Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Emily Merritt- 5 Months

Our sweet little Emily is growing up fast!

She is the happiest little baby who loves watching her brother and sister play and gets so excited when they make silly faces at her or play peek-a-boo with her.

Her laugh is hysterical. Ryan and Natalie were never big laughers- they always smiled so big, but no sound ever came out- so when Matt and I first heard Emily's cackle, we about died over how cute it was! She has this deep sounding voice that doesn't match her tiny, girly frame. It is just the cutest- we could listen to her laugh all day long!

Big milestones this month include rolling over both ways and trying food! She been very curious about our food when we eat, so we've let her try sweet potatoes, butternut squash, peas, apples and carrots. She likes bring the food to her mouth and is finding our how to chew and swallow. It is so cute watching her try!

She loves being in her exersaucer and playing on her play mat on the floor, or holding toys in her nap nanny and bumbo seat. She entertains herself so well while the big kids are eating or getting ready for the day, and she of course also loves when we're all playing together in the same room. She is just so content. Bless her sweet little self!!

One of my favorite parts of the day with her is her 6am feed because it's time for just the two of us. She reminds me of Ryan with the way she nurses- takes her time and loves the snuggles. I cherish those morning feeds! And Matt's favorite times with her are when he does her bath and bottle and reads to her every night before bed. He loves his just-him-and-Emily time!

Two other fun memories from this month were seeing her all dressed up for Halloween and passing out in Matt's arms literally as the kids were walking out of our driveway. She was such a sport to skip her normal routine and slept contentedly in his arms for most of the night. I'll always remember that sweet moment of seeing her asleep so fast and then watching Matt carry her all through the neighborhood. 

The other fun memory was going out to eat for the first time and everyone doing so well for the entire time! Matt's mom came with us to The Fickle Pickle and we laughed at how amazing it went! We are hitting a little groove as a family of 5 and moments like this one are fun to find.

Our daily routine of playing outside after naps while we wait for daddy to come home. I love the way Ryan and Natalie will pause from whatever they're doing and go over to sit by Emily. And I love the way she loves watching them play!

Meeting her cousins! 
(She was snuggled in a blanket in her carrier- she looks completely mis-dressed in this picture!)

Little ducklings :)

Some nights we all are in the bathroom together for bath time and I sneak in on some Matt and Emily time. ;)

Our sweet friend Megan captured the sweetest pictures of Emily this month. I love the way you can see her different expressions and see the way her hair is starting to stand up just like Natalie's did!

We are so in love with you sweet girl! God knew exactly what we needed making you a part of our family!


Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday Favorites: Mom-Life Confessions & Conveniences

In case my lack of blogging hasn't been an indication, time is not in abundance over here these days. With the combination of early risers and no nappers and occasionally late-to-fall-asleep-ers, I'm realizing that there literally aren't enough hours in the day in this stage of life to do all of the things I'd like to do. And instead of trying to fit it all in and falling short in just about every category, I've decided I need to figure out what is most important to me right now and try my hardest to do those things well. And #1 on that list is spending quality time with these three little ducklings right here.

In the time I have before they wake up, I want to focus my priorities on having a consistent quiet time, working out, and taking care of personal and house chores like checking email, paying bills, planning & prepping meals, and folding laundry so that my daytime focus can be with Ryan, Natalie and Emily, and so that Matt and I can have some just-us time in the evenings once the kids are down.

This stage with our three so young is such a short one- I see it all the time from ladies in the store giving me nostalgic looks when one or more are having a tough time, or when all three are being their happiest little selves.

Nobody ever looks back (I imagine) and wishes they had more time to themselves or had accomplished more things on their to-do lists. Even though I may feel that way at times in the day-to-day right now, I'm pretty sure I'll look back and hope that I made the most of my time with my kids when they wanted nothing more than for me to play with them, or read to them, or just sit and watch a show with them.

Since having three, I've told Matt that I really really LOVE being a mom, but wish I could just get someone to take care of all of the house/life management stuff that gets in the way. Simple changes like hiring a personal chef and grocery shopper, someone to do the laundry and clean the house daily, and someone to sift through mail and email and show me what's most important and then pay the bills and make the calls to set up various repair appointments, etc. Like I said, simple things. ;)

The ages of our kiddos mean that I am ON every minute that they are awake. And I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. So for now, I am going to blog when we have milestone updates or life updates, but won't be sharing much else outside of a journal of our lives for us to look back on one day.

Writing is a form of therapy for me (writing this post is already giving me clearer perspective), not to mention the fact that I love connecting with other mamas and friends through this space, so I know I'll enjoy one day sharing recipes and favorites and deals and confessions again. 

