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5 summer essentials | casual mama style

the weather is warming, the sun is hanging around a little longer in the evenings, and I can smell someone in my neighborhood grilling every night of the week.  its summer!! when it comes to my wardrobe these days I'm looking for easy care items that I can throw on and feel put together but also be super comfortable and able to move around when I'm out doing activities with my kids- from the grocery store to the aquarium to a (casual) date night these are my top five mama essentials for summer!  even better- the holiday weekend has left us with a bunch of sales, so nearly all my picks are discounted!  yas!

the easy tee
I've been living in boyfriend style pocket tees.  I love the casual nature of them and how lightweight and comfortable they are for summer!  I tuck the front for a little added shape and you can totally dress them up our down, just depending on the shoes and accessories.  I'm also loving the softened shirts that button down- my third summer in a row to be breastfeeding, so I'm all about the easy access with buttons down the front!

casual bottoms
two words: boyfriend denim. I LOVE distressed denim and the boyfriend style allows me to move and bend and be comfortable without feeling like I'm going to explode after eating Sonic cheesy tots (with jalapeƱos!).  don't get me wrong, there is a perfect time and place for an amazing pair of skinny jeans (I have THESE in every color because they are just perfect in every way!)
but the looser fit of the boyfriend jeans also offers the ability to wear them while its 100+ degrees in Texas.  I also invested in a cute pair of joggers to wear while running errands or grabbing coffee with a girlfriend (I did this yesterday!) pair with the boyfriend pocket tee and you are totally hitting all the high marks for that athleisure style thats so popular right now.
AND overalls. yes.  100% yes.  I prefer the fitted style over the baggy boyfriend fit- I own a great pair from Pinkblush that I'm loving and wearing about once a week (and they're on sale!). but I'm hard pressed to add a pair of short overalls to the mix.  do it.

breezy dresses
my favorite "look" while sporting the bump this time around was a t-shirt dress, sneakers, and a ball cap. talk about comfort and style all wrapped into one! as the heat is rising (its literally sweltering hot today..) I appreciate the t-shirt dress for several reason- keep me cool (number one!), the variety of style it offers (with sneakers + ball cap; sandals + side ponytail; wedges + chunky necklace..), and the fact that I can take the same dress and go from daytime to evening and not have to think about changing my clothes:). these are my favorite dresses for wearing casually with sandals or sneakers.

trendy sneaks
speaking of sneakers.. they are like my new favorite guilty pleasure.  no idea WHY,  but finding ways to be able to wear them with everything I currently own in my closet is my mission.  I think a lot of it has to do with how much I'm on me feet- I need something thats comfortable.  I am not a shoe person at all whatsoever.. which is probably a good thing.  I usually purchase one great neutral pair of sandals and wear the crap out of them all summer. same for heels and wedges.. now when it comes to boots and booties all bets are off because I just loveeee me some booties.  
every color, please! but this is summer.. in Texas.. and I'll literally be filling my suede booties up with sweat if I attempted to wear them right now.. so I'll stick to sneakers:)

blush lip
blush everything is the hottest color of the season and I've found a handful of glosses and mattes that I'm loving right now.  the tarte lip paint is phenom.. I got it as a sample last month and I'm loving it so much that I went and got a couple the other day to stock up for summer.  my luck, they always discontinue my favorite makeup and I can ever find it again- I hate that!  I've learned from these tribulations and always buy more than one when shopping!
my top three makeup must haves right now..
NUMBER ONE is definitely lip gloss. number two would have to be my bronzer/highlighter combo (I am loving the tarte combo palette !), and number three is my eye brow pencil + filler (benefit gimme brow is the bomb).


Brady Jordan | 2 months

the days and weeks are going way too fast for my liking, but oh my goodness its been the time of our lives!  big Brady is 2 months old, officially 9 weeks this week, and he has changed SO MUCH in the last month!  we went from a sleepy newborn to the most social and happy little baby ever!  
its definitely been a transition into having four babies in this house, but as Brady has gotten a little bit older and a little more easy going (i.e. not being held 24/7) life has gotten much more enjoyable.
he is totally the most popular person in this house.
Brady brings everyone so much joy, including myself.. about once a day I lean down and smell his sweet baby head and think oh my gosh I have a BOY. so surreal but so freaking awesome.
Over the past two months I’ve laughed, cried, yawned, and laughed some more – this boy is seriously HILARIOUS.  I know every mom (and dad) thinks that their child is OMGSOCUTE, and I'm no different over here.  I doted over my girls and now with this ine- he totally melts our hearts and hung our moon.  don’t get me wrong, this has also been the most challenging two months of my entire life. it’s been tiring, stressful, and down right HARD (hello, four children.) but the good has outweighed the difficult and exhaustion, by far
with a face like this, how could I not feel like the luckiest mama in the world?
felt letter board // crib sheet // henley sweater via mac + mia // harem pants c/o // knit paci clip c/o
we went to the pediatrician this week for Brady's 2 month check up.  the scale confirmed that my child loves the boob and is growing at hyper speed.  he gained 2 pounds since our last visit and I am positive its all in his cheeks + that adorable frog belly.  he also grew an inch in length!  he's doing great developmentally, and put it on display with ear to ear grins and happy coos. after posting a video of a noisy nursing Brady on my IG stories, I had several mamas commenting about their experience with this kind of sound when their baby nursed.  after mentioning it at our appointment, the pediatrician confirmed that he does have laryngomalacia.  nothing to be concerned with at this point because he only makes those noised when he nurses, but now that we know what it is, we will keep our eyes and ears open for any changes. we also bumped his reflux medication to a higher dose since he had such a jump in his weight! after bumping his meds last month he is a completely different baby.  since we got that under control making him more comfortable, and in the mean time he's tummy and esophagus has grown and matured a bit more his reflux isn't nearly as terrible.  he's now taking 1.75mls twice/day of ranitidine (similar to Zantac).
Brady at TWO months
Weight: 11 pounds 14 ounces (51st percentile)
Birth: 7 lbs 4 oz
Height: 23 in (50th percentile)
Birth: 20 in
Head: 39.4 cm (34th percentile)
Birth: 34.5 cm

