Ava’s Snow Day!

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.

Ava’s Shopping Trip With Nana!

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.

products left to right: Maxim© Preschool Collection 40-Piece ABC Wooden Block Set,Re-play 7-Inch Toddler Divided Plate in Blush,Fisher-Price® Doodle Pro® Super Stamper,Sesame Street® 4-Piece Happy Little Monster Pajama Set in Pink,Sesame Street® Best Friends Fun Long Sleeve Coverall in White/Pink,Bonnie Baby Bunny Romper in Peach,Gerber Graduates Pasta Pick-Ups 6 oz. Turkey & Vegetable Ravioli,Pacidose Medicine Dispenser,Dr. Seuss’ Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? Book,Priddy Books “First 100 Numbers” by Roger Priddy, Disney® 24 oz. Princess Bubble Bath, Babyganics® 6 oz. 50+ SPF Sunscreen Lotion, Munchkin Super Scoop™ Bath Toy Organizer



And here is a pic of my sleepy girl about a minute after we buckled her in the car!

Where is your favorite place to shop for your little one?

6 Tips for Surviving Teething

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!

RaZbaby® Teether

green sprouts® Cool Soothing Ring Teether

Nuby Silicone Teethe-eez Teether with Bristles, Includes Hygienic Case, Pink

 Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys

 Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder, 2 Pack, Blue/Green

2. Binkies for days!

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!

A Letter To My daughter On Her First Birthday

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

Ava’s cake smash photos

Where to get Ava’s dress