Mom/Life Hack #1: Easy (Minimal Ingredient) Crock Pot Meals

You all – I will be the first to admit that cooking is NOT my thing. It’s not something I really find fun, relaxing, or a hobby at all. I love food as much as anyone – but I definitely am a person that eats to live, not necessarily lives to eat. You get my drift? We do make homemade dinners about 4-5 times a week but I very much consider myself a lazy cook. I love finding new recipes but if it has more than like 5 ingredients and I don’t know where to find one of them in the grocery store – I pretty much completely shut down and give up on the recipe altogether. Enter: Easy peezy (and minimal ingredient) CROCKPOT meals.
I have been wanting to write this post since I started blogging because it is my FAVORITE life hack – and I feel like these recipes are coming just in time for October, Fall, Football, chilly weather, etc!
I can throw the ingredients in the crock pot in the morning when I am packing my lunch or making Calvin’s bottles (aka being a mixologist) and turn it on all before work. After a long day, there is (almost) nothing more satisfying than coming home to a great meal that’s ready & waiting for you.
These are the 4 meals I find myself making over and over in the crockpot – you know it’s easy if I have all of the ingredients and instructions memorized. You’ll prob notice I call for mostly organic ingredients – I’m not a psycho on this type of stuff but I try to buy organic when I can and always buy organic meat. Creepy meat =  😖
Fiesta Chicken (‘aka Taco Mush’)
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1 can organic corn
1 can organic black beans
1 large can hunts tomato sauce
1 package chicken breasts or tenders
1 taco seasoning packet or fiesta chicken seasoning packet
1 can hunts diced tomatoes (chose one with some seasonings for extra taste)
1 cups rice
Combine all ingredients except rice in the pot and mix together. Cook on low 4-6 hours. Take out chicken and shred with two forks. Put chicken and 1 cup rice back in the pot and cook on high 15-20 min. Enjoy!
Chicken Noodle Soup
chicken-noodle-soup1 package organic chicken breasts or tenders
2 cups chopped carrots
1 white onion chopped
2 cups chopped celery
1 box low sodium organic chicken broth
A few dashes of Rosemary seasoning
A few dashes Salt & Pepper
1 package egg noodles
Combine all ingredients except noodles in the pot and mix together. Cook on low 4-6 hours. Take out chicken and shred with two forks. Put chicken and 2 cups egg noodles back in the pot and cook on low another 15-20 min. Enjoy!
Rotini”Casserole”
1 package organic ground turkey
1 jar pasta sauce of choice
1 box whole wheat rotini noodles
Seasonings of choice (salt, pepper, oregano)
Combine ground turkey & pasta sauce in crockpot. Cook on low 4-6 hours. Chop up cooked turkey. Put in 2 cups of rotini noodles and cook on low another 15-20 min. Sprinkle on cheese, duh! Serve with a side of steamed veggies and a piece of buttered bread.  Enjoy!
Brown Sugar/Barbecue Pork Chops

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1 package organic pork chops (thin)
1 bottle barbecue sauce of choice
A few sprinkles of brown sugar
Put a layer of barbecue sauce on the bottom of the crock pot. Place pork chips in pot. Cover with another layer of sauce and sprinkle with brown sugar. Pork chops cook quick so 3-4 on low (if they are thin and defrosted) is all you need. Serve with a side of steamed veggies and a potato side. Enjoy!
Seriously can’t stress enough how much you need to get on the crockpot train if you aren’t already! Did I also mention we always have leftovers from these? Perfect for lunch the next day!
I recommend one with a timer if you work all day so that you don’t burn your meal.

If you want quick, easy, minimal ingredient recipes check out these books for some ideas!


