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Welcome to Ask Kate! If you have a question, I'll try to have an answer for you. Email me and I'll post your question and my answer here! Please put ASK KATE in the subject line of your email. (kate@kateplusmy8.com)

Ask Kate: Part 1 of 2

July 30, 2013

Ask Kate: Part 1 of 2
You asked. I answered… Well, as many as I could fit in… Thanks for your questions AND your kind and encouraging words! We appreciate it!

1. Q: Hello Kate! I’m 15 yrs. old & I’m learning how to drive & I was just wondering if you will put your kids in Driver’s Ed when they will be about that age? Will all of the get their own cars or share them?
-Allison

A: Hi Allison. I’m betting that I will put my kids into driver’s Ed when they are learning to drive.. Anything that best prepares them to be safe drivers gets my vote! In the meantime, I have to put it out of my mind… It totally stressed me out! I hope your learning experience is going well… Please remember that you are operating a large fast machine so be alert and make good decisions each and every time you get behind the wheel! :)

As far as cars go… I am not sure how I’ll handle that yet. I got a job and bought my own first car, so I’m sure that it I won’t handle it any differently for my kids. Buying my own car and paying for my own car insurance policy helped me to see that things cost money (!!) and therefore I took care of my car better than I probably would have if it had been bought for me.

Good luck to you and safe driving!

2. Q: I was wondering, now that your reality show is off the air, have you ever been doing something and thought to yourself, “Man this would have been a great episode”? Examples?
-Heather

A: Ha! Many many times I’ve said “well, where are the cameras when stuff like THIS happens??” Examples?
- We’ve flown places and had sinus attacks and motion sickness (never happened before?!) within minutes of each other — a harrowing experience at best.
- There are MANY days when I am racing the clock to get the kids to birthday parties, friends houses, picked up from school events and sports.. And have almost forgotten to pick someone up etc.

I’m sure all moms experience this and more (these are just two examples) but with 8 kids and only one mom, it truly gets interesting, daily. We are still the same fast paced, organized (mostly!) loving and loud family.. It’s just that the cameras aren’t here anymore capturing it for you all to see… I’m sorry :( I know our craziness made you all feel better about your own crazy lives, right?! :)

3. Q: Did you run before the 8 came along? I want to run but I feel like I’m so out of shape there’s no way I can. Tips?
-Nicole

A: Not really. I had run on the treadmill at the gym while I was in nursing school but never outside. I basically took up outdoor running around 2010 and found it to be so enjoyable and addicting. It’s a great healthy way to burn off stress and calories… And helps you look and feel better! Do it! Do it! Do it!

4. Q: What kind of coffee do you like & do you use a Keurig to make your coffee?
-Will

A: I love my Keurig maker and also use my regular old coffee pot (to save $!) too. When I buy Keurig cups, I most love: green mountain breakfast blend, Wolfgang Puck breakfast in bed and Starbucks veranda blonde (something blonde, fitting, right?:) !!! With school starting soon, I may have to order more k-cups and fire up my bedside coffee maker again. Thanks for reminding me!

5. Q: What was the name of the CD that you listened to while on bed rest with the sextuplets?
-Kathryn

A: Hi Kathryn: It’s a set of CDs that are called “Praise Baby.” We still listen to them occasionally, especially at bed time. Although I have no ties and receive no benefit from doing so, here is a link to the CDs on Amazon (simply because they are so special to us!): http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000B19AS6

6. Q: How early do you get up during the school year?
-Melissa

A: Sadly, I have to get up at 5:30am each and every week day morning to get the kids ready and out the door on time… I must add, I am NOT fond of mornings and I’m hanging on to the last days of summer as long as I possibly can!!

7. Q: My girls start school this year and are late sleepers, not looking forward to getting the used to getting up! Any advice?
-Katie

A: Well, a few things: First, brace yourself for a rough September. I always do. It helps to get in the mind set that it will be tough. School means brains are tired and that means kids are cranky in the evenings (and mornings!) until they adjust! Second, Start going to bed earlier in 15 minute increments at least 2 weeks before school starts. The goal is to land at your “targeted” school bed time by the time school starts. And this includes mom! I try to go to bed earlier too because its a time shock for ALL of us once school starts! Third, plan ahead. Don’t leave stuff til the day before school starts. I try to be under control and calm so that my kids don’t sense my anxiety about the start of school. [Yes, moms feel it too -- we just have to keep it to ourselves for the sake of our kids (Wink!)!] Fourth, be available to hear your kids’ concerns and be excited about their stories from school. This will help send a positive message about school!
Good luck! And get ready! :)

8. Q: Being a single mother of four AMAZING children, organization is the key to a smooth running household. What are your top tricks to keeping so organized?
~Nina

