This past week a new school year started for the majority of Kentucky, and with it came another year of nannying for me. This past spring the little one I nanny got a new baby sister, giving me a total of three babies (including Emery) ages two, one, and five months old. I can't even put into words after making it through this week how much respect I have for moms of multiples out there, especially when the babies are close in age. Seriously, ALL the admiration to all of you mamas out there that do what you do all day, every day. 🙌🏼 This past week I have been in WAY over my head, and staying organized and prepared for literally anything have been an absolute must to keep me from completely losing my marbles. While trying to learn how to balance everything this past week, the Boy Scout motto popped into my head of "Always Be Prepared." When the thought came to my mind I literally laughed out loud and thought to myself that moms need to live by a similar motto, except for that instead of just simply "being prepared", we also need to always be prepared for ourselves, any children in our care (including other people's children that we might meet on playdates, etc), and our husbands, for any sort of situation or disaster, whether it be an earthquake or a toddler meltdown in Target. One way that I've found to follow my "Mom Scout Motto" and keep myself feeling (slightly) more on top of life is by making sure that my diaper bag is packed with the right things and in the right quantities. I remember way back before Em was born and I was nannying just H, I made the classic rookie mistake of bringing everything but the kitchen sink with me wherever we went in a duffle bag sized diaper bag, and between carrying that and him ended up wearing myself out way more than was necessary. Over the past couple of years I've been through the scale of being overly and under prepared as far as diaper bag packing goes, and finally feel like I've found a happy medium of packing light while still packing enough, making life a little bit easier for all that the diaper bag carries for. 😉
My Perfect Balance of Diaper Bag Essentials:
That sums up my diaper bag must have's - I purposely kept it short because the older I get the more I realize just how valuable simplicity is in all aspects of life. The only thing that I almost added to this list but didn't was weather/activity specific essentials (bug spray, sunscreen, etc) because even though those are things that will sometimes be needed, they're not needed all the time and can be added in if the activity calls for it. Keeping my list to these simple five things has not only helped keep my diaper bag free of clutter, but has kept my mind free of unneeded stress and clutter as well, giving me more time to dedicate to Emery & the kiddos. When they're happy and taken care of, everyone feels good, and my Mom Scout Motto holds strong. 😉
With how busy Kyle's past school year has been, we were way past overdue for a little family getaway this year. When I asked Kyle where he wanted to go for a trip during his short one week break from classes, his response was somewhere where we could just relax and not have to feel pressured to do anything if we didn't want to. I honestly couldn't have agreed more, so after some thought we decided to take a trip down the south-eastern coast and road trip through Beaufort/Hilton Head, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. Neither place is an overly large or busy city and both have much more of a relaxed, beachy/coastal vibe to them, which is exactly what we were looking for, and it seriously could not have been a better time spent. We played on the beach, ate ice cream while walking along the waterfront, and spent a day exploring Old Town Savannah seeing buildings and history that were older than the actual country. We never rushed anywhere, kept our activities minimal and simple, and really just tried to take things slowly so that we could fully enjoy the area, and more importantly, each other.
One of my favorite things about our family trips is the chance that it gives me to see my husband and baby in a new place and learn things about them that I didn't know before. One of Kyle's favorite parts of the trip was Chippewa Square in Savannah. From the moment we'd chosen our destination Kyle had put it on our list of places to visit because it was where the Forrest Gump bench scenes were filmed. I agreed and made it our first stop in Savannah, but once we were there realized that the reason Kyle has always loved Forrest Gump so much and the reason he was so excited to see the actual place was because it had always been one of his late Grandpa Terribilini's favorite movies too. It may sound silly, but I felt extra glad that we'd been able to take the trip there because it gave me the chance to learn something new about Kyle that I hadn't before, and now when he asks if we can watch Forrest Gump for date night every few months I'll understand more where it's coming from and more readily agree. 😉
As with any family trip, there were unexpected things and learning experiences that we had the chance to deal with along the way. It rained a LOT during our trip, and although I'd expected some rain, not even our jackets were enough to combat the torrential downpour that we received at certain points during our stay. It was also a whole new experience traveling with an excited toddler as opposed to the sweet little five-week old baby that slept through our whole trip last year in D.C. She was full of energy the ENTIRE trip, and so badly wanted to be able to walk around and touch everything that she possibly could. She kept herself up way past bedtime every night, and getting her into her carseat now is still a fight after making her sit in it for two - nine hour drives within a week's time. 😬 As with most unexpected adventures though, we learned that the best way to handle them was to not stress out and to just take things as they would come. Emery got her naps while driving to and from destinations, getting home took longer than expected because we kept stopping to let her out to get her wiggles out, and like already said we kept our schedule while exploring super flexible to allow for a toddler's explorations and unforeseen rainstorms. I feel like our flexibility helped to keep stress levels low and enjoyment of the journey high, making the memories one's that we'll always cherish.