I know my meals are so #basic – any suggestions on simple additions or improvements to these meals? What are your all time crockpot or quick dinner faves?
Happy First Weekend of October – let me know if you try any of these meals ❤

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{Month Seven} + Thoughts on Having a Baby Away from Family

We are officially to seven months!! How? Why? What’s happening? I have had 2 people in public say, “he’s almost one year!” Whoa people, let’s slow it down – he’s still my little cuddly baby. That is one exaggeration where I’d rather people round down. I’m so excited for our future but wanting to cherish every moment that I can. Every night after Calvin eats and falls asleep, I still hold hold him on my chest for about 30 min – 1 hour (and I wonder why I have no time to do anything) but I know that these moments will be gone so quick so – IDC!
I mentioned in my Instagram yesterday that he is seRIoUsLy giving us a run for our money! He is teething, not sleeping through consistently and extremely crazy rolling everywhere. The teacher at daycare told me that he loves taking the full bin of toys and pouring it over his head. I’ve never heard a more true metaphor for my life, LOL! I’m frightened for when he full on crawls, walks and then runs. #notready

In Month 7, I am officially feeling the stress of having a baby while living far away from the help of any and all family. {We do have friends here, but coincidentally (in a positive way) they all have babies or are pregnant themselves!} The first few months were great while I was on maternity leave and I had all the time in the world to focus on Calvin, while still getting personal items taken care of. Months 4-7 have been a bit of a different story. I’ve shared my working mom woes, but I think I have realized why the past few months have felt so challenging and straining. We have no help or moments of “relief.” It hit me like a ton of bricks this past weekend.
For a while I think I thought we were invincible and that we could do anything we set our minds to – which we can, BUT it would be better with people to help. Do a lot of people successfully raise their children away from family? Yes, and we are successfully doing it too, but it really is much harder. Our personal endeavors are very few and far between – and our time for each other is limited. Legit, I sometimes struggle finding time to shower. I am exhausted at night and he’s up between 5-6am each morning. Even if we only get “behind” on life a bit each week, it starts to add up. Before we know it, we have 6 bins of laundry waiting to be folded (we have to re-dry things like 3 times or they’re wrinkly as shit), I haven’t worked out in 2 months (more on this later), we’ve eaten dinner “out” 4 days in a row, and it looks like Hurricane Katrina has gone through our living room. While I know that this stage of our lives is short and fleeting – it is still extremely overwhelming and unlike anything I have experienced in the past.
All I want are mom-made casseroles and cookies on demand, and someone to do all my household ‘chores’ -is that too much to ask?
In true fashion to my writings, I want to also talk about the positives we have experienced while on our little Cantor family adventure away from home. While it’s been challenging, there has been no shortage of amazing moments that we are extremely grateful for.
*Craig, Calvin and I have become so much closer because of this. Even though Calvin doesn’t know it yet, I think he will be proud of the fact that we took a chance on moving away, getting out of our comfort zone, and then overcoming to provide as much love as we can to him in his early stages of life.
*We have learned to do everything on our own through trial and error – the best form of learning.
*When we DO have help, it’s such a blessing. Something we might have overlooked or expected while living close.
*This is only preparing us for our future and the challenges we may face with more than one child. Yes, we plan on sibling(s) for little Cal.
*Because this area is very full of “transplants”, three of our best couple friends are also going through the same thing – having new babies far away from family.
*Calvin goes with us everywhere and has become Mr. Social Butterfly. He’s so good when we get him out of the house!

Calvin Updates
Likes:
  • Not sleeping all night
  • Waking up early
  • Showering himself in toys
  • Bath time
  • Being tickled
  • Holding Mom’s cell phone
  • Eskimo Kisses
  • Toys that rattle
  • Soft blankets
  • Rolling everywhere!
  • Riding on Dad’s shoulders
Dislikes:
  • When Mom leaves the room
  • Chunky baby food
  • Sleeping in
  • Naps
  • Getting his face wiped off
  • Being constrained in any way
7 month photo update:
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Who else lives away from family and is feeling some of these challenges? I definitely want to connect – feel free to send me a message in any way 🙂
Stay tuned this week – I’ll be talking about one of my favorite new, quick, easy to watch, relatable shows and hosting a giveaway along with it!
Talk soon!

KaylaSignature-02

My Summer Post Recap: All things Baby, Back to Work, Engagement, Re-branding & Travels!

