8.18.2017

sleep coupons | a method to the madness of getting my kids to sleep through the night

sleep.  an ongoing issue in my house for the last four years.  the twins have never really slept that great.. so then Baker came along and was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks and would go down like clock work at 7PM and not wake until well past 9AM once she hit a year old. I was floored by how well she slept because I thought all kids just sucked it up in the sleep department.  
as we approach year five with the twins things have progressively gotten worse and most recently its just been plain terrible.  no other words to describe it and I have never been so tired IN MY LIFE. an infant waking me a couple times at night is one thing but couple that with two other kids up and down for hours every night and I'm basically running on fumes.
I've been searching for ideas and ways to work through this stage with them, and much to my surprise its not just my kids going through this. a lot of other mamas have the same issues surrounding sleep and going to bed and staying in bed.
phew. 
 a couple weeks ago I had mentioned to a friend about these struggles and it happened that she had recently brought it up to her pediatrician and he mentioned that with his older kids he does sleep coupons.
SLEEP COUPONS?! 
collecting sleep coupons for getting in bed at night and staying all night will earn them one coupon and they can "spend" it however they please.

the method.
the biggest part about this method is offering the kids a real explanation about what to expect. allowing the girls to have control over their sleep habits with a reward has proven to be really beneficial! I roped Baker into this because she wants nothing more than to be included with the "big girls" and while I don't know if she will truly understand "saving" her coupons for something 'bigger' she has totally kept up with the concept since we started this about a week ago.
they each get a coupon before going to bed at night and they are allowed to keep the coupon as long as they go to bed without a fight and stay in bed all night. if they wake at all for something other than to use the bathroom (or they are puking.. I'll give them that. but only if they wake their dad first.) they have to hand over their coupon in the morning. I don't take the coupon away at night in the moment mainly because I don't want to cause a FREAK OUT fit.  so I wait to deal with that consequence in the morning. 
NIGHT #1:: on the first night Jolie woke just twice (normally its about 4+ times) and in the morning I talked her through her waking up and why I was going to be taking the coupon.  since it was the first night and a brand new concept, gave them a trial pass, but explained that if she woke me up the next night I would indeed take the coupon away.
NIGHT #2::  Parker fought me quite a bit about going to bed but after a gentle reminder that she was going to lose her coupon if she didn't settle down + lay down she chilled out pretty quick.  AND no one made a single peep all night!!  normally it takes at least an hour or longer for bedtime, but not this time.
NIGHT #3:: no fight at bedtime!  they got into bed after putting their coupon in their little box on their dresser and talked about what they were saving their coupons for.
it was SO CUTE how excited they were.
Jolie is saving her coupons for a Doc McStuffin's toy and Parker has her heart set on a tiger's blood flavored sno cone.
NIGHT #4:: HORRIBLE.  it was raining off and on and we are not a fan at all about the rain and thunder over here.. but Jolie had me up about 6 times and Parker just once.  the next morning I told the girls to go get their sleep coupons off their dresser and turn them in to me since they didn't sleep through the night. they handed them over and I told them that we would try again that night.
the reward.
2 coupons :: 30 minutes of iPad time
3 coupons :: ice cream or sno cone
6 coupons :: nail salon for a mani and a pedi with mama
9 coupons :: trip to target to pick out a toy of their choice 
12 coupons :: movie date night + pop corn and candy

I had my girl Sarah, creative brain at CKFireboots, put together the perfect little coupon for us to use- complete with unique personalization + darling little figure on the front.  I designed them with the girls' favorite colors in mind and dressed in cute little pajamas.  you can find the custom listing for these sleep coupons HERE!
I downloaded the PDF and sent them over to office max or something of the like to be printed and laminated so they will hold up well with use.

AND, before I forget, Sarah so graciously offered my readers a discount!
use code MASSEY10 for 10% off your entire purchase.
(btw: everything in her shop is ridiculously affordable with or without the discount code!)

