Tag Archives: Motherhood

Well, well, well.

How did three and a half years happen since I last posted?! I kept on telling myself I need to write, and yet, sitting down to make that actually occur hasn’t happened. When the days are so full you feel like it’s hard to breathe, and everybody needs so much, AND you need to take care of yourself somehow… writing gets pushed to the very, very bottom of the very, very long list of things to do.

I was working for Stitch Fix for two years (2018-2020), which sucked up a lot of my free time, and then the pandemic started, and I was at the end of my rope. Trying to work from home with two very active kids is no joke. And then we decided to add another one to the mix! We welcomed sweet Camille in August 2021, and life has been even crazier {in the best of ways}. I took this year off of teaching so I can soak up the time with the baby, and it has been glorious. Also, teaching on Zoom for a year was not the business. I couldn’t stand the thought of being in a classroom surrounded by students and bringing all that yuck home to a tiny bebe.

Sweet Millie, six months old and starting to investigate everything

Needless to say, in the last FOUR YEARS, a lot has happened around here. I’m not going to work in order of projects because frankly, I can’t remember exactly when things occured. (If you follow along on my Instagram, I do post quite frequently over there!) But I will give a bird’s eye view of what we’ve done on our corner of the world.


Labor of love

The most difficult thing I’ve ever done is be a mother. I’ve been through some pretty big trials throughout my life- but those trials have had an end. Not motherhood. Every single day, I’m responsible for someone else… well, two someone else’s. I can’t just drop everything and go on a spontaneous trip, or go out for drinks on a Saturday night, or schedule a hair cut whenever I want. I have to think about how two little people are going to be taken care of, and how they might feel. I’m not saying I don’t love being a mother; quite the contrary. But I will say I have made some major life adjustments, especially in the area of my career, that wouldn’t have occurred if I didn’t have David and Caroline. 



I have to hold him in order to get a picture with him nowadays. Three year olds, I tell yah.

Motherhood is hard. It’s hard always putting someone else first. It’s hard seeing your body change. It’s hard being so damn tired all the time. It’s hard having to think so much. It’s hard being consistent with discipline. It’s hard not sleeping in. Damn, do I miss sleeping in



She wanted the pom poms on my tank. Never any personal space around here.

But you know what makes motherhood even harder than all of the things I mentioned above?

Our culture’s expectations of how mothers “should be.”



“This hat is obnoxious.”



We are fed a narrative that tells us we should look a certain way, act a certain way, and sacrifice everything for our children.

That’s ridiculous. 

Motherhood doesn’t mean you have to loose yourself in your children. It doesn’t mean parenting the same way or acting a certain way. 




He sees the world as pure magic. So refreshing.



Because we believe we have to be a certain way, we compare ourselves. Comparison is the thief of joy, people! Women have told me they think I have it all together… puh-lease. My car is filled with goldfish crackers in the nooks and crannies, too, and more days than not I have my children’s bodily fluids on some part of my body. I don’t wash my hair enough, and I still have boxes I have yet to unpack- 7 weeks after moving later. My life is a mess, too, folks. All of us have messes.


Embrace the messy, give yourself grace. Don’t buy the story you’ve been fed that mothers have to be perfect. They don’t. Moms only need to love their children fiercely and love on them. That’s the definition of a perfect mother. 


“Can you ever just be whelmed?”

“I think you can in Europe.”
If you haven’t watched 10 Things I Hate About You, this quote won’t be very funny. However, if you have, it’s one of the dozens of one liners that stick with you long after the movie is over.
It kind of sums up the last few weeks of my life. I’m not overwhelmed- the house is mostly unpacked (!!!) and both of my kids are starting to settle into a rhythm. We go to the aquarium once a week, and library story time every week. We go to the park on occasion, play outside, and go to Target, too. (David loves going to Target!)
I’m not underwhelmed, either- I love living here. I love the weather- there’s a 30 degree temperature range, and it hasn’t gotten over 85F. I’m close to the beach and there’s otters in the estuary… and I love otters. Like, l.o.v.e.
I’m just whelmed. We can’t afford for me to stay home forever, and the future I had planned- being a teacher- just isn’t panning out the way I had wanted. I had anticipated more job openings in my credential area, based on my research and inquiries, and those aren’t happening. That leaves me looking for jobs in industry, but being a teacher hasn’t given me those specialized, technical skills employers are looking for. Lacking a second language is definitely stymying my confidence in applying for many jobs, as well. Our list of home improvements is long, and Jensen has been working so much, it feels like we’ll never make progress- I’ve been trying to hang art on the walls for the last two and a half weeks, and something always pops up that makes it not happen!
Remember my post a few weeks back about what is happening behind the scenes of those pretty Instagram pictures? This is behind the scenes- this is my real life. It’s not easy to share our fears, but there’s value in being transparent… we’re all struggling with something.
Part of my process of getting out of this funk is that I need to acknowledge these feelings, and then work on a solution. So, today, I created a LinkedIn profile. Tomorrow, I’m going to get out a hammer and start hanging some damn pictures. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the only way to eat an entire elephant is to take one bite at a time.
Hugs, friends. Create that to-do list, outline how you’re going to get to your goals, and it’ll happen, if you keep on trying.