It’s been a summer for the books! So much growing, traveling, fun & so many firsts in our life! As I was rounding these up, I went back to re-read some of my posts – I need to take some of my OWN advice and remember why I wrote the things that I did.
The post that hit me the hardest was “The 5th Trimester: Learning to Balance Time & Give yourself a Break.” This post is very near and dear to my heart – definitely the most honest words I’ve written to date. If you are a working mom, or will be…check it out!
The most exciting thing that happened personally this summer, is that Craig and I got engaged! We are so official now!
The most exciting thing that happened blog wise, is that I re-branded from “Kayla Marie” to “Running with Strollers.” I finally found my niche and can’t wait to keep writing & bring great content to all my readers!
Here is a recap of this summer’s posts. I have re-linked for easy reading if you may have missed one in the craziness that summer can bring 🙂
Calvin Turns 4 Months + The challenges & rewards during this time 
Back to Work! + My Working Mommy Essentials
The 5th Trimester: Learning to Give Yourself A Break
*My favorite & most honest post of the Summer <3*
My Favorite Way to Order Prescription Glasses + Pics of this Baby Bear!
4th of July Inspired Family Photos
We got engaged! + Our Favorite Vacation Photos 
Calvin turns 5 Months + How Having a Baby Changes Your Priorities
Our Day Trip to NYC + Getting Out of your Comfort Zone 
Mom goes to Nashville + Increasing Your Happiness + How to wear Shorts & Boots
*Blog Re-Brand!!*
Flying with an Infant + Travel Necessities! 
Calvin turns 6 Months + Remembering to Live in the Moment 
Calvin Tries the MamaRoo!
Shirt Dresses: Perfect for the Transition to Fall
Here’s to a new season, more firsts, and finishing out 2016 strong.
So much love for all of you! ❤

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Increasing Happiness: How you Think about Current Life Situations & Apply a Shift (+ boots & shorts style inspo)

Happy Weekend!!! We are in NJ again this weekend, pretty much in chill-ax mode before we are traveling again next week!
Can I be transparent and say that pretty much everything about the past 3 months has been challenging and life changing? It has forced me to be intentional with my thoughts and seek out information that will allow me to grow instead of shrink down into the pit of #stress.
I had a conversation recently with a co-worker and they were asking me what I wanted and made the comment that they wanted me to “be happy.” It was interesting to stop and think about this – because I haven’t actually thought about me, my goals, my future… in a very long time. I am constantly thinking about what will make Calvin happy, what will make my family happy, what will make my co-workers/team members happy, what will make my clients @work happy. Although it’s true that if all of those individuals are happy, so am I, but I also got to thinking about what makes ME happy and how can I have more of that in my life?
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Sometimes it’s the little things, right? Like a cup of coffee in the morning, getting an extra hr of sleep on the weekend, a new lipstick shade, or the feeling when you can tell fall is on its way.
But most of the time in the midst of busy days, weeks, long days and long nights, true happiness takes effort and a commitment to saying, “I’m going to remain positive, no matter what is thrown my way today.” Unfortunately, it does take effort to count your blessings and remember how amazing your life truly is. The realization of this comes from the self-awareness of NOT remaining as positive as I could when challenges or tough situations have come my way in the past.
I also recently listened to a podcast and it was talking about and listing activities that are PROVEN to increase happiness on one’s life. Some examples were silently meditating, journaling each night, committing to 5 random acts of kindness each week, and taking brisk walks 3x a week. While I’m sure these are proven to increase happiness, I couldn’t really relate. Can you imagine me silently meditating each morning in addition to feeding & changing another human being, getting myself ready and commuting to work all before 830am? As a super busy working mom, I’m not in a spot where I can ADD things to my life. Yes I want to achieve ultimate happiness and overcome stress, but I feel like there’s things I’m already doing, that when viewed with a different mindset, could really change my outlook on love, life, and happiness.

