Family + Faith, Motherhood

SAHM Tips // Managing Housework and Raising Your Family

SAHM

 

Most days I have to swallow my pride and go to bed with a sink full of dishes, mountains of laundry and perhaps lots of German Shepherd dust bunnies around the house. It’s happened way more than I’d like to admit but I have found some easy ways to stay on top of housework with munchkins running around.

First you have to know, I am a clean freak. I hate clutter, I hate messes, and I hate when things are not where they belong. Now this personality trait, may be a flaw sometimes as a mother, but I work very hard to manage the messes and stay sane. Sometimes I could even go as far to say cleaning is like therapy to me. Good for the soul.

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If you will notice in the photo above, the floors aren’t clean. Can’t win them all!
Barstools: Target
Cabinet Paint: SW Alabaster

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Our dog has since thrown up on this rug thus completely ruining it and it had to go in the trash. I’m still pretty upset about it.
Desk: DIY Project, see it here
Rug: TJ Maxx
Bookshelves: Target
Chair: Tuesday Morning

 

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Here are my super easy tips and ways I stay on top of the messes while not letting cleaning rule my time. These babies are young and I don’t want to spend my days cleaning…
(disclaimer: what works for me, may not work for you! I’d love to hear your tips!)

Buy Products you love that work!
I have three go to cleaning supplies that I love. Now, if you are particular about your chemicals this list may not be for you. Clorox wipes (buy them in multiples!), Clorox Anywhere Surface Spray, and Murphy Oil Soap for our wood floors.
Also, we have invested in a Roomba (ours here). We have a German shepherd and we live in Texas. When you mix the two you get a lifetime supply of dog hair tumbleweeds. The Roomba has saved our butts on more than one occasion. It’s AMAZING.

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Prioritize!
Are your kiddos out of clean clothes? Do you have company coming over tomorrow? Prioritize! This has helped me so much. If I know we have guests coming over, I don’t feel so bad neglecting the laundry.

Laundry Everyday
This may sound like a nightmare, but it is another thing that has saved me. When I say everyday, I don’t mean the world will end if you miss a day or two. But when you are home keep a load going. Lock the kids in the laundry room (if they need to be supervised) and fold what’s in the dryer. I’ve had many days where it at least gets folded/put on hangers but doesn’t leave the top of the dryer. But at least we have clean clothes! As the kiddos get older and more independent it gets easier to find the time to put clothes away. I usually dedicate one gigantic load to only Cameron’s things and make it my goal to have all of her clean laundry at the bottom of the stairs before bedtime.

Gross Dishes
My all time least favorite chore! We have a new rule that if you put dishes in the sink you HAVE to clean them. Nothing worse than gross literal dirty dishes sitting in the sink. I hate running the dishwasher when it’s not at least 90% full so having mostly clean (no food/residue) dishes sitting in the sink doesn’t gross me out so much.

MAKE YOUR BED
Nothing makes me feel more put together than having a bed that is made first thing every morning. It also keeps me from wanting to crawl into it during the day.

This is more for the guys…
Put stuff back where it belongs. In our house, everything has a place and once your done using it, it goes BACK to its respective home… Or mommy goes crazy. 🙂

First Thing or Last Thing
This varies depending on how our day went. Either before bed or first thing before Cameron wakes up, I do a VERY quick clean. Counters/Dishes/Laundry/Sweep, etc. The easy stuff. It will help.

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Now I can admit that I clean some days more than I should. Meaning, I really need to put the broom down and read Cameron a book or go outside. It’s an annoying thing that I am working on changing.

Also, we have drastically tightened our budget to hire a house cleaner once a month. She spends a few hours here and does a BIG deep cleaning. It’s probably my favorite day of the month. I’m not being snobby or lazy, I am making my family a priority.

As a SAHM, I feel like I need to keep a clean house to “pull my weight” while my husband works. But more importantly, it’s my job to raise my kids in a happy, healthy home while my husband works. I am so thankful to be able to stay home with them and so thankful that my husband works so diligently to allow it in our budget. Cleaning takes a backseat a lot of times and I am constantly working at finding a balance between the two.

Aren’t we all just works in progress? 

XO, Jess

 

 

 

Motherhood

6 Weeks Postpartum (with 2 under 2!) 

Mr. Eli is 6 weeks old! Next thing you know, we are going to blink and he will be different AGAIN.



