The Chirping Moms

July 21, 2016

Miles' Milestones: 5 Months

When I started this series last month I figured the chances of me sticking with it and finding time to write again at 5 months was about 50/50.... but here I am! I haven't found time to shower in 2 days, but at least I'll remember what Miles was doing at 5 months (ha). Thank goodness for iPhone photos. I scrolled back through the month to remember what we did and more importantly what Miles was doing! So here goes: Miles' has been enjoying 5 months with non-stop smiles. 

Two exciting things happened this month: Miles was baptized (more on that to come) and Miles went on his first family vacation (details here). 

While on vacation, Miles celebrated his first 4th of July. 

5 months is a great age. Personally I think it's one of the easiest ages. At 5 months there's more sleeping and less eating. They are on the verge of eating solids (or may have started) and that can only mean more meals and cleaning (so more work to come)! They are also not mobile but able to play with toys, so they can entertain themselves while staying in the same place. 

Miles loves his feet. He plays with his toes and puts his feet in his mouth. He also loves toys. Toys that "crinkle" are his favorite and he also really likes Sofie the Girafe. 
He's grown into 9 month clothes and suddenly looks really long/tall. We got him a mesh bath seat and now he takes a bath with Tommy and finally loves bath time. We had one of these seats for the girls but after a few years and a move I didn't know where all the parts were. It was worth the investment to get a new one because Miles now really enjoys bath time and he doesn't slip at all. 

Miles isn't rolling much yet. He can roll from his belly onto his back, but that's it. He loves to babble and says "ma ma ma ma ma". His eyes light up when he babbles - he is so happy and proud to be "talking" to us. 

We've put away the baby swing and moved onto the Jumperoo. Miles bounces like crazy in it. It's the first time we've had a Jumperoo and it's awesome. His brother and sisters stand around him and chant "jump Miles jump, jump Miles jump" and he giggles like crazy. 

Miles tried rice cereal and pears this month. He was actually the first one of my babies that ate from a spoon right away, like he had been doing it forever. He was way more excited for the pears than he was for the rice cereal. The next month will include trying many more foods! 

Miles is a joy every day and becoming more and more interactive with his siblings. He loves to watch them all dance to music and kicks his legs like crazy. He can't wait to join in the dance party. Miles still sleeps in our room and I love snuggling him at night before putting him in the rock in play to sleep. Miles is one sweet little boy. 

July 20, 2016

Where to Wednesday: Red Jacket Resorts

We just got back from our first week-long vacation as a family of six. We started the week out on Nantucket with some of our best friends. It was a great way to start, because we were welcomed into their beautiful home that was also filled with all the gear needed for a baby and toddler, plus bunk beds for the girls! We were truly having the best time and we were sad to say goodbye. I was also a bit nervous to spend the second half of the trip in a hotel that I had never visited before. But, it was time for an adventure! Our boat from Nantucket pulled into Hyannis and then it was a short drive to Red Jacket Beach Resort. 

Red Jacket Resorts have 5 locations on Cape Cod and are all very family friendly. They are right on the beach, have pools, places to eat and tons of amazing family activities. We chose to stay at Red Jacket Beach Resort. From the minute we arrived at the resort, we knew we had picked an awesome spot for a family vacation. There were kids everywhere but it still had a beautiful, relaxing feel to it. We went right to the private beach to check it out. It was much bigger than I expected, with so much space for the kids to run and play. 

We checked into our room, which was a "Family Room." It looked like a hotel room when you first walked in, but had a door that lead to a cute little room with twin beds (plus space for Tommy's pack n' play). There was an extra half bath in there too. The girls thought it was so cool that they had their "own hotel room" and set up their toys on the dressers like it was their own space! This room setup made it really easy to have Tommy or Miles still nap. It was also ideal for having 4 kids under 7 sleep in a hotel. I wish more hotels had this feature! 