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These are some every day realities that could (and often do) weigh on me and prevent me from feeling fully accomplished, fulfilled, and happy. When I change my mindset and develop a PMA (positive mental attitude) these situations are suddenly a blessing instead of a burden:
Situation: Spending weekdays at work, while others get to stay at home with their babes
Shift: You are a strong, hard working, ambitious mom who gets to go to a great job and make money for her family. This job allows you to give your family things and do things together you might not be able to without your income. Your family will look up to you for the things you have accomplished professionally and the success you were able to achieve while balancing both.
You have a long commute
This is YOUR time – time to think, fill your brain with positive info via podcasts or listen to music. Take a deep breath, think your thoughts, and enjoy your cup up coffee the whole way there.
Situation: You’re freaking tired
Solution: Stop and get that damn iced latte if you want it. You deserve it. DUH.
Situation: You don’t have enough time to workout so you’re feeling down on yourself and your body image
Solution: I can’t say we’ll ever have more time, but I’ve been told that if you have a small baby, don’t fret on this. This stage of your life is so quick and fleeting, enjoy it spending time doing what needs to be done (dishes, dinner, baby cuddles, breastfeeding, etc.) Another thing I’ve thought about on this topic…if you don’t have time to workout, you DO have time to eat and drink water (or else you wouldn’t be alive), so make some healthy swaps and it could take some of the stress off of fitting exercise in your schedule.
 Situation: You’re worried about your quality time with your significant other 
Solution: Even being aware of this is key! Keep it top of mind and talk about how you can solve for it. It could be as simple as making sure you eat dinner together, talking about your day each night, or committing to going to bed at the same time each night.
Have you thought lately about what makes you happy? What are your “situations” and “solutions?” How do you view happiness and make sure you are intentional with your thoughts? Any ideas or recos!? Seriously need to hear 🙂

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 *Shop my look*
Black Fringe Boots 
Black MK Watch
White Shorts
Flannel Shirt
Choker
Tank – Similar
More boots/shorts inspo: for when you still want to summer (shorts) but you’re ready for fall (boots!) Love this trend.
Have a great weekend, all!!

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{Month 6} & Remembering to Live in the Moment

It has officially been half a year since Calvin has come into our lives. It’s actually quite terrifying how quickly half a year has gone. On one hand we’ve grown and learned so much, on the other, I feel like I blacked out, and here we are! I’m still trying to find ways to slow down time but I’ve also just realized we have to enjoy each day fully – there is no time to waste. People all the time stop us and say, “enjoy it” or “don’t blink” and I can completely understand why they make those comments. It’s actually really cool to feel like you’re right in the moment you are supposed to be in. No more waiting for other things to happen before you can start your life!

It really is so tough to truly live in the moment every single day – especially when you always want Monday to be Friday, or 8:30am to be 5:00pm. Since weekdays make up over 70% of each year, I’m trying to remind myself to fully enjoy these days as well. The little time at night I get to spend with my family on Monday-Friday is so valuable. I think this is why I often feel like I ONLY have time for work & baby in my life. When I’m not at work, I want to be spending every second with Calvin and Craig. I’m going to make a larger effort to change my mindset on “working for the weekend.” Although the weekends are so so fun with my guys, so is every other day of the week. Here’s to working hard, but also remembering what is most important when the going gets tough. This is the true struggle of every working mom, but something I am slowly learning to overcome.

Alright, onto the little guy 6 month updates. 

Calvin is starting to look and act like such a little boy. Just when we don’t think he can get any cuter, or we can love him any more – it happens! You can tell from these pics that he is getting to be much more mobile. He can’t crawl yet, but he can roll slide and scoot anywhere he’d like. It was almost impossible to get him to “sit” still in his chair. He’s such a happy baby and so chill (except when he’s hungry or super tired.)

^he destroyed this sticker about 5 seconds later
^he looks like a baby gorilla here LOL

Our biggest milestones this month

  • Weight: 18lbs, 3oz (70%) | Height: 27in (77%) | Head: 17.75in (88%)

  • Calvin has had a blocked tear duct in his left eye since he was born, which prohibits his eye from draining correctly. We were hoping that it would open on its own but it hasn’t, so we have to go to the eye dr to figure out next steps, this month. We don’t want Calvin to be known as the kid with the crusty eye 😜
  • Mom went away for a full weekend & Calvin stayed with dad for 2 nights/3 days #boysweekend
  • Mom is still breast feeding & Calvin is also officially eating all kinds of baby foods – rice cereal, apples, pears, bananas, mango, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes – we have yet to find a food he doesn’t like!

  • Calvin took his first plane ride which I wrote about here.
  • Calvin is still not sleeping through the night – in fact the past week was pretty rough. He will wake up for about an hour anytime between 2-4 and then he is up super early, sometimes again at 5am. He will usually fall back asleep but only if I hold him or he lays with me. Not a habit I want to be creating, but this mama really doesn’t care when she needs just a bit more sleep in the mornings!
Oh, I got told I look like a mom for the first time at work a few weeks ago, haha! I came to work on a Friday super casual, with my hair in a Mom bun, which is what must have given me away. Nothin’ wrong with living up to a stereotype!