I'm really excited for the girls and for this random trial and error with the sleep coupons.  we haven't spent any coupons YET, but when we do I think it is going to really drive home the point of this method with the girls.
as always, I want to hear from other mamas about their experiences with sleep! send me all the tips and tricks:)

8.15.2017

We Eat {this week} | 8/13/17

meal planning.  
something I used to be SO good at.  I used to meal plan every single week.
I also used to make a hot meal every night and attempted to continue that trend when the twins were born.. and sort of fizzled out after Baker arrived.  pregnancy keeps me tired and not hungry at all, so prepping, planning, and cooking dinner falls off my to-do list and its taken me a hot minute for me to be able to get back into the swing of things! I also would love to be more intentional in planning ahead meals for the big girls for both lunch and dinner instead of leaving it to the microwave or toaster oven to do the prep for me.

SO here I am attempting to get back into the swing of being in the kitchen.  
meal planning looks a lot like me skimming my Pinterest boards, which mainly consists of food.
I used to write my own recipes.  and then I had kids and quick and easy became my favorite two words when it came to describing my cooking.
nothing wrong with that, you guys!
BREAKFAST
breakfast everyday looks very similar for me as it does my kids.  I eat peanut butter and banana toast or oatmeal and they will do the same!  we mix it in with some toaster waffles (we love Van's or Kashi brand) or if we are rushing out the door, granola bar and skim milk with carnation instant breakfast is where its at.

TODDLER LUNCH
::monday::
pasta salad + carrots + ranch dressing for dipping
pasta salad
cooked whole wheat ziti mixed with fresh zucchini, tomatoes, sweet peppers, turkey pepperoni (I like Boar's Head), and mixed with Italian dressing.

::tuesday::
no bake energy balls // low fat yogurt
easy recipe for energy balls HERE
I usually offer the girls 2-3 for lunch. as for me, I eat 2-3 as a snack.

::wednesday::
deli turkey + cheese roll ups // wheat thin crackers // grapes + watermelon 

::thursday::
white meat chicken nuggets (Tyson brand) // macaroni + cheese (Annie's brand)

::friday::
scrambled eggs + mozzarella cheese // peanut butter on toast // strawberries + melon

FAMILY DINNER
::monday:: 
crock pot cilantro lime chicken tacos // Mexican creamed corn 
cilantro lime chicken tacos
2 pounds chicken breast mixed with ranch dressing seasoning packet, cilantro lime skillet sauce packets (I LOVE these skillet sauces- I buy them at Target and Kroger) or you can use a jar of green salsa.  cook on LOW for 6 hours
corn tortillas
guacamole + sour cream + pico + fresh cilantro
Mexican creamed corn 
6 corn on the cobs roasted in the oven for 45 minutes, husks on. remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to be able to cut the kernels off the cob. throw in a preheated skillet pan and stir in 3-4 chopped fresh jalapeƱos, 1/2 block low fat cream cheese and fresh jalapeƱos.  season with smoked paprika and taco seasoning to taste.

::tuesday::
left overs from Monday:)

::wednesday::
grilled guacamole and gouda burgers // sweet potato fries
burgers
1lb (93/7) lean ground beef + minced garlic + salt + pepper to taste, formed into patties. grill or cook in a skillet pan- about 4 minutes on each side.
top with left over guacamole from Monday and melty gouda cheese
sweet potato fries from the frozen food section:)

::thursday::
crispy black bean quesadillas // roasted squash
black bean quesadillas
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained.
corn tortillas 
Mexican cheese blend
veggie oil
heat 1 tsp oil in skillet and add one corn tortilla. add beans and cheese to one side of the tortilla and fold over with a spatula. cook 3-4 minutes on each side, flipping in between until golden and crispy.
roasted squash
chop zucchini and yellow squash into medium thick sticks. drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. roast at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.
::friday::
breakfast burrito bowls with spiced butternut squash + quinoa 
bowl recipe HERE

