home "The Talbert Zoo." One day shortly after our youngest was born, Chris and I discussed what zoo animals each of our kids are like. I told him I was thinking about starting a new blog but didn't want to use our kids' names in it. I already had the title of the blog picked out, "The Talbert Zoo," so it made sense that I needed a zoo animal for each kid.
Geese are messy little birds. If you ever visit a lake or river you will know right away if the geese were there. But, geese are wonderful caretakers of their young. Which is why name Mother Goose is the title of the most famous nursery rhyme book. My daughter is nicknamed Goose because she is disorganized and messy but we can always count on her to help care for the kids when we need it. The little ones are like her little goslings always following her around and looking up to her.
I grew up with cats as pets for many, many years. If you have ever had a cat you will know that they are very independent, strong willed and stubborn. But they can also be very entertaining. Our little kitty is all of those things. She has a magnetic personality, loves to entertain, is always surrounded by friends. But she is also stubborn, independent and can be manipulative in order to get her way. She is very smart and loved by everyone.
Parrots are smart birds. They learn quickly and can mimic what they hear. Sometimes they are a bit annoying too. Our Parrot is a bright kid. He learns rather quickly and spoke his first word when he was only 5 months. From the moment I first laid my eyes on my little boy I knew that he was different. He was more alert than normal newborns and for many months he only slept for 20 minutes at a time. By the time Parrot was one year old he was talking in complete sentences, could count to 10, and knew his primary colors. He knew the alphabet before his second birthday and taught himself how to read when he was only 3 years old. Just a few months after his fourth birthday he was diagnosed with Asperger's and they classified him as super high functioning. I've always thought about getting his IQ tested as well. He is a very special kid.
Monkeys are messy, loud, can be aggressive, and full of energy. Enter my little monkey. Just by watching him in my video is enough to convince you that he is a monkey. Monkey is a wild and obnoxious little boy. He can have every single toy in the playroom on the floor in less than a minute. His favorite games include him being the super hero or a power ranger and his siblings are the bad guys. Monkey will grab anything and pretend it is a weapon. He frightens his siblings when he plays like this every single day. When Monkey was really little he used to climb all over the furniture.
Bears look cute and cuddly but do not get too close! When I first started The Talbert Zoo, Bear was only a couple of weeks old. He was our little snuggly teddy bear. But he was also very colicky and needed to be held, nursed or wrapped in my sling all the time. Today he is a cute little boy, knows how to take advantage of being the baby in order to get what he wants, and he has a little temper. You do not want to get Bear angry. He is a screamer.
If you have any other questions for me please leave them in the comments or you can tweet them to me at https://twitter.com/cltalbert I try my best to reply or favorite all of my notifications on twitter.
Please link up if you are participating in The Ultimate Blog Party 2014.