Life Before 8am {Mara}


“See and appreciate the significance in the mundane, in the everyday, in the fleeting. The big moments are important, but some of the best moments are in the in-between ones.” – Karen Jacot Photography

Life before 8AM on weekdays are dramatically different than on weekends, so I was very excited to see that Karen had a spot for us on a Sunday. On weekdays, we are doing everything humanly possible to get everyone out of the door and having a new person (Karen) in our mix would have distracted both kids and we would never have made it!

Weekends at our house are usually spent making something tasty for breakfast and getting everyone fed and prepped for a nap (for the baby) and to go out and do something energetic (for the 3-year-old, in hopes that he’ll wear himself out and nap in the afternoon). Like most families with young kids, wake up time is the same regardless of what day it is, so my husband and I adjust our time around our kids.

When Karen arrived, my husband was out running (he trains for marathons and early morning runs are the time he has free when the kids are still asleep), and my baby, E, had just woken up. First thing is getting his diaper changed! This involves me throwing away the disposable overnight one and putting on one of the cloth ones we use during the day.

Before 8am Mara | Denver Metro Moms Blog

E is a definite lover of faces, so he was very focused on Karen.

After changing E, we went downstairs (to not wake the 3-year-old) and get him fed. I’m fortunate to have been able to breastfeed as long as I have. I do love nursing, but I hate pumping. Alas, the plight of a working mom.

Before 8am Mara | Denver Metro Moms BlogNote the vest-like thing I’m wearing; an awesome apron made by a former co-worker specifically for me and E, as he spits up a lot (often and in large volumes). It’s made of terry cloth and cloth diaper cover material, to keep the liquid from getting through so it really helps save my clothes from getting wet and lessens the loads of laundry per week by a lot! My former co-worker could seriously mass-market these things!

Before 8am Mara | Denver Metro Moms BlogMy husband arrived home after running and took E so I could get the pump equipment washed for me to use. For whatever reason, my husband adores poking him in the cheek. He did the same with our three-year-old when he was a baby.

Before 8am Mara | Denver Metro Moms BlogWe then heard our 3-year-old, L, through the monitor and knew he was awake, so we all went up to wish him a good morning. He was also quite curious about Karen.

After taking some time to get up and use the toilet (amazingly faster than normal… perhaps because he had an outsider audience), L got himself dressed. Most of the clothes he has are easy for him to get on and off, but for some reason he picked the one thing that had a button and zipper (why any manufacturer of kids’ clothes thinks this is a good idea is beyond me).

Before 8am Mara | Denver Metro Moms BlogMy husband had to help him with the button and zipper.

After getting one of his many Broncos shirts on (which L would correct me and say this is a “Broncos jersey, not a Broncos shirt”), we all headed downstairs to cook some breakfast. L adores cooking and on many mornings asks “can we bake something?” We always enjoy getting to say “yes” on weekends and have him help us make it.

Before 8am Mara | Denver Metro Moms BlogHe got out his step stool and was ready to go!

Before 8am Mara | Denver Metro Moms BlogMy husband had L measure some ingredients and whisk them together. L’s usually pretty careful, but sometimes we end up with flour and baking soda everywhere.

Before 8am Mara | Denver Metro Moms BlogE is usually pretty self-sufficient, as long as he has a full belly, but this particular morning he was quite sensitive and didn’t want to be left alone. I got down on the floor to hang out with him. It’s not usually too bad getting onto the floor, but I do feel a bit like an older mom when I have to get back up again!

Before 8am Mara | Denver Metro Moms BlogMy husband and L were making blueberry muffins using a great recipe book that my parents gave my husband for his birthday. They measured the wild blueberries together (yum!).

While my husband did the final mixing and putting the batter into muffin tins, L had some scrambled eggs. We try to ensure that each morning he gets lots of protein. There are times he’ll eat 5 or more eggs at once (I’ve semi-seriously considered getting backyard chickens).

Before 8am Mara | Denver Metro Moms BlogL still doesn’t quite understand that you can take smaller bites instead of shoving in a huge piece.

Mara 8AM 11Look at that beautiful batter!

Mara 8AM 12L adores eating dough and batter (from everything we make including bread, muffins, etc. not just cookies). So he enjoyed getting to lick the spoon.

Mara 8AM 13E had gotten tired of the floor at this point, so I took him to the back door to look outside and touch something new.

My husband then took E, so I could eat some eggs while the muffins were baking.

Mara 8AM 14L wanted a hug. I very much appreciate (usually) that I have a little boy who loves hugs so much. Sometimes he asks for hugs in the middle of eating dinner and wants them every 2-minutes. Those are the times I wish he would just finish eating and we could have a hug afterwards! But I know that he may not always feel this way, so I take advantage while I can.

Mara 8AM 15L has a ton of energy and likes to run (like his dad), so he often does laps around our kitchen island. The record (that we’ve counted) was 69, and that time he wasn’t tired, just bored. This morning he did around 20-30 laps. He’s a fast little bugger!

Before 8am Mara | Denver Metro Moms BlogI adore this photo of my husband with E opening the oven. It reminds me of so many of the amazing qualities of the guy I married.

Mara 8AM 17While waiting for the muffins, L was sitting at our raised bar area cracking himself up over something. He was likely making up nonsense words that rhyme. That seems to be his thing these days! How I adore his laughs!

E is a big spitter-upper (as mentioned earlier) and he spit up a huge amount while I as holding him. This is one of the many reasons I’m so glad we have hardwood floors instead of carpeting. Way easier to clean!

Mara 8AM 18As soon as he spit up, both my husband and L came over to help clean up. I’m a lucky woman!

Now the muffins were ready! Yay!

Mara 8AM 19This photo cracks me up since L appears to be doing a combination of photo bombing and using a bowl like a tambourine in a band.

And then the best part came: eating the muffins! All (but E) got to enjoy them, but L seemed to enjoy them most of all. One of L’s favorite books to read right now is the Berenstain Bears Nursery Tales book, which includes the story of the Little Red Hen (who finds a grain of wheat, plants it, cuts it, makes it into flour and then bread while none of the other animals help). The last line that comes after she eats the bread is “It was delicious!” L thinks it’s funny while we read the book to say “it was delicious!” after each thing the hen does (including planting, threshing, etc.) and cracks up every time. This last photo makes me want to say “it was delicious!”

Mara 8AM 20

For more pictures and a peek into Karen’s perspective of the shoot, be sure to check out her post here. And don’t forget to check out the rest of the posts within this amazing series as well!
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Mara is a married mom of two little boys (2 ½ and 2 months). The family lives in Denver near City Park and loves the combination of city life with being able to quickly get to the park to “get away from it all” (or go to the zoo to see gorillas and orangutans, her 2 ½ year old’s favorite animals). When not visiting great apes, Mara is an IT project manager, enjoys cooking (and eating!), scrapbooking, volunteering, traveling (though only state-side these days with little ones), and getting outdoors for a bit of exercise (which comes in a different form than when she was single and without kids). She captures her thoughts on sustainability, project management, etc. on her personal blog as well as documenting her favorite recipes on her food blog.


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