October 08, 2010

Ava Marie - 7 Months Old!

Happy 7 Months Ava Marie!!

The months just keep flying by and Ava is growing and developing so fast now I can barely keep up with her :) Here are some of the things Ava has been up to lately:

** I have some more pictures I'll try and put up soon... these are just a few of the ones from the last couple of weeks! I love the ones of her Dan having fun at the beach!

  • She is crawling (FAST!)
  • Loves to explore anything and everything she can get her sweet little hands on
  • Can pull herself to her knees and even to her feet now
  • Sadly enough was sick for the first time a few days ago with some sort of stomach virus :( it was so sad and a little scary for us (well mostly me hehe her Dad was very good about the whole thing) but she's feeling much better now (thanks to God for watching over her and helping her to get better so quickly!)
  • Loves spending as much time as possible outside
  • Enjoys playing with our pups Rico and Marley (she gets SO excited when she sees them, it's really cute)
  • Has fun meeting other kiddos at our Mommies Group at church
  • Trying out different solid tried foods (she just tried some little cereal puffs this week and also some small chunks of banana. She's getting very good at mushing the food up all on her own.)
  • Moved from using her Bumbo at breakfast and dinner time to a highchair!
  • Crawls over to her Dad and I to say "hi" and crawl on us and even give us kisses sometimes :) This makes my heart melt...
  • Is fascinated by blinds and the chords that pull them up
  • Is a tricky one when it comes to changing her diapers and getting her dressed these days... she is wild and tries to roll everywhere!
  • We've started using the word "no" more and more these days and she's starting to understand what it means I think... sometimes she does great and stops what she's doing and other times she will stop, give me a sneaky but sweet little smile and after a few seconds she will proceed with attempting to do what she was doing when I told her "no. Then I repeat the process hehe quite the adventure this is going to be! But Dan and I read in Proverbs this morning that "Those who love their children care enough to discipline them." Proverbs 13:24. I love this passage and I'm sure this is one of the passages Dan and I will come back to again and again as Ava is growing up.
  • She has started to wake up at night occasionally... no pattern to it all really. I usually feed her and she'll go right back to sleep. I think it's just a stage she's going through ... she's learning and growing so much and I think she even wakes up to practice her crawling, rolling and standing sometimes, she's a funny girl!
  • As I posted before she has both of her top two teeth coming in now :) It's been pretty painless it seems like and it hasn't seemed to bother her much at all (thanks again to God!).
  • She loves "talking" when she meets new people or sees something that she's excited about. This often times is a high pitched screech or a scream... I think the screeches are so cute that she makes! I always call her a little birdie since that's kind of what she sounds like!
  • When she thinks she likes to tap her little left foot or scratch her fingernails in a grabbing motion on a surface... preferably on something that makes an interesting noise when she does it. I love when she does this!
  • She has a new game she loves... playing on her Daddy's back while he lays on his stomach. She pounds her little hand on his back and it makes fun noises! She also enjoys playing with his hair and ears.
  • She is growing great and is 17 pounds now and 26 inches long... big girl!
  • At her last doctors appointment they found a faint heart murmur that they will be checking again in a month and a half or so (if you guys could pray over Ava for this we would appreciate it :) )
  • Ava has been really good with people she doesn't know as long as she has a chance to warm up to them which has been very exciting... she's had fun getting used to new people when we go to the Mommies Group at church. She is fearless in approaching the other Moms and hanging out with the other kids. It's fun to watch her play and seeing how she interacts with others for the first time.. I've never really seen this side of her before since she doesn't have any other kids we know to play with. She is very assertive and isn't afraid to jump right in and play with the other kids which is great :) Just have to watch out and make sure she doesn't steal toys other kids are playing with or that she isn't too rough... still getting used to these things :)
These are some of the biggest things going on with Ava right now! We love you Ava and it is a joy and a HUGE blessing to have the privilege of not only being your mother but to be able to spend each day with you, share experiences with you, help you learn and watch you learn and explore on your own (I love when I can see those wheels in your head turning :) ) and above all just having the chance to love you :)

Have a great weekend everyone and Happy Fall!

Love <3.

Ash, Dan and Ava

September 27, 2010

Ava's First Tooth!

Hey Everyone!

