Dec 17, 2014

An Average Day in the Life of a Mom of Three, Photographer, Blogger

I have been wanting to do a post like this forever.  Mostly for my own record of what my life was like day-to-day during the younger years of my kids, but also to give my husband a little glimpse into all that goes on throughout the day and help him see why the laundry isn't always folded or the dinner isn't usually made.

Let's start from 12am since technically that is when the day begins, and unfortunately sometimes there is much to do in the wee hours of the morning for us moms of little kids)

12 am: I've been asleep for 1 hour at this point..sometimes less, rarely more.

2am-2:15ish: Allie woke up with a tummy ache.  I took her to the bathroom, then after a few minutes of nothing happening I got her a bowl and put her back in bed.

4am-4:15ish:  Jensen wakes up and I nurse him to settle him down and get him to sleep.  He has been teething bad lately.

4:30ish: Allie wakes up again with a tummy ache.  I send her back to bed after giving her a minute in the bathroom again.  Let's just say all of these times are "ish" k?

5am-6:30: Jensen is stirring and wakes me up, Trey's alarm starts to go off (he hits the snooze a few times and I can only halfway sleep while this is happening) he is ready to leave to work at 6:30.  At this time we usually go say a prayer with Allie and wake her up, but since she was feeling sick I told him goodbye and went back to sleep.

7:00: Jensen is awake, I feed him and Macsen comes in the room.  They play for a few minutes and I get the strength to get out of bed :)  I look around- the house looks pretty good- I might not have to clean up too much today :)

7:30: Put a TV show on for Macsen and Jensen so I can get going.  I make myself some ACV first thing then make Macsen some Instant Breakfast to keep him happy for a few minutes.  Today I need to do a few loads of laundry, so I start the sheets first so I can have them dry when Jensen needs his first nap.  I gather the rest of the laundry throughout the house too.

8:00: Allie wakes up and feels a little sick still.  I make her lay down and eat saltine crackers for a while.  I pull up Photoshop and start editing some pictures.  I browse facebook once in a while while I do this.  I also check my email.  Jensen is whiny and I can tell his teeth are bugging him so I give him some advil. I let the kids open one of the bags for the 12 Days of Christmas- its candy.  I let Macsen have some but not Allie- she is mad at me but still doesn't feel good.  I finally give in and tell her she can have 2 pieces- they are the size of Smarties.  I take a picture of the kids with their candy and text it to Mom.

8:30: The kids need some decent breakfast so I scramble some eggs and add some cheese.  Jensen likes them, and Allie eats all of hers with some coaxing.  Macsen does NOT want eggs.  I eat his since I didn't make my usual protein drink yet and spread some Nutella on a piece of bread for him.  I take some Christmas cards out to the mailbox in my sweatpants and socks...no makeup or bra.  Luckily no one sees me ;)

9:00: Clean up the kids and the kitchen.  Dishes are still in the sink from last night and the table is such a mess, so I take a rag to it and the bench, then get a little too into it and pull out the magic erasure.

9:45: My kitchen and dining area looks a LOT better.  Now I can breathe.  I go change the laundry downstairs.  Keep editing pics in the meantime..I call my mom while I'm editing pics.  I call her everyday- its my fave.  We talk about our plans for the day, what my kids are up to...I tell her about Allie not feeling good,

10:00:  Allie is hungry again.  She is hungry every couple hours when she is home...its super annoying.  I give her and Macsen cheerios to eat on the couch while they play the iPad together. More editing...stop by facebook...respond to some emails...

10:30: Switch the laundry and make the beds.  Jensen is starting to get tired, I can tell.  Is anyone still reading this?

10:45: I put Jensen down for his first nap.  The kids are playing in Allie's room and I tell them to try to be quiet.  Luckily they didn't wake him up today, but pretty much every day he gets woken up, even with a fan going in the room...my kids are loud.  As soon as he is asleep I sneak into the bathroom and put on some makeup and do my hair. I am lucky to find no huge messes when I emerge from my room and the kids are still playing.

11:30: I have so much to do for Christmas still.  I am making a grocery list for tomorrow.  I decide I better make the fudge cookie cutters today since the rest of the week is crazy.  I go downstairs to look for the ingredients I bought, can't find them, come upstairs and get sidetracked doing something for the kids, remember what I was looking for, still can't find them upstairs, go back downstairs to look again, finally find them.

