Fab Mom: Katharine Coggeshall of Fitness Translator

I’m excited to introduce you to a new “Fab Mom” in my Fab Mom Series, Katharine Coggeshall of Fitness Translator. Katharine recently switched careers from being a full-time scientist to becoming an in-home personal trainer, specializing in women’s weight loss. The career switch enables her to spend more time with her three children, while giving something back to the community — her knowledge of science-based healthy weight loss, especially for moms trying to lose weight after baby is born!

You can follow Katharine on Facebook and Twitter, or learn more about what she has to offer on her website here.

Here’s Katharine:

fitness translator

Who calls you mom and how old are they?

I have 3 little ones: Emma (7 yrs), Michael (5 yrs), and Adeline (3 yrs).

What do you do?

I’m an in-home personal trainer, specializing in women’s weight loss, and I have a health and wellness blog—FitnessTranslator.com. But when my kids get out of school in the afternoon, I’m home with them. They get my full attention.

What does a typical day look like for you?

All 3 littles are dropped off at school and I prioritize my day: my own exercise routine, in-home training sessions, blogging, household chores, and lots of reading. When the kids are done with school, I pick them all up and we do our afterschool activities, head home to prep dinner, spend the evening with daddy, and put them all to bed.

Any advice on how to “juggle it all”?

Organize! I make lists of all the lists I need to make. Every Sunday I plan the meals for the week and make a grocery list to coincide with it. I write down all of the activities and action items needed for the kids that week, and a separate list of my own action items. I keep a pad of paper and a pen in my purse at all times, because if it doesn’t get written down it is probably not going to happen!

When was the first time you really felt like a mother?

When I breastfed my first baby. It’s a powerful thing. I can remember every detail of it still.

What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?

Having mommy guilt—that feeling like I’m supposed to be conquering the world mixed with that feeling of I’m supposed to be taking care of my babies. You never feel 100% comfortable with where you are at that moment because you can never be in 2 places at once.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mom?

When I see one of my children being kind to another child. I feel like all of my caring, patience, disciplining, time, and energy was worth it. Like I helped to add something positive to this world.

What’s the funniest/most shocking thing that has happened to you since you’ve become a mom?

I was recently prepping my assembly line of lunches in the morning, and my youngest (Adeline) asked me to make her some pancakes (“fancakes” as she likes to call them). I told her I was too busy, so she decided to quietly help me out by making them herself. She knew all of the ingredients and poured them all on the floor: flour everywhere, smashed eggs, oil, and even some cinnamon! She was so proud of herself, I didn’t know what to say!

I wrote a post about “mental snapshots” that I’ll always remember, even without a photo. I know it’s hard to choose one, but what is your favorite moment, or “mental snapshot”, with your little ones so far?

This past summer I took all of my kids back to my home town in New Mexico to visit my family and their cousins. My mental snapshot is of my littles with all of their cousins, playing in the desert just like I used to do growing up. It was really special.

What has been your best baby product purchase so far and why? What age is it appropriate for?

A Moby wrap. It’s appropriate for newborn-toddler. My second baby practically lived in it while I was chasing my oldest around, who was a toddler at the time. Babies find it so soothing and moms can actually have their hands free.

What’s something new you have learned about yourself after becoming a mother?

I never realized how patient I could be. In fact, I don’t think I was until I had children. But there is no limit to what a mother will do for her child, even learn to be patient!

What do you do to unwind/relax when you have some rare time to yourself?

Apart from exercising, I love to get a massage and take a really hot bath. It’s even better when your muscles are really sore.

What is your favorite outing, to date, with your little ones?

I love the San Diego Zoo. It’s a really nice combination of nature, walking, attractions, and excitement. My kids are never bored there and they always sleep really well afterward!

I have a running list of Whine & Dine Restaurants that are family-friendly in San Diego. What’s your favorite restaurant that you frequent with your family and in what city? Why do you dine out there?

We love the Panera in Carmel Mountain Ranch because it has a covered outdoor area that is absolutely perfect for noisy kids! It’s even shady.

Pretend your best friend is pregnant and about to have a baby. What’s the most important piece of advice you would share about “motherhood”?

Never forget to mother yourself. She won’t need much advice about mothering her child, we do it pretty naturally, but we moms never understand the importance of nurturing ourselves. Your child benefits from it as well.

For more information about Fitness Translator, contact Katharine:

fitness translator

FitnessTranslator@gmail.com
217.979.0253
fitnesstranslator.com

Fab Mom: Jillian Darlington of MomCo App

Another week, another Fab Mom spotlight! I’m very excited to introduce you to our next Fab Mom, Jillian Darlington. Jillian is the founder of the new MomCo App that just launched this week (a big congrats, Jillian!) She’s doing amazing things and all as a single mom which makes her story even more inspiring. You can follow Jillian on her social sites: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, YOUTUBE, and check out her kickstarter campaign here. Without further ado, here’s Jillian:

momco app

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi, I’m Jillian. I am the creator and founder of the MomCo App. I’m the single mom of 7yr old little boy, former small business owner and entrepreneur loving life in San Diego. I owned Play Town Indoor Playground in El Cajon 2009-2013. I was a stay at home mom until my marriage came to a tragic end in 2009. I bought Play Town to earn a living to support myself and my son while still being able to be a full time mom cause of the flexible schedule being a small business owner gives you. I started my current career as an entrepreneur with making a profit from selling Play Town and using that to build the MomCo App for the iPhone.

More than anything I’m a mom. My son and I are very active. We love going to indoor playgrounds, playing football, surfing and all the fun activities San Diego has to offer. I have never enjoyed anything more or been better at anything than being a parent. Everything I do in business is to support me being able to take care of my son 24/7 and fully participate in all his activities.

