Monday, July 10, 2017

Corolla Vacation 2017

SORRY! Life has been a whirlwind over the last two months.  I will try to recap what we have been up to this summer.  One of the most exciting trips we went on was Harrison's first family (minus D.J.) vacation to Corolla in the Outer Banks.  My family has been going there since my mom was pregnant with me, so it's a pretty big family tradition.  Over the years, the group has gotten smaller and smaller due to travel from Pennsylvania, everyone having their own lives and the family expanding tremendously.  This year though, we had THREE houses and over 30 people come which was SO much fun.  Four of my mom's six siblings where there with their spouses.  My first cousins that were there ranged from 40 to 27 and my second cousins that were there ranged from 18 to Harrison! He was the youngest.

We stay in Corolla Light - the best resort on the Outer Banks! So many great activities for the kids, adults and our all time favorite - BINGO. However, I remember bingo being a lot more fun as a child than WITH a child.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip....

Lots of beach days with cousins.

Our group ruled the beach!

Cousin love!

Gigi is the best.

Mom and her sister in law, Janice.

Surfin USA!

Every week the resort has a sand castle contest and Uncle Johnny is our family artist.  This year was a flamingo because thats what his granddaughter Emery asked for!

And as you can see, our daily routine was exhausting! So exhausting that Harrison fell asleep in the high chair!

As much fun as we had, it really stinks not having daddy on vacation with the family.  We can't wait to make an off season family getaway to make special memories with daddy!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Another Athens Graduation

Last weekend, Harrison and I made the trip down south toe watch my sister graduate from the University of Georgia!

As always, Harrison was the best little travel buddy.  Despite having to be woken up at 5:30 a.m., he did great on the plane ride down Thursday.  We knew it would be a long day, so once she walked across the stage, we hit the road for the condo so I could get Harrison home and in bed before the party started! He was looking mighty dapper in his red pants and adorable bowtie.

Thursday night we had a little party at the condo with Julie's friends, our family and of course - Pappy's cookies.  Oh, and big cutout heads of five-year old Julie. See below.

Friday was the entire university graduation and the speaker was Ernie Johnson, the NBA announcer.  If you haven't heard his speech, take time and go look at it here. I promise it's worth the time.

My key takeaways from the two speeches I heard and her graduation are...

  1. Be Kind. Show Up. and Be You. 
  2. Always have a job that you GET to go to, not one that you GOT to go to.
  3. Find lives blackberries.  You will understand when you watch the speech. 
Before the graduation on Friday night, we hung out downtown, grabbed some beers and pizza and just enjoyed the time together! 

The trip was fast, but it was so great to see the last Merryman child graduate and move on to the next chapter in her life - grad school! 

Monday, April 24, 2017

11 & 12 Months || Harrison Cole

Well now that we are almost to 13 months, I guess it' time to update this. 

Weight and length: At your 12 month check up you were 21.2 pounds (48%) and 31 inches (90%) with a head circumference of 48 cm (94%)...still got that big ole noggin!!

Diapers: 4's in pampers. You had your first real diaper rash over the past two months. I think it was a reaction to the acidity in tomato sauce. 

Teeth: Right when I thought we may have taken a break from teething, you popped your 9th tooth.  It's been about a month now since you have gotten another one, but I still think you have some working in there. 

Clothes: Still between 12 and 18 month clothes these days.  18 month jammies.

Sleep: Down to one long nap in the middle of the day and sleeping from 7-7 on most days! You only use your paci at night times and some days we forget! You don't have that one special thing you have to have at all times - no blankie, or paci, or lovey.  Which is kinda sad, but I'm kinda thankful for that too. 

Food: At 11.5 months I stopped pumping at work which was a huge relief. Then when you turned one, we started to move from 2x a day nursing to only once in the mornings.  And I am venturing to say that by 13 months you will be completely weaned. 

Other 11 & 12 Month Memories: 

Spring Training 2017! 

First trip to Akron of the season!

Daycare started! 

Since the last monthly update, you can now stand on your own, scale the walls, and are up to 5-7 steps on your own! We've been spending lots of time outside in the grass and getting the garden ready to plant new flowers.  You love bubbles and going on stroller rides. 

