We were recently on a plane home from Florida when someone asked me how old Quinn was and I said “five months” even though we were just days away from this half-year mark. I just have wanted to freeze time, to soak it in, and this milestone (while a celebration) feels like time just keeps moving faster. (Grandma and grandpa, you were right.)
Here’s the thing, I love the baby stage! Give me a newborn that snuggles on my chest any day of the week, and I’ll be a happy gal. And while I can celebrate all of the growth, changes, and acceleration of time, I’m simultaneously grieving that I’ll never have a newborn again. (I know, I know, mom, you’re reading this and thinking, “Well, just have another!” but I feel confident that our family is complete!)
This last month had its own unique challenges mixed with some of my favorite memories we’ve ever made as a family of four. If you’re close to me, I’ve likely sent you an, “I’m in the weeds” voice memo or laughed a little when you asked “How are you, really?” because this month was one for the record books in more ways than one. Let’s dive on into what we’ve been up to the last 30 days!
As I was standing next to the Nespresso this morning I laughed because I once was the girl who took daily naps, the girl who prided herself on how she cat napped daily and now I can pride myself on the fact that I can run a business and a family on fumes, yet somehow feel energized. Last month was the “sleep is good” month, this month has become the “what is sleep?” month. Coco was on the cusp of a lot of transitions and they kind of just stacked one on top of the other until we decided to dive deep into change — something we’ve resisted for too long.
From fighting to get her down for her naps (but then her napping for hours daily) to worrying that she suddenly might throw herself out of her crib in said fights, we made the call (and may still regret it) to transition her from the crib to a toddler bed and drop her daily naps. Why we did both of those things at the same time is beyond me (can I blame being sleep deprived?!), but we did. This resulted in a lot of evenings of interrupted sleep where Coco would wake up, yell, or come out of her room, and then I’d have to guide her back to her room, convince her to get back into her bed (sometimes climb in there myself), and get her to fall back asleep.
Thankfully, two weeks later, I optimistically think we’re figuring it out, but whew, let’s just say mama needs a full night’s sleep in my own bed. The one plus of all of the transitions is that what once took us an hour to get her down to bed (with eighteen books, two renditions of Rudolph, and every request under the sun) now takes a total of ten minutes before she says, “Mom, please let me go to sleep, I’m tired.” So we’ll chalk that up as a win.
There were many evenings where I’d be in Coco’s room multiple times and as soon as I got her back down, Quinn would wake up, so yeah, this month I’m reporting to you live, sleep-deprived, but hopeful. Clinging to the line that “everything is temporary” for my own sanity.
Things we loved:
1.) This stroller that is also a car seat: You never really think of the logistics until you’re traveling or taking an Uber somewhere but your kid needs a car seat and you likely don’t want to lug it around upon arrival. You also might need a stroller, so two in one? Yes, please. We bought this back when Coco was a baby and dang it, it’s amazing. I can’t tell you the number of times we pull out the car seat and pop out the wheels and people comment on how genius the whole thing is! We brought this with on our trip to Florida and gate-checked it which allowed us (well, more specifically Coco) to push Quinn through the airport. This is THEEEE best thing for travel and it simplifies the entire process. Also, we honestly couldn’t have managed our bags if Coco didn’t push Quinn so thank goodness she’s the most helpful sister ever and that this stroller is compact and easy to push.
2.) This carrier: Trust me when I say, I have just about every carrier on planet earth and they all are amazing for different things. Some are pretty, some are cuddly, but if I could only choose one carrier, it would be this one. Not only is it ergonomically designed (if you’re a nursing mama, your back and neck will thank you!) but it works for both dad and mom. Drew uses this every single day and wore Coco in it daily until she was about two, so ours has gotten a lot of use and has stood the test of time. While I love the wraps and the ring slings and all the others, I would without a doubt choose this one if I had to get one over and over again. Trust me, you’ll use it.
3.) This nursing cover: Traveling always reminds you of what things are truly a necessity and what’s simply nice to have. Since we were on a business trip, I had to nurse Quinn on the plane, in meetings, at dinner, and this nursing cover is something I wish I had when I had Coco. It’s breathable, chic, and can be used as a car seat cover, a blanket, basically anything. It’s not just cute, it’s so practical (it’s also designed by mama’s, so you know it’s good!). I got a few different colors of this, and I use them all of the time!
4.) This sunscreen: I recently shared on Instagram stories that I’m doing laser hair removal on my face (it’s honestly life-changing for someone who has had to carry a set of tweezers with her all the time for those stray chin and neck hairs) and I have to really protect my skin — which honestly, I think we should all be doing. This sunscreen works as a makeup primer and it also feels so good going on your skin. The girls let me put this on their faces and I love how it’s clean and it’s also clear, no more white Elmer’s glue residue for us! This spray is what I swear by for kiddos’ bodies, and thankfully my babes let me spray them to keep them from getting burnt in Florida.