 What projects are you currently working on?

I have created an app for moms called MomCo. www.momcoapp.com It helps moms find and connect with other moms in their community as well as local businesses and services that cater to parents and children. It’s also a great platform for these service providers to connect directly with their target demographic. I have been able to fund the iPhone version with the capital I earned selling my last business. We are constantly working to add features and improve function with the current app to get it ready for the national launch. I have also just launched a Kickstarter Campaign http://kck.st/1wcnvrg to raise funds to build the Android and iPad versions of the app and for a national marketing campaign.

What inspired you to create the MomCo App?

The MomCo App was inspired by my own experience as a mom struggling to connect with other moms when I first had my son. I was young when I had him and I didn’t have any friends with kids. I spent the first two years of his life joining playgroups, hosting playdates and countless hours hanging out at the playground just hoping to meet moms I clicked with. Luckily I did because when my marriage fell apart, there is no way I would have survived raising a toddler on my own with no family in town, my grueling divorce, and being a small business owner without their constant love and support. But not every mom has the time or effort that I put into to building my amazing tribe of mom friends. The MomCo App make is effortless for moms to find other local moms that have things in common with It was also inspired by my experience as a small business owner trying to find the best way to reach to my target demographic.

Recently a couple of events have prompted me to have the idea for the MomCo App. I have lost a number of my close friends due to geographical moves. Their families have grown so they have had to move to larger houses or their husbands’ jobs were relocated, leaving me and my son behind. Two issues were brought up through this experience: 1) I needed to make some more friends that lived close by and 2) My friends who had moved were struggling to find new friends that they could connect with. I knew the technology existed to meet people through apps so I thought, “Why not build an App so moms no longer have to struggle to meet other moms that live close to them?”With the MomCo App, moms can effortlessly find and connect with other moms close by. The service provider side of the app comes from also knowing the needs of a new mom to find out what resources and services are available to them.

The service side was inspired by my own experience marketing Play Town and trying to find the most inexpensive and effective way to reach local moms. The MomCo App provides a great platform for small businesses and service providers to list themselves where their target demographic can easily locate and contact them. 

What  are your biggest goals with the MomCo App?

The goal of MomCo is to make the lives of moms easier across the globe. Also, to give small businesses and independent service providers that cater to parents and children at affordable and effect way to reach their local target demographic.

One of my biggest personal dreams is to get on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. I would love to share my story with moms all over America on such a positive, up lifting, and entertaining show. Plus, I just love it and Ellen too. Hopefully my story would inspire other moms to put their dreams into action and show them that is possible to have an exciting career while still being able to spend as much time with kids as they want.

What sets your business aside from other similar businesses?

When I came up with the concept of an app that allows moms to connect with other moms, I didn’t see anything else like it. But from the time of conception to launch I have discovered one other app that help moms connect. Also one thats helps fine local businesses. But there isn’t one that does both like the MomCo App. The MomCo App is a one-stop shop for moms to find the people and products they need.

I learned a lot about marketing from owning my last business and it has become a passion of mine. I love the marketing and networking process. I have a really solid marketing plan for when the kickstarter campaign is over and I’m ready to launch the national marketing campaign of the MomCo App. I also have a BFA in Theatre and was a professional actress for years. I will be featured on one of Bravo’s top rated shows this fall and I have recently received other offers for shows. This will be amazing nation exposure for the app.

 What brings you the most joy in your work?

I love connecting with other women and moms that are entrepreneurs. We have amazing community and all support each other. Growing up I didn’t have many friends so I am extra appreciative for all the amazing women I currently have in my life that help and champion all my business endeavors.

 What are you most proud of? 

I am the most proud of the fact that not only did I survive a very difficult situation but I have actually used that experience to create an amazing life for myself and my son.

What does a typical day look like for you?

On a typical day I get my son ready and to school. I then go to pilates 2 or 3 times a week. I will run any errands I need to take care of that are easier to do without a 7 yr old little boy in tow. I will usually have at leaf one or two meetings a day. The entire time I am usually emailing and keeping up with social media. I pick up my son at 2. WE then go home. He gets to relax and play while I get a couple hours of work done. We then head off to football practice at 5pm. I get a ton of work done during his practice. I have a MacBook Air and a hot spot so I can work on my laptop while he practices. Then it’s dinner, shower and bed time. I usually work from 9pm-12am on the computer. My days are very full and busy but I love what I do so I enjoy it.

Any advice on how to “juggle it all”?

I juggle it all by always having a to do list and it’s prioritized. It keeps me on track. I write everything down. I would forget half my ideas if i didn’t write them down when I think of them. And to do everything that I need to do all day, I just do it. I try not think about it too much or let myself get overwhelmed. I just go. Being a single mom and entrepreneur I have a lot on my plate but I just do as much as I can every day. I try not to stress out over the things I can’t control. I also always look for activities that my son can do where there is good work space for me. So he is active and happy and I can still be productive. That is one of my best tips for any working mom.

Pretend your best friend is about to have a baby. What’s the best piece of advice you would share about motherhood?

Find an amazing tribe of women to raise your baby with. These women will be your support system, sounding board and best friends. That’s why I created the MomCo App. So every new mom can effortlessly connect with women that will help her survive the next phase her life. Yes I said survive, because sometimes it does feel like you are just surviving but it will also be the best, most rewarding and fun time of your life. But you can’t go through it alone. New moms need other moms! 

