From Florida with Love: Saint George Island

So, I may be kicked out of the family for saying this, but my in-laws are crazy.  I love them dearly, but they are absolutely nuts.   After moving only once in the past 9 years…I can safely say that I find it to be extremely stressful and a huge hassle.  However, my in-laws don’t seem to mind it!  Last time we were together, we counted and in the 6 years that Dave and I have been married, they have lived in 7 houses in three different states.  Crazy, right?

Now, don’t get me wrong…most of these moves have been due to job changes {and now, finally retirement!}.  But after about a year in a location, we kind of start expecting an announcement of their next location.

You may remember back in 2012, our family joined SueSue and Papaw {and Granna and Paw Paw} in Saint George Island, Florida.  The beach, located on the panhandle of Florida on the Gulf Coast, is a favorite vacation spot in the family.  So when they announced their most recent relocation, we were thrilled that they had decided to retire to SGI!

There is something about that beach that is just magical…and I only had one other trip there under my belt.  I can’t even imagine how the rest of the family feels, after having vacationed there for 25 years!  So to be able to retire and spend all of your days in this friendly town, seems like perfection!

SueSue and Papaw’s new house is about two blocks off the beach…a three minute walk or so.  It’s so nice to be able to leave our umbrellas and chairs on the beach, come back for lunch and naps, and then head back in the afternoon when it’s a bit cooler.  Dave and his dad love to sneak out in the evenings to go surf fishing.  I like reading on their massive screened in porch {because I prefer not to know what they are catching in the water that I swim in!!}.

Jayna and her Dad started prepping for the school year, by getting up early and walking on the beach to see the sun rise.  They also spotted crabs, dolphins, sting rays, starfish, and clams.  But more importantly, they formed a bond between the two of them that hadn’t existed before this summer.  Hopefully their relationship will continue to grow since Daddy will be the one getting Jayna ready for school and putting her on the bus in the mornings.

Since Saint George Island is about 9 hours away from our house, we are going to have adjust to not seeing SueSue and Papaw on a fairly regular basis anymore! =( So we celebrated Millie’s birthday early, with homemade cake and a purse-shaped piggybank!

One of the things I love about their house is how creatively the girls get to play there.  With only blocks, stuffed animals and an abundance of purses and Mardi Gras beads….the girls were still able to play all week long without getting bored!

Between the beach, climbing the forest of live oaks in the backyard, swinging on the porch swings under the deck, and taking trips into town or into Apalachiacola for shopping…..we stayed just busy enough.  And I was happy because I got to read an entire book AND take a nap almost every day!  My kind of vacation!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

Montreat 2014

My favorite summer tradition is going to Montreat, NC.  This tiny college town on the edge of Black Mountain and about 20 minutes northeast of Asheville is my Mecca.  Each summer the kids and I trek there to meet our oldest and bestest friends from Maryland.  They are youth councilors at the church we grew up in, and take their group of high schoolers to Montreat for the annual Presbyterian youth conference.

But luckily for us, the schedule at the conference is flexible enough that we get some amazing Betsy and Jay time while the teenagers are in their small groups in the middle of the day.

And now that my parents have moved to Florida, it’s really the only one reliable time that the kids get to see their God-parents!  I just love that all of our kids are so close in age….just wish they could spend more time together.

But there is another reason why I love taking the kids there each year.  It’s because of the actual conference.  The convergence of hundreds of teenagers from around the country.  Watching the interactions between groups of teens, participation in silly games, and getting a glimpse of their Christian journey is magical to me {especially since I lived it!}.   And I can specifically say that Betsy and Jay’s group of teens are “no exception.  My girls {especially Jayna} loooove the Big Kids.  She talked the whole way home about her new “Teenager Friends, ” Anna and Victoria…and how she wished she could stay longer to hang out with them.

Each year, I am tickled to briefly get to know these teens again {I watched most of them as babies when I was a teenager, volunteering in our church nursery!}.  I’m always amazing at how polite and caring they are, choosing to not only spend some of their free time with Betsy and Jay’s kids {who they know well}, but also with mine!

And sure, they are teenagers…so my kids get a little exposure to a little rough language, short shorts and rough play…but overall I feel just fine about having my girls look up to them.  And I can only hope my kids turn out just as well!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

Five Years of of First Days

Yesterday was the first day of school for Jayna.  She started kindergarten this year, at “Big School.”  Also known as the local Elementary school….but we’ve been calling it “Big School” for years now to differentiate it from the preschool she went to for four years.