Makin’ Mini Frittatas

Some people like to call these mini egg cups or egg muffins… but I can’t do it. It just sounds weird to me, so I like to call them mini frittatas. Plus, the way my three year old says frittata is super cute.


I thought that once I didn’t have to hustle two kids out the door every morning before work that somehow, it would be less hectic. I thought wrong. David usually manages to wake up his sister by yelling “Mama! MAMA! MAMA THE SUN IS UP!” and once I let him out of bed, he thunders down the hallway to play with toys. Once Caroline is woken by all the thumping and hollering, she starts to whine to remind me that she, too would like to get up, and then it’s a big rush to get everyone breakfast and changed into fresh diapers and underwear and brush our teeth and comb our hair. I don’t put getting dressed on this list, because pajama life is the way to go until it’s about 10.30AM and it’s time for play time outside.

I was trying to come up with a quick easy breakfast idea that both kids could eat easily, because waffles and pancakes are just too much sugar to eat on a regular basis, and cereal is a non-starter right now. I scrolled Pinterest for quick breakfast ideas, and mini frittatas caught my eye- high protein, veggie loaded. It is a no brainer!

These are really easy to make, and you can use whatever you have on hand. I had the following ingredients, and I really didn’t want to make another trip to the store, so I winged it, and think they turned out great.

Bacon and Bell Pepper Mini Frittatas

  • 10-12 eggs
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 4-5 strips of bacon, diced or crumbled (we did ours on the barbeque, so it was extra crispy <3)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

*you could add red pepper flakes if you want a little kick, but I had to keep my kids in mind, so I passed

1. Heat oven to 350F. Chop ingredients in the meanwhile


2. Grease muffin pan generously. I used Pam with Olive Oil. Don’t be shy with the spray!

3. Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Stir thoroughly.


4. Pour mixture into muffin cups. I tried to keep mine about 1/2 to 3/4 full.

5. Put into oven. Mine seemed to need to bake for about 15 minutes, but check them around 11 minutes.


David liked these, except for the bell pepper. Caroline loved them!

Happy Thursday, and may you make it through one more hectic morning until it’s Saturday!




P.S.- I realized the last three posts have been about food. Sorry not sorry. I think about food a lot 🙂

Bedtime Routine for My Toddler

I’ve gone over how I put my one year old to bed on this post linked here, and I think it’s worth a post of it’s own to discuss how our three year old handles his bedtime routine as well.

With the development of his language ability, he’s become much more vocal about how bedtime should go- and rightfully so. It’s his night, too! For a long, long time- until he was about 18 months old- his bedtime routine was the exact same as his sister’s. We have adjusted and added to his routine as he needed to grow with his needs. This was mentioned in the book, The Happy Sleeper. This book has really worked for our family, and I can’t recommend it enough. I know everyone has their own special sleep book, but for us, it’s been a game changer and worked with two different babies, so…

We eat dinner at 6 PM- and I know, it’s really hard to stop life to make dinner. This is something that’s really important to my husband and I, however, so we eat together most nights as a family. As the children get older and activities are added, I’m sure this will have to be adjusted, but I think time spent around the table is a good way to reconnect as a family at the end of each day, so every day at 6pm, you’ll find us around the dining room table.

Some nights he isn’t interested in what we are cooking, and that’s fine- he can pick at what he likes, but he STILL has to sit at the table with us. He isn’t a very big fan of this, but table manners are important, and I think this is an age appropriate one for him.

After dinner, we take a bath. This is definitely his favorite part, there’s a lot of splashing and laughing. He might fight us when he gets in, but it always ends with a smile. Sometimes it’s hard getting him out, too. (Hellooooo, three- an opinion on everything!) It’s helped us tremendously to use sand timers so he can see his time pass by. Three year olds can struggle with transitions, and these little sand timers from Amazon have helped us all so much! He can see the time lapse, and we don’t get a meltdown- win, win. Best $6 I’ve spent in a loooonnnnngggg time!