Fab Moms: Nicole Gomez of Hiring Done Right

I’m excited to introduce you to my next guest blogger, Nicole Gomez of Hiring Done Right. Nicole and I actually go way back, having attended the same Elementary and Middle School in Sacramento and playing in the same softball league growing up. We’ve recently reconnected as we’re on similar life paths, both as new mothers and starting our own consulting businesses. Nicole is the ultimate Fab Mom because she’s the mother to two beautiful TWIN girls (they’re absolutely gorgeous!) Nicole also recently launched her own HR Consulting Business: Hiring Done Right.



Here is Nicole’s Fab Mom Spotlight:

Hiring Done Right

  1. Who calls you mom and what’s his/her/their age?
    Layla Rossi Golfieri, 13 months (June 1st) and Emelia Grace Golfieri, 13 months (June 1st).
  2. What do you do? (SAHM, business owner, blogger, full-time/part-time employee, etc.)
    Business Owner – When I became pregnant with my twins I knew that corporate america was no longer going to fit into the lifestyle I wanted for my family. 3 amazing things came from 4 months of bed rest: Layla, Emelia and the launch of my business, Hiring Done Right.
  3. What does a typical day look like for you? (And the word typical should be taken with a grain of salt – I know they’re hardly ever typical)
    In addition to building a business I am also planning my wedding. Of course, losing the baby weight to get into my wedding dress has proven to be a big challenge. Before the family wakes up I try to run to the gym or a spin class. I get the coffee brewing and straighten up the house from the disaster it was the night before, return emails and of course, check social media. The twins and their daddy wake up around 7. We play for a bit, have breakfast, get dressed and ready for our day. On Tuesdays and Thursdays the nanny comes to the house, and I work from my home office or go out and meet with clients. Mon, Wed and Fri I am home with my sweet girls. After their morning nap, we usually try to do 1 fun activity outside the house everyday. From swinging on the swings at the park, to spending time at the beach or going on a play date with our friends, it’s always a great time. By the time afternoon nap time rolls around, I usually try to get some work done. When the girls wake up from their naps, we play and wait patiently for daddy to come home from work. My fiancé and I usually cook dinner together while the girls sit in their high chairs and eat “appetizers”. After we all eat dinner together at the table, the girls take a bath, we read some books and cuddle up until bed time – which is about 8:30.
  4. Any advice on how to “juggle it all”?
    I certainly don’t have it all figure out but I must say communication with my partner is key. It took some time, but we have learned how to be excellent communicators. From our daily schedules, to our daughters eating habits, to how many more pounds I need to lose before I can fit in my wedding dress, we talk about everything . Because we are so open about what we want and need, I feel like we are willing to make sacrifices to make sure our each others needs are being met. We are more of a team than ever before. There is no way I could do any of this without my fiance, he is willing to bend over backwards to accommodate my needs and the needs of our girls. If your husband, wife, baby daddy or life partner knows what you need help with, they just may surprise you and step it up to support you in ways you never imagined. All mommies are super stars, but we cannot always do it alone.
    The other way I have learned to “juggle it all” is to put one of the “balls” down. Less to juggle makes life a lot easier. For example, I have learned to lower my standards when it comes to keeping up the house. There are toys everywhere, the dirty laundry has overflown out of the hamper and onto to the bathroom floor, there are tiny handprints and lick marks all over my mirrors and windows. To learn to let go of what used to be an immaculate and adorable house took some time, but I have learned that it’s just not as important in the grand scheme of things. My kids are never going to look back and say, “Mom, those chipped walls from us banging the stroller around the living room has had a huge impact on who we’ve become as adults”.
  5. When was the first time you really felt like a mother?
    A lot of women say they feel like a mother the moment they find out they’re pregnant. That wasn’t the case for me. I didn’t even feel like a mother when I held my babies in my arms for the first time. The first time I felt like a mother was when my own mother (who stayed with us for the first two weeks) flew home to Northern California and my fiancé went back to work for the very first time. The girls were two weeks old and we were laying in bed, alone for the very first time since they were brought into this world. All of a sudden I was overwhelmed with emotion, I felt a deep and unexplainable love that I never could have imagined and I just cried. I was theirs and they were mine.
  6. What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
    I constantly worry about making the right decisions for my girls. I worry about society, the community, and keeping them safe. I stay up at night and worry about the “mean girls” in middle school. For me, that is by far the hardest part of being a mother. I want the absolute best for them and I second guess myself and the decisions I make at least a dozen times a day.
  7. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
    The most rewarding thing for me as a mother is seeing how happy my girls are. When I see their genuine smiles and hearing their laughter give me a sense of security in knowing I must be doing something right. The girls have also started showing affection. They are now giving me big hugs and kisses, it melts my heart. Those little actions of love my girls show make up for the sleepless nights 100 times over.
  8. What’s the funniest/most shocking thing that has happened to you since you’ve become a mom?
    I can’t remember the single “funniest” moment that has happened since I’ve become a mom, there are just so many. I can tell you that I am the most shocked by how unaffected I have become by bodily fluids. I used to gag when people would spit in front of me, now I go out in public with throw up in my hair and pee-pee on my yoga pants.
  9. I wrote a post about “mental snapshots” that I’ll always remember, even without a photo. I know it’s hard to choose one, but what is your favorite moment, or “mental snapshot”, with your little one(s) so far?
    My favorite mental snapshot is when my girls were just about 6 months old, they were in their high chairs looking at each other smiling and laughing. All of a sudden, they both reached out for each other and held hands. They sat there quietly smiling at each other holding hands for about 15 seconds. I literally cried watching that beautiful moment. I LOVE how much they love each other.
  10. What has been your best baby product purchase so far and why? What age is it appropriate for?
    Dr. Browns Natural Flow Bottles – they have been a life saver. The girls have had the same bottles since they were born and absolutely LOVE them – we just switch out the nipples for faster flow as they get older. (newborn – present day).
  11. What’s something new you have learned about yourself after becoming a mother?
    Since becoming a mother I am more confident with who I am and what my priorities are. I’m not consumed with what other people think about me, my outfit, my hair or my car, my whatever. My family is my number 1 priority and I will do what is best for them 100% of the time. I like this strong and secure version of myself. Also, I have such limited time, I have really been able to evaluate relationships in my life, the people who are important in my life are still there, while I’ve learned to let go of others.
  12. What do you do to unwind/relax when you have some rare time to yourself?
    I love being able to workout in the morning, it gets my day started on the right foot. Once a month I like to schedule a night with girlfriends. After the babies go to bed, I have dinner and cocktails with some of the fabulous women in my life. On the occasional Saturday morning, I love to sneak away for a massage.
  13. What is your favorite outing, to date, with your little one?
    My most favorite outing was a recent trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. My brother and sister-in-law recently had a baby boy, Colton. We took our girls up to visit our family and meet Colton for the first time. I absolutely loved sitting in the back yard with my fiance, daughters, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews and watching all the kids play. It was a magical day seeing the whole family together for the 1st time.