All About Eli

  • He was 10lbs at his 1 month appointment 
  • Wearing 3/3-6 month clothes 
  • Sleeps from 10pm-6/7am then back down until 10am
  • With a good nights sleep, he only takes one really good 2/3 hour nap during the day. Otherwise, quick 30 min naps. Can’t win them all. 
  • 100% breastfed 
  • Eyes are still blue but his hair is growing in dirty blonde like Cameron. 

In a nutshell, he is perfect. He is so sweet and easy-going (I said the same about baby Cameron and now she is a looney tune, I’m not naive! Haha). Those little grins we see all day seriously melt my heart. Mama’s boy for life. I already have anxiety about him bringing a girl home so I have a lot of appreciation for my mother in law! 

    Little Miss & Marriage

    Cameron had a rough week (around week 5). I’m not sure what it was, maybe teeth, but every morning after breakfast she threw the worst tantrums and cried/screamed almost constantly until noon. Afterwards, she would be fairly normal, but those mornings were tough. She seems okay now, less sensitive and back to normal. We stay busy and outdoors as much as possible. Good ole sunshine always brightens her days. The little emotions she has are sometimes too much and I can sympathize. 

    Tyler and I had our first date night, which was perfect! We went to dinner and spent a good chunk of the evening in Pottery Barn. I mean, is that not the best night ever?!

     Now that we are settled in with two kids, the tension can get a little overwhelming. Neither of us get a break during the days, but we just roll with it. We work so hard to remain a team which has always been our strong suit. We are totally different people but we are always on the same team, I’m thankful for that quality in our marriage. It makes things easier to overcome when the going gets tough. And the going is verrrrrrry tough right now. Kids are needy. Like, really needy. 

    F I T N E S S

    My 6 week postpartum check up is this week so I should be cleared to work out.  

    My sister and I came up with a good schedule to take the kids on walks and let Cameron burn off energy at the park which has been extremely helpful to me. Perks to having babies at the same time! 


    Even though it’s crazy, life is good.  Time is going by faster than I can even put into words. How unfair? When you are young it drags on but now with these beautiful little humans it is moving twice as fast. 

    My advice? Slow down. Stare at the little faces and definitely squeeze them tight even if they object! It’s hard but so worth it. The days are long but the years are short!
    XO, Jess 

    Style + Beauty

    “Mom” Makeup Must Haves 

     

    I use the term “mom” loosely because I have used all of these things pre/post kids. But I am a mom and these are still my all time favorites. I will try to get a video/routine up soon!

     

     

    Aveeno Clear Complexion Moisturizer 

    My skin type is “combination” which some how results in random acne outbursts from who knows where. Clean face + moisturizer = happy skin. I’ve been using this specific type for a few years now and the breakouts are very minimal.

     


    Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser 

    I’ve tried a few different primers which usually end up doing some major pore clogging. A tiny amount goes a long way for me and this stuff is great. Also, a great eyeshadow primer 👍🏻

     

     

    NYX Total Control Drop Foundation 

    This is a new find for me but it is hands down my favorite. I do the bare minimum when it comes to makeup because I usually have two other people that need attention and I’ve got to be quick. This has given me a completely “done up” look in a short amount of time. It comes with a little dropper so the more drops, the more coverage. Easy peasy. I use the color true beige.

     

     

    Urban Decay NAKED Eyeshadow Palette
    Urban Decay NAKED Basics
    Urban Decay NAKED Flushed
    Urban Decay Perversion Mascara
    Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eyeliner 

    Maybe I should be a spokesman for Urban Decay! Ha! I have all of the palettes because they are the best! Right now these are my favorite. And you’ll be able to see what colors are my favorite also! Quick eyeshadow, blush/bronzer, eyeliner and mascara. The basics has some great neutral colors and also matches my eyebrows perfectly. Triple win!

    I do top eyeliner only right now, and go over with some black eyeshadow. This stuff does not come off easily. I’ve cried through it, been sweaty, and rubbed with no problems at all. It’s seriously 24/7.

    My sister gave me this mascara for Christmas a few years ago and I don’t have the heart to switch, it does wonders!


     

     

    NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray

    Another new find for me! I know a lot of people like the “dewy” finish but it makes my semi-oily skin look sweaty. I prefer a matte finish and this stuff keeps my “face” on. Got me through a wedding, no problem!

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    There ya have it. An easy mixture of high end/drugstore brands that get the job done for this mama. I have mastered the look in a decent amount of time but one day when little hands are digging in my eyeshadow, I’ll have time to switch it up. 😂
    What are your favorite “must have” products? Am I missing something?!



