Thursday, April 27, 2017

Coming out of hibernation...

We are almost 5 months in and I really feel like we have turned a corner and are finally feeling "normal."  For so long, each day felt a bit like drowning, or treading water, and I really feel like we are above now.  Sure, we (I) am still getting up at night, and I never know when...and we still are yet to go out on a date or do anything as a family past 7pm...but I feel more comfortable, more a part of a routine, and settled.
For the most part, Merritt wakes up around 7ish. She doesn't have to eat right away and loves to play or sit in her bouncy seat and watch whatever Emma is watching on TV.  We leave the house around 8:45 for school, and almost always, Merritt falls asleep sometime before 9:15.  This lets me go to the gym or run errands while she naps in her carseat.  She then wakes up between 10-12 and she eats.  This is when the day gets hairy and routine gets thrown off.  Sometimes Emma stays for lunch, so I pick her up at 1pm.  I normally let her play on the playground for a bit before we head home.  Merritt may or may not be awake.  I let her sleep is her morning nap wasn't too long, but I wake her and make her hang out if it was.  I try and get her an afternoon nap at home, but it usually fails.  So I try and plan an outing for the afternoon to make sure Merritt sleeps, if only for a half hour. 
Merritt will eat again around 4-5, and then I always give her a bath around 7-7:30 then start the bedtime process.  It's a bit long since she nurses for awhile to sleep, but I know this won't last forever.  She is normally in bed by 8:15.  This has been nice to have some time to sit down, shower, clean, etc...  For 3 nights in a row, Merritt slept until 5am.  Then she got up the 4th night at 11:30pm, and 4:30am.  So...not quite regular yet. But she did then sleep until 5am Wednesday night.  When she wakes up at 5am, she is super happy (really happy every morning), and she eats for about 30 hour, then I put her down and she sleeps for another hour.  This time is precious - sometimes I get up and have breakfast and coffee and watch TV I want to watch...and sometimes I go back to sleep and get up at 6:30/7 to get ready for the day.  Either way, I feel like mornings are so much easier now.  I also feel more relaxed going places.  I know that if she's eaten, she will be fine for a bit and I can entertain her with toys.  She is really very happy and rarely fusses unless she's hungry or tired.  We are out of that newborn fussy stage, which is really nice.  She is smiling ALL the time, laughing, and so inquisitive. She grabs everything she can and tries to eat it.  We are going to try solid foods this weekend and I'm excited and sad at the same time.
I've really learned how to enjoy these moments.  I know they won't last, and I know I am not having anymore kids, so I am cherishing this.  It is hard, and exhausting, and I miss parts of my "life." could anyone resists those cheeks and her sissy's smile.....:)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Spring break 2017!

Right after Merritt's baptism, Emma was on spring break.  I had been toying with the idea of going to the beach with the girls by myself for a few days.  But then Merritt had a bad night of sleep (up every 1-2 hours), and I got nervous about travelling alone and dealing with all that solo.  Thankfully, she slept good Sunday night, so I decided to do it.  I left Monday morning when I knew Merritt would nap in the car, and we headed to Wrightsville Beach!

Unfortunately, Merritt woke up an hour in and I had to stop in Rose Hill (????) to feed her.  I was dying at this sign at the establishment I stopped at.  Any takers???  Sounds yummy, right???

First stop was to see my longtime friend, Tommy, and his new baby.  Owen is only a month old and adorable.

Anna and I took the babes onto the beach - it's kind of like snow with hour to get ready, 20 minutes outside:)  Merritt had not napped since the car ride down, so she was done.  And I couldn't get her to fall asleep out there.  Emma, meanwhile, was in the ocean - the freezing cold ocean.  Kids...smh.

I bought this pop-up shade tent and I think we will get a ton of use out of it!

Merritt's first feel of the ocean!

We headed over to the Buchanan's house.  These sweet, sweet friends are so generous to let us come down and we just LOVE spending time with them!!

Emma and Emma Miller played, while I nursed Merritt....not a bad view at all!!!!

Don't judge....I alternate between water and wine when nursing:)

The kids were so in love with Merritt! 