Just wanted to write a quick post that Ava started to get her first tooth in yesterday! I can't believe how fast she is growing and changing each day! She doesn't seem to be in too much pain from it at this point but we'll see how the rest of this week goes. I hope it continues to be relatively pain free for her! Ava also got to go on her second trip to the beach over the weekend :) She loved actually getting to play in the ocean this time. She got a kick out of the waves, playing in the sand and the breeze. It was a great trip and I will put pictures up soon! She also has her 6 (almost 7) month appointment this week so we'll get to find out her exact weight. I'm guessing it'll be somewhere between 17 and 18 lbs... she's a growing girl that's for sure :)

In other news... Dan and I found a sewing machine that we purchased a few weeks ago and I am going to begin learning how to sew today! Just got the thread all set in the machine last night and now it's ready to go. I am SO excited about the few projects I have lined up so far. I can't wait to get started!! Eventually I'd also like to make a few pillowcase dresses for Ava... but we'll see how these first few projects go :)

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Live in Light <3


September 16, 2010

Ava Marie - 6 Months Old (a little late)!

Sweet girl :)

Ava hanging out in her gift box that Grandma and Grandpa sent... she decided that the box was as fun as the presents that came inside of it!

Big girl practicing her standing with Grandpa... and playing with her Chick Fil A cow :)

Grandpa and Ava

Hanging out with Grandpa and Grandma after the race... she seems to be asking "Mom... what on earth is going on here... these people are crazy!"

Ava learning how to drink out of her sippy cup... she really just likes to chew on it :)

Ava and Dad relaxing on the grass after one of our long Saturday runs!

My crazy girl :) She gets so wild during diaper changing time! Quite the sight that's for sure!

Ava cooling down after an afternoon workout with Mom... a wet paper towel on her head always does the trick!

Beautiful girl showing off her crawling skills!

Too cute! I love that look on her face!
Hey Everyone!

Ava Marie is now over half a year old! How did this happen so fast? I always joke with Ava and ask her "where did my baby go? ... there's no baby here, there's only a big girl here!" And it's so true. She is growing and changing so fast now I can hardly believe it! She can crawl anywhere she feels like going now and once she sets her little eyes on something she'd like to play with she can get there in no time at all. This is fun to watch but can also be tricky because leaving her alone in the living room is no longer a safe option. She definitely keeps me on my toes :) She is constantly on the move when she's not eating or sleeping... once she's done eating she is ready to get down and play. Her favorite things to do right now are to explore by crawling, jumping in her jumperoo and being outside in her jogging stroller. She makes some of the funniest/cutest noises these days... my favorite are the dramatic coughing noises she makes when she gets excited about going to get something she sees that she really likes (a lot of times she makes this noise when she's going to get sometime she's not supposed to be playing with hehe such a character!) and the high pitched squeals she makes when she gets excited! She likes to play with her feet, stick her tongue out to the side when she smiles, blow bubbles when she talks sometimes and lots of other things but those are some of the newest things that she enjoys doing. She just seems so much older now... and the weird thing is I feel like it happened over night! When I watch her facial expressions and her reactions to things they just seem so grown up now compared to before. You can tell she understands so much of what's going on and is absorbing every thing that's going on around her! She's been quite the explorer like I said in the beginning of the post and has been doing some funny things... the other morning Dan and I were eating breakfast and over the baby monitor we heard this weird scratching noise... I could not imagine what the noise could be so I hurried in to Ava's room to make sure she was ok... and there she was... hand underneath the bumper, sticking out the side of the crib, holding onto the baby monitor by the chord and pulling it around like a toy! It was funny enough to see her little hand sticking out the side of the crib but even funnier to see her grabbing at the baby monitor like a toy... Dan and I couldn't stop laughing! And now in the afternoons when she wakes up from her naps I almost always walk into her room and find her pulling down her bumper peeking her little head over the top of it and through the rails to see if I'm coming to get her yet :) I always think this is so cute. And the second I walk into her room and she realizes I'm coming to get her a huge smile comes across her face and she'll usually stick her little tongue out the side of her mouth and start squealing :) This makes me so happy! I love seeing her when she first wakes up! Ava also completed her first 10k this past weekend... she was such a trooper and almost slept the entire race :) And of course had fun after the race hanging out with Grandpa, Grandma and Uncle Yost! We love you Ava Marie... you are such a blessing sweet baby girl and we can't imagine what our lives would be like without you... you bring so much joy, laughter and God has taught us so much through you in the short time that you've been here :) You are so beautiful, sweet, adventurous and funny... and we love you SO much! Till next month hope you guys all have a great rest of your September... Fall is almost here :) That means it's almost pumpkin time... you know what that means : pumpkin spice doughnuts, chocolate chip pumpkin cookies and lots of other pumpkin treats :) And of course the beautiful leaves changing colors, giving thanks for everything God has blessed us with and spending quality time with family! Fall is definitely my favorite season and we're looking forward to spending this one with Ava!