 hamming up for Dr. Melanie!  and Baker was on stand by with the paci in case he needed it.
such an awesome big sis!

oh, we love to eat!  breastfeeding continues to go well for Brady and me.  he's pretty much like clockwork when it comes to nursing- every three or three and a half hours during the day.  I really try hard to keep on that schedule because it ensures that he's getting enough during the day so he doesn't try to make up for it through the night!  the other day we were out and about running errands and he went almost 5 hours between feedings..and sure enough he woke at 3am hungry that night.  typically he's nursing around 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm.. and then between 9pm and 10pm right before bed.

P L A Y / D E V E L O P M E N T
this boy!!  his little personality has exploded over the last month!  giant smiles, the happiest eyes, and he's this close to letting out a little chuckle.  he coos so loudly and screeches in excitement- he loves to be talked to and the moment he locks eyes with you the smiles start.  seriously my most social baby ever!  Baker didn't giggle until she was like 6 months old and here we are with this giggly little boy and I'm smitten!  he's started to be more active with his activity bar and batting at the hanging toys and really focusing on things that are further than 10 inches from his face.  you can see his brain working in his eye gaze, processing and thinking through what he's looking at.  he has started to recognize his sisters faces and daddy's voice, and off course his mama's smell- I love it!
he is also tracking really well, and loves to be up in the bouncer so he can watch the girls and their crazy antics all day.  I am positive he has wide eyes 90% of the time those girls are running around.  

brother is a terrific sleeper.  once we made it over the reflux hump and turned that corner for comfort he's been sleeping like a champ.  he takes three really solid naps during the day.  first one is around 10am in the morning.  when he's up at 7am to nurse he usually stays awake after he finishes eating. the next is around 2pm and lastly, he will usually sleep long enough in the evening after the 4pm feeding to get us through dinner and bed time with the big girls (whew!!). about three weeks ago he started falling asleep about 9pm and sleeping like a rock before I would wake him to feed him again at 11pm.  at the time he was waking once or twice a night to nurse.  I decided to experiment and see how he would sleep if I put him down around 9-930pm and that night he slept until 7am the next morning.  
I woke in a panic that my child had just slept like 10 hours straight.. 
is he breathing?!  yes.  did I just get 10 hours of sleep?!  yes.  okay.. over it:)
we also have a solid bedtime routine these days.
9pm: bath soak- usually about 20 minutes, bathed in lavender soap (we love Tubby Todd!) 
9:30pm: out of the bath, rub down with lavender lotion and into our jammies!
9:45-10pm: nurse + bed
he sleeps really well until about 6-7am every morning since we started to follow this bedtime routine, and putting him down earlier.  
for now he's still sleeping in our bed in the dockatot.  he LOVES the dock and so do I.  we also swaddle him with his arms out- his preferred way of swaddling, just the same as his sisters before him!  we usually keep the babes in our room until about 4 months of age.  I'll probably start crib naps next month before we go to the crib full time.

up until this point I have been basically winging it - 2 kids, a bossy toddler and a newborn have had me up in arms a time or two and honestly worrying about a strict schedule was not something I had time for.  But, a schedule has proven to be an awesome change for Brady. 

B R A D Y 
oh, buddy.  we love you so so much.  I never in my wildest dreams thought that having a baby boy would be so amazing.  Brady, you are the sweetest most snuggly little thing ever..
time is absolutely flying by and I am so conflicted by my emotions surrounding it! my heart hurts + explodes + overflows as each and every day you seem to grow another inch and gain another pound- moving further and further from the tiny baby newborn we brought home from the hospital. at the same time, I am overwhelmed with excitement as we are beginning to see your little personality come to life and its so much fun!
you have become a baby! a little person! a little man!  your facial expressions are killer! I am well aware that I am in so much trouble when you realize that you can use that little smirk to manipulate your mama (and sisters, too)! when you concentrate your eyebrows scrunch together and you make the most serious face and in the same moments you'll bust out with the sweetest little smile- those little eyebrows lift and those dimples appear - your mama has been blessed with a fairytale life full of all the girly things, but she didn't know this level of happy until she met you, Brady boy.
you have become quite the wiggle worm- moving and shaking all over the place as you have found your legs and arms.  you have also become so very strong with your head control and will sit so contently on my shoulder and just watch the chaos that explodes with your three old sisters running laps around us.  you're filling out size 0-3 month and three month size clothes and out growing your sisters at this age by a ton.  I am loving it so much- because your cheeks are just the greatest of all time!

