Local advice from local moms, Susan Christian and Laura Spanjian. This power couple makes running the city and raising a family look easy! Although they will be the first to tell you that it’s not, but it is so satisfying!
Name: Susan Christian and Laura Spanjian
What piece of advice would you give moms with kids ages 0-3?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Try and stay in the moment with your children. Create a loving, caring environment and have fun—you will be an awesome mom. Your baby loves seeing a smiling, laughing, and nurturing face and will grow so strong and confident through your love and example. Don’t forget to laugh and to always be positive. READ, READ, READ and listen to music with your babies….And finally, get sleep…nap time is not just for babies (who knew)!
What were your top 3 favorite baby products?
Aquaphor Healing Ointment (was the best for both of our sons’ skin, rashes, etc.)
Miracle Blanket Swaddle and Aden + Anais Classic Swaddles (our babies were great sleepers and these swaddles were a big reason why)
Cloud B Sleep Sheep (put the little boys to sleep fast)
City Mini Stroller (fantastic stroller…light, flexible, tough)
What is your favorite inspirational quote?
“The only true failure can come if you quit.” (from Rosie Revere which we’ve been reading a lot lately!)
There is a solution for every problem. (really helps with all the daily frustrations)
What was the hardest part about the 0-3 stage of motherhood?
Not getting enough sleep while trying to manage work, babies, etc. at 110%
Being hard on ourselves and thinking we were not doing a good enough job.
Having to work diligently and consistently at breast-feeding and ensuring enough milk for all the feedings. It was tough!
What are your favorite LOCAL places for family time?
There are SO many great places for family time in Houston. Our priority has been on creating an oasis at our home and backyard for fun family experiences (think lots of fort building and crazy LEGO creations!). At the same time we love our neighborhood parks where the boys have had many adventures, including:
- Mandell Park (love the vegetable garden and the Saturday morning toddler time)
- Ervan Chew Park (love the playground and splash pad and now Neartown Little League games on the baseball field)
- Fleming Park – we’ve spent hours on the playground, sports field and basketball court
- Levy Park – everything!
Other great places where we have spent TONS of time:
- Hermann Park Zoo and Train (we’ve probably ridden the train 100 times, Eli and Ethan loved it when they were 1- 3)
- HMNS (the boys call it the dinosaur museum and we’ve attended so often that they could be tour guides)
- The Children’s Museum – OBVIOUS
- Centennial Gardens (boys love running up and down the “mountain”)
- Any trampoline park!
We are also foodies and have spent amazing outings at local restaurants, making food experiences the norm for our family. And if you want to enjoy a great beer, the pinball machines are lots of fun for the kids at Hay Merchant. We also love good restaurants that have green spaces for the kids to run and play. Our two favorites right now:
- Punk’s Simple Southern Food
And of course Houston Events are a staple for family outings:
What shocked you about motherhood?
That it is all-consuming; you are on 24 hours a day. More importantly, that you could ever imagine such love. How do you manage it all? Lots of laughter (scheduling) love (scheduling) and respect, did we mention schedules are important to us!?! We also support each other and share the same path for our sons. Education and quality experiences are our priorities for them as well as involvement in a variety of programs and activities that support the heart, mind and body. We also try to give each other small breaks when possible. For example, one of us will take the kids for a few hours on a weekend morning. And we really try to have date nights! We are lucky we have some great sitters who the boys love.
Thanks to these beautiful ladies, Susan Christian and Laura Spanjian for the advice!
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