<3 Ash

August 18, 2010

Ava Marie - 5 Months

Hey Everyone!!

I am a little late on the 5 month post but better late than never, right :) There's lots going on these days with Ava and our little family! The biggest news of all is... Ava's CRAWLING... can you believe it?! Here are a few pictures of our sweet girl...

Our family :)

My family with Ava!

Daddy and Ava ready to go for a swim at the pool! Love that smile!

This is during her backwards crawling phase that lasted a few weeks. She thought it was so much fun to scoot her little booty under the coffee table and hang out under there. We call it her cave. Such a cutie!

In the Ava cave!

Cutie patootie having some cereal and bananas, YUM!

Probably the funniest picture I have of Ava :) Quite the expression huh? It's like she's saying "what are you lookin; at?". This was during her first green bean experience... she loves them!

Ava with her Uncle Connor, they had so much fun during his visit! She loves when he quotes the movie Despicable Me... "It's SO fluffy!"

Ava practicing her crawling :) So proud of her! She started crawling at exactly 5 months and hasn't slowed down... she goes further and further everyday. She has also become quite adept at rolling which is fun to see her do!

This has been a busy month so far with Dan starting language school - he's learning Pashto which is a kind of Arabic. Ava and I have been keeping busy and having lots of fun at home going for runs in the morning (Ava likes to nap while I run), crawling, trying new foods (peaches, pear, green beans and watermelon), rolling around, learning how to drink out of a cup, swimming on the weekends, reading books, jumping in her jumperoo, standing while holding onto the couch, chewing on all sorts of things and lots of other things... she keeps me on my toes that's for sure and I love every minute of it :) It has been so much fun to see her personality really shine through these last couple of weeks. Ava no longer likes to be held or snuggled for any longer than is necessary. She would much rather be on her own... quite the little miss independent she is :) She loves exploring the world around her and is very interested in everything she sees. She is VERY excited about food... especially whatever Mom and Dad are eating hehe she will lean towards our food or drink and try to grab for it. If you're drinking she will also hold the bottom of the glass and tip it into your mouth for you :) She is very helpful! She has really gotten the hang of crawling and reaching for objects. It is so much fun seeing her grow and change every single day... she is changing so fast though I can hardly believe it! I always ask her "where did my baby go?" and I'm serious she doesn't seem like a baby to me anymore. She seems so grown up and full of ideas already and she's only 5 months old... so amazing and a little scary all at the same time :) I am excited for the day, months and years to come though... we are so proud of Ava already and can't wait to see what God has in store for her life... it's going to be great :) Hope you all are doing great and I will try to do another update before another month flies by! Off to have some brownies and ice cream with Dan :)

<3 Ash, Dan and Ava

July 13, 2010

1 year ago - July 14th 2009

A year ago tomorrow we found out that we were expecting our very first baby :)

I can not believe that it was a year ago already! That was such a special, exciting and unbelievable moment when we found out. I remember waiting for the test to read the results... I had my eyes covered I was so excited and all of sudden Dan grabbed the test from the counter and hid it behind his back with a huge smile on his face and we both just started laughing, smiling and hugging each other... I don't think he believed his eyes at first! How time flies though... Ava has been developing for over a year now and has grown into quite the sweet little character and is so full of personality :) It is so much fun to see her grow and learn every single day! I could not imagine what our lives would be like without her and we are SO glad she's here (on the outside of my belly) for us to hug, kiss on and love... we love Ava Marie!

July 10, 2010

Ava Marie - 4 Months Old!

Wow... I can hardly believe it but our little girl is already four months old!!! Here are a few of the most recent pictures of Ava

Ava Marie on Fourth of July weekend - hanging out with Dad outside. She's about to tell us all about it... just look at that face!

Ava Marie - Fourth of July 2010

I love this picture of Ava SO much! It just shows so much of her personality... she is the sweetest, most patient baby I have ever met and we are so blessed to have her in our lives!

Ava and her Daddy having fun together on her changing table :) She sure loves that Daddy of hers (I can't blame her, I love him lots too!).

Ava sleeping on Daddy's chest at church on the Fourth of July

Mama and Ava before church

Ava tries her first official solid food - BANANAS!

They were a pretty huge success :)

Me and Ava after having her yummy banana mush!