We apply his body lotion- Eucerin Eczema Relief has been a life saver for him and his dry itchy skin, and it doesn’t have a strong fragrance- comb his hair, brush his teeth [and man, this is a post in and of itself- he fought tooth brushing for ages!!!!] and put on clean warm jammies.

For a long time, David would go straight to his room for story time after finishing up his bath, but recently, he’s seemed to need a little personal unwind time, so we now give him 10 minutes to play with his toys- again, using those sand timers make the end of play time much easier.

We clean up all of our toys, and then we head to his bedroom. We turn on his white noise machine, his Benjamin Bunny alarm clock {again, another post- this is more for the morning wakeup stuff}, read a book, and sing Twinkle Twinkle. I’m not lying when I tell you that some nights, he’s so tired he asks to go to bed and skip story and song time. He climbs into bed, I tuck him in, and turn off the light.

He’ll lay in bed and talk for awhile, but there’s no screaming, no fighting. He asks to go to the potty and for a glass of water, but he isn’t stalling, he’s just getting needs met.

I don’t think this is the end-all be-all routine. I think the reason it works so well is because we are very consistent with bedtime, even when we travel. Even with our move and all of the emotions he’s experiencing, he doesn’t fight getting into bed… I wish I could say the same with all of the other steps, but that isn’t our truth right now. I know this is just a phase, however, and he’ll go back to normal, because we’re consistent and he’ll adjust to this new normal.

What special things do you do for your kid’s bedtime?



Affiliate links were used in this post ❤

Bedtime Routine for Our Baby Girl

I’m a bit militant about my children’s sleep. Make that A LOT militant. I have struggled with sleep for most of my life, and I don’t want my children to do the same. I did a lot of research, I tried a lot of things, and I found what works best for my littles. I think they sleep pretty well, especially at home, so I thought I would share my routine with you in hopes that it will help some other tired mama out there.

First and foremost, this book  was my favorite one that I read, and the one that I felt the most comfortable with. It’s called The Happy Sleeper. I couldn’t stomach the Cry It Out method (and if it works for you, you do you, but it just about broke my heart!) This book’s methods allow your baby to learn, with your loving support, how to self-soothe to sleep. I didn’t start with this method until they were both about 4 months old. This method really focuses on routine and consistency, which is something I firmly believe in as a classroom teacher, so this really felt natural to me.

We eat dinner at 6 pm every night, and Caroline is in bed between 6.30-6.45 pm.  I get a lot of guff from friends that we eat early, but by 6 pm rolls around, she is READY to go to bed.


After we eat, Caroline either gets a proper bath or a sponge bath. I’ve been using Mustela since David was a baby, and I love the smell. If she gets a proper bath, I’ll use the Mustela Two in One bath gel.


When we go into her room, I turn on the lamp and white noise machine and draw the curtains. I dry her off in her special unicorn bath towel, put on a fresh diaper using //ws-La Petite Creme diaper creme (heavenly scent, really!) and give her a thorough once over  with Mustela Hydra Bebe lotion.   After she gets her jammies on, we brush her teeth with this Orajel baby toothbrush and gel. You might wonder why I’m going into so much detail about this whole deal- it’s because all the sounds, smells, and noises indicate to her that it’s time to go to bed. If you consistently use the same products in the same order, it’s a signal to your baby that bedtime is eminent.


After we go out and give kisses to her brother and dad, we go back to her room and she nurses, and then we read a short story. (Every night… from when she was a month old. I think reading has made a huge difference for David’s language ability, so I’m dedicated to this for her, as well.) I turn off the light, sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” and I rock her for a minute or two. I quietly lay her down in her crib and tell her “Good night, Caroline, I love you.” I  then walk out of the room. She’s not even partially asleep at this point- she knows how to put herself to sleep every night. There’s no tears, no yelling, nothing. It’s so peaceful.


So, that’s it… That’s how I put my 11 month old to bed every night. I have found that by remaining peaceful and calm, it helps her as well, and we both love our routine. I hope this helps!



PS: I should add- it didn’t start this way when I first got her started on her bedtime routine. She would cry for about 5 minutes, I would walk in and tell her “It’s bedtime, Caroline, time to go to sleep,” and leave. I did this as many time as it took. Caroline learned much more quickly than David, but they both learned how to soothe themselves to sleep.