we love it more and more every day, Brady!  as each day passes your daddy and me find it easier to manage life with four of you kiddos running the house, but couldn't imagine it any other way.  this month you've experienced a ton of 'new' and firsts - time is going so fast and I'm trying my best to soak in every moment with you while still managing to keep up with your big sisters.  Parker, Jolie, and especially Baker absolutely adore you and try every which way to help.  you are such a great sport about it and even with the smothering of kisses you don't seem to mind.
you are our favorite, little man.



Weekend with Nana + Duke

another weekend, another road trip! this time we headed south to visit my mom and dad for a long weekend.  my mom works for a large hotel company, so we bank on our hotel stay anytime we visit. we arrived Thursday afternoon and headed straight to the pool!  the temps have been hitting the 90's but the water is still freezing so while the girls and their dad took their first official dip of the summer season, I hung out in the chairs with my mom and Brady.
its no secret that I'm obsessed with all things kortni jeane!  mama+mini high waisted suits for the win!  I also cannot get over how amazing this off the shoulder top is- I was pleasantly surprised when I put it on and it offered so much support! I'm also loving the tie up front bottoms.. the wrap+knot combo covers the "c section shelf" you can clearly see through my bathing suit.  it is much worse after my third csection- hoping some cardio will tighten it up a bit! until then.. I'll be wrapping it up as best I can:)
babes!!  Baker was having the best time! 
 we went back to my parent's house and my mom made spaghetti, which I am still thinking about TODAY, and then pigged out on homemade chocolate chip cookies!  Jolie always dives nose first into my mom's collection of stuffed animals and Parker helps herself to the cat toys while said cat hides for the three days we visit.    
f r i d a y
 Friday morning my mom and I took the big girls to get pedicures.  growing up, my mom and I went to the nail salon often.. one of the only "mother-daughter" things we ever did.  I have been taking the twins since they were Baker's age and they always have the BEST time!  this was the first time all four of us have gone and my mom was dying at the cuteness.
  we left the nail salon and spent another afternoon at the pool. 
and another KJ swimmer!  the styles of the top and bottom are still available, but I got them back in March and I am not sure if the pattern/color is an option still.  
Brady has been living in these sleeveless onesies from golden hill designs- Baker was my first summer baby and basically wore a different color everyday!  my favorite is the urban brown- goes with everything!  
ALSO.. check out my sunnies from diff eyewear!  how adorable for summer and I just cannot get enough!  
use code AMBER25 for a special 25% discount on your entire purchase! 
uncle pat made the trip as well and got there late afternoon:)
Parker + Jolie's swim suits HERE

 when we have visited, the big girls always stay with my parents while Jordan and I (Baker and now Brady, too) stay at the hotel just a short drive away. I don't know why I didn't notice it before, but when I was kissing the girls goodnight I realized that the bed the girls sleep in at my parent's house is the same bed I slept in at my grandparent's house at their age.  
Saturday came and brought the rain.  we hung out at my parents house the entire day and my dad ended up pulling out old family photos. we drank coffee and snacked on my mom's chocolate chip cookies.. took naps and just didn't do a thing all day until we all went our for Mexican food on Saturday night.  
NOW we all know where my kids get their cheeks from!
 ..and can we just talk about how much this picture of me looks like Brady??!  I was shocked.. and how in the world did I not know I had so much hair when I was a babe?
s u n d a y 
saturday night Jolie started running a fever, so we took all the kiddos back to the hotel with us and made due with all these babies in one hotel suite.  thankfully Jolie's fever was short lived but it was actually a lot less chaotic and so much more fun than I thought it would be!
Brady snoozed the entire weekend in his dockatot and slept just as he did if we were home- yas!
we also have been using the nested bean swaddle and OHMUHGOSH its amazing.  I cannot speak enough great things about this swaddle!  I plan to do a full review very soon, but we love them!

 Brady's tank top HERE + leggings HERE
 find my diaper bag HERE + my favorite weekender HERE
 we grabbed coffee with my brothers just before we hit to road. I've got 13 years on Sam (on the left) and about 6 years on Patrick.. but they're not that little these days.
you can find my tee HERE + postpartum leggings HERE and my FAVorite sneakers HERE
 making the road for home we stopped for dinner and to stretch our legs.
pancakes + coffee (and a cheeseburger for Jo) on a Sunday night with my sweet crew of favorite people.
 second weekend in a row to be out of town and we are all thankful to be home for a bit to settle into summer! this week marks the last week of preschool for those big girls and we have many things planned for this summer- hoping we can fit it all in! 
can't wait for many more memories made with these kids and my hubby beside me.

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