As you can see it's been an eventful month for us :) She had a lot of fun on her first fourth of July weekend. We tried to several fun family outing which didn't really work out so well but that's ok cause I had a great weekend just spending time with Dan and Ava even if we didn't make it to the places we planned to go. On the 3rd we went to a little arcade, batting cage place near our house which was a lot fun and brought back a lot fo childhood memories for both of us and Dan discovered that he stills has it when it comes to baseball :) I hope he starts playing on team soon... it's was a lot of fun seeing him in the batting cages and I would love to see him actually get to play. It just makes him so happy! Then when we came home we decided it was time to give Ava her first solid - bananas! She loved them and did a great job right off the bat of swallowing. Since then we have also tried sweet potatoes and also sweet potato and banana mixed together. We've decided that we're going to try our hand at making all of Ava's baby food which I am REALLY excited about and have been having a lot of fun with it already. We went to the Reilly Rd. Farmer's Market the other day to check out their produce for baby food - they have really great prices and a lot of their stuff is locally grown :) Then on the fourth we spent the day relaxing and went to see the fireworks on base at night. Ava enjoyed watching them from the car... she loved the bright colors and wasn't scared of the noise at all which i was a little surprised about. The July Fourth weekend was a lot of fun! Since then we've just been spending our days hanging out around the house, having lunch and visiting with some really great friends and today my friend from high school (Chelsa :) ) came to visit. Ava has been working hard on her rolling over and is almost getting it. She also loves to practice her crawling. She has the most beautiful gummy smile that can melt our hearts in second. She's been working on flexing the vocal chords and has been trying all kinds of different sounds out the last couple of days. She enjoys sucking on her thumb as of this week much more than her pacifier. The breastfeeding is going great and it gets easier and easier everyday. We love spending time with Ava and we are so proud of her for everything she learns and accomplishes every single day! Looking forward to all of the fun milestones coming up but also trying to enjoy every single moment and make each one count!

June 23, 2010

Update - Ava's Almost 4 Months Old!

Hey Everyone!
Wow I can't believe how fast time is flying by... it's been a month since the last time I posted :( Well lots of exciting things have happened so lots to share. I will try to make it short and sweet though!

Just took this picture this morning of our sweet girl :)

First of all I would just like to say a BIG CONGRATS to Mike and Sam on the birth of their baby boy Dean Michael - he was born on June 9th and I was lucky enough to be present at Dean's birth! Sam did such an great job and I'm so glad I was able to be there to see Dean's arrival into this world. Welcome baby Dean, you are such a handsome boy and we can't wait to see you grow over the coming months!

Dean and Ava's first time meeting each other... they were pretty hilarious together :)

As for other exciting news from this past month:

  • Ava met her great grandparents for the first time - they drove all the way to North Carolina from Arizona! They also brought along my old rocking horse for her to have.... I am so thankful that they kept it for me all of these years so Ava can have it :)

  • We took a trip to Maryland for my little brother's graduation from high school. While we were there Ava got to participate in her first 5k race! Her Dad pushed her in the jogging stroller and she had a great time! Ava also went swimming for the first time while we were in Maryland. She seemed to love the water and enjoyed bobbing up and down and kicking her legs while swimming on her belly. Excited to do more of this sometime soon! She had a great time getting to see her grandparents and her uncle Connor again too... she really enjoyed spending time with Grandpa Troy watching Madagascar and sleeping in his lap.
  • When we got home from Maryland Ava started sleeping in her big girl crib for naps and at night time. She has slept through the night still without any problem... we are so proud of her!! We bought an AngelCare Baby Monitor that we love. It monitors her breathing, movement and sound. It really does help me sleep better at night knowing that she's ok and if she does stop moving for more than 20 seconds the alarm goes off till we go turn it off. So happy we bought the monitor... it definitely gives us peace of mind. She seems to love sleeping in her crib and also enjoys scooting her cute little booty around while she sleeps too! Every morning when I go to check on her I find her on the opposite end of the crib where she started and usually against the right hand side. She can definitely scoot herself around that's for sure!
  • About 2 weeks ago or so we started breastfeeding again!!! I was very nervous for a long time about trying again because it seemed to have gone so horribly wrong in the beginning but Ava is a champ and she has done such a great job with it from the very first day we tried again. My milk has started to increase quite a bit which I am so excited about and I don't have to pump at all for now on most days. Once I am able to make enough milk for each feeding so that we don't have to use any formula I will most likely start to pump again to have extra but for now I am just trying to have as much milk at each feeding as I can to help keep Ava motivated. Once again I am so so so proud of her for how resilient she is and well she adapts to change.
  • Ava has grown quite a bit over the last month as well... I am not 100% sure about her weight but I am almost positive it's somewhere between 14-15 lbs. She has also started to do many new things such as reaching out for things (to include hair, excess skin, lips, chins, toys and blankets) my favorite is when she holds onto her little snuggle blanket that's a bear with a blanket attached while she's sleeping... it's so cute. She has quite the grip and these grabs can really hurt sometimes... but it's too cute to care much about the pain. She really enjoys sitting on her own pretty much anywhere you put her but especially on the couch, in her bumbo at the kitchen table or watching us make food in the kitchen. She finds lots of things interesting now that she didn't care much about before... especially candles, the dogs, t.v., patterns, etc. She has also started following us around as we go in and out of the room which is really fun to see. She smiles a lot during the day and also will "talk" with us anytime that we engage her... these moments are so much fun! Her little gummy smile melts our hearts every single time :) She has also just started the last couple of days being able to hold her bottle on her own which she loves to do. She finds her hands very interesting and you can find them in her mouth most of the time. There are lots of other things but those are some of the newest things that Ava's been up to lately.
  • We got to celebrate Dan's first Father's Day :) We made lots of yummy food and heard a great message at church. Ava also gave her Dad a picture frame with a picture of them together and then next to it her hand and foot prints done in ceramic. We had fun making it for him! It was a great day and I'm so glad the three of us got to spend it together.
That's all the news for now! Hope you all are doing well and I hope to do a post sooner than a month from now :) Talk to you all soon!

