Quick and Easy Recipe Guide

I remember the times I could cook whatever I wanted. Prep work and cook times didn’t matter, and I could put my food in pretty dishes and eat at the table. Flash forward a couple years and I’m scrambling through Kroger at 8:15pm with baby poo on my shirt because we need food in the house and I don’t want to haul the boys to the grocery the next day. While my cooking habits have changed, I still have several tried and true recipes that are compatible with mom life. These recipes will get you in and out of the kitchen, satisfy that stomach growling, and even allow for enough leftovers to meal plan or prep for the next couple of days.

Sausage, Spinach, Egg, and Cheese Bake

This recipe makes enough deliciousness for 6-8 breakfasts, depending on portion size. But if it only gets you 4-6 portions, I won’t judge you, girl. You’ll need:

  • 7-8 eggs
  • 1lb sausage
  • Baby spinach
  • Shredded cheese
  • Seasoned salt
  • Pepper
  • Add in option: shredded hash browns (IIFYM day, Anyone?)

Instructions:

  1. Cook sausage in skillet until brown
  2. Add 2-4 handfuls of baby spinach. Thats about as specific as my measuring gets.
  3. If you’re adding hash browns, add them in now and cook until softened. If you’re not, then cook spinach and sausage until spinach wilts down.
  4. Sprinkle spinach and sausage with seasoned salt and set aside in a large bowl.
  5. In a separate bowl, scramble the eggs
  6. Pour the eggs over the spinach and sausage
  7. Add in around 1/4c shredded cheese. Now, if you don’t think that’s very much, you are correct. Throw yourself some more in there if you’d like. Life is short. Be happy.
  8. Mix everything together and pour into a greased 9×13 glasses baking dish
  9. Add more shredded cheese on top because why not
  10. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes

Taco Skillet (with cheese and veggies)

I found this recipe a few years ago and it is so simple and delicious. There’s even a few veggies hidden in there, so if you’re someone who has a hard time getting their servings of veggies in, this is the perfect dish. Since I didn’t creat this recipe, I will link the original here.

Shrimp Stir Fry

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw this recipe in my stories. This dish is super fast, and can be made using ONE pan. Hello, convenience. I’m not even crazy about shrimp unlikes it has about an inch of breading on it, but I will eat my weight in this stir fry. Pictured you will see the stir fry mix I used and frozen shrimp. Find the full recipe here.

Hopefully these recipes will give you a little extra help with meal planning and prep! I will continue to share the fastest and easiest recipes as I find new favorites. You can also check out my Instagram stories as I usually have something cooking over there! Instagram: blwalker_528

Advertisements

Parents in Training

Before I get to the juicy stuff, I want to stress one major point: all babies are different. I will share our experiences in the first couple of weeks with our boys- It might be completely different, or very similar to someone else’s experience. I don’t really know what the norm is, and I quite frequently make up mom life as I go. Anyway, I’m going to talk about what our days and nights (they run together really) were like when our boys were brand new.

img_5775-1

That picture was taken right after we got home from the hospital. Look at those “We can do this! Probably!” faces. I remember having no clue what to do with those tiny little babes. I actually said the words “so, do I just wait on them to cry orrrr…?” I mean, I knew how to keep them alive, but I didn’t know what to actually DO with them. Here’s what it comes to in the first few weeks: feed them, change them, talk to them, and snuggle and love on them lots. Cut yourself (and your partner) some slack on the rest.

Brain Fog

Full disclosure: this section has taken me three days to write. As I’ve worked on this, I’ve realized that my memory of the first couple of weeks with the boys is fuzzy at best. I mean, I remember most things, but there are significant chunks of time I have a hard time recalling. I’ve decided there are two reasons for this. 1. I’m convinced God makes you forget what life is really like with a new baby so you’ll procreate again. 2. As it turns out, sleep plays a pretty important part in functioning as a human being. Sleep was not a frequent visitor for us during this time thus explains my lack of memory.