11:45: Make the fudge cookie cutters while the kids are distracted and the baby is asleep.

12:15: Jensen is awake now and the kids are hungry again.  Macsen hates everything I suggest.  All Allie wants is candy, and Jensen is just waiting in his high chair whining.  I eat a couple pieces of lunch meat because I am starving, then heat up some squash to share with Jensen.  While I am doing this I heat up some Ramen for the kids and also am editing pictures between bites.

12:30: Macsen spilled Ramen juice all over.  Not sure why I ever expect this won't happen.  I clean him up and change his saggy diaper.  Yep, he is still not potty-trained.  Can you tell me when that is supposed to happen in my day? ;)  The plan is for after our trip next month because I don't want to drive 12 hours with him newly in underwear and stop every 10 minutes...then have a bathroom break at Disneyland every 10 minutes too...I eat some leftover salmon and try to share with Jensen but he doesn't want it.  I get him out and cleaned off.

1:00: Switch the laundry.  I am on the 3rd load now...1 more to go for today.  The mountain of clothes on my couch downstairs is growing...I text Trey for the first time today.  I realize it is only 1pm...I totally thought it was at least 3 or 4...I look around.  The house is a mess...I am going to have to do a lot of cleaning up later. :(

1:30: I am almost finished editing the pics...just a couple more hours and they will be done...I pull out the fudge and put it in the packaging.  I need tags for all these treats I will be making for our neighbors...I get on pinterest and find some free printables, then head downstairs to print them.  I take Jensen with me because he cries when I put him down.  He makes it a little difficult to type and get them printed off, but I manage.

2:00: The kids are hungry again.  I am at a loss as to what to give them.  I hand them the bag of Pirates Booty (Macsen calls it Pirates Food) I switch the laundry again and bring Jensen downstairs with me.  I plug in the tree and let him play with the trains we put around it.  He loves it, but only if I am sitting right there with him.  Allie and Macsen come down to see what we are playing with and join in.  I leave the kids to play for a bit and get some more editing done.  I also look in the fridge and figure out what to make for dinner.  We have some spaghetti sauce and Chicken leftovers so I'll make some pasta and rice and then everyone can choose what they want.  Perfect.

2:30:  Time to change some poopy diapers.  Yuck.  I am soooo excited for the day I don't have to do that ever again...

3:00: 6 Hours on the dot Jensen starts getting really whiny again...more advil...He wants me to hold him a lot.  He is acting tired again so I try to get him to take another nap.  He won't, but he is excited to go see what the kids are doing so he plays in their room for a while.

3:15:  I get a text from my sister of her cute baby boy, respond "Cutie!"  Then start on the pics again...almost done.

3:30:  I am done!  I start getting the CDs made and send an email to my client "Your pictures are done and I will send them in the mail tomorrow!"  Then I package them all up, address and stamp the envelope...note to self- bring this with me to the UPS store tomorrow.

4:00:  Last load of laundry in the dryer!  The mountain is huge!  I go outside to check the mail- YAY a Christmas card!  My friends are so cute!  And artsy!  I look through the ads...what great deals are going on this week that I should price match tomorrow?  I need to finalize my grocery list...what should I make for dinner this week?  I can't think of anything...hmmm...

4:15: Jensen needs another nap.  I lay down by him and get him to sleep.  I think about how the day has gone.  It is a pretty average day in my book..I think about how maybe I should use today as the post I've been wanting to write about.  The kids are playing on the stairs and being super noisy, so I tell them to please be quiet about 10 times, each time getting a little less nice and little more mean...and I start this post.

4:30: Mostly done with the blog post.  These always take longer than I hope, which is why I don't do this as much as I used to.  I start getting a few things together for tomorrow.  I won't be home pretty much all day tomorrow and will be leaving first thing in the morning so I need to start planning and getting ready for it now.

