Daily Life

The kids and I moved into our own place last week, and have been busy getting settled! I love it, and Piper keeps saying, “I love our cozy house, mama”, so I think we’re all fans! Most of our furniture still hasn’t arrived, so it’s pretty bare still haha, but it’s suuuuper nice being in our own space again, and having all of our own things.

I haven’t done a ‘daily life’ post in a while, and I wanted to throw one up of our day and how it’s structured with entertaining the kids, and fitting in work right now.

MORNING

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Jack used to sleep in a little longer than Piper, but now they’re sharing a room they tend to wake up at the same time (read: Piper yells at Jack to wake up as soon as she opens her eyes). I nurse Jack, and they usually play with toys for a little while I get Piper’s milk and get their breakfast ready.

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Today’s breakfast was banana, raspberries, yogurt and toast for them, and wheat sourdough, mashed avocado, arugula, poached egg, cherry tomatoes, and micro greens for me. I usually make my breakfast when they’re eating theirs otherwise it gets tooooo crazy.

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Depending on how messy breakfast is, I do baths after breakfast or after dinner. This was definitely a morning bath type of day haha. Eek. Luckily both of them LOOOOVE baths and could stay in there all day, so I cleaned their bathroom while played and drenched me with water.

I got them ready for the day, we read a couple of books, and then Jack went down for his morning nap (he goes back down about 1 1/2 to 2 hours after he wakes up).

Piper helped me unload the dishwasher, clean up after breakfast, clean the other bathroom, and we started playing with blocks when Jack woke up after 45 minutes. Loved that.

AFTERNOON

We hit up Ikea to some things for the house, and came back for lunch. They had Annie’s Mac & Cheese, corn, steamed green beans, and cucumbers, and then both went down for their afternoon nap.

I cleaned up after their lunch, and got in a workout - a 3 mile run and THIS glute circuit. I followed it up with a scoop of IdealRaw chocolate peanut butter protein, a veggie wrap posted HERE. **You can use ‘SWOLE’ for 10% off any IdealRaw products!

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Nap time is when I try to get the bulk of my work stuff done. I want to do a full post one day of what it all entails, but yesterday I answered time-sensitive emails, finished some content work I am doing for a company, and Jack woke up again before I could get to anything else.

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I nursed him, and we read books, and played until Piper woke up. We took the scooters and tricycle outside and walked around the neigbourhood, then played at the park (there’s one in our complex which is awesome).

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EVENING

We came back inside, and I started making turkey chili (using THIS recipe). I didn’t add in as much of the spices so it would be too hot for the kids, and added plain greek yogurt to cool it down for them. This is the hardest time of the day (4-6pm), because Jack only wants to be held, and Piper wants all of my attention too. I make as much of dinner as I can while holding Jack, and distract him with snacks the rest of the time haha. I don’t normally like Piper watching shows, but every now and then I let her watch a little one while I make dinner for us.

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After we eat, I get them ready for bed, read books, and we clean up their toys. Jack goes down first, and Piper drinks her milk and we read/sing songs. She goes down and then I clean up after dinner, do more work, and take a hot bath while I watch Netflix and have some JoJo’s dark chocolate (use SWOLE10 for 10% off).

Haha…no wonder I'm so exhausted at the end of the day. These kids keep me busy, but I love it.

9 Months Of Jack

Jack will be 10 months old in a week, but better late than never I guess!

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He is the SWEETEST little guy. I think all babies have a sweetness, but he has this special, calming presence about him. He’s been such a gift to me.

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He used to be a HARD, HARD baby (which was probably because he had open sores all over his body thanks to eczema), but he’s really mellowed out and is generally a chill little chap. He only really cries when I leave the room. We’ve entered the separation anxiety stage, and it’s a hoot!

He is ALL over the place, and climbs onto everything. He pulls himself up and walks around all the furniture, and climbs on top of anything that’s low enough to get his little leg up on. He’s still a speedy crawler, and has started letting go of furniture and trying to stand up by himself (he’s lasts .01 seconds haha). It’s crazy to think that Piper was already walking at this age!

With that, changing his diaper/getting is ready is the most frustrating job in the world. He’s so wiggly and contorts his body is the most bizarre shapes to get away.

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He hasn’t had any more teeth come through this month, so he still has 8. He bites me at least a couple of times a day when we’re nursing, and it’s SO painful. We’re still going strong with breastfeeding though, and I don’t have plans to stop anytime soon. I’ll wean whenever both of us are ready.