Training Camp

If any expecting or new mamas asked for my biggest pieces of advice, it would be to accept help when it is offered, and to consider the first couple of weeks (or month) as training. You get a training period when you start a new job; why wouldn’t you get one when you start the biggest job of your life? So many new moms (myself included) put so much pressure on themselves to make sure they do everything right. Uh, you just brought home a tiny human, it’s ok if it takes some adjusting to figure out what works best for your baby and your family. It’s ok if you don’t know what to do sometimes. You will figure it out as you get to know your baby.

During our training camp period, thankfully, we were able to have amazing family stay with us so that we could begin to get a handle on our new roles. The days went pretty smoothly for the most part…until both boys were ready to eat. Then, we went from 0-100 in about half a second. The boys were crying, I was trying to get into my Twin Brest Friend nursing pillow, then trying to get them both in football position, then trying to help them latch, them making sure they both stayed awake and on the boob long enough to eat. Anyone ever wrestled a couple feral cats? Imagine that happening, and it’s pretty similar to what it looks like trying to nurse two hungry babies when you don’t even know how to nurse yet. Sometimes I would cry with them, and sometimes I would fall asleep. But you know what? We made it through…and you will too.

Even though the days were going fairly smoothly, night time was a whole different ball game. I think night time with twins should be an Olympic sport, and everyone who participates gets a gold medal. I remember the first night in the hospital, we had to wake up the boys every three hours to eat. They did not wake up on their own at all the first night. I remember saying the words “Wow they’re good sleepers” out loud. Well, the boys were just exhausted from coming into the world and I later found out that they sleep like every other baby…about an hour at a time. The boys woke up about every hour during the first month. My husband would get the crying baby, change him, give him to me to nurse, get the other one up, change him, and bring him to me to join his brother nursing. Husband would catch a few minutes sleep while I finished nursing. After nursing the boys still needed a couple ounces of formula so we gave the bottles and put them back down. The whole process took about an hour and a half. Sometimes the boys would go right back down, and sometimes they needed snuggles. Once they did go back to sleep, we did the whole process again in about 45mins- 1 hour. There were a few days that my husband and I were so desperate for sleep that we slept in shifts. One would sleep in the room with the babies for four hours, and the other slept on the couch, then we switched. It wasn’t ideal, but you’ll find that you’ll do just about anything to get more than an hour straight of sleep. Every night when we went to bed, we would say, “this could be the night that they sleep 2-3 hours”. That gave us just the hope we needed to stay positive. Eventually those nights came, and even later, they boys slept all the way until morning.

Even though the beginning was incredibly difficult, and I was an unstable ball of emotions, those times really helped develop a higher confidence in myself. It helped me to form a deeper bond with my husband. It helped me to experience a love of my two little babies like I have never known. Each mama’s experience is going to be different, but whatever your experience is, know that you can get through it and you are doing an amazing job.

If you have more questions about our beginning months with twins, feel free to comment on this post or connect with me on Instagram at blwalker_528.

Getting Twins on a Schedule: The Strategies that Worked for Us

Getting twins (or a singleton) on a schedule can seem like a daunting task. There are a zillion books out there that tell you a million different ways to help get your baby on a regular schedule. 1. If you are trying to survive with one or more infants, you don’t have time for reading entire books. 2. If you are trying to read ahead while pregnant, you can’t stay awake long enough to read entire books. So, I thought I would give you the rundown of strategies that worked for us. I will also link the books where I picked up what I consider the most helpful strategies. Really, I took pieces of information from here and there and combined it all because I’m a rebel. It also took a lot of making things up as we go along, but I can say that our boys are now 7 months, and their schedule is like clockwork. So, something must’ve gone right.

In the beginning…

Before leaving the hospital with our boys, my nurse gave us some advice that replayed in my head over and over those first couple of months. She said, for at least the first month, focus on keeping them healthy, the rest will work itself out. I would put a lot of pressure on myself because I thought it was my job as a mom to get the babies on a schedule immediately. I thought I should have them on a routine early, and this willy nilly “schedule” we had meant I wasn’t doing my job. Well, I’m here to tell you, the schedule takes a while. If your babies are fed, and they aren’t screaming out of exhaustion, then you just willy nilly on, girlfriend. One thing we did do right off the bat was feed and wake at the same time. I tandem nursed the boys, and at night, if one woke, we got the other one up also…no.matter.what. For credibility purposes, I’ll let you know that we tried letting them wake individually. We got about an hour of sleep those nights. Total.

