Category Archives: Q&A

From One Mama To Another: 20 Questions For Gina Randall

Several years after leaving New York City, my public relations career, my Brooklyn apartment, and Great Jones Cafe in the East Village (blackened catfish and sautéed kale…nom nom), I am still gratefully connected to many of the people and places that were once a part of my Big Apple (and pre-motherhood) life.

Introducing Gina Randall, an old (but not old) friend and work colleague, a mom whose perfect day starts and ends the same as mine, a talented and funny writer, and author of “Last in First,” a new blog with the best tag line ever:

“My last kid is in first grade. Oh yeah.”

Here she is… (in her own words):

Name: Gina Randall

Age: 43

Hometown:  Madison, NJ

About my kids:  Grace, 11; Greg, 8; Gavin, 6

About me: I have been raising my three kids and keeping my house from blowing up exclusively since my second was born in 2006. My last kid is in the first grade, which marks the first time in 11 years I will SIT DOWN and TAKE A BREATH, and to celebrate I started a blog called lastinfirst.com. I have a love/hate relationship with writing, so we’ll see how it goes. I prefer to read non-fiction journalistic-type books (Michael Lewis is my favorite author), I need to catch up on my scrapbooks, and I watch the Daily Show religiously every night.

This morning, I woke up at… 7:18am.

The last book I read (and actually finished) was… “The Fault in Our Stars.”

In one word, pregnancy is… awful

As a Mama, I’m really good at… finding the humor.

As a Mama, I wish I were better at… not being a mess.

Proudest parenting achievement: Giving birth without an epidural to a 9lb 3oz baby.

Biggest parenting challenge: Getting my kids to eat healthy food.

Scariest parenting moment: When I lost my 7 and 4 year olds in a corn maze. For a good 20-30 minutes. At dusk. I thought we were going to need a helicopter.

Before having children, I wish I had… purchased a good pair of noise-canceling headphones.

My #1 parenting rule is… be nice.

The most surprising thing about being a Mama is… how I have no control. Like, none at all.

My best piece of advice for a soon-to-be Mama is… buy a 10 lb bag of potatoes and carry it around with you 24/7 for three weeks while someone blows an air horn in your face every 15 minutes and that’s kind of what it feels like to have a baby.

The one thing I’d like NOT to pass on to my kids is… my adult-onset ADD.

A perfect day starts with… coffee.

A perfect day ends with… wine.

I’m a Guilty Mama when… anyone mentions the word ginger, which was the name of the dog we had but returned after six weeks in 2012.

I’m a Happy Mama when… my last kid enters the first grade.  See my blog: www.lastinfirst.com.

I’m a Proud Mama when… I watch my boys play sports and my daughter perform on stage.

Right now, I’m an… Overwhelmed Mama attempting to cope with the chaos of motherhood.

Motherhood is… “a pride swallowing siege I will never fully tell you about” (thank you Jerry Maguire).

LastinFirstFinal

You can follow Gina on Twitter → HERE ←and don’t forget to sign up to receive her blog in your inbox at www.lastinfirst.com. You’ll be glad you did.

If you would like to participate in a future “From One Mama To Another: Twenty Questions,” email me at therunawaymama (at) gmail (dot) com.

 

3 Comments

Filed under Q&A

From One Mama To Another: 20 Questions For Amanda Nesbot

In today’s “From One Mama To Another: 20 Questions” interview, I’d like to introduce Amanda Nesbot.

251695_740771121834_4130949_n-337x223

Bee-u-tiful family!

Amanda is freelance writer, an aspiring novelist, and a young Mama of a talented six-year-old daughter, Leli.  Leli taught herself how to sew when she was just five years old, and then she taught her Mama how do it!  When I think of all the creative skills my boys could possibly teach me, nothing appropriate for print comes to mind.  Nothing at all.

Anywho… Amanda and I both believe a perfect day starts with an enormous cup of coffee, and we (and most Mamas I know) also wish we’d gone to Italy before having kids.

Introducing fellow Mama, Amanda Nesbot (in her own words):

Name: Amanda Nesbot

Age: 26

Hometown: Queens, New York

About my kids: I have one daughter named Leeana Summer (aka Leli). She’s six years old.

About me:  I am a freelance writer. I formerly worked for American Baby, Parents, and Parenting magazines, but I left because I wasn’t spending enough time writing.  My dream is to finish my first novel that I have been working on for about a year. My favorite color is pink. My favorite show is Homeland. My biggest pet peeve is when adults are unfair to children. My favorite word is imagination.

I also love to sew, which my daughter taught me how to do when she was five years old. She’s always creating things and when she got the sewing machine that was at the top of her Christmas list last year, she learned to make pillows on her own the first time that she used it. Now sewing is a regular, fun bonding experience for us. She even started a website where she sells her creations, and named it herself, LelisMagicalStitches.com. A portion of the proceeds goes to Prevent Child Abuse NY.

According to Leli, her pillows are not filled with cotton, but with love, and her goal is to fill up the world’s love tank one pillow at a time. She was featured in Parents magazine, and on InspireMeAmerica.com. She is currently is hosting a challenge in which she is asking others to hand craft every gift that they give this year and share photos of their crafts using the hashtag #HandCraftedLove.

The person who makes the most gifts will win a custom pillow prize pack handcrafted by her.  You can read more about that on my blog http://amandanesbot.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/hand-crafted-love/.

This morning, I woke up at… 7:15am.

