Happy Easter Weekend, Smarties! We could not have recognized a Smartier mom this holiday weekend. Shana Plott has lived in Charlotte for 20 years and is mom to three beautiful children, Patrick (8), Emma (7) and Harrison (6) and married to hubby, Kelly, for 10 years. Shana has had the privilege of working at KinderMourn as Development Director for six years.
Shana’s “momination” actually came from her sweet Mom (although Shana was already on our Smarty mom list due to her incredible drive and life:-) From Shana’s mom:
I am in awe of Shana’s accomplishments. I should tell you that I am “Bama” to her children, and “Mom” to her. I am sure I had nothing to do with her vast talents and great energy. I think she was just born this way, and I was fortunate enough for the Great One to allow her to live me for a while and be my daughter. Keep that all in consideration. I am a wee bit prejudiced, but truly, she amazes me.
Lou aka Bama aka Mom
I have known Shana since our 8-year-olds were in their toddler preschool class and we followed the same baby train for the rest of our mommyhood. I can remember when I first met Shana, I was just floored by her ability to do it all with such ease. For a long time, I had no idea that she had a “real job.” I thought she was a stay-at-home mom (not that this isn’t a real job!) because she managed to volunteer for every single sign-up sheet at preschool, including a few Chair positions for the school fundraisers (those were full-time jobs in themselves!). She was always first in carpool with a smile and she was showered and had it all together! Back in the day, I was always impressed with a mom of three who managed to get a workout AND shower in before preschool carpool! So when I learned what Shana’s official job encompassed, I was even more drawn to her. Meet my Smarty friend, Shana Plott:
Tell us about KinderMourn and the Hope Floats Duck Race. How have you
personally grown from working with families who have suffered such a great
KinderMourn is an amazing organization and it is truly an honor to be a part of their mission. For thirty years, the agency has provided counseling services for thousands of Charlotte-area parents who have suffered the death of a child and children grieving the death of a parent, sibling or other loved one. The mission has remained strong and the heart of KinderMourn still beats for one purpose…to offer a bridge of hope for families who are hurting.
Working at KinderMourn definitely gives me perspective on life (and the occasional kick in the rear that we all need). At the end of the day in my very loud and usually chaotic house, with dirty dishes piled in the sink, muddy footprints across the carpet and loads of laundry to be done, I can peek in my children’s bedrooms and see three perfect little people snuggled safely in their beds…and the rest just doesn’t matter.
During this year of nothing less than challenging economic times, the need for KinderMourn’s services to families in crisis is not diminished. If anything, the need is greater than ever. Our main fundraiser, the Hope Floats Duck Race, insures that no grieving family is turned away, regardless of the financial hardships they may face. Over one-half of the families served receive full scholarships to cover the cost of the services they receive. The Duck Race is tons of fun for the entire family, benefits a very worthwhile cause, AND who knows…you may win a car!
How do you balance your work and family life?
Balancing work and family life…I’m truly blessed to work in such a “family-centered” organization. By nature of what we do, my boss at KinderMourn expects me to be a mother first. The bulk of my work happens while my children are in school but nonetheless, it is always a juggling act…especially during duck season. I couldn’t do it without the support of my husband Kelly, grandparents who live around the corner and a slew of wonderful friends and neighbors.
You have 3 elementary school-aged children. How do you fit in all of the
activities/sports (and make it all seem so easy, I might add:-)
Managing three children’s schedules can be tricky, but I am pretty firm on the “one activity per customer” rule. Each chooses one sport or other activity per season, which is plenty. Kids are so over-scheduled these days and for us, having time to play outside and hang out as a family is paramount. It also helps that Kelly usually coaches at least one of our sports each season.
Tell us the funniest thing your children have ever said to you.
Well, something funny is said daily in my crazy house. Recently, my six-year-old son Harrison was outside playing basketball, when his sister and a friend attempted to join in, much to his dismay. He did not want to share either of the basketballs with them and when his dad insisted, he replied by saying, “No girl is ever touching my balls!” Ahh…a day in the life!
What is your favorite family activity?
The grandparents treat us to season passes for Carowinds each year and we get more than our money’s worth. Weekday afternoons and an occasional Sunday morning are ideal for avoiding the crowds. I hold the bags, take the pictures and wave as my husband and kids make me dizzy and green around the gills just watching them toss, turn and spin.
What is your favorite date-night spot?
For a once in a blue moon splurge (10th anniversary perhaps?) we love Zebra. For a more casual date night, a glass of wine at The Wine Shop on Fairview or dinner at Thai Orchid rank among our favorites.
What is your favorite lunch spot (sans kids)?
Because of my work schedule, I rarely “lunch”, but always love to schedule a meeting at 300 East. Casual, cozy atmosphere and the greatest black bean tortilla in town!
What is your favorite kid-friendly restaurant?
Chick-Fil-A at Cotswold. Those folks are the prototype for kid-friendly customer service. Waited service that includes drink refills, extra catsup, the kid’s meal prize swap for ice cream, you name it…and all with a smile. Their indoor playground is an added bonus on a cold, rainy day.
What is your favorite mommy-only activity?
That’s easy… Saturday mornings from 6:00 – 9:00 a.m. for garage saling. Late Friday afternoon, my girlfriend Jennifer and I pour a glass of wine, comb through the classifieds and map out our Saturday morning journey. We head out bright and early with strong coffee and flashlights in tow. Some may say we’re true violators of the “No Early Birds” rule.
I can’t live without my…
…husband. Who else would keep my kids at 6:00 am on Saturday mornings? Seriously, he is a keeper!
Best thing about raising your kids in Charlotte?
The Hope Floats Duck Race, of course. It really is a great way to spend a spring afternoon in Charlotte with family and friends. If you haven’t been before, picture this…the crowd roars as the giant crane dumps 15,000 sunglass-wearing rubber ducks into the churning Class 2 roaring rapids…an instant sea of yellow. In seconds, literally, some lucky fans are deliriously happy. Win or lose, it’s an afternoon filled with music and fun-filled activities for kids of all ages…a day folks don’t soon forget.
Best kept secret in Charlotte?
Sleepy Poet Antique Mall…they have a little bit of everything at every price point. Free popcorn, fine antiques, not so fine home furnishings, funky jewelry, vintage clothing and a great coffee shop!
Thanks, Shana! Remember, KinderMourn is hosting their Hope Floats Duck Race next Sunday, April 19, 2009. If you’d like to adopt ducks for the Charlotte Smarty Pants/Jen Bunich Team, click here to read more. You can also click here to check how our team is doing – so far, we have adopted 572 ducks, but who’s counting?! Thanks for your support for this incredible resource that we’re proud to have in Charlotte.
Don’t forget to register for the Smarty Giveaways this week:
–Rolly Pollies in Mooresville is giving away 2 weeks of Rolly Pollies summer camps for 4-8 year olds ($300 value) and 9 weeks of Rolly Pollies summer class (6 months-6 year olds) and 1 month of summer session Open Gym ($195 value) to two CSP readers! Click here to enter this fun giveaway before it tumbles away on Wednesday 4/15 at 11pm. Check out Rolly Pollies in Mooresville and experience all the Smarty things they have to offer and make sure to tell them CSP sent ya!
-Our friends at Children’s Theatre present “Alice in Concert”. Enter to win your chance at a Family 4-Pack to “Alice in Concert”, along with a $25 Brixx Pizza gift certificate (conveniently located across the street from McColl Family Theatre at ImaginOn). This is a win/win… a dinner and show your family is sure to love! Click here to enter to win, giveaway ends Sunday, April 12 at 11pm.