.Affiliate links are included in this post. No content was sponsored- recommendations are strictly from my own experience. 

Easter Egg Magic

I love dying Easter eggs! They are so bright and joyful, and are a happy reminder that Spring is finally here. I’m one of the few people who actually hard boil and dye eggs for our family’s egg hunt each year (no suprise that the plastic eggs filled with candy or money are more popular! Haha). I figured I should make them something special.

I was scrolling through Facebook and found a video for creating marbled Easter eggs. Intrigued to see if it works, I decided to try it out. The worst that could happen was I would loose $4 in eggs and Cool Whip. I’m delighted to report that this does indeed work!

Supplies are simple- vinegar to soak eggs in, one to two tubs of Cool Whip, defrosted, hard boiled eggs, and food dye. You’ll also need a toothpick to marble the food dye.

Before everything starts, soak the eggs in vinegar for about two minutes. As the eggs were soaking, I spread Cool Whip in a small metal roasting pan (I only did a dozen eggs). I put drops of food dye in various colors all in random pattern throughout the Cool Whip and then used a toothipick to distribute the food dye throughout.


I was holding a baby while trying to photograph this… forgive me 🙂

Then comes the best part, at least according to my David. I did this step outside on the patio table, and I recommend not doing this alone if your child is three and extremely active. I gave David eggs, and he rolled them around in the Cool Whip mixture.

Be forewarned- it’s going to look a little messy and you’re going to wonder if the eggs will turn out. Your toddler’s hands are going to be dyed. My son wanted to bang the eggs into the dish, so they got a little smashed. I say, it adds character to the eggs. No biggie.

Let the eggs sit for ten to fifteen minutes in the Cool Whip concoction. The Cool Whip acts as a medium to let the dye sit on the eggs, much like you would soak the eggs in the dye in cups.

When the time is up, rinse in cool water and set to dry on a drying rack.


I’m wearing black to hide any stains. Pro tip. 

Your finished product will look something like this:


Let me know in the comments if you try this yourself! Does your family dye eggs, or do you prefer the plastic treat filled variety?



Our Sweet Caroline’s Sweet Room

It’s definitely different for the second child. It was really hard to get Caroline’s room ready for her- I was working full time at the time, at least 45 hours a week, my grandmother was ill (terminally, but we didn’t realize it), and my pregnancy had some complications that made life harder. In fact, I was so stressed I went off work early and ended up delivering at 36.5 weeks- so her room was DEFINITELY not finished.

Somehow, though, I managed to finish Caroline’s room by the time she was three months old.. a herculean feat, if I do say so. I honestly couldn’t tell you how it was finished in my postpartum haze. My grandmother had passed only two weeks after she was born, so there was a lot going on that made it even more difficult than the challenge of adding a new baby to the family. It was really, reallly important to me that she was as celebrated and cherished and made over as her older brother, and I wanted her to have her own special, beautiful space- even though I know she won’t remember it.

It feels a little anti-climatic to post this as she approaches almost one year old (!!!!), but it will be nice to have it saved for posterity. And it’s such a sweet room and I love it so much…


11 months old. Stop. It.


We had the room painted with the grey vertical stripes for David (because this room was his and we moved him out when she was born), and I just loved them so much I kept them. The curtains are from //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=ourhilltophom-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B01CTW3GSY&asins=B01CTW3GSY&linkId=a5b39b50dbc9a30fb1ab896f94ee8fa7&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>Amazon, and the dressers were amazing Craigslist finds by my husband. The laundry basket is a very handy size, and I’ve found the handles to be extremely convenient. I couldn’t find the same one, so I linked to a similar.


Our bookcase was a hand-me-down (the best kind!), and as you can tell, we REALLY love children’s books around here. Like, a lot. The sign is from Smallwoods (but is no longer available :(, but they do have some great nursery options.) I found this banner on Etsy and intended it for her first birthday, but I loved it so much I made it a permanent part of her bedroom decor.


This is the part of the room I spend the most time in, by far and away. I love this glider because it has a high back, so I can fall asleep comfortably in the middle of the night (which happens more frequently than I’d like to admit.) This crib quilt came from Pottery Barn Kids Emily & Merritt collection.  I’m obsessed with it, I love the graphic black and white.


