Friday's Letters

Dear Readers, Remember when I asked you to help me choose an outfit for my Papa's wedding?! The majority voted for the green dress. Well, when I went to buy the shoes they were SOLD OUT. I felt like the shoes made the outfit. I started working with Sarah for alternative options, and, well... I went AGAINST the majority vote and chose the white/silver dress. I know I was scolded for considering wearing GASP white to a wedding. But the majority of the dress ISN'T white and since the bride is in her late 70's, I was giving the green light to wear the white. We styled it differently than the original idea and I am pretty excited about my coral pumps/mint accessories :)

Dear Papa, I can't believe you are getting married this weekend! It feels a little strange since I have never met your soon-to-be wife, but everyone tells me Ethel is really nice. I am excited to be able to celebrate with you!
Dear O'Connor Cousiesss, Cannot wait to get our Irish on all weekend long. Seriously, our family has the BEST time when we all get together and I know that this weekend will NOT disappoint! Can't wait for some MAAAAAJOR cousin love!
Dear Indianapolis, I do not appreciate your HOT hot forecast for this weekend. I love you and I love to visit you, but I do not love 100 degree temps. No bueno. 
Dear Bubba, I hope you have not grown out of your phenomenal car travelling skills. It's been a couple of months since our D.C. trip- but I am thinking if you can handle 10 hours in the car you can handle 5 hours... right?! 

O'Connor cousins at the last family wedding.. which was John & I's. 
Excited for this weekend?! Understatement of the century.

Happy Weekend!!
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This Week, According to Instagram

Uncertain of why... but I have been attached to the camera a little less lately. 

I like the idea of just being in the moment.
Then a really cute moment happens, and I'm all, CRAP where's the camera?

Cue Instagram.

I get a little bored of Instagram ONLY blog posts... 
but I have been using it more frequently as of late,
So today - that's whatcha get :)

Monday we were on the hunt for a white polo shirt onesie for Mr. Bubba. 
I saw online that Kohls had one so we went there. 
I am not a frequent Kohls shopper so these crazy little carts were a first for us!
Bubba looks like a teenager. 
Like, honestly, who does he think he is?! 
Too cool for school...
especially in his Irish soccer uniform from Ireland :) 
Tired boy was the theme for Tuesday
I had to wake Bubba up EARLY (8:00 am) so we could hit the road for Toledo. 
We went to the park with Allie, Jayme, Amanda, & Lisa and all of the kiddos!
That's right- 5 moms, 9 babies... 8 boys and the lone little lady, Avery :)
We had so much fun, and I did my best to keep Bubba awake the WHOLE ride home. 
Needless to say he was so sleepy when we got home he passed out with a bottle in his mouth! 
My Papa is getting married this weekend,
and my mom and I had TOO MUCH FUN shopping for an outfit for Bubba to wear. 
This little smocked number of pure baby boy cuteness came in the mail while Bubba was napping.
I couldn't wait to try it on him once he woke up.
My heart = exploding with cuteness overload!
Wednesday was a bum day. 
We stayed in our jammies until 1:30 pm. 
Sidenote: Look how blonde Jack's hair is getting!!
It was a hot HOT day, so baby pool time was in order. 
I think I need a bigger pool, after 30 min this mama was overheated & sunburnt! 
Scoot over Bubba!
Want to know what else makes Wednesday awesome?!
It's MY night off!
So I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee on ice,
Bubba enjoyed a couple of green beans,
and John cooked dinner :)
Did I mention it was Spaghetti Squash night?!
I told John to set a little of the squash without sauce on it aside for Jack.
He forgot.
So Bubba got to eat it WITH the sauce. 
Lets reiterate how AMAZING it is to have Wednesday be my night off...
especially when Bubba gets to eat spaghetti for the first time. 
Bed time has been a struggle the past week.
We are working on a new bedtime routine.
It means LOTS of extra snuggles around 8:00 pm. 