Getting Started

One of the best tips I found came from Tracy Hogg’s book Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. (Click for link)

The strategy I found in this book is what really helped us get on an actual schedule. (FYI, our working toward a real schedule didn’t start until the boys were a little over 3 months). Anyway, Hogg suggested making note of your babies’ sleep and hunger cues, times of day they ate, and times of day they slept and for how long. She suggested noting this information for four days. Now, did I take incredibly specific notes? No, ain’t nobody got the time. Over the span of a few days, we did notice the boys were getting sleepy around the same time every day. This was our first step in establishing nap time. Trying to follow the boys natural schedule avoided such pitfalls as a spontaneous fit from being over tired, or scrambling to get everyone on the boob while they’re crying from hunger. If you do have time for some book skimming, or even (gasp) reading an entire book. I would highly suggest Baby Whisperer.

In between eating and sleeping

Who knew that what you do in between sleeping and eating actually plays a role in establishing a successful schedule?? The book On Becoming BabyWise explains an eat-play-sleep schedule with feedings being every 3 hours. Hogg expands on this cycle with E.A.S.Y which is eat-awake-sleep-you. I took these two, meshed them together, and made up my own steps. Does that mean I created my own? Do I smell a book deal?Anyway, we took the natural sleep/eat times we noted for the boys, and incorporated time for play/stimulation in between. We also made sure that before sleeping the boys got lots of cuddles as, I’m convinced, is also one of a baby’s basic needs.

Timeline for Results

As I mentioned earlier, we did not start trying to establish a real schedule until around 3 months. I feel this is really when babies begin sleeping less during the day and you can note more consistent sleep/hunger cues. *I’m not a doctor, and all babies are different. This is just what worked for us.*By three and a half month to four months the boys were down to waking once in the night to eat. At around 4.5 months the boys were sleeping through the night and taking pretty consistent naps during the day. Every once in a while they would take turns napping because, twins life.

The boys are now 7 months and are still sleeping through the night. They also take two naps a day MOST of the time without issue. This isn’t to brag, but to show that it can be done and to maybe give a little hope to those struggling. Here is our boys’ typical schedule:

5:30-6am- wake for 1st feeding

7:30-8- wake for the day

8-9:30- play/cuddles

9:30- Eat

9:45/10-11/11:30-Morning Nap

12/12:30- Eat

12:30-1:30- Play

1:30-2:30/3- Afternoon Nap

3/3:30- Eat

*Sometimes a cat nap around 4:30*

4-6: Play/cuddles/bath

6-6:30- Eat

7:00 Bedtime

I hope sharing what worked for us has been helpful. As always, you are welcome to connect with me on Instagram at blwalker_528

The Baby Gear Hall of Fame

Hey y’all!

I am working on a post about what to expect the first few weeks with a newborn/twins. That post still needs some work because it is turning into a book! So, I decided to save that one to drafts and talk about something that’s a no brainer for me…shopping. Below you’ll find some items that made our lives SO much easier.

For Baby

Newborn Boppy Lounger

My first nominee into the Baby Gear Hall of Fame is the Boppy Newborn Lounger. Can I get this in an adult size? Our boys LOVED these. They are super cozy for baby and even washable. Let’s be real…you’re going to need to wash them. A lot of stuff comes out of babies. I’ve found it online at Target, Buy Buy Baby, and Amazon for around 30 dollars.

https://www.target.com/p/boppy-174-elephants-newborn-lounger/-/A-49169314

Carter’s Zip-Up Sleep and Plays

The boys lived in these. When you have two babies, you need products that make your life easier. How much easier can it get than zipping up your little chubsters in their super cute outfits? The sleep and plays come with zippers or snaps, but honestly, ain’t nobody got time for snaps. Everything is 50% off at Carters right now! Go grab some.

