Before 8am {Erica}

“Life is an adventure, and there is no script. I see something in ordinary moments. I believe that perfection comes not when you are dressed perfectly and wearing lipstick – but in little moments and interactions that make up our days and build and sustain our relationships. Let me show you the beauty in your unscripted moments…” – Karen Jacot, photographer

When I became a contributor for Houston Moms Blog, I couldn’t wait for an opportunity to take part in the Before 8 am series.

Some mornings I set my alarm for 5:45 and get up to grade papers, plan my lecture, or work on a conference paper. On those mornings, Christina usually savors those extra minutes of shut eye. And other mornings we let Quinn be our alarm clock. But on this particular day, Karen arrived at our house at 6:45 ready to capture the moments of our morning routine…


Before Quinn, Charley was our alarm clock. She still rests her head on my side of the bed and softly whimpers, letting me know it’s time for her breakfast. Since Quinn was born, I’ve made it a habit of setting the coffee pot before bed to automatically brew at 5:30 a.m. When the morning alarm goes off, the aroma is incentive enough to roll out of bed.


We use the precious time before Quinn wakes up to check our emails and catch up on social media. And of course, drink our coffee and get some snuggles in with our dog Charley.


Quinn let’s us know when she is ready to take on the day. She stands up in her crib, looks right into the monitor, and babbles – with the occasional “momma” here and there. This kid loves her sleep. She goes to bed at 7 and wakes up around 7. We are very, very lucky.


Going in to get her is a family affair. Both Christina and I peak our heads in, open the curtains, and welcome the day. Charley stretches out along the carpet and our cat Ollie sneaks in, rubbing himself up against her crib. We even have a good morning song {similar to this song, but we substitute Quinn’s name}.


After a clean diaper, it’s time for milk and snuggles on the couch. While Quinn sips her milk, mommas try to sneak in some gulps of coffee. Luckily, we have a big couch, because like many things in our house, milk time is a family event as well.


Around this time, coffee is low and in need of a fill. And more coffee for mommas! We got these awesome mugs from our wedding photographer that fit so well with our proposal story and wedding theme. {You can check out some pics from our wedding on 9/10/11 too.}


Quinn is very adamant that breakfast happens right after milk. She walks to the fridge, points, and makes the sign for “eat.” Sign language has been very helpful for us in communicating. However, sometimes we aren’t fast enough in responding. Often times Quinn drags her highchair into the living room. This morning, like many, Christina’s cereal was a delicious addition to Quinn’s waffle. Whatever momma has is always better, and if Quinn wants momma’s cereal, momma’s cereal she will have.


Some mornings we are able to sneak in a book before I get ready for work. The touch & feel books are Quinn’s favorite these days. We got this fun one titled “That’s Not My Puppy” from a friend who sells Usborne.


One of Quinn’s favorite activities is helping me brush my teeth. Dental hygiene is a family affair in our house.


I’m thankful for walk-in closets — because when you have a two-mom household, you need double the closet space. Picking out my work clothes is always a task.


While figuring out my fashion is laborious, I’m lucky I have a stylist to help me with my hair. She loves to put the wax in and tussle my hair around. Good thing I’m going for the “messy” look.


This is my absolute favorite picture of Quinn. Legs crossed, crazy hair, and serious face.


While I finish getting ready for work, Christina gets Quinn dressed for the day. Often times this leads to a toddler running around the house in just a diaper.


I do Quinn’s hair while Christina showers. I never thought I’d be the “hair” mom – brushing, tugging, and adjusting. These days elastics and clips don’t last very long, but it’s a noble attempt.


Quinn helps me put my shoes on, loosening the laces, and wiggling her own toes into my size 10 oxfords.


Family kisses are a must in our home.


My girls stand at the door and wave goodbye as I leave for work for the day.

To see Karen’s perspective from her Before 8am morning with us, check out her blog post.  And don’t forget to check out the rest of the posts within this amazing series as well!

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Erica C
Erica is a New England native who moved to Houston with her family in June 2014. She and her wife Christina live in Pearland with their daughter Quinn {Dec 2013}, dog Charley, and two cats Phoebe and Oliver. Erica is an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston where she teaches classes on strategic communication and social media. When Erica isn’t busy teaching, researching, or being a mom, she enjoys getting her yoga on, creating culinary delights, scoring deals shopping online, and exploring Texas with her girls.



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