  14. I have a running list of Whine & Dine Restaurants that are family friendly in San Diego. What’s your favorite restaurant that you frequent with your baby/kids/family and in what city? Why do you dine out there?
    Pitfire Pizza in Marina del Rey is incredible. The staff is warm and inviting, the food is delicious and they have the best sangria. There are always a ton of kids around so I don’t get dirty looks thrown my way if one of my girls has a melt down.
  15. Pretend your best friend is pregnant and about to have a baby. What’s the most important piece of advice you would share about “motherhood” (and assuming she is willing to hear it :))?
    Follow your gut. There are so many different opinions and ideas out there about how to raise children. You have to ignore all of it, listen to what your gut is telling you and do what is best for your family.

If you know a #FabMom who would be perfect to spotlight in this series (or if you are a Fab Mom yourself) please email: mommyprojectsd@gmail.com – we’d love to feature you!

 



Fab Moms: Heather Gibbs Flett of Rookie Moms

I’m so incredibly excited to introduce you to my next Fab Mom – Heather Gibbs Flett of Rookie Moms. If you’re not familiar with Rookie Moms, please allow me to digress for a moment about how this site has changed my life as a new mom.

If it wasn’t for Heather and her business partner, Whitney, Blake and I would probably still be hiding in our house, too scared to go out and face the real world! Ok, I know, dramatic – but seriously, finding the Rookie Moms 52 weeks of challenges was the best thing I could have stumbled across as a new mom. It gave me small little goals to accomplish with my little one and the gentle push I needed to get out of the house. Without Rookie Moms, I wouldn’t have joined a Mom’s Group, which has led to so many wonderful memories and friendships, and I wouldn’t have planned a mom’s night out, which led to me now writing for the local site, San Diego Mom’s Night Out. Plus, there have been so many other fun moments as Blake and I completed, and continue to complete, exciting adventures together.

If you are a new mom and looking for fun activities to do with (and without) your new bambino – GO CHECK OUT ROOKIEMOMS.COM immediately. It’s a life changer. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Additionally, they run 510 Families for all of the Bay Area mamas.

Now that I’ve gotten that off of my chest, here is Heather’s Fab Moms spotlight:

Heather Flett

  1. Who calls you mom and what’s his/her/their age?
    I have three sons: Holden (9), Milo (7), and Sawyer (2 ½)
  2. What do you do? (SAHM, business owner, blogger, full-time/part-time employee, etc.)
    I’m a WAHM as a full-time blogger these days
  3. What does a typical day look like for you? (And the word typical should be taken with a grain of salt – I know they’re hardly ever typical)
    On a school-day, I wake up at 6:00 to shower and get dressed before waking the boys up at 6:30. We all eat breakfast and do our morning jobs before the “shoe time music” goes off at 7:35 to tell us to get out the door. My husband usually walks the older two to elementary school and I drive the littleone off to preschool. I’m home by 8:30 to begin work of writing, social media amplification, and dodging my emails. Around 4:20, I sign off everything to begin my rounds of picking up children. We’re usually back home around 5:45 to watch a show (them, based on a schedule of who gets to pick on which day) and make dinner (me!). Bedtime for the kids is around 7:30, at which time my husband and I collapse in front of the television.
  4. Any advice on how to “juggle it all”?
    Lots of deep breaths.
  5. When was the first time you really felt like a mother?
    Of all the memories that flash through my mind when you ask that question, various medical emergencies all fight for attention. Being responsible for taking care of my oldest son during little and big medical events made me feel very parental like, “OMG, I’m really in charge here.”
  6. What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
    It can feel very thankless at times.
  7. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
    The snuggles and giggles… and I love looking at them when they are peacefully asleep.
  8. I wrote a post about “mental snapshots” that I’ll always remember, even without a photo. I know it’s hard to choose one, but what is your favorite moment, or “mental snapshot”, with your little one(s) so far?
    I love the morning pile-on when the little ones wake up not-too-early and climb into our bed. The moment right before the kicking and poking gets to be too much is just precious.
  9. What has been your best baby product purchase so far and why? What age is it appropriate for?
    I think the Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair is fantastic. It works for ages 6 months to 16 years because it is fully adjustable as a chair. I sit in ours sometimes, too.
  10. What’s something new you have learned about yourself after becoming a mother?
    I see all of my anxiety and self-doubt reflected back in my children’s personalities and behavior. It makes me want to be a better person… or at least accept myself for the person I am. Not easy!
  11. What do you do to unwind/relax when you have some rare time to yourself?
    I run, watch movies, eat dark chocolate, have meals out with friends.
  12. What is your favorite outing, to date, with your little one?
    I love to visit the children’s museum with a curious toddler. In Berkeley, we have Habitot and Studio Grow. In Sausalito, The Bay Area Discovery Museum is paradise.
  13. I have a running list of Whine & Dine Restaurants that are family friendly in San Diego. What’s your favorite restaurant that you frequent with your baby/kids/family and in what city? Why do you dine out there?
    Picante in Berkeley is terrific. The food is excellent for all ages AND they offer curbside pickup so it is also a busy mom’s saving grace.
  14. Pretend your best friend is pregnant and about to have a baby. What’s the most important piece of advice you would share about “motherhood” (and assuming she is willing to hear it :))?
    I love how you say “assuming she is willing to hear it” because I no longer make that assumption! I would suggest that she say, “yes, thank you” to all offers of help!