::NOTE::
the lunch ideas above are definitely geared towards feeding your kids but can also be prepared for yourself! my breakfast and lunch look very similar from day to day and you can find my daily food plan HERE

8.14.2017

12 years (8/13/2005)

12 years of marriage.
we've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly and yet Jordan has remained by my side through it all.
the good times have been AMAZING + great.
the bad times have been heartbreaking + confusing + sad.
but we remain a unit and a team.
life is a joint effort between this handsome guy I call my husband and I absolutely wouldn't be able to get through it without him- he's the glue that holds all the pieces together, you guys.

taking a look back..
I've got (digital) pictures from about year three of our marriage to now.. and we were BABIES
this weekend we spent time away from the kiddos. we got a hotel room in downtown dallas and went out with friends to the house of blues.  Brittany's husband Tanner is an amazing musician (Texas country.. think: Pat Green) and he was opening for Mike Ryan on Saturday night, so we HAD to go out and support!!  
::check out his debut album This Town HERE::
we got a night without kids. and it was the best! 

we got dressed up and ready to 'party' like adults without kids might like to do..
we started the night with dinner at Stampede 66.. a mix of Texas + Louisiana + Mexico.. true southern flavors.  Jordan had the chicken fried buffalo + mashed potatoes + green pea salad and I enjoyed the best shrimp and grits I've ever eaten! 
with full bellies and a bottle of wine later we hit the HOB and waited for Tanner to take the stage. 
his friends and family were all there to support- seeing many that we recognized and knew from other family events (i.e. birthday parties..) but don't get to hang out with very often made the time even more fun.
selfie in the elevator at 2:30AM.  like we were 20 and 23 again.
except I'm about to be 33 with four kids at home and was desperate for my breast pump and pajama pants when we got back to the hotel room- ha!
Sunday morning came much too quick after pouring ourselves into bed after 2AM.  I'm getting so old.  the 32 year old self wished she would have given us a curfew on Saturday night to take advantage of getting all the sleep that I'm not getting at home:) cant hang like I used to!

nothing an amazing Sunday brunch couldn't cure.  we hit up Breadwinners before heading back to the 'burbs and back to the babes. 

this is 12 years.  the good, the bad + the ugly.
but mostly the GREAT.
happy anny, babe.

8.08.2017

eating for TWO: keeping up my supply + exercise

I couple weeks ago I asked for Q's regarding breastfeeding on my stories and you all delivered! which in turn I have written the longest post EVER.. so stick with me..and if you make it to the end, well then you're a rockstar:)

I've breast fed four different babies in the last four years and all four experiences have been totally different.  
well, except for four simple things::
1.  they all got formula (at some point)
2.  they are all healthy + happy
3.  I felt attached to that stupid pump 24/7.
4.  I ate around the clock.

breastfeeding is HARD WORK.
with the twins I felt like a slave to that pump.  I was working 40-50 hours a week after going back when the twins were just 9 weeks old. I busted my tail to give them all of me when I wasn't present to do so.  I did supplement with formula when they were just a few weeks old because of their size and while waiting for my milk to come in, Jolie more so than Parker. I supplemented with a few ounces of fortified breastmilk after she would nurse until she was about 6 weeks old.
I breast fed Parker and Jolie for 13 months.. by the end of it I was pumping 40 ounces/day while I was at work and then nursing them as much as I could when I was home.  I even lugged my pump to Mexico  when they were 8 months old to keep up with those two while I was away. 
finally at 13 months Parker self weaned after a weekend of pure agony for the both of us- she was DONE with me and not interested in the boob any more letting me know it by screaming in my face for a half hour every time I attempted to feed her.  since I was producing enough for both of the girls to nurse on one side and be satisfied, I went ahead and weaned Jolie as well. nursing and then pumping the other side after Jolie ate brought back nightmares of when the twins were tiny and pumping 8 times a day to build up my supply for the twins.. wasn't going to do that again!