2010-2011 School Year {18 month class}

She started preschool when she was only 18 months old!  Crazy, I know!  But at the time, we didn’t have many stay-at-home mom friends with kids the same age…so it was more for the socialization aspect than anything.  So she started her school “career” in Ms. Leigh’s class {who is Millie’s teacher this year too!}.

2011-2012 School Year {2 year old class}

Throughout her four years in preschool, she kind of stayed with the same {Tuesday/Thursday} group of friends, until last year…as all of the kids went four days a week.  Needless to say she’s pretty well socialized at this point! =)

2013-2014 School Year {4 year old class}

So four years, four classes, and 8 teachers later….here we are in public school.  Kindergarten.

I thought I’d have more sappy emotion yesterday, dropping my first born off for her first day of school.  But as we were riding to school {we carpooled with neighborhood friends}, I started thinking that although this is a big milestone for her, she’s really a pro at this.  She’s been in school for four years now.  We had already met her teachers, seen her classroom, and established that she had no fewer than three friends that she already knew in her class.  In fact, when we went to “Meet the Teacher,”  she walked right up to her teacher and gave her a huge hug…sight unseen.  Needless to say, she was prepared for school.

First Day of School

So we did all the obligatory photos with friends, in front of the school, and holding her Kindergarten sign.  And when she got to her classroom, she gave me a hug and walked away.  No tears. On either side.

I skipped the “Boo-Hoo Breakfast” that the school puts on for all the teary-eyed moms, and headed home to spend some quality time with my middle child, who proceeded to cry the rest of the morning.  Ironic, huh?

Did you cry when your kid went to kindergarten?

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

{From the Archives} School Lunch Ideas

This is an oldie, but goodie!  My school lunch ideas round-up has been one of my most popular posts ever!  So I thought I’d repost it for you with a couple of new ideas at the bottom too!

AND…Don’t forger that I have a giveaway going this week for some Jamberry Nails!     Click here to enter!

It’s that time again!  School starts next week, and this year I’ll need lunches for two kids!   So twice a week for Millie, and 5 days a week for Jayna, I have to come up with fresh, healthy, and portable food to eat.  And their routine lunch of peanut butter and jelly, heated up leftovers, a bunch of grapes, and a fruit snack won’t work at school.  And yes, they really does eat all of that!  And to top it off, I’m just not that creative {or a morning person}….so I can’t be one of these moms.

A round up of peanut-free make ahead school lunch ideas from Palmettos and Pigtails

 Source

So I’ve been scouring the internet {aka Pinterest} for some easy, make ahead meals.  Preferably ones I can maybe freeze too.  Here’s what I came up with:

A round up of peanut-free make ahead school lunch ideas from Palmettos and Pigtails

I love the idea of smoothies.  Healthy AND yummy.  But they are kind of a pain to make every morning…..but, if I make several and freeze them, by the time Jayna’s lunchtime rolls around, they shold be nice and thawed in her lunchbox!  This site has a bunch of different flavor ideas.

A round up of peanut-free make ahead school lunch ideas from Palmettos and Pigtails

Meet the Dubiens

And I found a bunch of cute ideas of muffin-tin lunches.  Although the kids won’t have access to a microwave, I’m hoping if I heat them up and wrap them in foil, they’ll stay pretty warm.

Little Potpies stocked with veggies and meat and topped with Bisquick!

A round up of peanut-free make ahead school lunch ideas from Palmettos and Pigtails

Betty Crocker

Don’t you just love the tiny pepperoni?

A round up of peanut-free make ahead school lunch ideas from Palmettos and Pigtails

Really From Pinterest

Here’s one I’ve actually made before.  The personalized mac and cheese bites are definitely a crowd pleaser!

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Bites Recipe - A round up of peanut-free make ahead school lunch ideas from Palmettos and Pigtails

Palmettos and Pigtails

And the next two are from my friend Jaima….she has tons of great freezer and toddler recipes on her site.

A round up of peanut-free make ahead school lunch ideas from Palmettos and Pigtails

A round up of peanut-free make ahead school lunch ideas from Palmettos and Pigtails

 Ring Around the Rosies

And the seven layer dip that we bring to um, every single party? What if I just make them in little individual Tupperware instead?

