THE ONE WITH BOOKS!

Anything involving books requires an exclamation point  It’s been awhile since Ive done some book recommendations – this is primarily because the first 8 weeks or so of Sloan’s little life, any free time I had was taken up by sleep, cleaning and mom-ing. I’m back in it now, and wanted to pass along some favorites over the last few months.

  • Pearl that Broke its Shell: Did you read the Kite Runner? Another favorite of mine, and though this isn’t quite as good, it’s a similar vein – a story of Afghan women, separated by generations, who dress up as boys (bacha posh) in Afghanistan. It will tear at you, but it’s a beautifully told story.

  • Brooklyn: Love love love this story. It’s about a young Irish woman who emigrates to New York, Brooklyn to be precise, in the 1950s. The novel follows her adjustments to life in New York, working, falling in love and living without her family who are back in Ireland. Then a tragedy strikes and she has to return to Ireland. Will she ever make it back to New York?

  • The Taliban Shuffle: They’re actually making this into a movie with Tina Fey and I can 100% see her in this role! The book is written by Kim Baker, who was an international journalist staffed in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and relates her experiences in the Middle East war zones with fellow journalists.

  • Circling the Sun: Many read The Paris Wife also by Paula McLain, and this follow up to that bestseller is great, though probably not quite as good as The Paris Wife, IMHO. Beryl Markham is a British girl growing up in Kenya with her farmer father in the early 20th century. Circling the Sun tracks her incredible (true) life story of training race horses in Africa and being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, east to west.

Beryl Markham

  • The Martian: Have y’all seen Matt Damon in this one yet? I haven’t, but it’s on my list! The book was excellent and pretty funny, actually. It can get a little “science-y” at times, but it’s a cool story about a man accidentally abandoned on Mars, struggling to survive.

The Martian (as portrayed by Matt Damon)

1ST 5 ON FRIDAY OF 2016

A new year – a new 5 on Friday! I hope everyone’s first week back to “reality” after the holidays was a good one. We struggled a little bit with Barr being back on the road and nap times becoming more or less non existent, but today is a new day, right? TGIF!

| ONE | Making of a Murderer Has anyone else started watching this? Barr and I binged on it last week when he was home, and suffice it to say, we’re obsessed. Reader’s Digest version: Steven Avery is falsely accused of sexual assault in the 80s and DNA evidence exonerates him after 16 years in prison – this is all recapped in episode 1. A few years after his release, Steven (and his nephew) are accused and stand trial for the grisly murder of a young female photographer. The subsequent episodes walk you through the trial and the perspectives of Steven’s parents, family, and Steven himself. If you listened to and loved Serial, you’ll be equally obsessed with Netflix’s Making of a Murder. It took 10 years for this show to be made and it shows.

| TWO | Los Angeles We are heading to the West Coast in a few weeks to celebrates 2 very special birthdays – a 30th and a 1st, father/daughter combo :) I cant wait! Any tips to flying 4 hours + with a 4 month old and then adjusting to a 3 hour time change are welcome. Thankfully, spending time with great friends make it all more than worth it.

| THREE | Jeffries socks I am by no means a parenting expert, but I did want to pass on one of our favorite finds – Jeffries socks! One of my friends told me about these and advised me to go into a local baby store and just ask for the “magic socks”. They are magic, my friends, staying on Sloan’s teeny, constantly moving/kicking little feet.

| FOUR | Coin For Christmas, Barr received the Coin card. It’s brilliant, y’all. Simply store all of your credit and debit card information on a single electronic card, so that you dont have to bring all your cards around with you! You simply have to toggle through the Coin card to select the desired card and it swipes just the same as your usual debit or credit card, and has been accepted everywhere so far! Check it out.

| FIVE | Power Ball You may have heard about the record setting Power Ball jackpot. I am not a lottery ticket person, but maybe 2016 will be our little $ year 😉 Gotta send Sloan to college, right??

I am linking up with A Liz Adventures, North Carolina Charm, Hello! Happiness, and The Good Life for 5 on Friday!

Five-on-Friday

SLOAN 3 MONTHS

My little Sloan is 3 months old!!! I mean seriously?? He’s a quarter of a year old. Wowzers. Watching him grow and learn is such a cool thing and I mean, I may be biased, but he’s a pretty cool little dude.

  •  Stats
    • Dont know for sure since he doesn’t go back to the doctor until his 4 month well visit in 3 weeks, but he’s absolutely packing on the pounds and growing quite a bit taller. I cant wait to hear the exact stats though!

This little bear is 3 months old!

This little bear is 3 months old!

  •  Dislikes
    • Naps! We are all riding the struggle bus for the first 30 minutes of nap time as he cries it out. I dont want to talk about it.
    • Being hungry. If were more than 1 minute off his schedule, it’s a big time melt down.
  • Likes
    • Still loving bath time! And he really has gotten into it these past few weeks. Splish splash big time!
    • Riding in the car. It just zonks him out – we are thankful for this “like”!
    • Eating. Takes after his mom and dad in this one.
    • Fisher Price piano play mat – he has started grabbing at the toys and kicking the keys. He loves it and so do I! Thanks to our friend Mrs Emily for letting us borrow it!