You turned one!!! And we love facetiming with daddy! 

You can make the clucking noise with your mouth.  You can also say mama, ball, hat.

You drink all your milk out of a sippy cup with a straw and can drink anything out of a regular straw.  You are growing up so quickly and I cannot believe it. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


I have some V E R Y exciting news! 

So you know how I've been working hard at loosing weight and getting back in shape? Trying to squeeze into those jeans that fit me before Harrison was born?! 

Well I let you know about this pretty awesome program I've been a part of since 2013 a few years ago. 

-- > post here < -- 

And I'm here to brag about this amazing group of moms, friends and program a little more. 

FIT4MOM is a program that prides itself on helping moms make strides in fitness, motherhood and life.  And I can tell you that they have done all of that and MORE for me.  Before baby, they helped me understand what a healthy workout routine looked like.  During pregnancy, they educated me on how to train my body while it worked extremely hard to house that precious little man of mine.  And after birth, they trained me on how to come back from baby and how to work hard towards my goals. 

They have four different programs that allow you to tailor your workout to what you are looking for - Stroller Strides, Stroller Barre, Fit4Baby, and Body Back.  

my S T O R Y - I started taking Body Back classes the summer of 2013 when I was trying to get some arm definition for my wedding dress.  My previous high school teacher and friend asked me to join her for a class with all moms.  I of course though this would be a perfect opportunity to network myself and get more babysitting clients.  Not only did I get new clients, but I got an amazing workout that I never left.  

During the summer of 2015, I realized that one day I wanted to be a BodyBack instructor.  Living in Lynchburg for the summer with D.J. and working out with all the other baseball WAGS there, I was in my element creating Body Back inspired workouts while I was temporarily there for the summer.  It was after that, that I realized this was natural for me. I was in the best shape of my life......and then I found out we were pregnant! That's how it always works, right?! 

So I came back from the summer in Lynchburg and started to run the idea of becoming Body Back instructor certified by Erin, my friend and the Norfolk franchise owner.  Erin was on board and I truly believe that she would do anything to help me succeed and teaching. Obviously, the idea was put on hold until Harrison was born and I was ready to take that next step in my fitness journey.  Well, I started working out seriously again in July 2016.  Since then, I have seen first hand how Body Back transforms a mothers body.  It has helped me gain muscles, lose fat, eat healthy and find the balance between momming and being Cayte.  My results are still in progress, but you can see after my first session back post-baby how Body Back is helping me gain control over my post-partum body. 

--> post here <-- 

body back I N S T R U C T O R - Well guess what - that time is NOW.  At the end of this week, I will officially be Body Back instructor CERTIFIED! I could not be more excited about this opportunity to inspire other moms and coach them to being the best version of themselves. I feel so honored to follow in some of the most inspiring moms I know as an instructor.  The ladies that have taught my classes and taken classes with me are some of the strongest and most empowering women I know. 

So if you are excited about taking your fitness to the next level and want M E to motivate you, let me know, because I'd love to have you come experience the amazing energy for yourself! 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Season F I V E

These past five months have flown by.  Yesterday morning, we dropped D.J. off at the airport to report to Arizona.  I cannot believe that we are starting his fifth full season as a professional baseball player.  The past few months that we have had him at home have been some of the best times as a family of three ( + Stryker).  D.J. has HC have been able to spend lots of quality time together making memories that will never be forgotten.

As I sit here and begin to transition back to only having two hands to help all the time, I think about the exciting things to come this season and how it will be different than years past. Last season, D.J. left when I was 36 weeks pregnant.  We then got to spend most of my maternity leave together traveling around the mid-atlantic/northeast watching D.J. play with the Akron Rubberducks.  Two seasons ago, we had some of the best times in baseball so far in Lynchburg, VA with some of the best people.  I was able to work remotely with Norfolk Collegiate all while being able to watch DJ play ball in the evenings!  That was by far my favorite summer - it was also the summer we got pregnant with Harrison and where I found my passion of teaching workout classes (thanks to the ladies for letting me find that through them!).