Also, one last note of learning for myself and anyone else with naturally curly hair traveling to the south - just don't even bother trying or stressing over the mane. My hair was straightened on day 1 of our travels and within 24 hours it was back to it's naturally curly/frizzy state thanks to the humidity. HATS. That is the only solution. Or at least the easiest one in my opinion. 😜
Overall this was definitely a trip for the books. It gave us all the together time and fun that we needed to get us through another year of dental school and nannying, and we're already looking forward to the next time that our family can take another adventure together!
North Carolina: Biltmore Estate & Surrounding Shops (It is pretty expensive to actually see the Biltmore Estate & Winery, so we basically just drove as far in as we could without paying)
So I have a bit of a confession to make. This year I 100% forgot our anniversary. If you were to ask me when our anniversary is I'd be able to tell you August 3rd without taking a breath, but for some reason this year August 3rd just snuck up on me a lot faster than I thought it would, and it wasn't until my sweet grandmother sent us a card in the mail that I realized how quickly the date was approaching. I so badly wanted to try and throw something special together for Kyle or have some really special way to celebrate, but a combination of conflicting schedules (thanks a lot ULSD for making Kyle have class on our anniversary for the first time in FOUR years 🙄 ), procrastination, and lack of funds was making it really hard for me to think of any ideas. Thanks to my sweet girlfriend wanting to make sure that Kyle and I were able to do something little to celebrate we'll be going out on a baby-free dinner tonight while she watches Emery, but the craziness of the whole situation has still had me feeling a little down, and made me do some serious reflection as to why I'd drop the ball on such a huge day. The only excuse that I could think of was that life just got us both really busy, and because of that the big celebration lost priority. Obviously this is something that we (mostly I) could improve on, but even in the absolute crazy business of life I haven't the slightest doubt that Kyle and I aren't still as crazy in love as we were four years ago (if not more so) when we said "I do". The only difference now is that because of how insane life can get sometimes, we've had to get creative in how we show that love. I know that Kyle loves me because he purposely stays as quiet as a church mouse while getting ready for school so that I can sleep a little bit later until Emery wakes up, and I show my love to him by waking up with Emery in the middle of night or on the weekends so that Kyle can get some extra rest. I know that Kyle loves me because he lets us get vegetarian pizza every week for dinner without complaining, and I return the love by trying to keep some sort of meat in the house for him to cook up whenever he's craving it. He compliments my outfits, and I pick up his dirty socks and scrubs off the floor without hesitation or irritation. I feel the love between us every time we get into a deep conversation, and whenever we send each other an article or comic through text because we think it'll make the other person laugh. The best part about being married to Kyle is that there is love for each other in literally everything that we do, and that love carries us through the toughest of trials and the craziest of days. We are planning a little family trip next week and will get to "officially" celebrate our anniversary while there, but this year I'm also feeling grateful for the small and simple ways that we've been able to celebrate each other on the actual day, and every day that we have together. The celebration is simple, pure, and full of love, and that is what matters most. Happy four years to us Kyle, I wouldn't want to do this life with anyone else but you. ❤️
weight & height: 22 pounds 11 ounces and 30 inches long. At my one year checkup my doctor told me that I'm in the 80th percentile for both height and weight and am growing at a perfect rate! eating & sleeping: Now that I'm a year old Mom & Dad have let me start eating much more big kid food and mealtimes have gotten a LOT more fun (and messy). I eat waffles and fruit every morning for breakfast and then will eat all sorts of different things for lunch and dinner! I drink whole milk now too, and will regularly drink water out of a sippy cup. Instead of sleeping better through the night like most kids do when they get older, I decided to go against the grain and have been waking up at least once a night wanting to drink some milk. My 12 month molars have started pushing through which we think might be part of what's causing the change, but all of us are hoping to get back to sleeping all the way through the night sooner rather than later so that we can have a better rested family. 😅 exciting firsts/milestones: Still no walking on my own yet, but recently I've learned how to stand up all by myself without having to pull up on anything and can hold my self up for a really long time! I've also become quite the chatter box and can say "mama", "YUM!", will say "huh" while nodding my head to say yes to something, and am working on saying my name (currently it sounds like "em....EEEE!"). Obviously my biggest milestone this past month was my first birthday party - I had so much fun! The party was such a good time that Mommy decided to write a whole separate post about it with pictures, so if you want to read/see more about it you can here! things I love: I'm honestly a really happy baby and love most things, but for documenting's sake I'll narrow it down to a few. I LOVE bath time and will crawl to the bathroom as soon as I hear the tub filling up for me. I really enjoy playing peek-a-boo and will try to start games as often as I can by hiding my face with my blanket and then throwing it off to surprise Mom & Dad. I love swimming and being outside and would spend all day out there if I could. I've gotten really independent lately and also love showing Mom & Dad all the things I can do by myself like pushing my own stroller, pushing the shopping cart in Target, feeding myself with a spoon or fork, and trying to do up my own seatbelt buckle. More than anything, I still LOVE talking to people and making new friends, and will instantly start into smiles and giggles if a new person gives me some attention! things I don't enjoy so much: Because I'm such a busy baby with so much to explore, I really don't like being held still by Mom or Dad when we're anywhere in public and would much rather just be able to go crawl and do my own thing. I've also gotten to the point in my life when I know when I'm at the doctor's office and am going to have to get shots, and don't enjoy those very much at all! I also refuse to drink my milk from a sippy cup, and will pitch a big fit if Mom tries to offer it to me in such an unacceptable form. She just doesn't get that milk tastes SO much better from the bottle! mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: With this being my last monthly update and technically my last month of "babyhood", more than anything Mommy & Daddy are just realizing how quickly time really does fly when you're having fun in a baby's first year of life. Leading up to my birthday Mommy kept saying over and over again that it seriously just felt like yesterday that they were bringing me home from the hospital, and now here I am just so big and grown up! With how quickly time does fly, we're making sure as a family to make the absolute most of every moment together, and are working hard to make sure that we don't miss a single thing.