Love <3


May 24, 2010

Ava's almost 3 months old!

Hey Everyone!

Sorry it's been so long since my last post... things have been busy but fun around here :) I can't believe how the time has flown by. It flew so fast that I missed doing a 2 month post for Ava and now it's almost time for her 3 month one - so I decided to combine the two in this post! Here is one of the most recent pictures of our Ava bean (this was taken on her very first trip outside of Fayetteville which also happened to be her very first trip to the beach!) ...
Dan and Ava Carolina Beach, NC - May 2010
I love this picture of these two!

Ava waking up from a nap at the beach!

Exciting things that happened in Ava's 2nd Month:

  • She rolled over for the very first time just a few days ago on May 19th!! She has done it 2 more times since then!
  • She has started to reach and grab for things that are near her. (She's been doing this with her play mat for a while but now she's starting to grab for the toys hanging from her car seat and while we were eating lunch yesterday she actually was grabbing onto the edge of her carseat and pushing it so that it rocked back and forth - so much fun to watch!)
  • She has started to focus her eyes on things that are close to her that she finds interesting such as pillows, patterned fabric, toys, etc.
  • Out of the blue one day she started "talking"... well no words yet but lots of squeals and ohhhs and ahhs.
  • She loves whistling... the louder the better!
  • She is still sleeping through the night from 10:30 PM or so till somewhere between 7 and 9 am (she's still asleep as I'm writing this entry!) she amazes me every night that she does this!
  • She got to meet her Aunt Meg for the first time and had so much fun with her
  • She went to the beach for the very first time and LOVED it! The things she seemed to enjoy the most were the wind down by the water (it would take her breath away and make her giggle :) ) and the sound of the ocean (this put her to sleep many a time).
  • She has enjoyed a couple of rides in her jogging stroller that her Grandma and Grandpa bought for us... Dan and I like to do laps in front of our house with her in it!
  • She noticed the moon for the first time the other night when we were cheering her Dad on during his workout.
  • She loves the song Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and it calms her down in a heart beat most of the time if she is upset... especially on that car ride from here to the beach.
  • She does not nap as much as she used to but that's no big deal considering how much she sleeps at night and it's actually exciting because it gives us more play time together.
  • After she is done eating she is ready to be "Miss Independent" as we like to call her :) She enjoys either being held in front of us so that she can look all around her, put down on the floor to play with her play mat or to look at the fan, or put onto one of our chests so that she can practice her crawling.
  • She LOVES LOVES LOVES to look at fans! We were at Jason's Deli the other day with some friends and the entire ceiling was covered with fans and I am pretty sure she was in paradise hehe the look on her face was priceless!
  • She also got to meet some friend from DIF & CFCF - Ann and Stacy (good luck to Stacy at the CFit Regionals this next weekend, you've got this!!)
  • She watched her first movie (we dont' watch a lot of TV so this was very exciting for her!). We watched Avatar and she loved it. She sat on my lap most of the time and was jumping up and down with excitement!
  • She is growing and changing so much everyday I can't believe it!
I just was telling Dan last night as we were watching the Sun's game with Ava how much fun it is to be able to do all of these different things with her now and that she can actually enjoy it and be so aware of what's going on around her :) I just love sharing new experiences with her and seeing her reaction to them. I can't imagine if we're having this much fun now at 2 months old how much more fun is to come! I know there will be tough times too but so far I can honestly say that the good times (which are many) FAR out way the tough times! We love so much Ava... you have filled our life with so much love, meaning and laughter! We can't imagine what our life would be like without you bean and we're so proud of you for everything you've accomplished already in your first 2 months of life... here's to all the months to come!!

