Welcome to the first of what we hope will be a regular feature on SouthernMamas.com: Q&As with our savvy readers.
Every now and then, we’ll introduce you to a different local mom and share her parenting tips, troubles and triumphs. (If you have a savvy SouthernMama you’d like to nominate for a savvy mama profile, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Meet our first savvy SouthernMama, Christy Griner Hulsey of Statesboro.
About Your Family: I love my family! I live with my red headed husband Brian, my daughter Beatrice, my Labrador retriever Barry White, and our American Bulldog Sugar.
Website: Moon Dreams and Day Beams
How would you describe your parenting philosophy?
Good old’ fashioned parenting – shaken and stirred with lots of attachment, twists of obsession, a little infatuation, splashes of affection all on the rocks of love.
What are your child’s/children’s favorite books and toys? Beatrice has lots of favorite books. The one she first fancied was That’s Not My Puppy: It’s Coat is Too Hairy by Fiona Watt. The touchy feely pages sparked her interest. At a young age she began to touch the “bumpy” paws and “furry” coats of the animals illustrated.
Admittedly our house feels like a giant toy box some days with an assortment of singing, laughing, plastic, card board, wooden play things. Yet, it isn’t hard to pinpoint one single toy. She has been a doll lover from the start!
When she was NINE MONTHS OLD she latched onto a doll in Walker Pharmacy. Neither the sales girl nor I could pry the Corelle Doll from her grip. It was amazing to witness how hard-wired the human brain is, to see her natural tendency to latch onto the baby. Since then we have kept the store busy with purchases of new soft-bodied realistic looking dolls to add to this little mama’s family, equipment (like strollers), and little smocked doll dresses.
What are your child’s/children’s favorite TV shows or movies? Beatrice loves the My Favorite Signs and the All Aboard the Potty Train DVDs. Both are from Baby Signs. I think it is the colorful music and the simple antics and screens that keeps her attention. We have many other DVD’s but these two are the most popular at our house.
What are your child’s/children’s favorite foods?
Beatrice is a true foodie. From fish to fresh vegetables to olives to chicken this girl eats EVERYTHING! She eats such a variety that I sometimes question the ability of her taste buds. Attempting to capitalize on her desultory preferences, I offer a broad menu that includes foods that even I do not eat. I regularly include items vitamin rich items like kale, spinach, avocados and kiwis.
Fresh corn-on-the-cob is her most recent fancy. I think it is the challenge of gnawing it off the cob that has sparked this southern girl’s admiration. Oh, and I can’t forget: cherry tomatoes!
What one adjective would you choose to describe motherhood?
Describe your most humbling parenting moment:
Sometimes I feel like I am re-inventing the wheel every minute of the day…I get frustrated and tired while I question the worth of my mother-ing skills.
But when she throws her arms open wide, reaching above her head to lovingly wrap them around my legs while uttering sounds that match the rhythm of I love you, my heart drops, my mind blinks with clarity, while a wave of love and a feeling of knowing resonates through my entire body. I know why I am where I am. I know why I am a mom.
Describe your most beautiful parenting moment:
The day we brought her home. It is riveting to know that I am a mother, that I am responsible for someone’s care, love, healthy growth and development. I cried in the car as we left St. Joseph’s. I cannot explain the feeling that resonated my body as I realized that I was someone’s mother. I became someone new as I became a parent. In that moment, I gained new confidence, new interests, and a brand new kind of love. I promised her right there that I would love her until the end of my life.
Favorite local kid-friendly spot/event? (park, museum, storytime, music class, trail or playground etc.)
Splash in the ‘boro (Family Water Park & Aquatics Center)
What resource for children does our area lack, one that you would like to see here?
There are many fine resources for children here, however, I would like to see bilingual education for toddlers and preschoolers. I would love to introduce Beatrice to other languages and cultures, yet find it difficult. There isn’t even a sign language class in our area. Yet, even in areas as close as Augusta foreign languages are taught in preschools.
Who is your pick for the area’s best pediatrician?
Dr. Michelle Zenah is Statesboro’s very best pediatrician, beyond outstanding knowledge and profession passion she is very involved in our community. She co-ordinates charitable giving for the Professional Women of Statesboro, supports the local Farmer’s Market and actively speaks to civic groups about topics such as the healthcare crisis. She is amazing!
What is your pick for the area’s best preschool?
Georgia Southern Child Development Center
Most valuable baby gift you received that you couldn’t live without?
My most valuable baby gift was one that I gave myself. It was a Sewfunky sling. Despite the initial intimidation and hesitation, I grew to love it. With my arms free and my baby close to my heart, I could not have been more relieved than the day I learned to use it properly.
If you had zillions of extra bucks to donate, what charity/cause would you select?:
I am a philanthropist, and if my bank account ever looked like Oprah’s, I have always said I would focus my giving on animal welfare or underprivileged children or Alzheimer’s research. And, I would. Given the impact memory-loss has had on my family lately, I think I would focus the majority of my donations on dementia research.
What is the one phrase you hope your child/children will say to you when they are all grown up?
I luuuuuv you, Mama!