HOLY SMOKES. Talk about #allthefeels for this mama while typing this up for Emery, I seriously can't even believe how quickly my little girl has grown up! A big thank you to everyone that's followed along with her little monthly updates; we have loved documenting her first year and feel blessed to have so many friends to share her milestones and stories with!
Well, it happened. I blinked and the next thing I knew an entire year had come and gone and my sweet baby girl had already turned a year old. I felt a whole range of emotions in Emery's first birthday that I'll probably write more about later (along with some ADORABLE one year pictures), but today I figured I'd focus on the exciting part of her growing and the fact that we got to celebrate her with the cutest little birthday party for her special day! With how much of a planner I am, I'd been thinking of different ideas for Emery's birthday since about her 8 month mark (which could also be part of the reason that I've been anticipating it so much 🙄 ) and so badly wanted to make it the perfect day for her. A couple of friends suggested doing the party around something that Emery really enjoyed to make it more personal for her, and I ultimately decided on a fruit themed party because Emery loves fruit and eating probably more than she loves me (kidding.... kind of). I lucked out because fruit seemed to become the hottest new thing the closer summer got, so finding ideas for decorations, etc was easier than I thought!
We decided to do the party at a local splash pad since another one of Emery's favorite things is being outside and playing out in the water, and for food we stuck to the overall theme with fruit kabobs, popsicles, and bottled water to drink ... basically a whole lot of sugar but what are birthday parties for right?! My girlfriend Brette made Emery's smash cake and the birthday cake for all of the guests and OH MY GOSH. You guys I seriously can't get over how amazing they turned out!! They looked absolutely adorable and tasted SO GOOD! This wasn't the first time I'd enjoyed her cake (nor will it be the last I'm sure 😉 ) but it was so special having her cake made especially for Emery's birthday! Thanks so much again Brette! Your talent is amazing!!
It was so much fun being able to spend the day through the eyes of Emery and enjoy the things that she enjoys most. In a lot of ways I feel like that's one of the best parts of being a mom; it's basically an amazing opportunity to enjoy all of the simple joys in life with your child as they experience them all for the first time, and I'm so grateful that I get that chance with my little E!
(Apparently this is what happens when you try to get all of the kiddos together for a
picture when there's fun to be had .... #momfail #itsmypartyandillcryifiwantto 😂 )
The one hard part about Emery's birthday was not having any of our family there to celebrate with us. We love Kentucky so so much but it's times like these that you really wish grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins could be close by to join in on all the fun! It's also times like these though that I realize just how incredibly blessed we are to have such wonderful friends here in our dental school community. In my obsession to be as prepared as possible for Emery's party I used a GPS to get us to the splash pad, even though I'd been there enough times before to know the way, just in case there was any unknown traffic that we needed to avoid in order to get everything set up in time. Instead of getting us to the park faster than normal, Apple maps decided to take us on a route that put us a good 15 miles off course and ended up making us late to our own party. I felt so embarrassed about the situation and was pretty flustered by the time we finally made it to the splash pad, but all of my girlfriends literally swooped in and saved the day by making sure that we had tables reserved for the food and gifts and by helping me get everything set up in less than five minutes so that we could get into the party and the fun. On top of that they all helped with picking up/preparing the fruit and kabobs, actually getting any pictures/video at the party (literally the only reason I got a picture of all three of us was because one of my girlfriends stepped in and said we needed to get one) and seriously just made the whole thing come together so smoothly! I seriously couldn't thank all of my sweet friends enough for all of the help in bringing Em's party together, and really do feel like we have such a sweet Kentucky family here. ❤️ I seriously love you all so much!
A big thank you to all of our sweet family and friends who didn't get to see Emery on her actual birthday but still showed all of the love and support though gifts, phone calls, Facetime, text messages, and messages on Facebook & Instagram. I know I keep saying it but the love that we feel from all of you especially on Emery's special day could literally just make my heart burst!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! A million times thank you!!
I'm Chelsea. I'm a wife, mommy, photographer, and lover of life's little adventures. Join me here to celebrate the beautiful things in people and life.