Yes! This mama is pregnant with her second baby and Alex and I could not be happier! We have our first doctors appointment on the 26th of March and we will find out exactly how far along we are then, but it should be 8+ weeks.
Call me crazy but I am SO excited to have 2 under 2! I’m so happy they’ll be close in age and get to grow up and learn together. I know Ava is going to be such an amazing and loving big sibling! She already loves feeding her baby doll its bottle and putting it in its stroller and walking it around the house.
We’re so excited to go in and have our first listen to our new baby’s heart beat. I’m so pumped to get to do another nursery and switch Ava’s room around to a big girl room! I can’t wait to show you guys how everything comes out and to keep you guys updated on our new baby journey!
So the other week Alex and I decided that we would both take the day off work to have a spontaneous family day up North in the snow! It was so amazing and I know I didn’t take as many pictures as I should have. I’m trying hard to get better at that but I’m always so busy enjoying my family time that I can hardly ever remember!
I dressed Ava in her cute little Calvin Klein Outfit with her snow boots (that we honestly got just for this occasion whenever it finally happened) and we finally made the 2 hour drive north to Payson! It was so nice to get a quick change of scenery for a few hours and after it snowed in Scottsdale but we were too busy to make even the 30 minute drive I was dying to show Ava the snow!
When we finally got to Payson I found a somewhat empty space to park and Alex carried Ava out into the snow. I want to add that we were super nervous about how she would react because we gave her her first bubble bath the night before and for some reason she was super scared of the bubbles. Well, she responded exactly how we thought she was going to at first.
When he set her down she immediately started crying and gesturing for Alex to pick her back up. He wanted to sit on the bench near us and smoke a cigarette so he handed her to me. So I knelt down with her in my lap and picked up a handful of snow and held it in front of her and once she touched it herself she LOVED it, it was a total 180!
Alex and I let her run around and play and explore the snow while we had our own little snowball fight not too far away. Having the chance to fool around with Alex while we watched Ava explore and have fun with something totally new was such a great feeling. I think its been a long time since we’ve had a family day like this and it was a good reminder of how important it is to make sure to take the time to have these moments and days with my family. Alex and I are both guilty of getting too caught up in work to spend the time mainly with each other.
Last weekend we went out for a shopping trip with my mom all
for Ava and she had the best time! We really only made it through Buy Buy Baby
before Ava ended up passing out. But, we can’t really blame her, we somehow
managed to spend 2 hours in there!
Here are some of the goodies she got! I will place the links
to everything underneath as well.
When I was pregnant with Ava there were a lot of worries
running through my head, as there are with any new parent. However, the one
thing I remember being super scared about was whether or not I could handle when
Ava started teething. I was so scared about one night I was crying and asked my
dad, “What did you and mom do? How did you make it through it?” And he told me
then that “Parenting is just a bunch of phases and you get through it by taking
it one phase at a time. Teething is hard but it’s just another phase.” And
guess what? All that fear, Ava has almost all her teeth, and it has never been
that bad. Honestly. Here are my best tips to surviving teething!
1. Toys, toys, and more toys!
We had so many teething toys for Ava, especially when she
was getting her first few teeth. You want them in a variety of textures because
your baby will like all the different feelings on their gums. You may also want
a few of each because you’ll need to wash them, inevitably you’ll lose some,
and you NEVER want to be without one. These are some of Ava’s favorites!
Binkies will always soothe your baby, teething or not and just like with toys you want multiple. If you are still expecting I would avoid getting too many of one kind until your baby arrives. All binkies are made different by each company and a lot of babies end up having a certain type that they like more than others. So, while you should get a good number of pacifiers you should wait till you know your babies favorite type or it could end up being a waste of money. And if your baby doesn’t have a preference please know how lucky you are! Ava absolutely had to have the Nuk brand. (This info can also be applied to when you buy bottles. All companies make their nipples different as well.)
3. Everything in the freezer!
Toys, binkies, even wet wash cloths! Your baby will love the cold on their gums! This is another reason I do suggest multiple toys and binkies. When first started teething cold binkies were her favorite thing ever. So, we bought about 10 binkies and would constantly rotate binkies when they started to warm up in her mouth. Pull one out of the freezer, exchange the cold one for the warm one, throw the warm one back in the freezer and repeat. Same goes with her toys once she finally learned how to hold them up to her mouth herself.