4:45: Jensen wakes up...he didn't sleep long :(  Oh well.  I still haven't put a bra on today.  That's just what happens when you stay home all day and no one can tell with a baggy sweater on anyways haha

5:00: Trey texts me at 5:06 "Leaving now" This is the only night of the work week that he is home before 7:30 pm, (besides Friday) but I will only see him a few minutes before his meetings at the church.  I decide I better get the rice and spaghetti going soon...the kids want some almonds while they play on the iPad together.  I let them, even though we are eating in an hour, because its one of the healthiest things they have wanted to eat today.

5:15: I get the rice going then start the noodles.  If you have made it this far in this post you must be really bored...

5:30: Trey will be home soon so I should straighten up the house.  I do all that I can in 30 interrupted minutes.

6:05: Trey is home.  We corral the kids to the table and eat quickly.  They only want plain spaghetti noodles and Jensen won't eat anything but chips...I let him because I'm exhausted and want to talk to Trey for a few minutes.  We talk about how Allie's class is lice-free (got an email from her teacher and had been emailing back and forth throughout the day) and talk a little about work.  Good things are happening for Trey there, we hope.

6:20: Trey gets dressed for his meetings and heads out the door as I clean up dinner and the kids.

7:00: One hour til bedtime...I think a couple Dove Chocolates will hold me over...I'm going to try and finish this post...Macsen tries to steal one of my Doves and is whining and bugging Allie...maybe he will go to bed sooner tonight, especially since he didn't take a nap and he still needs a few a week.  Allie is whining that she is hungry.  I tell her she can find something herself.  I tell the kids to turn the TV on.  Now Allie is thirsty too.

7:10: I am pretty much done with this post and will schedule it for tomorrow...just in case I need to make any last minute changes in the morning.  Jensen is whining again...surprised?

7:30: The kids are watching TV and are being so good right now...I don't want to ruin it, but I need to start getting them ready for bed- baths, snacks, teeth brushed, scriptures and books read, prayers said...now I'm rhyming and pretty tired so this post might get a little silly...

8:00: Allie and Macsen WILL be in their beds now.  Sippy cups with water in hand.

8:15:  Realistically this is the time they will actually be staying in their beds.

8:20: I will take Jensen downstairs and turn off all the lights to make getting out of bed less desirable for the kids and I will start making a dent in the mountain of laundry as I watch some of my guilty-pleasure TV like Vampire Diaries or Covert Affairs...soon The Bachelor will be my folding laundry show of choice...

9:00:  Trey will be home around now..maybe sooner, maybe later.  We'll talk for a few minutes then I'll get in the shower- I always shower at night.  Jensen will be whiny for him but he will watch TV until I'm out.

9:30: Finally some time together!  Depending on if Jensen is ready for bed it will be time spent just us or with him watching TV, talking, etc...

10:00/11:00: Read scriptures, say prayers, catch some shut-eye!

11:30: The time I realistically can fall asleep...

Ha!  Even though I read over this and it makes me tired, I really LOVE my life as a Stay-at-home mom!  I love my home and my kids and doing the things I love here.  I am lucky to have photography on the side and this blog to keep things interesting and to keep me busy- I really like to stay busy!  Obviously I could spend more time playing with my kids and doing other things at home- but the fun stuff we do together usually happens when we get out and on the weekends.  I love that I go to bed exhausted every night from working hard- its good for me and I like to keep moving.  Now I am curious, does anyone else's day look like this?  Who actually read this entire boring novel of a post?

I also have to say one more thing...if you are a mom who feels like you don't do enough for your kids or are constantly feeling that mom-guilt, I encourage you to do one of these posts (or journal entries) because it made me feel a lot better about the fact that every day when I try to figure out what I even accomplished that day and couldn't name much, heck, I actually did do a LOT and worked SO hard!  I'm going to try to not be so hard on myself now...and if you are still reading this you deserve an award or something...really.

Dec 12, 2014

Favorite Things Friday and Gift Guide

Hey I have blogged 3 weeks in a row now- I'm on a roll! ;)  My favorite things today are things that you can also keep in mind for holiday gifts- hopefully they help out a little bit with your Christmas shopping!



These pretty little boxes filled with pretty little things is the perfect gift for the gal/guy that has everything.  You can gift them with 3,6, or 12 months of a subscription and I have to admit it was really fun to be able to try out some beauty products that I normally would not have- so you really don't have to worry about picking one thing that they may/may not like!  There are lots of boxes to choose from- go take a look!




