SouthernMamas Q&A: Ginger Heidel

ginger-qa.jpgWe here at SouthernMamas rely on our savvy readers to keep us informed. One such reader is Ginger Heidel, the subject of our latest savvy SouthernMama Q&A. Meet the woman behind a popular Savannah mommy blog, gummibunny. (If you know a SouthernMama you’d like to nominate for a profile, email Read past profiles by clicking here. )

Your family: I’m married to my high school sweetheart Lee Heidel, and we are the very proud parents of Camille, who just turned two. We live in Savannah’s Ardsley Park, and Lee and I together own Heideldesign, a web development and multimedia firm. I work there three days a week, and spend the rest of my time being mommy to the sweetest girl I’ve ever met.


How would you describe your parenting philosophy? Listen to all the advice you’re offered, and then go with your gut. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do or how to parent in a particular situation, and I find the advice of trusted friends and family very helpful. But on occasion when we’ve disagreed, I’ve found going with our gut instinct has worked best for us.

What are your child’s favorite books and toys? Right now she is loving Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. But her favorite book is her First Baptist Church of Savannah pictorial directory – it’s hilarious! She enjoys flipping through and looking at all the pictures and asking everyone’s name, and we joke that she knows our fellow church members much better than we do. As for toys, she really into her tea set, her little toy farm and various farm animals – the goat is her favorite.

What are your child’s favorite TV shows or movies? She is a huge Elmo fan, and also likes the TV show Yo Gabba Gabba. But her favorite thing to watch is a Brainy Baby DVD about farm animals (noticing a farm animals theme? More to come).

What are your child’s favorite foods? Right now she’d like to eat a popsicle for every meal if I’d let her, which I don’t. She loves grits (my true Southern Belle!), fruit, and macaroni and cheese.

What one adjective would you choose to describe motherhood? Rewarding.

Describe your most humbling parenting moment: I think the whole parenting experience is humbling because the learning curve is so steep! I felt humbled when we left the hospital after her birth, knowing we were responsible for the care and upbringing of another human. It was an awesome, albeit humbling, moment.

Describe your most beautiful parenting moment: There are so many great moments, how to choose? I remember feeling blown away the first time Camille smiled at me and meant it. It was like the biggest payday to realize she was communicating her happiness to me.

Favorite local kid-friendly eatery? We enjoy going to Barbara Jean’s on Wilmington Island. The portions are large enough she can eat from our plates, and she likes many of the yummy veggie casseroles. And if she gets antsy, we go out on the deck and look for birds flying around the marsh.

Favorite local kid-friendly spot/event? Our favorite spot is definitely the Oatland Island Wildlife Center. We like their Toddler Tuesday program (which we learned about on!), and Camille LOVES visiting all the animals in the barn. She’ll talk about them for days after we visit – “Cow eat hay! Goat itch ear!” I am also infinitely grateful to the City of Savannah for maintaining so many nice parks and playgrounds – we frequent Daffin and Hull Parks.

What resource for children does our area lack, one that you would like to see here? We recently visited the public library in Estes Park, Colorado, and they had a fantastic kids area. There were lots of books and reading tables of course, but they also had a table with a great train set, a farm set with plastic animals, architectural building blocks, and several other wonderful toys that encourage creativity and imagination. They had wifi too, so I surfed the net a little while she busily put the plastic animals on the train tracks (didn’t have the heart to tell her it was a recipe for disaster). We visit the Bull Street library branch here in Savannah and enjoy the books, but I’d love to have a kid’s play area like the library in Estes Park. We’d be there all the time!

Who is your pick for the area’s best pediatrician? Do I have to tell? We love her so much, and I’m afraid if everyone knew about her she’d be swamped! Our pediatrician is Dr. Micah Riegner with SouthCoast Pediatrics. She has the know-how of a doctor with the loving compassion of a mother, and we’ve been very pleased.

What is your pick for the area’s best preschool? Camille goes to Bible Baptist, and we’ve been very happy with her care there. The staff seem very loving, and the owners are very attentive.

Most valuable baby gift you received that you couldn’t live without? Camille really liked her exersaucer when she was an infant, and sometimes putting her in there was the only way I’d have enough time to get dinner in the oven!

If you had zillions of extra bucks to donate, what charity/cause would you select?:That’s tough … I’d probably donate some to cancer research, some to Oxfam to help fund solutions to poverty, and some to my church.

What is the one phrase you hope your child will say to you when she’s all grown up? “I love you, Mama!” I’ll never get tired of hearing it.

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