Meet Isabella, Luke and their 3 beautiful babies (all under the age of 3!) Clementine, Wilkie and Remy. Luke is Norwegian and Isabella is half Irish/German and half Ecuadorian and Italian. Isabella's grandmother was born in Ecuador and immigrated to the United States as a child, and her grandpa is the son of Italian immigrants.
Parenting presents different challenges for us all, but somehow we are connected on this journey through a specific survival guide that's not exactly written but totally understood. That 15 minutes alone to drink water while the little humans rest, or that loud dance party to release the energy at the end of a long day. We have all been there and we really are in this together, despite our differences.
Q: Can you share a few things about yourself and your family that some people might not know?
A: One fun thing about my husband, Luke, and I is that we got married three months after we met. We both just knew it was right, which is something I’m excited to share with our babies as they grow up. We love to share meals together, food is a major part of how we bond. We make pancakes together at least once a week!
Q: Can you talk a little about your family background and culture? What was your upbringing like?
A: I grew up spending a lot of time with my grandparents. My brother and I would go to my Ecuadorian grandma’s house a lot, which was always our favorite. She would always have us practice rolling our R’s, which I want to pass down to my little ones. We would make lasagna with my Italian grandpa at Christmas, and those are some of my favorite memories. I have 4 younger siblings, the youngest is 17 years younger than me, so I grew up in a noisy house and have always loved the everyday sounds! My dad’s side of the family is giant, and I’ve always love spending time with family. Two words that describe my childhood are loud and chaotic.
Q: You mentioned cooking with your grandpa. What's one of your favorite meals that you make together? And would you bless us with the recipe?
A: My most special memories are with my grandfather making lasagna on Christmas Eve. That’s a tradition I want to pass down to my kids. I eventually want to make everything from scratch, but for now the recipe is like this:
- At least 3 jars of your favorite red sauce (I love a garlicky one)
- One box of lasagna noodles that you boil beforehand so that they’re softer, but not fully cooked.
- Ground beef/turkey depending on preference
- Fresh Mozzarella cut into bite size cubes
- Bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper, parmesan, olive oil
- Any veggies you want in it. I love mushrooms, spinach, onion, and chopped tomato
- Hard boiled egg
We start with making the meatballs. You’ll mix together your ground meat, bread crumbs, parmesan, and seasonings then form into small bitesized balls. Put on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Make one small batch first into the oven set to broil. You start with a small batch to check seasonings and flavor, that way you can add more into the mix if you want!
Set oven to 350 to preheat.
You’ll want to layer all ingredients. Start with a fine layer of red sauce then add veggies, and chopped up hard boiled eggs then a layer of noodles, then red sauce, veggies, cooked meatballs, chopped hard boiled eggs, cubed mozzarella.
Repeat this layering process to make about 3 layers. Once final noodle layer, do red sauce and cheese one more time. Cover with foil and bake until you see bubbling in the middle of the pan. Then raise temperature to 425 and bake until browned on top!
Let it sit for about 30 minutes and then dig in!
I recently made one for thanksgiving this year, and the kids helped me layer all the ingredients. I love that when making this dish, there is something for basically every age group to do! Next year, I want my daughter to start helping with more things too when I make this. It’s something that I hope gets passed down for generations in our family.
Q: How old are your little ones and what do they each like to do?
A: Clementine Bleu just turned 3, and she loves books and all living things. We think she’s going to be a zoo keeper when she grows up, she has such a sweet heart for animals of all shapes and sizes.
Wilkie Stone is 20 months, and he loves trucks and cars. It’s really sweet to see his little imagination grow.
Remy Jade is our youngest at 10 months, and he loves food and following his siblings around!
Q: What do you love most about motherhood?
A: I love seeing their personalities change and grow. watching them accomplish new things is my favorite thing in the world.
Q: And what do you find most challenging?
A: I’ve basically had 3 straight years of babies, which has been rewarding but also exhausting. The hardest part has been figuring out a system to spend quality time with each child individually. We’re all learning together!
Q: You seem so positive and balanced in your approach to parenting 3 littles. Do you have any routines, rituals or practices that you do to keep everyone balanced?
A: I’m not a “schedule” type of person, but we tend to have a rhythm every day. We wake up, make breakfast and coffee, go out for the day to the playground, beach, or our favorite local botanical garden. Then we head back to have lunch and naps at home, I tidy up while the little ones nap, and then a snack when everyone wakes up. We play in the backyard or go on a walk around the neighborhood, then home for me to start dinner! We end up the night with a living room dance party, and then bedtime routines!
Q: Do you have any self care or wellness practices for yourself? (when you have a free moment!)
A: I try to make myself sit down for 15 minutes after the little ones fall asleep for naps. I just drink water and rest for a second! Also I love doing my skin and hair oils after my shower! I take time to take care of my skin and hair after every shower and it relaxes me.
Q: It's important to teach our little ones about self-love. Even as infants, they are watching us and taking in all of our movements and expressions. We talked about body positivity on IG - Would you share your thoughts?
A: Yes! One of my favorite things is when one of the babies starts playing with my belly. Clementine giggles when she pokes it and then I start talking about how I’m like this now because I grew all them in my belly! So it makes for the sweetest conversations now. It’s easy to want to critique every little thing that’s different about my body now, but I try to focus on the fact that it grew me my three little ones and brought them safely into this world 💛 and I’m proud of it for that.
Q: Any parenting advice that has worked for you and your family?
A: Do what works for you! We see so many tips and tricks from other families or parents, but just do what works for you! Also don’t get discouraged looking at other people out and about with their kids who are listening and not going crazy! Everyone has their days. Go with the flow and know you’re doing your best! And when the kids are losing it turn some music up loud and dance! It makes everyone happy.
Q: What did your younger self need to hear that wasn’t said?
A: Don’t stress over things that won’t matter in 5 years. A friend told me that when clementine was a baby and it’s my daily mantra.