The last book I read (and actually finished) was… “The Returned” by Jason Mott. I read like I breathe. I’m always reading a book, and I always finish them. It’s a passion that my daughter also picked up and we have reading hour together at least twice a week. She’s the kid that gets excited if she opens a stack of books on Christmas.

In one word, pregnancy is… magical.

As a Mama, I’m really good at… fostering creativity.

As a Mama, I wish I were better at… getting my daughter physically active.

Proudest parenting achievement: When my daughter was five, she was a keynote speaker at a scholarship event for high school seniors. She inspired them to make magic with their passions the way that she does on her sewing machine.

Biggest parenting challenge: My daughter is very emotionally aware, and doesn’t like for me to worry, so she doesn’t always tell me when things are bothering her.

Scariest parenting moment: When she was two, I got into a minor car accident and her car seat wasn’t strapped in! I cried for a day and a half even though she was fine.

Before having children, I wish I had… gone to Italy with my husband.

My #1 parenting rule is… self-expression is always encouraged and supported.

The most surprising thing about being a Mama is… the way that a small child makes every facet of your life radically better simply by existing.

My best piece of advice for a fellow Mama or soon-to-be Mama is… Your child is a genius. Listen to everything he/she says. You’ll learn more than you can imagine.

The one thing I’d like NOT to pass on to my kids is… my insecurities.

A perfect day starts with… an extra large cup of coffee.

A perfect day ends with… prayers and hugs at bedtime.

I’m a Guilty Mama when… I don’t put my cell phone away during meals.

I’m a Happy Mama when… my daughter feels important.

I’m a Proud Mama when… I watch her spread love and inspiration to others.

Right now, I’m a… Blessed Mama.

Motherhood is… a glimpse of heaven.

You can follow Amanda’s blog –> here <–.

***

If you would like to participate in a future “From One Mama To Another: Twenty Questions,” email me at therunawaymama (at) gmail (dot) com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Q&A, Uncategorized

From One Mama To Another: 20 Questions For Valerie Schimel

In today’s “From One Mama To Another: 20 Questions” interview, I’d like to introduce Valerie Schimel, Mama of three gorgeous little girls (yes, three…I’m exhausted just from typing it!) and founder of MunchkinFun.com, a Miami-based curated Ticketmaster for kids classes & camps.

DSC_6032-3

See?  Gorgeous!

When Dylan was born, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.  I’ve told you this before, but it bears repeating.  His was the first diaper I ever changed.  I was one of just a few women in my peer group who had a baby, I was struggling (I mean, struggling) to find a rhythm as a Working Mama, and I had no idea what to do or where to go to enrich my baby’s development.  I was, quite simply, an Isolated Mama.

This all happened in late 2006, which wasn’t that long ago, but Facebook and Twitter weren’t prevalent, and, believe it or not, the first iPhone hadn’t been released yet.  (The horror!)  In other words, connecting with other parents and finding local resources and support were a lot harder to do.  Thankfully, the business of parenthood has exploded.  Nowadays, we have unlimited online and social media resources at our fingertips (even before we hold our babies in our arms!), which is a good thing, because we all know raising kids is hard work.

Enter Munchkin Fun – a one-stop online destination for the best classes, camps, activities, events, and deals in Miami for kids of all ages.  You can search by activity, neighborhood, and age, and everything can be booked online.  If you prefer, you can even talk to a human being on the telephone!  Wow.  Raising little munchkins in Miami just got a whole lot more fun.

Miami Mamas – If you see this badge anywhere around town, you know the place is Munchkin Fun approved!

mf_seal

Introducing fellow Mama and MunchkinFun.com founder, Valerie Schimel (in her own words):

Name:  Valerie Schimel

Age:  35

Hometown:  Miami Beach, FL

About my kids:  3 girls – Sydney (5), Parker (3.5) and Quinn (15 months)

About me:  I’m the founder of MunchkinFun.com, a curated Ticketmaster for kids classes & camps. Munchkin Fun is a single destination to find, enroll in and pay for programs that have been screened by parents, for parents. We personally visit every business in our network and only include those we’d send our own kids to.  In Miami, Munchkin Fun has over 65 businesses representing over 30 types of activities – book a class today at MunchkinFun.com. And look for our seal of approval at the best businesses in town!

This morning, I woke up at… 7:30am – on a Sunday!

The last book I read (and actually finished) was… “Steve Jobs.”

In one word, pregnancy is… endless.

As a Mama, I’m really good at… multi-tasking.

As a Mama, I wish I were better at… creative play.

Proudest parenting achievement: Raising three happy, confident, and polite (mostly) girls.

Biggest parenting challenge: Staying calm and collected in the face of incessant whining.

Scariest parenting moment: a medical scare with our youngest daughter.

Before having children, I wish I had… slept more.

My #1 parenting rule is… listen to mommy.

The most surprising thing about being a Mama is… the craziness of unconditional love.

My best piece of advice for a fellow Mama or soon-to-be Mama is… Enjoy the good moments and don’t stress over the difficult ones – they’ll pass soon enough.

The one thing I’d like NOT to pass on to my kids is…  my impatience.

A perfect day starts with… a happy family breakfast.

A perfect day ends with… a snuggle in bed with my husband.

I’m a Guilty Mama when… I work while the kids are around.

I’m a Happy Mama when… we have impromptu dance parties.

I’m a Proud Mama when… my munchkins are nice to other kids.

Right now, I’m a… Busy/Satisfied Mama.

Motherhood is… wonderful chaos.

Motherhood is… way harder than I ever expected!

***

If you would like to participate in a future “From One Mama To Another: Twenty Questions,” email me at therunawaymama (at) gmail (dot) com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Q&A