with Baker, life was a little less stressful in regards to work.. less hours + much less stress, but I had two toddlers running around and pumping wasn't something I was able to keep up with very well because they seemed to run like banshees around the house every time I pulled out the pump.  she and I had an amazing 10 months together before she started to really cut teeth and had trouble finding a good latch because her gums we so inflamed.  she would nurse for just 10-15 minutes and my supply tanked.  around that time Jordan and I were headed to Mexico (again) so I weaned her right before we left.  I had enough milk stored up for her to get through to 12 months, supplementing with about 8-10 ounces of formula/day but mixing it in with my stored breastmilk.  
..which brings me to Brady.  I have fallen in love with breastfeeding all over again. big B and I are still in the honeymoon stages and since going back to work I've been able to keep up my supply pretty well.  working in a (baby-friendly) hospital my boss is a huge advocate for me to be able to pump when I need to and as often as I want.  some days are better than others as far as my confidence in providing for Brady goes.  I posted this picture on IG and got a LOAD of support from amazing women and mothers just like me.  same struggles, similar stories.. all walking the same breastfeeding road as me. while I haven't had to supplement with Brady (yet) that day might still come as it did with the girls. he is growing like a weed and already eating more from a bottle than his sisters did at 12 months! so you can imagine my concern on the days that I exclusively breastfeed him like.. are you getting enough??  
eat with balance- the basics for maintenance
occasionally, your calorie or fluid intake can affect milk production.  excessive dieting can reduce milk supply, but sensible dieting is generally not a problem.  I have read that it’s best not to do anything consciously to lose weight until after the second month. this gives your body enough time to successfully establish a healthy milk supply that is less likely to be adversely affected if your caloric intake is restricted. 
breast feeding a singleton baby you need an additional 300-500 calories/day.  
there are no foods that you should avoid simply because you are breastfeeding. it is generally recommended that a nursing mother eat whatever she likes, whenever she likes, in the amounts that she likes and continue to do this unless baby has an obvious reaction to a particular food. when Brady was struggling with reflux in his first few weeks I suggested to cut out milk/dairy from my diet and our pediatrician recommended that I don't simply because if he does have a milk allergy getting the antibodies built up in my milk would allow him to have a lesser chance in maintaining that lactose issue. 
disclaimer:: 
of course, whatever your pediatrician tells you/recommends for you to do.. I would absolutely follow that. 
::boosting my supply::
when I feel like Ive had a dip in my supply I know its time to increase my water intake, decrease my caffeine intake and change the types of food I'm eating.  it is recommended that you do not restrict your food intake below 1500 calories/day.  I'm burning about 2200 calories/day on the days I work out (according to my Fitbit app).  which means I aim for 1800-2000 calories/day to maintain my current weight and keep up with my milk supply.
::my workouts::
I go to bootcamp 3-4 days/week for 60 minutes.  check out my workouts HERE
you can check to see if there is a camp gladiator location near you HERE.
I have been loving the group exercise scene and have been working out with CG for a little over a year.
when boosting my calories I try to snack on healthy fats + protein sources from dairy and vegetables/grains. I usually reach for hard boiled eggs, hummus, and peanut butter for something quick and easily accessible!  I LOVE those mini cups of guacamole, hummus, and peanut butter!  its easy to throw one of those in the diaper bag with some crackers or an apple.  I also strive to keep myself hydrated with at least 120 ounces of water/day and some days its easy to do so, and then others is a struggle because I would rather down a Diet Coke at lunch or guzzle more coffee than one should ever consider.  I don't actually drink those things for energy, although these days they are totally appreciated, but more because 1. I am obsessed with carbonation.    I even craved that burn down my throat while I was pregnant.  and 2. I actually really love the taste of coffee.  the darker the better.  my best measure for the amount of water I'm taking in is how many times I'm filling my water bottle every day. I carry around a 40 ounce bottle (this one, in case you're curious!) and try and fill it at least 3-4 times throughout the day.

dietitians recommend women that are attempting to really boost their supply and produce a high fat milk thats healthiest for their baby should consume whole fats themselves.  adding in at least 3 cups of whole milk, whole milk yogurt, and full fat cheese every day will dramatically help in your milk production! you'll also need to make sure you are eating at least 12 ounces of protein and include about 8 ounces of whole grains every day.  

