How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
My son is 11yr old and is now entering middle school.
How long have you lived in Miami, where was home when you were a child?
I was born here in Miami Beach. My mom and I spent some time in Boston during my early years then we moved back to Miami. Those winter days were hard to get over.
What’s your favorite family activity in Miami?
My favorite thing to do in Miami has always been the beach. It such a great way to recharge and relax with the family.
What are your must haves when you leave the house with the kids?
When my son was younger I had a small backpack in the car with little activities to keep him occupied for outings like long car rides, restaurants and doctor appointments. I packed things like coloring books, stickers, miniature blocks and he would often bring his favorite small cars and Lego pieces.
What’s been your favorite “mommy moment” so far?
My favorite “mommy moment” has been when I nursed my son for the first time after giving birth. I remember that moment so vividly.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you need some “me time”?
When I have some “me time” I like to turn my music playlist on, relax on the balcony and enjoy the city view and the trees around my neighborhood, especially during the evenings while the sunsets. I enjoy the evening breeze and observing how the sunlight fades onto the leaves. Oh! Did I forget to mention my glass of wine with that?!
What inspired you to become a Montessori Teacher ?
When I was on the hunt for a preschool, I found a Montessori school in Hollywood Fl, and immediately toured it with my son (he was three at the time). After leaving the school he asked to go back to play and I understood his urge. I was really takin back by the way the children worked and the classroom environment. Soon after I began my career in Montessori and haven’t turned back. I wasn’t always into education though. My grade school years were tuff. I had a challenging time keeping up with the “norm” and was always a step behind. I always felt misunderstood by my teachers and peers. My mom struggled paying for tutoring as a single parent. It’s really ironic that I am back in the same field I once felt let me down. I am passionate about being an educator now because of my past experiences in school. I want to be that teacher a child can look back and say “Ms. Rhina cared.” The Montessori philosophy helped me realize that I was not the problem, rather I learned differently. If I would have had those hands on experiences in an environment that strives to meet my potential, it would not have been so mentally and emotionally difficult for me. Either way I wouldn’t change a thing about my past. Those years shaped me to be a patient and understanding teacher I am today.
What’s been your biggest suprise as a parent?
My biggest surprise as parent has been realizing that you’re never ready for parenthood. There are so many ages and stages your child goes through and your parenting has to flow with it.
What is your son’s favorite home cooked meal?
My son’s favorite home cooked meal would be… nothing. He isn’t exactly excited about our frequent vegetarian meals at home. The dinner that can be closely considered a “favorite’’ for him would be my turmeric rice with lentils (I always make salad to go with but he doesn’t ask for seconds).
Can you share the recipe?
What I do is season my water for the rice with two tablespoons of turmeric powder, one table spoon of complete seasoning, a tablespoon of coconut oil, about two teaspoons of salt and garlic powder. I stir the seasoning together then add my rinsed Basmati brown rice. I like it boil together for about 3 mins then turn it on low to finishing cooking for another 20 mins. I often cook red or black lentils. I add one tablespoon of cayenne pepper, two cloves of crushed garlic, one tablespoon of veggie bouillon, olive oil, two teaspoons of salt and crushed black pepper. I let the lentils cook for about 20 mins until they are tender. I like to serve this with boiled green bananas on the side with a salad or grilled veggies.
How do you balance work & mommyhood?
I am a busy parent like most parents now and days. I juggle two jobs I am a Montessori teacher in Miami Beach and a Montessori Family Consultant. As my son gets older he has more responsibilities between school and football. That adds a load on our daily routine. Thankfully, I don’t do it all alone. My husband and I alternate task like cooking homework and football practice to keep the ballrolling.
Tell us about A little Room 2 Grow:
A Little Room 2 Grow is a consulting service that guides families with ways to bring Montessori into their parenting and home environments. These services also support schools seeking to blend some of the holistic approach into their curriculums. My most popular service is creating Montessori – inspired play spaces. I help parents simplify their child’s play spaces to inspire creativity and independence.
Ms. Rhina is the author of an Ebook for parents where she writes about creating a learning space where children can explore play independently, To Read more about the book or purchase your copy , click HERE
If a parent would like to use your service, how do they get in touch?
Parents find out more about A Little Room 2 Grow by checking out here:
www.alittleroom2grow.com. Click the contact tab to reach out and connect with me.