5.) This nightlight/humidifier/sound machine: Yes, all in one. We got this months ago but finally pulled it out with all of the sleep transitions happening. Coco loves it and it’s become a part of our nightly routine which includes filling the humidifier, her choosing which oil goes in it, and then selecting which color she wants the bear to be. It’s super cute, sits on her nightstand, and it stays on all night long to give a good glow in her room without interrupting her sleep!
Mom and Work-Life Lately:
I will say, up until this point, I felt like I was nailing it — like, I’ve got this, I’m rocking it, look at me go. I’m laughing now because I’m in a text thread with two mama’s who I’ve walked through this whole motherhood journey with and right around the 6-month mark for their second, they both sent texts at different times of like: “Wait, I thought I had this, this is crazy, I’m drowning!” and now, here I am. Perhaps, I have arrived.
The truth is, with my book coming out end of June, things are getting busier! As I reflect, really, since Coco was born, I haven’t had this heavy of a schedule or this deep of a desire to really do this work well and to be all in on something. What’s beautiful is that I am launching this book so methodically and working so far in advance coming from a place of anticipation and not urgency, but it’s definitely requiring a more rigorous schedule and some things I’ve never experienced before.
In this last month, I had a trip to LA that took me away Monday – Friday and while I shortened my trip and condensed it as much as humanly possible to get back to my family, I ultimately had to be gone! I did 14 interviews in four days before flying home and dang it, I was exhausted. On top of the interviews, I was watching Coco at night to try and catch her before she ran out of her room. One night I sat from 3AM-4AM repeating “Smell the roses, blow out the candles” to help her breathe and calm back down. I found myself up in the middle of the night, monitor in hand, pumps attached to my boobs, and thinking that I should just cancel my interviews and get home. This career/mom thing isn’t for the faint of heart. Thankfully, Drew is theeee best dad and kept reassuring me that he was rocking it (and frankly, he did incredible because balancing two kids without being a lactating human is no joke!)
I was home for just a few days before we left for Florida (another work trip) but with some reassurance, I was encouraged to bring the family along. My mom was supposed to accompany us for both trips and after an unexpected foot surgery that left her on crutches, we had to get more creative about what made the most sense! (We missed ya, mama!) In Florida for a mastermind, I was able to juggle family time and work time (most of the time with Quinn in my lap) and it was honestly an incredible trip with friend time, family time, business time, and beach time. Drew and I worked well as a team and between sessions, I got special time with the girls. It honestly felt like a super special trip and redemptive after a few tough weeks! I’m also so grateful that my peers in the industry were so understanding with the juggle and welcomed all the parts of me into the event. I know so many aren’t invited to integrate in that way, but doing so reminded me why I started a business in the first place: to do things on my own terms.
Highlights: I was sharing at the mastermind with the group of 20, sitting upfront when Drew and Coco walked by the conference room and Coco heard my voice in the microphone and came running into the room in her bathing suit. The girl had so much confidence, she walked right up to me and said, “Hey mom, what are you doing? Can I come sit by you?” She climbed up front and sat and listened as I shared some marketing takeaways. It was honestly so cute! I’ve had a rule that if I’m working and she can sit with me, I will let her. I never want her to feel like my work is unapproachable and so while it wasn’t ideal, the interruption, I was in a space with a lot of parents and it made us all smile! She then went on to run out to the pool, so it was short and super sweet.
Then we had a 10-hour day and Drew and I kept going back and forth on what to do with Quinn! We were 30 minutes from the hotel and I didn’t have enough milk to leave her behind, so I decided to bring her along. I brought her along with me and packed her monitor, a white noise, and her baby bed and found a quiet room to set her up in. Thankfully, she is the quietest little gal, but I essentially would hold her, nurse her, and then she would sleep for a few hours! I also did my first speech with her strapped to my chest in the Ergo! Thankfully it was just ten minutes on stage and she had just woken up from her nap, but sometimes you gotta do what you can with what you’ve got and thankfully my plan worked well and I got to take part in the long mastermind day while loving on (and feeding) my little one.
To Sum Up Month 5
I should have known when writing a book, “How Are You, Really?” that I’d get asked that question often. Depending on what day you caught me on, I likely did a little laugh and then said something like: “My life feels full. I love motherhood, I love my work, and it’s a lot of love to manage on the daily, but I’m doing the best I can.” And honestly, that’s all I can do right now! On to the next month, here we go (and let’s all pray for a little more sleep!).
- Click here for our Month 5 Recap
- Click here for our Month 4 Recap
- Click here for our Month 3 Recap
- Click here for our Month 2 Recap
- Click here for our Month 1 Recap