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He squeals and kicks his legs with excitement when I put him down for naps, and goes right off to sleep. He has been waking up at 8am recently, and then goes down for his first nap around 9:30am. He sleeps for 1-2 hours, and then goes back down for another nap (timed for the same time as Pipes) around 2:00pm. He sleeps for another 1 1/2 -2 hours, and goes down for the night at 7pm. His sleeping habits have been a struggle up until this point, but we’re finally in a good routine again and him sleeping through the night is the BEST THING EVER.

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He’s a tiny bub and only in the 7th percentile for weight He’s following the growth curve perfectly though, and his pediatrician isn’t concerned at all, he’s just little for his age. He eats 500x more than Piper, so I have no idea where he puts it all. He’s a great eater, and because he has a lot of teeth, he’s eating pretty much any solid food. He likes to only feed himself though which means we have lots of bath times around here.

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He lights up and kicks his legs when he sees Piper after his naps, and tries to do whatever she’s doing. I’m still working with her on being soft and sharing (“careful” is the most used word around here), but they have such a special bond and I swear I could cry every time they just look at each other. He’s always by her side and tries to copy everything she does.

 Not their best picture haha, but this is their favourite thing to do lately. They’re the best duo.

Not their best picture haha, but this is their favourite thing to do lately. They’re the best duo.

Friday Favourites

We got back from a family vacation to Newport Beach yesterday evening, and there is a true MOUNTAIN of clothes on my bed just waiting to be sorted and put away. Holidays are the best, but unpacking is the worst, especially with little kids stuff too. 

We're easing back into our regular routine today, and I wanted to throw up this Friday Favourites post because it's been a minute, and I have a list of things that I love/have found really helpful lately. I hope you find them helpful too! HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

LOOPY CASES

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I bought this Loopy Case back in February, so I'm not sure why I'm only sharing it now, but it's amazing! I used to drop my phone at least 10x a day (triple that if we're counting how many times Piper dropped it a day). I think I've only dropped it like...maybe once since getting this case. It has a loop at the back for you to hold onto it, and it makes it so nice when I have my hands full with Jack, bags, keys, toys, etc. because I just loop a finger through and I'm good to go. It's honestly been a game changer since having kids, and I'll never go back to a regular case. 

I don't have a discount code with them, but I follow someone who does! Hers is "SWENSON10" and gets you 10% off if you're interested! I have the White Marble Original.

NATIVE

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My sisters all use Native shoes for their kids, and I finally got some on Amazon a couple of weeks ago for Piper. THEY ARE THE BEST FOR TODDLERS! They are waterproof, easy for them to put on by themselves, lightweight, and they don't rub. Piper's been wearing them non-stop since I got them. They have a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, with over 2,300 reviews...so you know they're leeeegit!

VROOM

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Someone on Instagram posted about this app, so I downloaded it and LOVE it! They post a different learning activity to do with your child each day (you can add multiple kids and each has a different activity based on their age). I love doing this kind of stuff with my kids, but I run out of ideas, so this is really helpful, and you can set a reminder too!

ART SMOCK

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I took the kids to Ikea a couple of weeks ago, and saw this smock in the kids section. Piper is probably THE messiest toddler in the planet. She is a true savage when it comes to eating, colouring, and painting. Need I remind anyone of her painting a few weeks ago (see picture below). I never want to limit her creativity, but also...can you not, Piper. It was only $4.99 at Ikea (I don't know why it's more expensive on Amazon), but either way, it's been perfect to let her create, but also limit the clean up. She calls it her "painting dress", and it goes all the way down to her toes!

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Piper has the best curly hair, but it always has to be tied or clipped back otherwise she can't see a thing haha. I LOVE these headbands from Why Knot Bows because they are soooo cute, and also do an awesome job at keeping her hair back. They come in the best colours too! I love all the neutral and fall colours. 

Favourite Self Care Practices

I think every single person should practice some type of self care each day. but especially mothers who, from when they wake up to when they go to sleep, are taking care of someone else. It's such a blessing, but it is mentally, physically, and emotionally draining. 

Yes, working out is a form of self care (which is 99% of the reason I make it a priority). Yes, going to get a massage, facial, pedicure, etc. are all forms of self care...but they aren't always realistic. I like keeping it simple, and sticking to small, quick ways I can show myself some love DAILY. Below are a my favourites, and ones that make all the difference to me:

DRY BRUSH

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I've only talked about dry brushing a million times already, but it's still something I love and look forward to because it feels SO good. It stimulates blood circulation, which instantly energizes you! Seriously. Try it. It stimulates the lymphatic system (aka helps get rid of toxins), exfoliates the skin, and promotes new skin growth. I dry brush every morning before I get ready (or late afternoon if I don't end up getting ready until then ha).

CHARCOAL FACE MASK

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This charcoal mask may scare Piper half to death, but I use it once a week (usually on Sunday night). It's nice to do a little extra something to kickstart the new week, and it just feels good. I got in on Amazon!