But for now, I'll soak up my days with my kiddos and enjoy date-nights-in with Matt, and use my mornings for the things I mentioned above. 

But I'll leave you with a list of mom-life conveniences that have made quite a difference in my week-to-week and day-to-day these last 4.5 months since Emily has joined our family. Because I love when I find things that simplify life and love sharing them with you guys even more.

Grocery delivery & pickup
This has been HUGE. And is way less expensive than hiring a personal chef to shop and cook for us.

What grocery shopping with three little ones looks like #wineaisle ;)

I use two services for our groceries now:

Shipt and Walmart Pickup.

Shipt is an annual subscription ($99 for the year but there are occasionally deals to get that lower) that delivers groceries straight to your door. Ours includes the Publix and Kroger that are right by our house, so I go online or use the app, type in the items I need from the search bar, specify things like green bananas or thinly-sliced lunch meat, and choose a 1-hour window in which I want the groceries delivered. I also request that the groceries are left at the front door so I don't have to worry about being in the middle of nursing or changing a diaper when someone knocks on the door. The personal shopper assigned to my order texts me when a certain item is out of stock and makes suggestions for replacements. But you can also choose for them to make the substitution if you prefer. The food prices are marked up slightly and tipping is optional through the app.

Walmart Pickup is great because the service is free, their prices are so low (what you would pay in the store is what you pay through the pickup service), there is no tipping, and the groceries are ready to go and placed in your trunk when you arrive at your designated time. When they don't have an item, they substitute for you and then you approve or have it taken off when you receive your groceries. If they don't have the size of the item you want, they give you the larger item for free. And if you choose a Walmart brand of food that is out of stock, they'll replace it with a name brand at no additional cost. Finding items to add to your cart online is super easy (easier than Shipt in my opinion), and you choose a one-hour window when you would like to pickup your groceries. In my experience, the order is always ready at the beginning of that hour. You'll get a text or email when your order is ready, and then you "check in" through the app to say you're on your way. The GPS reads when you have arrived and someone walks out with your groceries a minute or two later. It is so great!

If you sign up using the links above, you and I will both receive $10 off of our next grocery order.

Motif Duo Portable Breast Pump

I was sent this portable breast pump to try recently and wanted to share the things I love about it with you other nursing/pumping mamas. In addition to my thoughts, you can read all about it here. Prior to using this pump, I only ever knew pumping while being plugged into a wall outlet. Being able to move around while pumping has be SO convenient! This pump is also so super quiet. Way quieter than my other one. The other thing I love about this pump is that you can pump only one side if you need to, which is great for when I've nursed and have more that I want to get out and save for later. I use this pumping bra and these steam bags for cleaning. If you're looking for a great, quiet, and portable pump, you should definitely check this one out! Because portability and quietness is just about everything when it comes to a pump, right?!

Google Photos
I love having the Google photos app on my phone because it automatically backs up photos and videos when I'm connected to wifi and allows me to search by month and date or keyword when I'm searching for a picture. We've been showing Ryan a lot of flashbacks to his "firsts" as Emily has been doing all of her "firsts" and he's loved seeing his videos and pictures! This is also what I use to share pictures and milestone posts on here, and how I create our yearly photo books and calendars through Shutterfly.

Let me be real honest. I don't think anyone grows up saying they can't wait to drive a minivan. Matt and I were pretty set on getting a Suburban- we even test drove it and parked it in our garage to be sure it would fit. But one day we stopped by the Honda dealership simply to "rule out" the minivan, and they opened the doors and showed us those ridiculously amazing "magic seats" that slide across and forward and back in the second row and I'm pretty sure I said out loud, "Oh no." Because I knew that those darn seats were going to be the most amazing things for our little squad, which meant I would be the newest member of the minivan club.

The space, the automatic doors, the sliding seats, the removable captain's chair, the third row leg room for adults (more space than the Suburban), the trunk- oh my word the trunk. Y'all. We fell so hard.

One Line a Day Journal
(found here)

I love this journal that allows me to write one little memory every day for 5 consecutive years.

I've been doing this since Ryan was around 9 months old, so it's so fun to look back at the previous years' entries when I write the memory from that day. It is so quick and makes for a great way to organize the little thoughts and moments I don't want to forget or will love looking back on when our kids are older. I love this little book!

Okay, that's all I have! 

I feel like I'm breaking up with someone and don't know how to end the conversation.

If you want to keep up with us through Instagram, you can do that here, and like I said, I'll also be back to share milestone and life-update posts from time to time.

See you then!