Felicia and her family helped us launch the Kids Wide Mouth Bottle earlier this summer. In today's Weekend Agenda, this rockstar of a mom shares a bit about her family, how she instills confidence in her kiddos, and how the four of them practice sustainability, even when on-the-go. We hope you enjoy learning about Felicia and her wonderful family as much as we did!
Tell us about living in Southern California! What are your family's favorite things to do for fun?
I’m originally from a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts and my husband, who's a surgeon, grew up in Saskachewan, Canada. We met in Massachusetts, and when I finished my psychiatry residency training, I convinced my husband to move out to California. We first moved to Los Angeles, and eventually moved down to Orange County, where we now live.
We love the outdoors, and the weather in Southern California is really conducive to getting outside and being active year round. My husband and I both work full time, so our weekends and time off are all about family fun and adventuring together. With two energetic and enthusiastic little boys, we focus on visiting places and having experiences that are family-friendly and enjoyable for each age and ability level. We love going to parks, hiking, visiting farms, and hanging out at the pool or beach. When we travel, our favorite destinations are National Parks.
What sorts of activities are your kiddos up to these days?
Our boys are 4 and 6, and they are currently enjoying the summer break. They are the happiest when they are outdoors — regardless if they're at the neighborhood playground, riding their bikes, or digging holes at the beach. Our older son has gotten really into swimming and soccer over the past year and has been swimming daily this summer! Aside from outdoor activities, they both enjoy drawing, reading, building and playing with Legos, and music.
How has the MiiR Kids Wide Mouth Bottle made playtime more playful? Does sustainability play a big part in making decisions for your family?
Active kids need to stay well hydrated, and the Kids Wide Mouth Bottle is the best kids bottle we have tried over the years! We love this bottle because it is sturdy, unbreakable, stainless steel, insulated, and leak-proof! The boys don't pay as much to these details, but would both agree that there is nothing quite as refreshing as ice cold water after running around and playing in the sun!
Sustainability is very important to us when making decisions on the products we choose for our family because we love this earth and want our children and future generations to be able to enjoy it. We try to avoid single-use plastics and use our refillable MiiR water bottles for our everyday school and work routines, adventuring, and traveling.
Share about the day of this San Francisco photoshoot — where did you go? What were your sons' favorite spots that day?
This particular trip was a work trip that turned into a family trip. I was invited to give a talk at a conference in San Francisco. It was a great honor, but my presentation was scheduled on my younger son’s 4th birthday. I couldn’t imagine being away for his birthday, so I planned a weekend trip for all of us. Although we don't tend to get much rain overall in California, it was rainy for much of that weekend. We took advantage of a pause in the rain Friday evening and took a hike (the Battery to Bluffs trail) down to Marshall Beach for an incredible view of the Golden Gate Bridge. On Sunday, we squeezed in a hike at Muir Woods. During the rainy periods, the boys had a blast at the Museum of Ice Cream, the California Academy of Science, and sampling some of San Francisco's delicious eats!
What upcoming adventure are you most looking forward to?
We just came back from a big family trip to China, which was incredible. We're planning to stay local for the rest of the summer, and are excited about a couple of upcoming camping trips. This weekend, we'll be camping on a nearby farm with alpacas, llamas, horses, goats, and more! Our boys love spending time with the animals and playing in the treehouse. It's particularly special for us city dwellers to collect eggs from the chicken coop in the morning for breakfast. Later this summer, we will be going on a group camping trip at San Clemente State Beach with five other families, and that will be a good time with lots of boogie boarding, scootering, campfire, and s'mores!
Our mission is to empower people for a better future — how do you empower confidence in your boys?
We encourage our sons to be curious, explore, and problem solve. We are cautious, as parents of young children should be, and exercise judgment in what we allow them to do. However, whenever it's safe, we push them to do things on their own. When they struggle, we give them a hand and reassure them, but encourage them to keep on trying. For example, we hear some parents say that they can't go on this or that hike because they have young kids. Our boys have been "hiking" since they could walk, and can both hike several miles a day with minimal whining. They did great walking all over China, and last summer we even enjoyed hiking a stretch of the Narrows in Zion National Park together!
While our family loves adventures and vacations, we also look forward to and are thankful for the “every day” — the days at work, at school, and at home. We believe that confidence is built through practice and hard work, and emphasize dedication to everything they do — whether it's learning to read, practicing the violin, or learning how to ride a bike.