What's her secret?: 'Enjoy every moment because they grow so fast'

abredeson@islandpacket.comFebruary 10, 2014 

Mandy Klepper, operations manager at Riverview Charter School, sits for a portrait with her children Lydia Klepper, 9, left, and Ethan Klepper, 6, right, while at Riverview Charter School on January 23, 2014.

THEOPHIL SYSLO — Staff photo Buy Photo

  • REAL MOMS, REAL ADVICE

    The moms featured in this column are not bragging about themselves. They often have no idea they are even being selected for the weekly feature until they get a phone call. Most are recommended by readers. Please send your suggestions of Lowcountry moms to features writer Amy Bredeson at abredeson@islandpacket.com.

Name: Mandy Klepper

Husband: Eric

Town: Beaufort

Children: Lydia, 9; Ethan, 6

Occupation: Operations manager at Riverview Charter School

Favorite mommy moment: It is every day when I walk down the halls of the school and see my happy children coming and going. They will give me a quick hug, say "I love you" or wink at me in the hallway. Knowing they are content gives me the most secure feeling. I'm so lucky to work where they go to school. (There are) so many moments, but this one is the most vivid now.

Most challenging moment: Challenging is trying to be both mom and dad to my children. Their dad (who works out of town) does so much when he is home with the children. When he leaves, there is a true void. Just the regular attention and hugs they both need and want.

Funniest thing your kids ever said? My son looked at me and said, "Mom, I just love your face ... and Dad's face, both faces that I love, so glad you made my face."

How do you keep track of memories? Eric works out of town most of the time, and we try to make movies of our favorite photos for him and send them to him. I try to keep up with albums about the previous year for the kids. We also have a jar with the year on it, and the kids will write something new they've done on a piece of paper and put it in the jar.

The moment your kids met: Lydia couldn't wait for Ethan. She called him Oscar Bo-Bo before he was born. She would rub her hands together like a grandmother would just to get to hold him. She would also talk like a grandmother with all kinds of "goo goo, gah gah." We have some wonderful pictures of her looking through the nursery window when he was first born. She couldn't give enough kisses. We have many photos of her kissing his cheeks and gritting her teeth because she loves him so much. She just wanted him to herself.

How do you get your children to help around the house? Well, we have many lists on the refrigerator for them to follow, but I usually tell them if they finish their chores, then we will play a game, go on a bike ride or maybe go for some ice cream. Most of the time this works.

Favorite song: "Peaceful Easy Feeling" by The Eagles. My husband chose it for our song to dance to at our wedding. Any time it is on and he is near me, we dance.

I want to pull out my hair when: My kids bicker. I know it is how it is, but I also know how much they love one another. So I wish they would just stop and have fun with one another. They will one day.

I feel my best when: The four of us are together. The kids are most happy when they have both of us sitting down, paying attention to them. I feel the same way when all is calm and I can watch them playing or just watching a movie when they aren't looking.

Advice for other moms: It's really what my mother told me all the years before her passing: Enjoy every moment because they grow so fast. Remember their small, chubby hands, wanting to sit in your lap to hold them, laying down with them at night. Do it because you'll miss it some day, and that day is around the corner.

Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.

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