Moms And Babies - Claire

This week I'm featuring Claire from Fast Forward Girl! I love reading Claire's blog, because she write such thought-provoking posts on her walk with the Lord, and I always leave her blog feeling encouraged and inspired to live in a way that is more pleasing to my Savior! Read on to hear what she has to say about her life as a wife and mom.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm a 22 year old wife and momma of 2. I have been married to my husband, Bryan, for 3.5 years. Our little family has already lived in 3 states and on 2 continents. We were most recently living in South Africa as missionaries. As of September 2010 though, we are settled back into New England and are raising our family to glorify God. We don't always know what's around the next bend, but we know we are called to be faithful in the here and now, and right now that means trusting God in this season of parenthood. I am passionate about being the best wife and mother I can be while also enjoying my family and my life. I'm a young mother, so I hope to bring the vibrancy of youth to the way I live my grown up life.

What are your children's names and how old are they?

I have 2 girls. Peyton Spring just turned 2 at the end of May, and Britany Zoe is 6 months old.

Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you.

I usually nurse Britany between 5-6 and then lay her back down to sleep until around 9. I get another hour or so of sleep and then am up by 7 to take a shower and get a few things done around the house before Peyton gets up at 8. Peyton usually watches a half hour of Curious George (her fav!!) while I make her oatmeal (which she has everyday :) Then she and I eat together. When Britany gets up I nurse and then give her a little baby food fruit mixed with baby cereal. Peyton usually either helps me feed Britany or plays with some of her toys at this time. After that I dress the kids and we get ready for whatever is planned for the day whether that's running errands, heading to a play date or the park, etc. But on days we stay home we usually try to pack our day with lots of play dough, coloring, casual potty training, reading books and playing outside. At 12 we have lunch and then Peyton goes down for her nap around 1. Britany usually goes down by 1:30. I typically have about 2 hours to myself but sometimes less depending on Britany's schedule that day. But Peyton sleeps for 3 hours. I try to use that time to do housework mostly, but I also like to make myself a good lunch (so easy to forget when you're chasing kiddos!) and have at least a half hour of down time :) When the kids get up they have a snack and then it's back to playing hard! My husbands schedule fluctuates so a lot of times he's actually home by the time the kids are up (but not all the time). Then the rest of the night is spent making dinner and spending time as a family. Both kids have a bath at 7:30 and are in bed by 8. Then it's Hubby/Wifey time!!!

If you had to choose three words to describe the personalities of each of your children, what would they be?

PEYTON: Energetic, Passionate, Bright. BRITANY: Happy, Sensitive, Loving


What's your favorite part about being a mom?

I love LOVING my children, laughing with them and getting excited about the things that excite them. And I love investing in them. Pouring my life into them is a joy and a privilege. I love watching them learn. Especially Peyton right now since she's learning so much at this age. Seeing her count to 3 or identify that that ball is RED makes me giddy with excitement. But it's also a solemn thing. I am daily reminded of the weight of teaching these children to love God and to spend their lives for Him.

Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight?

Breastfeeding! I'm honestly not the greatest person for excercise. :( It's one of those things I know I need to do, but never make the time for. But breastfeeding rocks for taking off the weight. With Peyton I gained 26 lbs during my pregnancy and lost it all pretty quickly. My body looked back to normal at 4 months post partum. With Britany I gained more (about 40 lbs, thanks a lot bed rest!!!) and I'm currently 3 lbs from my pre pregnancy weight at 6 months post partum. But that's without excercise so if you're really determined you can definitely lose faster.

What have you and your husband done since your children's arrival to keep your relationship strong?

I'm going to get awkward on you but I'm being real. We have had to be diligent about our sex life. Sex is the number one way for a couple to connect and be ONE. Sometimes that means giving our 2 year old a box of toys and shutting the door to her room so mommy and daddy can be together. Things can get crazy in life, so taking the time to lay in each others arms and remember why you fell in love is VITAL to keeping your sanity. Sometimes its 15 minutes... but if those 15 minutes are blissful, they can re-charge you for hours of spilled juice, crushed-into-the-carpet-cheerios and spit up on your most expensive pair of jeans ;) We also try to be intentional with the time we have after the kids are in bed. We watch a TV show we both enjoy and snuggle up with pop corn, or we'll play a board game together, or make a smoothie, etc. My husband is my best friend so I love talking with him over a cup of hot cocoa or sharing our funny moments from the day. Also, a great marriage begins in the heart. I try to be intentional about keeping my heart and my mind LOVING my husband throughout my day.Proverbs 31:12 says "She does him good and not evil ALL the days of her life" (that means that the Prov. 31 wife is always looking out for her husband's best even on the days he's 20 miles across town at work!!!) I try to keep that verse as my credo!!!

Are there any must-have products that you would recommend to other moms?

I think specifically for second time moms I would recommend lots of baby "stations". With my first baby I was able to spend a lot of time holding her and playing with her but now with 2 the baby does get less of my attention simply because a 2 year old is high maintenance! So keeping Britany happy has been really thanks to some fun items that can allow me to be hands free. 1. Bouncy Seat, 2. Activity Floor Mat, 3. Excersaucer. Britany makes her rounds through those 3 things (plus tummy time) alot during the day. I'm still able to engage her while she's in each of those things, but I can have my hands free to help Peyton with whatever she needs. Also, this isn't really a "prodcut" per se, but when I was pregnant with my first I joined a website called It has forums for the month you're due in, so you get to to know other women due the same time as you and you can take your questions and random thoughts there. I built such a strong community there during my pregnancy that kept me grounded even through a lot of moves during my pregnancy. I still keep in touch with all those women and they are some of my best friends. I still take a lot of my questions to them and I have a separate board for Britany's age as well. I love comparing notes with so many other moms who are in the exact same stage!

What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?

We've done a lot of traveling since we became a family and we've been to some amazing places (Cape Point in South Africa stands out.... also taking a cable car up Table Mountain...). But the moments that always top my list are the ones spent at home... in our living room, laughing. Tickling each other, chasing each other around the room, doing silly dances or making a big mess that we'll worry about some other time. And those are the moments I think my kids will love best as well. Stress free, happy, let loose kind of moments.

Any advice for first-time mothers?

For first time moms, cherish this time. Don't get hung up on details. Don't worry too much about sleep training or scheduling or pacifier addictions or poop color (ha!) SPEND YOUR ENERGY WISELY ON WHAT TRULY MATTERS.. For second time moms, PRIORITIZING your kids is a MUST. Each child must have their turn to WAIT. For example, if I'm in the middle of nursing Britany, Peyton will have to wait for me to fix her a snack. Or if I'm in the middle of disciplining Peyton for something, Britany might have to cry a little longer to be picked up. You can't be super mom and that's okay. Giving each child individual attention throughout the day is what will keep you moving :) For all kinds of moms? Take those moments to lay on the couch and take a nap along with your little one. Waste 15 minutes making funny faces at your baby. Play music, open the windows, dance across the room while you're cooking dinner. Keep life simple, joyful and memorable.

Thanks Claire! To read more, check out Claire's blog!

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Kara @ Just1Step said...

Claire seems very sweet! What a cute family. Thanks for the feature. I'll have to stop by her blog and check it out. :)

Natalie said...

such a wise, yet laidback mom! i will have to follow along to get more mommy lessons :)

Unknown said...

Ok how adorable are they?! I totally love this idea Callie!

Dove of Snow said...

I love this! Adorable mom and family! I don't have kids (yet) of my own but this is so inspiring, engaging and insightful! Thanks Claire and Callie Nicole! :) --Rachel

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