That's what we've been up to the first part of this week. 
I'm sorry if you follow me on Instagram/Twitter already - most of these have been seen before! 
If you don't follow me on Instagram, you should :) 
My username is kaykmerr3

Happy Thursday!

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p.s. check out this AMAZING giveaway.. a blog makeover? yes please!!


The Girl Behind the Blog

I'm back to my Wednesday morning Vlogging again! 
This week I am changing it up a bit and linking up again for The Girl Behind the Blog series! 

I meant to do this last night... then Teen Mom came on... whoops.

So Bubba is making his vlogging debut... if you can't tell he does not like to sit still.
I'm sorry if he is completely distracting the ENTIRE vlog. 
It's just about morning nap time around here, 
and he is NOT into the fact that I won't let him play with my glasses. 

I should probably clarify that my thinking about Wendy's daily doesn't mean I eat it every day...

I swear! 
I just love it a lot and it's really really delicious okay?!

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We Are A Family of Worms

Book worms that is!

Growing up, I learned to love reading from an early age!
I ALWAYS had a book (or three) that I was reading... 
It became a bit nerdy when in 5th grade I skipped recess to read in the library.

When I would get grounded? 
My parents would punish me from books too- 
Who cares about being sent to their room when they can escape in a book?

And you know what?
John is even NERDIER about reading.

Those weird "dragon books" (as I like to call them)-
You know, those sci-fi "fantasy" books that the nerdy kids in lizard t-shirts read in middle school?
Well, lizard t-shirt boy was (is) my husband... sans the t-shirt.

John loves reading as much as I do, and always has.
When my husband starts a book it's like he is dead to the world. 
He will stay up until the wee hours of the morning just to finish a book.

I'm okay with it, because I am the same way! 

One of my greatest wishes for Jack is that he inherits our love for books.
He is quite the wiggly worm... so reading to him is hard. 
We just recently have been able to hold his attention with books. 

It's really fun to re-read some of our favorite childhood books to him.
We point to the pictures and he points to random things on the page. 
He talks babbles while we read the words.
And usually by the end he has wiggled out of our lap and onto the floor.

I cannot wait to see what kinds of books he likes to read.
I can only hope he gets the slightly "cool" genes from his mama...
I don't think I could bring myself to buy him a shirt that has lizards on it.

Don't you just love John's,
"Kayla, if you don't stop taking pictures and distracting the baby I am going to kill you." 
face?! Yeah, me too :) 
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Our Weekend.

When we were in D.C. I picked up this little old antique window that had been turned into a mirror at Eastern Market. 

John screwed hooks into the bottom of it and we hung it right by our door. It serves as a message board/key holder/shelf!

Normally I write little love notes to John or quotes on it with dry erase marker. 
On Friday I made a to-do list for our weekend:

-Oil Change
As you can see we crossed everything off :)

That sweet husband of mine took my car to get an oil change. 
(husbands are so good for that kind of thing!)

The landscapers FINALLY came and fixed up our front beds... so gardening became unnecessary!
Even though I still want to add a few flowers- it has now become a weekday "to-do".

We hit up the mall for some Crate & Barrel action, 
and exchanged a few of John's birthday gifts at Nordstrom Rack.

And relaxing?
We did A LOT of that! 

Between long walks up and down the little neighborhoods surrounding our downtown,
Evening drives with the windows down,
A couple OnDemand movies,
Dinner out with a flirting baby, 
Before bed story time, 
Sister visits and Auntie playtime ,
Church with a VERY wiggly 10 month old, 
and did I mention LOTS of relaxation?! 
I would say it was a VERY successful weekend :) 

Happy Monday friends!
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Sunday Social V.3

Back again :) I LOVE this Link Up!
Sunday Social
What is your all-time favorite song?
Probably not a popular choice due to the singer but I LOVE With You by Chris Brown. No matter how many times I hear that song it will never get old! 
I also will never EVER get sick of Make You Feel My Love by Adele. Most romantic song EVER!

What is your favorite singer/band?

