2 amazing girls. I seriously think my kids are super rad. The Phi turns 7 next week and Lulu will be 2 years old 10 days after that! We are about 97% sure that we are finished having kids but neither Joey nor I are ready to completely close shop.
What are your thoughts on helicopter parents?
Are you a Nap Nazi? Stickler for routine and schedules
Nope, we have a routine only because school and work force us to. But if say we go to Palm Springs Farmers Market on a Thursday night and we get home past bedtime I don’t stress about it. As long as Lou gets a nap sometime during the day I’m good.
Most surprising thing about parenthood?
First that I am a part of it. For a long time I thought that I didn’t want kids. What also is surprising is how much I really do enjoy it. Well most of it anyways. I will never enjoy boogers or crappy diapers. I am also surprised how much your kids take on your personality and mannerisms. From an early age The Phi was talking like a valley girl. Just like I tend to do. (Like totally.) I was surprised that my kids were not exact carbon copies of me physically. I always imagined my kids would look just like me. (Ego much?) Instead they look A LOT like Joey and Lou looks like my sister Carissa.
Is your partner the type of parent you imagined them to be?
No, he is way better. Joey is the type of person who questions himself a lot. So I was not sure how he would be when it came to making day to day decisions in raising kids. But it was like he was just meant to be a Daddy. He is completely hands-on and has been from day one. I can honestly say that we have changed an equal amount of diapers in our household. And the girls are completely in love with him. I don’t blame them. So am I.
Where did your kids names/nicknames come from?
Joey named both girls. Sophia Renee and Louella. I gave Louella the middle name Blu as a little nod to my parents and their marriage. As for nicknames there are so many. The Phi came from just a shortened version of SoPHIa. And we use to call her Super Duper Kiddo but that quickly got shortened to Dupe or Supe. Louella we have shortened to Lou, Lulu and Louie. I use to call her Loumiester and that got shortened to Mies (pronounced mice) or Miesy. Joey calls both girls “Kiddo” and no of course that doesn’t get confusing. Not at all. Now that we have the 2 kids I find myself mixing up their names already. And with Lou and our dog Roo’s name sounding so similar I have been known to call the dog when I meant to call Lou.
Did you enjoy pregnancy?
What’s the best parenting advice you have ever received?
To incorporate your child into your life and not the other way around. I think Joey and I have been able to do a good job with this. We take our kids to places we have always liked going. Concerts, art museums, gallery openings, Las Vegas, etc...
What is your favorite baby gear? Must haves?
These days its a DVD player in the car. We make long drives often, like 3+ hours and without some snacks and some movies we would never make it to our destination.
What is your parenting philosophy?
Read to your children all the time. Don’t make empty threats. Be consistent and make sure your partner is on the same page. Expose the kids to as much art and music that I can. To tell my kids “I love you” many many times a day. To kiss them 100 times a day. I could go on and on.
When you were 16 did you imagine your life would end up where it is now?
No. Geographically I hadn’t even heard of this town and now I am working, living and loving here. I thought I would be a famous writer living on the beach. I never imagined working in Human Resources and raising 2 girls. Even though its not where I thought I would end up I love my kids and my job. I did imagine having the type of marriage that I do though. Fun and easy.
What is the ideal Mother’s Day gift?
I would like a spa day, or even just a nap. Last year Joey and the girls bought me a necklace that had the word “Mommy” in old English. Very gangsta, like me. It is one of my most favorite pieces of jewelry I own and I wear it everyday. It was a perfect gift.
How do you keep the romance alive in your relationship after kids?
Romance? Whaaa?? If you know my husband you know that romance has never been his forte. Flowers, candle light, Sade has never been our thing. Joey expresses his love for me through comedy. He shows me he loves me by making me laugh. All day. Every day. In fact if I laugh to hard at another man’s joke, Joey will get a bit jealous. And how do I show Joey that I love him daily? Well I haven’t left. Isn’t that enough. (haha just kidding) Oh and I recommend reading the Shades of Grey trilogy to keep things interesting in the bedroom.
How did having kids change your marriage/ relationship?
The relationship between Joey and I have stayed pretty much the same. I am still obsessed with him and he thinks I’m pretty neat. Once we had kids I think we realized what a good team we are. We work well together. Our social life changed of course. Babies are not allowed at the Whiskey A-Go-Go, but we are both glad we had that time and we both think that this time in our lives is pretty awesome. I know that this is temporary, one day it will be back to just Joey and I and we will pick back up where we left off. Yes in about 18 years we will be the old people in the mosh pit at Warped Tour.
What is your favorite thing to do with your kids?
I love going anywhere with my kids. We like to turn anything into an adventure. The most recent favorite thing we did was have a beach day. I love the beach and Phi was not a big fan until recently. When she begged me to stay longer, inside I was crying with happiness. There is just nothing better then spending the day in the sand and in the surf with your family. Bass Lake is always my favorite time of the year. Yes it’s even better than Christmas.
What was your favorite book from childhood?
When I was really little I loved “The Monster at the End of This Book”. I think this is where my love for Grover and books began. I made my Mom read this to me so much that she eventually just tape recorded herself reading it (yes I said tape!) so that I could play it whenever I wanted. Man I wish I still had those tapes for my kids.
How do you deal with discipline in your house?
We don’t have a ton of rules. Time outs didn’t really work with Phi and Lou is still too young to understand the concept. Phi hardly ever gets in trouble but when she does we first take away her TV or her 3DS. I only spanked her once and that was for lying to me. I have a feeling that Lulu is going to be much more of a challenge and Joey and I will have to really discuss the best way to discipline her.
Do you have a picky eater? How do you handle that?
The Phi is a pretty picky eater. When she was little she hated to eat meat. I don’t make separate meals so she has to eat what we all eat. If she doesn’t finish she doesn’t get a treat after dinner. I try to get creative when it comes to eating out. She use to always eat mac & cheese so I came up with the idea for her to search for the best cheeseburger around and we would take pictures and blog about it. Lulu will eat just about anything.
What is your favorite meal to make for your kids?
I like to make anything that they will devour. These days its pasta with butter and parmesan cheese. I love to see empty plates and happy faces.
Where do you go first when you need parenting advice?
My first call is to my sister Cari. Since she usually never answers her phone I call my Mom next. I trust their advice wholeheartedly.
Are you more relaxed with your second child?
Yes and No. With The Phi I read every book I can find on her age group. They tend to make me more paranoid but with Lou I feel more comfortable because I have been through it before. But because Lou is a much more curious and adventurous kid I have to keep a constant eye on her.
Who is your Mom-spiration?
The Mom’s I interviewed for this project are just a few of the Mom’s who inspire me. Motherhood is tough and it is inspiring to know all these Mother’s who are so great at it. And of course my Mom. I will always aspire to have her kindness, strength and grace.
Thanks to all the Mom's who let me show off what amazing Mom they are. If you missed any of the interviews in the Mom-spiration series you can find them here...