A round up of peanut-free make ahead school lunch ideas from Palmettos and Pigtails

The Girl Who Ate Everything 

I also had a few of my own ideas too! {gasp!}

  • I make these little cream cheese pinwheels for parties using tortillas, cream cheese and dry ranch dressing….I’m thinking of doing those again, but adding more veggies (like peppers, broccoli, carrot strips,etc.) inside before rolling them up and slicing them.
  • We routinely make stuffed crescent rolls for dinner and it has become a favorite quick dinner.  We’ve done pesto, mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes….cheddar, apples and onion vinagrette….and of course string cheese, pizza sauce and pepperoni (I’m sure you can find that on pinterest!!).  What about ham and cheese?  Or bacon and eggs inside?  Super portable and freezer-friendly!
  • I also thought about making little burrito bowls.  Taco meat, cheese and salsa in a Tupperware in the freezer.  Thaw it out and top with sour cream for the lunchbox? Hmmmm…..

I also plan on stocking up on and pre-washing, cutting and bagging various fruit, veggies, cheese cubes, dried fruit and crackers.

How about you?  Got any ideas for me?  Leave me a comment!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

{Guest Post} A Very Little Bookstore

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Shara in person, and I connected with her instantly. I think partly I was a little star struck by her. She seemed to so easily manage her three children, and I’m honestly as terrified at the idea of baby number three as I am excited. I think I spent that first encounter begging her for tips and taking super detailed notes. :)  I’m so happy she asked me to join her today on the blog. I enjoy reading Palmettos and Pigtails, checking out her amazing craft ideas, and pinning her meal planning posts (don’t miss the recent freezer meals). And, I especially love her posts on where to go with children, whether it’s Disney World or closer to home at the Children’s Museum.

Lately, I’ve written a few posts about loving the place we live, which, to be fair, is not hard to do when you live in Charleston. So today, I thought we’d venture a little farther out of town, to quaint, downtown Summerville. On picturesque Main Street sits one of my own favorite places to go with my boys, and I’d love to share it with you.

But first, indulge me in a little reminiscing. I’m the sappy, sentimental type.

My mom read to my brother and me when we were younger, and she really encouraged us to read too. She would let me check out piles of books at the library, and she took me to the bookstore, no matter how tight our budget must have been, especially back then. I can even remember visiting a bookstore as early as 3, maybe 4. We lived in Turkey at the time, and were only there for a couple of years, so I can be confident that I was that young. I remember that this bookstore carried the Mr. Men & Little Miss books, a personal favorite. And, I loved Dr. Seuss at this age.

Naturally, reading is one of my most favorite things to do with my own boys. I want them to remember reading with me, just as I remember doing with my own mother.

So, just as my mother did with my brother and me, I take my boys to the library and let them check out the 25 book maximum. I try to select a few books while we’re here, but for the most part, I let Harrison pick the books that he wants. Sometimes, that means that I have to settle for a series of character books I’d rather pass on, but lately, it’s meant that I’m learning new things about dinosaurs. Did you know that the Brontosaurus is now called Apatosaurus? Or, that there is no such thing as a Pterodactyl? There is a Pterodactylus, but technically, it’s a Pterosaur and not a Dinosaur.

And, again as my mom did with us, we go to the bookstore. Here, I do make an effort to guide their selections, but I always let Harrison make the final decision. I’ve enjoyed slowly curating the boys’ library. Right now, we’re in a wonderful stage of picture story books, of books I loved from Reading Rainbow and books I remember my own librarian reading to us from her rocking chair each week in the school library. In the past, and out of convenience, I’ve picked up books at Barnes & Noble or on Amazon. More recently, though, I’ve discovered a little gem in an independent children’s bookshop.

Last week, Harrison and I made a trip to A Very Little Bookstore. We’ve been several times before, but always with baby Whitt, who has more fun pulling books off the shelf and making a general ruckus than he enjoys reading. I think it’s important to take my little one, but I wanted some one on one time with my oldest.

The Maypop Guest Posts about A Very Little Bookstore over at Palmettos and Pigtails

The owner, Natalie, is  passionate about children’s literature and about children, and her enthusiasm is apparent in every aspect of her shop. She’s incredibly knowledgeable about the various authors and illustrators. So, her recommendations are always exactly what we need. She doesn’t recommend books in a “one size fits all” manner either, meaning she doesn’t simply recommend her own favorites and assume your child will love them too. She gets to know you and your child, and then she suggests books you’ll like. For example, her suggestions for my little boy are always very different than her recommendations for his bestie, Farris, even though they are both four. The more often you venture in, the better her recommendations. And, she hosts a children’s book club for older children. So cool, right?

