Monday, January 31, 2011

Living with my Parents

I believe that I have discussed my current living situation here on my blog. I currently live with my parents in a cozy 2 bedroom home. Lucky for us we all get along great and they absolutely adore little Ava. I never realized how close my family was until I got older and would share stories with friends. We are just very comfortable and casual with each other and I wouldn't have it any other way. Well, naturally I sometimes wish I had my own apartment (which will be happening soon enough) but other times I am so SO grateful that I live with my parents. This weekend was a perfect example. I had a nasty case of food poisoning this weekend and was sick as a dog. I couldn't keep anything down and I was so dehydrated. I was so weak I could hardly make it through a shower. Thank goodness for my mother. She swooped right in and canceled her Sunday plans to take care of Ava while also taking care of me. It really made me realize how hard (almost impossible) it would have been if I had to go through that alone. I'm pretty sure there would have been a lot of crying from both Ava and I. So THANKS MOM for being the best grandma and mom.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Matchbook Magazine

This amazing online mag is a huge hit and it only just launched a few days ago. I am absolutely obsessed with it and can't wait for future issues. The very best part?? My best friend is the illustrator for the magazine. She is taking the design world my storm and I couldn't be happier for her. She is such a cute lady who knows exactly what she wants. I miss her everyday and I can't wait to see her again so we can drink mimosas and bake cookies.

Here's to you Miss Katie Evans!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ava, Ma, & Pa

I haven't spoken much about Ava's dad here on this blog for various reasons, mostly because up until recently I wasn't his biggest fan. But in the end he is a good guy and wants to be a great father to Ava. For a while I didn't want to accept that and in all honesty I wanted it to be just Ava and I. I was being greedy. I know it is best for her to have a relationship with both of her parents so I have never kept him from seeing her and I never will. Unfortunately due to distance he doesn't see her nearly as much as he would like to. We have talked a lot about the future and have agreed that in a few years once we both feel more stable in our lifestyles we will move to the same city to make everything easier in our goal of shared parenting.

He was visiting the past weekend before he starts a fire fighting academy in Charleston, SC. I snapped a few pictures of him and Ava together since he won't be seeing her much until he is done with the academy.

I don't know if you can tell from the photos but Ava looks just like her dad.

And of course I had him snap a few of Ava and I...

Can you tell I am a little camera shy?? Plus whenever I see a photo of myself I think that I look soooo tired.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Baby Book

My best friend Katie recently asked me if I am keeping a baby book for little Ava. The truth is, I haven't really put anything in it yet. I have two that were gifted to me and I constantly think about how I need to fill it up with dates and pictures but I have yet to take action.

Do you have a baby book for your little one? Or better yet, did you parents keep a baby book for you? If you are a blogging mama is that your version of a baby book?

On a different is a little video of my mom being a "bad grandma!"

Friday, January 21, 2011

5 Months!!

Seriously?? 5 months already? Before I know it my little Ava will be 6 months old, which is HUGE in baby land.


Ava has been full on giggling A LOT. I've caught it on camera a few times but she seems to always tone it down as soon as I start recording.

She has started tasting "real" food. This is grandma's doing. She likes to break a lot of rules and she gave Ava a taste of mashed potatoes, apple sauce, ice cream, a marshmallow (!!), she even let her suck on a chicken bone. Yes, it's true...I know, it's terrible...But it was pretty entertaining and harmless.

Little Ava LOVES to grab and play with her feet.

She is the happiest baby I've ever seen when she is naked. Honestly, if she is fussy sometimes I'll just take off her diaper and let her hang out in her pack and play and she will be a happy camper. It's funny because I will walk away to do something and I can hear her cooing and laughing to herself.

She doesn't sit up on her own yet but she is able to sit up with very little assistance. It's cute.

Sometimes when she is being held chest to chest she will get excited about something and dive into your neck. It sounds weird but it's super charming.

OH! And she FINALLY enjoys tummy time...(sometimes)...


P.S. Thanks so much for the pumping advice! I'm definitely going to try the funugreek and some other pointers.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Get me outta this (style) rut!

So now that I am working I am required to wear more than leggings, nursing tanks, and cardigans everyday and I am super excited about it. But if you saw me last week (my first week of work) you would have never guessed that I had any style. I wore a different variation of the same outfit everyday (jeans, gray sweater, and boots). Of course it didn't help that it was freezing and snowing last week. I realize that I am in a style rut. I have gotten too comfortable with the "lazy" attire. I even said to my sister recently, "Can we go shopping at Old Navy soon? They always have good deals on lounge wear." Thank goodness she told me NO. I mean, seriously, I was looking for a sale to buy what? Sweats?? Hoodies?? If you know me well you know this is totally out of character for me. Luckily this job may have just saved my (style) personality. Whew!

So starting tomorrow I will begin to dive back into dressing for my personality. Here are some images to help inspire me...

(I plan on copying this outfit tomorrow)

(I love everything this lady wears)

Can you tell I am craving dress and skirts and tights?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Blog Changes....

I figured it was time to make a few little's still a work in progress...

Baby's First Cold

My poor little Ava has her first cold.

We are spending the holiday weekend resting together. I have a warm steam humidifier going on high all day and night and I am using Baby Vicks Rub to help soothe her. She is definitely being a trooper considering she is completely congested and probably has a soar throat. Luckily she does not have a fever and she has been eating plenty so I know she isn't dehydrated. But it is so sad when she has a coughing fit. Her face turns red and her eyes water up and she hacks and hacks like an old man. The worst part? When I hear her swallow all the phlegm. I just wish she could blow her nose or spit it all out.