    XO
    Jess

    Grace + Ford is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

     

    Family + Faith, Motherhood

    How To Keep Your Sanity With Two Under Two 

    How to

    We are a little over one month in with two kids under two (18 months apart). We don’t drink by we might need to start…kidding!

    This is how we are keeping our sanity with two under two so far.

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    1. WALK AWAY: I love Cameron dearly but sometimes (almost always) we have to walk away from her tantrums. No, you can’t have a sharpie. No, you can’t poke brother in the eye. You catch my drift.

    2. PUT THE BABY DOWN: Again, love my kids but dang. Sometimes we have to set Eli down in the swing, bouncer, somewhere safe from sisters curiosity. I held Cameron constantly for a good 6 months (she wouldn’t sleep anywhere else!) and I never got anything done. I don’t have that option this time around.

    3. TAKE TURNS: Tyler keeps me alive sometimes…errr…most of the time. Take a long shower and let someone…ANYONE…take the reigns for you. Happy mama, happy family, happy life. You have got to step away from the chaos, at least I do. At least once a day.

    4. ONE ON ONE TIME: This applies to spending time alone with your husband, as well as, with each kiddo. Going for a walk with Cameron, extra cuddles for bubba, and Tyler and I’s favorite is finding gems on Netflix. 🙃

    5. PRAY!!!: In the middle of all the crazy, stop and pray. There are times I get so overwhelmed by the very different needs of two little people, housework, and not losing myself in the process that the only thing I can do is pray. Pray I don’t lose my mind and pray for strength to press on!

    6. THIS TOO SHALL PASS: Even when you don’t want it to. I have a love/hate relationship with this phrase. Yes, it will pass. The hard days, the bad days, and even the good. They will pass. Remember this is a season of craziness, but with each new season comes new fun times and new challenges. I am learning to embrace the good and the bad.

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    Another thing I’ve found really helpful, is connecting with other moms that have two kids under two (or a baby with any age toddler). They get it. It’s hard, overwhelming but so rewarding.

    You are doing great!

    XO
    Jess

    Family + Faith

    Lifestyle Family Photos

    With the new addition of Mr.Eli, I snagged my sister (with her own new baby!) to come take some candid photos of our family, in our home. I love these photos so much because they captured Cameron’s silly personality and our family dynamic perfectly! Enjoy.

    Photos By: Amor Photography
    https://www.facebook.com/AmorPhotography16

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    Well there you have it! It was so much fun taking these and letting Cameron act like a crazy person. These capture the “essence” of her personality so well. Center of attention, always.

     

    Motherhood

    One Month Postpartum Update 


    ONE MONTH POSTPARTUM + Baby Update

    I am so torn. How can this fresh little baby feel like he has been here so long? I think it’s safe to say we are home. Bubba has melted into our daily routine; we have made some changes here and there and just rolled with the punches. Sure we may be later than usual, make some extra pit stops or just have to sit in the car a little longer, but this is our life. I am so at peace with everything even when that first week felt like I was losing it. Time really does heal. 

    Big Sister + Little Brother

    An 18 month old feels so much! I feel bad because I know she can’t express her feelings in an appropriate way so we are entering the tantrum phase. We know what triggers her so we do our best to avoid those things. Tired & Hungry are our biggest nemesis-es! When she doesn’t get her way (playing/wanting with something “dangerous” like a sharpie!) she throws her little fits. We try to talk her down and sometimes it works but for now re-directing works best until she can understand right from wrong. Otherwise, I am so proud of her. She has such a goofy disposition it’s impossible to be mad anyways. She gives the sweetest kisses and thankfully understands “be gentle” 99% of the time. She has tried to share many snacks with bubba and has no idea why he wouldn’t want a delicious cheerio! I can’t wait to watch them grow and blossom together. 

    That #NewbornLife

    Eli is going to be our shy one, that’s my guess anyway. He is quiet and calm. Trust me he still cries especially when it’s lotion time after a bath, but it’s not an ear piercing scream like Cameron was but breaks your heart just as much! He likes to be swaddled (unlike Cameron) and he likes swings/bouncers (unlike Cameron) but man he loves a warm bath & white noise … exactly like Cameron. It’s crazy how similar they are but so different. 

    He takes great naps but going to bed at 7:30 with sister results in waking up at 1am/5am. This past week we tried staying up with him a little later (watching a movie together after Cameron goes to bed!) and putting him down at 10pm. That’s two extra feedings before bed and he’s been sleeping 7-8 hours! Needless to say we are going to ride this wave for as long as possible! 

    Weight loss, ugh. 