4. Soothing Gels, and pain medication
Giving Ava medication was something we wanted to refrain from as much as possible, however, no one wants to just watch their baby in pain. So when cold toys didn’t work we would put natural soothing gel on her gums (we liked the Nuby soothing gel with a teether binky) or we would give her infant Tylenol or even a natural kind of pain medicine, whatever you prefer. Sometimes it can be difficult to feed Ava medicine with just a syringe so I also always use the Pacidose Medicine Dispenser which is a pacifier with a whole in the back of it for you to put the syringe in and push the medicine through. Your baby will suck down all the medicine and not even realize! He/she will just think they’re sucking on their binky! It’s such a genius idea! I love that thing so much that I included it on my 9 Products That Helped Me Rock My First Year As A Mom post.
5. It is okay to walk away if you need to
I know, I know. This one may turn a stomach or two but hear me out, if you are feeling overwhelmed your baby can definitely tell and they will also get stressed out and no one will feel any better. So, if it gets to a point where you feel like you need a break put your baby in their swing where they’re nice and safe and as comfortable as possible and leave the room for 5-15 minutes. There is nothing wrong with needing to take a few minutes to collect your thoughts! We have no problem doing it at work, well HELLO, parenting is a 24/7 job and yes, it is overwhelming at times! Taking a few minutes to yourself to take deep breaths and think about what you’re going to try next is a great thing to do. Lower your heart rate, clear your mind, and try again. Just like anything else you’re trying to accomplish. When you come in calmer than you walked out that alone will settle your baby down just a little.
6. If you are overwhelmed ask for help
There is nothing wrong with needing help. I know it’s hard
as a parent to want to ask for help, for whatever reason we want to be the
answer to all our kid’s problems but sometimes that’s not the case. Sometimes
we need help and its nothing to be ashamed of. Let your partner know you need
help, call in the grandparents, or even call a friend who has
been-there-done-that! When it comes to any part of raising you baby, asking for
help may be the best thing you can do. Trust me! When they say, “It takes a
village to raise a child,” they are not kidding! Never underestimate the power
of a parent tribe!
I hope that this article has served its purpose and all you
parents out there reading find it a little helpful. If you have any tips of
your own that you think will be helpful to any other moms and dads reading
please drop your advice in the comments below!
Hey everyone! Excited to FINALLY have this top baby products post up for you! Since Ava has turned one year old I’ve been thinking a lot about what products really helped me get through my first year as a mom with as little stress as possible! I can’t believe all the great stuff they have out these days for babies. I have put together a list of these products to give you guys ideas of what awesome products are out there and different uses they may have to make your life as a mom a little easier like they did for me!
This swing was everything until Ava hit 4 months and started sitting up on her own. I actually didn’t even have any kind of swing on my baby registry and this was a gift that my mom’s friend happened to pick up for us (Shout out to Sylvia for real though because this was our most used item of Ava’s first year.) We were actually super afraid of Ava sleeping in her crib, in our bed, or even in a bassinet. We had a choking scare her first night when we were still at the hospital and from then I was petrified of her laying flat. The first two nights at home I tortured myself by keeping my eye on her all night and not getting any sleep but then my mom told me that she used to have us sleep in our swings sometimes. At this point Ava was sleeping in her bassinet and spending the day on her play mat, on her boppy, or in my arms so I gave our 4Moms swing its first try. Ava fell right to sleep and guess what, I finally did too! Haha! So needless to say that is where I had her sleeping every day for her first 4 months. This swing came with so many awesome features, for starters you can easily adjust the angle you have your baby laying at so you can have them laying flat, nearly upright, or anywhere in beyween! There are 5 different motions that the swing can move you baby in and you can change the speed of each motion as well. Car motion setting on speed 2 was Ava’s favorite and had her falling asleep instantly when I turned it on. It also has a variety of soothing noises that you can play for you baby and you can adjust the volume on it as well, not only that but you can actually hook the swing up to your bluetooth and play any lullaby you’d like! Aside from those sweet features my favorite thing about this swing was how it wasn’t as big as most other swings. See we lived in a two story 950 square foot condo when Ava was first born and didn’t have much room in the first place. This swing didn’t take up much space and was also so easy to move around. We had a very narrow stairway at our house and I had no problem taking this thing up stairs, down stairs, and from bed room to bedroom. It was everything I didn’t know I needed.