The pools and the dining options were great for families. We spent all day bouncing around to the pools and beach, stopping for a meal whenever we needed. Then, we'd take turns hanging in the room when the boys needed to nap while the other person let the girls explore the beach. Maggie and Alex love the ocean and all the sea shells and creatures they can find. Along the jetties at Red Jacket Beach, we were able to see schools of minnows and see (and catch!) crabs of all sizes. This was probably the highlight of the trip for them. The girls are still talking about all of the crabs (by name) that were their pets while we were at Red Jacket Beach. 

In addition to the pools and beach, all of the Red Jacket Resorts offer a kids' club. You can drop the kids off if they are 5+ or enjoy the activities with them if they are younger. They offer so many cute things for them to participate in and for most of it, they are on the lawn right by the pool, so you can see them the whole time. If you are looking for a resort with a great, safe kids' club - I would highly recommend Red Jacket Resorts. 

As if there weren't enough awesome things to keep the family having fun all day: pools, beaches, kid's club, restaurants, etc, there were even more adventures in the late afternoon/evenings! All of the resorts have family activities every day and night. A few of the things we enjoyed while we were there: a balloon and tattoo artist, live music (be sure to see Tommy dancing to the live music on @travelwewill), roasting marshmallows and making s'mores at night,  and our favorite activity of the week--making our own kites and flying them. 

This was really a memorable part of the trip. I joined the girls (and tons of other kids) in making their own kites. The staff was so patient and helpful in showing the kids how to make their kites. Then we went to get Dad and the little brothers to help us fly them. We took them to the beach and they went right up! It was the first time flying a kite for all of our kids and they were amazed. There were families all over the beach and the resort, flying the kites they made. It was beautiful to see so many in the sky at once. It made me realize that we had truly found a special place to spend our family vacation -- a place filled with other families making summer memories right along with us. 

The best part about the kid's club and all of the amazing family activities: they are all included in the stay. Even when the girls got their first caricature drawn -- no extra charge. We honestly can't believe how many activities our family enjoyed while staying at Red Jacket, and everything was included in the price to stay there. This is really key when traveling with a large family. 

If you are thinking of staying at Red Jacket Resorts, I recommend calling their booking agents directly. They are all trained to know about all of the different resorts and what they have to offer. You can tell them how many in your party, the type of room you have in mind, perhaps you want a house, etc. They will be able to help you pick the best spot to stay. The best part... they are all on the same road and you are allowed to visit the different locations. 

For example, one morning we decided to visit the Riviera Beach location (just a mile from our resort). We had breakfast at their neat outdoor spot and then enjoyed a totally different pool. This pool was smaller and perfect for all of the kids. It went from zero entry to a cute little bridge the girls could swim under. Just like at Red Jacket Beach Resort, their private beach was beautiful. There was an awesome little area when you stepped onto the beach filled with sand toys for the kids to borrow. My kids spent the morning playing with new sand toys and then running back to return them and pick out more. This was a lot easier than trekking our own toys to the beach! 

The off season is also a great time to visit Red Jacket Resorts. It's easy to book rooms then, less crowded on the Cape, and the weather is still nice. I'd love to go back in the early fall sometime. I think it would be such a nice relaxing family weekend. 

Red Jacket Resorts was the perfect place for our first family vacation as a family of 6. It was filled with fun and so many memories. As we pulled away, both my husband and I agreed: this is a place we will definitely visit again. 


July 19, 2016

Fun With The Secret Life of Pets Collectibles

If there's two things our entire family loves, they are pets and cereal. So when I saw that General Mills Cereals was coming out with exclusive The Secret Life of Pets character collectibles, I knew they were going to be a breakfast must for us. My girls (and my husband and I) can't wait to see The Secret Life of Pets. We all often joke about what we think our dog Jersey does when we are not home. The kids think the movie is going to give us a better idea of what exactly goes on when we leave the house! 

The Secret Life of Pets is a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day. This summer, in partnership with The Secret Life of Pets, there are boxes of General Mills Big G Cereals that have free character collectibles from the movie. The cereals included are: Honey Nut Cheerios, Cheerios Multi Grain, Lucky Charms, Trix and Cocoa Puffs. 

The collectibles you'll find inside are the pets from the movie: 
- Max the pampered terrier mix
- Duke the massive mutt
- Snowball the leader of the flushed pets
- Buddy the sarcastic dachshund
- Gidget the na├»ve, but gutsy Pomeranian 
- Chloe the fat cat.

