Jenny is a Physician Assistant and busy mom of two. She loves riding bikes with her family to the beach, Back Bay and 17th Street, and makes a visit to The Snoopy House a family tradition.
Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Newbury Park and then moved to Orange County at age 13. I attended Trabuco Hills High School in Mission Viejo.
How long have you lived in Costa Mesa? How many kids and their ages?
My husband and I moved to Eastside Costa Mesa in 2012. We have two kids, Eli (age 4) and Ali (age 2).
What are your favorite things to do with your kids in general or in town?
We enjoy riding our bikes to the beach with the kids. We also like going to Marina Park.
What’s your favorite restaurant in town for a family date? A night out with friends?
For family night we love Napa Valley Pizza and H2O sushi. The kids love the Santa Fe pasta at NVP and H2O is affordable and always fresh. For a night out with friends we like Social and Mozza (pizza again!).
What is your favorite kid-friendly recipe?
My husband is from Sri Lanka so we like to make this yummy rice dish with vegetables and chicken. The kids gobble it up.
– Cook the rice in a separate pot.
– Cook chicken with onions and garlic in a wok with a little olive oil. Add peas, mushrooms and broccoli (any other vegetables are good). Add soy sauce, cumin, coriander, garlic powder and curry powder. Stir in the rice and maybe add a little more soy sauce and/or teriyaki sauce. Serve hot.
What is your local go-to store for children’s clothes? Yourself?
For the kids I love Target (they have stepped up their game with that Cat and Jack brand). For me, I like No Rest for Bridget and Surfside, both on 17th Street.
What are your favorite events in Costa Mesa or Newport Beach?
The Snoopy House during Christmas is a classic. We also visit Santa at Rogers Gardens. Coming up we love to see the boat parade! We are also big fans of the 4th of July parade and party at Mariner’s Park.
The Centennial Farm at the OC Fairgrounds is fun with younger kids, and there is a train ride every third weekend of the month at the back of the Costa Mesa Golf Course.
What has been the most difficult age with your children to date? What helped you overcome the challenges at that time?
The most difficult time so far was when my daughter was 12 – 18 months and hadn’t learned the concept of sharing. My son was only 2.5 – 3 years old. She kept stealing his toys and he was too sweet to fight with her . . . so he would just cry . . . a lot. Eventually we showed him how to redirect her by offering her a different toy. After a while it worked and peace was restored! He continues to try it to this day but she doesn’t quite fall for it now.
What is one thing people are surprised to find out about you?
People are surprised to find out that I played college volleyball (I’m only 5’7” tall and not the most athletic). I coached college volleyball as well.
Name a guilty pleasure.
A big glass of wine.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
The best piece of advice I was given: Never pick your kids up out of the shopping cart/stroller/high chair for ANY reason. My kids have no idea that getting up at a restaurant or from a store shopping cart is an option.
What do you most value in your friends?
I am so lucky to have such amazing friends. I just value them, period.
What do you do for work? How do you balance career & motherhood?
I am a Physician Assistant at a local family practice – Newport Family Medicine. I continue to work full-time but fortunately I take Thursdays off to spend more time with the kids. The balance is tough. Sometimes I feel pulled in 1000 different directions. We keep the household running with a lot of communication and two calendars (one on the phone and one on the wall). I have learned not to sweat the small stuff, be flexible and to try my best. For the most part, everything falls into place in the end.
Thank you Jenny.
Newport Family Medicine
520 Superior Avenue, Suite 360
Newport Beach, CA 92663