Finally, her sweet crib. Modern Burlap sheets and swaddles are the best (seriously, love them!). I get compliments on her swaddle blankets all the time, plus, it’s a mom run company which is always fulfilling to support. The crib is also Pottery Barn . It’s the exact same one David had, and it converts to a toddler bed with a conversion kit.  I bought the streamers for her Sip and See, and thought it would just be a nice touch of color for the wall above her crib. The mobile is super special to me… my aunt Marianne gave it to me for my son at his baby shower. She passed only a few months after David was born, so it’s a way to keep her watching over my sweet babies while they sleep.

I simply love this room, and I hope she sees pictures and loves it when she’s older, too.

The Devaurs’ Do Disneyland

I’m not a Disneyland fanatic, but it is definitely my favorite theme park. It’s the only one I’ve visited multiple times, and the only one that makes me smile when I think of it. It’s also a little bittersweet to me- my father always swore he would take my brother and I to the park, but never did… but because he wanted to do it, no one else could. Therefore, I didn’t get to experience the magic of Disneyland until I was 11.

Needless to say, it was and is very, very important to me that my own children get to go to Disneyland when they are small enough to really fall in love with the characters and to fall under the Disneyland spell.

However, and this is a big however, I was scared to go to the park with my small children. My children are on a pretty strict schedule and theme parks aren’t really conducive to nap times. Nevertheless, as David’s third birthday approached and the realization that we’ll have to pay over $100 for him to get into the park after he hits the that third birthday, it hit me, now or never. My frugality won out.

So… we did it. IMG_20180311_222810_129


I don’t think I was fully prepared for what to bring or expect, but I did learn a few lessons and have a few tips that I think might help other families planning their own trip.

Firstly, we only did one day, and yes, that’s a luxury of living only a few hours away from the park. Some people might say that’s not long enough, but for my almost 3 year old and 10 month old, one day was plenty. It’s been three days since we got home, and they’re still recovering! We arrived on Saturday evening, went to the park all day on Sunday, and left Anaheim Monday morning.  Obviously a weekday would have been less crowded, but the park was pretty empty when it opened, and it was drizzly, which kept some people away. (We didn’t mind the rain at all.)



I’m really glad we brought our stroller, but regret not having a double stroller. David wanted to ride in the stroller all day, and between Caroline’s napping and need to be out of the Ergobaby carrier (which was another good call), he didn’t get enough rest time from walking. He ended up on Jensen’s shoulders a lot, which David didn’t mind, but Jensen’s shoulders did. The stroller carried our snack bag, which was a good call- I could keep the kids fueled up and didn’t need to buy a lot of extra food besides meals.

If you have the money in your trip budget, I cannot recommend Breakfast in the Plaza with Minnie and Friends enough. The meal was delicious and both kids really loved meeting Chip and Dale, Minnie, and Tigger. It was also a nice way to start the day- low key and a filling meal.


Even Caroline loved Breakfast with Minnie and Friends. 

Disneyland offers a baby center for moms and babies, and I loved this resource. I wish there were more around the park, honestly. It was a quiet place to nurse Caroline, and she’s pretty easily distracted now, so I appreciated that she wasn’t constantly flopping over to see all the goings-on. It also offered a really nice changing table, and even potties for little kids. I imagine it would be great for babies in the summer, as well, because it would be air conditioned.


Napping hard in the stroller. 

David liked most of the rides, especially the train and Pirates of the Caribbean. Caroline loved the carousel and It’s A Small World. Word to the wise- don’t take your toddler on the Haunted Mansion. It was a pretty rough start for David, and we got a lot of dirty looks when he was yelling “I gotta get out of here!!!” (Again, it ended well, but getting started was always the hardest part of each ride for him.) He also loved the tea cups, and now says he loved the Tiki Room. (I think the Dole Whips helped, just saying.)


He loved the train best of all. 


On It’s a Small World. Do you detect a theme?


In the Tiki Room. David now won’t stop singing the Tiki Room song, but at the time, he was not feeling it. Caroline loved it, naturally


I love this girl. Such a trooper through such a long day. PS- the rose gold Minnie ears are SO basic and I SO love them anyway. 

I think my most important lesson here was to just go with the flow. My kids’ schedules are still off, but I really forced myself to be in the moment and not worry about the clock. They’ll get back to normal, eventually, and watching my children laugh and smile nearly all day <<only a few meltdowns on David’s part, yesssss>> is something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. Sometimes, you just have to go all day to get the most out of a short period of time. They’re not little forever, so I had to force myself to embrace it. I’m so glad I did.  I couldn’t help but tear up a few times throughout the day, it means that much to me to be able to give my children the experiences I never had myself.


End of the night- ears on, saggy pants, tired boy