Welcome to another SouthernMamas Q&A with one of our savvy readers about parenting tips, troubles and triumphs. (If you know a SouthernMama you’d like to nominate for a profile, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read past profiles by clicking here. )
Meet Kari Hunter.
Husband: Curtis, Child: Lucas, who turns 3 on July 27. (Happy Birthday Lucas! From SouthernMamas) We live in Garden City. My husband works at J& L Glass. We also have a dog named Jadie and several stay outdoor cats that have adopted us.
Website: Wide Open Spaces
How would you describe your parenting philosophy?
I am pretty laid back and easy going but I am not a push over when it comes to discipline or teaching my son to be polite and say “please” and “thank you”.
What are your child’s/children’s favorite books and toys?
Lucas loves for us to read to him. We are always going to the library to check out new books but his favorite book is Dinosaur Binkit by Sandra Boynton. I think he loves it so much because it is about a dinosaur that is very attached to his lovey and Lucas can really relate to that. He knows all the words and will sometimes “read” it to me. Lucas’ favorite toys are Lego’s, matchbox cars, and trains.
What are your child’s/children’s favorite TV shows or movies?
He really likes VeggieTales, The Wiggles, Super Why, and Curious George.
What are your child’s/children’s favorite foods?
Lucas has always been a great eater. He loves his fruits and veggies and they are usually the first things to disappear off his plate. Some of his favorite foods are tomatoes, avocados, carrot sticks, black olives, bananas, and any kind of berry. He also loves yogurt, cheese, rotisserie chicken, eggs, and PB&J.
What one adjective would you choose to describe motherhood?
Any tips for meeting other moms with similar age children?
My mom friends are the reason I’ve kept my sanity. Nobody understands you quite like a mom going through the same things as you. I found a wonderful playgroup when my son was about 8 months old by using mommyandme.com. It’s a free listing of local playgroups and children’s activities. Another great place that I have met other moms is at church.
If you want to make friends with another mom don’t be judgmental. Just because another mom does something differently then you it doesn’t make her way “wrong.”
Describe your most humbling parenting moment:
Having my son labeled as “failure to thrive” because my 10 lb 4 oz baby at birth was only 16 lbs at 1 year old and he wasn’t trying to pull up and would not put any weight on his legs. I felt like somehow it was my fault and I must have done something wrong. He had to start going to monthly weigh-ins with his pediatrician, G.I. appointments, neurology appointments, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Most weeks we were at some kind of appointment everyday Monday-Friday.
Describe your most beautiful parenting moment:
Watching him walk for the very first time during an Occupational Therapy session when he was about 15 months old. His occupational therapist and I were both crying our of sheer joy at how far he had come.
Favorite local kid-friendly eatery?
Chick-Fil-A @ Savannah Mall. They provide place mats so I know my son is always eating off of a clean space. They also have fresh fruit and the prize in their kids meals is usually a book. Also, we can make a trip to soft play after we are all finished with lunch.
Favorite local kid-friendly spot/event?
Story time @ the West Chatham Library, The Little Jumping Bean, Kidscoast at Seacoast Church and the tide pools at the very end of Tybee Island.
What resource for children does our area lack, one that you would like to see here?
I would love it if we had a kid friendly coffee shop where the kids could play while the parents got to sit, sip, and talk while they watched their kids have fun.
Who is your pick for the area’s best pediatrician?
We love Dr. Ramon Ramos. He was really great about making all the needed referrals for my son and staying updated on his progress. He was also great at easing my fears and always taking time to listen to what I had to say.
Most valuable baby gift you received that you couldn’t live without?
My sister-in-law gave me a backpack with Lucas’ name embroidered on it at my baby shower. That backpack has made the best diaper bag because it frees up your arms to carry a sleeping baby or chase after an escaping toddler. Also, my husband has never minded carrying it because it doesn’t resemble a purse. It’s 3 years old and it still looks new.
If you had zillions of extra bucks to donate, what charity/cause would you select?:
Backus Children’s Hospital right here in Savannah, which is where my son spent several months doing his physical and occupational therapies. They are wonderful and really care about the children they work so hard to help.
What is the one phrase you hope your child/children will say to you when they are all grown up?
Growing up you and Dad always made me feel so safe and loved, thank you.