One of my most used products my first year as a mom was definitely Ava’s Pack N Play. I didn’t use it much at home until we were ready to have her stop sleeping in her swing but still wanted her in our room. So between months 4 and 6 or 7 we had her sleeping in it at night as well. It is very easy to fold up and put away and also to pack up and take out and about with you. You can take it on a road trip, out for a picnic, endless possibilities! The first few months my parents really helped out by allowing Ava and I to come over during the day or even spend the night sometimes and whenever that happened we had Ava sleep in her Pack N Play then as well. I definitely don’t know what I would have done had we not gotten the Pack N Play for Ava.
So after Ava’s first 4 teeth came in we started giving her real foods one at a time. I would make her chicken, cooked veggies, pretty much anything. Once the doctor says you’re clear to feed your baby things other than pureed baby food you immediately look for what new things to feed them. I personally LOVE cooking for Ava. I think its’ so much fun (plus I may as well get her used to my horrible cooking early! Haha!) but I don’t always have the time to cook her mini meals. I used to do packaged frozen vegetables and separate the for the week so that all I had to do was throw those in the microwave but still had to make sure I had chicken cooked and everything else I wanted to feed her. Well, then I discovered KidFresh Foods and it made things so much easier for me! KidFresh Foods sells frozen fish sticks, spaghetti rings, mac and cheese, meat balls, and chicken nuggets but they make sure to incorporate veggies into the recipes for each item and use the healthiest ingredients for you little one, absolutely no GMOs! It’s a perfect, worry free, fast meal when I am too busy or too tired to make Ava something myself. It is as healthy as if you cooked it and more convenient than a drive thru! 30 seconds in the microwave and your little one’s food is all prepped and ready to go! I included a link directly to their page instead of any one product so that you guys could see what foods they make and who their vendors are!
Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer is a product that I used every single day. I recommend this bottle warmer over other ones because it is SO easy to use. Everything is shown on its little timer in the front and the warmer comes with a little sheet that tells you if your bottle has x ounces you need to put it in the warmer for x minutes. My mom had the Avent bottle warmer which had a knob and neither of us could really tell what it was doing or if it was even working, she may have just gotten a broken one delivered but after we tried it out she also ordered the Dr. Brown’s to have at her house instead because it was that much easier compared to her last one. Bottle warmers are important because when you feed your baby milk that isn’t warmed up to body temperature it makes them colic-y which makes them gassy and it makes their stomachs hurt a lot, they’ll spit up/throw up and it is horrible to watch your newborn baby go through. I would recommend getting any bottle warmer even if you don’t choose this one because heating up a bottle over the takes a while and you’ll have to keep washing whatever pot you put the bottle in, putting it under the sink also takes a long time, and putting your baby’s bottle in the microwave is just so bad for their health on so many levels. Between convenience and the fact that as long as you keep your bottle clean it’s also healthier for your baby, I think personally that this is an investment worth making.
There are sooo many diaper bags to choose from. Everyone has their style preferences which is somewhat important, but for me I was trying to find something that could hold as much as possible and at the same time as budget friendly as possible. I saw so many diaper bags that were over $100 and I couldn’t believe it! And I’m not going to tell you guys not to get these nice diaper bags if you want them, but I will caution you to think about the fact that milk, and baby food, and even sometimes pee will be getting all over this bag so being practical will always be a good choice here. The diaper bag that I had purchased when I had Ava was the Sunveno backpack diaper bag and I love it so so much. The fullest I ever had this diaper bag was actually when I packed it to give birth to Ava. I do not know what I was thinking but here is what I had in it. I had
A pack of wipes
One take home outfit
3 plane white onesies
2 knit caps
2 swaddle blankets
1 fluffy blanket
3 pairs of socks
A stuffed bear
(By the way. You don’t need all those things packed for your hospital stay. Post to come!) Luckily, because my diaper bag was back pack style it was super easy to carry regardless of how full it was! The bag itself is also so lightweight! This diaper bag has 3 pockets in the front that will actually keep your milk nice and cool so it doesn’t go bad while you’re out and about. It’s got lots of pockets for extra storage, holds your water bottles on either side of the bag, and basically you can fit everything you need for mom, dad, and baby in this bag no problems.