I’ll be writing here soon about “leaving” Cal for the first time and our mindset on taking baby into the big city (NYC.)
I also wanted to remind you all that there is only a few more days to save $70 on the MamaRoo in wrote about last week & enter the sweepstakes to win ALL the 4moms products + a 2016 Honda Pilot!

Who else has a baby around Calvin’s age? What are they up to? What are the biggest milestones you’ve experienced? I love talking to you all about your babes, so let me know! I hope everyone has a great week – we’re already in the last full week of August!
Talk soon!

KaylaSignature-02

 

Busy Mommin’ with the @4moms mamaRoo

It’s official, a tiny human has taken over our living space and it suddenly looks like the apparatus set-up at the gymnastics dome in Rio – a swing, a bassinet, a play mat, a bouncer, toys, bibs, socks, and last but not least – the 4moms mamaRoo infant seat. After working all day, I’d LOVE to hold and play with Calvin for the rest of the night (let’s be honest – some nights I do), but it’s just not always physically possible. Unfortunately, there is so much still we still have to accomplish in the 4-5 hours we have in the evening.
Outside of 6 months being an extremely CUTE phase, it just me or is 6 months kind of an awkward stage developmentally? He is super active but can’t sit or stand up on his own so he’s just 18-19 lbs of crazy and all over the place – the only options are holding him or having a seat hold & entertain him. I do not like picking up Calvin from daycare where he is in a bouncer, just to put him down again at home: insert mom guilt here. Fortunately, having a great seat that will hold, soothe, and entertain Calvin has been key at this phase and he absolutely loves the MamaRoo. I don’t feel bad letting him chill in this seat when I know he’s having a great time. He is obsessed with the balls on the mobile and the calming motion of the seat. This child needs all the ‘calm’ he can get!
Our favorite features of the mamaRoo Infant Seat:
5 motion settings
The hanging mobile with removable stuffed toys
USB plug-in with built in speakers
5 other optional sounds
Can hold up to 25 lbs
Lightweight/movable
Adjustable seat position – recline or straight up
Machine washable seat cover
Easy (seriously!) set up
Downloadable 4moms app – allows you to control the motion, speed, sound and volume remotely

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I will say that the 4moms products are a bit more expensive than the fisher-price or other infant seats, but I honestly think these are the types of products that are worth investing in, especially if your baby is happy. I like to spend less on clothes that they will outgrow in just a few weeks, and more on products that you can use and re-use for months, or with baby #2, #3, etc. Moms to be – you can also register for these items and someone can gift them to you 🙂
For more information on @4moms products (strollers, bathtubs, infant seats, highchairs, play yards) you can visit their product page  or sign up for the @4moms email subscription here..

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Does anyone else have a @4moms product? Do you love? Which 4moms product should I try next??
Talk to you all soon – hope you are having a fab week!
❤ Kayla

Setting up for Success @ Work: Made Possible by a Great Bag, Stretch Pants & Kayello Coffee

Hello friends! Wow, so much has happened since I wrote last – we were out of town (as I’m sure you all saw via instagram) for family vacation so I took a bit of a break from posting on Kayla Marie. We also got ENGAGED on the 4th of July(!!!!) – I’ll be sharing our full engagement story and my favorite pics from our trip, later this week, so I won’t spoil too many details now 😁
I’ll admit, I’m semi-depressed that vacation is over as we were looking forward to it for so long, and it was such an amazing time with family. I wrote yesterday on a post that time always flies when you don’t want it to. So true, huh?! I’m going to have some serious ‘Sunday Scaries’ tonight. As we’ve arrived back home, the reality of everything I need to accomplish at work this month is setting back in!
Before the summer is over, I am going to LA, Cincinnati, Nashville, NYC, and Cincinnati again – it’s going to be a whirlwind! BUT I’M READY!
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Prepping to set myself up for a good week, is so key for me. I feel like I can always tell within the first hour of a work day how it’s going to go. If I can answer yes to these 3 questions before I’m out the door, I’m on the right track:
Do I have everything I need?
Am I comfortable in what I’m wearing?
Do I have my caffeine handy?
What items make this possible? A good catch-all bag, stretchy pants that you can dress up, and coffee to go!