http://www.carters.com/carters-baby-boy-one-pieces

Activity Mat

We started using a mat pretty early on. It gives baby time to explore and figure out how his hands and fingers work, and gives mama/daddy time to drink a cup of coffee. There are TONS of these out there at a variety of price points. Look for something with some dangly toys and music and baby will love it.

https://www.target.com/p/baby-einstein-153-nautical-friends-play-gym-bright-blue/-

Twin Pack N Play

This item is definitely worth the money for twin mamas. We put this in our bedroom for our boys to sleep in. Some say to let your twins sleep in the same bed until they start to roll. Our boys liked to snuggle and play during the day, but at night they slept better separately. This pack n play allows them to be right next to each other without actually being in the same bed. A few brands offer the twin version. We purchased the Graco, but I have heard great things about the Baby Trend version as well. I linked the one that we use below.

https://www.target.com/p/graco-174-pack-n-play-playard-with-twins-bassinet-vance

For Nursing

Ok, nursing twins is a whole new post. Breastfeeding in general is hard. Sometimes your body adjust and adapts quickly, and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes babies take to nursing right away, and sometimes they don’t. Whether you choose to nurse, formula feed, or both, you have to do what is best for your baby and yourself. Ok, I’ll save the rest those thoughts for another time. Here are some products that have been sanity saving in my twin nursing journey:

My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow

I lovingly call this my “dinner table”. This pillow allows you to tandem feed and still have a free hand or two. In the beginning, I contemplated wearing this wherever I went. I truly does become your “brest” friend.

https://www.target.com/p/my-brest-friend-twin-plus-nursing-pillow-evening-gray

Medela Tender Care

I mean…you’ll need it.

Nursing Bras

You know those random Amazon finds that end up working out really well? This is one of mine. These have been my favorite nursing bras so far. They are adjustable, and offer great support even without underwire.

For Mamas

Here’s a list of things every mama needs to help get through those first few weeks with a new baby or babies:

  • Comfy clothes: Jammies have no time limit now. Welcome to the world of sweatpants.
  • Healthy snacks: Nursing babies brings you to a level of hunger that can be equated to only that of a savage bear.
  • Water: keep a jug within arms reach at all times.
  • Netflix: You are going to be feeding/rocking/snuggling for hours at a time. Find something good to watch.
  • Hair ties: you wear your hair up now…keeps the baby stuff out of it.

I hope this post has been helpful for you expectant mamas out there. As always, you are welcome to connect with me on Instagram at blwalker_528

“Welp, there’s two in there.”

Those words hit without warning.

“There’s two in there.”

In February 2017 my husband and I excitedly attended our first doctor’s visit after a (like, ten) positive pregnancy test(s). Not knowing what we were waking into, we eagerly hopped out of our chairs in the waiting room when the ultrasound tech called our name. I wish I could hop back in time and let future Brittany tell myself to take a deep breath. Maybe lie down. Have a cold glass of water. Future Brittany would’ve let me know that I was about to get the shock of my life…which is more of a heads up than I received from the ultrasound tech.

Within the first five seconds of the ultrasound the tech verbally slapped us with a quite nonchalant “Welp, there’s two in there.”  Pardon? Come again? Excusez-moi? There can’t be TWO “in there” (is that the medical term?) because twins DON’T run in my family. NO ONE  has twins. I sat and nervously giggled because that’s how I know to respond in stressful situations. My husband sat silent with the occasional uttering of “no way”.  It was hard to see his exact facial expressions in such a dark room, but the glow from the ultrasound screen did provide enough light to see the sweat beads that had formed across his forehead.

The tech then proved to us we were in fact expecting twins. I was 9 weeks along, and although I was terrified, on the screen I saw the two most perfect little alien shaped blobs I had ever seen. Somewhere in me I knew everything was going to be just fine, and life was about to get a lot more interesting.

I decided to write this blog with the hopes for offering mamas tips and encouragement. Whether you’re a new, veteran, or soon to be mama, I hope you can use this blog connect and relate, feel encouraged, and maybe even learn something here or there. In my next post, I will write about what to expect in those first couple weeks with baby(ies), and the products we couldn’t live without.

Feel free to connect with me on Instagram at blwalker_528

ps there’s like 6 sets of twins in my family.