    I feel like I’ve “bounced back” faster this time than I did with Cameron. Probably because I have a toddler to chase after. Helpful Hint: have your kids close together. You’ll be too busy to eat junk, so you will eat for fuel. You’ll be too busy to be lazy, so you will never be on the couch! WIN. I gained 25 lbs this pregnancy and I am happy to say I am back at my pre-pregnancy weight!!!! I have a pretty hefty goal to lose quite a bit more so I will start adding working out when I’m “allowed”. We take a lot of walks so that’s definitely helping me out. 

    I’m not “dieting” or following a “diet” but just eating so I can feed another little human and have energy! I haven’t had a Dr.Pepper since we came home from the hospital and I don’t eat a lot of carb/starchy food. I feel a lot better too! 

    Time Flies!

    August has been an interesting month to say the least. Tyler is back at work which was the final “back to normal” thing we needed to do. I feel great and so thankful that I get to be home with these babies. 

    Cameron is still a toddler and Eli is still a newborn, so pray for peace, patience and my sanity as we navigate this season of life! 

    XO 

    Jess 

    Motherhood

    Skiphop Greenwich Diaper Bag Review // What’s In My Diaper Bag: 2under2 

    “Wow, your hands are full!” Yes, yes they are. Because of those types of comments it was imperative that my diaper bag be out of the way

    A few months ago, I saw one of my favorite Instagram-moms (is that a thing?) post about this backpack before it launched. I fell in love with the color so I set an alarm on my phone for the launch day so I could snag it ASAP! 

    I’ve used it for about 4 months (once as a carry on Bag for a flight) and ever since baby #2 has graced us with his presence. I am seriously still in love with everything this backpack offers. Hands down, my all time favorite diaper bag. 

    From Skiphop’s Website: 


    So, you can see by the product details that the backpack really has a lot to offer in terms of space and comfort. It WILL NOT let you down. I can pack this sucker with everything you need for a toddler and baby and it’s still so comfortable. The color is awesome, the space is awesome, it’s trendy but not over the top. 

    I also used this as my carry on during a flight. I packed it with Cameron’s necessities and mine with zero problems. I was terrified I would feel like a junior high kid with a backpack full of textbooks but it is kind of crazy how sturdy the bag is without adding a lot of weight. 

    The leather version comes in three different colors and they also have a neoprene camo/black version. Would it be crazy for me to have 5 diaper bags? Hmm… 

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    My Diaper Bag essentials for 2 Under 2
    Let me just start by saying… why are kids so needy? I’m joking. But seriously. Each kid needs 500 different things to keep them sane in public and even then sometimes I’m stuck toting out a screaming toddler or running to the car because someone pooped all over me. #momlife 

    This front zipper pocket is “mine”. I keep my wallet, glasses and keys here when we are out. I should probably invest in a smaller purse but it’s easier to chase after a toddler that only knows how to run with a backpack. Ha..ha… The smaller pocket inside is perfect for phones except the iPhone plus sizes womp womp, don’t care!  I usually throw any last minute things in here. It’s a structured pocket so it doesn’t flop around or bulge even when it’s totally stuffed!

    The main compartment is gigantic! Again, this backpack has an awesome structure so it pretty much maintains it shape really well no matter how full or empty you have it packed. 



    There is so much stuff we lug around when we leave the house… as you can see. I like to be prepared but also keep things to a minimum. 

    What’s In My Diaper Bag…

    For mom: Wallet, Glasses, nursing pads (ugh)

    For sister: Food (she has a snack cup we bring with us and a cup of water, if we don’t all hell breaks loose ha!), Sippy Cup (fits perfectly in the outside bottle pocket), Hair ties (they get ripped out constantly so I keep extras on me), I also have a sticker/coloring book in the back pocket to entertain her if need be. 

    For brother: extra clothes, burp cloths

    Diapering/Health: Diapers, Wipes, Changing Pad Trash Bags, Boogie Wipes, hand sanitizer (Maui from Bath & Body Works) Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Wrap carrier.

    IT ALL FITS! And doesn’t feel like my back is going to break in half while I carry it. Most of the time I have the wrap in the car and the car seat cover… on the car seat, but you catch my drift. Load this sucker up! I’m super impressed with this backpack. 


    I’m not crazy about colorful/cartoon-y diaper bags so this is a great alternative. It matches my style and I’ve gotten a lot of compliments. Most people think it’s just a generic backpack, but nope! This is for mamas! 

    What’s your favorite diaper bag?
    XO

    Jess