::a typical day of food::
5AM: (pre-workout) 100 calorie granola bar 
6:30AM: 2 slices whole grain toast with 3-4 tablespoons natural peanut butter + 1/2 banana, sliced
OR
1/2 cup rolled oats cooked in 1/2 cup skim milk, 2-3 tablespoons peanut butter
730AM: venti 1/2 caf skinny caramel macchiato 
9AM: SNACK (work out): 2 hard boiled eggs + pepper
10:30AM: SNACK (non workout): skinny pop rice cakes + 2 string cheese sticks
12PM: Starbucks reduced fat turkey bacon sandwich + 2% greek yogurt
OR
organic chicken + quinoa + kale bowl (I buy THIS at Costco) + 3 tablespoons hummus or guacamole 
OR
1/4 c. black bean hummus on double protein english muffin (I buy these!) + boar's head honey maple turkey
OR
grilled turkey + cheese sandwich and tomato soup (I buy this kind!)
2:30-3PM: 2% greek yogurt OR peanut butter + banana toast (same as 6:30AM breakfast above)
decaf iced coffee w skim milk
7:30PM-8PM: grilled chicken + salad OR grilled chicken/steak/salmon, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes 
OR
cereal (<- ha!)
10PM (occasionally): 2% greek yogurt ( I love 2% FAGE) or bowl of Cheerios 

side note:: 
right now we don't usually eat with the kiddos.  I am an advocate to eat as a family, and we are getting there!  we got into the groove with Parker and Jolie and then eventually with Baker, but still getting the hang of all four of them now.  Baker is out of a highchair and sitting at a booster seat at the table with her sisters, so once Brady gets to the point of sitting in a highchair in the next few months we will be eating as a family again.  right now Jordan and I like to eat together after the kids go down for bed, and even though it seems like its super late to eat a meal, this is worth it for the down time we need to have a conversation:)

I plan to update our family meal plans and share with you all SOON, but for now check out these weekly toddler menu plans and this MEGA list of toddler snack ideas!  I used to write and share those meal plans every single week!  I really need to get back in that habit of sharing those.  it kept me accountable, too!
::making time for the pump::
my supply is also affected by something as simple as adding in a couple of pumping sessions every day.   usually I pump right after I feed Brady for the first time in the morning and then right before I go to bed at night.  usually I will pump about 6 to 8 ounces in the morning and 4-6 ounces before bed.    my supply always seems to be lower in the evening/night and I've read that it 'peaks' about 2 am in the morning- which is why that first pump always produces the most I get throughout the entire day.  I will occasionally get more than the 4-6 ounces in the evening because I've been giving Brady a bottle before bed to make sure he gets a full belly before he goes to sleep for the night.  anything to get him to sleep longer! usually the moment I stick him on the boob before bedtime he passes out and the bottle forces him to stay awake to finish because the flow is much easier.  speaking of bottles.. we are loving the como tomo bottles.  we were introduced to them when Baker was a wee babe and have been using them with Brady and he's doing great!  I think the key to transitioning from bottle to breast with ease is to breastfeed as often as you are able! if you are home/around your baby nurse nurse nurse!  it is also common for the baby to start waking more often at night again after the mother goes back to work (ALL of my kids have done this!) just to cluster feed and be close to mama.. best piece of advice is to let them nurse! don't cut it short at all and allow that bond to remain if you plan to breastfeed long term.

WHEW!  I think that covers the best of it!  you guys are amazing with all your awesome questions. do you have your own tips and tricks for breastfeeding and keeping up your supply?? 
share away!!
photography by b faith photography

8.03.2017

how does she..?