The Maypop Guest Posts about A Very Little Bookstore over at Palmettos and Pigtails

Not only is Natalie wonderful, but the shop itself is a special, magical place too. The walls are lined with individual and unique book shelves that look collected, rather than matching book cases you typically see in chain stores or libraries. And, her own children are often at the shop, which I love. It feels cozy and homey and very family-friendly. It’s the kind of place one can comfortably grab a book of the shelf and read on the carpet or at one of the low kids tables. It’s truly a place a mom can feel comfortable letting her kids be kids and dive into books (sometimes literally). And, that’s what makes this store so unique. It is truly a children’s bookstore – designed for children.

The Maypop Guest Posts about A Very Little Bookstore over at Palmettos and Pigtails

This store may be little, but it is the gateway to a big, wide world. If you’re local to Summerville and haven’t been, it’s a must. And, if you’re in Charleston or Mt. Pleasant, it’s worth the drive. I promise. While you’re downtown, I suggest you finish your bookish afternoon off with a root beer float from Guerin’s Pharmacy or a hot cocoa from Single Smile Cafe.

The Maypop Guest Posts about A Very Little Bookstore over at Palmettos and Pigtails

The Maypop Guest Posts about A Very Little Bookstore over at Palmettos and Pigtails

Photos by Gray Benko at the quaint A Very Little Bookstore (with the exception of the last two).

Thanks for having me, and come visit me over at The Maypop!

The Maypop Guest Posts about A Very Little Bookstore over at Palmettos and Pigtails

{Baby Files} Vintage Baby Boy Nursery Reveal

Well, the long awaited, much anticipated, nursery reveal is here!  The nursery is finally finished, and I couldn’t be happier with it.  It’s one of the few rooms in our house that is actually painted and the molding and wainscoting done.

You may remember my vintage baby boy nursery idea board?  I wanted kind of a vintage feel in the nursery, with colors revolving around an antique quilt that I have.

Vintage Baby Boy Nursery Reveal - Palmettos and Pigtails

We started out by clearing out Jayna’s stuff from the room {the girls share a room now, and LOVE it!}, and Dave painted a light griege on the walls and added the board and batten all the way around the room.

Vintage Baby Boy Nursery Reveal - Palmettos and Pigtails

I especially love how he handled the multiple outlets and switches that happened to land on some of the boards.  We found this awesome tutorial on Sawdust Girl on how to build around the outlets.

Vintage Baby Boy Nursery Reveal - Palmettos and Pigtails

Dave and I ended up using the quilt as the bedskirt on the crib.  That way it pulled all of the colors together, was a central focus in the room, but was still protected from wear and tear.

Vintage Baby Boy Nursery Reveal - Palmettos and Pigtails

We went for a navy, breathable bumper and the sheets are Sadie & Scout.  We kind of stumbled upon the sheets on an aisle endcap at Babies R Us, and fell in love with the hand-sketched map.  The adorable and oh-so-soft taggie blankie was a baby shower gift from my good friend Emily, from Southern Paisley.

Vintage Baby Boy Nursery Reveal - Palmettos and Pigtails

We have the crib centered in the room, between the two windows, on which we got custom navy black-out shades from blinds{dot}com.

Vintage Baby Boy Nursery Reveal - Palmettos and Pigtails

To the left of the crib, as soon as you walk in the room, is the changing table.  We found an antique Coke crate to serve as a supply holder {we sanded down the insides, and lined it with cardboard to prevent splinters!}.  The changing pad cover is also a Sadie & Scout.

Vintage Baby Boy Nursery Reveal - Palmettos and Pigtails

We took the front off of the dresser top to accommodate the Coke crate, so the liner you see is plain old rubber matting to help the changing pad stay in place.

Vintage Baby Boy Nursery Reveal - Palmettos and Pigtails

Dave built the shelf out of pallet wood.  We distressed it to match the rustic feel of the room, and painted it the same color red as in the quilt.  We keep Lincoln’s burp cloths, a few books and an antique toy tractor that we found, on the shelves.

Vintage Baby Boy Nursery Reveal - Palmettos and Pigtails

On the other side of the room, to the right of the crib, is my nursing corner.  A pale yellow gingham chair coupled with a nightstand.  You may recognize the sock monkey and Raggedy Andy doll from my diaper cake at my baby shower.  The lamp base is from Babies R Us, and the burlap shade is from World Market.