Despite all of that I can see that she is slowly getting better, however my throat feels a little scratchy and my mom's nose has started running. Ah, the cycle of a cold.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

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Ava is now a Daycare baby.

Let me just say how jealous I am of all the stay at home moms who may never have to face the dreaded first day of dropping your little one off at daycare. It is absolutely heartbreaking. Every worst case scenario went through my head. So here is how it all went down...

I had limited options on childcare facilities because I get the benefit from the state. They gave me a short list of places that are close to my home. I had the option of sending Ava to a large facility run out of a church that has a golden rating, an in home facility that is much smaller, and another large facility that has one of the best ratings in the city. Naturally I did my homework and checked the adult to child ratios, the state ratings, and the employee turnover (this info was all on the web). I decided I felt most comfortable with the large facility with the best rating in the city. I call to set everything up and they inform me that I must work a minimum of 25 hours a week to be able to apply. I only work 20 hours a week. WOMP. So I call the other larger facility. They inform me that they have no openings until March. WOMP WOMP. So I am left with the in home childcare facility which I am skeptical about. I call. I talk to the woman who runs the place and she says she has room for my little Ava but she insists we come visit before we make any other arrangements. My mother, Ava, and I check it out a few days later. My nerves are put at ease after meeting everyone and checking the place out. It is definitely not top of the line and perfect but it is homey and the kids are well behaved and the women who work there are so sweet and welcoming. There is no TV and they really encourage reading and singing. The older kids have to learn the basics of other languages (hello, goodbye, thank you, etc.). Ava is the youngest one there followed by a 6 month old boy.

I could list all the facts, but let's get to the important stuff: How does Ava do at daycare?? Honestly?? She isn't a big fan right now, but it's only been a little over a week. And up until that first day she had never been away from me for longer than an hour or two. Luckily the women at her daycare are VERY patient and used to this from such young babies. But from what they tell me she is a crier. And the first few days they had a really hard time getting her to sleep. Sometimes when I would come to pick her up I could hear her screaming from outside the door. Those days were hard. My heart would instantly sink and I would start plotting ways to work from home again. But I remember that this is necessary and she will be just fine. It is good for her to be around other adults and children. Plus some days I would come to pick her up and she would happily be sitting on the lap of one of the ladies watching the older children play. They tell me stories of her laughing and "talking" to one of the toddlers. They always read and sing to her and she has tummy time everyday. They log everything she does through the day and I give me the log when I pick her up. It's great to see when she ate, how much, when she slept, how long, when they changed her diaper, if she pooed and all that other good stuff. I know that this is going to be a long transition for her (and I) but I think in the long run it will be good for her.

A hard part for me (besides leaving her, of course) is pumping. I am really doing my best at keeping Ava breastfed. I gave the daycare formula just in case they run out of my breast milk and she has had to have formula once because I was having trouble pumping. It seemed to put her into a coma and I think it made her a little sick so I am trying to keep up with the pumping but it is HARD. I mean, nothing will make you feel more like a machine than attaching a pump to your breast. I hate it. And it is even more frustrating when I can only pump an ounce or two. I mean, SERIOUSLY?? I know I am going to make it to the six month mark with breastfeeding Ava but I was really hoping to do a full year. I don't think I'll make it that long, but I am going to try. Any pointers? I would love some.

On a totally different note...Ava found her feet...

Friday, January 14, 2011


A lot has been changing around here which is a pitiful excuse for my lack of posts, but it's true. I'll fill you in, just for the sake of it.

As you know I am a young single mama living with my very helpful parents. Up until last week I was jobless and secretly loving the time I was getting with my little Ava. But reality kicked in and I couldn't pretend to be a stay at home mom anymore. Because I am receiving benefits from the state of Ohio I had to start a program where I have to volunteer and gain experience to help transition me (and other people receiving benefits) back into the workforce. It's a pretty fantastic set up in my opinion and something I honestly knew nothing about until I found myself in my current situation. **Side note: It's truly amazing how many programs our government has to help the unemployed, it's unfortunate how many people take unfair advantage of our system.** In any case, I was appreciative of the chance to gain more work experience and still receive my insurance benefits. However I realized that I am perfectly capable of finding a job and set out to do so. Within a week I was lucky enough to find a great position working with children after school. You see, since becoming a mother all of my priorities have shifted. I went from being a young single lady who really only cared about myself to someone who realized family is oh so important and something you should never take fore-granted. I have really started to ask myself what I want from life and how I want to raise my daughter. Recently when people have asked me what I want to do in my life I have immediately answered, "I want to help people." I have realized how many programs are out there that help people who need it, be it financially or emotionally. Before my pregnancy I knew nothing about WIC (Women, Infants, and Children), or the government programs, or other such programs and now I depend on them and see how wonderful and helpful they are for our community. Anyways, the position I found working with children is through a very well known program that I really admire as I am learning more about them. This is a great position to begin my (hopeful) future of teaching and helping others. I am so excited about it and it fits perfectly into my life right now (it is only part time so I still have plenty of time with my little Ava).

This is becoming a very long post, I apologize if I have lost you. I'll stop there but I still have soooo much to share including:

-the beginning of daycare (not an easy transition)
-getting back into the workforce (an interesting transition)
-taking care of a sick baby (Ava has her first cold! so sad)

and lots more...

P.S. This blog is probably going to become more and more of a "journey though motherhood" blog so I am sorry if that isn't your cup of tea.

And because every entry deserves some photos so here are a few of my favorite pictures of Ava to date (taken a few weeks ago):