Monday, May 12, 2014

American Mama - Raleigh, NC

For this edition of American Mama, we're headed down south to the land of the pines.  That's right.  North Carolina!  A beloved local mama moved with her husband and two little ladies last summer.  Read on to find out who we're talking with today!

All Family member names and children’s ages: Jamie, Maureen, Isabel (3 yrs), Olivia (18 mos)
Location: Holly Springs, NC (Raleigh area)
Length of time in that location: 11 months
Occupation(s): Jamie, Director of Marketing; Maureen, Stay at Home Mom

Olivia, Maureen, Isabel & Jamie at Wrightsville Beach, NC.

If you could choose 3 characteristics/adjectives for how you’d like your kids to “turn out”, what would they be? Well-rounded, honest & kind.

Do you (and your spouse) subscribe to a particular parenting system? Not really – we figure out things as we go for the most part and try to follow our instincts. I look to books or articles for topics we may need guidance or opinions on.

What is your main form of transportation? Car – we drive most places unless we're going to one of the parks/playgrounds in our current neighborhood.

How is education (public or private) set-up in your specific area? What is the norm? What have you chosen for your kids? Public schools in the area assign families both a year-round option and a traditional calendar school. Parents can select which school based on calendar/schedule they prefer; private schools, however, are all on traditional calendar.  From what I’ve heard from other parents here, it seems year round is the preferred option.  We've chosen a private preschool, and love the setting and small size (limit of 10 children in each class).  The center asks for parent participation weekly, so there is sign up within each class group.  Each parent spends one morning helping & providing snack every 6 weeks or so.

Does your family have any unique sleeping situations or needs?  For the most part no, unless either is going through a growth/developmental spurt.  Of course illness and teething throw a wrench into our normal routine!  The Wonder Week app has been a great resource and helped when in the midst of a rough sleep patch to see that it is just a “stage” and is usually quickly over.  I've found this has almost always coincided with a developmental “leap” or teething for each of them!

What general food choices do you make for your family?  We select organic across the board as much as possible.  Olivia is a fantastic eater and could out-eat all of us!  Around age 2 is when our oldest started to get a little picky and has had stages where it seems like she eats like a bird!  I try to stay consistent with simple, healthy options and not stress about her “cleaning her plate”.  All the advice from pediatrician(s) or books I’ve read said to just keep offering good options and kids will eat when they are hungry.

Can't you just smell the pine?  And those faces. Ugh. So sweet!
We all want our kids to be “good”.  What does that mean to you and how do you achieve this goal?  I think I just want them both to be respectful, bottom line- whether to their parents, siblings, friends, neighbors etc. We try to have constant conversations with them about respecting one another, sharing/taking turns (always a work in progress), “using our words” to communicate to each other, and having good manners.  I think my expectations have definitely changed since having kids, though!  I’ve realized that there are going to be days when tantrums happen (almost always in public of course!) and that is just part of the gig of being a parent. I’ve just had to let go and relax a bit about that ; )

On a typical weekend, how do you spend your time?  Weekends are spent mostly outdoors since we’ve lived here- at the park/playgrounds or farmer’s market.  Occasionally we'll do a beach trip.  If the weather is not cooperating, we'll head to the library or children’s museum.

Anything else that is unique to raising kids in your area?  What I’ve noticed about our time so far with kids in Raleigh has been their exposure to so many different kinds of cultures.  It's a very transient area, so I don’t think I’ve met more than a handful of people actually FROM the area!  Also, we've tried to take advantage of our location by taking more weekend trips to the beach or mountains, which has been fun.

Thanks, Moey!  I'm checking out that app recommendation now! Any questions for our American Mama? Leave them in the comments below!

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