I loved the baby boppy! Whoever created this little pillow was a genius! It is perfect for everything! It was great for Ava’s first 3-4 months before she learned to crawl. It is yet another good napping spot for babies. I would keep Ava in the center of our rug in the middle of the living room. I could do dishes and peak over and watch her either napping or watching baby first TV, or when I was also ready for a quick nap time I would cuddle up right next to her and nap with her. One of the best things about the boppy, to me, was that it was also perfect for tummy time! I feel like playing with Ava while she was on the boppy and constantly having her on her belly on it is what helped her build the strength to hold her head up so fast. There are so many different tummy time activities that you can do on the boppy! I was constantly on Pinterest looking for new ways for Ava and I to play! Hopefully sometime within the month I can put out a new blog post for tummy time activities to do with your baby on their boppy. There is one last thing about the boppy that I know a lot of you will love, and that is that they make a boppy specifically for breastfeeding! It is supposed to help moms get their babies laying in the perfect breastfeeding position with almost no effort at all! Unfortunately, I cannot tell you guys my personal experience with this because I was not able to breastfeed my daughter. However, I did get one for a friend for her a baby shower and even now that her son is 9 months old she still uses her boppy to breastfeed.
So this next product I actually saw one night on shark tank while I was pregnant and it was such a simple idea but SO helpful. All it is is a pacifier with a hole in the back of it that a syringe fits through so that you can get your baby to take their medicine with little to no fussing. I didn’t initially have much need for it because Ava has only gotten sick once and it was right after the new year. However, she started teething at about 4 months and has not stopped yet. She only has four more teeth to go so my poor girl is in pain quite often! Some babies are okay with taking medicine and don’t mind it very much, but Ava was NOT one of those babies. She did not want the syringe in her mouth, she spit out whatever we finally got to go in her mouth, it was terrible. However, I only went through two nights of fighting her to take the Tylenol before I finally went to Buy Buy Baby to pick one up! And of course, the next night she was in pain with her teeth and needed a little dose of Tylenol it was SO MUCH easier to get her to take it. She didn’t even notice she was taking it! She just thought she was sucking on a regular pacifier! I personally would recommend just going ahead and getting one before your baby needs medicine. It will be much easier to just have it on hand rather than to wrestle your baby to get him/her to take it, so they can feel better
Okay so this baby fence is something I bought when we finally moved into our new house in August and oh my gosh do I wish I had just gotten it in May when she started crawling! It is so easy to put together and you can choose how many panels you get with it which determines the size of the fence, I got the 18 panel and there was PLENTY of room for Ava to play with all her toys. She was so content crawling back and forth in it and it is actually where she learned to walk. Alex and I would stand on opposite side of the fence and one of us would help her stand while the other one called her to come to them. It wasn’t as nerve racking because she knew to grab the fence if she was about to fall. It was also so nice to have her in one designated spot where I knew what was in that area and knew that she couldn’t get out. It made doing work around the house and working from home so SO much easier and there was so much less pressure on my shoulders too! Obviously you can get this product as soon as you’d like but I personally don’t see the need until they start moving around.
I definitely feel like you can’t make a list anywhere along the lines of “What you need your baby’s first year” without making sure you have a Diaper Genie on that list! I had 6 friend and 2 cousins have baby’s in the last 2 years and not one of them went without a Diaper Genie in their home! Diaper Genies have been around for forever, your mom probably had one when she had you and your grandma probably had one when she had her! A Diaper Genie is basically a trash bin specifically made for diapers and trapping in the stink. This came especially handy when we lived in our little condo. There was no way in hell that I would have ever wanted to wake up at 3 AM for Ava’s feeding and changing, finish the obvious duties, put her diaper in an old plastic grocery bag, run downstairs, put on my shoes and jacket, take a walk to the dumpster, toss the hot mess, walk back and then crawl into bed every single night so that my house wouldn’t stink up overnight. I can honestly feel exhaustion kicking in just thinking about that being my routine for a year! So yes, this is an absolute must have for all new parents! Even if you live in your own house I’m sure you don’t want to run to your trash bin outside every night. You will want to sleep! Convenience is the main reason everyone needs this product, and when you are a first-time mom, you will want ALL the convenience you can get!
Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below and I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.