I had the amazing pleasure to contribute to the 'how does she' series over at Little Miss Dessa! the interview was posted over there last week (HERE), but I loved sharing a little bit about our day in the life I wanted to share it over on my little corner of webspace, too!  this was one elaborate interview and it took me a week to think through and complete:) 
ENJOY!  

Tell us about yourself: Where do you live, age, marital status, number of kids and business.
I'm a 32 year old married mama to 4 babes.  My husband and I have been married for 12 years this August and we live in a suburb about an hour outside of Dallas/Fort Worth. We made this our home about 5 years ago while I was pregnant with the twins.  We have four year old twins, Parker and Jolie, Baker Bree who is about to be 2 in July and a 12 week old baby boy named Brady.  I've been a Registered Dietitian for the last 8 years and have worked as a personal chef (pre-babies), nutrition counseling, and currently work 4 days/week in the NICU at a hospital.  As if I wasn't crazy enough, a little over a year ago I started working from home as a Stitch Fix stylist for fun and have fallen in love with the company.



Describe a day in the life of you.
Right now a day in the life is all up in the air… we are all still getting to know Brady and he's finally on a regular "schedule". We are able to plan around his eat/sleep times during the day and I'm on maternity leave.  Usually we are all up by 8am in the morning- Parker wakes me often before 7am and I send her back to bed until at least 7:30am because it’s hard for me to function before then, ha!  The twins drink smoothies for breakfast and watch Disney channel or read books in their room while I nurse Brady and then Baker wakes by 9:30am (she's an amazing sleeper!) and she has her own smoothie.  If we have errands we usually leave the house by 11am and we are out and about making Costco runs or hitting up the splash pad now that the weather is warming up.  I pack a lunch for all the girls and we often eat on the run!  Usually home by 3-3:30p and I put Baker down for a late nap while the girls color or chill out and watch a movie or a couple of recorded Bubble Guppies on the DVR. I take that window of quiet time to straighten up the house, unload the dishwasher, or play catch up on email and the blog.

Do you have help? A nanny or housekeeper? Family?
Oh my goodness- YES.  100% yes.  I am so thankful for the help that I have.  First of all, my husband is amazing.  I wouldn't have survived the twins, let alone have two more after the fact if he didn't help me the way that he does.  He does the laundry, manages the kiddos, runs errands with all four in tow, and he and I take turns cooking.  He is a firefighter and his work schedule allows for him to be home a lot more than a normal 40 hour 9-5 type job. We also have a housekeeper that comes every two weeks.  Jordan and I both tend to put actual cleaning at the end of our list of To-Dos and we can agree that we would literally give up our cell phones to keep our wonderful housekeeper if it came down to it.   Since the twins were born, my mother in law has kept the babies on the days that I was at work and Jordan was on shift- about 2 days per week.  After Brady was born we made the decision to hire a nanny three days per week to replace the help my MIL has given for the last 5 years. 

How do you manage to have “me” time?
As I mentioned above, my husband is around quite a bit, but that also means that I am home alone often, too.  Days that I am solo with all four of them for 24 hours while he's on shift can be exhausting! Because of that he makes it a priority that I get in some “me” time. So about once a week or every other week he allows me to go to Starbucks and work on the blog, meet a girlfriend for brunch, or get my nails done.  Just about 2 hours of uninterrupted time to myself.



