Category Archives: Q&A

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.

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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!

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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!

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

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From One Mama To Another: 20 Questions For Lyla Gleason

In today’s “From One Mama To Another: 20 Questions” interview, I’d like to introduce Lyla Gleason, otherwise known as the Globetrotting Mommy.  She’s a NYCSAHM (New York City Stay-at-Home Mama) and her daughter, Giselle, is freakin’ adorable.

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Once upon a time, a long, long, long, long, long time ago, Lyla and I were two happy-go-lucky working gals climbing up the PR ladder and living it up in New York City.  Lyla taught me how to write a great press release, schmooze with newspaper and magazine editors, and, perhaps most importantly, manage the often delicate and always complicated relationship with clients.

I never had the pleasure of going on one of Lyla’s exotic international press trips, but we did work together on a project whose spokesperson may or may not have been a world famous, er, I mean, infamous golfer, which did once result in a trip to Minneapolis in the dead of winter.   (The glamour of it all!)

Anywho…

I’m fascinated by how motherhood shifts our priorities, awakens new interests and passions, and opens new doors.  Lyla is the epitome of a woman soaking up every joyful (and crazy) moment of motherhood and using it as an inspiration and springboard for professional fulfillment and success.

Introducing fellow Mama and blogger, Lyla Gleason (in her own words):

Name: Lyla Gleason

Age: Lets leave this out, it’s too depressing. 🙂

Hometown: Smithtown, NY

About my kids: Giselle, age 3.75

About me: Long before the glamorous world of marriage and motherhood, I had an exciting career as a travel publicist.  I would spend weeks and weeks traveling the globe with journalists who would ask me a million questions (Are we there yet? What time is dinner? Can you help me zip my suitcase?) and make all sorts of demands (I want to sit in the window seat! I need to sample all the spa treatments!  I want to stay in the presidential suite!).  When I wasn’t on the road, my clients would ask for action plans, press release revisions, and meetings, meetings, meetings.  I made some really great friends and visited amazing places, and looking back, it was actually the perfect training for juggling the many demands of motherhood.

I’m currently a downtown NYC Stay-at-Home Mom who can be found running after my daughter on her scooter, shopping online (Amazon, Etsy and Zulily?  Yes please.), organizing play dates and exploring near and far.  I’m happy to announce the debut of Globetrotting Mommy (www.globetrottingmommy.com), a lifestyle blog dedicated to travel, family fun and fabulous finds.  Come follow along…

This morning, I woke up at… 6:30 am.

The last book I read (and actually finished) was…  “I Just Want to Pee Alone.”

In one word, pregnancy is… exhausting!

As a Mama, I’m really good at… having five conversations at the same time.

As a Mama, I wish I were better at… playing the same pretend game over and over and over…

Proudest parenting achievement:  When my daughter said she wanted to give her baby toys to kids who need them.

Biggest parenting challenge:  Chasing after my daughter on her scooter.  She’s really fast…

Scariest parenting moment:  The first emergency room visit.

Before having children, I wish I had… traveled more, eaten out more and slept a lot more

My #1 parenting rule is… You’ve got to pick your battles.

The most surprising thing about being a Mama is… how little free time I have.

My best piece of advice for a fellow Mama or soon-to-be Mama is… keep your kids on a schedule for naps and bedtime.

The one thing I’d like NOT to pass on to my daughter is… my mad sun-worshiping skills

A perfect day starts with… steel cut oatmeal and earl gray tea or two whole minutes in the bathroom all by myself.

A perfect day ends with… goodnight kisses at 7pm, a yummy Blue Apron dinner and something mindless on Bravo TV.

I’m a Guilty Mama when… I turn on the TV or iPad so I can have some quiet time.

I’m a Happy Mama when… we’re running around NYC having a fun mommy/daughter day.

I’m a Proud Mama when… my daughter says “please” and “thank you.”

Right now, I’m a… Globetrotting Mama!

Motherhood is… way harder than I ever expected!

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Don’t forget to “Like” Globerotting Mommy on Facebook and follow @travelmommy on Twitter!

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

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