Oh, my sweet Ava, I can’t believe today you are one year old. I can’t believe that every day for the last year I have gotten the pleasure of being your mother and get to love you and be loved by you. I don’t think there will be a time where I can explain just how much of an impact you have had on my life the last year and a half since I found out I was pregnant with you, but I am going to try.
I still remember the day I had you. Every single minute of that day. I remember being at the hospital in a patient room and having contractions and listening to your dad tell me I probably wasn’t going to go into labor that day and me getting ready to choke him because I was not about to have that vibe in my life that day because I was so ready for you to come out! Haha! (I should let you know I had labor contractions just about every day for my last two weeks of pregnancy. It was GREAT) Anyway, I remember going to the bathroom while your dad went to get a snack and walking back into my room and all of a sudden there was a giant puddle between my legs. Your Great Grandma Angie (Or OG Angie as we have called her all year) was the only person in the room with me and I started sobbing and when your OG finally realized what was going on she asked me if I was crying because I was scared, and I started to cry harder and told her “No, I’m just so happy. I finally get to meet my daughter!” (Here I am tearing up as I type this out.. Go figure) While the pregnancy was relatively hard, after my water broke it was an hour and a half of smooth sailing, 3 pushes and there you were. You were the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen in my life (You still are more beautiful each and every day.) and your first cry was the most heart-warming thing to me. I know that sounds bad as you’re reading this, but I knew you were healthy and that cry meant every bit of love I was building up inside my body was finally in my arms and these arms had never held anything more precious than you. I love your dad so much, but I know nothing will ever compare to the love I felt the second I got to hold you. I could go on and on about the rest of your birth day, I just have so much more to say and I know when you’re 18 and read this letter, I’ll already have told you a million times about it so I’ll move on.
Over the last year I have gotten to see your grow and learn and I have so many beautiful memories that, today, I can remember so vividly and I hope they never fade. The first time you gave a real smile, the first time you tried applesauce and you thought it was THE BEST THING in the world, and how mama was your first word and that was all you said for three months and I felt so bad for your poor dad that I constantly said dada while he wasn’t around so you would learn and surprise him by saying it. I currently regret it because now dada is all you say! Well, you did recently learn “bye” and you say it in the cutest little voice and somehow put so much sass behind it! I hope I never forget the way your voice sounds this first year, I hope I never forget the way it feels to be able to rock you to sleep in my arms, I hope I never forget the way that you look at me like I am the light of your life. Honestly, I hope the last one never goes away… I wish I could put life on pause for forever and take in every bit of the way you are now for all eternity. But I know that there are so many amazing things to come in your life and that there are so many amazing things that you are going to be between now and when you turn 18 and so many more after that. You are already so smart and strong, and you are such a bright light to everyone you come in contact with. I know you are destined to do great things. I pray to god every day that every decision I make is the right one for you and that I can do right by you every day for the rest of my life.
There are so many things I can’t wait to watch you do. I can’t wait for you to find where your passion is and indulge yourself in it. I can’t wait for you to travel the world and tell me about every adventure. I can’t wait for you to find true peace within yourself and watch you glow like the beautiful woman I know you will become. I can’t wait for you to find true, patient, and kind love and have your happily ever after. I know life isn’t always easy baby, and heartbreak is inevitable but I want you to know that you are strong enough to conquer any trials you face and brave enough to never let anything stop you on your pursuit to achieve whatever you want. Even in your first year alone your personality and qualities have started to shine through so much and I am in love with every bit of you.
You have made me the kind of woman I never thought I had the ability to be. You have made me stronger, braver, kinder, you’ve given me more sense, you’ve made me stop and think about what things I really want to accomplish in my life. You have gotten me through the hardest year of my life, I truly believe if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t be here. You came into my life to be my will to wake up in the morning and keep fighting, to be my reason why each and every day. I am only as good as I am because you were born and I will dedicate my life to making sure that I am able to give you anything and everything you need. I love you so much Ava baby and want you to know how much I love you and how proud I am to be your mother. And God forbid if anything should happen to me I want you to know that I will always be proud of you no matter what, and that I will watch over you every day to help light your path and make sure you feel the love and support you need. I live for you, I would die for you, and I will spend all eternity loving you. Happy birthday baby! I can’t wait to spend many more happy, beautiful years with you!