Hope you all are having a great Monday and I promise I will try and post again soon!



April 30, 2010

Where Did You Come From?

I saw this book on our bookcase this morning called The Best Loved Poems that I bought a long time ago and decided to look through it and it has one section on childhood and one section on home & mother that I love. This poem called Where Did You Come From? was so cute and really hit home my feelings about Ava and what a miracle she really is... as all babies are :) God knew what he was doing when he sent her to us that's for sure and we're SO glad she's here! Everyday she teaches us something new. My favorite parts of the poem are the last four lines :)

Where Did You Come From?

Where did you come from, Baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into here.

Where did you get your eyes so blue?
Out of the sky as I came through.

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin?
Some of the starry spike left in.

Where did you get that little tear?

I found it waiting when I got here.

What makes your forehead so smooth and high?
A soft hand stroked it as I went by.

What makes your cheek like a warm white rose?
I saw something better than anyone knows.

Whence that three-corner'd smile of bliss?
Three angels gave me at once a kiss.

Where did you get this pearly ear?
God spoke, and it came out to hear.

Where did you get those arms and hands?
Love made itself into hooks and bands.

Feet, whence did you come, you darling things?
From the same box as the cherubs' wings.

How did they all come just to be you?
God thought of me, and so I grew.

But how did you come to us, you dear?
God thought of you, and so I am here.

- George MacDonald

We love you Ava Marie!!

April 27, 2010

Ava Update

Hey Everyone!Sorry it's been so long since our last post... the minutes, hours, days and weeks have just been flying by! I've been having such a good time spending my days with Ava watching her learn and grow... it's something new everyday! We definitely have our tough moments... don't get me wrong but the smiles that I get during the day erase the tough moments in a heartbeat :) Here are some areas of our new life together that I thought you guys might like to hear about:

New Things Ava Enjoys:

Ava still LOVES to stare at the blinds and the brown curtains and walls that around the house. I even catch her smiling at them sometimes :) She loves to lay on her tummy and has from the very beginning. She has also found a new love for trying to crawl - on the floor, in her bassinet, on her playmat and even on our chests... and she is VERY persistent at it. I feel so bad when she gets frustrated though. You can tell that she wants to be able to do things on her own SO badly... it won't be long! She has also started to really enjoy playing on her play mat that we bought her. She enjoys staring, batting at and trying to grab the pink toys that dangle over head. Her favorite toys on the playmat are a huge yellow flower that has little things dangling from it and a butterfly wind chine that chimes when she hits it. Just the other day I put her Minnie Mouse rattle that her Uncle Andrew and Aunt Julia brought her from Disney World and she loved it... she held onto that thing for dear life and she shook it all around. She seemed very excited about the noise that was being made but I'm not quite sure if she realized how she was making the noise... she will soon though I'm sure! Can't wait till she starts realizing all of the things she can do. Her Dad also bought her a Winnie the Pooh play swing the other day that she likes to swing in in the mornings and at night before bed time... at first she was unsure about whether she liked it and would start crying and doing the crazy hands after a few minutes in it. Dan had a good idea to try and swaddle her and put her in it, so I tried it and it worked like a charm. She not only enjoyed the swinging but she napped in the swing for about and hour and a half! She has always been a great napper but I was just so glad that she felt comfortable enough in the swing to fall asleep not to mention it gave me some time to eat breakfast and take a shower which was VERY exciting since I hadn't had a shower in a few days... I know... gross! Part of being a Mom for me right now is missing a shower once in a while and I'm ok with that :) Will expand on how my life has changed since the Ava bean arrived in a separate part of this post, back to what Ava is enjoying these days. Her favorite colors seem to be brown and pink - and not just when she's in her room (which is all brown and pink) but on her play mat and in other parts of the house too. Kind of funny that those are my favorite colors too! She really enjoys hearing different tones of voice too - she loves hearing that she's beautiful, when I say "yes ma'am" or "are you my baby?" or any other fun question. I think she likes how my voice changes tone when I ask her questions. It's so interesting to slowly but surely figure out what she does and does not like. And last but not least she loves her bed time books that we read her - On The Night You Were Born, Good Night Moon, My First Prayer Book and My Bedtime. Here favorite out of those is definitely On The Night You Were Born... when we read that to her she just stares without moving or making a peep like she is in a trance. I used to read this book to her when she was still in my belly and she must recognize the words, so glad she enjoys this part of our routine! She also enjoys VERY bumpy rides in the stroller... the bumpier the better. In front of our house where I walk with her I usually walk on the grass to make it really bumpy and that will always relax her right away. So that's what Ava has enjoying lately but the list is growing everyday it seems like! I really love our play time together and I'm looking forward to all of the new activities that we'll get to try out together in the months to come!