When I returned to work, one of the most overwhelming aspects was how much stuff I need for the day as a working mom: computer, wallet, phone, keys, sunglasses, work badge, packed lunch, water bottle, coffee mug, breast pump, extra parts, bottles, lids, milk freezer bags. That is a lot of shit. I finally found a cool and functionable bag that can carry (almost) all of this…and it’s a backpack so yay to having free hands! This Skip Hop bag is actually a diaper bag, so outside of work I can always re-purpose to use for Calvin.
I’m obsessed with any and everything black & gold, so I love how it matches almost everything I wear to work. The front zip pocket holds my personal belongings (wallet, phone, keys, badge, etc) the side pocket can hold a water bottle on one side and coffee mug on the other, and the large main opening holds my computer, pump, and lunch.
I also have this diaper bag (which has been discontinued by the manufacturer, but is still available via this link on Amazon) and I’ve gotten so many compliments on both. I highly recommend for all my fashionable mama friends out there!

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To ensure comfort, I’ve pretty much stopped wearing any pants that don’t contain stretch. I can wear jeans to work everyday if I want, but like to wear black pants as a dressier option. Black stretch pants (actual pants, not leggings this time) can be dressed up, yet keep you comfy at the same time. Here are my faves. Find your go-to’s and wear everyday with a blouse, flats, wedges, or pumps.
Women's Mid-rise Skinny Jegging (Curvy Fit) Black - Mossimo™. Image 1 of 6.
Women’s Mid-Rise Skinny Jean
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Bi-Stretch Skinny Ankle Pants
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Low-Rise Rockstar Jeggings
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1969 Stretch Skinny Jeans

Last, but certainly MOST IMPORTANT – I make coffee at home every morning for my 30 minute commute. I realized quickly that the coffee I make at home needs to be good, or I will give in to stopping for, or buying coffee every day (such a bad habit!)  I am currently loving Kayello Coffee – a philanthropic artisan coffee roasting company located in Northeast Ohio. Not only is the coffee amazing, but they also give back to local or global communities using the profits from each sale, by picking a new charity each month to focus on.

Kayello Coffee

When I received my coffee, I reached out to the owner to tell her how amazing the coffee smelled before I even tried it. She said, “this is how great coffee should smell – it was roasted one day before shipment!” If high quality coffee and supporting small business is your thing – you have to try. My first bag was the Ethopia Yirga Adado blend, but I can’t wait to try their newest signature blend, Castle Black.

Check them out and use discount code KAYLA10 towards any purchase this week. I promise you will love it! Please let me know if you try.
You can check out more from Kayello on their channels linked below:
Facebook
Instagram
Website
(PS – The stainless steel mug shown in these pics is perfect for those on the go as it has a clip handle that can latch onto a bag, strap, stroller, etc.)

What are your daily go-to’s? Do you find yourself wearing and using the same items every day!? Definitely need to hear if there’s anything I NEED or am missing! Have a great week – kick ass, take names, and squeeze your babes tightly!

❤ Kayla

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The 5th Trimester: Learning to Balance Time & Give Yourself a Break 