How do you manage to make time to stay in shape? Do you workout? Diet?
Since Brady was born we are still figuring that out :). I usually like to go to the gym early, around 5am to get it in.  Jordan and I both go to the same boot camp, so if it’s been a rough night or I just can't seem to get myself out of bed at 5am, we go together with all the kids!  I try and get in 60 minutes about 3-4 days/week. I also eat relatively healthy- of course I love my fair share of junk and Vente iced coffee is my weakness, but over all we maintain a balance pretty well and try to limit eating out to once a week, for both health and financial reasons.  Some weeks we stand by that rule and other weeks its pizza every night! Regardless, feeding five mouths, including a toddler that out-eats everyone, can be so expensive!
Do you get ready every day? Makeup, hair and curated outfits?  If so, how do you do it with children? 
Definitely NOT! There are some days (when I don't leave the house) that I stay in my pajamas all day. The kids don't get dressed either! Other days I throw a ball cap over my dirty hair, do a little touch up with some concealer under my eyes and + tinted moisturizer and get whatever errands I need to get done wearing a t-shirt and jeans or leggings. Honestly, these days, if my hair is fixed I feel put together, more so than a full face of makeup.  I wash my hair about twice a week and I'm lucky that it only takes a little touching up with the flat iron between washes (including those days that I hit up boot camp) I just blow dry that sweat right out! Outfits are never curated unless we have set plans for the day (lunch date, church, family outings, etc).  I have found that if I have an idea of what I want to wear before the rush of getting one billion people ready for the day it helps with the overall management of chaos.                                                                          

Has your style changed after motherhood?
Totally! There was a time in my life before kids that I would never leave the house without a full face of makeup and a shower. I dressed very conservatively for work (slacks, blouses, blazers, and heels) so that carried over into my weekend life, too!  Big chunky accessories (early 2000's that was all the rage, am I right??) and I didn't understand how valuable sneakers were to my life until after I had children.  These days I wear scrubs to work and live in my favorite boyfriend jeans and a casual tee, and sneakers.  Oh how I love my sneakers. 


What’s your guilty pleasure?
I could not live without coffee. I actually love the flavor and drink it for that rather than the caffeine component (I usually drink half-caf or decaf while nursing). I have been known to drive through Starbucks twice while being out and about running errands. While I work out the only thing I can think of is the fact that I get to have a coffee afterwards, and when I am up nursing Brady through the night I cannot wait until the 'morning' when I can brew my first cup. I've turned into my mother.



If you breastfeed, how do you schedule your day around feedings and outings?
I usually try to breastfeed Brady right before we leave the house. My goal is within an hour of leaving so that we can actually get out and about and have some time to get things done before I'm sitting in the car to nurse him.  He usually takes his first nap around 10:30am, so if I feed him right before then he will sleep in the car (most of the time!) until it’s time to eat again.

How many hours of sleep to you get a night on average?
I'm usually in bed between 10 pm-11 pm and I'm up at 4:30 am for my 5 am workout OR if I don't get up that day for boot camp I'm getting up about 7:30 am. I'm dragging by dinner time and then will get my second wind around 8 pm after the kids go to bed. So I would say between 6-8 hours at night.

What is a priority for you, and what gets sacrificed? For example, everyone looks great but the house is a disaster, or the house is clean but work deadlines get pushed back.
I'm such a stickler for my house being "put together". It sounds silly, but it drives me batty to come home a messy house (like the playroom turned upside town, or dishes in the sink). That being said, it comes last on the list when we have somewhere to be or if I have to work on getting something done. No matter what, the house is put together and the kitchen is clean before I go to bed at night, so it might fall under "a clean house over sleep" ha!



Do you cook meals every day for your family? If so, how do you plan them?
Because of Jordan's schedule I only cook about 2-3 nights/week.  We try to eat out just once or twice/week and the other days me and the kids just eat whatever we feel like (macaroni from a box, cereal, peanut butter toast). When I meal plan I do it early in the week while I'm making my grocery list so I have all the ingredients on hand and it keeps me motivated to actually cook the meal when I have a plan in place.

Have you ever felt like you are losing yourself to motherhood and or life? If so, how did you bounce back?
There was a time before Baker was born that I felt like I couldn't get in the groove of life with kids.  I was trying to find my voice, routine, and manage working and being a wife, too.  Thankfully I have a husband that is a huge advocate of ME. He knows how important it is that I have “me” time and allows me to do pretty much do what I need to feel secure in my role, both at home and professionally. 