Vintage Baby Boy Nursery Reveal - Palmettos and Pigtails

We found a clock that fits perfectly on the little shelf, so the glow is a perfect nightlight…and it has a built-in sound machine too! We keep a crate full of baby toys in the bottom of the nightstand.

Vintage Baby Boy Nursery Reveal - Palmettos and Pigtails

On the other side of the chair is a huge armoire that we use for clothes, books, toys and spare diapers.  And although it’s the largest item in the room, I still forgot to take a picture of it!!

We are absolutely thrilled at how the nursery turned out.   It’s just the perfect amount of baby boy, yet he’ll be able to grow up in there without us having to switch out decor every couple of years.

And clearly, Lincoln feels very comfortable there too!

Vintage Baby Boy Nursery Reveal - Palmettos and Pigtails

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

{From the Archives} Montreat 2012 Trip

It’s that time of year again!  After taking a year off {to have a baby!}, Bets and Jay are off to the mountains of Montreat, NC again!  And, call me crazy…but I’m taking all three kids up to meet them…by myself.  So say a prayer, cross some fingers, and wish me luck!  I’ll be back next week!

Well, we are finally back from Montreat, NC and slowly getting back into the swing of things.  It’s amazing how even four days away can mess with your household!  Unlike last year, it was a beautiful week in the mountains….not too hot and no rain!  We shared my last post with the scrapbook photos with the high schoolers that Bets and Jay brought this year, and they loved it!  They were completely amazed at how I used a disposable camera (no retaking those blurry shots!), and at how cool the three of us were back then! =)

So, to recap…Bets and Jay are our best friends from Maryland.  They are our kids’ godparents, and their little Lulabelle is like our third daughter.  Betsy, Jay and I grew up together in our church, which they are still members of, and now the youth counselors at.  So they are continuing our church’s tradition of taking the youth group to Montreat each summer.  And since Montreat is just a couple of hours from us, the girls and I try to meet up with them for a couple of days while they are up there.  While the youth group stays in the lovely dorms at the college, the girls and I prefer the local Marriott!

And although Jayna did sleep in her own bed at night, this is what I awoke to each morning!

And since this trip was a first for Millie….I decided to bring and break in my brand new stroller.  Can I just say that it is awesome!  It has like 12 different sitting combinations, but the one we used was Millie in the front seat, Lulabelle sitting on the jump seat, and Jayna standing.

And Betsy pushing. Did I mention we were in the mountains?

We finally gave up on pushing all three girls, and put Millie in the front pack and made the big girls walk!

Jayna and Lulabelle were so stinkin’ cute together.  Jayna was all about playing the cool big sister….and although she is great with Amelia, I think she truely enjoyed manipulating helping Lulabelle…from buckling seatbelts for her, to convincing her that she liked pickles, to teaching her how to hula hoop!

And every year, the scenery just takes my breath away.  Lake Susan is like glass, framed by a baby blue sky and mountains.

Jay and some of the boys noticed huge fish sitting on some of the rocks at the bottom of the lake….tadpoles?  Man, they are gonna be some HUGE frogs!

But even the small details had me appreciating the scenery.  All of the buildings are stone, and they have gorgeous hydrangias around every corner.

I even caught this little inchworm hanging {literally} by a thread!

While the big kids were in small groups, we took the opportunity to spend some time with Betsy and Jay.  There is this cute little park at Montreat that has great playground equipment, and then several creeks running through for the kids to play in.

And although they tried hard not to get wet…both girls ended up soaking wet and laughing!

It’s a good thing Jay was willing to get wet too…that mountain water was COLD!

Now we just need to get Dave up here!!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

Fourth of July Recap

The Fourth of July is one of our favorite holidays around here.  Not only are we a family of military vets and have tremendous pride for our country, but we also happen to live in a neighborhood that is big on celebrating!

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Thanks to the Target Dollar Spot, we stocked up on tattoos, headbands, glowsticks, flags, and decor.  All completely necessary since we were participating in our neighborhood’s annual Fourth of July parade.

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

The parade line up stretched over several blocks, as wagons, bikes, and golf carts were decked out in red, white and blue garb.  Some of the golf carts blared patriotic music, while others had bubble machines going and threw candy out to the few spectators {mostly moms and grandparents with infants, as everyone else participated!}.

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Even little Lincoln attempted to participate by sporting a stars and stripes-themed burp cloth…but he just couldn’t keep his eyes open for the parade!