If you know a #FabMom who would be perfect to spotlight in this series (or if you are a Fab Mom yourself) please email: mommyprojectsd@gmail.com 

Fab Moms: Joelle Khannakhjavani of Mother Earth Brew Co.

Today I’m so excited to introduce you to my next Fabulous Mom in the series, FabMoms! Meet Joelle Khannakhjavani, one of the owners of Mother Earth Brew Co. here in San Diego, California! Mother Earth Brew Co. is an awesome brewery with a tap house located in Vista. Their tasting room is family friendly and offers some of the best San Diego beers on tap. Joelle also happens to be one of my good friends who I met in college and an all-around great person and rad new mama! You can follow Mother Earth Brew Co. on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too!

Mother Earth Brew Co.

  1. Who calls you mom and what’s his/her/their age?
    My little Valentine, Zane, born 2/14/14.
  2. What do you do? (SAHM, business owner, blogger, full-time/part-time employee, etc.)
    I work part-time for our family business, a MicroBrewery in Vista, Ca called Mother Earth Brew Co.  I do a little bit of everything; right now I mostly manage our Homebrew Store but soon I will be working closer with our sales team.
  3. What does a typical day look like for you? (And the word typical should be taken with a grain of salt – I know they’re hardly ever typical)
    On a day off, I like to meet up with a mommy group or other friends around the area, hit the park, the pool or go for a walk.  If my husband is home we do an outing to the store or maybe even the driving range.  On a work day, fortunately I am blessed with lots of family that lives close by so Zane is watched by my Mom twice a week and either his GiGi (my mother in law) or my aunt the other day.
  4. Any advice on how to “juggle it all”?
    Take help when it’s offered! Whether it’s a friend bringing dinner, your brother offering to babysit or your mom coming over to vacuum, take it.  Also, a little bit of normalcy goes a long way.  Have a glass of wine or a pint once the little one goes to bed, or go out on a date with the hubby as much as you can.  A glimpse back at the “pre-baby” you can re-set you after a long week, and that can do wonders.
  5. When was the first time you really felt like a mother?
    When I overheard my husband asking Zane “Are you ready for Mommy to give you breakfast?” after Zane was a few days old.  Hearing someone else refer to me as “Mommy” made it hit home.
  6. What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
    Finding time for me, my husband and me, AND my son, my husband and me.  It’s all a balancing/juggling/scheduling act that is endless but exciting and necessary too.
  7. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
    The first time I heard Zane laugh, it felt like I was actually doing a good job.  It meant he was happy, and I was the one keeping him that way.
  8. What’s the funniest/most shocking thing that has happened to you since you’ve become a mom?
    My husband was changing Zane’s diaper early in the morning.  The way the room was situated, Zane was pointed directly at the head of our bed.  We happen to have a Temperpedic Ergo and I was raising the head of the bed to nurse him.  Right when the bed was at the right height, Zane EXPLODED and poo shot out exactly in the spot my head would have been had I not raised the bed.  We about died laughing, and quickly cleaned up the mess.
  9. I wrote a post about “mental snapshots” that I’ll always remember, even without a photo. I know it’s hard to choose one, but what is your favorite moment, or “mental snapshot”, with your little one(s) so far?
    Again, that first laugh.  I’m not a super emotional person but I about broke into tears the first time I heard that raspy belly laugh.  I was sitting on my brother’s couch, and I was holding Zane so he was sitting up facing me.  I would lean toward him and say “HIIIIiiiiiIII” and he just broke out into his first ever giggle.  It was so amazing.  My husband wasn’t there but luckily my mom, brother and sister-in-law got to hear it too!
  10. What has been your best baby product purchase so far and why? What age is it appropriate for?
    Oh my there are soooo many life savers, but I have to go with the Baby Einstein Neptune Play Gym.  Not only is it a great distraction so I can get some dishes and laundry done, but you are actually able to watch a lot of their developmental stages.  From newborn and just trying to focus on the objects, to seeing themselves in the mirror, to grabbing the toys, now pulling and chewing on the hanging objects.  It’s also great for Tummy Time and has a portable music player that lights up that you can move to the car or crib.
  11. What’s something new you have learned about yourself after becoming a mother?
    I’m a lot more patient now.  I used to always feel like I was in a rush so things could be done, but now I’ve learned to relax a little more, not fully, but more than before 😉 Mostly because there are just some days you can’t do it all, and that is OK.
  12. What do you do to unwind/relax when you have some rare time to yourself?
    Mani/pedi or drinks with my Hubby or the girls. Resets the soul.
  13. What is your favorite outing, to date, with your little one?
    Well, there have been many since I was never one to stay at home, but one of my favorites had to be the beach.  We were staying with my mom in San Clemente and went to the Pier for a few hours.  We took sandwiches and laid out on a big quilt under an umbrella.  Then I dunked his feet in the water and took the stroller to the end of the Pier.  It was a beautiful day and he was all smiles the whole time.
  14. I have a running list of Whine & Dine Restaurants that are family friendly in San Diego. What’s your favorite restaurant that you frequent with your baby/kids/family and in what city? Why do you dine out there?
    Well this might come off a bit biased but of course our top place is Mother Earth Brew Co.  We are family (and pet) friendly and have lots of space for strollers or carriers.  I’m one of the lucky ones and Zane LOVES background noise so he usually passes out when we get there.  We don’t serve food but usually order a pizza or Mexican food from the neighboring restaurants, and relax for an hour or two while the little one either sleeps, or gets passed around by friends.  It’s great for big groups or just the three of you.
  15. Pretend your best friend is pregnant and about to have a baby. What’s the most important piece of advice you would share about “motherhood” (and assuming she is willing to hear it :))?
    I would have to say it goes back to #4.  Take help when it’s offered, in any form, and find any normalcy that helps you get through those tough days.  EVERYONE has a bad day, or 16, but it always gets better.  That, and anything that vibrates will help with naps 😉 (that’s not supposed to sound dirty haha).