Does hubby help you with anything particular? If so, what and how?
Jordan is a huge help to my day to day but also as my number one supporter in this crazy life we live right now. I can literally look at him and say "I need a break" and as long as its an appropriate time he will let me go decompress or take off and grab a coffee by myself.

How do you manage motherhood and marriage?
Jordan and I are a TEAM, an incredible team.  We work together to manage our kiddos and some days we are going through the motions of life to just make it to bedtime, but we always make time to catch up.  Date nights are few and far in between these days, but we try to chat in the car, before bedtime, and always ask each other "how are you doing" looking for the real answer outside of "fine".  We have learned the right time to actually ask these questions is when we can actually finish the conversation and the wrong time is to try to have this conversation in the middle of wrangling babies for bath, dinner, and bed.


Do you work? Do you work in an office or at home? What does your work consist of and how do you get it done during the week?
I work both in and outside the home.  Four days per week I work as a dietitian to newborn and premature babies in the NICU; and I work from home in between those four days as a Stitch Fix stylist. Being a stylist is more of a hobby for me than a job- I love it!  We have a nanny to help on days when I am not home, and I try to do SF on the days that Jordan is around or fit it in early in the morning before the kids wake or after they go to bed in the evening. 

Have your circle of friends changed now that you're a mother? if so, how do you meet new mommy friends?
Thankfully my closest girlfriends and I have all sort of grown our families at the same time.  I have met some of my closest mommy friends through social media!  It is such a powerful platform to meet amazing women.

What’s the least favorite household chore you dread doing?
Laundry!!  I don't mind putting it all in the wash and transferring it to the dryer, but getting it folded and put away is my ultimate demise.  

Describe a recent experience when you didn’t have it “all together” and how you handled it all.
I start back to work soon, and we have a nanny helping us when I am away.  She came for a "trial run" a couple weeks ago and I totally didn't explain a million things that probably would be helpful in knowing before she starts watching my FOUR kids! She didn't text me to ask (which is probably better) and just figured it out on her own (which is awesome!).  After I got home she gave me a rundown of questions she had for next time.  I felt so defeated in that I was NOT ready to go back to work and not ready to leave my kiddos with someone else other than myself. I regrouped, bounced ideas off on Jordan for helping me remember what the nanny would need to know for next time, and hopefully she'll be set up for success when she starts!

Fill in the blank: As a mother, it's a luxury to __________________
Wash my hair. I am thankful I am able to find time to actually shower, but washing my hair is the last on my list of to-do's! 

What is your philosophy on balance and does it exist in your home?
Balance does not come easy.  It is something that is constantly changing and my once type A personality has taken a major backseat to the ins and outs of motherhood. We work hard at attempting to keep everything in order and balanced, some days it works and some days it totally doesn't.

What are your dreams outside of motherhood that you would like to accomplish?
I love style and fashion.  I have been a dietitian for a long time, and still love food and nutrition, but would absolutely love to grow my career with Stitch Fix.  Styling and helping women (and men!) find themselves comfortable in clothes that are perfect for them is so much fun!

What is one thing that keeps you sane?
I've become a night owl since having kids. I still wake up early, and actually prefer to be an early riser, but giving myself at least an hour or two to chill out, watch reality TV, or surf social media is something I've learned that helps me get through the end of my day. My mom always stayed up so late growing up and I couldn't ever figure out why, well I have three brothers and now I can completely relate to her!

What is one question you'd like to ask our fellow mama readers?
I didn't really grow up with dreams and aspirations to be a mama, let alone having four babies of my own!  I always thought in the back of my mind that I would have children, but even when I was dating Jordan very seriously, children didn't cross my mind very often.  I have discovered that now I was born to be a mama.  I would have ten more if Jordan and my body would let me!  So, my question for you all is: Looking back now, starting with your first thoughts of becoming a mother as a little girl, how does it feel to watch your children grow up now?
check out more on this series of amazing mamas!!

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