The character collectibles are really cute and fun for fans of all ages. The string on them lets you bring your new furry friend with you wherever you go! They'll be really original for backpacks this fall! 

The girls have been playing with their pets all week. While the boys napped, we busted out the paints (it's been a while!) and made some fun little DIY houses for our pets. We used a cardboard fold up house for one and an old shoe box for the other. After painting them, they desired to add a few "finishing touches" like pom pons and a bird. Now it's time to head to the theater to see the movie! 


Disclosure: Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by General Mills via MomTrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of General Mills or Momtrends. 


July 18, 2016

Back to School Trends

It's only July, so it's hard to start thinking back to school, but for the 4th year in a row, I got my first glance at this year's "school style" at the Momtrends Back to School Event. Last week, I spent the night checking out the top styles and trends for back to school. Nicole from Momtrends has a knack for finding Back to School styles that are hip and also helpful for parents. There were tons of great things to check out and you can read their full recap here. 

These are my 5 favorites from the event:

1.  Nalgene
I've been using Nalgene bottles since I was in school. They last forever! Now our favorite water bottle company is making lunch boxes. They are just as sturdy as the water bottles and can be wiped clean easily (or thrown in the dishwasher). The soft case is colorful and can be put in the washing machine. There's also a movable ice pack that helps create "compartments" in the lunch box. 

2.  Joules
I had heard of Joules, but until the Momtrends event, hadn't seen their clothes in person. They are darling! It's a British brand, that offers really unique styles for children of all ages. 

3. Earth's Best for after school snacks 
I've used Earth's Best baby food and toddler snacks for years, but never thought of using their frozen foods for after school snacks. They had a ton of great foods to try at the event, like the Broccoli and Cheese Nuggets and the Baked Chicken Nuggets. These will definitely be in our freezer this school year. 

4. Keen 
We've always really liked Keens for the summer and now they an awesome fall line for Back to School. They have boots, sneakers and other great styles. The whole line looked like they would be really comfortable for kids to wear all day at school and would hold up great for tons of running around outside. 

5. Yoobi
I love when companies give back, especially when they give to children in need. For all of the school supplies Yoobi sells, they match that amount of supplies in donations to kids in need in a classroom in the U.S. The line is bright, cheerful and tons of fun for Back to School. 

Some photos from Momtrends team. 

July 15, 2016

6 Summer Favorites For Kids

We are now almost a month into our summer vacation & I couldn't be happier.  I love having the kids home all day.  Yes, it's exhausting but I love having the freedom to do whatever we want without schedules & commitments to fill our days up.  We kicked off our summer with a ten day trip to the beach.  We spent everyday digging in the sand, playing in the surf, and soaking up the sun.  Once we arrived home, we have pretty much spent every day at the pool.  There's something about our trips at the pool that keep these long summer days full of sanity.  The kids swim their hearts out, delight in their daily ice cream treats, & we get to enjoy some great company with fellow families.  So today, when I am talking about summer favorites, it's pretty obvious that all of my summer favorites so far this year are related to water because that's what we have done:)

Summer Favorites

1.  Sunuva Swimsuits:  Courtney & I have been using Sunuva swimwear with our kids for the past couple years.  Their suits are stylish, fun, and most importantly protective against the sun.   You can be confident that Sunuva offers the best sun protection for your little ones, because all of their swimwear features UPF+50 sun protection.  

Sunuva swimwear ranges in size 6 months to 14 years and there are so many fun prints to be found for boys and girls.  Sunuva swimwear is made to last.  My kids' swimsuits from Sunuva still fit from last year from, and even with plenty of wear and tear from the ocean and pool, the suits are still in excellent condition.  The kids love the fun prints & these swimsuits are really some of the most adorable suits that we own.