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

The parade ended at our community center, which happens to be an old farmhouse with a cherry orchard.  We set up a couple of tents with some of our neighbors and joined the rest of the neighborhood for a potluck BBQ, swimming, and…pirates!

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Captain Tom {who actually lives up the street} sailed in on his golf-cart themed pirate ship, and led about a hundred kids on a plantation-wide treasure hunt.

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Throughout the day the adults participated in corn hole tournaments, while the kids ran relay races and just played in the massive fields.  I just loved watching them delight in old fashioned Tag and Duck, Duck, Goose!

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

And of course the girls enjoyed the evening finale of fireworks.  We are so lucky to have fantastic {and professional} neighbors who shoot them off for us every year {and a neighborhood fire department to supervise!}.

Fourth of July - Palmettos and Pigtails

Happy Fourth of July!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

Lincoln’s Newborn Photo Shoot

I know, I know.  Lincoln is well over a month old.  And I’m just now getting his newborn photo shoot pictures to you.

Lincoln's Newborn Photo Shoot from Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

I’m so sorry…I’m still trying to figure out how to fit blogging into the 12 minutes a day I now have to myself.  I suppose when I start getting more sleep, you’ll start getting more blog posts! =)

Lincoln's Newborn Photo Shoot from Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

Lincoln's Newborn Photo Shoot from Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

Once again, I am absolutely in love with Rachel Weber Photography’s photos.  She is amazing.  We use her all the time, and I’m tickled that she has photographed my kids for most of their lives…which makes each shoot so easy, since my kids are so comfortable with her.

Lincoln's Newborn Photo Shoot from Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

Lincoln's Newborn Photo Shoot from Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

Lincoln's Newborn Photo Shoot from Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

Usually, Rachel shoots my family outside.  She is fantastic at capturing the true personalities of the kids.  They certainly aren’t canned smiles, but somehow their souls shine through the photos!  For this session, we shot inside of Lincoln’s nursery {other than a few shots of the whole family out on the front porch}, to take advantage of the bright, natural light…while keeping him comfortable.

Lincoln's Newborn Photo Shoot from Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

Lincoln's Newborn Photo Shoot from Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

And what’s better than a happy baby?!?

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

Family of Five

People keep asking me, “so how is it having three kids now?”

Newborn Shoot by Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

I bought the kids’ coordinating outfits from Red Pajamas on Etsy….aren’t they adorable?

And my answer is always, “Great!”  Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade it for the world {well…most days!}.  But we are still struggling to find our groove as a family of five.  All in all, juggling three kids is not much different than juggling two.  The biggest challenges are coordinating “get-out-the-door” time with “feeding-spitup-blowout-time” and teaching the girls to have patience while I deal with baby stuff.  We do a couple more loads of laundry each week now {thanks to Lincoln’s excessive spitting up}, and it’s admittedly a little harder to navigate grocery stores and crowded VBS hallways while lugging a heavy infant carrier too.  Thank goodness for my carrier tent and carrier cushion, which keep germ hands away from Lincoln, and saves my arm!

Newborn Shoot by Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

Overall, we are slowly starting to adjust.  Jayna is super helpful with holding, feeding, burping and diapering.  Millie is a little less enthusiastic about her brother, but still loves to kiss him and bring him pacifiers.  Maggie ignores him.  Dave has stepped up and is wonderful about nighttime feedings and dealing with the “girl drama” so I can get a break here and there.  Lincoln is a content baby, and really only cries when he needs something.  He eats every 2-3 hours, but after feeding and burping, I only have about an hour free in between.

Newborn Shoot by Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and PigtailsNewborn Shoot by Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

So admittedly, my house is a wreck.  I haven’t vacuumed in days.  I haven’t cooked in weeks {stay tuned for how I’m able to pull that off!}.  I have three goals per day.  Goal #1: Keep everyone alive.  Goal #2:  Attempt to keep my sanity.  Goal #3: Accomplish something. Anything.

I keep my expectations low each day, and so far, I haven’t really been disappointed!  Even if that means that some days my goal is to just empty the dishwasher.  Other days, my goal is to get a 20 minute nap.  Either way, as long as I accomplish it, I’m happy!

Newborn Shoot by Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

Meet my new family of five!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

All photos on this post were taken by our favorite family photographer, Rachel Weber Photography.  To see more of her work with my family, check out our pregnancy announcement photos, our fall family pics, and Millie’s newborn photo shoot.

Bonus points for you if you can find which of my kids is a model on Rachel’s Portfolio Page…