One thing that just drives me NUTS is the mess that is constantly in Jensen's high chair.  I try, try, try to keep it clean but it is IMPOSSIBLE.  When I needed to add a little to my Amazon cart to get free shipping I had this bib on my wishlist and decided it was time.  I don't know why I didn't buy this sooner!  Last night he ate with it for the first time and NOT ONE piece of food fell in his highchair.  This is definitely a must-have for any mom to keep her sanity.  Hey, you could even gift it to a baby- they don't even know what Christmas is yet! haha  There are lots of colors to choose from- I just bought the least expensive ;)


3. Ross


I haven't been to Ross in so long, but I went this week when i was super stressed about some gifts I needed to buy and once again I found pretty much EVERYTHING I needed and then some.  I even found an Aztec cardigan for me- I have been looking for the perfect one forever and at so many stores with no luck.  I probably paid 1/3 what I would have anywhere else too.



4. DIY Homespun Advent Garland


My mom is amazing and made the kids this advent garland herself!  She did 12 days for the 12 days of Christmas.  I think hers is even cuter than the Deseret Book one!  You can make it by following any pattern for drawstring fabric bags.  Add numbers on the front if you would like, but you don't have to.  Add any type of goody for each day and you are set!  If you want to keep your Christmas Christ-centered you could add candy/toys that symbolize what we celebrate and why.

Good luck with your shopping and getting ready for Christmas!

Dec 8, 2014

Cozy Up Your Home for the Holidays

When getting your home decked out and ready for the holidays we always think to do the obvious things, like decorating, lighting some scented candles, and baking some Christmas goodies while listening to Christmas music.  However, I have a few things that you might not have thought of to help your home feel even more cozy and ready for holidays and company.


1. Blakets, Blankets, Blankets!


Nov 28, 2014

Favorite Things Friday

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday!  I have a couple things today that I am REALLY excited to share and tell you about.  First of all:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar:

I just started drinking a Tbsp. of ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) in a cup of warm water and a little Truvia to make it drinkable and I CAN'T BELIEVE the difference it is making.  Not only does it completely curb cravings and give me energy, but I also have NO appetite lately (not sure if that's a good or bad thing with all this yummy food around haha...)  There are all sorts of health benefit claims of ACV, so I was curious about it and started drinking some of the cheap store brand, then once I noticed such a difference I bought this Braggs brand with the 'Mother' that supposedly adds to the health benefits.



2. Twice! 

Oh my goodness I am beyond excited about the clothes I have gotten off of this site!  I have maybe spent $12 and have gotten hundreds of dollars worth of clothing!  Read more about it here and you can get yourself $80 of clothing for under $5 too!




3. Jamberry Nails



I have to make a confession- I have a bad habit of picking at my nails.  Gel nails only lasted a couple days for me, and regular nail polish looks bad after one day.  Jamberry nails have stayed on longer than any other product!  I'm going on a week right now!  Plus, you can't get super cute designs like theirs with anything else.  Plus, they aren't messy and have no dry time, which makes them super great for little kids (my 6 year old loves "girl parties" and asks me to have them with her a lot, so doing these for our "girl party" was super easy, fun, and not messy at all.) You can buy them here- they make great gifts!




4. These babies I got to photograph this last weekend:






5. Inka Coffee Substitute with Cafe Mocha Coffeemate Creamer.  YUM! 


I have been drinking this in the evening as a little treat after dinner and to get myself warm- it is SOOO cold!  Combined with the ACV in the morning, I have no desire to eat any other treats-which for me has meant losing the remainder of my baby weight!  Yay!  

Nov 26, 2014

$80 Worth of Clothing for Under 5 Bucks!!


Ok I had to share this since I just got a ton of clothes for $4.85! I am so excited for my black skinny jeans,sweaters, and blouse to come!
Follow these steps to get $80 worth of clothes for $5 (shipping) plus tax.
1. Click this link (on a computer): https://www.liketwice.com/y0oUK/ and create an account to receive a $10 credit.
2. Download the Twice app on up to 3 different devices (there may be some quirks on android devices. I used 3 Apple devices) for a $10 credit per app downloaded. (It will credit you with the $10 each time when you sign in to the app with the same account).
At this point, you now have $40 credit on your account.
3. Pick out $80 worth of clothes.
4. Click this link (this part expires 12 hours after you click it, so don't click it until you are ready!) and get a 50% off coupon code:https://www.liketwice.com/le-tote-twice
5. Complete your order and have $80 worth of clothes sent to you, for only the cost of shipping + tax!


