Friday, May 11, 2012

Mom-spirations- Carissa

Carissa G.

Next up is my little sister Carissa. AKA. Cari. AKA Ouie. My sister Cari is my first call whenever I need any kid of parenting advice. For one she has a degree in childhood development so she has the book smarts on kids, and because she is an amazing Mom to 3 kids. A (so close) teenager and twins. Yes twins. Apparently Cari took all the fertility genes because as I struggled to have one, she unexpectedly had 2. Maybe it's the bum kidney? My sister Cari is the middle child and she is everything a middle child is suppose to be. A little bit weird and little bit different a little bit rebellious. (Lulu is so much like my sister it's scary). She is also an amazing Mom. She makes motherhood look easy. Wait let me rephrase that, she makes motherhood to an (almost) teen and twins look easy. She is fun, firm and fair. She is also a great Tia to Phi and God-Mother to Lulu.  

I made Cari answer a few questions for me. (I am the big sister so she has to do whatever I tell her to)

How many kids do you have ? Will you have more?
I have 3 kids. 2 girls, 1 boy. (An almost 13 year old and almost 6 year old twins) I don't know if I will have more.

What are your feelings on helicopter parents?
I think it's natural for first time parents with that type of personality. But it usually out the window with the 2nd or 3rd kid. I feel you have to let your kids be at least a little indepdent and let them learn from their own mistakes.

Are you a Nap Nazi? Stickler for routine and schedules?
I think schedules are important with babies (not newborns), if you have multiples, or have kids with sleeping/eating problems. Now that the kids are 5, bedtime ranges from 8-9:30 on school nights and 10-up all night on weekends!

Most surprising thing about parenthood?
Even though it is the hardest job, it is also the most rewarding job. No matter how bad you want to lock yourself in the room or sell your kids, you know you wouldn't trade it for anything. Also how you can get used to gross things like gross diapers, the smell, barfing, etc.

Is your partner the type of parent you imagined them to be?
Not exactly, but I think it is because he works so much and not because he doesn't want to. The kids are more attached to me since I am with them all the time (except school).

Where did your kids names/nicknames come from?
Sooo many different things. "Chone" came from something that happened with Tia Elaine, I can't remember the story. "Pala" came from us calling Felix "Papa" and Lili would say "Pala". "Nachel Beiber" comes from Lili liking JB, but I don't know where the "Nachel" came from. There are so many more names...

Did you enjoy pregnancy?
Yes. Easy pregnancies with no morning sickness (yes, hate me!). Only hard part was when I bled with my 2nd pregnancy, but that led to me finding out it was twins. And when I had to go to the hopital with the twins cause they were squishing my good kidney.

What’s the best parenting advice you have ever received?
From my Nina/Tia Grace. She had twins so I asked her when I was pregnant with the twins how she did it. She told me "One at a time".

What is your favorite baby gear? Must haves?
I really liked the baby/bouncy chairs I had that grew with the kids all the way up to a chair for toddlers. Double stroller for the twins, especially the one that the infant car seats hooked up to. Must have - Boppy for breast feeding and when they start to sit.

What is your parenting philosophy?
Do the best you can with what you have. Love and play with your kids before they are to old to want to. Trust them until they give you a reason not to, but don't be blind to what they are doing. And have all their passwords to facebook, skype, i touch, etc.

When you were 16 did you imagine your life would end up where it is now?
Not really, but at the same time, yes. I imagined I would be married and a Mom by 31. I didn't imagine having a 7th grader at 31 though.

What is the ideal Mother’s Day gift?
Spa day with my Mom and sisters! Or anything the kids put thought into.

How do you keep the romance alive in your relationship after kids?
Lock the door.

How did having kids change your marriage/ relationship?
I think having a 5 year old when I started my relationship with my husband made it more serious from the beginning. We got engaged and found out I was pregnant a few weeks later. We got married when the twins were 7 months. So it kind of all went together. For me having kids takes us so much of my life, and it's hard to remember that you also have to work on your marriage. Maybe when the twins go to college we can start dating again :)

What is your favorite thing to do with your kids?
I like to watch shows or talk about school gossip and books with Angelica. I like to do Lili's nails and dance with her. I like to snuggle with Felix on Saturday mornings cause I know that will not last to much longer.

What was your favorite book from childhood?
I loved the Frog and Toad books and Sweet Pickles, especially Goof Off Goose (I'll do it, tomorrow!).

How do you deal with discipline in your house?
Usually taking something from them like a cell phone or DS. Sometimes we do time out. I will be first to admit Felix gets away with a lot more than anyone else.

Do you have a picky eater? How do you handle that?
Felix and Chone are picky, while Lili will eat almost anything. I am flexible with breakfast and lunch,  but when I make dinner they have to eat it. Sometimes I let them choose 1 thing not to eat from our dinner. The twins take vitamins to supplement.

What is your favorite meal to make for your kids?
Chicken and rice and veggies. They usually eat this with the least complaints.

Where do you go first when you need parenting advice?
I go over things with my husband most of the time, but usually go with what I think is right. I guess a lot comes from what I learned getting my BA in Child Development.

What is the best part about having twins?
They have some one to play with them. And seeing their connection or them cracking up together. They always have someone at school or when with a babysitter.

Are you more relaxed with your second/third/child?
Definitely! I was very young and nervous with the first one. I was afraid to bring her home from the hospital. With the twins I was 7 years older and had a lot more experience with children.

Who  is your Mom-spiration?
My Mom of course! I don't know how she made it seem so easy.

I asked our Mom to give me her thoughts on my sister Cari as a Mom....
"Cari is an excellent Mother. She is calm. That's the best way to describe her as a Mother. She stays calm in all situations. She is very loving and nurturing and a very intelligent person. Maybe that's why she's such a good Mother. She's smart." 

I also asked her kids their thoughts on Mom:
"I think my Mom is a good Mom. I like when she buys me presents for Christmas" - Felix (5)

"I think my Mom is not a good Mom. I don't like when she gets us in trouble. I do like when she lets me and Celeste have a picnic outside" -Lili (5)

"I love my mom. Shes one of the very important role models I have in my life. We have fun times together whenever we can. We borrow each others clothes and share shoes. We don't always agree on things, but you can never stay mad at someone you love." - Maria (12)

Cari I have always looked up to you as a Mother. You are my first call when ever I have a question. You have been such an amazing role model for me when it comes to raising our crazy kids. Thank you for always being there for me. I hope you have a great Mother's Day and I really hope the teenage years with Chone are not too bad. I love you very much.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:52 PM

    Yay Cari! "Calm" Cari should be her nickname. Happy early Mother's Day!


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