If you know a #FabMom who would be perfect to spotlight in this series (or if you are a Fab Mom yourself) please email: mommyprojectsd@gmail.com 

Fab Moms: Lindsay Eidahl of My Creative Days

Happy Friday! I’m excited to introduce you to the next guest blogger in my series, #FabMoms – Lindsay Eidahl of My Creative Days. Lindsay loves finding frugal and creative ways to decorate her home, and create fun crafts or activities to do with her kids. And seriously, how cute are her kids? You can also find My Creative Days on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

My Creative Days

  1. Who calls you mom and what’s his/her/their age?
    Landen (10) and Gabrielle (8)
  2. What do you do? (SAHM, business owner, blogger, full-time/part-time employee, etc.)
    I am a blogger at mycreativedays.com and I also watch children in my home.
  3. What does a typical day look like for you? (And the word typical should be taken with a grain of salt – I know they’re hardly ever typical)
    Run, work, after-school activities, write, read, bed. This sounds so simple and straightforward – they are not always like that, but sometimes they are.
  4. Any advice on how to “juggle it all”?
    You just have to do what you can do. Make your priorities and stick with those. Right now, our schedule is more hectic than it has ever been and I really don’t like having something planned every night, but we are getting through it. Don’t try and keep up with anybody else. You need to do what works best for your family. I like to keep things organized and scheduled which really helps me juggle everything. If I didn’t, everything would be a hot mess!
  5. When was the first time you really felt like a mother?
    From the very first time I held them.
  6. What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
    Letting go. At every stage they go through, I have a hard time letting go and letting them do more on their own. It is sad when they don’t need mom for certain things anymore.
  7. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
    The laughter, the hugs, the fingerprints on the wall, the homemade gifts and cards, the kisses, snuggle time…… the list could go on and on.
  8. What’s the funniest/most shocking thing that has happened to you since you’ve become a mom?
    I can’t believe how much I say and do things that my mom did!!!
  9. I wrote a post about “mental snapshots” that I’ll always remember, even without a photo. I know it’s hard to choose one, but what is your favorite moment, or “mental snapshot”, with your little one(s) so far?
    Our family vacation to Disney World a few years ago. We still talk about it today.
  10. What has been your best baby product purchase so far and why? What age is it appropriate for?
    I still use baby wipes for a lot of things. They are great for getting stains out of clothes, taking make-up off in a pinch and for wiping off sticky hands in the car.
  11. What’s something new you have learned about yourself after becoming a mother?
    That I need to work on patience and letting my kids do more for themselves.
  12. What do you do to unwind/relax when you have some rare time to yourself?
    I like to run in the morning when no one else is up. It is the only alone time I get in the day.
  13. What is your favorite outing, to date, with your little one?
    My daughter and I like to get pedicures and my son will ride his bike while I run sometimes in the summer.
  14. I have a running list of Whine & Dine Restaurants that are family friendly in San Diego. What’s your favorite restaurant that you frequent with your baby/kids/family and in what city? Why do you dine out there?
    We don’t dine out that often, but when we do, we keep it simple with places like Panera and a couple of local restaurants in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where we live.
  15. Pretend your best friend is pregnant and about to have a baby. What’s the most important piece of advice you would share about “motherhood” (and assuming she is willing to hear it :))?
    Don’t compare you, your child or your husband to anybody’s elses. Everyone has a different situation and nobody is exactly alike so trying to compare them is like comparing apples to oranges – they just aren’t comparable.

If you know a #FabMom who would be perfect to spotlight in this series (or if you are a Fab Mom yourself) please email: mommyprojectsd@gmail.com – 

Fab Moms: Laura Wifler of Oakland Avenue

It’s Friday so that means I have another fabulous mother to spotlight in my #FabMoms series!

Meet Laura Wifler. Laura and I are fellow Rookie Moms completing the 52 weekly Rookie Moms Challenges. Laura blogs over at Oakland Avenue from Twin Cities, Minnesota and I’m a huge fan of her blog! All of her posts are so relatable and I love her sense of humor and honesty about all things motherhood. You can also follow Laura on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Laura Wifler

