friday close-ups with: Kristin Brancaleone

This week for Friday close-up my friend Kristin Brancaleone will be sharing with us some insights from her journey through motherhood. 

How many kids do you have and how old are they? Siena (5) and Matteo (1)

What was the hardest thing about becoming a new mom? I'm a highly sensitive person (HSP) so all the brand new sensations- the cries, the smells, the vomit, the mini emergencies, the sleepless nights- hit me really hard.  I think I was very overstimulated and stressed out the entire first year of my daughter's life because each day I was bombarded by so much "newness."    

What helped you the most to get through the newborn stage with your babies? Being able to vent my sometimes ugly feelings- to my husband, through blogging, to my friends, and my therapist, and to receive validation from them instead of criticism.  

Do you co-sleep or does your baby sleep in their own crib and why? No.  We intended to cosleep, but my kids are really loud, grunty sleepers.  We couldn't handle it.  With our second child, he was in his own room falling asleep on his own from Day 5.  It's been wonderful!

What is something you would go back and tell yourself as a new mom?  Do less, enjoy more.  

How has having kids changed your marriage for the good or bad? Definitely for the good- we've tried to cultivate a really simple, calm,  loving household for our kids.  Can't help but bleed into the marriage relationship, right? 

What do you do for yourself? Listen to podcasts (The Lively Show and Sorta Awesome Podcast are my favorites) while folding laundry and cooking.  I sell masquerade masks on etsy to make a little travel money on the side.  I surf every other Thursday before the kids wake up.  

What resource has helped you the most in your journey of motherhood?  By far, the blog has helped me figure out my parenting philosophy and given me so much piece of mind.  

What is your go-to meal to make? We're paleo, so everyday is some kind of meat/fish, sweet potato drenched in butter, and roasted veggies.  

How do you juggle kids and getting errands and chores completed? Maid service every 3 weeks so I just have to tidy up and maintain the house.  Not buying a lot of stuff (we're minimalists in many ways.). And keeping errands short and sweet, and then ending with a fun outting like the library so errands are fun for all of us.