I noticed these photos later that night - Emma Miller had taken them and they are precious.

The next morning, we ran some errands and went to Duck Donuts.....sooo delicious!!

We also played at the park.  I wanted to go to the beach, but thought it best to time it right with Merritt's nap, and I didn't want to be all dirty and sweaty for the ride home. So we packed up mid afternoon (reluctantly...I could have stayed forever)

Within 20 minutes, both kids were out.  Unfortunately, Merritt woke up after an hour and screamed the whole way home.  I stopped TWICE to feed her, which was a FAIL.  All she wanted to do was stare up at me and smile (not cool, kid).  We hit bad traffic and I was super stressed.  The only thing that kept me from losing it was the fact that a few hours earlier, a mom and her 2 sons were in a horrific accident on I-40.  I actually passed it after the fact, and saw where the car had caught on fire and sadly, one son didn't make it.  I couldn't get it out of my horrendous and horribly tragic.  As bad as it was to listen to Merritt scream in the car, I know that mom would give anything for that.  Geesh....can't even think about it without tearing up.

As far as the trip goes, it was a success though.  Emma slept with me in a king bed, and I put Merritt beside me in a travel crib.  She woke up once and I fed her, and Emma was never bothered. 

The next day, I took the girls to the mall to walk around and have lunch at our favorite spot - Nordstrom Bistro.  I could seriously eat there every day....I have a problem.

I also took Emma to Target to get some new shorts and shirts.  Their Cat and Jack line is seriously cute, and I let Emma pick out what she wanted.  She is SUPER picky, so getting dressed is a struggle.  She tried to buy this hideous shirt that said "I love Tacos" on it....NO.  Hellz No.

Merritt loves to sit in her bouncer outside.  This one was Emma's and we use it outside because it is way to big for our already cluttered house!

Thursday, we worked out at the gym then my mom took us out for Brizz pizza!  I had a beer and we sat outside.  It was glorious!!!

Friday, Brent was off, so we got dressed in cute clothes and went to the Fearrington!  My mom bought the girls this matching set and it is too cute.

The weather was gorgeous - perfect for sitting outside and walking around to see the cows.

I fed Merritt on the Adirondack chairs to this stunning view:)

We ate at The Granary outside...I had a cocktail (yummmm), and shrimp and grits.

I am trying to get back with my jewelry.....although it is hard with this one around:)

Emma had a birthday party Saturday afternoon...

and they painted kitty pictures.  I like to think that Emma is more of an impressionist/abstractionist:)

Sunday, we went to church (duh).  Merritt woke up during the sermon and sweet Brent held her so I could sit in peace and listen (a rare thing!)

That afternoon, we went to my parents for a egg hunt and dinner.

Emma was all about the hunt...

We had grilled salmon outside, and it was heavenly.  I splurged and brought over a $15 bottle of rose.....and if you know me, while I love wine, I hate to spend a ton because we literally have some every night (my pour is about half a restaurant don't judge).  I'm spoiling myself....and I'm going to regret it!

We tried hard for a family photo......

and settled on this one.  I love Merritt's expression here!

Then we took a family selfie - Love these peeps!!!!!!

I hope everyone else had an awesome week and Easter!!!!  I'm kind of looking forward to getting back to routine, but I loved every minute with my family!!!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Merritt's Baptism

Sweet Merritt was baptized Palm Sunday.  I am so thankful for our church family, our family, and the commitment they have to Merritt and her spiritual relationship with Christ.  This post is pic heavy...sorry!!

Despite being up every hour the night before, Merritt and I managed to look somewhat decent:)

Our sweet friends, the Irvin's, had their daughter Abigail baptized as we had to attempt a picture!

We had family and friends over for a small lunch afterwards, and I had to snap a pic of the Mitchell's holding Merritt.  I used to babysit their 2 daughters, and now they babysit mine!  I have known this family for a long time, and I just love them!

Emma did so great too - I am amazed at how well she has done with sharing attention and time.  She is such a sweet, sweet girl.  I feel so blessed to have these two girls as my daughters, and while parenting is SO HARD sometimes, I really cherish every moment with them.