My Life As A Mom:
People always try and tell you how much your life is going to change after you have a baby but you don't really understand until it actually happens. My life is 100% different from what it was before but I am absolutely loving it and would not trade this experience for the world! Before I had Ava I would spend my days doing whatever I felt like really. I worked as a personal trainer but I had A LOT of free time. Now that I look back I realize I could have done so much more with my time. That's one thing that I have realized that I am now a parent... and that's the value of TIME. Having a free moment now is huge and I try and prioritize what I need to get done. For me my priorities during free time go like this :
#1) Pump (since breastfeeding did not work for Ava and I we decided that I would pump instead and in order to get the most milk I possibly can I need to pump often. So usually once I get a free minute this is the first thing I try and always do).
#2) Eat (this has been a tough one for me... but once I pump I usually try and squeeze a quick snack or meal in. Lately this has consisted of rolled up lunch meat with mustard, a piece of cheese, cucumbers and an apple with peanut butter... it's amazing how hard it becomes to squeeze time in to feed yourself).

#3) Clean (I try and not go over board with the cleaning... I have a few things I try and get done each day like making sure the dishes are done, sweeping, cleaning the kitchen counters and making sure the trash is empty... everything else I hold off on until I have extra free time when she takes an extra long nap or her Dad is home to hang out with her).

#4) Reading and Me Time (This is the most important I think and should really be at the top of my priorities list because of how much it helps me to relax, connect with God and stay in the moment with Ava and Dan instead of getting wrapped up in the daily tasks around the house that in the end are not as important as they may seem. I usually spend this time reading, praying, listening to music and just relaxing for 30 minutes or as long as I need that day). I truly believe that this time to myself truly helps me to be the best wife and mom that I can be... have to remember you can't take care of others unless you take care of yourself too :)
#5) Random (This is usually where the random things that need to get done fall into place (and yes a shower does fall into this category right now when I'm home by myself)... I rarely get to this point though since Ava usually wakes up from her nap by this time - not including the other day when she napped for six hours straight... she is such a good sleeper!!)

In the beginning after Ava was born my free time was so little when Dan went back to work that I longed to have that spare moment to just sit down but now that Ava is napping more I find myself getting so excited when I know it's time for her to wake up so that we can hang out and I can watch her explore and learn new things... sometimes I even want to go in and wake her up hehe crazy I know! Even though I am not showering as much as I stated earlier I do make sure I get dressed in actual clothes ( that I'd be ok with going out in public in) each day... this has helped keep me feeling good even if I haven't had a chance to shower. I haven't been super tired as many new moms are since Ava sleeps between 6-9 hours each night which I am so thankful for... thank you Ava for being such a great sleeper!! As far as exercising goes I usually wait till Dan gets home and then we do a workout together if Ava is napping or one at a time if she's awake. If she's awake we make it a family event and we'll bring her outside to watch the workout or the other day we even tried to incorporate the jogging stroller into the workout (she wasn't having it that day but hopefully someday soon she'll want to join in!). Sometimes we do P90X and sometimes we make up our own CrossFit workouts. It feels so good to be working out again! Dan and I really enjoy our time working out together... it gives us a chance to share something we both love to do and to reconnect after a busy day. This time along with brief periods of time at breakfast and dinner is when we get to see each other so we try and make the most of it by doing things we enjoy, catching up and just spending time together. Now that Dan is not only back to work but since he's been held at work day and night for about 4 days now I have really gotten the hang of taking care of Ava on my own and I am actually really glad this happened... it feels good knowing that I am capable of taking care of her on my own when I need to :) So that is how life has been for me since Ava arrived... I can't imagine my life without her and I am so glad that she's finally here!!