Hi all! How were your weekends?! We got all you can eat sushi, I finally did some stuff for the blog, we watched Craig in his soccer league final, and I went to the mall – by myself…oh, and I spent a lot of hours holding and cuddling with Calvin…not bad at all! 😊
So I really need to stop referring to my life in trimesters…but I promise that this is the last one! Saying 4th & 5th trimester, doesn’t even make sense, but they are so real, friends. Just becoming a new mom is really like 5 parts: 1-3 being the trimesters of pregnancy, the 4th being that 12 or so weeks after having baby (already spoken about that time too much) and for the working moms, I really believe there is a 5th…the end of maternity leave and return to their career. Dare I say that the 5th has been the most challenging of any? That’s where ya girl’s at right now. I’m just going to keep it real in this post – is that cool? I’ll give you guys a glimpse into how I’ve been feeling as of late. No frills, no fancy photos – just words from the heart. It’s not often I admit to the struggle during life’s difficulties, so I hope some of you can relate.
The weeks leading up to my return to work, were full of dread, and more crying than I care to admit. The night before my first day back, I literally had to wipe so many tears off of Calvin’s head before I finally laid him down for bed…I held him so long and was so sad that Sunday night.
Since then, I haven’t written much because I’ve honestly been trying to figure out my life & what the hell I’m doing.
Up until the last the last month or so, I felt like I had my shit together and I was owning this lifestyle categorized as motherhood. I was a new mom, in a good mental spot, starting to feel like “myself” again, get back to my exercise schedule, cooking meals at home, able to pick up a few times a week, etc. Lately, I often feel like my life is spinning out of control – I get to the end of each work week and feel like I’ve been blacked out for 5 straight days, trying to keep my head above water. In a whirlwind of emails, meetings, milk prep, daycare duty, baby bounces, bed time routines, and trying to find time to shower, I’ve never felt stretched so thin. There are dozens of things I’d like to accomplish in a day, or used to be able to accomplish in a day, and now I only truly have time for about 10% of those.
I’ve always been someone who rolls their eyes at people when they say they’re too busy, because I truly feel like you’ll make time for the things you want to make time for. Until having a child. I’ve racked my brain again and again and I can’t find a way to make more time. If you have multiple children or went through this a long time ago – you have probably overcome and mastered this time of your life. To you, I know I look and sound like a chicken with my head cut off. Because I basically am. Am I being dramatic?
I need more time. More time at work, more time with Calvin, more time with Craig, more time to sleep, more time to work on goals outside of my corporate job, more time to get ready in the mornings, more time on the weekends, more time to work out. For an overly motivated, overly competitive (I’ll admit it) individual, it has been very humbling to compromise with myself on what my battle against time will be each day. What do I give up today, in order to make time for something else?
I want to be Wonder Woman, but it’s truly just a wonder that I am managing to function successfully with all of these old responsibilities (work) and new responsibilities (motherhood) coming together. If I, or anyone else makes it look easy, it’s not. There is so much others don’t see behind the scenes.
The past month has been filled with more meals out, a messier apartment, less exercising, more stops to get ice cream, less blog posts, and of course less sleep, than I care to admit. Twice last week, Calvin was the last baby in the “Infant 1” room at daycare when I arrived at the end of the day.
It’s so easy to look at these things and feel like I am failing. Why didn’t I prepare more dinners ahead of time, why can’t I keep this place clean, why am I eating ice cream for the 3rd weeknight in a row, why didn’t I leave work earlier, why can’t I post a new blog every day?
How easy it is to forget that I still wake up each night between 3 and 4 am with Calvin and manage to get out of bed again by 6am, I’m still successfully pumping and breastfeeding exclusively, I’m greeted with a smile from Calvin every afternoon when I pick him up from daycare (even when he’s the last one), I’m leading a large team of individuals on a challenging work assignment, and I’m providing for my family so that we can buy and do the things we want.

When ‘they’ say it gets better, I believe them. Never easier, but better. Each week I learn new tips and tricks for mastering my routines, more ways to increase my efficiency, and what I need to find time for, in order to stay sane.
Craig’s Mom (now Grandma) said it best. She texted me and told me to give myself a break. How right is she?!
So I think I’ll take the best piece of advice that’s been given to me in a long time. I’m going to give myself a break – because us Moms can do A LOT, but we can’t do IT ALL. I think it’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to say I’ll try again tomorrow.
As I head into the back half of 2016 (marketing lingo at its finest), I’m going to try & stop dwelling on the things that didn’t happen and that despite this being the most challenging time I can remember, it’s also been filled with more JOY & more LOVE that I can ever remember feeling in the past. I’m obsessed with my child, have the most supportive boyfriend, friends & family, and am so excited for our future together.
I hope you remember that you are only ONE person with so many hours in a day, to squeeze your babies as tight as you can, as often as you can, that you are succeeding despite your tough days, and that it’s okay to cut yourself some slack.
I think that maybe we are Wonder Women, after all.


Who has advice for the rookie mom? Any Mom hacks I must know for the 5th trimester?! All thoughts are very very welcome!
❤ Kayla