Friday, June 27, 2014

Five on Friday Summer Vacation!

Happy Friday, friends! You may have already read Natasha and April's post yesterday regarding our Five on Friday summer vacation but I wanted to remind y'all that we are taking a little break to soak up the sunshine this summer (and maternity leave) with friends and family. In fact, we are en route to Florida right now to do just that! Under normal circumstances this drive would take us about 8.5 hours, but with a 7 week old we have no clue how long it will take us. I'm praying the Lord will give me grace to make it through the day as Charlie, Caroline and I share the back seat. We pretty much packed up the entire nursery to bring with us.
Also, thank you to everyone for your uplifting words regarding my Grandpa last week. It's truly been a difficult time for us and all of the prayers and encouragement are so appreciated. Tomorrow afternoon we will celebrate his life with a memorial service. We had already planned to drive down 5 days from now for our annual family vacation at Grandpa's condo on the beach so we're just going to stay until vacation starts, although now vacation will feel totally different without Grandpa bickering about us tracking in sand inside his condo and making us stiff cocktails. We're all going to try and make the best of it though..that's what he would want.
   In related news, I packed up all my skimpy bikinis to bring on vacation in give to my skinny, cellulite-free sister. As for me, I'll be hiding under my new Ella Moss one piece all week.
   Also exciting news - I got clearance at my post partum check up last Thursday to start working out again and the first thing I did was reunite with my favorite fitness instructor and girlfriends for some hip hop. I took this cardio funk class all the way up until I was 37 weeks pregnant so I was so excited to finally get back to dancing and sweating. Here's to hoping I'll shed those last 18 pounds...yikes.
Finally, last weekend I attended Katrina's Prince themed baby shower and it was so adorable I had to make sure to share it with y'all. Her little man arrives in less than two months and I am over the moon for her!
Reminder - Don't forget to enter my Bow Swaddle giveaway!
Have a great weekend, y'all! I'll check back in when we return from vacation. In the meantime, you can follow me on instagram!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bow Swaddle Blanket {Giveaway}

Is there really anything cuter than a baby wrapped up with an oversized pretty bow?
I have been eyeballing this bow swaddle blanket since I found out we were pregnant. And regardless of the gender I knew I could customize it with a blue or pink bow, add a monogram and take a million pictures of my sleepy little babe. So when fellow Gator, Courtney, and her mom Viki (aka Sugar) offered to send me a bow swaddle blanket from their store called Pizzaz I did a serious happy dance. And as if that hadn't already made my day, they offered to give one away to a lucky reader too!
The perfect blend of coastal and southern, Pizzaz offers so many other amazing items too. You can check out some of my favorite boutique items on the Carolina Charm tab of their website. Also, make sure to follow Pizzaz on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with new arrivals!
 Use the Rafflecopter below enter the bow swaddle giveaway below. And now through July 11 you can save 15% off your purchase by entering code NCC at checkout!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Day in the Life {of Maternity Leave}