My favorite band by far is Radiohead. I saw them at Lollapalooza in 2008 and it was incredible. 
But my true love. My EPIC girl crush. My musical idol... Beyonce. Love this girl. LOVE love. It is on my bucket list to see her in concert. I love almost everything she does. My current favorite? 1+1
What is your theme song/song that describes your life?
Oh man, I have NO IDEA. Too bad I'm not like my sister Megan.. she has this one ALL figured out.. 
I'll spare her the embarrassment and skip sharing THAT story ;)

::EDIT:: I thought of a song that is a good one for me. This song is classic, makes me think of my husband and I every time I hear it.. and puts butterflies in my stomach :) 

What songs put you in a good mood?
I really LOVE every kind of music (except maybe Fall Out Boy emo stuff...) but the first song that comes to mind is Dynamite by Taio Cruz - It sends me STRAIGHT back to senior year of college :)

What is your favorite road-trip music?
What is a road-trip without some "old school" Kelly Clarkson?! 

What song are you embarrassed to admit you love?
I always feel embarrassed to admit that I still like a lot of the music that Chris Brown does... he is a total douche lord, but a talented one. 
Also, I used to nanny, and summer of 2008 the girls I watched were OBSESSED with Miley Cyrus... I was definitely jamming to her stuff OUTSIDE of work - whoops! But seriously, If We Were a Movie is a total masterpiece...

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Friday Favorites

Switching it up this Friday and linking up with the Bargain Blonde
This is a really random list of favorite things... but here it goes!

 Yes, this is the necklace I mentioned in my vlog last week! I LOVE it. I pretty much drool over EVERYTHING that Bridier Baubles has on their site - but I really am naming this necklace an all time favorite!
 Unfortunately the fact that I NEVER dealt with acne EVER throughout adolescence is coming back to bite me. Call it acne karma but my post-baby skin hates me. I love that this little Neutrogena Wave was only $10 and it makes washing my face a little bit more.. "fun" - lets hope it works! 
 We tried these out last weekend! Over ice they are super refreshing and a little less sour than a traditional margarita. They don't beat my favorite- Tequila, club soda, lime- but they definitely get the job done. I mean, they are 8% alcohol after all! This lightweight only needs two to feel a little beyond tipsy! 

It was so fun to just be able to put Jack's high chair on the dock and let him enjoy the fresh air while we laid out. Ahhh, I love the lake house! Not to mention that adorable vacuum waiting patiently for treats...

This weekend we are actually STAYING HOME! I know, I know, crazy right?! We look forward to doing some gardening, maybe going to the pool, a trip to Crate & Barrel, and LOTS of relaxing. I hope everyone has a FANTASTIC weekend... happy Friday :) 
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Night "Off"

I love my husband.
And alllllll of you know I love my Bubba.

BUT (yes, there is a but) 
the craziness of a baby filled day can become mind-numbing, tiring, & downright draining at times. 

No, this is not a post that is me complaining about motherhood. 

I love that I have gotten to spend every day with Jack his first year of life.
I am SO blessed that my husband is hardworking enough for me to be at home. 

BUT (yes, I am getting back to the "but") 
It would be a lie if I didn't say I was counting down the minutes seconds 
until John walks through the door at the end of the day.

When John gets home it's like a church choir sings and I finally get a break some help!
Problem is, John is walking through the door after a hard & long day at work.
Guess who is also looking forward to some "relaxation" once he gets home?!

This was leading to some, ahem, problems. 
We both felt like we deserved to kick up our feet at the end of the day, 
but there are still THREE WHOLE HOURS before Bubba goes to sleep.
I swear the hours between 5 and 8 are the longest...

Solution you ask?! 
We each picked ONE night a week to be our night "off".

What does this entail?

Well when it's your "off" night. You get to lay on the couch & watch what you want on TV.
You don't have to make dinner and you DEFINITELY don't have to clean up. 
You don't have to make bottles, give Jack a bath, or chase after him before bed. 