So this season will be a bit of an adjustment. No working remotely and no maternity leave.  We are planning to make the most of long weekends and close games when possible. But most of all, we are excited about daddy continuing to chase his dream.  This game is brutal - lots of hours put in on the field, on the bus, in the clubhouse - it takes a lot of dedication.  Decisions to leave your family.  Decision on when it's time to hang up the cleats.  We will continue to support D.J.'s dream as long as someone continues to have him on their team and as a long as he wants to play.  This lifestyle may no be "normal" to most, but it's what we know and what works for us.

Season F I V E - please be good to us.  Put D.J. in the best opportunities to shine.  Allow our friends and teammates to live out their dreams in whatever organization they are with.  Be nice to the wives and girlfriends that aren't able to make it for the season.  Here we go....

Sunday, February 5, 2017

10 Months || Harrison Cole

Happy 2017, Harrison! You have officially been around since 2015, so you have been through a New Year, but being on the outside is so much fun, huh?! January was such a fun month.  You finally seem to have gotten in the routine of sleeping after figuring out how to sit down once you pull yourself up. It really is crazy how fast you have grown and continue to learn new things every day. 

Weight and length: At your 9 month check up you weight exactly 20 pounds and were 30 inches long! Always staying at the top of the charts in length, but no baby rolls for you! Your head is still topping the charts at 46 cm (85%) which needs some more hair on it!

Diapers: 3's during the day and 4's at night. We have stayed true to Pampers and really love that they go on sale at Sam's club all the time!

Teeth: Staying strong at 7 teeth right now.  I know this is so weird, but it annoys me that you have an uneven number of teeth! It's hilarious that you have three on the bottom and the other one hasn't popped through yet.  I know you are still teething because you are chewing on your fingers all the time, but I don't see anything coming in soon.

Clothes: I'm slowly but surely packing up all your 9 month pants that are too short and your Christmas onesies that are a little out of season now.  I cant' resist the summer clothes in the store for you - they are just too precious and we need some warmer clothes for Arizona next month! You can still fit in 12 month clothes and I have started sneaking some 18 month jammies in the mix.

Sleep: I have to say, this month you really figured out the whole sleeping thing.  I know, I'm jinxing it.  It's inevitable though, it will change no matter what I say.  You go down anywhere between 8 and 9 on most nights and sleep right until 7 a.m.  Daddy thinks you wake up because you hear my alarm, but I don't know about all that. Once you started to pull yourself up on things, it took a week to figure out how to sit back down, but once you realized how to do that, sleep was your best friend.  You are taking two naps a day anywhere between one and two hours on most days.

Food: I can tell you are gradually starting to wean yourself from nursing.  It makes me a little sad to know that you are growing up but at the same time, I cannot believe our journey with breastfeeding has been as good as it has been.  We both have really loved it and I'm hoping I can keep it up the next two months for you! You typically nurse twice a day (morning and night), have two 5 oz. bottles during the day, and three meals.  Your meals are slowly starting to move towards real food all the time vs. puree baby food.  You still love everything you eat.  We had peanut butter for the first time this month and blueberries too!

Pacifier: You love them now.  It's not like you HAVE to have it, but it really makes you calm and puts you to sleep easier.

Other 10 Month Memories: 

First swim lessons!

You and daddy have been having great trips to the zoo on the nicer days in the winter.  You love seeing the animals and being outside.

We took our first trip to the aquarium! It was packed, but you still got to see the sharks which was pretty awesome.

We celebrated Mommy's first birthday as a mommy!

Your "trick box" now contains a few more tricks.  You can clap, wave, blow kisses, answer the questions "where's your belly" and "where's your head", and walk with us holding your hands!

At the beginning of the month, you experienced your first snow!

The winter cold finally hit our house and you got your first cold and runny nose.

You have started to pull up on everything! I swear by your first birthday you will be walking.

The entire house is your playroom.  You love opening the cabinet and exploring.  Your go-to spot is Stryker's food bowls....of course.

Mommy and daddy are getting ready to have their first sleepover without you! We are having a mommy/daddy night while you stay with Gigi and Grandpa before daddy leaves for Arizona again.

This is our last three weeks of having daddy home.  It's going to be a really sad day when he leaves. The month of March you will stay with Gigi and we will all prepare for you to start daycare in April.