Today I present to you my sister Lauren. She’s younger than me by 2 years, and entered motherhood 10 months before me. Thank goodness she did, because I have for once looked up to her. Believe me I have called her numerous times to ask for advice, like how to put Anniston to sleep, and what diapers to use. I’m going to tell you the short version to Lauren’s path to motherhood.
She met her now boyfriend Tanner in March of 2012, and then went on an awesome romantic vacation to Hawaii in August of 2012. Came home on a high to then find out a month later she was pregnant! What a year she had; lots of love, changes, surprises, excitement, and being scared of the unknown. Her little “nugget” Ryan, is my beautiful 1 1/2 year old niece that was born on May 16,2013 . She has brought pure joy to all of our lives. I can’t even imagine life without her. With her amazing facial expressions to her daily new words she blurts out. My sister is an amazing mom, and she is taking motherhood day by day.
She lives in a 2 bedroom apartment in Brentwood, with a fast moving toddler. You will find her most days in the kitchen whipping up her “Lo’s Nut Butter” a secret recipe that’s just amazingness all wrapped up in a jar. A small side business she started that she sells to her friends, family, and local gyms. She’s also working hard on her gym she started with Tanner located in Santa Monica called 34 North. In her spare time she started an Instagram called @Myfitkitchen, where she shares yummy healthy recipes. As you can see she is the definition of a working mother, and today I want her to help us understand her story in her words.
1. I know getting pregnant was the best surprise but what were your honest emotions when you found out you were pregnant?
Scared of out my mind!! Tanner and I were only dating for 5 months when I found out. He told me when we first met that he was ready for a serious relationship but didn’t know if he wanted children. He said he could possibly see himself becoming a father in 10 years. I knew I wanted to be a mother… someday! Fast forward to 2 weeks after our Hawaii trip. I was late on my cycle and I didn’t want to even believe that pregnancy had anything to do with my late period. Tanner had left for a trip and I decided that was a good time to take a pregnancy test..alone, bad idea! I was in such denial. When I saw “pregnant” I was in complete shock. I was so scared and didn’t know who to talk to. I needed Tanner there and he was gone for 4 more days! Those 4 days were full of fear and sleepless nights. My life was about to change drastically and thank goodness it did. We are so blessed with the most amazing daughter!
2. What’s surprised you the most about motherhood?
The mother effin lack of sleep because let me tell you, it is REAL!! Listen, I knew I was going to be tired. I mean when I was pregnant I received comments and advice from sooooo many people, mostly strangers of course. People would say, “Say goodbye to sleep!” or “Rest now because once that baby comes you won’t sleep much” and so on, you catch my drift. So I was clearly warned but I never knew how crazy it was going to be. Between the sleepless nights and the raging hormones, dang! I am a strong woman but man the combination of it all can really take a toll on you. I’ve had days where I cry for no reason, days where I am so angry and have no idea why. Motherhood has challenged me in so many ways and I guess I’ve realized that there is no preparing for it.
3. Fill in the blank, you are the happiest when___________?
I am with Tanner and Ryan. When I get to sit back and watch the two of them be together and love one another as much as they do. It fills my heart with so much love and joy!
4. What are things you judged other mothers on, that you now do your self?
I used to judge parents behavior in restaurants. I worked in restaurants for years and would always complain about the mess kids make and how their parents just let them do it. Well now I totally get it!!
5. What piece of advice could you give someone that is about to embark mommy hood?
Don’t expect to have all the answers. The saying “Kids don’t come with an instruction manual” makes so much more sense to me now that I am a parent. Ryan challenges me everyday. I am always looking for ways to better myself as a person and as a mother. One way is to not be afraid to ask for help. I am always seeking advice from other mothers. Also, educate yourself!!! I have found some amazing books that have opened my eyes so much to the way our children develop and how we can be the best parents to these little people.
6. Since you have started your Instagram account @MyFitkitchen, please spill the beans on your favorite quick, simple, and healthy dinner to whip up on a busy night?
Well my favorite kitchen item is my Crockpot. It has saved me!! I find it so much easier to prepare dinner in the morning/afternoon when Ryan is either entertaining herself or taking a nap. I can prepare dinner, put it in the Crockpot and not stress the rest of the day about dinner. It is much more difficult to make dinner at night when she is starting to become restless and preparing for our bedtime routine. My favorite Crockpot meal is my ground beef curry with lentils. It’s super easy and very delicious. It happens to be one of Ryan’s favorite meals too, so it’s a win win in our house.
I also like to knock out a lot of cooking in one day for the rest of the week. Tanner will take Ryan to the park on the weekend so I can have time to make food for the week. If I have time alone in the kitchen then I can focus and work fast.
We eat the same salad every night before dinner. It’s a Greek salad and I make a point to prepare as many ingredients as I can. I will wash and cut the cucumber into small pieces, cut the onion and crumble the cheese. I put all of them in separate glass containers so they stay fresh. When it is time to make our salads, all I have to do is throw some greens in each bowl and the rest of the work is done!! Another staple in our house is curry chicken salad. Can you tell I like curry? HA! I like having a big batch of it made so there is always a healthy option for those times when you are super hungry, you have about a five minute window cause your child has no patience and you just want to open the fridge and stuff whatever you can in your mouth. So for me, this is one of my favorite options. It can be eaten alone or in lettuce wraps. It is not only delicious but also healthy!
1 Whole Organic Rotisserie Chicken
½ cup organic golden raisins
½ cup green onions (chopped)
½ cup celery (chopped)
¾ cup homemade mayonnaise
½ Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs yellow curry powder (use to your liking*)
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp sea salt
Peel the entire chicken. Use all of the meat including the skin (it’s full of collagen that is good for you!!) Cut the chicken into cubes. Put the chicken in a large mixing bowl. Combine all other ingredients and mix together. *I recommend adding the curry powder gradually because you might like it spicier like me and want to add a bit more.
Now that you have told the Mother Effin Truth, who do you want to nominate to tell their story as a mother? And why?
I want to nominate my good friend Sarah Meagher. She has been such a big influence in my life. We have been friends for almost 15 years and have seen each other go through so many big life changes. She is a mother of 3 beautiful girls and she has been such an inspiration to me throughout my pregnancy and my first year and half of motherhood.