This may seem kind of drastic. 
But honestly, it makes the other 5 nights of the week TEN TIMES better!

John and I are much more willing to be a team. 
It's easier to help one another when you know you get one night a week to breath. 
That one night is guilt free because you know the other has one too. 

I want to make John's night off relaxing because I know he will do the same for me in return. 
Honestly, things around here have been A LOT better since we started this new "routine". 
Sorry if I'm rambling, but I thought this was worth sharing. 
We are new at this parenting thing.
We are also new at this MARRIED thing. 

This is what is working for us right now.
And when I go to school in the fall?
It's all going to change again!

Mostly we are learning, time and time again-
Marriage, parenthood, relationships in general are all about flexibility & mutual respect.
Among other things of course...


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Dear Bubba

Dear Bubba, 

Today you are 10 months old. You are such a big boy! 

In two short months you will be ONE YEAR OLD!

I feel like so much has changed this month... every day you learn something new.
You have two new two front teeth that add just the cutest bit of cheese to your drool filled grin.
You wave like a mad man (even when it doesn't make sense to wave...)

We've also started to teach you the word, "no".
At first I started saying it to you three times in a row before removing you from the "no" activity.
It became pretty obvious that you understood when you started shaking your head "no".
Sometimes you tell yourself "no" by shaking your head before I even have to say anything.

You are officially real "crawling" 
and cruising around the furniture all day every day!
Everyone says you'll be walking any minute, but I'm in no rush for you to start!

You are such a sweet boy.
You are the happiest little ray of sunshine and I love your laugh!
You are so playful and it takes A LOT to make you mad.

You are also strong-willed... 
I have NO IDEA where you get it from (coughdaddyandicough)
It is a hilarious combination with your sweet disposition.

You babble from sun up to sun down.
The sound of your voice is the sweetest music to my mama ears.
I love all the noises and sounds that you make, you are quite the conversationalist!

I am astounded that another month has passed us by. 
I wish I could freeze time and speed it up all at the same time!
I cannot wait to watch you grow, hear your first words, and watch your first steps.
At the same time I crave those first few teeny tiny months...

Oh Bubba, I love you so! 
You have your Mama's heart - and you always will!

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Baby Essentials, Lake House Edition!

Alright, three lake house weekends into the summer and I think we have it down with Da Bubba. 

Keeping Jack cool, calm, and comfortable is the KEY to a relaxing time for Mama & Daddy-
Here are a few of the essential items to keep all three of the above a check, check, & check!

Baby Hideaway Pool
This pool is awesome because it is small enough to put on the dock and on the boat, yet big enough for someone (me) to get in it with him. Bubba loves it and it keeps him nice and cool on super hot days!

SwimWays Canopy Spring Float
THIS. This is the NUMBER ONE best thing that we have for Bubba at the lake. We put him in here and swim around with him, and he is SO so happy! When we put the shade up it keeps him from getting too much sun and it is secure enough that I don't have to freak about him falling out!

Swim Sunshade Hat
I feel like it's a right of passage that EVERY baby have their dorky white sun hat. Jack refuses to keep sunglasses on his face, so this is a lifesaver when it comes to keeping the sun out of his eyes. It also protects his head, neck, and face from getting too much sun! I love him in it :)

Stearns Hydroprene Infant Life Jacket
This is essential for us. We go on lots of boat rides and I am a NERVOUS wreck about Bubba in the water. Unfortunately, Jack really hates having any movement being restricted. All life jackets restrict movement and we have actually gone through THREE before finding the right one that he could tolerate. 

Little Tikes Snug'n Secure Swing
This isn't a water item, but awesome for when he needs a break from sunbathing. My parents put one of these up in the front yard of their lake house and Jack could live in it. 

Without these things, I am not sure if lake weekends would be bare-able for our family of three! But lucky for us, Jack was born for the lake life - with the help of these items we are set up to have one fantastic summer full of lake and sun fun :)

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