  1. Who calls you mom and what’s his/her/their age?
    I’m blessed to have one little bambino, Eli, born in April 2013.
  2. What do you do? (SAHM, business owner, blogger, full-time/part-time employee, etc.)
    I typically consider myself a full-time SAHM but have recently realized that I’m more of a part-time WAHM, between my blog and picking up freelance writing projects here and there.
  3. What does a typical day look like for you? (And the word typical should be taken with a grain of salt – I know they’re hardly ever typical)
    Definitely tough to summarize my days into “typical,” but mainly, I try to get up a few hours before my son (he wakes at 8 a.m.) to shower, blog and have my coffee. Once he wakes we usually spend the morning at home, playing and catching up house work. After his morning nap, we almost always leave the house. Errands, a lunch date with a friend, or even just a walk to the park, we’re outta the house and hopefully outside. Once we’ve come back, I usually work on freelance writing projects and some additional housework while he naps. When he wakes, we usually take a longer walk before we come back so I can prep dinner. By the time it’s on the table, my husband is home and I’m off the clock. Well, at least I like to tell myself that. We play, maybe take another walk, go out for ice cream, etc. before it’s Eli’s bedtime. Once he’s down, all bets are off for what happens, but usually we’re super exciting  and I read blogs while my husband reads ESPN. We be cray.
  4. Any advice on how to “juggle it all”?
    Ha! We all know no one can, but if you’re going to try – my advice includes two things: Lists and coffee. Stay organized and stay awake. Oh, and set your expectations low. Good luck!
  5. When was the first time you really felt like a mother?
    Oh man, I’ll never forget this moment. Eli was about three weeks old and he was crying. I remember I was in a room with a handful of people and no one could calm him down and they were passing him around and offering tips to each other to try to get him to stop. I was dying to hold him and “just do it,” but I was patient. Finally they gave him back to me and immediately he stopped crying. It was the first time any baby in the world had done that for me and I felt like the queen of the universe. I just couldn’t stop smiling about it – I had to leave the room I looked so goofy!
  6. What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
    Not feeling like you can meet your baby’s every need. Especially in that first year, so much of being a mom is guess and check, and each time a guess is wrong, you feel terribly! But you keep trying or eventually it seems to get better on it’s own – so you can just blame it on the all-inclusive “teething.”.
  7. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
    Seeing your baby smile at you and knowing they’re really saying, “I love you.” It’s so cheesy, I know – and I swore up and down I wouldn’t say stuff like this, but it’s true. I love the smiles and snuggles and just knowing how safe Eli feels with me. How he’ll sit on my lap or lay his head on my shoulder. It’s bliss and makes everything entirely worth it.
  8. What’s the funniest/most shocking thing that has happened to you since you’ve become a mom?
    Probably getting pooped on in the face. It was a series of unfortunate events where I wiped him “just so” as he was he was pooping (a common occurrence in the newborn stage). It was certainly shocking.
  9. I wrote a post about “mental snapshots” that I’ll always remember, even without a photo. I know it’s hard to choose one, but what is your favorite moment, or “mental snapshot”, with your little one(s) so far?
    Oh this is hard to choose! But if I have to pick, probably the time my son and husband reunited after being apart for three days. The way both of their faces lit up was priceless, and I just felt so blessed in that moment.
  10. What has been your best baby product purchase so far and why? What age is it appropriate for?
    I really love my Sakura Bloom Ring Sling. It’s super easy to put on and you can use it from newborn to about two or three depending on the size of your child. I also love having a car mirror. It’s so fun to look back at my son and make funny faces (While I’m in the passenger seat of course!) and it’s been super helpful to figure out if he’s fallen asleep!
  11. What’s something new you have learned about yourself after becoming a mother?
    While I may not be a “kid-person,” I can be an “Eli-person.” I was nervous to become a mom because I never grew up babysitting or even really liking kids, but having Eli took all those fears away and I’m shocked at how much I love spending time with him, caring for him and sacrificing for him.
  12. What do you do to unwind/relax when you have some rare time to yourself?
    Read blogs! I love hopping around blog-land checking out what other people are up to and learning.
  13. What is your favorite outing, to date, with your little one?
    I love visiting farmer’s markets with Eli. It’s so fun to walk around and he loves looking at all the booths and people. Plus, I can use him as an excuse to get some food from a vendor to eat while we walk.
  14. I have a running list of Whine & Dine Restaurants that are family friendly in San Diego. What’s your favorite restaurant that you frequent with your baby/kids/family and in what city? Why do you dine out there?
    We actually don’t eat out too much, but when we do, we like to stay close to home. Cafe Ena and George and the Dragon are two places we can walk to from our house in Minneapolis that are kid friendly and have great food. George and the Dragon even gives kiddos blueberries right when they sit down!
  15. Pretend your best friend is pregnant and about to have a baby. What’s the most important piece of advice you would share about “motherhood” (and assuming she is willing to hear it :))?
    My advice is actually about fatherhood. During those first few weeks and months of motherhood, it’s easy to feel like you need to do everything, and no one can do it right but you. You’re learning so much as you care for your baby and it can be easy to start to feel alone in parenthood. My advice is to loosen those reigns a little and start to learn about your baby with your husband. Make it a point to let your husband be very involved. I found that my unintentional controlling attitude caused my husband to not be confident in raising our son, so he while he took direction from me, he didn’t really take initiative. By stepping back and choosing to learn how to care for our son together, we quickly found a difference in our attitudes and understanding of one another, and my husband became a lot more confident as a father! I actually wrote an entire post on this topic it’s so important to me, so if you like, check it out here.

If you know a #FabMom who would be perfect to spotlight in this series (or if you are a Fab Mom yourself) please email: mommyprojectsd@gmail.com – 

Fab Moms: Olivia Howell of The Lovely Sisters

I’m SO EXCITED to kick off my new series: #FabMoms! Since I’ve become a mom I’ve built an incredible, supportive network of other moms (both online and offline) who inspire me everyday. I’ve learned something new from almost every mom that I’ve met, and I love hearing their unique stories. So to celebrate these amazing women, I’ll highlight a new mom each week where they’ll answer my 15 questions about their definition of “motherhood”. Whether you’re a stay at home mom, work full or part-time, own your own business, are a brand new mom or have five kids, you are all amazing and deserve the spotlight every now and then!