2.  Real Kids Sunglasses:  I have to admit that we have gone through a lot of sunglasses over the years.  Trust me, between breaking and losing pairs, we have seen more than enough pairs of sunglasses go through this house!  Today, I'm sharing a new "beach favorite" in our households because we have find a pair of sunglasses for kids that will last!  Real Shades are stylish and made to last. With the bend'em, flex'em, and you can't break'em technology, these sunglasses for kids are virtually unbreakable.  There are many other reasons we love the Real Shades sunglasses for our children:  the adjustable/removable band, 100% UVA/UVB protection, shatterproof lenses, and the wrap around frames.  There are a variety of sizes for children ranging from babies all the way to young adult.  Our crew of children have been wearing these sunglasses for the past month and through all the rough and tumble that our kids have put on these glasses, they are still as good as new!

3.  Sand Toys:  Every year before we head to the beach, we stock up on a new set of beach toys.  These toys get a ton of use not just at the beach, but also when we head back home for trips to the pool and to the park.  This year, we got the beach basket set from American Plastic Toys.  It comes with a variety of molds, small pail, bucket, and sifter lid as well as a bucket to carry all the small toys in.  My kids had a blast at the beach with their new sand toys!

4.  Sprinkler:  As much as we love the beach and the pool, there are always a few days that we just can't make the trip there.  Instead, we take the water fun to the backyard!   This year, the kids are loving the Hydro Swirl Spinning sprinkler.  This fun sprinkler shoots out water just like a regular sprinkler, but also has six wiggle tubes that shoot water in every direction.  The kids have a blast running and jumping through the water!

And for Courtney's tiny beach goers... 

5. Bumkins Swim Diapers: I've tried a lot of swim diapers over the years and this summer, our favorite are Bumkins. Bumkins new reusable swim diapers are durable and waterproof. Also, they keep any diaper contents tightly contained to prevent spills. They come in a range of sizes and a bunch of adorable patterns. There are cute summer patterns plus DC Comics, Dr. Seuss, Disney and more. 

6. Aden + Anais: We seem to use Aden + Anais all day in our house lately - blankets, bibs, at bath time etc. This summer I tried their clothing for the first time and their breathable sleeping bag. Both have been great for keeping Miles comfy and cool. The clothes are made in the same soft, breathable fabric as the swaddles and come in many of the same patterns. The sleeping bag has been wonderful. Miles still is cozy at night, but not too hot. 

Happy Summer!

Friday Favorites: Rockin' Baby

I love discovering new kids' clothing brands & today, I am going to share about one of our new favorites.  This summer, Abby & Andrew have been wearing some new items from Rockin' Baby & they are so adorable.  Every time the kids wear them, someone asks me where the outfit came from because their clothes are cute, unique, & fun for kids.  Not only are the clothes fashionable & cool, but more importantly, Rockin' Baby gives back in a big way.

Rockin' Baby was founded in 2002 to provide stylish baby slings to fashionable moms.  In 2011, Rockin' Baby transformed into a one-for-one philanthropic model, where for every baby sling sold, one would be donated to a mother in need.  As Rockin' Baby has expanded into creating childrenswear, they now partner with non-profit organization around the world to donate slings and kids' clothing to mothers and children: child to child, mother to mother.  

I love when companies find ways to give back to those in need and Rockin' Baby just does that.  Reading this story about how they have impacted those in Haiti is truly amazing   The infant mortality rate in Haiti is the highest mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere due to disease & poor living conditions.  Rockin' Baby wanted to help make a change.  They have donated their slings to give mothers the ability to be hands-free, so they can cook, clean, and tend to their families while keeping their baby close.

As you can see from our pictures in our post, Rockin' Baby creates clothes for kids of all ages.  There are something for the itty-bitty babies, including pouches and slings for their moms.    Their baby & toddler line is cute, comfortable, and perfect for summer days.

There is also clothes for the big kids.  Their clothing line ranges from age 0-10.   Again, the clothes are comfortable and the kids love the fun prints of the outfits.  Rockin' Baby carries a wide range of items, from swimsuits to casual dress clothes so there is something for everyone!  

We hope you take a moment to check out the Rockin' Baby clothing line for summer.  There are lots of bright & cheerful items for kids of all ages!  The clothes are well made and perfect for lots of playing outdoors.  Right now, they have a great summer sale where you can get 40% off all spring and summer.  Happy Shopping!

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