The Way We Play
Amanda, Mike & Micah

Amanda, Mike & Micah


Actress and model Amanda Booth, Creative director Mike Quinones and Micah lives in a house in Los Angeles on the East side with their two dogs. Thank you Amanda, Mike and Micah for the lovely visit!

Photo by Linda Alfvegren/Agent Bauer

Amanda, Mike & Micah
Amanda, Mike & Micah

How has becoming a mother/father changed you?

Amanda:

– I’m not even sure I can list the ways, quite simply, becoming a mother has changed everything about my life and my being. Aside from the obvious things like never sleeping a full night and having every second of every day filled with something to do, I’ve become: A chef. An accountant. A story teller. A maid. A nurse. A psychologist. A coach. An advocate. A teacher… and so on. I also always felt that I was a patient human being, with massive amounts of empathy. I’ve since that realized that I can always use more patience, and everything just makes me cry. Truly, I mostly have an incredible sense of life, and what it’s about. I have a reason to live, and something and someone to fight for. The weight of that feels incredible in the most beautiful way – daily.

Mike:

You suddenly realize that most everything else in life means very little compared to being a father. I had a hard time dealing with it at first to be honest, almost resisted out of fear in some odd way. The primal urge to protect and provide went through the roof so quickly i didn’t know what overcame me. All I wanted to do was find ways to be what I thought Micah needed, although a bit misguided at times!

What has Micah taught you about life?

Mike:

– That life has a way of grounding you, helping you to slow down, and realize the beauty that exists within right in front of you. Before Micah, it was go-go-go, career this, friends that, blah blah blah. When he came into this world, everything stopped. People try and scare you with that whole “life is over” when you have kids, and maybe that’s try in certain aspects. But, if you’re ready to take on the responsibility of caring for another life, then you’re so greatly rewarded you never look back and wish for that old way of living.

When was Micah diagnosed with Down Syndrom? Can you tell us about the first months after that?

Amanda:

– The first few months after Micahs diagnosis feel like a bit of a blur to me. I’m thankful we live where we do, because immediately afterward, we got started with our evaluations, and therapies. I had to take more time than I anticipated off of work, because keeping up with his schedule was really demanding. He would have two therapies a day usually (comprised of Physical, Occupational, and eventually Speech therapy). In retrospect, it was just mandatory play dates, and I look fondly on watching him grow. I feel like we were pretty lucky in that, we didn’t have any other children, so what Micah was or wasn’t doing felt pretty “normal” to us. It allowed us a lot of freedom to treat him how we would have any other baby.

Amanda, you´ve become a spokesperson for the Down Syndrom Community. Tell us about that. What is the most important message for you to send out to people?

Amanda:

– I think the most important thing to say, and remind people right now, is that a life with Down Syndrome, is absolutely a life WORTH LIVING! My son does not live in pain. In fact, he lives a happy, present, and fulfilling life. From my view, it seems that people with Down Syndrome seem to have this life thing figured out. Maybe it’s time we start taking a lesson from their playbook…

I think it’s natural as well, to instantly become your kids number one fan, and cheerleader. It just happens that my kid needs me to yell a bit louder from the stands. We all want our kids to live the best lives, and to feel love, and be protected. One look at this beautiful boy, and you’ll see why I’d move a mountain for him if I had to… Making the world aware of how incredible he is is the least I can do.

Where are you from originally, and why is LA so great to live in?

Mike:

– I am from San Diego, so born and raised in southern California my whole life.  One reason LA seems to be so great at the moment is massive influx of development.  We’re on the eastside, and daily there is a new skyscraper in DTLA going up, and the neighborhood is all around growing. It’s awesome to see all the development and industry coming in. Also, there aren’t many cities in the world that you can surf, be downtown, and snowboard in one day. We have all that.

Amanda:

– I was born on an army base in upstate New York (Watertown, to be exact). I moved 30 times before I was 18, but mostly we would go back and forth to Pennsylvania. My grandparents lived there and that seemed to be the anchor. Being a blonde curly haired gal, in land locked PA, I dreamed of surfing. So much so, that I always had the posters on my wall! California is where I dreamed to live my entire life! It was the place I felt I could have the lifestyle I dreamed of, and career I dreamed even more of! There is so much opportunity here, and nearly 365 days of sunshine is just the icing on the cake. 🙂

What´s the top 3 spots in your neighborhood?

Amanda:

– We love Kitchen Mouse! It’s a gluten free, diary free restaurant that has a little play area for kids! Micah has a lot of food sensitivities so it’s easy for him to eat there, and we get to relax too while he plays! We also love Sunbeam Vintage. It’s a cool shop that has vintage mid century furniture, and we’ve found a lot of our favorite pieces there. Micahs favorite place is the San Fernando blvd splash pad! It’s a huge park that just shoots water out from everywhere all summer!

Amanda, Mike & Micah
Amanda, Mike & Micah

How did you two meet? Was it love at first sight?

Mike:

– It was for me! Like I said before, she was intoxicating when I first met her. I had to distance myself from her – we were both in relationships when we first met. We didn’t talk to each other for almost a year after meeting, maybe even a little longer. When we both had separated from our previous relationships, I begged a friend of Amanda’s who worked for me for her number, with no success…So, I did what any guy would do…I stole it from her phone! (Yes yes, I know, a little creepy), but I’m ok with that. I sent Amanda a text telling her I stole it from her friends phone, and she didn’t seem to mind much! We spent a few weeks texting, then shared a phone call while I was in NY for work and she was in Miami for swim week. I’ll never forget that phone call. We both were traveling a lot, but I was persistent and knew we had something special, so I chased her around the world, literally. She was in Paris, I needed to go to Tokyo, so I said, “I’ll fly AROUND the world to Tokyo if you can give me 2 days in Paris while you’re there”. I think she thought I was joking, but I wasn’t. We met up in Paris, I got robbed, and then went with her to a shoot in a French castle with Ellen von Unwerth. Quite the interesting first few months, but it prepared us for the whirlwind of life we have together now.