Not that most of you care, but I thought I'd document what a typical day with an (almost) 7 week old baby looks like. We follow Moms on Call, so our entire day really revolves around a strict schedule. I didn't think I'd ever be that mom who is crazy about following a minute by minute routine, but I tell ya, it works and we are sleeping so I don't mind. Now, every day doesn't quite look like this, but if all the stars align, this is what it should look like (which happens maybe 4 days a week).
Between 6:00 - 7:00 am: Caroline is up and a bottle is in her mouth. I prepare this bottle the night before so I can sleep in until the second she cries for breakfast. Usually Matt does this feeding so I can sleep in a bit.  
7:00 - 9:00 am: Matt fixes me a cup of coffee and kisses us goodbye. Caroline is either fussy for the next two hours on a bad day, or she's quietly playing on her play mat or swinging so I can stir some instant oatmeal together, pump and reheat the coffee I haven't sipped on yet. If Caroline dozes off, I'll respond to emails and run through my blogfeed. 
9:00 - 10:00 am: Feed Caroline pumped bottle, followed by another 30 minutes of play time or swinging. 
10:00 - 12 pm: Caroline hopefully naps (in her swing or rock n play sleeper). This nap usually ranges from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Depending on the length of nap time, this may actually be when I eat breakfast if I couldn't sneak away for 1.5 minutes earlier (which happens more than you'd think). Other things I try and tackle during this time is getting dressed (usually in workout clothes), laundry, clean the bottles from the previous night, blog, meet some mommies in the neighborhood for a walk or squeeze in a quick workout DVD. 
12:00 - 1:00 pm: Caroline is awake and eating again. After she polishes off 4 ounces or so, I'll pump before we jump in the car and meet Matt or a girlfriend for lunch and run some errands (Target, Harris Teeter, etc.). 
1:00 - 3:00 pm: Ideally the munchkin should nap for another two hours. Depending on what we were (or weren't) able to do during the 10 am nap this may be the time we meet our friends for a walk, blog, do laundry, finish lunch, run errands, etc. 
3:00 - 4:00 pm: Another bottle and 30 minutes of playtime. I'll read to Caroline, play with her on her activity mat, take a million pictures of her, etc. 
4:00 - 5:30 pm: Nap time! Matt walks through the door around 4:30 pm and takes over so I can pump and start prepping dinner (which is usually something super simple these days). 
5:30 - 6:30 pm: Matt feeds Caroline a bottle, plays with her for 30 minutes and starts rocking her to sleep for her next nap. I shower. 
6:30 - 8:00 pm: Caroline is usually pretty fussy and doesn't want to nap so Matt rocks her in the rock n' play while he eats dinner with the other hand. After dinner I'll clean up the kitchen and prepare bottles for night time feedings. Matt gets bath time ready. 
8:00 pm: Caroline is in the tub and Matt does bath duty while I pump. 
8:30 pm: Matt and I alternate nights rocking Caroline to sleep in her room so we each get that quality time with her. This is one of my favorite parts of the day because she smells so yummy, is tired and just wants to cuddle while she takes her last bottle before bedtime. 
9:00 pm: Caroline is swaddled by daddy, white noise is blasting and we tip toe out of her room, finish off a glass of wine and collapse into bed. 
Between 1:00 - 3:00 am: Caroline wakes to feed. I take this shift, which usually lasts anywhere between 25 minutes to an hour. 
Between 3:00 - 5:00 am: Caroline wake again for another bottle. Matt takes this shift and puts her back to sleep.

Throw in somewhere between 9-12 diaper changes and that's pretty much it. The days are long but somehow also fly by. Most days I get into bed and wonder what I did all day. Some days that's nothing and we stay in our pajamas, other days I can get a whole lot done and feel somewhat accomplished. Regardless, I wouldn't trade these hard, long days for the world.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

In Memory of Grandpa

Yesterday Grandpa Sandroni went to be with Jesus. The thought of his earthly presence being forever gone is a hurt in my heart I simply can't describe. And although I know he is wearing his favorite red shirt, drinking whiskey & diet coke and chasing Grandma around in heaven, I will miss him deeply.
I'll be stepping away from the blog for a little bit to celebrate this awesome man with my family. Thank you for your prayers!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Our First Father's Day!

We celebrated Matt's first Father's Day this weekend.
 Our morning started out with some homemade blueberry pancakes to celebrate daddy, followed by a low key day of hanging out.
 For Matt's gift, I teamed up with my Dad (and Captain Tony) to book a full day, private offshore charter fishing trip on the 32-foot Alexandria Marie while we are on vacation in Florida next month. To say he was surprised would be a huge understatement. Matt loves to fish as do all of the guys in our family so it's going to be a fun day.
Side note, this trip will be exactly 4 years since our last family fishing day. Since I didn't have the blog (a baby, cellulite or a ring) then, here are some throwback pictures of our fun fishing day with my crazy fam.
Matt is so dang good at being a daddy. I always knew he would be but I can't tell you how hands-on and involved he is in Caroline's day to day activities. He spends most of his moments at home cuddling with her, gives her a bath every night, loves to do tummy time together on the floor playing and always gets her ready for bed with story time. He is a super dad and I love watching Caroline's face when he walks through the door. She is well on her way to being a daddy's girl and for good reason, he was truly meant to be a dad - her dad! We are the two luckiest girls to have him and are thankful that God chose us to be in his life!
Happy Father's Day, Matt! We love you!
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