HOT BATH

Anyone that knows me knows how much I love taking baths. They're so relaxing, and take one almost every night when the kids go down. I usually take a snack (I'm classy), watch a show, and just decompress for a little bit. It's my favourite form of self care. 

HERBAL TEA

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I love drinking either herbal tea or crio bru everyday. I love crio bru for the health benefits too, but there's just something about having a hot drink that is relaxing and refreshing, and it just feels good. You know? 

JOURNAL

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I used to write in my journal ALL the time, but since having kids I haven't been as good at it. My therapist got me started again while going through the divorce to help me process and deal with things that happened. Every day I write "today was good" or "today was hard", and then explain why. It's such a small practice, but it has really helped me stay mentally healthy, and I think that is something that's incredibly overlooked these days. Every morning I also read scriptures or a religious talk or book to set the tone for the day. Some days I only get in 5 minutes, but it always starts the day on a positive note, and leaves me feeling good. It can be 5 minutes of meditation, or listening to a podcast - anything to get you in a good, healthy headspace!

Potty Training Piper

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If you’ve ever wondered what potty training in style looks like, you’re looking at it.  

I had ZERO intention of potty training Piper before she turned 2 , because I had way too much on my plate already, but she started being very aware of when she peed or pooped in her diaper. She also started taking the poop out of her diaper during naps/bedtime, and wiping it EVERYWHERE. It was horrific, and it would be all in her hair, her clothes, the walls, her sheets, the crib railings...seriously everywhere. I decided enough was enough, and I was going to take advantage of this terrible awareness she suddenly had, and start potty training her. 

I asked for any advice on potty training on an Instagram story, and about 90% of people recommended "Oh Crap! Potty Training". I bought it on Amazon HERE (it's a really easy, entertaining read), and I can't recommend it enough! It answered every single question I had, and also questions I didn't know I would have as I went through it all. It's still a draining and frustrating process, but this book laid it all out, and I just followed the steps. I can honestly say it was 100x easier than I thought it was going to be. I've had tons of other mums message me on IG saying they bought the book after I recommended it, and also raved about how easy it was (considering it IS potty training after all) and how well it worked. 

The book breaks each stage down into phases. Each kid goes through the phases at different paces. It's not a day one, day two, etc. type of layout. We all learn differently, and at different speeds, so you just go to the next stage when your child is ready. 

The first day, Piper was completely naked the whole time. We didn't go anywhere, and I was supposed to keep my eyes on her THE WHOLE TIME. This was the hardest part for me, because I also had baby Jack who needed breastfeeding, diaper changes, etc. I swear whenever I would go put him down in his crib, or start changing his diaper, she'd start peeing. The whole point was to watch her EVERY move, look for her signs of needing to go to the bathroom, and rush her to the potty before then, or as soon as she started to go. I missed A LOT of her cues, and there were a lot of accidents. By the end of the first day, I thought it was a total failure, and I should maybe do it when Jack was a little older and not so dependent on me. 

The book talked a lot about making sure YOU are ready, not them. The next day, I decided to man up and just keep at it. Instead of letting her roam and play like she normally would, I turned on Shrek (to keep her still and in one place), gave her a drink, and had her sit on the potty the whole time. If she really didn't want to sit on it the whole time, I wouldn't have forced her, but she rather enjoyed her nice little chair, and when she went all by herself (without me rushing her over to it), it all clicked. She still had occasional accidents, but she connected the feeling of needing to go to the bathroom, and going in the potty. I FREAKED out when she did it by herself. I'm talking jumping around, clapping, kissing, high-fiving. I was so proud of her, and I made a HUGE deal out of it every time she went. She loved it and always got so excited. 

After the second day, I put on clothes (she was still commando though), and we did the same type of thing (Phase 2). She got better and better, and there were fewer accidents. By the 3-4th day, she was wearing panties and would tell me when she had to use the potty 90% of the time. 

The book explains each stage in more detail, but those were the general steps I took to potty training her. I never got around to buying her a sticker chart honestly (oops), but whenever she went to the potty I acted like she won the lottery, and got SO excited with her, and let her have a little treat every time at first, and then every now and then, and then just a big hug and a "I'm so proud of you". Now she uses the potty by herself, proudly takes it to the toilet while whispering "I'm so proud of you" to herself, and walks herself to my mum's cookie cupboard before I stir her in the other direction ha. She did REALLY well and I'm so proud of her. 

I don't think potty training is a one size fits all type of thing, because every kid is SO different. This was a pretty brief summary of the process, but to sum it up, go buy "Oh Crap! Potty training!" haha.