I’m excited to introduce you to my first guest blogger, Olivia Howell. Olivia and I are fellow Rookie Moms and are both in the midst of completing the 52 weekly challenges. I love following her new mom adventures over at her blog, The Lovely Sisters as well as her Twitter and Instagram.

So, without further ado, here’s Olivia’s spotlight:

FabMoms

  1. Who calls you mom and what’s his/her/their age?
    My son is named Weston, and he’s just about 9 months old!
  2. What do you do? (SAHM, business owner, blogger, full-time/part-time employee, etc.)
    I am a middle school Latin and ancient History teacher, as well as a freelance writer and blogger.
  3. What does a typical day look like for you? (And the word typical should be taken with a grain of salt – I know they’re hardly ever typical)
    Well, we have two typical days: work days and weekends. Work days begin at 5am, when my husband gets ready for work first, and then takes Weston so I can get ready. I get his bag packed with clean bottles, get all my things ready for school, and then Weston and I head out, around 7am. I drop him at my mom’s house, where my sister, or mother and step-dad will watch him until 3PM, when I get back. After picking him up, we often see friends, or visit my grandmother. Sometimes we don’t get home until 6PM, and I let him crawl around and play, while I throw laundry in, make dinner, wash bottles, and clean up. I give him dinner, my husband gets home, we (sort of) eat, and then it’s bathtime. I’m not the most consistent parent with bedtime, because, well…I miss him during the day and want to spend time with him. Often, he falls asleep in our arms on the couch, as we wind down, or we all get into bed to chill out and relax together. Those days are quite long and tiring! I rarely have time to even shower! Weekends are, obviously, much more relaxing…we wake up late, eat a long breakfast, play a lot, and most of the time, we run errands as a family or go out to lunch. There’s usually an afternoon nap, and a later, more relaxed dinner.
  4. Any advice on how to “juggle it all”?
    It’s really, really hard being a working mom. I was the first woman in my family, ever (seriously), to go back to work with an infant. Weston was three months old when I went back. To be honest, I don’t really know how I do it. I would say, just go with your gut, and remember that you are indeed doing the best you can! It’s incredibly hard juggling both lives…!
  5. When was the first time you really felt like a mother?
    Actually, it was recently. I took a personal day from school and Weston and I had a totally “normal” day. Breakfast, errands, playing…it was wonderful. It was the first time I truly felt like a mom!
  6. What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
    I think the hardest thing about being a mom is worrying. I worry that I won’t be there for him, or that something will happen to him. I really and truly try to cherish every single moment with him, because life is insane and you never know what could happen.
  7. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
    The most rewarding thing about being a mom is watching their little brains grow right before your eyes! It is astounding watching him learn how to sit, and then crawl, and now stand! I’m so proud of him.
  8. What’s the funniest/most shocking thing that has happened to you since you’ve become a mom?
    I think the most shocking thing about becoming a parent, for me, is now thinking about what my own parents went through. I look at every milestone that Weston goes through, and I think, “now I get it!” I get why my parents cared, loved, and protected me so much. It is true what they say: there is no love like the love you have for your child.
  9. I wrote a post about “mental snapshots” that I’ll always remember, even without a photo. I know it’s hard to choose one, but what is your favorite moment, or “mental snapshot”, with your little one(s) so far?
    Honestly, I think my favorite mental snapshot is the moment he was placed on my chest, directly after birth. He was just SO HIM. A sweet smile, hands ready to grab, eyes wide open. He became my best buddy at that moment.
  10. What has been your best baby product purchase so far and why? What age is it appropriate for?
    I have to say that the best purchase we made was our Jumperoo! We started putting him in at three months, and I really feel like it helped him learn to sit, gain muscle strength in his legs…oh, and it was a great, safe, place to put him while I was doing things around the house! We even have two of them!
  11. What’s something new you have learned about yourself after becoming a mother?
    My whole life I’ve wanted to be a writer…and I never did much with my writing. After I became a mother, it made me have the strength to pursue my passion! Who knew that would happen?! Not me. I learned that I do indeed love to learn, and love to write. I learned that having my son makes me feel strong and incredibly capable of conquering the world.
  12. What do you do to unwind/relax when you have some rare time to yourself?
    When I find a few minutes to relax, I like to catch up on my favorite television shows: Shark Tank, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Modern Family, About a Boy, Growing Up Fisher, and of course: Parenthood!
  13. What is your favorite outing, to date, with your little one?
    My favorite thing to do with Weston is simply to go walk around our town. He loves people watching, and I browse stores; we often run into people we know. It’s relaxing, fun, and I am so proud to show off my little one.
  14. I have a running list of Whine & Dine Restaurants that are family friendly in San Diego. What’s your favorite restaurant that you frequent with your baby/kids/family and in what city? Why do you dine out there?
    We’ve gone to Green Cactus (Mexican food) in Huntington, NY, a lot with Weston! They have wide, open seating, perfect for strollers. It’s clean, open, and often not a ton of people there…and if there are people, it’s mostly families. I never feel self conscious having him there.
  15. Pretend your best friend is pregnant and about to have a baby. What’s the most important piece of advice you would share about “motherhood” (and assuming she is willing to hear it :))?
    Just to remember that every day is different. Nothing is set in stone. My grandmother reminds me of this all the time! Babies change daily (even half-daily!), so don’t get worried that the one night of no sleep will last forever…take every day as it comes, and just do what you need to do to get through to tomorrow!

If you know a #FabMom who would be perfect to spotlight in this series (or if you are a Fab Mom yourself) please email: mommyprojectsd@gmail.com – we’d love to feature you!

 

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