Amanda:

– He said it exactly how I remembered it too! Expect he left out the part that before Paris, he met me in Pennsylvania for my Grandfathers funeral (the one that was my anchor during my childhood). When we got there, there was a flood. My brother was getting married a few days later, and we wouldn’t have been able to get there if the water didn’t recede. We looked after his two babies the night before his wedding, and he came home about an hour before the ceremony with a black eye. So, there was a funeral, a flood, and a wedding in one week. I figured if he was cool to stick around after all that, we would be good to go!

What is your favorite things to do together?

Mike:

– Surf! it is probably the number one thing we do together when we have time. The smile she has after catching a wave is one I strive to give her daily! Other than that, I enjoy reading her lines with her. She constantly has auditions for TV and movie roles and love helping her however I can. I like pretending that I’m in the movie with her sometimes. we also grew up listening to the same music, so we try to go shows whenever we can. We’ve struck out twice seeing bands we loved as kids that have since realized like 3 new albums, and all we want to here are the first two. We saw Cursive play and only knew 2 songs the entire night. We were the two people over 20 in the crowd shouting “Play something off The Ugly Organ!”. Now that micah is older, we’re getting back to camping and exploring the outdoors. we lived in a van for three months about a year after we started dating, so we like that sort of close intimate living. Micah didn’t have the best times early on when we would try camping, so we put it old, but he’s warming up to it now. Lastly, I LOVE taking her photo. she might not think, but i love watching her through the lens.

On a perfect date night, what do you do?

Amanda:

– I’m super simple! I love dinner and a movie. I even settle for just a movie! Watching something in theaters is my absolutely favorite thing to do!

What do you appreciate the most about each other?

Amanda:

– My favorite thing about Mike is his attitude. He just gets stuff done! He never harps on things. He’s really good at solutions. If something can be fixed, or bothers you, or needs to get done he just finds a way. That really translates well with having a kiddo with special needs. He doesn’t settle for anything less that great. So, with Micah, if he needs more of something he finds a way to get it. If he needs to be pushed harder, he pushes. If we need to stick up for his rights, he’s the first in line.

When are you at your happiest?

Amanda:

– I’m at my happiest when we are all together, without an agenda. When we can take the moments to enjoy each other, and allow the world to buzz on by.

What do you fear?

Amanda:

– At this stage, I fear my own death the most. I worry about who would take care of Micah in that event. We aren’t at a place yet where we can really know how independent he will be, so the thought of him feeling lost ever, is at the top of that worry list.

How do you turn a tough day around?

Amanda:

– I throw Micah in the air, because that gets the biggest laughs out of him. His smile would end wars, I swear it would. And wine. Definitely wine. 

Favorite place in the world?

Amanda:

– Anywhere that’s by a body of water. I am a water baby through and through. My birthday is in July. My first job I was a lifeguard. I swam competitively for ten years. I surf. I also think it’s safe to say I’ve passed my appreciation and love for the water on to Micah. He would sit in the water with his watering can for hours if you let him… 

Best places in California? 

Mike:

– That depends on what you’re looking for! We love the beach, but aren’t really the biggest fans of crowds. We try to go a little more north towards county line area to enjoy the surf and sun. Micah absolutely loves the water. We really like being outdoors, so hiking in the mountains around us when can is always welcome. Right now, there are so many great cafes and shops opening up all around us that everyday it seems like theres a new place to try.

What is your life philosophy?

Mike:

– Man, that’s tough. The golden rule never seems to do too much harm, and always feels right. The whole “do onto others” point of view has a way of humbling you if you feel your actions creeping to the selfish side. With how crazy the world seems to be getting day by day, I think we feel like just treating everyone like humans might be the best thing to do at the moment.

What do you dream of?

Amanda:

– I dream that humans can start taking responsibility for themselves, and learn to grow a pair! We’re all so damn sensitive these days. I just wish people fought for others who cannot fight for themselves, and worked to be the best self they could be. That we can get out of each others business, and just get back to the basic stuff. I also wish that the medical community would catch up to what living with Down Syndrome is like right now. So that other families can have the strength to experience the life I believe was meant for them! I also wouldn’t mind booking a movie finally. That would be great!

Your defining moments in life?

Mike:

– Amanda will think I’m bullshitting, but it had to be the first day I met her. She was intoxicating. We didn’t share many words, and actually didn’t start dating for over a year or so after, but that first moment was intense. After we got married, and had Micah, i realized the immense influence to do better she had on me. I’ve always worked hard, tried to be true, and been thoughtful in my interactions with others, but she had a way of elevating that. She always is caring for others, wanting to help, and holding this family together. Meeting her made my outlook on how to be human change in a better way i never thought imaginable.

Where do you find yourself in five years?

Mike:

– 5 years seems like forever and lifetime from now. I’d hope we are somewhere with Micah thriving, doing the best that he can. We talk about moving further north, somewhere a little slower, to hopefully always work towards a better work life balance. We’re both have been so career orientated the past decade-plus that we’re hoping to put ourselves in a position where we can continue to work hard, but be together more as a family. So, hopefully 5 years from now we’re somewhere in Oregon and being the best family we can be!

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