A: I’d have to say: plan ahead, always be two steps ahead, make (daily) lists and cross stuff off, rid yourself of clutter, have a set daily schedule and (mostly/when humanly possible) stick to it, make meals ahead and freeze them (see my cook book, Love Is In The Mix, for more on this topic) , and get sleep! A rested mom is always a better and more organized mom because she can think CLEARLY! :)

9. Q: Hi Kate, How do you raise 8 children on your own without losing your mind?
~ Tiffani

A: Ha, it’s not easy and no one (including myself!) said I was still sane..lol! I’ve been a mom for almost 13 years and a single mom for almost 4 years now. It’s definitely harder now that I’m doing this job mostly alone, and I’m never actually alone (without at least some kids!), but I’m still as determined as ever to provide the absolute best life possible for each of my kids. I guess that my love for them ————->determination–> motivation = keeps me going, doing all that they need, deserve and as many of their wants as I can manage to make happen! Aren’t all moms the same tho? We take the punches and keep on rolling….why? for our kids!

10. Q: Now that all of your kids are getting to the age where they are getting more and more involved in after-school activities, how in the world do you keep track of all of that, and how do you have the time to attend all of their games, concerts, as well as getting them to and from various friends?
-Carlene

A: Birthday parties, sports events, sports camps, school programs, dentist, orthodontist, doctor appts, friends houses, having friends over..oh my.. It is becoming QUITE a social nightmare around here… My calendar consists mostly of where to be when to drop which child off or pick which child up where. It’s crazy… I once jokingly said “someday I’ll have to trade my part time babysitter for a part time driver… And I’m almost there.” Yikes!

11. Q: On the renovations episodes, you weren’t sure about the little drink fridge. My question is are you glad you put it in? And do you use it often?
-Mom of 3 sons

A: Well, what a great question! I am still extremely thankful for that fridge EVERY DAY! I remember being unsure of a purpose for it but, turns out, it fits eight lunch boxes perfectly inside. So, I am able to pack lunches the night before and store them in the lunch boxes, in the fridge. In the morning, we just have to add ice packs to the lunch boxes and off we go.. I think I say every day — “oh what would I do without this little fridge?” because our main fridge is always packed full and there’s no way lunch boxes would ever fit in there! Oh, and, there’s no way I’d want their lunch boxes in my main fridge either (yuck!). In the summertime, we use it as a drink fridge and over the holidays, it stores all the “over flow” side dishes and baked goods too… It’s perfect!

12. Q: Hi Kate, I was wondering if your kids ever miss being on tv and or having the cameras around. Have they ever asked you about going back on air?
-Bella

A: Hi Bella. They DO miss being on tv and especially miss the fun trips and events. They also miss our crew, although we still keep in touch with some of them. However, life has gone on and that’s okay with all of us too… :)

13. Q: Hello Kate! What is your morning routine in the summer? Do they kids wake up at the same time because Alexis wakes up?
-Kennedy

A: During the summer, it’s pretty quiet here until about 8 am. Alexis does wake up first but even she sleeps in until 8 (at the latest). The kids go downstairs and watch tv and eat breakfast as they wake up. Hannah and Leah sleep until 10 am sometimes and Mady and Cara would sleep all day, I think, if I let them! We have been staying up late almost every night this summer, doing night time swims and playing card games.. So it’s no wonder everyone sleeps in these days! That’s fine by me.. I’m a night owl too! :)

14. Q: My question is – on average, when the babies were newborns, how many hours of sleep do you think you got per night?
-Rebecca

A: Hi Rebecca. My answer is: never ever ever enough! I lived for YEARS on about 4-5 hours of sleep a night. Whew! I’m still so tired at night and always thankful for (enough) sleep!

15. Q: Even though I eat great and run regularly, I feel like my legs will not change their shape, the rest of me seems to be in much better shape and I can’t get my legs to comply!! How did you get your legs in such amazing shape??
-Steph

A: Well, first, thanks for the compliment but I sometimes feel like you do! Everyone has their “stubborn spot” and I sometimes feel like my thighs are that place for me too. I run, inclines and sprints and keep my carb intake as low as possible (although I DO eat carbs). Yoga is great for toning trouble spots too! Keep up the hard work. And congrats for eating healthy and working out! :)

16. Q: I am VERY excited for your cookbook release!! I can not wait to try more of your awesome recipes that I’m sure will become staples in our home! Do you have “Freezer meal” recipes in your new book? You know, raw meals I can prepare and store in a freezer-bag/containers and freeze for later date?
-Rebecca

A: Yes! There’s lots of tips and tricks in my book, as well as my recipes that I make for my kids! You can preorder it right here on my website!!! I hope you love it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it!

Whew! So many questions today! Part 2 is coming tomorrow…
XO
K8

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