The amazing flying baby

The amazing flying baby

  •  Health
    • Good! No big health issues this month, for which we are exceedingly grateful.
  • Wears
    • Size 2 diapers and size 3-6 month clothes, depending on the brand. We loved putting him in one of Barr’s Christmas outfits over the holidays (Barr was born September 13 to Sloan’s September 26), and our little man was busting out of his dad’s outfit – belly hanging out style! Bummed I didnt get a pic of this!
  •  Eats
    • 4 times a day (every 4 hours). I nurse him at 7AM when he wakes up in the morning, then down for nap. At 11AM, 3PM and 7:30PM he gets a bottle of 8oz of breastmilk, with a touch of formula. He dominates these bottles! Grow baby grow!
  •  Sleeps
    • I do NOT want to jinx this stuff BUT he’s doing well at night. As I mentioned before, naps aren’t going as well, but if he gets 11-12 hours at night (which he has these last 2 weeks or so), I am considering this is success. Obviously the most important thing is that he is happy and healthy, which he is :) Naps will come, I know it.

After his plane ride - our happy traveler!

After his plane ride – our happy traveler!

  • Milestones
    • First plane ride! He was such a champ. We were so proud. And it was a warm up for a flight to Los Angeles later this month. Pray for us?
    • Met his great grandmother in Louisville. It was a huge blessing and one of the sweetest things Ive ever seen.
    • Celebrated Christmas! He didnt really get it, obviously, but it was fun for the rest of us to dress him up in cute Christmas clothes and “oh and ah” at a sweet baby
    • Rolled over! From tummy to back. I mean it’s only been like twice, but he continues to rock back and forth like he wants to do it again
    • Slept through the night! (KNOCK ON WOOD. I mean it y’all, knock on wood right this second)

Sloan and his Mimi <3

Sloan and his Mimi <3

THE ONE WITH THE 2015 RECAP

Y’all!!! I am still in shock that it’s 2016 and Christmas has come and gone. 2015 felt like it was the longest and shortest year of my life, if that makes sense. Sometimes, I think back on last year and some events seem as if it was so long ago while others I cant believe were a year ago. Do you ever feel that way?

I’ve had fun with this post…going down memory lane!! I’m so pumped to see what 2016 brings. We already have some fun trips planned and Sloan is growing like a little weed. Cheers!

January

  • We moved to Sydney! But before that, I stuck around the states for a bit though, enjoying some much loved time with friends and family.

Abbys Roads Holidays274

February

  • Exploring Sydney and getting to know our new hometown was so much fun. My favorite memories? Australia Day, imbibing at the Sydney Opera House, hiking the North Shore, getting settled in our little beach flat, and discovering fun running routes in the city.

Sydney Opera House Summer House - 01

March

  • I updated my blog design in March – much needed! And then we started traveling – our favorite thing to do :) Melbourne for the Grand Prix and Tasmania for a golf expedition.

Barnbougle Dunes, Tasmania

April

  • This was an exciting month because we finally were able to share our happy news: we were expecting! My mom also came to visit us in Sydney and I compiled my top tourist activities there.

Sydney Tourist List

May

  • May held our last visit back to the states before we moved back for good – we had a great time celebrating Dan and Beth! Upon our return to Australia, we ventured to the Whitsunday Islands – gorgeous, rain and all. I also started some bump dates for your reading pleasure 😉 including the fact that we were having a boy!

Baby-Blanton

June

  • Our final month as expats!! I confessed my fears about repatriating to the states and then wrote my first post from Charlotte.

July

  • July was a busy month for us! More bump dates, nesting, and most importantly – we bought a house!

August

  • As I grew bigger with Sloan, I also slowed down my blogging (and just slowed down in general) in August. We did celebrate our son with a baby shower in Louisville, I made a trip to California to celebrate my best friend’s birthday and moved into our new casa.

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September

  • Sloan’s early arrival was the absolute best part of September – a sweet baby surprise (he wasnt due until mid October!)

October

  • Thank y’all for bearing with me in October as I really slowed down my blogging and adjusted to motherhood and soaked in my newborn baby boy. Sloan’s birth story is one of my favorite posts.

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November

  • November held lots of home decor updates! We also celebrated Sloan’s first month and his first Thanksgiving.

December

  • Blink and you missed December – I felt like it flew by! I blogged about my newborn favorites, some unique gift picks and Sloan’s Santa visits.

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THE ONE WITH OUR CHRISTMAS WISHES

Well, I’m preparing to sign off for the rest of the holidays – I’m looking forward to soaking in Sloan and Barr time, as well as seeing Barr’s family for Christmas.

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