Oct 28, 2014

My Top Ten Winter Essentials

You guys, it is supposed to maybe snow this week...SNOW!  Ugh, the dreaded Utah winter is upon us and it is never something I look forward to.  Luckily it begins with the holidays, which is most definitely the most wonderful time of the year...then drags on for another couple months.  So, today I am sharing the little things that help get me through it.

1. Cute boots

Just bought myself some really cute ones at Target:



2. Cozy, warm scarves

The bigger the better- almost like carrying around a small blanket at all times.



3. Cetaphil

I love Cetaphil because it is so gentle and fragrance-free- because I am just lathering the stuff on ALL winter long, and I can use it with my babies.  AND it doesn't clash with any perfume.  Right now I've been loving their Restoraderm line and also the moisturizing cream.



4. Chapstick

I HATE wearing lipstick or lipgloss- so ChapStick is the answer when I want something a little bit more special than just vaseline.  They just came out with Total Hydration and I can't believe the difference it makes, even if I just apply it once each day. I am not a big chapstick person so applying more than once doesn't happen that often for me- so this stuff is perfect.  They come in 3 flavors and you can get them at Target.



5. Fingerless gloves

I really don't like the way gloves limit me in all sorts of ways, but driving without gloves is NOT fun (or doing a photoshoot outside) so fingerless is the answer and I LOVE my wool ones- they keep me so warm.  Got them at REI



6. Inka Coffee Substitute (non-coffee drink)

Since I don't drink coffee I am always looking for substitutes.  This is by far my favorite!  I buy it in bulk at My World Hut.


7. Cozy, warm coats

I love the look of a structured Pea Coat in the winter- all colors and lengths.  Something about putting on a pea coat and boots makes me feel so put together :) here is a cute one at Macy's


8. Long, warm socks

This doesn't need any explaining!  The softer the better too!

9. Heated blankets

The only bad thing about having heated blankets in your home is you will want to sit on the couch wrapped up in it all day..here is an affordable option at Shopko



10. A Treadmill

This is one thing I do not have yet, but may be on my Christmas/Birthday list this year (or maybe my husband's)  But, I love being able to get the blood flowing in the winter- for the many many reasons exercise is good for you, and on the treadmill with some Bachelor episodes to watch sounds pretty perfect to me :)  This one is definitely one I would love to have:



...speaking of The Bachelor- one of my friends was actually casted this year!  I am sure I'll be sharing my opinions of it here on the blog since I'll be more excited about it than usual and will have a little more insight into the show!  Stay tuned...



***Disclosure: The ChapStick® product and information have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.

Oct 20, 2014

SIDS Awareness Month and a Giveaway!


SIDS is always something that has scared me.  It is my worst nightmare to think about one of my babies dying, and especially when it comes to something like SIDS where you can't immunize for it and it isn't completely understood by doctors.  Since October is SIDS awareness I have partnered up with HALO SleepSack to bring you a giveaway for one of their 100% Cotton SleepSacks.  Here are some of their tips to prevent SIDS:

ALWAYS
  • Place baby to sleep on his or her back at naptime and at night time.
  •  Room-share, but don’t bed share; the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend against bed sharing as it can lead to an increased risk for accidental suffocation.
  • Use a crib or bassinet that meets current safety standards with a firm mattress that fits snugly and is covered with only a tight-fitting crib sheet.
  • Remove all soft bedding and toys from your baby’s sleep area (this includes loose blankets, bumpers, pillows and positioners). The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests using a wearable blanket instead of loose blankets to keep your baby warm.
  • Offer a pacifier when putting baby to sleep. If breastfeeding, introduce pacifier after one month or after breastfeeding has been established.
  • Breastfeed, if possible, but when finished, put your baby back to sleep in his or her separate safe sleep area alongside your bed.
NEVER
  • Never put your baby to sleep on any soft surface (adult beds, sofas, chairs, water beds, quilts, sheep skins etc.)
  • Never dress your baby too warmly for sleep; keep room temperature 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Never allow anyone to smoke around your baby or take your baby into a room or car where someone has recently smoked. 
I have to admit that I am not the best at these.  I have co-slept with ALL 3 of my babies.  I am a SUPER light sleeper and have been as careful as I could about it, but if I would have known about HALO's Bassinest Swivel Sleeper I definitely would have gotten one of those!  See more about them- they are SOOO cool!