Products We Love:

#1) Balboa Sling - by Dr. Sears

I use this sling at home to not only be able to do things around the house without setting Ava down but also it is a HUGE help in getting Ava to sleep for naps and also at night for bed time. She has a tough time falling sleep when just laying in our arms but the second I put her in the sling and start walking around and she is out! I will walk around for 15 minutes or so and then I am able to lay her down on her back and slip out of the sling. As for shopping, for me this is the only way to go! The stroller is good sometimes but she'll usually wake up at some point while we're shopping. In the sling she'll fall asleep and sleep during the whole shopping trip until we're back out to the car. It's great cause I know she's comfy in there, she is happy cause she's close to me and there's no need for her to get upset which makes for a happy trip to the store for both of us :)

#2) Bright Start Play Mat
Ava loves to play on this play mat during the afternoons. She can grab and bat at the toys that hang down at her and it also comes with a mirror that she finds very interesting! This is one place where I know I can set her down and she'll be 100% happy.

#3) Pump In Style Breast Pump

This is the pump I use and I love it... well as far as breast pumps go that is! Without this we might have had to go completely to using formula since breast feeding did not work for us but now I am able to provide breast milk for Ava which is not only good for her but good for me too!

#4) Luvin' Hug Swing

Dan just purchased this swing for Ava and I the other day when I was home by myself and I had a really tough time getting her to sleep which almost never happens. He knew I had had a rough day and he was unable to come home since they were holding him at work so he snuck out to Walmart at night to buy us this swing so we'd have it the next day so I wouldn't loose my mind :) At first she wasn't crazy about the swing but now she loves taking naps in it in the mornings and at night before bed time. We usually swaddle her and give her her pacifier as well to help her relax and it works like a charm!

#5) Graco Travel Lite Crib

This is where Ava sleeps right now in her room when she naps and next to our bed at night when we go to sleep. It has a bassinet attachment which raises the sleeping surface up closer to the top so I don't have to bend way over to pick her up. She sleeps great in this crib and seems very comfy. I also love the "lite" version because it easily moves from room to room since it has wheels on one side and it's small enough to fit through door ways.

Well that's about all for this post... nice and short right? :) Sorry it ended up being so long... I feel like I had way more to update you all on than I realized! Hope you enjoyed the post and I'm going to do another one soon about a day in the life of Ava with pictures to go along with it!

Have a goodnight!


Ash and Ava

April 07, 2010

Ava is 1 Month Old!

Ava Marie at 1 month and 5 days old :) Look at that smile... such a sweet girl!

I can't believe that it's been a month already! Ava is growing and changing more and more everyday. I feel like sometimes I will put her down for a nap and when I pick her up when she wakes up she looks older than when I put her down! I know this most likely isn't possible but she is just changing so fast. It is so much fun to see those changes taking place though. She is smiling more and more when she's not sleeping... this usually happens when we're in her room changing her clothes or her diaper... she loves to look around her room while we're doing this and always finds something fun to look at (usually the blinds or the curtains... these make her smile and make cute sounds all the time). The other day I was telling her how pretty she was though and she smiled really big then, it was really cute! For her first easter the other day Dan and I bought her an Easter basket that we plan on using every Easter for her and we put a couple of books and a cute little stuffed duck in it. We wrote a message inside the book too so she can read it when she's older :) She is such a sweet girl and we are having so much fun watching her learn and grow! I'll update again soon!

March 22, 2010

Ava at 1 week

Ava's 1 Week Photos
I can hardly believe that Ava is already over 2 weeks old and that these photos were taken when she was a week old! Time has been flying by ever since we got home but we've been having a lot of fun watching Ava grow and learning more and more about her personality every day. When she was first born and still when she's really sleepy she'll only open one eye but has been opening both eyes more and more which we love! She has the prettiest dark grey eyes right now but it will be fun to see what color they end up being. She always has her cute little hands up by her face just like in her ultrasound pictures. When she's upset she gets these things we call "crazy hands" and she waves them all around like she's trying to grab something. This is how I know she's about to get really upset and is my cue to figure out what she's upset about. She is such a calm baby and is very relaxed most of the time... especially if someone is holding her against their chest, she'll be content for hours. She loves holding hands... especially with her Daddy (he was the first person she ever held hands with - about a minute or so after she was born and he held her hand through all of the procedures they do). She is unusually strong for being 2 weeks old and is already able to lift her head up and move it around all on her own. Our schedule has become pretty regular and has become a lot easier since I know what to expect more and more. She usually wakes up at 1 am, 4:30 am and sometimes 6 am. She's actually very regular about the times that she wakes up, I think this is great considering she's only 2 weeks old :) I love all the funny little things about her that only we know about. She is so amazing and we're loving every minute with her... I'm so glad she's finally here with us :) I will update again soon!

Love <3,