Now you have a chance to win a HALO Sleepsack yourself!  Just use the rafflecopter below to enter:


Sep 25, 2014

Burt's Bees Baby Fall Line

I am a little obsessed with the Fall line of Burt's Bees Baby this year.  I have been putting the boys in matching outfits from it and every time I do I make sure to get a little impromptu photo shoot in.



They are all super soft (as always) and the boys love wearing their clothes.  My kids are REALLY sensitive to the way their clothes feel and so this is a huge deal! :) 




I also LOVED the sweatpants they sent for Jensen and the corduroy pants and jeans for the boys.  They really have a great selection of pants- and especially extra comfy ones :)





Jensen can even look cute while he's eating messily with a Burt's Bees Baby bib! (say that ten times fast haha)


Burt's Bees Baby just gets cuter with every line, and I am excited that they have launched Burt's Bees Kids up to size 7!  Now Allie can wear their clothes too!  I LOVE this puffer vest in cranberry in her size:


I am so excited to see what they have in store for the holiday line!

Sep 6, 2014

Busy Busy Busy

I have neglected this little blog SOO much this summer!  In case you would like to see what I've been up to- take a look at my photoblog.  Such fun, beautiful weddings!


Aug 18, 2014

Inexpensive and Easy DIY Abstract Painting


Materials:

Secondhand canvas (framed or unframed)

Paints (cheap craft paint works great!)

Paintbrushes (cheap foam brushes also work great!)

Painter's Tape


Step 1: Look through your Pinterest boards to decide what kind of a painting you would like in your desired room.  Keep it pulled up on your tablet for a reference

image credits

Aug 15, 2014

5 New Back-to-School Necessities and Giveaway!!

Wow!  How is summer already over?!  I have been having lots of fun the past month with the family and now its time to get back to a routine, especially as Allie will be in 1st grade this year and starting earlier in the morning!  I am a little nervous to have to pack her a lunch and have her gone the whole day, but I know she will love it and it will be awesome!  I have a few new products I have tried and thought would be helpful for back-to-school schedules...


1. Downy Wrinkle Plus:

This new spray will help a lot in the hectic school mornings while you are trying to get your kids out the door (or even yourself)  Who has time for ironing in the morning???!!  Just spray those pieces of clothing that have been folded in the closet a little too long and they will look and smell like they just came out of the dryer!  You can see the difference when I tried it out:

 Before (back)                                                             After (front)

You can buy at your local Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Kroger, Publix and many other grocery, drug, and mass retailers.  See more about it here

Jul 7, 2014

4 Diet-Friendly Treats

If you read my post on 5 new favorite weight loss tools you know that I really don't like the idea of dieting.  I do, however know that sometimes people can't eat certain foods for allergy reasons or have to keep certain foods off-limits to help them with their goals.  So, with that idea in mind, here are a few of my new favorite "diet-friendly" treats:

1. Low Carb All-Natural PB Crave:


This peanut butter with a twist is a great "splurge" that will still keep you on track with all-natural ingredients and healthy fats and protein.  I like using it in my green protein breakfast smoothie to add a little more flavor.  You can eat it straight out of the jar or even spread on fruits to keep it healthy.  They are also AMAZING on rice cakes, which leads into the next treat..

Jun 18, 2014

Stella & Dot Personalized

I have always loved Stella & Dot jewelry, but I am SUPER excited to share with you the new line of personalized jewelry they now have available!  I worked with a friend of mine and a Stella & Dot stylist Mo Tuttle to start the perfect "mom necklace."  It has the initial of each one of my cute kids and I plan on adding a couple charms too- not sure which ones yet, but I am thinking a birthstone for each kid along with a cute charm that symbolizes something.